On Tuesday, Kevin Dukes won another term as the superintendent of Jackson County Schools. Dukes defeated challenger Kimberly Pair-Coates, who ran as an independent, in the general election 12,439 to 2,983, winning just over 80%.
“It’s really humbling,” said Dukes regarding the win. “We’ve got good people and it’s obvious that Jackson County loves what we’re doing based on tonight.”
Dukes recently oversaw the ground-breaking of a multi-million-dollar technology and career center in the Jackson County Industrial Park that will provide opportunities for AP Computer Science, STEM education and technical training for the school’s students.
The facility has garnered attention from state and federal law makers who see it as an important step towards the future of North Alabama.
Dukes has also put an emphasis on school safety and the mental health of students, while managing the school system’s return during the Coronavirus Pandemic implementing measures to keep students safe.
Over the last four years, Dukes has overseen an increase in the schools’ performances from an overall grade of a “C” to a “B” from the Alabama State Department of Education during that time and believes that the system will continue to improve.
In an interview Dukes said that initially the transition into the position was difficult, but now he feels he has begun to see the projects he started have an impact on the school and students.
“The first year or so it takes you a while to get going, but about a year and a half to two years in you can see things that you’ve implemented get going,” said Dukes adding that he is excited he will be able to see the completion of the Innovation Center.
Dukes hopes to continue to work on school safety, mental health and stated that he wants to continue to be innovative in the school system’s utilization of technology.
“We’re really excited the direction that our schools are moving forward,” said Dukes, while discussing what’s next for the school system, adding, “at Jackson county schools we want to be the best at everything that we do.”