Darcie Jones: Future of Design and Tech

Roja Ayyadurai, Staff Writer

Design and tech teacher Darcie Jones recalls her experiences as a small town girl moving to Northern Virginia to pursue her career.

“[The transition] was pretty rough,” she says. “My hometown is very very small.” Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania is an incredibly small town with a 1.2 square mile radius and 4,361 population.

“There’s no traffic. It takes 30 minutes to get to a mall, 45 minutes to bowling or a movie. And as for the people, it was not diverse at all.” The town has no large water source except for the small Pine creek. 98.75% of the population is white, according to the 2000 census.

“It was a bit of a culture shock,” Jones recalls. “This area has been very nice to be more open minded around others, but the traffic’s a little bit nuts and i guess the traffic is the biggest issue.”

Darcie Jones had indecisively dreamt of becoming a lawyer because of her love to argue and a veterinarian because of her incessant love of animals. However, in her senior year of high school, she applied for a business education at University of Pittsburgh, and was accepted. Halfway through, she changed her major to tech-ed and transferred to Millersville college of Pennsylvania, where she graduated.

“[I faced] a lot of academic overload,” Jones says. “18 credits, part time jobs, technology engineering club, dance, track, it was busy. It was hard having time for everything.” In addition to the workload, Jones was faced with the obvious gender differences of pursuing a career typically male-dominated.

“There were numerous classes where I was the only female and it was just a little difficult to think past that,” she says. “[It wasn’t] necessarily self consciousness, but seeing maybe even 30-40 year old males in the same type of class was a little intimidating.” But instead of feeling over dominated or uncomfortable in these situations, she recalls her confidence being boosted, especially when they asked her for help with projects.

“You can’t let it bother you. A lot of it is just having good team building skills. There will always be different diversities,” she advises aspiring females. “You just can’t let it bother you.”