Dear Decaturish – In support of Whitney McGinniss, DeKalb School Board District 2Whitney McGinniss
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Local elections have more impact on our daily lives than do national elections. Your property values, education of children and their futures within our communities all depend on who we elect to represent us. The best communities are supported by the public schools within. I am asking you to support Whitney McGinniss for District 2 DeKalb County School Board, and let’s work to bring our schools up to the standards we deserve as taxpayers.
My husband and I were both educated in DeKalb County Schools, as were our children. With our DeKalb school education, we were all able to earn degrees at Emory, Emory Law, Georgia Tech, FSU, Georgia State, including both masters and bachelors. Now, I have 3 grandchildren attending schools in the Druid Hills cluster and hope their futures will continue to benefit the way ours did.
It is critical that we have a school board member who will fight to keep our schools in physical working order along with supporting the needs of students, teachers and staff. The HVAC systems in our Druid Hills cluster are shameful, excepting the newer Fernbank Elementary. These systems should have been improved when the pandemic first hit, but for two years, time has been wasted with little being done. There was no plan for long absences or compensation for teachers, staff and students who contracted COVID-19. The in-school testing program was promised but shamefully delayed for over a year. I know Whitney has the vision to bring solutions to all the myriad of problems our schools experience, whether it be with the people within or the facilities surrounding them.
I have seen the results of Whitney’s efforts to bring attention and solutions to the safety of both our students and staff. She worked tirelessly to have the lead problem remediated and the HVAC upgraded at Laurel Ridge Elementary. For over a year, she canvassed the neighborhood around Druid Hills Middle School to bring traffic calming solutions to the streets surrounding the school. In addition, she has participated in many other on-going projects at Laurel Ridge ES including the food bank programs, grounds maintenance and other volunteer needs.
Currently, Druid Hills High School has severe problems within the building, as do other aging schools in District 2, yet the board recently voted down repairs to the high school. Whitney knows that our students and staff deserve to be in buildings that are safe from hazards like leaking roofs and sewage backups in classrooms. Druid Hills High School has a long and distinctive history, has produced outstanding leaders throughout its 100 years of existence and educates students — through school choice — from throughout the district. It should bring pride to the district, but instead its problems are a disgrace.
The Cross Keys cluster needs a board member who is focused on the immediate and long-term needs of this district. I witnessed way too many BOE community input meetings about the neglect and lack of attention and problem-solving for the Cross Keys cluster. Whitney has already started reaching out to the PTAs of these schools to learn more about their communities and their needs. It is past time that the schools in Cross Keys cluster get the funds and oversight that has been promised to them for years.
I know Whitney has the initiative and direction that is desperately needed, for not only District 2, but for the entire system. As one dedicated to public service, Whitney has worked in government with both nonprofits, and with community groups. And I believe she has the personality to bring members to work together for the common good of all schools in our district.
A school district as large as DeKalb should be using its resources wisely and be proactive towards the problems that exist and those it will face in the future. It takes a strong and determined person to want to serve the community in this role. It is not an easy one. I urge you to cast your vote on May 24 for Whitney McGinniss for District 2 DeKalb School Board. Our schools need her vision and commitment.
– Dianne Medlock Joy
I am writing to express my unequivocal support for Whitney McGinniss, candidate for the District 2 Board of Education seat. Quality public schools are at the heart of what makes a community a safe, healthy and thriving place to raise a family. DeKalb County is fortunate to have many quality schools with dedicated principals and teachers working hard to educate our children – however DeKalb also has challenges with many underperforming schools and a large collection aged facilities that urgently need to be addressed over the coming years.
We need strong, competent leadership to help navigate the challenges that currently face DeKalb County Schools. It is critical that we have the right leadership to help our District 2 schools improve and thrive over the years to come. The upcoming Board of Education elections are May 24, and I strongly encourage your readers to vote for Whitney McGinniss to represent District 2 (Druid Hills Cluster, Sagamore Hills, Woodward, Montclair, John Lewis, Ashford Park, and Cross Keys High).
I first met Whitney while I was the parent volunteer Chair of the Druid Hills Middle School Principal Advisory Council (PAC). We had numerous issues in the surrounding area of the school that included outdated parking signs dating back to when DHMS was Shamrock High School. When the County repaved the road in front of DHMS, they didn’t repaint the crosswalk lines, which created a hazard for students. We also had a dangerous power pole across the street from the school with wires dangling that no one seemed to know how to get fixed.
I was introduced to Whitney to help us, as the Road Infrastructure Chair of the Laurel Ridge Shamrock Civic Association, which represents the neighborhood surrounding DHMS. Whitney proved herself a smart, tenacious, dedicated and patient leader who knew how to navigate the complex web that is DeKalb County government. Whitney was relentless in keeping DeKalb County officials at their word when they said they would address the issues in our school neighborhood. Whitney did not allow for delay tactics, lack of follow through and broken promises from DeKalb County government. She got our school neighborhood issues fixed….I have never worked with someone as patient and dedicated as Whitney to keep Dekalb County officials on point to deliver the services our tax paying citizens deserve.
I have continued to work with Whitney on the “Red Devil Task Force,” set up to advocate for much needed building repairs and renovation at Druid Hills High School. She immediately offered to help and was one of four DHHS parents to speak on this topic at the March 2022 Board of Education meeting. Whitney was articulate, professional, and methodical as she explained why these improvements are desperately needed. This follows her successful track-record in advocating for a new HVAC system and removal of lead paint at Laurel Ridge Elementary.
If elected, Whitney will bring that same competent “can do” attitude to represent our families in the District 2 public school system. Whitney will work hard to ensure DeKalb provides the high-quality education our children deserve. You can learn more about Whitney’s prior work with our schools, as well as her qualifications for office, on her website: WhitneyforDeKalb.com.
Thank you for your consideration to vote on May 24 for Whitney McGinniss, Board of Education representative, District 2.
Ken Schroeder, Parent at Druid Hills High School
It is my pleasure to endorse Whitney McGinniss for the position of Dekalb County School Board for District 2.
For the last few years I have watched Mrs. McGinniss work tirelessly for the Laurel Ridge neighborhood. She was concerned about the fact that our neighborhood had turned into a cut- through for drivers avoiding traffic on North Druid Hills Road. She was instrumental in securing speed bumps throughout the Laurel Ridge area, virtually eliminating the speeding cars trying to cut through our neighborhood.
In addition to securing the safety of our neighborhood, she learned about the lead paint at Laurel Ridge Elementary school and immediately rolled up her sleeves to solve the problem. She ensured that the lead paint was contained until it could be eradicated, again displaying her tenacity in securing the health and safety of our children and neighborhood.
This year, I have had the distinct honor and privilege of getting to experience that tenacity in person. Mrs. McGinniss is the parent of one of my students. I have attended Media and Technology meetings with Mrs. McGinniss; I have watched her pulling weeds at our workday. Mrs. McGinniss volunteered to help the environmental club plant native plants along the Burnt Fork Creek sewer replacement project. To say she is a hard worker is an understatement.
Based on my experience as a teacher at Druid Hills Middle School, it’s a blessing when parents are willing to give their time and expertise to enhance the school environment for all our students. Mrs. McGinniss is one of those persons. She is willing to help in any capacity bringing her non-profit expertise, her compassion and her perseverance to all projects big and small. It is for all these reasons that I believe she will work diligently as the School Board representative for District 2, ensuring that all the students, parents and teachers have the best possible learning environment.
– Katy Cochran, Druid Hills Middle School
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