District 5 Board of Education candidate closing statements

Mary L. Palmer

My purpose for seeking a seat on the Atlanta Board of Education is to make a positive difference in the teaching and learning of all Atlanta Public Schools (APS) students. I believe all school board members should be accountable, active listeners, and two-way communicators. I will work to always be visible, vigilant, and versatile with the end goal of APS creating well-rounded students prepared for future academic and career success.  I will work to increase parental and community involvement and expand access to resources for all APS students and families.

As a parent of three former APS students, my involvement in student learning began with placing our first child in an early learning environment 27 years ago and my involvement in student learning for others remains today, even though my youngest child completed high school three years ago. I am passionate about what students learn and how they are taught. I am passionate about parents and how their involvement makes a difference. I am passionate about the role of the community and how it can have a positive impact in education.

While it may seem that the possession of a BS degree in Computer Science from Jackson State University, an Executive Masters in Management of Technology from Georgia Tech, and holding corporate leadership roles in companies like IBM and Siemens are key highlights of my experience, in actuality my experiences as a parent, parent leader, academic coach, Neighborhood Education Chair, officer on the Atlanta Council of PTAs Executive Board, and a regular school board participant are the true highlights. My board participation spans attendance at nearly all the board legislative, budget, policy, committee of a whole and community input meetings for many years. These experiences have heightened my sensitivity to and knowledge about the day to day operations of our students’ school day. I am prepared and qualified as the best candidate to serve the constituents of Seat 5, and I am committed to serving as an effective change agent for Seat 5 on the Atlanta Board of Education.

As the only Education Change Agent running for District 5, I know when we get education right, we get our city right.


Endorsed by Teachers; Backed by Parents; Appreciated by Student; and Embraced by the Community

Elect Mary Palmer – Your District 5 School Board Representative

[Added] Raynard Johnson

More than ever, achieving economic success requires a well-educated population. Our schools are the foundation on which Atlanta’s future is built and in order to ensure a strong foundation we must have strong leaders on our school board – leaders like me, Raynard Johnson.

A native Atlantan, raised in historic SW Atlanta, I am a product of the Atlanta Public Schools system, which I hope to be able to represent as one of your board members.

Having attended Atlanta Public Schools M. A. Jones Elementary, Beecher Hills Elementary, graduating from Southwest Atlanta High and matriculating to Boston College from 1977 – 1981 majoring in Computer Science, I have more than 35 years of experience in the IT software development field with the past 13 years as an IT Project Manager responsible for successfully managing projects.

I know how vital it is to exercise good judgment and fiscal responsibility on a daily basis. Likewise, it is important that the Atlanta Public Schools district be operated as efficiently as possible so that every student in every classroom at every school has the opportunities to learn in a safe environment of excellence.

I want APS to stand for the hope of students becoming lifelong learners equipped with the appropriate skills and competencies to be contributing members of society.

Therefore, I will focus on:

  • Reducing classroom size to promote better learning
  • Creating employment opportunities for students with a vocational education
  • Providing access to nutritional foods in APS District 5 food desert communities
  • Creating transparency and parental accountability within APS
  • Bridging the “digital divide” for low-income families.

It’s this type of forward thinking leadership that best serves our students.

As with all parents and community stakeholders, I am concerned about the future and what it holds for the youth of Atlanta.  As an Atlanta school board member, you can be assured that I will continue be a voice for the community and our students, a supporter of our teachers and a strong ally for our parents!

I hope you will VOTE Raynard Johnson for ATL Board of Education – District 5 knowing that… TOGETHER, WE CAN AND WILL BUILD A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN!

  • It’s about children, not power, prestige or politics.
  • It’s about opportunity, not privilege.
  • It’s about our future, not just our history.
  • It’s about showing, not just saying, that every child can learn.

Charles Lawrence

As this 5th District Race comes to a Close I can say that for the most part the Campaign has been a very rewarding experience. I have made new friends and renewed friendships from the past. As I have participated in Forums over the past several weeks the candidates have expressed a desire to help improve our schools especially our dismal Graduation rate. So with all that has been said over the past months HOW DO THE VOTERS DECIDE WHO THE BEST CANDIDATE IS?

I believe what the Voters should keep in mind when deciding on a Candidate is first and foremost the Integrity of the Candidate. Secondly their past experiences should show that he or she is truly compassionate about their School System and the students that are enrolled that School System and lastly an ability to work with people for a common goal in which our goal in the Atlanta Public Schools should be to educate our kids in our Global Society.

In conclusion, I will like to thank all who took part in this very important electoral process. This election is one of the most important School Board Elections in recent history. Let us become a part of a New Energy in Our School System and elect Charles Lawrence someone who will be compassionate and committed to making the ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM ONE THAT WE ALL WILL BE PROUD OF.

Steven Lee did not submit a closing statement.

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