Mildred D. Jones was born to Datus and Barbara Jean Covington Dumas on May 13, 1950, the second of the couple’s three children.
It has been said that Mickie’s penchant toward educational leadership might have evidenced itself early on by the way she lined up her obedient dolls in front of one exacting teddy bear.
Through her artistic gift she gained admission to Art and Design High School and the love of painting and drawing that would augment her extracurricular endeavors throughout her life. A near daily crafting of gourmet meals would join her immense array of talents.
She would earn her Bachelor of Science degree from Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and inspired by her mother’s ever-presence in her school activities she returned to New York and began her career in the classroom, first as an elementary school teacher and corrective reading and math instructor. Meanwhile, she would earn a Master of Science in Education and numerous certifications in Administration and Supervision. She would also serve as Adjunct Professor at Fordham University.
On July 1, 1970, on the corner of 124th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, Mickie’s best friend, Marsha Sneed introduced her to Alfred C. Jones, and perhaps moved by his allusion to her “New York eyes,” she granted him her phone number. Thus, began the partnership that would endure the 49 years since, encompassing their 44-year marriage. Together, in constant concert, the young parents strove to nurture ambition in their three children, January, Alfred Charles II and Brooks.
Administration and supervision were innate skills, and Mrs. Jones assumed successive duties of Staff Developer and Assistant Principal. She quickly advanced, and in 1998 Mrs. Jones was appointed Principal of Community School 44 in the Bronx. Under her leadership there, Mrs. Jones fostered a strong, cohesive school community resulting in consistently high School Report Card grades.
As much as the heights of professionalism and academic substance, Mrs. Jones represented the apex of glamour. Her hard-won credentials were borne by her natural talents of charm, wit, grace, exuberance, personality and that dazzling smile. She was fabulous. Indeed, style and fashion were important to her, not as a vanity but rather to model for her students all aspects of the potential they held, to enable each to so see themselves in the stunning persona she displayed. For, with regard to all students, Mrs. Jones’ policy was one of High Expectations.
To this end, the initiatives she instituted went far beyond her mandate. Mrs. Jones endeavored to showcase student talent, empowered social growth and served as a bridge between school and home. School assemblies featured music and provided students with opportunities to develop vocal and instrumental skills. Trips became an integral part of the curriculum and were used to expand students' experiences beyond their immediate neighborhood. The school became their true "home away from home" and her students' personal cache of experiences grew beyond the academic standards that were mandated, evidence, once again, of her magnificent vision for all children.
Upon her retirement in 2010, the effectiveness of her administrative leadership was cited by President Barack Obama, New York State Governor David Paterson, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bronx Borough President Rubin Diaz, Jr.
Following her retirement, Mrs. Jones has served as an adjunct professor at Mercy College, and was appointed as a Coordinator for the Executive Leadership Institution of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators of the City of New York where she provided professional development opportunities to numerous Principals, Assistant Principals and other educational administrators and leaders.
Meanwhile, undaunted by the distances from her far-flung grandchildren, Mrs. Jones could be found on a plane virtually every other month to either London or the West Coast.
Charm, personality and genuine concern for others were ever evident. Indeed, she would relish opportunities to dramatically read before gatherings of friends or colleagues enlightening passages, her favorite being “The Station: A Reminder to Cherish the Journey.”
In addition to her husband and children, Mrs. Jones is survived by her mother, Barbara Dumas Francis, her sister Marie Antionette Lockhart, her brother Datus R. Dumas; five grandchildren, Jones and Harrison Omotajo, Izabella Nia, Alfred Charles III and Zoe Elizabeth Jones; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
This consummate professional, this universally respected leader, this beloved wife, mother and grandmother, this purveyor of impeccable standards and uncompromising principles, has touched so many lives. As a result, her mission will continue on through generations of family and friends, students and colleagues. Hers was indeed a journey well cherished.