CCSD official Cheryl Hungerford resigns in wake of Ragsdale announcement
by Haisten Willis
April 11, 2014 04:00 AM | 8795 views | 40 40 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dr. Cheryl Hungerford, left, Cobb schools deputy superintendent of leadership and learning, listens to Chris Ragsdale, deputy superintendent in charge of operational support for Cobb schools in February. Ragsdale was announced as the sole candidate for interim superintendent Wednesday. Hungerford, who was also a finalist for the interim superintendent, announced she is retiring the same day.<br>Jeff Stanton
Dr. Cheryl Hungerford, left, Cobb schools deputy superintendent of leadership and learning, listens to Chris Ragsdale, deputy superintendent in charge of operational support for Cobb schools in February. Ragsdale was announced as the sole candidate for interim superintendent Wednesday. Hungerford, who was also a finalist for the interim superintendent, announced she is retiring the same day.
Jeff Stanton
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MARIETTA — The Cobb School District will likely have to find a replacement for not one but both of its deputy superintendents in the wake of Chris Ragsdale’s appointment to the top job.

Ragsdale, the CCSD deputy superintendent of operational support, was named as the sole finalist for interim superintendent at a 9:30 a.m. press conference. At 10:12 a.m. Cheryl Hungerford, deputy superintendent of leadership and learning, announced she was leaving the school system through an email sent to all CCSD principals.

“There is a season for everything and a time for every purpose under the heaven,” Hungerford said in the email. “And now is the season for me to devote more time to my family and friends.”

Hungerford said she’d enjoyed her career with the district, which began in 1980, but she was leaving to retire effective May 28 to spend more time with her grandchildren.

Hungerford was one of seven finalists for the superintendent position but the school board chose Ragsdale instead.

Though her resignation came just minutes after that announcement, she insisted the two were not related.

“This is not a resignation for any reason other than my intent to retire,” she said. “That has been a decision-making process my family and friends have enjoyed over the last few months. The superintendent (Dr. Michael Hinojosa) was well-aware of my intentions to retire.”

She said the resignation had been set for Thursday before the Ragsdale announcement was scheduled.

“Chris is a great guy,” Hungerford said. “He’ll do a great job.”

But not many knew of Hungerford’s intentions ahead of time.

“I was surprised,” said school board member David Banks. “Disappointed. She’s been a very good asset for the Cobb County school system. My preference, although I haven’t talked to her yet, is that she would continue to stay.”

Hungerford’s long career began as a teacher. She later worked as an assistant principal, principal, area assistant superintendent, chief of staff and finally deputy superintendent for the last two school years.

How the hierarchy works

In the hierarchy of CCSD, the superintendent is the top position. The next step down is two deputy superintendents, one over operations and the other over leadership and learning. Below that are the chiefs of human resources, staff, academics and finance, followed by five area assistant superintendents.

Banks said he imagines an area assistant superintendent may get Hungerford’s job, citing Dale Gaddis in particular, but noted the final call is made by the superintendent.

“All that’s really up to the interim superintendent right now,” he said.

Gaddis, who was also one of the seven finalists for the job, was absent from Thursday’s press conference, despite the other area assistant superintendents and executive administrators who attended as a show of support for Ragsdale.

Teacher allotments issued

Before leaving, Hungerford also issued expected teacher allotments for the 2014-15 school year. She said they were sent with the permission of Hinojosa and human resources staff and only set the overall number of teachers at what it was last year. Any added slots will have to be approved by the school board during the upcoming budget process.

Calls and emails sent to school board chairwoman Kathleen Angelucci seeking comment were not immediately returned Thursday.

Comments
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This Is A Mistake
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April 12, 2014
This will end up being something that cannot be easily undone. Ok folks, the reality is, in the private sector, when you are dealing with senior level positions you often recruit to the outside to get the skill sets that you are either lacking or needing. Mr. Ragsdale, and the district, have not had issues with spending or budgeting for projects, they have had, however, many issues with actually making sure our children get the education they will need to move forward. This is not an area that Mr. Ragsdale has a background in. We should be looking for a world class educator to help us with these issues, not a locally grown bureaucrat.
W Cobb
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April 15, 2014
I couldn't disagree more. A former classroom teacher does not necessarily make a good manager or administrator. Time to get some people in who can lead an organization.

I'd love to see more of the central office staff go who might have been great in the classroom, but have no ability to lead a large organization - totally different skill-set.
Whoa...
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April 11, 2014
Doesn't have a background in education?

Doesn't live in Cobb County?

Give me a break, CCSB. This is a slap in the face to the teachers and students of Cobb County.
W Cobb
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April 15, 2014
Frankly, I'm glad to see some of the former "educators" go. The central office is filled with them and look at the mess we have.

a good classroom teacher does not necessarily make a good manager
Watcher...
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April 11, 2014
Chris Ragsdale may not have the proper credentials to suit Cobb Educrats so let's consider a few "success" stories that were accomplished without adequate college credentials.

Steve Jobs, who dropped out of Reed College. Since the days of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, many business leaders got their starts without the benefit of degrees, including Larry Ellison of Oracle, Bill Gates and Paul Allen of Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz of Facebook, Michael Dell of Dell Computers, Brian Dunn of Best Buy, Anna Wintour of Vogue, Barry Diller of IAC, John Mackey of Whole Foods, David Geffen, Ralph Lauren and Ted Turner.
Omar the Begger
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April 11, 2014
I say to you Ms. Hungerford Don’t go away Mad just go Away.
W Cobb
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April 15, 2014
Amen!
South Cobb Parent
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April 11, 2014
Please just don't pick Dale Gaddis to replace her. What a disaster that would be. I will be watching closely with my fingers crossed that someone strong emerges to take over leadership & learning. I think Chris Ragsdale want to be open and supportive of teachers and students, just need the right person in that space.
W Cobb
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April 15, 2014
I couldn't agree more. Time for Gladdis to go
Just Sayin....
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April 11, 2014
This decision of the Board will come back to haunt us, but by then we will be on the hook for whatever back room deals have been done.
Lucy S. Williams
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April 11, 2014
Sad to see Dr. Hungerford go. She was always well respected by teachers and parents, but hopefully she will enjoy retirement though!
Mom comment
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April 11, 2014
Hopefully Gaddis leaves and takes Iris with him. Otherwise the whole district will become what he has made of Osborne and Campbell. We don't need a fool, who is stuck on promoting poor affirmative action hires.

Vinings and Smyrna want to be "white" upper middle class communities. They need leaders who praise students for acting "white" aka educated, instead of bloods and crypts.
Osborne #1
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April 11, 2014
You need to include Charlotte Stowers in your comment. She is still Gaddis's favorite henchwoman. Osborne lost several good people when she was principal there.
CCSD Supporter
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April 11, 2014
When was the last time you entered either Campbell or Osborne? You are ignorant of the incredible progress that has been made at these schools in the last 15 years. I am not sure if Gaddis is the right choice for Superintendent or not, but he has helped make the dramatic changes at these schools possible. He is not responsible for the demographics of either school. What kind of social engineering do you think needs to happen to fulfull your racist dream of making Vinings and Smyrna "white."
Love Gaddis
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April 12, 2014
Mr. Gaddis is an incredible man who has a wealth of knowledge about instruction and education. Don't forget that Cobb is now a minority majority school district, do not think all schools will not soon see demographic changes. Who better to lead the instructional division of Cobb than Mr. Gaddis who has that first hand depth of understanding and experience in schools with diverse populations. Area II has Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence, Reward Schools, teacher excellence accolades, awards k-12 for all sorts of student honors. For certain, his leadership has to be credited for some of this. He may not have the blessing of every educator, but what great leader does? He's a worthy candidate for leading our instructional program in CCSD and Mr. Ragsdale would be benefited by his expertise.
Mom comment
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April 12, 2014
I was told by a member of. Charlotte Stowers family, that after she was retired happily, by the way. She was begged by Cobb county to just be the interim at Osborne for 6 weeks until, they could get a new qualified principal on board. That is all she agreed to come back for. Then after, they could not find a qualified candidate and could not recruit one from out of district once School was in session. Basically, many who were offered the position that were already Principals in Cobb turned it down. They wanted an experienced Principal who had been successful in a high performing area of the county.

She then agreed to the one year. She was very surprised by the discrepancies in Booster Clubs from North and East Cobb. The lack or parental involvement. Her intention was to make sure that the higher ups knew this and saw the disparities.

Mrs. Stowers was then asked to be Principal for another year at Osborne, she said no way. They need to find another Principal for Osborne. That is when they finally promoted the asst that many questioned, they were out of answers.
Mom comment
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April 13, 2014
My child graduated from Campbell in 2013, so I am quite familiar with the situation. The current pattern of sticking minority ( including faux Hispanic Riveria) at Campbell has done nothing bought down the school. Both Rivera and Iris are horror stories. Iris can not speak "ax" or. write correct English. How on earth can she be a high school principal. She was a failure at middle school. She is extremely raciest against white people.

When the New $350k and above houses were all being built starting in the late 1990's we were all told that the Smyrna/ Vining Schools would be improved so white upper middle class folks, along with the Other educated populations which were buying these houses Asian, Indians,,Black M.D.d's could send their children to the local school just like if they bought in East Cobb. After all, they we're being taxed at $4,000 to $7,000 plus each. Why should they be forced to send their children to Private School.

The nasty section 8 apartments only bring in maybe $150 -200 a year per unit in school taxes. But their occupants overload the schools, especially since Atlanta tore down their Public Housing, and encouraged the occupants to take their section 8 vouchers to Cobb, Sandy Springs, etc..

These schools need administrators who will enforce the same rules that Pope and Walton have.

I am not raciest, but I do believe that if you have children, especially more than one allowed oops, you should be able to independently support them. You should be able to purchase a house to raise your children in. Property ownership brings about responsibility.
see it as a teacher
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April 13, 2014
Hey "Love Gaddis", have you ever been a teacher or an administrator under Dale Gaddis.

certainly there has to be a reason why he was turned down as Superintendent of 2 or 3 other counties.

He is more concerned with the way he looks rather than the well-being of people that work in Area 2. That guy actually has creases ironed in his jeans when he shows up at football games.

Start asking county administrators their opinion of Gaddis.

Why you are at it, ask the people at Osborne about Charlotte Stowers. EVIL!!!
@see it as a teacher
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April 14, 2014
Seems to me, that if you are in your room teaching like you should be, it really wouldn't matter who your Area Superintendent is. My understanding is that their primary role is to support principals, not teachers. Sounds to me like you don't like be held to high standards and levels of expectations. One thing is certain, Mr. Gaddis will hold you to a high level of expectations. Perhaps that worries you a bit.
S Cobb
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April 15, 2014
Totally Agree. Osborne has created a mutual admiration society where they tell each other how much better they are doing when everybody on the outside looking in knows it's a low achieving mess.

As for Campbell - same problem. the IB program has created a smoke screen for the problems there. Much the same for all the magnet programs - If a school is declining with low achievement and low test score, then let's put a magnet program there to bring in smart kid to artificially boost up scores. Everybody knows it true, but nobody talkes about it.
Mom comment
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April 11, 2014
She blew her career and should have been fired, for the whole conflict of interest over the John Williams getting the tax waiver. Her husband was the chairman that approved the deal that didn't fit the criteria for tax exemption. Her husband Vinings bank president was going to give Williams the deal for apartments, that no one in Cumberland or Vinings wants, and cheating the school system out of $6M in taxes.

Why didn't she speak up. If she was a leader, she would have alerted her boss to this. Instead she is another Stepford wife, deferring to the husband. What is she afraid of he might leave her without her connections for a younger compliant model.

Giving the operations job is the way to go. We don't see any improvement with the string of PE or special ed teachers with ? Ed doctorates becoming supt. They don't know how the operations work.

This is why most businesses promote up the CEO chain folks who have worked in Operations.
Teach Cobb
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April 11, 2014
Hungerford may have been a better choice than Ragsdale. However, if Hungerford allowed her name to be considered for the interim superintendent, then why did she tell Hinojosa that she was retiring before the decision for the interim was announced.

Also, please, please do not replace Hungerford's position with Gaddis. Just let Gaddis stay where he is until he finally retires.
Osborne #1
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April 11, 2014
You need to include Charlotte Stowers in your comment. She is still Gaddis's favorite henchwoman. Osborne lost several good people when she was principal there.
trailrider46
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April 11, 2014
MDJ does not respect free speech. Shame on you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
major concerned
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April 11, 2014
David Banks, in his infinite wisdom, has already stated in the MDJ that Dale Gaddis will be taking over for Cheryl Hungerford.

Definitely wrong choice.

Just ask teachers and administrators in Area 2 You may get the correct response if they are not afraid of losing their job).

Gaddis has already been turned down by 2 or 3 counties when he applied for a superintendent position.

The man is not to be trusted.

He is a sweet talking womanizer who has too much power over men and women.

God help the CCSD!
R U Insane?
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April 11, 2014
Walk the hallways of any school and talk to teachers and staff members privately. The board and members of the 'community' may not be so excited about the pick of Chris Ragsdale.

When your walk the hallways, everyone's first states includes the idea that Chris is a nice guy. However, almost without exception, the next noise is a forced laugh. Followed up by 'unbelievable' or some word to that effect.

Obviously, all of the discussion of supporting and respecting teachers was/is clearly window dressing, by the board.

Without exaggeration, I can not think of any decision by the school board which would have been a larger insult to educators.

Shame on you Cobb Board of Education. You do not hire a B.S. degree in information to lead a major school system. This school system is supposed to be the big league. Expect more resignations.

Bottom line: Working at school for 36 hours, in a snow storm, does not qualify you to be a superintendent.
@ R U Insane
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April 11, 2014
Yeah, maybe Chris Ragsdale should have signed up for that mail-older Mississippi doctorate where Angela Huff and the others picked up their credentials. That’s what he should have done!

Or were you a fan of “Doctor” Hinojosa? Yeah, he sure did improve the CCSD! Not.
W Cobb
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April 15, 2014
So someone with a B.S or M.ed is more qualified to run the operations of a large school system? Just because you can teach a group of children doesn't mean you can run a multi-million dollar operation. totally different skill-set
Go Ragsdale!!!!
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April 20, 2014
Ragsdale will do a great job! Teachers moving to the central office tend to forget what it is like in the classroom, and are too arrogant to listen to those in the trenches.

Ragsdale will actually listen to sound advice. And if we can expect more resignation then he was ABSOLUTELY the right pick. Get rid of the old guard!!!!!
JJMule
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April 11, 2014
He has a 1930's style hair cut, (picking back) with lots of grease.

He should do a good job.
trailrider46
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April 11, 2014
It appears related since Hungerford was in the running for interim super. I do not know Ragsdale but I do know that good old boy mentality is rampant in Paulding for old Paulding names like Ragsdale.THAT is a red flag. The potential affects of that kind of thinking is nepotism and favoritism.
Vicious Circle
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April 11, 2014
This is what you get when you have a weak school board with poor leadership. The good employees have been leaving and the board is so wrapped up in their own petty agendas that it can't hire qualified replacements, even for superintendent.

We almost hired the Rockdale County, poor excuse for a superintendent, till I mentioned his online doctorate. Then we hire the infinitely under-qualified Hinojosa who bailed out of a bad situation to get a temporary paycheck here. Until we rid the board of the full-mooners like Stultz and Angelucci, not to mention the ethically comprised Morgan, things will continue to get worse before they get better.
sad to see you going
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April 11, 2014
Cheryl Hungerford has been nothing but a class act for Cobb County. Her tireless leadership, great ability to communicate with personnel, and knowledge of the system will be greatly missed. Cobb Cty missed an opportunity by not hiring her as Super....interestingly it has only had one female super in the past 20 years. Glass ceiling anyone???
Class Act?
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April 20, 2014
The timing of Ms. Hungerford's resignation does not cast her in a favorable light. Seems the Board made a wise choice, for once.
Bill Conrad
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April 11, 2014
Not related? HA! She was deer in headlights anyway
anonymous
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April 11, 2014
Seriously, the most qualified to take over the second largest school system in Georgia and all he has is a B.A. Degree? Who are you kidding?
Ralf Siederfield
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April 11, 2014
I would not get so caught up with the Dr. as you can see Dr. Hinojosa did very little for the CCSS. Actually his high degrees are going to allow him to work from home. Just saying
Just Sayin'.....
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April 12, 2014
Well, when I select a surgeon I will usually make sure he has a medical degree. Just saying Ralf.
S cobber
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April 15, 2014
Degrees are a dime a dozen in the education world. don't think the comparison of a surgeon and amedical degrees is even close to the same thing
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