Jason B. Allen is a graduate of Douglass High School and has worked in APS for over 12 years as an after-school program director, parent liaison, English teacher and administrator.

Allen says his priority for the board would be looking at policies that engage families and communities, specifically through early childhood education, wraparound services and workforce development. He wants to ensure students are aware of the full range of opportunities available by nature of being in Atlanta.

“I have seen how policies impact what happens in the classroom not just as a teacher but also someone who has been on a district, school and administrative level. I think that the expertise that I bring to the table will help the team of board members budget more effectively for student success. And also it would help us drive accountability in a way where we’re not putting in punitive policies against our students and our teachers.”




Jason Esteves (I) is the parent of one current and one future APS student. He currently serves as chairperson of the board and is a former public school teacher.

Esteves wants to be reelected so he can continue his current work on the board around improving teacher and school leader quality. He also wants to continue to engage families more in the district’s decision-making and expand learning opportunities for students.

“I have the experience both inside Atlanta Public Schools, but also as an attorney, as a parent, as a former teacher, to make sure that I help keep Atlanta Public Schools on the right track and continue the great progress that it’s made. I have the relationships both in the community and areas of government that APS needs to ensure that long term we are a successful school system.”



D’Jaris “DJ” James is a parent and community advocate. She currently works in human resources and founded the M.A.R.I.E. Project dedicated to helping at-risk youth.

James wants to increase student outcomes post-graduation and ensure effective communication between the board and community stakeholders. Her goal is to increase equity by providing students with a variety of opportunities that they can pursue different career paths and have more success once they leave Atlanta Public Schools.

“I bring a unique experience to the board. I am a person that will be able to develop strategies to partner with our superintendent very closely on our operations to make sure that we are attracting and retaining the best talent and providing our teachers with the best support.”

(Pictured: D’Jaris “DJ” James)

Madeline Thigpen is an education reporter and Report for America Corps Member. She joined the Atlanta Voice in 2021. At the Voice she covers K-12 education for the Atlanta metro region and higher education....