After first failing to muster a majority, the DeKalb school board tried a second time Friday and by a 5-4 vote approved a separation agreement that pays Atkinson $114,583 to leave. Then, they voted 7-2 to approve an employment agreement with Michael Thurmond, a former Georgia lawmaker who went on to become state labor commissioner. Read the rest @ AJC.Some commenters in school-related blogs (DeKalb School Watch, AJC's Get Schooled) suggest that Thurmond is not a good choice due to long-term ties to the embattled DeKalb School Board but the AJC article states that
Marshall Orson, who unseated McChesney to become one of the three new board members this year, said he’s the one who brought up Thurmond’s name. No one else had considered him, Orson said.
Orson had seen Thurmond speaking publicly and in small groups over the years, and was impressed.
“He just had a way about him that drew people in,” Orson said. He said Thurmond’s lack of an educational leadership background seemed an asset, given the withering criticism of the public these days for so-called “educrats.”For additional comments by Thurmond and others, including a brief biography for Mr. Thurmond, see the AJC.