School Leadership Team Candidates
Purpose of School Leadership Team (SLT)
Some of the responsibilities of this team are:
- School Improvement Plan (SIP): Develop, approve and monitor the continuous school improvement planning process
- Determine the allocation of the school's instructional and technology budget
- Review student achievement data
- Recommend and support school needs to the CSD Board of Education during the annual budget process
- Help with the interview process of potential employees
Nidal M. Karim
I am a mother, enthusiastically bracing myself, as our daughter Zaila, who just a blink ago was in College Heights, is now starting fifth grade and entering adolescence (sigh…). As a family of first generation immigrants, we have had to navigate the school system mostly as novices. Fortunately, eight years has given us a reasonable perspective on what can be obstacles and challenges as well as what is helpful and beneficial, in working towards being a diverse, equitable, and inclusive school environment and community. Like many others, I feel a deep responsibility to support our schools to be a place where ALL our children feel embraced and loved, are given the space to flourish and achieve their dreams, and learn to become good stewards of our planet. As an SLT rep I would be committed to working towards supportive systems that provide teachers and staff the resources they need to help our children be happy, innovative, kind, and responsible humans. I am a community psychologist, and in my work-life I manage multi-million dollar grants in a non-profit setting. I also design and evaluate programs across the globe to create safe spaces for women and adolescent girls to organize, build community, and push to be equal citizens. I believe my professional and lived experience thus far will lend itself well to the role of SLT representative. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the FAVE community in this role.
My name is Meridith Yancey. I am the parent to Carolyn (age 9) and Christopher (age 6), both of whom attend CSD schools; Carolyn is a fourth grader at FAve in Ms Burns’s class while Christopher is in Ms Querubin’s class. My husband and I collectively, have lived and worked in Decatur for over 20 years. Currently, I work part time as a Senior Logistics and Compliance Manager for a small international freight forwarder. I was recruited and hired as the very first employee and have now worked there for the last 7 years.
Volunteering and serving at Westchester on multiple committees and with after-school activities over the past four years has been exciting, challenging but most of all, rewarding. It is a wonderful experience to contribute and assist in leading Westchester and to involve our parents, students and community in our fundraising events.
Last year, as the VP of Fundraising on the Westchester PTA board, I organized and marketed several fundraising events including community dine outs and Westchester’s most successful fundraiser to date, The 2018 Battle of the Bands at its new venue The Marlay House. Additionally, I have worked on the Read-A-Thon committee at Westchester for the last four years, spending last two as chair of the event. Afterschool, I also volunteer as a coach with Girls On The Run. Last year I led the Westchester 3rd Grade Girls, and I am looking forward to coaching again this year at FAve. I have also been a Girl Scout Troop co-leader for the last four years.
I am excited to being joining the FAve community this year. I have already met lovely people who love this school as I helped sort and deliver school supplies before school started with the PTA and as a member of the Dine Out committee.
My experience working with various groups and committees and my commitment to this school and our community as well as my engineering and logistics background will allow me to bring value and insight as member of the SLT.
Again, I ask that you please consider me for a position on the FAve School Leadership Team.
Catherine Roberts is an eighteen-year veteran school counselor who began working as a school employee at Still Elementary School in Cobb County. Also, I currently coordinate a Mathematics and Computer Science Magnet Program in Clayton County Public School and has served as student council adviser and a mentor teacher. Catherine earned a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from Argosy University in Sarasota Florida. She is the current Executive Director of CATROB, Inc. 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides educational mental health workshops to at-risk youth free of charge. Catherine volunteers in her church and is a member of the Junior League of Atlanta. Catherine was also honored in 2017 when she was named the first-place winner for Clayton County Public Schools Support Person of the Year.
The reason I would like to be a member of the School's Leadership Team is that I’ve had many conversations over the years with teachers and other professionals who are thinking about becoming a department chair or an administrator. When they ask me for my opinion about what they should do, I always counter with a question: Why do you want to be a principal? Often, the answer falls into one of three categories: “I want to fix this place”; “I could do better than whomever we have now”; or “I have a vision that I want to bring to life.” I would like to help to promote the vision of Mrs. Newton. I believe when everyone has a voice and shares in the development and implementation of policies, goals, and the vision of the school there will be a successful outcome. Most importantly, I would like to be a member of this team to help promote the success of the students of FAVE Avenue Upper Elementary School.
I would like to become a member of the leadership team to ensure that administrators and teachers have the resources they need to succeed and meet the challenge of transitioning to a 3-5 school. One of the responsibilities of the team is reviewing student achievement data. Analyzing data and statistics is an important part of my job as a professor in Emory’s Department of Health Policy and Management, so I can help out on that front. I am the parent of two children: a 7th grader at Renfroe and a 4th grader in Ms. William’s class. I have volunteered a little bit over the years as a mentor for FAVE 5th grade projects and a fieldtrip chaperone -- the 2014 Etowah Indian Mounds trip was the highlight (ask me about the spear throwing demonstration). But I’ve always felt like I should and could be doing more, and the leadership team provides a great opportunity to contribute and show how much we parents value our City of Decatur schools.
I have been a City of Decatur Resident since 2008. I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. My wife of thirteen years, Robyn Painter, and I were educated entirely in the public the K-12 schools, myself in California and her in Georgia. We have three kids in our school district--twin boys in Kindergarten and a daughter in 4th grade at F.AVE. Each of our kids started at College Heights. I am an immigration attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center where I work on behalf of non-citizens in immigration detention in Georgia and Louisiana.
I have been increasingly involved in supporting our schools over the last few years. I served on the auction committee at Oakhurst Elementary and as room parent and PTA President at College Heights. As PTA President I was on the Decatur Educational Foundation (DEF)/PTA Council and the ECLC Advisory Council. At ECLC, I instituted a "Buddy Program" pairing veteran parents with new families to build community at the school. This is an exciting and important time in the history of F.AVE and our neighborhood. I would be honored to serve on the SLT to help make the most of this moment. If selected, I would bring a particular interest in building community, ensuring that we serve all of our students well and fairly, including those with learning differences and of all races, classes and gender identities. I also believe in the importance of providing students meaningful experiences in the arts as part of their holistic development. So, remember, "Vote for Pedro!"