In Memoriam

Beloved Preschool Teacher at Mandala

As a community, we grieve the news that Jennie Jones, well-loved and long-remembered former teacher at Mandala, passed away in Columbia Tennessee on Monday, March 3, 2014.

For 31 years, from 1978 to 2009, Jennie Jones touched the lives of thousands of children who walked through the doors of Mandala. With her big smile and her wide-open heart, she embraced children and parents alike. Everyone felt the touch of Jennie’s generous spirit. Jennie loved all children—whoever they were. However, she had a unique understanding of the most vulnerable ones. Jennie had a special touch for those who needed a little extra tender loving care. Whether it was the child who was unique or had special challenges, or the child who just needed his tears dried and his feelings soothed, Jennie was there to embrace them. Many former Mandala children remember the comfort of snuggling into Jennie’s soft lap or being embraced in the safety of her big, open arms.

Jennie was a master at the art of teaching, something that came so naturally to her that it was just like breathing. She had the skill of a pro. She was a gifted communicator, especially at “listening with heart.” Jennie inspired confidence in parents, particularly as they were learning the delicate skill of “letting go” while their child was trying to master separation. Jennie was dedicated, above all, to “meeting the needs of the whole child.” She always had the child’s best interests in mind, and she modeled this value to everyone around her.

Jennie’s legacy continues on at Mandala. She will long be remembered and never forgotten. We each carry a piece of her in our hearts.