Honoring the Life and Service of Rita Eika Jonesby Representative Jeff Miller
Posted on 2013-02-08
in the house of representatives
Friday, February 8, 2013
Mr. MILLER of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the
life and service of Northwest Florida's beloved Rita Eika Jones, who
passed away on February 1, 2013. Throughout her long and distinguished
career in education and civil service, Rita Eika Jones served as a
mentor and an inspiration to countless individuals throughout Northwest
Florida. The loss of a great woman and unparalleled public servant is
felt not only here at home, but across the state of Florida.
Ms. Jones was a lifelong resident of the Panhandle and began her commitment to the Lord at twelve years of age, receiving confirmation at St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church. Ms. Jones inherently understood that education is the key to success and she spent the majority of her professional career passing her knowledge on to her students. An alumnus of Booker T. Washington High School's class of 1948, Ms. Jones furthered her education by obtaining a mathematics education degree at Bethune-Cookman University. With a passion for learning and a thirst for knowledge, she continued to develop her edification by attaining advanced degrees from a myriad of universities. She earned a graduate degree from Northwestern University and Harvard University, as well as a doctorate degree from Florida State University in design and management of elementary and secondary schools. While completing the course work for her doctorate degree, Ms. Jones studied administration and supervision at Florida A&M University, community school research and small business at the University of West Florida, finance at Clyde Gore Real Estate School, and mathematics and computer technology at Case Institute of Technology.
Ms. Jones' fervor for teaching and bettering the lives of others led her to Escambia County School District, where she served with unwavering dedication as an educator, principal and supervisor for forty-one years, and as a Pensacola City Councilwoman for two terms. Devoting herself wholeheartedly to her profession, she played an active role in improving the school district through staff development, student recognition and achievement, needs assessment, annual report planning and writing and several other key areas.
Northwest Florida, the Escambia County School District, and the many students whose lives were touched by Ms. Jones, mourn the loss of a kind and devoted woman. Her contributions and service to the community and this great Nation will forever be remembered.
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the United States Congress, I am privileged to honor the exemplary life of Ms. Rita Eika Jones. My wife Vicki and I offer our prayers to her entire family and friends. She will be truly missed by all.