ATLANTA – December 13, 2017 — In the open race for the Northwest and Southwest Atlanta District 5 seat, Erika Y. Mitchell, an entrepreneur and public servant, beat Raynard Johnson with over 64% of the votes in the runoff election that took place on December 5th. Keisha Lance-Bottoms also claimed victory as Atlanta’s 60th mayor and the second African-American woman to hold that position.
Mitchell, the Atlanta born and bred multi-talented professional, received endorsement and recommendation of prominent leaders such as the Blank Family along with former opponents of the District 5 seat.
With her win, Mitchell has pledged to expand ECE, reduce the high school dropout rate of at-risk teens including those with disabilities, advocate to attract and retain quality teachers and leaders for every school and improve the communication gaps between the schools, staff and parents.
The endorsements from community leaders believe Erika will represent District 5 well. Endorsements included bipartisan nods from: The Blank Family – Arthur Blank, Dena Blank-Kimball and Diana Blank, Buckhead Business Coalition- Better Community PAC members Sam Massell and Juanita Baranco, Honorable Jason Esteves Atlanta Board of Education Post 9 at-large, former candidates for Atlanta Board of Education District 5 Jackie Rhodes and D Jaris James, Dr. Saadiq El-Amin MD, PhD, Unite 4 Kids Atlanta, as well as Mark Hennessy, owner of Jaguar Land Rover dealers and Hennessy Automotives.
Jaris-James says, “As a former candidate in the Atlanta Board of Education race for District 5 I am proud to endorse Erika Y. Mitchell. I strongly feel she understands the importance of education along with the need for more equitable opportunities for District 5’s progression while collaborating with both the board and the community.”
Mitchell is a graduate of Alabama State University, where she was able to take advantage of a “full-ride” athletic scholarship, she understands the value of obtaining a quality education and having a “village” to support her educational endeavors. Erika won numerous awards for her stellar athletic performance and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Computer Information Systems yielding her the knowledge and opportunities to work for major global brands such as Coca-Cola, Cbeyond and Kodak as an Information Technology (IT) specialist.
She also received a full scholarship from Esani Paul Mitchell partner school to become a licensed esthetics educator. Shortly after completing her degree, Mitchell began her teaching career at AVEDA Institute, where she taught and created AVEDA’s first makeup artist curriculum and small business development.
As a parent of children that attend Atlanta Public Schools, Mitchell has a passion for volunteering. She has consistently volunteered her time to international pageants including Miss Africa USA and the Miss Latina US & Miss Latin America Del Mundo pageant. She incorporated her business skills and love for beauty and founded La Reina Pageant Productions in 2010, which produces Miss Georgia Latina
™ , Miss Teen Georgia Latina ™ , Miss Alabama Latina and Miss Teen Alabama Latina pageants.
As the National Ambassador of the Arthritis Foundation and the President’s Volunteer Service Awards, the Atlanta Board Of Education hopeful has experience working with different communities and nonprofit organizations which has afforded her a variance of opportunities to sit on boards and committees for the following organizations: NFL Alumni, Caribbean American Advancement Foundation and the Salvation Army’s Boys & Girls Club of Greater Atlanta.
Mitchell is committed to bridging the gap between the school board, parents, teachers and staff to support each other to better serve the diverse communities of the melting pot Atlanta is known for. She looks forward to serving the community at-large and speaking with media about her intentions.
According to an AJC article, the outgoing board has set a reform-minded policy agenda as the district recovers from a major teacher cheating scandal. In the last four years, the board hired superintendent Meria Carstarphen and embraced a charter-system model in an effort to improve struggling schools.
You can read more about Erika’s platform at https://www.erikaymitchell.com/.