DeKalb superintendent sidelines finance chief

Another high-ranking official in the DeKalb County school system has been sidelined as part of a restructuring by incoming Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson.

Chief Financial Officer Marcus Turk was reassigned, a system spokesman confirmed Thursday.

The spokesman, Walter Woods, said it was unclear who would fill Turk's role until a permanent replacement is hired. The school board meets Monday, when Turk would normally present an update on system finances.

"We're working on that," Woods said.

Atkinson, who became superintendent in September, has already made several key changes, replacing the chiefs of curriculum and instruction, operations and information.

Woods would not comment about the specifics surrounding Turk's dismissal. The former finance chief will continue working for the district in another role, Woods said.

More changes are likely as the district undertakes an audit of all jobs.

A consultant has been reviewing positions and pay. The first report, due Jan. 13, will focus on administrative positions, from the central office down to individual principals and assistant principals. The second report, due March 15, will assess the rest of the district's 15,000 positions.

Woods said consultants have been submitting drafts of their work, which have guided some staffing changes already.

School board member Eugene Walker said Turk was an "excellent employee" and that he didn't know why Atkinson dismissed him. He also said such staffing decisions are within the superintendent's purview.

"All we do is hold the superintendent accountable for the results," he said.

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