People to Know: Virgil Jones
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Many people could say that they have lived in two different homes; some may even have lived in two different states. However, Mr. Jones may be one of the only people who has lived in 28 homes in 5 different states.
He was born in Chicago, but mostly grew up in Wisconsin, which may explain his enthusiasm for the Green Bay Packers. As a foster child, he moved a lot when he was young: from his birthplace in Illinois to Mississippi, then Texas, Louisiana, and–at the age of thirteen–Wisconsin.
After settling in, he went to high school in Greenfield, Wisconsin. Growing up adopted by white parents, in a biracial family–much like me–he had a lot of unique experiences. He believes that one has a right to inform people, and teach awareness. However, it is not one’s responsibility to be put in an uncomfortable position because of ignorance.
Aside from that he stayed true to his passions. Being a skilled and avid athlete, Mr. Jones dedicated himself to high school football, wrestling, and track and field. He also continued participating in athletics in college: “At the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse–or as I like to call it, THE University of Wisconsin-La Crosse–I aspired to continue wrestling.”
Instead, he ended up playing for one of the best college football teams of the time. Of his four years playing college football, coached by District 196 high school graduate Craig Cusick, the team only lost a total of three games.
After college, Mr. Jones worked in professional sports. Along with an internship with the Milwaukee Brewers, he spent four summers working for the New Orleans Saints.
Now, he spends his time working at AVHS or with his family. His wife Kristin is a medical device scientist, and his kids are ten year-old Samara, nine year-old Elijah, and six year-old identical twins Madden and Porter.
When he has time alone (which isn’t often) he likes to go to movies by himself. For a laugh, he enjoys Superbad, but his favorite inspirational movie is The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith.
Along with his many accomplishments, Mr. Jones has also had the opportunity to meet a number of very influential people. Some of these people include:
- Joe Montana, former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers
- Diane Nash, a civil activist
- Professor Angela Davis, a scholar widely known for her leadership in civil rights
- John Trudell, an American Indian Movement leader, and artist of many forms
- Paul Rusesabagina, a human rights activist who is most famous for protection of 1,000 plus refugees during the Rwandan Genocide
His inspirations truly reflect his character in such a remarkable way. From sports to human rights, Mr. Jones knows it all. He says “At Apple Valley, I love the community of culture I feel within the high school and overall environment.”
If you haven’t already made an effort to meet our school’s new Athletic Director, I’m sure that if you do, you’ll find yourself laughing out loud and maybe feeling a little enlightened.