Dr. Speaks began her professional career in education after she earned a Bachelor’s degree from Boston University. She continued her education and earned a Master of Arts from Northeastern. She also earned a Specialist in Education (Ed. S.) from Jacksonville State University. Finally, she earned a Doctorate in Education (Ed. D.) from Sarasota.
Dr. Speaks taught physical education and special education in Brookline, Massachusetts and in Boston, Massachusetts. She moved to Georgia, and for twenty-five years, Dr. Speaks worked in the DCSS as a special education teacher, as a specialist for the Regional Assessment Center, and as an administrator.
As an administrator, Dr. Speaks earned the reputation as being one who demonstrated high standards of excellence and expected the same from the teachers she was assisting to earn their certification. Consequently, teachers in schools across the district credit Dr. Speaks with helping them become effective classroom teachers. Additionally, she supported teachers as an Instructional Coordinator. Finally, she ended her career in the DCSS as Title I Director. In that position, Dr. Speaks was responsible to oversee the federally-funded program that provides additional funding to schools that serve economically disadvantaged students.
She has two children who graduated from the DCSS. Her daughter is a 1994 graduate of the DeKalb School of the Arts and her son is a 2002 graduate of Lakeside High School.
As a Board of Education member, Dr. Speaks continues to serve the community. However, her focus has shifted from assisting with the day-to-day operations of the school district to that of focusing on school board policy.
Dr. Speaks has an amazing understanding of the DCSS from the perspective of a teacher, an administrator, and a parent. We know that she will use that knowledge and understanding to assist the district to move forward to meet the goal of providing all students in the DCSS with a world-class education.