SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Savannah-Chatham County School District has a new Superintendent.
Dr. Ann Levett, a graduate of Beach High herself, brings a unique mixture of local insight as well as global perspective to the job of being of being the District's top educator. She replaces Dr. Thomas Lockamy who led the district for 12 years, with the first few of his tenure being quite tumultuous.
In 2005, when Dr. Lockamy was named Superintendent in a five to four vote that went down the Board's racial lines, he inherited a mess. The district was placed on probation by SACS, the accreditation body that makes diplomas from our high schools mean something, because of meddling and micromanagement by the school board.
Dr. Lockamy quickly righted the ship, got the district off probation and worked hand in hand with a newly elected school board to chip away at the districts many problems. Not all were solved, but progress was made, at least up until recently.
Consider this: sadly, as Dr. Levett takes the reins it appears it déjà vu all over again for the district.
She too was approved by the board in a five to four vote that fell along racial lines. She too enters the job with a cloud of doubt about accreditation as SACS has confirmed that it will investigate the district this fall due to complaints about board interference. And she too must deal with a school board that appears to be dysfunctional and lacking vision.
Our schools have come too far in the past decade and we must not go backwards. The board, including those who voted against Dr. Levett have vowed to support her and allow her to do the job that she was hired to do. They must do that unequivocally because as the saying goes, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and that's not a lesson our children should have to endure.