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New Jane Addams principal talks upcoming school year

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 4:52 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:52 a.m. CDT
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(Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com)
New sixth-graders Myles Cooper (from left) and his cousin Brendan Turner, both 11, meet Jane Addams Middle School's new principal Jason Pascavage at the school's back to school picnic in Plimmer Park in Bolingbrook on Thursday. Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com
Caption
(Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com)
Holding his youngest, Bryce, 1, Jane Addams Middle School's new principal Jason Pascavage chats with student resource team leader Leah Travers-Pucci while she tends the grill at the school's back to school picnic in Plimmer Park in Bolingbrook on Thursday. Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com

BOLINGBROOK – On July 1, Jason Pascavage assumed his new role as principal of Jane Addams Middle School.

Pascavage, 35, of Lockport, has been the Brooks Middle School assistant principal since 2006 and is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Bolingbrook Lions Club.

What did you do before you were principal of Jane Addams Middle School?

From 2001 to 2005, I worked as a math teacher at the Osborne School in Phoenix, Ariz. During those five years, I directed new teacher orientation, developed math curriculum and assessments, and played a key role in developing a school improvement plan that transformed our school from a failing school to a performing plus school in four years. From 2006 until last year, I was the assistant principal at Brooks Middle School.

What has the transition to principal been like?

Coming from the Osborne School – a much larger school – the transition has been very smooth. I have been doing everything on a lot smaller scale and, as a result, I want to have a hand in curriculum, activities and extracurricular events. I want to collaborate with teachers to create to most effective lesson plans, assessments and homework. I want to be involved in every way possible.

How would you describe your teaching or “principal” style?

I think it comes down to beliefs. I believe every student has an endless capacity to learn and achieve academically and personally. I will expect, and accept, nothing less from our students, parents, teachers, myself and the community at large. It is up to us to make sure they achieve. Whether I am a teacher or administrator, I believe in the kids. I am pretty hands-on as well. I like going to sports, parent nights, extracurricular activities; I want to be there.

What are some of your plans, hopes and expectations for the new school year?

“Seven hours of academic excellence.” That is the phrase that I want to institute and abide by. It is my goal to establish and maintain a positive environment for the school and classroom communities. In order to provide an excellent education, I will approach each day with readiness and a positive attitude. It will take collaboration and partnership of parents, educators, and caring adults to meet these expectations.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing Jane Addams or Valley View School District and what can you do to help solve it?

Adoption of the common core is a daunting task facing the district, but I think we are a little bit ahead of the curve. In order to push us further, administration, students and parents must understand and emphasize the importance of the common core. It is getting them to think and think critically. I am committed to establishing a common language of universal instructional expectations, aligned with research-based best practices. High quality instructional practices will be consistent in every classroom with the intention of promoting higher order thinking and problem solving skills. The only way that we are going to all do better is through a united effort.

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