“It’s a dream come true,” said Jones, a 1997 Patterson High School graduate. “I have worked a lot of places, different positions. It’s just good to finally serve the community in this capacity.”
DPS school board president Mohamed Al-Hamdani said bringing Jones back to Dayton is a step in the right direction for the athletic department.
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"After this gets approved," he said before the vote, "my hope is for the athletic department to take off, especially when we're bringing someone like (Jones) back to our district."
Jones will start the job in a challenging environment created by the coronavirus pandemic The Ohio High School Athletic Association allowed students to return to on-campus workouts on June 1 and then permitted full-contact sports to conduct intrasquad scrimmages starting June 22.
While schools have moved into phase two of the return-to-play plan and many coaches have expressed optimism about fall sports starting on time, there’s still much uncertainty.
“I’m hopeful that we have (fall sports),” Jones said, “but I would say everybody wants to do what’s best for the safety of the student-athletes and even the coaches and administrators. We go home to our families as well. I think I’m just going to lean on the leadership of our district and also the recommendations.”
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Jones replaces Shawna Welch, who is now the principal at Edwin Joel Brown Middle School in Dayton. Welch was hired in the summer of 2018 after working as a principal in the previous 11 years.
Jones said she’s always preparing for the next step in her career and had quietly hoped she could come back home after two years in northern Ohio.
“This is just a great opportunity,” Jones said, “and I am very grateful to have been selected to lead in this area.”