In the race for the District 4 seat on the Cobb County Board of Education, which is north-central Cobb County, Cynthia “Cyndi” Rose Parr, a Democrat, is hoping to unseat David Chastain.
Parr has dual bachelor’s degrees from Point Park University in Pittsburgh in secondary education and journalism and mass communication. She also earned a master’s in divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
She began a career in radio and television, then attended seminary. She opened a shelter for victims of domestic violence, became an ordained pastor in Western New York, married and had three sons. She moved to Cobb County 18 years ago, living in the Post 4 district. While here, she obtained her Georgia teaching certificate and worked as a supply teacher for five years. She is serving Faith Presbyterian in Canton as part-time pastor.
“As a supply teacher, I was able to see the differences and similarities between schools in our district and I will work toward consistency,” Parr said.
She believes the school board needs to address disparities between schools with regard to resources and graduation rates while working to even out results. Also, given the correlation between student success and parental involvement, she would work to discover ways to keep parents engaged when their children reach middle and high school.
As a shelter director, she said she honed the skills of working in compliance with governmental regulations, managing funding streams, and writing policy and procedure manuals. As PC(USA) clergy, Parr said she is steeped in committee work, Robert’s Rules, managing budgets, and garnering support by working across the aisle.
“As a mother, I familiarized myself with federal and state education laws as well as county policies in order to ensure that my sons were receiving all of the resources for which they qualified,” she said. “Consequently, I functioned as resource adviser for many parents and began to envision policy changes that would enhance public education for all students.”
Parr said the district needs to critique special education programming by looking at the results. She thinks medical advances in understanding have outstripped educational methodologies.
“We need to determine ways to incorporate advances in neurology into our teaching techniques. A more individualized approach will benefit students immensely,” she said.
She also understands and hopes to find ways to relieve some pressures on teachers.
“We need to remove some of the pressures on teachers, remove some of their additional duties, and allow them to focus on teaching.”
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