This fall marks the 20th year since the re-opening of Jackson Elementary School. To commemorate, the school community enjoyed a week of special events, Dec. 9-13, including unique school announcements, a display from the archive collection, student-designed posters, and commemorative bracelets and t-shirts. The culmination was an all-school assembly that included a puppet show, comments from former principal Carl Carson and 2013 Iowa Teacher of the Year and former Jackson teacher Tania Johnson, and the singing of the school song.
The original Jackson School opened in 1883 and was the educational home to several prominent residents. Mamie Eisenhower attended kindergarten there in 1903; Wilbur and Orville Wright attended classes there, as well. Grant Wood taught art at the school. That building served the District for 87 years, closing in 1970 when the new Jackson facility was opened. The school was closed in 1986 because of declining enrollment. As the enrollment trend turned around, the building was reopened as an elementary school in 1993.
Six administrators have served as principal at the current Jackson building: Glenn Oldorf (1970-1979), Ed Rich (1979-1985), Cindy Monroe (1985-1986), Carl Carson (1993-1996), and Bill Utterback (1996-2004). Carla Davidson has been principal since 2004.
“It’s important that we show our appreciation for the contributions of Jackson staff and parents past and present,” noted Davidson. “This week of celebration was a great way to show pride in our school and to strengthen our sense of community.”