One lost his seat, one is in a runoff, and the third barely beat back a challenger.
District 2 member Don McChesney lost to Marshall Orson, who got 61.7 percent of the vote to his 38.2 percent.
In District 4, incumbent Paul Womack will face challenger Jim McMahan in the Aug. 21 runoff elections. Womack got 47 percent and McMahan, 27.7 percent.
District 8 incumbent Pam Speaks beat back challenger Michelle Clark with 51.7 percent to Clark’s 48 percent. In the two weeks leading up the election, in robo-calls to voters, Clark identified herself as a Democrat and painted Speaks as a Republican even though the race is nonpartisan.
In the race for the open District 6 seat, Dr. Melvin Johnson and Denise E. McGill will face off in a runoff.
Johnson led the four candidates with 39.7 percent. McGill came in second with 30.1 percent. LaTasha Walker got 20 percent and Dr. Terriyln Rivers Cannon got 9.9 percent.
Johnson, who retired in 2004, worked for more than 37 years in the DeKalb system, 18 in administration. Two of his four children graduated recently from Redan High.
McGill is a Stone Mountain business consultant and co-founder of the nonprofit Stone Mountain-Lithonia Youth Empowerment Services Inc. She has two children who graduated from Stephenson High.
McChesney, a retired educator who leaves the board on Dec. 31 at the end of his term, has been on the board for four years. He and Orson, a consultant and attorney, ran against each other in 2008 for the vacant District 2 seat. McChesney won that seat in a runoff against Fulton County teacher Ella Smith.
Orson said Thursday that he is excited at the opportunity to be a board member but knows there is a lot of work to be done to improve the district.
“Some of the main concerns that I have about the district are the financial issues and the inability of the board to work together,” he said. “The main thing I hope to change is the dynamics of the board and help bring the board together.”
Orson has two children in DeKalb schools, a fifth-grader at Fernbank Elementary and a seventh-grader at Druid Hills Middle. He is chairman of the Fernbank and the Druid Hills school councils.
Besides his knowledge of the schools, Orson also brings a business background to the board. He worked at Turner Broadcasting, with five years as vice president and general manager of the Turner Trade Group.
He said he will work with Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson to make sure the school system moves in the right direction. “If we’re going to have a school system that works, we have to work with the superintendent.”
McChesney’s loss comes a week after a controversial e-mail he sent about women surfaced. McChesney sent the e-mail last September to Jim McMahan inviting him and others to a meeting with the newly appointed superintendent.
He wrote, “I also chose all men to try to get away from many emotional issues that are sometimes the center of argument.”
Carol Napier, who has two daughters in the school system, told WSB-TV last week that McChesney has “sexist beliefs” and should resign. “It’s clear that he holds those beliefs deeply and he’s willing to communicate those beliefs and act on those beliefs in a very public manner.”
DeKalb voters also rejected the nonbinding advisory referendum on placing cell phone towers on school properties with a 62 percent “no” vote. District 5 board member Jay Cunningham was philosophical. “The people have spoken,” he said.