During this time, when teachers across the country are celebrating Black History Month, we asked our very own Dr. Patricia Jackson to share with us her personal story of faith, excellence, service and harmony.

When you meet Dr. Jackson, one of the first things you notice about her is her strong Christian faith, love of education, and cultural awareness. She credits her cultural awareness to life growing up as a military daughter. Dr. Jackson’s father, Willie Williams, was a Medic and Ophthalmologist in the United States Army and was stationed in Texas, Kentucky Missouri, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Colorado, Florida, and several other states, in addition to Germany and Korea. This meant that her family moved quite frequently. It was through these travels that Dr. Jackson gained an appreciation and better understanding of cultures and societies around the world. However, it was Dr. Jackson’s mother, Henrettia Williams, who instilled in her a love for God and the importance of education.

Henrettia Williams was an educator, having been recruited by Dr. Rosa J. Young in the 1950’s. At the time, Rosa was instrumental in opening 35 Lutheran churches and 30 Lutheran schools in Black communities throughout rural Alabama in an effort to promote education and Christianity. This earned her the title of “the Mother of Black Lutheranism in central Alabama.” Through Rosa, Henrettia became a teacher at Concordia College in Selma, Alabama. As an upperclassman, she also served as a trustee and house cook for the girls in Rosa’s boarding house. Henrettia’s love for God and passion for education were later passed down to her children, including Dr. Jackson, who called her, “my rock and powerhouse.”

Dr. Jackson’s travels exposed her to cultures and societies around the world. However, it was because of her mother that she pursued a Doctoral Degree in Education Administration and now works to carry out God’s plan through her personal life, the community, and Rockford Lutheran School. Dr. Jackson currently teaches English, History, and Explorations at Rockford Lutheran Jr/Sr High School. She also serves as the Multicultural Club Advisor, encouraging students to embrace diversity by exploring and valuing cultural nuances around the world. Outside of school, Dr. Jackson is an active member of Resurrection Lutheran Church and assists at-risk children in the Rockford community.

We are truly grateful for ALL of our teachers who, like Dr. Patricia Jackson, inspire students to embrace our CORE Values of Christ-centeredness, excellence, harmony, and service.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Patricia Jackson. In this photo, her mother, Henrettia Williams (far right) is seen standing next to Rosa J. Young (seated).