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  • Writer's pictureSarah Samra

Departing “Coach Jay” leaves positive legacy at Kennedy High

By Sarah Samra, Clarion staff reporter

Jairus "Coach Jay" Goines has left the building.

His last day at John F. Kennedy High School was Thursday, November 30; however, the legacy of his leadership will still have a presence in the Climate Office and around campus.

Goines's journey has been shaped by his determination, passion for education, and his unwavering commitment to helping others. He refers to the quote: “No one can save everyone but everyone can save someone else.”

“Sometimes we get lost when we can’t help the students,” he says. “But we can hope that they will find the help through someone else.”

Jairus "Coach Jay" Goines, shown at his former position in the Kennedy Climate Office, has been a familiar face and positive presence at Kennedy for nearly 7 years. Photo by Sarah Samra

During his teenage years, Goines faced high expectations from his parents to achieve straight-A’s. However, due to his family’s frequent moves, he was unable to attend Kennedy as initially planned. Instead of allowing this setback to define him, he focused on creating a brighter future. He understood the importance of education and compassion, and it became his mission to pass on these values to others.

By 2017, Goines was hired as an office technician at Kennedy. This opportunity allowed him to immerse himself in an environment he had missed out on during adolescence. Working at Kennedy provided him with experience and insights that would shape his career aspirations. 

Sabrina Clark, counseling office assistant, said she really enjoyed working with Goines, and she is going to miss his positive attitude. Art teacher Benjamin Teweles had a similar sentiment: “Coach Jay has always been a very helpful support on campus. I will miss his positive activities.” 

Goines's ultimate goal is to see all Kennedy students succeed, and he leaves behind a legacy of compassion, engagement with staff and students, and positivity. 

Students and staff miss him already, and eagerly await the next chapter in his journey.  He shared these parting words to the Cougar Nation for this article:

“Dear Kennedy students, 

Saying goodbye is difficult, but I am grateful for our time together. Your impact on me as a coach will always be cherished. I believe in your potential and know you will achieve great things. 

To the staff, thank you for your support. Working with you has been an honor. Foster growth and learning. As I start a new journey, I'll miss you all. 

Coaching here has been a privilege. Take care and show kindness. You are the heart of this community. 

Remember our mascot, the Cougars, and embody their spirit. Success is measured by personal growth. Be the best versions of yourselves. 

Thank you, Kennedy High School, for allowing me to be a part of your lives. Take care and continue shining brightly. 

With love and gratitude, 

Coach Jay.”

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