Edmond Heatley: most likely BUSD’s next Superintendent
Edmond Heatley: most likely BUSD’s next Superintendent

Berkeley Unified School District looks set to name Edmond Heatley as its new Superintendent, pending agreement on his contract.

Heatley is currently Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of Clayton County Public Schools, a school district near Atlanta, Georgia.

BUSD says they have narrowed the field of candidates down to one and that is Heatley. Once due diligence is completed, the Board will be in a position to formally offer Heatley an employment contract.

Heatley announced his resignation from his post yesterday, saying he was leaving for an unspecified post.

“The board believes we have our superintendent,” said Board President John Selawsky. “We just need to fill in the details.”

Selawsky added that even though the appointment is not confirmed, the board wanted the community to know that they are in the final stages of finding a replacement for Bill Huyett, who recently retired.

A district team, headed by School Board member Karen Hemphill, is today in Georgia completing a site visit in Clayton County Public Schools where Heatley is superintendent. The visit consisted of interviews with school board members, parents, teachers, staff, district administrators, union leadership, and community leaders. Selawsky said Hemphill had reported that the visit went well.

Selawsky said Heatley impressed the board because he has been a successful superintendent and because “he has a real commitment to changing children’s lives and to helping them be successful.” “He has all the skill sets necessary to be successful in Berkeley,” he said.

Clayton County has approximately 52,000 students and more than 7,500 employees serving in 70 school sites. Berkeley Unified is responsible for educating more than 9,400 students in 16 schools.

Heatley began his career in public education as a classroom teacher in the Norfolk, VA, public schools teaching students with disabilities in 1996. In 1998, Heatley moved to California, where he would spend the next 11 years of his professional life. He was assistant superintendent in the Grant Joint Union High School District in Sacramento and associate superintendent for personnel with the Oceanside Unified School District in Oceanside. In 2005, he was chosen to lead the Chino Valley Unified School District as the superintendent of schools.

Hentley assumed his current position in Clayton County in 2009. He was the fifth superintendent in the district in just two years.

Heatley retired as a decorated Marine officer serving on active duty from 1983 to 1996 and was a member of the Marine Corps Reserves from 1996 to 2004. Heatley and his wife of 21 years, Karen, have three children, including their youngest who is a senior in high school this year.

Heatley’s financial management and management style sometimes collided with board members in Clayton, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also criticized for putting his wife and two children on the district payroll while teachers were being laid off.

In a press release, Heatley said he was looking forward to coming to Berkeley. “I am excited about the opportunity to join a high achieving team focused on ensuring that every student has the opportunity to achieve greatness. 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,” he said.

Selawsky said he hoped the BUSD could make the appointment at its meeting on Sept. 19.

Read Heatley’s biography here.
Read more biographical information here.
Read the BUSD press release on Heatley.

Georgia newspaper stories on Heatley’s departure:

Clayton News Daily
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Berkeley school district names two interim superintendents [08.23.12]
Two interim superintendents to take reins at BUSD [08.16.12]
What does Berkeley want from its new schools head? [03.14.12]
Berkeley schools superintendent Bill Huyett to retire [12.06.11]

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...