Jessica Johnson sworn in to fill vacant Atlanta Public Schools Board seat

The Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education unanimously elected appointee Jessica Johnson to At-Large Seat 9 during a special meeting on Jan. 9, 2023. Her swearing-in means that all seats of the Atlanta school board are held by women.

Johnson will serve the remaining year of the former board member Jason Esteves’ term. Esteves was required to leave the board when he was elected to the Georgia State Senate in November 2022. She will serve until November 2023, 

Johnson was elected in a 6-0 vote. Board members Michelle Olympiadis and Erika Mitchell were not present for the final agreement. Johnson’s term will last through December 2023, and she will have the opportunity to run for election to keep her position in November.

Johnson previously served on the Atlanta Public School’s equity task force and is the founder and executive director of The Scholarship Academy, a program that teaches low-income and first-generation college students how to navigate the college financial aid applications

“It is an honor to work for our board and for our city and we look forward to not only your onboarding but the venture of that collective work,” said Lisa Herring, Atlanta Public Schools superintendent, to Johnson. “It is a great season and time to lead in Atlanta for children.”

After the vote, Johnson was sworn in by Fulton County State Court Judge Patsy Porter.

“Every day we try to make decisions for the best interest of every child in Atlanta public schools.  Whether [they] live on the south side, the north or the east or the west, every child is a child of ours,” said chair Eshé Collins in her opening remarks. “We’re so excited to have you join us in this work.”

About Writer

Alex Anteau

Alex is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia's Health and Medical Journalism master's program. He's previously written for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Athens Banner-Herald, and the Chicago Reader. There, his stories covered health, culture, equity, and public policy. When he isn't out reporting, he enjoys reading, writing fiction, and spending time with his cats. Alex is excited to be part of the Education in Atlanta team and to provide readers around Atlanta with the education news they need.

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