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INSIDER: Jacoby Jones – Candidate for Effingham County Board of Education

Jacoby Jones is running for Board of Education in Effingham County.
Learn more about him here –>

Due to the social distancing guidelines, we have converted our traditional AllOnGeorgia candidate video interviews into short questionnaires. Each candidate in the race was provided an identical questionnaire with the same deadline. (Questionnaires were emailed to the email address listed on the qualifying paperwork) Candidates were told their answers would be blank in the event that they did not respond. Answers were not edited in any way.

The Primary Election was moved to June 9th.
Early voting begins May 18th.
To sign up to volunteer as a poll worker, click here.


Please provide a brief bio on yourself. 

a. Born and raised Effingham County resident
b. Reared through the Effingham County School System Pre-K – 12 Grade
c. Class President Junior and Senior Year
d. Married my beautiful wife four years ago and we have two beautiful Princesses
e. Family man
f. Bachelor’s in Health Administration and Master’s in Business Administration
g. 5 year employee with St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System
h. Youth Pastor for over 10 years

What types of experiences and understanding of the education system do you believe is necessary to competently serve on the Board of Education?  

a.Educational degrees and academic studies gives me the understanding of business aspects

b.Being a Youth Pastor has made me to be an exceptional servant leader. 

c.Being a Youth Pastor has afforded me the opportunity to work with the children and parents of the ministry, as well as those in the community. I serve because it’s what scripture instructs me to do. “I come to serve not to be served”

What are 3 strengths of which our district can be proud? Why do you see these as strengths? 

a.Culture – the culture and morals are second to none. I believe the family atmosphere is what keeps the district together. In hard times, we lay aside whatever to help a neighbor out. 

b.Diversity – this is a continual growing strength. Having diversity gives more opportunities to serve, learn, glean, and teach. 

c.Learning – over the past few years there has been outstanding growth in advancement of learning for students. Dual Enrollment was the thing when I was in high school, while it still is present the advancements of the Effingham College & Career Academy, STEM learning, and much more has been amazing to see. I see the future of Effingham and cannot wait to serve.

What are 3 needs that must be priorities for our district to address?  

a. More focus on other talents and gifts – I feel that chorus, band, art, and theater should be the next focus. It is an overlooked division in our county. We need an auditorium that we can share the gifts of our students. Every child’s gift should be displayed. In the auditorium paints from students should be displayed for the community to see all areas of gifts our county has. 

b. More focus on other Healthcare areas – I remember coming up that the focus was on nursing, but every student doesn’t necessarily want to be a nurse. Some want to be on the administration side of the healthcare spectrum and I feel see more in the healthcare territory will be a plus that students will learn they can be a future hospital CEO (chief executive officer) or CFO (chief financial officer), they can see that they can go beyond being a nurse and become a NP (nurse practitioner) or CRNA (certified registered nurse of anesthesia).

c. Acceptance – as the world continues to change so will the county. Some things need to be accepted for the betterment of the students, staff, and community at large. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying change everything as we know it, but I am saying allow and accept change that will be for the benefit of the learning of our children. Have I seen change: yes, but I feel that more will be in the near future and accepting a change of guards within the board will be needed as we continue to progress. Similar to track: the first person runs until they met their mark and pass the baton to the next individual to run a little further. Acceptance in all areas is a must.

An individual school board member has no authority; only the board has a whole can make decisions for the district. What skills or traits will allow you to contribute to effective operations of the board as a whole and how do you overcome disagreement?  

Interprofessional collaboration. In my academic days this was a word that was engraved in our minds. It simply means individuals from different disciplines, or backgrounds, working in partnership to meet the needs of those who they serve; in the case Effingham County. Interprofessional collaboration has been around me for many years, way back in school days; i.e. student council. Knowing that a team must work together I understand the simplistic mysteries of team work: communication, listening, understanding, and discussion. When these are present things can and will be accomplished.

If (re-)elected, what would you hope would be key accomplishments of the board during your years of service?

Not applicable. 

Effingham County is very diverse and continues to become more diverse every year – economically, racially, culturally, and in other ways. Is the Board of Education and the school system generally doing enough to adequately represent the needs of the various demographics across Effingham County?

I would have to say no. I feel that because our county is so diverse in all of the areas listed above, the Board should be similar. We should have representation on the board from the different diverse groups in particular cultures and races. Having board members of different diverse groups help give light from a different lens, this is a need for our county that all diverse groups are represented.

What should our school district be doing to ensure the safety of students and staff? 

I feel that Effingham County is the greatest school system in the region. I also feel that safety of students and staff has always been a top priority. Times are changing and we can never be too cautious. I believe if we continue to look at ways to keep our students and staff safe for the times at hand, we will always be prepared.  

How can the Effingham County Board of Education be more transparent about activities and finances?

Honestly, many don’t even know what the job of the board is. In order to be more transparent and clear, the members must be seen in their district. The residents of the community must know who is representing them. That’s the first step. Then have information more readily accessible.

Will any other employment or business venture in which you are vested present a conflict of interest for you as a Effingham County BOE member? Please explain your answer.  

No.

a) In the event of an unforeseen conflict of interest arising in your official duties, how would you ​handle such a conflict to ensure maintenance of public trust?

I will do what is most ethical and morally correct to represent my district, district 3, and the county as a whole. My name is all I have, a good name will take you places money never can.

Jessica Szilagyi is a Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers."

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