Monthly Archives: March 2017


Last Monday, we were all inspired by Dr. Whitney Ingram’s speech. “What if I were to tell you that it’s possible to make an invisibility cloak [like Harry Potter’s]” she asked.
She may be the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Georgia, but Dr. Ingram was never identified as gifted. She tells us about her journey, what inspired her and how she got to where she is today. You can see the entire video and transcript here.
Dr. Ingram was born in Stone Mountain from “humble beginnings”. 2 months premature and weighing in at only 1 pound and 12 and a half ounces, doctors were concerned that she would have mental disabilities saying, “I was slow to walk and talk. By the time I got to first grade, I was evaluated for special education.”
Her parents were frequent flyers at School Box where they supplemented her education hoping to help keep her up to speed with her classmates. She recalled,

“I did at least one page [every day from] those workbooks. Overtime I began to learn at home as well as at school. That study habit took me to middle school and high school and then to college. So, learning to study was something I learned at a young age. By the time I hit third and fourth grade, I began to excel.
By the time I hit third and fourth grade, I began to excel. My second inspiration is doing something that you are passionate about. I used to check out books from the library. One book in particular that I loved was 101 science projects for kids.that sucks because you could do cool things. You can make a merry-go-round out of pipe cleaners or you can make paintings out of oil.
I’m not thinking this is a cool scientific endeavor. I’m thinking this is fun. If I can make a merry-go-round, I can play with this with my Barbie dolls.”

Dr. Whitney graduated from Stephenson high school and is thankful for the education and inspiration she received here. While she received her share of negative comments along her journey, she said,

I would like to encourage any student who was interested in pursuing something, to go ahead and go after it. You’re going to be judged even if you can’t identify with me as a black female. You’re going to be judged by the way you look, by the way you act, if you’re tall, short, fat … it doesn’t matter. Your work will speak for itself.

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.

Peachtree Gateway Council on Schools – Concerns
While they present themselves as a group for the public, they are not. They have a closed Facebook page and will not let me join despite their stated purpose. They have never reached out to me and they don’t return my phone calls or emails. Something isn’t right here.