They have children and grandchildren, and expertise in education, finance and law. They are white and black, men and women. Some can jog to their neighborhood schools and others live miles away.
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The Druid Hills charter cluster governing board:
Matthew S. Lewis, lead petitioner, is a former financial services executive who now manages his personal investments. He has a child at Druid Hills High, where he was a member of the school council.
Theresa Johnson-Bennett, a paralegal for state government, lives outside the cluster in Stone Mountain but sends her daughter to Avondale Elementary, where she is a member of the school council.
Scott L. Bonder is a lawyer with two children at Fernbank Elementary, where he was vice president of the PTA and a school council member.
Frederick “Fred” L. Daniels, Jr., a banker and MARTA board chairman, lives outside the cluster in Stone Mountain but sends two children to Druid Hills Middle. He was treasurer of the Fernbank Elementary Foundation.
Kathleen Boyle Mathers was a teacher at Avondale Elementary, then executive director of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement and now is an education consultant. She lives in the cluster but her children are too young for school.
David G. Roberts, financial adviser for public-sector clients, has two children in the Avondale Elementary attendance zone but sends the oldest to a private kindergarten.
Robert B. Thorpe, former principal of Druid Hills Middle School, lives in Gwinnett County. His grandchildren attend school in the cluster.
Interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond has until mid-November to evaluate the petition, negotiate changes with the petitioners and submit it to the school board.
If the DeKalb school board approves the plan, it will go to the state board of education for approval.
There is no appeal process if the petition is rejected.