School Board Candidate Q&A

Q & A with some of the Candidates running for Atlanta Public School (APS) Board of Education (BOE), District 3 & At-Large*
by Annsley Klehr, Lake Claire Neighbors Education Chair

A shortened version of this will appear in the October Clarion, here is the Full Q&A.  Several of the Candidates came to this month’s Lake Claire meeting to share their views – videos of that are here.

Q: Who are these BOE District 3 and (as noted) at-large candidates?

Adzua Agyapon is an educator, teacher leader, and former elected official, with experience and insight into the students in Atlanta Public Schools. Adzua is currently the kindergarten grade level chair at KIPP STRIVE Primary, where she coaches and leads a team of 8 teachers. Born in NYC and lived in public housing, she worked hard, and eventually attended and graduated from Yale University. She wants to ensure that all students receive a quality education, affording them the breadth of opportunities that she had.

Lewis Cartee has served in multiple community leadership roles in the past 11 years within East Atlanta, the larger NPU, and the Jackson Cluster. He is currently fulfilling his second stint as President of the East Atlanta Community Association (EACA) while also chairing the Education Committee. His previous roles in the organization have included terms as Vice President, Communications Chair, and Parents Network Chair. Along with presiding over NPU-W’s Education Committee as well as the Burgess-Peterson Academy Governance Team, he has had many opportunities to listen to the concerns of neighbors. As a committed community member and APS parent currently involved in the Charter System governance platform, his roles have already given him the opportunity to participate in the larger discussion around equity and academic success for all children with the goal of producing a thoughtful approach to the challenges that face our communities.

Rashida M. Winfrey is an APS parent, APS graduate, and APS Leader. An Atlanta native, she attended Inman Middle School (where her daughter goes now), and graduated from North Fulton High School. After graduation, she studied finance at the UGA, earning a BS and an MBA in Finance, and is currently completing post-graduate coursework in Finance at the University of Chicago. After 20 years of banking, she owned and operated a financial management company called Mosaic Advisors, and then went on to head up Southeast M&A/Private Equity Forum. She serves on the board of directors for the Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts and has served on non-profits such as Grady Hospital, Park Pride, and Cool Girls–serving girls in 8 Title I schools in Fulton and DeKalb counties. She is also a 2014 graduate of Leadership Atlanta.

Michelle Olympiadis is a first generation American from an immigrant family that emigrated from Greece to Atlanta in 1956. She has lived in Morningside since 1995 and has been a parent in APS since 2007. She has three children, all of whom attend schools in the Grady Cluster: Grady High School, Inman Middle School, and Morningside Elementary. She has been involved in APS since her oldest was in Kindergarten. She recently completed her term as president of the Morningside Elementary School PTA, and is also an appointee of the Georgia Department of Education’s Student Success Stakeholder Committee, as well as the Grady High School Cluster Advisory.

John Wright (at-large seat 7), a native Atlantan, is a graduate of Graduate of MLK Jr. Middle School and Benjamin E. Mays High School. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and credits the fine caliber of teachers and staff at Mays High School for preparing him to lead a fruitful and productive life. John is one of the founding families of Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School and a parent of a 12th & 9th grader at Maynard Jackson High School, where he helped establish the school’s Athletic Boosters in 2014 and serve on its board. In his professional life he works for AECOM, and currently manages the $618M E-SPLOST program for the DeKalb County School District. He is running for office to make sure every child in Atlanta has that same opportunity.

Antoine Trammell MD, MPH is from Nashville, Tennessee and moved to Georgia for medical training at Mercer University, where he was an Internal Medicine chief resident and completed a research fellowship studying cardiac arrest outcomes. After completing the research fellowship, he accepted a faculty position in the school of medicine at Emory University where he currently practices academic medicine. Antoine also has background in public health and focus in outcomes research that includes the role of policy-making, education, and environmental factors. Professionally, he serves Atlanta every day as a physician, advocate, and researcher. Throughout his career, he has been an advocate for health and education that includes engaging policy-makers on national and local levels. Antoine has also worked with the American Heart Association to improve CPR education in Georgia schools. A significant portion of medical practice involves education and examination rooms become classrooms. Antoine is a husband and proud parent of three (ages one, seven, and 12). His older children attend Atlanta Public Schools in the Grady Cluster. When not engaging his professional passions, Antoine enjoys time with his family, playing music, and exploring Atlanta’s unique culinary diversity with his wife.

Kandis Wood Jackson (at-large seat 7) is a native Atlantan committed to achieving educational equity for all students in the Atlanta Public Schools (APS). At a young age, a strong family, excellent teachers, and influential mentors instilled in her a love of learning and a deep appreciation for education. She is a graduate of Duke University and Harvard Law School and a former APS teacher. She and her husband, Adam, live in Midtown, along with their dog Duke.

Cynthia Briscoe Brown (at-large seat 8) was elected to her first term in the at-large seat 8 on the Atlanta Board of Education in 2013 and is currently serving. She is a graduate of Davidson College and Vanderbilt Law School, who uses her 31 years’ experience as an attorney to help Atlanta’s students, teachers, and families. Cynthia serves or has served on the Boards of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc, WABE/WPBA, the Atlanta Partnership for Arts in Learning, the Committee for Teaching About the United Nations/Atlanta, the Alliance Francaise d’Atlanta, and the PTAs at all her children’s schools, creating partnerships and opportunities for students and teachers across the city to improve their skills and enrich their lives. As a volunteer with Young Audiences of Atlanta, Cynthia helped develop the smART stART program, using arts experiences to improve reading skills in low-income APS kindergarten students. During the three terms she served as co-President of North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools (NAPPS), Cynthia emphasized positive community engagement, reaching out to cluster organizations and community groups across the city to identify common goals and provide a consistent voice for children throughout Atlanta. Cynthia and her husband, James F. (Jim) Brown, Jr., are both Atlanta natives and practicing attorneys. They are active in music and service ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta. They have two children, both of whom attended APS schools K-12.

Charlie (Charles) Stadtlander (at-large seat 8) is an Atlanta business owner and former metro-Atlanta public school teacher. After graduating from the University of Missouri in 2006, Charlie moved to Atlanta to teach in the public school system. During his teaching career, Charlie taught 3rd Grade, as well as 9th & 10th Grade English Literature. While serving as a public school teacher, Charlie also attended Georgia State University where he earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Charlie is proud to have served in numerous educational leadership roles including: Bullying Awareness Coordinator, Faculty Sponsor of H.O.P.E. (Hispanic Organization Promoting Education), and Debate Team Coach. After completing his 5th year of teaching, Charlie went back to school full-time and obtained a Doctorate in Jurisprudence in Health Law and Policy from Loyola University New Orleans. Charlie continued his studies by completing post-doctoral studies and obtaining a graduate certification in Health Law and Policy at Loyola University Chicago. Charlie has been a committed and passionate advocate for equality and accountability in public education.

Nathaniel (Nate) Borrell Dyer (at-large seat 7) has advocated, mentored, and taught children as if they were his own. His passion is children, which he attributes to his mother’s tireless dedication as a teacher for 33 years. Professionally, Nate has worked in Corporate America as a Senior Art Director for Bank of America; as an entrepreneur, with organizations such as The Carter Center, National CASA and the African-American Outreach Initiative; as a community activist, creating a youth organization called KIDS FIRST!, which provides free
breakfasts, lunches, and enrichment during the summer months for children up to age 18. Through this initiative, Nate has been able to employ and manage a team 25 teens and adults. He also teaches art and creative writing to children of all ages. He considers himself a fine artist, musician, and poet.

Continue on to Read the full Q&A >> School board candidates unabridged – shortened version in Oct Clarion