Jason Pascavage loves what he’s doing.
And even though he now has his Doctorate (yes, you can call him DOCTOR Jason Pascavage these days), the Jane Addams Middle School Principal doesn’t see things changing a whole lot.
“I think being a Principal in a school is the most noble position you can have when it comes to having an immediate impact on kids,” said Dr. Pascavage, who, when asked where he sees himself 10 years from now, responded “Here. Principal at Jane Addams. I love it. I believe you get in a position and stay in it.”
The Montana native came to Valley View School District 365U in 2006 as an Assistant Principal at Brooks Middle School after spending four years as a middle school math teacher and high school basketball coach in Phoenix and a year as a 6th grade math and science teacher and assistant principal at Columbus Manor Elementary School in Oak Lawn. He became Addams Principal a year ago.
“I knew in high school I wanted to be a teacher and a coach,” he said, proudly pointing out he became the first person on his mother’s side of the family to obtain a college degree when he graduated with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from the University of Montana.
“When I got the Doctorate, my mom was the first person who called to congratulate me,” Dr. Pascavage said, adding he has given his mom copies of all of his degrees, including his two Masters Degrees in math and administration from Arizona State University.
But his mom wasn’t the only person to congratulate him after defending his dissertation which involved over three years of research on the Odyssey enhancement program at Brooks. Addams staff members put congratulatory notes on Mylar balloons and filled Dr. Pascavage’s office with them on the day he formally became a “doctor.”
“Even the kids here have a different perspective on things now that I have the doctorate,” he said. “It was a lot of work but now that it’s done, this is an accomplishment my kids and school can be proud of.”
Pascavage’s philosophy has endeared the young Principal to his students, staff and parents.
“I treat each kid as if they were my own. I am fair with them. I have honest conversations with them,” he said. “I got in trouble as a kid. Nobody is perfect.”
Will his new degree mean a future position as a district administrator some day?
“I don’t see that right now,” he said. “I just don’t look that far ahead.”