Cumberland assistant principal nets top state honor

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CUMBERLAND — Greely High School administrator Jayme Jones was named 2018 assistant principal of the year by the Maine Principals’ Association and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Jones, who has been at Greely High School since 2013, will be honored at the MPA’s annual awards banquet in Rockport on April 26.

The Saco resident “received the award based on her accomplishments as a champion for all students,” according to MPA. “She is a catalyst for change and this has been evident in many of the programs and supports she has put in place so that all students can be successful. She has a genuine enthusiasm for the work that she does at Greely High School.”

MPA Executive Director Richard Durost lauded Jones for helping to develop or kickoff support services for students, such as the Response to Intervention program, restorative disciplinary practices, and the Student Support Team.

“She’s the epitome of ‘team player’ that we expect from all Maine Assistant Principals,” Durost said.

Jones spent 2002-11 as an English teacher in Richmond, Virginia, splitting time the last two years as a teacher and assistant principal. She was then assistant principal at the high and elementary school levels in Raymond, New Hampshire, before joining School Administrative District 51.

In telling Jones he nominated her for the state honor, Greely High Principal Dan McKeown told her, “You’ve been growing a lot, and it’s about time you got recognized for it,” Jones recalled in an interview Dec. 22.

SAD 51 Superintendent Jeff Porter reflected that sentiment in a prior interview.

“Jayme does a great job representing the talented and hardworking teachers and administrators in all of our schools,” he said. “Her dedication to so many areas of student life really make a lasting impact.”

Porter referred to Jones’ work in coordinating student interventions, organizing the Challenge Day event, initiating a credit recovery system, promoting the arts, and “helping to reduce course failures, suspensions, and detentions with proactive and progressive changes in how we help all students succeed.”

Jones called her work building Response to Intervention – a program that provides support for students who are not achieving standards and grade-level expectations – her biggest accomplishment at Greely.

In the credit recovery program, which is part of RTI, “if a student has failed in math, science, or English, then we provide support either after school during the school year, or during the summer, for students to recover the credit based on the standards that they were missing,” Jones explained.

That allows them to recover the credits they need to graduate, without having to retake the entire course the next year, “so it (keeps) them on track, she said.

Jones said she is most proud of her involvement with Challenge Day. It’s an initiative for Greely sophomores that, over the past three years, has been geared toward building empathy within students and breaking down barriers between them.

“Building an understanding that we all come in with our own struggles and our own baggage, and working on supporting one another,” Jones said. “I’ve seen a cultural shift with our students that have been a part of that, and (who) really want to make Greely a more supportive place.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Jayme Jones has been named the 2018 assistant principal of the year by the Maine Principals’ Association and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. She has been with Greely High School in Cumberland since 2013.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.