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Posted: July 16, 2010 9:04 p.m.

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BOE District 3 - James Johnson Jr. (D)

By Brittany Thomas /

James Johnson Jr.

The Board of Education is as open as it will ever be, as three incumbent-less seats are coming up for election in November.

A local educator and pastor are hoping to fill those voids. DeKalb Technical College employee James Johnson Jr. announced he will run as a Democratic candidate for District 3, while Calvary Community Church Pastor James Walden will run as a Republican for District 5.

James Johnson, District 3

Johnson has worked at DeKalb Tech since 2000 and is currently the school’s admissions director. He said becoming a school board member has always been a personal goal. If elected, he hopes to continue to increase test scores and improve teacher and student access to resources.

"There is no doubt we have the best teachers here in Newton County. We must empower our teachers with the best resources (books, supplies and state of the art technology) in order to continue to increase our students’ educational success,” he said in an e-mail.
Johnson said he’s impressed with the fact the ACT, SAT and Criterion-Referenced Competency Test scores have been increasing, but he wants to help raise those scores even further.

Johnson served in the U.S. Army for more than 22 years, working as a recruiter and trainer. He retired as a sergeant major in 1996. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from St. Leo University and a master’s degree in post secondary higher education administration from Troy University.

In addition, he’s very involved in the community, including service on the board of directors at the Charter Challenge Academy, the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and Newton County Reads. He’s also active in several mentoring groups and is a past president of the local chapter of 100 Black Men of America.

In addition to his own educational background, Johnson said he will draw on his wife’s 14 years of experience in the Newton County School System. Kim was the NCSS’s parent involvement coordinator, supplemental educational coordinator and homeless liaison for the Federal Program Department.

“I feel my wife’s experience will be a great asset to me as a BOE member. During her tenure with the NCSS, she had the opportunity to work closely with parent, students, teachers and administrative staff,” he said.

The Johnsons have two adult sons, James III and Jeffrey, who is also serving in the U.S. Army as a broadcast journalist.

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