He figured he must have done something right after two of his former students thanked him for helping them to get ahead in life.
The award recognises a secondary school teacher who has delivered high quality education. However, the modest Mr Jones says he simply shows up to work each day and does his best.
‘It’s fantastic to be recognised but it’s something I didn’t expect. There are a lot of great teachers who all deserve to be recognised.’
The design and technology educator has taught in Perth, Karratha and Newman for the past 17 years.
In 2000, he started at Swan View but took a short break from the classroom to start his own welding business.
‘I returned to teaching within six months when the school kept calling me to do relief teaching,’ he said.
‘I think it is important to take a break because otherwise you can become stale.’
Five years later, Mr Jones accepted a position as the Head of Learning Area for Technology and Enterprise at St Luke’s College in Karratha, where he helped students who had struggled to find work gain employment in the mining industry.
‘I worked closely with Pilbara Iron, Woodside, Dampier Salt and the local Tafe to ensure the students improved their chances of getting apprenticeships.
‘Previously they chose students bound for university who would leave the apprenticeship as soon as they were accepted. I asked them what they were looking for and organised work experience at the mine. I said we have students right here ready to work in the industry and it’s all they want to do.’
After most of his students gained the apprenticeship of their choice, Mr Jones returned to Perth and resumed teaching at Swan View.
The next year he worked for Spearpoints Corp. to help design and build houses for aboriginal communities.
A year later, the students at Swan View again drew him back in.
‘I love teaching, it’s so rewarding.’
A point of difference in Mr Jones’ teaching, he said, was his ability to incorporate life skills into his lessons.