Noa Jones | Executive Director and Chair of the Board

As founding director of the Board of Trustees, Noa led the establishment of the Middle Way School in 2017. She stepped back from her leadership roles at MWS in 2021 to focus on the Buddhist aspects of the school. As Dharma Curriculum Coordinator, Noa works with educators and dharma advisors on the curriculum framework and materials developed at the School. Collaborating with key Middle Way educational and strategic consultants, she articulates the MWS vision and mission, and helps to ensure its implementation through all areas of the MWS. She leads weekly assemblies and coordinates a variety of programs for the children and parents such as dharma talks and ceremonies.

Noa has worked for the school’s patron, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, since 2001 in a variety of roles—from personal secretary to film PA to Communications Director of Khyentse Foundation, where she helped create the foundation’s branding and chaired KF’s education steering committee for more than a decade.

In 2010, Rinpoche sent her to the Kingdom of Bhutan to develop education alternatives in association with the Ministry of Education, the Royal Education Council, monasteries, and a number of NGOs. She coordinated professional development and integrated curriculum design workshops for teachers while observing and participating in local classrooms. The Druk 3020 curriculum she developed in 2011 helped introduced progressive education methods and content into the monastic setting. Druk 3020 has continued to be implemented and refined at the Chokyi Gyatso Institute in Eastern Bhutan. In 2017 Rinpoche asked Noa to start a Buddhist school for children in Upstate New York.

Noa is also a writer and editor of creative fiction and nonfiction, and has worked on Rinpoche’s books, including What Makes You Not a Buddhist and The Guru Drinks Bourbon. She taught creative writing at Hunter College and, in addition to receiving a number of awards and fellowships for her writing, she has been published in many magazines and newspapers including the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Tricycle, Vice, and Conde Nast Traveler. She contributed a chapter to Global Perspectives on Spirituality in Education (Routledge, 2013). She graduated cum laude with a journalism degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a minor in arts management, and an MFA in creative writing from Hunter College. She holds a Masters of Science Degree in Education (MSEd) from the University of Pennsylvania.