Berkeley Unified School District identifies likely permanent superintendent

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The Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education announced Friday that it is taking the final steps in the search for a permanent district superintendent.

Dr. Edmond Heatley — currently district superintendent and chief executive officer of the Clayton County Public Schools near Atlanta, Ga. — is expected to begin his new role in early to mid-October if formally approved by the school board, according to board President John Selawsky.

Selawsky said he hopes to approve the employment contract and make the appointment at the Sept. 19 school board meeting. Finances and salary will also be worked out in the contract, he said.

“Ed showed us that he has all the skills that we need,” he said. “He has the experience (and) commitment to the student services that we were looking for. We’re quite confident that he will be successful.”

The search began when Bill Huyett, former district superintendent, announced his retirement last December. He agreed to stay beyond his initial retirement date of June 30, since a replacement had not been located by that time.

Deputy Superintendent Javetta Cleveland and Assistant Superintendent Neil Smith were appointed interim co-superintendents on Aug. 22 on a temporary basis until a permanent superintendent could be found.

Heatley began his career in public education in 1996 teaching students with disabilities in Norfolk Public Schools. Since then, he has held a variety of educational positions, including assistant superintendent for educational services with the Grant Joint Union School District in Sacramento and superintendent of the Chino Valley Unified School District.

Heatley tendered his resignation as superintendent of the Clayton County Public School Board — a position he has held since 2009 — on Aug. 29, a Clayton County press release states. His resignation will be effective Sept. 30.

Heatley could not be reached for comment as to the specific reason for his resignation.

On Aug. 30, a Berkeley district team, headed by School Board Director Karen Hemphill, conducted a site visit in the Clayton County Public Schools and interviewed administrators, colleagues and other officials, the press release reads.

“I am excited about the opportunity to join a high achieving team focused on ensuring that every student has the opportunity to achieve greatness,” Heatley said in a press release. “I believe in a fair break for every child and that all students can learn. It is great to see that the Berkeley community feels the same way, putting action behind their words.”

Daphne Chen covers city government. Contact her at [email protected]