Eddie Warren, chairman of the Bryan County Schools Board of Education, announced today that he will not run for re-election.
“I’ve had a lot of people asking if I was going to run again and I’ve done a lot of soul searching, but 18-plus years is enough,” he said. “It’s been very rewarding and I will continue to work hard for the children and taxpayers of Bryan County until the very last day.”
Warren was first elected to the school board in 2000 and ran for chair in 2006, winning re-election to that seat in 2010 and 2014.
Amy Murphy, who has represented District 3 on the school board since 2012, announced last month that she would resign that seat and run for chair.
Warren said he has had the privilege of working with several great board members over the years and remains dedicated to the district’s classroom teachers, who he said make all the difference in the lives of students.
“It’s a blessing when you see programs put together by teachers that not only work, but work well and help our students,” he said. “You can hire administrators all day long and have any board members you want, but if you don’t have teachers who care about the kids, you won’t have successful schools. They are the backbone of our district.”
Warren pointed to one recent program in particular that has made an impact. Known as “Men of Distinction,” and spearheaded by Al Butler, Cassandra Donaldson and Mario Mincey at Bryan County Middle School, the mentoring program focuses on grades, behavior and attitude among young men at the school.
“That’s an example of something the teachers came up with out of their own hearts and it’s been a huge help,” he said. “The board and the administration didn’t have anything to do with it.”
Warren, an Alabama native, moved to Richmond Hill in 1986 via his work with Wendy’s restaurants. He was involved with the local franchise until 2005, shortly after he and other partners bought the Re/Max Accent real estate office.
His wife, Lori, is a retired educator and all three of their daughters are teachers, including two in Bryan County Schools.
During Warren’s time on the board, the district has built and remodeled several schools and planning is underway for two more, including a new high school in South Bryan. The district anticipates growing by some 3,500 students over the next decade.
“We’re fortunate in Bryan County to have the funding we need to run a good school system,” he said. “As long as we focus on needs and not wants, we’ll be able to continue to have success and produce quality students.”