Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, Mckale Jones has only been at Cedar Shoals for two school years and has already made his mark as one of the most active members of its faculty.
Now a business technology teacher, Jones was also a very active student during high school, vigorously engaging in most athletic opportunities.
“I was a very active student. I played a lot of sports. Tennis, golf, basketball, football. Everything except baseball,” Jones said.
A surplus of mentors supported Jones throughout athletics, pointing him towards the straight and narrow path.
“My coach and a couple of other male coaches and teachers were my role models. I looked up to most of them,” Jones said.
Jones had the most success with basketball. He gained multiple offers from surrounding schools to play in college and chose the University of Tennessee at Martin. He later changed his mind and recommitted to Xavier University of Louisiana before transferring to Southern Union Community College. Thereafter he changed his mind again only to return to UT Martin.
“I played basketball and got a chance to travel which is something I enjoy a lot. I also got a chance at a free ride education to go with that,” Jones said.
After Jones was done with college, he began teaching in Memphis, later deciding to come to Athens because he saw it as the perfect atmosphere for him and his wife with the college surroundings and youth.
“We were looking for a new experience and I figured, ‘Okay, this would be a good spot for my wife and me: a college town with a rich student population,’” Jones said.
Since starting at Cedar during the height of the pandemic, Jones has not let the ongoing issues slow him down. Not only does he teach two forms of business classes and database communications, but he is the assistant girls basketball coach as well.
“Last year we made it to the final four. So that was quite an experience. We got a chance to see them all grow into young ladies aiming to be athletes,” Jones said.
Jones’ latest contribution to the school came in the form of the radio program he’s developing at Cedar.
“It started in my last school in Memphis. I noticed the lack of access to learning by radio, so I’ve been doing it for about two or three years. I thought it would be a great idea to introduce the students here at Cedar to learn about radio,” Jones said.