John Jones, principal at Walter Bickett Elementary School, has been named the 2008-09 Wachovia Principal of the Year for Union County Public Schools.
“This principal models every one of my five core expectations,” said Superintendent Ed Davis. Those five are excellence, teamwork, professionalism, problem solving and having a positive attitude, he said.
“He's one of the most positive team players in our school system and always looks for the silver lining of every cloud,” Davis said. “He's done a wonderful job of leading several schools in this school district.”
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In accepting the award, Jones said he grew up in a family of educators, and noted that his father was a principal in Chesterfield County, S.C. Jones said he had tried other careers, but always came back to education.
“On my death bed, I may not be thankful for the hours I spent as a principal, but I'll be thankful for the purpose,” Jones said. “There's something to be said when you're fulfilling a purpose in your life. And I think that educators in Union County do that.”
Jones said he is honored to be chosen among such high quality educators in the Union County public school system. “To represent you, to be among all of these principals of the year – whether you were nominated at a dinner or by a student who said thank you because of the difference that you made in his life – I'm very grateful,” Jones said.
“Sometimes I get weary in it, but I'm not weary of it,” Jones said. “I'm thankful to be in this job and I'm thankful to serve with you. And I'm thankful for the leadership of this school system.”
Jones will compete regionally in the Wachovia Principal of the Year program with other principals from the southwest region.
Also announced last week during a luncheon was the Assistant Principal of the Year: Mamie Blevins, assistant principal at Piedmont Middle School.
“She has been a diligent and dedicated administrator in the Piedmont and Parkwood districts,” Davis said. “In addition, she has done an excellent job directing the summer school program.” Courtesy Union County Public Schools
Porter Ridge High
Claire Mercurio, a senior at Porter Ridge High School, recently enlisted the help of fellow art students to create “Bottles of Hope” for children going through treatment for cancer.
Mercurio's bottle project is for her Girl Scout Gold Award, said Porter Ridge art teacher Jan Haver. Haver encouraged Mercurio to ask other students from her Pottery II class to help with the project.
Mercurio provided small glass bottles and polymer clay, which students used to create designs on the bottles. Mercurio baked the bottles at home and attached messages of “hope, love and encouragement” to the necks of the bottles, Haver wrote in an e-mail.
“The students really enjoyed having the opportunity to work with Claire on her project and were excited their design would hopefully bring a smile to a young cancer patient's face,” Haver wrote. Marty Minchin
Two schools in Union County will benefit from a county-wide fundraiser 5-8 p.m. Oct. 21.
McDonald's at 1101 Roosevelt Blvd. will benefit Rocky River Elementary.
McDonald's at 883 Unionville-Indian Trail Road will support Sardis Elementary.
The McTeacher's Night is a one-night fundraiser with teachers “working” at their local restaurant while parents, students and community friends enjoy their evening meal. Proceeds from the evening's sales will go directly to participating schools to use in classrooms and school-wide projects.
“We're committed to education and supporting the schools in our community,” said Elena Ramos, owner-operator of McDonald's in Indian Trail. “McTeacher's Night is just one way we can assist educators and help local schools raise funds.”