August 11, 2013

Letter: We can always do better

— My name is Sherwood Jones III and I am excited to announce that I will be running for one of the two open seats on the Dalton Board of Education. This decision has been under consideration for several years and it is not a decision that I am taking lightly.

During this time, I have had multiple discussions with teachers, administrators, current board members and parents about issues facing our school system. The consensus is that our current Board of Education is performing well. However, we can always do better.

Decisions will have to be made that will impact the quality of education of our children for years to come and I am prepared to face these issues without preconceived solutions or prejudice. Dalton Public Schools has a long history of providing excellence in the education of our children and I am committed to working to continue this legacy.

I am a product of the Dalton public school system. After graduating from Dalton High School in 1980 I attended Auburn University and received a bachelor of architecture degree. Later, I received a master of science in management from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

I have used my education to practice architecture for 28 years. I have owned my own business for the past 13 years and have worked very hard to steer the business through a very tough economic climate. Many hard decisions have been made and it is this experience that has prepared me to face the tough financial decisions our school board faces.

I am married to Danielle and we have four children. Emma is 14 and will be entering Dalton High School this year. Mincey and Garrett are 10 and will be fifth-graders at Brookwood School. Emani is 18 months old and attends Friendship House. I am in the schools on a daily basis. I am involved in extracurricular activities and see firsthand some of the concerns our teachers and parents have identified. I feel that having a daily dialogue with our teachers and students is vital to being a strong member of our school board.

I have lived in Dalton for most of my life and have a vested interest in my community. I am a deacon at First Baptist Church and direct our boys’ missions activities. I also chair the Facilities Committee.

I am a trustee with the Dalton Education Foundation, a board member at Friendship House, chairman of the Whitfield County-Dalton Planning Commission and a member of the city of Dalton’s Historic Preservation Commission. I have been exposed to all facets of our community and have learned that tough decisions have to be made and sometimes those decisions are not popular. This experience is critical to making the decisions that impact the quality of education for our children.

Throughout this nation’s history, strong public education has helped democratize our nation, strengthen our communities and broaden opportunities for all people. Dalton Public Schools has always been at the forefront of public education. I trust that you will look to the future in supporting my candidacy and continue a commitment to a high quality and diverse education for the children of our community.

J. Sherwood Jones III