Atlanta Public Schools superintendent names four to leadership roles

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring tapped four leaders for administrative spots, including a newly hired cabinet-level officer and a former middle school principal promoted to central office.

”I am confident that these individuals’ collective talents will only move our work forward, “ Herring said at a recent board meeting.

Matthew Smith, the newly appointed chief performance officer, takes over a cabinet post previously held by William Caritj, who retired a few months ago. Smith’s job includes overseeing APS’ departments of data and information, information technology, and innovation and school redesign.

He and his team will use student data to guide district decisions and track progress, as well as analyze test scores.

ExploreMore stories about Atlanta Public Schools

Smith and Herring both worked in Birmingham City Schools.

Herring led the Alabama school district from 2017 until 2020, when APS hired her. Smith’s resume, provided by APS to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, shows he served as an executive cabinet member and superintendent resident in Birmingham from 2019 to 2020.

More recently, he worked as the vice president of policy for the nonprofit A+ Education Partnership in Montgomery, Alabama.

Earlier in his career, he held various positions in Clayton County Public Schools, including principal of Morrow Middle School.

Smith will report directly to Herring.

On Smith’s team is Kevin Maxwell, the recently promoted former principal of David T. Howard Middle School.

Maxwell led the middle school as it left its old Inman Middle School campus and moved into the renovated Howard building in the Old Fourth Ward.

ExploreHoward Middle School, home to MLK Jr., reopens after $52M renovation

In his new role, Maxwell will serve as assistant superintendent of innovation, improvement and redesign. The district created the position by repurposing a vacancy.

Maxwell will lead efforts to bring what APS calls “new, innovative practices” to schools with the aim of improving academic performance. He’ll help to monitor the district’s progress and develop a “school accountability structure” to track efforts to improve schools, according to a job description.

ExploreLines drawn over Atlanta’s push to lift struggling schools

Two other assistant superintendent appointments round out the administrative changes.

Selena Florence was named the assistant superintendent for teaching and learning. She previously worked for Jefferson County Schools in Alabama.

Aleigha Henderson-Rosser’s title has changed from an executive director to assistant superintendent of instructional technology.

APS officials said the four appointments are budget neutral.

“These experienced professionals will help lead the way, as we reimagine the future of APS and focus on becoming an innovative, technology and data-driven school district that prepares all of our students for success,” Herring said, in a written statement.