DeKalb Schools board names Ramona Tyson as superintendent

The DeKalb County Board of Education voted unanimously during its board meeting Wednesday to name Ramona Tyson superintendent, citing the need to do so as she ushers the district through an unprecedented global pandemic.

It will only last about 75 days. Tyson, who has worked for the district more than 30 years, has said she will retire at the end of June. The DeKalb County Board of Education is close to naming a permanent superintendent to continue after she leaves.

“The job she has been tasked with is far beyond” what was expected, board Chairman Marshall Orson said during the district’s first virtual meeting scheduled amid the building shutdown and the state’s shelter-in-place order.

Tyson became interim superintendent in November after the board agreed to sever ties with former Superintendent Steve Green. Last month, she oversaw the decision to close school buildings to help curb the coronavirus' spread, with learning moving online as some employees continued packing and handing out to-go meals to students.

Tuesday, Tyson announced the school year would end a week early for many of the district's students, and two weeks early for its seniors. She said recently it was a way to bring a natural ending to a school year that has endured so much in the last few weeks.

With the new title will come a pay increase, moving her base salary from $250,000 to $350,000 annually for the remainder of the fiscal year ending June 30, for the many hours she has put in during an unprecedented event, Orson said.

“I had no idea we’d be moving into a pandemic within 60, 90 days,” Tyson said. “Thank you for the confidence. It means a lot to me and it means a lot to the people I go home to every day. I also could not do this without pulling on a team. We’ve done this together.

“And we will finish (the school year) strong,” she continued. “We will give everything we’ve got to position (students) to be in the best place.”