George Lucas Educational FoundationCelebrating 30 years

Meria Joel Carstarphen

Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools

Meria Joel Carstarphen, EdD, is superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools. She brings to Atlanta an impressive record in transformative educational leadership that has led to significant student performance gains. Dr. Carstarphen has nearly 20 years of education and experience in diverse, major metropolitan public school districts, including Austin, Texas; Saint Paul, Minnesota; and the District of Columbia. In Atlanta, she leads the district’s 50,000 students, 6,300 employees, and 98 learning sites, and oversees the system’s $1 billion annual budget.

Dr. Carstarphen began her education career as a middle school teacher in her hometown of Selma, Ala. She also has worked with elementary-level children in Seville, Spain, and Caracas, Venezuela.

Dr. Carstarphen earned a doctorate in administration, planning and social policy, with a concentration in urban superintendency from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She earned a bachelor of arts in political science and Spanish from Tulane University and master of education degrees from Auburn University and Harvard University. She has also studied at the University of Seville, Spain, and University of Innsbruck, Austria.

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