The May 2019 community spotlight is sponsored by Dustin Wilson with Keller Williams Green Meadows.
In May, we are doing a double-feature for our community spotlight. Part I is honoring the 31-year legacy of retiring Jones Elementary Principal, Mrs. Cindy Harrison. Look for Part II with Brooke Guthery, the new Jones Elementary Principal, next week.
Mrs. Harrison always knew she would pursue a career in education. Coming from a family of educators, she began her teaching career in her hometown of Maysville, Oklahoma. The first year as a student teacher, her dad was the school principal, her mom taught a class down the hall, and her younger sister, Valerie was her student. She speaks fondly of her hometown and the tight-knit community where she grew up. This early start in a small community led her to quickly love and establish deep roots in Jones.
She moved to Jones in 1995, after her husband’s job transplanted her family to Oklahoma City. She started as the Assistant Principal, and later took on the role of Principal. She has remained in that position for the last 24 years. One of her favorite parts of teaching at Jones is the privilege to now teach children of her former students, mentioning the Hortons, the Manwell boys, the Nelsons, and the McElhaneys as some of her favorites. She loves Jones and says it a great place to raise kids.
“It is a strong faith-based community that supports the schools as the central hub.”
Looking back on her 31-year career, her proudest accomplishment is creating the first library and computer lab at Jones Elementary. Back in the mid 90’s, Mrs. Harrison saw a need for early literacy and technology in the classroom. She asked her teachers for book donations from their classrooms, and their extra Apple IIe computers. She manually created a daisy chain network, allowing all of the computers to run off the same program. Children were delighted to play typing games or take their Accelerated Reader tests in the new computer lab. Today, under Mrs. Harrison’s guidance, early learners at Jones Elementary have access to two Chrome Book labs twice a week. She always strives to ensure Jones Elementary students have access to books and the latest technology.
“Mrs. Harrison has committed her entire professional life to the children of Jones. Her influence reaches multiple generations, and she’ll forever be remembered by those students that passed through Jones Elementary during her tenure. I have no doubt she has the respect and gratitude of this entire community.”
Dr. Carl Johnson, Jones Superintendent
After her retirement, Mrs. Harrison is looking forward to big plans. Her son, Hunter, will be graduating from Jones High School this May and will pursue a career as an electrician. Her daughter Hannah (Jones Class of 2013), is expecting her first child. Mrs. Harrison beams with anticipation when she talks about welcoming her first grand-baby. She will be selling her house in Jones, and moving to Table Rock Lake near Branson, where she welcomes all to visit her when vacationing there.
Mrs. Harrison leaves a wonderful legacy for her successor, Brooke Guthery. From all of her current and former students and families, we thank her for all of her years of service to our community, and we wish her the very best in her retirement!