Keen, Rushing seek school board post

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 4, 2002

Incumbent James A. Keen Jr. faces one opponent, Steve Rushing,in his bid to return to a seat on the Lincoln County School Boardfor District 4.

Keen is completing his first full term as a school board member.He was appointed as a school board member and served for threemonths before being elected in 1998.

“I’m satisfied that we made a lot of progress in the last fewyears with the bond issues and school improvements,” he said. “Iwould like to finish what we started and in another term we coulddo a lot of that.”

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Keen said he was not prepared to discuss any future plans he mayhave for the district until after they completed projects they havealready begun.

A graduate of Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Keen joined theU.S. Army after graduation and served in Korea from 1950 to1951.

“That completed my formal education,” he said with a grin.

The school district remains of keen interest to him, he said,because he, his wife, two daughters and a granddaughter allgraduated from West Lincoln. A grandson still attends West Lincolnand a daughter and son-in-law teach there.

Even though he has strong ties to West Lincoln, Keen said hisinterest transcends regionalism and he believes in doing what isbest for the entire district.

“I’m interested in all the schools. I’m not prejudiced towardsany one school and I have friends in each of the county schools,”he said.

Rushing said he first considered running for the office afterbeing approached by people in the district.

“I thought it would give me a chance to have a say in mychildren’s future,” he said. “I have a vested interest in theschool system.”

Rushing has served nearly seven years with the Lincoln CountySheriff’s Department and has been an investigator there for thepast three years.

Rushing admits he has no direct public school system experience,but says his lifetime of being around those in the system hasprepared him for the office.

“I’ve been in or around the school board system all my life,” hesaid. “Both of my parents were teachers and my sister is ateacher.”

His father also served as the district’s superintendent in the1980s.

“I’m willing to listen to the people of my district,” he said.”I’d like to sit down with the board and see what we can do.”

The $3.8 million bond issue recently passed by the residents ofthe district was a good thing, he said, and the schools need tocontinue to strive to improve.

“Without good schools, it is the children who suffer,” hesaid.

Voters can cast their vote in the general election Nov. 5. Onlyvoters in the Arlington and West Lincoln precincts and parts of theJohnson Grove and Zetus precincts will participate in that schoolboard race.

Joann Holmes is running unopposed for the post of Lincoln CountySchool Board District 3.