Our Voice, Our Story, Our Connection | Henry Jones of Smilow Prep

Experience RePublic: Our Voice, Our Story, Our Connection

At RePublic Schools, it is essential to uplift the voices of our scholars and staff, share the stories that change lives, and highlight the connection that allows us to advance our mission of love, achievement, and anti-racism. In the Our Voice, Our Story, Our Connection series, you will hear from scholars, staff, and school leaders about why they continue to choose RePublic each day.

We were able to catch up with Mr. Henry Jones, an 8th-grade ELA Lead Teacher at Smilow Prep to hear his story and how he has impacted the lives of our scholars and RePublic Schools.

Mr. Jones, please tell us a little about your background with RePublic Schools.

I began working at RePublic Schools in 2021 as a 6th-grade ELA teacher. Since joining, I have had the opportunity to teach across different grade levels, including 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Currently, I am teaching 8th grade ELA. This diverse experience has allowed me to develop a deep understanding of the curriculum and the unique needs of students at various stages of their academic journey. It has also strengthened my ability to adapt my teaching strategies to best support student growth and engagement.

I was drawn to RePublic Schools because of their unwavering commitment to providing a high-quality education to all students, regardless of their background. The organization’s mission to close the achievement gap and prepare students for success in college and beyond deeply resonated with my values and career goals. RePublic’s innovative approach to education, focus on personalized learning, and dedication to continuous improvement made it the perfect place for me to contribute my skills and grow as an educator.

What keeps you motivated to lead in love, achievement, and anti-racism?

I am motivated by the impact I see on students’ lives daily, leading with love by building strong relationships with students, families, and colleagues. Creating a supportive environment where everyone feels valued drives my passion. I am committed to anti-racism, believing in equitable educational opportunities, and dismantling systemic barriers. RePublic Schools’ dedication to anti-racist practices aligns with my values, inspiring me to push for meaningful change for a more just and equitable society.

Our Voice

I advocate for the voiceless in our school network, aiming to bring a unique perspective and experiences that enrich our community. Each team member has a distinct background, and by sharing mine, I broaden our understanding of education. My insights spark innovation and collaboration, driving new ideas within our network. It’s crucial to be heard to address all students’ needs and create an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued. Speaking up allows us to advocate for positive change and improve our practices. By contributing my voice, I support our network’s growth and model active participation for students, fostering open dialogue and mutual respect for our collective goals.

Our Story

During the Winter MAAP testing in 2022, a significant moment occurred in my classrooms when struggling ELA students met or exceeded their target goals. Witnessing these students overcome challenges was personally rewarding and inspiring, emphasizing the power of hard work and resilience. It reinforced the importance of a supportive learning environment and the value of small victories in achieving growth and success. This experience strengthened my commitment to excellence in teaching and advocating for student potential. It also highlighted the significance of celebrating milestones as a team, showcasing the collaborative spirit of the school network, and renewing dedication to making a profound impact on students’ lives.

Our Connection

Fostering meaningful connections with scholars, team members, and the broader community involves building trust through consistent communication, creating inclusive spaces, engaging in collaborative activities, providing support and encouragement, encouraging shared experiences, and building partnerships. These connections support shared goals and values by enhancing collaboration, promoting a unified vision, building a supportive network, encouraging engagement and ownership, and strengthening community ties. By actively listening, creating an inclusive environment, participating in collaborative activities, offering support, and establishing partnerships, individuals can build strong relationships based on mutual respect and understanding.

These connections help align efforts, drive progress, and achieve shared objectives while creating a positive and resilient school culture. Ultimately, fostering meaningful connections contributes to a cohesive and unified approach to achieving goals, enhancing educational opportunities, and creating a more enriching and supportive environment for all involved.