Verna Ruffin

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School Board Member Defends Decision Not To Vote

By Empriss Campbell
By ecampbell@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - When the Jackson-Madison County School Board voted to move forward in hiring a superintendent eight of the nine members voted. George Neely was the only one to abstain, which frustrated some community members.

"They all should have a vote and pledge their vote one way or the other," said Mary Ann Cane.

Of the three finalists, Verna Ruffin, an assistant superintendent from Tulsa, Oklahoma received a near unanimous vote. Neely said he just could not vote for any of them.

"I just didn't see the total package there I know other people in the system that I felt like would be very good superintendent candidates people in surrounding counties, but I just couldn't vote for her at this point," said Neely.

Neely said he's just not sure about Ruffins' qualifications.

"She's a great school person, she's a real good curriculum person outstanding in curriculum, but I don't know anything about her leadership abilities," said Neely.

Neely said he is planning to travel to Oklahoma to find out more about Verna Ruffin's leadership abilities.