Fara Jones

Former Scott County superintendent hired to lead personnel department
Posted on 08/12/2019
Fara Jones

The Poplar Bluff School District has hired a former superintendent in Southeast Missouri to fill the vacancy opened by Dr. Amy Jackson in the R-I executive cabinet. 

Bringing 23 years of experience in the field of public education, the majority of which has been spent in administration, Fara Jones assumed the position of assistant superintendent of personnel, with the primary responsibility of filling staff positions and managing the needs of district employees. 

“What set Mrs. Jones apart from the rest in the talent pool was her perspective on leadership and her leadership style that the interview team felt would mesh well with the other members of the cabinet,” stated Dr. Scott Dill, superintendent of schools. “By virtue of her small school experience, she has done every aspect of a superintendent position right up until June 30, so her knowledge is very fresh and she will bring new perspective, new contacts and new ideas to the administrative team.” 

Jones spent the entirety of her tenure at Scott County R-IV, informally known as Kelly Schools, where she was superintendent for the past six years, before which she served as principal beginning in 2000. She started her career as a junior and high school art teacher, and taught elementary art during summer school. 

Having mentored under a principal she would eventually succeed, Jones recalls going through a Missouri School Improvement Program cycle during that time period, which she said appealed to her data-driven mindset. She soon signed up to join the MSIP review team for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and had the opportunity to perform reviews at various educational institutions across the state. 

“I loved all that digging into data and finding success, and all the unique things from one school to another, and how they met the same goals while doing things differently,” Jones explained. “I attribute that experience to my quick desire to transition into administration.” 

Jones received her specialist degree in education administration from William Woods University in 2004, where she previously earned her master’s. She completed her coursework toward her doctorate in June at the Fulton higher education institution. 

Since 2013, Jones has held the seat of secretary and treasurer of the Southeast region for the Missouri School Administrators Association, performing record keeping and setting monthly agendas for the organization. Dill knew of Jones through the reputation she had garnered in her regional position and her high visibility within MASA, he noted. 

A graduate of Oran High School, Jones has been married for 24 years to Wesley, a towboat captain for Ingram Barge Company. They have three children: Aubrianna, who is a premed student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile; Lilly Beth, who will study speech pathology at Fontbonne University in Clayton; and Jacob, who will be an eighth grader at Junior High. 

Noting she is not in the habit of making rash decisions, Jones said she is very excited to be a part of a community with more opportunities. Coming from a school district of 950 students, she commented that she is already impressed with the amount of ‘collaboration’ among staff members, and the ‘organized communication’ she has observed. 

“I have a bag full of experience—tricks, trials and errors—to benefit a district, and I spent enough time in this business that I felt like it would be of value to take elsewhere,” Jones said. "It's good timing for the entire family, and I was at the time in my career where I’m ready for change, and excited to have a team of colleagues to lean upon so we can make a bigger impact together.” 

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Cutline: Fara Jones assumed her new position of assistant superintendent of personnel for Poplar Bluff Schools on July 1.

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