Jones’ 40 years of service to Liberty


Daniel Noble, Staff Writer

When applying for a job, the regular course of action is to submit a resume, go in for an interview, and wait patiently to receive a call. This was not how Kathy Jones became Liberty’s Paraprofessional.
“I was volunteering at Liberty and around the ISD in different areas,” Jones said. “One day it was culinary and their teacher quit, so I started doing that until they could find someone else.”
That was 30 years ago, and Jones has kept the position since.
Ever since, Jones has put in an immense level of effort into connecting with all of her students and fellow faculty.
“My proudest accomplishment is helping students,” she said. “My husband always said ‘you can buy them food, clothes, but you can’t bring them to our home.’ So I would stay until five, six sometimes, so they could pass, get help, and find counseling at the same time.” Jones said.
This is not the only example of Jones’ exemplary character.
“A few years ago Mrs. Jones found out one of her students needed food,” Kris Daughters said. “To not embarrass him she would wait up in the bus lanes and hand it off to him before he got on the bus. I don’t know a lot of teachers that are so in tune with students and listen to students and care so much that they’d go home and prepare food for them, and Mrs. Jones is one of those people.”
To students, she is more than a teacher or supervisor. She is like a mother, a guardian angel, someone who exceeds expectations at every opportunity to change student’s lives, ensuring that they can succeed at college or whatever else lies beyond high school.
DECA teacher Chris Gapinski agrees. “Kathy is one of the most genuine and kindest people you will ever meet,” he said. “She has volunteered on countless DECA trips throughout the years. On every trip, she always kind of served as a mother figure.”
After having left an indescribable impact on countless Liberty students, there comes a time in every professional career to move on. That time has come for Jones.
“I never planned to stay this long, but every year the kids have said ‘Mrs. Jones, you have to wait until I graduate!’” Jones said.
However, she’s not done volunteering. “I’ll volunteer in other places, it’s not like I’m going to give up volunteering.” Jones said.
The also had a last piece of advice to give. “Enjoy school, it goes by so fast, do your best, be compassionate, and care about everybody. I care about everybody,” Jones said.