Debbie Jones

Every aspect of every child

Posted: March 4, 2018 at 5 a.m.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO "What she brings to the job is such a wide variety of knowledge in education. So many of us become experts in our specific area, but because of the wide variety of positions she's held and her ability to study, she has so much knowledge about most things. Her work ethic in addition to her experience has made her very successful here." -- Janet Schwanhausser
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NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO "What she brings to the job is such a wide variety of knowledge in education. So many of us become experts in our specific area, but because of the wide variety of positions she's held and her ability to study, she has so much knowledge about most things. Her work ethic in addition to her experience has made her very successful here." -- Janet Schwanhausser

Her childhood sounds like a plot from a movie -- the kind of movie where an American flag flies outside every front porch door and friendly dogs and adventurous kids roam the streets, confident in their safety. Born in Fort Smith, Bentonville Public Schools' Superintendent Debbie Jones and her family moved to a farm in the small community of Charleston -- population roughly 2,400 -- when she was a child. In addition to working the farm, her father was an educator and football coach, while her mom served as the assistant to the administrator at Mercy Hospital. The middle of three children -- all girls -- Jones was an excellent student who was active in sports.

Through Others’ Eyes

Debbie Jones

“She’s very happy. She knows that she has an important job, but it’s tough — it’s such a big district, and covers so many different people, and you have to try and make everybody happy. She loves what she’s doing.” — Mildred Parker

“Her leadership is action-oriented. When we become aware that there is something that needs to change, that we could improve something that would help us better serve our students, she is not one to say, ‘We’ll take care of these other things, then take care of this.’ Her action is immediate — ‘What can we do, and let’s do it now.’ She pushes us in a positive way to do everything we can to support our kids today, not tomorrow.” — Janet Schwanhausser

“She is intentional about not affecting one group over another. She really tries to consider, ‘How is this affecting the kids? Is it the right thing to do for the education of these kids?’ She’s a good communicator — if you sit and talk to her, she can put it on your level really quickly. Considering how many moving parts are in these decisions, she does a great job at it.” — Travis Riggs

Next Week

Tjuana Byrd

Little Rock

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