World Teachers' Day

World Teachers' Day
Posted on 10/05/2020
This is the image for the news article titled World Teachers' DayWhen our partners at Whataburger approached Salt River Schools about honoring one of our amazing teachers with a generous prize package in recognition of World Teachers' Day, we jumped at the opportunity! 

We also wondered how we would ever go about choosing, because ALL of our teaching staff are amazing and have gone above and beyond in their roles, especially during COVID-19. Whataburger agreed, and said they would honor our entire staff, from maintenance to bus drivers to secretaries and administrators, with something tasty. 

But they still wanted to recognize a superstar. So our HR team asked for nominations from site leaders; from that list the Salt River Schools Employee of the Quarter selection committee chose JP JONES, a teacher at the Accelerated Learning Academy, to receive the grand prize: Some Whataburger swag, plus a $250 Visa gift card and a $250 Whataburger gift card! Read his nomination form below.

We sneakily asked Mr. Jones to meet us on Monday, Oct. 5 (Fall Break!). He had no idea why. Watch the video below to find out what happened next:

JP Jones Nomination for World Teachers' Day Recognition

How many years teaching? 19 years

How does the teacher go above and beyond to make a difference on campus? During this time of remote learning, Mr. Jones has made himself available 7 days a week, almost 24 hours a day, to his students and families. Students contact him at all hours of the day for academic assistance, and he is always willing to assist them with work completion, to assist during a quiz, or he may just check in on them out of concern. He consistently reaches out to parents for their support and offers suggestions to them so they may assist in their child’s academic success. Mr. Jones has also been a leader on campus through this time. He has taken the time to make himself an expert on our online learning program so other staff members can contact him with questions or guidance. This is vital to our students' continued learning in a timely manner so we do not have to wait for a company to respond. He is also our contact person for the company and regularly participates in their learning opportunities.

What are some adjustments your have seen this teacher make during the pandemic that have helped students stay positive and engaged? Right away Mr. Jones started contacting his students to let them know he was there to support them and would provide as much help as possible. He immediately started to provide printed resources to supports their online learning program, knowing they do not have access to a printer. These printed resources are over 100 pages long and are extremely time consuming to print. He has also gone to their homes to deliver and/or pick up completed assignments. He communicates with his students on a daily basis to provide motivation and updates on where they are exactly in their course and if they start to fall behind, he works with them to create ways for them to get caught up.

If you were going to tell others about one specific incident that sums up this teacher's importance, what story would you tell? ALA had a student pass away the day before winter break in the 2019-2020 school year. She was a very special young mother who was going to graduate in the spring of 2020. The school was devastated. In the Community we work for, there is an honored tradition of large ceremonies to celebrate the life of the deceased. As part of that ceremony a slide show is created. Mr. Jones met the family over winter break and spent hours with them going through photos and collecting photos we had to create the slide show for the memorial. The same family unfortunately had another death and Mr. Jones did another video for them, which included staying late after school or meeting them on the weekend to create the video. He spent hours and hours creating the videos on a short timeline to ensure they were completed prior to the memorial. His selflessness and desire to be helpful is inspiring.

Is there anything else you want to share about this teacher? Mr. Jones truly cares about this Community and its young people. He has dedicated nearly two decades to Salt River Schools.
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