After 12 years at the helm of Cale Elementary, principal Lisa “DeeDee” Jones is leaving to join the Albemarle County school division’s alternative learning program.
Jones will be the student services officer at the Center for Learning and Growth and the Special Education Department. Her last day at Cale will be June 30, and a new principal is expected to be hired in July.
“I am so proud of the accomplishments of our school,” Jones wrote in a note to the Cale community. “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.”
Jones joined the division in 2002 when she took the reins at Scottsville Elementary School. She’s the division’s longest-serving principal.
During her tenure at Cale, Jones began the school’s Spanish language immersion program, the division’s first and only such program. The school has worked to strengthen its partnership with parents and the local community and to overcome language barriers.
The staff school-wide also adopted culturally responsive teaching strategies and practices.
In 2018, Jones became the first principal in the division to earn certification in culturally responsive teaching.
Clare Keiser, the division’s assistant superintendent for organizational development and human resources leadership, said in a statement that Jones has been among the division’s “most innovative, inclusive and results-oriented leaders.”
“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.
As of July 1, the supervisory responsibilities for the center are being moved to the Special Education Department and its director, Kevin Kirst, said division spokesman Phil Giaramita.
Nick King, the division’s director of student services, previously oversaw the center. His focus on school security will be increasing. The division is hiring a school security coordinator who will report to King.
Two Albemarle County schools — Baker-Butler Elementary and Albemarle High — currently have principal vacancies. Those positions are expected to be filled this month.