Oh the connections, they are more tangled than ever


DSW has found out about some very new and interesting connections. In conversation about newly appointed board member, Dr. Joyce Morley, also known as “The Love Doctor”, we were informed that there is another “Love Doctor” acting in this scene of “As DeKalb Turns”… That would be John Coleman’s wife, Jackie (Feit) Coleman.


“Who cares?”, you ask. Well, we didn’t either, but let’s keep moving on this continuum. Upon further Googling, we found that Coleman’s wife Jackie is also Director of REACH, where she reports directly to Governor Nathan Deal, who developed this public/private partnership in February, 2012. [Interestingly, here’s a link that shows Jackie Coleman in a photograph accepting a contribution to the REACH program from King and Spalding in November, 2012.]


After promoting Jackie from Program Manager to Director of REACH, Deal appointed her husband John to the reconstituted DeKalb School Board (over several other highly qualified candidates). Actually, it wasn’t technically Deal who appointed Coleman in March 2013, it was the ‘committee’ that was cobbled together by Deal’s appointees, Brad Bryant and Robert L. Brown.

Fast forward three short months to June 26, 2013… when Brad Bryant updated his work history on Facebook.  On this day he changed his former position as the Executive Director of the Georgia Foundation for Public Education to his current position as Executive Director of REACH at the Georgia Student Finance Commission. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

[Wonder if these new friends & family connections bother SACS…]

And in older, related connections, still going strong…

On Hiring Michael Thurmond
The AJC reported that Marshall Orson recommended Thurmond because he saw Thurmond speak once and was “impressed”. Orson goes on to say that the “lack of an educational leadership background seemed an asset”. Does that sound plausible?

No? How about this version

Michael Thurmond, Gene Walker and Melvin Johnson go WAY back …

The relationship between Gene Walker and Michael Thurmond goes back 20 years to when they worked in the gold dome together [often on gerrymandering efforts]. We all know Walker and Marcus Turk are close, right? Well, guess what? Michael Thurmond lives next door to Turk’s mom! [See Property Tax Record 1 and Property Tax Record 2.]

Melvin Johnson, our new board chair, has worked for/with DCSD for 20+ years. Here’s an article with a picture from 20+ years ago of Melvin Johnson and Dr. Walker singing together. Johnson donated $200 to Gene Walker’s 2008 campaign for school board. A few months before Thurmond was hired as Interim Superintendent, Johnson and Thurmond were speakers at a race relations symposium together. Melvin Johnson is a high-ranking official at New Birth Church and negotiated a $10,000 a month rental agreement with the school system under Dr. Lewis, for Leadership Prep Academy, the charter school housed in the church educating around 300 students in the same facility as their own private, Christian academy. In addition, Destiny Academy, a charter school housed in a former public school building, now owned by New Birth, has earned extra financial support from the DCSD board.

It all reminds me of one of my favorite old song lyrics: Dizzy, I’m so dizzy my head is spinning. Like a whirlpool it never ends…


For more on the web, read our post, It’s a small DeKalb after all!

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63 Responses to Oh the connections, they are more tangled than ever

  1. Mary Hoyt says:

    wow. impressive research. i think the most disturbing detail to me is the lease agreement – click on the link – whoa! $10k/month PLUS maintenance/repairs, all utilities, security, and insurance – doesn’t sound like a good deal for taxpayers!

  2. Concernedmom30329 says:

    The New Birth charter is very problematic.

    However, I personally know two people that Walker approached to be interim superintendent. They both declined because they wanted a longer contract. (They would be leaving good jobs. Plus, one in particular, didn’t want to work with Walker et all.)

    Remember that Orson is a very active Democrat. He served as Martin’s campaign chair in the last State Superintendent election. While it may not have been the speech that convinced him to recommend Thurmond, this has Orson’s fingerprints all over it. Not minimizing the relationships between others, but Orson is all over this one.

  3. Vote Kid Smart Georgia says:

    I must also commend you on your research. (Watch out, AJC!) Thanks for keeping us in the know.

  4. Thanks! In fairness, we did find out that both Sonny Jester and Dan Weber dropped out of consideration for the District 1 seat… due to conflict of interest (Dan) and time (Sonny).

  5. Refugee from DCSS says:

    The page showcasing Coleman’s wife on that Love Doctor website suddenly disappeared. i wonder why? Other links and content are current. I know the government moves slowly but why would the private enterprise site remove a team member’s page so suddenly when the real potential conflict is on the .gov site?

  6. concerned citizen says:

    Would someone please tell me what a “love doctor” is? Now, who took Coleman’s website off? Oh, duuuhhh

  7. concerned citizen says:

    Whale of a researching job! Beautiful. Oh, what a web we weave when first we labor to deceive..”
    A lot of surprises for some of these folks – BUSTED, again! Now, all we need to do is find evidence of fraud and wrong-doing, possibly going to the FBI…

  8. Nah — we really don’t think there is evidence available of fraud and wrong-doing (if there is, the only way to uncover it is through a whistleblower)… This is just an example of the new boss being the same as the old boss. There is still friends & family – still a culture of padding the wallets and resumes of the well-connected – it’s just a different group of players. We’re very curious though – since friends & family was a big concern of SACS, will they be concerned about this new group of insiders? We’re guessing not. This group is ‘acceptable’, in fact, hand-picked! Same thing but different… that is the point here. Don’t be fooled.

  9. Dr. Joyce Morley (one of the new board appointees) openly, publicly calls herself the “Love Doctor”. She has hosted a radio show and given public speeches. Her life story can be read here:

    Dr. Joyce Morley, The Love Doctor

  10. Refugee from DCSS says:

    Between Morley’s “Love Doctor” and Coleman’s “Institute for Sexual Wholeness” pedigree, there’s an incredible April Fool’s blog post in the making.

  11. McAllister says:

    It is clear to me why Mr. and Mrs. Coleman would want her previous job hidden from the public view. It is downright embarrassing. She was a sex therapist. Her site is down but if you click on the picture on the DSW2 blog you can read her bio with highlights like her study at the Institute for Sexual Wholeness. Just great. Paging Anthony Weiner. What are these people thinking? Now Brad Bryant works with the former sex therapist and wife of the new board member from district 1. What is going on in DeKalb? This IS a soap opera – it has something for everyone – north, south, black, white, affairs, sex therapists, political favors, incompetence and more. Folks we’ve been played.

  12. We don’t think it’s that kind of sex therapy – there are a lot of people with ‘issues’ relating to sex – often from childhood. It’s a specialized type of counseling. Our interest was in Googling the woman, after someone sent us the sex therapy link. It was then that we found what we consider a shocking relationship – a direct connection to the Gov, which parlayed into a nice appointment for the hubby – and a new, impressive job title for Brad Bryant, one of the key players in DeKalb and the state … Now there’s a ‘love’ triangle!

  13. concerned citizen says:

    sex is sex

  14. Thank you Dekalbite2!!

  15. concerned citizen says:

    It was a sorry performance for those two. I believe the song was a rendition of “What a Wonderful World” by the legendary Louis Armstrong. It hurts that they would be so bold as to advertise their elation over stealing and sneaking! Nothing wonderful about those two clowns.

  16. Reading that article, I gotta say, I miss Hosea Williams. He was such a genuine guy and a fun character with a lot of love for his fellow human beings.

  17. howdy1942 says:

    This all makes me hope more than ever that we are successful in forming the City of Tucker. I am still hopeful that the proposed cities of Lakeside, Tucker, and Briarcliff can work our their differences so that we can unite our efforts to enhance the probability of success. This larger consortium would allow such a city to take over more of the services now provided by Dekalb County more quickly and thus allow us to get away from this mess that is now Dekalb.

    If the Supreme Court rules for Walker, I believe that Dekalb will descend into chaos and I think that such a ruling would also get the attention of some that reside in North Dekalb who now are on the fence about cityhood. Moreover, if such a ruling by the Supreme Court is made, the Governor as well as both Houses of the Legislative branch would become highly motivated to consider alternative proposals to the status quo in Dekalb County, including changes in the Georgia Constitution and/or alternative structures for education. One thing is for certain – I think that the Dekalb County School System will change and likely be broken up into smaller, independent, and separately-governed school districts. I think that the Governor, the State School Board, and perhaps the Legislature are all growing weary and frustrated at having to intervene to clean up one mess after another in Dekalb County. Cluster schools may be a step forward, but the Dekalb County School Board would still be involved and I am supporting efforts to put this Board in our rear view mirror once and for all – I want no part of this Board and, more importantly, I don’t want this board to have any part of me!

  18. howdy, if you have any pull with the Tucker city folks, please ask that they (or someone) look more closely at the proposed map. It goes beyond the normal “Tucker” boundaries and takes on a huge number of risky areas. It looks to me like we could be walking into a potential for bankruptcy. I cannot support a city that doesn’t resemble the Tucker as we’ve always known it to be. Start small and annex later. Don’t bring areas into the fold that are already a part of other areas. Who is advising the city group and does anyone actually know their credentials and who put them in charge?

  19. Atlanta Media Guy says:

    See this is why Tyson is still in charge. She never left and she made sure Atkinson would fail for the sake of the status quo. Great work DSW, the work that a Fox 5 I-Team or Winne at 2 would never do!

  20. Concernedmom30329 says:

    I agree with you that Tyson is protected, but I don’t think anyone had to make sure Atkinson failed. Reading reviews of her performance at her last assignment, it was clear that she was never competent for this job. Her behavior patterns here were consistent there!

  21. Concernedmom30329 says:

    Should say were consistent with her behavior there.

  22. As far as the type of counseling goes — we found that it is ‘Christian’ based. Below is some of the bio for Jackie Coleman found online:

    Board Memberships and Affiliations

    American Board of Christian Sex Therapists
    Christian Association of Psychological Studies


    Master’s of Arts , Licensed Professional Counseling
    Institute for Sexual Wholeness
    Master’s of Arts , Licensed Professional Counseling
    Psychological Studies Institute

    Jackie Feit is passionate about …
    http://www.intimatemarriage.com, 5 Sept 2007
    Jackie Feit is passionate about helping couples and individuals work through life situations, especially relational and sexual issues. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Arts in Licensed Professional Counseling with a concentration in Christian sex therapy at Psychological Studies Institute and the Institute for Sexual Wholeness. Jackie is a member of the Christian Association of Psychological Studies(CAPS) and the American Board of Christian Sex Therapists (ABCST); and she currently writes and researches marriage topics for best-selling author, Shaunti Feldhahn. Jackie loves investing in the lives of individuals and couples who are struggling in their relationships.

    From what we gather, she is no longer a Christian sex therapist. We have NO idea how this training qualified her for the job of Director of REACH – an educational scholarship fund created by the Governor.

  23. Sexual Wholeness, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit ministry that serves as the parent ministry for ISW and ABCST. The Institute for Sexual Wholeness (ISW) is a ministry of Sexual Wholeness, Inc. ISW was established to provide training in Sex Therapy from a Christian perspective. Sexual Wholeness, Inc. entered into a contract with Richmont Graduate University (formerly Psychological Studies Institute) to provide the structure for this program.

    RGU is a graduate school accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Masters degrees in professional counseling, marriage and family therapy and Christian psychological studies. Students who take classes at ISW are registered as non-degree students at RGU. All academic credit for ISW courses is issued by RGU.

    The American Board of Christian Sex Therapists (ABCST) is a second distinct ministry of Sexual Wholeness, Inc. It was established to provide certification in sex therapy. While ISW and ABCST work hand-in-hand, one does not need to take ISW courses to be certified by ABCST. Nor does completing the ISW program ensure certification by ABCST.

    Thus, while each organization works closely together, they are separate entities and are responsible for different functions.

  24. Courses are listed here:

    One example caught our eye:

    3. Homosexuality and Sexual Identity (CED 7592)

    Taught by Dr. Mark Yarhouse and team, students in CED 7592 examine the myriad of issues involved in providing therapy to clients who experience same-sex attraction. Based on Biblical principles, sound clinical theory, and empirical research, this course provides critical training to anyone seeking to provide care to this population. This course is taught fall of even years.

    [Dr. Yarhouse has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and is author or co-author of several books, including Sexual Identity Synthesis: Attributions, Meaning-Making and the Search for Congruence, Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation, and Homosexuality and the Christian: A Guide for Parents, Pastors, and Friends.]

    “Yarhouse is known for his “convicted civility,” a phrase made popular by Richard Mouw that reflects the idea that Christians hold onto their convictions while relating to others with civility.”

  25. More from the DSW research team:

    So, Mrs. Coleman is “passionate about helping couples and individuals work through life situations, especially relational and sexual issues.” according to the bio posted.

    On this website, Mrs. Coleman’s bio further states that she is working on a master’s degree with a “…concentration in Christian sex therapy at Psychological Studies Institute and the Institute for Sexual Wholeness. Jackie is a member of the Christian Association of Psychological Studies(CAPS) and the American Board of Christian Sex Therapists (ABCST); and she currently writes and researches marriage topics for best-selling author, Shaunti Feldhahn.”

    If Mrs. Coleman was/is so “passionate” about her work in Christian Sex Therapy, why would she leave that field in February 2012 to take a job giving need-based scholarships through the Georgia Student Finance Commission? (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/deal-creates-needs-based-scholarships-for-georgia/nQQ5J/ )

    Back to Mrs. Coleman’s initial “passion”, the groups that she studied with and the leaders of these “institutions” are associated with “conversion” or “reparative” therapy. The philosophy behind these Christian perspectives about homosexuality have led to “therapy” with the goal of changing the sexual orientation of a person from same-sex attraction to heterosexual attraction. As “reparative” therapy has received criticism this therapy has pivoted to using a sobriety approach where patients learn to suppress or “suffer with” their same-sex attractions. On page 35 of “Homosexuality and the Christian”, Dr. Yarhouse (a professor at Mrs. Coleman’s alma mater http://www.sexualwholeness.com/become-a-student/faculty/113-iswmarkyarhouse.html ) states that, “In other words, our conclusion is that homosexual behavior is not appropriate for the Christ-follower.”

  26. Normally, we would all agree that Mrs. Coleman is not fair game for this blog to write about by name, and that her work and background are not relevant to her husband being appointed to the board. But, what we have found is not normal. She was placed in a position by the Governor that was outside of her expertise — roughly one year later her husband was appointed to the DeKalb BOE and within a few months of that, Brad Bryant is given a job as the Executive Director in her agency!!! SACS? Are you following?

    But of interest — Mrs. Coleman’s parents live just around the corner from Sen. Fran Millar. We could be wrong, but we’re going on the assumption that people who live that near each other, probably know each other.

    Here are the property tax records:

    Sen. Millar’s house: http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/PropertyAppraisal/realDisplay.asp?ParcelStatus=Y&pin=2323469

    The Feit’s house: http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/PropertyAppraisal/realDisplay.asp?ParcelStatus=Y&pin=3655729

    So as Fran and Mike Jacob’s hosted meetings introducing the new board, they proudly stated several times that the beauty of these new board members is that they are unknowns – with no connections to the school system. Ironically, Fran failed to mention that at least one of them had a direct connection to the Governor – and quite possibly even to himself. Hmmmmmm.

  27. Concerned DeKalb Mom says:

    Oh good grief. That’s about all I can muster at this point. REALLY??? Ugh.

  28. McAllister says:

    This sure is something. So, Friends and Family are OK as long as they are Friends of Fran! The whole process was a fraud. It was predetermined and they put on a show for all of us. Can we have Mrs. Jester back now?

  29. Atlanta Media Guy says:

    I am with you Concerned! It is all too much to muster…. Our leaders love it this way, so they can wave their right hand celebrating success, while their left hand is doing all the dirty work… Every time I think it might get better, it only gets worse. The supreme court of Georgia holds all the cards, whether DCSS dissolves into utter chaos or the status quo remains. I do not like either of those choices.

    One thing for sure, 4 years ago when I called for the complete turnover at the Palace, I was mocked. Yet looking back now that might have been our only way out of this mess. The same leaders that drove OUR schools into the ditch, are still leading today with a few add-ons to make it seem like things have changed. The Clew Crew is entrenched and anyone who questions of them are despised. DCSS still mired in the muck of mediocrity since 2002.

  30. concernedmom30329 says:


    Bryant doesn’t show up here. My presumption is that he replaced her. She just had a new baby, maybe she will be staying home?

    Bryant, for those of you who didn’t know him when he was on the school board, is a long time republican operative in GA. Long before the republicans were the majority party, Bryant was active, working to defeat Cynthia McKinney over and over again. He has earned his political appointments the old fashioned way with blind loyalty to whomever was in charge.

    He is such a political animal that he was an officer in the national organizations of both local school board and state school boards. He is a number one networking guy.

    I actually believe Bryant is responsible for many of our problems today. He was (is?) a real estate developer who build many projects in S. DeKalb, including the one Crawford Lewis and many other DeKalb officials live in. He is beyond connected….

  31. Concernedmom30329 says:

    I can’t imagine how they are paying for all that staff. The program only serves students from three small school districts….

  32. Truth Seeker says:

    Interesting about Senator Millar. He and Mike Jacobs always say one thing but often do another. Both of these men were instrumental in SB 84. This is the very bill Walker is challenging the state on now. Millar and Jacobs were always very arrogant when being questioned about the bill. They never never really knew the legality of it. Of course, it is their job to know such things. They were also part of the state charter school bill that the Georgia Supreme Court found unconstitutional. Also, has anyone ever questioned Millar about his business dealings with DeKalb Government? He had a small appliance financing business with the county where he gave “some” of his commission back to the county.

    Add this to the ‘aw shucks’ Brad Bryant and you find a very tangled web. He always feigns innocence or lack of knowledge about things. He always inserts the knife in your back with a smile on his face. That way it does not hurt until later. Bryant has been living off the public since time began.

    It’s time that the Republicans do more to rid our state legislature of these types. I’m a Republican like them. But I’m not a person like them.

  33. concerned citizen says:

    TruthSeeker, Concerned Mom, and Atlanta Media Guy, thanks for the brilliant commentary and insight. The entire situation at every level in DeKalb is corrupt to the core. There are no words to describe the evilness and soul sickness of Bryant, Deal, Thurmond, Lewis, Tyson, MJ, Orsons, Ramsey, Brown, Adkinson,,,,, sick, sick, sick – let me add, Simpson. I truly doubt that school can even start this year, let alone finish. There are so many great people and great minds who care, but I can’t see a way to end the endless loop of wrong-doing and evilness. I do believe that all of the ones I named are evil, and they cannot untangle themselves, even if they wanted to. Why should they? They’re being paid, and they are being encouraged to take it to the limit. Who’s to stop them? I pray for some solution, if there’s even a little we can do for the children and teachers.

  34. concerned citizen says:

    sorry, I left out the Colemans, and I definitely believe they’re in so deep they can’t even see it. Vile.

  35. Word Wall says:

    Reach? — or Over-Reach?

  36. Nancy is so much nicer than we. If DSW had written the post it would have read like this:

    You know what will help remedy the serious problems in DCSS? Some shiny new sedans for already-overpaid administrators! Do they get taxpayer paid, 24/7 use of these brand-new cars including gas, oil, tires and maintenance?

    Remember back on March 20th our “new and improved” BOE voted to approve the purchase of approximately $1.7 million in new vehicles, including “15 service sedans”. They did this with no research, no discussion, ignoring the fact that cars have never before been provided for these administrators nor are they provided for traveling teachers. Just in time for school to begin, they are here.

    Our intrepid, investigative reporter took this photo before being asked to leave the public, taxpayer maintained property. We count 14 so one must be parked elsewhere. Hmmm. We hope that DCSS will put forth equal effort and attention to making sure that our children and teachers are properly provisioned for the beginning of school. But, don’t hold your breath …

  37. Another comment says:

    What is Galling is that Nancy was replaced with this 30 year old Coleman who knew nothing about how schools were funded in GA. You knew something reeked when he got the appointment.

  38. BTW, has this new board had any kind of training? That was a big issue with SACS. Maybe SACS doesn’t think this board needs it?

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