Nancy Meister, District 4 Atlanta Board of Education member

District 4 Atlanta Board of Education member Nancy Meister voted against extending the contract of Superintendent Erroll Davis on Dec. 10 and says her decision wasn’t solely based on leadership changes at North Atlanta High.

The Board of Education approved the 18 month extension on Dec. 10, which allows the board to fire Davis with 90 days notice if certain conditions arise. The extension begins in July.

Davis generated controversy by removing the high school’s leadership on Oct. 5, but Meister said her concerns went beyond that. Here is her full statement to the Buckhead Reporter:

I read your article and would like to correct (or make clear) that I did not vote against a contract extension purely on the events of October 5 at NAHS. I do not believe that I have ever said that as I would not make a decision of that magnitude through such a narrow lens.

My decision to vote against a contract extension encompassed many performance, judgment and ability issues that I see having an negative impact on the system as a whole, should Mr. Davis’ contract continue to be renewed each year. In light of, this I believe that it is the responsibility of this board to move forward in earnest with a search for a permanent Superintendent that can lead the district for years to come. It is my feeling that we have overdosed on “interims” at APS. I did not hear a compelling argument over the last 2 months of deliberating that swayed me to stray, and furthermore, I will not let outside political pressure influence what I believe is best for the 47,000 students in the system. Kids are way too important!

My true hope is now that a decision has been reached, this board will move forward with integrity, absent outside influence, and conduct a search in earnest. This will allow us to move the system forward, implementing the 5 year strategic plan that has been adopted, with a permanent Superintendent beginning July 1, 2013. Mr. Davis was tasked to handle several crisis issues when he arrived at APS in 2011 and I do applaud his efforts for that job.

– Nancy Meister