Rabun Gap alum Jonas McCracken '93 has been very busy since his graduation. Following his graduation from college, he taught English in Grenada, Spain. Upon his return to the United States, he took a chance working for a then start-up beverage company, now known as good2grow. While working for the company, he lived in Mexico and Hong Kong. He currently works as the company's Chief Operating Officer and lives in Atlanta with his wife, Tabetha, and their two children.
Tell us what you have been doing since graduating from Rabun Gap.
I attended Presbyterian College for four years before moving to Granada, Spain. I lived in Spain for two years teaching English and learning photography. I moved back home in 1998 and started working for a then start-up beverage company, now known as good2grow, with which I'm still employed. Not long after, good2grow moved me to Mexico to run their new office there. I was there for about a year before returning to Atlanta for four years. Then in 2004, I was sent to Hong Kong to run the company's sourcing office. It was in Hong Kong where I met my wife, Tabetha. In 2011, we moved back to Atlanta for me to assume my role as Chief Operating Officer. We have had two children, Oscar (5 years) and Lulu (2.5 years) since then.
What is something interesting about you that we wouldn't find on your resume?
I studied Flamenco Dancing while living in Granada, Spain, in 1996 - 1998!
How did Rabun Gap help to prepare you or influence your future goals?
Before attending Rabun Gap, I was at the local public high school. Rabun Gap's smaller classroom sizes and more one-on-one exposure to the teachers really helped me relative to the way I process and learn new material. I also really enjoyed the diversity of the student body at the time. During my years at Rabun Gap I made friends from students all around the world, which was really the origin of my interest in international travel and learning new cultures.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time at Rabun Gap?
There are so many, but I really enjoyed the dances the school would host sometimes on the weekends. Dess Oliver had built a custom disco dance floor with a mirror ball, which was setup in the gym, and I just remember everyone having so much fun.
Is there a specific faculty member or coach who had a particularly important impact on you?
The entire faculty, during my years at Rabun Gap, were so great, and all played such an important role not only in my education, but also in my personal development. With that said, there are a few teachers that I remember fondly. Ms. Yates made math fun for me, when I previously feared the subject. Then there is Mrs. Beaver who was so pivotal in preparing me for college, as she taught me how to write a proper essay. And finally, there is Billy Joe Stiles , who also had such a positive impact on my life. His unique method of teaching really connected with me and his classes were just so much fun.
What advice do you have for current Rabun Gap students that you wish someone had told you during your time at school?
Get out of your comfort zone and find your true identity. At the age of seventeen, I went for a summer abroad in Spain for three months, where I lived with a family in La Coruna. It was that summer of '93 that I really opened my mind and expanded my appreciation for different cultures and art.
What would you like to see happen at Rabun Gap in the next 10 years?
My hope is that the school would create tuition solutions for those families that may not be able to afford Rabun Gap. Nonetheless, my brother's kids attend Rabun Gap these days, and I hear great things are happening at the school.