Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools

Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools (PGCS) is a new educational group representing “schools throughout Region 1 of the DCSD (Chamblee, Cross Keys, Dunwoody clusters as well as Tapestry, PATH, and Oakcliff Theme School.)”

I’m always happy to see community involvement in education. Interestingly, PGCS is already not without controversy. Meetings with PGCS officers at Peachtree Charter Middle School and Chamblee Charter High School have been characterized as hostile.

I have a question for the PGCS. One of the stated purposes of the PGCS is to make “joint statements and resolutions”. What is your position on the building additions at CCHS and DHS versus a new Doraville cluster?

In the meantime, let me know your thoughts and questions.


Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools – Statement of Purpose

Provide educational events for parents at large and in particular leaders of PTA/PTSA Boards, School Councils, and School Foundations of schools throughout Region 1 of the DCSD (Chamblee, Cross Keys, Dunwoody clusters as well as Tapestry, PATH, and Oakcliff Theme School.)

Focus educational opportunities on helping parents to understand policy issues affecting schools in the DeKalb County School District.

Provide a forum for parents in Region 1 clusters of the DCSD to hear from DCSD leadership and School Board Members, and interact with those leaders.

Increase knowledge of activities, successful practices, and issues affecting schools throughout our clusters.

Create a forum for working on issues of shared interest amongst schools within Region 1.

Provide a forum to produce joint statements and resolutions as needed with support from our clusters and/or schools from across our clusters.


Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools – Officers

  • Dave Bearse – President (Legislative Affairs)
  • Amy Holmes-Chavez – President Elect (Meetings & Events)
  • Andrew Ziffer – Vice President, Dunwoody Cluster
  • Rebekah Morris – Vice President, Cross Keys Cluster
  • Randy Faigin David – Vice President, Chamblee Cluster
  • Ashley Doolittle – Communications Chair
  • Sheila Gillispie – Recording Secretary
  • Jocelyn Warren – Parliamentarian

Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools – First Event

The Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools invites parents and community members to our FIRST event!

Tuesday, March 28th, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Sequoyah Middle School, 3456 Aztec Road, Doraville, GA 30340
**Spanish language pre-session from 5:45-6:30 p.m.

Come hear about about plans for school building expansions and new facilities in DeKalb.

Featured speakers and questions/answers with Sherry Johnson, Region 1 Interim Regional Superintendent, Daniel Drake, Executive Director for Operations, and parents who can answer your questions about their experiences with Construction Advisory Committees.

Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools serves Region 1 (Chamblee, Cross Keys, Dunwoody) along with our sister Councils in other DeKalb regions. In addition to our main speakers, our events share school innovations. Our 3/28 spring event will include brief information on Sequoyah Middle School’s debate team.

136 responses to “Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools

  1. Nancy Jester

    Why doesn’t the Peachtree Gateway group reach out to parents who served on the construction committees actually in District 1? There are parents around that were heavily involved in the DHS renovation. Their insight would be useful and they would have a better and more accurate understanding of the dynamics within District 1. They have some terrific experience and sage advice. It would be a real shame not to include actual D1 parents who have this domain knowledge.

  2. @ Nancy – From what I can tell most of the parents are on PCU that made up the Peachtree Gateway group. Hence the Construction Member from HMS. She is also a member of PCU. I am guessing that they asked someone they already knew, instead of reaching out to the community. Also, I am going throw this thought out there. I get emails from MES, CMS, and CCHS every week and this is the first that I have heard about their meeting even though it was published on their Facebook account on March 5. To me, this seems like it is just a selected few that really did not want everyone’s involvement.

    I just checked out their Facebook page and they have had this page opened since late last year. I suggest everyone should like their page so that you can stay in touch with what they would like to do with our area. It seems like they really want to help the community out but not sending out regular emails to the feeder pattern schools seems like an oversight.

  3. Nancy

    This Peachtree Gateway group is anti-Dunwoody. Most of the Dunwoodians involved are from the far-left whack job sector, aka the east side. I do not believe this group is needed especially for Dunwoody parents. I was glad when the old cluster council group disbanded, but this group seems worse already. I’d like for city council to reconsider the city borders and draw the line at N Peachtree or maybe more to the west. I think people over there may be happier as residents of Doraville or Chamblee. maybe those who love to hate Dunwoody so much will beat me to the punch and petition to become part of Chamblee or Doraville

  4. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Well that became unproductive and negative quickly. The Gateway group is open to any parents. Even parents who don’t declare party loyalties – gasp! Lol.

    The group has sent material to schools for dissemination. If your school isn’t disseminating, don’t complain about Gateway. Goodness!

    To the good people investing your time and effort in restarting a regional parent council: God bless your efforts and make them fruitful! Ignore the rotten tomato throwers! Stay positive! The day goes to the person willing to enter the arena! Hip-hip-hoorah for Peachtree Gateway and PCU! 🙂

  5. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    @Nancy – I’m thinking of Page Olson even though she has moved away. She has more experience than anyone I know in this regard. Any other parents, current or former, that you think would be great volunteers, please name them or send to my personal email at kimgokce@gmail.com and I’ll connect them. Bill is more active than I am and might be the best conduit (sorry to volunteer you, Bill).

  6. chamblee getting screwed

    This is a far left group – Gokce and Morris led if that tells you anything. Hope some
    folks on the right attend.

  7. For what it’s worth, notification of this Peachtree Gateway meeting was in this week’s MES Mustang Bulletin, first time I have seen it in that publication though.

    Not sure if this has already been shared, but here’s a link to their FB page so that everyone can “Like” and follow it: https://www.facebook.com/peachtreegatewaycouncil/.

  8. Bill Armstrong

    You’re right Kim, why the hate? Lynn & the rest, there is no conspiracy to exclude or ambush anyone. The first I heard of the specifics, along with a general “call to all” to get the word out was Sunday 3/19 as well as an update on the plan to get out thru standard school email blast channels. HHES d/n go out until Mon. either, the same as CMS & CHHS. I know flyers are being used where email not always effective (CK) & there were certainly mention of all the Dunwoody school contacts. Things are going out via avenues like NextDoor too.

    A discussion & Q&A w/Dan Drake & Sherry Johnson as well as a HMS parent – inviting all to come, how is that bad. Why be suspicious? The PGCS has been working to get up & running for a while now. They just got the executive committee in place as this meeting was being arranged. The last notice on 3/19 included info on the just-named Parlimentarian, who was left off an internal email. They are really shooting to get fully up & running for the next school year, but put some extra effort to get this put together considering the tight timing. We should all appreciate their efforts.

    Kim – thanks & I’ll contribute what I can, always do, but we already have some heavy lifters from HH/CMS/CCHS involved. They graciously keep me in the loop. I’ve tried to do what I can – don’t want to over-commit or overpromise. The heaviest lifter from our parts is the same one who in made the Thur./Tue. error & needlessly tried to fall on the sword for a small slip in follow up correction emails. No one works harder than her, you’d know that if you get her 4:30 am emails, I know you do Kim. And yes, if people reach out to me as well, I can pass things along to those I know, I’m easy to reach. bill@armstrongweinstein.com.

    But I assure you, if you’re at the meeting, they really want to engage any & all.

    She & others have made what I consider admirable efforts to build bridges throughout the region – extending efforts to Sequoyah, Cary Reynolds, etc. who have been absent/underrepresented in the past. And I really don’t care whose fault that was, people are trying to fix it now, going forward.

    “Whack jobs.” Well, I see them as active & caring parents & stakeholders. They’ve worked hard to create at least one vehicle to bring Region 1 together to share info. & explore common interests. “Anti-Dunwoody.” How about pro – Region 1 education? People complain about not enough people participating in DeKalb schools. You have someone trying & doing it & you want to tear them down.

    It’s Region 1 – talking & spreading info. About CACs. They have the Interim Regional Superintendent. They have Dan Drake. Providing info. & answering questions. You question the parent they’ve brought on the panel? It’s a conspiracy to exclude people?

    Give me a break. How about show up & listen. Ask questions. Participate.

    Whack jobs. Ugh. I know this. They aren’t anonymously trolling on a blog. BTW – Scott, please tell your wife her hard work is appreciated. I know she knows it, but nice to hear. Another “heavy lifter.”

  9. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    My dear troll, Screwed. Thank you for not disappointing. I have been to precisely zero Peachtree Gateway meetings and can take equally zero credit for this great initiative. Am I a cheerleader for them? Absolutely!

    I applaud those that have invested of themselves in our region’s public education process positively in this manner. While you spit derision upon them and brush popcorn off your chest the good people you criticize from your armchair are moving ahead fully engaged with their neighbors and schools. Me? You can continue to delude yourself about me but that has nothing to do with Peachtree Gateway.

  10. Dekalb Inside Out

    Who is on this PGCS “executive committee” you speak of?

  11. Scott Gillispie

    Wow, this ‘CGS’ guy really is a troll, isn’t he?

    Lynn, from what I hear from my wife about Peachtree Gateway, they’re really still in the forming stage – when the old DCPC group faded out, they really had to reorganize from scratch. And there’s only so many volunteers to go around – too many of us just gabbing on the internet, not actually getting stuff done.

    My wife got invited up to the Ptree MS council a while back to explain the Ptree Gateway group; she mentioned that there were a couple (just a couple) of really hostile people there, who thought that this was some sort of conspiracy. Mostly, they were welcoming for a broader forum.

    Nancy: Sounds like changing the building rules for schools might be a more productive use of the state legislatures time on education, rather than squabbling with the state School Superintendent, or trying to let parents exempt their kids from testing.

    I keep telling people, the hard part of project management (which is my actual work) isn’t triple constraint management – it’s communications and stakeholder management. If you properly define the city as stakeholder representative of the community, and engage them productively, it doesn’t have to be a problem. Win-win is always possible; you just have to be willing to not get every jot and tittle you want. Unfortunately, most of our civic society seems to have forgotten that.

  12. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Kudos to both you, Bill, and Scott, and your households for your sacrifices. I am very heartened by the group’s efforts and know that it will yield powerful and positive benefits for the entire region and DeKalb for many years to come! I’ll do my best to make Tuesday at SMS, home of the Braves and the Atlanta Urban Debate Leagues top MS debaters!

  13. Scott Gillispie

    Oh, and DIO – if you go to the facebook page that ‘Survey Says’ listed, you can find the contacts who are trying to find volunteers for the executive committee. If you are willing to do some thankless work that results in people complaining nonstop, but might actually help some parents, I’m sure they’d be glad to have you. I think you have to have an actual name, however…

  14. Dekalb Inside Out

    Bill said there is an executive committee … who’s on it? I don’t see it on the FB page. As an employee of the school district, my time as a mole is probably better spent gathering intel from the inside.

  15. Scott Gillispie

    Same reason CCHS still has last years school council on their page, I’m sure – everyone is multitasking and hasn’t gotten around to the updates.

    Scroll down in the facebook page to January 23. According to my wife (who says she is the Recording Secretary “until they find someone else”), the three people they have listed as contacts are the VPs, one for each cluster.

    Sheila’s going to pass along that they need to get an Exec Committee list posted.

    Also, this is very specifically not a “Parents” council – interested non-parents from the community who want to help are encouraged to participate.

  16. Dekalb Inside Out

    Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools – VPs
    Diane Allers (Chamblee Cluster)
    Dave Bearse (Cross Keys Cluster)
    Andrew Ziffer (Dunwoody Cluster)

    Is there any chance you can just tell me who else is on the executive committee?

    Also, can you tell us more about the “hostility” at the Peachtree Charter Middle School meeting?

  17. Scott Gillispie

    I wasn’t there, and, despite what my wife sometimes thinks, I really try not to misquote her. You’d do better to track her down and ask her. Maybe show up at the event next week and find out.

    I’ll tell you this – I think 90% of people across the area (Dunwoody, Chamblee, or Cross Keys clusters) really want to help and be positive. In every group though, there’s some poor mouthers, who are looking for things that are wrong; it’s the same sort of people who want to know why their brand new shiny Chamblee Whole Foods shopping center has to have a stupid ol’ Mattress Firm in it. Deal with them at work, too (where I have to discuss whether to say “typically” or “usually”). They tend to be a rather noisy sort, however, and drown out the majority, I suspect.

  18. Ok. I can tell what I responded back to Nancy was totally taken out of context and now that I read it I can see how. I was just stating from what I could see who was on Peachtree Gateway and who I knew was on PCU. Also, I was stating that I could see why they chose as the Construction Member representative because they are also PCU. They just went with someone they had a working relationship with.

    I am going to be the first to say since I have been burned so many times by multiple administrations, I have a hard time with trust in this county. You don’t know where I have been or what I have been through but there are several on here who have and will agree with my statement. I did not mean it sound “conspiracy theorist” and if it did I am sorry.

    To the best of my ability, I have been honest and point things out as someone who has been on the inside and the outside looking in. I do like when I do raise questions or state things correctly, there are much more people who say something and question things. End the end, don’t we want more parents involved in what is going on in our child’s education.

    I would question Peachtree Gateway this. Many of us have shown where we were not getting updates from this group from our feeder group, but PG was involvement meetings based on the Facebook page. Why did PG press schools to send out information in their weekly update to parents? Did they and the schools just did not send it out? If that is the case I will really want to have a conversation with my schools weekly update person. It really is a disservice to myself and many parents.

  19. @ Scott:

    I just went to the Facebook page on my computer, and I can not find the page that DIO also can’t find. I knew I couldn’t do it on my phone earlier this afternoon so I could not post that information. All I can see is a picture of a letter that states the names that DIO had listed above. So I am guessing something has happened to the Facebook page recently with all the updates on Facebook’s end. If you are anyone could post that information it would be greatly appreciated.

  20. Bill Armstrong

    Lynn – in many respects as Scott & I have tried to explain, this meeting is being put on now because it is timely – by a group that’s​ just getting up & running in anticipation for next school year. And to my knowledge they only asked the schools to send it out last week & were advised it would go out this week to try to avoid getting lost in all the emails. I confess I rarely read to the bottom of the 3 I get.

    During the couple of weeks running to to now they were trying to establish clear channels on getting the Council’s news to each school. So the schools d/n fail to send it out – the Council was simply trying to use this 1st meeting as a trial run for getting stuff out as it goes forward. It’s out there now – plenty of time to plan & prepare.

    And like Kim I’m not on it either. I do fully support their mission. It seems even the best intentions . . . And like I said – the first time I had official word of the meeting was Sunday.

    I certainly hope people would give the group an opportunity to do some good before at least some tear them down. They just started.

  21. Dekalb Inside Out

    Thus far the Peachtree Gateway Council is about as transparent as mud. I’m not surprised the PCMS council was suspicious and hostile.

  22. I find it curious that Scott hasn’t responded to. Nancy Jester’s comments. He seemed to try to discredit her and then she came back with citations and a very detailed description of what happened during the CCHS rebuild. Crickets on her discussion. Homestly, the CCHS community owes her a thank you. Had she not run for the BOE, the county would have never rebuilt CCHS. The county did so because of the pressure her campaign brought. CCHS has been ignored in SPLOST after SPLOST. Until Nancy ran and shined a light on Chamblee, nothing was happening. The ONLY reason we even have a new CCHS is because this was an issue in her campaign. The facts are sticky things and I remember it well. So, it is ironic and bizarre that the new Peachtree Gateway group doesn’t try to reach out to Nancy , in particular. She has demonstrated herself to be effective and solid for the best interests of our area. It’s quite disrespectful to not have explicitly sought her guidance and participation in this group.

  23. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    DIO: hahahaha … an anonymous poster wants transparency. Ok, I’ll play. Transparent about what? Send me a list of material questions if you have any and I’ll see if I can get answers for you. Munch-munch!

  24. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Anon, there was $11m allocated for CCHS just as there was for CKHS. There was an enormous amount of discussion of the terrible conditions at both schools during that period. I think it was right to rebuild CCHS but it was done inappropriately. If memory serves me correctly, Nancy was against using the bonds that were required to expand the budget from $11m – the ultimate $70m+ that was invested there.

    In any case, that has beans to do with what the Gateway group is doing and I’m sure they’d welcome her expertise. Having both Stan and Nancy as resources and regular guest speakers at Gateway events seems like a natural to me.

  25. Rebekah Cohen Morris

    Hi Everyone,

    We sent out information regarding the inaugural Peachtree Gateway meeting for Tuesday, March 28, to ALL PRINCIPALS at every school in every cluster within Region 1. If you didn’t receive information about it, I truly apologize.

    We are trying to create a group that includes people from all over Region 1, and we have done our best to get the word out. We posted the information to our Facebook site, and we also sent out the emails to neighborhood associations, etc. However, we mainly depended on the principals to send out the information and to send us names of people who they thought might be interested in participating. We haven’t heard back from several of the principals.

    I strongly encourage everyone to come out next Tuesday to meet everyone and to see how they can get involved in a leadership and/or volunteer capacity. We still have a lot of work to do, but we figured hosting an event would be helpful to attract attention to the group and to get more parent/resident participation. I’m serving as the VP for the CK cluster but will gladly hand that off as soon as we find a parent who is willing to serve in this capacity.

    Thank you everyone for the feedback, and I think in the future, instead of depending on schools to send out the information, we might have to get more creative so that we can ensure that ALL parents/stakeholders have the opportunity to join and don’t feel blindsided.

    If you come to the meeting on Tuesday, you will see a full presentation that I had basically nothing to do with. 🙂 Here is the 2017 Executive Committee for Peachtree Gateway:

    Dave Bearse – President (Legislative Affairs)
    Amy Holmes-Chavez – President Elect (Meetings & Events)
    Andrew Ziffer – Vice President, Dunwoody Cluster
    Rebekah Morris – Vice President, Cross Keys Cluster
    Randy Faigin David – Vice President, Chamblee Cluster
    Ashley Doolittle – Communications Chair
    Sheila Gillispie – Recording Secretary
    Jocelyn Warren – Parliamentarian

    Hope to see you there!!!

  26. Your memory must be failing you Kim. If Nancy hadn’t run against Jim Redovian, the school board would never have felt compelled to take the bonds to rebuild Chamblee. Whether Nancy supported it or not isn’t this issue. The very effective presence she exerted transformed the discussion. The existing board didn’t want her to get elected so they tried to suggest they cared about Chamblee. The history is that without Nancy, CCHS would not have received consideration and the BOE would not have approved the extraordinary financing to rebuild the school. The very fact that Nancy was so effective as a candidate is impressive. All of us in this cluster owe her a dept that no one ever talks about. I am deeply disappointed that she is not on the panel discussion for Gateway. Why not have her rather than parent from outside out area?

  27. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Anon you are mistaking my point about the bonds and Gateway as criticism of Nancy. I can’t explain why CCHS cluster doesn’t appreciate Nancy (your position). That’s not been my experience.

    In any case, huh? What parent from outside DHS/CCHS/CKHS area is leading Gateway effort?

  28. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    oh, i see – Allyson Gevertz! I gotch ya now. Well, I don’t see them as either/or but fair enough. Nevermind!

  29. Bill Armstrong

    Thanks Rebekah for the listing of executive committee members. DOI please have your vetting list in the morning – complete with each person’s role in the conspiracy to . . . . well whatever you say it is.

  30. @ Rebekah – Thank you so much for posting the list. I guess I am disappointed that you do not have to live in Region 1 to be an Executive Board member with “PGC”. My rep, for the Chamblee Cluster, lives in the Lakeside Community. She does a lot of work for the students in DCSD as being Co-President for Emory LaVista Parent Council, a member of the SPLOST Oversight Committee and is the Chair of the Lakeside Cluster, but how is this going to be helpful for a community that she does not live in?

  31. Wow. Ashlee Doolittle doesn’t represent a majority view in the Dunwoody Cluster. This group has leadership that is carefully constructed freeze out anyone who doesn’t agree with the building additions. The fact that the CCHS person is actually Fromm lakeside is poetic. You guys really need to get out of your bubble. Maybe you need to dialogue further with the “hostile” people you ran into at PCMS.

  32. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    That sounds like two new volunteers for Gateway! Congratulations and thank you!

  33. chamblee getting screwed

    Again this is a pro construction group led by ultra lib RCM and with Gokce as head cheerleader. Seems to me like it will be one of those groups where there is only one right answer and if you disagree, they won’t have a thing to do with you and you’ll be frozen out. Sign me up…

  34. Seeing the names on the PGC executive committee makes it hard for me to take them seriously. While I understand and appreciate the massive amount of time, energy and effort that has obviously gone into getting this group up and running, I’m not sure the group will be fair and balanced. I totally understand that good and committed volunteers are few and far between, and that it’s a thankless job.

    As it’s been obvious from my posts on Stan’s blog, I oppose the building additions in our region and would have preferred a new high school to be built. I recognize many of the names on the Executive Committee that Rebekah posted do not share that viewpoint. Wouldn’t the group appear more legitimate if they had representation from ALL viewpoints….for, against and somewhere in between? Wouldn’t it be prudent to have a resident CCHS volunteer representing the Chamblee cluster vs. someone from the outside? Perhaps that is the final goal, I guess time will tell. I think also pulling representation from the various school councils vs. anyone willing to volunteer is a good idea. School council reps are voted on by the student body, so by virtue of process, seeking representation from those pools of parents provides a more democratic process. I guess the complication there could be council turnover, but replacements could be designated on an as needed basis.

    Someone mentioned hostility at a meeting. I, and several other MES/CMS/CCHS parents experienced this at a Chamblee meeting last fall from the PGC President-elect. I had never seen or met her before and I was absolutely appalled by her behavior that evening and would have serious reservations about joining a group given the current makeup. Would I be yelled at and berated for sharing an opposing view to the group, just like at the Chamblee meeting? So, if the PGC wants to appear fair, balanced and legitimate to the public at large, further work needs to be done within shuffling leadership positions around. Maybe pull an MES parent/feeder parent into the fold? That would be a great start. Just my two cents.

  35. Think again. I don’t go where I’m not wanted. I rather start another group that is legitimately based in and focused on the community and its schools. The presence of only one philosophy is clearly evident in the self appointed leadership of Gateway. Where was the outreach to be inclusive and have a diversity of opinion? Gateway is more like a lobbying group with a specific agenda they are seeking to advance. I think that a counterbalancing group needs to be started that has a different agenda to advance. I also think that we need to engage all the folks that pay the bills in addition to just current parents. We need to outreach to the completely unrepresented in the community- homeowners without kids in school and private school parents that pay their property taxes. I think the vast majority of parents in the Dunwoody and Chamblee Cluster plus the silent, unrepresented tax payers should have their voice magnified by their own group.

  36. Bill Armstrong

    @Lynn Amy Holmes-Chavez lives in Huntley Hills & now her children have moved up to CCHS & CMS. She works tirelessly for the area – puts me to shame – I have greatly admired her efforts for years. If you don’t yet know her I would very much encourage you to do so.

  37. Bill Armstrong

    @Anon2. A counter group. OK go ahead. I know it takes tireless efforts of many to get something​ like this started. Sounds like you’re ready to take the lead. Keep us posted – maybe Screwed & DIO would join the effort. Of course at some time you might have to make your names public.

  38. @ Bill. I have no idea what you are talking about. I never said anything about Ms. Holmes-Chavez. All I did was question Ms. David full investment to our needs and that she did not live in the Chamblee Community. I do not appreciate your last comment to me and I hope you understand.

  39. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Some of the naysayers of the emerging volunteer group have reasonable questions or observations. However, the folks that are lambasting the volunteers or editorializing about the group not being “fair and balanced” (wow) need to do the balancing they perceive is necessary and join the group. Otherwise, they will be rightly painted as nothing but complainers. Complained that there was no DCPC in place to represent “their” interest and now complaining when a group of volunteers is forming for that very purpose and asking for their participation and help.

    Enough editorializing and speculating – lead, follow, or … well, you know. Let the group succeed or fail but don’t damn it before its first event. God bless this mess!

  40. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Lynn: No one is more committed than you to public education issues in our community. The challenge I have with what your saying is two-fold: 1) Ms. David is a strong individual and an asset to any team – why should Gateway reject her help? and 2) You are implying that Magnet parents at CCHS, CMS and/or KMS parents somehow aren’t “worthy” stakeholders of our cluster. Do you really believe that? That’s what it sounded like and I think that is a very poor view of the thousands of hours such parents invest in our schools every year.

  41. Bill Armstrong

    @surveysays I’m not sure I’ve met you – perhaps you have met me – I’ve met with a growing number of MES parents – current & those with children already moved up. I’d say half my 9th grader’sschool friends are MES (of course she knew many before HS) & our relationships with the parents have been great. If you go to a meeting of this group & are put off, then maybe not go again.

    I do know the Cluster SC members/PTA leadership meetings & email communication have grown more cordial over time. I try – although I can certainly be wordy. I would certainly agree that passions were high for many before & after the vote. Not just “move forward” – but also “delay” people. I personally witnessed an encounter w/Johnson by someone from CMS that was shocking & insulting.

    But since​ then especially this semester – cooler heads have generally prevailed for most. Some has been more “agree to disagree” but I see more – let’s communicate & engage – especially in person, I’ve found it helpful. I would hope those in the room with me might agree I’m not out of my mind.

    I say give joint efforts by those not only in the Cluster but also those in Region 1 a chance to demonstrate their commitment.

    I would hope that many here that might share these interests join me. I want to hear you. Maybe I have & just don’t have a name to match to names here. Few have expressed​ in person much along the lines of some​ anonymous posters – so maybe not. But if not – the people who are from MES & AP & Kitt & CMS & CCHS that have attended these meetings – they are identied on the various websites – maybe they can give feedback on myself & others.

  42. Bill Armstrong

    Lynn – no offense intended. I simply wanted to point out that one of the other members is a resident of Chamblee & has been for years. And she is someone who can be seen to “represent” Chamblee – and thus you.

  43. Bill, thanks for the follow up note, it’s appreciated and I’m glad to hear that at least behind the scenes, there has been an increase in volume and quality of communications between the various schools in the Chamblee cluster. We will all never agree on some points, but being able to communicate with one another in a respectable and constructive way will always be more productive.

    One other question for you about the PGC (you seem to be a good person to ask). Is the Chamblee cluster executive committee rep set in stone at this point, or is it possible to find someone else to fill that role? Personally (and I am biased being from MES), I would love to see that role filled by an MES parent (that school group seems under represented within PGC as best I can tell), realizing others might not agree with me….and that’s OK. What are your thoughts on this Bill?

  44. Survey – I think you make a very good point. MES has been underrepresented in this whole thing. Is it because they saw things differently? Hmmmm….

    The point here is that new blood is needed. This feels like PCU2. Which is ironic since so many were against a new school being Cross Keys 2. Yet, its ok to have the exact same people doing the same things with just a different name on it. You know what they say about insanity….

    Here’s a novel ideal. Let’s get new blood in there and get the old timers out. These folks just need to go away and let a new group put fresh ideas to this. The existing volunteers have done their (good/damage – fill in the blank). Kim Gokce – thanks for your work in Cross Keys and getting us this far. Now, step aside. Focus on your day job. Rebekah Cohen Morris – it sounds like you are a fantastic teacher. Focus on this. Knock off the blogs and the politics. Focus on teaching. Step aside. Bill – sounds like you are the king at Huntley Hills. Great. Now step aside. Allison Geyertz – step aside. Amy Holmes Chavez – thank you for your service. Scott Gillispe, again, thank you.

    Let’s get brand new leadership and brand new volunteers. Its time for a change. Not the same 7 highly polarizing folks taking charge.

  45. Bill Armstrong

    Survey. Not everything is entirely behind the scenes – these Cluster-wise meetings of the SC members & PTA membership – while not “open” to all, are certainly open to enough to be sure all have a seat at the table, multiple seats actually. I’d say there were at least 3 from each school (again – while I am HH – I have kids at both CMS – (by way of Kitt. & CCHS resident- just counting me as HH for this purpose). But as you can imagine that square set of tables was pretty full – I think a good #. I can add that while this was started up “informally” I do know that the system does intend to create them on a more formal basis going forward, for all clusters, exactly the format – not yet clear. And while I do know there are at least a couple of MES on the CMS SC – the only one from HH is a “community rep.” – in HH – but not yet at CMS (Scott’s tireless wife). I’m not sure anyone else even ran, if so the # of voters was very low. So we certainly aren’t controlling that body. But I wouldn’t say they are either. The next cluster meeting is at HH, after CMS & CCHS, and the intent is to have it rotate – MES, AP & Kitt. in some order would be next.

    As to having MES more a presence on this body, I certainly have no objection. The same for any school. The exact mechanism for that, I’m not sure. I’ll say that when some of the meetings started, I begged out, I just can’t do more right now. I do see Rebekah would gladly pass the baton. I wouldn’t try to speak for others. I’ll be glad to pass your question on.

    This general idea of any one school “controlling stuff” as in the ES on the MS & HS, I certainly wouldn’t say HH does. I do know that the initial email blasts regarding the “delay the vote” efforts were generated by CMS/MES as opposed to CCHS. I respected the effort – essentially filing a perceived void at CCHS at the time. As for the content, it seemed more monolithic – regardless of the speakers at the board meeting, And not all MES ( I knew at least a few) & Certainly not CMS or CCHS agreed to that the delay was the best. I also know that when HHES was approached about sending out the same notice, we consulted with each other (PTA/SC) & decided we would not. Now did we send out something arguing the opposite. What we did do in our email blasts was along the lines of “here is the date/time/location of the meeting, here’s the topic, why it might impact your child/family going forward – we encourage you to participate if you feel so motivated.” I’ll stand by that. Contrary to what Runamok says I’m not the “king of HH,” and certainly don’t feel I have a right to present myself as such.

    Did I speak at the meeting? sure. And I did identify myself as HH SC Chair? Sure, I think most, if not all mentioned the body/bodies they are a part of. I also mentioned that my children are at CMS/CCHS. Did I claim to speak for HH, or the cluster? No.

  46. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Thanks for the advice Run Amok. I’m way ahead of you and have no intentions of leading Gateway efforts. I look forward to seeing your platform of “change” for Gateway families and schools. I’m sorry to disappoint you but I’ll be taking my polarizing influences onward but Gateway will not be poisoned by them! Lol.

    Run Amok for Gateway President!

  47. Bill Armstrong

    @RunAmok. As I said, I’m no “King” of HH or anywhere else. Plenty do much more & are more visible. The school is across the street from our house. I’m on my 3rd child going thru, she’s in 3rd grade. So only a couple of years there. I walk her to school most days, I did for the others as well. In fact one year all 3 were there at the same time: PK, 3rd & 5th. They could see each others classroom door from their own. I thought that was cool.

    “Step aside?” Does anyone else her find that beyond insulting. I do know that many of the leaders & visibly parents, plus the behind the scene “heavy lifters,” at CMS & CCHS started at MES. I would expect some have kids at more than one school as do I. Do I think they should “step aside?” No, of course not! Their service is invaluable to the cluster. I respect & admire their efforts. The same would go for AP as well. And as Kim says – Kitt. – whether they hail from Chamblee or not. Honestly, when I had a child at Kitt. I generally had no idea where the leaders were from, if not from HH. I didn’t care. Why should I?

    As they move on to CMS, CCHS, from any cluster ES, they should step aside? If they choose too. Sure, but if not, good for them. Their experience & insight serves us all. Will I move on as she moves up? maybe I will. For now it was just easier to remain at HH.

    Step aside? I don’t think you speak for many, from wherever you are from.

  48. Bill Armstrong

    “Now did we send out something arguing the opposite.” Oops – I meant to say “Nor did we.”

  49. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Public education needs all the friends it can get. Anyone who is discouraging volunteers is hurting all of us. Period. Bill, you are much too nice to the vipers here. But, then again, you may have a reputation left to protect in the community. For what I have done no matter what I say or do at this point I am just a pinata for their imagination, hate and frustration.

  50. Bill Armstrong

    Stan, thanks for new thread. I thought I was going crazy there for a bit. Seems my posts & others were being deleted! But moved here? Cool with me! Much shorter to scroll after a refresh.
    As for this: “One of the stated purposes of the PGCS is to make “joint statements and resolutions”. What is your position on the building additions at CCHS and DHS versus a new Doraville cluster?”

    Well, for purposes of this meeting it appears they have not taken, nor are presenting, any position. They are offering a forum for people to learn about the CAC process on a plan already voted for by the board. The CAC process is in motion. So for this meeting:

    “Come hear about plans for school building expansions and new facilities in DeKalb.

    Featured speakers and questions/answers with Sherry Johnson, Region 1 Interim Regional Superintendent, Daniel Drake, Executive Director for Operations, and parents who can answer your questions about their experiences with Construction Advisory Committees.”

    I’ll take that at face value. Perhaps they will inform you of more formal positions, but at this time, I don’t think they’ve already taken any along the lines you are asking.

    Caveat: As I’ve tried to make clear I’m not on this body in any way shape or form.

  51. Stan, thanks for the new thread!

  52. Chad Peterson

    This sounds like it’s gonna be a great inaugural event! 🙂

  53. chamblee getting screwed

    The leAdershup is set. The leadership is stacked with pro option b folks. The leadership has shown that they will lambast anyone who disagrees with them. This group is rigged. Guarantee that 50 percent of the viewpoints will not be represented. Joke! Sad!

  54. Hello,
    Is there still a Peachtree, Dunwoody, Chamblee Council Group? If not, what happened? Region I is being impacted by many things. I really hope that everyone can come together and try to do the right thing for all of the schools. It is important that communities advocate for themselves.
    I believe in public education. It hurts to read that parents want to put their children in private schools.

  55. APES got duped!!

    I want to make the motion that 50% of this group’s leadership be Option A supporters. Otherwise it’s bogus!!!!!

  56. Scott Gillispie

    Wow, Sheila told me the thread woke up today…had to earn my paycheck this morning though.

    Sounds like some of you aren’t really clear that this Peachtree Gateway is just the successor to the old DCPC; renamed, reorganized, reenergized, but trying to do the same thing. The importance is that by creating a forum that covers all of Region I, they can broaden the audience for speakers, getting people who can’t visit every single school. Good stuff.

    I think the rest of my school support effort today is going to pizza slinging at the HHES Panoply of the Arts tonight…

  57. Bill Armstrong

    Scott. Thanks for the reminder to all of us, that for those with kids in school, today is another school day & yes tonight another activity. That is really what we do, why we care.

    Please tell Sheila that my 3rd grader is asking for more dietary options at PTA events. Following her vegan 15 year old sister, and AFTER a visit to the aquarium – she’s now pescatarian. Going on 2 weeks. And she claims the school fish sticks are good, better than the cheese dippers. Not sure I’m buying that. Well, I guess I am – for her.

    See you tonight.

    Ladies & gentlemen, enjoy your kids tonight. Even you Screwed. Especially you.

  58. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    @Chad: Lol. Yes, indeed. The distinction will be, hopefully, without their masks on the haters will be forced to put up the facade of civility. Duplicitous from the blocks and they call me the one to watch out for …

  59. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Dear All: Let me get this straight – some of you have now taken a community we generally all agree has divisions and decided to add another one? There’s only “Option A” or “Option B” type people that live here? Dang, Screwed, we really are all screwed.

  60. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    DIO, what happened! I was sure you’d either a) Take up my offer to chase down answers to the burning questions you have about PGPC, or b) Say something snarky to your so-named Butt Munch to put me in my place again.

    Time is running out! If you don’t expose these conspirators for what they truly are public education will be in jeopardy in our region. So, whatcha got? No questions about the group as “transparent as mud?”

  61. Ms. David has 2 current children in the Chamblee cluster. Is that not good enough?

  62. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Depends on if they and she agree to sign a Memo of Understanding consigned by Stan confirming their position on”A” or “B” …

    All joking aside PGPC has special considetations in terms of hosting programs that serve other regions. This includes not only High Achievers but also PATH, Oakcliff, HH, and the regional CTAE programs at CK in Health Sciences, Manufacturing and others.

    We might have to start thinking about more than the “neighborhood school” as the Alpha and Omega and rediscover we have common interests.

  63. My rule is to never be part of a group led by a hyphenated -name female. Stan is this group recognized by DCSD? If yes, how does one form an alternte cluster group, minus the lib leadership?

  64. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Here, here! Only virgin females, women who submit to our family names or widows are acceptable. Great Scott, Stan, you necromancer! Forget internet trolls – you’ve summoned zombies.

  65. chamblee getting screwed

    Gokce – you really try hard to be an ass, don’t you?

  66. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    No, it comes naturally.

  67. chamblee getting screwed

    No it is not enough. She is not really in Chamblee. Magnet doesn’t count. Need a Chamblee resident. Period. She needs to step down for someone that physically lives in Chamblee.

  68. Bill Armstrong

    Godogs44 – not using Dawg – you obviously are not worthy of being addressed that way – at least by this Dawg. Although that statement is on its face pathetic & is really no more than troll bait – I’m not going to leave it be.

    Tonight’s Panolopy of the Arts at Huntley Hills featured 51 students with hyphenated last names – so roughly 25 young ladies. If you check the yearbooks of most of the schools in this area you find dozens & ultimately several hundred.

    Those kinds of statements are part of what drives some of these​ efforts to engage & interact in one of the most diverse areas​ of the State. My 3rd grader doesn’t live in your world. If you actually have schoolkid(s) in this region – they likely don’t live in your world either – at least when they step thru the schoolhouse door, or go the mall, eat out, etc.

    You think it’s clever obviously – I suspect not a single soul here​ would endorse that statement – even anonymously.

    Alternate group? Others here have said similar – not sure they’d want you alligned with them either.

    Back to my family over here. Hope the rest of you enjoy your evening with yours as well.

  69. chamblee getting screwed

    It’s important that all viewpoints be heard. This doesn’t accomplish that. Sorry, it doesn’t.

  70. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Screwed, did I offend your sensibilities again? My apologies. For heaven’s sake, please stop trolling me here and spare others your Kim-obsession. Drop by for a drink and we can work this out just you and I. Is this Kerry? It really was me not you. I meant that when I said it. Forgive me and let it go now?

  71. Bill Armstrong

    Screwed – I’m not sure you physically live in Chamblee – but if so I suspect not mentally. I’ve posted my email here – shoot me a note – I’ve never “outed” any anonymous posters who have before. They want to themselves – their choice. I used to be Chamblee Dad in the AJC – DSW & even here – but changed it – I’ve got nothing to hide.

    Maybe we could meet at a school event, or at Dandy Donuts – assuming you would go there. That place is an example of why many people embrace Chamblee, my family & neighbors for sure – and I bet many here too. They are part of our American dream. Plenty of room to share.

  72. The PCG exec board is a joke. Not ONE person on this board has an opposing view togthat of Kim G and R Morris. Keep on this path people and you will destroy all the hard work that was done to make the schools in the CHamblee Cluster great schools. Keep it up! Interestingly I sat in the meeting at Chamblee where one if the PCG members went off on everyone. Stating they needed “certain people to come run their schools/PTA!” It was appalling. Yet she sits on this board. Breaking up working communities is NOT how you make other communities successful. People have sold and are leaving bc they feel bullied and don’t trust the school board. Keep it up people. You were sold a “bill of goods!” Why would you destroy what others have spent so many years building? But go on, “speak for everyone”. This is a joke, DeKalb is a joke.

  73. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Great analysis. Except it is all based on a false premise. Rebekah and I have not, and do not agree on all issues in question. Members of this inaugural board that I respect have not, and do not, agree with me on all issues. What we have done is agreed that there is a public education need to find common ground and common interests. So rant all you want, give them all a label so you can ignore them and put them in a box but all open minded neighbors, parents and public education stakeholders all across Region 1 will be working together through this vehicle.

    And, as opposed to the dissembling, divisive, angry, petty, narrow minded outbursts that characterize this blog, I can promise you this: every Parent Council meeting I have ever been to, that includes years of DCPC meetings, EPLC meetings, and later the PCU umbrella group meetings, have ALL been characterized by engaged, productive individual parents and stakeholders working together to inform each other, support each other and support our public education system and its schools and programs, warts and all.

    See you all Tuesday and for many productive and positive years to come. Fact-check that …

  74. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    “What we have done is agreed that there is a public education need to find common ground and common interests.”

    Allow this humble DIO Butt-Munch and Chamblee Screwed’s Ass to elaborate on my own point – it is so GOOD!

    Parent Councils came together at the SACS accreditation crisis. From Dunwoody to Arabia Mtn and SW DeKalb and everywhere in between. The best leaders from PTAs, School Councils and everyday parents recognized that we had all better stop in-fighting and work together to support the sinking ship of DCSD and demand it right itself – together. Together.

    Not “North,” not “South,” not “White,” not “Black” – the fear of the loss of accreditation drove all groups to seek common interest. And they did. They did so successfully. It created a completely new and unprecedented (in recent memory) sense of a DeKalb without its long standing boundaries. Parents found common cause not only on the BIG question that brought them together but also on many concerns at the schoolhouse and community level.

    This group, the one our fine, fellow bloggers lambasted last year, and now with Stan’s sponsorship is lambasting again, this group is EXACTLY what DeKalb needs to bridge divides and old, trumped up barriers. PCU and its partnering local Parent Councils are the best thing I’ve seen operating in support of public education in our communities in ten years of looking.

    So, yes, ignore it. Reject it as a conspiracy. Listen to your D1 leader while he spreads fear and paranoia. But just in case, just on the odd chance that you believe that we ALL actually have to work together to get DeKalb and keep DeKalb on the right track. Please engage. Please be positive. And please think for yourselves.

  75. So very wrong that these parent volunteers need to justify their right to participate in an educational council. I saw the request for volunteers at both of my children’s schools and believe it was open to all. And…wow…magnet parents don’t count? So, the 9 years that most magnet parents invest in the KMS, CMS, and CCHS schools don’t count?

  76. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Jen: This isn’t about fair or education. It’s about politics. All you have to do is take note of all the labelling that goes on here. I’m being called a libtard by people who have no idea about anything except my view on high school construction. They would be dumbfounded if they new my personal morals and preferences!

    Unfortunately, what Stan started as a public service factchecking DCSD has become a platform for neighbor on neighbor violence in the name of party. I’m off to the Land of Nod.

    Thank you for noticing the absurdity of this critics of this group that is trying to form and contribute to the civic environment!

    If you name me,
    you negate me.
    By giving me a name, a label,
    you negate all the other things
    I could possibly be.
    – Søren Kierkegaard #WhyIRejectPartisanLabels

  77. Let me get this straight. Kim, are you now saying that Stan is somehow wrong to have a blog that allows people with various viewpoints to post? Would this blog be ok if everyone just talked about how much they loved the idea of PGC? I’m trying to understand your critique of Stan as a “sponsor” of some speech you find disagreeable. His blogs with straight info are ok but when he or anyone else opines about their viewpoint about said information, that’s not ok? What if the only opinions were exact matches with yours? Would you find fault in Stan or others agreeing with you? I realize that free speech can be uncomfortable but I think we should think long and hard before we demonize people who provide forums for speech or speech with which we disagree.

  78. Kim, sorry, I forgot one particular criticism you made that i was really disturbed by. You stated that Stan stated this blog as a public service but it turned into a “platform for neighbor on neighbor violence in the name of party”.
    I’m not saying you shouldn’t say it. I am not saying that someone that writes what you wrote should vilified or edited or blocked. I understand that the 1st Amendment does not protect me or anyone from being offended. It absolutely protects all of our speech even if we find it wrong, ignorant, blasphemous, or offensive.
    Your comment troubles me because you used the word “violence”. I am unaware of any person who has committed violence based on this blog. How would a blog of written speech be a platform for violence? Has anyone threatened violence? I also don’t see any Party labels. I have seen you and others on both sides of the debate say “liberal” this or that but no real Republican or Democrat discussion.
    Really, please do some soul searching on this one. You have every right to say it but if doesn’t make it right or a good idea. My opinion – trying to link Stan’s blog to violence and party is deeply wrong, disrespectful, and reveals a level of misdirected anger. There are real difference of opinion on how things should work. These are deeply personal believes because they affect our children and our personal investment in our home. It is rational to be passionate, active, and engaging on this issue. When people feel like they are being ignored, marginalized, or given a scarlet Not PC label, a rift develops. We are there. Simply asking people to participate in a PGC when they see only one agenda being promoted rings empty. There is no trust between groups. Criticizing Stan by invoking the words “violence” and “party” only makes that rift bigger.
    In closing Stan does a tremendous service by keeping up this blog. We get information that we otherwise wouldn’t get, at least not timely. We get to know what Stan’s positions are. That seems very brace and responsible compared to the deafening silence of his colleagues. They provide no service and don’t have the courage to be public about their opinions.

  79. With an interest of weeding through all of the political back and forth, can someone please answer a direct question for me? The Chamblee Cluster representative (Randy Faigin David) does this person live in the Chamblee Cluster? Does this person have a student(s) who attend CMS or CCHS?

  80. Kim Gokce (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Anon3, that’s a perfectly valid question. Thank you for it. I have no issue with Stan blogging as a board of education member and as a neighbor. When he started this blog I was actually encouraged and applaud him for doing it. It quickly became a great source of information and other resources for people to inform themselves. I felt it was a great public service, aligned with his service as BoE and his tagline of just the facts ma’am summed it up perfectly.

    Unfortunately for whatever reason he chose to take his publications and his dialogue here in a different directions. It is not only providing only useful objective and factual information but now mostly it serves as a platform for disinformation, lies, other deceptions, and what value it provided is now obliterated and overshadowed. It’s clear focus is on degrading confidence in the public system, the superintendent and parent groups that Stan disagrees with. This from our Board of Education?

    Specifically Stan has used his direct writing in the blogs articles and by pretending to host an open community dialogue in the comments to willfully deceive the public about his own views and purposes and to target DCSD stakeholders with whom he disagrees.

    You can say well that’s free speech and the internet. I say BS!

    Since he is serving a board of education member I do have a problem with him decieving constituents here and fomenting discord in our region. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt last summer in spite of a differing view on the construction approach debate. Yes, everyone should exercise their right to have an opinion and express it. But his using this platform to undermine civic based groups like pgpc, pcu, school councils, ptas and local public schools foundations is crossing a line of credibilty and fidelity in my view.

    There are bald faced lies that are unchallenged here by Stan as long as they align with his agenda. He attacks parents individually and collectively if they cross his puposes. He postures this forum as a free speech arena and then poisons it with fake, anonymous handles. He “moderates” individuals such as me and dialogs he finds too challenging and let’s anonymous commenters that he apparently approves of or agrees with to get away with egregious insults against his own, named constituents, hate speech and conspiracy mongering.

    So yeah I do have a problem with the way Stan managed the blog in the past few months. Is it his right to do so? Of course! It’s also the right of the rest of us to call him out on it. And I know because he loves the First Amendment as much as I do he’s okay with my view even if he doesn’t agree with my assessment. Did I answer your question?

  81. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Good morning, Hilary. I will say this about Randy’s family. No, they do not live in Chamblee but in D4, I think, Lakeside District. In terms of child safety/privacy all I’m willing to say is she is a deep stakeholder of the CCHS cluster. Let’s talk privately or approach her on Tuesday.

  82. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Anon2, re: “violence” … I think you are wise to consider the choice of my words and I respect your concerns. I stand by the word. I believe Stan inadvertently (or “vertently”) fanned the flames of violence in both the literal and metaphorical sense here, yes.

    So while I understand your caution and reminder, I meant what I said literally.

  83. How does disagreement = hate speech? #confused

  84. Last thing I would ever want to do is put someone’s child in harm’s way. I will say this, the Chamblee Cluster VP absolutely should be someone who both resides in the cluster AND has children who attend/will attend the school. Someone who has a resident school option outside of the cluster will bring a different perspective than someone who doesn’t. While I won’t immediately raise my hand to volunteer, I am open to learning more about the requirements of the position to see if it is possible for me to participate.

  85. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    And to go back to topic, Anon2, your concern: “Simply asking people to participate in a PGC when they see only one agenda being promoted rings empty.”

    What is PGPC’s “one agenda?” My answer to that question from listening to them and not their personal critics is they wish to restart the “DCPC” type civic dialog about public education in Dunwoody, Chamblee, Brookhaven and Doraville to promote knowledge and collaboration. I’m ok with that bit. What else is their “one agenda?”

  86. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Hilary, I think every reasonable person agrees resident parents MUST be represented and ideally lead. I’ve only met Randy a couple of times but I’m 100% sure she would agree with that principle. She and I probably would also probably agree that it’s more than appropriate for “choice” families to be represented and lead, too.

  87. chamblee getting screwed

    Stacked leadership = 1 agenda

  88. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Ok, besides Hilary’s open, honest and cool-headed commentary and questions, I’m expecting a series of public lashings in the ensuing hours. I promise to not run away and hide but I will be “out-of-pocket” for most of today. I will address all reasoned criticism and questions respectfully and I promise to continue to be sarcastic, even caustic, to all the trolls.

  89. Here are my thoughts…. One, unfortunately, Parent Councils have always had more pull in the county than School Councils. Look at who always gets hand selected to be a parent spokesman when it comes to tv interviews or who gets picked to serve on different parent/community committees at the District Office. Parent Council Members.

    My problem with parent councils is that they do not post their agendas, meetings, or minutes publicly on their websites. Hence, the “secrecy” issues and personal agendas coming into play. School Councils are have to abide by Open Records and have to make their agendas, and minutes public. Also, school councils members can only stay on so many years before they have to come off, but they can go back on. I believe on Parent Councils, they can stay a board member for as long as they want. (Again, I am assuming here because you can’t find their by-laws anywhere).

    Look at PGC – We had no idea who had what position until I asked for it. How long has this group been around? Where has their public agenda been posted or even sent out to feeder schools? What about their meeting minutes? Haven’t seen them either.

    Yes, the Chamblee VP should be a resident of Chamblee. It probably would have been smart of the PGC to have a separate member for Chamblee that has a student in the magnet program and not a resident in Chamblee.

  90. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    all reasonable questions and mostly I’d guess PGPC’s inaugural board would agree with you, Lynn. The one fine point I would make is that the reason PCU is the “chosen face” for media is because it IS NOT part of the school system and has more latitude on its conduct. That doesn’t change the role of School Councils at all and I see the rise of greater rigor and respect for School Councils under Green’s leadership as an important advancement. They are not enemies of each other! Ok – have a great morning all!

  91. Kim, I agree with the “too” fully. Perhaps we should consider co-VP’s for the Chamblee Cluster. As there will certainly be Leadership-only meetings (some perceive as closed-door) it would be important for a resident representative to have a seat at that table.

  92. This why county schools don’t work!! Every school in every area has different needs. Mr. Gocke what you have failed to understand is WHY you he Chamblee/Dunwoody clusters are frustrated with you. I applaud your desire to make things right in the Cross Keys cluster. Great! Kids shouldn’t have to travel far from home for school, it should in Their community. Dunwoody/ Chamblee have worked tirelessly to create a great community school. Now you want to “blow it up” (figure of speech people) to make things right in Cross Keys. Why can’t we fix the over crowding and geographic situation in CK without disrupting what is working? DeKalb was founded on neighborhood schools concept. Knowing your neighbors and their children is what makes schools safe and productive. Mega schools is a concept I don’t believe DeKalb is equipped to handle. I don’t know everything about CK, but then again I’m so busy working at my children’s school in our cluster I don’t have the time. If others are doing the same I would guess they don’t understand my community as well. I am so disturbed at all that has happened this year. So much wasted time and energy. Time and energy that could be better used at our neighborhood schools.

  93. From time to time I delve into my philosophies of governing. I imagine we are quite different philosophically, so I can see why you find me disagreeable from time to time. Otherwise, I generally let the facts speak for themselves. I also appreciate that you are an unabashed supporter of Cross Keys, but I’m concerned with the other clusters as well.

    This blog to some extent is a microcosm of many of the conversations happening across the county and state. When the dialogue between you, Chamblee Getting Screwed and DIO gets out of hand, we are trying to reel that back in. We aren’t online 24/7, so it might take a while before somebody steps in. You’re not alone, try not to be so self centered.

    I didn’t bring the word “violence” into the conversation, you did. Please do not bring violence to this emotional discussion.

    GoDawgs44, We don’t have any policy governing which groups the school district can recognize. I’m guessing the superintendent is likely to recognize and support the parent groups that will be his mouthpiece.

  94. Kim Gökçe (DIO's Butt Munch)

    Stan, Stan, Stan… I don’t find your comments disagreeable here at all. In fact, they typically are pristine and carefully crafted to “dog whistle” to boosters and leave very serious implied questions hanging in the air. You let your “anonymous” posters do all your dirty work. Very nice statement about “moderation” but actions speak louder than words and I think you know what I mean from my private note to you. If you haven’t read that, I suggest you do so. This is the last time I’ll tolerate this facade of kindness from you. Keep your delusion here if you want, but leave me out of the cast.

  95. Scott Gillispie

    Kim: I feel that a good Democrat’s job is to say “hey, there’s some people we can help”; and the good Republican’s job is to say, “here’s how much money we’ve got for that.” Takes two to tango. Personally, I’m fundamentally a cheapskate (er, thrifty), therefore…; to some extent, this is offset by listening to ten years of Methodist sermons to do the most good, however. Still thinking about using this $2.99 Arbys fish meal e-mail coupon I got for lunch, though. Maybe Monday. Arbys coupons are the best. (Had a grad assistant colleague at Tech who did his doctoral research on Arbys coupons. I got to draw bar charts that got appropriated by Perot, instead.)

    So, apparently I’ve caused no end of e-mail for my wife because some Yahoo (if you are online, we know you are a Yahoo, since Houyhnhnms can’t type) on here has apparently focused on my description (my words, not hers) of some suspicion at what was more generally a “welcoming” (quoting myself from above) reception. Impact: she thinks they might need another flat of waters for Tuesday night. And once again we see why hearsay is not admissable in court.

    Hopefully, the jokers around here will stop refighting last year’s battle (’cause we’re done with that), and move on to finding the best (probably non-Yahoo) expertise we can for the Construction Committees; I look forward to hearing more Tuesday about the methodology for how they will work, and how they will keep the broader communities informed of their progress.

  96. I’ll say this about Stan’s blog, I read it frequently and appreciate the work he puts into it and also to the many readers who comment here….and yes, that includes you Kim G! Does the dialogue occasionally get emotional and even shocking in the comments section? Of course it does, these are all highly emotional topics being discussed. (I’ll also add that sometimes the comments make me laugh out loud, very entertaining on the lighter side)! I try to keep it in the context of not taking some of the comments too seriously or personally, that only makes things more emotional for the parties involved and certainly adds to my personal stress level! I appreciate reading all of the back and forth on here. As someone who is interested in finding the BEST solution for all, the dialog helps me understand points of view other than my own. I find that to be an invaluable resource in sifting through these complex matters and trying to find common ground.

    Hilary, regarding PGPC……I’ve raised my hand as being interested in getting more info about the Chamblee cluster VP position and finding out whether the current designee is set in stone. So far, crickets……but I remain optimistic in the openness PGPC is promoting and hope to hear something back soon! 🙂

  97. I am looking at the thread of e-mails and there is equal rudeness on BOTH sides of this issue. Kim, Scott, Bill etc. aren’t taking the high ground here, despite what they said. I even will say that my comment requesting new blood was taken the wrong way. But it was requesting new blood and not the same polarizing individuals running the show.

    But I also look at CGS and telling Kim that he must really try hard to be an ass, but then I look at Bill who implies that CGS is not all there mentally. Then I see Kim trying to overblow any comment that doesn’t agree with him into “hate speech” and “violence” (Really, honest and open dialog is now referred to as that?) Sure people have strong opinions oaths, but this is a way over the top accusation. The accusation against Stan who is merely trying to run a blog and a place to get information is way over the top. The sensitivity of some on this blog needs to really be checked.

    Clearly there is a lot of passion here and a lot of people that are not in favor of mega schools at the high school level feel very strongly about it. I am one of those. But some on here make those people feel extremely uncomfortable simply because they disagree. Then some have the audacity to slam those who are using anonymous names! Do you blame them? They will inevitably be called: hateful, racist, mentally unbalanced, and on and on. Why would anyone use their name? So, those that are acting “holier than thou,” you are just at fault here.

    As far as the current issue, I think there is a lot of lost trust here on all sides. I think that people that were for a new Doraville High School felt like their issues were never really addressed and this was just forced on them by a powerful few. We see Stan as our lone fighter for our point of view. And even in his blog, we are slammed by those that feel differently. And then we see that this new group, supposedly to represent the “view of parents” in D1, is comprised exclusively of leaders who are for the current direction and with the individual representing Chamblee not EVEN living in the district(?) then suspicions arise.

    This is why many in the Chamblee cluster are getting out. We’re tired of dealing with this.

  98. Correction, I have now heard back from the folks at PGPC, hooray! Onward and upward indeed!

  99. Kim … I think we’re reaching out to you. Think Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan.

  100. Scott Gillispie

    Interesting point brought up by “Run Amok” (I need a name for you…Mildred?) Anyway, Mildred says that people feel left out of Ptree Gateway because they didn’t get involved at the beginning, and that these are the same people were “for a Doraville High School”. Now, I see the problem being that the reason those folks favored creating a new cluster was fundamentally the same reason they didn’t immediately see a need to replace DCPC – they don’t really look beyond their own kids/schools to find someone else to help and focus on the broader community (how broad? As broad as we can make it). I don’t think it’s selfishness, just myopia; I had it too, until we got the routine at HHES down, and then had one of our kids in a second school, and we start looking at the big picture; they’re not two separate schools, they are part of a bigger system.

    So the people who are about helping other people’s kids are automatically going to be the first ones to say, “hey, we need to fill this gap with a group that helps all the schools”. Just natural tendencies.

    This organization is about sharing information that affects everybody, and learning about things going on at other schools, and trying to help one another; it speaks strongly to my wife, for the same reason, that, now that she’s rolling off the HHES PTA presidency, she wants to spend some of her time helping some combination of SMS and CRES; lets not just help those we know, but let’s help more people – not useless yammering like me, but actual roll up your sleeves, organize more effective fundraisers, get them STEM certified, help get more volunteers in the classroom, work. That’s the sort of stuff, that with a broader organization like this, you can make work – get more help to all the schools that need help. If you try to break the system up into smaller parts, you will be weaker for it.

    Me? I’m just hauling & hoisting.