Top 100 Women of Impact: Dr. Debbie Jones

Dr. Debbie Jones

Superintendent, Bentonville Schools

About me: I’m a wife, mother of five adult children and a new grandmother to Skipper. My family is proof the next generation consists of kind humans determined to make the world a better place. My small-town upbringing in Charleston, Arkansas, taught me we’re all purposely created. I learned what a strong work ethic looks like through my beautiful parents and my time working at the local Dairy Diner, on the basketball court and softball field. 

Education has blessed me with the opportunity to work with the brightest and most compassionate people in the state of Arkansas. As superintendent of Bentonville Schools, the weight of responsibility is equally balanced with a deep sense of gratitude.

Lives/Works in: Bentonville

Best Career Advice: Retain a sense of wonder and admit when you may be wrong. It’s trained me to listen to others in a way that develops leadership. The most successful CEO is part of a talented team. If you want to succeed, surround yourself with the smartest people you can find.

Lesson Learned the Hard Way: Today, I live a balanced life with my primary focus on what matters most: my faith, my husband and my children. When your career overshadows any of these, every facet of life suffers.

Proudest Moment of Impact: Leadership reveals itself in the midst of crisis. COVID was my test. I’m proud our staff not only continued to operate during a global pandemic, but excelled by creating an emergency daycare for frontline workers. Essential workers could more effectively serve the sick in our community knowing their children were safe and receiving a top-notch education. The pandemic sparked innovation, elevating Bentonville Schools to a new level of excellence.

Call to Action: Public education has become a political backdrop characterized by numerous false narratives. The reality is teachers should be revered for their knowledge and commitment to improving society by pouring into kids. I would ask everyone to get to know a school teacher and ask about the challenges of the existing divisive rhetoric.

A Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Initiative

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