North Atlanta High principal Gene Taylor to stay with APS

9:02 AM, Sep 17, 2013   |    comments
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  • North Atlanta High Principal Howard "Gene" Taylor
  • North Atlanta High's new $147-mil. campus
  • Atlanta School Superintendent Erroll Davis, Jr.
  • Former North Atlanta High Principal Mark MyGrant being cheered by angry parents
  • APS parent and school board candidate Taryn Chilivis Bowman

ATLANTA -- The revolving door to the principal's office at North Atlanta High School took another strange turn Monday. 

Only a year after taking over the job, Howard "Gene" Taylor announced last Friday that he was leaving, then accepted a position in Gwinnett County. But, on Monday, he returned to Atlanta Public Schools in a new position.

"My intentions were to stay for at least three to five years," he said in a video he posted last week about leaving North Atlanta High.

He went on in that video, to say he was leaving to return to the Gwinnett County School system as the new principal of Berkmar High.

"I'm not leaving because I have to. I've not been asked to leave and it wasn't hard to find another position," he added in the video.

But, on Monday, Atlanta Superintendent Erroll Davis announced Taylor would remain with the system as Executive Director of the North Region for Atlanta Public Schools.

"APS is pleased that we were able to retain a talented employee. We will continue to update the community with details about the transition as they become available," said Davis.

Taylor's surprise announcement came only one month after moving 1,600 students into North Atlanta's new $147 million state-of-the-art campus.

"Myself, along with the rest of the community are shocked to see him go after such a short time," Taryn Chilivis Bowman told 11Alive News on Monday.

A parent, who's also running for Atlanta's school board, Bowman was still trying to make sense of losing a second principal in a year.

Many parents and students were upset and confused in October of last year when Superintendent Erroll Davis fired principal Mark MyGrant and transferred four other administrators for what he called substandard academic performance.

After wishing Taylor well in his return to Gwinnett County last Friday, Davis announced Monday afternoon that the former North Atlanta High principal will be staying with Atlanta Public Schools.

He will be promoted to executive director of the district's North Region.

Assistant Principal Curtis Douglass will now serve as interim principal at North Atlanta High.

Many parents are still frustrated by the second mid-year shift in a year.

"The board needs to look at this situation and learn how to recruit strong leaders and to retain those leaders," Bowman said.

Meanwhile, Gwinnett County Schools, who had announced rehiring Taylor last Friday, issued a new statement Monday saying they "honored" his decision to stay with APS and will resume their search for a new Berkmar High principal.

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