Rick Beaulieu, one of six assistant superintendents for the Cobb County School District, is leaving for Atlanta Public Schools after serving less than a year in his role overseeing 18 Cobb schools.
Beaulieu, who began his career as a teacher at Campbell High School in 1996 and was promoted to assistant superintendent on July 1, 2012, did not return calls for comment on his departure.
James Alford, executive director of communications for Atlanta Public Schools, confirmed Beaulieu will begin his role as executive director of the human resources center of expertise effective July 1. Though his salary information was not immediately available, Alford said the salary range for the position was between $89,902 and $143,842.
Cobb Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said Beaulieu was a “rising star” amongst the ranks of CCSD employees, but recognized that APS could probably offer a higher salary.
“I’m really disappointed that he’s leaving after one year after being named area assistant superintendent,” Hinojosa said. “But it’s typically been a pattern that other districts can pay more than we can pay … It’s tough trying to hang on to good people.”
Beaulieu’s exit comes three months after Assistant Superintendent Ed Thayer’s approval for retirement by the Cobb School Board in March. Thayer will retire effective Aug. 1 and Hinojosa has said the district won’t replace him in an effort to cut costs.
However, Hinojosa said he will be asking the School Board next week to accept Beaulieu’s resignation along with a request to approve posting the job opening, saying the district would not be able to function below the present five area assistant superintendents.
“It’s difficult enough going down to five,” Hinojosa said. “There’s no way we could cope going from six to four.”
Hinojosa said he’s hopeful that he will have a recommendation to fill Beaulieu’s job sometime in July.
Beaulieu oversaw 18 schools, including those that feed into Harrison, Hillgrove and McEachern high schools in west central Cobb.
Beaulieu, according to opengeorgia.gov, made $99,475 in fiscal year 2012. However, Beaulieu was promoted to area assistant superintendent July 1, 2012, during fiscal year 2013. The MDJ has made an open records request to obtain his salary.
Both Board Chairman Randy Scamihorn and board member Brad Wheeler, whose district Beaulieu oversaw, said they were surprised by the announcement Wednesday.
Board member David Banks, who worked with Beaulieu when he was principal of Pope High School from 2008 to 2012, said he had heard the news but did not want to comment.
Beaulieu earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University, a master’s degree from Jacksonville State University and an education specialist degree from University of West Georgia. He is also a graduate of CCSD’s Leadership Academy.
Prior to his time as Pope’s principal, Beaulieu was assistant principal at North Cobb High School from 2006 to 2008 and previously taught at North Cobb and Lassiter high schools after leaving to teach in Gwinnett County Public Schools for one year.
Scamihorn said the board would have to look closely into the decision on whether, like Thayer’s position, they would recommend filling Beaulieu’s post.
“Anywhere we can save money is good as long as we can get the job done,” Scamihorn said.