Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
2009 Alumni Classroom Fellow
Bio/Overview: Jackson has spent nearly 30 years in the Bridgeport School District, where she has been the high school principal for the past several and has continued to have a presence in the classroom by daily teaching the college English classes in cooperation with Bridgeport High School and Wenatchee Valley College. Known for its orchards and apples, Bridgeport is a small, rural, agricultural community largely dependent upon a migrant, agrarian labor force. Here Jackson taught high school English, college English, AP psychology, journalism, and honors courses. In addition to her work as an educator, Jackson volunteers in her community as one of the local EMTs for Bridgeport Fire & Ambulance. This volunteer work allows her to give back to my community and to help the people living in it. Jackson is highly visible in this role, and has made a special connection with the people of her community through this experience.
Educational Values/Philosophy: Jackson’s goal is to educate young people and give them the tools and opportunities they need to seek higher education and to break the cycle of poverty. Her focus is to equip every student for college. Most of Jackson’s students are not only first generation in the United States, but also first generation to graduate from high school. As she helps them learn to live in the American culture, they too teach her a great deal about living in a Hispanic community in BridgeportAchievements: Recently, Tamra Jackson was selected to be the 2011-2012 Distinguished League Principal of the Year for the Central Washington “B” League. Jackson was identified as a Champion of Education by The White House where she participated in discussions about education at The White House in April 2011. Jackson was also a presenter at the National AP Equity Colloquium in Los Angeles, California in March 2009.
Leadership Experience: In her teaching career, Jackson developed a college in the high school English program in cooperation with Wenatchee Valley College. In addition to this, Jackson is one of the first teachers to begin an Advanced Placement program in Bridgeport School District. Under Jackson’s leadership, Bridgeport High School received the 2010 Washington Achievement Award for Outstanding Graduation and Extended Graduation rates. Also, Bridgeport High School was one of the top three 2011 finalists in President Barack Obama’s Race to the Top Presidential Challenge. In July of this year Bridgeport High School was named a 2012-13 Reward School for Washington State (high progress school in Top 10% of all Title I schools), and then this spring Bridgeport High School was ranked as a Gold Medal School in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools. Bridgeport High School is ranked the 8th Best Public High School is Washington State and in the top 1% of all high schools in the nation. Jackson is also an advocate for her community and her students, and speaks both state and nationally about the College-in-the-High-School and Advanced Placement Program she was instrumental in creating at Bridgeport High School. This program has become a model for other high schools with demographic challenges.
Affiliations: Writing Assessment Leadership Team (WALT) for the state of Washington
Education: Jackson earned her Bachelor and Master degrees in English at Eastern Washington University, and is currently completing her administrative credentials so that she can have a greater impact on student learning and program development.
Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Rigorous college prep
- Rural education
- Migrant Hispanic education