In January of 2001, Dr. Anthony (Tony) Dallmann Jones founded the National At-Risk Education Network (NAREN). He was acting Director for 13 years.
Dr. Dallman Jones graduated from high school a lover of biology and psychology. He followed those passions in Bluffton College, obtaining a double major in those fields. Out of undergrad he began teaching biology and general science in the public school system. Education quickly became a driving force in his life. He chose to attend Florida State, where he achieved a MS degree in educational research and testing, and a P.h.D in educational psychology.
He supported himself by salvage diving in the Gulf of Mexico, collecting specimens for a biological supply house, and doing educational research and consulting. His doctoral dissertation was a study of individual values, mindsets and risk-taking on the (individual) part of Florida teachers during the country’s first statewide teacher walkout in American history. With his doctorate degree in hand, he completed his second year at Duval County central office as the supervisor of research and testing. It was at this time his first article was accepted for publication in Clearing House – a prominent educational journal of that time. This began an educational career punctuated with numerous publications of articles and books.
Tony left central office administration at Jacksonville, Florida, and directed a Title III project in Appalachia during the time and in the location where the movie Deliverance was filmed. He then consulted on several Title III projects, and helped design a new school for the top of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. That led to his dream of being a college professor of educational psychology. His first position in higher education was as an undergraduate professor of teacher preparation. Urbana College (now a university) kept him busy teaching in both the psychology and the education departments, as well as supervising student teachers. He achieved tenure and resigned a year later. “My best students were in the slammer. I was also teaching overload courses in a medium security prison for men and at Marysville Reformatory, the only women’s prison in Ohio. So, my best students were locked up, my campus students wanted to party mostly, and my colleagues seemed more interested in politics than in education/learning. I saw my life unfolding in front of me and it looked to be somewhere between bleak and meaningless.”
Already seeing a few clients on the side, Tony pulled out his retirement, left his tenured position, and founded a counseling service working with survivors of dysfunctional homes – adult survivors of abuse and neglect, work-related psychological problems, marriage counseling, and with victims of various forms of addiction. “I hope I helped half as much as I learned,” Tony says. Today, his main focus is on at-risk youth and schools. “I have seen what education can do. I have seen the power of education in my own life, in my sons’ lives, and in my clients’ as well. It is one thing I KNOW that saves kids.”
Now, for over 20 years in graduate education at Wisconsin’s Marian University, and in his second tenured position, Tony has worked to inspire and support postgraduate educators in teacher education. At Marian he helped design and field-test the first accredited master’s degree in alternative education – The DIAL Program (Differentiated Instruction for Alternative Learning). DIAL prepares master educators – teachers who affirm diversity and strive to be highly effective in providing a dynamic and meaningful educational experience for at-risk youth – a currently expanding population in the United States with a significant one in five dropping out.”
Tony has written several books in education, the two most well-known being The Handbook of Effective Teaching & Assessment Strategies, which has had four editions, and SHADOW CHILDREN – Understanding Education’s #1 Issue, now in its sixth printing.
At the 11th Annual National NAREN Conference, held in Baltimore, MD April, 2014 Dr. Dallmann Jones was awarded the Brave Heart Medal from The Children’s Guild.
“The Brave Heart Medal is awarded for courage and perseverance. Those recognized have engaged in the age old struggle to reclaim life or to work toward bringing about social justice. They are the ones who are driven to do what it takes to foster and motivate transformation in a child, an organizational culture, or a social condition. We honor these courageous Angel Warriors with a Brave Heart Medallion for demonstrating the willingness to risk being vulnerable for the purpose of a cause larger than themselves and the commitment to stand fast in the face of opposition.”