Nearly a quarter century ago, the future Heather Jackson portrayed Miss Poetry in a Meneley Elementary School play.
The 1994 Douglas High School graduate was selected to join the school board of trustees on the same day the school reached a milestone of allowing full-time, in-person enrollment.
“I drove by the high school (Tuesday) morning and saw the parents with signs and how exciting that is,” she said.
Jackson, a part-time math teacher at Sierra Lutheran High School, grew up in Carson Valley.
“Having been raised by two educators, I grew up understanding the importance of education and the role of our education system,” she said in her application letter. “I am impressed with the current direction of our school district and want to be a part of it as we prepare the youth of this Valley for a successful future.”
She said recovering from the coronavirus outbreak will be a key challenge for the schools in coming years.
“Our country will face a major challenge in the coming years as we work to overcome the education gap created by the pandemic,” she said. “The disruptions in education and everyday life this past year have impacted the education and mental health of our students, teachers and community. The next few years will be critical as we try to make up for the time lost in the classroom.”
She praised the district’s use of technology and said that contributed to helping students over the past year.
The district is facing several challenges in the near future, including a pending change in how the state supports schools that could result in a reduction in the budget.
She said if cuts were called for, she would focus on preserving the schools’ core functions.
“Whatever would have the least impact on students,” she said.
Jackson was one of five applicants to replace longtime school board trustee Tom Moore, who resigned last month.
Also applying for the seat were Denise Beronio, Maria Falconieri, Roger Rusmisel and Patricia Schwedhelm.
Trustee Robbe Lehmann said he felt the process to replace Moore had been rushed, and that he would have been more comfortable if the board had agendized a discussion on the process before going forward with advertising.
Board President Linda Gilkerson said the board used the same process as the last two board appointments.
Area 6 covers Douglas County east of East Valley Road and includes Fish Springs, Ruhenstroth, Pine View Estates and Topaz Ranch Estates. While residents must live in the area they represent, they are elected by voters across the county.
The nonpartisan seat will be up for election in 2022.