Like many parents, Vickie Decker moved to Effingham County for the school system. Now she wants to help improve the system by serving on the board of education.
Decker will run unopposed in District 5 in November.
Decker was born in Jacksonville, Fla., and her parents moved to Pooler shortly after that. She moved to Effingham a little more than seven years ago.
“My children — the school system” brought Decker to the county, she said.
“We were living in Chatham County and weren’t very impressed with the school system there,” Decker said. “At the time we had two children. Private school is very expensive, and the schools up here, they were safe. Safety was a big issue.
“Parental involvement—the county up here seems like they were very big on parental involvement, and that was something I jumped right into,” she said. “I’ve been involved with the PTA, volunteered in the classroom when my daughter was in first grade, and I was chairperson for staff appreciation at Blandford Elementary the year before last. I like that aspect of it, that I could go to the school and feel welcome at the school.”
She said the school appreciated and welcomed parental involvement. It has been a good learning environment for her children.
“We’ve always been very pleased with the teachers they’ve had,” Decker said. “They were very warm, and they cared about the kids. That was important to me.”
Decker has four children. Two are currently in the system; both will be attending Ebenezer Middle School in the fall. Her other children are 3 years old and 9 months old.
Decker said she decided to run for the board because she loves children.
“I feel that every child deserves an opportunity to have the best education possible,” she said.
She said how better to be a part of making that possible than by serving on the school board.
She said she was concerned about the CRCT and the testing. The graduation rate has come a long way, but she would like to see greater improvement in that area.
“The changing with the CRCT this year, and the dramatic drop with the pass rate, I have a special concern on that, given that I have a son going into the eighth grade this year,” Decker said.
“I would like to see some additional funding for training for teachers to improve services for some of the students with special needs.”
She said one area she would like to see would be programs similar to reading recovery added to additional grade levels.
“I think things like that help the teachers,” Decker said. “When I volunteered in my daughter’s first grade classroom, there was one student and he was struggling with his AR (accelerated reader program). I was just a parent that went in and did whatever the teacher needed, but I focused with that student. I would read with him and help him test and work with him.
“By the time he finished the first grade, he was actually passing his AR. That was very rewarding for me.”
She also believes the advancements that have been made with the additional vocational programs and charter schools should be continued.
Decker said she noticed at the most recent board meeting that there was a vast improvement in the science portion of the high school graduation test, and that was attributed to a content specialist.
“That’s something I would like to see in every subject,” she said. “If there’s some way to go in there and have that added all the way around because obviously that paid off.”
Decker is a national sales executive for Merchant’s Credit Bureau, a member of Mortgage Banker’s Association, and is past president for Mortgage Bankers association.
“A lot of things I do revolve around my children,” she said. She is involved in the PTA. She attends Rincon Church of God.
Decker said she would tell people in her district she is a good choice for the board because she has “their child’s best interest at heart.”
“I would do whatever within my realm of capability to help their child succeed,” she said. “To me that’s what school’s about. It’s about helping children get an education so they can be successful.”