MADISON – St. Joseph School will end the year with a new principal, Doug
. Jones has been in Catholic education for 20 years. He also spent 11 years in the U.S. Army, earning the rank of major and participating in Desert Storm and Desert Shield.
He approaches administration with a mix of practicality and spirituality. “I’d like to say I approach it with joy. I love the vocation of Catholic schools. I see it as a ministry. My favorite hour every week is Mass,” he said. “Mass is when everything comes together in a joyous way,” said Jones.
He feels that Catholic identity is critical to the mission of any Catholic school. “Everything else is second,” he said. Jones has been an assistant superintendent in the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, a principal, teacher and football coach in Wichita Falls, Texas as well as a math science and theology teacher in Ohio and Montgomery, Ala.
He has degrees in business administration and management, chemistry and was working toward a masters in theology from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.
As for discipline, Jones said he believes in giving the teachers the tools to deal with minor infractions as they happen. “I want them to take care of misdemeanors, but send the felonies to me,” said Jones. He said he prefers to involve parents in discipline as soon as a student ends up in his office, opening a line of communication between the student and the parents, but not just for rule violations. “I might call and say, ‘I saw your daughter help someone pick up all their books off the floor,’ or something like that,” said Jones. He believes that establishing a relationship with the families in his school to reward good behavior as well as dealing with inappropriate behavior is better for the community overall.
Jones likes to be in the classrooms and hopes to spend time each day just visiting to get a feel for how things are going. Usually new principals start during the summer months, but Jones is coming in April. “I told the students, April 1 – no fooling,” he joked. He said he is happy he can come get acclimated before the end of the year and start to get to know members of the St. Joseph community.
Catherine Cook, superintendent of Catholic Schools, said she is thrilled to welcome Jones to the Diocese of Jackson. “He brings a solid background in Catholic education as well as a love for it. I think he will be a wonderful addition to the Bruin community,” said Cook.
Jones is a convert who believes he was called to the Catholic Church early in his life. He entered while attending Grove City College in Pennsylvania.
Jones learned about Benedictine spirituality while he lived in Ohio and their idea of always having a guest house ready to greet any stranger. “I really want the school to be a place of welcome and to extend charitable efforts to all we encounter – to be joyful and Christ-like to all we encounter,” said Jones.