Clayton’s Heatley withdraws name from Berkeley job

Clayton County schools superintendent Edmond Heatley has bowed out of his bid for a similar job in California.

Heatley’s decision was announced in a Tuesday news release by The Berkeley Unified School District. The decision ends weeks of speculation and controversy surrounding Heatley’s next career move. The former Marine had beat out 50 other candidates to become the sole finalist for the Berkeley job.

But community uproar in Berkeley over a resolution opposing same-sex marriage that passed when Heatley was superintendent of the Chino Valley, Calif. school district may have led to his decision to back out.

At the time Californians were debating Proposition 8, an amendment that bans same-sex marriage.

Efforts to reach Heatley and Berkeley school officials were unsuccessful Tuesday. Heatley’s next move is unclear. When asked last week if the district would consider rehiring Heatley, who resigned from the Clayton district and will serve until the end of the month, Clayton school board chair Pam Adamson declined to speculate on the matter.

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Heatley announced his resignation as Clayton superintendent Aug. 30, a day before a Berkeley team made a site visit to meet with Clayton school officials and before he had a contract with the Berkeley system. Heatley’s abrupt resignation apparently caught Berkeley officials by surprise.

Heatley’s last day as Clayton superintendent is Sept. 30, ending a three-year tenure that has been fraught with its own controversy. Luvenia Jackson, a 30-year school district employee, will come out of retirement to serve as interim superintendent.

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