Incumbent Ophelia Burroughs, who is retired after 35 years as an educator, with 23 of those years serving as a Language Arts teacher with Clayton County Public Schools, is facing political newcomer Xavier O. Ross, a Clayton County Public Schools graduate who promises to bring transparency back to the District 5 post and the school board. Burroughs said her years as an educator, including those with Clayton County as a Language Arts teacher at Jonesboro High School, proves that she has dedicated her life to helping students.
“In the four years I have served on the school board, I have done so with integrity and honor, always striving to make the best decisions for our students,” Burroughs said.
Ross said he fully understands the school district he would represent as he has worked for the district for more than seven years.
“As a Clayton County graduate, I see what we are lacking,” he said.
“We need a board member who would be transparent and a team player, like myself, who is capable of bringing all parties to the table to ensure that our students are prepared for the next level,” Ross said.
As to the biggest problem facing the school system, Burroughs said the threat of losing the school system’s accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools “requires immediate attention to ensure our accreditation is preserved,” she said.
Although Ross agrees preventing the loss of accreditation is a priority issue, he also feels board accountability is another public concern.
“I would address the accountability issue by doing an assessment of the state of the district as it relates to the various operations,” he said.
“Then we would need to look at board policy and make sure that policy is being adhered to.”
Burroughs said removing any possibility of the loss of accreditation is vitally important.