Decatur schools seeking new principal after sudden resignation

Less than a week before holiday break Renfroe Middle School Principal Johnathan Clark suddenly resigned after two and a half years on the job.

Decatur Superintendent David Dude sent an email to Renfroe parents on December 15 announcing the departure. “Although it is regrettable,” he wrote, “to have a change in school leadership during the school year, this is the best course of action for the school and district.”

Veteran City Schools Decatur staffer Bruce Roaden was immediately named “acting principal” until, as Dude said in the email, “an interim principal is named.” Though not confirmed, it’s possible that could happen as soon as school reopens on Jan. 4.

Dude didn’t return an interview request before the school system shut down for two weeks.

Clark was hired in July 2015, by then-superintendent Phyllis Edwards. He had previously been director of research, assessment and grants for DeKalb County Schools.

Roaden has been in education 33 years including 23 as a principal. He began with CSD in 2006 as Renfroe principal, spent 18 months as the system’s director of community relations, then opened the 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue as principal in 2009.

He figures, however, to be a short timer at the school this time around. He’s currently the district’s executive director of student support over athletics, clubs, special education, counselors, nurses and social workers.