Michael J. Bell is presently the CFO for the DeKalb County School District and has previously been the CFO for both a large county and a large city. Dr. Bell who retired from the CFOs position in DeKalb County, Georgia, has also previously been in the private sector as a governmental investment banker.
Prior to his many years at DeKalb County, Dr. Bell had been the CFO of the City of Atlanta and the financial administrator of the City’s Aviation Department during the Airport’s Midfield Project expansion. As a banker Dr. Bell represented one of the senior underwriters on the first $1 Billion of aviation revenue bond debt issued for the new Denver International Airport.
While Dr. Bell was serving as CFO for DeKalb County, the county was upgraded by Moody’s (2001) and Standard & Poor’s (2006) to triple-A status; one of only three counties in Georgia to carry a “AAA” rating at that time. During his tenure as a County/City CFO Dr. Bell served on numerous special purpose authorities and pension fund boards. Five years ago Bell was appointed to the Board of the Development Authority of Fulton County by the Fulton County Commission. This development authority, one of the most active in the State, considers inducements for tax exempt and taxable economic development, health care and educational projects.
Dr. Bell served as a line officer in the US Navy in USS Oriskany (CVA34) from 1972-1975.
The Finance Division is the principle organizational entity responsible to the Superintendent relative to the long and short-term financial preparedness of the School District. The division consist of the major departments of Purchasing, Payroll, Budgeting, Accounting, Accounts Payable and Systems.
Gary Brantley is currently the Chief Information Officer of DeKalb County School District. He has over 20 years technology experience and 14 years of leadership experience. The DeKalb County School District has over 118,000 technology users.
Mr. Brantley earned his Bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University and earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Phoenix. He also obtained a Master’s Degree from Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology in Computer Information Systems and has completed the CIO leadership institute with their Sloan School of Management. Lastly, he is also a recent graduate of Leadership DeKalb and was named one of the “Top Thirty Technologist Trailblazers” by the Center of Digital Education.
Mr. Brantley began his career with IBM before moving on to MCIWorldCom as the Regional Operations Director. There, he continued to have an impact on technology and took that expertise to the Ohio State Department as the Director of Technology. He later became the Chief Information Officer of one of the largest urban school districts in Ohio.
Mr. Brantley has served on several technology boards throughout the state of Ohio and California.
He is an avid runner and enjoys being involved with youth sports. He also enjoys spending quality time with family and friends.
The Information Technology department comprises of customer service-oriented professionals dedicated to the integration and implementation of technology across Dekalb County School District. Our goal is to expand the walls of the classroom by providing access to information and programs anytime, anywhere for anyone in a 21st century learning environment.
Our job is to facilitate unique collaborative partnerships between our customers – students, teachers, staff, parents and the community. The results are improved student achievement and optimum business processes, to establish and maintain a technology-rich teaching and learning environment where students and staff develop 21st century skills to be successful citizens in a global community.
Jennifer L. Hackemeyer joined the DeKalb County School District in February of 2016. Prior to that time, she served as the General Counsel for the Georgia Department of Education and the Executive Director of the Georgia Foundation for Public Education.
Ms. Hackemeyer brings considerable experience in public sector and education law. She served as a trial lawyer with the Georgia Attorney General’s office for ten years, before she joined the Technical College System of Georgia as in-house counsel.
Ms. Hackemeyer holds a B.S. from the University of Georgia in Political Science and graduated from Lumpkin School of Law at the University of Georgia (UGA).
She also has local roots in DeKalb County, where she grew up, attended public school and graduated from the DCSD.
The Office of Legal Affairs represents DCSD regarding legal matters, provides advice and counsel to the Superintendent, the Board of Education, and ensures DCSD adheres to local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
The department also manages the complaint process for employees and all other stakeholders.
Mr. Everett F. Patrick was named the Interim Chief of Human Capital Management of DeKalb County School District in February 2017. His professional connections to the district stretch more than 20 years.
Mr. Patrick began his career with DeKalb County School as a marketing teacher at Druid Hills and Lakeside High Schools. He remained at Druid Hills High School and transitioned into a full-time role in the Fall of 1998 as a marketing and news-broadcasting teacher. In 2002, he was named the assistant principal of instruction at Druid Hills High School, and later served as the school’s principal for four years.
Mr. Patrick would later be selected as principal of Martin Luther King Jr. High School, serving for three years. He ended his first tenure with DeKalb County School District in 2013 as principal of Canby Lane Elementary School.
After leaving the district for one year to accept a position with the Georgia Department of Education, he returned to DeKalb County School District in the Spring of 2014 as a hiring manager for the Office of Human Capital Management. Before his interim appointment, he served as the director of employment services.
Mr. Patrick received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Georgia. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Georgia.
Eileen Houston-Stewart joined DeKalb County School District as Chief Communications and Community Relations Officer in February 2016. Mrs. Houston-Stewart brings considerable experience in the areas of public and media relations, community engagement, and crisis and reputation management.
Mrs. Houston-Stewart earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Public Relations from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO. Early in her career she spent time working as a television anchor and reporter at stations in Missouri, Kansas and Ohio.
Following her stint in television broadcasting, Mrs. Houston-Stewart made a career change and has spent the past 21 years working as a communications/marketing professional in public school districts in Cincinnati, Ohio; Fort Worth, Texas; Kansas City and Liberty, Missouri. Her decision to leave journalism to pursue a career in public education resulted from years of covering education stories as a reporter. Mrs. Houston-Stewart saw first-hand the inequities when urban school districts were covered by mainstream news media. Her goal was to help tell the stories of caring parents who want the best education for their children and the daily challenges hardworking public school teachers, staff, and administrators encounter.
Mrs. Houston-Stewart is passionate about public service. She has served on numerous non-profit boards and committees. She was elected to the Liberty, MO school board in 2015. She also served 10 years on the William Jewell College Board of Trustees and now holds emeritus status.
Mrs. Houston-Stewart is married and has three daughters – one in graduate school who is obtaining a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, one in her third-year of medical school and one who is a college advisor working with students who are the first in their family to attend college.
The Office of Communications and Community Relations is responsible for increasing awareness about the district by delivering timely, accurate, effective and transparent two-way communication to internal and external stakeholders.
The department is also responsible for building relationships that support the district’s mission and vision through the development of community partnerships.
Dr. Vasanne Tinsley is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. She has served in many roles in the education arena over 20+years, including grant writer, school counselor, coordinator, director and instructor for several higher educational institutions. She discovered her passion for helping others at an early age and it remains her driving force both professionally and personally.
Dr. Tinsley is a graduate of Spelman College and received additional educational preparation at Clark Atlanta University, where she received both her Master and Doctoral degrees in the fields of counseling and educational leadership. She is committed to lifelong education and believes that education is one of the primary ways that we can influence positive change in our society. Dr. Tinsley has participated as an advisory board member with many organizations, including the College Board, the Georgia ACT Council, Mercer and Clark Atlanta University, just to name a few. She also represents the DeKalb County School District as a board member of the DeKalb Board of Health and Community in Schools, Atlanta.
Dr. Tinsley believes in volunteer service and has served as a mentor to many both officially and unofficially. She has mentored several students attending Spelman College and participates actively the United Way, where she serves as the Education Chair for United Way- DeKalb. In her spare time, Dr. Tinsley enjoys listening to music, attending concerts, reading, attending sporting events and traveling.
The Division of Student Support and Intervention is comprised of individuals committed to providing support to help students successfully navigate their school career and the world beyond. Included in this division are the departments of Student Support, Student Relations, Public Safety, Athletics, School Choice Options/Student Assignment, English Language Learners, and Student Advancement.
The Division provides support to school administration, staff, family and community stakeholders in an effort to identify and help mitigate academic, affective and societal factors that could potentially impede the academic success of all students.
Ramona Tyson serves as the Chief of Staff to the Superintendent. Mrs. Tyson earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and her master’s degree from West Georgia College. Committed to continuous learning, she has also participated in corporate training programs at Georgia Tech and Georgia State University. These courses, attended by chief executive officers and senior executive level management of major corporations, provided participants business strategies for leading corporate and educational organizations.
Mrs. Tyson started her career with the DeKalb County School District as a classroom teacher in 1987 and has held various teaching, management and executive leadership positions over the last 29 years. Within her career, she took a sabbatical for four years (1989-1993) to work with IBM Corporation as an Education Instructional Specialist consultant in the U.S. Marketing & Services division and was assigned to the DeKalb School System and State of Georgia territory.
Mrs. Tyson’s contributions to the school district focus on serving as a strategic analyst and problem solver to achieve corporate and educational objectives.
She is a resident of DeKalb County, married with two children, both of whom attend DeKalb schools.
The chief of staff advises and supports the superintendent on day-to-day matters and creates a culture of high expectations that result in accelerated student achievement and improved school performance.
The chief of staff serves as a liaison between the superintendent and various internal and external stakeholders groups. The chief of staff also provides executive assistance to the superintendent in supporting and ensuring effective communication with the Board of Education, both as a group and as individuals. This support encompasses a wide range of key responsibilities with a goal of ensuring that the Board has all background information necessary to make decisions relative to the direction of the district.
The chief of staff monitors and facilitates the progress of staff-led projects and initiatives, and is attuned to the concerns and positions of community individuals and groups relative to district activities and plans.
Joshua L. Williams is Chief Operations Officer for DeKalb County Schools, the third largest public school district in Georgia, serving over 102,000 students and their communities with authentic leadership and a data-driven approach to providing effective and efficient operations management. As a product of DeKalb County Schools, Joshua has served and lived in this community for over 30 years. He has more than 15 years of project and program management experience overseeing as many as 1,500 employees and managing large-scale capital improvement programs with revenues over $1 billion.
As a certified Project Management Professional with the Project Management Institute, Joshua has lead various project teams to achieve success in improving the District’s overall effectiveness and efficiency in the areas of school bus transportation, school nutrition, warehousing, capital construction, and facilities maintenance. He is a visionary leader who has proven his ability to lead diverse work groups in achieving high productivity and optimal results in fast-paced work environments.
Before joining DCSD, he served as a lead construction estimator and project manager overseeing multi-million dollar construction projects in the K-12 Education, Mixed-Use/Retail, and Multi-Unit Living market segments. He is a Certified Construction Manager with the Construction Management Association of America and a licensed real estate professional. Joshua has also served as a Youth and Children’s Pastor at his local church here in Decatur, GA, and a community volunteer.
Joshua is married with three beautiful children. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Technology from Florida A&M University, in addition to a Master of Science in Project Management and a Master of Business Administration in Operations and Supply Chain Management from Colorado Technical University. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Business Administration with a specialization in Leadership with Capella University. He considers himself to be a life-long learner with major interests in leadership, technology, and training. He loves public speaking, cooking, and spending quality time with his family!
The Division of Operations exists to provide exemplary support services to enhance student growth and achievement.
We believe in fostering innovative, process driven strategies which utilize best practices and values customer satisfaction, creating and maintaining a safe and productive work environment, and promoting deep collaboration and spurring continuous improvement throughout our entire organization.
Ms. Sherry L. Johnson is the Region I Superintendent for DeKalb County School District. With 19 years of experience in DeKalb County Schools, the Louisville, Georgia native is a results-driven leader with a history of utilizing data to generate positive growth in teaching and learning. Ms. Johnson has served in all five regions of DeKalb as an English teacher, Reading teacher, America’s Choice Literacy Coach and a SpringBoard Instructional Coach. Additional experiences include Interim Principal and Federal Funds Coordinator. Prior to her current position as Interim Region I Superintendent, Ms. Johnson was the Region I Coordinator for four years.
As the Region I Coordinator, Ms. Johnson created the Region I Assistant Principal Academy, providing a platform for Assistant Principals to share knowledge and mentor new leaders. She also worked closely with principals and parents to ensure best practices for students. While serving as a Federal Funds Coordinator, Ms. Johnson managed budgets totaling over 2 million dollars and worked with principals to write data-driven needs assessments.
Ms. Johnson was an America’s Choice Literacy Coach at McNair Middle School and a SpringBoard Instructional Coach at Sequoyah Middle School and Miller Grove Middle School. She has also been a GAPSS (Georgia Assessment of Performance on School Standards) team leader. She taught English and reading at Chapel Hill Middle School.
Additionally, Ms. Johnson presented “Changing the Change Agent” at the 22nd Annual High Schools That Works Staff Development Conference and published an article in the Georgia Journal of Reading.
Currently, Ms. Johnson is a doctoral student at the University of Georgia. She earned her Specialist’s degree from Capella University, her Master’s degree from Georgia State University and her Bachelor’s from Valdosta State University.
Ms. Johnson credits her passion for education to her dedicated parents and engaging with innovative professionals. She has one brother and is a loving aunt to her nephew and niece.
Trenton Arnold is a second-generation graduate from the DeKalb County School District’s decommissioned Avondale High School. He began his career with the District teaching Language Arts to Grade 6 students at Fairington Elementary School before middle schools became fully operational in DeKalb. Once Grade 6 students moved to middle schools, he transitioned to Stone Mountain Middle School to work in the same content area and grade level. In 1999, he became an Assistant Principal at Cedar Grove Middle School and then Assistant Principal for Instruction at McNair Middle School.
In 2005, Mr. Arnold became Principal of Sequoyah Middle School where he served for four years and then went to work as Principal at Stone Mountain Middle School for almost two years. After serving as Principal, Mr. Arnold was the Executive Director for Research, Assessment, and Grants where he led the District in meeting requirements associated with state assessments and accountability. He then became a Regional Superintendent for Region III before beginning his work with the schools in Region II in 2014.
Mr. Arnold received his undergraduate degree in English from Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, and his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Georgia.
He enjoys spending his free time with his wife, Christy, and his two daughters, Lauren and Molly.
Rachel R. Zeigler is a change agent with a passion for serving children and families through the field of education. She currently operates as Regional Superintendent for DeKalb County School District (DCSD). Mrs. Zeigler’s leadership strength can be directly attributed to her successful experiences serving as a special education teacher (12 yrs.), elementary counselor (6 yrs.), Assistant Principal (5yrs.), and as a Principal (10 yrs.) during her 30-year tenure in DCSD.
Mrs. Zeigler holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education from Syracuse University, a Masters degree in Learning Disabilities from Georgia State University, along with a specialist in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. In addition, Mrs. Zeigler has attained counseling certification from West Georgia University, Leadership certification from University of Georgia and is a current Ph.D. candidate at Mercer University.
Mrs. Zeigler is a celebrated educator whose recognitions include, Teacher of the Year; Phi Delta Kappa Honor Society; Georgia PTA Honorary Lifetime Membership; State of Georgia High Performance Principal; Georgia Association of Elementary Principals: District 4 Distinguished Principal; and State of Georgia Outstanding Citizen. Her professional affiliations include: Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL); PAGE; DeKalb Association of Administrators (DAA); Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).
Mrs. Zeigler has served several district communities, established a District Wide Chess Program and launched an ESOL Teacher Endorsement Cohort Initiative during her time as Regional Superintendent. She resides in Lithonia, GA and enjoys playing tennis, reading and spending quality time with her family.
Dr. Triscilla Weaver has twenty-five years of educational experience with the DeKalb County School District. Her experience includes nine years as a classroom teacher, three years as an assistant principal, eleven years as a principal and she was named Region IV Superintendent on April 1, 2015. Prior to becoming Regional Superintendent, Dr. Weaver served as principal of Mary McLeod Bethune Middle School. Under her leadership, Mary McLeod Bethune Middle School received the honor of being named a Title I High-Progress School. This honor is given to the top 10% of Title I schools in the state that made the most progress in improving the performance of all student subgroups over a three year period of time on the statewide assessment.
As an instructional leader, Dr. Weaver spends a great deal of her time strengthening the instructional capacity of others. She works with teachers and school leaders in the areas of data analysis, effective teaching strategies, differentiated instruction, and effective classroom rituals and routines for academic success. She currently serves as one of the co-chairs for the CIA2 Committee, which is dedicated to building instructional capacity in building leaders in the areas of curriculum, instruction, assessment and accountability.
Dr. Weaver received a Bachelor of Science in Education, Master of Education and Specialist in Education from Georgia State University. She also earned her Ph.D. from Georgia State University in Teaching and Learning with a concentration in mathematics. Her Dissertation topic was: “A Case Study of Two Master Teachers of Mathematics of African American Males.” Dr. Weaver has received several outstanding community service awards and is a former DeKalb County’s Middle School Teacher of the Year.
Dr. Bernetta Jones is the Region V Superintendent for DeKalb County School District. Bernetta Jones is an energetic and motivating educator who believes that all children can learn “If we begin where the child is and work vigorously to take him where he needs to be”. To this end, Dr. Jones believes in stretching her staff beyond their comfort zone by engaging them in dialog about data, standards and good old fashion teaching and nurturing of students.
Prior to beginning her fantastic voyage as an educator, Dr. Jones served our country proudly as a Military Intelligence Officer in the United States Army. While on active duty, Bernetta served as a Public Affairs Officer and a Company Executive Officer. Additionally, she served with the 1st Infantry Division as a Platoon Leader during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. While serving in Iraq, Captain Jones received a field promotion. Today, she is still very proud of her service to our great country – The United States of America.
Bernetta’s service as an educator includes the Tift County School System where she served as teacher and assistant principal and the DeKalb County School District in which she served as teacher, assistant principal, and principal. In 2015, Dr. Jones was named the Region V Principal of the Year. Currently, she serves as the Region V Superintendent with responsibility for the instructional, operational, and financial effectiveness of the 25 principals for whom she provides oversight.
Dr. Jones holds membership in several professional and public service organizations. Among these are the National and the Georgia Association of Educators, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, DeKalb Association of School Administrators, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. An engaging speaker, Bernetta is known for captivating and motivating audiences, including her students, when she speaks.
She is the proud mother of one daughter- Taylor. Bernetta teaches Taylor and lives by the creed, “I am extraordinary, because God made me that way!”