Meadors won't seek second term on BOE

Jeff Meadors

Jeff Meadors

COVINGTON — Newton County Board of Education member Jeff Meadors has announced that he does not intend to seek re-election to a second term next year.

Meadors, who was first elected in 2010, said the requirements of service on the BOE have created scheduling conflicts with other professional responsibilities.

“I am pursuing other interests that would prevent me from being confined to bi-monthly meetings, hearings, and appeals,” Meadors said Thursday.

Meadors serves as coordinator for dual enrollment for Georgia Perimeter College and is widely known as a champion for the program. Under Meadors’ guidance, the program has exceeded its goal this semester, enrolling more than 1,000 students in more than 5,000 semester hours college-wide.

“There are other avenues where I feel that I can make a greater difference in education, particularly when it comes to college readiness,” Meadors said.

Meadors said he felt his fiscally conservative stance was sometimes out of step with some other board members.

“Quite clearly, based on voting patterns, you can’t possibly make much of a difference unless you have two more people who say, there’s waste here and waste here and waste here,” he said.

By announcing his intention not to seek re-election now, Meadors said he hoped it would give other potential candidates time decide if they want to run.

“Since I have no intention of running maybe it will give some really good candidates a period of time to announce their platforms,” he said.

Meadors’ term on the board, which expires in December 2014, has not been without controversy. During his second year in office, he was named in a civil defamation lawsuit filed by former Alcovy High School Principal LaQuanda Carpenter. The lawsuit originally named 11 “John Does” who commented about Carpenter on the Newton Citizen website. Carpenter later dismissed the 11 and alleged that Meadors made comments on the website under pseudonyms or gave information to others who posted the comments. Carpenter ultimately withdrew the lawsuit and has since resigned from Alcovy and moved to another state.

Attorney Jeff Foster, speaking on behalf of Meadors at the time of the dismissal, adamantly denied Carpenter’s allegations.

“Mr. Meadors has never had a need to hide behind anonymity, as he has always been willing to express praise or criticism, whichever is due, publicly and in his own name. Mr. Meadors’ hope and prayer for the future is the same as always, the best interest of the students of Newton County,” Foster said at the time.