Best Motivational Speaker

Craig Jelks

Staff Pick

It is entirely possible that teaching middle school is a more difficult job than running the city of Charleston. Craig Jelks, who teaches history to eighth graders at Sangaree Middle School, did not earn the City Paper's endorsement when he ran for mayor last year, but he seems cut out for his current profession. When he came by our office for his interview, he was practically bouncing with energy, and on several occasions when he gave an answer that he was proud of, he whipped out a smartphone and hammered out a note-to-self for future speeches. "Oh, I like that," he told himself aloud after delivering one zinger about Mayor Riley's bike-lane politics. In his closing comments, he delivered perhaps the most memorable Riley quip from the campaign trail. "He represents the record player," Jelks said. "I represent the iPod — Ooooh, Jelks, don't do it to 'em!" He ended up with 281 votes, or 1.78 percent.

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