School: James Workman Middle School
District: Palm Springs Unified School District
County: Riverside County
Region: Southern California
Grade: Middle School
Subject: Language Arts, Arts, English
Award Year: 2014
“For me, anything less than a passionate approach to education isn’t enough. I am a change agent, constantly learning and evolving as a professional in order to transform my classroom further and reach my students more effectively than ever before.” —Jessica Pack, from her 2014 California Teacher of the Year Application
Jessica Pack has taught language arts, social studies, and ASB at James Workman Middle School in Palm Springs Unified School District since 2005.
Jessica has continually worked to redefine what learning looks like in her classroom. She is an advocate for student choice and voice, as demonstrated by the original content her students regularly publish for a global audience via YouTube. Students in Jessica’s classroom are highly motivated, inspired to learn and grow in the gamified environment she has developed using quest-based learning and Minecraft.
Jessica is also a teacher consultant for DIGICOM Learning, a non-profit organization that works to encourage and support the use of digital storytelling in the classroom. She has extensive experience planning and delivering professional development for teachers on a variety of topics, including student movie making, gamification, student motivation, station rotations, and classroom technology. She has also presented keynotes and spotlight speeches in both regional and national venues.
Jessica has earned a Masters in Educational Technology from Boise State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree from Washington State University. She blogs at www.packwomantech.com and co-hosts a podcast for teachers called “Storytelling Saves the World,” available on iTunes and Soundcloud.
Jessica has also received numerous accolades, including Riverside County Teacher of the Year, CUE Outstanding Educator, Educator of the Year Orion Award, Palm Springs Unified Teacher of the Year, and California League of Middle Schools Educator of the Year, among others.