Dr. Deatrice “Dee” Haney represents district five on the Clayton County Board of Education. She is still in the first year of her first term on the board after she decided to run for the position in 2015. While Dr. Haney acknowledges she is still learning, her goal is for all Clayton County kids to have excellence and equity in their schools.
In the first of many Board of Education articles this Fall, The Atlanta Voice wanted to get to know the Black men and women who shape the learning of the youth.
The Atlanta Voice: What school district did you attend as a child?
Dr. Deatrice “Dee” Haney: Fulton County Public Schools.
AV: When did you first decide to run for the BOE?
DH: My decision to run for the BOE occurred in 2015.
AV: What district do you represent on the Board of Education?
DH: District 5.
AV: How many years have you been on the board?
DH: This is my first year.
AV: Why did you first decide to run for BOE?
DH: I decided to run for the school board seat because of my love for children and community. Over the years I have been advocating through various initiatives for the best interest of our children and I want to contribute to the development of young minds. I will continue to provide leadership and work collaboratively with community partners to ensure our children have a world-class and competitive education.
AV: What is your favorite part of being on the BOE?
DH: Consistently learning and engaging. Ever since I was a small child, it was instilled in me to give back and engage. It is important to recognize that in order to achieve a lasting positive impact for the district, as well as, the community, I have to envision it and being on the BOE has provided that path for me to do so.
AV: How many terms have you served on the board?
DH: This will be my first term.
AV: Where do you work/What is your professional background?
DH: Entrepreneur/ A non-profit coaching practice for women.
AV: Do you have kids in this district?
DH: I do not have kids in the district other than the 55,000 students that I represent.
AV: Why is it important for black people to be represented in their local school board?
DH: Because there are systemic barriers to equity, it is important that school board members create and represent a culture that will embrace and implement fair equity practices. This may require having courageous conversations and challenging policies that affect the status quo. Additionally, this will require school board members to make a commitment and be held accountable, and more importantly being self-aware of [our] individual biases so we can dismantle any disparities of racial inequity and ensure equitable resources in the school district.
AV: How has your time on the board influenced your understanding of public schools?
DH: It has influenced my understanding by first knowing there are differentiating responsibilities of governance for public schools. I have also learned that as a board member, I set the tone and serve as a bridge between the community and the district by establishing a model of collaboration that builds confidence while working to do what’s best for a student’s level of academic achievement.
AV: Is there a specific accomplishment?
DH: I would say that my specific accomplishment is to continue to serve in a leadership capacity while sharing in the development of our children.
AV: What is your long-term vision for the students of Clayton County?
DH: My long term vision for the students of Clayton County is that I am committed to providing new solutions that will benefit our students through community involvement while establishing equity in our school district, improving accountability in our district, and working with local/state legislation for our district because our children deserve better.
AV: What’s one thing available to students now you wish you had while you were in school?
DH: I wish I had the technology that our students have wherein technology has created endless opportunities that will take our students to new levels that extend beyond their educational journey.