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Looney to head Atlanta-based Fulton County Schools, effective June 17

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Dr. Mike Looney, director of schools, will take leave due to health reasons

Dr. Mike Looney, current director of Williamson County Schools, accepted Thursday a new position as superintendent of the Fulton County School District in Atlanta, effective June 17.

The Fulton County School Board voted unanimously to appoint Looney to lead the school district during a special called morning meeting.

Looney, who was present at the special called board meeting, accepted the offer.

“I whole heartedly accept,” Looney said.

Looney gave additional comments at the podium before the Fulton County School Board.

“Some amazing things are happening in the district and the administrative team is strong …

“I will bring a laser focus to student learning we haven’t seen in recent times.”

The appointment and vote lasted about 10 minutes with additipnal comments from FCS board members, welcoming Looney “aboard” to head the 95,200-student school district.

Board members said Looney’s ability to raise a district’s reading scores and overall achievement scores and well as the respect he garnered in WCS were factors in his appointment. Looney was chosen from a nationwide application process rising to the top of 40 candidates. FCS school board members visited Williamson County last week to interview stakeholders in the school district and county. The week before that, Looney visited the Fulton County School District over the span of three days.

Earlier this month, Looney’s candidacy for superintendent was revealed through a special announcement at the Futon County School District April 17, which was streamed live on its Facebook page.

Gary Anderson, chairman of the Williamson County Board of Education, assured stakeholders that Looney’s departure and the appointment of an interim superintendent will be a smooth transition.

“On behalf of the Williamson County Board of Education, I want to thank Dr. Looney for his service to Williamson County Schools and wish him the best in his next endeavor,” Anderson said two weeks ago.

"Should Dr. Looney sign a contract with Fulton County Schools on May 2, the WCS Board, at its regular May meeting, plans to name an interim superintendent and establish the effective date of that leadership transition.

“We have a strong leadership team in place at the Central Office and in our schools, and our teachers and staff are focused on success for all students. Our students come prepared to learn and achieve, and our parental involvement is second to none. 

“For more than 25 years, Williamson County Schools has been recognized as a top performing school district in the state, and I believe that will continue for years to come. The Williamson County community should expect a seamless transition as we move on to our next Superintendent of Schools."

On its website, FCS lists Looney’s top accomplishments. Under his tenure as superintendent in WCS, ACT scores increased from 22.7 to 25.4, exceeding the goals stated in the board’s strategic plan when Looney took the helm. Participation in Advanced Placement classes and the fine arts increased; graduation rates improved. Looney was also instrumental in the passage of the High Performing School District’s Act, which removes governmental red tape for high performing districts. Meanwhile, WCS students earned $1 billion in scholarships over the past 10 years.

(2) comments

VictorA

I'd like to make a motion that the WCBOE start talks with Dr. David Snowden and the FSSD to finally, and once and for all combine these school districts! This is a grand opportunity to merge these systems!

Bob Marsh

I would like to second that motion. Chances are small though. To many rice bowls would be taken up.

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