By Denise DuBois
Chattahoochee Valley Community College (CVCC) welcomed its new, permanent president during a reception on Monday. Jackie Screws became the college’s sixth permanent president on Feb. 1. She came from Wallace Community College, but has been a lifetime resident of Russell County.
“I’ve worked for higher education for 30 years, but I’ve never had the opportunity to work for my community. So this job makes it very special for me to come home,” Screws said.
Her favorite thing so far about the college and working in the institution is the people she works around.
“I’ve seen a close-knit community and family here. Couple that with the students that I’ve been able to connect with. I would do just about anything for these students,” she said.
Screws believes highly in the opportunity education affords people. As a first-generation college student, she said she knows hard work, education and working towards a goal are most important.
Jimmy Baker, Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System, said, “It’s exciting. We’ve been looking at the school for a long time and it’s been a long while since there was permanent leadership here. When looking and trying to decide who would be that leader, who we know can succeed and be a long-term president, we were fortunate to have someone in our employment already at Wallace who I’ve watched work for a long time. Obviously she’s been successful. This is where her heart is and we’re excited that we’ve found the right mix.”
Screws said she looks forward to being in the position because this college enriches the lives of so many in the community and the community supports the institution wholeheartedly.
Screws has more than 30 years of higher educational experience and has worked at both the university and community college levels. She began her educational career as a financial aid counselor for Tuskegee University. In 1989, she joined Sparks State Technical College as counselor for the College’s Title III grant, and since then, has held the following positions: Director, Student Support Services; Director, Student Services; and Dean, Student Services for the Sparks State Technical College. In 1999, Sparks merged with Wallace Community College (WCC)- Dothan and she became Dean of Student Affairs for the merged institution. From 2000 to 2018, she served as the Dean of Student Affairs and Dean of the Sparks Campus of WCC.
At WCC, Screws had administrative oversight for the functions of admissions and records, registration, financial aid, recruiting, the federal TRiO programs (Student Support Services, Talent Search, and Upward Bound), athletics, counseling, testing, student activities, and disability support services. Additionally, Screws served as the college’s liaison for student discipline and the compliance officer for Title IX and other civil rights issues.
During her 28-year tenure in the Alabama Community College System, Screws has been involved in numerous state activities and has shared her time and talents with a number of statewide committees and initiatives. She is a past-president of the Alabama Community College Association and currently serves as a member of the organization’s Executive Committee; past-president of the Alabama Deans of Student Affairs Association; and member of the All-Alabama Academic Team Planning Committee, just to name a few. She has also been recognized as the Administrator of the Year for the Alabama Community College System (1994) and Student Affairs Officer of the Year by the Alabama Deans of Student Affairs Association (2004).
Screws has served as an active board member of a myriad of community organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Eufaula, the Eufaula-Barbour County Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Barbour County, Leadership Barbour, and the Career and Technical Education Taskforce for Eufaula City Schools.
Screws has been married to her husband, Larry Screws, for 29 years and they have two daughters, Kendra Alexis, 27, who resides in Birmingham, and is practicing as a registered occupational therapist; and Morgan Sinclaire, 21, who is a senior Computer Information Systems major at Tuskegee University.