Heather Tell Announces Candidacy For Decatur District 2 School Board Seat

Heather Tell’s campaign sent out this announcement…

On Friday, August 11th, Decatur resident Heather Tell announced her candidacy for the City Schools of Decatur (CSD) Board of Education. She’ll be campaigning for the District 2 seat currently held by Bernadette Seals, who is leaving the board after serving with distinction since 2007.

Heather lives in Oakhurst with her husband, Joe, and two daughters, who currently attend CSD at the 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue and Renfroe Middle School. She’s served the Decatur community and schools since moving to the neighborhood 15 years ago, volunteering thousands of hours in the community and classroom. During her terms on the Oakhurst Elementary and the F.AVE School Leadership Teams (SLTs), she worked on elementary school redistricting efforts, reviewed school budgets, crafted school improvement plans, and interviewed many new teachers and staff to support CSD’s growth. Heather currently serves as chairperson of F.AVE’s SLT.

“I have a track record of getting things done in our community,” Heather says. “I bring people together and build consensus around issues to move projects forward. Through my years of service in the schools, I’ve supported our teachers and staff to make our schools the best they can be. I take this responsibility very seriously and feel passionately about helping our great schools become even better. My goals for CSD include:

• Enabling every child to reach his or her highest potential, regardless of ability;
• Providing for all students an equitable and challenging education;
• Collaborating with city leadership to understand the impact of development and possible annexation on the schools, and to proactively identify innovative partnerships within the community;
• Emphasizing fiscal responsibility as we support the rapid growth of our student population;
• Encouraging the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) into the curriculum;
• Creating well rounded students through foreign language, art, music, and athletic education.”

Heather is a dedicated community advocate. She’s initiated several community service projects to improve pedestrian safety including: creating a new pedestrian path from Olympic Pl to Mead Rd, improving sidewalks and crosswalks, and improving city parks adjacent to schools and school grounds at Oakhurst and F.AVE. As Georgia Safe Routes to School representative for Oakhurst Elementary from 2011-2015, she led the school to win the Metro Atlanta Partner of the Year Award in 2015.

“My grassroots involvement in community initiatives has allowed me to develop lasting relationships with many city and CSD leaders,” Heather says. “These meaningful relationships will enable me to foster trust and goodwill with the decision makers in our community to help bring out the best in our schools and students.”

Heather has a BS in Civil Engineering and an MS in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University and professional experience in engineering, information technology, and real estate. She is currently a Realtor and top-producing agent at Atlanta Intown Real Estate Services, where she has worked since 2007.

“My professional skills and experience allow me to provide a technical perspective and analytical approach to support planning and responsible expansion of our schools,” Heather points out. “In my career, I leverage effective project management, communication, and negotiation skills. I’ve also hired and managed teams of people, and always maintain high expectations for achievement and performance. Moreover, my real estate experience is focused on the City of Decatur and nearby neighborhoods. This gives me great insight into our city’s growth trends which ultimately affect and impact our schools. My professional skills will be a great asset to CSD in setting and achieving our goals.”

For more information, check out Heather’s website at: ElectHeatherTell.org, and her Elect Heather Tell Facebook page.

3 thoughts on “Heather Tell Announces Candidacy For Decatur District 2 School Board Seat”

  1. The problem with the first goal–enabling every child to reach his or her highest potential, regardless of ability–a completely laudable goal, is that it’s not what the law requires. Or at least the law as interpreted by many public sector special education administrators. What federal law requires is access to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). That is different, and usually a lot less, than enabling a student to reach his or her highest potential which can be costly in the short run. (Investing in a child’s full potential probably pays off in the long run but the long run is not what public servants are tasked to handle or monitor.) But CSD has the option to do more than the minimum of what the law requires. We’ll see.

    1. Agreed. At this moment, CSD is not in any way prepared to help every child reach his or her highest potential. That would be a tall order for any school district. But the progress CSD has made in recent months, especially regarding students with dyslexia, is laudable.

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