Marvin Jones is well known in the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) community as a kind leader who will do anything to help children succeed. Jones is an executive director of schools in the CCPS Office of School Administration. In this role, Jones works with principals and school administrative staffs in the system’s 36 schools and four educational centers.
His passion for education and building relationships with people is evident in all that he does. From stepping up to serve as principal to help a school community in need of a positive presence, to high fiving students as they walk off the graduation stage, Jones is a leader who stands out among his colleagues. For these qualities and his ability to lead with honor, Jones was named this year’s recipient of the James E. Richmond Leadership in Excellence Award.
Jones was presented with the award at the Board of Education’s Feb. 12 meeting. Superintendent of Schools Kimberly Hill recommended Jones for the honor and introduced him during a recognition ceremony. At the start of the award presentation, Jones received a standing ovation from administrators, staff, parents and students in attendance.
In presenting Jones with the award, Hill said Jones was a natural choice for an award that recognizes leadership. “He embodies passion and the drive to do what is best for children. He is a relationship builder and leader in our school system,” Hill said.
The award was established in 2013 to honor school system leaders who exhibit high standards of leadership and excellence. It was named in honor of former Superintendent James E. Richmond, who spent his entire 47-year career in education with CCPS.
Jones spent 13 years as an elementary school vice principal and principal before his promotion in 2013 to executive director of schools. Although his experience with CCPS is based at the elementary school level, Jones was asked by staff to help administrators at both the middle- and high-school level navigate through tough times.
When St. Charles High School opened in 2014, students were rezoned from the existing high schools. The transition for some was not easy and conflict among students existed. Jones stepped in to assist St. Charles staff build a school culture based on kindness and respect.
Deputy Superintendent Amy Hollstein said Jones is the type of leader who unites people. “He is a difference maker… the one who does whatever it takes. Marvin has a gift of bringing people together,” she said.
And in 2017, Jones was asked to help bring a community together. It was during that time that Benjamin Stoddert Middle School suffered a tragedy that affected students, parents, staff, the school system and the community. Jones stepped in and served as principal at Stoddert for a year to help the school community heal. His primary focus was the children.
“It’s about the children; it’s about doing my part to help those who need me the most. So I embraced the opportunity and enjoyed the experience, from the introductory parent night in the summer to the eighth grade promotion ceremony in June. I took great pride in building relationships with kids, teachers, staff and parents, all the things I did as a principal before, and still do, but it’s no secret that this experience was unique,” Jones said.
Erica Williams, vice principal at Milton M. Somers Middle School, is a strong supporter of Jones and spoke during the recognition ceremony about his exemplary leadership. Williams was a vice principal at Stoddert for several years and worked with Jones when he was interim principal last year. She refers to Jones as a passionate leader.
“Leadership is not easy. Mr. Jones has a passion for student success. He helped us focus on what united us in the first place, kids. He is a strong branch in our collective community,” Williams said.
Linda Gill, also an executive director of schools of whom Jones works with daily, refers to him as a natural leader. “Mr. Jones rises to the challenge at difficult times and provides strong leadership. He brings people together for healing and unity – something few people can do,” Gill said.
Jones began his teaching career in 1992 with Prince George’s County Public Schools and joined CCPS in 2000. He served as a vice principal at Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, Arthur Middleton and J.C. Parks elementary schools, and was named principal at Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School in 2006. He was principal at Dr. Brown for five years and also served as principal at Berry Elementary School for two years. Hill promoted him to an executive director of schools position in 2013.
Jones worked with Richmond during the first part of his career in CCPS and said he is humbled by his selection for the honor named after a dedicated leader.
“Having had the opportunity to work with him and having witnessed some of his accomplishments first-hand makes this a surreal and even more gratifying experience. I thank our current Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Hill for recommending me for this award. You could have selected any number of other individuals but you chose me and I could not be more thankful for this honor,” Jones said.
A plaque featuring Jones at this year’s Richmond Leadership Award recipient is on display near the boardroom at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, which houses the CCPS administrative offices.
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,108 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.