Lisa Herring was officially sworn in as the new superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools in a brief ceremony on July 1.

In her remarks, Herring thanked the Atlanta Board of Education for its vote of confidence in selecting her to succeed Meria Carstarphen. Herring acknowledged the challenges the district faces, most immediately the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring. (Special)

“We stand in a space of anxiousness, curiosity, worry, hope and optimism,” Herring said.

She compared the work that must be done as “two seasons.”

“We are in a season of renewal and our children must be well,” she said. “They also must be loved well, taught well, encouraged well. But well isn’t good enough. We have to do more.”

Herring also said this was a “season of fear and uncertainty,” and attributed some of that to the ongoing protests against racial injustice and the pandemic.

“What I know for sure those who are ushering in the change of this season are the children who have been taught well,” she said.

Herring and the school board are expected to make a decision mid-July on how the 2020-21 academic year will proceed. APS will decide if students will return to the classroom, continue to learn from home, or if there will be a hybrid of the two.

“My heart is grounded and my head is structured for doing, unapologetically, what is right for our children,” she said.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.