“Mr. Jones, I did my homework,” one student exclaims as she passes Mr. Jones in the hall.
“Hi Paw Paw,” another student shouts as he runs up to give Mr. Jones a big hug.
Mr. Jones is somewhat hesitant to open up about his own experience as a student. As a young boy he struggled through school, and admits that he graduated from high school without really learning how to read.
“I know there are a lot of opportunities I missed out on because of that,” Mr. Jones explained. “That’s why if I see a student sitting somewhere, and they don’t have a book, I make it a point to give them one so they will have something to read.”
Mr. Jones has built meaningful relationships with the youngsters at JFK, not just by handing out books, but also by offering words of encouragement any chance he gets.
“When I walk by a class of students lined up in the hall, I just encourage them to make good choices and get a good education,” Mr. Jones said. “I wish someone had done that for me.”
Mr. Jones has worked for Terrell ISD for nearly 20 years. To JFK Principal Renee Jones, he is an important part of the JFK family.
“Mr. Jones does his job with a joyous attitude,” Mrs. Jones said. “He not only helps keep our building clean, but also encourages our students to work hard and always strive for the very best. He is an incredible man, and we are so lucky to have him as part of our team.”
Mr. Jones dreams of one day purchasing a farm and opening a mentoring program for students. The father of seven and grandfather of 20 says he envisions a place where children will develop a strong work ethic and learn skills both of the mind and the hands. But for now, Mr. Jones plans to continue touching the lives of JFK students by sharing his love for reading and passion for education.