James (J.P.) Foster, Jr. of Cedartown has qualified as an independent candidate for Polk School District Board of Education, District 3, for the November general election.

Foster is a retired Special Agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), where he spent his career investigating criminal activity throughout the state, nation, and other countries.

“I never thought I would be the one to throw my hat into the political ring,” said Foster, “but the more I have learned about the operation of PSD under our current board’s administration, the more I have come to have ‘buyers remorse’ as a voter. As is my right as a taxpayer, parent, and citizen, I started asking some very reasonable questions regarding hiring policies, funding/appropriation, school climate, and administrative actions; but at every turn, I did not receive satisfactory answers, if I received answers at all. So I decided to attempt to “be the change” myself and become a candidate, to be a catalyst for positive change in this county that I love.”

“I consider myself very blessed to have been brought up in this school district,” said Foster. “I am also very proud to say that all three of my sons have attended Polk County schools, and have excelled due in no small part to the fantastic education provided to them by quality teachers and supportive administrators.”

“Polk County continues to have phenomenal educators, but as I have found in speaking with a multitude of them over the past few weeks, it is evident that there needs to be sweeping change in the way our district is managed and led. The way professional educators are treated has a direct impact on our students. We are losing our best teachers at a truly alarming rate, and many parents are moving students to other districts and private schools because they have lost faith in the current leadership of PSD. I intend on working hard to address those trends head-on, in an open transparent way.”

Foster is a 1974 graduate of Cedartown High School and Jacksonville State University, holding a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. From JSU, he went on to work at the Cedartown Police Department until 1981 when his GBI career began. He retired from the GBI in 2008, having served 30 years in law enforcement. Since retiring he has been involved in independent contractor investigations, as well as operating Ya Delivery Service.