Jim Franklin is no stranger to the McDuffie County School System. He first came nine years ago to be the assistant principal of Thomson Middle School. Two years later, he was promoted to his current position of assistant superintendent of administrative services.
"I've grown attached to this county and the people with whom I've worked at the central office and in the system," he said in a recent interview with The McDuffie Mirror.
Although his current duties oversee everything regarding the construction, maintenance and security of facilities and the vehicles, bus drivers and transportation, Dr. Franklin said most of his career has been in curriculum and instruction.
He received his bachelor's of science degree in agriculture and science in 1965, his master's degree in education in 1971, and his doctorate of education in 1986, all from South Carolina State University. He also has his specialist's degree in education from the University of South Carolina.
He is certified as a public school teacher, principal, vocational center director, school superintendent, strategic planner, high school supervisor, NASSP assessor, educational evaluator and Notary Public for the State of Georgia.
Before his McDuffie County positions, Dr. Franklin was a principal of Rowland Middle School, of Red Springs High School and of Pate Gardner Elementary School, all in North Carolina. He was an instructor of Educational Administration at South Carolina State University, a school superintendent of Williamsburg County Schools, and assistant superintendent for Human Resources of Darlington County Schools, a director of instruction for Williamsburg County Schools, and educational consultant for the South Carolina Department of Education, the director of curriculum development of McCormick Public Schools, executive director of the Commission of Alcohol and Drug Abuse for Marlboro and Chesterfield counties, a teacher at McColl High School and a teacher at Latimer High School, all in South Carolina.
Dr. Franklin also has served as a psychology instructor at Chesterfield-Marlboro Technical College, a sociology instructor at Midlands Technical College and an instructor of masters and doctoral program educational administrator courses at South Carolina State University, all on a part-time basis in South Carolina.
More than an educator, Dr. Franklin evidently made an impression every where he's been. According to his resume, he was selected as Teacher of the Year at McColl High School, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Man of the Year, was given keys to the cities of both Kingstree and Columbia, S.C., and had a football stadium named after him. The Williamsburg County School Board of Trustees named the Kingstree Senior High School Stadium the Dr. James A. Franklin, Sr., Stadium in October 1999.
"I am task oriented. I am dedicated. I am loyal. I believe in efficiency and effectiveness. The greatest job I ever had was that of a teacher. I am dedicated to the profession and feel that we can do a better job in helping students to succeed in class and in life. That may be why there is a football stadium which bears my name," Dr. Franklin said on his resume.
He also is a founder and the president of the Mims High School Foundation, a community organization in McCormick, S.C., that gives scholarships annually to deserving students.
The foundation not only gives scholarships, but has established a monument and is state and federally non-profit chartered.
Dr. Franklin said he is originally from McCormick, S.C., but now lives in Evans, Ga. with his wife. They have three children.
In McDuffie County, he is concerned with improving parental involvement in the education of the children.
"Intervening early in their education is important," Dr. Franklin said. "It's important that children are prepared for pre-k and kindergarten. ...I want to provide the leadership for higher levels of student achievement while providing every graduate with marketable skills."