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Hero!
Hero!
Pamela Campbell
Sunday, January 31, 2021

This past year has been brought about a myriad of changes.  Our teachers have worked collaboratively to develop innovative programs, learned to teach on new educational platforms and worked to help their students fulfill their academic potential.  Columbia teachers revised their curriculum to give our students a chance to learn online or in person, even if the rules changed from day to day.

During this winter semester, I asked community members, parents, teachers, staff members and students to nominate one of our teachers or staff members as a Columbia Hero! These Columbia Heroes have put their heart and soul into reaching out to their students in new and different ways.  The creativity and ingenuity exhibited by these special teachers have allowed our Columbia pupils to continue to learn and grow.

One of the nominated Heroes is Columbia Central Junior – Senior High School Spanish teacher, Derek Jackson.  Mr. Jackson was nominated as a Columbia Hero by Ondrea Bayes and Jen Steele.  Ondrea wrote that he is “an absolutely amazing teacher!”  She went on to say that, “You can tell he genuinely cares about his students.”  Jen commented that Mr. Jackson “has a zest for teaching.’  She continued by painting a picture of Mr. Jackson as an energetic, exuberant teacher, who connects with his students in an “impressive and incredibly important” way.

When writing about how Mr. Jackson comes across on the Zoom platform during virtual learning, Ms. Bayes said that his teaching methods are creative.  She mentioned that “there’s always laughter when he is teaching.”  She continued by saying that she ‘wished that she had a teacher like that when she was in school!”  Mrs. Steele agreed and wrote that Mr. Jackson could see the “big picture on the lives of his students.”  She commented that, he works to “cultivate relationships where his students feel loved and respected.” 

Jen wrote about how Mr. Jackson has had a tremendous impact on her kids.  She mentioned that his “influence has given her son the desire to become an educator.”  She continued by saying that she “feels incredibly blessed to have a teacher like him in our district.”  She mentioned that, “We are truly lucky to have him” teaching at Columbia. 

When talking to Mr. Jackson about his nomination as a Columbia School District Hero, he said, “I love my students. They are the reason I continue to implement engaging, meaningful activities in the classroom.”  He continued by saying that, “the relationships I build and nurture with my students are reinforced in our daily interactions.  I thrive when I see them excel in their endeavors and explore their potential.”  Mr. Jackson mentioned that his “colleagues are top-notch educators who strive for excellence and push me to be the best I can be for my students.”  He added that “Columbia Central administrators provide opportunities for personal and professional growth in and outside of the classroom. I strongly believe that I am a better person with their guidance and leadership.”  If you are interested in learning more about Columbia School District, call me at 5175926641 or email me at Pamela.Campbell@myeagles.org .