New DeKalb board members: Coleman, Erwin, Campbell, Morley, Carter and Mayfield

At a press conference this morning, Gov. Nathan Deal announced the six new members of the DeKalb County Board of Education. It looks like the nomination panel bypassed the high profile names and went for people with management skills. The new board will be sworn in today at 1 p.m.

The six are: John Coleman of District 1, Michael Erwin of District 3, David Campbell of District 5, Joyce Morley of District 7, Karen Carter of District 8 and Thad Mayfield of District 9. See their bios here.

Deal said the panel was looking for a fresh slate, although at least one new board member has been involved with the board in some capacity. Mayfield chaired the 2010 20-member Citizens Planning Task Force that looked at school closings. He was campaign chair for former board member Frances Edwards back in 1998.

“We did an exhaustive job of finding qualified nominations for these seats,” said panel member Kenneth Mason, a state Board of Education member.

“If race is a factor, the racial makeup of the six corresponds with the racial makeup of the six who were removed,” said Deal, explaining that there are five African-Americans and one white among the six.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

12 comments Add your comment

Principal Skinner

March 13th, 2013
11:18 am

So…………..who has any experience with these new members? Good, bad or meh?

Smoke Rise Mom

March 13th, 2013
11:27 am

I served with Thad Mayfield on the Citizens Planning Task Force. He is thoughtful, considers the needs of all stakeholders, and works to build consensus. If the rest are of his caliber, we’re in good hands.


March 13th, 2013
11:29 am

I am thrilled at the selection. They are very accomplished, leaders in their community and in some instances recognized at the metro and state level. Along with Mr Thurmond I believe we have the leadership and expertise many have only dreamed of.
I implore the readers of this blog & the more than 300 applicants who took the time to think and write about the future of this system to come together and help these few people build a better system of education for our children. And establish a better process of management for our tax payers.
May this be the foundation for a better DeKalb.

Dekalb Watchdog

March 13th, 2013
11:53 am

Impressive credentials for all. Should be interesting to see who the community decides to elect when the seats are up for election.

Chamblee Dad

March 13th, 2013
11:58 am

@Faye 100% agree, I’ve been calling for that for some time, even those who seemed determined to pull out of the system (if they can get the constitution amended). Some respond that it’s too little, too late = DCSS is a lost cause. I don’t think so, not only give this a chance, let’s work to help out.

Georgia Mom

March 13th, 2013
12:44 pm

The result of the meeting between the NAACP representatives and the Governor reminded me of a scene from the movie ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ in which Sidney Poitier’s character is talking with his father and says this
“You are 30 years older than I am. You and your whole lousy generation believes the way it was for you is the way it’s got to be. And not until your whole generation has lain down and died will the dead weight of you be off our backs! You understand, you’ve got to get off my back! Dad… Dad, you’re my father. I’m your son. I love you. I always have and I always will. But you think of yourself as a colored man. I think of myself as a man.”

The focus should be on education and cost effectiveness. All other special interest groups should lay off and let this stellar group of folks try to untangle the mess they have in front of them – whether they be black, white or purple.


March 13th, 2013
2:14 pm

I completely agree with Faye and Chamblee Dad. By their backgrounds these are excellent individuals. Looked at as a group as a whole, there is a combination of skills that are sorely needed as well as the capacity to work collectively with each other.

And for the public record–given the number and quality of folks that put in for district 8, I don’t think that I would have chosen me over a number of the other available choices. Kudos to the nominating committee.

If my contributions was to get a few quotes into the paper and on TV about the importance of this, then I am happy that my contribution might have been to inspire a larger applicant pool.


March 13th, 2013
10:16 pm

Wow! I’m excited. Georgia Mom I like your comment. I also agree with the Governor’s comment…since they made race an issue I’m bringing it up. Good answer, good answer.

Now we look for\ward to our board’s support of our superintendent in running this school system as a business. I look forward to the support of our board and the superintendent to our principles, counselors, teachers, and any staff member that has direct contact with the students (stakeholders). Board & Superintendent, please support them by allowing them to do what they specializes in – teaching the stakeholders. I would like to suggest that perhaps much of the monetary support can come about by reducing some of the top-heavy salaries of many of the administrators who was recently brought on board or existing ones that was given raises while the teachers and bus drivers salaries were reduced or not increased at all.

I look forward to working with our new board members and superintendent. Oh, one more thing… they can’t accuse Deal of being partial… he put in what came out. Good move Deal, good move. I might vote for you next time.

Truth in Moderation

March 13th, 2013
10:48 pm

“The focus should be on education and cost effectiveness. All other special interest groups should lay off and let this stellar group of folks try to untangle the mess they have in front of them – whether they be black, white or purple”

Really? That excuse didn’t fly in the late 60’s -70’s. Now that it’s white Noble Northerners, it’s OK. LET’S JUST MOVE ON.
Sorry, it’s THE BUS FOR YOU! Minority to majority, North DeKalb to South Dekalb! How else WILL THEY IMPROVE THE SCHOOLS?

Private Citizen

March 14th, 2013
3:41 pm

The question now is, “What is their action plan?”


March 14th, 2013
4:53 pm

@Private Citizen – Action Plan…well the first order of business is for them to take a couple of minutes to find out what the specific problems have been. Goodness, they’ve only been on the job for “a few hours”. What would your action plan be at this point?

Private Citizen

March 15th, 2013
8:23 am

justjanny- easy that, top to bottom audit. Another approach, ever take an automobile to a top mechanic for inspection? They go over the whole car and then come back and give you a report and tell you what needs to be done, generally with a concept of priority.