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Albemarle’s Longest-Serving Principal Is Leaving Cale Elementary to Join the Center for Learning and Growth

DATE: June 7, 2019
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049

Albemarle’s Longest-Serving Principal Is Leaving Cale Elementary School to Join the Division’s Center for Learning and Growth

Lisa Jones Lisa Jones

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Lisa Jones, the Albemarle County school division’s longest serving principal, will leave her post at Cale Elementary School on June 30 to become the division’s Student Services Officer with the Center for Learning and Growth and the Special Education Department.

Jones joined the division in 2002 as the principal of Scottsville Elementary School and since 2007, she has served as the principal at Cale.

In a note to the Cale community, Jones said, “I am so proud of the accomplishments of our school; I truly have been fortunate to have worked with so many talented teachers who taught me so much along the way. The foundation of this community and the dedication of our staff is what makes Cale so extraordinary.”

In her new role, Jones will be working with students from throughout the county who are in the division’s alternative learning program. The Center for Learning and Growth serves students in grades 6-12 who benefit from more structured and personalized instruction.

“Since she joined our division in 2002, ‘DeeDee’ has been among our most innovative, inclusive and results-oriented leaders,” said Dr. Clare Keiser, assistant superintendent for Organizational Development and Human Resources Leadership. “She’s especially skilled in connecting with diverse communities and her deep knowledge of curriculum, instruction and best practices will be an asset for students at the Learning and Growth Center,” Keiser said.

Keiser also noted the importance of Jones’ new appointment in light of the school division’s “All Means All” commitment to students, which focuses on closing existing opportunity gaps. “DeeDee’s insight and relationship skills improves our ability to meet that commitment for every student,” Keiser said.

Under Jones’ leadership, Cale is at the forefront among division elementary schools in providing world language instruction and in the adoption of culturally responsive teaching strategies and practices. Jones began the school’s Spanish immersion program in 2013, in which 50 percent of academic classes are taught in Spanish and 50 percent in English.

In 2016, Jones received the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s regional Impact Award for her introduction of the program to Cale.

The school also has become a model for the division’s Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) program, the first of its kind in Virginia. The program challenges educators to reflect on their own biases and preconceptions and their impact on their relationship with diverse students. There’s a strong emphasis on connecting more personally and empathetically with students and families who come from different life experiences.

To be certified as a culturally responsive educator, a teacher has to shape an individualized classroom approach to fit each student’s needs and demonstrate that they have improved outcomes. In 2018, Jones became the first principal in the school division to be CRT certified and together with her assistant principal, Benjamin Allen, she received the Diversity and Equity Educator of the Year “Walk the Walk” Award.

In 2014, Jones was the featured speaker at the Responsive Leadership Conference in Chicago. She discussed how the relationship building program at Cale had overcome language barriers and strengthened the school’s partnership with parents and the local community.

Jones began her career in 1989 as a sixth-grade teacher. Her first administrative appointment was as an assistant middle school principal in 1996 in Madison County. She also served as a principal in Orange County before coming to Albemarle.

A graduate of Fairmont State College, she received her master’s of education in Administration and Supervision from the University of Virginia.

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