Oakhurst Elementary Principal Promoted to Director of Elementary Education

As was announced at last night’s Decatur School Board meeting, Oakhurst Elementary Principal Mary Mack has been promoted to CSD’s Director of Elementary Education.  Information handed out at last night’s meeting noted Principal Mack’s impressive track record…

Mrs. Mack has 37 years of experience and has been the principal of Oakhurst Elementary for the last 22 years. Under her leadership, Oakhurst ranked fourth in the state on the GaDOE’s College and Career-Ready Performance Index, was named a Title I Distinguished School, was named a Platinum Award Winner for Greatest Gains by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement and was named a 2012 Georgia School of Excellence. During the 2012-2013 school year, Mrs. Mack developed and implemented a mentoring program for district Assistant Principals and the Dean of Students.

Additionally, just late yesterday Oakhurst Elementary was named a Georgia School of Excellence.  Here’s a PDF of the CSD press release.

In a letter to Oakhurst parents, Principal Mack thanked everyone for their support over the years and explained that it was time for her to take on a “new challenge”.  As for Oakhurst Elementary’s next steps, she writes…

For the next few months, I will remain at Oakhurst and slowly transition into my new role. By the end of September, a committee of SLT, parents and staff members will be organized to plan the search for the next principal with the process being organized and implemented through our Human Resources Department. Until a new principal has been selected, I will remain as principal of Oakhurst. After the new principal is on board, I will still be available and will continue to serve as a support. I will work diligently and collaboratively with the new leader (and spend time in my new position) on a daily basis.

23 thoughts on “Oakhurst Elementary Principal Promoted to Director of Elementary Education”

  1. End of a great era and I’m glad that Principal Mary Mack will still be with CSD. She and Principal Cheryl Kuebler at Westchester were special principals with similar styles and dedication to students and families, both coming up through CSD when the schools and communities were in very different times.

      1. Oooh! Friendly rivalry!

        Mrs. Mack is the BEST–have you ever been to an Oakhurst Community Circle? Especially the end of the year ones, which are a show of complete support and dedication and true Community. It’s like a big love fest between Mrs. Mack, the teachers and staff, and the parents and students. Not to mention the great music and dancing. Oh yeah, and our auctions are so fun that many of the teachers AND Mrs. Mack come and participate in the festivities, and the Solarium has to kick us out at the end of the night. Great chemistry between the Principal. teachers, staff, parents and students, yes, but also a profound ability to lead at the same time–now that is talent!

        While I am sad to see Mrs. Mack go, I am thankful to her for her service to the school and grateful to have had her for 6 years now, and happy that she will stay in the system.

        1. I’d like to add to the friendly rivalry and say that Ms. Wheeler at Clairemont is pretty darned great! Best of luck to Mrs. Mack. It really seems like every week there’s a new reason to love CSD.

          1. + 1000. We love Ms. Wheeler. And she was a teacher under Mrs. Mack! I know the folks at Oakhurst are sad to see Mrs. Mack go, but all of the city’s elementary kids will now benefit from her wisdom and experience. Hopefully one of her many talented padawans will be chosen to head up Oakhurst.

      2. Sorry, folks, there is actually 22 years of history and Ms. Mack saw this school through some hard times and came out on top. No comparison. Let’s have some respect where it is due and cut the silly “competition” crap.

          1. Ah, that nelliebelle is causing trouble again. Shame on you! You need to be punished, so I have called in J_T to spank you.

  2. Living in the MAK transitional zone (the Oakhurst/WP boundary has at different times been in the middle of Kings Highway, the alley between Kings and Greenwood, and McDonough), we have had both Ms. Mack and Greg as principals. They are both excellent, with their own styles that I attribute more than anything else to their generational difference (I would never consider addressing Ms. Mack by her first name!)

    That being said, Ms. Mack has served through an incredible period in Decatur. She started at Fifth Ave. only a few years removed from white flight and has led the way to became the 4th ranked school in the state. She did this while consolidating two schools, going through two renovations, and the school population growing over 300%. My hat’s off to you, Ms. Mack.

  3. Is this a new position for the school system? I wish her the best, but I’d rather have money for more teachers and assistants than another bureaucratic position.

    1. Tom, I kinda have to go with you on this. My first grader’s teacher lost her para this year. I’d just like more information on this position.

    2. I read elsewhere that Dr. Edwards is replacing Dr. van Soelen’s position with two people, director of elementary and a secondary director. I have similar concerns about expanding the administrative staff, especially when the system is seeking public approval for a bond referendum. However, it is hard to argue with wether fabulous job that Dr. Edwards has done with the school system, which is poised for significant growth.

      1. I meant hard to argue with the fabulous job.. (Comment editor doesn’t want to play nice with my iPad. )

  4. I was also wondering if this is a new position. If so, who was the previous director and where have they moved to? If it is new, what are the duties of this new job?

    Good luck to Mrs. Mack. Sounds like she is well respected.

  5. It sounds like Mrs. Mack has been and will continue to be an asset to Oakhurst and CSD, and her service is greatly appreciated. Winnona Park Stud believes a “my principal can beat up your principal” debate would be childish and a disservice to the subjects of any such debate. Winnona Park Stud only knows one CSD principal, Greg Wiseman, and for that reason alone, would refrain from ranking CSD principals or declaring any one principal better than the others. That said, it would be fair to say Winnona Park Stud has a serious man crush on Principal Wiseman; Wiseman is accessible, diplomatic, enthusiastic and funny. Also, he is without peer in his mastery of subject-verb agreement and the proper use of semi-colons (cough, refer to last sentence of the third and fourth paragraphs of a certain letter to the Oakhurst community, cough, Winnona Park Stud is a nit-picking killjoy, cough).

  6. Congratulations to Ms. Mack. I will save my accolades, which will be many, until the day she retires. Until then, let me just pay Ms. Mack some of the highest complements I can give to any anyone in the ed biz. She could out work almost any teacher I knew, motivate teachers to do what they thought was impossible, produce outstanding results and most important, she was loved by all- students, teachers and parents. I have never heard a negative comment about Ms. Mack!
    I wish her the best of luck.

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