Physics and engineering teacher Ken Jones to retire

Jones’ career comes to a close after F-8 years


Photo courtesy of Jaron Flynn

Dr. Ken Jones instructs his students in his final days at Oak Park High.

Upon entering room F-8, one can see a group of boys playing cards in the back right corner and a few single kids dispersed throughout the room, studying. Physics and engineering teacher Ken Jones sits on a single loveseat talking to a student in a casual and joking manner with his feet propped up on an ottoman in front of him.

“Just by looking at his classroom and desk or spending a few minutes inside [his room], you can tell how much his students love him,” junior Saanvi Athota said.

After teaching at Oak Park High School for seven years, Jones is retiring at the end of the 2019-2020 school year and is moving back to England. The English citizen moved to Ventura years back out of necessity. As he leaves, Jones says he will miss the OPHS community.

“I’ll miss the students hugely. Students here are fantastic and they’ve been a joy to work with. And my colleagues have been a joy to work with,” Jones said.

Prior to coming to California, Jones had an extensive education background lasting 49 years as a College Principal, Assistant Principal, and worked for a county office of education as a School Improvement Adviser and a Curriculum Specialist.

Jones’ Principal job and Assistant Principal job in England have been at Spelthorne College, a Sixth Form College (for 16-19 year old students and adults) near Heathrow airport. OPHS is the only high school where Jones has taught in the U.S.

“Education is just fun and I like it. I like working with young people and helping them learn,” Jones said.

A group of students, asked to be called ‘Da Boys,’ commented that Jones is much more than a teacher. To them, he’s a friend.

“He teaches us about more than physics. He teaches us about British culture, always has Latin things on the board, he’s like a Renaissance Man. He teaches physics but also does poetry and goes to poetry nights which is pretty cool,” ‘Da Boys,’ consisting of seniors James Gaspar, Akash Juwadi and Luca Fernandez, said.

Along with his students, Science teacher David Sloan also applauds Jones for his teaching style.

“Mr. Jones demands of his students a high level of engagement and cerebral activity, he refuses to coddle or spoon feed his peeps, yet always offers kind encouragement to help you arrive at the answer yourself,” Sloan wrote.

On the roof of the room is a big green poster with the words ‘We Love You Mr. Jones,’ courtesy of ‘Da Boys.’

“Jones’s class was super fun. His class was a unique environment of freedom, which made it both refreshing and enjoyable to be in, ” OPHS graduate class of 2015 Tushar Jois wrote.

As Jones leaves the science department, his presence will be missed.

“I can hardly express how much I will miss him — my eyes are struggling as I type the words. He is a leader, an innovator, an orator and an artist. He is an educator,” Science Department Chair Winnie Litten wrote.

Jones is returning to England to spend time with his grandchildren and son after his retirement this year.

“When I came over to California, teaching here was a huge challenge. A different education system, a different accreditation system for being a teacher. It’s a whole new different thing that I have had to learn to do. It was challenging, but it was rejuvenating. It was all very fun,” Jones said.