New Science Teacher Joins Calais High School

By Lura Jackson

 

Students at Calais High School will have the pleasure of learning the sciences from Julianne Jones, the newest addition to the school's faculty.  (Photo by Lura Jackson).

Students entering Calais High School in the fall will have the pleasure of meeting Julianne Jones, the high school’s newly appointed science teacher. In addition to handling many of the science classes, Jones will be coordinating the schools new BARR program, which is designed to provide an additional network of support for freshmen students.

“I’m very excited to be working with high school students again,” Jones said. She has been a teacher in the high school environment in the past as an assistant. “I love that in high school you can have intellectual conversations with students. They have their own ideas that they’re willing to share.”

Jones’ own appreciation for science began in biology class while she was a high school student in her home state of Massachusetts. “The teacher made everything interesting and exciting. I really liked learning about the human body.” The more she learned about anatomy, the more her interest grew. “I knew I had a heartbeat, but now I know why and how.”

From high school, Jones went on to attend Mount Holyoke College, a distinguished women’s liberal arts school. She received her degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. Originally, she wanted to work in the medical health industry; however, after taking an internship she realized it was not for her.

After seven years of teaching Sunday school—a task that she loved to do every part of, from planning each lesson to interacting with each student—“A light bulb went off,” Jones recalls. “I said to myself, ‘I should be a teacher’.” 

Last year, when Jones’ boyfriend accepted a position with U.S. Customs in Calais, the couple moved from Massachusetts to the Downeast area. When Jones saw the posting in the paper looking for a science teacher, she decided to take a chance and apply. Her credentials and enthusiasm easily won her the position.

While Jones’ main goal is to impart an enthusiasm for science in all of her students, especially young women, she also aims to encourage their better natures. “Our world is such a mess right now. Even just one person—if you’re a nice, caring person—can help.” Jones exemplifies compassion and curiosity, traits that lend well to the exploration of science from a social justice approach.  

Being the BARR coordinator is one way that Jones will be making an impact with her students. The BARR program is a new feature at CHS that will work with each incoming freshman to build their relationships with their peers and their classmates. “High school is a tough time,” Jones said. “Especially for those just coming into it. That’s why this program is specifically for freshman to form those relationships and carry them on until they become seniors.” 

As the coordinator, Jones will work with the national BARR advisors and the staff of CHS to ensure that the program qualifications are met and associated materials are disbursed. Participating teachers will meet twice a week as part of the effort to enhance student-teacher relationships.

 

While BARR will largely affect those in their first year of high school, all students at CHS will be able to benefit from Jones’ evident enthusiasm for science.