Voters have choices in all but two of the nine races for the Atlanta Board of Education. Winners in the Nov. 7 election will shape the future of Atlanta Public Schools. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
Photo: Bob Andres/
Photo: Bob Andres/

Meet the Atlanta school board candidates who want your vote 

Voters will get an early look Tuesday at more than two dozen Atlanta Board of Education candidates hoping to win in November. 

Most of the 30 school board hopefuls are expected to attend a forum Tuesday at IBEW Auditorium, 501 Pulliam St. SW. 

The event starts at 5:30 p.m. with refreshments and a chance to meet candidates one-on-one. The question-and-answer portion begins at 6 p.m. and is expected to last two hours. 

The Southwest and Northwest Atlanta Parents and Partners for Schools organized the event. 

A total of 30 candidates qualified by Friday’s deadline to run in the nine school board races, according to the Atlanta city clerk’s office. 

The packed ballot presents an opportunity for voters to either shake up Atlanta Public Schools or give a seal of approval to the current board’s strategy for the district.

Only two of the six incumbents -- Nancy Meister in north Atlanta District 4 and at-large District 9 representative Jason Esteves -- are unopposed in their re-election bids. 

The other seven seats are up for grabs. 

The candidates in contested races are: 

In southeast Atlanta District 1, incumbent Leslie Grant faces Ade Oguntoye. 

In central Atlanta District 2, incumbent Byron Amos competes against Tony Burks and Keisha Carey. 

In east Atlanta District 3 the candidates are Adzua Agyapon, Lewis Cartee, Michelle Olympiadis-Constantinides, Antoine Raynard Trammell, and Rashida Winfrey. 

In west Atlanta District 5, the most crowded of all the races, the six candidates are Jatisha Marsh, Jackye Rhodes, Bobby Montgomery, D’Jaris James, Raynard Johnson, and Erika Mitchell. 

In south Atlanta District 6, incumbent Eshé Collins is challenged by Patreece Hutcherson, Valrie Walker Sanders, and Donta McMichael. 

In District 7, the candidates are Kandis Wood Jackson, John Wright, Patricia Crayton, Micah A. Rowland, and Nathaniel Borrell Dyer. 

In at-large District 8, incumbent Cynthia Briscoe Brown will battle with Ben Stone and Charlie Stadtlander.

The forum will tackle several topics of high interest -- including candidates’ views on the charter-school model embraced by the current board, literacy and graduation rates, school safety, and governance. 

In other Education news:

Donna Lowry is joining Fulton County schools to be "chief communications officer." Lowry spent 13 months as spokeswoman for Cobb County schools. She said Fulton reached out to her about the job. Before that, Lowry was a seven-time Emmy-winning reporter for 11Alive. Her last day at Cobb will be Sept. 1. She starts in Fulton on Sept. 12.

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