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Thanks to Teachers: Jason Rollins

Jason Rollins, an Enka High School teacher, is a News 13 Thanks to Teachers recipient. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

In Jason Rollins' Occupational Course of Study program at Enka High School, students learn life skills to get them ready for work after graduation.

"They come in with learning disabilities, and often are behind in terms of when they're compared to their regular peers," Rollins said of his students.

Senior John Dreessen remembers when he first met Jason Rollins. "I used to be a scrawny little freshman who did no work," Dreessen recalled. "Now, I'm actually doing a lot of work because he's helped me a lot."

Rollins has worked at Enka High for 13 years, first as a teachers assistant, then for the past six years as a full time teacher.

"I try to stay current with the news. I stay current in professional development...try to stay up with the technology," said Rollins when asked about what makes him a good teacher.

But, in addition to hard work, Rollins says hands-on activities and some fun are also key to his and the students' success.

"He helps me with my grades, and I ask him about my grades and keep up with my grades," freshman Jacob Watts said.

Rollins' source of inspiration is his nephew with autism, whose first word was Rollins' nickname "J.J."

"His first word at 5 years old was 'J.J.' I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but that kind of led me into the special ed. world," Rollins said. "I wanted to be able to help kids like him."

Now, Rollins spends his days helping high schoolers close the gap between struggling student and employed adult.

"He's been there for me for the past three years, and I just think he's an amazing person," John Dreessen said of his teacher.

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