Name, age and address: Ashley Johnson Adams, 32, 105 Franklin Place, LaGrange.
Occupation: Educator and volunteer.
Education: Master’s degree in education leadership, bachelor’s degree in art education.
Family: I am married to Gene Adams. He works for Atlas Roofing Corporation in human resources. Together we have four children: Gavin, Evan, Jonathan and Weston. We have lots of extended family in LaGrange as well as my parents, brother and grandparents; additionally many aunts, uncles and cousins.
I have taught, observed, participated, studied and researched public schools in Georgia for the last 25 years as a teacher, a volunteer, a parent and a student.
Why are you running?
The children – mine, yours, all of them. They deserve better than status quo. I firmly believe I have the education and experience, but more importantly the focus, passion and determination to improve our schools for all children in Troup County.
What are the biggest issues in the schools right now?
Low academic achievement, lack of open communication and wasteful spending.
What can you do to address the issues?
Student achievement is dependent upon remarkable teachers and a dedicated support staff. I will work to support our teachers and improve morale. I will work to create a teacher advisory board where teachers can bring concerns and suggestions with no fear of repercussions. This will create more open, honest communication between those who directly work with our students and those who work “behind the scenes.” I will help teachers provide an environment in the classroom conducive to learning. I will work to see that top student achievement is the goal of every conversation within our school district.
Community engagement is a must! We need a community advisory board to collaborate, listen to, learn from and inspire each other. This would be a simple way to engage a greater number of citizens in this challenging task of strengthening our school. Troup County is full of intelligent, experienced citizens with specific expertise in areas that effect our system operations. We need to call on these local experts to support our efforts within the schools which in time will make a huge impact on the entire county by preparing our students to be more productive members of society. In addition, I will create an online blog for the citizens and personally maintain it. Finally, I will be in attendance and available at school functions to create transparency within the school board.
Excessive spending is not working and is getting us nowhere fast. Currently, money is being thrown aimlessly instead of carefully analyzing what actually benefits our students. The recent budget issues attest to this. We could be spending a lot less money and getting better results by focusing on expenses that improve student achievement, or are required by law or accreditation.