EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of articles about those in Cherokee County who are slated to take office for the first time in January.
Newly elected Cherokee Board of Education member Patsy Jordan is already excited about the job she will step into in January.
As the top vote-getter in the Republican primary July 31 for the District 2 seat, Jordan will take office in 2013.
For now, she is focusing on her family, her gardening passion, and plans for the future of the school system of Cherokee County.
“The response has just been overwhelming. Everyone is so excited. We are a small community, everyone still knows everybody,” said Jordan, who lives in the tiny Mica community on Yellow Creek Road in north Cherokee.
“My mother is 85 and she is just overjoyed. I have had so many nice comments from those I have worked with in the past. I am really humbled by the whole thing,” the new school board member said of the response to her election.
Jordan is eager to talk about what she hopes to accomplish on the board of education.
“I’m excited about looking at ways that we can lower class sizes, because when I first taught I had 16 students, now they are having 30-plus kids in the classroom,” Jordan said. “First and foremost, I want to do something about that. I would like to work with the state to get the funds we should be getting.”
She is also concerned about furlough days and how they affect both teachers and students.
“I understand funds are just not there. I know it is happening in all counties. I am concerned with furloughs. And would like to see less furloughs,” she said. “I know that it is tough on families, especially those with two members working for the school system.”
Jordan said she would like to see more vocational courses offered for those who are not going to college, as that is a way to keep those students interested.
“Vocational classes give them an outlook, a reason to stay in school. If you have those students who are not inclined to go to college, you need to capture those skills and help them in the job market,” Jordan said.
Jordan herself worked in a bank while a vocational student at Cherokee High School, but said she always knew she wanted to be a teacher.
“I knew I was going to be a school teacher when I was 5 years old,” she said.
Jordan attended Ball Ground Elementary, then Cherokee High School, where she was involved in FBLA and chorus.
“After school I got a job as a (special education paraprofessional), and I knew I had my foot in the door,” she said.” I drove a school bus for five years while a parapro, that is when I went back to school and I used that money to pay my tuition and get through college.”
She went straight through — never missing a semester, even during summers — and earned an associate degree from Reinhardt College; a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Breneau University; and a specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University.
In 1995 she was certified as a teacher.
Today, she supervises candidate teachers for Reinhardt University, since retiring from the classroom.
“I have three teachers in school district this semester. I feel it is one of the greatest positions I could hold. One teacher who is doing her student teaching I taught in fourth-grade,” she said.
In her spare time she enjoys gardening, and grows both vegetables and flowers on her family’s 69-acre farm.
“I enjoy gardening, especially in summer. I was raised on a farm. I love it,” Jordan said. “We grew 200 dozen ears of corn, we freeze it, give it to our neighbors and family. We call it a community garden.”
Jordan said her family has owned their farm for 75 years and that she was born and raised there.
Her mother was also born and raised there and went to Mica School, and later the old Etowah school.