LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Kara Jackson

Position: Principal
School: Toll Gate Middle School
School District: Pickerington Local Schools
City, State: Pickerington, OH

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Kara Jackson was nominated by her colleague, Charlotte Kemmerer.

Mrs. Jackson is an outstanding leader as principal of Toll Gate Middle School, and she is a role model for the community of Pickerington, as well. Mrs. Jackson is extremely dedicated to providing students, parents, teachers, and staff members with a positive environment for learning.

Under her leadership, Toll Gate Middle School was awarded the 2017 National Blue Ribbon School Award, which is given by the U.S. Department of Education. It's given to schools who achieve overall academic excellence, or those who make outstanding progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Toll Gate Middle School is one of nine schools in Ohio to receive this prestigious award. 

Mrs. Jackson has implemented the PRIDE leadership teams to promote character and produce a nurturing atmosphere for all. Students meet monthly with teacher leaders to recognize and applaud acts that demonstrate pride at school. The focus of the leadership teams also includes key points from The Essential 55 by Ron Clark.

Mrs. Jackson knows all students by name and is very visible throughout the building and classrooms. She frequently meets with students who are experiencing challenges with behavior, academics, or social issues to help them problem solve. 

"For these reasons, I feel that Kara Jackson exemplifies the qualities of a true LifeChanger for the students, staff, and parents of Toll Gate Middle School, and I feel honored to recommend her for this award," Kemmerer said.



Comments (2)


Kellie Crosby Posted over a year ago

As a parent of a student at Toll Gate Middle School and PTO President, I have had the pleasure of getting to know and working with Kara Jackson over the last couple of years. She is an amazing principal and truly cares about all the students in her school. Last year when having two separate Lock-In events for the PTO (one for 5th grade and one for 6th Grade), Kara Jackson spent the entire night, both nights, at the school playing tag with and participating in the various stations with the students. She is well respected by students, parents, and staff members. Toll Gate Middle School is lucky to have her as their principal.

Kelli Saksa Posted over a year ago

I could not agree more! Kelli Saksa Toll Gate Middle School School Counselor Pickerington, OH