Chief of Staff

Kilcrease, Tanzy

Embracing the passionate belief that every child deserves a champion, Dr. Katika Lovett believes in the inner strength, power, and resiliency of all children. Since completing her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Family and Community Service at Georgia State University, Dr. Lovett has dedicated her life’s work to educational and community advocacy.

She established her professional career by serving as a special education teacher in Atlanta Public Schools. While serving in APS, she was recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) for her work to advance the field and the quality of special education services. After serving as a special education teacher for several years in APS, Dr. Lovett transitioned to DeKalb County Schools. During her tenure there, she began her career in the field of educational leadership by serving as a District Lead Teacher for Special Education programs.

Answering the call to return "home," Dr. Lovett was afforded the opportunity to join the Department of Special Education for Atlanta Public Schools as a Special Education Coordinator in 2012. While serving in this capacity, she led efforts to increase compliance with a renewed focus on implementing high quality, academically driven Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs) for students with disabilities. With a passion for innovation, advocacy and technology, Dr. Lovett also redeveloped the district’s assistive technology program, an initiative that changed the way in which students were able to access instruction, communicate and improve their functional capabilities.

In 2016, Dr. Lovett was promoted to Executive Director of Special Education for APS. Challenging her team to reach new goals under the mantra "DSE Mission Possible," graduation rates for students with disabilities soared from 14% (2012) to 60.5% (2020), the district exited discipline disproportionality findings for the first time in 9 years, and compliance timelines reached the highest levels ever reported for APS. Dr. Lovett’s work in special education has been recognized by Georgia State University and Georgia Council for Administrators of Special Education.

Most recently serving as the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services for APS, Dr. Lovett led the charge as chief architect of the APS "Whole Child" ramework, a component of the Academic Systems Framework, which includes the provision of wrap-around services and school-based supports intended to improve students’ academic, social-emotional, behavior, mental and physical health in collaboration with parents, community partners and external stakeholders. Dr. Lovett often refers to this as “heart” work as she firmly believes collaboration is a key component of improving educational and life outcomes for students.

Dr. Lovett served as Assistant Superintendent of Student Services for the past 3 years in Atlanta Public Schools. In this role, she provided strategic leadership and guidance for several key departments including Special Education, Student Intervention and Wrap-Around Supports, Comprehensive Health Services, Afterschool & Summer Programs, Student Discipline, Student Registration and Records.

Dr. Lovett attributes her journey, passion, and commitment to education to her late grandmother Annie Grace Lovett. While she was not afforded a formal education, she was self-taught and acquired the knowledge and skills to read, write and calculate on her own. Her grandmother’s determination, grit and JOY for learning instilled in her a burning desire to champion the needs of others and advocate for all students to thrive, grow and achieve their personal best.

A Griffin native, Dr. Lovett received her Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Argosy University, as well as an Educational Specialist degree and Doctor of Education from Georgia State University. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, cycling, visiting her beloved St. Thomas, V.I., and cheering on the Atlanta Falcons.

 

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