School board chairman predicts seamless transition if Looney gets Atlanta job


School board chairman predicts seamless transition if Looney gets Atlanta job

Gary Anderson, chairman of the Williamson County Board of Education, said that the community “should expect a seamless transition as we move on to our next Superintendent of Schools.

Anderson released a statement reacting to reports that Williamson County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney was the finalist for the superintendent job at the Fulton County Schools district in Atlanta.

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Williamson County Board of Education chair Gary Anderson. // FILE PHOTO

“On behalf of the Williamson County Board of Education, I want to thank Dr. Looney for his service to Williamson County Schools and wish him the best in his next endeavor. Should Dr. Looney sign a contract with Fulton County Schools on May 2, the WCS Board, at its regular May meeting, plans to name an interim superintendent and establish the effective date of that leadership transition.

“We have a strong leadership team in place at the Central Office and in our schools, and our teachers and staff are focused on success for all students. Our students come prepared to learn and achieve, and our parental involvement is second to none.”

In 2018 the school board voted unanimously to extend Looney’s contract through January, 2022.

“I think Williamson County Public Schools have come a long way under Mike’s leadership,” County Mayor Rogers Anderson said. “Personally, I think he’s done a really good job, he will be missed here if [he takes the position]. I think he has taken us to a whole different level during his tenure. I had a good working relationship with him as far as putting together budgets and numbers – we didn’t always agree on the dollars and cents, but at the end of the day, we all agreed on what’s best for our children that we could afford.”

A press release from The Fulton County Schools Board of Education said the district on a nationwide search in December, receiving a great amount of interest in the position and interviewing a diverse group of candidates before making the announcement today of Looney as the final candidate.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Looney was chosen as the finalist out of 40 candidates for the job and seven interviewed.

“Dr. Looney has a very impressive background and track record of success during the 10 years as superintendent in his current district. The Board believes his experience and leadership skills will complement the amazingly talented teachers, principals and staff, and our focus on student achievement,” said Linda Bryant, President, said in the release. “We are excited for Dr. Looney to visit our schools and engage with the community over the next few days and weeks.”

Looney’s qualifications line up directly with the key elements identified by the Board and confirmed in their recent community survey, according to the release. He has been in his position with WCS since 2009, when he came to Middle Tennessee from Butler County, Alabama. Under Looney, ACT scores have risen from an average of 22.7 to 25.4, and the district has increased participation and pass rates in AP, dual enrollment and dual credit courses. In 2015, Looney, who served in the United States Marine Corps, was named by his peers as the Tennessee Superintendent of the Year.

“Fulton County schools have been doing some amazing things, and I look forward to meeting many of you and hearing your questions and concerns,” Looney said in the press release. “It would be an honor to serve this community and work with so many dedicated educators in the schools and district office.”

Georgia law requires that the school board must give a minimum of 14 days for public input on a finalist for the position of Superintendent before formally hiring someone.

The Fulton County school board will host Looney at five meetings where the public may come, meet him, ask questions, and learn about his vision for the district.

Williamson County Board Chairman Anderson said: “For more than 25 years, Williamson County Schools has been recognized as a top performing school district in the state, and I believe that will continue for years to come.”

Continue to follow for developments on this breaking story. 

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