Time is running out…..

If you are thinking of running for one of the open school board seats, time to get that done is running out!  The deadline is noon TODAY, Friday, May 25, 2012!

Here’s the latest from the Dunwoody ‘Patch’ on the upcoming summer elections –

The DeKalb County voter’s office has updates on who has qualified for the ballots through Wednesday.

Elaine Boyer has qualified for the District 1 Board of Commissioner seat, according to the DeKalb voter’s office. She registered through the county’s Republican Party, per the guidelines for DeKalb’s partisan candidates.

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis will face challenges from within the Democratic Party. Gregory Adams and Jerome Edmondson have qualified.

Sheriff Thomas Brown Jr. has qualified to run as an incumbent.

In the non-partisan races, Paul Womack will face challengers for his seat on the DeKalb County Board of Education. Tom Gilbert, Jim Kinney and Jim McMahan have qualified for the District 4 race.

In District 2, Don McChesney will face Marshall Orson. In District 6, Denise Etienne McGill  and Terrilyn C. Rivers-Cannon are running against Melvin Johnson.

In the State Legislature, Rep. Tom Taylor, (R), and Sen. Fran Millar, (R), have qualified for the ballot.


Jim McMahon, a Sagmore parent and PTA rep for the district has also qualified for District 4. 

Denise Etienne McGill  and Terrilyn C. Rivers-Cannon qualified yesterday to run in District 6.

Don McChesney (District 2 incumbent) qualified yesterday to run.  

Pam Speaks (District 8 incumbent) qualified yesterday as well. 

About dekalbschoolwatch

Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
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145 Responses to Time is running out…..

  1. concernforthekids says:

    Look who else has joined the race for District 4!
    James (Jim) McMahan, from Sagamore Hills!
    He has been the PTA area 4 rep for the Lakeside HS cluster of schools and on the school councils for Sagamore Hills ES and Henderson MS.
    He has kids at both schools and is very informed!
    Go get’em Jim, we’re behind you!


  2. Incumbents Don McChesney and Pam Speaks both qualified yesterday as well.

    And yes, contrary to in the past, we plan to endorse candidates. This is far too important an election to remain neutral.

  3. We also just learned that Denise Etienne McGill, Terrilyn C. Rivers-Cannon and Latasha Walker have qualified for the District 6 seat. (This is Tom Bowen’s seat. Tom is not going to run. There were rumors that Tom was planning to run for a county seat, but his name does not appear on any of the documents at the DeKalb Elections website.)

    Michelle Jenkins-Clark will be running against Pamela Speaks for the District 8 seat.

    As we said previously, we WILL endorse candidates this time. We don’t know some of the candidates, so we invite the candidates who are not known to us to send us written letters of introduction. Send to dekalbschoolwatch@gmail.com. Especially we want to know your connections, if any, to DeKalb County School System; why you want to run for a school board seat; what changes you plan to make; and how you plan to obtain a consensus and majority approval to implement changes (i.e., who of the remaining board members not running for re-election will be your allies and why). If you have ever participated in this blog, please let us know that, along with your pseudonym.

  4. Tom Bowen not listed on any documents at the election office. That could be telling, with the CLEW trial coming up in September and who knows where the latest presentment will lead the DA. This summer and fall will be very interesting around the Palace. The popcorn is popping…

  5. Super districts still exist says:

    So did Speaks end up with an opponent?

  6. Name One says:

    Great conversation on Get Schooled about Fernbank Science Center. Remember, it is the Board of Education who enabled the Central Office to get stuck in this financial crisis. Atkinson still hasn’t shown she’s willing to make significant cuts to non-classroom spending.


  7. Let’s not forget that Lakeside is not the glowing recommendation it used to be. They threw many schools under the bus, so to speak, in order to gain money from cell towers. To date, they are the only school to publically state they are “pro-cell tower” yet they are the only ones without a signed contract. Go figure. And the PTA isn’t such a glowing recommendation, either, since they agreed to $25K in exchange for keeping quiet on the subject. Let’s remember, names in this race that are “known” are not necessarily what we want.

    We will bring more details to this blog about Tucker resident Tom Gilbert. A fresh approach and new zip code for this district might be exactly what we need. No offense intended… but concernforthekids may be concerned only for a particular few and not the rest. That doesn’t sit well with us!

  8. Did Pam Speaks qualify for a super district? Thought we were doing away with those? Can someone explain?

  9. Will get you something from Tom Gilbert, running against Womack and, yipppie, lives in Tucker…. where we care about ALL kids, not just the “chosen” few attending one school.

  10. Wish someone could run against her!

  11. What are the districts, anyway? Did they change at all? What a crock! Please let’s not forget the folks who told us that we would be gaining an “unprecedented opportunity” to overturn the entire board if we approved SPLOST IV (Marshall Owen)… we must not let these minions sneak their way in or we are just asking for more abuse. The poor children of DeKalb. Makes us sick to think about it…

  12. TO refresh our collective memories:

    “It requires that the SPLOST be in effect to reduce the board and make them all stand for election,” said parent Marshall Orson, a member of the lobbying group Friends of DeKalb Education.

    “So voting for SPLOST is also a vote for a clean slate on the board?” asked 11Alive’s Jennifer Leslie.

    “Absolutely,” Orson said. “It’s a historic opportunity for us to replace the entire board.”

    Watch the video of this news segment here: http://www.11alive.com/rss/article/211104/3/Voters-weigh-education-sales-tax-with-SPLOST-

    (and please note the wonderful voice of reason that came from one of our Get the Cell Out – ATL founders, who said: “We’ve got to do something to let the board know that we are not happy with the decisions they’ve made,” said parent Cheryl Miller, who plans to vote no. “We don’t want them to waste any more of our dollars. We don’t believe in empty promises, and we need a way to wake up the rest of the county and let them know we need their help.” )

  13. Just making sure we are clear… the SPLOST did NOT have to be in effect and the board was NOT reduced… and the “Friends” are a little too friendly with the current administration and board, not the advocates for change they are pretending to be.

  14. dekalbite2 says:

    “Please let’s not forget the folks who told us that we would be gaining an “unprecedented opportunity” to overturn the entire board if we approved SPLOST IV (Marshall Owen)”

    That’s Marshall Orson of the Fernbank community.

  15. Jim McMahan says:

    Get the cell out,
    I appreciate and share your excitement regarding new candidates for District 4 for DeKalb School Board. I also appreciate your advocacy for “transparency and accountability” for the ongoing cell tower issue.
    My campaign is also based on those same two words, “Transparency and Accountability” for our school system and delivering the best education to all of the students of DeKalb County.
    I look forward to hearing from you and everyone from the district and county regarding this campaign for the District 4 School Board seat.
    I will do my best to be transparent and answer questions or concerns from all and I want my community and the entire county to hold me accountable for my recommendations for our schools, actions as a school board member and a citizen of this county.
    Refreshing isn’t it?
    Please feel free to email with any questions or concerns that you may have and I will do my best to respond in a timely manner. I should have a campaign website and other information for public viewing and vetting by next weekend.
    I look forward to hearing from you or meeting you soon.
    Respectfully yours,

    Jim McMahan

  16. Weary worker says:

    Not to sound like an elitist but considering the problems with the budget or lack of one, shouldn’t the litmus test for anyone running for an office that controls nearly a billion dollars in funds be that they have had experience in dealing with multi million dollar budgets. Nice ladies and gents from the PTA are fine but can they tell the difference between $100,000 and $100,000,000? We need someone who knows the difference between a CFO and a bookie. Some BOE members do not seem to have this knowledge.

  17. educator90 says:

    How can we have a debate for those running for school board? This is what we need to get the public involved and to find out more about the new candidates. We do not need people voting on popularity, but rather on what their vision will be of DCSS and how it should be run. We need to try and get voters making informed decisions, something that has not happened to date.

  18. Mom of a girl says:
  19. Miss Management says:

    Gee, maybe people thought that the super districts were going away and we were going to reduce the board to 7 and replace them all! (That’s what was pushed in the AJC as they quoted Marshall Orson over and over again.)

  20. As stated earlier this afternoon in this blog, Michelle Jenkins-Clark qualified to run against Pamela Speaks. You can confirm this by going to DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections.

  21. @ Mom of a girl

    Please settle on and use only one pseudonym. Thank you!

  22. We need voters. Period. Biggest problem with July elections is the low turnout making it ripe for any motivated group to control the outcome. Lack of concern and low voter turnout is what created the SPLOST victory and the July “I don’t have to think about school” doldrums are what allowed the board to vote on cell towers with few people catching on until it was too late. How did this election get approved for a ballot with a Presidential Primary, anyway? It’s already one sided from the get-go. And, please don’t forget, no matter who you are or where you live – please VOTE NO on the telecommunications tower ballot issue – it’s about cell towers on school grounds and that should offend everyone equally. Vote yes and they’ll stick one in your yard next.

  23. Hello, my name is Denise E. McGill and I am currently a candidate for DeKalb County School Board District 6. believes that schools can do a much better job of educating our children than they do now. I believe that every student, regardless of race or family income, should be held to high standards; and that it’s critical to have an effective teacher in every classroom.

    “ Education and working with the youth is my passion. It is something I have done on a voluntary basis for over 15 years.My head, my heart, my commitment and my dedication to children and community are in the right place. My years of volunteerism support my dedication to the children and my community. I realize that I am just a parent- but I know the changes that I have made on a smaller scale have made a difference.

    Informed parents make a strong community. It is time to take a leap of faith, and become a part of the movement for positive change. It is my belief that incorporating the true concerns of the community, and by working together, collectively we truly can make a difference and impact for our future.”

    It is my belief that the key to making this is a success is by educating and frequent communication to parents and community leaders through Organizing Parents In Education (OPIE). The purpose of OPIE is to:

    ** Increase public and parental awareness

    ** Ignite personal involvement to inspire real social change

    ** Listening to as well as effectively communicating the voice of the community,

    Every Child deserves to receive a great education and can achieve it by collective efforts of

    ** Supporting Excellence in Schools

    ** Preparing Students

    ** Increasing Literacy

    **Securing Great teachers

    I am a strong supporter of the “Waiting for Superman” brand of school reform who’s motto is “To Ensure that EVERY CHILD receives a great education.” I believe that it is the DUTY of the DeKalb County School System to Ensure:

    ** High Standards for EVERY Student
    ** Strong Schools in EVERY Community
    ** Effective teachers In EVERY Classroom
    ** Incorporation of Arts in EVERY Curriculum

    For an abbreviated overview of my work in the community- please see my website

  24. dekalbite2 says:

    I like your emphasis on volunteerism.
    “Opened Fully Functional & Volunteer Manned Parent Resource Center (2011)
    Offered Two Free  Basic Microsoft Office Suite Evening Courses for Parents (8 week) 2011-12
    Offered Free Computer Maintenance Course for Parents(2011-12)
    Dad’s Initiative (2011-12)
                   **Volunteers to support the Robotics Team
                   **Volunteers for Beautification of School Grounds
    Partnered with Community In Schools Project Coordinator (2011-12)”

  25. Thank You, I am a true believer of giving back to ones community and a Strong supporter of Parental Involvement in our schools. You can not expect parental involvement without having parents interest at heart. Our goal was to provide parents with tools and opportunities to work side by side with the administration of our school. It is extremely important to me that our students begin service learning projects and understand the necessity of giving back to their community..There are many things that help make a well rounded individual. We are a crucial component in the development of our children’s lives. Children are like sponges- the opportunities that they are given really does make a difference on how they are molded. It is also important to realize, that there are more dynamics to balance and having well rounded children. The classroom and board room is not the end all be all- it starts right in your own backyard.
    Diversity, opportunity, and keeping in tune with your surroundings and needs are crucial components of this race.

  26. Steve Smith says:

    The final decision by the state legislature (read: Fran Millar and Mary Margaret Oliver) was that districts 2, 4, 6, and 8 will have elections in 2012 for two-year terms. In 2014, supposedly the board will then be reduced to seven members, all of which will be up for re-election at that time.

  27. Weary Worker says:

    This is all fine but what is your experience in working with budgets of over 100 million dollars.

  28. jackiehar says:

    This school board elections are very important to the future of oue school system and the quality of life in DeKalb. I don’t know any of the candidates so I anxiously await their web sites being posted. Weary Worker is corrrect, being onn the BOE in not the job for the nice ladies and gents of the PTA. We need experience in the business and financial world. We don’t have time for “on the jbi training”. I want to see some real credentials…not that guey stuff like “Children First”.

  29. The Deal says:

    Be prepared for a major PR campaign for Marshall. Their SPLOST PAC had thousands to spend on yard signs all over the county, and Fernbank Elementary is due to have their school replaced first on the list over other schools that are crumblihg. Marshall and his ilk are nothing but self-serving individuals who want to carve out an elitist corner of DeKalb as free private schools within the public school system at the expense of anyone and everyone else. Nothing Marshall has advocated has ever NOT benefitted Fernbank.

  30. Weary Worker,

    Thank you for the question.

    In response, my budgetary experience includes five years in the Product Release and Analysis department of Verizon Business’s Revenue Operations Finance Department.
    In addition to supporting International projects, analyzing new complex product offerings,and new releases- I had the fiscal responsibility of managing capital budgets in excess of $50 Million Dollars per project or system release.

    I spent Five years as a Project manager in revenue Operations Finance Contract Implementation. This job was created for me with the goal of capturing lost revenue, or ensuring customers were not penalized and fined for underutilization and breech of contract. During my tenor, I developed and implemented policy and operating procedures that limited contract underutilization penalties. These procedures were utilized during each billing cycle and resulted in a ninety three percent (93%) improvement in loss avoidance. This process saved Verizon Business an average of $500,000-$1,000,000.00 in credit write offs per billing cycle (on 7 billing cycles per month).

    Hopefully this gives you some insight on my familiarity with budget processes

  31. Jackiehar

    I too have that concern, which is one of the reasons why I decided to throw in my hat. I do know that the current climate and direction that the BOE is following is detrimental to the future of our children. To clarify for all, I am not just a mom on a mission with no experience. I worked for a Fortune 500 company for 26 years. My background is in Network design Engineering, Product management, and finally Project management . I worked for the Revenue Operations/Finance department of the company for 15 the last 15 years of my career. I was a survivor of every merger that was incorporated into what was once MCI- I remained through all mergers including the last that became Verizon Business. In 2009, I was a product of Reduction In Force as were many of my MCI brethren. During my tenor at MCI, I was always heavily involved with volunteerism, and working with students- My record speaks for itself in that respect.

    Given the opportunity to take really stop and look at what it was I wanted to do, I have been fortunate enough to be allowed to focus on youth advocacy and community projects. My husband has been very supportive despite the financial pressures it puts on our family to allow me to do so.

    I understand your concerns and fears of making sure that the right individuals are in place to make the correct decisions. I do not profess to have a magic wand, nor am I disillusioned enough to think that I can go in and wipe the slate clean. What I do know is that I go into this with no hidden agendas, I have no ties to any board member, I do not have a history of favors or personal interest with individuals currently in DCCS, and that I am approaching this as an opportunity for my particular community have fresh representation from our district. I think it is EXTREMELY important that the voice and
    concerns of the people are addressed. I applaud Ms. Jester who makes it her number one priority to keep her district informed. This is the type of representation that is needed in the DCCS. As long as all candidates enter the arena keeping this in mind in addition to meeting the needs of the children we are here to serve, then it will be a win-
    win for all.

    My website is up, and I urge you to visit it. See: http://www.thepeoplefordenisemcgill.org
    Thank You

  32. The Other Anon says:

    Apparently I am one of Marshall’s “ilk”. I am a former Medlock parent, current DHMS parent, and have found him to be an extraordinary advocate for our school during the redistricting of Avondale into DHMS. This is not advocating for Fernbank, but advocating for a Title 1 school that his children attend. You really have no idea what you are talking about if you think this is an “elitist corner” of Dekalb. But you are correct about one thing, there will be a major campaign for Marshall because he is really the only person who has any concern for the kids in DHMS.

  33. justwatch says:

    Denise (and almost all the other candidates)
    I want to thank you for sticking your neck out to run for office. It takes guts.

    Running for the DCSS board is a particularly daunting task, so I want to doubly thank you.

    Good luck in the campaign.

  34. The Deal says:

    Really? Did you miss Marshall’s guarantees in the media that a vote for SPLOST IV would guarantee the opportunity to elect an entirely new board? In reality this was a lie to get support for the SPLOST that would replace Fernbank, which received a multimillion dollar addition in 2006. Yeah, he sound really concerned.

  35. educator90 says:

    We don’t need people concerned with their corner of DeKalb as part of the school board, we need people who are concerned about the entire county and making the entire county better. School board members advocating for only their district and home schools is partly what has gotten us into the mess that we are in.

    We need to be electing people who want to better the entire school system, so that the entire county can get out of the mess that we are currently in.

    I live in the DHMS/DHHS region as well, and I find the lies that Orson has spread about the SPLOST to naive people, as well as his advocating for a totally brand new school for Fernbank to be just what DeKalb does not need on the school board.

    Until the population of DeKalb begins to care about ALL of the children North, South, Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, and demand a better education for everyone, than it will continue to fail to educate, which is the true mission of any school system.

  36. Ella Smith says:

    I am in support of Don McChesney for district 2 school board. He really has done a good job. I strongly disagreed with him over the cell tower decision but besides from this he has done an exellent job.

    Don cares about all the students in DeKalb County. He is willing to make the hard decisions and stand up for what he believes in.

  37. dekalbite2 says:

    Watch this Fox News piece on keeping Fernbank protected from any cuts. Marshall Orson is featured in the last clip. Not one word is said about 40 students to a classroom is what we face in DeKalbif we don’t deal with the deficit. And of course nothing about the fact this building has 28 admins dn support personnel for 28 teachers – or that it needs millions in repair and technology upgrades – where would that money come from?

  38. educator90 says:

    As tax payers we can only hope that Walter Woods’ statement about big decisions needing to be made with the “least impact on students and classrooms” is indeed what will happen. I hope that those making this decision, that larger class sizes will have impacts on students and classrooms.

  39. Concerned Biologist says:

    You seem to be saying that we have a choice between keeping Fernbank open or having 40 students per class. That is false logic.

Comments are closed.