Every year at DP YOU, we come together as a network to learn from each other and celebrate the culture and values of Democracy Prep. This year we’re recognizing the teachers, leaders, operations managers and more who make up the DREAM team by sharing how they’ve excelled in their schools and why they #WorkAtDP.
We will begin with Jeremy Jones, Founding Executive Director of Democracy Prep Texas. Read to find out why Jeremy wanted to join Democracy Prep and what he hopes the network will gain by having DP YOU in San Antonio.
Jeremy Jones learned about Democracy Prep’s partnership with the San Antonio Independent School District, he knew he wanted to to join the DREAM team.
“I thought [the partnership] was a brave and bold move,” said Jeremy. “I think that the next frontier of education is where districts and charters can come together to solve complex issues in schools, particularly in school turn around.”
Jeremy joined Democracy Prep in April of this year. Within a few short months, he had to hire out a full staff at Democracy Prep at the Stewart Campus (DPSC) and prepare to open doors to scholars on August 13. However, he was not phased by this challenge. He sees the partnership between Democracy Prep and the San Antonio Independent School District as an opportunity for transformational innovation.
Classes at DPSC have been in session for nearly a month, and Jeremy couldn’t be more impressed with the DREAM team at DPSC.
“I am so proud of the work of the people here,” said Jeremy. “Our staff came together late in the summer. We got completely hired at the end of June and we started work in the middle of July, so it was a really quick turnaround. I have to take every opportunity to applaud the team here at Democracy Prep Stewart. I’m really proud of what they’ve done.”
He credits the DPSC staff with setting a tone for the school year that combines joy and rigor.
“Our kids are doing amazing work,” said Jeremy. “They are certainly learning a lot of new routines and systems and procedures, but they are really excited to come to school everyday. Being in a turn-around setting, I think that is a really great testament to the work our teachers have done to build a positive strong culture with high expectations. I think you’re going to see a lot of scholars with furrowed brows working hard, but you’re also going to see lots of smiles and lots of success from our students.”
“Making those personal connections is really going to matter,” said Jeremy. “I think that [DP YOU] sends a message to our teachers that they are not alone and that this work is happening all over the country. They have an opportunity to make some connections that they can reach back out to when the conference is over. I hope that DP YOU is an initial meeting of some longer term, sustained relationships for folks.”
As for recommendations for what DREAM team members should do while they are in San Antonio, Jeremy suggests enjoying the city’s patio culture and great weather while getting to know the locals. Additionally, he suggests exploring the county’s historic missions. While the Alamo is the most famous of these, the others in the area are just as captivating.
Ultimately, Jeremy hopes the network-wide event will be an opportunity for DPSC staff to be welcomed into the DP family.
“I hope when people come down to San Antonio, they give us an encouraging pat on the back and wish us the best of luck,” said Jeremy. “Everyone is working hard across the network and we are the newest at this game, so some encouragement and handshakes and highfives would go a long way to make our staff feel welcome.”