Assistant Principal Jayson Thomas
Jayson Thomas has embraced Colorado as a home for nearly 25 years. Originally from Arizona, he attended Northern Arizona University for his undergraduate studies. Once he finished with his undergrad work, Jayson wanted to escape the desert and was drawn to San Juan Mountains for nearly a decade. It wasn’t by chance that he’d chosen Colorado as his family had vacationed here all through his childhood, and those childhood memories of high mountains, rich forests, and trout fishing along the banks of the Dolores River never faded.
He began his teaching career as a Spanish Heritage Language and multi-content English Language Acquisition teacher at Summit Middle School, an International Baccalaureate Program, in Frisco, Colorado. Summit Middle School was Jayson’s first experience with Project-Based Learning and where he galvanized his passion in student learning and curriculum development. Wanting a return to the San Juan Mountains, Jayson began teaching at the Silverton Expeditionary Learning School. It was here that he experienced a significant shift in his philosophical approaches to learning while embracing the Expeditionary Learning (EL) model. Since then, Jayson has worked in Istanbul, Turkey as a teacher and curriculum writer for a private foundation and with Ministry of Education. Jayson returned to Colorado to work with Denver Public Schools on a team of superintendents with 17 schools as a school improvement and data partner. After five years, Jayson returned to the EL model continuing original research and authentic learning with the young scholars of Centennial Elementary School. Today, Jayson is honored to join Aspen Middle School as the assistant principal to continue supporting students in reaching their academic goals while engaging in outdoor education, exploratory classes and sports working congruently with life-long learning.
In his off time, Jayson prefers to spend time in the backcountry; the winter months are spent hiking and skiing while summer months more focused on cycling and mountain biking with many great friends he has accumulated all along the divide. He often capitalizes on the use of his passport to find a beach, books, hammock, and some surf.