Para By Day, Student By Night: Tenea Jones’ Story

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Tenea Jones, Assistant Principal at TAF@Saghalie 6-12, Federal Way Public Schools


What teacher credential program did you attend?

Grand Canyon University’s Master’s in Secondary Education, right after I graduated from college. It was an online program that allowed me to work as a paraeducator during the day.

What did you study in your undergrad program?


Where did you go?

University of Washington Tacoma

How long did you teach before moving into administration?

I taught for about 4.5 years, first geometry, then PE, as well as some experience as Dean at an elementary school.

Where did you earn your administrator credential?

Eastern Washington University’s Principal Certificate Program

How did you pay for your your schooling?

A combination of loans, scholarships, and I worked as much as I could — not only as a para. I also coached volleyball, basketball, track, and worked as a sales associate for Nike. Some of my loans were forgiven after I passed the five-year mark of working at a Title 1 school (with a high percentage of kids in low-income families).

What's one thing you love about your job?

Every year, I get a new batch of kids, and I’m always learning something new. They keep me young. They keep me fresh. They keep me accountable. It’s an endlessly fascinating journey.

Learn more about Tenea Jones

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