Born and raised in Plains, Georgia, Erma Wakefield Jenkins is the daughter of Reverend T. R. Wakefield, Jr., a retired Methodist Minister. Jenkins and her father share the same birthday, June 16.
After graduating from Sumter County High School in Americus, she continued at Fort Valley State University earning a bachelor of science in music education. Later Jenkins earned a master of education from Georgia Southern University in school administration and supervision and an educational specialist degree from Georgia College and State University, also in administration.
Jenkins began her career in Montgomery County as a music instructor for one year before starting her long service to Emanuel County as a second grade classroom teacher at Swainsboro Primary School. In 1985, she was named lead teacher/assistant principal of the school and was promoted to principal in 1989. Jenkins served in that capacity until 2000, when she was promoted to the Central Board Office as Director of P-5 Curriculum and Instructional Technology. She served as Director of Curriculum for the system from 2003-2006. Jenkins was promoted in 2006 to Assistant Superintendent for Support Services, a position she held until being named Superintendent of Emanuel County School System.
As Superintendent, Jenkins set her sights on maintaining superior performance and educational excellence throughout Emanuel County Schools. Her focus has been on teaching standards rather than focusing on test scores and seeks parent and community involvement.
Superintendent Jenkins has served as Chair of the Emanuel Medical Center’s Hospital Authority, Emanuel County Health Department, Emanuel County Health Department Board of Directors, Southeastern Technical College Board of Directors, Treasurer of the Emanuel County 4-H Club Foundation, CSRA’s RESA Board of Control, and is a Franklin Memorial Library board member. She has also been awarded the President’s Award by the Georgia School Superintendents Association (GSSA).
Superintendent Jenkins is married to Donald Jenkins, Retired Educator/Administrator of the Emanuel County School System. They have three children: Dorna Demetrus Taylor, an attorney with Taylor and Associates; Donald K. Jenkins, II, Contract Attorney with AT&T Communications; and Robert T. Jenkins, Shipping with Claxton Poultry. They also have three grandchildren: Ashlee Morgan Taylor, William Taylor, IV, and Kayden Sumpter.
Superintendent Jenkins plans to retire from her position on June, 30, 2014.