Jason is now in his fourteenth year at FBRA serving as Head of Music at the Boys School where he also teaches sixth grade Art. Sharing a background within the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) with both the director and co-founder, he brings twenty years of middle school teaching experience into his role as an arts program leader.
During his first ten years at FBRA, Jason served as the school’s Academic Director and helped establish many core aspects of the school’s academic culture. Now his primary responsibility is leading the groundbreaking music program he designed which features every FBRA student becoming a member of a six person Rock Band that performs at weekly assemblies, on-campus concerts, and ultimately, at The Orange Peel, Asheville’s nationally-acclaimed music venue.
A founding teacher of KIPP: Asheville Youth Academy, Jason was distinguished as one of 14 national recipients of the $10,000 Kinder Award For Excellence in Teaching in 2004. This came a year after leading a group of 56 students to increases from 44% to more than 80% at or above grade level in 5th grade reading as measured by the NC End-of-Grade Tests.
In the KIPP program, Jason taught Language Arts and Social Studies to grades 5-6, as well as specialized classes for grade 7 including small group studies of Shakespeare and Charles Dickens among other classic authors. Combining this approach with rigorous non-fiction readings of high-interest current events, personalized student writing conferencing, and highly-engaging arts-integrated lessons, Jason’s classes were praised during his critique by the British Inspection style evaluation of his classes at KIPP, where FBRA founder Will Yeiser was the Spanish teacher at the time.
Jason began his public school teaching career instructing Academically Gifted, Standard Level, and Remedial English in grade 8 at East McDowell Junior High School in Marion, NC, for four years. During that period his classes achieved the top writing scores on the locally administered test, and he helped start a student-created Literary Magazine, financing its publication with proceeds from a student-produced Talent Competition.
This was the first full-time teaching job for Jason, after spending successive summers traveling the state as one of 70 hand-picked experts and artists to train teachers in the North Carolina A+ Schools network in arts integration strategies. Filmmaking as an Instructional Tool, Painting Literary Murals, and Blues Songwriting in the Classroom were only a few of the workshops that Jason taught to hundreds of teachers from across the state.
He also taught Remedial Composition classes to incoming freshmen at his alma mater, Mars Hill University, as part of the Summer Academic Enrichment Program. His broad range of teaching experience at FBRA and beyond, combined with his passion for the world of ideas, art, and music, makes Jason an invaluable member of our amazing faculty.