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Clarendon School District 1 Superintendent Rose Wilder first met late board member James Jones when she moved to Clarendon County in 1987.
“I’ve always known him to be a fair and decent man,” she said. “Whenever he told you he would do something, he did it. He was a man of his word. I’m honored to consider myself as one of his friends.”
Clarendon County Board of Education Chairman George Wilson agreed.
“He always told you what he was going to do, and then he did it,” Wilson said.
District 1 officials, faculty, staff and students came together in April to rededicate the Scott's Branch Middle-High School gymnasium in Jones' memory. Jones died Oct. 14, 2014, at the age of 76. Board members proposed shortly after his passing that the gymnasium be renamed in his honor.
Jones had served on the board for 25 years, first in an appointed position. Wilson said Jones later resigned so he could run for the office to which he'd been previously appointed.
“He was a complete man of character,” Wilson said. “He got re-elected after resigning. I thought that spoke very highly of him. Every time he ran, he had no serious opposition to being elected to the board. People of that school district really respected him. You can tell that.”