Meet the Members

Chair

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James Herndon

James and his wife Mandi have lived in Decatur since 2008.  They are the proud parents of two daughters in the City Schools of Decatur.  James runs his own branch of Edward Jones in Decatur. 

He is a lifetime educator - with 18 years of teaching experience. He was previously the Director of the Debate team at Emory University and a High School English teacher at Chattahoochee High School in Fulton County before that.  He holds degrees from Mercer University and the University of Alabama. James previously served for three years on the Glennwood School Leadership Team where he was elected as chair. He was also an active participant in the System-wide Charter Leadership Team, the previous City of Decatur Boundary Committee, and an active member of the Talley Street and College Heights PTO groups.  James is probably most excited about volunteering to coach, room parent, and be involved in his daughter’s lives. 

District: Board of Education District 1

Term: Expires 2027

 

Vice Chair

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Carmen Sulton

Carmen Sulton grew up in Decatur and was elected to serve on the Board of Education in 2021. She and her husband Okera Hanshaw have three daughters attending the City Schools of Decatur. She has served on the Decatur High PTA and organized its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She served as a parent volunteer at Winnona Park and as a Spirit wear volunteer for the Decatur Bulldog Boosters.  She is an active member of the Beacon Hill Black Alliance, where she serves on the Education Committee.  She is also a founding member and the current Chair of the City Schools of Decatur Black Parents Alliance (CSD BPA), Inc.

Carmen earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Emory University and her Medical Doctorate from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. She works in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where she also serves as the Medical Director for Procedural Sedation at the Egleston Campus. 

Outside of work, Carmen enjoys volunteering in the community and spending time with family and friends. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Jack and Jill of America, Inc. 

District: Board of Education District 2
Term: Expires 2025

Board Member

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Jana Johnson-Davis

Jana Johnson-Davis has lived in Decatur since 2013 and was elected to the Board of Education in 2019. Jana is a veteran educator with 14 years of classroom experience. As a culturally responsive teacher, she has engaged in activism and research around the issues of discipline disproportionality and equity in education. She is co-founder of the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights. Before retiring from the classroom in 2019, Jana taught for 8 years at Renfroe Middle School. She currently serves as the Internship Director for the Davis Bozeman Law Firm.

Jana received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Florida A&M University, a Masters of Arts in Urban Education from Goddard College, and an Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Piedmont College. Jana and her husband, Attorney Mawuli M. Davis, are the proud parents of two sons, both of whom graduated from Decatur High School.  

District: At-Large
Term: Expires 2025

Board Member

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Hans Utz

Hans Utz and his family have lived in Decatur since 2008 and was elected to serve on the Board of Education in 2021. He and his wife have four children, three of whom are attending the City Schools of Decatur. Hans is a veteran of the US Army and holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and MS in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He has served on numerous boards related to innovation as well as the City Schools of Decatur’s Senior Homestead Exemption committee

Prior to being elected to the Board of Education, Hans served as the Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the City of Atlanta. Hans is an entrepreneur and has invented a device to save lives and help nurses better manage patient care in the ICU.

District: Board of Education District 1
Term: Expires 2025

Board Member

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Tracey Anderson

Tracey Anderson and her family have lived in Decatur since 2009, and she was elected to serve on the Board of Education in December 2023. She and her husband have a middle-school-aged daughter and are both public educators. Tracey has dedicated over twenty-five years to education as a teacher and has served two terms as the elected teacher on a school leadership team.

District: Board of Education District 2
Term: Expires 2027

Superintendent

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Dr. Gyimah Whitaker

Gyimah Whitaker, Ed.D. began her tenure as superintendent of the City Schools of Decatur (CSD) on July 1, 2023. An engaging and experienced leader, Dr. Whitaker has more than two decades of leadership experience, including serving as deputy chief academic officer for Fulton County Schools, where she supervised the assistant superintendents of Student Support Services and Learning and Teaching and oversaw a budget of $48M in general funds, $61M in federal funds, and $47M in ESSR funds. Her previous leadership experience includes serving as an area superintendent and executive director. She also held progressive leadership roles in Atlanta Public Schools as an area superintendent and coordinator of Gifted and Talented Services.

Dr. Whitaker earned a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies and a Master of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania. She also has a doctoral degree from Georgia State University in Educational Leadership and Administration.


Click here to go to Dr. Whitaker's page.