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Jones is UCPS 2008 Principal of the Year

John Jones, principal at Walter Bickett Elementary School, center, has been named the 2008-09 Wachovia Principal of the Year for Union County Public Schools. UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis, left, made the announcement during the Tuesday, October 7, 2008, Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year Awards Luncheon. Also pictured is Assistant Superintendent of Administration Dr. Mary Ellis.

John Jones, principal at Walter Bickett Elementary School, has been named the 2008-09 Wachovia Principal of the Year for Union County Public Schools.
When announcing the 2008-09 winner of the title, UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis said Jones is very deserving of the recognition. “This principal models every one of my five core expectations,” he said, referring to excellence, teamwork, professionalism, problem solving and having a positive attitude.
“He’s one of the most positive team players in our school system and always looks for the silver lining of every cloud,” Davis said. “He’s done a wonderful job of leading several schools in this school district.”
In accepting the award, Jones said he grew up in a family of educators, and noted that his father was a principal in Chesterfield County, SC. Jones said he had tried other careers in his lifetime, but always came back to education.
“On my death bed, I may not be thankful for the hours I spent as a principals, but I’ll be thankful for the purpose,” Jones said. “There’s something to be said when you’re fulfilling a purpose in your life. And I think that educators in Union County do that.”
Jones said he is honored to be chosen among such high quality educators in the Union County Public School system. “To represent you, to be among all of these principals of the year – whether you were nominated at a dinner or by a student who said thank you because of the difference that you made in his life – I’m very grateful,” Jones said.
“Sometimes I get weary in it, but I’m not weary of it,” Jones said. “I’m thankful to be in this job and I’m thankful to serve with you. And I’m thankful for the leadership of this school system.”
Jones will now go on to compete regionally in the Wachovia Principal of the Year Program with other principals from the Southwest Region. The six regional winners then compete for the state title in the spring.
Also announced during Tuesday’s luncheon is the winner of the 2008-09 Assistant Principal of the Year Mamie Blevins. “She has been a diligent and dedicated administrator in the Piedmont and Parkwood districts,” Davis said. “In addition, she has done an excellent job directing the summer school program.”
“Union County does provide a great deal of resources and opportunity to its assistant principals and administrators and because of that, I get to work with and learn from the best administrators in the state on a daily basis,” Blevins said. “And I appreciate it. Thank you.”
Davis referred to the assistant principal’s role as the training ground for the principalship. “We’re blessed with many outstanding leaders in this district, and I’m proud to say that many of them came up through the ranks as assistant principals,” he said.
Davis commended all the principals and assistant principals for the quality of nominees that were chosen. “Anyone on that list of principals is deserving of being recognized as principal of the year,” he said.
Davis added that the luncheon is a celebration and validation of the hard work that school principals and assistant principals do every day. “It’s a very difficult and complex job being a school principal and assistant principal,” he said.
Jones and Blevins were first nominated by peers, and then voted on by UCPS principals and assistant principals.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, Publications Coordinator
Posted: Oct 10, 2008 by Deb Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator

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