Westminster Christian School welcomed Scott Jones as head of school at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.
Jones came to Westminster with an impressive record of leadership and success in Christian education and business. He most recently served as head of school for Black Forest Academy, a prestigious Christian boarding school in Kandern, Germany.
Previously, he was the head of school at Naples Christian Academy in Florida. He also spent time in Palmetto Bay in the early 1990s serving in youth ministry at Perrine Baptist Church, now known as Christ Fellowship.
Jones graduated from Rice University with a Bachelor of Arts, and earned a master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of Hawaii. He and his wife, Cammy, have two sons.
The follow are some questions Mr. Jones was asked and his answers:
What drew you to pursue the head of school role at Westminster Christian School?
WCS is a fantastic school with a strong reputation of preparing hearts, inspiring lives, and empowering learners in South Florida.
I was excited about the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful learning community.
How would you describe your first few months on the job?
I have spent much of my time in these initial months listening and learning. I am committed to understanding the ethos and distinctives of this fine school so that I can be fully prepared to serve and lead.
How is WCS unique from other schools that you have worked at?
Westminster has developed a strong sense of care and community. People see it and experience it when they come on our campus. We believe learning happens best in the context of a strong and caring community, so we foster strong relationships among faculty, parents, students, and alumni. We also believe learning can be rigorous, relevant, and fun. Our students love it here and it only takes guests a few minutes to notice it when they visit our campus. We love learning at Westminster, and we love the community context for learning.
You moved from Germany back to South Florida. How has that transition been for you and your family?
We consider Florida home, so in many ways our transition has been sort of a homecoming. Life in suburban Miami is certainly different than life in the rural Black Forest, so we are certainly experiencing some transitions and new ways of living life. We are particularly appreciating the Florida sunshine as opposed to the gray, rainy days that were so common in our part of Europe.
What do you like best about your role as head of school?
I really love serving together with an outstanding team of dedicated and caring educators. It is a joy for me to watch and observe Westminster staff members serve our students and families so generously. Westminster seeks to empower learners, prepare hearts, and inspire lives. I love enabling our faculty and staff to achieve that mission with excellence.
Tell us about the growth and new facilities at Westminster Christian School?
Westminster has grown in recent years and has made numerous improvements to its campus. A new elementary school was completed several years ago and the school has added other athletics facilities and academic buildings. Most recently, the TIDE (Technology, Innovation, Design, Engineering) Center was completed to facilitate Westminster’s strong commitment to and considerable investment in science and engineering. Westminster is known for its success in robotics from elementary school through high school, and the number of programs offered in the sciences and engineering is extensive. Westminster is also a Microsoft Showcase School. This new TIDE Center enables us to further strengthen and expand these award-winning programs and it also enables us to put more emphasis on one of our key core values, innovation.
Currently, we have two exciting building projects underway. WorldWonder is a new environmental education center that will continue Westminster’s commitment to excellence in the sciences. WorldWonder will include a nature center and adjacent outdoor experiential learning spaces spread over a few acres to include walking paths, garden areas, an aviary, a tortoise enclosure, ponds and waterways, a bamboo forest, an amphitheater, and much more, all within a marvelous space filled with banyans, oaks, and native plants. WorldWonder will complement The Discovery Barn, another outdoor learning center on campus for our elementary school focused on hands-on learning about plants and animals.
Another project that is underway is our new center for the performing arts, which we are calling The Lighthouse: A Place for Praise and Performance. The Lighthouse will feature a 650-seat state of the art performing arts hall which will be one of the finest such facilities in the region. It will provide space for our numerous music concerts, our various theater and stage productions, and our school day assembly and chapel times. The new building, together with remodeling existing arts spaces, will also provide studios for music ensembles, practice spaces, a black box theater, areas for our new dance and film programs. Stagecraft and even a radio station will be possible because of these new spaces.
Following the completion of WorldWonder and The Lighthouse, we will pursue several other projects including a new athletic complex and new academic spaces for teaching and learning. It is an exciting time of growth at Westminster.
What is your vision for the future of the school?
I want to see the school fully achieve its mission of empowering learners, preparing hearts, and inspiring lives to faithfully serve as ambassadors for Christ. I see Westminster growing as a leader in holistic education whereby we address the intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of every student who becomes part of this learning community. I see Westminster as a leader in academics, arts, and athletics. I see Westminster graduates equipped, empowered, inspired, and prepared to not only enter the top universities, but to be leaders and influencers who will shape communities and culture for the greater good, consistent with Christian values.
What is one thing you would like the community to know about WCS?
We are experiencing unprecedented demand from prospective families who want to be at Westminster. We would love to serve more families and students, but we are limited in terms of our space, resources, and capacity. Admission is particularly competitive at the middle and high school level, so we recommend families to consider applying for admission in elementary. I would encourage any family interested in Westminster to come visit and apply early.
What is your favorite thing about being back in South Florida?