Jane Hampton wins Board of Education Place One

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jane Hampton broke into a smile as she heard the final results for the Shelby County Board of Education, Place One. She squeezed Aubrey Miller’s hand as the numbers are read: Hampton–11,719 votes versus her competitor David Nichols’ 10,260. She more than met the 51% majority needed to capture the spot.

“I’m so thankful to everyone who’s helped me get here,” Hampton said to the small crowd gathered in the kitchen of Greg Hart’s house, where she watched the election results come in with her family and friends.

It’s Hampton’s first time to run for office, but she’s been involved with the Shelby County School system for decades. She was a teacher at Valley Elementary, an assistant principal at Inverness and eventually became the principal at Oak Mountain Elementary for 11 years.

“You won’t find a politician in Shelby County who’s worked as hard as this young lady,” Hart said. Hart and his family helped Hampton in the campaign process by rolling flyers, putting up signs and generally supporting her.

Hampton was modest to a fault, refusing to celebrate even when 83% of the boxes were in and she’d nabbed 53% of the vote. When the room erupted into applause she tightened her lips and said “It’s not over yet.”

The race was a close one, and campaigning often took its toll. Today, she fell asleep while preparing dessert for the election party and overcooked a pan of brownies. Despite minor pitfalls like that one, she anticipates all her efforts will pay off in the future.

Hampton is optimistic about her position with the Shelby County Board of Education and has several ideas she’d love to implement.

“My goal is to work with the board to do what’s best for the children,” Hampton said. “I want us to be able to compete with any school system in the country.”

Repeated calls to Nichols were unreturned.