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Jason Ward teaches to impact

BY BRITTNEE NAVE
STAR CORRESPONDENT
Jason Ward became a teacher to make an impact on society. 
 
Ward was born in Medina, Ohio, and moved to Elizabethton, which is where his father’s family is from when he was three-years-old.
 
He studied at Unaka High School then went to the University of Tennessee and received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in English and a Master’s degree in Education Curriculum and Instruction. 
 
Ward said his original intention with college was to pursue law.
 
“During my senior year, I became disillusioned about the legal profession and went in search of another profession where I could make an impact on society,” he said. “That search led me to education.”
 
Ward has now been married to his wife, Traci, for 26 years and has lived in Stoney Creek since 1997.
 
He teaches English at Unaka High School. 
 
“My favorite part about teaching is watching students when they finally comprehend something that has been alluding them or accomplishing something that they didn’t think they were able to do,” he said.
 
Ward described the teaching goals he has for his students.
 
“My primary goal in teaching is leading students to realize that they can be active participants in their own lives and that circumstances can be overcome with hard work and persistence,” he said. 
 
During this time of uncertainty in education, Ward said COVID-19 was especially frustrating. 
 
“The work we did at the end of last year during quarantine was frustrating because not having contact with students made it difficult to measure real progress,” said Ward.
 
Ward hopes that in spite of the obstacles ahead, students continue to give it their all. To his students, he had a message.
 
“Unfortunately, you have been placed in a situation that you were not prepared for,” he said. “You are going to have to take more responsibility for your education that you normally would have at this stage.
 
“That doesn’t mean you won’t succeed; it just means you have to be more focused and dedicated.”
 
Ward concluded by saying one of the things he enjoys most about his work is seeing his former students ultimately succeed.