LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Bailee Jones

Position: Seventh Grade Teacher
School: Fernandina Beach Middle School
School District: Nassau County School District
City, State: Fernandina Beach, FL

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Bailee Jones was nominated by her colleague, Raleigh Green.

To say that Mrs. Jones is a leader on her campus would be a gross understatement.  Before entering her new role as ESE support facilitator, Mrs. Jones was an outstanding math teacher to her sixth graders and an amazing coach to her high school cheerleaders.  Beyond her commitments in the classroom and with her team, she goes above and beyond by mentoring many new teachers every year. Her mentorship goes beyond new teachers. Many of the veteran staff turn to her for guidance and assistance on a wide range of topics.  She even goes out of her way to help with setting up her colleagues' classrooms every school year!  Mrs. Jones is also currently in the county leadership program, which is designed to identify, train, and prepare future leaders in her school district.  For these reasons and so many more, Mrs. Jones is a true LifeChanger.

Every August, hundreds of nervous 11 and 12 year olds begin the scary time of life known as middle school.  This transition is made a little easier by the warmth and generosity of Mrs. Jones.  Her caring personality shines through in everything she does, and the students quickly name her as one of their favorite teachers as a result. She sees her job as more than just teaching students, and they often come to her to discuss personal problems or seek advice. She is viewed by students as a trusted confidant and someone who genuinely cares about their feelings and lives.  Her track record as an excellent teacher is shown in her consistently outstanding evaluation scores. Her ability to connect with her students on a human level, however, is what truly makes her such an invaluable member of the Fernandina Beach Middle School staff.

Mrs. Jones also serves as the Head Cheerleading Coach at Fernandina Beach High School.  Mrs. Jones has been able to help many members of her team continue their education by helping them secure college cheer scholarships. Her steadfast leadership serves as a beacon of excellence to all the cheerleaders she coaches. She not only coaches high school cheerleaders, but youth cheer squads, as well. She even fits announcing football games into her hectic schedule!  Her unwavering commitment to her students and athletes is what makes her a leader, not only on campus, but in the Fernandina Beach community.  

Students aren't the only nervous ones when August rolls around every year.  New staff members arrive on campus eager to make a positive impression, not only on students, but on the veteran teachers. Enter Mrs. Jones.  Mrs. Jones goes out of her way to make all new staff members feel at home through various acts of kindness and assistance.  It doesn't take long for these new staff members to assimilate into the Fernandina Beach family thanks to all the advice and help they receive from Mrs. Jones.  This mentorship doesn't end after the students arrive, as Mrs. Jones meets regularly with many new teachers to ensure everything is going smoothly and to assist with lesson planning and student concerns.

Veteran teachers flock to Mrs. Jones, as well, whether they have questions about BrainPop, concerns on how to properly do a center rotation, or need general advice on how to better connect with students. She is, by far, the go-to person on staff!  She will even decorate classrooms other than her own to help her colleagues make them more inviting for students. Her ability to juggle being an amazing teacher to her students, a coach to her cheer team, and an incredible mentor and friend to all members of the Fernandina Beach staff makes her a true standout in the community. 

Outside of being a star on campus, Mrs. Jones is also a leader in the Nassau County School District as a whole.  Mrs. Jones has run various professional development workshops and was chosen by her district's leadership as a future leader of Nassau County.  This selection shows how important and respected Mrs. Jones is, not only to her colleagues at school, but to district administrators, as well.  To be selected as a future leader is a high honor, and one that is taken very seriously by the district.  Mrs. Jones surpassed all requirements and criteria with flying colors.  As a result of being chosen for this program, Mrs. Jones is being groomed and prepared to be a director in the county office.  This means that in addition to her role as teacher and coach, Mrs. Jones is also a student learning from the current administration on all the requirements that these positions of leadership entail. Rather than run from this challenge, Mrs. Jones welcomes it with open arms, and is eager to learn how to make her school a better place for her students and fellow teachers.  She currently directs her district's United Way fundraising campaign, and has begun pursuing a Master's degree.

"These words don't do justice to the impact Bailee Jones has had on the lives of everyone around her," said Green. "She is beloved by her students and cheerleaders, admired by her colleagues, and respected by her bosses.  People can't help but love her after getting a chance to meet her.  It is my honor to nominate my colleague, mentor, and friend as a LifeChanger."

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