Starting in January of 2017, a University of Georgia professor will be making decisions on local schools.

Dr. John Knox has been a professor at UGA for 16 years, but he decided to add more experience to that time in local schools. Knox defeated A. Kamau Hull for the District 8 seat on the Athens Clarke County Board of Education back in May. He will represent Gaines School Road Elementary, Cedar Shoals High School, and Hilsman Middle School at the first of the year.

However, Knox has no experience teaching in the local level. When asked why he wanted to get involved with local schools, he thought of one person. His son.

“When we had our son, I said OK what are we gonna do? So I said, let’s give the public schools a chance because I had such a great experience in them. He did wonderfully, made lots of friends, and had a real life experience you don’t always have in private schools,” Knox says.

His son, Evan, graduated from Cedar Shoals High School, the high school Dr. John Knox will represent when he begins his time on the board of education. Although his son is a major reason he decided to get involved, Knox is passionate about the local schools, especially the east side of Athens.

“I want to represent the district that I come from very specifically, because the east side of Athens I think has little bit of a complex that they get overlooked,” Knox says.

Knox says he hears more about schools on the other side of town, and that some people do not know very much about the east side of Athens and the schools in that area. He hopes to bring the perspective of the “east side” to the board.

“I want to bring some cheerleading and pointing out of the good things that are happening on the east side,” Knox says.

On a more specific level, Knox wants to ask more questions as a board member. He plans to focus on the why and how when he represents his three schools.

“One of the main powers of being a board member is being able to ask questions and being in a position as an elected official to say why is this done the way it is done… can we examine this in more detail,” Knox says.

As for now, Knox is still attending board meetings each month and learning more about the district, but starting in January, he will have the power to ask the why and how.

To learn more about how Knox plans to tackle some of the pressing local school issues, check out this article.

By: Maghen Moore


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