'The Board changes over time': Herring prepares for last day as Atlanta Public Schools superintendent

A Cobb County School bus in Kennesaw, Georgia, on March 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

The last day of school is nearing for Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring.

The Atlanta Board of Education said Herring will transition out of her role by Aug. 31, into an APS consultant role through the end of December.

The Board announced in June it would not extend Herring’s contract. She was sworn in in July 2020 during the height of the pandemic.

Herring said in a statement that taking over during the COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge, but she remained laser-focused on her students and staff. She also cited that the APS graduation rate increased to 84% in 2022 — the highest in its history. Graduation rates for Black students also reached an all-time high.

Herring sat down with WABE’s “Morning Edition” for an exclusive exit interview, where she promised she is not walking away from public education, and discussed her relationship with the Atlanta Board of Education.

“As a superintendent, you step into this role knowing that, in many instances, the same Board that brings you in may not be the dynamic that continues to govern you. The Board changes over time,” Herring told WABE’s Lisa Rayam.

“The work certainly hasn’t changed, so I just go back to being thoughtful around the power of voices, and that leadership is not about one person,” she added.

Herring discussed her game plan in 2020 going into virtual learning and students’ rising struggles with mental health, navigating a pandemic for nearly 50,000 students across the district, and her next career moves.

The Board named Dr. Danielle Battle as interim superintendent. Battle has had several leadership positions across APS for the last 19 years.

Disclosure: The Atlanta Board of Education holds WABE’s broadcast license.