|Georgia Superintendent of Schools|
Schrenko was born on July 24, 1949, in Millen, Georgia. She received a bachelor's degree in education from Augusta College in 1972, after which she worked as a teacher and in other educational jobs until her election as superintendent.
In 1994, Schrenko, a Republican, defeated the Democratic incumbent to be elected as superintendent of schools, becoming the first woman, and first Republican elected to statewide office in Georgia. She was re-elected in 1998. She generated controversy by advocating the teaching of creationism in schools and was often in conflict with Governor Roy Barnes. She also started harsh teacher criticisms with creating the Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Test.
Campaign for governor
In 2002, Schrenko sought the Republican nomination for governor of Georgia against Bill Byrne and Sonny Perdue. Schrenko and Byrne were defeated by Perdue, who avoided a runoff by claiming a majority of the primary votes.
The 2002 gubernatorial race would lead to Schrenko’s downfall. She stole $600,000 in federal funds set aside for educational services for deaf children and those in the governor’s honors programs. With the help of her deputy and campaign manager, Merle Temple, Schrenko funneled the money into her campaign.
On November 10, 2004, Schrenko was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges stemming from the 2002 embezzlement. The indictment alleged that a substantial portion of the funds in question had been used to fund Schrenko's campaign for governor and facial plastic surgery.
She pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering, and was sentenced to 8 years in prison on July 12, 2006. She was also fined $414,000 in restitution, and was required to serve 3 years probation and 100 hours of community service upon being released. Schrenko was released from federal prison on March 6, 2013.
- Sandy Hodson (September 25, 2011). "Trio of convicted Augusta politicians await release from prison". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
- Schrenko jury to be selected, April 25, 2006, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, by Beth Warren
- Schrenko indicted on theft charges
- Former Ga. Schools Chief gets eight years, July 12,2006 Houston Chronicle, by Kate Brumback
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