DeKalb ditches nearly 6,000 diplomas with fired superintendent’s name

The DeKalb County School District is reprinting nearly 6,000 diplomas to remove the signature of former superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

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The DeKalb County School District is reprinting nearly 6,000 diplomas to remove the signature of former superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

The DeKalb County School District is reprinting nearly 6,000 diplomas to reflect the recent change in superintendents.

The Board of Education unexpectedly fired Cheryl Watson-Harris from her role as superintendent in a split vote in April. She had been on the job for less than two years.

At the time, diplomas had already been printed with her name and signature on them.

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“It is the longstanding practice of the DeKalb County School District to award high school diplomas to all graduates with the current superintendent and board chair’s names and signatures affixed as they are responsible for certifying them,” a district spokesman said in an emailed statement.

“Therefore, a reprint was ordered to reflect the correct individuals.”

The board hired Vasanne Tinsley as interim superintendent of the state’s third-largest district.

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It cost about $25,000 to produce and print diplomas for this year’s graduates, a district spokesman said. Some families were notified that diplomas will be delayed due to the reprinting.

A total of 5,834 students graduated this year.

The graduation ceremonies in DeKalb started Friday wrap up this weekend.