Mr Jones came to The Riverside School in 2007 as a teacher and later as the Head of Campus. He also played an important role during the merger of ISZL. For the last three years he has been Headmaster of Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey. He shares with us some of his favourite memories during his time at The Riverside School.
One of the main things Mr Jones misses about The Riverside School was the beautiful old nunnery (Salesianum Villa) on Artherstrasse in Zug where classes were held. “We rubbed elbows a lot,” Mr Jones says. “It was so tight, but we all knew each other and it was so close to the water that many days you felt like you were a drift on a large ship on the ocean. This feeling matched the atmosphere of the community: friendly and warm.” Another thing that Mr Jones misses (literally) was the completed merger of The Riverside School with ISZL. He helped plan, but never experienced the new campus. He describes the experience “like packing and planning for a house that you would never live in.” Nonetheless, Mr Jones was part of an instrumental team to rewrite handbooks and to develop standard processes and procedures for the school.
When thinking about a funny memory while at The Riverside School, Mr Jones recalls the time a passenger train traveling from Milan to Zurich was stuck on the tracks just above the school. After an hour or so, the passengers with all their luggage decided to abandon the train, march through the nearby farm and to the school for help. On another occasion while teaching class, Mr Jones was standing on a table trying to get the overhead projector to work while simultaneously imitating a character in the book they were reading – an elderly, arrogant, posh French woman. It was just at that moment when then Riverside School Director Currer with some guests opened the classroom door. Thank goodness that none of the guests were French!
Mr Jones considers his time at The Riverside School “an intensely memorable time in my life perhaps because it was an intense and pivotal time in the school's history”. He has many memorable, touching, or inspiring stories of the students, faculty/staff, and parents; all people for whom he still holds a great affection for. To chose one story or memory would be difficult, but Mr Jones has felt particularly touched or inspired when students learned a new language, adapted to being in a new school, argued a point in class, found an insight in a text, made progressive strides in art, on stage, or on the playing field. “It was a privilege to observe the students grow up and for me to be a small part of it in any way possible. I was rewarded richly by the experience and the community at The Riverside School in such a way that I have only ever found in a couple of other schools that I’ve taught at.”
For the last five years, Mr Jones has been the Headmaster of a very unusual, and some would say the best, school in Istanbul. He describes it as unusual “because there are simply not many like ours.” Admission to the school is completely open and supported; however it is exceedingly competitive to get in. Students from all over the country and walks of life are received at the school and they all share a determination to succeed academically. In some ways Mr Jones is experiencing another “intense and pivotal time” in his new position as the educational ministry and country of Turkey are determining not just educational policies, but many other things that will affect the his school and the future of the students attending there.
We’re so thankful for Mr Jones’s time at The Riverside School and all that he’s done for our students.