Nancy Meister

Editor’s note: Throughout the week, Reporter Newspapers will be publishing portions of its voters guide for the upcoming Nov. 5 elections. Candidate info can also be found in the Oct. 4 and Oct. 18 editions of Reporter Newspapers.

Nancy Meister (Incumbent)

Occupation: Real Estate Broker

Prior political experience: First term incumbent of BOE District 4

Why are you seeking this position? I am running for re-election because I am proud of my voting record and accomplishments while serving as the District 4 Board representative over the past four years and want to continue with this mission. There is however, much more work to be done. I am the right person to represent the diverse interests of the community and I’ve been privileged and honored to serve my constituents. I have the relevant experience, team ethic and strong principles to work collaboratively with the Board and Superintendent to move our school system forward.

Why should voters choose you? I ask for your vote so that I can continue to represent and advocate for you and the children of APS. I voted against increased class sizes and increasing the number of furlough days. I voted against depleting our reserve budget further. I have advocated for more resources to be at the disposal of our Principals who know what our students need most. I have fought to uncover corruption. I have advocated for a more transparent and honest budgetary review. I have promptly responded to all community concerns and suggestions.

Secondly, I ask for your vote to allow me the opportunity to continue the important work I have started to make APS a world class school system. We must hire a Superintendent who will push this system forward. I want to continue to advocate and implement policy that will empower our principals, improve graduation rates, and promote a more robust early childhood education program. Finally, I want to continue to fight for our teachers by reducing class sizes, eliminating furlough days, and giving them the pay raise they undeniably deserve.

Campaign webpage: www.nancydistrict4.com

Taryn Chilivis Bowman

Taryn Bowman

Occupation: I am a former small business owner whose career path for the past 25 years has been in the film industry working mainly as a production accountant, locations coordinator, and production coordinator. I graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in business. I am member of the Screen Actors’ Guild and have a real estate broker’s license but am not active in real estate.

Prior political experience: I have never run for election before this. I was born in Athens, GA and moved to Atlanta at the age of six when my father, Nick Chilivis, was appointed Revenue Commissioner. I grew up in Atlanta and understand its unique wonderfulness and its unique needs. The November 5 Atlanta Board of Education election is one of the most important elections as it will impact the children of Atlanta for years to come. The new board will hire a new superintendent, determine the educational model for the district, and address the financial mismanagement that APS has demonstrated over the years.

Why are you seeking this position? I am running for office because I can make a difference. I have a passion for education and a heart for children and teachers. I got involved in the APS system about five years ago, and I, like a lot of parents, have lost confidence in APS. Instead of complaining about what doesn’t work, I’ve decided to take action. I think that it’s time we start getting things done right at APS. I want our schools to be top notch. Our children deserve excellence.

Why should voters choose you? I am the best choice for District 4 because of what I bring to the table as a board member. While leading a successful film career, I always found time to advocate for children. I was honored to be recognized by the Shepherd Spinal Center for my commitment to helping children with spina bifida. In addition, I served as the youth director of a church in California with primary oversight of all youth programs. I also served as a first grade teacher, which is one reason I have a deep appreciation for educators. For the past four years, I have invested countless hours in my own children’s APS school, chairing the PTA literary magazine and volunteering where needed. I also founded and currently lead an APS teacher-sponsored spirit club for students.

In addition to my passion for serving children, I have a strong financial background. My vast experience in working with multi-million dollar movie productions to ensure that they come in on time and on budget is something that APS desperately needs. I have 30 hours weekly that I can work above and beyond the call of duty as a board member to serve my community and its children. I am solely focused on APS and will devote myself to approving policies to keep the students first.

With integrity, dedication, accountability, transparency, determination, innovation, and collaboration, I pledge to help drive the implementation of the changes needed to make APS excellent.

Campaign webpage: www.voteforbowman.com

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com