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Donna Jones-Hocker Will Inspire Learning, Leading and Living as the Principal of Marnel C. Moorman School


Donna Jones-Hocker tabbed to launch Shelby County’s newest school.

(Shelbyville, KY)  While still under construction, Shelby County Public Schools’  Marnel C. Moorman School, has its leader. Donna Jones-Hocker has been selected from a deep and talented pool of candidates to build a team of teachers who will personalize the learning experience for over 600 students in the new K-8 innovative 21st Century School.  

An alumnus of Shelby County High School, Mrs. Jones-Hocker began her career in 2007 at West Middle School. She currently serves as the Associate Principal of Martha Layne Collins High School since 2012 with a focus on transitioning 8th and 9th graders during their formative years. She will remain in this position until the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Prior to her time in administration, Mrs. Jones-Hocker served as an 8th grade history teacher at WMS and MLCHS where she was named the 2010-2011 Teacher of the Year. “I am proud of the education I received here! This community has given so much to me, I am beyond excited to be able to continue to give back in this new position.”

 Superintendent Dr. James Neihof commented on Mrs. Jones-Hocker’s selection. “Throughout her career in Shelby County, Mrs. Jones-Hocker has proven a strong advocate for students in her care. The student-centered approach to her daily work will be readily visible in each teammate she chooses to serve in the new building. I am grateful to have such a passionate and tireless leader to launch the great work that will occur at the Marnel C. Moorman School.”

Mrs. Jones-Hocker shared how she plans to create a welcoming and engaging atmosphere that leads to skills expected in the community’s Profile of a Graduate: “Learners must have choice in what and how they learn. A competency-based approach to skill development that is founded on personalized learning, strong teacher-student relationships and flexible supports will allow students to assimilate their skills into transferable knowledge they can then apply to real-world situations or problems. This will be who we are. This will be what we do.”

As a member of the community, Principal Jones-Hocker knows the legacy of Mr. Marnel C. Moorman, the new school’s namesake. Like Mr. Moorman, her educational career has been defined by the students and graduates who have achieved at high levels despite encountered barriers. Her ability to inspire learning, leading and living mirrors that of the legacy carried on by all who knew Mr. Moorman.

Principal Jones-Hocker holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Kentucky State University, a Master’s Degree from Western Kentucky University, and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in School Leadership and Policy from Western Kentucky University. Principal Jones-Hocker is the daughter of Donald and Gwen Jones and the mother of Laporsha Jackson. She lives in Shelbyville with her husband, Willa Hocker Sr. and their two children.