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What you should know about District 5 School Board candidates

5/16/2014, 7:08 p.m.

As voters go to the polls on May 20, we asked the five candidates for the District 5 DeKalb School Board seat to identify three things they want every voter to know about them before they cast their ballots.

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Jesse “Jay” Cunningham

Former School Board member; 50-year resident of DeKalb. Lives in Lithonia.

“I was founder and co-president of the South DeKalb Parent council and served as PTSA president at Martin Luther King High School.

"I was elected to two terms on the DeKalb School Board first in 2006 and re-elected in 2010 with over 65 percent of the vote.

"I was able to secure $280 million in construction for new schools, renovations, additions and elimination of school trailers and updating technology district-wide.”

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R. Alexander Fitzhugh

Grew up in DeKalb and graduated from Towers High School. A parent, community volunteer and long-time activist in the school system. Has served every year since 1999 on PTAs, school councils. Is a member Father Being Involved (FBI) and other county-wide educational planning committees.

“I want the people to know that I am connected to the community through my involvement with the PTA.

"I’ve proved that I am trustworthy and care about the education of our children and will bring those qualities to the board. And I am a deeply religious man and all decisions and my conscience will not allow me to do anything that is detrimental to the well being of our students.”

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Thad Mayfield

Thad Mayfield [Incumbent]

A senior partner at FOCOM, inc., a Georgia-based business development firm. A resident of Lithonia since 1984, and a long-time participant in DeKalb, Metro Atlanta and Georgia business communities and civic organizations. Served three terms on the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity.

“I have volunteered 28 years of service to DeKalb Schools and communities. I have helped raise over $1 billion through SPLOST to build new schools. I’m a business person who believes in getting things done and now that the district is off accreditation probation and on solid financial ground, we need to improve teacher morale and student performance.”

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Vicky Turner

Vickie B. Turner

22-year resident of DeKalb; 24 years as an educator. Founder and headmaster of Augustine Preparatory Academy of Atlanta. Co-pastor of Augustine Chapel with her husband Robert Turner II.

“I have a commitment to operate with the utmost integrity and teachers, students and parents will drive every decision that I make. I want people to know that I’m committed to stay the course and to stay focused and engage everyone at the table in productive dialogue for the good of the DeKalb County School system.

And I will work as diligently as I can to find the right leader to be the next superintendent and take our school system to a place of prominence and excellence.”