Outgoing Dunwoody principal honored

Tom McFerrin honor 2Dunwoody Mayor Denis Shortal and city council honored outgoing Dunwoody High School (DHS) principal Tom McFerrin on Aug. 14 with an official city-wide proclamation.

“I, Denis L. Shortal, Mayor of Dunwoody, do hereby proclaim August 14, 2017, as Principal Tom McFerrin Day in the city of Dunwoody in honor of his service, dedication, and commitment to the students, faculty, and community as Dunwoody High School principal,” the proclamation states.

McFerrin, principal at DHS since 2014, announced his intent to depart the school on July 27. In a letter sent home to parents, McFerrin said he has accepted a role of Career Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) coordinator at the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) central office.

“I didn’t know when I went to Chestnut Elementary and was in whatever grade that I would go on to Peachtree Middle School, Dunwoody High School and come back to Dunwoody High School as principal,” McFerrin said Aug. 14. “I’ve spent my entire career and childhood in the city of Dunwoody. Thanks for all of your support.”

McFerrin said his expertise in career education combined with his experience as a teacher will allow him to excel in his new role and have more positive influence in DeKalb County.

According to the proclamation, McFerrin was honored for serving in multiple capacities in the education system, including as a middle school teacher, high school teacher, coach as well as assistant principal.

“McFerrin has demonstrated a compelling devotion to the education system,” the proclamation states.

McFerrin, a DHS graduate, is also credited with “uniting the Dunwoody community,” by developing ties with the local business community and community organizations as well as University of West Georgia and Georgia State University.

The proclamation also mentions McFerrin’s contributions to DHS’s standardized test scores. As mentioned by DCSD board member Stan Jester in July, McFerrin’s three years at DHS have seen the school’s College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) scores improve from 73 overall in 2014 to 93 overall in 2016.

Jester also credits McFerrin for attracting more than 100 students each year to DHS from local private high schools.

“Students were coming back to the high school in droves,” Jester said the day of the announcement. “CCRPI scores were through the roof.”

The proclamation concludes by stating, “In creating a healthy and happy learning environment at Dunwoody High School, Principal Tom McFerrin has set the example of the definition of ‘Wildcat Pride,’ earning him the respect of the citizens of Dunwoody,”

McFerrin said he will remain at DHS as principal until a replacement is named by DCSD. Since the announcement, parents have provided input to the district through an online survey.

“I’m still around,” McFerrin said. “It’s bittersweet, it’s tough, but I’m looking forward to supporting all of DeKalb County.”

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