By: Staff Reporters at Johns Creek for Georgia Weekly Post
Sharyl Dawes is a resident of Johns Creek and an active member of the PTA. She is the former Chairwoman of Gwinnett Republican Party, officer in Fulton Republican Party and 18 years as liaison in Georgia's PTA.
In the 80s, she was one of few women entering corporate America. She worked for Monsanto Corporation. She was called the "Turn Around" Expert. She became an adminstrator in a company of 2700 in Alabama. As she became more interested in Public Relations, Mrs.Dawes worked for notables such as John Portman.
Facing a new chalange, Ms. Dawes just joined a crowded field of many men and women seeking one of the most powerful postions in state government. The Superintendent's Job controls our schools and it's massive funding. She, if elected, will become a member of the governor's cabinet.
Ms. Dawes is a fourth-generation teacher of a family of many teachers. Prior to her joining corporate America, she had worked only as a teacher for six years.
As she presents herself to the state wide voters, her message is "This is tough Love." She comes to the race with a controversial position. She wants to make Georgia schools "English Only" which means English as a second language, (ESOL) students get a full immersion into mainstream classes as quickly as posibile.
She is not a believer in "social promotions," making students fluent in English is perhaps the best single thing schools can do for them if they are to be competitive in American society.
It did not take Ms. Dawes too long to find out her political future as an elected state official. By the end of the night, on May 20, 2014, she was able to get only 6% of the votes. That ended her attempt. Mike Buck, Ashly Bell, Richard Woods and Mary Bacallao were able to gain over 15% of the votes, in a crowded field.
"English only" remains to be a political issue in Georgia.
Several attempts were made to pass a law making school system "English Only". All proposed bills have failed to pass the House and the Senate. Such proposal is not popular among Asian or Spanish speaking communities.
At the state senate, early this year, a Senate Resolution 1031 and Bill 404 were introduced. The bill will restrict US permanent residents. A language was included to the proposed bill, advocating "English Only/"
Quick action by 28 civic organizations, prevented it from going furter to the floor.
A statement by the group denouncing "Georgia Anti-Immigrant polices" brought it to the attention of leaders of both houses.
A political action group, AALAC, Asian American Legal Advocacy Center, headed by Helen Kim Ho was able to lobby the House and the senate, opposing any propsals of state laws, restricting permanent residents.
The governor's office did not support it.
Governer Deal was invited to speak before the group early this year.
There are over 500,000 Asian Americans, living and working around the Atlanta metro area. Many live, own homes and businesses, work, shop and go to schools in Johns Creek. In a tight race, Ms. Dawes calls of "English Only" did not get her those Asian votes on May 20.
The press secretary of the Secrtary of State has provided a list of the fifteen candidates seeking the powerful post during the upcoming state wide primary.
Among the fifteen candidates, ten out fifteen are women, six are Democrats.
Mary Kay Bacallao (R) is a College Professor, recived 15.35% of the votes.
Ashley Bell (R), Former Hall County Commissioner and served as Charter. recived 15.07% of the votes.
Only two of the fifteen had no education work on their resumes.
Mike Buck (R), is the chief of Staff to Schools's Superintendent John Barge, got 19.62 % of the votes.
Sharyl Dawes (R), the subject of this report, is a businesswoman and a former teacher, got 5.45 % of the votes.
Allen Fort (R), Quitman County School Superintendent, is a former High School Principal and a former Teacher. He got 6.33% ov the votes.
Nancy Jester (R) is keeping a lead. Assisted by her husband, she is known for having the the best organization. She is a DeKalb County School Board Member. She works as Actuarial Consultant. She got only 10.53% of the votes
Fitz Johnson (R), Defense Contractor and Retired Army Officer, Community Activist for many years.
Ms. Johnson got 6.66 % of the votes.
Kira Willis (R), works as a Teacher. She is a Libertarian Nominee.
She got only 3.1 1% of the votes.
Richard Woods (R), is a Retired School Administrator and former Teacher.
He got 16.88 % of the votes.
Tarnisha Dent (D), works as a Teacher.
Denise Freeman (D), former member of Lincoln School Board and an Educator.
Jurita Mays (D), works as a teacher.
Alisha Morgan (D), an elected member to the State House and a Businesswoman.
Rita Robinzine (D), is a Teacher and Democratic Activist.
Valarie Wilson (D), is the former Chairman of Decatur School Board. Ms. Wilson heads a PAC, a non-Profit group.
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