Meet Our Winning Hero

Hero: Bentonville Teacher, Mary Mae Jones
Nominator: Jamie Gaston

Mrs. Mary Mae Jones is the educational pioneer for whom our school was named. Our work here at Mary Mae Jones Elementary School is to continue the high ideals of our namesake in accepting and educating all children to their highest potential. Mary Mae Morton Jones is a lifelong educator and was a Bentonville teacher for 40 years. She has spent her life investing her time and imparting knowledge to many generations of school children.

She started her career in 1943 at the age of 19 in Dumas, Arkansas. She then taught in Pine Bluff, Watson, and Mountain Home before moving to Bentonville on June 26, 1962. She was a full time teacher here in Bentonville until 1995. She taught part time for 10 more years. Throughout her career, Mrs. Mary Mae taught students from kindergarten through twelfth grade in a wide variety of positions. At the age of 81, she retired.

She has been married to the love of her life, Joseph (Jodie) Jones, for 67 years. Together, they have three children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Mrs. Mary Mae is now 89 and still going strong. Mrs. Mary Mae continues to be connected to her profession and the school district that is her home by visiting classes, making an appearance on the first day of school, and attending school board meetings as well as special events. She started attending board meetings in 1965 and to date, she has attended over 600 board meetings. She also invests in the education of the students attending Bentonville Public Schools. Mr. and Mrs. Jones gave scholarships to graduating seniors at BHS for 36 years. She has been honored for various awards times in Bentonville six times.

She said above all, the biggest reward for her has been working with students. Teaching, volunteering, and mentoring young minds are her passions. Her philosophy for education is simple: all students like to be accepted, appreciated, and challenged. Mrs. Mary Mae continually gives back and she is always on the go. If she is not at one of the ten elementary buildings zipping up and down the hallways greeting students, she is somewhere in the community either supporting our youth or assisting those in need at church. Mrs. Mary Mae is also an active supporter of the local community college and Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Mary Mae is a woman that is dedicated to educating our children to their highest potential. She is an inspiration to all! In Mrs. Mary Mae’s own words: “Have a great day every day and continue to share it with others.”