Marceline native is now top press person for Gov. Mike Parson

Marceline native Kelli Jones has been appointed communications director for the office of Governor Mike Parson.

Jones, a 1987 Marceline High School graduate took over the role on Aug. 2.

She has served as deputy communications director/press secretary since Gov. Parson took office in June of last year. According to a press release from the governor's office, Jones previously served as communications director during his term as lieutenant governor and has over 25 years of experience in communications. She was on the faculty of State Technical College of Missouri since 2003, where she served seven years as chair of the communication and social science departments.

“Kelli brings many years of valuable communication and leadership experience to our office,” Gov. Parson said. “She has more than proven herself as press secretary, and I have great confidence in her to take over as our communications director.”

After more than two decades of teaching, Jones said she decided she was ready to make a career change, and that is how she began her work in state government.

"I was in education for many years. I taught at the college level," she said. "I decided it was time to make a career move and begin practicing all the subjects I had been teaching so many years."

Jones now lives in Mid-Missouri but still considers Marceline home and makes the trip back for holidays and other family events to visit her parents, Bill and Judy Toops who still live in Marceline, along with her sister Pam Gladbach and her husband John.

"Any chance I can get, I love to see my family and friends from Marceline and the surrounding area," she said. "I love the people of Marceline. I love my church home-First Baptist Church. I love to keep an eye on Marceline High School. Any time Marceline’s football team wins the bell game makes me proud."

Jones and her husband Jim, who is the superintendent of Blair Oaks R-II School District live in the Jefferson City area. The couple have four daughters.