Atlanta - Gov. Nathan Deal has announced the six replacement DeKalb school board members which come with an impressive list of qualifications. All have advanced degrees and two are college professors.
They are John Coleman of District 1; Joyce Morley of District 7; Karen Carter of District 8; David Campbell of District 5; Thad Mayfield of District 9; and Michael Erwin of District 3.
The six are being sworn in this afternoon at the DeKalb School Board headquarters.
“If we can harness the energy and the interest of these individuals to work with the new school board and the new superintendent, then the entire system will benefit greatly,” says Deal.
After more than 400 applications, more than 60 people were interviewed for the positions.
“It is I think a good commentary on the citizens of DeKalb County that we’ve had so many very, very qualified people that have at least shown an interest in this process,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
Some of the names of those interviewed are familiar ones including former State School Superintendent Werner Rogers, former director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Bob Dallas, and Kathleen Mathers, who headed up the state’s investigation in the test-cheating scandal.
Deal is also defending himself against criticism from civil rights groups whom he met with Monday over the process of replacing the board members.
Representatives from the NAACP and Al Sharpton’s National Action Network took offense when Deal told them to find good black candidates to run for the school board elections next years.
“In an hour and a half of meeting, I was very disappointed that not once did the group who met with me yesterday, discuss the issue of accreditation,” he says.
Deal says instead of accreditation, they focused on the racial makeup of the board.
“Quite frankly I was very disappointed that that was not the issue that was on the table,” he says. “For me, that was the issue.”