The search is on for replacements for two top officials who left Dunwoody High School at the end of the school year.
In response to the resignation of Assistant Principal Tom Bass and the reassignment of Principal Rodney Swanson, Dunwoody High’s School Council sent a letter to parents assuring them that everything at the school is fine.
The council was notified May 18 that Principal Rodney Swanson has been reassigned by DeKalb County Schools to serve as the principal of Arabia Mountain High School next year.
“Mr. Swanson did not ask for this reassignment,” the letter states. “He is being moved as part of a large shuffle of principals by DCSS Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson. This is not done to ‘punish’ Dunwoody – our new superintendent does not work that way.”
Also in the letter, school council members said that Bass resigned to take a job closer to his home before Swanson’s reassignment was announced. However, Bass has now applied for the job of principal at Dunwoody High School, the letter says.
Many parents are distraught that Swanson was removed from the school so quickly.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. Swanson was only allowed to stay at DHS for two years before being reassigned by DCSS,” said Meg Firebaugh, a School Council Parent Representative, in an email.
“Hopefully, for the sake of our students, faculty and families, DCSS will consider community … input in selecting a new principal who will lead as an integral part of both Dunwoody’s educational environment and the community itself.”
Debbie Emery, a member of the council, said she hopes the community’s wishes will be heard when the next principal is selected.
“We are hoping that the School Council will be an integral part of the hiring process and Dr. Atkins chooses a principal that will be a good fit for Dunwoody High School and the entire Dunwoody community,” Emery said in an email. “As I start my seventh year as a DHS parent, and will be working with my fourth principal, I am hoping for some stability and longevity with the next principal choice.”
Walter Woods, chief communications officer for the DeKalb County School District, would not provide details about why Swanson was moved to Arabia Mountain.
“We can’t comment on an individual principal or position. However, there are generally changes in principal assignments each year,” Woods said. “In addition, our Strategic Plan, which was adopted earlier this year, calls for taking steps to ensure the School District has leaders in every classroom and in every school building in order to improve student success.”