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Dr. Don Jones retires as head of Ed Foundation

Don Jones Don Jones

Dr. Don Jones, a spirted advocate for education and a tenacious fundraiser for student scholarships, announced his retirement as executive director of the Henderson County Education Foundation on Thursday. He has served for 14 years in all, including four years as president and the past 10 as director.


"Dr. Jones created a profound legacy in Henderson County and I am confident that he will remain active in supporting education in our community," Graham Fields, president of Henderson County Education Foundation, said in a news release. "His work has left an indelible mark on Henderson County and positively impacted the lives of numerous local students over the last 10 years."
The Henderson County Education Foundation experienced unprecedented growth under Jones' leadership as a board member and executive director. He oversaw the expansion of the Henderson County Education Hall of Fame, dramatically increased the number of college scholarships for students in the county and helped create numerous grant programs that directly impacted teachers and students.
"The Henderson County Education Hall of Fame is the only one of its kind in Western North Carolina and one of only a few educational hall of fames in the entire state," said Dan Poeta, Vice-President of the Henderson County Education Foundation. "The Fall Golf Classic he worked to develop has become one of the largest golf tournaments in the region and the new School Sponsorship program will partner businesses with local schools."
A coach, teacher and motivational speaker, Dr. Jones worked tirelessly to connect local companies and philanthropists with deserving students in the area. Even the business community recognized his contributions to workforce development by honoring him with the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce's Education Champion Award.
"Dr. Jones is a natural fundraiser and his passion for education is evident to everyone he meets," said Steve Gwaltney, Treasurer of the Henderson County Education Foundation. "He used his many gifts and talents to better the lives of countless students and teachers in our county."
Community partners have always been a key part of the Henderson County Education Foundation's work to enhance the quality of life in Henderson County by enriching the education of students, teachers and the community.
"Dr. Jones was always very proud of how Historic Johnson Farm and Bullington Gardens both provide unique educational experiences for people of all ages in our community," said Henderson County Education Foundation Board member Tracy Townsend. "Henderson County is blessed to have both a working educational farm that preserves and celebrates the history of this region and a world class horticultural center that offers seminars and programs to help children and adults connect with the natural world."
The Henderson County Education Foundation has helped hundreds of students—many of whom were the first members of their family to attend college—through scholarships. The Foundation has also provided numerous grants to classroom teachers and schools for needs ranging from technology to music programs.

"Dr. Jones often spoke of the people who impacted his life and how scholarships provided him with valuable educational opportunities," said Tracy Young, Secretary of the Henderson County Education Foundation, "His dedicated service to the Education Foundation was a personal way of giving back and paying it forward for future generations."
The community is invited to a special reception honoring Dr. Jones and his contributions to Henderson County from 4 until 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 29, at Park Ridge Health. Please RSVP to Nancy Bracken by email: or phone: (828) 698-8884.
"Thanks to Dr. Don Jones and countless board members throughout the organization's history, the Henderson County Education Foundation is well positioned to continue meeting the educational needs of our community for many decades to come," said Fields. "We are truly grateful for Dr. Jones's service and look forward to a bright future."