Jones promoted to Chair of Deans


JONES STRIKES A POSE: Upper School Dean Chris Jones, who will replace Beth Slattery as Upper School Deans Department Head beginning July 1, 2020, sits in his office and smiles. Frank Jiang / Chronicle

Lindsay Wu

Effective July 1, 2020, Upper School Dean Chris Jones will replace Beth Slattery as Upper School Deans Department Head, following her promotion to Head of Upper School.

Jones’s Past

During his eight years at the school, Jones has worked with students and families, helping them navigate academic and social concerns. In his new position, Jones will not only continue these duties, but also assume a leadership role.

“I’m excited to be able to serve this community in a different way,” Jones said. “I think it will demand displaying skills and talents that I haven’t necessarily had to show before, but I’ll be able to do that now. That will make the job even more fulfilling than it already is, and I’m excited to take on that challenge.”

Jones’s Thoughts 

Beginning next year, Jones will represent the dean team in meetings with administrators and the Faculty Academic Committee. Especially with the implementation of the new block schedule next year, he and the eight other deans will work to support school initiatives promoting social-emotional learning, Jones said.

“We’re continuing to look at proven practices of the field [of education],” Jones said. “We’re taking inventory of a lot of things we do, all of our processes. Then, when we audit, if there’s something we need to change, then we look at what other comparable schools are doing and start making changes from there. I’m interested to see where that will lead, and that’s really the most important part, is to make sure we’re not resting on our laurels because there’s always something you can do to improve. We want to make sure that we’re doing it.”

Laura Ross explains the thinking behind Chris Jones’s Promotion

Promoting Jones was a natural choice because of his leadership qualities and highly respected reputation within the school community, Head of Upper School Laura Ross said.

“[Jones] is the kind of person who’s able to think through situations from all different perspectives,” Ross said. “When you’re in the dean’s role, you’re the person right in the middle. You have lots of students, faculty members, parents and administrators coming to talk to you about things. He’s really calm and he’s able to take in a lot of information about what the right thing to do is, even when there are people in a lot of different places. He’s so smart and thoughtful.”

In addition to serving as a dean, Jones coached boys’ JV and varsity basketball until last year. He is also currently a faculty advisor for the Black Leadership Awareness and Culture Club (BLACC).


Final Comments from Commons

“We were really excited about the opportunity to have [Jones’s] broad wingspan and expand his reach,” President Rick Commons said. “He’s the kind of person who, when he says ‘hi’ to you, you just feel better and you feel understood. There’s something about how he greets people and engages instantly in conversation that makes you feel appreciated and you feel connection. And for that reason, and the many other strengths of his, to have him influencing the Upper School more broadly is just a great opportunity.”