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DeKalb Schools names finalist for superintendent's role

Cheryl Watson-Harris will come to the district from the New York City Department of Education.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Cheryl Watson-Harris has been named as the sole finalist in DeKalb County Schools search for its new school superintendent.

Currently, Watson-Harris works for the New York City Department of Education as the First Deputy Chancellor, the district's number two position. 

The New York City native has more than 20 years of experience as a teacher and administrator in large, urban school districts across the nation. 

Watson-Harris began her career as an elementary school teacher in Brooklyn. After earning a master's degree from Harvard University, she served as an assistant principal and principal in the Boston Public Schools. 

Following her time serving as a network superintendent in that region, she returned to Brooklyn to serve the New York City Department of Education's central leadership team.

While there, Watson-Harris designed the new school support and supervision structure for 1,600 schools and led the creation of the school system's Comprehensive School Support Model, which allows them to provide better planning and a more equitable distribution of funds.

RELATED: APS votes to name Dr. Lisa Herring as its new superintendent

“This is a bittersweet day for us, and we are so grateful for all Cheryl has contributed to advancing equity and excellence for New York City’s 1.1 million public school students,” said New York City DOE Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “We wish her the best in this incredible new endeavor and know the students of DeKalb County would be lucky to have Cheryl as their leader.”

Watson-Harris is expected to formally sign a contract with the DeKalb County district following the public input period. She is expected to take over the role from outgoing DeKalb superintendent Ramona Tyson on July 1.

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