Click below to learn more about Elyse’s leadership and service to our schools, teachers and children, and to see a list of community member endorsements.


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public School Friends
Elyse co-leads this advocacy network of concerned citizens who want the best possible public education for students. In Spring 2014, PSF organized a popular petition in support of fully funding the CMS budget request. In Fall 2014, PSF connected families of students in 46 schools and empowered them with information and advocacy tools to speak-up for teacher pay raises. The PSF Facebook page shares education policy updates, advocacy success stories, and news affecting students and educators.

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“The students of CMS are North Carolina’s responsibility, but they are also our own. Eighty percent of Mecklenburg County children attend CMS and 83 percent of CMS employees live here in Mecklenburg County. This is truly a pressing, local issue,” said Dashew.”

“Elyse Dashew spoke on behalf of 1,150 petition signers and 646 Facebook supporters who want the board to add $19.4 million to the budget for a 3 percent raise for CMS employees. 
She thanked the board for its investment in education, ‘but it won’t mean much if a large number of our teachers go to work in York County’ or other states. ‘We clearly understand that the state is responsible for teacher raises. …We all know that process is unpredictable. Students at CMS are North Carolina’s responsibility, but they are also our own. This is truly a pressing local issue.’ “

Elyse co-founded this powerful grassroots coalition that united families from over 40 different schools in support of sufficient school funding. Thanks largely to the efforts of this group, hundreds of teacher jobs were saved from layoffs in the 2011-2 CMS budget.

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N.C. Parents Advocating for School Health
Elyse serves on the Executive Committee of N.C. Parents Advocating for School Health. The group began advocating for more school nurse funding in CMS in 2012. By 2015, they were able to improve the ratio from 1 nurse per 1200 students to 1 nurse per 890 students. Now each CMS school has one full-time nurse!

“Elyse was an integral part of our group’s success. She supported the need for more school nurses and helped our group organize and fight for positive change. She was instrumental in helping our group plan its advocacy efforts and deliver our message, and she connected our group with many influential leaders in CMS and the Charlotte community.” — Teri Saurer

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Vote Yes For Education Bonds
The successful campaign for a countywide education bond package, which consisted of $290 million for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) and $210 million for Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), passed with a record-breaking margin. Elyse’s role on the Steering Committee was to connect a countywide network of public school families to this effort.

Teaching Advocacy
Over the years, Elyse has been asked to serve on panels and to present at workshops to train citizens in education advocacy:


CMS College & Career Readiness Task Force: Reverse-Engineering Pathways to Success
Elyse joined business and community leaders to work together with K-12 staff and representatives of local community college and universities to recommend a coordinated plan for increasing college and career readiness in students and workforce.

CMS Gifted Education Plan
Elyse was appointed to a committee to update a state-mandated plan, detailing all services related to gifted education including identification, curriculum, professional development, and evaluation. She partnered with the CMS Advanced Studies and Talent Development department to achieve this objective.

NC Core Advocates
When invited to join a network of award-winning educators for professional development and advocacy training regarding the Common Core Standards, Elyse light-heartedly reminded them that she’s not a teacher! However, diving in and bringing the parent’s perspective, she helped them find ways to engage parents and community members in the work of the Common Core: what it is, how it changes from older standards, and the research and process that led to these changes.

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DVA High School/Youth Voice Committee
DVA is a grassroots network of over 500 engaged and passionate nonpartisan women supporting Charlotte. The organization was highlighted by the Charlotte Observer editors in their 2012 annual “Thank You” issue. Elyse co-chaired and led a DVA project that created a Youth Press Corps, in advance of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, as an innovative way to engage Charlotte-area youth in civics and journalism. Through this initiative, high school reporters were granted access to historic events and programming occurring during the DNC. An impressive 150 students participated, representing 33 high schools. The project’s success was due to partnerships formed between DVA Charlotte and CMS, The Charlotte in 2012 Host Committee, the office of the Mayor of Charlotte, the National Democratic Institute, the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association, GenerationNation, and ThePPL.

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GenerationNation is the home of the Kids Voting election, K-12 civic education, Youth Civics, the Youth Leadership Charlotte-Mecklenburg and additional learning and leadership opportunities for K-12 students across the community. Elyse serves on the Board of Directors and Co-Chairs the programs committee.


Bond Oversight Committee, Co-Chair
After serving on the Bond Oversight Committee for three years, Elyse was elected to Co-Chair in 2014. She now leads the Bond Oversight Committee in advising the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent and the Board of Education on capital projects funded by bond referenda.

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CMS Superintendent Search, Interview Panelist
Elyse was asked to serve on a panel to interview the three finalists in the 2012 Superintendent Search, which was held in a community forum.

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School Leadership Teams

School Leadership Teams bring together principal, staff, and parents for regular meetings to design and implement School Improvement Plans and to work on strategic priorities. For two years, Elyse worked as Chair of the the SLT at Waddell Language Academy., and currently serves as Public Policy Chair on the South Mecklenburg High School SLT. She also serves on the SLT at McClintock Middle School.


“Elyse Dashew keeps her focus on what is best for children. She has a gift for bringing people together to act in the best interest of all of our children. She serves with intelligence, integrity, commitment, and courage. We need leaders like Elyse serving on our school board.”—Bishop George E. Battle, Jr.

“More than ever, our students, teachers, and families need a smart, compassionate advocate who fully grasps that thriving, vital schools are the foundation of thriving, vital communities. Elyse Dashew has tremendous passion for our schools, a passion balanced by wisdom and the practical understanding of what it takes to meet challenges and maximize opportunities. Elyse Dashew has earned the trust of parents and educators alike.”—Sheri Lynch, co-host, Bob & Sheri

“First and foremost, School Board members should be advocates for all children. Elyse Dashew is that kind of School Board member.”—Brett Loftis, CEO at The Crossnore School, former director of The Council for Children’s Rights

“Elyse Dashew is exactly what we need on the school board. She is bright, knowledgeable, collaborative and totally dedicated to providing a quality education for all children in Mecklenburg County.”—Betty Chafin Rash, former Mayor Pro Tem

“I’ve come to trust and appreciate Elyse as a friend. She sees public education as life-changing, nation-building work. She has a long history in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. She understands what she’s getting into on the school board. She has my support.”—James E. Ford, 2014 N.C. Teacher of the Year

“I volunteered to support Elyse Dashew because she is a smart, collaborative leader who understands the complexities in education today.”—Kristin Hills Bradberry

“Elyse is smart, a consensus builder, a great listener, and is an advocate for educational excellence for all. I am proud to support her!”—Don Jonas, Executive Director, Care Ring

“As the mother of two CMS graduates and the grandmother of two current CMS students, I feel Elyse would be a great advocate for our children on the school board.”—Dr. Ann M. Newman, RN

“Elyse is thoughtful, a good listener, and has a real sense of vision for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.”—The Rev. Murdock Smith, PhD

“I’ve worked with Elyse on several public school initiatives. She is a thoughtful, intelligent leader. With persistence and patience, she holds the noble obligation as her only mission. We will be fortunate indeed to have her as an advocate for our children.”—Angela Gala, Co-Founder, Youth Meditation

“Elyse Dashew is an informed, tireless education advocate for all children in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Her passion for building and strengthening high quality schools is unmatched over years of service and she does the hard work it takes to reach out and engage ALL parts of the community. Elyse is every public school family’s best partner!”—Tracy Russ

“An At-Large seat on the Board of Education demands the skill sets and knowledge to serve every community, to meet every challenge. That’s Elyse!”—Bolyn McClung, 2007 Mecklenburg County School Bond Co-chair

“I’m supporting Elyse because of her commitment to the common good. I trust she will put children first, thinking creatively and taking the courageous actions necessary to promote policies that provide a sound education for ALL children.” —Joanne Stratton Tate

“Elyse Dashew, my friend, is smart, and type A! She will ‘Git it done.’ Her modus operandi leaves nothing to chance: hence, she has a high rate of success! (Elyse is Type A…. Always, Elyse controls Elyse!)

She loves people, is great with children and young adults and has a calming and easy demeanor.

She supports actions and policies which promote great schools in a progressive and decent society !

PEOPLE LIKE HER ’cause ELYSE DASHEW LIKES PEOPLE”—Malachi Greene, former City Councilman

“I enthusiastically support Elyse Dashew for School Board. Elyse is a smart, thoughtful, consensus builder and a passionate advocate for all children. We need more leaders like Elyse who have the ability to bring people together around complex issues and develop creative solutions.”—Alison Houser, Director, Augustine Literacy Project-Charlotte

“Elyse will be a education champion that understands that reform takes courage and action. She understands that Leadership is needed now more than ever!”—Pat Riley, President/COO, Allen Tate Companies

“At a time when so many decisions are made without considering the impact on and real needs of our children, Elyse will do her homework. She will return the focus to our children.”—Katheryn Northington, community children’s advocate

“Elyse, I am happy to lend you my support in furtherance of your run for the Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board. As the past Chairman of the Bond Oversight Committee, I can say without reservation that you added immeasurably to the Committee. You brought an understanding of the Programs to be housed within the facilities, always asked insightful questions demanding follow up where needed; and, displayed a sensitivity to others’ points of view; all with an understanding of working within the Charter and meeting the responsibilities given the Committee. The community would be well served with your election to the Board.” —John W. Springer, former chairman, CMS Bond Oversight Committee

“Elyse was a great help in our effort to get a full-time nurse into every school. She demonstrates her commitment to our public schools every day. She works hard and has a true passion for improving our children’s education. I can think of no one better to serve on the Board of Education.”—Teri Saurer, founder of N.C. Parents Advocating for School Health

Advance Carolina
Charlotte Mecklenburg Association of Educators
Charlotte Observer
NC Parents Advocating for School Health
Southern Piedmont Labor Council

Business Leaders
Tim Belk
Hugh McColl
Luther Moore
Dan Murrey
Pat Riley

Current and Former Government Officials
Nancy Carter
Dumont Clarke
Eric Davis
Malachi Greene
Molly Griffin
Howard Haworth
Rep. Rodney W. Moore
Betty Chafin Rash
“Coach” Joe & Bobbie White
Velva Woollen

Education Leaders
Romain Bertrand
James E. Ford
Jenny Herndon
Ynez Olshausen
Jay Potter
Dorothy Counts Scoggins
Joanna Schimizzi
Kevin Strawn
Faith Leaders
Bishop George E. Battle, Jr.
The Rev. Trevor Beauford
The Rev. Sylvia McIlwain
The Rev. Kojo Nantambu
The Rev. Murdock Smith, PhD

Nonprofit/Philanthopic Leaders
Chris Bishop
Kristin Hills Bradberry
Marnie Eisner
Dianne English
Angela Gala
Rebecca Grant
Meghann H. Gunderman
Alison Houser
Lisa Stockton Howell
Don Jonas
Mary Nell McPherson
Katie Morris
Lisa Quisenberry
Kathy Ridge
Tracy Russ
Marcie Shealy
Sarah Shifflet
Bob Simmons
Joanne Stratton Tate
Rodney Tucker
Laura Meyer WellmanPTA/Parent Leaders
Michelle Estrada Abels
Nancy Falls
Dr. Kim O. Furney, MD
Joel Gilland
Leslie Goldfarb
Ruth Harris
Pattie Iannitti
Carrie Kester
Carrie Merner
Shana Plott
Teri Saurer

Community Leaders
Rosalyn Allison-Jacobs
Linda Ashendorf
Lee Baumgarten
Adam Bernstein
Michelle Blumenthal
Michael Boylan
Kendel Bryant
Brian & Debbie Carney
Peter & Sandra Conway
Scott & Gabi Culpepper
Mike Daisley
Crystal Dempsey
Jibril Hough
James E. Ferguson, II
Frye Gaillard
Mary Foxx Johnson
Sharon Lachow-Blumberg
Mark & Lee Leggett
Katya Lezin
Linda Lockman-Brooks
Sheri Lynch
Travis & Sekeitha Manigan
Natasha Marcus
John Maye
Bolyn McClung
LaTrice McRae
Dr. Ann M. Newman, RN
Katheryn Northington
Pam Pearson
Elaine Powell
Leigh Rose
Tom Rothrock
Tammy Seigel
Jennifer Schenk
Bob & Caroline Sink
John W. Springer
Cassandra Tydings
Charlotte M. Watkins (in memoriam)
Mike & Beth Whitehead
Mark Williams
Ann Wood
Julian Wright
Landon Wyatt