Today the Atlanta Board of Education sworn in two new board members, Alfred “Shivy” Brooks and Dr. Kenneth Zeff who will represent district 7 at-large seat and district 3.

Today, the Atlanta Board of Education swore in two new board members, Alfred “Shivy” Brooks and Dr. Kenneth Zeff, who will represent District 7 at-large seat and District 3.

Alfred “Shivy” Brooks is the first active teacher elected in 150 years and currently works as a high school economics, personal finance, and government teacher in Clayton County Schools.

Dr. Kenneth Zeff serves as the Executive Director of Learn4Life, a nonprofit partnership of the metro Atlanta school systems created to scale proven strategies to improve student learning. He previously served in several roles at Fulton County Schools, including Superintendent and Chief Strategy Officer.

In remarks, Zeff shared, “I am excited to join the Board of Education because I know APS’s best days are ahead of us. When the Board’s mission and actions are aligned, our teachers will get the support they need, and our children will receive the education they deserve.”

In addition to the two new board members, three returning board members were sworn in for another term. Katie P. Howard was sworn in for a second term for the District 1 seat after not having a challenger for her seat.

In Howard’s remarks to the community, she shared, “I could not be more excited and ready as I start my second term to work with my colleagues – this board – to do the work and make the right changes to improve outcomes for our students in APS.”

Erika Yvette Mitchell was sworn in for a second term for the District 5 seat. Newcomer Jessica Johnson was sworn in for her first complete term after taking over the seat from Jason Esteves in 2023.

In her comments after being sworn in, Johnson shared, “We have some important work ahead.  I look forward to leaning in with my Board colleagues to help create equitable learning spaces for all APS students.”

In addition to the two new board members, the Board of Education elected a new Board Chair, Ericka Mitchell, and Vice-Chair, Jennifer McDonald. As the officers shared remarks, the theme of shared leadership and investment in the community.

 “My goal as Board chair is to have shared leadership across the Board, working in collaboration with my board colleagues and Interim Superintendent Battle. Through shared leadership, we can achieve a lot. Shared leadership is based on the belief that leadership is not confined to a single individual but is distributed across the Board, where everyone is transparent and accountable,” shared Chair Mitchell. “It enhances our performance and organizational effectiveness by leveraging each board member’s diverse expertise and perspectives. Every board member has a place, a voice, and a seat at the table to advocate for students and achieve the best possible outcomes.”

Vice-Chair McDonald shared the need to excel in delivery, communication, and execution. “I am looking forward to the year ahead. We have the level of heart and commitment not only from every member of this Board but from our Interim Superintendent and her entire team to not merely do the work but to excel in our delivery, communication, and execution. One of our greatest assets as a district is the level of investment our community gives us and we must do what we can to protect and honor their investment.

In addition to board officers being elected, the following committee assignments were made:

Accountability: McDonald (Chair), Howard, and Zeff.

Audit (Chair TBD): District 2 Board Member Aretta Baldon, District 6 Board Member Eshe Collins, and Howard.

Board Development:  Baldon (Chair), Johnson, and Mitchell.

Budget:  Howard (Chair), Baldon, and Johnson.

Legislative Liaisons: Brooks and Johnson.

Policy Review:  Collins (Chair), At-Large Seat 8 Board Member Cynthia Briscoe Brown, and Brooks. 

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