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Jones, Dotson named FCS assistant directors

Eric Jones and Rujena Dotson, longtime educators and supervisors with Fayetteville City Schools, have been named assistant directors of schools.

The announcement was made this week by Bill W. Hopkins, Jr., director of Fayetteville City Schools.

Jones will serve as assistant director of schools and chief of operations. Dotson will serve as assistant director of schools over curriculum.

“I have been very pleased with the direction FCS is headed, and all our leaders are responsible,” Hopkins said in making the announcement. “The creation of these two position titles will help streamline our organization and will help in being a better resource to all our employees. This will allow us to better communicate and facilitate with our stakeholders. 

“Both individuals are deserving of this added responsibility, and they have my complete trust,” Hopkins added. “We will continue to evaluate all our positions in an effort to continue our goal of providing our students and staff with excellent service.”

A Lincoln County native, Jones graduated in 1994 from Lincoln County High School. He attended the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, earning two bachelor’s degrees and graduating with honors. During his undergraduate studies, Jones was the top student in criminal justice and served as president of the Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honor Society.

Jones attended graduate school at UTC, where he earned a master’s degree in education for school counseling, again graduating with honors.

Later, he earned an Ed.S., in administration and supervision, graduating with honors from Tennessee State University.

Jones returned home to Lincoln County, joining the staff of Fayetteville Junior High School as counselor in 2002. He served as assistant principal for two years at Fayetteville Intermediate School and then joined the newly formed Fayetteville High School, serving as its first principal.

Since his tenure at FHS, Jones has worked as a supervisor in the Fayetteville City Schools Central Office.

“I appreciate the opportunity to serve the wonderful students in Fayetteville City Schools,” Jones said of the new appointment as assistant director and chief of operations.

He and his wife, Bridgette, have three children: Walt, age 13; Jillian, 9; and Eve, 6.

Dotson has been an educator for over 34 years. Her career began at Lebanon High School where she was the first female ag teacher in the state of Tennessee in a one-person ag program. Along with teaching agriculture for 18 years, Dotson also taught physical science and biology.

She was a consultant for the Tennessee Department of Education for four years and served as an elementary principal in both Lincoln County and Fayetteville City school systems. For the past 11 years, Dotson has been a supervisor in the FCS central office.

She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in animal science and earned a master’s degree in vocational technical education. She earned her administrative certification from Tennessee State University and has additional coursework and training in educational administration and leadership.

Over her career, Dotson has been honored as the National Outstanding Young Ag Teacher of the Year and was a state semifinalist for High School Teacher of the Year in Tennessee. She has presented on various topics at state and national conferences and has written and supervised several multi-million dollar grants.

Outside of education, Dotson serves as president of the Lincoln County Livestock Association, is a member of the board of directors for the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau and the Lincoln County Farm Bureau Board and formerly served on the boards for Leadership Lincoln and the Lincoln County Fair Association.

“I feel very blessed that I’ve had the opportunity to have a career focused on opening doors and creating opportunities for young people,” said Dotson.

She and her husband, Philip, reside on a farm in Petersburg where they’ve raised their two sons: Colten, a mechanical engineer, who resides in Madison, Ala., with his wife, Kayla, and Eli, a student at the University of Tennessee where he serves as the Davy Crockett mascot for the university. 

Eric Jones and Rujena Dotson together