Jeff Sams proud of his school board tenure

Posted September 26, 2018 at 12:11 pm


“I came (from Indiana where he worked) in 1986…and never went back. This is my home.”

Although not even a native of Clinton County and now not an official resident, Jeff Sams, a former member of the Clinton County Board of Education, still considers Clinton County home.

That was one of the things Sams, who recently had to resign his position on the board, said during a recent interview after officially moving his residency to Cumberland County, where he also owns a business and has family members.

Sams, who just turned 50 earlier this month, served the precincts of Snow, Seventy-Six and Cave Springs for almost six years, first being elected in 2012 and was serving in his second term after being re-elected without opposition in 2016.

Sams noted he and his wife Shannon had been looking to buy a home in either Clinton or Cumberland County for sometime, but recently found a home in the Burkesville area they both liked.

Although he looked into the legalities of staying on as a board member in Clinton County until his current term expires at the end of next year, Kentucky Department of Education rules to not allow it.

Sams noted that his oldest son and his wife and a granddaughter reside in Cumberland County and that is also where he works and owns a business (Jones Restaurant), for nine years–he has worked there 14 years.

He said the decision to move was hard but felt it was the best for himself and his family at this point.

The former board member said first and foremost, the best accomplishments he had seen in the Clinton County School District over the six years he was in office was the improvement in academics, “the level of education increase, test scores and an emphasis linked to academics.”

Sams said the improvements in test scores showed the district was holding people accountable for providing our students with the best education possible.

He also noted the acquisition of Somerset Community College–now the Clinton College and Career Center that houses the new Area Tech Center, Central Offices and still provides college and career-ready college courses, was a major accomplishment.

Although there has been talk of new facilities, primarily a new high school, Sams said he too would love to see a new school, but that takes “time and money.”

He also noted that while the academic achievements have increased in Clinton schools, so to has the sports programs and the varied number of activities offered to students.

Sams noted that in the coming years, although no longer a board member, he would like to see teachers equipped with more tools to teach better, especially in this electronic age. “If we had more funding, we could supply more technology, purchase more equipment like Chromebooks and allow teachers and staff to do their work better.”

Sams said the thing he would miss the most about being a board of education member is the fellowship with board members, teachers, and staff.

“We have some great board members, staff, teachers, administrators right on down to mechanics, cooks and maintenance,” he said.

Sams said there were a couple of things he would “not miss” about the position, such as having to make tough decisions about raising taxes or sitting in a disciplinary hearing having to take actions that affect a student and their parents.

Jeff is married to the former Shannon Denny of Monticello, whom he said was his best friend for five years before they started dating and eventually got married a year-and-a-half later.

He has two sons, Michael, 30, and wife Amy and granddaughter Remi, who is 2 1/2, and Seth Smith, age 19, who is training in HVAC repairs with Fortis Institute.

Sams, who is also known for opening school board sessions with prayer and usually making the motion to adjourn meetings, closed by saying he regretted having to resign but appreciated the people of his district giving him the opportunity to serve.