CONYERS — The top three candidates for the vacant position of director of Recreation and Maintenance have been named, and the Board of Commissioners is expected to fill the position at its April 23 meeting.
The position has been vacant since the retirement of former director David Smith in January.
Information on how many candidates applied for the job or what the salary range would be was not immediately available from Rockdale County on Monday.
Jackie Lunsford, who has worked for Rockdale County for more than 20 years and serves as deputy director of Recreation and Maintenance, is one of the finalists. Other finalists are Marilyn Boyd Drew, former executive director of DeKalb County Parks and Recreation, and Corliss Randall Davenport, program manager of the Office of Recreation for the city of Atlanta.
Drew works as a flight attendant for Pinnacle Airlines Corp. in Memphis, Tenn., and as a recreation and park consultant. She served as director of DeKalb Parks and Recreation from March 2002 until July 2009 when she was dismissed after her department failed to enroll 67 child swimmers in a state swim meet.
According to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Drew was also named in a 2004 discrimination lawsuit against DeKalb County that alleged racial discrimination against white managers. A jury found that Drew, former DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones and Jones’ former executive assistant were liable. Drew was found liable on a “hostile work environment” allegation and was ordered to pay $55,500 in damages, according to the AJC report.
While serving as director of DeKalb Parks and Recreation, Drew oversaw a budget of more than $20 million and developed new programs and added and upgraded facilities, according to her resume. Prior to serving as director of the department, Drew served as deputy director for both the DeKalb department and the Memphis Park Commission.
Drew holds a master’s degree in recreation and park administration from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., and a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis.
Davenport became program manager for recreation for the city of Atlanta in March 2011. Prior to that she served as special projects manager for Atlanta and was involved in planning for the redevelopment of Fort McPherson. She has also served as chief of staff for the Atlanta City Council, District 11, and as volunteer for the political campaigns of City Council member Beverly Jones, DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, State Rep. Billy Mitchell and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
Davenport was assistant principal and principal of P.L. Dunbar Elementary School in Atlanta from 2002 until 2007. In a July 2011 article, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Davenport was one of 13 Atlanta Public Schools principals named in the state’s report on school system cheating who had left the district before the report was released. She was not among the 35 indicted in the cheating scandal.
Davenport holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Spelman College, a master’s degree in elementary curriculum from Clark Atlanta University and education specialist degree in K-6 curriculum from Troy State University. She also earned leadership certification in administration and supervision from the University of West Georgia.
Lunsford began her employment with Rockdale County in 1992 as center manager for Rockdale Senior Services, a position she held until 2003 when she was named director of Rockdale Senior Services. She was named deputy director of Recreation and Maintenance in February 2009.
As deputy director, Lunsford lists planning, directing and monitoring the overall operation of Rockdale County recreation programs, parks, facilities and employees among her responsibilities.
Lunsford holds a bachelor’s degree in social science from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md. and completed a sales and marketing program at Gwinnett Tech and a music theory program at the Sienna Institute of Music in Sienna, Italy.