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Jackson Area Career Center Asst. Principal named JAMA's 2018 Educator of the Year

Jackson, Mich. – The man who implemented a program that allows students to get a head start on both their college degree and career experience is being honored for his efforts.

The Jackson Area Manufacturers Association (JAMA) has named Dan Draper, Assistant Principal of CTE & Academic Programs at the Jackson Area Career Center, as JAMA’s 2018 Educator of the Year for his role in the success of the Jackson Area College & Career Connection Early/Middle College, also known as the JAC3 program. Mr. Draper accepted the award on Monday evening at JAMA’s 82nd Annual Dinner at the Country Club of Jackson.

The JAC3 is an optional program for high school juniors who have an interest in pursuing careers in the manufacturing, engineering or welding fields. It allows them to earn college credits toward an Associate Degree and a technical certification, while at the same time earning their high school diploma – tuition-free.

JAMA President and CEO Bill Rayl says Mr. Draper is the glue that holds the program together - working hard to ensure that students are successful. "Dan continuously monitors each and every student’s progress and has never failed to provide assistance and rally resources if and when a student struggles," says Rayl. "It was personally a pleasure for me to recognize Dan as JAMA’s 2018 Educator of the Year on behalf of all of the JAC3 participating companies and the broader Jackson area manufacturing community."

Mr. Draper was quick to thank the many people involved in the program’s success. “There’s a lot of required components that make this program what it is, but that’s not just a ‘me’ thing, that’s a ‘we’ thing,” said Mr. Draper. “Looking at the last five years and the retention of the students that are staying with their companies, as well as the number of students that completed the program and the number of students that are continuing on, it’s just amazing what they are doing with the opportunity they had.”

The student success rate with the JAC3 Program is high, something JACC Principal Mark Pogliano attributes to all the work behind the scenes that Mr. Draper has implemented. “Dan was hired to oversee this early college program, but was not provided a blueprint for building it,” says Mark Pogliano, Ed.D. “In the years that he has overseen the program, he has created processes that will help students navigate their way to success.”

JAMA also gave awards to the Student of the Year, Apprentice of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year and the Heritage Hall of Fame Award. More information about JAMA can be found at and more information about the JAC3 Program can be found at

Dan Draper JAMA Award

(pictured: Dan Draper & JAMA President & CEO Bill Rayl)


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