Michael Jones

Principal | Liberty-Eylau Middle School

Michael Jones is currently employed with the Liberty-Eylau School District as their middle school principal and has served the Leopards for a total of nine years. “I initially started nursing school but quickly realized that path was not for me. I began working while going to school, and a principal approached me about coming to work for them as an aide, which intrigued me. I then started applying for aide positions and was hired at Liberty-Eylau. While working, my principal at the time encouraged me to obtain my teacher certification because she felt that I would be a great teacher. I already thought about doing so, but this was a form of confirmation for my path. I completed my degree, obtained my certification, and began work as a Fine Arts teacher.” 

Working in education for 15 years, Jones has transitioned through grade levels and schools. He says, “I started as an aide at Liberty-Eylau and worked in that role for five years. I then transitioned to be the Music teacher at the then “Rock School,” where I served for a year. From there, I moved to Texarkana ISD (Westlawn Elementary) as a Fine Arts teacher for two years and fifth grade Science teacher for three years.” Despite all the moving, Jones aimed to return to Liberty-Eylau because it was home. The opportunity finally presented itself to return and become the fifth-grade Social Studies instructor, and he quickly applied for and accepted the job. Little did Jones know he would not permanently settle into the Social Studies instructor job but would interview and receive the Assistant Principal position. After serving for two years, he took on the role of Principal, where he could meet the campus’s needs. “Ultimately, my overall goal was achieved; to return home and give back to my community,” Jones says.

With multiple years of experience, Jones communicates a powerful message to those interested in education. “Be sure your heart is in it. Make sure that you can see yourself getting up every day and impacting the lives of children even when you do not feel your best. Know that there will be days where the lesson doesn’t go as you planned or the students don’t respond like you think they should.” Jones believes that as educators, you must learn to monitor, adjust, and remember you are constantly shaping young minds. “I [also] believe that as our world changes, educators need to understand each student’s background and learn the students as individuals because not every student will learn the same or at the same pace. We need to be able to adapt and teach each student, reach them where they are, and help them get where they need to be,” Jones comments. 

As Jones reflects on the most rewarding part of being an educator, he notes that “seeing students succeed” is the best. Jones continues, “I love when they have those ‘aha moments.’ I enjoy talking with students daily and watching them mature throughout the year.” To keep the days excellent and frequent, Jones believes that it is essential to establish a good relationship between him and the community of parents and students he serves. “There has to be an open line of communication, not just you talking, but also listening to them to obtain their point of view so that you better understand where they are coming from. There also has to be expectations, set clear guidelines of what you expect from students and communicate that to the students and parents; that way, when and if there is an issue, the dialogue has been established.”

Challenging days do lie ahead for Jones as he begins this school year. “I believe the most challenging part for me this year will be the shift into a new position. I know that with this change, I will have to delegate many things, which is hard for me because I am a very hands-on person. However, I am motivated by my family; knowing that they support me, I want to do my best to make them proud. Also, I am motivated by my students and staff, knowing that they count on my leadership and guidance. I want to do what is best for our school,” Jones says.

Jones’s most significant accomplishment in his career is simple yet striking. “I can work in the school where I sat as a middle school student, pouring into students like myself, being an example of what they can achieve,” Jones said. “I stay in the field of education because, as Rita Pearson said, ‘Every kid needs a champion.’ I want to be the adult who never gives up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best version of themselves they can possibly be.”

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