Two Atlanta residents have officially registered as candidates to fill the District 2 seat on the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education, which former board President Khaatim Sherrer El resigned on July 11 amid a widespread cheating scandal.
Michael Jeter registered at City Hall Wednesday morning, and his now assembling a team of supporters to help run his campaign. The Vine City resident who graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in the 1980s want to immediately establish advisory committees comprised of parents, students, retired teachers, and concerned community residents to discern their views on major issues in District 2.
“I'm not running for this office because I need a job. I have a successful business. I'm running because I can make a difference; I can bring integrity to the game and be forthcoming with insight,” Jeter said.
Jeter owns Gordy's Body Shop at 1492 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard. He proudly describes his business as “the oldest body shop in Atlanta and possibly the oldest black business in Atlanta.” In addition to running Gordy's, which his uncle started in 1946 in its original location on Simpson Road, Jeter has experience serving in community and school organizations.
He was the President of Kennedy Middle School's Parent Teacher Association for five years and the President of the Principal's Advisory Council at Walter F. White Elementary. Additionally, he was a member of the Westside Tax Allocation District Advisory Board established to improve conditions and encourage redevelopment in west Atlanta.
Should he win the District 2 seat, Jeter is confident that he will work well with Interim Superintendent Erroll Davis. “I see him as a strong and focused leader and I expect nothing but cooperation from his part for our district,” Jeter said.
The second District 2 candidate is Byron Amos, also a graduate of Booker T. Washington High, and currently the Chief Executive Officer of Capacity Builders, Inc.. The original description Cascade Patch received from an online business profile describing Capacity Builders as a construction business is incorrect. Capacity Builders is, in fact, a nonprofit, community improvement organization based in the Vine City/English Avenue neighborhood.
Amos shared that he has over 20 years experience in community organizing. He is also the former President of the Vine City Civic Association (VCCA) and the current President of Bethune Elementary's PTA where his 2nd grade son attends school.
Amos's oldest daughter graduated from Washington High, and his twin daughters are currently juniors there.
While heading VCCA, Amos implemented the Vine City Parent Patrol, a network of parents placed at strategic locations to create safety zones for children traveling to and from school. The Parent Patrol also cooperated in drug raids and replaced stolen water meter covers – all in an effort to make their neighborhood safer and more livable for its residents.
Capacity Builders grew out of Amos's “need to do more” after completing his VCCA term. A neighborhood survey revealed that many children were sedentary, preferring to play video games instead of playing outside. These observations were not in accord with Amos's belief that “active children learn more [and] learn better.”
Capacity Builders focuses primarily on teaching youth about the importance of exercise, as well as healthy eating and cooking habits. There is also an after-school computer lab at the organization's headquarters for students.
Regarding his board of education candidacy, Amos says he has the experience and dedication to provide District 2 with a “well rounded [representative] who can build bridges.”
Those interested in running for the District 2 vacancy must register at City Hall by 4:30 pm on Friday, August 5.