Lakeland High School Principal Eva Merkel had no doubt who she wanted to nominate for the Armstrong Teacher Award. “Jason Schackow has been a part of the Laker family since 2007 and has been an integral part of our school’s transformation into a collaborative and project-based (PBL) environment,” she wrote to the selection committee.
On April 21, Schackow was one of nine teachers in the state to receive the Armstrong Teacher Educator Award during a ceremony at Indiana University in Bloomington. The award doesn’t just recognize Schackow and the other recipients for their past work, but gives them an opportunity over the next year to share their experiences with the next generation of educators.
“This next year, I’ll be working with pre-service educators and working with a professor at IU with his class,” Schackow said. “The program puts students in touch with current teachers.”
Schackow will also participate in Q&A panels at IU with education majors to discuss current issues in the field.
“I’m very excited about it,” Schackow said of the opportunity to work with upcoming educators. “It’s exciting to see them going into the profession.”
“Jason is a wonderful educator,” Merkel stated. “He’s constantly learning.” Schackow is a PBL certified trainer and trains at the national level, as well. In her letter, Merkel told the committee that Schackow’s expertise has resulted in “being sought out regionally to train all levels of teachers (elementary through university professors) in PBL, statewide as a certification reviewer for the Indiana Collaborative for Project Based Learning, and nationally working as a National Teacher Designer with the New Tech Network.”
That knowledge and drive to know more is something Schackow can take to those coming into the field. “The award was looking for those who have done training and not just in their school, but elsewhere,” Merkel added. “Jason has done all of it. He’s a perfect fit for this opportunity.”
His excitement can now be shared with those who will be entering the ever changing, ever challenging world of education.
After 11 years, the award and opportunity to work with future educators has rejuvenated Schackow. “I’m blessed to work in a school that values professional development,” Schackow added. “They allow us to grow as much as we want.”