Clarification: Kenneth Zeff is the founding executive director of Learn4Life. A prior version of this article reported a different title for his role with the organization.
A one-time top administrator in a local school district is taking the unique step of seeking to serve on his community’s school board.
Former interim Fulton County Schools Superintendent Kenneth Zeff announced Thursday he plans to run for the District 3 seat on the Atlanta school board. District 3 includes the Midtown cluster of schools and Drew Charter School in East Lake. Zeff and his wife have three children who attend APS.
Zeff, who served in the interim role as Fulton’s superintendent from June 2015 to May 2016, is currently the founding executive director of Learn4Life, a group of nonprofits and businesses that have partnered with metro Atlanta school districts to improve student performance.
“I feel like it’s the right time for me personally and I feel like I can contribute to the system,” Zeff told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Zeff said his campaign will focus on two areas: literacy and school governance.
“I think that the district needs a coherent literacy strategy,” he said. “I feel like that would be something I would advocate for and help build a coalition around on the school board.”
Zeff joined Fulton County Schools as Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer in 2012 and oversaw the system’s transition to a charter district. During that process, more decision-making shifted from the state to local school communities. He wants to do the same thing for Atlanta Public Schools.
Zeff has a background in economics and educational leadership. He plans to stay at Learn4Life if elected to the school board.
The District 3 seat is currently held by Michelle Olympiadis, who was first elected to the board in 2017. The election is Nov. 7.
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