Ryan announced her candidacy to the Journal in April after the school board voted 4-3 to deny construction of a ninth-grade center at Harrison. They revoted the next month and approved it, 4-3, when School Board Vice Chair David Morgan changed his vote.
Ryan has two opponents in the July 31 GOP primary. The winner of that contest will face incumbent Democratic Alison Bartlett on Nov. 6. Bartlett was first elected in 2008, but the post was reapportioned this year to include more of wealthy west Cobb.
“I feel (the school board) has become more about personal agendas and getting even than being morally and ethically responsible,” Ryan said. “There are so many great things about our school system, but we are falling short for our children.”
Ryan has lived in Cobb for seven years. She and her husband, David, owns a medical recruiting company, Southryan’s Surgical Group.
She said she was asked to run by fellow citizens in her area shortly after the school board rejected the Harrison project that would include a much-needed choral room and new cafeteria.
Ryan said the district also needs to be more fiscally responsible and that the board shouldn’t make decisions on projects unless they know all the facts.
“I’m not afraid to hold up a vote when I feel we don’t have all the information needed,” she said.
Ryan said she favors the balanced calendar and an early August school start date. She thinks the board spends enough time discussing academic issues.
“Very little is discussed behind doors,” she said.
The mother of two, one of whom just graduated from Harrison and the other who is a rising eighth grader at Lost Mountain Middle, also said she doesn’t support Teach For America if it would require cutting current Cobb educators.
“The concept is great, but I feel our current teachers can accomplish the same thing,” Ryan said.
Ryan said she has not raised any money, though she plans to start accepting contributions Aug. 1. She has not filed a campaign-finance disclosure report.
“It’s time to think outside the box! I was told that it would cost between $5,000 and $10,000 to run a campaign,” she said. “In this economical time people need to think about other ways to get their messages out.”