ALBANY, Ga.— Dougherty County School Board at-large member Anita Williams-Brown says her passion for children is behind her quest for a second term on the board.
“I grew up in poverty and love all children, but I have a special passion for children in poverty,” Williams-Brown, who is vice chair of the School Board, said. “I could be a rich woman, but I spend most of my money on children in poverty.”
To read more about Anita Williams-Brown's opponent, Lane Price, click here
Williams-Brown received her early education in the public schools of Dougherty County. In 1969 she earned her B.S. degree in Health and Physical Education from Albany State University. Later she earned a M.Ed. from American University, an Educational Administration add-on from Albany State University, and Educational Specialist and Doctoral degrees in Curriculum and Instruction from Sarasota University.
“Kids in certain parts of Albany have it made. They are getting what they need to learn,” she said. “But others who go to certain schools have parents who are involved with drugs, have a parent in jail or are afraid to go to sleep at night for fear they might be molested.
“They show up for school sleepy and hungry. I once taught a child whose power had been cut off for 30 days. He smelled because he could not bathe. How are these kids supposed to learn?”
Williams-Brown thinks the school system has to be innovative to reach these children.
“We’ve got to get outside of the box,” said Williams-Brown. “Our CTAE (career, technology, agriculture education) and medical arts programs that fit the needs of these kids. Not all are equipped to go to college and this is where we need to do a better job.”
For many of the more than 16,000 students in the DCSS, Williams Brown says school should be a place of refuge.
“In many ways school should also be a safety net for children,” she said. “So when a child comes into the classroom not only to learn but to work on skills and are not just out on the streets floating around.”
Williams-Brown acknowledged that her last two years on the board have been filled with turmoil.
“If I have to give the school board a grade right now, I’d have to give us a ‘C,’” Williams-Brown said. “We’re not meeting our ethics goals right now and many on the board are coming from different avenues.”