Richard Woods, who took office as state school superintendent in January, is filling leadership positions at the Georgia Department of Education. KENT D. JOHNSON / KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM

Georgia superintendent names curriculum and arts leaders

Georgia’s new top education official continued to fill the leadership roles in his agency, selecting a leader for curriculum and another over arts.

State School Superintendent Richard Woods on Monday named Caitlin Dooley as Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and Jessica Booth as Fine Arts Specialist.

Woods took office in January after winning election last year to succeed John Barge as leader of the Georgia Department of Education. He picked Dooley, an associate professor at Georgia State University’s College of Education and former teacher, to oversee educational subjects, with a focus on early literacy among the very young. She has a record of funded research projects totaling more than $17 million and has served on several boards, including the National Council of Teachers of English and Decatur Makers, according to Woods’ office. “I believe early literacy ultimately leads to everything from higher attendance rates to better graduation rates,” Woods said in a statement.

Dooley replaces Martha Reichrath, who retired.

Booth was Director of Fine Arts for the Atlanta Public Schools and will “focus on expanding virtual fine arts opportunities across the state,” Woods said. “When students have fun and are engaged in the fine arts, they are much more likely to stay in school and graduate. As long as I am serving as Georgia’s School Superintendent, we will have a focus on the fine arts.”

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