Jones returns to H'burg schools, will lead N.R. BurgerBy DAVID TISDALE,
A new school year brings a new face in the principal’s office at Hattiesburg’s N.R. Burger Middle School, as Carol Jones takes over as principal.
A native of Buckatunna, in nearby Wayne County, Jones said she’s thrilled to return to the Hattiesburg Public School District, where she worked as a substitute teacher while majoring in elementary education at The University of Southern Mississippi. She comes to N.R. Burger from Lumberton Elementary, where for the last three years she also served as principal.
“I’m looking forward to a great year,” she said. “To come back where it all began for me is really special.”
Jones was hired July 1 and has been focused since then getting acclimated to her new role, although she has called Hattiesburg home for the last several years. Her primary objective for the 2018-19 academic year is to provide a quality educational experience for all of the school’s students, and is counting on the support of parents and community partners to meet that goal.
“We have a great faculty and staff at N.R. Burger,” she said. “I’m excited about this opportunity, and ready to get started. Our theme this year is R.O.A.R.ing to the Top! Resilient Overcomers Achieving Regardless!
This year marks Jones’s 16th working in Mississippi’s public schools. The 2003 Southern Miss graduate got her start as a third-grade teacher in the Canton Public School District.
“It (working in education) has been ingrained in me since I was a child,” Jones said. “My mother was a teacher, and she and all my teachers and professors were role models for me, and inspired my passion for working with students.”
Another source of inspiration for Jones is those students who come back years later to thank her for being their teacher and for not giving up on them.
“Those moments when a student may not realize the impact you made in that moment, when they are in the classroom, but come back to tell me what they meant to me, those moments have been the most rewarding in my career,” Jones said. “Those moments are what makes what I do special.”
Hattiesburg Public School District Assistant Superintendent Michael Battle said during a break at the school district’s board of trustees meeting that as of the day before the start of the school year (Aug. 8), the district had only three vacancies, and he was anticipating recommendations from school principals of candidates to fill two of those vacancies this week. Battle said that otherwise, all open positions would be staffed for the first day of classes.
The next regular school board meeting is set for Tuesday, Sept. 4 at the boardroom located at the Hattiesburg Public School District offices at 301 Mamie St.