26 candidates are running for Atlanta Board of Education

Name: Brenda Muhammad (Incumbent)

Occupation: Executive director for the Atlanta Victim Assistance

Quote: “This is the time to move the system in a new direction. There is still work to be done, and I would appreciate a final four years to complete some of that work.”

Website: http://www.brendajmuhammad.com/

Name: Leslie Grant

Occupation: President of Chickin Feed, a small business promoting child nutrition

Quote: “It is important that we elect leadership that will keep the focus of the policies, budget, and politics where it belongs — on students and their success.”

Website: http://www.electlesliegrant.com/

Name: Byron Amos (Incumbent, unopposed)

Occupation: CEO of Capacity Builders

Quote: “Children can elevate their performance to the level of our expectations, so we must expect the best of them.”

Website: http://byronamos.homestead.com/

Name: Matt Westmoreland (unopposed)

Occupation: High school history teacher

Quote: “To break the cycle of dysfunction and infighting, we need a fresh perspective on the board.”

Website: http://www.mattwestmoreland.com/

Name: Taryn Chilivis Bowman

Occupation: Film consultant

Quote: “We need to redirect the money to the classroom, which, in turn, empowers principals to hire the teachers of their choosing.”

Website: http://www.voteforbowman.com/

Name: Nancy Meister (Incumbent)

Occupation: Residential real estate agent

Quote: “I will continue to advocate for a balanced budget that pushes for smaller administrative overhead and one that empowers our local principals to make the financial decisions that make the most sense for their schools. Furlough days and larger classes are not the answer.”

Website: http://www.nancydistrict4.com/

Name: Raynard Johnson

Occupation: Software development consultant

Quote: “We have to break through our kind of private idea that children belong to their families and recognize that children belong to whole communities.”

Website: http://raynardjohnsonforatlanta.com/

Name: Charles Lawrence

Occupation: Real estate broker

Quote: “Some of the issues that should be addressed are the dropout rate and the graduation rate, not only in the general population but in the special education population of our school system.”

Website: http://bit.ly/1cpCHIT

Name: Steven Lee

Occupation: Executive director for the Unity Network and Counseling Center

Quote: “Teacher absenteeism disproportionately affects low-income students. Research shows that absenteeism in schools serving low-income students is higher than for students in more affluent communities.”

Website: http://www.electstevenlee.com/

Name: Mary Palmer

Occupation: Academic coach

Quote: “The system has to get over the hurdle of the negatives of the cheating scandal, the instability in the leadership.”

Website: http://marypalmerforschools.com/

Name: Dell Byrd

Occupation: Property management

Quote: “As global competition becomes more challenging, we cannot allow a deserving generation to lag behind, to fail to graduate, to have less than the finest in educational opportunities.”

Website: http://www.dellbyrd-district6.com/

Name: Eshé Collins

Occupation: Project Director for the Jumpstart program at Georgia State University

Quote: “The schools in South Atlanta are the lowest-performing schools in the district. We cannot continue ignoring certain parts of the city.”

Website: http://www.collinsforkids.com/

Name: Shawnna Hayes-Tavares

Occupation: Homemaker

Quote: “All children deserve to be educated in a safe environment where their talents and gifts are realized and nurtured. In order to do that, we must first ensure that every school has equitable resources.”

Website: http://www.shawnnaforourchildren.com/

Name: Anne Wofford McKenzie

Occupation: Retired Atlanta Public Schools teacher

Quote: “Career paths allow students to choose, with help, the career they’d like to follow after high school. It’s not about everybody having to do the same thing. Not everybody has the same interest or the ability to compete at the college level.”

Website: None

Name: Courtney English (Incumbent)

Occupation: Education strategy and development consultant

Quote: “As a former teacher in the Atlanta Public Schools, I understand the challenges our children and our teachers are facing: failing schools fueled by low expectations and little resources or support.”

Website: http://www.courtneyenglish.com/

Name: Nisha Simama

Occupation: Administrator at the private Paideia School

Quote: “I still teach each day ,which keeps me in touch with many of the educational issues we face in a changing society. I have been an educator for over 30 years, and when I served as interim board member in 2011, it became very clear to me that my experience and perspective in education was much needed.”

Website: http://nishasimama.com/

Name: Cynthia Briscoe Brown

Occupation: Attorney

Quote: “I want to unify the board around the common goal of making sure every child gets everything they need to succeed.”

Website: http://cynthiabriscoebrown.com/

Name: Reuben McDaniel (Incumbent)

Occupation: Investment banker

Quote: “We’ve come through a very difficult period in Atlanta Public Schools, but we are really making progress — just not fast enough.”

Website: http://www.reubenmcdaniel.com/

Name: Mark Riley

Occupation: Real estate developer

Quote: “We need a new board that’s committed to doing the hard work to change an incredibly calcified bureaucracy, to change the culture and find new ideas and approaches in classrooms.”

Website: http://www.markrileyforschoolboard.com/

Name: Tom Tidwell

Occupation: Attorney

Quote: “Atlanta Public Schools is insanely top heavy. We’ve got to get more of that money into the classroom.”

Website: http://electtidwell.com/

Name: Dave Walker

Occupation: Former street vendor

Quote: “We need to put prayer back in school.”

Website: None

Name: Eddie Lee Brewster

Occupation: Life insurance agent, substitute teacher

Quote: “I feel there’s a whole lot of waste, and I also see a lot of problems in the classroom coming from student behaviors. Parents have to get more involved.”

Website: None

Name: Jason Esteves

Occupation: Attorney

Quote: “We are at a pivotal moment, and a visionary superintendent is needed to ensure our district fulfills its mandate to our children.”

Website: http://www.jasonesteves.com/

Name: Lori James

Occupation: President of Focus on Education

Quote: “We have too many children leaving high school unable to read, compute without a calculator, write a complete sentence or paragraph, or utilize proper English.”

Website: http://www.electdrlori.com/

Name: Ed Johnson

Occupation: President of Quality Information Solutions

Quote: “Atlanta Public Schools operates too much like a business, and by that I mean there is too much of the classrooms responding to demands from the administration when it ought to be the administration responding to demands from the classrooms.”

Website: http://www.edjohnsoninseat9.com/

Name: Sean Norman

Occupation: President of WillAppoint

Quote: “My platform is restoring trust in Atlanta Public Schools. I want to do that with effective leadership starting with bringing in a world class superintendent.”

Website: http://www.seancnorman.com/

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