If appointed, Ragsdale would step up to fill the role left by Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, who in a surprise announcement in February said he was moving back home to Dallas, Texas, to be with family, rather than serve the remainder of his contract, which expires Dec. 31, 2014.
Ragsdale came to Cobb in 2006 when he was hired by then-Superintendent Fred Sanderson as chief information officer. He held the same position at Paulding County Schools.
As Cobb’s deputy superintendent of operations, Ragsdale oversees a staff of about 2,000, including such departments as technology, SPLOST, construction, maintenance and safety.
Ragsdale, 45, was born in Marietta’s Kennestone Hospital and grew up in Paulding County, where he lives with his family, including his 12-year-old daughter. His mother, Brenda Ragsdale, is a retired Paulding County elementary school teacher, and his father, Glen, retired as vice president of an industrial air-conditioning company.
Ragsdale received a bachelor of science in information systems at Kennesaw State University and is enrolled in Shorter University’s executive MBA program.
John Adams, executive director of Educators First, a nonunion professional association representing about 2,000 teachers, the bulk of whom are in Cobb, is a former Cobb police officer, teacher and Cobb School District human resources director. Adams said he’s known Ragsdale for 11 years and worked with him closely for a majority of that time. Adams said if the board appoints Ragsdale as interim superintendent, it would be “a great decision.”
“It represents a bold departure from the same old, same old,” Adams said. “It shows that the board is willing to do something different to try to get an even better result. I think it’s a great opportunity for the central office to restore the trust of the teachers and the people on the front lines.”
Adams believes teachers should take confidence in a board appointment of Ragsdale.
“There were lots of folks, obviously, they could have chosen who were career educators, what (former board member) John Abraham used to call ‘educrats.’ Chris is not one of those,” Adams said. “Chris is a technology guy and has tremendous knowledge and control of a huge part of the district’s budget. He’s a technology and operations guy, and that’s going to be at least as important to teachers as someone who has a more traditional background. It’s a bold move, but I think it’s a fantastic one and will send a message to teachers that it’s not just business as usual for the Cobb County School District.”