DeKalb Schools continues to look for the right Superintendent. The vote on Monday on DeKalb Schools’ sole finalist brings to light why I strongly suggest that you take a look at voting for Anna Hill, CPA, for DeKalb County School Board of Education, District #1 in the upcoming June election.
The DeKalb Schools Board of Education has been in the news recently (WSBTV-2, AJC) regarding our search for the next Superintendent. I did not favor hiring the finalist that was presented to the public. Some of my objections are the same as those voiced by constituents and community members. Some of my objections were internal process problems.
I am grateful that the majority of our Board listened to the community and worked together and earnestly to do what they saw was in the best interests of students, communities, and taxpayers. While I think the finalist announcement was rushed and unwise, characterizing the outcome as a failure is simply not accurate. The children, communities, and taxpayers are always better off when mistakes in leadership choices are averted, even when these choices make some people uncomfortable.
Election – DeKalb Schools Board of Education
All of this has me thinking about what I’m seeing in the current campaign to be the next Board of Education member from District 1. I have chosen not to seek reelection. There are 2 candidates seeking this position. Hill’s opposition recently posted on Facebook some statements on the search and subsequent vote on Monday.
My thoughts on some of his statements
“If Mr. Jester was so concerned about the choice, why did he not come up with valid arguments and persuade others to make a different choice?”
Everything about this part of his post shows his naivete and willful ignorance of the process. To suggest that I wasn’t “persuasive” is an ad hominem attack and demonstrably false as denoted by the vote.
This candidate went on to criticize the perspective and votes of BOE members from other districts; asking
“Why did Dr. Morely and Mr. DaCosta appear to change their minds, despite Dr. Morely saying today that she wasn’t against Dr. Crew? What happened behind those closed doors? Is there a better, second choice waiting?”
This is an odd critique given that this BOE candidate has consistently said that he is going to single-handedly change the tone and relationships on the BOE. It’s also condescending to those BOE members that took the time to listen to the public. The BOE can’t get public feedback on a candidate until the state mandated 14 day waiting period. Should BOE members not be responsive to the concerns of their community?
Did this candidate reach out to the other BOE members that voted “no”? He didn’t reach out to me. I suppose that’s par for the course for him.
He was involved in a school community group whose original mission included the statement, “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”. At the time, I reached out to him on numerous occasions with no response in return. He ran a closed social media page for this “public group” that was not open to all parents or community members. He organized meetings of this school community group, held in a public building, with the administration about issues that were important to the whole community but did not permit public attendance. This established pattern, to oppose transparency and full participation of the community, is deeply troubling. It contradicts much of his campaign sloganeering. This candidate consistently campaigns on one thing while doing the exact opposite with in his public educational group.
Anna Hill, Certified Public Accountant – DeKalb Board of Education – District #1
There is a candidate that appears to be listening to the people of DeKalb, looking at the data, and adding value. Her name is Anna Hill.
Anna Hill is a CPA. She’s been engaged with the school district and BOE regarding the current problems with the audits. She met with Board members one-on-one to give them important information that was not being accurately represented to them by the former CFO.
DeKalb Schools lost their credit rating over the fiasco with the audits. That is proof positive of the need for a CPA to be on the Board. History has solidly indicated that DeKalb’s BOE needs to have a more assertive approach to the financial management of the district. Over the years I have tried to highlight many of the financial problems. You can’t fix the problems in schools if you aren’t managing the taxpayers’ money properly. The district will certainly be negatively impacted financially given the current economic crisis. Now more than ever, a CPA is needed on the Board.
I strongly suggest that you take a look at Anna Hill, CPA. I’m impressed with her.