Holmes principal recaps lessons of first year

Holmes Principal Jeremy Jones

Holmes Junior High is a school of High academic achievements and inclusiveness, so when Jeremy Jones, first year principal for Holmes Junior High took his job there, it was a big responsibility.

“Holmes is a tremendous school, and I think anyone, including myself, would consider themselves lucky to be a part of it. Once most people are a part of our building, there is a strong desire to stay. Holmes is a special place because of the people who are a part of it,” Jones said.

Jones was an assistant principal at Peet Junior High whose goal was to become a principal.

Being a principal is a huge task because of all the roles that you fill on a daily basis. Despite that, it is also a very rewarding position. There is perhaps no other position in any field that provides you with the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life like being an educator. Our staff has the opportunity to make a difference every day,” Jones said.

Jones has put a positive influence on multiple individuals and teachers.

Jim Duff is a science teacher at Holmes and has been teaching there for 20 years at Holmes.

“He’s fitting in very nicely. The faculty enjoys his presence, and he bonds with everyone including students and faculty,” Duff said.

Although Jones is doing a tremendous job at Holmes, there are always issues to deal with. The biggest challenge this year for him was trying to get to know all of our students as well as possible.  

“From my perspective I thought things went very well during the 2016-2017 school year.  We worked very hard to build great relationships and rapport with students, parents and staff members during this first year, and that will continue to be a major focus. In addition, our staff has worked very hard to improve student learning,” Jones said.

He credits the huge help he has gotten from staff and students to improve.

Generally, I would say that I was mostly excited to be joining the tremendous staff at Holmes Junior High. Having been in the Cedar Falls School District for two years before being named the principal at Holmes, I was well aware of the outstanding reputation that Holmes had academically and with activities, so I was excited to have an opportunity to be a part of that culture,” Jones said

Jones finds a lot of similarities between both Holmes and Peet because they are both in the district, but he still knows the difference between the two.

Jones said, “I would say that the two schools are very similar in many respects: they both have tremendous students, supportive parents and a hardworking, dedicated staff. There were and are some differences in terms of programs that are offered at both schools, but administration and staff in both buildings have worked very hard this year for the two buildings to become more similar in that regard. I think that Holmes has a very positive climate and culture. The vast majority of our students and staff love to come to school or work every day, and that is what makes Holmes a great place to learn.

Jones has grown to be very comfortable with Holmes and said he thinks of it as family now after only being here for a year. “One of the great things about Holmes and really the entire Cedar Falls Community School District is that we have a tradition of excellence academically and with all of our activities.  Despite that tradition of excellence, there is not a sense of complacency that exists — teachers and students alike have a growth mindset and desire to continually get better at everything we do. There is always room for improvement, and we will continue to work hard to ensure that all students learn at high levels throughout our building on a daily basis.”

Holmes has warmed up to Jones and find him very wise.

My best piece of advice for students and staff would be the same thing — learn something new every day. We are in the business of education, and we want all of our students and staff members to have a growth mindset and develop the skills to be lifelong learners. By working together, we continue to build our capacity to solve any problems that we might face and continue to improve our school for all students,” Jones said.

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