Annie Caiola Announces Candidacy for Decatur At-Large School Board Seat

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 8.25.51 AMDecatur resident Annie Caiola’s website went live this morning announcing her candidacy for the Decatur School Board At-Large seat, currently held by Valarie Wilson.  The letter to the community on the front page of her website gives some detail on her platform and why she’s running…

As a leader, I listen. I make a conscientious effort to spend more time listening than I do speaking. I ask tough questions, because tough questions are the catalysts for improvement. And while listening and questioning are important, I also roll up my sleeves and work hard. I show up early; I stay late; I do my homework.

I am running for School Board because I am passionate about education. I care about your child’s happiness and success in the classroom, as much as I do my own. While City Schools of Decatur has made significant progress in recent history, enrollment trends and budget cuts suggest that our biggest challenges may very well lie ahead of us. We must rise to meet these challenges head on, with a commitment to academic success, community engagement and financial responsibility. I am committed to meeting these challenges, while bringing CSD to the next level.

Her website also notes that Ms. Caiola was a College Heights Advisory Counsel Member from 2010-2012, a member of the CSD Engagement Committee from 2011-2012 (disclosure: as was I), and moderator of city-wide Debate on Amendment One related to Charter Schools in 2012.

She also summarizes her goals as follows…

  • Exercise smart growth to meet enrollment demands and plan for the future without overbuilding.

  • Develop a sustainable plan for meeting our financial needs without raising taxes.

  • Improve communication, engagement and transparency.

  • Maintain academic achievement as our top priority for every student

Recount Doesn’t Change Outcome of School Board Race

UPDATE: Here’s Rob Pope’s latest note…

The difference remains 26 votes, on absentee/early voter ballots. I hope this provides final closure on the election and allows everyone to move forward. It is my sincere wish that we focus on providing support to all students and teachers and continue to make all the schools in Decatur the best schools.

Dave reports that the recount didn’t change the outcome of the At-Large School Board seat where Valarie Wilson defeated Rob Pope by just 26 votes.

Patti Garrett Wins Open District 2 Seat; Boykin, Wilson & Wisniewski Win Reelection

UPDATE IV: Rob Pope’s concession note…

Good Morning Decatur,

Thanks for a great race and for your interest in all the issues on school board.

It couldn’t have been much closer in my race and I appreciate all the support and discourse over the past few months.

As I told Valarie last night, Congratulations and thanks for keeping the race positive and upbeat.

I look forward to working with the School Board on all the issues our city and students must address. As for me, I will still be reading in the classroom, tutoring, helping with science, working with our phenomenal teachers and students on math skills, and coaching soccer! I look forward to continuing my work on the Clairemont School Leadership Team and getting even more involved in the Charter process with all the SLTs.

My thanks go out to the amazing volunteers that helped my campaign. I couldn’t have gotten anywhere without their help. Just remember, we are not done. There is great work ahead for City Schools of Decatur and we need to all stay involved and engaged to make it work for all of us. My message is still the same, More and Better Communication, Empower the SLTs and Utilize the Charter System, and true Financial Responsibility. Keep up the efforts for all our children and citizens!

Thank you for the opportunity to listen to you, hear your concerns, and actually try to make sure they were voiced. See in the schools and around town (Decatur Terrific Thursdays!). Don’t hesitate to contact me ar [email protected] in the future.


Rob Pope

UPDATE III: Garrett Goebel’s concession note…

Thank you all for the unforgettable experience of running for school board.

I have just received the official call. I received 46% of the vote.

I congratulate Marc on his re-election. I look forward to working with him. I look forward to getting back into the schools and the classrooms and working together to help improve the education we provide for every child.

I would like to thank everyone that donated their time, effort, advice and money. I have been amazed by how far we came together. I hope we can take this energy and direct it back into our schools and our community. Thank you for the honor of representing your voice.


UPDATE II: WSB now has Wilson up 1407 to 1381 even though it previously said all precients had reported.

UPDATE: Yep, Wilson won by 20 votes.  1284 to 1264.

CSD Mom reports from the frontlines…

valarie by 20 votes, patti, marc, fred are winners.

We’ll need to determine whether that means Valarie Wilson also won re-election.  Also, we’ll need to wait for the breakdown. 

WSB seems best for updates.

Decatur Election Day Open Thread

Use this post to report your first-hand Election Day experiences around the city.

Attendance was light at First Christian this morning and the heat had yet to be turned on, but staff were friendly as always!  A couple James Radford supporters out in front.

Based on first-hand reports, Rob Pope seems to have blanketed the city with supporters.  I saw one waving to passing cars at Commerce and W. Ponce.

Decatur City Elections – Your One Stop Shop

OK, everyone.  After months of debate, posturing, baby-slapping and back-kissing, it’s high time we had ourselves an election!

Tomorrow’s the big day, so warm up your voting finger, coordinate your outfit to match your “Georgia Voter” sticker, and locate your polling place.

Now that your looking good and feeling fit, do you know who you’re voting for?  If not, perhaps this list of resources will help.

Candidate Debates

Decatur Metro’s City Commission Online Debate

District 2 City Commission Debate – Opening & Closing Statement videos

Decatur eLife School Board Debate – Q & A videos

Candidate Websites and DM Posts (by district/alphabetically)

City Commission Candidates

District 1

District 2

School Board Elections


District 1

Decatur Election Poll

Ah, but not the one you think.

What?  You thought I was going to do a straight up “who will you vote for poll?”?


I can already see all you scarily passionate candidate advocates deleting your cookies as many times as you physically can before the carpal tunnel sets in.  It would be worse than Afghanistan.

The trick with completely unscientific online polls is to only ask questions that no one has enough of a vested interest in to stuff the ballot box.

Decatur School Board Chair Valarie Wilson Launches Re-Election Website

valarie wilson reelection image

Michael Baxter writes in to let everyone know that Decatur School Board Chair Valarie Wilson’s re-election website is up and running.

As Michael points out, the site details “the progress made by the city’s school system over the past 8 years and cites 5 priorities that Valarie has identified for the future.”  The site also elaborates on the reasons Valarie is running for re-election and ways in which you can give your support to the campaign.

And for those that can’t help but spell Valarie’s first name incorrectly (I’m pretty sure I’ve been among them in the past), Michael adds “for those who spell Valarie with two e’s instead of 2 a’s, works, too.”