Hey Nancy,

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Thank You

I am writing today to express my gratitude and sincere thanks for the opportunity to serve you during the last two years. Please know how much I appreciate your supportive words, calls and prayers. I am proud of the work I did to expose the deceptive budgeting practices and bring a parent’s perspective to the board.

In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be blogging about various educational issues, legislation and events of importance to DeKalb and our state. We have so much work to do together. As always, I remain steadfastly committed to being an advocate for children and taxpayers.

I look forward to seeing new faces on the DeKalb Board. I hope the new board and administrative team will reflect on what I said at our February board meeting about reforming our district. My remarks are available on my blog. http://whatsupwiththat.nancyjester.com/2013/02/12/308/

For clarity, I wanted to resign from the board in advance of the hearing in February, but refrained from doing so because of the pending court case. If the ruling had gone the other way, the remaining board members would have remained on the board and they would select my successor. I wanted to prevent that. I am more comfortable with the Governor and his team selecting my replacement. Additionally, it is a matter of public record that I voted “no” on February 1st, to the hiring of the attorney to pursue the board’s legal challenges in the first place. I did not support in any way, the filing of legal action and I expressed my opposition in board meetings. Because the court has vacated their previous stay, the board members subject to the Governor’s executive order are now, no longer on the board. Once the Governor appoints new members, the board will have a quorum and be able to meet. At that point, the board will be able to make decisions regarding the use of district resources.

I hope that the next chapter for DeKalb schools brings about a reformation that begins to fulfill our obligation to our children. I hope this next chapter offers the taxpayers a product worthy of their investment. Thank you again for allowing me to serve you. I look forward to working with you to promote ideas and strategies that will empower parents and teachers and improve the educational lives of children.

(38) comments
  1. Nancy,
    Thank you so much for your service. Although your tenure was much shorter than any of us would have liked, you were the right person for this time to expose practices which had been kept in the dark far too long. A colleague and I frequently support one another as we are buffeted for doing the right thing in our professional environment, reminding each other that “darkness hates light,” as it always has. Bringing light to darkness is never easy, and often it results in making true the well known proverb that “no good deed goes unpunished.”
    I too look forward to the next steps with great hope that we are on the threshold of a bright future for ALL of DeKalb’s children.

    Kathy Arnold

  2. Thank you for serving in this post, Nancy. While I haven’t agreed with everything you’ve done, I sincerely believe you have always acted with the best interests of our schools as your number one priority, and I know how much time and energy you’ve invested in your office. Your work has helped to expose the board’s misdeeds, and you should rest confident in a job well done in changing the course of DeKalb County Schools.

  3. Nancy, your efforts were nothing short of heroic. This is why your sign was in my yard and I supported your campaign 110%. I knew you weren’t going to be afraid to go into battle and start the messy but necessary process of cleaning up leadership. Just because you were removed with the others does NOT mean you were not successful. If anything, it shows that you kept your focus on the goals first and yourself sometime after that.

    Plan to be at the DHA special meeting this Sunday?

  4. You remain the example of what a Board Member should be – open, honest, truthful and first and foremost – you REALLY DO put the needs of the kids first. I wish you didn’t have to go with the rest of the bad seeds, but I respect the hell out of you for maintaining your integrity through all of this and staying true.

  5. Nancy, I’ve saved my sign, ready to paste over “School Board” and add the next office you seek. You are an invaluable resource to our community and to the education of our children. You have navigated these deeply troubled waters with grace and dignity. Thank you.

  6. Nancy, thank you so much for your service to our children. You and I have not always agreed, but I appreciate your dignity and respect in our “discussions”. I never doubted that your beliefs and decisions were not based on what was right for the students of DCSS. Many of your posts started me on my path to “rethink” local control – something a few months ago I never would have believed I could support. Now, I’m “All In”.

  7. I appreciate your dedication, professionalism and honesty throughout your tenure. You were at the right place at the wrong time. The undertow and tidal waves of the incompetent, unethical and self serving conduct of several Board members was too strong to save the system, the county, our teachers and kids. Doing the right thing was not in their repertoire, but doing the right thing was always what you did. Please stay involved and fight the good fight once we clean up EW’s Mess.
    Thank you,
    HA Hurley

  8. In the end, making a difference is what matters most. You really did make a difference, and there is little doubt in this household that you will continue to do so, no matter where the next path leads.

    When you are ready, your sign is waiting (pristine condition and autographed, no less!) and your easement spot is reserved.

  9. Nancy:

    If every school board member in the state served with the grace, dignity and conscientiousness that you did, people would be flocking back to DeKalb County because our public schools would once again be stellar and property values would rise. Thank you for sacrificing you talent and precious time away from your family. We hope to see you in another public service role soon.

    Susan L. Meyers
    Oak Grove

  10. From DeKalb School Watch blog:

    We can’t know why selfishness, greed and evil flourish in this world. Certainly DeKalb County seems to have more than its share of such people — people who think nothing of taking away a child’s chance at a decent future so they can line their own pockets and the pockets of their family and friends. We all know who those people are — in DeKalb County — in Alpharetta — and in Georgia. Deep down, spin it as they might, they know who they are, too.

    We join with Nancy Jester’s many fans and admirers to thank her for a job well done! We wish we had been present the other night to join in giving Nancy a standing ovation for the stellar work she has done for DeKalb’s children. It’s too bad for DeKalb’s children that she wasn’t allowed to finish.

  11. Thank you all for your kind words. You inspire me! We have so much to do and I am blessed to know so many dedicated citizens. I am looking forward to more conversations with each of you!

  12. You are a true leader. You gave me…and my daughter…the courage to speak out and DEMAND choice and quality in education. It is because of you and NG that I have become an education advocate. There is no limit to the gratitude I feel for your honesty and drive to restore our education system. I do not know what the future will bring…but I know you will be integral to changing it.

  13. We too, thank you for all you did in your too short term. We look forward to seeing what you do next!

  14. I want to thank you for your service to DeKalb County citizens and the students in the school system.

    Your Dunwoody calculator worked well.

  15. I want to say that although I live in South Dekalb, Nancy has always responded to me as if I lived in Dunwoody. One in a million!

  16. Although your time on the board was cut short, due to the incompetence of so many others. You have achieved a great deal in exposing these decade old problems here in DeKalb County. I have known you and your family for many years and have always admired your passion. From your involvement and efforts in our preschool and elementary schools, to your tireless dedication to our school board. Your work has hopefully started to right the wrongs of the county. I know you will remain active and vocal and I look forward to see what you will tackle next. Please let the kids know that I send my best.

  17. Nancy,
    You said it is a matter of public record that you voted no on hiring an attorney to pursue the Board’s legal challenges. Where can the public record be found that gives us the yes and no votes by Blard members on this expenditure? I would like to see who voted yes and who voted no on this expensive and seemingly endless expenditure of educational dollars for attorney fees.

    Thanks for all you have done for the students of DeKalb. You did more in two years than any BOE member has done in the last ten.

  18. […] that DeKalb School Watch subscribes to … and there was a new one from Nancy Jester’s whatsupwiththat.nancyjester.com […]

  19. Nancy,
    THANK YOU, sorry your service was so short. You have done so much for the kids and looking forward to us all working together to make this school system great again. Keep your calculator closeby. I enjoy your blog and thanks for being honest and putting it all out there. Keep blogging!

    You are appreaciated!

  20. Nancy,

    Thank you very much for all the hard work you have done for the children of DeKalb County. You set an example for others to follow in terms of fiscal responsibility and common sense. I hope the governor’s appointments are half as dedicated and responsible as you.

  21. Nancy, Not sure why the resignation. It would seem to me that you have been suspended but according to the law, you are able to petition to get the seat back. Does this mean you will no longer pursue the process afforded by this law and you are not receiving pay as the others are? I am sorry to hear it if this is true. I really hoped you would continue. Am I reading this wrong? Don’t get me wrong, I am not at all glad of the lawsuit, but why not drop out of the suit and just pursue the appeal to the gov for the seat?

  22. Nancy – The grace you demonstrated in your job were matched only by the tenacity you displayed to expose the corruption and malfeasance inherent in the DeKalb system. There are not adequate words to express the gratitude of the community for the effort and energy you have invested for all the children of DeKalb. Thank you for your public service. I hope you are not done with us, because we are not done with you! Can’t wait to see what is next.

  23. […] Nancy Jester has resigned her seat on the DeKalb Board of Education. Here is her letter to constituents explaining why: […]

  24. Thank you for being the bright light on this board. I so appreciate your willingness to stand up and fight for our children. I know what you did today was difficult, but we, the stakeholders in this county, see what you are willing to do for the sake of our children. Thank you!

  25. Sure hope you decide to run in 2014 for school board or for the Senate seat occupied by Fran Millar.

  26. Nancy,

    Thank you for all the hard work and the time spent to uncover the disgusting practices of the DCSB. You performed with grace and dignity, and are a class act.

    Henderson Mill Elementary School
    Henderson Middle School

  27. Nancy –

    As others have mentioned, I was (and still am) one of your biggest supporters during your run for this office. We all know that if you had not turned over the rock and showed SACS the underlying dirty worms, the school board would still be going along as if nothing was wrong.

    Contrary to what others have said, I think you were the right person in the right place at the right time. It took a mixture of understanding the screwy numbers, having the guts to call out fellow boardmembers and acting without delay to topple these narcissists.

    I’d like to ask you to do two things: (1) Get behind a movement to do whatever it takes to allow the citizens of Chamblee, Dunwoody, and Brookhaven to pull out of DCSS and start their own city schools, and (2) run against Mike Jacobs for his statehouse seat. We really need a person of your intellect, integrity and willingness to serve the constituents representing us before Georgia!

    — The Maven

  28. Many people including the news media are interpreting this blog entry as a “resignation”.. I don’t see “I Quit!” anywhere in this statement. As I see it this matter is not yet resolved. The Judge merely allowed the Governor to continue with his search for substitute board members while both sides prepare appeals to the Georgia Supreme Court. To resign now is again potentially giving the remaining board members the option to name a replacement.. Is that what you really intend to do?

  29. Nancy – Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for all you have done and, I know, will continue to do for our kids. You have been a light in the darkness and please know that your efforts are so appreciated by the parents of Dekalb County. Keep fighting the good fight!

  30. Your short, but momentous service on the DeKalb School Board catalyzed critical actions that we can only hope leads to improvements that benefits our kids, our teachers, and taxpayers. Perhaps people will once again feel the pride living in DeKalb County evoked.

    Frankly, your actions provide inspiration to the creation of a new super-hero, Actuary Mom.

    You may seek another public office, judging from these comments. Best wishes moving forward, there are no shortages of issues that might wither under your liberal use of disinfecting transparency and willingness to take on institutional waste, fraud, and abuse.

    “People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
    If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
    If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
    If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
    What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
    If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
    The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
    Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
    In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

    -Mother Theresa

  31. Nancy,
    Thank you for your service to our children. I’m sad to see you leave your position and am so thankful to have voted for you in the first place! You have shown grace, dignity, tenacity and excellent leadership in the midst of such a public debacle. I’m inspired by you and am looking forward to see what the future has in store for you!

  32. Just wanted to add our thanks to the long list of supporters here. We thank you for the “No” vote on celll towers even when Dunwoody did not have any schools on the list. We thank you for pointing out in that July 2011 vote that the board and the public had only received the financials for the deal about 24 -48 hours before the board was scheduled to vote (so how could it have been about the money when no one knew what kind of money was even being discussed?). Thank you for always putting the children in the entire school district ahead of anything else and for looking out for those that felt they had no one representing them at all. Thank you for telling the state BOE at the hearing what they and Gov. Deal really needed to hear about the embarrassing spot at the bottom of the list that Georgia has held for several years when it comes to education rankings. And, thank you for the courage to speak up and let others know that it is okay for them to do the same. Our failure has not been due to the bickering among two sides, but rather the apathy of everyone else who has refused to pay attention or get involved. You refused to sit back and do nothing and we hope you will remain a part of public service so that you will continue to help inspire others who may otherwise be too afraid to speak up! Thank you Nancy!

  33. Nancy,

    Your leadership and integrity are unquestionable. You served with both grace and dignity to the very end. The governor may have difficulty finding your equal.

    Some (indeed maybe even most) Board Members, like so many of DeKalb County’s elected and appointed public officials suffer from the entitlement complex. The public offices they hold are not opportunities to serve all their fellow citizens; rather they are entitlements apportioned to them on the basis of the accidents of their race and the historic wrongs that their forebearers suffered. These are not very good bases for electing, appointing to, or holding public offices. But this is what the majority of voters in DeKalb seem to have settled for.

  34. Nancy – thank you for your service to the children and parents of DeKalb County! I’m certainly saddened by your resignation, but understand you are doing what you believe you have to do. I really hope this is not the last we see of you in an elected office. I’m sure you’ve been extremely focused with the issues surrounding the school board, but perhaps now you can turn your focus to the City of Dunwoody. District Two can use you!

  35. I hope all DeKalb residents realize what a gem Nancy was on the school board. She exposed the incompetence and corruption. I firmly believe Governor Deal had no choice but to include her in the members he removed. Had he kept her on the board, which he should have, the other board members would have been hysterical and Jesse “Race-Baiter” Jackson would have been on the scene to be a little drama queen in front of the TV cameras. Nancy Jester, thank you for your service. I truly wish you were on the board, as you are the only one who showed competence. You pegged that former loser superintendent right from the start as bad news for Dekalb schools. You were right. Her resignation proves that point. I wish you well in the future, and hope you will again consider running for the school board. We need you!

  36. Nancy – I can’t help but feel that Governor Deal threw the baby out with the bath water with his recent actions! Your removal from the BOE is a huge loss to our community. Your service to DeKalb as a member of the BOE was THE BEST thing to happen in DeKalb for a very long time. It’s a shame that you were not allowed to complete the important work that you had begun. Your efforts to improve education for ALL children in DeKalb are greatly appreciated. I join the many other grateful citizens who can’t wait to see what you do next! Angela

  37. Nancy, thank you for all your efforts to make DCSS better. Sorry it didn’t work out for you, but you did make a difference. In the long run, it will be better for the kids and all of us. Please know you have our support in whatever you pursue.

  38. […] Here’s what Nancy Jester wrote at the time: […]

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