The July 22, 2014 school board runoff election: District 5

Vote-ButtonThese are the candidates in the runoffs for school board seats up for election in a runoff election to be held JULY 22, 2014 >>

To recap: Below are the results of the May 20 non-partisan school board election, at which all seven school board seats were up for election (with the two super district seats being eliminated). Four seats were secured and three will continue on in the runoffs.

District 1: Stan Jester won unopposed
District 2: Marshall Orson won over Don McChesney (for a 2nd time)
District 3: In a five-person race for this seat, the result is now a runoff between incumbent Michael Irwin (a Gov Deal appointee) and Atticus LeBlanc (a parent and community member). Willie R. Mosley, Jr., Jarrod Jordan and Jerrie D. Bason were the other candidates.
District 4: After a four-person race for this seat, the result is now a runoff between two incumbents: Jim McMahan, who was originally elected by the district 4 voters, and Karen Carter, a Gov Deal appointee to the super district seat formerly held by Pam Speaks, and eliminated by the GA legislature this year. The other candidates were John Oselette and Ella Smith.
District 5: After a 5 person race for this seat, formerly held by Gov appointee David Campbell who chose not to run again, the result is now a runoff between incumbent Thad Mayfield (a Gov Deal appointee) and longtime educator Vickie B. Turner who serves as headmaster of a small private school.
District 6: Current board chair, incumbent Melvin Johnson won handily over Bridgeman Bolger.
District 7: Joyce Morley won easily with over 60% of the vote against two other candidates, Kim Ault and Lee V. Dukes.

To see the election results in detail, check here at

Next up is the following insight into the candidates for the District 5 seat >>

Meet your candidates – DeKalb County BOE District 5


Vicki Turner, left, will face incumbent DeKalb School Board member Thad Mayfield, right, in the July 22 runoff for DeKalb County Board of Education.

Vickie B. Turner

Ms. Turner has the following posted at her website, Elect Vickie Turner.

During my 20+ years in education in DeKalb County, I have been a teacher, an administrator and a business owner, embodying the experience and vision which provided a rigorous academic environment and creative strategies that engage the total child. I have worked closely with teachers, allowing them autonomy as to what works best in their classrooms for their students. I have been a shoulder for parents to lean on when they have faced challenges with their children as it relates to education, discipline and parenting skills. I have worked with community, political leaders and civic organizations fostering a relationship that connects our students to a global community. As a mother, I know what parents want for their children, a safe classroom environment and a level academic playing field, that will ensure a successful competitive edge in life. I am a Friend to Teachers, an Advocate for Students and a Voice for the Parents. I am looking forward to serving District 5 with integrity, passion and commitment.

She lists her top issues as:
–Unify Education in Dekalb
–Increase visibility of business leaders in the school.
–Improve and expand technology.
–Decrease class size.
–Enforce code of conduct.
–Increase teacher training and professional development.

To read her full bio in detail, click here >> Vickie B. Turner Biography

We learn the following from WABE >>

I possess over 37 years as a parent, 24 years as an educator and administrator. I have a vantage point that represents the voice of parents and what they want for their children, I have worked in the classroom, observing the needs of our children and I have been an administrator charged with the responsibility to oversee the functions of the school on a daily basis. There is a charge to get involved in bringing solutions to the plights of the students in DeKalb County in particular.

To read Ms. Turner’s answers in full to the WABE interview questions, click here.


Thaddeus (Thad) Mayfield

This is the original bio posted at the AJC when Mayfield was first appointed to the District 9 seat by Gov. Deal >>

Mayfield is a senior partner with FOCOM, Inc., a Georgia-based business development firm. He holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Mercer University and received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Tougaloo College. He co-chaired the successful Friends of DeKalb Education SPLOST IV Campaign and is an active member of several business and civic organizations in the metropolitan area. Mayfield is a resident of Lithonia.

Click here to read Mayfields’ answers to a questionnaire posted by “It’s for Them“, a community-based voter education project implemented by Leadership DeKalb.

Thad Mayfield was the District 9 member of the DeKalb County Board of Education in Georgia. His District 9 seat was eliminated in the May 2014 election when the board shrunk from nine to seven seats. He was first appointed to the board by Governor Nathan Deal on March 13, 2013. Prior to Mayfield’s appointment, Governor Deal removed six members of the DeKalb Board of Education from office after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed the school district under “accredited probation” status. This was due to an audit that revealed issues with board governance, unethical practices and fiscal mismanagement.

And from his WABE interview questions we learn >>

Voters should choose me because I care and I am committed. I am a collaborator and can support and get the support of my peers. Ultimately, I get positive results. Equally as important, I am visionary about the outlook for our children and our school system. Finally, among my challengers, I also uniquely understand the leadership and governance challenges of our county and believe I can contribute to a way forward.

[M]y top priority following the academic and financial performance, culture of the District. The answer is essential to our success, not simply in mitigating the concerns of SACS, but in setting a cultural tone and accountability for high expectations and high performance.

I am actively working with board members off-line and in Board Retreats to address [SACS issues]. My contribution to the effort is to encourage the Board as a body to establish a base set of standards that reflect our combined priorities from which to begin all deliberations and decisions/votes. I expect and certainly hope that this approach will begin to solidify our common ground and help to work through and resolve our differences.

Click here to read Thad Mayfield’s WABE interview in full.


DSW Note: Many thanks to WABE 90.1 Atlanta’s National Public Radio station for taking the time to post interviews with the candidates. You may also like to reread our post about the candidates originally written for the May election, DeKalb County School Board Candidates up for election on May 20, 2014: A Review.

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1 Response to The July 22, 2014 school board runoff election: District 5

  1. acheolus says:

    This election is about quality and quantity. Quantity of students in all classes (not just “core” subjects!) needs to be brought down to 2000 levels. Quality of environment for teachers (sense of pride and respect, due compensation, equitable contribution to retirement) will ensure that we have the best possible teachers for each class. A great teacher is infinitely more important than additional technology, additional administration, or just about any other attribute of a school system.

    In addition, the best part of DeKalb is the diversity. You cannot expect schools with drastic language, socioeconomic, or cultural differences to succeed using the same instructional plans. Each school must be given the opportunity to find the best path to achievement, while the administrative side must be focused on ensuring equity of resources and availability of information and technology.

    There is no way to arrive at a new destination without moving the tiller, and any prospective school board member that tells you different is only looking out for themselves.

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