Meet The Yard Sign!


My name is Victoria, and I’m a Yard Sign with the Elyse Dashew for School Board campaign. It is my job to create name recognition and GET MORE VOTES!

I arrived into town last week (hitched a ride with a FedEx semi), and after getting the lay of the land, I am ready to work. My plan is to position myself in all Mecklenburg County neighborhoods and high traffic areas, but I need your help getting out there. (You can request signs here.)

Since I just asked you for a favor, we should probably get to know one another better. I’m including an excerpt of the interview I did with the Dashew for School Board media team earlier this week.


NAME & POSITION:  Victoria—Yard Sign Extraordinaire.

Here I am with my delicious Lawn Spice Latte

Here I am with my delicious Lawn Spice Latte at the Prep & Pick-Up Party

EMPLOYER:  The Committee to Elect Elyse Dashew.

LANGUAGES:  English, French and Sign Language.

BEST ATTRIBUTES:  I’m outgoing, I love people, and I stand up for what I believe in!

FAVORITE SONGS:  “Für Elise” by Beethoven. “Life Is A Highway” by Tom Cochran. “The Sign” by Ace of Base. “We Are the Champions” by Queen.

CERTIFICATIONS:  I’m 100% Recyclable.

FAVORITE DRINK:  Lawn Spice Latte—a seasonal coffee special only available until Nov. 10th, which coincidentally is when I must leave also! I must be taken down from properties within 7 days after the election.

FAVORITE FOOD:  Stake. I mean, steak!

BEST FRIENDS:  The Peace Sign. What a class act. But also, I gotta give it to my bestie, the Elyse Dashew Car Magnet. She has been working hard since May…braving all kinds of weather, talking to people during rush hour traffic, and keeping her cool when cruising 77 and 485. I can’t go anywhere on 77 and 485 (the rules say so), so I really appreciate her covering that territory.


FAVORITE DANCE NUMBER:  The dinner party scene in Beetlejuice. They’re all dancing to Harry Belafonte’s “Day O,” and there’s something about the chorus that reminds me of the sign placement guidelines. “It’s 6ft, 7ft, 8ft bunch!”

FAVORITE QUOTE:  Full disclosure—I’m a huge Whitney Houston fan! In her timeless hit “Greatest Love of All,” she so beautifully sang these true words:

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way

CELEBRITY CRUSH:  Justin Timberlake —as the singing mascot in SNL skits such as Omletteville and Veganville.

PET PEEVES:  Dogs.  Leaf blowers.

I had a great time at the Prep and Pick-Up Party on Saturday. Thanks to all who came to help with assembly and distribution. You can watch a video here, which includes a short time lapse of the work.


The Real-World Work of Workforce Development


Workforce development: Aligning the needs and resources of K-12 schools, businesses, and community partners. It is easier said than done, but the 120 people in this photo are doing it.

Last week I participated in “Alignment SW Charlotte”, a summit that brought together educators from Olympic Community of Schools (a group of five high schools); their middle and elementary feeder schools; colleges; nonprofit and faith community partners; and businesses from Charlotte’s southwest corridor.

The summit was convened because of an urgent challenge. From 2008-2018, STEM jobs in the US are expected to increase by 17%. Most of those jobs will be filled by non-US workers. The US is expected to be short by as many as three million high-skills workers by 2018. (Source: National Math and Science Initiative)

Charlotte Works, the local workforce development board for Mecklenburg County, reports the following STEM job numbers for the Charlotte region:

  • 6,000 advanced manufacturing
  • 7, 000 energy
  • 10,000 health care
  • 11,000 logistics & distribution
  • 30,000 IT-related

It is difficult for businesses to find qualified local employees to hire for these positions.

Alignment SW Charlotte is a concrete, pragmatic, effective local response to the workforce development problem. In last week’s meeting, we worked together in breakout groups to help educators plan for the 2015-16 school year. Through work like this, community relationships are strengthened and real plans are put into place that result in children achieving their human and economic potential in today’s world.

The hard work and smart collaboration of the partners have already led to success, including national awards and the opening of a $200,000 Advanced Manufacturing & Technology Center at Olympic. See four pages of results from last year’s work here.

Kudos to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools employee Mike Realon for spearheading Alignment SW Charlotte. Mike works at Olympic as the Career and Community Development Officer. Mike and I first met while serving together on the Career and College Readiness Task Force in 2012. We joined with other K-12 staff, community and business leaders and representatives of local community college and universities to recommend a coordinated plan for increasing career and college readiness in our CMS students. It is gratifying that many of our task force recommendations, including the creation of Alignment SW Charlotte, have been implemented. You can read the recommendations here (starting on page 74).

Alignment SW Charlotte, and the task force that led to it, are real-world examples of this pillar of my platform:

pillarThe good news continues to grow. The Olympic partnerships have been so successful that now North Mecklenburg High School and its feeder elementary and middle schools are beginning to replicate the model. With your support I will be serving on the school board, watching over and advocating for this important work. Stay tuned…


For more info:

And now to acknowledge a few partners participating in the work of  Alignment SW Charlotte:

AXA Advisors, BGW CPA PLLC, Black Belt World, Bosch Rexroth, Carolinas College of Health Sciences, Carolinas Healthcare System, Central Steele Creek Presbyterian Church, Charlotte Chamber, Charlotte Works, BASF, City of Charlotte, CPCC, CRVA, Cybertary, DecisionPathHR, Discovery Place, Drive Inc., Edward Jones, Environmental Process Solutions, Falcon Fastening Solutions Inc., Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, Habitat for Humanity Charlotte, Jackson Orthodontics, Judah Church, Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas, Lane Construction, Logo’d Gear, Marriott Courtyard Billy Graham, Mecklenburg PTA Council, NAF/NC New Schools | Breakthrough Learning, neteffect technologies, Siemens Energy, SkoolAide, Standard Pacific, Steele Creek Pediatric Dentistry, Steele Creek Printing & Design, Steele Creek Residents Association, Steele Creek YMCA, Sysco Charlotte, Truliant Federal Credit Union….and of course Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools!

Campaign Launch: Photos and Speech

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The campaign to elect Elyse Dashew to the school board was launched on June 19, 2015 with a breakfast reception for 60 supporters at McClintock Middle School. Just two days earlier, nine people had been killed at a bible study meeting in Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.

Here are Elyse’s remarks from the day of the launch.

I really need to feel hope and faith right now because of what happened in Charleston the day before yesterday. There are great troubles in our country and this hits very close to home. We need to surround ourselves with people who are committed to working for the greater good.

And that is who is here today, right now.

We also need to have hope because there are tremendous challenges in our own community right here…and the challenges are showing up in our public schools. Our economic mobility numbers are amongst the lowest in the nation. We have re-segregated. And employers are telling us that the workforce is increasingly ill-matched to the jobs that need to be filled.

These are serious issues that we need to own and address. They are our issues — my issues and yours. They have an impact on our children’s lives and our grandchildren’s lives, and it’s pretty urgent that we start paying attention and start stepping up our game. And the public school — this building that we’re standing in right now — is one of our most powerful and most essential tools that we have for addressing these issues. So we each as individuals, and all together as a community, have got to fully commit to supporting our public schools.

We need to make sure that our schools have the resources they need for our students to be successful. When I say resources, I mean that in a fiscal sense. But I’m also talking about a human sense. We need to pump up that pipeline of great teachers and staff and principals.

We also need our schools to be wisely guided by school board members. Our school board is another human resource. We need school board members who are smart; who understand complex policy and unintended consequences; who are committed to following the evidence, even when the evidence is surprising; and who are open to learning new ideas; who connect with the community; who lead the community on difficult issues; who are collaborative; who are fiercely committed to doing what is best for all children; and who will build and lead coalitions to make sure that this happens.

And so that’s why we’re here today. I feel a calling to serve in this capacity. I have a passion to serve. I have the life experiences and the skill set to serve.

I hope that you will join me on this journey and help me to get elected. Then, once I am serving on the school board, I hope that you will continue to work with me. Please continue to talk with me, support me, correct me, advise me. Because this is going to be a long-term game here, and the issues we’re facing are very tough. But I know that we can move the needle on them. It’s going to take a whole lot of courage and commitment from all of us. The school board race is really just one part of it, but it’s an important part of it.

Thank you for being a part of this. Thank you for being a force for good and prosperity in our community.

I’m just so honored and humbled and I can’t wait to serve you.

47th Annual Hickory Grove Parade


Elyse and her supporters will be participating in the 47th Annual Hickory Grove Parade on Saturday, July 4th at 10am. She would love to have you — and your children — walk with her in her first official community event!

The parade will be a short two mile route walk beginning at the Hickory Grove Rec Center [6709 Pence Rd] and ending with a celebration at The Grove Church [5735 E. WT Harris Blvd].

There will be games, live music, food, and contests! There is also a large play area for children.

Volunteers who would like to walk alongside Elyse are welcome to meet at the start of the parade at 10am. T-shirts will be provided for volunteers. Join the Facebook event for updates and to invite your friends!

For more information, visit

Campaign Kickoff on June 19th


Join us to launch Elyse Dashew’s campaign for Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board!

When:  Friday, June 19th, 8:30-10am

Where:  McClintock Middle School, 1925 Rama Road, Charlotte NC 28212


Feel free to invite your friends, family, and colleagues. There are so many people are impacted by the school board, and we want to engage a wide array of Mecklenburg citizens in this campaign.

Children are welcome. Breakfast refreshments will be provided.

We look forward to seeing you there!