Northeast Cherokee County resident Patsy Jordan will soon become the newest member of the Cherokee County School Board.
She defeated incumbent Kim Cochran in the July Republican primary and had no Democratic challenger in the Nov. 6 general election. She will serve in the new Post 2, which encompasses east and northeast Cherokee.
Jordan, a retired Cherokee County School District educator, has 37 years of experience in education and has worked as a paraprofessional, school secretary, county payroll officer, school bus driver, classroom teacher, mentor and college supervisor.
She has an Ed.S in curriculum and instruction and her endorsements include gifted and teacher support specialist.
Jordan and Husband Franklin "Bug" Jordan live in the Mica community and are members of Mica Baptist Church where she is the pianist.
Jordan discussed with Patch her plans in her new capacity as school board member.
1. Now that the dust has settled, how do you feel about starting this new position?
I am excited about the prospect of making a difference as District 2 school board member. I will bring a unique perspective to the school board since I have worked in education for 37 years in seven different job classifications. School employees are my heroes. They encounter challenges that no other job market endures, yet their passion and love for the job overshadows all obstacles. My love and passion for education will bring hope and a positive outlook for all stakeholders. It is my desire to be a steward of the community and represent the wishes of the community as a whole. I am willing to work hard and make decisions in a firm, fair, and consistent manner for the sake of all children.
2. What are some of your major goals you'd like to achieve?
One of the major goals I’d like to achieve involves the most pressing problem Cherokee County School District is facing which relates to funding. Decreased state and federal funding, and lower property values, have resulted in furlough days, larger class sizes and decreased faculty through attrition. At present, we are also faced with the increase of health insurance for employees. Another goal is to work with the local board of education, and all county and state elected officials, to communicate that I am a team player, and will advocate for the public education system. My decisions will always reflect the best educational opportunities for all children in the Cherokee County School District.
3. What challenges do you think you face as an elected official?
As an elected school board member I face the challenge of voting on policies proposed by the administration to implement the day to day operations of the school district. The challenge is to set policies first and foremost that will impact the safety and academic achievement for all children. Student achievement is not possible without a safe and secure learning environment.
4. What are you looking forward to the most?
I look forward to keeping abreast of current educational issues and communicating in a professional manner with fellow board members in regard to issues. I look forward to communicating with my constituents to value their voice and opinions. It is as a passion for education that I look forward to embracing my belief that all children can achieve at higher levels and acknowledging the accomplishments thereof.
5. What do you think are some challenges facing Cherokee County School District and what are some specifics you want to do to address those challenges?
The furlough days, larger class sizes, and increase in employee health insurance are the major challenges that CCSD is facing. Funding cuts and higher insurance premiums reduce compensation for all employees, especially classified employees. Teachers and staff are asked to do more with less. It is important to keep staff morale high and improve our economic state. And, so it is imperative that state and federal funding be restored for these critical issues to be resolved in the future.
6. Are there any smaller, less pressing issues you want to address?
At the present time, we must focus on the critical issues which I have addressed in relevant questions. All issues, great and small are hinging on funding at this time.
7. What do you hope to take away from this experience?
In four years, my hope is that the STEM and Fine Arts Academies will expand to the middle and high school levels. I would also like to see vocational education expansion for those students who are not inclined to attend college, but have a desire to improve their skills in a field of their interest. My ultimate goal and hope is that in four years I will reflect and know that I made a difference in the lives of children through making decisions that will positively impact and provide all children the opportunity to become productive citizens for Cherokee County.
8. What do you want voters to know about you?
I appreciate the trust voters have in me to serve as Post 2 school board member. I recognize that the authority of the board rests only with the board as a whole and not with an individual board member. I will support the delegation of authority for the day-to-day administration of the school district to the local superintendent. My position is to adhere to the board’s code of ethics and follow the chain of command. I do not bring a political agenda as a new board member. I am willing to listen and learn first before making decisions. I have respect for the excellent public education system of Cherokee County. Student achievement and safety will always be at the forefront of my decision making. I have a passion for education and there is a need to share and maintain that passion to project an image of care for the economic and professional climate our students need to blossom and grow into productive citizens. I am about all children receiving a first class education regardless of gender, social, religion, ethnic, academic or economic status. Every member of Cherokee County has a stake in the success of our public school district and every child is the reason I commit to perseverance as I begin my journey as Post 2 school board member. I am humbled and proud to represent all stakeholders.