The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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May 9, 2014

CHS principal resigns

Tharaldson Jones spent 14 years in district



District superintendent Deb Olson said she informed board members of the news after a conversation with Tharaldson Jones on Friday.

"It will give her more time to spend with her family,” Olson said. “I think that was a major role in her decision.

“She has not given us anything in writing but she's letting everybody know... Her resignation will not be until the end of her contract which ends in June.”

Mississippi Bend is an organization that offers educational support to 21 regional school districts. Decker said he is recommending to his board that Tharaldson Jones be approved to join the staff. "In education all decisions like that are based upon the approval of the board," Decker said. "She's obviously done a tremendous job in Clinton and the recommendation would reflect that.”

The resignation comes weeks after CHS was named to the U.S. News national list of Best High Schools. The school also has drawn interest from high-ranking politicians for its recently implemented innovation labs.

Tharaldson Jones assumed her position in 2003, making 2014 her 11th year as principal. Prior to that she worked as dean of students and associate principal.

Part of that tenure involved controversy when, in 2010, Tharaldson Jones appeared before the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners for allegations of unethical practice. Charges that the principal used "bullying tactics" to force the resignation of three teachers were dismissed, though the principal said the incident left a lasting impact with the public.

"Not everybody likes the decisions I've made but nobody can question that I made the best decisions for the kids," she said.

CCSD board president Jim McGraw also noted that controversy, but said Tharaldson Jones proved beneficial for the district, and will be missed.

"I certainly am disappointed that she is leaving," McGraw said. "I think she's done a remarkable job and initiated some things in the district and moved the district forward.

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