STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Cheryl Watson-Harris was sworn in as the superintendent of DeKalb County Schools earlier this month at the Robert R. Freeman Administrative Complex in Stone Mountain.
DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Adams presided at the ceremony. Watson-Harris’ husband, son and family members attended as well as School Board Chair Marshall Orson, Board Vice-Chair Vickie Turner and Board Member Dijon DaCosta.
“I applied to be the superintendent of DeKalb County because I was excited about the work, the legacy and all of the incredible things you’ve accomplished so far,” Watson-Harris said. “I really, truly believed that I had the skillset, the experience, the passion and the drive to come here and to work alongside you to help DeKalb soar to new heights. I am truly humbled and honored to be selected, and I am looking forward to our journey together.”
Watson-Harris brings experience from her roles in New York and Boston. Before accepting the role of superintendent of DeKalb County Schools, Watson-Harris served as first deputy chancellor, as well as in other executive positions, for the New York City Department of Education. Previously, she served as a network superintendent and as a principal for Boston Public Schools.
“Today, we begin a new chapter in the history of the DeKalb County School District,” Orson said. “I believe we have chosen a superintendent who will continue the progress we’ve made and lead us to the future that we all envision for DeKalb’s children: a vibrant, strong district that provides every child with a high-quality education that will enable them to be successful and productive.”
Watson-Harris has an undergraduate degree from Marymount College and a master’s degree in education from Harvard University. She is currently a doctoral candidate at New York University’s Steinhardt School with an anticipated completion date of 2021 for a degree in educational leadership and innovation.
“I’ve had a wonderful opportunity to spend time with [Watson-Harris] virtually,” Turner said. “I do believe she has the characteristics and attributes we need in DeKalb as a great superintendent.”
Watson-Harris succeeds Ramona Tyson, who retired on June 30, 2020 after three decades of service to the district. A recording of the ceremony can be viewed by visiting the DeKalb County School District website, selecting VOD and choosing July.
For more information on Watson-Harris and the superintendent search process, visit the superintendent search page on the Dekalb County School District website and follow the district’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.