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The Voice of DeKalb Education

100 Crescent Centre Parkway Suite 290 Tucker Georgia 30084 Tel  (678) 837-1170    Fax  (678) 837-1178 

An Affiliate of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE)
and the National Education Association (NEA)





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news and developments


>> View our New Calendar!

>> 2010 - 2011 ODE Meeting Schedule

>>  Levi A. Simon, III 2011
Scholarship Application

>> 2010 - 2011 AR Training Schedule


All Candidate Intent Forms are due to the
ODE Office, Attn: Deborah A. Jones,
ODE Credentials and Elections Committee Chairwoman
at 9:00am, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2011
>> Click Here for Form <<


Teacher Union Reform Network
Mid-Atlantic/Southeast Regional TURN Meeting
Durham, North Carolina
February 19-20, 2011

Doubletree Suites Raleigh/Durham
2515 Meridian Parkway
Durham, NC 27713-5221
1-919-361-4660 / www.doubletree.com

Conference Registration and Fee
Important Notice: Please complete a separate registration form for each person attending.

MASE Regional Conference registration is $150.00. Please return completed forms and checks to: David Schutten, President, Organization of DeKalb Educators, 100 Crescent Center Parkway, Suite 290, Tucker, GA 30084. Forms and payments must be received no later than February 11, 2011.
Lunch on both days is included in the registration fee.

The conference will begin at 10:00am Saturday, February 19, 2011 and end at 3:00pm Saturday, February 20, 2011.

>> Click Here for Registration Form <<

TURN MASE Full Registration


TURN MASE Discounted



The Organization of DeKalb Educators &
the Family Support Center, Inc.

Present the
Laissez le bon temps rouler with
ODE/FSC as we party for a purpose!
Saturday, March 5, 2011
8:00pm - 12 Midnight

$10.00 (New Recession Busting Reduced Price)
Classy Attire
Holiday Inn Conference Center
130 Clairemont Ave., Decatur, GA 30030

***All proceeds benefit the Levi A. Simon, III Scholarship***
Scholarship Soiree 2011

>> See Flyer <<

March Legislative Update

Please join Rep. Stacey Abrams (HD-84), Sen. Jason Carter (SD-42),
and Sen. Emanuel Jones (SD-10)
Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011
Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Location: Oakhurst Presbyterian Church
188 2nd Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030

•2011 and 2012 Budget Proposals
•Tax Reform Legislation
•Atlanta Public Schools and DeKalb County Schools
•Key Legislation
All persons are welcome to attend. This event is FREE. Light refreshments will be served
For questions, please contact
Ashley Robinson, Chief of Staff at 404-656-5058 
or email staceyabrams@gmail.com


Representative Stacey Abrams (House District 84) serves as Minority Leader for the Georgia House of Representatives.  

District 84 includes Candler Park, Columbia, Druid Hills, East Lake, Highland Park, Kelley Lake, Kirkwood, Lake Claire, Oakhurst, unincorporated South DeKalb, Toney Valley and Tilson.

Senator Jason Carter (Senate District 42) is Secretary of the Science and Technology Committee of the Georgia Senate.  Sen. Carter represents parts of North DeKalb, Central DeKalb, the City of Atlanta and Decatur.
Senator Emanuel Jones (Senate District 10) is the Secretary of the Interstate Coorperation Committee of the Georgia Senate. 

Sen. Jones represents parts of DeKalb and Henry Counties, including the Cities of Decatur and McDonough.  


What You Need to Know About
What's Happening Right Now



Do You Need Help?

If you've been contacted by the PSC or law enforcement officials regarding alleged CRCT cheating, contact GAE Legal Service ASAP.
Call GAE at
678-837-1100 or 800-282-7142.

Talk to GAE before you talk to anyone else.


Talk to Your ODE/GAE
UniServ Director
Do you have other questions about this situation?
Do you need assistance?
Talk to your ODE/GAE UniServ Director (UD).
>> Find your UD here <<

Or call ODE at
(678) 837-1170


How You Can Help:
Keep us posted on what's happening at your school and with your colleagues.
Talk to ODE.


"While we do not condone cheating, we expect a fair process--and that our members' rights will be honored."
--David Schutten
ODE Presdident


ODE Members:

As many of you have heard by now, 24 DeKalb educators were removed from the classroom and administrative offices due to allegations of CRCT cheating. Currently, these employees have been temporarily reassigned while the state investigates their certification.
While, neither the Organization of DeKalb Educators (ODE) nor the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) condone cheating of any kind, we do stand committed to protecting the rights of all members.
Currently, there is no direct evidence of cheating. ODE is in the process of gathering information.
Rest assured, ODE and GAE will be there to defend, counsel, and assist any member who needs us. We'll be there. Remember this: As an ODE member, you never stand alone. Never.
Our ultimate goal is to get good teachers back in the classroom and good educators back to their schools.
I promise to keep you informed of the latest developments as we find out more. If, at any point, you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.
David Schutten
ODE President
Email David


What ODE is doing to HELP
We stand by our members and for our members. That's always been our promise to you. That will always be our promise to you.
Here's what we're doing to help.
For any members affected by this situation, we're matching them with UniServ Directors skilled in member defense. ODE UniServ Directors are available to go with members to any meetings with the school system's internal investigators.
We will be there to make sure that our members are treated fairly, equally, and with the respect they deserve as professional educators.
While our UDs assist members, the GAE Legal Department is contacting the PSC to see what its next moves will be and how those moves will affect our members.

Are you an ODE Member that has retired, will retire, or is thinking of retiring in Summer 2011?

If you answered yes to one of these questions, this message is especially for you!

The Organization of DeKalb Educators and the Organization of DeKalb Educators-Retired
want to welcome you to the wonderful world of RETIREMENT.

If you fit into one of these categories, please contact Mrs. Gloria Slaughter, ODE-Retired Co-Chair, via phone at 770-413-7518 or email, GlonJohn@att.net  no later than
Friday, April 15th, 2011.

A luncheon for recent and newly retired ODE’s recent and newly retired members is being
planned for the morning of Saturday, May 14, 2011, 11:00 am in the Family Life Center of Saint Philip AME Church.

>> ODE Winter Newsletter
Click here

STONE MOUNTAIN-The DeKalb Board of Education held its second meeting concerning the $18.6 million dollars received from the Education Jobs Bill this morning on October 22, 2010.  Once again, ODE was the only organization present representing members at these meetings. 
The basics of the decision - The remaining furlough days have been restored, employees will be paid for those days and will work on those days.  The remainder of the Jobs Bill money will be divided amongst all full time employees and issued in the form of a check before the of the calendar year. Per the DeKalb County Board of Education “Funds my not be deposited into Teacher Retirement System accounts, Public Schools Employees Retirement System accounts, or the Board-sponsored Tax Sheltered Annuity account.” Monies may only be deposited into independently established optional DeKalb Board of Education approved Tax Sheltered Annuity accounts offered through DeKalb Board of Education approved vendors.

(This version CORRECTS information in paragraph 2 from Board-TSAs to independently established optional DeKalb Board of Education approved Tax Sheltered Annuity accounts offered through DeKalb Board of Education approved vendors.)

ODE Professional Development Committee Presents Grant Writing Workshops

Attention Members, are you interested in applying for grants but need help getting started?

If your answer is yes, the PD Committee has the help you need! Please join the PD Committee on September 25, January 22, and May 25 from 9am-12pm.

>> view flyer


Attention members,
Please take a moment to read the information below from Jerry Newberry with NEAs Health Information Network and participate in the survey. The questions asked and the responses captured will help to provide the membership with a website that is best suited to meet members needs.

Thank you in advance for your participation.

Dear Colleague,

The NEA Health Information Network (NEA HIN) is conducting a web site assessment.  NEA HIN’s goal is to get a better understanding of what NEA affiliates and members want and need from our website.

To help us do this, we ask that you:

1.    Place this link on your state web site: NEA HIN web site assessment

2.    Publicize this link to your members: NEA HIN web site assessment

By participating in the site assessment you will help NEA HIN provide the most useful and relevant health and safety materials for NEA members through our web site.  For more information, you may contact NEA HIN at 202-822-7570 or contact Jerry Newberry (jnewberry@nea.org) or Zachary Kolsky (zkolsky@nea.org) via email.

To learn more about NEA HIN, please visit www.neahin.org, www.facebook.com/neahin, or www.twitter.com/neahin



PILOT Honorees

ODE and the Community Cabinet honor the 2010 PILOT Legislative Team!





>> ODE Spring Newsletter 2010
>> click here




>>  Colleagues, the Credentials and Elections Committee has voted to extend the deadline for completion of voting for this ODE 2010 election. 

The new deadline will be Friday, April 2, 2010.  Thanks for your patience as we work with this new vendor, Ballot Point, who is handling this year's voting.

0310_Cd_h2Meet the 2010 ODE Candidates

>> Click here for bios


ODE Celebrates Women’s History Month

Join us as we celebrate Women’s History Month and take advantage of information
that is designed to empower us mentally and physically. We will have guest speakers, representatives from various national and community based agencies along with food, music, fun, and door prizes!

Saturday, March 20, 2010
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Gresham Park Elementary School
1848 Vickie Lane, S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30316

>> click here for flyer


Please be advised that Perry Williams and Robert Moore of The Hartford are offering FREE retirement consultations to ODE members. 

The consultation will assist you in determining your financial needs in retirement and provide a risk and needs analysis.  If you have questions about retirement accounts, retirement income, taxes etc..please contact Perry Williams @ 404-234-3291 to schedule an appointment

Anansi Storytelling Festival

Saturday, February 27, 2010
Fundraiser for: Oakhurst Presbyterian Youth Programs & Peach Seed Youth Storytelling Festivals

Show Times: 2:30pm & 4:00pm
Oakhurst Presbyterian Church
118 Second Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030

>> Click Here for Flyer

Organization of DeKalb Educators
Levi A. Simon, III Scholarship Dance and Banquet

Are you ready to party for a purpose? Would you like to be in attendance when
ODE honors its best members and DeKalb’s brightest students?

If your answer is yes, then this deal is for YOU!

Tickets are available now for the Levi A. Simon, III Scholarship Dance and Banquet. The Scholarship Dance will be held on Saturday, March 6, 2010 from 8pm-12am and the Annual Awards Banquet will take place on Friday, May 7, 2010 beginning at 6:30pm.

Both events will be held at the Holiday Inn Select-Downtown Decatur.

>> Click Here for Flyer

The luncheon honoring ODE members who will be retiring this year or did retire in December, 2009 will be held on Saturday, May 15, 2010

If you know that you plan to retire, or you know someone who is planning to retire from the DeKalb County School system, please let Gloria Slaughter, Co-chair of the ODE-Retired Committee know.   

Please call Gloria at:  (770) 413-7518 (please leave message) or email her at:  GlonJohn@att.net 



Update on ODE's Reaction To The Superintendent's Pay Raise

***Black-Out Thursday
Thank you for your awesome participation!  If you have pictures of your staff dressed in black, please forward them to us so we can post them on the ODE website this afternoon. We have reports of nearly 100% participation at some schools! Please send us a report as to what percentage of employees are participating in Black-Out Thursday at your school.

Black Out 6

>> Click Here for More Black-Out Pics!


ODE Statement Concerning Possible Changes to Superintendent Dr. Crawford Lewis’ Contract

The members of the Organization of DeKalb Educators are extremely disappointed and insulted that the Board of Education would even consider granting Dr. Lewis a raise or other increase in compensation in the midst of the present economic turmoil, as well as the District Attorney’s ongoing investigation into possible financial improprieties within the school system.

>> Read More


REMINDER: ODE Election Deadline is January 15, 2010 @ 5:00 P.M.
The deadline for nomination forms for the upcoming 2010 ODE election is fast approaching.

Nomination forms are available for:

• President
• 1st Vice-President
• 2nd Vice-President
• Secretary
• Treasurer
• Assistant Treasurer
• Elementary School Representative at Large
• Middle School Representative at Large
• High School Representative at Large
• Political Action Committee Representatives
• NEA-RA Delegates

Biographies of no more than 150 words, single spaced, 12 point font and photos (jpeg/passport size, if available) are due in to the ODE Office by 5:00 P.M. on January 15, 2010.

All forms and election information are available at: www.odegaenea.org and at the ODE Office.

>> Read More

Organization of DeKalb Educators Candidate Intent Form

2010 NEA Representative Assembly Delegate

Candidates who wish to have biographies distributed in an ODE mailing must have the information delivered to the Credentials and Elections Committee c/o the ODE
office no later than 5:00 P.M. on January 15, 2010.

>> Click Here for Form

2010 Elections Procedures and Guidelines for Candidates

>> Click Here for Form


An Evening in the Garden
A Benefit Supporting the
School Garden Initiative

>> click here for info!

>> Media Advisory



ODE News Flash
>> Click here for ODE August 2009 Newsletter

Year At-A-Glance Calendar
>> Click here for Calendar


ODE Newspaper Ad
>> Click here to view

ODE/GAE Dues Payment Conversion Form
This for is for existing members to convert to Payroll Deduction
>> Click here for form

GAE / NEA Membership Form
>> Click here for form

Hospitality Request
>> Click here for form


Membership Enrollment Form

Year: September 1, 2009 - August 31, 2010

>> Click Here


ODE Members Produce Record Attendance at DCSS Budget Meeting

Several hundred members of the Organization of DeKalb Educators packed the auditorium and hallways outside the Jim Cherry Library at Perimeter College Wednesday evening.  They were present to hear the presentation of the proposed budget for the 2008-2009 school year and voice their frustration that no STEP raises are included. 

During the presentation of the budget Chief Financial Officer Marcus Turk’s stated that “… a job and a small raise are better than no job at all.”   Increased costs for utilities and fuel as well as the current economic climate were cited as issues addressed in drafting the proposed budget.   Many ODE members later stated that they were offended by the comments.  “All those price increases affect us, too.  We still have to have gas to get to work and food to feed our families,” said Debra White, bus driver.

Sixteen speakers were given the opportunity to address the Board of Education concerning their issues with the proposal.  Eleven of the speakers were members of ODE.
Interest Based Bargaining Chair Lisa Morgan, Midway ES, presented the members of the board with a comparison of the DCSS salary schedule to six other core Metro-Atlanta systems.  “Out of the 120 possible steps, DeKalb County ranked fifth, sixth, or seventh 61 times.”  Morgan went on to say that “if it’s this bad for the teachers, it must be much worse for the cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and custodians.”

Jeff Bragg, Cross Keys HS, addressed the impact no STEP increase would have on staff morale.  He pointed out that the approximately 20 million dollars needed for the increases is equivalent to 2% of the total budget.

“I don’t want to be forced to choose between my health and my job,” stated ESP Chair Sallee Arnold. A paraprofessional at Marbut ES, Arnold reminded the Board of Education that employees will experience a 7.5% increase in health care premiums.  “For many of our members the cost-of-living adjustment won’t even cover that.”

ODE President David Schutten asked all present to take their concerns to the party ultimately responsible for reduced funding to the school system.  He pointed out that Governor Sonny Perdue has extended austerity cuts that have reduced funding to DCSS by over $93 million since 2003.
Trina Knox, Henderson MS, stated, “I’ve already signed a contract for next year so I will be returning to DeKalb.  But without a step increase, rising fuel costs may force me to consider working in Gwinnett County where I live.”

“I’ve already waited three years for a STEP increase,” said Sherica Freeman from Open Campus HS.  “And now you expect me to wait another year.  You have to do something for those of us new to teaching.  We’re the future of the school system.”
Judi Polacek, Hawthorne ES, Antoinette Smith, Cedar Grove MS and Judith LaRoue, Midway ES spoke concerning the demands on school system employees and the seeming lack of respect they receive in turn.  

ODE First Vice President Nicole Duff asked that board members review the comparison presented earlier and notice that there is an apparent disincentive for teachers to further their education.  “I am working on a degree right now and the salary increase for that degree makes me question whether the county appreciates those of us who work hard to increase our knowledge and skills.”
“We expect you (the Board of Education) to be fighting for us,” declared David Runyon of Dunwoody HS. 

After all the public comments, Dr. Crawford Lewis, Superintendent, vowed that his senior staff would re-examine every item in the proposed budget.  “I’m not making any promises,” he cautioned.
Lisa Morgan

Interest Based Bargaining Chair

>> Click here to view DCSS Pay Rankings


1009_reader1Shaw University Scholarships Applications

ODE President David Schutten is working with the Shaw University Board of Trustees to identify 10 seniors in the DeKalb County Public Schools or children of ODE members to receive full President's Scholarship to the university. 

Shaw is a Historically Black College located in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Students must have a minimum 3.5 GPA.   Students planning to major in Math or Science are especially encouraged to apply. 

For more information about Shaw visit their web site at www.shawuniveristy.edu .  For more information about applying for a President's Scholarship contact David Schutten at the ODE office, 678-837-1170, or Mr. Joe Bell at 912-238-1752.  

Any students or parents who would like more information about Shaw University should contact Mr. Andre Sifford at Towers High School.


DeVry University Passport 2 College

DeVry University is offering free college credit classes to high school students graduating in 2009 or 2010.  Two classes are available at the Decatur campus.  For more information visit www.atl.devry.edu/passport2college or e-mail bwright@devry.edu , or call 404-292-7900, ext. 2357.


ODE Constitution Ratified rev. 9202007
>> view


ODE Negotiates Higher Cost of Living Adjustment
for Staff in DCSS Budget

 The ODE Bargaining Committee successfully negotiated an increase in Superintendent Dr. Crawford Lewis’s proposed COLA for employees in the DCSS 2007-2008 budget.  Dr Lewis initially recommended a 2% COLA for all employees.  Collective Bargaining Chair, Lisa Morgan; ODE President David Schutten; and UniServ Directors Tommy Green and Tricia Audrain met with Dr. Lewis, Chief Finance Officer Marcus Turk and Assistant to the Superintendent Debbie Loeb after the first budget hearing.   Morgan and Schutten stressed ODE’s historical position that DCSS not lower local supplements.  At a follow up meeting a few days later, Schutten, Morgan, ODE Vice President Nicole Duff, and ODE Grievance Chair Rosilind Taylor met again with Lewis, Turk and Loeb.  At that time Mr. Turk proposed a 2.87% pay COLA which would ensure no certified teacher’s local supplement would be decreased.

At the second budget hearing on April 17, Schutten, Duff, Morgan and ODE Executive Board member Lila Miller were the only DCSS employees to speak.  All four speakers thanked the board for ensuring all employees received the COLA increase.  No other professional organizations or unions have testified at DCSS budget hearings on behalf of employees since 1997.  ODE is the Voice of DeKalb Educators!  ODE is the only organization which lobbies the school board on behalf of employees.  Remember, “You get what you pay for.”


ODE Stand Tall at DCSS Budget Hearings
For the 10th year in a row, ODE was the only organization to speak on behalf of DeKalb County School System employees at the DCSS budget hearing.  the last time any other organization spoke on behalf of employees at a budget hearing was in 1997. ODE Executive Board members were the only citizens to testify at the budget hearings.  ODE President David Schutten, ESP Chair Sallee Arnold, Bargaining Chair Lisa Morgan, Public Relations Chair Jackie Henry and Team Leader Lila Miller all spoke eloquently on behalf of our members.  At least 10 other ODE members attended the hearing.
They covered a wide range of topics.  Schutten asked the Superintendent and Board of Education to continue to fund Prevention and Intervention Specialists in the schools despite federal Title 1 cuts.  He pointed out the need to keep the safety net in place for Rish students.  He also stated that High School principals and assistant principals needed to receive a pay increase to adequately compensate them for the extra hours that they work.  He acknowledged the fact that Dr. Lewis addressed this issue at the last Adminstrators;s meeting, but he added that this raise needed to be put into effect as soon as possible.  He also asked the Board to address the apparent shortage of substitue teachers.  Ms Henry also addressed this issue.  Both Henry and Schutten as well as Ms Miller addressed our concerns about the number of paraprofessionals that are required to serve as substitutes in violation of the BOE's policies. They also expressed concerns about teachers having to split up classes when substitutes were unavailable.  HR Director Dannie Reed later pointed out that there are over 1,500 substitutes, but they may choose which schools in which they will sub.  (As educatiors we all know that substitutes tend to stay away from schools in which students do not treat them with respect.  In light of senior administrators' stressing the need to look at data, it appears that it would be an ideal time for Human Resources to study the data as to which schools have difficulty obtaining substitutes.)
Ms Morgan pointed out that many teachers choose other school systems because new teachers receive no substantial raise for three years and do not receive the Board TSA until their fourth year of employment.  Ms Henry also pointed out issues surrounding the TSA and Social Security.  BOE member Lynn Cherry Grant later pointed out that DeKalb's teachers voted to leave the Social Security system.  Schuteen then went back to the microphone to point out that decision was made before then President Ronald Reagen pushed the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision through Congress.  GPO/WEP unfairly penalizes teachers in DeKalb as well as other systems that are not in the Social Security System and robs us of some of our earned Social Security benefits.
Miller, Henry, and Arnold all pointed out the importance of all employees receiving a raise as well as ensuring that the step increases went into effect in September, not January.  Ms Henry asked the Board to pass on the entire state pay raise this year.
After speaking with two BOE members after the meeting, we decided we will start advocating once again that DCSS start paying certified employees bimonthly as opposed to the present monthly system.
ODE will continues to address these issues as well as others at upcoming Board meetings and budget hearings.  Where were the other organizations like PAGE, MACE, and AFT?  Missing in Action Once Again!


Stress Management Seminars Offer Relief to School Faculty

A new benefit to members of ODE and GAE are the Stress Relief Programs given by Tommy Green and Derrick Bumpers. The two have joined forces in an effort to help faculty and staff at local Dekalb County schools with their stressful daily classroom activities. The stress management program includes tips, ideas, and exercises to help control stressful and anxiety causing circumstances we face each day in and out of the classroom. If you would like more information about the new benefit please contact Tommy Green or Derrick Bumpers at the ODE Office at 678-837-1170.

Additional workshops offered are :

Conflict Management- How to deal with conflict and difficult personalities
Surviving and Thriving (has been used for mentor teachers and protégés) - Highlights teacher-parent issues, Georgia laws that govern teachers, Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics Training- in depth look at the PSC COE and highlights recent changes

NEA Member Benefits- Describes the benefits of the Association and how educators can save money

Financial Planning- Offered by Security Benefit Group

School Safety Discipline and the Law- explores ways that educators can contribute to safe schools and laws that govern:

Abuse- Explores issues involving abuse in schools

Bullying- discusses bullying law and ways teachers can identify perpetrators and their victims

Classroom Management for Paraprofessionals

Classroom Management for Teachers


DeKalb County School System Human Resource Incident
As you know, the newly hired Human Resources Director, Darren Ware, was fired last week when the school system learned of his criminal record from the results of his background investigation.  We do not believe Mr. Ware was involved directly in any hiring or firing decision.  However, we are concerned that he had access to employees' records including social security numbers and addresses.  I have been in frequent contact with Assistant to the Superintendent, Debbie Loeb since last week about our concerns.  The school system started investigating last week whether or not Mr. Ware accessed employee information.
All employees were mailed a notice by the DeKalb County School System this week about the incident.  This notice addresses our concerns.  Although Mr. Ware did not print, download or save any confidential employee information, you should monitor your personal credit information as a precaution.
Lanta, the search firm employed by the Board of Education, to fill the Human Resources Director position, verified that they had checked Mr. Ware's background.  The Board of Education severed all ties with the firm.  School Board Chair, Cassandra Littlejohn, assured me this week that the Board would vigorously seek a refund of the fee paid to Lanta.  (This firm successfully recruited at least three other employees and also hired Lanta to perform an audit of the Human Resources department prior to this incident.). 
Channel 2 covered our concerns when they aired portions of my interview with Dale Carswell on Monday.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at the ODE office.

David Schutten




Black Out Thursday Photos
>> click below to view

Black Out 6

Black Out Thursday Photos 2

Black Out Thursday Photos 3

Black Out Thursday Photos 5

Black Out Thursday Photos





An Evening in the Garden
A Benefit Supporting the
School Garden Initiative

>> click here for info!

>> Media Advisory





ODE News Flash
>> Click here for ODE August 2009 Newsletter

Year At-A-Glance Calendar
>> Click here for Calendar




ODE would like to congratulate the following 2005 Levi A. Simon III Scholarship recipients.

In 1999, ODE began awarding the Levi A. Simon III Scholarship in memory of Levi A. Simon III.  Levi, the son of ODE member Sheila Simon, was killed in a senseless act of violence in 1998.  Levi was a graduate of Redan High School who was set to enroll at Ft. Valley State College as a Mass Communications major with an Arts minor.

Scholarships are awarded in three categories:

Redan High School graduating seniors majoring in Mass Communications, Law, the Arts or Education. Graduating seniors from any DeKalb County School System High School majoring in Mass Communications, Law, the Arts or Education. Children of ODE members who are graduating high school seniors. The scholarship is administered in conjunction with the Family Support Center, a Decatur based non-profit organization.  The scholarship is funded by contributions of ODE members, friends of the Simon family and other members of the community.

2005 Levi A. Simon III Scholarship Recipients

Redan High School Graduates

Larry Bowden

Steve Otu

Uchechi Egbuhuzo

Jimmy Owens

Jeon Graham

 Ashley Parker

Atara Howard

Porschia Parker

Candice Johnson

Sachel Seabrook

Mekre Mesganaw

Brian Sullivan

Ottea O’Connor

James Thornton



DeKalb County School System Graduate

Yeuande Addie, DeKalb School of the Arts

Marcais Frazier, MLK HS

Adepeji Adefi, Towers HS

Raina Hairston, Lakeside HS

Sable Bing, Southwest DeKalb HS  

Janay Ingram, Stephenson HS

Henry Davies, Towers HS

Ayan Omar, Clarkston HS

Jasmine Terry, Southwest DeKalb HS

Jane Yearwood, Druid Hills HS



Children of ODE Members

Arthur Franklin, Southwest DeKalb HS  (Patricia Franklin, Redan HS)

Sara Hall, Stephenson HS (Joyce Hall, Marbut ES)

Riskus Holt, Tucker HS (Dorethea Hunter-Holt, Stone Mountain ES)

Amber Lovejoy-Nave, Lakeside HS (Deborah Lovejoy, DeKalb County District Office)

Candace Hall, Redan HS (Obelia Hall, Redan HS)

Terry Price, II, Druid Hills HS (Lillian Price, Marbut ES)

Kirk Rogers, Jr., MLK HS (Johnnye Rogers, Dept. of Professional Learning)

Ashley Stroud, DeKalb School of the Arts (Angela Stroud, ODE-Retired)

Family Support Center Scholarship Bemena Prpiaro



ODE Scholarship Committee

Dr. Helen Zappia, Chair

Angie McCormick, GAE Editor

David Schutten, ODE President

Gloria Slaughter, Retired

Dale Terry, Retired






2005 NEA RA

Beginning on March 15, 2005 election packets were mailed to 3,412 members of the ODE eligible to elect Delegates for the 2005 NEA Representative Assembly.  The election packet included an instruction letter, ballot form and return envelope.  All members were provided with a return envelope addressed to: Georgia Association of Educators, PO Box 17149, Wilmington, DE 19885-9902.  IVS picked up the returns from the PO Box and tabulated the ballots.

To be included in the tabulation, all ballots had to be received by April 8, 2005.  As of April 8, 2005, the last date that ballots were accepted and tabulated, 317 members had ballots on file.  There were 21 ballots not counted because they had no authenticating signature.  All ballots received were received by the April 8, 2005 deadline.

2005 NEA Representative Assembly Vote Totals

Sharon Sutton 


Deborah Jones 


Cassandra Harris  


Carolyn Dawson 


Alfred Pride 


Trina Knox


Kimberly Dawson  


Raphael Daniels


Pamela Griffin  


Betty Christian   


Antoinette Smith   


Timothy Davis   


Marilyn Webley       


Kimberly Blair       


June Ladson    


Altha Rogers    


Inez Colwell 


Bobbie Harris-Burkes   

130-Alternate 1

Shirley Weldon  

121-Alternate 2

Zene Hinton-Wells  

118-Alternate 3

Paulette Hood Jones   

118-Alternate 4

Marie Hall   

118-Alternate 5

Rita Robinzine    

117-Alternate 6

Patricia George-Okokhere  

109-Alternate 7

Antoinette Cusak-Totten

96-Alternate 8

Sherrie Bohler  

80-Alternate 9

5 ODE members were elected ad state delegates: Doris Glover, Jackie Henry, Lila Miller, Rosilind Taylor and Earnest "Coach" Williams.


2005 Spring RA
The 2005 GAE Spring RA will be held April 22nd thru April 24th at the Renaissance Atlanta Hotel-Concourse.  There will be a meeting on Thursday, April 21, 2005, 6:15 p.m. for the Spring RA delegates.


Study on Teacher's Well-Being
Lauren Rauscher, PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at Emory will be conducting research on how employment conditions affect women's well-being, particularly among secondary teachers.  Ms. Rauscher will be interviewing female secondary teachers in Atlanta in hopes of identifying ways to better support teachers in our community.   The interview session lasts a total of 1 to 1 1/2 hours and involves completing a brief questionnaire followed by an interview with Ms. Rauscher.  If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact Lauren Rauscher at mlrausc@emory.edu or at 404-493-3372.  All participants will be compensated $25 for their time.  All information will be kept completely confidential.


Scholarship Deadline Extension
The deadline for the 2005 Levi A. Simon III Scholarship application has been extended to Tuesday, April 19, 2005. 


GFIE Scholarship Winners
Six ODE members have received $1,000 Best Practices Grants from the GAE Improvement Foundation for Improvement of Education: Gwendolyn Green, Marie Hall, Theresa Hines, M. Elaine James, Alfred Pride, Stephon Rivas.


BOE Extends Superintendent's Contract
On Monday, April 11th, The DeKalb BOE voted unanimously to extend Dr. Crawford Lewis' contract through April 19, 2008.


DeKalb Board of Education Meeting
On April 10th, Bargaining Committee Chair Jackie Henry Addressed the BOE concerning teacher work days.  She asked that Dr. Lewis ensure that they are used as work days and not for Professional Development.

ODE President, David Schutten asked the Board to consider giving all employees a 3%-3.5% pay increase to make up for the fact that DeKalb employees have received a 1% pay increase over the last two years.  He pointed out that many employees take home less money each month than they did two years ago due to increases in health care premiums.
Schutten also asked for improvements in other financial areas.  He asked that the school system start putting employees sick leave status on their pay vouchers.  He pointed out that Gwinnett and Cobb already do this.

He also asked that employees be allowed to take out loans against their BOE sponsored Tax Sheltered Annuity.  He pointed out that this would be of great assistance to employees who have unexpected medical bills.  In addition, he asked that employees be notified in advance if their pay is being docked.  Presently, employees find out when they receive their pay voucher.  He asked the Board to take the funds out over several months instead of all at one time.  Schutten also asked that the Sick Leave Bank be improved so that members could donate sick days to a specific employee.



ODE 2005 Delegate Bios

Kimberly Blair
Sherrie Bohler
Betty Christian
Raphael Daniels
Timothy Davis
Carolyn Dawson
Marie Hall
Zene Hinton-Wells
Deborah Jones
June Ladson
Al Pride
Rita Robinzine
Altha Rogers
Sharon Sutton
Marilyn Webley
Shirley Weldon

Delegates - No Bios



Kimberly Blair,
Hightower Elementary

Hi!  My name is Kim Blair and I've been a member of the Organization of DeKalb Educators since 2002.  I am an assistant association representative at Hightower Elementary in DeKalb County Schools.  I attend association representative meetings for ODE on a regular basis.  I have recently obtained the position of Minority Outreach Coordinator for ODE a few months ago.  The Minority Outreach Program's purpose is to get ODE more involved in the Hispanic and African American communities.


Sherrie Bohler
Chapel Hill Middle

I am Sherrie Clark Bohler, an effective classroom teacher and active member of ODE/GAE/NEA for 12 years.  I have aided in the recruitment of members by sharing the vitally important role that the organization plays in the field of education.


Betty Christian
Shadow Rock Elementary

I am active im my local and state assoc. and have attended RA both Spring and Fall was elected to attend NEA RA's for the last 7 years. I am currently a District 5 Director, a member of the Governing Board, a member of the Membership Materials and NEA Convention Committees. I am also a member of the Executive committee for ODE and an AR for my school.


Raphael Daniels
Stone Mountain High

My name is Raphael Daniels one of your leaders in ODE/GAE.  Currently I am a AR of my Building Stone Mountain High, Assistant Parliamentarian and on the membership committee.  I have had the pleasure of representing ODE as a delegate four the last four year to the Fall and Spring RA's.  I have been selected twice to represent ODE as delegate for 2003 and 2004 NEA RA.  I have attended several legislative conferences, leadership trainings.  Recently I attended Issue Organizing and Organization analysis training.


Timothy Davis
Columbia Middle

I have been a GAE/ODE member for approximately four years. I have been a member of NEA for approximately seventeen years. I am an advocate and active member of ODE at my school site. I assist the building level AR's in all their endeavors to get the most current message and information out to the membership. I attend monthly the DCSS Board of Education Meetings. I examine and explain the board policy, procedures and rights to new and veteran teachers.


Carolyn Dawson
Cedar Grove Middle

I have been an active member in ODE since 1985 and has been a member of GAE since I was a student in college. I have served in many positions in ODE, such as secretary, co-president, president, cluster and AR. I have worked on many projects that the organization as sponsored.  I have attended many conferences: LDA, SE Regional Conferences, Pre Conferences before NEA, Collective Bargaining Conferences, Legislative, IPD and has served as a delegate to NEA Conventions several times.  I am presently serving on the Women's Concern Committee for GAE, a member of the cadre trained to do WLTP training in Georgia and is the SE Regional Coordinator for The Women's Caucus for the southeast region.


Kimberly Dawson
Shadow Rock Elementary

I have been a member for 8 years.  I am a member of the Women's Concern Committee and the Read Across America Committee.  I am the co-AR for Shadow Rock Elementary School.  I have attended 2 Fall RA's and 4 Spring RA's.  I have  attended a number of conferences through ODE.  I have encouraged many teachers to become a part of the ODE family.  I enjoy working with ODE and look forward to serving ODE/NEA/GAE in the future.


Marie Hall
Glen Haven Elementary

My name is Marie Hall.  I have been a member of GAE for over the past 4 years as a student serving as Vice President for the GAE-SP and as an ODE member.  I have had the honor and priviledge to serve as a delegate for two NEA RA's in 2001 in Los Angeles and 2003 in New Orleans.  I have attended numerous executive board meetings.  Most recently I attended the conference in Savannah for Women Empowerment and the GAE Fall RA.  I am a very committed and dedicated individual and feel that I would  represent you well.  


Zene Hinton-Wells
Marbut Elementary

I am Zene' Hinton-Wells the Speech-Language Pathologist at Marbut Traditional Theme School.  My career as an educator in Dekalb County began in 1997, which also was the school year I became a member of ODE/GAE/NEA. In the past 3 years, I have attended the Fall, Spring and National Representative Assemblies (RA). I have also attended Legislative Conferences and participated in the Leadership Development Academy (LDA). I currently attend monthly Association Representative (AR) meetings and anticipate future contributions in the organization by continuing to be actively involved in ODE. 


Deborah Jones
Cedar Grove Middle

I'm Deborah Jones, I teach World Studies at Cedar Grove Middle School.  I'm one of four AR's in our building.  My involvement with ODE is extensive.  I've attended many Fall and Spring RA's, New Teacher Orientation, Stan Watson's community meetings, ODE executive board meetings, ABLE meetings, Reading Bowl, and Dekalb Board Meetings.  I'm on the GAE Credentials and Elections committee and the Urban Project committee.  I'm asking for your vote as a representative to the NEA convention in Los Angeles this summer. 


June Ladson
Wynbrooke Elementary

It would be my pleasure to represent the state of Georgia at the 2005 NEA-RA in L. A. I serve as an association representative and cluster leader for my local. An advocate for public education, I attend conferences, my state representative community meetings, and school board meetings. As a cyber lobbyist, I inform congress of the important issues that effect public education. "Public education is what makes America great!" Vote for me. 


Al Pride
Snapfinger Elementary

Al Pride serves the ODE members at Snapfinger School as the AR.   Additionally, he works with the Constitution Committee, was seen partying at the 30th and 31st Anniversary Celebration and Dance, and  attending the GAE Leadership Training meetings in both Charlotte, N.C.  and Macon, GA. Dr. Pride is a regular attendee at the monthly ODE AR  and General meetings as well as legislative conference meetings.


Rita Robinzine
MLK High

My name is Rita Robinzine, and I am running for delegate to attend the NEA Convention this summer.  I have served as an Area Representative for the last three years at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School.  I have attened Representative Assemblies in the past.  At the last Representative Assembly I posed a question about GAE's support of candidates in the last election.  I have gone to Legislative functions.  I have attended two LDAs.


Altha Rogers
Bob Mathis Elementary

I am a teacher in the Early Invention Program at Bob Mathis where I help to promote excellent in our school. I serve on the ODE Executive Board, and I am a very active AR for the Organization at my school.  I attend the Annual GAE Legislative Conference, the Leadership Development Academy, and the GAE Spring and Fall Representative Assemblies. Please vote for a smart and hard worker, Altha Rogers.


Sharon Sutton
MLK High

Sharon is an active member of ODE. She currently serves as the Legislative Chair and Pac treasurer for ODE.  She is a member of the Legislative Contact Team for GAE.  Sharon has served as a delegate to the NEA in 2003 where she is a member of the Black Caucus and the Democratic Caucus. She has served as a delegate to the Spring RA in 2003 and 2004. She often represents ODE at numerous conferences, community functions and political events.


Marilyn Webley
Clarkston High

It  would be an honor to represent  ODE  at the NEA Representative Assembly.  I have served as a delegate for the state in 2004/05.  I have attended LDA, Legislative Confrence, Organizing training, Professional Development.  Currently a member of the NCUEA, NCESP, currently serving on  the ODE ESP Committee, Co AR  &  Cluster leader.  I believe in "ESP Quality"   in that respect, I would like to see all ESP's recieve a salary increase( compatable with a  cost of living scale) and  contracts for all non certified personnal.   I will continue to  be a lobbist for all Educational Support Professionals.


Shirley Weldon
Towers High

I would like to introduce myself to you.  I am Shirley Weldon.  I have been working as AR for Towers High School for the first time this school year 2004-2005.  I'm very excited about this opportunity.  I have attended the meetings and have benefited from the training and conferences.  Although this is my first year, I have been able to bring several new members into the ODE family.  It would be an honor to represent ODE as a delegate.  Thanks for allowing me the pleasure of serving ODE.


Delegate Candidates-No Bios
Inez Colwell, Antoinette Cusak-Totten, Patricia George-Okokhere, Pamela Griffin, Cassandra Harris, Bobbie Harris-Bukes, Paulette Hood-Jones, Trina Knox, Antoinette Smith





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