During a special called meeting Monday night the Clarke County School District’s Board of Education voted to place Superintendent Demond Means on administrative leave effective immediately.
The school district’s chief of staff, Xernona Thomas, was named chief executive, and an interim superintendent will be appointed as soon as possible, board members decided.
Means has been a polarizing figure since he was hired with a three-year contract in 2017.
His supporters credit him for focusing on an achievement gap in Athens public schools, where black children read two or three grades below white students on standardized tests.
Means has faced criticism for hiring pricey consultants and his ties to the public schools privatization movement.
Some accused Means of pushing out teachers and principals, including the popular principal of Cedar Shoals High School, Derrick Maxwell.
Means butted heads with school board members he accused of micromanaging when those members said they were only performing their oversight responsibilities.