Stan Jester announces candidacy for DeKalb County School Board – District 1

Stan-Jester-DeKalb-School-Board-District-1Dunwoody, Georgia –

Stan Jester intends to run for the District 1 seat on the DeKalb Board of Education. You can learn more about Stan’s campaign at his website StanJester.com.

Stan Jester is a parent, active school volunteer, education blogger and IT professional. He is dedicated to reforms in DeKalb that put the classroom first and protect the taxpayer from wasteful spending.

stan-jester-dekalbStan has demonstrated his commitment to education in DeKalb by creating his FactChecker blog; an important resource for information and developments concerning the DeKalb County School System. In addition to Stan’s blogging he also provides easy access to video clips and transcripts of various DeKalb Board and other public meetings. He has already used his time, enthusiasm and professional skills to benefit and give value to the citizens in Dekalb. As our Board member, Stan will hit the ground running because he is already knowledgeable on the issues.

Stan will bring an important technical perspective to the board. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin and brings over 20 years of experience in technology and data analysis. His professional experience includes developing business intelligence data systems that drive executive decisions as well as complex, multinational software development.

Stan’s most important job is being a parent. He and Nancy have three children attending public school in DeKalb. Stan knows firsthand the condition of our schools and the challenges of parents and teachers. He is invested in the success of DeKalb’s schools and will bring an important and effective voice to the DeKalb Board of Education.

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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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26 Responses to Stan Jester announces candidacy for DeKalb County School Board – District 1

  1. concerned citizen says:

    There could not be a better board member unless it’s Nancy. Stan is a proven leader for the school system; he is honest, consciencous, honorable, intelligent, and with full knowledge of the history of abusive board and administrative management for many years. Above all, he is a doer and never sits back and waits for someone else to do the necessary things for the teachers and children. It’s an honor to know him.

  2. concerned citizen says:

    Stan Jester is just the best person anyone could imagine as a school board member; he’s honest, intelligent, sensitive to teachers and students and parents, a huge supporter of the community, and a top-flight human being. I support him 100% and also his wonderful wife, Nancy.

  3. Word Wall says:

    Stan, many of us who take an interest in the resuscitation of DeKalb schools support you in this endeavor.

  4. howdy1942 says:

    Great news! He knows his stuff!

  5. howdy1942 says:

    Neither Thurmond nor the administration will be able to baffle or BS Stan Jester without embarrassing themselves.

  6. politiMom says:

    Bravo!

  7. Sarah says:

    Thank God.

  8. midvaledad says:

    I don’t know Mr. Jester, but the fact he captures and posts video of education leaders says he is about accountability. It is about time we get a BOE that holds people accountable.

    Mr. Coleman is a nice guy, but he hasn’t shown any backbone when it comes to accountability.

    Come on North End of DeKalb, elect Stan. Do it for the children.

    “They are 100% of our future.”

  9. howdy1942 says:

    I am just amazed at the “down” votes – they must be members of the current board, one of the five other members of the former board, Thurmond, or administration people.

  10. concernedmome30329 says:

    For the most part, it doesn’t matter who district 1 elects. While Coleman isn’t a particularly strong personality, he has voted, for the most part, exactly like Nancy Jester would have. (And he has been on the losing end of several issues that are important to his district.) Presuming that a nut isn’t elected, given the priorities of district 1, whoever holds that seat is likely to vote a certain way. (This is generally the way politics works.)

    Word is that many of the former board members are planning to run as are Orson, McMahan and Johnson. It is possible, that with the exception of district 1, the next school board could be almost identical to the one that was in place a year ago, before the governor removed them. (minus two seats)

    Note to candidates considering a run in McMahan’s district — check his attendance record, he has missed at least two of the 9 meetings since the “new” board was installed. Given that the Board meets once a month, the dates of the meeting were known before he ran, etc, I don’t think he should run again and certainly not be reelected. With once a month meetings, attendance is critical. And he is a big proponent of meeting only once a month.

    And for what it is worth, until you have a majority of the board that will demand change, nothing is going to, well, change. So asking hard questions is great, but think about how rarely those questions are answered.

  11. Stan Jester says:

    Good Morning DSW Community.
    Thank you for the very kind words. I’m happy the kind of people that would give me a thumbs down read this blog. They are the people who stand to learn the most from the DSW community at large. DeKalb Schools is fortunate to have such an involved and knowledgeable community.

    I thank ConcernedMome30329 for sharing their thoughts and giving me the opportunity to differentiate Mr Coleman from Nancy and myself. That comment will be forthcoming.

    –Stan

  12. concerned citizen says:

    I guarantee you the minute that Stan’s face is seen or his name or Nancy’s is mentioned, the F&F crowd wigs out! The truth hurts!

  13. Stan Jester says:

    Hello ConceredMom30329.

    You mentioned that you thought:
    1) “It doesn’t matter who district 1 elects,”
    2) Mr. Coleman voted, “for the most part, exactly like Nancy Jester would have.”
    3) “(G)iven the priorities of district 1, whoever holds that seat is likely to vote a certain way.”

    I believe it matters who all districts elect, including District 1. In fact, it was a previous District 1 board member that was the deciding, 5th, vote for hiring Josie Alexander and Associates to share in the legal counsel work for the district. That meeting was a low point for DeKalb. The implications for having 2 law firms, when one firm was large and experienced enough to handle all of the legal work, continue to plague DeKalb to this day. The DSW blog has focused light onto the workings of DCSS. This matters. Nancy was the first board member to actively communicate with parents and citizens via email blasts and her website. These disclosures matter. It matters who we elect in District 1.

    While I believe that Mr. Coleman has the best of intentions, he has not voted “exactly like Nancy Jester would have”. ConcernedMom30329, you mentioned Mr. McMahan’s attendance record. Mr. Coleman missed the stated (i.e. planned well in advance) meeting on October 7th. (An interesting side note is that the minutes for this meeting are not fully accurate. In what is surely a “cut and paste” error, Mr. Coleman is listed as present. You can then note that the vote totals for all the items reflect only 8 members present, indicating that one board member was not there. The video of the meeting also reflects Mr. Colemans’s absence.) The October 7th meeting is where Mr. Thurmond’s contract was extended. District 1’s voice was silenced on this matter due to Mr. Coleman’s absence. Given that Nancy voted against hiring Mr. Thurmond, do you think she would have voted to extend his contract and what would she have told us at that meeting? So, it matters who District 1 elects.

    Nancy took the time to keep us informed about the financial health of the district. Because of the problems she saw, she began to vote against accepting the financial reports into record. We are now getting less disclosing on those financial reports – the monthly budget amounts have been removed, preventing budget vs. actual comparisons. Nancy voted ‘No’ on financial reports, alerted the public and blogged about the pitfalls of using a cash basis saying, “the cash basis will always overstate account balances because it doesn’t include liabilities already incurred but not yet paid out.” So, if you want financial disclosure, it matters who District 1 elects.

    Nancy voted ‘no’ to hiring MLA before leaving the board. She also voted ‘No’ on hiring Wilson, Morton & Downs to fight the Governor’s removal of the board. DeKalb Schools currently employees more law firms for counsel and governance than when Nancy left the board. Nancy voted against budgets that hurt kids, taxpayers and teachers.

    So, while I understand your general sentiment, the details and facts show a different picture regarding the relevance of the member from District 1. It does matter and District 1 deserves a representative that provides more disclosure and less rubberstamping.

    –Stan

  14. momfromhe11 says:

    Thank you, Stan. As Concerned said, F&F will certainly wig out at seeing his name on the candidates’ list – we need as many intellegent questioning voices as we can get.

    Speaking of intelligent questioning voices, Thad Mayfield,was named to Dr Walker’s Dist 9 seat, and Dist 8 and 9 will no longer exist for the next election. I will hate to lose him – I hope he decides to run for the district where he resides – who would this put him up against? I would love to see someone go up against Marshall Orson for District 2 – hint, hint, Faye Andresen…

  15. Frustrated Dekalb Parent says:

    I would also love to see someone run against Jim McMahan in District 4. He has become quite the “yes” man, not challenging any of the same mistakes that continue to be made.

  16. Dekalbite2 says:

    As I recall, Jim McMahan voted yes to the Druid Hills Charter Cluster, a very important issue for students.

  17. We’re very happy that Stan is running. He is very successful in his everyday work and has a lot of reasons to use as excuses to not get involved. But instead, he is willing to serve – willing to do the hard work… we NEED more Stans on the board. We NEED professional people who will make business-like decisions while looking out for the best interest of our children. The next board will be the one to make the most important decision — hiring a professional superintendent for the future. We hope that many more Stans toss their name in the hat for the next election — ALL SEVEN BOARD SEATS WILL BE UP FOR A VOTE! The two super districts will be going away.

    Give it some careful thought – please be a good citizen and offer your skills and talents and discernment to the DeKalb County schools — 100,000 young people need you!

    Click here to view bios of the current board (a few are still not posted) as well as the attendance areas of the districts >> http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/board-of-education

  18. concernedmome30329 says:

    I am sorry your interpreted my comments as pro-Coleman and perhaps anti-you. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think Coleman has been far too quiet, far too uninvolved, and unresponsive. Given his real job, I wouldn’t expect to see him run for the school board.

    What my comments meant, and I still stand by them, is that simply having a strong board member from District 1 does not heal this system. In many ways, the other seats are far more important because for the last, well forever, most board districts haven’t had effective representation. Word on the street is that most of the removed Board is going to run again. And they very well may win. It is a shame that we will quickly spiral backwards, not that we have particularly gone anywhere.

    In the most recent City of Atlanta Board of Ed election, there were really high caliber candidates in each district. Well-educated, experienced, articulate, etc candidates. What struck me is that how unlikely it is that we will see the same kind of candidates across the country for our school board.

    City of Atlanta Board of Ed suspended its supertendent search because the most qualified candidates wouldn’t even interview until the board elections were over. Can you imaging what kind of superintendent candidates DCSS will be able to attract with a low quality Board?

  19. You are exactly right concernedmom. It also will be a problem if we gain full accreditation before the election, and we move into elections without the threat of losing accreditation if voters reelect those that got us into this mess. I hope Elgart is considering this.

  20. concerned citizen says:

    I’m almost sorry you brought this up because you are so right. Now I’ve got to add it far up the list to the things I worry about.

  21. thedeal2 says:

    I totally got what you were saying concernedmom, but I’m glad that Stan responded because I got so much good information from his response, too.

    You are correct in that it is the non-District 1 areas that are so worrisome. Is there anyone on these blogs from the areas that traditionally elect incumbents who would like to lead a charge to find someone new? You will get donations from other areas that crave a whole board of smart, mature people. What can’t happen is that someone from another district comes in and tells people in another district how stupid they are to keep electing the same people. That will not work, and it might even backfire.

    So get out there on Twitter, Facebook, here on this blog, on Maureen’s blog, and look for people to lead the charge in their own district. Does anyone know the deadline for declaring candidacy?

  22. howdy1942 says:

    I’d be shocked and pleasantly surprised if SACS restored full accreditation to the DCSS given the frustration demonstrated by those seeking to form three new cities, by those in Druid Hills fighting the board to form it’s own cluster, by the pending court action of teachers against the DCSS, by the articles in the AJC, and by so many of the commenters on this blog. I’d really begin to question the competence of SACS if it did!

  23. Right Howdy. Who would accredit a system that is in a lawsuit with its teachers and that now employs more law firms than they did when they were warned that they had too many law firms? We will see if Elgart is really paying attention – or just playing politics with the Governor.

    Also – the Parent Centers are funded with Title 1 dollars. Parenting programs are part of the required programs. However, they are not required to spend the money (easily) by hiring expensive employees and giving away free food, transportation and child care as an enticement. Kind of sad really, that parents must be bribed to attend a parenting event at their child’s school.

    ESL centers – same thing. Pretty sure these are federal tax dollars. Funny how the new one was placed in Tucker (which will certainly bring in a whole lot of people from Gwinnett) and not our very own Cross Keys, which has an enormous Spanish-speaking parent population. (Our theory is that they would rather have the public to an event in the beautiful new Tucker HS, rather than the so/so no auditorium and dangerous track Cross Keys.)

  24. howdy1942 says:

    I also would like to see someone run against McMahon and Orson. Yes, they voted to support the Druid Hills cluster, but I also remember their votes from last January to hire Thurmond and to make him permanent, to fund legal expenses for Walker to appeal, to support the former board, to fund the lawyers against our school teachers, and to pay for those cars for administrators. Their record is far from stellar!

  25. Dekalbite2 says:

    @DSW
    “Also – the Parent Centers are funded with Title 1 dollars. Parenting programs are part of the required programs. ”

    Only 1% of Titile 1 dollars are required to go for Parental Involvement. That’s around $400,000 since DeKalb gets around $40,000,000 a year in Title 1 funding. And Parent Centers are not required. There are a number of Parental Involvement approaches that DeKalb could use. A main concern with the millions a year we have spent on the Parent Centers in the last decade is a complete lack of accountability for improving student achievement. In fact, in most of the schools with Parent Centers the rate of student achievement declined.

    Wouldn’t those dollars make more sense if Title 1 Reading and Math teachers directly instructed small groups of struggling students and were required to show gains in achievement? That’s what good Title 1 Reading or Math teachers do. Take those small groups and move the students forward. Many of these struggling students are not learning disabled. They just need some extra help in a small group setting so they can get more individualized instruction by a highly qualified Math or Reading teacher. Many of these students should be expected to rejoin their peers when they master the skills. A small number of students may need remedial help for much of their schools years, but their incremental improvement will be better than if they are left to struggle in a regular education classroom where there are 30 or more students.

  26. thedeal2 says:

    Dekalbite2: Wouldn’t those dollars make more sense if Title 1 Reading and Math teachers directly instructed small groups of struggling students and were required to show gains in achievement?

    Make sense? ha ha ha ha ha Is there anything about DCSD that makes sense?

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