The Rolling Jones

Mrs. Jones gives insight on her life and experience as a teacher at JD


Mrs. Karen Jones has been a teacher at Juan Diego for five years. I met Mrs. Jones this year in her sophomore English class and I immediately noticed her sunny, caring personality as well as her passion for teaching. Since Mrs. Jones is now one of my favorite teachers, I wanted to learn more as to how she became such an awesome teacher and person.

Karen Jones was the first born to a family of six children in Illinois. “Being the oldest, I had to do all of the hard work,” Jones said. After a happy childhood, Jones went to BYU for college and interestingly enough, majored in geography and German. Before coming to Juan Diego, Jones taught in the Seattle, Washington area. It was there that she decided she wanted to teach English.

Jones feels like the biggest obstacle she has overcome in her life so far was cancer. “Nine years ago, I had ovarian cancer, so I had to have surgery and do six rounds of chemo,” said Jones. After surgery, Jones had lost all of her hair. “I surprised all the kids when I came back [to school] from my surgery…I was wearing a wig, so one day in class I said ‘Do you want to see something?’ and I pulled it off and everyone started screaming!” Jones did her best to keep a positive outlook during this time. “You’ve got to have fun because it’s heartbreaking if you don’t,” she said. Thankfully, she is cancer-free today.

When Jones was in high school, she had not thought about becoming a teacher. Rather she wanted to be a nurse or a pharmacist. However, this all changed when she went to BYU. “As I went off to college, I decided teaching was a good fit for me,” she said. “But I would have made more money as a nurse or pharmacist,” she joked.

Jones has not always taught English though. Before teaching at JD, she taught an eighth grade geography class as well as German. “Since I’ve gotten a full-time position, I’ve been teaching in high school. I like the older kids better,” she said.

Jones feels like one of her strong suits as a teacher is how she connects with students and is able to relate to them. “Teaching high school keeps me feeling young.” Outside of school, Jones likes to garden and read. “I also play the piano and the organ for church, so I practice a lot,” she said. Jones feels like her relationship with her family and God brings her the most joy in her life.

Jones’s sophomore mentor group’s name is ‘The Rolling Jones’ and she feels like she has really bonded with her kids this year. Her favorite part of being a teacher at Juan Diego is the diversity of the school. “Having gone to BYU, living in a predominately Mormon community, I enjoy the diversity here; being able to work with others who are different than I am allows me to learn much more,” she said, “The uniqueness of the school is what makes it enjoyable for me.”

As a teacher, Jones tries to remember what it was like when she was a student. “I try to make sure that the way I teach is reaching out to students so that they can connect with me and the subject matter,” she said. She hopes that students enjoy the experience of her class and that they like coming into her room rather than dreading it. Jones tries to instill a “love of language” in all of her students so that they feel the same way she does about English and literature. “I hope that after taking my classes, students can write a little bit better, speak a little bit better, and they enjoy reading more,” she says, “I hope that I can help my students have a good memory of high school, overall.”

Mrs. Jones is one of the most caring and relatable teachers I have had. She has influenced and improved my writing and given me a greater insight into literature; but most of all, she has shown me what it means to be kind. Mrs. Jones is always friendly towards me and brightens my day at school. I know students here at JD who know her feel the same way. Mrs. Jones is a strong, passionate person and I thank her for everything she taught me this year, academically and otherwise. Keep ‘rolling’, Mrs. Jones.