Cynthia Briscoe Brown has worked for Atlanta’s children for almost two decades. Since the 1990s, Cynthia has worked publicly and behind the scenes for all our kids, devoting herself to making sure every child gets everything they need to succeed.
Cynthia serves on the Boards of the Atlanta Partnership for Arts in Learning, the Committee for Teaching About the United Nations/Atlanta, and the Alliance Francaise d’Atlanta, creating partnerships with each organization and opportunities for students and teachers across the city to improve their skills and enrich their lives. As a volunteer with Young Audiences of Atlanta, Cynthia helped develop and implement the smART stART program, using visual and performing arts experiences to improve and encourage reading skills of low-income kindergarten and first grade students in several APS elementary schools.
Cynthia also uses her 27 years of experience as an attorney to help students, teachers and families across the city. She has assisted several APS schools in forming their own nonprofit foundations. She frequently donates her expertise to students with legal issues related to college and scholarship applications. She worked closely with an APS parent and area universities to create a means for college students to receive course credit for tutoring and mentoring at-risk children. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, and staff know Cynthia is always available to answer a question or help resolve a problem.
During her three years as co-President of North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools (NAPPS), Cynthia was a unifying force for the North Atlanta cluster of schools and APS as a whole, fostering mutual respect and collaboration among parent leaders, faculty and administrators, community supporters, APS central administration, and a number of APS Board of Education members. During her tenure, APS struggled with CRCT cheating investigations, Board governance and accreditation, teacher and administrator dismissals, and school closures and redistricting. Cynthia emphasized positive community engagement, dialogue and responses, supporting APS schools and students, developing and nurturing strong media relations, and highlighting APS’ abiding strengths, integrity, processes, and best practices. She reached out to cluster organizations across the city to identify common goals and provide a consistent voice for children throughout Atlanta. She consulted with parents and schools on best practices for community-building and advocacy. Even though her official role was as the face and voice of the North Atlanta cluster, she understood that APS is not successful until all students are successful, and she stood up for students, teachers and schools systemwide during one APS crisis after another. While advocating for improvement and community engagement at every level, Cynthia seizes every opportunity to spread the word about the many strengths of our schools, speaking in homes, church halls, and major events like the Support the Good rally in Centennial Olympic Park
Cynthia has served on the PTA Boards of each of her children’s schools since the 1990s. She has chaired countless committees, planned field trips and assemblies, hosted events, and chaired booster programs for numerous extracurricular activities. She developed and ran a successful teacher incentive program to engage teachers, build collegiality, and reward them for extraordinary support of their students and colleagues. As an active Trustee of the North Atlanta High School Foundation, she has focused her energies on identifying and creatively meeting the needs of every student. She has participated in several APS Facilities construction or renovation project committees on behalf of community stakeholders, including rebuilding APS’ Lakewood Stadium, construction of the new campus for NAHS, and several school renovation projects.
Cynthia and her husband, Jim, are both Atlanta natives. They are active in music and service ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta. They have two children, both of whom have attended APS schools from kindergarten: daughter Caroline, NAHS 2010, is a senior Bonner Scholar at Davidson College in North Carolina; son Palmer is a student at NAHS where he plays in the Jazz Band, works on his Eagle Scout project, and dreams of studying church music in college.