Comments: 37
  • #37

    Michelle Maddox (Friday, 12 April 2019 09:43)

    Ms. Bacallao -

    Your remarks about Dyslexia hurt my heart, and let me introduce you to my struggles as a mom of a Dyslexic student.

    I have an incredibly bright 7th grader now. From 1st-4th grade, trying to get him to read has more than excruciating. We would go over a word on one page, and then turn the page over and he seemed to not even recognize it. Sight Word quizzes and studying were even worse. The tears, the frustrations, his comments, "My brain isn't as smart as my brother's or yours," consistently were uttered in our household. My frustrations with him thinking that he just wasn't trying.

    In 4th grade, after 4 years of after school tutoring, Early Intervention Programs, meeting after meeting after meeting with his teachers, no one could explain it. If you talked to him, his vocabulary, his speech patterns, his grasp on mathematics and science, everything spoke to him being an incredibly successful student. But the test scoring on his reading were abysmal, and by abysmal, he was barely reading at a 2nd grade level, if not really at a 1st.

    I finally put my foot down and insisted that the school test him to find out what was going on with him. We were trying everything and we would take 1 step forward, and then 2 step backwards. You can't focus on where his issues are unless we know what his issues are. The results of the testing were astonishing. The psychologist could not believe that no one had picked up on his issues before 4th grade. He was so smart that he could recognize some letters, and by understanding the previous text leading up to the word he didn't know, he guessed the word, and 75% of the time, he would be right. But, when you gave him "Closed" sentences, he couldn't even recognize if a word was spelled backwards. Even worse, given the alphabet, and asked to circle any letters that were backwards, he only got 2, and even circled some letters that weren't backwards. It was confirmed, he had severe dyslexia, and even qualified for an Individual Education Plan, which hardly ever happens. The scores between his intellectual processing (~118) and reading (~80) were so vastly different that he is 1 of very few students that I know of at his school that actually qualified, with no other underlying issues.

    When we finally knew what was going on, now a plan needed to be put in place to help him. That afternoon, I sat with Sawyer, to tell him how sorry I was because of my frustrations with him. The guilt tore me apart. I told him that we have always taught him everyone was different, but if everyone is different, wouldn't it make sense that everyone learned different? It wasn't his fault that he had trouble reading, but ours because we weren't teaching him the way his brain learned, and that was on us to correct.

    If the law that has been passed had been in place when Sawyer was beginning to show signs in 1st grade, we wouldn't have had the heartbreak and tears that we had for 4 years. Dyslexia is not a brain issue, it just means you see the answers to problems differently, like Steve Jobs did, or Walt Disney, or Steven Spielberg, or Albert Einstein.
    I would bet they would take high offense to your characterizations of dyslexia.

    FYI, between a private tutor (retired teacher from Schenck school) and the accomodations at the school, he is now reading at a 9th grade level..... in 7th grade, and he's performing 10th grade level math. So I ask you. "Brain Abnormality??"

    Sincerely -

    Michelle Maddox, mother of Sawyer Maddox, Dyslexic Student

  • #36

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  • #35

    B. Duncil (Wednesday, 25 May 2016 10:50)

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for running!

  • #34

    Mary Kay Bacallao (Wednesday, 25 May 2016)

    Thank you for your support and for taking the time to find out about what we want to do. Taking our kids out is the best move at this time. Great decision!

  • #33

    Rebecca Merritt (Wednesday, 25 May 2016 10:46)

    I was pleased to see that there was a candidate I could relate to running against Johnny. I voted for you yesterday, but sadly not enough people knew you were running. I came across your site when I searched who was running against Isakson. I hope you do not give up the fight because we need people like you running for offices across the state. Next time please come visit Forsyth, GA during the election debates our town normally hosts. Many small towns do and you can usually find out when they are by calling Commissioners and Council offices, the newspapers for the town/county, or even the Republican county chairperson. Please run again in the future, best wishes and God Bless!

  • #32

    Carol Argabright (Wednesday, 25 May 2016 10:31)

    Dr. Bacallao,

    I was very late researching candidates but was so excited about your running against Senator Isakson. I have also been unhappy with Senator Isakson and was pleasantly surprised to have someone who was so in touch on issues we are facing in education as well as the massive over reach of the federal government. I wish I had researched earlier, because I would have loved to have had a yard sign in my yard! I hope you will run again--I would love to help get the word out for your campaign.

    We recently took all our children out of public school due to Common Core and I am sad more parents did not vote for you.

    Thank you for running and I do hope you will run again.


    Carol Argabright.

  • #31

    Dee Dee Cooley (Tuesday, 24 May 2016 08:11)

    I am reading up on the candidates today before I go vote. I like what you propose. I will vote for you today! It's time for new blood in Washington.

  • #30

    Mary Kay Bacallao (Monday, 23 May 2016 06:23)


  • #29

    Bonnie (Sunday, 22 May 2016 22:34)

    HI, I followed your campaign last time and I am so glad you are running again! I do want to ask one question. Would you be bold enough to introduce legislation that calls abortion, what it is, murder? I believe its time to stop all the silly regulations and curbing of this atrocity. The Constitution gives us the right to life and science has proven that life begins at conception, I believe. With that backing and the strong moral convictions you seem to have. Would you stand up and call abortion what it is, murder? Thank you for running and thank you for being passionate about education, too.

  • #28

    Mary Kay Bacallao (Friday, 20 May 2016 13:39)

    Thank you for your vote.

  • #27

    Georgia Voter (Thursday, 19 May 2016 20:14)

    I almost went to vote early today to hold my nose and vote to re-nominate Sen. Isakson. His vote today on the Lee Amendment to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Bill gave me pause to look at other options.

    I don't have to hold my nose and vote any more- at least not for Senator.

  • #26

    Mary Kay Bacallao (Thursday, 19 May 2016 13:04)

    I have posted the article I wrote on transgender restrooms here. I wrote this because I had a call from a Fannin County parent about the issue before Obama threatened all the schools in the country with loss of federal education funds. It is here:

  • #25

    Summer Walden (Thursday, 19 May 2016 12:12)

    Hi Mary,

    Thank you for your information-rich website that has allowed me to better understand your position on important issues. Education reform is obviously a key issue with you, and the information you provide outlining steps to improve GA ed by localizing it again is on point. I agree! I would love to see the same step-by-step measures you'd take to secure our borders. I understand where you stand, but you don't clarify exactly what we should do to curb illegal immigration. What are your short-term and long-term goals, and how will you fight to achieve them? Also, I need more info on tax reform. You want to simplify the tax code. How? Are you an advocate for The Fair Tax? Do you want to see certain taxes eliminated, and which ones? Where do you stand on income tax specifically?

    Thank you for your time.


  • #24

    Renee Schwarz (Sunday, 15 May 2016 12:27)

    I knew that I was not going to vote for Johnny Isakson, and just recently discovered Mary Kay Bacallao's mission statement. I hope that Dr. Bacallao wins the primary election. Everyone needs to get the word out that Dr. Bacallao is the ideal candidate for the US Senate now. Vote Bacallao!

  • #23

    Jelly Gamat QNC (Friday, 06 May 2016 02:44)

    The world is changing fast. people are also being transformed. day by day we are becoming more dependant on degital system. you are making me think of this really. You have a great method of sharing your thoughts.

  • #22

    Mary Kay (Tuesday, 03 May 2016 10:45)

    I am glad you found a source because it is a long drive for me and I don't have Augusta on my schedule anytime soon. I have been there twice, the people were so nice. Thank you for asking.

  • #21

    James Stroehlein (Friday, 29 April 2016 17:38)

    what can I do to help? I in Ware/Pierce county and would be glad to pass out literature.

  • #20

    R.H. (Monday, 25 April 2016 10:59)

    Lets get the band wagon rolling for a tax system that taxes consumption (FAIR TAX) rather than productivity!!!! Put the tax payer in charge. Please put this on your agenda instead of a flat tax...

  • #19

    Jerry W. Caswell (Saturday, 26 March 2016 13:01)

    Mary Kay: I enjoyed your comments this morning at the Madison Forum. I respect your passion and commitment to our Country and will vote for you in the Primary. Best regards, JWC

  • #18

    czasnawnetrza (Wednesday, 17 September 2014 08:46)

    Greetings from Poland!

  • #17

    Dr. Pierce (Sunday, 20 July 2014 10:51)

    Well May Kay, I'm sad that you did not win this election or at least make it to the runoff. As can be quickly and easily determined from even the most cursory comparison of the material on each of the candidates' sites, you clearly stood out as superior - even going so far as to do your own independent research. You're obviously on a level suitable for national or even transnational educational leadership. For what it is worth, and although perhaps it isn't of any consolation, we did vote for you.

    However, once again, thoughtful and informed voters were greatly outnumbered by those who vote according to superficial, relatively unimportant and/or biased factors such as the feel and familiarity of names, publicity, mindless slogans and third party endorsements.

    In many ways, this relatively minor race is a microcosm of a much larger arena.

    As a famous American author and columnist once wrote so long ago:

    "When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental - men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost ... All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre - the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

    -- Henry Louis Mencken, Baltimore Sun (26 July 1920)

    And such observations give rise to the opinion that so many great men of philosophy have held - that democracy itself is a fundamentally unstable form of government. We are likely living in the final decades of the United States. As much as they might deny it, many Americans instinctively sense that without being consciously aware of the reasons why.

    The type of problems that you have identified with the American educational system are endemic throughout the entire Western World - and can be found in the crucial areas of power such as immigration, the banking system, foreign policy, social programs, the media, etc. It is easy enough to discount all the grossly abnormal paths as resulting from mere mistakes or misunderstandings. However, a great horror lies in the possibility that these acts and goals were deliberate all along - that "they meant to do that". That possibility is so disturbing that most peoples' minds cannot handle the ramifications of it (a horror compounded if there are also contradictions with mainstream church doctrine), and so the sickness marches on misidentified and largely unopposed until conditions get so bad that they are no longer tolerable - at which point the stage is set for rapid downfall and total revolution.

    It is not my intent here to try to help prevent such a catastrophe, for that is not possible so late in the game, but rather to plant a spark in the - to use Thomas Jefferson's terminology - "natural aristocrats" who exhibit some thoughtfulness and nobility, in the hopes that they will awaken more fully (admittedly a very painful and disturbing process that only a rare few are capable of enduring) and then might one day go on to help participate in the leadership of the new civilization that arises out of the ashes of the old.



  • #16

    Marilyn Dudley (Saturday, 17 May 2014 12:16)

    I would like to confirm that you are in favor of not developing a senior test that will keep our students from graduating even if they pass all of their classes. I understand the current test is going away but do not want to see another one in its place.

  • #15

    Mary Kay Bacallao (Friday, 16 May 2014 07:22)

    I am running to bring authority back to parents and teachers, so I am against political groups having complete access to influencing our kids at school. At Mercer we have Mercer police and it is much safer than my previous university where we had a security officer on a bike with only a flashlight to defend us, so I would support a local school district's decision to have officers carrying guns to protect our kids in school. Since the PTA has accepted donations from Common Core supporters I prefer the PTO.

  • #14

    Michelle (Thursday, 15 May 2014 17:52)

    How do you feel about political groups having complete access to influencing our kids at school? How do you feel about officers caring guns to protect our kids in schools? How do you feel about PTA organization or do you prefer PTOs?

  • #13

    Susan Ginter (Thursday, 15 May 2014 13:12)

    Thank you for your response.

  • #12

    Mary Kay Bacallao (Wednesday, 14 May 2014 17:21)

    I am in favor of homeschooling.

  • #11

    Mary Kay Bacallao (Wednesday, 14 May 2014 17:15)

    Position on Homeschool: I am for homeschool. I did homeschool my own children when they were 2 years old, 4 years old, 2nd and 4th grades. Parents should be able to direct the education of their children and homeschool is a great way to make sure children are learning.

  • #10

    Susan Ginter (Wednesday, 14 May 2014 07:24)

    The video you presented on Homeschooling was appreciated. However it does not tell whether you are in favor of or opposed too homeschooling. A response would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • #9

    Leslie (Thursday, 08 May 2014 21:24)

    Did you hear about Indiana?

  • #8

    molly cooper (Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:16)

    I went on the website to make a donation. The site prompt stated it is under construction. Therefore, I could not make my donation to your campaign. Is there another avenue for donations by credit card? Thank You, Molly Cooper

  • #7

    Paul Howell (Monday, 28 April 2014 13:28)

    Excellent website, Very informational
    You have won my vote by answering my questions on the site

    good luck

  • #6, Nancy G. (Monday, 28 April 2014 08:56)

    Since I could find no link or email address for my questions to you I am forced to put them here....Tell me why I should vote for you and who your main supporters are. I am a mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin, etc. of educators that range from certified parapro to school superintendent. So as you see I hear "education" standards and the lack of at every family get together. It makes me happy to see John Barge out of a job and I want to know if you plan to give him employment at the state level or otherwise after he loses the Governors race. I know him on a business level and if he were to even come close to getting in the Governors run-off it would break my heart for the people of Georgia because it would tell me how stupid and ignorant the people of Georgia have become. The courtesy of a reply to the above email address will be greatly appreciated.

  • #5

    marykaybacallao (Monday, 21 April 2014 08:05)

    Thank you for asking. I just added a "donate" tab.

  • #4 (Sunday, 20 April 2014 19:40)

    how to contribute $ and help you get elected?

  • #3

    Dr. Monica Henson (Wednesday, 16 April 2014 10:15)

    I am hosting a series of individual conference calls for state superintendent candidates to have Q & A with Georgia charter school leaders. If Dr. Bacallao would like for me to host a call for her, please contact me at The Georgia Charter Schools association has agreed to cross-promote the calls.

  • #2

    Ken Herron (Saturday, 29 March 2014 21:02)

    Mary Kay,
    I have met you several times. I am impressed very favorably by you. We are both running a difficult race.
    Just wanted to tell you you have my vote.

  • #1

    Gina Stone (Wednesday, 26 March 2014)

    Ms. Bacallao,
    As one of your former students, I would like to wish you the best and to congratulate you on your decision to run for State School Superintendent. I believe that you are an excellent choice. You have consistently demonstrated a passion for education. I am proud to say that I am one of your former students from Mercer University.

Write a comment

Comments: 12
  • #1

    Bob Veley (Friday, 19 October 2012 07:14)

    Hi, very impressed by your credentials and work experience.
    Missing is anything about your personal life - married, divorced, children or lack of, gay, hobbies.
    These ommisions are glaring. We want to know YOU, warts and all.

    You sound like the kind of person we need. Our grandchildren moved here 'cause fayette had the best system in the state. You can restore that. Thanks for the other bios. Bob

  • #2

    Clark Ninneman (Wednesday, 30 January 2013 10:07)


    Appreciated your email and stepping outside the box to say some things about the situation Fayette County is facing in regards to the 2013/2014 School Budget. I wish I could be at the meeting on January 28 to join in the discussion of addressing the challenges we face. You are correct in saying we face some decisions that are not going to make some people very happy.
    I wanted to voice my opinion as a 17 year businessman in Fayette County. Also, serving as President of Metro Fayette Kiwanis and serving as a Board Member for the Downtown Development Authority I believe I can offer some insight into the direction the Board needs to take the School System. I have two kids myself attending schools in the County and believe the decisions facing the current Board will shape the direction and success of this County for the next 20 years.
    First, remember your decisions cannot be based on just balancing and focusing on the Budget for 2013/2014. While, it may seem like cuts in every area are the only way. I want to stress the effect this will have on your planning for future years.
    Second, cutting Middle School Sports and the Fine arts cannot be part of this plan. We have heard for years what participation in these activities mean in regards to the future success of our children. Also, cutting these programs will help next years budget but, beyond that you are just guaranteeing even more difficult planning for the Board in the coming years. Pass the $250,000 costs of Middle School Sports and costs for Fine Arts to the parents of these student by raising the fees to participate. Cutting sports will hurt the High School programs and have a negative effect on property values in this County. The declining values in this County are no longer being caused by the Federal or State Governments; it is now down to the local level. Making cuts in the Fine Arts and Sports will only make residents move out of the County, make potential people considering relocation to the County choose elsewhere, increase the amount of kids switching to Private Schools and ultimately make us just like other Metro Atlanta Counties.
    In closing remember this; The biggest revenue producer for the School System is Taxes. The only way to make taxes go up is by increasing home values. Cutting the Fine Arts and Sports at the Middle School level will only hurt home values. As a banker I am watching people that make over $100,000 a year or more with good credit scores walk away from their homes because of what is going on in this County. I agree with most of the cuts I have read about in the newspaper and realize they must be made. I also realize the time to blame who is responsible for this is over. Don't take away two of the reasons people value this County as one of the best in the State.
    Right now the School Board needs to realize this is not just about schools. You are deciding if we want to stay Fayette County or become Riverdale and Griffin? Please be far sighted and think out of the box; the easy way out is a guarantee to destroying this County. Since, December,the direction that it looks like the Board is going to take has made 7 more homes go up for sale in my neighborhood. These people are leaving the County or moving to a different school district. You will be re-drawing the maps again in 1 or 2 years when McIntosh, Whitewater and Starrs Mill become over crowded again.


    Clark Ninneman

    I agree with you Doctor. Sent this to Leonard on Monday.

    Regions Bank
    Clark Ninneman
    Branch Manager/AVP
    320 West Lanier Ave.
    Fayetteville, GA 30214

  • #3

    Dan Hegrenes (Tuesday, 12 February 2013 17:44)

    Dr. Bacallao:
    I agree we should not close schools - the overcrowding of schools hinders education. Maybe look again at cuts to anybody not in the classroom. Every high school does not need 4 guidance counselors sitting in offices at 60K+ per year. Assistant principals can start teaching a class. Students can help shelve books in the library and so on.
    Thanks for looking into alternatives to school closure.
    Dan Hegrenes

  • #4

    marykaybacallao (Wednesday, 13 February 2013)

    My husband and I have been married since 1989. We have four children, one is in college, two in high school, a senior and a freshman, and one in middle school here in Fayette County. We like to play tennis and sand volleyball. My husband is a high school teacher in another county. We attend church at Trinity. I once had a wart on my thumb but it went away. This is an answer to Bob Veley's questions.

  • #5

    cheap nfl nike jerseys (Monday, 22 April 2013 20:24)

    I agree we should not close schools - the overcrowding of schools hinders education. Maybe look again at cuts to anybody not in the classroom. Every high school does not need 4 guidance counselors sitting in offices at 60K+ per year. Assistant principals can start teaching a class. Students can help shelve books in the library and so on.
    Thanks for looking into alternatives to school closure.

  • #6

    Angela Downs (Friday, 09 May 2014 19:06)

    I am impressed with your position on education issues in Georgia, Dr. Bacallao. I graduated in 1991 from FCHS, so that is the first point for you. The second point is your obvious contempt of the Common Core program. I routinely help my niece with her 5th grade math and am just appalled by the methods used now to teach math. The third point, which I just discovered reading the comments on this page, is that you have a sense of humor. I'm in. You have my vote. Good luck!!

  • #7

    Peyton (Tuesday, 13 May 2014 21:31)

    I saw some of the video regarding Home school and Foster children but didn't sit through the whole thing, slow internet. What is your position on home schooling?

  • #8

    cara mengobati kebas (Monday, 31 October 2016 23:26)

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  • #9

    kids (Friday, 21 April 2017 08:20)

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  • #10

    Donation kids poverty happiness school (Thursday, 25 May 2017 10:14)

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  • #11

    Henroe Batista (Friday, 06 October 2017 10:19)

    Hola, he seguido tu campaña la última vez y estoy muy contento de que vuelvas a correr!

    Gracias por correr y espero que vuelvas a correr.

  • #12

    depoqq (Wednesday, 21 November 2018 19:53)

    nice website thanks for sharring mary i hope u always succes

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