Kennesaw State student to run for Cobb school board seat

Credit: Austin Heller

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.”

“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.

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.