Cherie Hooks has entered the race for Emanuel County Board of Education District 2. She says she has lived in the county’s southern district near Nunez most of her life and was inspired to throw her hat in the ring after a career in public education that spanned almost three decades.
The wife of Ricky Hooks and mother of Nix Hooks, she graduated from from Swainsboro High in 1985. She then graduated from Emanuel County Junior College (more commonly known today as East Georgia State) in 1987. Two years later in 1989, she graduated from Georgia State University with a BBA in risk management and completed teacher certification add-on courses from Georgia Southern.
Her career began in 1993 at Swainsboro Middle. At that time, she taught career connections exploratory classes.
In 1998, Hooks transferred to her alma mater, Swainsboro High School, where she remained until 2012.
From 1998 to 2012, she served as a business teacher. In her inaugural year at Swainsboro, she also served as adviser of the FBLA chapter and continued to work in that role until retiring in 2020. (A feature on Hooks’s accomplishments related to Future Business Leaders of America, including her latest award from the organization, can be found on page 9.)
In 2012, Hooks was tapped to become the public school district’s Work-Based Learning coordinator. As such, she served students at both local high schools while working with the chamber of commerce to develop the VISION 2020 program, which aimed to build a homegrown workforce.
In addition, Hooks acted as Swainsboro High’s testing coordinator for seven years. In this regard, she was tasked with coordinating all Georgia Milestones and end-of-pathway testing.
Throughout her career, she was chosen as STAR Teacher three times. Hooks was also selected as Swainsboro High School’s Teacher of the Year in 2002. She chaired her department many years, served on the state and national FBLA boards of directors, and was named Georgia FBLA Adviser of the Year and National Outstanding Adviser twice.
When asked what piqued her interest for this particular political endeavor, Hooks connected her livelihood in the classroom to the future.
“Public education is so important to the future of our community,” she said. “A quality public school system is key to the workforce and to community growth.”
She went on to offer that her status as a longtime educator puts her in a unique position to help, if elected.
“I feel that my experience as a 27-year veteran teacher of Emanuel County Schools will be an asset to the board. I understand the challenges of the classroom teacher and building level administrators. I am also a parent of a recent graduate and understand the needs of children and families in public education,” Hooks said. “My 27 years of teaching was in the career, technical, and agricultural education program area, so I know that strong CTAE programs build a skilled workforce. In turn, a skilled workforce brings business and industry and helps grow a community.”
If she wins the bid for BOE District 2, Hooks has a few goals in mind. These include teacher/staff recruitment and retention; spending taxpayer dollars in the best way possible to benefit area children, families, and the community as a whole; and working with businesses and industries to ensure a grassroots workforce is educated right here at home and built through partnerships and programs through the schools.
Hooks came to the decision to run for a board position after mulling it over for a while.
“I have thought about running for a couple of years. I have kept in touch with many of my former colleagues and hear of their challenges and continue to celebrate their successes,” she continued. “I hope to be a voice for teachers, parents, and students. I also want to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars as our school system moves in a forward direction. I want to hear your concerns and work toward solutions to make our public schools the best in the state.”
Currently, Hooks is employed by Georgia FBLA, where she is the Director of Leadership and Training.
Her hobbies include reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. She is a member of Nunez Baptist Church.
The public can reach her at electhooksBOE2@gmail.com about her campaign.