Candidate Announcement: Jim McMahan, District 4

Jim McMahan (District 4 Candidate) is a native Atlantan and a 1983 graduate from Northside High School of the Atlanta Public School System. His father is a 1953 graduate of Northside High School. Jim attended Georgia State University and Wofford College in South Carolina. In 1985, before completing the requirements for a college degree, Jim was hired by Dean Witter Reynolds Investment Firm in 1985. He spent the next 17 years as a short options margin clerk and then as a fully licensed registered investment advisor. In 2002, after having 2 children he decided to leave the investment business and become a mortgage professional and a stay at home dad. He currently works for Amstar Mortgage Network, based in Marietta, Georgia.

Jim and Susan have been married for 14 years and they have two daughters, Maddie (12) and Nan (10) who attend their feeder DCSD schools. Jim credits his involvement in the public school system to his passion for ensuring the best education for his children and all of the students of DeKalb. The support of his family and community have been impactful in his growth and experience as an educational advocate.

During the 2011 – 2012 school year, Jim was the Area leader for the DeKalb County Council of PTA’s over the Lakeside High School cluster of schools which included Henderson Middle School and 7 feeder Elementary Schools. He is currently on the school council of Sagamore Elementary School and Henderson Middle School. He has effectively worked with both councils to hold the central office and plant services accountable in providing the students of DeKalb the best educational learning environment. Jim also volunteered his time on the Math Team committee at Sagamore Elementary School. His duties included organizing lunchtime, after school and weekend tutorials, and study sessions for the students. This year the team had their first “Top 3” finish for the school in the district-wide competition. In addition, he created the teacher appreciation barbeque luncheon for Sagamore Hills Elementary school which he has been doing with another parent volunteer for the past 5 years. The highly anticipated barbeque has served over 80 teachers and staff. This event has become so popular that it has now expanded to include another Elementary school in our district. It is Jim’s hope that this will be used as a model for all the schools within the county to show the community’s support and appreciation for the teachers and staff.

Jim’s Contract with Constituents

  1. I will advocate for the best delivery of instruction for all the children of DeKalb. I will listen to the school councils, PTAs and school administrators who voice concerns about their schools.
  2. I will ensure all DCSD finances are transparent to the taxpaying public including an online check system to view all expenses for DCSD. We must build “Trust” with our community and business partners based on transparency and accountability.
  3. I will communicate with DeKalb County residents via a series of mediums, such as my webpage, blogs and emails. I will also meet with the public to answer questions and concerns regarding DCSD and our students.
  4. I will lead by example. If our teachers are asked to take pay cuts, reductions to their retirement accounts and increased costs for their benefits then I want the Central Office to take even LARGER cuts. The teachers are what make our children and students great. I feel the salary structure is inverted. The best teachers should be the highest paid employees within our school system, not administrators. This will take time but I will advocate for due compensation in the classroom! I remember my teachers from school, not the principal or the administrators. The teachers are the ones that impacted our children’s life on a daily basis.
  5. I will advocate for ALL school board meetings, including committee meetings being available on the internet and on the DCSD website live. I have already spoken to our Director of IT and he states that this is an item that he can accomplish!
  6. I think discipline within the classroom is essential to delivering the best education. I will propose that the school system install video monitors in ALL classrooms so that the administrators and teachers have a viable way of holding students accountable for their actions. I have found that when people know they are being watched, they also know they are more likely to behave appropriately.
  7. I promise to represent the citizens and students of DeKalb County to the best of my ability through accessibility, transparency and accountability.

For more about Jim, visit his website at

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14 Responses to Candidate Announcement: Jim McMahan, District 4

  1. Great Minds think alike Jim- Our platforms are similar, and our overall message the same- I Love it! ( We better not let folks know we are long lost brother and sister! lol)You know I am behind you 100% of the way!

  2. Internet-Libertarian says:

    How do you feel about curriculum differentiation?

  3. Numbers Game says:

    Regarding proposal #6: Extend those cameras to the central office and all other areas of the district.

  4. justwatch says:

    Actually, start there. Jim, I don’t believe that you are so naive to believe that the cameras and what is filmed won’t be used to harm teachers. Dr. Lewis ruled by fear and I am hearing that Atkinson and her top person are just as bad, which is very disappointing. I believe that your intentions are good, but until we have a well functioning central office that supports strong principals and makes the difficult decisions about student discipline, video evidence will do nothing.

  5. Dekalbite2 says:

    An online check registry is an absolute prerequisite for restoring the public trust. That is an item that most of our current BOE members have not supported. Not one penny spent should be hidden from taxpayers. Why the resistance to this common sense policy on the part of so many of our current BOE members?

  6. Science Teacher says:

    I have to agree that a camera in the classroom would be used to control the teacher, not the student.

  7. teachermom says:

    How about we put a video camera in every office at the palace instead?

  8. Why the resistance… corruption of epic proportions! What else could it be.. stupidity could be the only other answer. However, an online check register would be very refreshing. But the Tyson transparency seems to be continuing under Dr. A. Heck, Tyson is still in the building getting her HUGE salary.. I’m begging Ms. Tyson to leave! She needs to go, she is the one still on the payroll, responsible for the disaster that DCSS has become! Dr. A you have become an extension of the Clew Crew, now I understand how Dr. Walker’s hiring process worked. As long as Tyson, Beasley, and others remain, there will be no trust gained with Dr. A.

    DCSS is beyond help. Francis Edwards, former BOE chair, destroyed what was once a good system.. The Edward’s and Guilroy families make almost a million a year in salary and benefits, off our taxes. Hey Francis, how much do you see of this money on paydays….

    DCSS is beyond help and these folks who are seeking to change the system by running for BOE will find out they will have no control, unless Dr. Walker is no longer chair, SACS is gone and the actual adults with brains start setting the agenda of the meetings and run the meetings with some acts of decorum.. Right now you have thugs at the top who have no clue about Robert’s Rules of Order and are threatening the very employees who are needed to stop this sinking ship.

    1 Billion dollars (1000 millions] per year for the last three years and these morons can’t balance the budget or even maintain a reserve. Mr Turk and Ms. Tyson should be investigated, fired and their pensions should be returned to the taxpayers. It’s the only way for things to change. Right now the Clew Crew has been spread throughout the system, so they can start undermining Dr. A’s future at the school house. Hope I am wrong!

    Remember these “leaders” actually think they are doing good! ha ha ha ha ha ha we all know the real answer to that one! This nightmare will continue until the trials are over, the Grand Jury has the rest of the Clew Crew headed to jail or at the least out of OUR palace!

  9. Educate says:

    I can’t believe Jim is keeping this silly video-taping as part of his platform! Everything else he has to say sounds good, but the video-taping makes him sound like a nut! Can we please hear from the other candidates from district 4 (besides Womack)?

  10. howdy1942 says:

    Impressive credentials and an impressive platform – much, much better than what we have now. We need to clean house in Dekalb County starting at the very top – with the school board and then proceed downward through the administration. We should work to stabilize the teacher ranks and improve the low morale there. I sincerely hope that we can get Walker, Copelin-Wood, Cunningham, Womack, and Bowen – especially these – off the board. All children, North, South, and Central Dekalb County will benefit from this.

    Good luck, Jim.

  11. atlantawombat says:

    I absolutely agree!

  12. Chris Peikert says:

    Jim: you have a great resume, a great platform, and you will have my vote — but please, drop the video cameras. They would cost a lot and do very little good (and probably even more bad).

  13. Dr. DeKalb says:

    What will cameras do that an onsite officer cannot? It isn’t so much about what is being broadcast as it is about who us watching and why. Are we going to pay someone to watch all these monitors all day? Will they be onsite or at the palace? If there is trouble, who will come running? How will we stop people from setting others up? Sounds like a bad, paranoid idea that tells kids we expect them to be bad. And who has access? Don’t like this idea, but others aren’t any better. I joe jom responds and explains.

  14. DeKalb county schools parent says:

    Drop the video camera proposal and you have my vote.

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