Fairfield’s new school chief introduced at meet and greet
FAIRFIELD — Incoming superintendent Toni Jones mingled with community members on Wednesday night at a meet and greet at school district offices.
Jones told an audience of more than 30 that she had not been looking for a new job when she came across the Fairfield posting and that it was the only position to which she applied.
“I can’t wait to actually get here on Dec. 5,” she said.
Along with Jones and her husband, one of her two adult sons plans to move to Fairfield after he finishes college. She will also be moving her 77-year-old mother to town.
“She is just as excited to move here as we are,” Jones said.
She told community members they could expect to see her “all over town” and encouraged them to say hello.
During a question and answer session, one community member asked Jones about her budget experience. Jones said Falls Church City, Va., where she is currently superintendent of schools, has an involved budget process similar to what she will be working with in Fairfield.
This December, former superintendent David Title, who retired Aug. 1, and Interim Superintendent Stephen Tracy are set to be part of the budget process to ease the transition.
In response to a question about her goals as superintendent, Jones said her first will be to carry out the district’s improvement plan for 2015-2020. Other goals will involve meeting teachers, support staff and other members of the school community to set future aspirations together, she added.
When asked about opportunities she envisions for Fairfield schools, Jones said they can grow in servicing the needs of all children. Walter Fitzgerald Campus was one of the first stops she wanted to make after she got the job, Jones said. She highlighted that Falls Church City schools have graduated 100 percent of their students in recent years.
Jones also spoke about relieving student stress while still meeting student academic needs.
Asked about aiding teacher in the face of evaluation requirements, Jones said she was engaged with policy at the state level in Virginia and that while some evaluation is important, some of the pressure from focusing on scores over students should be relieved teachers can spend the time they need to with students.
Jones will meet with leaders from across town this weekend, including Police Chief Gary MacNamara, Representative Town Meeting majority and minority leaders, the Fairfield Education Association board and State Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey. She has already met with First Selectman Mike Tetreau, RTM moderator Pamela Iacono and James Accomando, a National PTA Board of Directors member and Fairfield resident, among others.