Georgia Cyber Academy reassures parents after leader’s abrupt exit

The leader of one of the largest public schools in Georgia has abruptly left the job.

In a note to parents on Thursday, the leadership of Georgia Cyber Academy, an online charter school, announced that Angela Lassetter had resigned as superintendent. No reason was given.

Michael Kooi, the school’s executive director, will succeed her until a replacement can be found.

“While we understand that many may have concerns regarding Mrs. Lassetter’s resignation, we want to reassure you that Georgia Cyber Academy will, as always, remain focused on our mission,” the letter said. “Our administration, faculty, and staff members will continue to provide the quality educational environment that you and your family are accustomed to.”

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Kooi declined to be interviewed. Lassetter was not immediately available for comment.

Lassetter played a pivotal role in leading the school through a breakup starting in 2018 with its management company.

For years, Georgia Cyber Academy had struggled with low academic achievement numbers and was at risk of losing its state charter. State auditors questioned the accuracy of the enrollment counts on which state funding is based.

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Lassetter, who was a member of the school’s board, was hired as superintendent and navigated a split with K12 Inc., the for-profit management corporation overseeing a portfolio of similar schools across the country. The divorce led to problems with access to computers and systems owned by K12.

Then the pandemic happened. It proved a boon for the school. Enrollment surged after plummeting during the management crisis, though it has yet to surpass the days when there were more than 14,000 students drawing about $90 million in state and federal funding.

Still, much rides on the school’s success. It had nearly 12,000 students as of October, making it one of the largest, if not the largest, schools in Georgia. It serves children from across the state, in pre-K through high school. Only 32 of Georgia’s 180 school districts enroll more students.

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