Dr. Curtis L. Jones Jr. was met with a standing ovation when he walked into work after the Presidents Day holiday. Over the weekend, the Bibb County School District superintendent was named National Superintendent of the Year.
Jones is the second superintendent from Georgia since 2015 to win the national honor.
A Barnesville native and the son of two educators, he began his career in education as a JROTC instructor in the Spalding-Griffin school system. He spent 18 years there, including five years as superintendent.
Jones joined Bibb County – one of the poorest in the state with a child poverty rate near 45 percent – as superintendent in 2015. In those four years, he has turned around the reputation of a system that was mired in allegations of corruption amid the prosecution of former superintendent Romain Dallemand, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion.
Jones spoke with "On Second Thought" about the honor and reflected on how, in a relatively short time, he has rebuilt trust with the community, improved student success and created a positive culture for teachers and staff. He also shared his priorities for the future of education in Georgia.