DeKalb election: Most school board incumbents survive

Updated Wednesday: Redovian and Jester are in a runoff in District 1, as are Zepora Roberts and Donna Edler in District 7. All other incumbents won. (Please note that Gene Walker was also endorsed by both eduKalb and the DeKalb teachers’ group.)

Despite a perceived clamor for change, incumbents on the DeKalb school board appear to be facing little problem holding onto their seats tonight — with the exception of District 1.

Jim Redovian is trailing challenger Nancy Jester, who ran a high profile and well organized campaign.

Oddly, Redovian was one of the two incumbents endorsed by both eduKalb and the DeKalb teachers’ group, raising questions about the influence of endorsements. (Gene Walker did retain his seat.)

Incumbents Sarah Copelin-Wood, Jesse Jay Cunningham, Zepora Roberts and Gene Walker are leading in their races.

Many posters to this blog are not fans of the DeKalb incumbents, but clearly they have their fans. There is also the familiarity factor. Voters have no real knowledge about the challengers so they stick to the person who already has the seat.

17 comments Add your comment


November 2nd, 2010
11:14 pm

head wall head wall head wall head wall head wall head wall head wall head wall head wall head wall

Dr. John Trotter

November 3rd, 2010
12:15 am

Apparently the voters of DeKalb are telling Mark Elgart and SACS to kiss their collective a_s.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by South DeKalb, Maureen Downey. Maureen Downey said: DeKalb election: Most school board incumbents survive [...]

Cheryl Matthews

November 3rd, 2010
12:56 am



November 3rd, 2010
1:29 am

At least if Jester wins there will be a voice on the BOE that asks the tough questions. Jester knows finance and will actually take the time to number crunch. That is a good thing for DCSS because if even one BOE member had asked about the construction mess and Lewis DCSS would be spending millions more in the classroom on students.

Dr. John Trotter

November 3rd, 2010
2:04 am

Yeah, I think that Emanuel needs to head back down to Henry and leave the DeKalb affairs to the DeKalbites.

Blue Sky

November 3rd, 2010
3:58 am

It’s a shame that Jester is the only one that may upset an incumbent because Dekalb definately needs a change from the status quo! Go Nancy!


November 3rd, 2010
6:09 am

jaw ground
Time for families to leave DeKalb and Fulton in droves for the sake of their children.

Write Your Board Members

November 3rd, 2010
6:57 am

The only people who raised questions about EduKalb’s and ODE’s endorsements were those who didn’t agree with them. Last night, over 200,000 people voted in DeKalb, though not all could vote for a school board member. I bet that less than 20,000 had paid any attention of either of those organizations.

Write Your Board Members

November 3rd, 2010
6:58 am

I actually meant to say heard of instead of paid attention.

November 2nd Has Come And Gone

November 3rd, 2010
8:57 am

…..this is so sad for the school children in DeKalb……thank goodness we in Decatur don’t have to worry, although this is horrible for the whole county because, as the school system goes, the county goes……sad, sad, sad.

Don Broussard

November 3rd, 2010
9:02 am

The AJC needs to share the blame for some of this. As recently as October 10, this newspaper — and reporter Megan Matteucci — STILL had not reported that Jay Cunningham was a CONVICTED FELON! Editor Julia Wallace was right in her piece that school board races were often neglected in the past. No one has neglected them more than this newspaper. You published a big ‘report card’ on school boards — and it was nothing but softball questions, meaningless votes, and self-serving answers by the board members themselves. The AJC continued to give EduKalb credibility by publishing it’s endorsements of Gene Walker and Redovian as if they meant something. EduKalb is nothing but the self-appointed business establishment that has brought us people like Vernon Jones and Sidney Dorsey. The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce has sold us out as usual.

no mas

November 3rd, 2010
10:09 am

@almh –

Ditto, ditto, ditto. I was heartened to see that Ella Smith did so well against Gene “I want more money” Walker – small consolation, since we still have to have him on the Board, but it is clear that he does not have universal support.

Still, I started work on spiffing up my house to sell. I need to get out of DeKalb ASAP, and out of Georgia as soon after that as I can manage.

DeKalb Educated

November 3rd, 2010
10:23 am

I am right there with you “no mas”. I cannot believe Sarah and Zepora could be returned to the School Board after all of the news accounts of nepotism and incompetence. I am floored. DeKalb was once a good school systems with an outstanding magnet program. Now, it is hiring program for friends and families and is not concerned with Education. Excellent Teachers are leaving due to the incompetence at the Central Office. We have just told bullies like Sarah and Zepora – “Lose your temper” “Act like fools” “Waste our Money” – we’ll still elect you to represent us. I am ashamed of everyone who voted to put these people in charge of our children’s education.


November 3rd, 2010
3:57 pm

Re-electing Cunningham instead of electing Dr. Kirk Nooks is example of the total ingnorance and incompetence of DeKalb voters.


November 6th, 2010
7:59 pm

Maureen, I assume you are still good with “local control” here in DeKalb? You argue so strongly in favor of “local control” for a local board of education and against schools like The Museum School and Peachtree Hope, being approved by an alternative authorizer. When far too many of my neighbors in DeKalb remain clueless to do something to change the horrible school board members in DeKalb and DeKalb remains hostile towards independent public schools of choice, my only hope is that the Supreme Court upholds the lower court’s decision on the GA Charter Schools Commission Act. You tell me, what other options do I have?


November 9th, 2010
7:55 pm

DCSS Board of Ed member Sarah Copelin-Wood’s daughter, Thomakia Copelin,
a DCSS employee, in a little trouble (and it’s a felony). A normal DCSS employee be suspended without pay. But the daughter of a long standing BOE member? Nope.

Offense Date

Charge Level / Code and Description

Filing Date

DOB: 08-MAY-74
SPN: X0405631
BOOKING DATE: 28-JAN-10 01:23 PM
RELEASE DATE: 29-JAN-10 03:37 PM