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Atlanta School Board Names Spelman Alumna Lisa Herring Superintendent

May 2020

Spelman Alumna Lisa Herring Named APS Superintendent

The Atlanta School Board recently announced that Spelman alumna Lisa Herring, Ph.D., C’94, is its pick for Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools. Currently in her third year as superintendent of the Birmingham City School District, in Alabama, Dr. Herring has more than 25 years of experience in education.

In Birmingham, Dr. Herring led the district through a significant transformation by stabilizing leadership, improving system performance and increasing overall student achievement. During her tenure, the school district received its first award of full accreditation following a state takeover. Prior to Birmingham, Dr. Herring served as chief academic officer for Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as deputy superintendent of Academics for the Charleston County, South Carolina School District.

Called to Lead. Committed to Serve.

A Macon, Georgia native and graduate of Spelman College, she completed her observational field work at Atlanta Public Schools’ Therrell High School. During her time at Spelman, Dr. Herring also volunteered and worked at Warren Memorial Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta. She obtained her Doctorate in Education Administration from Georgia Southern University and an Educational Leadership Certificate from the University of Georgia. She also holds an Educational Specialist and Master of Education in School Counseling from the University of South Carolina and has established her professional career by teaching in both public and private schools in urban and rural settings. These experiences allowed her to impact the lives of students from diverse social, economic and ethnic backgrounds.

In an article featured in Metro Atlanta CEO, Dr. Herring said:  “My calling is truly to serve all people regardless of their background or influence and it would be an honor to serve the people of Atlanta,” said Dr. Herring, “I am a trained counselor who knows to listen and learn in order to better serve the community, so I look forward to hearing your questions and concerns as we seek unique ways to engage together during this time of social distancing."

Transforming Public Schools One Student at a Time

Dr. Herring's focus on instruction significantly reduced the number of failing schools as identified by the Alabama State Department of Education school report card. Dr. Herring built strong civic and corporate partnerships to provide innovative and equitable opportunities for all students across the diverse Birmingham community.

In collaboration with Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and United Way of Central Alabama CEO Drew Langloh, she helped develop and launch The Birmingham Promise to offer new career and college opportunities for any graduate of Birmingham City Schools. In partnership with Apple, Alabama Power, Tech Birmingham and city leadership she collaborated to help design and implement ED FARM, a first of its kind program to build technology skills in students, teachers and community members. 

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