Assistant Principal, Denver East High School
Majors in Education and English Literature
After leaving Knox, Jason taught American and British literature, composition, and language arts at Kenwood Academy and Hyde Park Career Academy in Chicago, and received a Master's of Arts in School Leadership from Concordia University. In his current position as assistant principal at Denver East High in Colorado, Jason oversees instructional and teacher development and provides equity driven leadership. At Knox, Jason was a four-year starter on the men's basketball team.
How did a Knox education prepare you for where you are today?
My Knox education challenged me to confront my fears, to take advantage of available resources in order to grow academically, and to own all outcomes that are the product of my efforts. At Knox, I learned that you get out of your education what you put into it.
What inspired you to go into education as a career?
I wanted to be for students what some of my teachers were for me. As a high school student myself, I enjoyed the real conversations and honesty that many teachers were willing to have. Being able to connect with an adult that you trust and respect on a daily basis made learning all the more meaningful. After completing my degree at Knox, I was eager to return to Chicago to give back what was given to me.
What is the most rewarding part of your career?
The most rewarding part of my career is the relationships I build with students. To this day, I still receive e-mails from former students who thank me for my honesty and encouragement during my time as their teacher in Chicago. It is very important to be able to do meaningful work to help students graduate high school college ready, successfully work through and solve tough situations, and laugh with the people you work with, by not sweating the small things too much.
Who was a major influence on your life when you were at Knox?
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be, and he will become as he can and should be." I met Dr. John Haslem [director of the Center for Teaching and Learning] during my visit to Knox the summer before my freshman year. He had a very honest conversation with my mother and me by telling us that I had a lot of work to do to prove that I could and would be a great student at Knox. It was the challenge that I needed and one that I embraced. I worked diligently to be a great student at Knox and that work ethic has transferred into my professional life. I am appreciative of John's candidness and the relationship we developed over the years during my time at Knox. Also, Tim Heimann was my basketball coach and was a wonderful human being. I valued his guidance and his kind nature as a model way of how you should treat people. I try to live those values each and every day.
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