Ron Jones receives statewide award

Retiree still active in music and activity director associations
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Editor
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Ron Jones, a retired Del Oro teacher and band and student leadership director, was recently honored with two awards for his continued support of these programs on a statewide level.

Jones, who began as Del Oro’s band director in 1963 and retired in 2002, also served as the school’s student activities director for 18 year, creating the outstanding program the school is known for.

He was recently honored by the California Music Education Association as retired music teacher of the year for his continued influence in developing music teachers. The California Association for Music Education, Capitol Section, is a professional organization comprised of music teachers from all levels of education, elementary through college.

At nearly the same time, the California Association of Directors of Activities (CADA) bestowed upon him their highest award for lifetime achievement - the Jack Moore award named after the group’s founding president.

Del Oro counselor and former activities director Terry Barker calls Jones “a DO legend.”

Barker said, “The school is what it is today because of people like Ron.”

Barker said Jones, and others like him, set the standards for the school’s “core value of excellence.” He said Jones “had a good way of instilling those core values in staff and students.”

Barker said he became assistant activities director in 1997 and Jones trained and mentored him. Barker credits Jones with flipping the norm when he put student leaders in charge of their activities instead of them being his assistants and he had older leadership students mentor younger ones.

“Del Oro’s activities program is very unique for having a full-time activities director, who can focus on the kids and culture – the environment of the school,” Barker said.

Barker said Jones is the type of person who is never satisfied with “status quo” and is always looking for a better way to do things.

“He’s quite an incredible man. He’s very wise. He has high standards and he’s always there for kids,” Barker said.

Stephanie Fee (nee White) was a student in the leadership class when Jones was activities director and now she holds the position.

She said, “He taught me how to follow my dreams and overcome obstacles.”

Fee said she feels “fortunate” to carry on Jones’ work.

“I love that I get to pay back to the school and the class that helped develop and shape me and hope that one day I can reach and positively influence as many students as Ron Jones did throughout and beyond his career.”

She credits Jones with helping her grow as a person and discover her individuality.

“His life lessons each day taught me about how to not only work with other people, but more importantly taught me how to follow my visions and achieve my goals,” she said.

Suzy Krzaczek is the CADA vice president and said she has worked closely with Jones as he organizes and conducts student leadership conferences through the organization. She called the award presented to Jones “the most prestigious award CADA gives.”

Krzaczek called Jones “a pillar of CADA.”

She said Jones is “kind, compassionate, passionate about student leadership” and she said he mentors many younger activity directors.

“He reaches out to others,” she said.

Both Krzaczek and Barker spoke of Jones ability to turn mundane things into a leadership lesson.”

“He’s brilliant,” she said.

Barker said, “He’s really good at taking current events and turning them into a lesson.”

Krzaczek spoke for many in her organization who have worked with Jones when she said, “I’m a better person for having known him.”