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Laurens County School District 55 is spotlighting alumni who have returned and joined the staff of the district. Each alumnus will take some time to look back on memories from high school, remind us of their favorite teachers, and give us an opportunity to learn more about them and their accomplishments thus far.

“The dedication and loyalty of Laurens alumni in our school district is something worth celebrating,” said District 55 in a release. “Our alumni make extraordinary things happen in our classrooms and schools. We are grateful to have them back with us as they influence the future leaders of America.”

The first alumnus in the spotlight is Dr. Paketrice Jones.

What year did you graduate?


What is your overriding memory from high school?

I needed an additional class so I took teacher cadet. I did not realize that I would decide to major in education because of the Teacher Cadet program.

Who was your favorite teacher/faculty member at the high school? Why?

Debbie Simpson. I had her for Teacher Cadet and English. She always made learning fun and you could tell she genuinely cared about us as students and individuals. She also sparked my interest in the teaching field. I signed up for Teacher Cadet because she was the teacher, but I actually fell in love with the profession. She is willing to help now as she was years ago. When I needed something a few weeks ago, I emailed Mrs. Simpson and asked her if she would help. Like always, she said yes and told me to give her a call.

What activities were you involved in when you were in high school?

Student Council, Teacher Cadet, Varsity Cheerleader

Details of further/higher education (e.g., school and degree earned or certification obtained):

  • Doctor of Education, University of South Carolina (2018)
  • Master of Education in Administration, University of South Carolina (2015)
  • Bachelor of Science in Middle Level Education, Winthrop University (2012)

Where do you teach? What subject and grade level do you teach?

Instructional Coach at Hickory Tavern School

Tell us about yourself- family, where you live, etc.

I currently live in Greenville, SC. I returned to the Upstate after living and teaching in Columbia the last five years.

What do you think your greatest accomplishment is thus far?

Writing, defending, and publishing my dissertation titled “The Impact of Interactive Word Walls in a History Classroom: An Action Research Study.”