Anderson beats Lakes in school board race

The race wasn't close, but it provided variety for Clayton County voters on election day.

Democrat Alieka Anderson took more than 90 percent of the votes, against write-in-candidate, Michelle Lakes, for the Clayton County Board of Education District 8 seat, on Tuesday.

"I am glad the people of Clayton County have chosen me to go back there and represent them," said Anderson, as she learned of her victory.

Anderson, who teaches at an elementary school in DeKalb County, said she was asleep when the Clayton News Daily advised her of the results. Her race was the only school board race in which there was a challenger.

"You can't take anything for granted," she said, during a telephone interview. "People know I am working for the children of Clayton County."

Anderson said when she returns to the school board on Wednesday, she will continue to work on getting the county's accreditation back on track. In addition, Anderson said she will work with Edmond Heatley, superintendent of Clayton County Public Schools, in obtaining grants for the school district, which she said are especially needed during tough economic times.

Anderson said she will also work with the superintendent to make sure the county's schools make Annual Yearly Progress (AYP), to show they are meeting state and federal guidelines.

Anderson is the chairperson of the school board. If the board re-elects her in January 2011, she will serve a two-year term as chairperson.

Anderson said Clayton Schools went through tough times when the district lost its accreditation in 2008, but said she is hopeful that full accreditation will be restored April 2011. "God has blessed us [ the school board] ... I just thank God, and I humbly thank the people of Clayton County," Anderson said.

"Before, we were the first county, I think in 40 years, to lose accreditation, and we will be the first in 40 years to get it back."

This is the first time Anderson will serve a four-year term representing the board of education in District 8, because she was elected in a special election, in July 2008, to fill the remainder of Norresse Haynes' unexpired term.

Anderson became chairperson of the board in the fall of 2008.

Michelle Lakes could not be reached for comment.