In just one year as a literacy coach at John R. Rogers High School in Spokane, Erin Jones has made a significant impact on the lives of the school's students, 70 percent of whom are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. In addition to modeling innovative and engaging lessons for other teachers to observe, Jones teaches a class called AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) to help students focus on attending a four-year college. Jones also created a weekly leadership group called "Ladies of Distinction" to provide opportunities for young minority women to work with and be mentored by professional women from within the community. Born and raised in Europe, Jones shares her experiences with a variety of cultures and backgrounds in a program she co-teaches called HOPE (Helping Overcome Prejudice Everywhere). She is quadrilingual, speaking Dutch, Spanish, French and English, and was previously an award-winning French immersion teacher and co-creator of the language immersion program at Stewart Middle School in Tacoma. While at Stewart, Jones also served as program coordinator for the Act Six Leadership and Scholarship Initiative, which provides training and scholarships to emerging urban leaders.
Although I am very passionate about many aspects of public school education, I am probably most passionate about issues of equity that relate both to ethnicity and socio-economic background. I love to work with diverse student populations, but my greatest passion is to empower staff to reach the students who seem unreachable. There is nothing greater than watching a student who comes from a difficult home begin to see their hopes and dreams come alive in academics. I am also passionate about exposing students to the realities of the globalization of our community. As a person who spent most of my childhood traveling across Europe and encountering other children from all corners of the world, I believe we have a responsibility to expose our students to the realities of what exists outside the walls of our school and outside the boundaries of our neighborhoods. Education is the real golden ticket for our students. It is the ticket to freedom and to opportunity. It is the ticket to the success of our nation.
1993 Bryn Mawr College, B.A.