UPDATED: JAN. 17, 2012 (see italicized text for updated information)
Berkeley Lake resident Jen Falk, a long-time advocate for children, announced Friday that she is seeking the Gwinnett County School Board District III seat currently held by Dr. Mary Kay Murphy.
District III currently includes all or part of the Duluth, Norcross and Peachtree Ridge clusters as well as the GIVE Center West, Gwinnett Online Campus, Ivy Preparatory Academy Charter School, Monarch School, and New Life Academy of Excellence.
After the census, District III (which currently includes 21 schools), will have six additional schools. The Norcross and Duluth cluster schools will remain in District III.
A map showing the current borders and the proposed borders is included with this story.
Falk is a founding board member of of Ivy Preparatory Academy in Peachtree Corners as well as a founding member of the School-to-Prison Pipeline group. For the past eight years she has focused on education reform serving as a member of the Georgia Appleseed Advisory Council and project leader for "When My Child is Disciplined at School: A Guide for Families."
"I am running for this office because I believe the people of Gwinnett County deserve a school board that is transparent and accountable," said Falk in her announcement. "I will listen carefully to parents and turn their concerns into advocacy for better schools. Teachers and administrators also have an important voice; it's essential they have access to a leader that really listens."
Falk is the special projects director for Parent-to-Parent of Georgia, a statewide nonprofit, federally-designated parent training and information center under IDEA, which serves families of children and young adults with disabilities.
Falk has a bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of Florida. She has 20 years of retail management experience including holding the position of Human Resources Director for Macy's IT Corporate Divisions.
Falk has lived in Berkeley Lake for 15 years with her husband Ned and their two children, Harrison and Erin, both of whom graduated from Gwinnett County Public Schools.
Dr. Murphy was first elected to the District III seat in January 1997 and re-elected in 2008. She is the associate vice president for Institutional Advancement at Morehouse School of Medicine and is a resident of Duluth.