Derrick Aikerson is out as principal at Julian Harris Elementary, and he will leave the Decatur school system when his resignation takes effect Feb. 15.

In the meantime, Aikerson was transferred to assistant principal at the Center for Alternative Programs, effective Tuesday.

A unanimous school board on Tuesday approved recommendations from Superintendent Michael Douglas to transfer Aikerson immediately and accept his resignation effective in February.

Aikerson, who became principal at Julian Harris in 2016, has been on paid administrative leave since Aug. 8 and is in the final year of a contract that pays him $91,936 annually.

Douglas said he could not comment on why he placed Aikerson on leave or what led to the decision to transfer Aikerson to a new position. He said Aikerson will continue to draw his salary until Feb. 15.

Aikerson was not available for comment, but in one letter to Douglas he wrote: “I understand that I am being taken off administrative leave. I voluntarily agree to reassignment to another administrative position.”

In a second letter, he wrote: “I hereby voluntarily and irrevocably resign my employment with the Decatur City Board of Education, effective February 15, 2020.”

The superintendent said Phil Hastings, who worked 38 years in Decatur City Schools before retiring in 2010, will continue to serve as interim principal at Julian Harris with an annual salary of $31,000.

Aikerson was part of a wave of Decatur City Schools administrative changes in 2014, when he came from Birmingham to Decatur as an assistant principal at Brookhaven Middle.

He has a master’s degree and specialist degree in educational leadership and administration from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and he was part of the administrative team that helped get Brookhaven Middle off the state’s failing schools list.

He became principal at Julian Harris when William Kimbrell retired.

— or 256-340-2469. Twitter @DD_Deangelo.
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