SHOALS — With a 30-year career in education behind her, Dana Thompson’s last day on the job as the principal at Shoals Elementary School will be Friday.
She will be replaced by Jared Jones, who has served as assistant principal at Pilot Mountain Middle School since 2015.
According to a press release from the Surry County Schools, Thompson spent her entire career in the county school district, starting out as a teacher at Westfield Elementary School. She also taught at Pilot Mountain Middle School before accepting assistant principal roles at Copeland Elementary School and Surry Central High School.
When Rockford Elementary School opened in 2010, Thomas became the school’s first principal, where she remained for three years prior to taking the top job at Shoals.
“Thirty years has passed quickly for me, and I attribute that to the fact that those years have been very enjoyable,” explained Thompson. “My journey has been the best. I appreciate the support provided me through the years. I will miss everyone — but mostly the children. There aren’t many jobs where you can get several hugs a day. I wish the staff and students continued success.”
“I thank Mrs. Dana Thomas for thirty years of service to the Surry County School System and wish her a very happy retirement,” said Dr. Travis Reeves, district superintendent. “I, along with the (Surry County Schools) Board of Education, look forward to working closely with Mr. Jones as he begins this new journey. We are excited about the 2017-2018 school year.”
Jones will conclude his time at Pilot Middle in time to take the reins at Shoals Elementary on July 1, according to the statement. He taught agriculture at South Stokes High School and health and physical education at Piney Grove Middle School prior to taking the assistant principal job at Pilot Middle.
He also served as the athletic director at Piney Grove Middle.
Jones received his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Winston-Salem State University and received his master’s degree from East Carolina University. He also earned an add-on license in administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2015.
He served as a graduate assistant to the men’s basketball program while completing his graduate work at East Carolina, an experience to which he credits much of the development of his leadership ability.
“I want to thank Dr. Reeves and the board of education for trusting me with this opportunity,” said Jones. “I am honored to serve as principal of Shoals Elementary and look forward to working with the students, parents, staff, and community to build upon the success that Shoals has maintained for many years.”