Cagle Announces Charter Advisory Committee Appointees

June 26, 2007

(Atlanta, GA) – Lt. Governor Casey Cagle announced the appointments of Dr. Charles Knapp, Otis Brumby Jr. and Mark Whitlock to the new Charter Advisory Committee.

             “I am confident in the expertise and advice that Charles Knapp, Otis Brumby and Mark Whitlock will bring to the Charter Advisory Committee.  While there are many Georgians who would be an asset to this committee, I believe these three bring a unique perspective and individual talents that will greatly strengthen the Charter System process and make a positive impact on education in Georgia,” Cagle said.

             The nine-member Charter Advisory Committee will advise and assist the State Board of Education with charter school policy, work with systems and schools in the development of their charters and make recommendations to the State Board of Education.  In addition to Cagle's appointments, the State Board of Education announced its three appointees to the Charter Advisory Committee Tuesday: Linda Zechmann, Brian Cooksey and Marina Volanakis.   House Speaker Glenn Richardson will also appoint three members to the advisory committee.

             The Charter Advisory Committee will begin meeting later this summer. School systems that want to apply to become a charter system should contact the Lt. Governor's office or the Department of Education’s CharterSchool division for further information regarding the application process.

Biographies of Lt. Governor Cagle's Appointments:

             Dr. Charles Knapp is an economist and educator who is the current Director of Educational Development for the CF Foundation and the Chairman of the Board of the East Lake Community Foundation, the organization responsible for leading the revitalization of the EastLake community in Atlanta.  He was the President of the University of Georgia from 1987 to 1997, the president of AspenUniversity from 1997 to 1999 and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Aflac, Inc. and the NationalCenter on Education and the Economy.  In 2006, Knapp was named Chairman of the Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, which produced a report, Tough Choices or Tough Times, about how the shift in the U.S. and global economy has changed education.  He lives in Atlanta.

              Otis Brumby Jr. is the President and Publisher of the Marietta Daily Journal and Neighborhood Newspapers, which publishes two daily newspapers and 28 community newspapers in 11 metropolitan counties.  Brumby is a graduate of the University of the South and the University of Georgia Law School. He is a member of the Cobb and Georgia Bar Associations, past president of the Georgia Press Association, past chair of the National Newspaper Association and was a Director of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association. Brumby has previously served the Georgia Department of Transportation Board and the State Board of Education, of which he was chair, and on the City of Marietta School Board.  He is active in community organizations and resides in Marietta.

              Mark Whitlock is the CEO of Central Educational Center (CEC), a joint venture developed by local business leaders, the Coweta County School System and WestCentralTechnicalCollege. More than 450 groups from have visited CEC to study this model for change in education. Previously, he worked with Bank of America building correspondent and commercial banking relationships and helping to implement the merger between NationsBank and the original Bank of America.  Mark was one of seven original mentors in ArizonaStateUniversity’s innovative Leadership for Educational Entrepreneurs program.  Whitlock received his undergraduate and master’s in education from the University of Georgia and his MBA from GeorgiaStateUniversity. He is 2007 Board Chair for the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce and lives in Newnan.

State Board of Education Appointments:
             Linda Zechmann is a member of the Georgia Board of Education representing the First Congressional District in southeast portion of the state.  Zechmann was appointed to the board in June of 2001 and will serve until January 2009. As a member of the State Board of Education, Zechmann chairs the Charter Schools Committee and is a member of the Operations Committee.  She also serves on the Governor’s Joint Education Boards Liaison Committee.  

             Brian Cooksey is the Director of Operations Training for Shaw Industries.  Shaw, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway, employs 32,000 in Georgia and training is centered at the ShawLearningAcademy.  Shaw Industries has been named one of the world's Top 125 Training Organizations by Training Magazine for the past three years.

             Marina Volanakis is the founding principal of KIPPSouthFultonAcademy, a start-up charter school located in the FultonCountySchool District that opened in 2004. Volanakis graduated from HarvardLawSchool before being awarded a Fisher Fellowship to found a charter school designed to assist economically-disadvantaged students in SouthFultonCounty.  The school has posted some of the highest test scores of any public school in SouthFultonCounty.