An Open Letter To Cecily Harsch-Kinnane

East Lake resident questions APS Board of Education member's support — or lack thereof — for a high school at Drew Charter School.

Editor's Note: For many months, there's been a push from a core group of parents and supporters to expand East Lake's so that it includes a high school component. The drive is fueled by their desire to build on Drew's K-8 program, the best performing elementary school in East Atlanta Patch. Kyle Caldwell, an East Lake resident, sent a letter to Cecily Harsch-Kinnane, the APS Board of Education member whose District 3 includes East Lake. He shared his letter with Patch.

Dear Cecily,

During your tenure as our board of education representative, I have been thankful for the times that you personally lead our community on issues that affected our educational opportunities here in East Lake.

Now, not hearing from you recently, I am left wondering about your support, crucial to our efforts to have the APS Board approve the Drew Charter amendment to be voted on June 4th that will allow our community to move forward with plans for a landmark high school in East Lake.

Is there any question about what this high school means? Do the facts and data not already tell the story of amazing success? Are not the strides Drew Charter is making right now considered a shining light for communities struggling to find success educating underserved kids all across America?

Is it not clear to all who can analyze the statements of the Superintendent that his new found position, different from the one he gave organizers behind closed doors, is misguided? Will the tiny cohort of children – something less than 50 - that go to Drew High instead of REALLY make a difference? I am hoping you agree that the opportunity for these kids and many hundreds more to experience an outstanding cradle to graduation education at Drew will out shine the small deficit of kids supposedly missing from Jackson.

This issue cannot be just another political football. This is a real chance to take something great and make it better. You must agree that Drew High School will make a huge difference in the real lives of real kids. Drew and it’s dedicated team of leaders have proven they can make good on their promises. The data collected over the last 13 years is ample evidence of what will happen when the new high school opens at Drew.

In your bio on the APS web site you write A quality education is a fundamental right and is an essential cornerstone of a well-functioning society.”

This is exactly why our East Lake community desperately needs you to stand up again and lead on this.  Please let our community know that as our elected representative, you stand firmly behind us at this critical moment.

I have copied our community on this request and I eagerly await your personal affirmation of our community’s position.


Kyle Caldwell


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