Howard “Gene” Taylor resigned Friday as principal of the Buckhead school, effective Dec. 1, after only 11 months on the job to accept the same position at Gwinnett County’s Berkmar High. But over the weekend Taylor worked with Davis and other school officials to receive a promotion. He was named the district’s North Region executive director, Davis said Monday in a letter posted to the school’s website. Taylor replaces Tony Burks, who is becoming a principal mentor. Curtis Douglass, an assistant principal at North Atlanta, will become the interim principal. The North Region executive director oversees 25 learning sites, including three primary centers (Brandon, Jackson and Smith) in Buckhead.
“APS is pleased that we were able to retain a talented employee. We will continue to update the community with details about the transition as they become available,” Davis said in his letter.
But at Tuesday’s special school board meeting, the board, in essence, rejected Davis’ decision when District 4 board member Nancy Meister’s motion to approve it was not seconded. Without a second, there was no vote.
In an email to the Neighbor, North Atlanta parent Sue Rodman expressed her frustration with the board.
“Ruben McDaniel told us last night that he believes in Dr. Taylor and supports his vision, yet he did not second the motion for his appointment at the board meeting,” she said. “If Ruben McDaniel won't vote for what he believes in, what exactly is he voting for?"
Jorge Quintana, a spokesman for Gwinnett County Schools, said Wednesday the Gwinnett district approved Taylor’s hiring as Berkmar High’s new principal Friday but now has reopened the search for the job since Taylor accepted a higher position in the Atlanta district.
Taylor arrived at North Atlanta in October, two weeks after Principal Mark MyGrant and five members of his leadership team were removed from the school by Davis due to alleged improper grade changing. Taylor had previously worked as principal of Gwinnett County’s Lilburn Middle School, where he had served since 2008.
Kimberly Willis-Green, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta district, said it will strive to find a job for Taylor.
“APS will continue to explore all available options with Dr. Taylor,” she said.