As much as she wanted to, Vera Jones won’t be running for re-election to the Effingham County Board of Education.
Jones and her husband Dennis are selling their home and have a contract on it. She said they tried to stay in District 5, but they couldn’t find what they were looking for, which included room for their RV but a house that wasn’t as big as their current house, since they didn’t need as much room.
“It was my full intention to run again,” Jones said. “When we put our house on the market, we had no idea we would get a contract in a week. We looked and looked and looked. We ran our realtor ragged. We couldn’t find a place.”
On top of that, her son called her and told her that she was going to become a grandmother.
They have found some land in District 2 they like, but that she would have to give up her District 5 seat if the sale of her house goes through and if she and her husband finish the purchase of the land they have their sights on.
“It was a very hard decision,” Jones said. “That’s the situation I’m under. I’ll be in a whole different district. But I’ll still be involved.”
Jones’ term ends Dec. 31 and qualifying for her seat begins Monday. Her sister, Vickie Decker, may run for the seat.
Decker has two children in Effingham County schools and two more who will be.
“I’m happy about that,” Jones said of her sister’s decision to run. “I was excited to hear my sister was interested.”
Jones has served as chairwoman for the last year and a half. She was elected initially as the chairwoman following Charles Heidt’s retirement in January 2007.
“I feel like we’ve made some great strides and great accomplishments,” she said.
Jones pointed to the county’s graduation rate, which was around 66 percent when she joined the school board and is now near 75 percent.
“That is a substantial increase,” Jones said. “We’re continuing to work on that and I’m very proud of that.”
District 2 board member Troy Alford and District 3 board member Lamar Allen have both indicated they will run for re-election.