First active teacher to serve on Atlanta Board of Education reflects on the memory of his son

Alfred "Shivy" Brooks campaigns across the street from a polling site at Neighborhood Church on McClendon Avenue in NE Atlanta on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. Brooks beat the incumbent Tamara Jones in a landslide in the Atlanta School Board At-Large Seat 7 race. (Matthew Pearson/WABE)

Clayton County high school teacher Alfred “Shivy” Brooks has been sworn in to his District 7 seat on the Atlanta Board of Education, and he makes history as the first active teacher on the board in its 150-year history. 

Brooks is an economics and government teacher at Charles Drew High School. He beat incumbent Tamara Jones in the race for the At-Large District 7 seat with 65% of the vote, gaining 9,002 votes total in a December runoff election.

Brooks’ passion to serve is fueled by many things, but mainly the memory of his late 16-year-old son Bryce, who drowned shortly before he launched his campaign. Bryce drowned while saving four children who were being pulled out to sea in the Gulf Coast.

Brooks tells WABE’s “Morning Edition” that his son’s memory gave him the strength to carry on and commit to the campaign.

Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.