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Devon Willis-Jones (LA '16)

Director of Service Operations

National Institute for Excellence in Teaching

At the time of the Award, Devon Willis-Jones was:

Jeanerette Elementary School
Jeanerette, LA

Biographical Information

Devon Willis-Jones, the Director of Service Operations at the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), boasts a storied career dedicated to coaching and nurturing instructional growth across diverse school districts in Louisiana. Her unwavering commitment to excellence is reflected in her transformative approach to educational environments.

Having ascended the career pipeline from a dedicated teacher to a mentor, master teacher, and eventually a principal at Jeanerette Elementary School in Iberia Parish, Devon faced the formidable task of revitalizing a high-poverty campus with an initial F rating. Drawing on her extensive experience and leveraging models supported by NIET, she initiated groundbreaking initiatives that empowered teachers with leadership opportunities, job-embedded professional development, and robust educator evaluation processes.

Devon's steadfast focus on renewing the school's commitment to these principles ushered in a transformative shift. Collaborating with faculty and staff, she instilled a powerful vision of "Success and Nothing Less," implementing research-based processes that enhanced instruction and propelled student achievement to new heights. In her inaugural year as principal, the school achieved an astounding turnaround, earning a B rating and garnering recognition as a "Top Gains" school by the State.

Devon Willis-Jones, a recipient of the prestigious Milken Award as a principal, is not only a seasoned educational leader but also a staunch advocate for serving students and educators. Her journey, marked by a commitment to excellence, saw her evolve from a dedicated teacher to a mentor, master teacher, and now a respected Director of Service Operations at NIET.

Devon's educational journey commenced with her earning a Bachelor of Arts in education with a concentration in special education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2004. She further solidified her dedication to educational leadership and excellence by attaining a Master of Education in administration and supervision from Jones International University in 2012. This impressive educational background underscores Devon's commitment to shaping and advancing the field of education.

Press release: Iberia Parish Principal Devon Willis-Jones Named One of Nation's Best with $25,000 Milken Educator Award


Related Connections

Article: Spotlight: Devon Willis-Jones (LA '16)

Educator Quote:

"The Milken Educator Award presentation had an impact on..." (read more)

Devon Willis-Jones Newsletters

Our Family Grows in LA, CO, NM
Nov 03, 2016

Devon Willis-Jones In The News

Advice From 2016-17 Milken Educators: How to Create a Successful Classroom
Education Week Teacher  |  Dec 08, 2016  |  Bethesda, MD

A Big Surprise
The Daily Iberian  |  Oct 26, 2016  |  New Iberia, LA

Iberia Parish Principal Awarded $25,000
KADN-TV / KLAF-TV  |  FOX / NBC  |  Oct 25, 2016  |  Lafayette, LA

Jeanerette Principal Honored with National Educator Award
The Daily Advertiser  |  Oct 25, 2016  |  Lafayette, LA

Additional Information


Masters Degree: Administration and Supervision