Veteran Educator Runs Top District In Oklahoma
The Falls Church City School Board announced today the appointment of Dr. Toni Jones, currently the chief academic officer for the Deer Creek Public Schools in Oklahoma, as the new superintendent of the Falls Church school system.
Dr. Jones has been recognized by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as a leader “who promotes accomplished teaching.” She has served in a variety of senior leadership positions in the Deer Creek system for the last 13 years. During that time, the system has grown in enrollment from 1,200 to 4,000 and is recognized by many as the top school district in Oklahoma.
Dr. Jones will officially assume duties on June 13 in Falls Church, and will succeed Dr. Lois Berlin upon Berlin’s retirement July 1. Jones will begin meeting staff and community members in a series of meetings beginning April 11 and 12 and will officially sign her contract at the April 12 School Board business meeting.
She has served over 20 years as an educator, overall, as an elementary teacher, a special education teacher, elementary principal, secondary school principal, and district K-12 curriculum and industrial technology administrator. She worked on various aspects of more than eight large-scale school construction projects and has been a district leader on multi-million dollar strategic planning.
“Dr. Jones is a proven, effective, and innovative leader in public education. She has the talent and vision to help ensure the quality, collaboration, and results our community expects from our public schools,” said Joan Wodiska, chair of the Falls Church School System.
Falls Church Selects Nationally Recognized Education Leader as Next FCCPS Superintendent
FALLS CHURCH, VA (March 31, 2011) – After an extensive, nationwide search, the Falls Church City School Board today announced the selection of Dr. Toni Jones, currently the Chief Academic Officer for Deer Creek Public Schools in Oklahoma, as the new Superintendent of Schools for Falls Church City Public Schools.
“The School Board is honored and delighted that Dr. Toni Jones will assume the helm of our school division, continuing our commitment to provide all students in the City with a world-class education,” School Board Chairman Joan Wodiska said. “Dr. Jones is a proven, effective, and innovative leader in public education. She has the talent and vision to help ensure the quality, collaboration, and results our community expects from our public schools.”
Honoring and building on Falls Church’s strong tradition of community and staff engagement, Jones will begin to meet FCCPS staff and community members as she transitions into her new position. Jones will be introduced to staff and community members through a series of meetings scheduled for April 11 and 12. After officially signing her contract at the April 12 School Board meeting, Jones will be introduced to staff and community members through a video message and letter.
Dr. Jones will officially start on June 13 and commence her duties as Superintendent on July 1, succeeding Dr. Lois Berlin, who announced her retirement earlier this year.
“The School Board is deeply grateful for the tremendous input from the community and staff on this important decision. Such input directly informed and drove the School Board’s decision to hire Jones,” Wodiska said.
As part of the Superintendent search process, the School Board conducted six public hearings, an online survey for staff, and an online survey for the community. The Board also created a website to gather additional community and staff feedback and sought community input on the development of the criteria to evaluate Superintendent candidates. In total, more than 550 individuals, including Falls Church parents, school employees, and community members, responded to the School Board’s detailed and thorough survey. As the search moved forward earlier this year, the School Board convened a Community Panel to assist in the interviews of potential candidates.
Recognized by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as a leader who “Promotes Accomplished Teaching,” Dr. Jones currently serves as the Chief Academic Officer for Deer Creek (OK) Public Schools where she has served in a variety of senior leadership positions for the past 13 years. Under Jones’ leadership, Deer Creek – recognized by many as the top school district in Oklahoma – has grown from 1,200 students to almost 4,000.
She brings a vast array of experience that spans more than two decades, having served as an elementary teacher, special education teacher, elementary principal, secondary school principal, and district K-12 curriculum and instructional technology administrator. She has worked on various aspects of more than eight large-scale school construction projects, and she has been a district leader on multi-million-dollar strategic planning.
Prior to joining Deer Creek, Jones worked in Sydney, Australia as a teacher and administrator at SCECGS Redlands, a diverse and dynamic international school community. Her career began in Reno, Nevada, as a multi-age teacher serving primarily an economically disadvantaged student population.
“Jones has served in virtually every position available in a K-12 school division, and those experiences should help her acclimate quickly to Falls Church City Public Schools,” Wodiska said. “She has spent the past 13 years helping lead a high-performing, small school district like Falls Church. And with her experiences in everything from e-learning to special education to school construction, she brings both experience and knowledge in all of the major school issues currently facing our City.”
“I am energized and humbled by this opportunity, and I can’t wait to embrace the community of Falls Church as we work collaboratively to make sure that our schools continue to build on a tradition of excellence that is highly regarded in Virginia, across the nation, and around the world,” Jones said. “Falls Church is the only school district I can see leaving my home of Oklahoma for. I absolutely love what I do on a daily basis, and I can promise the community of Falls Church that I will always be focused on what is best for our children!”
Dr. Jones brings with her a deep understanding of curriculum and instruction. Her accomplishments include national recognition for technology integration K-12, implementing e-learning options, and seamlessly infusing a district wide data system for monitoring student learning. She has a specific strength for developing programs to target and assist struggling learners, while maintaining an environment that is rich in content and opportunity for all students, including a focus on gifted education.
She holds a dual bachelor’s degree in Special Education and Elementary Education from the University of Nevada, and a master’s degree as a Reading Specialist from Charles Sturt University in Australia. Dr. Jones obtained administrative credentials from the University of Oklahoma, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK.