Anyone observing social studies and leadership teacher Jason Fatz can see that he embodies the attributes of a stellar educator. With his last quarter as a Ram in sight, it seems fitting that he is Radford’s teacher of the year.
“You always hope that people think you are doing a good job, but it is humbling to be recognized,” Fatz said. “I respect my peers and they have taught me a great deal, so it is very meaningful to be recognized by them.”
Teacher of the year is an annual award, and winners are recognized at a Hawaii State Teachers Association Teacher of Excellence luncheon. Fatz will be honored at a luncheon on May 2.
“Jason Fatz is an amazing teacher who loves the opportunity to work with students and believes they all can learn. He places the responsibility on himself to enable students to reach their potential. Jason challenges his students with high expectations and works hard to enable his students to reach their potential through creative lesson planning,” colleague Troy Freitas said.
Fatz is a third-year Ram who teaches US History and AP Macroeconomics, and advises sophomore leadership. He has one and a half years of teaching experience in Monterey, CA, and one year in La Conner, WA.
He is a sergeant first class in the Army reserves where he is part of a training battalion that supports college ROTC programs. It was only after a 11-month deployment in 2002 that Fatz was looking to find a more satisfying and rewarding career, when he decided to pursue a career in education.
“Teaching had always been something that interested me and I never forgot the impact, both good and bad, that my teachers had on me,” Fatz said. “I liked the challenge of working with students each day to improve on their skills and enjoy the opportunity to continue learning alongside of them. I wanted to try and incorporate the experiences that I have had with people that have positively impacted my life and avoid the negative examples.”
Fatz understands the importance of creating life-long learners, which has shaped his teaching philosophy.
“I must enable my students with the skills necessary to be successful while integrating interesting lessons that engage their curiosity,” he said.
He is a graduate of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, completing a bachelor’s of science degree in interdisciplinary social sciences with minors in both education and history, and a master’s of arts degree in teaching.
Fatz and his family are returning to Monterey, CA due to his wife’s reassignment with the Navy, where she will be studying Arabic at Defense Language Institute.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Radford. The students, teachers, and administration have taught me much and have made me the rare and fortunate individual that loves their job. The students here inspire and motivate me to always try,” Fatz said. “Thank you for this honor.”