Susan Thayer Takes Post On School Board

Thayer December 2014 092Susan Thayer took her place on the Cobb Board of Education this month, representing Smyrna, Vinings and South Cobb.

Justice Harris Hines conducted the swearing-in ceremony for Mrs. Thayer and David Chastain was Jan. 6 at the school board’s headquarters in Marietta as the board met to reorganize the seven-member board and to set the 2015 meeting schedule.

Republican Thayer beat incumbent Tim Stultz in July and Democrat Kenya Pierre in November to take the Post 2 seat.

“I believe that education is important and we need to bring much needed attention to our area,” she said. “With my background in education I hope to bring the attention we need to schools in our area.”

Thayer’s experience includes being a counselor at Osborne, Assistant Principal at Lassiter and Sprayberry, Principal at Pebblebrook, executive director of High Schools in Cobb (a precursor to the present district superintendents) and assistant superintendent in Douglas County.

Originally from Mississippi, she has lived in Smyrna and Vinings for 30 years. She and her husband, Ed, live in Smyrna.

“To improve test scores, we have to begin work at the primary level,” she said. “Our focus needs to be that that they (students) need get the basics by third grade.”

She plans to bring up program options that schools can provide for students. She plans to encourage Griffin Middle School to promote the International Baccalaureate program as it feeds into the magnate program at Campbell High.

“Students show that learning language in the early grade improves language abilities,” she said. “Dual immersion, where parents can opt in for a half day taught in another language,” is another option.

To get ready for the new job Mrs. Thayer and David Chastain have attended a two-day training session by the Georgia School Boards Association, another two-day conference , a session with the school board attorney and an all-day meeting with board members, staff and the superintendent.

The challenger’s candidacy got a boost in July when Mayor Max Bacon criticized the school board and the former Smyrna member for ignoring Smyrna-area schools.

“The Mayor never actually endorsed me, but he made it clear that we had a lack of representation,” she said. “It resounded with some voters.”

“Our schools are some of the county’s oldest, most crowed and some have low test score,” she said. “Equal is not always equitable.”

“I want to find out the ways that the community wants to communicate with me,” she said. She’s looking at options of newsletters, town hall meeting and just talking to people.

Post Two includes the following schools: Campbell and Osborne High Schools; Campbell, Floyd, Griffin, Lindley Middle Schools and Lindley 6th Grade Academy; Belmont Hills, Birney, Fair Oaks, Green Acres, King Springs, LaBelle, Nickajack, Norton Park, Russell, and Smyrna Elementary; plus the Adult Education Center, Fitzhugh Lee Center (Haven), Hawthorne Center (Haven), Oakwood Digital Academy.

From the January 2015 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton and Austell, GA.