California teacher of the year uses digital films to broaden learning
California teacher of the year uses digital films to broaden learning
Inside the Stagecoach
October 30, 2014

Stars of the screen: ATMs salute top teachers

In 16 states, Wells Fargo is honoring Teachers of the Year by featuring their accomplishments on local ATM screens.

Using iPads, iPods, and video editing software, students in Jessica Pack’s video production class are known for their award-winning films.

But Wells Fargo ATMs made the California middle school teacher the star of the screen this fall — on the company’s 1,676 California ATMs.

Part of Wells Fargo’s commitment to communities, which included $81.6 million for 8,000 educational programs and schools nationwide in 2013, the annual ATM tribute in September and early October honored “Teachers of the Year” in 16 states. The 2014 ATM honorees:

  • Alaska: Denise Lisac
  • Arizona: Beth Maloney
  • California: Linda Horist, Pack, Michael Hayden, and Tim Smith
  • Georgia: Jemelleh Coes
  • Iowa: Jane Schmidt
  • Illinois: Pam Reilly
  • Indiana: Steve Perkins
  • Montana: Anna Baldwin
  • Nebraska: Kristi Bundy
  • Nevada: Jeff Hinton
  • New Jersey: Kathy Assini
  • North Carolina: James Ford, and Carrie Tulbert
  • Ohio: Debra McDonald
  • Oregon: Brett Bigham
  • Tennessee: Wanda Lacy
  • Texas: Monica Washington
California teacher of the year Jessica Pack was celebrated on Wells Fargo ATMs
California teacher of the year Jessica Pack was celebrated on Wells Fargo ATMs

“Receiving texts about someone seeing me on a Wells Fargo ATM has been exciting and the latest chapter of an incredible year,” Jessica says. “What’s been most satisfying about the Teacher of the Year honor is the recognition it has brought my community, Cathedral City, California, and my school, James Workman Middle. And the recognition for the amazing work our students do in the classroom has been terrific. I just happen to be the teacher whose name is on the door.”

Tim Kearney of Wells Fargo’s ATM team says Jessica’s achievements are mirrored by many of her peers across the U.S.

“Every Teacher of the Year is a star,” Tim says. “They are making a huge difference in their communities — far beyond what we could ever convey in their short bio on the ATM screen. We’re proud to salute these heroes whose selflessness and commitment inspire us all.”

Self-taught filmmaker

Known as “Packwoman” on the web, where she displays her students’ work on her blog, Jessica has taught language arts and social studies to sixth-graders since 2005.

A self-taught digital filmmaker, she also teaches a video production elective each day. Her students have included Jebari Wooten, a ninth-grader whose short film, “Lost Ships,” took local and state media festival honors and was shown at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

“I tell my students that their audience is actually the world,” Jessica says. “I believe in global education and share their work as broadly as possible, including a social media presence where people can comment on their videos. I want to keep innovating and imagining what my classroom can become and stretching to get there.”

Her family’s first college grad, Jessica moved to California from Washington when the state recruited her to teach in Cathedral City.

Jessica’s husband, Brandon, also teaches in her district, as a special education teacher in Desert Hot Springs.

“I absolutely love my students,” Jessica says. “Middle school is a great age because students are trying to figure out what they’re going to be and how they’re going to fit into the world. I love that I can help influence them to think positively about themselves and their futures. I want them to leave my class as digital citizens prepared to learn and work well in the 21st century, and I can’t wait to see what they create and achieve.”