Nominator: Chaci Fisher
Cottonwood High School
Dallas Jackman has truly saved lives as a high school teacher at Cottonwood High School. A master teacher, Mr. Jackman has devoted 42 years of his life to his passion for teaching. He retired once, but just couldn’t stay away from the profession he loves…a career that has benefited many thousands of adults along the Wasatch front. Mr. Jackman has made teaching his life, always working a couple of side jobs to support his teaching habit and his family of eleven, knowing the sacrifices were well worth it.
As a biology teacher, Mr. Jackman teaches students critical outdoor survival skills, along with an appreciation for the beauty of nature and its animal inhabitants. Through teaching a respect for the might of nature, along with survival skills, Mr. Jackman inspires his students.
He has had many students come to him and relate tales of when they were stranded outdoors. They remembered the skills he had taught them and were able to use these skills to survive until they could get help.
His survival skills have been passed on through generations, and have literally saved lives. In addition, his students know that he is always there for them. Before and after school they will come to Mr. Jackman for advice and encouragement, knowing that he cares about them and will listen. Years later these students often return to Mr. Jackman, and thank him for the love and concern he showed them at a difficult time in their life.
For over thirty years, Mr. Jackman annually spent months planning a “Desert Fieldtrip,” in which he loaded 100 of his high school students onto buses and took them down to the Arizona-Utah border desert for a three day biological-desert experience. This was a huge undertaking that quickly became a legacy at Cottonwood! Students looked forward to going on this real life learning adventure, where the biology they had been learning about in class was practically applied and witnessed first hand. From taking nature hikes and learning about the desert foliage to watching Mr. Jackman handle and “milk” a rattlesnake for its venom, students were given numerous valuable and unforgettable lessons. This is just one of hundreds of examples of how Mr. Jackman has dedicated himself to his students, and enriched their lives.
Mr. Jackman is a master teacher. He is continually reflecting upon his practice, and his teaching methods have changed over the past forty-two years to reflect the needs of his students, along with the changes in technology. Many teachers with his amount of teaching experience are reluctant to take on new classes and subjects, but Mr. Jackman continually steps up to the challenge and excels. For example, this year he began teaching Physiology for the first time. Although his determination to provide his students with the best education possible means hours of research and preparation each night, Mr. Jackman puts in the necessary time creating new lesson plans and assessments geared to meet the needs of his learners.
Through his example and love for teaching he has inspired others to become teachers. His son followed in his footsteps and teaches at Davis High. As his granddaughter I grew up visiting Grandpa’s classroom, and was often able to tag along on the Desert fieldtrip and attend school functions with him. Watching his interactions with his students and seeing the admiration and respect they had for him, along with the joy he earned from teaching motivated me to become a teacher.
My grandpa eagerly listens to me talk about my students, and has empathy for both the trials and joy I encounter in my beloved profession. He is an excellent resource to me, and is always on the lookout to find resources for me to use with my students in inner city Phoenix. I am proud to say that I inherited his passion for teaching, and strive to live up to the high standards he has set.
I am grateful that you are offering the Teacher Feature award. I proudly nominate Mr. Dallas Jackman as a worthy and honorable applicant. Teaching is not just a profession for Mr. Jackman—it is his passion…something that every student who has been in his classroom can attest to, and something he continues to instill in the coming generations. He is retiring this year, and receiving this award would be a wonderful sign of appreciation for his lifetime of service and dedication.