Jackson MST awarded $5,000 and pep rally for commitment to learning

Students at Jackson Technology Center for Math and Science were recently rewarded for taking and dominating an online learning challenge. The campus was named a Dallas Grand Prize winner in the Khan Academy LearnStorm six-week challenge—an honor that came with a $5,000 check, awesome giveaways and a rousing pep rally. Just three campuses in Dallas County and six total nationwide received a grand prize, with Jackson being the only regional middle school to be honored.  

The distinction could not have been possible without Jackson math teacher Crystal Hulkewicz, who submitted an application for the Vikings to be in the running. Hulkewicz’s students strengthened their skills and developed learning strategies to hit level 12 and complete more than 174 growth mindset activities in the program.

Khan Academy selected winners based on six criteria, including LearnStorm engagement, technology use plan and application quality. AT&T, LearnStorm’s premier sponsor, backed all grand prizes and delivered Jackson’s at the Nov. 8 celebration.

“Technology brings a world of opportunities literally to your fingertips,” said AT&T Foundation President Nicole Anderson. “It is my hope that you will build on the knowledge you gained through LearnStorm, and that it will set you up for a lifelong passion of learning.” 

GISD Trustees, State Rep. Cindy Burkett, Khan Academy staff and district administrators also joined the fun. The music-filled pep rally featured celebratory décor, dancing, confetti, a balloon drop and congratulatory messages—including one from Khan Academy founder Sal Khan.

“Your brain is like a muscle—the more you use it the stronger it is. And the fact that you’ve done so well in this program shows that you’re an expert brain muscle bodybuilder,” Khan said in a video address. “If you can keep up that grit, keep up that growth mindset, you will be unstoppable.” 

In addition to the fun rally, Hulkewicz’s students also received special items from Khan Academy, Disney, Cartoon Network and even an MLB team. Every student received a complimentary Houston Astros jersey—proving that hard work reaps great rewards.

Photos courtesy of Dave Burton.