FAIRFIELD, Conn. — After an extensive national search, Toni Jones was named Tuesday, Sept. 6, as the new superintendent of the Fairfield Public Schools at the Board of Education's regular meeting.
Jones will begin serving as superintendent on Dec. 5, replacing Interim Superintendent Steven Tracy, who has been in the role since Aug. 1. Tracy replaced David Title, who retired in August after five years as superintendent to take a position at Sacred Heart University.
“It is an honor to be appointed superintendent of schools in such a wonderful community,” said Jones. “I look forward to building on the good work of those caring and committed educators, board members, and community members who have come before me, and to serving the students and staff of the Fairfield Public Schools.”
Jones has broad educational experience, including five years as superintendent in the Falls Church City, Va., school district. She was born and raised in Oklahoma, and is a graduate of the University of Nevada at Reno, where she received a bachelor's degree with a dual major of special education and elementary education. She also has a master's degree in reading from Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Australia, and a doctorate in leadership from Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma.
The school board selected Jones after a national search conducted by executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates.
“HYA conducted a professional and thorough search, which resulted in a competitive field of candidates,” said Board of Education Chairman Philip Dwyer. “Dr. Jones has variety strengths, qualities and experiences that the board feels will help the district move forward.”
“The FPS has benefited from strong, high-quality superintendents in the past, and I believe Dr. Jones continues that tradition.”
Jones began her career in the Reno, Nev., public school system in 1989. She moved to Australia in 1991 and taught there for five years, before returning to Oklahoma, where she worked as a teacher in the Moore school system before moving to the Deer Creek school system – as an elementary school principal, a middle school principal, director of secondary education and technology, and chief academic officer. She held that job for two years before she was hired as superintendent of the Falls Church City schools in 2011.
Under Jones’ leadership in Falls Church, the district and schools have been recognized with the following honors:
- One of two districts recognized by Virginia with a 2016 Virginia Index of Performance award for advanced learning and achievement
- One of the top three districts in Virginia in the state standardized SOL test scores
- George Mason High School received a national ranking of 160 from US News & World Report’s annual High School report, as well as a ranking of No. 123 nationwide for STEM programs, and also a ranking of No. 4 in the state.
Jones and her family plan to reside in Fairfield.
HYA began the search process in March by holding focus groups with a range of stakeholders, including district administrators, staff, union leaders, students, community leaders, elected officials, parents, and Fairfield residents, to identify the desired leadership qualities for the next superintendent.
According to HYA, 27 candidates from 12 states applied for the position and six were brought to the school board for consideration.
The school board interviewed all six candidates and invited four back for a second interview before coming to its final decision.
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