Teacher Feature: Jason Stephenson
Written By Bethany Schwarz
Thousands of Deer Creek families should be thanking "Charlotte’s Web" author E.B. White for their children’s outstanding literary education. It was her story that captured the heart and mind of a young Atoka, Okla. student, starting the domino effect toward launching his own writing and teaching career. Jason Stephenson has been a standout contributor in the Deer Creek School District for over a decade. He is currently in his 12th year of shaping young minds within the community. Jason graduated summa cum laude from Oklahoma Baptist University in 2005 and went on to earn his master’s degree in English from the University of Central Oklahoma.
His career began at Deer Creek Middle school teaching seventh and eighth grade literature. He knew the jump to high school would be a great opportunity to teach reading and writing together. He would even get to reteach the students that launched his teaching career again in their sophomore year. Jason refers to these lucky students as his guinea pig group, because undoubtedly he was learning quite a bit right along side them.
Mr. Stephenson, along with student council co-sponsor Lynn Storm, was able to directly effect this community during the annual Wonderful Week of Fundraising; supporting and raising awareness for local charities. The Deer Creek Student Council was able to raise $120,000 this year for No Boundaries International, which fights human trafficking here in Oklahoma City.
Jason gives wholly of himself and wears several different proverbial hats at Deer Creek High School. Recently, Jason helped the Deer Creek administrative team prepare for the High Reliability Schools level 3 certification. Just this month, the team reached their goal becoming one of the only high schools in the nation to receive this impressive distinction. Luckily, Mr. Stephenson teaches students in each grade level, so his impact is not only deep but it is also broad throughout the halls. "The Kite Runner," is currently his favorite novel to teach his sophomores though his heart is tied to poetry. Mr. Stephenson is a poet himself and has even read his own work at open mics here locally.
Always operating under the mindset of students first, content second, Mr. Stephenson has been able to make fun memories with student council students and share lessons with his creative writers. “High school students are capable of so many great things, and I like to inspire and guide them to success.”
You can learn more about Mr. Stephenson online at: https://dcjason.wordpress.com
Stephenson is the Secondary Curriculum Instructional Technology Integration Specialist, Creative Writing Teacher, Student Council co-sponsor, a teacher consultant for the Oklahoma Writing Project and the past president of the Oklahoma Council of Teachers of English. He was named Deer Creek’s Teacher of the Year 2008-2009. Jason could have his pick of communities to work in, he would be glad to stay an Antler as long as the district’s growth and his professional growth can coincide. His goal is to be the English Language Arts Director for a 6A school district.