Two new faces on DeKalb board. Congrats and good luck.

District 7 school board member Donna Edler

District 7 school board member Donna Edler

The DeKalb school board gets new leadership with the election of two newcomers in today’s runoff elections.

Nancy Jester defeated incumbent Jim Redovian in District 1 by capturing 55 percent of the vote, while certified public accountant Donna Edler defeated  Zepora Roberts in District 7 by winning 72 percent of the vote.

Runoffs — especially runoffs during terrible rainstorms — hinge on motivated voters. Apparently, Jester and Edler had enough of them.

Edler, in particular, won by a commanding margin, suggesting that District 7 voters craved change after many years with Roberts at the helm.

Both Edler and Jester were impressive at public forums and demonstrated great capacity for detail. Each has children in the system and has been an involved parent in her local school.

District 1 school board member Nancy Jester

District 1 school board member Nancy Jester

Jester and Edler will need every bit of intellect and stamina they have as they are joining the DeKalb school board at a time of great turbulence.

Along with redistricting, the board will be hiring a new superintendent. One of the toughest jobs ahead is rebuilding community pride in the schools. Many voters have lost faith in the leadership of the schools after the indictment of the former superintendent and the construction manager.

Congratulations to the two winners, and good luck.

–Maureen Downey, AJC Get Schooled blog

25 comments Add your comment

Linda

November 30th, 2010
10:59 pm

That’s great news!!

d

November 30th, 2010
11:13 pm

As far as district 7 is concerned, GLORY GLORY HALLELUJAH!!!! In district 1, I listened to both Mr. Redovian and Ms. Jester, and honestly I believed either one would be great (I know a lot of people in the Dunwoody area would disagree with me, but that is my opinion).

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Dr. John Trotter

December 1st, 2010
12:09 am

Maureen: Sometimes rain is good. New, fresh blood certainly can’t hurt things, but it remains to be seen if it will really help things. I’ve seen so many school board members come and go in DeKalb and other counties these past 30 years that I remain somewhat jaded and cynical. When a school board member tries to make a difference, he or she is beat down by the administration, and if this doesn’t work, the administration calls upon ole Mark Elgart of SACS to bring in his bully whip. Then, the media gets all whipped up (smelling readership and ads, no doubt), and the public begins to panic and looks for a scapegoat who is usually the board member who is really trying to make a difference.

Sick of Republicans

December 1st, 2010
4:42 am

Nancy Jester was not my choice but I am willing to give her a chance. However she needs to realize she represents less affluent areas of District 1 as well as the more affluent areas. Time will tell.

oldtimer

December 1st, 2010
8:05 am

Best of luch to the two board members…..Seems a lot of old blood was done away with this year. People are tired of business as usual.

alm

December 1st, 2010
8:38 am

Sick – She does not live in the affluent part of the district so I don’t think that will be a problem.

Sick of Republicans

December 1st, 2010
9:26 am

alm – like I said I congratulate her and wish her luck because she has some big time duty ahead of her. District 7 got rid of their and our headache but that still leaves a few more. I will give her the benefit of the doubt but I will be listening and watching and will ask questions and voice my opinion if I feel the need to do so. While she may not live in the “affluent” part of the district, she doesn’t live in the non-affluent district either and most of her campaigning seemed to have taken place in the “affluent” rather than “non-affluent” part of the district. But like I said, it is a new day and a long road ahead and I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

Cere

December 1st, 2010
9:36 am

Hurrah! The voters of DeKalb opened the door and let in some fresh air! This is very good news! Both of these ladies are numbers people – it will be very hard to pull the wool over their eyes like Lewis and Pope were able to do with the former board and Turk. After all, the main responsibilities of the board are to manage the superintendent and the budget (voters tax dollars).

(Note to Sick – not to worry, I think you have people confused. It was Redovian who ran on the platform that he would be the ‘only locally elected official from Dunwoody’… Nancy will certainly represent everyone.)

John

December 1st, 2010
10:11 am

Geez, I hope Ms. Roberts does not express her disappointment by slugging someone.

Dr. John Trotter

December 1st, 2010
10:27 am

http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/

The above link is an impressive school system watchdog type blog. It does a good job staying on top of school issues in DeKalb. Perhaps the citizens of Atlanta and other counties should have their own watch dog blogs too. I suspect that one or two of our posters on this AJC blog have something to do with this DeKalb blog. Isn’t the internet wonderful? In a matter of minutes (literally), one can start up a journalistic enterprise focused on any locale or issue. Anyone can be a publisher or editor. But, one caveat: you must have something worthy to say so that others will actually want to read what you have on your blog. I do occasionally go to this DeKalb blog and enjoy it.

Dunwoody Mom

December 1st, 2010
10:32 am

Cere, Nancy Jester certainly did not represent “everyone” when she supported the QSCB funds to be used on one project – Chamblee HS building. In a district with $144 million in construction needs – those funds should have spread around – you know roofs on leaky school buildings, HVAC systems that need replacing, bathrooms at Woodward Elementary that cannot be used….

Maureen Downey

December 1st, 2010
10:32 am

@Dr. Trotter, The DeKalb County School Watch folks are pretty open about their blog, and I am happy for them to both post here and direct folks to their blog. I agree that every system should have a blog as diligent as DeKalb School Watch, but it takes a committed moderator and not sure how many people have the time to do it as well as DCSW is done. (For them, it is volunteer.)
Maureen

Ernest

December 1st, 2010
12:41 pm

The moderator for DCSW is a great, dedicated person! The moderator along with the many citizens that participate make it an informative site. If the AJC has a category/recognition, I would nominate it for community blog of the year and the moderator for a similar award.

As with any blog, misinfomation is posted from time to time but I have found it to be a self correcting site. Have your sources and hyperlinks ready when you want to make a statement about something.

alm

December 1st, 2010
12:49 pm

Yes, Cere does a great job with DeKalb County School Watch blog. If I want to know what is happening in DCSS it’s the first place I go.

Dunwoody Mom

December 1st, 2010
12:56 pm

Yes, Cere deserves a medal and much more!!

I think some parents tried to start a similar blog in Gwinnett about 4 years or so, but the rumor was Alvin Wilbanks tracked them down……

Cere

December 1st, 2010
6:44 pm

Gee you guys, I’m flattered. Thanks, but the blog consists of input from a whole bunch of people — and you might be surprised at who some of them really are. (There are some I don’t even know who they are!) But you are right – it is a self-correcting blog- if you post something really off – look out!

And Dunwoody Mom – I will have to check – or maybe you can – but I really thought Nancy didn’t want to borrow the QSCB funds at all… she wasn’t supportive of the idea of committing taxpayers to a $58 million loan – even if it is interest free.

Cere

December 1st, 2010
8:08 pm

Oh, Dunwoody Mom – the thing with the QSCB funds is that there is a ton of paperwork involved for every project. That’s why the board limited the spending on one or two projects. Well, as it ended up, one project. They knew they couldn’t deal with so much paperwork (after all this is government money… lots of red tape).

Dunwoody Mom

December 2nd, 2010
7:43 am

Sorry, cere, I call BS. Putting roofs on buildings, installing toilets, fixing faucets that don’t work, making sure our schools are properly heated for the upcoming winter – that isn’t too much paperwork. It’s done everyday.

No one without an agenda could say that when an organization has $144 million in construction needs and out of the blue $58 million is provided to you that that organization spend the entire money on one project. That makes no sense whatsoever.

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Kudos to District 7

December 2nd, 2010
2:40 pm

I for one, am very hopeful about the outcome of the school board runoff election in Dekalb. I am proud to say that I made it back out there in the rain to cast my vote for Donna Edler. It was in the evening after work ,during very heavy rain and I almost didn’t go. Fortunately, I only had to think for a moment about what has been going on in the DCSS for years to get motivated enough to return to the polls. I agree that Dekalb School Watch does a fabulous job of reporting what’s really going on. Kudos to all insightful contributors that sincerely have the best interest of the student’s of DCSS at heart.

Ernest

December 2nd, 2010
2:54 pm

Dunwoody Mom, I believe you already know that I agree with you. Allocating 70 million dollars for one school that has 700 public high school students in their attendance zone does not make sense. If this were part of a larger plan to build a school that could hold 2000-2500 students while both redistricting and consolidation, I could support this. At this time, we don’t know if that is the direction.

Julie

December 3rd, 2010
9:02 pm

Nancy Jester was a tremendous campaigner. She was accessible to the voters and a great student of the issues facing the county. I have no doubt that she will bring a fresh new perspective and great analytical skills to the BOE. And, it’s about time a member of the Board, now 2 members, have children in our school system.

Dekalbite@Julie

December 3rd, 2010
11:10 pm

“And, it’s about time a member of the Board, now 2 members, have children in our school system.”

Well, that’s not exactly true. Most of our BOE members have children in the DeKalb School System. They are in high paying jobs.

Ernest

December 4th, 2010
8:26 pm

Well, that’s not exactly true. Most of our BOE members have children in the DeKalb School System. They are in high paying jobs.

DeKalblite, that was funny!!! :)