Former Decatur School Board Chair Mark Wisniewski will serve as an interim replacement for at-large member Annie Caiola, who resigned last month. Courtesy of Mark Wisniewski
By Bill Banks
On Tuesday night (July 16) Decatur’s school board named former Chair Mark Wisniewski as interim replacement for at-large member Annie Caiola, who resigned last month.
Caiola officially vacates her seat August 1 with 29 months left in her second term. She was elected in November 2013 and again in 2017, running unopposed both times, serving as Board Chair in 2016 and 2017.
Wisniewski takes over August 2 and will serve through the end of the year.
On July 15 Decatur’s commission approved a special Nov. 5 election to fill the final two years of Caiola’s term. Qualifying is August 19-21. Wisniewski told the AJC Tuesday he has no intention of running.
Current Chair Lewis Jones said the board had two primary criteria for seeking an interim.
“We were specifically looking for a former board member, somebody who could hit the ground running,” he said. “We also wanted someone who wasn’t interested in running [in the election], so it wouldn’t look like we were hand-picking someone.”
Wisniewski was on the school board for three terms from 2001-2014, serving under Superintendents Ida H. Love and Phyllis Edwards. He was chairman his last three years, rolling off the board around the time Westchester Elementary was reopened. Garrett Goebel, who is retiring from the board in December, is the only current commissioner who served with Wisniewski.
“I never thought I’d come back,” he told the AJC. “Lewis called me and asked if I would bring my perspective and experience. I said, ‘why not’?”
Since leaving the board Wisniewski has served on the Decatur Educational Foundation where he was chairman for a year (2015-16). He’s a strategy consultant for IBM and owns residences in Decatur, Chicago and Apalachicola, Florida.
He’s also one of the world’s most exuberant University of Virginia sports fans, attending every post-season men’s basketball game played by UVA in its national title run last March.
Meantime, two other seats are also up for re-election this fall. In January Garrett Goebel announced he was stepping down from district one next December, the end of his eighth year on the board. Meantime Vice Chair Tasha White has said she’ll seek re-election in district two.
Read the original story on AJC.com.