JONESBORO — John Trotter, president of the Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE), is speaking out once again against Clayton County School Superintendent Edmond Heatley. This time Trotter is saying the district will be better off without him.
“The [school system] stock will go up as soon as [Heatley] is gone,” said Trotter. “[Heatley] and his California cohorts, in my opinion, has [driven] the school system into the ground.”
Trotter’s sentiment about the superintendent was fueled after learning Heatley had recently applied for a job in Dallas, Texas. Trotter said he is not surprised that Heatley is looking for another job because, he said that’s “what most superintendents do.”
“Most superintendents are rotten to the core,” he said. “They’re educational sluts. They hop from one school to another, depending on how much money they can get paid. That is a definition of slut is it not?”
In his current contract with Clayton County Public Schools Heatley makes $250,000 annually, plus $25,000 in bonuses, a monthly car allowance of $800 and a $500,000 life insurance policy.
Heatley will not be leading the Dallas school system. According to the Dallas Morning News, Heatley was among the five finalists to interview for the superintendent position but came away from his interview “sweaty-palmed and nervous looking.” The Dallas board of education members selected Mike Miles, former superintendent of Harrison school district 2 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Heatley could not be reached for comment.
Clayton County Board of Education Member Jessie Goree, who has been known to bump heads with Heatley on issues concerning student achievement and the district’s budget, agreed with Trotter’s assessment. Goree said if Heatley left the district she does not think the school system will be destitute without him.
“If [Heatley] wants to go then that’s his [right],” said Goree. “I want people to be happy and if he feels that he is not happy, then he can apply to another school district.”
In all fairness, Goree said when Heatley arrived in 2009 —from Chino Calif.— he did inherit a disgruntled school board and school system. The school district lost its accreditation in 2008, after failing to meet eight of nine mandates that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the accrediting agency, had issued earlier that year. Then in May 2009, the school system regained accreditation on a two-year, probationary basis. In 2011 it regained full accreditation, for which some educators credited Heatley.
However the three years Heatley has been the school system’s head, have not been without some distress. The district spent $40,000 last year on an investigation to discover the source alleging Heatley committed improprieties.
Heatley has also been accused by educators of berating teachers and other administrative staff. “He has a military background,” said Goree. “I’ve had [teachers] tell me when you try to talk to him or tell him something he just does not listen.”