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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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