Jason Beer - SACS Teacher of the Year

SACS Teacher of the Year: Jason Beer
Posted on 05/26/2022

Homestead High School’s English Teacher, Jason Beer, Named Southwest Allen County Schools 2022 District Teacher of the Year

On Thursday, the last day of school, Dr. Park Ginder, Superintendent, Southwest Allen County Schools (SACS), announced Homestead High School (HHS) English teacher, Jason Beer, as the district’s 2022 Teacher of the Year (TOY). 

A graduate of University of St. Francis, Fort Wayne Indiana with both a Bachelors in English Literature and a Masters in Organizational Leadership, Jason has inspired students at Homestead High School for seven years.  Prior to joining SACS, Jason taught in Chicago Public Schools, Columbia City High School, Eagle Tech Academy and New Tech Academy at Wayne.

A firm believer in using authentic learning experiences to increase student engagement, Beer is a recognized leader providing real-world writing projects to create intrinsic motivation in students through standard English classes as well as unique class offerings, Travel Writing and the new class Novel and Screenwriting debuting next school year.

Impacting students who generally do not see their English courses as enjoyable or approachable experiences, Beer’s Travel Writing course provides hundreds of students each year to see themselves as writers. Teaming up with Fort Wayne Magazine to create Project 99 a local travel project where students compose feature articles about a downtown block or location, Beer also inspires students with the Locaventure Project, asking students to create their own local travel projects and then write first-person, research based narrative essays about their experiences. Students research, plan, visit, draft and then create articles that have culminated with many students’ works published in Fort Wayne Magazine and the Visit Fort Wayne website, in addition to earning numerous Scholastic Writing awards.  

Beer’s new class, Novel and Screenwriting, beginning next school year, students will spend a semester using the writing process and engaging in writing workshops to work toward completion of a major project and ending with opportunities to submit the work for publication and learn about how the publishing process works.

Susan Summers, Principal, HHS, believes Beer’s nomination by his peers exemplifies what all SACS educators strive for each and every day; to create lessons that actively engage students and inspire them to be curious and to love learning.

“Since coming to Homestead, Mr. Beer has successfully taught all types of students, both discouraged reticent learns needing credit recovery to Honors English 10, preparing students for the rigor of advanced placement and dual credit courses. Beer’s classes are designed to motivate students to gain reading and writing competencies through the lens of travel and exploration, creating an interest in the content that leads to a desire to learn, practice and acquire English skills they will need to be successful, no matter what post-secondary plans they may have,” says Summers.

As a frequently published author himself, Mr. Beer leads by example as he encourages his students to strive for excellence. “To teach writing, we must also be writers ourselves. I believe writing is a meaningful use of one’s time on this earth. That what we put into our craft makes us into more curious, more compassionate, more interesting human beings.”

SACS’ Teacher of the Year award is designed to honor, promote, and celebrate excellence in the teaching profession. Candidates for Teacher of the Year are nominated by building principals with finalists chosen by a committee comprised of administrators, parents and past Teacher of the Year winners.

This year’s other building finalists include:

 Casey Espinoze, Kindergarten, Aboite Elementary;

Mairy Zent, Grade 4, Covington Elementary;

Elizabeth Dickmeyer, Skills, Deer Ridge Elementary;

Katie Tilley, Grade 2, Haverhill Elementary;

Joan Williams, Literacy, Lafayette Meadows Elementary;

Kim Diehm, Kindergarten, Whispering Meadows Elementary;

Susan Mumma, Grade 8 Language Arts, Summit Middle School;

Muana Rupley, Grade 7 Math/Algebra, Woodside Middle School.