Tears, broken hearts and hugs were all you would find at Imagine International Academy of Mableton on its final day of the school year, and its last day of existence.
Students, faculty and board of director members fought throughout the school year to keep the school’s doors from closing. They never stopped writing board members or speaking at board meetings. They continued holding their own board meetings and seeking avenues to keep the school open.
Curlis Harris, a teacher at Imagine Mableton, said the day was “emotional.”
“I always was so excited to get up out of bed,” Harris said. “This morning is the first morning I did not want to get up out of bed.”
She said she is not certain where she will be teaching for the upcoming school year.
A tumultous year for Imagine
- In September, in a 4-3 vote, the Cobb Board of Education voted to not renew the charter school’s petition. Since then, the school has pleaded numerous times for another chance to no avail.
- Before the school board meeting, the school held a town hall meeting with South Cobb board member David Morgan, a charter schools advocate. The meeting became heated as parents and staff grew angry and upset that Morgan said he would not vote to renew the school’s charter.
- In October, the school’s principal Dr. Marcus Barber resigned and interim principal James Owmby said he hasn’t spoken to Barber since then.
- In January, Owmby and Imagine Mableton supporters called for a revote and a recusal from Morgan after learning he and his wife, Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, had begun planning a South Cobb charter school. Owmby said Morgan may have voted to close Imagine to knock out competition for the new school.
- In March, Imagine’s attorney called for a revote, but were not granted one.