The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

Introducing Ms. Gair

New Jones Assistant Principal Ms. Gair starts her tenure
Photo of Ms. Gair
Photo of Ms. Gair

Jones recently hired a new Assistant Principal Verneisha Gair, as an addition to the changing administration team. Since the first day she arrived, her presence has been noticed in the hallway. 

“I am intentional about getting to know everyone, I don’t assume that anyone knows me,” said Gair.

Gair is invested in getting to know the school environment.

“I’ve been scheduling meetings with teachers and staff and stopping at tables to introduce myself to students and let them know that my door is always open,” said Gair. “I highly value growth and development and spending time learning about Jones even in my interview process, entry process…really getting to know the people here, systems here, families and stakeholders.”

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One thing that Gair is working on is learning from the school community around her.

“To take on challenges, means first and foremost deeply, understanding Principal Dolan’s vision and contributing to it,” said Gair.

She wants to build new connections at Jones after working with students in a leadership role at Thornton Fractional North High School.

“I have the perspective of being a selective enrollment school graduate from Gwendolyn Brooks,” said Ms. Gair, “Starting as a science teacher in CPS at Austin High School, then transitioning to Thornton Fractional North as a science teacher and teacher leader.” 

As a CPS graduate of a selective enrollment school, Gair pushed herself to get her license to be an administrator and master’s degree in principal leadership.

“I have decided to enroll in the urban education leadership doctoral program at UIC, where I am still a student. So, many evenings I am still in class,” said Gair.

According to fellow Assistant Principal Yvette Gonzalez Torres, Gair had a positive energy that she thought would integrate well at Jones.

“From the moment we interviewed Ms. Gair, the energy that was felt via computer was crazy,” said Torres, “You could hear her excitement, her commitment, her experience just glowed with energy.” 

Taking advice from the old admin, Gair decided to have her office be in the north building.

“The teachers in the north building did not feel like there was enough representation of admin in the north building, so before changes in the previous administration, Mr. Mitchell was set to be in that location,” said Torres. “After his departure, Ms. Dolan went through her listening tour and talked to the staff. She [Gair] felt perfect spearheading the admin of the building.”

Gair plans to hear and learn from students as she gets situated into her role.

“Ms. Gair had said in order to make any positive changes, we have to first listen and hear students and staff before taking action, you can’t just jump in,” said Torres.

Following a period of temporary administration, Gair is ready to handle any tensions that may arise. 

“My strategy is to first self-regulate…having a plan to self-regulate in emergencies. Second, to access the information and get all the information needed, then collaborating with admin to find strategies for whatever the context is,” said Gair.

Ms. Gair is ready to shape the environment and vision of Jones.

“She [Gair] is getting geared up to take on teacher feedback and evaluation, to develop the process between the two principles…I think Ms. Gair is very dedicated to the vision of and where she wants to take the school while supporting,” said Director of Development, Troy Hilbrands.

The arrival of the new AP comes alongside the new principal, Dolan. 

“Ms. Gair has a great opportunity to start fresh, where people from her old school have gotten to love her and know her,” said Hilbrands.

For now, Gair is taking some time to get to know Jones and build on what Jones has with various programs and quality education.

“I always say that the smartest person in the room is the room, we are better together, more knowledgeable together, and really being able to develop effective teams and leadership skills in other people,” said Gair.

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Emmanuel Ofosuhene '24, Journalism I

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