My wife Ginger and I have lived in Decatur since 2008. We are raising four kids: two in Renfroe, one in Glennwood, and a three-year-old who rules us all.
I invented a medical device to save lives and help nurses better manage patient care. My company, called Lightengale, is based right here in Decatur.
Prior to Lightengale, I served as the Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the City of Atlanta, where I helped run the operating departments and built the $600MM general fund budget for the City.
I believe my record in public service, and my background in operations and finance, will be a great asset to the CSD Board of Education.
Why I am Running
Decatur’s school system is among the most important institutions in our great town. Most residents live here because of the quality of the schools and the opportunities and experiences afforded their children in a high-quality public school system.
Unfortunately, in the past few years we have seen that perception of quality challenged. Even prior to the pandemic the system's ranking had dropped, and multiple troubling examples of inequitable treatment of students had come to light.
Previous leadership, apparently with Board support, used vacation time in a highly questionable manner, and staff who questioned it were alleged to have been retaliated against. Yet the investigation into the claims yielded little transparency and there have been no findings or recommendations made to the community. We still teach a curriculum that offers a shallow and perfunctory exploration of the contributions of Black Americans, despite student-led efforts to update it through well considered proposals like the JADE program. Many teachers are demoralized, and we have challenges recruiting and retaining the best and brightest educators. When COVID struck, parents and the community at large fragmented in a way not seen in other districts with strong leadership.
The list is long, but together we can address it all.
I do not believe we can fix these challenges by sweeping them under the rug. Being open about the issues is not the same as being beaten by them – on the contrary, I think the only way to take our still good system and return it to a great one is to honestly face what needs to be done.
I believe the era of tactical, custodian Superintendents and passive Boards must end. The next Board must select an experienced and visionary Superintendent, one with a clear perspective on equitable and creative instruction that sees and serves the whole child, and every child. The Board itself must represent all taxpayers and hold the Superintendent accountable to accomplishing the vision.
We should reprioritize instructional expenses over administrative costs, including paying our teachers in line with comparable systems, and we should treat the budget as a statement of our values as a community, because it is. What we invest in is what we cherish.
With my experience in municipal operations and finance, I believe I have the background and expertise to serve on the CSD board. And with four kids in the system, I am deeply invested in our success.
This is why I am running. I will be honored to be your District 1 representative on the CSD School Board.