My Dad teaching his granddaughters how to ice a cake, 2007.

My Dad teaching his granddaughters how to ice a cake, 2007.


Kelly Jones, L.M.S.W.

I am a baker’s daughter, a mom and a public servant.

As a social worker, I have spent my career advocating on the behalf of a wide segment of marginalized community members. My youngest client was a newborn and my oldest- 106. Social work has taken me into the homes of hundreds of amazing Lawrencians, a great privilege. I find the most success in helping individuals and communities achieve their goals when I acknowledge they are the experts of their situations and I am merely assisting with resource acquisition and data sorting. This is exactly how I would approach my role as a school board member- informed, collaborative efforts based in stakeholder expertise.

Personal experience and professional training tells me that school board members who focus on empirical data and the strengths of Lawrence’s students and educators achieve the best outcomes.

I was raised in Yankton, South Dakota, where my aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents operated Cecil’s Bakery. Six days a week, my younger brother and I rose at dawn and accompanied our mother to work. We learned what it meant to work hard, to be dedicated to a small business, and to give back to the community. All the bread, rolls, and cakes left at the end of the day were delivered and donated to local service agencies.

My husband, Jon Tunge, and I came to Lawrence in 2002. Jon is a KU chemistry professor. As you might imagine, we highly value science education. We have two much-loved daughters; one attends Liberty Memorial Central Middle School and one attends Lawrence High School. I’m currently the Associate Director of Field Education at the KU School of Social Welfare. I have the great pleasure of assisting social work students and over 250 partnering agencies, including area public schools, with practicum experiences.

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a Criminal Justice certificate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters in Social Work with a concentration in [Nonprofit] Administration and Advocacy from the University of Kansas, where I was a Hartford Project for Productive Aging Education Scholar.

I am committed to a life of service and live that through volunteer opportunities:

  • 2013 & 2017 Yes for Lawrence School Bond Campaigns Get Out the Vote Volunteer

  • Lawrence Farmer’s Market Board Member, 4 years

  • Trinity In-Home Care Board Member, 2 years

  • Cordley Elementary School Site Council Member, 8 years (chaired 2 years)

  • District Appointed Community Work Group Member (group reviewed pros/cons of consolidating elementary schools)

  • Cordley Farm to School Lunch Event Coordinator, 2 years

  • Classroom Volunteer, 10 years

  • Senior Health Insurance Councilor, 2 years

  • Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, 3 years

  • GED Tutor, 2 years