Kennesaw State student to run for Cobb school board seat

Austin Heller, a Kennesaw State University student, said he will run for the Post 4 seat held by incumbent Republican David Chastain. Courtesy photo
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Austin Heller, a Kennesaw State University student, said he will run for the Post 4 seat held by incumbent Republican David Chastain. Courtesy photo

Credit: Austin Heller

A Kennesaw State University student will challenge one of three Cobb County school board members up for reelection.

Austin Heller, a Democrat, said he will run for the Post 4 seat held by incumbent Republican David Chastain. The Post 4 seat represents parts of north-central Cobb County and includes the Kell and Sprayberry high school clusters and KSU’s main campus.

Heller, a senior studying political science and minoring in legal studies, said he is running for the seat “because I see a desperate need for our county and our board to lead with empathy and pass equitable policies that uplift all our students.”

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“I believe our community deserves to be fully represented as we are all important to creating a Cobb that we are proud of,” said Heller, who said he grew up in a military household and described himself as an early childhood education advocate.

Heller grew up in Columbus and graduated from Hardaway High School. At KSU, Heller is a senior resident assistant for housing and educates students about their right to vote with the university’s Civic Engagement Team.

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Chastain, a systems engineer at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, was first elected to the school board in 2014 and recently stated he will seek a third term. First-term board members Charisse Davis of Post 6 and Jaha Howard of Post 2 are also up for reelection. Davis represents parts of east and southeast Cobb and Howard’s post includes Smyrna-area schools.