Born and raised in Wilson County, Jennifer Winfree currently resides across the Dekalb County line; however, her family ties, local political involvement and longtime career at Watertown Elementary School will forever make her a Woman of Wilson at heart.
Winfree, the daughter of Don and Georgia Franklin, has been an educator at Watertown Elementary School for 30 years. She said her father, also an educator, inspired her to teach.
"I saw what an impact he made on his students' lives, and I wanted to emulate that in my own teaching profession," said the first grade teacher.
It was her father who sparked her interest in politics as well. Winfree said Franklin held several positions in Wilson County.
"I believe it is important for citizens to be a part of politics because what happens in government, local, state or federal, affects all aspects of our lives - whether it is education, taxes, social issues or immigration," she said.
Winfree has been involved with several campaigns - including, Senator Lamar Alexander's first senate campaign. She was also the Campaign Chair for Bush/Cheney 2004 and Campaign Chair for Senator Bob Corker.
Winfree co-founded the Dekalb Couny Republican Women's Club and became president two years later. She was chairman of the Dekalb County Republican Party for six years.
Winfree currently serves on the State Executive Committee for the Tennessee Republican Party, District 17.
Other hobbies include reading, boating and fishing.
The woman she most admires is her mother, Georgia Franklin.
"She is lovely, full of energy, a hard worker and a very giving person," Winfree said, adding that she admired the way her mother cared for her father after he suffered a stroke in 2008 until his passing in 2011.
"She took wonderful care of him," Winfree said. "I also admire her for the 50-plus years they were dating and married."
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.