Thad Mayfield

Incumbent

Website: thadmayfieldboe.com

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Candidate Name:
Thad Mayfield

Position Sought:
DeKalb Board of Education District 5

Educational Background:
BA - Political Science, MBA - Finance and International Business

Occupation and Employer:
FOCOM, Inc


Campaign Website:
http://www.thadmayfieldboe.com


  1. What is your understanding of the role of a school board member? In your answer, explain (1) the level of engagement that a board member should have in the affairs and operations of the district and, (2) the relationship between the board and district staff.
    My understanding of the role of a school board member includes the following:

    i.Set the vision and direction of the school district
    ii.Establish school district policies
    iii.Establish the budget for the school district
    iv.Hire the Superintendent

    The level of engagement that a board member should have in the affairs and operation of the district should be one of strategic direction through the strategic plan, and oversight and accountability of the administration through the Superintendent for performance

    b.The relationship between the board and district staff should be one of approving senior level staff assignments, cordial and professional in our interactions with all staff, and requests only through the Superintendent and/or as advised by the Superintendent
  2. Explain your views on the current state of transparency of information at DCSD.
    I believe the current state of transparency of information at DCSD needs improvement. The four major challenges are timeliness, completeness, and clarity of information communicated to the public and on occasions the timeliness of special reports requested by individual board members.
  3. How would you inspire parents and other stakeholders to have confidence in DeKalb schools?
    I would inspire parents and other stakeholders to have confidence in DeKalb schools by the following:

    • Establishing high and reasonable goals, expectations, and accountability for academic, operational, and financial performance
    • Increasing parents and other stakeholders access and involvement in DeKalb schools activities
    • Improving school district responsiveness to parents and other stakeholders inquiries
    • Ensuring open and routine dialogue with parents and other stakeholders through public and electronic forums
  4. What skills, talents, and personality traits do you believe that you possess that would make you work effectively with the rest of the board to get things done?
    Overall, the skills, talents, and personality traits that I believe I possess that would make me work effectively with the rest of the board are as follow:

    • Skills: Leadership, business experience, problem solving/solution development, communications, and interpersonal
    • Talents: Strategic, critical and creative thinking, ability to synthesize ideas and assess board members decision-making styles and priorities
    • Personality: Observant, goal oriented, pragmatic optimist, inclusive and collaborative, driven by ideas and information, seeks full understanding, options, and alternatives, open minded, flexible, and adaptable, but need evidence or data; and seeks balanced, methodical approach to assess and address issues and decisions
  5. How will you enhance the mix of skills and backgrounds on the board and help represent the diversity of the community?
    I will enhance the mix of skills and backgrounds on the board and help represent the diversity of the community, as I already do, by reaching out to and engaging a broad spectrum of ideas and input from all segments of the DeKalb community. I will synthesize the best of that input in making as many decisions and votes I take as often possible. I will encourage all segments to actively participate in public forums and discussion as possible, including and perhaps especially those with English as a second language.
  6. What do you see as the opportunities and threats facing the DeKalb school system?
    I see a number of opportunities and threats facing the DeKalb school system, but the most significant ones to me are as follow:

    • Opportunities: 1) Increase academic performance and achievement 2) Increase and strengthen parents and stakeholders engagement, and 3) Proactively collaborate to strengthen tax base and reduce millage rate.
    • Threats: 1) Suppressed tax base due to sluggish economy and slow economic development, 2) Under investment in state funding, 3) Hyper-competitive environment to secure proper superintendent fit, and 4) Impatience or low confidence by DeKalb stakeholders for school system performance improvements could accelerate separatist movement
  7. Describe the achievement gap in this district. What causes it? What can be done?
    Four DeKalb County schools received gold, silver or bronze medals in U.S. News's Best High Schools rankings1. However, the system has a 59% overall graduation rate (lowest in metro Atlanta) and SchoolDigger2 ranks the district as # 134 of 162 in the state. I translate this to mean that DeKalb has the capability to a national high ranking school district when we align micro-level assessments and our resources (funding and trained personnel) with our own best practices.

    1. 2010-2011 academic year: http://www.usnews.com/education/high-schools/articles/2013/04/22/how-us-news-calculated-the-2013-best-high-schools-rankings
    2. School Digger Source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education, and Georgia Department of Education
  8. The next school board will likely be tasked with selecting a new superintendent. What will you look for in a candidate?
    In selecting a new superintendent, I will look for a candidate with competencies and proven skills and successes in governing and managing within large, complex education organizations (ex. K-12, collegiate); and a strong record of performance in academics, business management improvements, and parent and stakeholder engagement.
  9. What is your experience with reviewing complicated budgets? How will you approach the district's budgetary process from a policy perspective?
    My experience reviewing complicated budgets includes reviews during three terms on the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity and for the past 7 year as a current Commissioner on the Board of the Lithonia Housing Authority.

    My corporate experience includes preparing budgets for AT&T sales and marketing organization and Lucent Technology budgeting for market management, and Product Research and Development. Both experiences included profitability planning and projections to support and justify the budgets. This means that I bring experiences to review, assess, and align the efficacy of budget expenditure.

    I will approach the district's budgetary process from a policy perspective by adhere to current budgetary policy to ensure a balanced budget, and look to establish policies for quarterly review and alignment of the financial reviews with correlating academic and departmental performance.
  10. What needs to be done to ensure the district regains full accreditation, without probation, and what is the role of the board in ensuring DCSD remains in excellent standings with SACS?

    To ensure the district regains full accreditation, without probation, and remain in excellent standings with SACS I think the board needs to do the following three things:

    a) Ensure that we complete outstanding Required Actions (RA) 3, 6, (new) 12, 13, and 14

    b) Establish monitoring and reporting policies on the maintenance and performance by the District on all 14 RAs

    c) Establishes clear definitions and policies on monitoring and reporting of the Districts health on all SACS accreditation standards, including how they are manifested in other District performance metrics such as academic and organizational performance

Vickie B. Turner

Website: electvickiebturner.com

 

Download Questionnaire

Read Questionnaire ▼

Candidate Name:
Vickie B. Turner

Position Sought:
School Board Member District 5

Educational Background:
Masters Education

Occupation and Employer:
Headmaster - Augustine Preparatory Academy


Campaign Website:
http://www.electvickiebturner.com


  1. What is your understanding of the role of a school board member? In your answer, explain (1) the level of engagement that a board member should have in the affairs and operations of the district and, (2) the relationship between the board and district staff.
    The school board member is elected to serve their constituents. The SB member must identify and engage the stakeholders into a discussion to determine what the needs might be. The primary focus must be to ensure that best quality education is afforded our students. The SB member should be a friend of teachers, an advocate for students and a voice for parents.
  2. Explain your views on the current state of transparency of information at DCSD.
    It should be open records and open access to the constituents that you serve.
  3. How would you inspire parents and other stakeholders to have confidence in DeKalb schools?
    Rebuild TRUST through improved communications; Town Hall meetings; and by engaging them in a higher level of involvement.
  4. What skills, talents, and personality traits do you believe that you possess that would make you work effectively with the rest of the board to get things done?
    I am a skilled communication and negotiator, possessing the ability to work effectively as a team, a problem solver and a progressive thinker, able to maintain objectivity.
  5. How will you enhance the mix of skills and backgrounds on the board and help represent the diversity of the community?
    By working collaboratively as a team and embracing the sills, abilities, talents and experience that everyone brings to the board.
  6. What do you see as the opportunities and threats facing the DeKalb school system?
    The opportunity to install a progressive thinking leader who will continue in the trajectory of the interim superintendent. Threats in the form of: student apathy; teachers and leaders who have loss their passion and the vision due to largely to the lack of administrative support and parental indifference.
  7. Describe the achievement gap in this district. What causes it? What can be done?
    A disparity in the allocation of student funding; disparity in student programs; and overcrowded classrooms. There is a lack of resources, low parental involvement and student apathy. We must engage ALL stakeholders, validating their voice and concerns. Parent mentors are needed; community leaders involvement in the schools; and programs that interest the students should added.
  8. The next school board will likely be tasked with selecting a new superintendent. What will you look for in a candidate?
    A proven track record of success. The ability to work collaboratively with the stakeholders; former educator and administrator, and a progressive thinker.
  9. What is your experience with reviewing complicated budgets? How will you approach the district's budgetary process from a policy perspective?
    I have the responsibility for over 20+ years to develop; oversee and allocate funds to ensure a successful school year. I will familiarize myself with the Policies and Procedures of the Dekalb County School System and ensure that they are carried out with fiscal integrity.
  10. What needs to be done to ensure the district regains full accreditation, without probation, and what is the role of the board in ensuring DCSD remains in excellent standings with SACS?

    Evaluate the findings of the SACS report and address the issues that are in question. Identify ways in which to correct the violations and then, Compliance...Compliance...Compliance by adhering to the recommendations.

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Important Dates

June 26

Community Forum with DeKalb County Board of Education Runnoff Candidates
Districts 3, 4, and 5
Dekalb Medical Center Theatre
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Free Event

June 30 – July 18

Advance Voting

July 22

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