By: Kimberly Willis-Green
ATLANTA – Atlanta Public Schools is celebrating members of the Atlanta Board of Education (ABE) during School Board Appreciation Week (March 14-18, 2016), a weeklong observance that recognizes the contributions of local boards of education.
With nine members representing six geographical districts and three “at-large” districts, school board members establish and approve the policies that govern Atlanta Public Schools. One person is elected per district to represent schools in a given district for a four-year term. The district’s current board was seated in 2014. Courtney D. English (At-Large, Seat 7, Districts 1 & 2) serves as the chair. Other members are:
- Leslie Grant, District 1
- Byron D. Amos, District 2
- Matt Westmoreland, District 3
- Nancy M. Meister, District 4 (Vice Chair)
- Steven D. Lee, District 5
- Eshé P. Collins, District 6
- Cynthia Briscoe Brown, At-Large, Seat 8 (Districts 3&4)
- Jason F. Esteves, At-Large, Seat 9 (Districts 5&6)
As constitutional officers of Georgia, school board members are responsible for setting educational policies, employing school personnel, providing buildings and equipment, operating a transportation system and disbursing school funds. As community leaders, school board members serve as advocates for the children in local public schools and must study, evaluate and decide what actions are in the best interest of those students.
Not only do members of the Atlanta school board serve on behalf their respective geographical districts, ABE members also lead various board committees such as:
Accountability Committee – Courtney English, Chair
Audit Committee – Leslie Grant, Chair
Budget Committee – Matt D. Westmoreland, Chair
Policy Review Committee – Eshé P. Collins, Chair
Legislative Liaisons – Jason Esteves and Matt D. Westmoreland
Board Chair English and Vice Chair Meister are currently the longest serving board members. Both began their terms in 2010.
Additionally, members of the ABE represent the district on several external organizations including the National School Boards Association, Council of Urban Boards of Education, Council of Great City Schools, and Invest Atlanta.
School Board Appreciation Week is sponsored by the Georgia School Boards Association. Governor Nathan Deal signed a proclamation declaring the week for school board members who are dedicated and committed to providing a quality education and resources for the students they serve.
About the Georgia School Boards Association
The mission of the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) is to ensure excellence in the governance of local school systems by providing leadership, advocacy and services, and by representing the collective resolve of Georgia’s 180 elected boards of education. For more information, visit http://www.gsba.com.
About Atlanta Public Schools
Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 50,000 students across 98 learning sites. The district is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 87 schools, 17 charter schools and two citywide single-gender academies, where students are offered rigorous instructional programs that foster success in school and life. For more information, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us.