New Staff Face New Challenges


Bea Lunardini, Senior Staff Writer

Beginning his first year of teaching at Cinco, Charlton Jones juggles teaching, coaching responsibilities, and the struggles of a floating classroom, all at the tail-end of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.  Jones teaches Teen Leadership and coaches basketball, sharing his experiences and advice with the next generation of athletes and leaders. 


“Kids are learning to deal with real-life scenarios in Teen Leadership,” said Jones. “They’re breaking out of their shells and seeking out relationships.” 


Jones sees the reward of the hard work he puts into his coaching and teaching, but he concedes that his job has its share of downfalls as well. 


“My biggest challenge has been separating my coaching and teaching from my home life. I’m very devoted to my work, so it can be hard going home and leaving my work at school.” 


Jones feels even more connected to his work at Cinco Ranch than he has at other schools, as he attended Cinco as a student. 


“One of the most surprising things [about working at Cinco] is seeing teachers who have taught here since I went here. It says a lot about how great the school is and the strong tradition.” 


That tradition is one that Jones witnesses first-hand, working alongside veteran teachers and coaches daily. 


“The admin and staff are really helpful. There’s a good support system in place,” Jones commented. “That’s the good thing [about teaching high school]. I get to connect with students on a personal level.” 


Jones has built connections with his students, who participate in class and value him highly as a teacher, and with the staff at Cinco.


“‘Don’t take anything personal’” is the best piece of advice Jones has received so far at Cinco, coming from fellow Teen Leadership teacher Coach Minter. 


 “Kids can be having a hard day and say something that they don’t mean, and you can’t let it affect you. You have to be there for them and help them get through it, without taking it personally.” 


Coach Jones’ students appreciate him and his openness in class, especially when it comes to the future that lies ahead of them. 


“He’s always been really honest with us about the real world. He doesn’t try to tear us down and scare us, but he doesn’t sugar-coat anything either,” Melody Huang said. “It’s cool to have a teacher who understands what we’re going through and actually listens.” 


Just like his students, Coach Jones describes his experience teaching so far as “absolutely positive”, and looks forward to his future as a teacher. His enthusiasm and passion for his job are infectious, and his presence is clearly already having a significant impact on his students.