SPRINGFIELD — Troy Alford stepped down so someone he loves could take a career step upward.
Alford resigned as District 2’s representative on the Effingham County Board of Education on June 2 just before it went into executive session to vote on personnel matters. Included among them was the promotion of his son, Judd, to assistant principal at South Effingham High School. Judd is a longtime teacher at the school.
“It’s been a fun ride, y’all. Thank you,” the outgoing board member said after his resignation was begrudgingly accepted.
Normally gregarious, Alford could barely speak while thanking his wife, Becky, for her assistance during his 17 years of board service, including the last several as vice chairman. He called her “my all” and “my secretary.”
Alford regained his composure while discussing the school district’s reputation for student success.
“I can go on and on with you folks out there who work in this system,” he said, referring to the board, administrators, teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and more as “my second family.”
A state law enacted in 2009 prohibits school board members and superintendents from having immediate family members in high-ranking positions in the districts they serve.
Superintendent Dr. Yancy Ford read Alford’s resignation letter before the board accepted it. In part, it read, “We have helped build a wonderful and outstanding school district that is the envy of so many throughout the state of Georgia. To my fellow and most of our former board members, thank you all for the fun and laughs we have had along this journey. I will cherish the great times.”
In his letter, Alford expressed opposition to the law that forced his resignation, a view echoed by District 3’s Lamar Allen, the board chairman. Both were elected to the board in 2004.
“I do appreciate everything that he has done,” Allen said.
The board honored Alford, an avid and longtime South Effingham supporter, with a video tribute and trophy before going into executive session. He also received a poster adorned with candy bars from Effingham County Middle School.
Introduced by Ford, the video was backed by the sound of Wilson Pickett’s 1965 hit “Mustang Sally.” The board and audience broke into sporadic laughter as a photos from Alford’s younger, thinner days appeared on the screen. His wife, children and grandchildren were among those who chuckled.
Ford called Alford “the life of the party” before taking a serious turn.
“Your kind heart for people and love for our students has always been at the forefront of your decision making,” he said. “I know we all will miss you — we will miss working alongside you as a board member — but I truly look forward to working with you as a community member and a proud supporter of the Effingham County School District.”