“Excellence and Compassion” is Dr. Jaha Howard’s motto. Dr. Howard has been a relentless champion for children and educators in our public schools. He has a proven track record of strong advocacy for children and families as a pediatric dentist, business owner, community leader and elected official. His personal mission statement is to “love God and love people…in real life”. Although imperfectly, Jaha strives to do his best in each role he plays. Consistent with his passion to identify hard truths and do the hard work, he and his family have chosen to leverage the role of Georgia State Superintendent to achieve these goals.
As the youngest of three children, Jaha and his family moved to Atlanta in 1990 from Sacramento, CA. There, he excelled as an Atlanta Public Schools student, eventually graduating from Benjamin E. Mays High School in 1999. While actively engaging in student government and Greek life, Dr. Howard earned both his B.S. in Chemistry and Doctorate of Dental Surgery with high honors at Howard University. He later earned his specialty certificate in Pediatric Dentistry and Master’s in Oral Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2009.
Jaha then moved back to the metro Atlanta area where he has worked collaboratively with solution-oriented parents, educators, and policy makers to help address some of his community’s biggest challenges in public education. Dr. Howard currently serves as an elected member on the Board of Education for Cobb County Schools, the second largest school district in Georgia. His passionate response to his public education work has been featured on several media outlets and print publications.
As a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist and owner of A+ Pediatric Dentistry of Atlanta, he and his exceptional team have worked for over a decade with families of all backgrounds to improve the oral health and overall quality of life of children. In 2013, Dr. Howard co-founded the Wave of Excellence group. Wave of Excellence works to connect families in a local community, encouraging them to play an active role in their neighborhood schools. As a response to the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in the spring of 2020, he co-founded Families Against Racism, a non-profit organization that creates space for families to learn and work against systemic racism in the United States.
He now lives in Smyrna with his wife of 15 years and their three children. They worship at Renaissance Church of Christ in South Fulton where Dr. Howard serves as a church deacon and teacher. He is currently a member of several professional organizations including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and Rotary International.