Barry Slaton has officially been appointed to fill the District 4 representative seat on the Dawson County Board of Education, following a unanimous vote by board members during the Sept. 7 work session.
Slaton will fill the seat vacated by his late father, Roger Slaton, who was a pillar of the community and loved by many.
In his time in Dawson County, Slaton has seen many board members come and go, including his father, and his goal, according to a press release by the Dawson County School System, is to continue what has been started by those ahead of him.
“Barry…has witnessed the love and care that the board members have had for the students of Dawson County,” the release said. “Barry states that he will continue in the path of current and former board members to keep Dawson County students, teachers and administrators first.”
Before appointing Slaton to the vacant seat, BOE Chairwoman Elaine Wilson said that, while she and the other board members know that nobody can fill the large vacancy left by Roger Slaton, she and her fellow board members feel that Barry Slaton is a great choice and that they know he will work hard to carry on what his father started.
“We know nobody can fill Roger’s seat, we know that,” Wilson said. “But we wanted a person that we felt like could take on the job that Roger was doing and do it in such a way that we wouldn’t miss a beat, and that it would be somebody that would work with us and have the strong bonding that we have as a board.”
According to the release, Slaton is a Dawson County native who graduated from Dawson County High School with honors in 1980. During his time in the Dawson County School System, Slaton was a student of former DCS Superintendent Lloyd Harbin, played basketball for former DCS Superintendent Nicky Gilleland, and went to high school and college with former DCS Superintendent Keith Porter.
Slaton earned a degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Georgia in 1984 and worked for NCR and then Revenue System in computer sales. He then helped to start a company selling building materials to builders in Big Canoe and nearby areas before beginning his real estate career in 2005.
Slaton is married to Lora Slaton, who is a former Dawson County Schools teacher and is now a realtor. Together, the two own Silver City Group and work to sell real estate in and around Dawson County, a job which they are passionate about, according to the release.
“They love helping families with one of the largest purchases they will ever make,” the release said. “They believe they have been called to help home buyers, whether it is their first time, last time, or even buying a second home. They are passionate about treating everyone the same way.”
Slaton and his wife are active in their church, Silver City Baptist Church, where he is the choir director and teaches Sunday school. His wife is the local campus representative for Dawson County Schools with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), and Slaton has been on the board for FCA for almost 10 years.
“They believe strongly in keeping a Christian influence in front of their students and athletes as they grow and mature in school,” according to the release.
Slaton has three children: Tyler, who is married to Maddie and currently building a new home in Dawson County, Riley, who is married to Devin Gearhart and are moving back to Dawson County with their new daughter and Slaton’s first grandchild Blake, and Abby, who is in tenth grade and plays basketball at Dawson County High School.
Following the approval by the board members, Slaton said that he is humbled and excited to have been given the opportunity to serve on the board.
“It’s an honor and a responsibility that I take very seriously, so I’m excited and a little bit nervous,” Slaton said. “I can’t fill his shoes, but I would love to continue that legacy and hopefully continue what he had done and what all of them do.”
Slaton said that being selected to serve on the board in the county he has been so ingrained in for his whole life is an honor.
“I’ve been involved with the school system for years with some good people, and I just wanna continue that,” Slaton said.
Slaton will be officially sworn in before next week’s Sept. 14 board meeting. He will then serve in the seat as the board appointed member until the position is up for re-election in November of 2022.