Jones College’s 2021 Alumni Association Honor Alumni of the Year Wayne
Folkes is a 1981 JCJC graduate who is a Seminary native and Oak Grove resident. He will be recognized during homecoming, on Saturday at the Alumni Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. in the A.B. Howard Gymnasium and during halftime of the JC football game against Southwest.
“As I look back at the legacy of this great institution and the people who were impacted by JCJC, I am proud of how Jones gives opportunities for students to excel, succeed, learn, develop lifelong friendships and become successful in all walks of life,” Folkes said.
The Chief Operations Officer and Assistant Superintendent for the Lamar County School District has been an educator for 39 years. He began his career in education in 1983 coaching everything at Oak Grove High School. For more than 16 years, Folkes has served his alma mater as a JCJC Foundation Board Member, and as an Alumni Association Vice President and President. Currently, he is serving as the Foundation Nomination Committee Chairperson.
“Wayne Folkes is a true representative of the Homecoming Theme, ‘Jones Family 2021,’” said Joel Cain, vice president for Advancement and Athletics. “His family’s loyalty to the college and their outstanding dedication to the education profession are qualities we wanted to honor with Wayne Folkes as the best representative to be the 2021 Honor Alumni.”
The 1979 Seminary High School graduate excelled academically and on the basketball court. He was voted Most Intellectual in 1979 and played baseball and basketball, earning All-Conference honors in both sports. Continuing to play basketball for the JCJC Bobcats, Folkes earned the JCJC Bobcat Basketball Award in 1981.
“My family had a long-standing tradition of attending Jones County Junior College,” Folkes said. “The path was paved for my career in coaching, education and administration. JCJC is family to me. The friends and the relation- ships that were built here at JC continue to this day. I am thankful for the impact Jones made in my life.”
Folkes also served in various capacities with the Mississippi High School Activities Association. In 2010, as the principal for Oak Grove, Folkes began serving on the National Interscholastic Advisory Committee for the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security or NCS4.
Oak Grove became the first High School Pilot Test Site for the NCS4. Folkes assists the agency still in exploring the best practices for spectator sports while serving on the committee with other international and national professional and college sports representatives. Despite his many professional-related affiliations and work with numerous organizations, Folkes found time to devote to his community and church as a member of the Concerned Citizens of Lamar County.
His parents Billy Folkes and Sarah King Folkes met at Jones while riding the bus from Covington County to Ellisville. His father graduated from JCJC in 1958 and his mother attended JCJC in 1956-57. His sister Madelyn Folkes Lofton came to Jones for two years, 1978-80, and was on the Lady Bobcat basketball team.
Wife Karen Aultman Folkes was in the band’s colorguard and she also graduated from JCJC in 1981. Their children Katie and William continued the legacy and were JC campus leaders. She was a member of the colorguard and she served in the Student Government Association as president in 2011-12. She now teaches history at Oak
Grove High. He came to Jones in 2013 and was elected as the SGA vice president in 2014-15. He works for WFTV news as a multi-media platform producer in Orlando, Fla.
“Being the 2001 Jones College Honor Alumni is really an honor that reflects the blessings of so many people in my life,” Folkes said. “They poured into me and that’s why I pour into others. I’ve been very blessed.”