DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Michael Thurmond says he will keep his current position and not seek statewide office for State School Superintendent.
Thurmond delivered the news to DeKalb County legislators saying he is putting children over politics.
“My choice has been to finish what I set out to do in DeKalb and to complete my contractual obligations to the DeKalb County school district,” he says.
Thurmond was first appointed as interim superintendent a year ago after former superintendent Cheryl Atkinson and the school system parted ways. The district’s accreditation had been placed on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools two months earlier.
Last month, under Thurmond’s leadership, the district was taken off probation and placed on “accredited warned”.
But Democratic leaders have been pushing hard for the former State Labor Commissioner and state lawmaker to return to politics.
“I love politics and I miss it dearly, to be honest with you,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish. “But at the same time, we made progress but we still have a long, long way to go in DeKalb County and I just think it would be very detrimental to leave this position at this point and time.”
Thurmond’s $275,000 contract ends in 2015.
Meantime, Thurmond says the district is seeking dual accreditation by Georgia Accrediting Commission which would only accredit DeKalb’s high schools. He says SACS would continue looking at all of district’s schools.
“There are many districts throughout the state, throughout the nation, who really have two accrediting agencies,” he says. “It’s just something we’ve not explored prior to this in DeKalb County.”