Atlanta Public Schools is looking for a new person to become principal of North Atlanta High after the top candidate turned down the job.

Reginald Richardson, who is currently principal of Performing Arts and Technology High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., withdrew his application when he received a better offer from his current employer, according to North Atlanta High Parent Teacher Student Association Co-President Amy Shea and District 4 Atlanta Board of Education Member Nancy Meister.

“I have learned that the person to whom the administration had made an offer for the principal’s position at North Atlanta High School has declined in lieu of another position which was created for him in response to their offer,” Meister said.

Richardson was supposed to replace Mark MyGrant, who recently retired.

Richardson’s decision to stay in New York headed off a brewing controversy over the decision to offer the job to an outsider instead of a local candidate. Parents did not know much about Richardson, who has spent most of his teaching career in New York. The Harvard-educated administrator, who also holds a law degree from Howard University School of Law, held one job in Georgia,  where he worked for one year as a Historic Preservation Program Coordinator at the Savannah Arts Academy.

Most parents hadn’t heard of him until a June 4 Board of Education meeting. “His name was added to the agenda late in the evening (after 10 p.m.) and the addition was overlooked by the Talk Up APS blog,” Shea said in a letter sent to parents after the meeting.

Reide Onley, president of North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools, had said he was unaware of how the school system made the decision to offer the job to Richardson.

“I would’ve liked to know what that process was about,” Onley said when asked about the the offer to Richardson. “I would’ve liked to have somebody that was a little more familiar with our community.”

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com