By Carl Blankenship
SALISBURY — Chariel Dye, a local entrepreneur who spent 20 years working in early childhood education, is planning a campaign for a seat on the Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education.
Dye, 43, holds a master’s degree in early childhood education from Ashford University. She spent 20 years working with preschoolers and now owns marketing company DRJ Trinity Business Group in Salisbury. Dye lives in Granite Quarry and currently serves as vice chair of the Rowan County Democratic Party. Board of Education races, however, are nonpartisan.
Dye would be competing for the East-area seat on the board. That seat will be vacated by member Josh Wagner, who does not plan to run for reelection.
Dye cited her experience and community connections as strengths. She is particularly concerned about mental health education and services for schools in the next few years. Dye also noted the impact the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protests against police brutality will have on children for the foreseeable future.
“Are we prepared for these children to go back to school? Are the teachers prepared?” Dye asked. “There’s a lot of of emotional activity in the air because of everything going on and I just want to know teachers are equipped to handle these issues when they go back to school.”
Dye said a lot of her friends are teachers and they talk about education in the county often.
“I like to go to the teachers. I go to the parents and find out what their concerns are,” Dye said. “These are their children in these schools. Those teachers are in these schools every day working with these kids. I just want to understand what their take is on the education system here in Rowan County.”
Dye said she wants the district to produce people who can go on to college, but she also wants to effectively prepare students who do not go on to advanced education to handle the world after graduation.
“I’ve learned that not every child is bred for college,” Dye said.
While Dye said she would suggest people go to college, she is passionate about teaching people entrepreneurship so they can carve their own path.
Dye said she is a researcher by nature and likes to spend her free time reading.
Dye said people should vote for her because of her experience, passion and ability to understand what educators encounter on a daily basis.
“I think that sometimes they need somebody who is connected with the community who can reach out and really be a voice for the people,” Dye said. “Sometimes, especially when it comes to educators, they are afraid to think about the things they experience.”
Dye said she feels politicians often have ideas that are not based on what the community wants. She said she sees a lot of parents who are unhappy about changes being made. People in the district, Dye said, should look at the long-term goals for education in the county.