Dr. Jimmie Colson Jackson was born in Haynesville, Georgia and received her early education in Houston County, Georgia. She attained her Bachelor of Science Degree from Savannah State College, majoring in mathematics in 1959. Dr. Jackson‘s first teaching position was in Forsyth, Georgia in the fall of 1959. After completing postgraduate studies at the University of Tennessee, she continued her teaching career in the District of Columbia Public School System where she remained as a teacher for the next 42 years. During her teaching career, Dr. Jackson had several significant “firsts”.
In 1974, Dr. Jackson developed a proposal through the D.C. Public School System, to purse a new venture on Open Space Settings. The culmination of this project established the foundation for the very first new open space school in Washington DC, Martha Winston Educational Center which opened its doors in 1976.
In 1977, Dr. Jackson developed a project designed to meet the professional development needs of D.C. Public School teachers. The D.C. Teacher Center Grant, funded for over three million dollars in its first year by the US Department of Education, was a hallmark initiative that offered teachers the opportunity to develop and implement their own staff development experiences based on the needs of the target audience…themselves. Recognized as a pioneer in teacher centers, Dr. Jackson consulted with school districts and other educational organizations throughout the country. This successful program, which she directed from 1977–1991, gained local, national and international attention from educational communities.
In 1980, she designed another innovative program, the Dial–A–Teacher Homework Hotline. This service, the first city–wide program of its kind, assisted school aged children and non–traditional students with their homework, over the telephone, providing them with credentialed educators to answer questions and provide tutorial help, when necessary. In 1991, Dr. Jackson moved her Teacher Center Program to the Offices of the Washington Teachers‘ Union when she was elected President of the 5,000–member organization, the first female in the organization‘s history.
Dr. Jackson has served in several leadership capacities in social, civic and educational organizations including Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., National Council on Educating Black Children, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and her beloved alma mater Savannah State University Alumni Association. She has been active with the D.C. Chapter of the Savannah State College National Alumni Association for several decades. In 1984, she was elected to serve as the President of the National Alumni Association of Savannah State College. During her tenure, she orchestrated the successful strategy to petition the United States Department of Education to rescind their decision to close SSC‘s Naval ROTC program on the campus of Savannah State, staved off the threat of merging the predominantly black Savannah State with Armstrong State –a predominantly white institution with relatively new beginnings, and organized “Payback ‘85” which successfully campaigned for graduates of Savannah State to contribute $10.00 back to the institution. This campaign was so successful for Savannah State, that twenty–two other HBCUs adopted this same program for their alumni. After serving two consecutive terms as National Alumni President, Dr. Jackson led the SSU Foundation–an entity charged with the responsibility of oversight of the University‘s endowment. Dr. Jackson was elected Chairman of the SSU Foundation in 2005, and was responsible for attaining several properties to enhance student matriculation, including Tiger Express, University Commons, and the SSU Foundation House. She was honored with the title of Chairman Emeritus of the SSU Foundation, which includes a life membership designation.
Dr. Jackson retired from the District of Columbia Public School System in September 2003 but has continued to provide her services to the communities throughout the country.