Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The votes are in

One of our bloggers shared the link to the final tally for the DeKalb elections.  Click here to download the pdf.

Results -

District 1

Nancy Jester - 47.75%
Jim Redovian - 42.88%
Bobbe Gillis - 9.03%

District 3

Sarah Copelin-Wood - 50.84%
Corey Wilson - 30.75%
Robert Holt - 18.28%

District 5

Jay Cunningham - 64.68%
Jacques Hall - 23.05%
Kirk Nooks - 12.15%

District 7

Zepora Roberts - 37.95%
Donna Edler - 30.19%
Willie Mosley - 22.08%
Richard Gathany - 9.59%

District 9

Gene Walker - 56.73%
Ella Smith - 43.11%


So it looks like we will have runoffs in District 1 and District 7 and I would imagine a recount in District 3.  All in all, we are disheartened to see that the incumbents did so well. We were really looking forward to a big change on the DeKalb Board of Education.

On another educational note, John Barge was elected our new state superintendent of schools with 55% of the vote over Joe Martin's 40%.  (I misreported that Martin had won - but he only won in DeKalb precincts.)


Anonymous said...

Where did you see that result for state Super? I wish you were right, but I don't think so.

Cerebration said...

No - I was looking at the DeKalb results -- I think I'd just better go on to bed now! John Barge won the State Super...

Anonymous said...

You forgot that others in the state vote for School Superintendent; Barge is ahead by almost 300,000 votes

Cerebration said...

No, I didn't forget, I just have too many windows open on my laptop... Nighty night everyone! I'll chat about this after I rest my brain a while...

Cerebration said...

Actually, I only realized I was looking at the wrong thing when I noticed it also said that Roy Barnes won too... I knew that wasn't right.

Signing off now - really!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Barge took the state only because the state superintendent race is not non-partisan.

One of his campaign promises is to return high school math to the traditional courses. While I am not a fan of this math program I wonder how he can unwind it.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Ella, you lost.

Anonymous said...

I volunteered for Donna Edler today even though I could not vote for her. She would be a wonderful, positive member of the School Board. She will be in a run off with Zephora Roberts.

Edler needs funds to do a mailing because she needs to get her name out there. These are very expensive. Please, please consider donating to her campaign. You can do this through her webpage.

Anonymous said...

Shame on the voters of Georgia for NOT electing Joe Martin.

Let's all get behind Donna Edler in the District 7 runoff. She's a GREAT candidate and we must unseat Zepora Roberts.

Anonymous said...

Donna Edler, I will help you in ANY WAY I can. Zepora must not be rewarded for her behavior by being reelected.

How I wish there was something that could be done to get Copelin-Wood in a runoff, too. It was so close ... I'll just PRAY that a recount will warrant a runoff.

Sadly, people are so apathetic. We are just a few that care, when compared to the whole of DeKalb Co. The majority really don't care if they/we get more of the same.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Cerebration (and Sandy!) for caring and researching and blogging info for us to consider before voting. I, for one, will miss Sandy's posts. You both have a gift for writing and research. You worked hard to get the truth out there. We appreciate you!

It's unfortunate that most do not miss a gift until the gift is gone.

Anonymous said...

I am so greatful that EduKalb and ODE failed so badly. Maybe thiswill open the door for AFT ( American Federation of Teachers) who supported the winning candidates.
I am so appreciative to the voters of the 5th District who voted for a candidate who " walks the walk for our students and teachers" as opposed to Emanual's Jone pick who has a high dgree and "talked the talk" but had NEVER " walked into a DeKalb school"ince he graduated from one back in the mid 90's.By the way, Emanuel would do well to even visit a Henry County School where he lives LOL!

Anonymous said...

There is just no hope for DeKalb County. The school system is a mess and still only a 1/3 voter turnout. Sara Copelin-Woods will die in office. How that walking embarrassment keeps getting re-elected, I'll never understand. Just goes to show what can happen when an electorate is basically uneducated. Cunningham is revealed to be a felon and still gets re-elected.

Well, now SACS will have to roll up their sleeves and actually have to deal with this. The voters didn't spare them the effort.

Anonymous said...

did most DeKalb voters even pay attention to all the insanity of this board? do they REALLY approve of the status quo, or just keeping what they know? We MUST get the word out to vote out the incumbents.
How did we get a governor who can't pay his debts and is under investigation for fraud and the same school board that forgot to do their jobs these past few years??!
I truly believe that most who voted were not informed.

Anonymous said...

Time to get out and help Nancy Jester too! Nancy ran a wonderful campaign and my wife and I look forward to helping her beat Jim "All is well in DeKalb" Redovian.

We must keep the pressure on the incumbents who are in the run-off. Turnout will be incredibly low so we must work that much harder to get the voters out.

Anonymous said...

Well, Walker, Roberts, Cunningham, and Copelin-Woods are all back! Redovian won't be back and that is good - Nancy Jester seems to be well-informed and, more importantly, seems to care about our schools and our children.

Hopefully, our legislative delegation will step up and get this Board on track. As it stands, Dekalb County is clearly out-of-step with our State and behind the curve. I don't like to be investigated, but I hope that SACS does look into Dekalb and find the mess that is very clear to all of us. I don't think that Governor Deal would have any hesitation to deal with this so-called comedy that we call a school board.

Anonymous said...

Is Copelin-Wood really back? Or does she need 51%?

Anonymous said...

"Run to the hills" (song)
It will only get worse. These board members have been sent a message that they rule and will only continue to act in their best interest only. Move. Get the hell out of there for the sake of your kids. Fulton and DeKalb need people to flee like rats a sinking ship.

Anonymous said...

SCW has 51.26% according to the DeKalb Election's site.

Anonymous said...

You need 50 percent of the votes plus 1 to avoid a runoff.

Anonymous said...

Voter turnout for DeKalb is 44 percent, not so bad for a non-presidential election.

Several months ago, I posted on the blog that I believed that most incumbents would win. I got my head bit off right and left. Someone even asked if I was a fortune teller!

This is DeKalb. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

I just found this in the Get Schooled blog. Any truth to this? If so, it just goes to show that the kids are the LAST concern.

Crawford Lewis apparently doesn’t like the “wear black on Thursdays” protest against his raise going on in Dekalb County. Office staff in the county schools are now being instructed to record the NAMES of any teachers or employees who dare to wear black on Thursdays (who knows whether they are actually protesting, or are just wearing black that day). Are we in the USA, or 1940’s era Germany? It will be interesting to see what happens to the brave souls who dare to excercise their freedoms.

Anonymous said...

And this piece of news from Clayton County, an ousted school board member from the accreditation mess was just elected as a State Representative. Please someone make sure she isn't on the education committee!

Paula Caldarella said...

Old news. Are you really not aware Crawford Lewis is no longer employed by DeKalb Schools?

Anway, updated results are here:


Think! said...

The vote was split among too many in the field. Should have narrowed the choices. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm plenty aware of CL's departure and current predicament. I just wondered if something this heinous really transpired.

Anonymous said...

I hope that the post at 7 AM was just somehow stuck in the blogosphere and randonly appeared this morning. If not, we have a huge problem if we have an employee who isn't aware that the superintendent changed.


Anonymous said...

Reread your post -- I just found this in...

Sorry to early and to long a night last night.

Paula Caldarella said...

Oh, got it now. I don't know.

Anonymous said...

I must say that I sincerely appreciate the information that comes from this blog. I have been a resident of DeKalb since 2005 and have only recently become aware of the craziness that occurs within this school system. Though I do not have children yet, I feel for the parents that do. I live in District 7... and let's just say by the time my husband and I do decide to have children, we will move. I pray that a run-off (if 1 is going to happen) results in a win for Donna Elder.

Anonymous said...

The pizza man is still in! District 5 you guys are a bunch of idiots. Thats okay there is still hope SACS will clear the fools out. There is still hope to get Zepora and Jim out. just wish cuning cunningham had gone too. but once a crook always a crook.

Anonymous said...

Ten years ago I'd never predicted that I'd feel this way...if the voters of south dekalb are satisfied with bullies and thieves making decisions about education, I give up hope. This is simply not a culture in which I can support raising my kids. At this point I really believe the cultural gap in valuing education may be to wide. I think all kids have the right to be educated, but if the parents care no more than this, there's little hope. I know that it would likely take an act of God, but it does seem time to pursue separating the district into smaller parts. The scw and zr of the board clearly demonstrate that they don't care about all kids, only their own. So, let them...take care of their own, and get them away from mine. I don't need board members who threaten violence creating policies that reflect tolerance of that same behavior in the schools, and when they can't walk the walk I have little faith.... Yesterday was doomsday for dekalb schools. SACS doesn't care about this system, nor does the state...and clearly the people don't either. Time to move.

Sagamore 7 said...

To whom it may concern:

Taxpayers beware!!!

The incumbents have been re-elected by the people, for themselves and their fellow parishioners.
Friends and Family RULEs DCSS!

I personally will be watching every vote, every line item on the budget and question every move they make.

I will make my best friend or worst enemy the internal auditor at DCSS because he will hear from me on a weekly basis!

For my own benefit, on the election PDF, at the top of every election from yesterday there are 4 columns.


What do these represent?

Anonymous said...

It is astounding that Cunningham is somehow able to escape his frightful record – and we’re not just talking his recent arrests and theft from McDonald’s. Check out DeKalb’s online Judicial System - http://www.ojs.dekalbga.org/servlet/ and the number of suits the man is facing for failing to pay his bills. The fascinating thing: these cases mysteriously disappeared from the website during the election. I could not locate them ten days ago but you can read all about them now. And what about the scandal involving his wife and the money missing from the Tucker Tucks gymnastics booster club? There were allegations there that he was soaking that organization for thousands of dollars in pizza deliveries, while his wife skimmed off the dues the gymnasts paid into a personal account she wouldn’t turn over to others when she was run out as a booster officer. DeKalb County, it appears, is run by thugs. So incestuous that certain people can act with impunity and steal others blind. On the other hand, it took three years for authorities to bring charges against Lakeside’s bookkeeper when we knew she was crooked from the day she arrived. So I guess that means we have three years before the authorities nail Cunningham.

Teacher in DCSS said...

@Anon 7:57: I couldn't agree more! South County and North County are two different cultures, and they're not necessarily divided along racial lines, because the whole county is very diverse now. But for whatever reason, South County seems content with its current Board representation and its low test scores. I'd strongly support breaking this huge school district into smaller parts, anyway, just from the size standpoint. Why not let SCW and ZR rule their kingdoms, putting demagoguery first and student performance last, while blaming all negative outcomes on racism, and let the rest of the county develop more realistic strategies to deal with the educational catastrophe that has become DCSS?

Anonymous said...

Where can I contribute to the campaigns of Nancy Jester and Donna Elder? What can we all do to help them push out the incumbents?

Go Nancy! Go Donna! We are all pulling for you!

Anonymous said...


The middle two are related to early voting and absentee ballots. The last one represents votes cast provisionally, that is by voters whose registration is in question.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, but I know many active and involved people in District 5 who while they aren't thrilled with Cunningham, say the pizza thing is way overblown.

Cunningham's business gives the best prices and has the best product.

Many of these folks voted against him, but it wasn't because of the pizza.

Anonymous said...

"And what about the scandal involving his wife and the money missing from the Tucker Tucks gymnastics booster club?"

I can vouch that there was a HUGE mess involving the Tucker gymnastics program run out of the county Parks & Rec Department's Tucker Recreation Center, and that county staff were praying that it didn't get to the media. The AJC was contacted,, but chose not to investigate. Yes, Jay's wife was very involved in the huge mess.

And a whole lotta money disappeared.

Anonymous said...

Before you beat up on S. DeKalb, please remember that two years ago, N. DeKalb had the chance to elect some real stellar candidates, Shayna Steinfeld, Orson and Pam Buncum. Not to mention Ernest Brown for the at large district.

Instead, Paul "Let's make Lakeside back to the way it was" Womack and Don "I will redistrict all of Sagamore Hills into Lakeside" were elected.

Let's be careful not to throw stones.

Cerebration said...

True. Imagine this board -

Shayna. Ernest. Pam B., Orson, Nancy, Donna, Kirk and Ella.

Too bad they don't just let the bloggers choose!

Oh well.

Anonymous said...

@8:23. If we break it apart and low scores continue, perhaps the race claims will finally disappear, and the real issues can finally get addressed for the kids in that area. As long as the county is combined, other sectors will continue to be the scapegoats for problems existing in the southern end, much easier than tackling real issues and making the time to do homework with your kids.

This election proves the point that at least one area is content with the status quo. I'm not. I want fiscal accountability, focus on curriculum, and a reduction of classroom disruption. These incumbents are incabable and uninterested in all of these things.

Things are going to get worse. We'll see more cuts to education budgets at the state level, and will see increased attorney fees in this county. We'll continue to see increased administrative requirements from the feds and the state okand a lack of ability of the board to effectively manage find to ensure that classroom needs aren't cut in order to meet these. Dekalb will consistently be scrambling to catch up rather ryan ferrying ahead of the game, and when we eject a boe who cannot stay within their own budgets at home, we are set up for continuing disaster.

Anonymous said...

It is what it is. We have to respect the process.

Time to put our energy behind the run-offs and then focus back on the children with whatever board members the voters have selected.

Or move.

Anonymous said...

Buck up people.

The situation this morning is that we have a chance to remove 2 board members. We'd probably be looking at a third (SCW) if her main opponent did not have legal and ethical issues of his own.

As for the other 2, who knows why Cunningham won big, free pizza maybe, and Walker, well, Ella is a nice woman, but I'm not sure she really ever had much of a chance.

But the point is--WE'RE NOT DONE. We can still start being the change we want to see 4 weeks from now.

Anonymous said...

This morning while I was looking at the results my 11 year old came up to me and asked how a man, who robbed a McDonalds of $12k win and a woman who threatened violence on a member of the press receive that many votes? Does this mean it's okay to steal and bully at school?

I told him that the people who voted for these folks are okay with it and probably don't even know that Mr. Cunningham has been caught stealing and that Ms. Roberts threatened another woman.

He added, "It certainly does not set a very good example for the kids they say they care about."

I couldn't have said it better myself!

Momfirst said...

I challenge anyone who is able to donate to Donna Elder's campaign. I'm in district 1 but district 7 needs new blood more than my district (not any endorsement of Jester or Redovian just a real fact). I just donated $25 - please think about it - it's for the benefit of all of our kids!

Anonymous said...

The pizza situation with Jay IS way overblown. This was more an obsession with the AJC than anything else as he was cleared of any possible wrongdoing on this 2 years ago when it first came up. If a booster club or classroom parents does comparison shopping and determines Jay's restaraunt offers the best prices for food, why shouldn't they purchase from his place of business? As long as he does not have a contract with the school system to be a provider (something that does not exist), anyone should have the opportunity to purchase from his restaraunts. He should not use his position as board member to solicit business from schools, something else that he has not done. Should he not offer or sell his products to anyone affiliated with a school just because he is a school board member?

Does anyone else know where you can get a slice of pizza and a drink for $3 as that is the approximate unit price he gives to schools. Essentially he sells them at cost and is not making much of a profit. He did this prior to becoming a Board member so why should he discontinue supporting schools in this manner? If schools save money which allows them to do other things for the students, that is a good thing.

The other concerns raised about Jay are legitimate but the pizza thing is a red herring.

Anonymous said...

The real winners were the losers last night. The board is treated as one entity and no matter how a board member votes they are lumped together with the other board members.

On another point, the culture of DCSS is just as broken on the north side as it is on the south side. It always comes down to what is good for me and mine.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:30, you tickle me. You really do.
Do you not understand that it is not ethical for an elected official to use his office to expand his business? Do you not get that persons purchasing said pizza could in fact be currying favor with said elected official? The issue is not whether the $3 price was fair; the issue is a conflict of interest, where constituents (parents, teachers) might perceive that if we order pizza from this guy, it will help us gain other advantages in a school system that relies on backdoor deals instead of fair process when allocating resources. Cassandra Anderson-Littlejohn couldn’t understand why it was wrong for her husband to peddle his t-shirts to the cheerleaders at Chamblee. It’s his business, she cried. It’s good for everybody. No. Not really. Because Chamblee parents were put in a no-win position: if we don’t order our t-shirts from the board member’s husband, will it come back to haunt us later? Will Cassandra support us when we need her vote on a crucial issue? That, dear anon, is why this “pizza thing” is not overblown in the least and not a red herring.

Cerebration said...

Actually, Moe's Pizza on Briarcliff Road almost always sells pizzas for school events for $6-8 - for a whole - large pizza. Add some $.79 2 liter sodas and it's pretty cheap. $3 a person is not unrealistic or a big 'deal' - at 8 slices per pizza - that's $24 per pizza including soda.

But it's true that Cunningham's other issues are just as - if not more - relevant. I guess voters in his district aren't concerned about that though.

And you're right Anon - some of the reps in the north end are just as manipulative behind the scenes. They just don't have criminal records that I'm aware of... and I'd be shocked if they did.

Anonymous said...

"And what about the scandal involving his wife and the money missing from the Tucker Tucks gymnastics booster club?"

I can vouch that there was a HUGE mess involving the Tucker gymnastics program run out of the county Parks & Rec Department's Tucker Recreation Center, and that county staff were praying that it didn't get to the media. The AJC was contacted,, but chose not to investigate. Yes, Jay's wife was very involved in the huge mess.

And a whole lotta money disappeared."

And... so did all the trophies the kids had earned! And our children and support for what had been a good - if crappily run local gymnastics program.

I had no idea Cunningham was involved, all i knew was that there were "hushed up" allegations of thievery - and that the same people were still walking around the halls, while stealing all the trophies! Unbelievable...

Please DeKalb D1 and D7 voters - make sure you turn out, and bring 10 friends with you!

Melissa Wilks, Dunwoody said...

Come on folks, let's take action. Go on Nancy Jester and Donna Edler's campaign websites and sign up to either volunteer or donate (or both!).

Let's support them (can you imagine how much time and effort they've invested to get this far?) and help them get out the vote.

Two strong, new, smart members of our school board? Won't that be fantastic!

Go to:

Do it today! I'm sure both women could use a boost of energy.

Anonymous said...

A very sad night for DeKalb Schools.
I am disappointed in the voters.

Anonymous said...

The people spoke

Democracy isn't always satisfying but it is our best hope.

It will be interesting to see if the run offs usher out the incumbents.

LIfe isn't always fair but I find it preferable to the alternative.

Keep active, work to improve our schools, and let's see what we can accomplish that is positive.


Anonymous said...

Split the district! Let the incumbent areas stand on their own. I'm all for helping people who need help, but they need to HELP US HELP THEM. And by sending back the same clowns, they showed they do not want or need any help.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:07, when does common sense prevail? You are in the low end, food service business. Your target audience is families with children, typically school age. You've been in business for several year providing inexpensive pizza's to families and to some schools (room parents, booster clubs, etc.). You decide you would like to serve the greater community by running for school board. You win. Does that mean you should no longer sell to your target audience at all? If you believe yes, that means you would go out of business. If you believe yes, that means anyone that does business with any school or family that has school age children should not run for school board, for fear of conflict of interest or ethical violations.

Is there a middle road?

Dekalbparent said...

I have donated to both Donna Edler's and Nancy Jester's campaigns. I a impressed with both, and I think their showings yesterday are positive.

I will see if I can clear my schedule to volunteer - surely making phone calls or something...

No Duh said...

Donna Edler's website provides Paypal! Didn't even have to go downstairs to get my wallet and type in those pesky small credit card numbers.

Donna, sorry I couldn't give more. Times are tough. But, I know you will use my small donations wisely -- as I know you will use our tax dollars wisely once you are elected.

Go Donna GO!

Anonymous said...

It is obvious that Sara Copeland-Wood represents the face of her district. What educated sane person would vote for her? Her district is obviously filled with voters who are as uneducated and as crazy as she. Maybe we will get lucky and the DeKalb Police will pick her up for DUI after one of the Board meetings. Wouldn't that be fun.

On a positive note-there is still a chance of getting rid of sluggo.

Ella Smith said...

44.24% Ella
55.58% Eugene Walker

The totals have changed. Above is my totals and Nancy appears to have move also. I do not know where the votes came from but they came from somewhere.

I was extremely happy with the results as I spent less than $1000.00 on the election and over 1/2 of this was on the entrance fee. I did not even buy signs. I had decided before I entered the race that I was not going to put a great deal of money into the election. I also learned that the legislative body is definitely looking at doing away with two districts. It is totally their choice as to what districts these are.

It could be the at large districts or it could be the two that were added which are Sara's and Zepora's districts. I am looking for them to do away with Sara and Zepora's districts. What the legislative body will do is redistrict all the school board districts and do away with two of them.

I am extremely happy with the vote percentage that I received for the amount of effort I put in. I felt the at-large district made a statement. Dr. Walker won with 66% or 67% two years ago. I think him not winning by as much does make a statement to him.

I think Sara barely winning makes a statement to her and Zepora being in a run-off makes a statement to her. Jay also got our and campaigned extremely hard in his defense. He was out there working during this election. He did not take anything for granted.

District 1 race also will be interesting. However, it is important to note it really does not matter who is leading in the votes now. I got 41% of the vote and the other two candidates got approximately 27% and 28% but I was beat in the run-off one month later. My voters did not return to the polls. You never know what will happen in a run-off.

Anonymous said...

No one said this was going to be easy! We still have the opportunity to elect two intelligent, hard-working individuals who want to turn this board around! We should do everything we can to help them. Two new members would be a start. So we can complain about the outcome of the vote (and yes, I did this morning), but we can also renew our efforts to get the word/vote out for Nancy and Donna.

Anonymous said...

I believe the District 4 race was lost in 2008 in the first few weeks of the run off .... get moving quickly to support your favorite non-incumbent.....

Cerebration said...

As I recall, Shayna only lost by just over 200 votes - out of 20,000 cast. I would say that Paul won due to name recognition from serving on the board back in the 80s and his political connections (many thought he WAS the incumbent - go figure!). He also had a self-funded $50,000 war chest against Shayna's grassroots under $5k campaign. I'd say she did very well.

But I will say this -- it IS about getting out there. Ladies - start going door to door TOMORROW if you haven't already. I see that Nancy has three of her coffees already scheduled -

Coffee Talk with Nancy

Thursday, November 4th; 10am
Starbucks at Dunwoody Village
5561 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd.
Dunwoody, GA 30338.

Friday, November 5th; 10am
2558 Shallowford Rd NE # 201
Atlanta, GA

Friday, November 5th; 7pm
Starbucks at Dunwoody Village
5561 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd.
Dunwoody, GA 30338

But really - beyond that - it's a hand-shaking, door to door campaign. It's very hard work - long days and requires a pal to go with you for support.

Get signs out and tell your neighbors and friends in Districts 1 and 7 to mark their calendars - VOTE JESTER and EDLER on Tuesday, November 30th!