Lyon County educators honored
Lyon County School District received two awards at the Nevada Association of School Boards Annual Conference on Nov. 19 — C.J. Fields of Dayton High School who received the Innovative Teacher of the Year award and Rob Jacobson of Fernley Intermediate School who received the Administrator of the Year Award.
C. J. Fields is a Comprehensive Life Skills Special Education Teacher at Dayton High School. Fields is originally from Tennessee and graduated from the University of Georgia where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography, and after traveling around the country working as an artist, he decided to get his Masters in Education from the University of Nevada in 2013.
Immediately following his completion of his M.Ed., Fields accepted his current position at Dayton High School where he has been able to transform the Comprehensive Life Skills II program into one of the most dynamic and successful high school special education programs serving students with intellectual disabilities in the state of Nevada.
Fields has created a program where each student in his class learns the necessary soft skills such as resumes, hygiene, proper greetings, and many other tasks which they have employed into a coffee bar business run by the students at Dayton High School.
In addition, Fields works closely with the government agency of Vocational Rehab to place his students in a working environment in the community at pizza places, grocery stores, garden centers, libraries and other locations. He finds the interest of the students and then works hard to place them. Some of the jobs have then turned into full time employment for the students.
Fields is pursuing his PhD in Special Education with an emphasis on school-to-work transition, community integration, and disability advocacy.
Rob Jacobson, principal of Fernley Intermediate School, was also nominated by the Lyon County School District Board of Trustees for the Administrator of the Year Award.
Jacobson, a staff member of Lyon County School District for 26 years, was honored for his work in student achievement, as measured by recent SBAC test results, NWEA Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) tests and district assessments. Jacobson also was honored for building community relationships and hosting several unique community events each year.
Jacobson began his teaching career at Fernley Elementary and Fernley Intermediate Schools for 15 years followed by six years of administration at Silver Stage Middle School, and finally, principal of Fernley Intermediate School since 2010. He attended Hamline University and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. He later received his Masters in Education from the University of Phoenix in 2001.
Some of the unique events Jacobson incorporates at Fernley Intermediate School include a 9/11 memorial assembly in September to honor first responders, a Veterans Day assembly in November honoring hundreds of local veterans, and a Special Olympics event in May where more than 500 students from all over Northern Nevada participate in a variety of games and receive recognition.
In addition, Jacobson has also initiated weekly PRIDE (Personal Responsibility In Developing Excellence) meetings at FIS. These include bringing all of his 580 students into the gym where Jacobson and his dean of students talk to the student body about the benefits of working hard, being good citizens, helping others, celebrating successes, and always doing their best.