Passion over Paycheque
Avery Martin

Most Grade 12's at Southridge can't wait to leave, but Mr. Jones couldn't wait to come back. Mr. Jones became a part of the Southridge community in his Grade 11 year when his father became the Head of School. Coming from the public school system, the new experience was shocking. Not only was there an abundance of new opportunities that ranged from travelling across the world to exploring the wilderness of British Columbia, but he noticed that his teachers really cared about his success. They were not just there because it was their job, but because they were passionate about what they did, and wanted to share their passion with students.

One of his favourite subjects while at Southridge was chemistry. Like all Grade 11 students currently taking chemistry, Mr. Jones participated in the national crystal growing contest. Hours of work went into the project, guided by the mentorship of Ms. McCaw who was excited to see students who enjoyed applying their knowledge of science.

Eventually, Mr. Jones and his partner, Tamlin Reed, were crowned national champions. Although Ms. McCaw credits the success to their hard work, Mr. Jones was quick to declare "not only did she make me a national crystal growing champion, but also someone who is passionate about science." Although he was passionate about science, his end goal was to go into business at the University of Calgary, so that someday, "he could park his Porsche 911 next to his Mercedes G-Wagon."

While pursuing his degree in business at the University of Calgary, Mr. Jones really struggled with the teaching. It was as if he had gone back to the times before Southridge; the teachers weren't there for the students. During his first year, he took a statistics course that proved to be his turning point. Although he could do the course, it was very difficult, and whenever he went for help, his professor "made him feel dumber each time." This very course taught him that doing what you love is worth much more than a massive paycheque.

Mr. Jones dropped out of the business program and pursued a degree in political science at the University of Calgary and then pursued his undergraduate degree at the University of Windsor where he completed his Bachelor of Education. Mr. Jones then worked at York House before spending one year getting a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Organization at Columbia. He was "constantly looking for openings at Southridge" and when he had the chance, he pounced, and since, has quickly become the Vice Principal of Student Life! Not only does Mr. Jones currently work here, but his son Myles attends the Junior School, which Mr. Jones finds, "amazing and hopes that his other son will have the opportunity as well!"

As students, we should all follow Mr. Jones by example. He tried what he wanted to do, but also understood that you must love what you do when he decided to become a teacher. Although fancy cars are an amazing luxury, Mr. Jones drives a "Ford Focus and is happier than ever!"

By Avery Martin, Grade 12