GREECE, N.Y. (WROC) — Congratulations to James Jones, our latest Golden Apple Award Winner.

Mr. Jones was nominated not by one student, but by nearly a dozen. He teaches English to high school students in Greece, but it’s his work outside of the classroom that has really impressed his students.

“He’s just an all-around great guy, great teacher, great man, great sense of style,” says senior student Jason Rosato.

“Mr. Jones is like a second dad to me,” student Andrew Whybra adds. “Anytime I go in there for advice he’ll give it to me.”

Alexa Henderson also nominated Mr. Jones. She says, “He’s funny and helps a lot of students out with everything. He is very personable and on track with everything you do.”

Senior Nathan Banke says “Probably one of the best teachers I have had all throughout high school.”

Nearly a dozen students nominated Mr. Jones for a Golden Apple Award. He says, “I’m really happy that my students really care that much about me.”

But it’s his caring attitude towards his students that makes him stand out. 

Greece Athena Principal Kelly Flagler says, “His instruction is really solid, but he also has strong relationships with kids.  In addition to that, he has taken on a tremendous leadership role.  He is the advisor for our black student union and has done a ton of work like bring 130 students from Greece to Washington D.C. for an HBCU trip.  we are very grateful and he is super deserving of this acknowledgment.”

On the day we surprised him, Jones had just returned from that Washington D.C. trip — late the night before. 

“We got a chance to see Howard University, Morgan University, the kids really enjoyed themselves. It was definitely a fun event,” Jones said.

This is his first year in the Greece School District, but he’s been teaching for years both in the city of Rochester and in New York City. It’s truly what he was meant to do. “My teaching in the classroom.  I try to bring life to their learning,” says Jones.