Lien Diaz — Buford Board of Education (Beth Lancaster's seat)

Age: 47

Occupation: Director of Educational Innovation and Leadership at the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Institute for Technology

Education: Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Texas-El Paso; master in mathematics education Texas State University; pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership University of Phoenix

Lived in city since: 2006

Political experience: None

Community involvement: 22 years of professional education experience; former math and science teacher and I coached girls’ sports in middle and high school; designed and conducted workshops in classrooms and at scale across Texas; oversaw curriculum and exam development for AP Calculus, AP Statistics and AP Computer Science for College Board in Duluth regional office; led the creation of new AP Computer Science Principles course and exam; served on board of National Science Foundation; Georgia Department of Education - Computer Science Advisory Group; CS4GA Collective Impact ; Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation; CSforALL Consortium; Computer Science Teachers Association; Expanding Computing Education Pathways; Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education; Center for STEM Education; Technical Education Research Centers; National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Diaz said she was inspired to run for a Buford Board of Education seat because she wants to contribute to see that no child feels left out as they are brought up through the Buford City School district. She has a vested interest in the school district with four children attending Buford City Schools.

“I have never felt more compelled than now to seek a position on the Board of Education,” she wrote on her campaign website. “I have worked hard and have been blessed to have succeeded in many endeavors in my professional career. And now I feel it’s time for me to pay it forward.”

Diaz said she wants to provide an equitable education for each student while supporting professional development to empower teachers.

If elected, Diaz said she wants to lead an effort to provide k-12 computer science education in the school district. She said computer science education is vital to success across multiple disciplines and will help Buford students grow into a generation of leaders who understand how advances in technology impact our communities and economy.

Diaz said she wants to widen the participation of the Buford community in the decisions the school board makes for the community by encouraging more participation and direct and open interactions with school board members at school board meetings.

“It seems like we — in terms of the community — we can improve on that communication with more active participation,” she said. "It's important to have someone on the BOE that knows what it's like to be a teacher and that truly appreciates the need for diverse perspectives and voices to be included in decision making processes."