As of Friday, October 26, 2012
© Copyright 2013
Clayton News Daily
JONESBORO Although most of Clayton County’s local elections wrapped up in August, more than half of the county’s school board still has to be chosen by voters.
Twelve people are seeking five Clayton County Board of Education seats in a special election that will coincide with the Nov. 6 general election. Four incumbents have challengers. Only District 3 school board Member Jessie Goree is running unopposed.
In District 2, incumbent board Member Wanda Smith is being challenged by Melody Totten, Jermaine Coleman and Mark Christmas. In District 5, incumbent Ophelia Burroughs is being challenged by Xavier Ross. In District 6, school board Vice-Chairperson Mary Baker is being challenged by Janice Scott. In District 7, incumbent Trinia Garrett is being challenged by Judy Johnson and Lois Wright.
The incumbents enter the election with the cloud of new SACS concerns over school board governance hanging over their heads. The Clayton County Education Association’s Political Action Committee also refused to endorse three incumbents — Baker, Burroughs and Smith — because they could not satisfactorily explain policies they put into place upon the recommendation of former Superintendent Edmond Heatley.
At least one challenger has found himself in a controversial situation before, however. Ross was named a “person of interest” in a police investigation into missing PTA funds at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School in May. Attempts to track down the status of that investigation with police and school system officials were unsuccessful on Friday.