Noel Maloof
Noel Maloof

Dunwoody High School Principal Noel Maloof will be leaving to take the position of principal at Decatur High School.

Decatur City Schools Superintendent Phyllis Edwards announced March 11 that Maloof would take over as principal of Decatur High School beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.

Maloof has served as principal of Dunwoody High School since 2012. Before that, he was an assistant principal at Dunwoody High and principal of Vanderlyn Elementary.

In a letter emailed to the Dunwoody High community, Maloof wrote he had mixed emotions about leaving the school.

“While I am very excited about my new opportunities, I am sad to say goodbye to a
community that has given me a tremendous amount of support,” he wrote

Maloof, who lives in Decatur, said he wanted to be closer to his family.

“It was a difficult decision to leave the Dunwoody community after serving as an administrator here for nine years,” he wrote.

“Rest assured that I will work hard to transition smoothly to new leadership over the coming months. We will follow the process for selecting a leader as directed by the DeKalb County School System. I am confident that this process will take place in a timely manner and be given the attention that Dunwoody High School students and staff need. No dates for my departure have been set and it is my intention to complete the school year with our students and staff.”

Several parents praised Maloof for his work at Dunwoody High.

“Noel Maloof is extraordinarily talented and widely respected by our community and his professional peers,” Dunwoody City Councilman Terry Nall said in an email. “It’s important we reflect on his broader tenure of service to our Dunwoody community schools and not just his high school principalship. We are blessed, as he made a difference in the lives of our students and our teachers.  He will be sorely missed in Dunwoody, but we wish him well in his new role at Decatur High School.

Allegra Johnson, one of the leaders of Georgians for Local Area School Systems, or GLASS, a group promoting the idea that Dunwoody and other “new” cities should be allowed to create their own school systems, said Maloof made “a great impact” in Dunwoody.

“Having worked with him in regards to the Dunwoody Cluster Council he definitely had a vision of success for our cluster of schools,” Johnson wrote in an email. “Decatur is lucky to have him.”

Maloof ‘s predecessor at Dunwoody High principal also held the job for about two years.

Johnson argued the turnover “means a broken system.  It means that these high school students and their teachers must go through uncertainty (again). Once again, they are told to wait.”

Nall felt differently. “Mr. Maloof’s departure and the prior principal turnover at Dunwoody High School are unrelated,” Nall said. “Mr. Maloof was actively engaged in the Dunwoody community and worked to support the entire Dunwoody cluster of schools.  He worked very hard to more actively involve the schools into our community.

“He lives in Decatur and this is a rare, personal opportunity for him to work and live in the same community.  I suspect any of us would have taken advantage of the same opportunity.”

–Joe Earle contributed to this report.