Profession: Retired Commercial Banker
Years In Washington: Lifetime
Some of Jones’ experience as a volunteer/public servant: Everson Nooksack Chamber of Commerce member for 41 years and former chair. City of Nooksack Planning Commission member and chair. Whatcom County Library Board, member and chair. Arthritis Foundation Board member and co-chair. Co-chaired 1st Jingle Bell Run in Bellingham. United Way of Whatcom County board member. Nooksack Valley School Board since 1989 serving as board chair in alternating years. Nooksack Valley High School Ag Shop Advisory Committee. Nooksack Valley High School Senior Project Panel Member and Mentor.
Question 1: Why do you want to be on the Nooksack Valley School Board? Are there any specific issues that caused you to seek this office?
Steve Jones: I was appointed to the Nooksack Valley School Board in July 1989 and have served continuously since then. My wife Debra and I are graduates of Nooksack, as are our three children. Six or our nine grandchildren are students of the Nooksack Valley School District. I take a great deal of pride in our community, our schools, our students and our educators.
I plan to serve one more four-year term and then retire with 36 years of service. In the past 16 months, education has endured a pandemic, and in the last four months the Nooksack Valley School District has transitioned with the hiring of a new superintendent.
I can provide institutional knowledge and stability during these exceptional times.
Question 2: What do you most like about the Nooksack Valley School Board, and Nooksack Valley School District?
Jones: The Nooksack Valley School Board is a true reflection of the community we live, work and educate in.
As board members we come from different backgrounds and beliefs but consistently work cohesively to enhance teaching and learning for our educators and students. We are a growing community, which provides challenges and also opportunities.
Our district is well managed financially and our expanding facilities are up to date and modern.
Our students consistently outperform the entire county in literacy, math and science.
My mother was raised on a small farm in Nooksack and graduated from Sumas Nooksack High School. I have lived here virtually all my life and love our Nooksack Valley community of Everson, Nooksack and Sumas.
Question 3: If elected, what would you most like to see changed at the Nooksack Valley School District?
Jones: If elected to a ninth term on the Nooksack Valley School Board I am not interested in many changes but choose to concentrate on continuing the good work we are doing and ensuring a smooth transition for our new superintendent.
One change I have proposed and am now getting support for is changing our director districts. We now have five director districts and I have proposed we change to three director districts and two at large director districts. this structure will give more people the opportunity to serve on the Nooksack Valley School Board. This should be on the ballot in 2022.
Question 4: If elected, what do you believe would be your greatest responsibility to the Nooksack Valley School District’s students and their families, as well as the district’s teachers, administrators and other employees?
Jones: The greatest responsibility of a school board is to hire the best superintendent possible, let them do their professional job and provide accountability. We are a reflection of our community that can provide a local lens and filter for some of the legislation we live by.
Question 5: What would be your greatest responsibility to Nooksack Valley School District taxpayers?
Jones: Our responsibility to the district taxpayers is to be good stewards of the money they invest in our schools and students. School that are financially sound are great sources of pride and are excellent major employers in small communities in addition to providing the all-important education for our children.
Question 6: What do believe are the most important issues facing Nooksack Valley School District stakeholders and how would you deal with those concerns?
Jones: Ensuring the success of all students. We must create and maintain a sense of belonging by treating each and every student and adult with dignity and respect.
Question 7: How do you believe the COVID-19 pandemic has affected meeting the needs of the Nooksack Valley School District? What would you like to see different at Nooksack Valley Schools in 2021-2022?
Jones: In the Nooksack Valley School District, we have learned some lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the most important lessons is that the educational model public schools have developed over many years is proving to still be the best model. Technology is no substitute for good in person teaching and learning.
My sincere hope is that every student has the advantage of in person learning every day during the 2021-22 school year and that they are safe in doing so.