Interview with the 2009 Superintendent of the Year

By Del Stover

The last few years have been good to Atlanta Public Schools. Standardized test scores are rising. Aging schools have been renovated. And, last year, nearly three of four schools in the city met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals.

A good deal of credit for this goes to Superintendent Beverly Hall, who has provided the district with almost a decade of stable but dynamic leadership. Her efforts to improve teacher quality, build a strong administrative team, and strengthen the elementary school program are pushing Atlanta toward her promise of becoming a world-class school system.

So it was well-deserved recognition when Hall was named as the American Association of School Administrators 2009 National Superintendent of the Year. She is the 22nd superintendent to win the honor, which is cosponsored by Aramark Education and ING.

But, the fact is, Hall has made a difference in urban schools for decades. As a New York City principal, she helped turn around several troubled schools before being promoted to deputy chancellor for instruction and later superintendent of one of the city’s “community school districts.” She later spent four years as the state-appointed superintendent in Newark, N.J., before her 1999 arrival in Atlanta.

Recently, ASBJ Senior Editor Del Stover asked Hall to talk about lessons learned during her career—and about her ideas for making urban schools successful.

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