First elected to the Bulloch County School Board from District 6 in 2014, Jimmy “Jay” Cook Jr. is seeking a third four-year term to help maintain focus on pursuing plans and projects.
These include efforts “that will continue to help improve our school culture, student success, facilities and leadership for the future,” he wrote.
Cook takes on a challenger, Mary E. Boyer, also featured in this edition. Voters in BOE District 5 choose between them in early voting which ends on Friday and Election Day on Tuesday, May 24.
Having served on the board since January 2015, Cook brings “a wealth of knowledge about our past and present continuous improvement journey,” he said. Cook sees the school system’s recent reaccreditation report as evidence of progress.
Cognia, one of two nonprofit organizations approved to accredit public schools in Georgia and which also accredits schools in many other states, gave Bulloch County schools an overall rating above the national average.
“I am an individual who has demonstrated that I can be responsible and passionate in how I participate with all of my fellow board members in the governance of our school district,” Cook continued, in response to what he has to say. offer as a board member.
Describing himself as “a skilled listener who represents the community, not a single constituency,” Cook wrote, “I strive to help us always be open to community concerns, but also remember that we all serve best kids by being focused and moving forward.”
Herald: What are your top concerns for Bulloch County schools, their students (and parents), teachers, and staff?
To cook: “It is important that we remain attentive and attentive to the real needs of the children of this community. The global pandemic has had and will continue to have long-term effects on student achievement, child and employee mental health, and school district employee recruitment efforts.
That, he said. That’s why the board and the superintendent were very intentional in creating a plan for the use of federal relief funds.
“We have deliberately planned to use these funds over the next five years to support programs such as our summer learning academies to address these concerns,” Cook wrote.
Herald: What changes or improvements would you like to see in the schools? What would you like to see continue? (What have you and the board accomplished in your years of service?)
To cook“I want us to have a more formal process in place to ensure that all children have a positive relationship with at least one adult or peer in their school who supports them on their educational journey. Also, in addition to the physical safety and mental well-being of children, I would like to look for ways to expand the offerings to our more advanced learners while continuing to meet the needs of all children.
As for the things he wants to continue, Cook said, “Over the past 12 years, the school district has really sought to build leadership capacity and encourage leadership from the classroom to the boardroom. I want us to continue these efforts. We are now seeing the fruits of those efforts reflected in the district’s most recent reaccreditation process.
He noted that Cognia gave the school system a score of 340.48 out of 400 points this year, up from a reaccreditation score of 281.71 in 2017.
Cook also sent a long list of accomplishments from the school system, from the voter-approved education strategic plan and SPLOST and key projects he has funded to this year’s pending salary increases for school employees. school and planning for an additional school.
Herald: How would you reconcile the interests of taxpayers with the needs of students and school employees?
To cook: “Our focus on the needs of our students and the collaboration within this community is evidenced by our recent accreditation report as well as our current plans to address the critical challenges facing our students as a result of the global pandemic. … In addition to all of this, the district continues to maintain one of the lowest property tax rates in the state.
Cook is the vice president of the Truist Bank branch in Statesboro.
Originally from Pembroke, he has lived in Statesboro for 40 years. He and his wife, Candice C. Cook, a registered nurse, have a son and a daughter, fraternal twins. Now 21, they both graduated from Bulloch County Schools and went on to study at Georgia Southern University.
Jimmy Cook also earned his bachelor’s degree in public accounting and finance from Georgia Southern.
Before being elected to the school board, he served as president and treasurer of the parent-teacher organizations of two of the primary schools – Sallie Zetterower and Langston Chapel – and their school councils.
A member of Compassion Christian Church and its board of directors and the Statesboro Kiwanis Club, he has served on the boards of the United Way and the American Cancer Society and has volunteered with several other charitable service organizations. non-profit.