Kathy Jones, Conserve School Math Teacher and Educational Technology Coordinator, has announced that she will be retiring at the end of this school year, in June of 2012. Kathy has been a key member of the Conserve School staff since 2004, when she joined us. She has filled a number of critical roles, revising and improving our math curriculum, working to develop our new semester program, setting up processes for communication with sending schools, spearheading our accreditation self-study, introducing staff and students to new technology, and troubleshooting computer issues. Kathy’s dedication has been apparent in the long hours she has consistently devoted to preparing meticulously planned lessons, assisting both staff and students one-on-one, taking on new assignments and responsibilities whenever the need arose, teaching herself new skills in mathematics instruction and in technology, and cheerfully collaborating with colleagues on the myriad tasks that accompany school life. Over the course of her career, Kathy has helped many, many students reach a high achievement level in math – whether they were students who loved math already or students who had previously feared and avoided math – through her dedication to meeting each student’s needs, through her skill and patience, and through her willingness to try, try, and try again when a student was struggling with a new concept or skill.
In addition to Kathy’s considerable academic, instructional, and technology expertise, her outstanding quilting, craft, and graphic arts skills, her love for animals (dogs, wolves, and horses, especially), her interest in dramatic productions (and her ability to whip up beautiful programs), her appreciation of the beauty of the natural world, her baking skills, and her quirky sense of humor have all helped Kathy establish close bonds with her students and have greatly enriched the Conserve School program.
Kathy’s retirement follows a distinguished teaching career that started in Chicago-area Catholic schools. She has primarily taught mathematics, taking only a short break from the math classroom early in her career to teach the full middle school curriculum. She spent most of her career teaching high school mathematics and computer programming and has taken on a variety of administrative roles as well, including high school Mathematics Department Chair, Science Department Chair, and School Technology Director. At Conserve School, Kathy has taught math courses, Photoshop, and PSAT, SAT, and ACT test preparation, and, over the years, she has planned and chaperoned too many Conserve School extracurricular activities to even begin to describe. Kathy also brought to Conserve School the talents of her husband, Roger Jones, a retired DePaul University Mathematics Professor, who was a very welcome addition to our staff both as a tutor and as a math teacher. Kathy is looking forward to spending more time with Roger, who retired two years ago, pursuing their many hobbies, and enjoying the company of their gregarious American Water Spaniel, Dee Dee.
Kathy will be with us off and on for a few months at the beginning of next year as a consultant, helping the new math teacher settle in and assisting us with her special areas of expertise, like computer-based test administration.
We will miss Kathy a great deal. She leaves big shoes to fill (despite her size 5 feet)! We hope that Kathy, Roger, and Dee Dee find many opportunities for future visits to Conserve, and we wish Kathy the best as she enjoys her retirement.