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PRELIMINARY DRAFT (SUBJECT TO BOARD APPROVAL) EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT BETWEEN DR. CHERYL L. H.

ATKINSON AND DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION FOR 2011 2014 This Employment Contract (Contract) is made and entered into this _____ day of August, 2011 (Effective Date), by and between DR. CHERYL L. H. ATKINSON (SUPERINTENDENT or DR. ATKINSON) and the DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION (BOARD), the governing body of the DeKalb County School District (District), a political subdivision of the State of Georgia (the BOARD and the SUPERINTENDENT may be referred to collectively in this Contract as the PARTIES). WHEREAS, the BOARD seeks to employ a Superintendent for DeKalb County School District; and WHEREAS, DR. ATKINSON seeks to be employed as Superintendent of DeKalb County School District; and WHEREAS, DR. ATKINSON has agreed to accept such employment pursuant to the terms of this Contract; and WHEREAS, the BOARD has caused this Contract to be approved at a public meeting in the manner required by law; NOW, THEREFORE, in exchange for the mutual promises contained herein and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, the BOARD and the SUPERINTENDENT hereby agree as follows: 1. TERM OF EMPLOYMENT. The BOARD hereby employs the

SUPERINTENDENT, and the SUPERINTENDENT hereby accepts employment with the BOARD, as Superintendent of Schools for the District, for a term of three (3) years, commencing on September 15, 2011, and ending on September 14, 2014 (Initial Term). The BOARD may, by specific action and with the consent of the SUPERINTENDENT, extend the

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above termination date of this Contract to the full extent permitted by state law. Any such extension, which for purposes of this Contract or any amendment is defined as the Subsequent Term, will be in writing and signed by the BOARD and the SUPERINTENDENT. 2. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES. A. CERTIFICATION AND LEGAL REQUIREMENTS. The

SUPERINTENDENT shall hold and maintain a valid and appropriate certificate issued by the Professional Standards Commission of the State of Georgia and shall otherwise meet all the requirements for a Superintendent as set forth in O.C.G.A. 20-2-101 et. seq. and in any applicable BOARD policy in existence on the Effective Date of this Contract, or adopted at any time thereafter. In addition, the SUPERINTENDENT shall submit to a pre-employment

medical examination by a licensed physician selected by the BOARD, which is consistent with the requirements for such pre-employment medical exams under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101, et. seq., as amended (ADA). The results of the examination shall be shared with the BOARD in a narrative report from the examining physician certifying the SUPERINTENDENTs ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position of Superintendent of Schools for the District. Any specific test results will not be released to the BOARD. To the extent DR. ATKINSON is found unable or unqualified to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position of Superintendent of Schools for the District as a result of the pre-employment medical exam, this Contract shall automatically be null and void, and neither the BOARD nor DR. ATKINSON will have any obligations to the other party hereunder. B. DUTIES. The SUPERINTENDENT shall have charge of the

administration of the District under the direction of the BOARD. She shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the BOARD; shall direct the teachers and other employees of the BOARD; shall organize, reorganize and arrange the administrative and supervisory staff, including ~2~ Initials _____/_______
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instruction and business affairs as best serves the District, subject to the approval of the BOARD; shall select and assign all personnel, subject to the approval of the BOARD; shall from time to time suggest policies, rules, and procedures deemed necessary for the well ordering of the District; shall enforce the policies, rules, and regulations of the State Board of Education, the State School Superintendent, and the BOARD; and shall perform such other duties as may be required by the Constitution and laws of the State of Georgia or as prescribed by the BOARD from time to time. The BOARD, individually and collectively, shall promptly refer all

criticisms, complaints, and suggestions called to its attention to the SUPERINTENDENT for study and recommendation. As provided by O.C.G.A. 20-2-109, Board Policy CE, and as

set forth herein, this is an agreement for the performance of professional services by the SUPERINTENDENT, who shall not be assigned to any other position or have her duties reassigned to others without her consent, subject to the terms and conditions of this Contract. C. BOARD MEETINGS AND COMMITTEES. The

SUPERINTENDENT shall have the right to attend all meetings of the BOARD (except any executive session at which the BOARD either formulates the SUPERINTENDENTS evaluation or discusses the SUPERINTENDENT as a personnel matter), BOARD committees, and citizen committees; shall serve as an ex-officio member of all BOARD committees; and shall have the right to provide administrative recommendations on each item of business considered by each of these groups. D. OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES. The SUPERINTENDENT shall devote her

attention and energy to the business of the District. The SUPERINTENDENT shall not render, directly or indirectly, services of a business, commercial or professional nature to any other person or organization, whether for compensation or otherwise, without the prior written consent of the BOARD. The SUPERINTENDENT, however, may devote up to ten (10) working days ~3~ Initials _____/_______
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per year as a consultant to other school districts or educational agencies, engage in writing activities and speaking engagements, and engage in other short-term activities of the SUPERINTENDENTS choosing, in consultation with the BOARD. Any such activities that

will require the SUPERINTENDENT to devote more than three (3) working days in any month shall require the prior consent of the BOARD. If the SUPERINTENDENT receives

compensation or an honorarium for such activities, she shall use vacation time for the activities. In no case will the BOARD be responsible for any expenses attendant to the performance of such outside activities. 3. PROFESSIONAL GROWTH OF SUPERINTENDENT. A. PARTICIPATION IN PROFESSIONAL, EDUCATIONAL AND

LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS. In order to encourage the SUPERINTENDENTS continuing professional growth, the BOARD shall permit a reasonable amount of release time for the SUPERINTENDENT, as she deems appropriate in light of her responsibilities as SUPERINTENDENT, to participate in: (1) the operations, programs and other activities conducted or sponsored by local, state and national school administrator and school board associations; (2) (3) seminars and courses offered by public or private educational institutions; and leadership, informational and other programs that would promote the SUPERINTENDENTS professional growth or otherwise inure to the benefit of the District. Subject to BOARD approval in advance, the BOARD shall pay the reasonable and necessary registration, travel and subsistence expenses incident to such participation. B. PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS. The BOARD shall pay one

hundred percent (100%) of the membership fees for the SUPERINTENDENTS membership in ~4~ Initials _____/_______
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the American Association of School Administrators, the Georgia Association of School Administrators, and such other professional groups that the SUPERINTENDENT deems necessary for her professional growth, as permitted by state law and as approved by the BOARD in the annual budget. 4. ANNUAL BASE SALARY. Commencing as of _________, 2011, the BOARD

shall pay the SUPERINTENDENT an annual base salary of two-hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars ($275,000.00) for the term of this Contract. The SUPERINTENDENTS annual base salary shall be paid in twelve (12) equal installments on the last day of the month for services rendered during the month. At no time shall the SUPERINTENDENTS annual base salary be reduced without her express consent. 5. BENEFITS. A. STANDARD BENEFITS. The SUPERINTENDENT shall be entitled

to the standard package of benefits provided to other twelve-month certified administrative District employees, including, but not limited to, medical dental, vision, life, long-term disability, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance; any other forms of insurance protection provided to twelve-month certified administrative District employees; membership in the TRS; paid and unpaid leave; vacation; and any other benefits made available to twelve-month certified administrative District employees. Notwithstanding the above, the BOARD will

provide DR. ATKINSON with a one-time advance of thirty (30) vacation days, beginning on __(insert effective date)__________, 2011. Unused sick days may be carried over from year to year in the manner provided by Georgia law and Board policy. Carry-over of vacation days shall be in accordance with Georgia law and Board policy, except that during this Contract, on _____(insert one day before effective date)____ of 2012 and 2013, at the

SUPERINTENDENTS written request to the BOARD prior to December 1 of the stated years, ~5~ Initials _____/_______
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the BOARD shall buy back up to ten (10) days of the SUPERINTENDENTS unused vacation accrued through December 31 of the previous year, at the rate of annual base salary in effect as of said December 31. The BOARD encourages the SUPERINTENDENT to use her vacation days each year to refresh and reinvigorate herself. B. LIFE INSURANCE. In addition to any life insurance coverage included in the

standard package of benefits provided to other twelve-month certified administrative District employees, the BOARD shall pay to provide the SUPERINTENDENT with a term life insurance policy in the amount of her annual base salary. 6. EXPENSES A. ROUTINE EXPENSES. The BOARD shall pay the

SUPERINTENDENT an expense allotment of twenty-six hundred dollars ($2,600.00) per month to cover routine expenses incurred in connection with her position, and the SUPERINTENDENT shall not be required to submit reimbursement requests for such expenses. In addition, the BOARD shall reimburse the SUPERINTENDENT for all other reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the performance of her duties, as authorized by BOARD policies and as permitted by State or Federal law. B. OTHER EXPENSES. In lieu of furnishing DR. ATKINSON with an

automobile, gas for the automobile, maintenance on the automobile, reimbursement for mileage, and insurance for the automobile, the BOARD will provide DR. ATKINSON with a travel allowance in the amount of seven-hundred and fifty dollars ($750.00) per month. This travel allowance will also compensate DR. ATKINSON for the use of her personal vehicle while conducting District business, and as a result, DR. ATKINSON will not receive any additional amounts for costs or expenses she incurs related to the use of her personal vehicle in connection with her duties and responsibilities under this Contract. The BOARD shall also provide the ~6~ Initials _____/_______
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SUPERINTENDENT with a PDA, home fax machine, office and home internet access, laptop computer, and other electronic devices, of the BOARDS choosing, for effective modern communication. All maintenance and other monthly or recurring charges for the electronic equipment provided pursuant to this paragraph shall be at the expense of the BOARD, and all such equipment shall remain the property of the BOARD. C. TEMPORARY HOUSING, MOVING, AND RELOCATION

ALLOWANCE. Upon commencement of services, the SUPERINTENDENT shall be entitled to receive an allowance for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by her in connection with her relocation of her residence to DeKalb County, where the SUPERINTENDENT must live throughout her employment, including but not limited to, the cost of moving, packing and unpacking, and storage costs and transportation expenses for her travel to her former residence in Lorain, Ohio and return to DeKalb County. The SUPERINTENDENT will provide the

BOARD with two (2) credible bids from reputable, nationally certified movers, for a box-to-box removal of all her possessions to her new residence in DeKalb County. The BOARD will then provide the SUPERINTENDENT with a moving allowance equal to the average dollar value of these two credible bids. The BOARD will also provide the SUPERINTENDENT with

reasonable, temporary housing in the District at a cost not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) per month, for a period of up to six months (or less) upon being fully moved into a permanent residence. Such reimbursements shall be made in a timely manner upon presentation of invoices in a form acceptable to the District. The collective total of these reimbursements paid to the SUPERINTENDENT pursuant to this paragraph shall not exceed twenty-six thousand dollars ($26,000.00). The SUPERINTENDENT shall be responsible for all costs incurred by her in excess of this amount.

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The payments pursuant to this paragraph shall be a one-time-only benefit and shall not continue from year to year. Should the SUPERINTENDENT, for any reason (other than death, or retirement due to permanent disability, or because of separation by mutual agreement in accordance with Section 9A of this Contract) fail to complete the Initial Term, she shall be responsible, at the option of the BOARD, for the repayment to the District of the pro rata portion of the moving and relocation allowance provided for in this paragraph (Reimbursable Moving Expenses). For purposes of calculating the Reimbursable Moving Expenses, the pro rata amount shall be calculated by taking the total amount of the allowance multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the total number of months left in the Initial Term of this Contract and the denominator is 36. 7. A. PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY. INSURANCE AND LIABILITY. The BOARD shall provide the

SUPERINTENDENT with insurance coverage or a contract of indemnity in the same amount as is provided to members of the BOARD, insuring or indemnifying the SUPERINTENDENT against damages arising out of the performance of her duties or in any way connected therewith, whether based upon negligence, violation of contract rights, or violation of civil, constitutional, common-law, or other statutory rights, whether state or federal. Where no insurance policy or contract of indemnity exists, or in addition to such insurance policy or contract of indemnity, and as part of the terms of employment of the SUPERINTENDENT, the BOARD shall undertake to defend all civil actions brought or maintained against the SUPERINTENDENT, arising out of the performance of her duties or in any way connected therewith, whether based upon negligence, violation of contract rights, or violation of civil, constitutional, common-law, or other statutory rights, whether state or federal, to the extent such defense costs are not covered by the insurance policy or contract of indemnity, provided the BOARD determines that such actions ~8~ Initials _____/_______
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have arisen out of the SUPERINTENDENTS lawful performance of her duties. Allowable defense costs shall include, but not be limited to, attorneys fees, court costs, deposition costs, witness fees and compensation, insurance deductible, and all other like costs, expenses, and fees. With respect to criminal actions, whether they involve misdemeanor or felony charges, the BOARD may, but is not required to, reimburse the SUPERINTENDENT for some or all of her defense costs if the SUPERINTENDENT is acquitted or the charges are dropped. The BOARD will have sole authority to select, direct, and control the attorneys and any consultants, experts or other professionals retained in any insured or indemnified action as provided in this paragraph, and to prosecute, defend, or settle any such action in any way the BOARD deems necessary and appropriate, consistent with the BOARDS obligations herein. The obligations under this

paragraph shall not apply to: (a) any action brought by the BOARD against the SUPERINTENDENT, or any action by the SUPERINTENDENT against the BOARD, the District, or any individual member of the BOARD; (b) to any action based upon or attributable to the SUPERINTENDENTS gaining any personal profit or advantage to which she is not legally entitled; or (c) any action in which the SUPERINTENDENT is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. Nothing in this provision shall be construed as waiving any immunity now or hereafter enjoyed by the BOARD or the SUPERINTENDENT. If the BOARD later determines that the SUPERINTENDENT was not entitled to the indemnity provided in this paragraph, the SUPERINTENDENT shall reimburse the BOARD, the District, or their insurance provider, for all costs, expenses, and fees of any nature whatsoever incurred in connection with such indemnity to which the SUPERINTENDENT was not entitled to receive. B. LIMITATION. In no case shall the BOARD or individual members of

the BOARD be considered, or held liable, for indemnifying the SUPERINTENDENT beyond the terms of this Contract. ~9~ Initials _____/_______
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8.

EVALUATION. A. GOALS. On the first regularly scheduled 2012 business meeting of the

BOARD or some other mutually agreeable date each year during the term of this Contract, the PARTIES shall meet to establish goals and objectives, which shall be among the criteria by which the SUPERINTENDENT shall be evaluated for that school year. Said goals and

objectives shall be reduced to writing and provided to the SUPERINTENDENT. The BOARD, with input from and the concurrence of the SUPERINTENDENT shall establish goals, objectives and expectations of performance by the SUPERINTENDENT. The goals, objectives and expectations shall address all facets of the SUPERINTENDENTS responsibilities as provided for in BOARD Policy and this Contract. B. EVALUATION PROCESS. At least once each fiscal year, the BOARD

and the SUPERINTENDENT shall meet in closed executive session for the purpose of evaluating the SUPERINTENDENTS performance. The BOARDS evaluation and

assessment of the SUPERINTENDENT shall be in writing, pursuant to a mutually agreeable evaluation format, and shall be reasonably related to the SUPERINTENDENTS duties and the goals and objectives of the BOARD for the year in question. The evaluation format shall be consistent with the requirements of state law. In the event of disagreement as to the evaluation format, the BOARD shall specify the evaluation format, provided it is consistent with any requirements of state law. Any evaluation format chosen shall include a requirement that the BOARD meet in person with the SUPERINTENDENT to discuss the evaluation and shall afford the SUPERINTENDENT the right to submit a written reaction or response to the evaluation. This response shall become a permanent attachment to the SUPERINTENDENTS personnel file. The SUPERINTENDENT shall be responsible for notifying the BOARD in writing of the need to perform the aforementioned annual evaluation in sufficient time to permit ~ 10 ~ Initials _____/_______
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the BOARD to assemble itself in order to properly carry out that responsibility. The evaluation and assessment of the SUPERINTENDENT shall be related to the discharge of her duties as SUPERINTENDENT and to the attainment of the goals, objectives and expectation of performance for the SUPERINTENDENT for the year in question. The evaluation shall be conducted in executive session at a regular or special meeting of the BOARD. C. DEFICIENCIES. The BOARDS failure to provide written notice of

deficiencies or recommendations for improvement, or to implement a remedial or corrective plan, shall not be a defense to any action involving termination of the SUPERINTENDENTS contract. 9. TERMINATION OF CONTRACT.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Contract, the SUPERINTENDENTS employment under this Contract shall terminate upon the occurrence of any of the following: A. B. MUTUAL AGREEMENT OF THE PARTIES. DEATH OF THE SUPERINTENDENT, provided that, if the

SUPERINTENDENT dies during the term of this Contract, the BOARD shall pay to her estate her annual base salary through the end of the month in which her death occurs. C. D. RETIREMENT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT. DISABILITY OF THE SUPERINTENDENT. In the event the

SUPERINTENDENT is unable to perform the essential functions of her position because of a disability, the BOARD shall make such accommodations that are reasonable, and the SUPERINTENDENT will provide such cooperation and assistance in working with the BOARD for the evaluation and determination of the reasonableness of any proposed accommodations. The SUPERINTENDENTS and the BOARDS obligations in the foregoing sentence will be governed by the ADA. If the SUPERINTENDENT remains unable to perform ~ 11 ~ Initials _____/_______
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the essential functions of his position, either with or without reasonable accommodations, as defined under the ADA, for an aggregate period of one hundred twenty (120) days within any period of one hundred eighty (180) consecutive days during the term of this Contract, the BOARD may terminate this Contract by written notice to the SUPERINTENDENT. All obligations of the BOARD shall cease upon such termination. If a question exists concerning the capacity of the SUPERINTENDENT to perform or resume her duties, the BOARD may require the SUPERINTENDENT to submit to a medical examination, to be performed by a doctor licensed to practice medicine in Georgia and board-certified in the relevant field of medicine. The BOARD will select the doctor and the examination shall be done at the expense of the BOARD. The physician shall limit his or her report to the issue of whether the

SUPERINTENDENT has a continuing disability that prevents her from performing the essential functions of her position either with or without reasonable accommodations as defined under the ADA. The SUPERINTENDENT hereby knowingly and voluntarily acknowledges and agrees that she has no further substantive or procedural right regarding the termination of her employment under this provision of the Contract. Nothing in this provision limits the

SUPERINTENDENTS ability to consult with her own medical personnel at her expense. E. TERMINATION FOR THE BOARDS CONVENIENCE. The

BOARD, upon a three-fourths (3/4) vote of its members, may at its option unilaterally terminate this Contract for its convenience by giving the SUPERINTENDENT a minimum of ninety (90) days written notice of termination at any time. In the event of such termination, the BOARD shall pay to the SUPERINTENDENT severance pay, either all of the aggregate salary she would have earned under this Contract from the actual date of termination to the termination date set forth in this Contract, or a sum equivalent to twelve (12) months of the annual base salary as stated in Paragraph 4 of this Contract, whichever is less. In either event, any requirement for a ~ 12 ~ Initials _____/_______
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hearing or meeting regarding the reasons for termination are hereby waived by the SUPERINTENDENT. F. TERMINATION FOR CAUSE. Termination for cause shall constitute

conduct which is seriously prejudicial to the District, including but not limited to, neglect of duty, or breach of contract. Notice of termination for cause shall be given in writing and the SUPERINTENDENT shall be entitled to appear before the BOARD to discuss such causes. If the SUPERINTENDENT chooses to be accompanied by legal counsel at such meeting, if allowed in closed, executive session under applicable law, she shall bear any costs therein involved. Such meeting shall be conducted in closed, executive session unless specifically prohibited by State law. The SUPERINTENDENT shall be provided a written decision

describing the results of the meeting. 10. SUPERINTENDENTS REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES.

SUPERINTENDENT represents and warrants as follows: (a) that she is applying for licensure and is qualified to serve as Superintendent of Schools for the District, and that she will obtain or possess acceptable business or management experience as specified by the Professional Standards Commission or the minimum valid certificate or a letter of eligibility for said certificate required by the Professional Standards Commission, as well as all additional certificates, endorsements, qualifications, and additional training and other requirements that are required by law, the Professional Standards Commission, the State Board of Education, or the BOARD; (b) SUPERINTENDENT has never been convicted of any offense involving a felony, misdemeanor, or any other offense involving moral turpitude (other than a minor traffic offense, but including operating a motor vehicle or water craft under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance) under the federal or state laws of the United States, and any state, city, county, or other political subdivision thereof, or any foreign country, and including any first ~ 13 ~ Initials _____/_______
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offender or nolo contendere disposition; and (c) SUPERINTENDENT has never suffered revocation of any educational, professional, or other license or certificate related to her employment, profession, or other advanced degree or training, nor has she voluntarily surrendered the same under any circumstances. 11. AMENDMENT. This Contract may be amended during its term by the mutual

written consent of the BOARD and the SUPERINTENDENT. Any such amendment shall be in writing, shall be signed by both PARTIES, and shall be approved by official action of the BOARD. 12. SAVINGS CLAUSE. If it is found that a specific term or provision of this

Contract is invalid, unenforceable or illegal under federal or state law, the remainder of the Contract not affected by such a ruling shall remain in force, and the term or provision held to be invalid, unenforceable or illegal shall be deemed not to be a part of this Contract, or to the extent permitted by federal or state law, shall be modified to comply with such law. 13. ENTIRE AGREEMENT. This Contract constitutes the entire agreement

between the PARTIES with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersedes all prior agreements, understandings, offers and negotiations, oral or written. 14. ADVICE OF COUNSEL. The PARTIES represent and warrant to each other

that they have read this Contract, have consulted with their legal counsel regarding the Contract, understand its effects, and enter into this Contract freely and voluntarily. 15. INTERPRETATION OF AGREEMENT. In the interpretation of this Contract,

there shall be no presumptions made on account of draftsmanship inasmuch as this Contract has been negotiated, reviewed, and approved by all PARTIES and their counsel. 16. GOVERNING LAW. This Contract shall in all respects be governed, construed,

interpreted, and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Georgia, without regard to ~ 14 ~ Initials _____/_______
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its choice of law principles, and any claim arising out of or related to this Contract shall be brought in the state or federal courts for DeKalb County, Georgia. 17. COUNTERPARTS. This Contract may be executed in counterparts, each of

which shall be deemed to be an original, and all counterparts so executed shall constitute one agreement binding upon all of the PARTIES hereto, notwithstanding that all of the PARTIES are not signatories to the same counterpart. Signatures transmitted by facsimile or by electronic mail shall be deemed originals. 18. DISPUTE RESOLUTION. In the event that the BOARD and

SUPERINTENDENT are unable to resolve disputes that arise out of the performance of the SUPERINTENDENTS duties under this Contract, the PARTIES may submit such dispute to non-binding mediation. The PARTIES agree to use a mediator from the American Arbitration Association ("AAA") roster and split the costs of the mediation. In the event that the dispute is not resolved by mediation, then all claims arising out of or relating to the contract shall be subject to either binding arbitration or litigation. (1) If the PARTIES mutually elect arbitration, the following will apply: the

arbitration shall be held in Atlanta, Georgia and shall be in accordance with the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the AAA currently then in effect. The demand for arbitration shall be in writing and filed with the AAA and shall be served on the other party to the Contract. The agreement to arbitrate shall be specifically enforceable under applicable law in any court having jurisdiction thereof. (2) The award rendered by arbitrators shall be final, and judgment may be entered upon it in accordance with applicable law in any court of competent jurisdiction.

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(3)

If the PARTIES do not mutually agree to an arbitration, then the dispute shall be resolved by litigation pursuant to Paragraph 16 of this Agreement.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the BOARD and the SUPERINTENDENT have duly executed this Contract, as of the day and year first specified above.

SUPERINTENDENT _________________________________ Dr. Cheryl L.H. Atkinson DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION By: As: ______________________________ Thomas E. Bowen Chair

Attest: ______________________________ H. Paul Womack As: Vice Chair

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