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‘Whatever it takes’ to make a positive impact

Meet Your Administrator: Lance Jones

CaledoniaLance Jones is the new Paris Ridge Elementary School Principal. SNN gets to know him in this edition of Meet Your Administrators. 

Other positions held in education: 

  • Principal, Lakeview Elementary School 
  • Assistant principal and athletic director, Lakeview High School 
  • Math teacher, Kenowa Hills High School 
  • Teacher, Bolton High School, Memphis, Tennessee 
Lance Jones

Jones began his career in Memphis, where his wife was attending graduate school. “Upon her degree completion, we came back to the Grand Rapids area, where we both grew up, to be closer to family which was important to us. I’ve always admired the Caledonia community and knew this is where I wanted to be.” 

What about jobs outside of education? As an adolescent, Jones worked as a day camp counselor for kids ages 5-12. 

“Working with kids over the summer was a lot of fun, because we could mix learning with having a good time. Our day campers looked forward to attending each day and for many, it was the highlight of their summer.”

Jones described this experience as “invaluable” going into his education career: “It helped teach me ways to build relationships, make plans, adjust when they didn’t work and communicate with kids.”

Education: 

  • Bachelor’s, education, Wayne State University 
  • Master’s, educational leadership, Eastern Michigan University
From left, the Jones family: Lincoln,3, Hudson, 5, Lance, Heather and cavalier King Charles spaniel, Lexie (courtesy)

What would you like to share about your family? Wife, Heather, sons Hudson, 5; Lincoln, 3; and two furry children: mini Australian shepherd, Desmond, and cavalier King Charles spaniel, Lexie.  

Hobbies/interests/talents: Jones enjoys reading, watching movies and going camping with his family. A division two collegiate athlete in cross-country, he still considers running his “hidden talent” and fondly remembers running in the Boston Marathon in 2007. 

“At that time, I was running 75-80 miles a week for training. Over the course of time in education, my running days have decreased quite a bit,” he said. “I enjoyed coaching cross-country and track and field for a number of years, but these days, it’s more like hikes and bike rides with my boys.”  

In fact, his kids signed up this spring for the Healthy Kids running series at Lakeside Park, so he’s already sharing his love for running with them. 

‘Joining an amazing community is a true blessing, and my journey in education has continued to prove how fortunate I am to work with students, their families and the educators that impact these groups each day.’

Lance Jones

What were some of your hobbies and interests as an elementary student? Sports. “I really liked soccer, football, baseball, basketball and going bowling.” 

The biggest lesson you have learned from students is… “Life can be busy and stressful. I’ve learned to take time to have some fun too.”  

What are you most excited about for this school year? “I am excited to help Paris Ridge Elementary students learn, grow and build positive relationships as they progress through their young lives. Joining an amazing community is a true blessing, and my journey in education has continued to prove how fortunate I am to work with students, their families and the educators that impact these groups each day.”

If you walked into your new school building to theme music by a favorite artist or band, what would it be? “‘Whatever It Takes’ by Imagine Dragons. It is a great song and most importantly, being in education is about doing whatever it takes. We (as educators) are here because we love kids and try so many different things to make a positive impact on their lives.” 

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Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark is a reporter, covering Caledonia, Kenowa Hills, Godfrey-Lee, Grand Rapids and is a roving reporter for GRCC, Wyoming, Kentwood and Byron Center. She grew up in metro Detroit and her journalism journey brought her west to Grand Rapids via Michigan State University where she covered features and campus news for The State News. She also co-authored three 100-question guides to increase understanding and awareness of various human identities, through the MSU School of Journalism. Following graduation, she worked as a beat reporter for The Ann Arbor News - covering stories on education, community, prison arts and poetry.  Following a stint as a copywriter for a Grand Rapids area PR firm, she transitioned from communications to freelance writing and reporting for SNN.  Read Alexis' full bio

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