When walking on campus, it is clear that students and staff have a great rapport with you! What do you feel are the keys to this success?

Jason: I think others answering this question may yield a more authentic answer.  If I could guess, though, I’d say positivity, care, reliability, authenticity, and visibility, are some keys to developing and maintaining positive relationships.  My three tenants that I share with my staff are “respect, love, high expectations.”  I think any student who feels these from an adult will have the highest chance of maximizing their potential.  I don’t ask anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.  I work from the heart.  I care deeply about our Hoover community.  I center all my actions on simply wanting to do the right thing, even when it’s not the easy thing.  I’m a firm believer that a smile and a handshake/high five go a long way!

What has been most rewarding and challenging in your role as Principal?

J: First and foremost, the cohesion of our Hoover community and collective efforts to “move the needle” for our kids.  Ultimately, nothing is more rewarding than building positive and lasting relationships will students.  I love when graduates visit and are beaming with pride.  Seeing the positive relationships and extremely hard work by our Hoover team shift the quantitative improvement in all state accountability metrics, including ELA and Math SBAC scores, positive school climate, chronic absenteeism, and college and career readiness, has been tremendous. 

Additionally, we have almost tripled the number of students gaining access to AP courses and we’ve seen the AP test pass rates increase every year.  Finally, honoring student voice and watching students develop and embrace the values of Cardinal Pride. I’m so proud of our kids. 

Staying patient has been the most challenging.  While we have made progress, there is more work to be done.  Every student only has four years in high school.  I want to work to ensure EVERY kid has the opportunity to embrace and have access to EVERY possible opportunity that will help enrich their lives as people and scholars.

What is the advice you would give the youth in City Heights? Any encouraging words for our community families and parents during this challenging time?

J: The choices made today aren’t about you.  It’s about your future kids, grandkids, and your legacy as the individual who chose to take risks and embrace challenges to develop new opportunities for generations to come.  Is it a lot of pressure?  Of course.  But, pressure is a privilege.  If you feel pressure, it’s because what you are doing matters. 

I always feel a deep sense of appreciation and love for our families.  My respect has simply been enhanced during these school closures, as I know our families are working even harder to ensure our students are taken care of.  I want our parents to know we will continue doing our part to ensure their students are loved and supported regardless of what school looks like in the near future.