Austin Heller, a senior at Kennesaw State University, announced on Thursday that he intends on running for a seat on the Cobb County Board of Education in 2022.
Heller, a political science major at just 20 years old, will run for the Post 4 seat.
Heller, who will be running as a Democrat, will be going against Republican incumbent David Chastain.
Chastain, a systems engineer at Lockheed-Martin, has made it clear that he will be seeking a third term.
He was re-elected in 2018 by defeating Democrat Cynthia Parr with 53 percent of the total vote.
Post 4 includes Kell High and Sprayberry High and covers the KSU campus as well.
Heller, a graduate of the Hardaway School in Columbus, first majored in elementary-based education at Kennesaw State University.
Austin is a member of the school’s Civic Engagement team and senior resident assistant for housing.
He is very influential in the KSU community and encourages others to make their voice heard by voting and participating in community service.
When speaking about his campaign, Heller said that he is running on the principles of “empathy, equity, and advocacy.”
He also applauded the work of the three Democrats on the board (Jaha Howard, Charisse Davis, and Tre’ Hutchins) and emphasized that they were doing an excellent job for all students in the district.
“I would be honored and humbled to join them on the Board fighting for Cobb families,” Heller said of the three democrats.Austin Heller
Heller voiced his disapproval of the Cobb school board’s recent decision to ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory in the Cobb County School District via a 4-3 vote.
With three Democrats voting against, Chastain was a crucial vote that saw it banned from potential use in the district.
In a recent statement he released on Instagram, Heller said the following:
“Today, I am excited to announce my intentions to run for Cobb County School Board Post 4 in 2022. Recently, partisan politics have clouded the truth of our collective history and put in danger the rights of our educators to do their jobs. The time for change is now. I will always be an advocate for equitable education in schools and will always fight to ensure our most vulnerable students have access to the resources they need to be successful. Inequalities plague our community and the right to quality education.”
“The classroom should be a haven for self-growth and a safe place for all students to be themselves regardless of race, sex, gender identity, or net worth. The current attacks on public education in the state of Georgia and across the nation are harmful to our students and our educators. With your help, we can change course and create a welcoming, honest, and equitable education system that works for all of our students.”