Saint Xavier University Teacher of the Month

Teacher of the Month

Meet WGN and SXU's Teacher of the Month

Congratulations to Jason Smith, a welding teacher at Argo Community High School, for being named Saint Xavier University and WGN-TV's April Teacher of the Month.

Teacher Jason Smith has a way of sparking creativity and passion in his students that help them to reach new heights in high school and beyond. For Smith, being a teacher is less about the craft he teaches and more about engaging students in a way that allows them to become confident individuals. He says, "The more years that I've been teaching, the more I'm realizing that it's really less about the welding and it's more about getting these kids excited about something."

Lauren Gardner, nominating student, said, "Mr. Smith never doubts a student's capabilities. He always encourages them to take on whatever they put their mind to." A fourth-year welding student, Gardner cannot imagine her life without the welding program. She says, "This is probably the best high school decision I made, to take welding my freshman year and continue it all the way."

Gardner's experience, like many other students, stems from Smith's goal of inspiring creativity through hands-on learning. He says, "They find a passion to work in an atmosphere like this. The welding industry has a lot of jobs and a lot of opportunities becoming available."

Saint Xavier University Associate Professor Peter Hilton says, "He's very student-centered. He seems to empower the students. They find their voice, their art; that part is just thrilling."

If you are currently a student age 13 or older in the Chicagoland area, please visit the Contest Page on WGN's website to nominate a teacher whom you feel makes a difference at your school or in your community.