Accruing nearly 40 years of industry experience to her credit, Barbara Ewer Jones worked as a school psychologist in the Monroe County Community School Corp in Bloomington, Indiana, retiring in 2004. She was a Star trainer for in-house teacher training and has been noted for her achievements, qualities, credentials and successes she has accrued in her field. Ms. Jones began her educational career as a primary teacher in Marion, Indiana, and in Decatur Township Schools in Indianapolis, and a contact substitute teacher in San Bernardino City Unified School District in California. Her experience in California led her to a Master of Education in special education.
Ms. Jones developed and directed the University Preschool for children ranging from 18 months to 7 years with learning and behavior issues. The preschool was open to university programs for experiences in evaluation, teacher training, occupational therapy and early childhood classes for three universities in Indianapolis. Ms. Jones was an evening division lecturer in early childhood at Butler University in Indianapolis for seven years and subbed for the early childhood professors during the summer sessions.
Ms. Jones pursued her formal education at Indiana University Bloomington, earning a Bachelor of Science in 1965. She was chosen as one of six individuals out of 400 to receive her student teaching experience with the new multi-age grouping of the Indiana University Lab School, located in Bloomington. Since that experience and her work in various schools, she has received a Master of Education in the area of special education and Master of Science in school psychology. These experiences led Ms. Jones to advanced master level coursework in counseling and guidance.
Ms. Jones’ experiences in assessment within the school system imprinted the need for a medical background and training. Each child in special education has a neurological disorder, be it inattention, high level of activity, impulsive behavior, sensory issues or behavior disorders. She was accepted into the occupational therapy master’s level program of Indianapolis University in Indianapolis. The coursework and license gave Ms. Jones the opportunity to work with First Steps, the Indiana version of the early intervention of the Federal Disability Act.
Since her retirement from First Steps, Ms. Jones has continued working with individuals with disabilities from ages 7 to 26 years old. Her population comprises of individuals on the autism spectrum and those born of mothers’ illicit drug problems. Many families in Ms. Jones’ caseload lack the funds to help their children with their learning issue, which are not so low as to warrant special services in the schools, but are a problem for that child.
An established artist, Ms. Jones is a figure sculptor, painter in acrylic and watercolor, and traditional and landscape art quilter. She has received awards ranging from first place, honorable mention, special merit and other awards for her various art styles. The acrylic painting was the technique used to illustrate two children books called the “Little John” series. Ms. Jones currently sings with a group called the “Voices,” conducted by Anne Anderson and John Richardson, located in Franklin, Indiana.
Civically, Ms. Jones volunteers two mornings a week with Linda Hazzard, the program director for horse therapy. The participants are middle to high school level individuals with behavior disorders from two school districts. The groups receive school credit as they learn life, social and problem solving skills with the horses. The program is presented by Agape, a horse therapy program. Ms. Jones is also active in her local community in two churches. She is a member of the United Methodist Church of Morgantown, Indiana, as a member of the church choir and bell choir, and on the worship, altar guild and history committees. She attends Bible study with the Christian Church of Morgantown under the direction of Fred Priest, a well-trained director of the program. She is beginning her time to volunteer for Well Spring, an organization to help those who are homeless regain control of their lives with a place to live.