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Taylor to remain as North Atlanta principal
by Everett Catts
September 19, 2013 02:53 PM | 2918 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Howard “Gene” Taylor
Howard “Gene” Taylor
Howard “Gene” Taylor is remaining as principal of North Atlanta High in Buckhead after all.

Taylor, who resigned Friday, effective Dec. 1, to take the principal job at Gwinnett County’s Berkmar High. But Monday Superintendent Erroll B. Davis announced he was being promoted to the Atlanta district’s North Region executive director. However, Taylor’s promotion was rejected by the Atlanta Board of Education in a special called meeting Tuesday, when District 4 school board member Nancy Meister, who represents the Buckhead schools, motioned to approve his promotion but no one seconded it, meaning the matter could not be voted on.

Meister said Taylor rescinded his resignation at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Of the school board’s vote on his promotion, she said, “I was surprised it wasn’t seconded. I thought it would have gone to a vote.”

In an email to the Neighbor, North Atlanta parent Sue Rodman expressed her frustration with the board. Over the weekend some board members sat in on meetings to negotiate Taylor's promotion.

“[School board Chairman] 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?"

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.

In the promotion, Taylor was to replace Tony Burks, who is becoming a principal mentor. Curtis Douglass, an assistant principal at North Atlanta, was to 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 a letter he posted to the Atlanta district's website Monday.

A message left with Taylor at the school Thursday was not immediately returned.

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