Heroes of Public Education: Dr. Jim Strogen

Heroes of Public Education: Dr. Jim Strogen
Posted on 02/13/2018
Dr. Jim Strogen & Nathan

JRE would like to recognize Dr. Jim Strogen as our Hero of Education for creating and organizing JRE’s Fly Fishing Group for the past year and a half.  

Dr. Jim Strogen has been in education for 33 years before his retirement landed him in Payson a few years ago. Jim taught in Kansas, the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and in the valley.  He worked as a district administrator as well as a school administrator for almost 25 years.  He is a member of the Payson flycasters Club and also writes fishing articles for the Payson Roundup.  

Jim came to the school last year hoping to start a fly fishing group with our 4th and 5th graders.  Like any good educator, he came prepared with lesson plans and equipment to start this program.  He worked with the JRE Site Council to purchase 3 additional fly fishing poles which helped all the students have the equipment needed.  Jim provided students with classroom lessons before they went to Green Valley Lake to start their practice.  Mrs. Scoville asked several students what they thought about the classes and Dr. Strogen.  Some of the comments from kids in the program include; “He is just fun!”; “A good man who likes kids!”, “He is just a good teacher!” and “He is pretty good at fishing.”  More importantly, when Mrs. Scoville talked to a couple of the students she described how their faces just lite up and that got the most amazing smile on their face.

In addition to classroom lessons and practice at Green Valley Lake, Jim arranged a tour of the Tonto Fish Hatchery where the students and their parents were able to see the back room where all the fish start out.  The students and families then went down to the creek to discuss the ecology they have been learning in the classroom.

Dr. Strogen always looks for the teachable moment.  One student told the story of how, last spring one of the students caught 36 fish, another caught 45 fish.  This fall they caught barely any fish, 2 or 3 at the most.  Based on the number of fish caught Dr. Strogen talked to the students about how it is different fishing in the fall compared to the spring.

Jim has created such relationships with his fellow “flycasters” that many of them came out to help when the student “went live” at the lake.  The students are fishing more on their own now, at GVP, they go to Willow Springs Lake and Tonto Creek.  One student will be going to Colorado to fish soon.    

This year, Dr. Jim Strogen worked with a Mogollon Sporting Alliance to purchase 3 additional fly rods and the fly tying kits.  Dr. Strogen also created not only a fall class but two spring classes for our JRE students.  One of the spring classes is new! Jim will be having an advanced class for those students who have taken both of his courses. Students will be making flies, learning new knots and casts.

We greatly appreciate all the time, effort and caring Jim has shown to our students at JRE!  For this reason we want to honor Dr. Jim Strogen as a HERO of public education in the Payson Unified School District.