James Jackson

As James K. Jackson, Sr. sees it, an effective school will
have high expectations for its students and staff while maintaining a
warm and caring environment. Educators must create an environment in
which student achievement and success is nurtured, recognized and
celebrated whenever possible.

James believes that because of the tremendous responsibility for
forming positive and goal-setting attitudes in students, educators must
develop methods of instruction that are creative and innovative.
Educators must encourage students to set realistic goals, and they must
convey a sense of caring and support to help students on their way to

James began his career at Mundelein High School in Mundelein,
Ilinois, in 1968 as an industrial education teacher. He has since become
the head teacher in the school’s industrial arts department. During his
career at Mundelein High School, James has developed an industrial arts
curriculum that includes student construction of working aircraft and
an accredited aerospace flight school. He also is developing a joint
venture between Mundelein High School and Northern Illinois University
called “Alaska Bound.” The program involves a Whole Language experience
that includes building a research airplane, utilization of all
curriculum areas in the study of glacial stability and Alaskan history,
and a site visit to Glacier Bay in Alaska, where students will assist in
research studies.

Special Recognition


National Aerospace Educators Award – Scott Crossfield Disney/McDonalds Presents the American Teacher finalist


World record flight to the Arctic Circle in a student built airplane – National Geographic Magazine, June 1994


Spirit of Flight Award from the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame


National Wings of Fame Award from the National Congress on Aviation and Space Education


Award for Excellence in Aviation Education from the General Aviation Manufacturer’s Association


Excellence in Aviation Education Regional Award from the Federal Aviation Administration


Leader of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s National School Flight Project Champions


National Aviation Educators’ Award from the Experimental Aircraft Association