John Ross Jones is the current principal at Palmer Elementary School. He is a native of Grundy County, enjoys his job and working with children.
“I have resided in Gruetli-Laager since my birth,” says John Ross. “My parents are Vicki (Newsome) Dykes, the late John (Archie) Jones, and my step-dad is Dion Dykes. I have two siblings Kristen Kilgore and Zack Jones.
“I attended Swiss Memorial Elementary School. What stands out the most of my time at Swiss Memorial is actually losing the Big 8 championship game to Tracy City Elementary. This stands out to me because Tracy’s current coach, Nat Newsome, threw up a hope and a prayer from half court at the buzzer and connected to win the game for TCE. It was painful at the moment, but it’s fun to reminisce about it now.
“I am a graduate of Grundy County High School, the class of 2000. My class was one of the fortunate few that attended both the new (Coalmont) and old (Tracy City) high schools. My high school years were a fun and historic time for Grundy County. It was during my high school years that we moved into a new high school, played our first games in Coalmont, and our girls’ basketball team captured a state championship.”
“I majored in Special Education while at MTSU. I obtained my Master’s in Administration and Supervision from Bethel University through their online degree program.
“I started my first job while in high school when I started at the Piggly Wiggly in Gruetli-Laager. I also worked for nine months at Toyo Seat before deciding to go back to college.
“An interesting note about my first day at Toyo Seat is that it was on September, 11, 2001, the day of the terrorist attacks on American soil. After, I reenrolled in college I went back to work at the Piggly Wiggly in Gruetli-Laager and worked there until I graduated from MTSU in 2007. I am very grateful to the Myers family for giving me the opportunity to work my way through college.
“I am currently beginning my third year as principal of Palmer Elementary School. I always tell people I had two career choices. I say this because most of my mom’s side of the family is in the medical field and my dad’s side of the family are educators. So, I obviously chose education.
“I have wanted to teach ever since I was young. I was shy about verbalizing my desire to become a teacher when I was younger because I had mostly female teachers and thought my friends would make fun of me for pursuing a girly job. However, as I got older I realized the need for positive male role models in our schools. So, I decided to follow my dream and become a teacher.
“I enjoy my job and I work with some of the most wonderful people that have a desire to help children. However, my favorite thing about my job is interacting with the kids at school.
“When I am having a bad day I know I can walk down to our Pre-K and Kindergarten classes and within a few minutes all my cares have rolled away by the hugs and smiles of the little ones. I also want to brag on the students at Palmer Elementary by simply saying we have great kids!”
John Ross has been married to his wife, Lindsey, for eight years. They have two children, Chloe, seven, and Christian, 5.
“My dad always used to tell me that I would never understand how much he loved me until I had kids of my own. Well, my dad was right there is no way to express the love I have for my children. My wife and children bring great joy and happiness to my life.”
Giving back to the community is important to John Ross.
“I am very involved in the community through the church I attend. I am a member of Laager Independent Methodist (Cotton’s). We visit folks in the community on a weekly basis and have a prayer meeting every morning at 6 a.m. that anyone is welcome to attend. Also, since I have the platform, our friends and family day is this Sunday starting at 10:30 a.m. We would love for you to join us.”
In his free time, John Ross enjoys reading, listening to music, playing guitar, spending time with family and friends, and attending church and studying the Bible.
“I like Christian music. I have currently been listening to the new albums by Toby Mac, Jeremy Camp, Third Day, Mercy Me, and The Neverclaim.”
How does he feel about Grundy County?
“I think Grundy County is a beautiful place and I enjoy living here. However, my favorite thing about Grundy County is the people. We have some of the most caring and loving people in this county. I have many friends that I could call at anytime, for anything, and I know that they would be there for me no matter what the circumstance.
An interesting fact no one knows about John Ross? He says most people do not know when he was born.
“One interesting fact I like to tell people is that I am an April Fool’s Baby (Yes, I was one big joke on my mother). Also, my sister and I share April Fool’s Day as our birthday but we are not twins we were born exactly one year apart 1981 and 1982.