After twenty-seven years at THHS, Mr. Jones to retire

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Phillip Jones, Physics teacher and coach of Science Olympiad and US FIRST Robotics, will be concluding his 27-year streak of full-time teaching at Townsend Harris and entering retirement.

One of the last teachers of the original 1984 staff, Mr. Jones started his career at Harris teaching chemistry with a master’s degree in the subject from Fordham University, earned in 1979. He later joined the three-person staff of Physics teachers.

After his long career at the school, he felt that his departure was appropriate.

“My wife retired and I figured I’d retire also to spend some time with her and spend time with my hobbies,” Mr. Jones said.

These hobbies include his involvement with the Robotics and Science Olympiad teams.

As the head coach of Robotics, Mr. Jones was responsible for leading the team members through the building of a robot that competes in the US FIRST competition. He also taught Robotics as a science elective.

In addition to the Robotics team and elective, he served as one of the assistant coaches of Science Olympiad.  During his tenure there, he led the building, technology, and robotics-oriented topics within the team.

Mr. Jones still enjoys tinkering with robots and machinery, and hopes to continue helping these teams in his spare time.

“All the projects that I’ve done with my students have made me very happy.”

He expressed mixed feelings about his leaving.

“I hate marking papers, [but] I’m going to miss the students.”

With no interest in travel, Mr. Jones is content to “rest and garden” while at home.

Chemistry teacher Adel Kadamani said Mr. Jones was “hardworking and never hesistated to put in extra time after school and on the weekends for all kinds of things, especially for Robotics.”

“He loved the school for everything it stands for. It’s heart breaking for him to walk away. There will always be a piece of THHS in everything he does.”