Web, Writing and Editing. December 15, 2015. Wingspan Online.
We knew from the beginning of the semester that our beloved Principal Dean Jones was retiring. But we didn’t know for sure who his replacement would be. We had our suspicions but nothing was confirmed until a couple weeks before. When it was announced that Mrs. Auten would be taking over for Mr. Jones most people at school were very excited. I took it upon myself to go talk to both Auten and Jones the next day and we had the story up within two hours of school starting.
Assistant Principal Sharon Auten will replace current principal Dean Jones on Feb. 1, 2016. Jones will retire at the end of the first semester.
The change was announced at last night’s school board meeting and in a faculty meeting Tuesday morning.
Jones has served for 28 years in public education, including positions at Murphy High School, Flat Rock Middle School, East Henderson High School and then finally West where he became the head football coach in 1999.
“In my educational career this is the one place I fell in love with,” Jones said. “The most rewarding thing was to see student success.”
Auten joined Henderson County Public Schools in 2006 as a coach and school counselor and became assistant principal, a position she has held since 2011.
“I’m really excited because it’s a great opportunity,” Auten said. “It’s going to be some tough shoes to fill. This is the school where I started, and I’m excited continue here.”
Students, teachers, parents and administrators will remember Jones by his truism, “Do what’s right all the time” and the legacy of character he brought to the school.
“We are very appreciative of the leadership and service Dean Jones provided our school district,” Henderson County Public School Superintendent David Jones said in a press release. “He is a fine man who made a positive impact on students, staff, and community. We wish him well in his retirement and future endeavors.”
By Ari Sen
Principal Dean Jones, accompanied by other faculty members, enters the stadium for the graduation ceremony in June. In February, Jones was succeeded by then Assistant Principal Shannon Auten. Photo used with permission of Lifetouch.