Governor Nathan Deal announced the names of the six new DeKalb School Board members replacing the six board members he suspended in February. Deal told the media during the Wednesday press conference that he has signed an executive order confirming his approval. He said the new board members are highly qualified and meet the main criteria of having governance experience. The new DeKalb BOE members are:
District 1, John Coleman
Coleman is a strategic planning manager at Invesco. Previously, he held a variety of leadership roles at McKinsey & Company. He also serves on various nonprofit boards. Coleman has a master’s in Business Administration from Harvard and a master’s in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. He resides in Atlanta.
District 3, Michael Erwin
Erwin is a U.S. Navy veteran and has been a research assistant at Duke University Medical Center and the University of South Carolina. He has worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Services and is past chair of the NOAA fisheries committees on fish species and fish diseases in Maine and South Carolina. In 2008, he earned a Ph.D. in Biological Science from the University of South Carolina. He has been a member of the faculty at Georgia Gwinnett College since 2009 and teaches undergraduate students in biological science. He graduated from North Carolina Central University with a bachelor’s in Biology and a master’s in Biological Science. Erwin resides in Decatur.
District 5, David Campbell
Campbell is a senior manager with Georgia Power, where he supports the company's energy conservation efforts. He is a certified public accountant with managerial experience. Campbell received a degree in Business Administration from Albany State University. He is a former chair of Leadership DeKalb, a member of the DeKalb 100 Black Men and an active member of St. Phillips AME. He formerly served on the Stephenson High School Council and resides in Lithonia.
District 7, Joyce Morley
Morley is the chief executive officer of Morley and Associates and is a nationally known public speaker and trainer. She is a certified counselor, a trained mediator and serves on several local and national governance boards. Morley has a doctorate in Counseling, Family and Work life from the University of Rochester. She received her specialist’s and master’s degrees in Counseling Education from the State University New York College at Brockport, and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the SUNY College at Genesco. A Stone Mountain resident, Morley has lived in DeKalb County for more than 22 years.
District 8, Karen Carter
Carter serves on the faculty of Georgia Perimeter College where she is chair of the Business and Social Science department. She received a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications from Denison University and a law degree from Ohio State University. Carter has served as a classroom teacher and has held several senior administrative roles in the field of education. She is a graduate of Leadership DeKalb and is an active community volunteer and a PTSA member. Carter is a resident of the Lakeside Community.
District 9, Thaddeus Mayfield
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.
Governor Deal told the media he decided not to reinstate the suspended board members on the recommendation of the nominating committee which felt that it was “best to start with a clean slate.”
He also said the racial make-up of the new board members is exactly the same as that of the suspended board members.
Deal said he was not directly involved in the interviewing process, but did speak with the six selected members by phone.
The Governor’s panel began reviewing a list of more than 400 people late last week. Deal thanked the nominating committee who worked hard and fast, and was able to present the Governor with a list of 12 candidates this week.
Deal said he is hopeful that the new board will show "remarkable progress with the issues SACS has shown concern about”. DeKalb County Schools’ accreditation hangs in the balance of the school board being able to show that it can not only govern and work together, but correct long standing issues impacting the district’s students.
In response to the ongoing legal question surrounding the removal of the previous board members on the State School Board's recommendation, Deal told the media he "hopes there will be no further legal delays in the process. The people of the school system deserve to see if the process works."
However, Mark Elgart of AdvancEd, the parenting company for SACS, says the state law allowing the Governor to replace school board members may be flawed. According to Channel 2 Action News, Elgart told a group of legislative leaders Tuesday night that the governor may have moved too fast in replacing the school board members within 30 days. He said 6 months to a year is more appropriate. But Elgart also said that there appears to be no racial overtones in the appointments and SACS will work with the new appointments.
The new board members also participated in a sweating ceremony Wednesday afternoon in Stone Mountain.