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    May 2019 Update (Final Entry)

    Dear Friends and Colleagues:

    Congratulations to the Senior Class of 2019!  It is the time of year when we take a moment to honor and give our thanks to all students, faculty and staff on successfully completing the school year.

    This year, the Board of Education is also honored to be able to announce the selection of a new superintendent, Dr. Mike Looney, to guide our district into next year and beyond.   We have been providing updates about the search process, and now are very excited to come to the conclusion on June 17, his first day on the job.

    Many in Fulton County had the chance to meet Dr. Mike Looney during a well-attended round of public meetings and the Board spent time getting first-hand recommendations from his current community during a trip we took to Tennessee.  The media helped with many in depth, informative articles about Dr. Looney and his experience.

    Throughout the search for our superintendent, the Board attempted to keep you informed and provided as many ways as possible to engage our community in the process.  Your participation and feedback were critical to our selection.

    It is now our sincere hope that we can continue together toward our stated goal of preparing all students to graduate ready to pursue and succeed on their chosen path.  We are looking forward to Dr. Looney joining us in this goal.

    Thank you,
    Linda Bryant, President
    Julia Bernath, Vice-President


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    April 2019 Update (Part 2)

    Dear Friends and Colleagues:

    Dr. Mike Looney

    Dr. Mike Looney
    Superintendent
    Finalist

    Thank you to the many individuals who joined us last week for the introduction of Dr. Mike Looney as the final candidate for the Superintendent of Fulton County Schools. After the announcement at our Sandy Springs location, he had a packed three-day schedule across the district and demonstrated his willingness to engage, and importantly, listen to our community.

    In addition to the five Meet & Greet events, which included stops at Centennial, Banneker, Roswell and Westlake High Schools, Dr. Looney, or “Mike” as he prefers to be called, visited Ocee, Heards Ferry and Park Lane Elementary Schools, Bear Creek and Northwestern Middle Schools, and an exciting tour of the FCS College and Career Academy. He also spent time with elected officials, business partners and community leaders at meetings in Union City, Sandy Springs and Alpharetta.

    His extensive knowledge in teaching and learning was on display throughout the interactions. As he met students in the classroom, he immediately fell into the role of teacher; during his conversation with parents and teachers, he explained the principles of reading instruction and how critical reading competency by 3rd grade is to future growth; and when speaking with community leaders, he outlined the need for strong partnerships.

    This personal interaction with so many in our FCS family and Fulton County at-large, has shown his dedication to listen and learn. He stated many times his plan would be to come and learn about our community and bring his experience to help guide the schools together, in what he termed a “shared leadership” model. Mike was also willing to face tough questions with great candor and demonstrated a commitment to transparency.

    But, that isn’t all.

    The Board wanted to ensure not only that you got a chance to meet Mike; we also took the time this week to visit his current district in Williamson County, TN. We met with his Board, staff, teachers, community leaders and those who know him well in his current role. With almost ten years as Superintendent, he has deep roots in the county, and many were sad to see him go. However, the individuals we spoke with gave his leadership high marks and confirmed many of the things we had heard in the interview process that led up to making him the finalist.

    Please know, the public input process is still ongoing and there is still an opportunity for you to provide your feedback and ask questions. Please take time to contact us at boardservices@fultonschools.org. We will update the community on next steps once the 14-day public input period is complete.

    Thank you,
    Linda Bryant, President
    Julia Bernath, Vice-President


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    April 2019 Update 

    Dear Friends and Colleagues:

    The Board of Education is very excited to announce Dr. Michael “Mike” Looney as the finalist for the position of Superintendent. After conducting a national search, which attracted a diverse group of talented candidates, we believe Dr. Looney is the right leader for Fulton County Schools.

    Serving as a superintendent for 14 years, ten at his current district, Dr. Looney has a proven track record in student achievement and leadership. Dr. Looney served in the U.S. Marine Corps before starting his career in education as a substitute teacher. He has since developed experience as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and holds an Ed.D in Educational Leadership. In 2015, Looney was named Tennessee Superintendent of the Year by his peers. His complete bio, list of credentials and achievements can be found here.

    The Board closely reviewed his qualifications and experience, which line up well with the key elements we identified as necessary for leading our schools and preparing all students to graduate and succeed on their chosen path, before naming his as the finalist today. These key attributes were also confirmed in the community survey where stakeholders rated CEO and teaching and learning (academic experience) as the two highest priorities for the new superintendent’s experience, and leadership and communication (listening skills) as the top two personal attributes.

    We have had the pleasure to meet and get to know Dr. Looney, and we want you to have that opportunity too. For the next several days he will be out in our community in a series of “Meet & Greet” events at five locations across the district. You can find the locations and times on the FCS website.

    This is a time for public input. Please take time to come meet him, learn more about him, and let us know your thoughts at boardservices@fultonschools.org.

    Thank you,
    Linda Bryant, President
    Julia Bernath, Vice-President


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    March 2019 Update

    The Board of Education is very pleased with the many highly qualified candidates who have expressed interest in the Superintendent position. Interviews have started and the Board has been impressed by the individuals who have made time to meet with us and discuss their experiences and their vision for leading our schools. The search process is ongoing, and we will continue interviews during the next few weeks and provide updates to the community as we move forward.

     

    Thank you,
    Linda Bryant, President
    Julia Bernath, Vice-President

     


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    February 2019 Update

    Over the past month, as the Board of Education opened the process to search for a new superintendent, we have heard from a diverse cross-section of stakeholders. Through our online survey, directly via email, and in-person at Board community meetings we have received thousands of responses and comments. Thank you to everyone who participated and shared your input.

    In addition to receiving your feedback, a critical component of our process is to share information with our community as we move forward. For that purpose, below is a summarization of the total responses we have received to date with an analysis of the survey and examples of candid comments. The complete results of the survey can be found here.

    Board members will continue to draw from this input as we consider potential candidates and move into the interview process.

    We are also happy to report that we have interest from an impressive set of applicants who are excited about the opportunity to lead our schools and join our community. We will continue to receive applications as part of our initial phase through the end of February and plan to begin interviews in March. Ideally, we will identify the final candidate or candidates in time for the start of the new school year in 2019.

    Meanwhile, we thank Dr. Loe and the dedicated individuals in our district office, the classroom and throughout the district, for maintaining high standards while educating our students and operating our schools.

    Thank you,
    Linda Bryant, President
    Julia Bernath, Vice-President

     

    Survey results:

    Over 1,200 individuals from the community participated in our online survey. Full results of the survey with numeric rankings are linked here. Please note, lower average numbers represent a higher priority. The survey was set to allow rankings with 1 being the highest and 9 the lowest. Respondents also listed additional knowledge, skills, and abilities as priorities in a superintendent, and the statements below were generated by categorizing and aggregating the open-ended survey responses.

    • The new superintendent should have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to establish and maintain a positive climate and culture.  This could be by focusing on employee benefits and retention, responding to staff needs, and building relationships with staff.
    • The new superintendent should understand the diversity of district, including understanding and addressing the unique needs in different geographic areas of the county.  He/she should have the ability to close the achievement gap and achieve equity across all groups of students.
    • The new superintendent should have knowledge of how the district’s policies and programs operate and ideas on how existing policies / programs could be improved (e.g. Charter System, Special Education).
    • The new superintendent should have strong background knowledge of best practices in teaching and learning and our district’s students, diversity, and geography.

     

    Download the Superintendent Search Frequently Asked Questions


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    January 2019 Update

    Happy New Year from the Fulton County Board of Education. The year 2019 promises to be a great year for Fulton County Schools with amazing things happening for our students, teachers and staff. One of the top priorities for the Board this year will be identifying and hiring a new leader as Superintendent.

    As we begin our search, we would like to make you part of our effort. Over the next few weeks, we are requesting your thoughts on the characteristics and experiences you feel a candidate for Superintendent should have to best suit our district. We would ask that our community, including students, parents, teachers, school and district staff, Fulton residents and business partners take time to provide your thoughts. To ensure broad input, we are implementing several ways for you to contact us:

    • Survey: Individuals can fill out the public survey between the dates of Jan 9th - Jan 23rd. (THE ONLINE SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED)
    • Email: You can email the Board directly at superintendentsearch@fultonschools.org.
    • Public Meetings: Each Board Member will hold public community meetings within the next week. Information about the time and locations for each district can be found here.

    Within the next month, we will collect all of your input and report back to you with the results. The information we receive will help develop the priorities used to review the qualifications of the candidates against the needs of the district.

    As we move forward with the input process, we will also be casting a wide net to seek a qualified and diverse set of candidates. This will include a nationwide search to include outreach to multiple sources. Several search firms will be contacted requesting they provide candidates which meet our profile. We will advertise our vacancy in national education magazines, talk with various education professionals including other superintendents and send notices directly to school systems of a certain size announcing our vacancy.

    Interviews will be conducted later this winter/spring and will include site visits by Board members to the candidates’ current communities, where we will seek candid opinions and assessments of the candidates.

    The Board understands and appreciates the partnership with you, the individuals we serve. We value your perspectives, and we will utilize your insights as we serve to fulfill our responsibility in setting the priorities and leadership of the school system.

    As we move through the Superintendent search process, we have great confidence in our school staff, principals, area superintendents, district staff and interim Superintendent Dr. Cindy Loe that students will continue to receive the best education possible. We are fortunate to have talented teachers, principals, and administrative personnel across the district who work every day to keep the focus on learning opportunities, well-being and safety of our students and schools. The Board thanks these dedicated individuals for their continued service.

    Linda Bryant, President
    Julia Bernath, Vice President