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John Ball Zoo names new bald eagle after local educator

Posted at 4:33 PM, Aug 06, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — John Ball Zoo is naming its new bald eagle after local educator Ruth Jones-Hairston, who died last year.

Jones-Hairston was a teacher and principal in the Grand Rapids Public School District and served on the board for the zoo.

During her time on the board, she worked to help families enjoy the zoo regardless of income level through the JUMP program.

The program has helped hundreds of thousands of families, the zoo said.

In retirement, she started Judah Educational Consultants.

Jones-Hairston died June 2019.

“Naming the bald eagle after Ruth is a great way to honor someone who started an inclusive program at the zoo and exemplified our values of conservation, education, community and celebrate, said Mike Lomonaco, chief community engagement officer for John Ball Zoo.