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Fairfield Get First Look At New, 'Accessible' Schools Superintendent

Incoming Fairfield Superintendent of Schools Toni Jones, left, shares a laugh with parents Wednesday.
Incoming Fairfield Superintendent of Schools Toni Jones, left, shares a laugh with parents Wednesday. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — When incoming Fairfield Schools Superintendent Toni Jones decided to look for her new job, she didn’t need to print dozens of updated resumes and fashion reams of cover letters.

“This was the only job that I applied for,” the Oklahoma native told about 40 people gathered for a Wednesday meet and greet with the new education chief. “I knew Fairfield was the kind of school district I wanted to be a part of.”

Jones will be on the job in Fairfield in early December, after she wraps up a five-year stint as superintendent of schools in Falls Church, Va. Her experience in the bedroom community outside Washington, D.C. positions her well for the climate in Fairfield, she said.

Asked what her goals are for the year ahead, she was candid, saying she wanted to take a long look at the schools’ strategic plan and get to know her teachers, staff and schools.

“I won’t know until I get here,” she said. “We need to do that (sort of planning) together. It’s not all about me.”

She said she has studied the district and expects a high degree of parent involvement and expectations of academic excellence. She also said she will be attending a number of student events and loves to see students “engaged in the life of the school.

“I do have an open door,” said the mother of two college students. “You will see me out and about. I’m very accessible.”

The Board of Education voted unanimously to name Jones superintendent on Sept. 6. She replaces Interim Superintendent Steven Tracy, who has been in the role since Aug. 1. Tracy replaced David Title, who retired in August after five years as superintendent to take a position at Sacred Heart University.

Jones was born and raised in Oklahoma, and is a graduate of the University of Nevada at Reno, where she received a bachelor's degree with a dual major of special education and elementary education. She also has a master's degree in reading from Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Australia, and a doctorate in leadership from Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma.

The school board selected Jones after a national search conducted by executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates.

Jones began her career in the Reno, Nev., public school system in 1989. She moved to Australia in 1991 and taught there for five years, before returning to Oklahoma, where she worked as a teacher, an elementary school principal, a middle school principal, director of secondary education and technology and chief academic officer. She moved to the award-winning Falls Church district in 2011.

Jones said she and her family plan to move to Fairfield and she is looking for a home for her 87-year-old mother, who will make the move with them.

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