NDP Community Celebrates Mrs. Jones


Anna Seal, Staff Writer

Arriving on Hampton Lane two years ago, Mrs. Joanne Jones set out to make an impact as the leader of Notre Dame Preparatory School, and she didn’t disappoint. Guiding students, faculty, and staff through many traditions, celebrations, and a pandemic, our principal stayed calm in the face of adversity and served as an example of compassion and courage for all.

Drawn to NDP for its “depth of tradition that is parallel, not in conflict with, innovation,” Mrs. Jones’s favorite memories have been of assemblies, such as the Dance Assembly, Black History Month, and Christmas Liturgy, which all highlight the creativity and passion of students across all grades. Furthermore, she holds a deep personal commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, which guides her work as an administrator and mentor. She is excited to see the direction NDP is headed in and the growth that will continue to happen within this area of our community.

Aiming for each girl to “focus on who she is, instead of focusing on what everyone else thinks of her” is a priority for Mrs. Jones, which is why she has invested her time into all-girls education as a student, a mother, and an educator. Not surprisingly, Mrs. Jones has always felt called to education, and shares a story about her childhood: “I was 11 or 12, and I decided to run my own summer school in the neighborhood, and I typed up flyers and rode all around the neighborhood. For whatever reason, all the moms said yes. The next thing I knew, I had all the kids at the park, and certainly everything fell apart within a few days. But, I have always been someone who has been a teacher-leader.” After graduating from the University of Michigan, Mrs. Jones immediately started teaching high school English, returned to graduate school, and then worked at her alma mater, an all-girls Catholic institution. Following this, she has worked at many prestigious institutions as a teacher and a leader. Holding great regard for classroom spaces and spaces to grow outside of the classroom in her tenure at NDP, Mrs. Jones has empowered each student with her words of encouragement, firm belief in all of us, and compassion.

Outside of our stone building, students may not know that Mrs. Jones likes to spend her time outdoors, with family, busting a move on the dance floor, or cracking jokes with anyone and everyone. In fact, one of the bright moments that she experienced during the pandemic was becoming a grandmother to her grandson, Patrick. She remains grounded by the quote, “I will not let you go until you bless me,” and would like to tell the student body that “the resiliency you have gained as a byproduct of this past year is going to serve you long after you’ve walked through the Gateway as a graduate.”

As a powerful woman role model, Mrs. Jones shares her advice for young women pursuing leadership roles: “You don’t have to grow up to be a leader — you can be a leader all of the way as long as you believe in yourself and those around you. When other people see something in you, respond to it. And, finally, find yourself a really good mentor.” Next year, Mrs. Jones will return to Michigan as the inaugural Head of Schools for the Shrine Schools, which is an educational institution associated with a national cathedral that has 1000 students on two campuses. She will also return to her immediate family. The Notre Dame Prep community will miss Mrs. Jones dearly, but we are so excited to see what the future holds for our beloved principal. With much gratitude, we wish Mrs. Jones all the best, and always know that there will be a home for her on Hampton Lane.