Spanish teacher Lisa Jaskot shocked many of her former students when the new school year started last month. Instead of being in her usual Spanish-themed classroom, she was in the hallways toting a walkie-talkie.
Jaskot is HHS’s newest assistant principal. She was one of four candidates who applied for the job when her predecessor, Christy Wall, resigned to accept a promotion to the central office.
Principal Bob Cotter said Jaskot had the “best interview,” which included her arriving with a written plan to cut school absenteeism from 12.2 percent to less than 10 percent.
After being interviewed by Cotter and the other assistant principals, she was offered the position and has become a fixture in the halls, usually with a walkie-talkie and a kind word. She is known to drop into classrooms and leave teachers handwritten notes of encouragement. During the magazine drive, she had students giggling at her animated appeals to sell, sell, sell.
Jaskot, who taught for eight years, said her new role has been an adjustment.
“It’s significantly more fast-paced,” she said. "I see more students every day and work with more teachers.”
Fellow Spanish teacher Jessica de Araujo Jorge said the position allows Jaskot to “gain a different perspective into the decision-making” that goes on in a large public high school.
Still, Jaskot admits that she sometimes misses the classroom and “misses dancing,” something many of her former students remember about her. She even coined the nickname “Jazzy J” because of her upbeat and quirky Spanish lessons, in which she would often tell students, “You don’t have to be perfect to be amazing.”
In fact, for many of her former students, not all that much has changed, because in the hallway or in the classroom Jaskot is still “Jazzy J.”
“I think that she is one of the greatest and funniest teachers I have ever had,” said senior Keturah Tobias. “She's doing so well as assistant principal.”
Story by Rianna Waters