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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

JONES, ROBINSON G. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

JONES, ROBINSON G. (14 Dec. 1871-18 Aug. 1938) was a prominent Cleveland educator who served as superintendent of the Cleveland City School District for thirteen years.

Born in Chester, Ohio, Jones' early education was in the local schools. By age 15 he discovered his career as an educator, when he began teaching the farm boys of his community. Jones pursued his dream, earning a bachelor's degree at Ohio Northern University, and then a master's degree from Columbia Univebrsity. In 1895 Jones moved to Illinois, and four years later he married Millie L. Gish there; they had one son, Robert Stanley.

In Illinois, Jones quickly became a school superintendent, and he occupied that position in five different Illinois districts before coming to Cleveland in 1917 to serve as assistant superintendent of the Cleveland schools.

On 1 Aug. 1920, he succeeded Frank E. Spaulding as Cleveland superintendent. He was twice reappointed to five-year terms, in 1923 and 1928, the first Cleveland superintendent to be honored with the legal maximum five-year appointment.

During his tenure as superintendent, the schools had their greatest growth, enrollment climbing from 105,000 to 156,000. He oversaw the construction of fourteen elementary schools, four junior highs, and five high schools.

Slowed by illness in 1931, Jones resigned the superintendency in Aug. 1933. Such was his popularity, however, that he was named assistant superintendent for secondary schools, and then in his final year of service, he became their director of guidance.

Jones left the school system in June 1938, but before his retirement became official in Sept., he died of a heart ailment. Burial was in Lakewood Cemetery.

Last Modified: 10 Jul 1997 05:11:23 PM

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