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Jones Named MCPS 2024 Mary V. Bicouvaris Teacher of the Year

January 11, 2024 - Kimberly Jones, Reading Support Teacher at Baldwin Intermediate School, was announced as the division’s 2024 Mary V. Bicouvaris Teacher of the Year. Known for her passion for building connections that foster student engagement, Jones has ignited a love for learning in her students.

Jones said she strives to be a champion for her students, noting relationships are fundamental to student learning and achievement.

“These connections, woven with trust, high expectations, and encouragement, inspire students' immediate success and guide them on their lifelong journey of growth,” she added.

Each year, the division nominates a staff member for the Virginia Department of Education sponsored award. Mary V. Bicouvaris Teacher of the Year nominees are individuals who inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn; have the admiration of students, parents, and colleagues; play an active role in fostering community; create a culture of respect and success, and demonstrate leadership and innovation in and outside of the classroom.

On Thursday, Jones was surprised with the news of her award by Superintendent Dr. Kevin Newman, School Board Chair Suzanne Seaberg, and her principal.

Baldwin Intermediate School Principal Juliet Finnegan commends Jones as an extraordinary educator, showcasing unwavering commitment, innovation, and fostering a culture of respect and collaboration.

“Her initiatives go beyond the classroom, reaching out to engage stakeholders and create a thriving community,” Finnegan said. “Notably, her personal outreach efforts within the community, distributing flyers and connecting with families door-to-door, underscore her commitment to fostering strong school-family relationships.”

Jones has been credited for organizing impactful events such as a book-tasting cafe, a Family Literacy Night, and literacy-based field trips that inspire students to have a love of reading that continues past school hours.

At Baldwin’s camping-themed Family Literacy Night, students and their families were invited to engage in literacy-based activities, enjoy dinner, and receive literacy resources that families could use at home to build reading routines. Through her efforts, Jones was able to collect donated books which allowed students to take home several books.

 Jones was also instrumental in organizing the Malcolm Mitchell READBowl, which brought former NFL Superbowl Champion and author Malcolm Mitchell to the school to share his literacy journey.

“Students, deeply moved, expressed gratitude through letters, highlighting the impact of Malcolm’s visit,” Jones added. “Many identified with his struggles and crafted reading goals to share with him. Malcolm’s visit brought our community together and ignited a passion for literacy, creating lasting connections beyond the classroom.”

Assistant Principal Marlon Mohammed praised Jones's infectious energy, creating a positive and engaging learning environment that aids in student success.

“Jones’s leadership extends beyond the classroom, and she actively collaborates with her peers to share best practices and innovative teaching methods,” he said. “Her willingness to mentor and support other educators has created a collaborative and nurturing atmosphere within our school.”

Jones has been a reading support teacher with Manassas City Public Schools for the past two years, previously serving as a special education teacher in Fairfax and Loudoun County.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from East Tennessee State University and a Master's in Special Education from George Mason University. Currently pursuing a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Reading Education at the University of Virginia, she also possesses a post-master's certificate in Educational Leadership and Administration.

Jones and the other teachers nominated by their schools for the honor will be recognized at an upcoming school board meeting.