Susan Jones is a first-grade teacher at Satchel Ford Elementary and the mother of twin 14-year-old girls, Rebecca and Elizabeth. Her husband, Bill, is a builder. Jones, 48, fell in love with her husband, Bill, a builder, before she fell in love with Forest Acres, but she said there was no question they would raise their family in the stone house he occupied in the neighborhood during his bachelor years.
What drew you to Forest Acres?
I went to USC in 1984. I finished in 1988 I was doing my student teaching that spring and my parents told me either I could come home and get a job or stay in Columbia and work. I nannied and cleaned house for three weeks and met my (future) husband when I cleaned his house. I couldn’t get a teaching job so I moved back to Williston, a two-stoplight town, 3,000 people, and taught for four years. I dated him long-distance. We got married in 1994. This is the house that I cleaned, and little did I know that we would get married and stay here. I just love this area.
What do you love about the neighborhood?
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I’m six doors down from Satchel Ford. I like to do yard work, and when people drive by they stop and talk to me. It’s a good neighborhood — you see a lot of kids riding their bikes or walking to school. During the year when my girls were in kindergarten (at Satchel Ford Elementary), I met so many people. There was a kindergarten position that came open at the end of the year – at first I said no because I love my job in Richland 2, but then the more I thought about it, I thought it would be nice to be with my girls. I applied and got the job. Who wouldn’t want to teach there? That was the best move that I ever made. I’m a part of this neighborhood, I’m a part of this community. I know everybody because of my job. It brings me back to my hometown roots.
What do you think makes Forest Acres distinctive?
It is a safe neighbrhood. I think it has a sense of family. I think we are centrally located. You can get anywhere within 10 or 15 minutes. I think if you take advantage of what’s here, you have plenty of opportunities to meet people.
What are three hidden gems in Forest Acres?
The Other Store on Bethel Church Road (lunch, live music); Citadel Park on Citadel Avenue; and Rooftop Rhythms, a free music festival sponsored by the city of Forest Acres held several times a year on the rooftop of Richland Mall.