North Callaway High School golf coach and social studies teacher Jason Smith has been named High School Teacher of the Year by the Northeast Region of the Missouri State Teachers Association.
Smith earns the award, given to one high school educator in each region of Missouri, after a 16-year career, seven of which have been spent at NCHS. The Northeast Region of the MSTA includes Callaway and 23 other counties in the state.
Smith began teaching at Blair Oaks south of Jefferson City. After six years there, he had a three-year stint at Centralia High School, before coming to North Callaway and settling in there. Many of his students remember him fondly enough to stop by for a visit during or after their college tenures.
"I am very student-driven, in that I care a lot about how the kids do and their success, not only in school but outside of school," said Smith. "I get a lot of fulfillment from students who come back and visit, and say hello and tell me about what they're doing with their lives."
Teaching is in Smith's genes. Coming from a household of educators, he always knew teaching was his calling, and he was able to model his teaching methods after influential teachers in his life. His student-oriented methods and work ethic endeared him to his peers, who encouraged him to apply and go through the selection process for the award. One such peer is Carol Green, NCHS principal.
"He's a great guy," she said. "He's very even-tempered, and gets along with everyone. He works hard and gets along with students and other staff members."