Curtis Douglass: The Man, the Myth, the Legend


Maddox Wade

Hard Working Warrior: North Atlanta Principal Curtis Douglas works diligently during limited alone time in his office, in between meetings and surprise student drop-ins.

Busy is the first word that comes to mind when describing North Atlanta Principal Curtis Douglass. Static from his ever-present walkie-talkie harmonizes with his funky iPhone ringtone, signaling several urgent matters across the eleven stories. Douglass sneaks bites of lunch between meetings and work, having sparse free periods during school hours. It seems like a complete absence of spare time is the only thing promised about being the principal of our bustling school.

Douglass began his career as principal after over a decade of teaching special education in Fulton and Decab Counties. In 2012, he made his Dub debut as assistant principal before moving up the ranks to the role of principal for the 2013-2014 school year. Douglass oversaw the opening of 4111’s doors as his first act, a task almost as tall as the building’s 11 stories. Facing the challenge of change, Douglass prioritized safety and security, ensuring students’ access to abundant resources. Nine years later, Douglass shifted gears to focus on holistic student development. His current goal is to prepare students for college and career through involvement in social-emotional learning, extracurricular activities, and athletics. “From day one, I’ve tried to teach students to push themselves to their full potential to ready them for life outside the walls of North,” said Douglass.

Defining a job description that fully encompasses the scope of Douglass’s duties is tricky. One of his many responsibilities is the instructional leader of North Atlanta, tasked with making sure Dubs have academic resources and highly-skilled teachers. Among other priorities is promoting a healthy, respectful culture. “North Atlanta has an excellent reputation, and I work hard to ensure that we continue to prove it right as staff and students alike,” Douglass said.

As the leader in decision-making, Douglass prioritizes the well-being of staff and students first before publicizing information. “My role often makes me feel like I’m watching a movie,” said Douglass. “I know something the characters don’t, and I want to reach through the screen and correct their thinking before the scene changes.”

The principal role comes with a long list of responsibilities and can be isolating. Having a work best friend could inspire the idea of favoritism, and principals at other schools may not fully understand his North Atlanta job description. However, the gratification he receives from being able to help students and teachers grow to their full potential outweighs the downfalls of the coveted position. The Dub community makes it all worth it for him, so be sure to wave hello next time you spot our favorite principal in the eleven stories.