- Fort Smith School District
FSPS Alum Director of Belle Point
FSPS ALUM TONY JONES, NEW DIRECTOR OF BELLE POINT
Tony Jones is no stranger to the Fort Smith Public Schools. After attending Spradling, Kimmons, and graduating from Northside, Fort Smith is his home. Educators had a great influence on him and made him realize he wanted to have that same effect on his students. “My experience here as a student was a good one. I had many coaches, teachers, and administrators who were helpful towards my success, which made me realize early on that I wanted to coach, but felt that I could benefit students more as an administrator. I wanted to become an administrator to give back to my community,” he said.
Jones began his teaching career at Northside where he taught for five years. He then transitioned to Kimmons and Northside where he served as an assistant principal. This past year, he was selected as director of Belle Point Center, “I believe I have the mix of appropriate firmness, as well as patience to help benefit the students of Belle Point.” This only being his first year, he realized early that he would face challenges. “The biggest challenge so far is helping students understand the value of staying calm. At times it is difficult for them to understand that staying calm, and using polite words will help them alleviate many of their problems. However, I can see growth in many of them on a continual basis.”
Though there are challenges, what motivates Jones is to see a student transcend current circumstances, “The most rewarding part is to see a student trust an adult, and listen to the advice the adult is giving them Not only will they listen, but to watch them apply that advice is great. I say this to the staff all the time, and it is very true, there really are miracles that occur at Belle Point each day.” The students are just as excited for Jones to be there as he is. “I truly hope he sticks around for the next generation to spread his amazing thoughts and great leadership skills,” Jalandrea Evans said, after interviewing him for the school newspaper.
Every semester, Belle Point starts instruction with a culture project. As part of the project this semester, the students volunteered at the River Valley Regional Food Bank, where they sorted food donations and learned about the food insecurity in Fort Smith. This inspired Hoops For Hunger, a canned food drive formed and hosted by Belle Point students at the Evans Boys and Girls Club on Friday, September 28, held to raise awareness for the hunger crisis in our area. The students challenged their teachers and community members to play 3 on 3 basketball for the price of canned food donations. They were defeated by their teachers, but rallied for victories against the Fort Smith Fire Department and Harry Robinson Buick GMC employees. It was a fun event and the students got to donate three large boxes of canned food to the River Valley Regional Food Bank. When asked what he hopes to see for the future of Belle Point and it’s students, Jones replied, “I hope to see all Belle Point students reach their goals. Whether it be to transition back to their traditional school, acquire a GED, or graduate with a high school diploma.”