LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Cherish Jackson

Position: DL Teacher (Moderate to Intense Autism)
School: Tyler Elementary School
School District: DeKalb Community School District #428
City, State: Dekalb, IL

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Music that Describes Cherish


Cherish Jackson was nominated by Precious Allen, a family member.

The word "education" comes from the Latin words educere, educare, and educatum, which mean "to learn, to know, and to lead out." That is what Ms. Jackson represents to the craft of education.

"I have been teaching General Education for 11 years, and I have never encountered a Diverse Learning teacher that not only changes students, but transforms them," explains Allen. "Cherish has worked with students diagnosed with moderate to severe autism. Her students would enter her classroom with anxiety, depression, and behavioral concerns. Not only did Cherish make a change in her students academically, as many Diverse Learning teachers can do, but Cherish truly transforms her students into unrecognizable citizens by the end of the school year."

Ms. Jackson transforms her students into scholars with confidence, self-awareness, integrity, love, patience, bravery, and an exquisite sense of humor. She alone is the epitome of "It takes a whole village to raise a whole child."

"I have never encountered a Diverse Learning teacher like Cherish who can transform the internal being of a student and bring out the hidden talents of children," said Allen. "When Cherish first started teaching, I remember receiving a phone call from her, and she was crying. Cherish was working at a school in an underrepresented area, and their bathroom stalls had no doors attached. Cherish tried to raise funds to furnish the bathrooms with doors so that children could use the bathroom with a sense of integrity and privacy. She also tried to raise funds to upgrade the broken sinks in the classrooms. Cherish's concerns were out of her jurisdiction because those issues were supposed to be funded through the school's budget. However, she still wanted to go above and beyond to do what she could to ensure that her teachers and students felt a sense of pride and professionalism in their learning environment. Cherish's positive attitude and selfless acts of kindness sparked a light in peer educators who decided to join her on her quest to raise funds to bring basic resources to their school."

Ms. Jackson exhibits leadership skills that inspire her peers. She also partners with her General Education teachers and gives them a platform where they can be heard and not feel intimidated. Sometimes, when General Education teachers collaborate with Diverse Learning teachers, they might feel inadequate because they are not specialists in the diverse learning field. On the contrary, Ms. Jackson uses her platform to educate her peers and to provide an atmosphere where she co-teaches with her teachers. Because she takes the time to model for her peers, there is a sense of anxiety that leaves the teachers, and curiosity is born. Ms. Jackson's non-intimidating approach to the classroom allows educators to simultaneously experience the joy of teaching and learning. The ebb and flow creates a nurturing environment for her teachers that can not be described in words but can only be encountered through experience with her.

Ms. Jackson not only focuses on her students' academics through textbooks, but she also brings whatever is on paper to life. She uses sensory motor manipulatives, creates them for her students, and raises money to purchase therapeutic materials. Ms. Jackson also sets up her classroom environment so that students can engage in flexible seating that caters to their individualized education plan and supports their mental health. She pours her all into the intricate details of her learning environment and sets her students up for present and future success. Before the school year is over, Ms. Jackson creates "Wish Lists" for the upcoming school year of things that she desires for her incoming students to have access to. Everything on her list is for her students to be able to grow and experience a rebirth of their character, self-esteem, mind, body, and spirit. Her equitable efforts contribute to the input and outcome of her scholars' academic careers.

Integrity can be something that is taught, but Ms. Jackson has a way of bringing out what is already inside of her students. She does not view her students as empty vessels that need to be poured into. Instead, she views them as full scholars with a world of experience waiting to be pulled out of them. Ms. Jackson holds herself and her students to high ethical standards. Sometimes, it's hard to tell who is the teacher and who is the learner in her classroom. 

"I cannot think of a better person that is not only a LifeChanger, but a life transitioner in education. Cherish is a gem. She is an X factor, and she is definitely one of a kind," said Allen.



Comments (34)


Amber Bermudez Posted 25 days ago

Keep being the change :)

VIRGINIA PENILLA Posted 1 months ago

Cherish makes a difference. She not only an amazing Teacher but she an advocate for those without a voice. Keep up the great work !!!

Leyia Posted 1 months ago

Cherish is my girl! She is so positive and even though we’ve never actually met in person, even her presence on social media is a delight. She’s definitely changed my life!

Judith B Posted 2 months ago

Ms. Cherish Jackson changes the world daily with her smiles! The products she creates have changed my life for the better. Her personal touch and knowledge for her passion shine through in her way of doing business. I’m thankful our paths in life have crossed. She is also a brilliant teacher who supports other educators!

Lacoyia Posted 2 months ago

Cherish is one of the nicest people that I have had to pleasure to know. She is caring, passionate, and goes above and beyond what she is required to do.

Roslyn Lampkin-Smiley Posted 2 months ago

I have witnessed first hand how great of a teacher Cherish is. Cherish took the time to help my grandson who has been diagnosed with ADHD. It takes a patient and caring person to work with students and their challenges. I know that Cherish is more than qualified and definitely fits the bill.

Virginia Kelly Posted 2 months ago

You are amazing work!

Connie Posted 2 months ago

Cherish Jackson is the most dedicated, self motivated, purpose driven, charismatic, intelligent, passionate, caring, loving teacher I have seen in a long time. Whenever she’s around children she always find ways to educate them and improve their confidence about education. I was having difficulties motivating my child to learn. She was so patient with her and made fun/ a song out of what they were learning. I haven’t seen a person that is not on the clock (getting paid) for teaching a child and still reached out and tutored her without looking for money. She’s an amazing mentor and teacher. My daughter told me “when I grow up, I want to be like Ms. Jackson”.

Berkley Julun Posted 2 months ago

There hasn't been a person more dedicated, caring, focused or cherished like Cherish. The kind of empathy, motivation and energy she exudes is hard to come by. She is one of a kind and definitely a great person all around.

Farouk Olayiwola Posted 2 months ago

Cherish is always filled with so much joy! She is always willing to help those who honor growth, respect and healing. She takes her time in making the most conscious decision in choosing kindness over fear. If you have her in your life, you understand that she believes that your worth fighting for. If you can’t understand why she fights so hard for you or the kids she teaches, you just have to absorb her presence. Once you become aware of her and share the same frequency, you start to view the world a whole different way.

Alexis Gill Posted 2 months ago

Cherish is one of the nicest people that I have had to pleasure to know. She is caring, passionate, and goes above and beyond what she is required to do. I can't think of a more dedicated and deserving teacher.

Donna Simmons Posted 3 months ago

Ms Cherish a beautiful person inside and out. She is kind caring and a outstanding educator. I met Cherish and watched her have so much compassion for teaching and reaching her students . Cherish you inspired me .

Tyrese Jackson Posted 3 months ago

Congratulations Cherish. I am very proud of you, I'm really hope you're doing a great job.

malaysia horton Posted 3 months ago

She is amazing we need more teachers like her amazing job Cherish

Ciara Gant Posted 3 months ago

Cherish you’re an amazing woman. When I hear Life Changer I think of you! You give your ALL in ALL you do! You’ve changed my life in so many ways and I am Blessed to call you my friend and my sister. One of the best educators I know!!

PEGGY JACKSON Posted 3 months ago

FIRST OF ALL LET ME SAY CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU CHERISH BECAUSE YOU ARE SO PASSIONATE AND DEDICATED TO YOUR JOB AS A TEACHER AND MORE SO A SPECIAL ED,TEACHER YOU REALLY GO BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY FOR THESE PRECIOUS ANGELS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN AND PLACED ON EARTH TO NOURISH AND TAKE CARE OF YOU ARE SUCH A SPECIAL PERSON FOR THIS PURPOSE MAY THE LORD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU AND GROW YOU IN YOUR GIFT OF LOVE FOR PEOPLE AND MOST OF ALL SPECIAL PEOPLE WHO YOU LOVE SO UNCONDITIONALLY AND AGAIN CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU AND YOUR SO MUCH LOVED CHILDREN!

Kayla Smiley Posted 3 months ago

Cherish is one of the most dedicated, kind-hearted, giving, trustworthy, and talented educators one can find. She takes pride in her work and puts in a lot of effort to ensure the quality of her teaching is above and beyond.

Andre Allen Posted 3 months ago

Where do I begin...Cherish is an AWESOME person who embodies character, integrity, courage, humility, greatness, intelligence and perseverance. The forementioned attributes are just a small part of who Cherish really is. Once you are embraced by Cherish, you will know why she is named Cherish...

Lovely Jackson Posted 3 months ago

Cherish I’m so very proud of you, you’re so beautiful & kindhearted so very well spoken so sweet & so thoughtful & most of all she love all her students congrats beautiful you deserve to be life changer of the year.xoxo

Janiri Posted 3 months ago

Cherish, a truly outstanding person with a passion for teaching. Her dedication to her career is priceless due to the care, patience, and understanding she provides to not only her students, but also to those surrounding her. Cherish is not one to give up or back down when a challenge arises. No. She will persevere proving her determination and integrity. Above all, Cherish is most deserving due to her selflessness in any situation at hand.

Tremel J Hoover Posted 3 months ago

Cherish is such a beautiful, amazing, caring, sweet, and valuable person! Literally! Any child that she teaches is truly lucky because she truly puts her all into her job and pours into the heart of many children! No one else deserves this more than her! I have known her for 10 years and she has always been such a sweetheart to everyone she encounters and she is soooo well deserving of this! She has the drive, personality, and heart of GOLD which is definitely what a candidate of this needs!

Andre Allen Posted 3 months ago

Where can start...Cherish is a AWESOME person, one that embodies hope, character, greatness, intelligence, humility and kindness. The forementioned attributes are just a small part of who Cherish really is. Once you get to know Cherish you will know why she is named Cherish.

Brandon Robinson Posted 3 months ago

Cherish is an amazing person and one of my all time favorite people. Love you cherish you deserve everything

Cozell Posted 3 months ago

Cherish Jackson should be nominated because she brings precious moments,to kids who thought they lack value in life.her passion, for her gift to teach kids to reach higher heights are impeccable.she's a lovely person and shows attention to each and every person. Viewing everyone as equal. and last but not least, a person with that charisma, deserves great serenity.and need to be cherished.just like cherish Jackson.

Martell Edwards Posted 3 months ago

Cherish is the most kind hearted, genuine, charitable person that I know. She pours so much into her students and loves teaching. She is amazing and no one deserves this more than her!

Neiche R Posted 3 months ago

Truly an amazing and involved educator! She loves her students with everything she has in her!

Demetrea Posted 3 months ago

There is no person more deserving of this award than Cherish!! Cherish is so patient and kind with her students. That's what the kids need today.

Anthony Jackson Posted 3 months ago

Congratulations Cherish!! I am so proud of you keep up the good work.

Dwight Jackson Posted 3 months ago

Since Grammer School cherish has always been on the honor roll, kept perfect attendance, and also received the honorable mention from receiving the honor roll all four quarters. I remember her receiving it for 4th grade fifth grade fifth grade seventh grade and 8th grade. I was just with one of cherishes 7th grade friends who did a science project with her name Malaysia Thornton, Malaysia made known that cherish did the entire directory of the project and written out the entire script and only needed Malaysia to read out the performance in front of the class, Malaysia made told that they received the A+. I remember years ago seeing cherish and the teachers field on a video with an autistic student telling him to say hello, the student said hello to the camera and it captured my heart to know that although autistic he was able to communicate with a person of so much love integrity smarts and gentleness to tap into dealing with such a creative person on a level that no one would pay attention. CHERISH PRINCESS JACKSON GIVE TO THE WORLD WHAT NO OTHER PERSON OR TEACHER COULD '''THRIVE TRYING TO THE TOP'''.. I am a 16-year construction worker, completed High School and went into trade school I have attained 112 college credits with my associates of applied science and hitting ventilation air conditioning in the refrigeration, I was offered a paraprofessional position from my principal that the neighborhood as well as Cherish knows Mr.Alberto Quintero/CPS. I COMPLETED THE QUALIFICATIONS GOT MY COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS AND WENT IN FOR THE POSITION BUT THE POSITION WAS DROPPED UNDER THE FUNDING OF THE SCHOOL'S BUDGET AND GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY. MY MOTTO WAS TO GO FROM CONSTRUCTION TO GO INTO TEACHING BEING THAT I WANTED TO TEACH THE KIDS TO ALWAYS TRY THRIVING TO THE TOP """"5 T'S""". I AM SUCCESSFULLY BACK IN CONSTRUCTION BUT NEVERTHELESS,, CHERISH exhibit so much creativity, true personality, person to person individualism, lessons before she speaks and responds, the best person that I could qualify for the life changer of the Year nominee is CHERISH PRINCESS JACKSON. ONE OF A KIND, KIND-HEARTED AS GIVING COULD EVER BE, BEYOND IN A CLASS OF HER OWN, MORE OVERSTANDING THAN UNDERSTANDING, LOVE IN IT'S FORM AND A TRUE BLESSING ON THIS EARTH THAT CONTINUES TO GIVE FROM HER GOLDEN HEART THAT PUMPS RED BLOOD LIKE EVERYONE ELSE'S. LIFE CHANGER OF THE YEAR NOMINEE IS CHERISH PRINCESS JACKSON 1 ZILLION THUMBS UP. I AS WELL AS THE WORLD IS AND SHOULD BE VERY BLESSED FOR CHERISH & THANKFUL FOR GOD FOR A PERSON WHO EXISTS ON THIS EARTH IN THESE TIMES THAT IS HER.

Kiana Burnette Posted 3 months ago

Cherish is an amazing person. Not only is she deserving of recognition for the long hours of work that she put in with students and their families, but she also deserves to be recognized for being one of the very few people who loves the work, truly does a have passion for the work and simply enjoys working with children . I’ve yet to see anyone with as much passion and drive set to accomplish all goals and have the determination to perseverance through all of the many obstacles that cherish has faced. I know that this is Cherish’s passion work and I am honored to support her.

Jamye Love Posted 3 months ago

Cherish you are a phenomenal woman. You are changing lives every day with all that you do. Keep smiling.

Kim Reed Posted 3 months ago

I was the luckiest in the world to be able to work side by side with this amazing soul! Not only does she take her profession seriously, but the relationships with her students are bonds that are meant to make each child successful.

JoEllen Phillips Posted 3 months ago

Ms. Jackson most definitely goes above and beyond. She refused to let what a previous educator said about my son define him and she pushed thru and in the short 7 months before the pandemic my son not only met his previous goals he met the goals she had set forth in his iep and had made tremendous progress. She had spent hours with notes decoding certain behaviors that we were able to start recognizing the significance of them and what they meant and how to help him. I felt like no one seen my son for the boy he was anymore. She brought him back to the light. She did so much more but I know this is already long and I have another son that she had in her class. She brought out so so many coping strategies to help him. She helped the rest of the school see these kids as part of the school not just a part in the school. My son developed a connection with the janitor helping with the flag on a daily basis to writing a resume and job application because he thought he could "do her job" he accepted the challenge not realizing she was teaching him life skills and celebrated him when he aced the homework and his mock interview she set up with the principal as he surpassed her and made it to assistant principal. Ms Jackson held a graduation for my oldest at home because of covid and she felt so deeply that these kiddos had been robbed of enough already. My youngest had his at school and she got everyone involved. All these moments are something many take for granted and parents of special needs don't always have the privilege of watching their children be celebrated like others. She made them special. Ms Jackson wasn't just their teacher she was my friend. The first call I made to say my mom had passed because I didn't know how to "tell" my boys and because she listened to me sob so I could pull it together for them. She than proceeded to hold my hand as I broke it to them (in the middle of a pandemic) and she mourned not for us but with us as she had become one of my moms biggest cheerleaders. She showed to my moms funeral for my kids (and more so me) but was able to beam with pride as my youngest got up and read a poem for his grandma in front of a group. She stayed longer at school to keep my youngest to help me tell him his uncle (my brother) died and held my hand for that. The day she came to tell us bye she was going back to her hometown I watched my children process so differently than they had before they met her. They interacted with her they played and they felt. She didn't just celebrate them she celebrated my accomplishments as I was dealing with alot of different milestones in my life. She has stayed in touch with us and their current teachers to give any insight she could to better them. She is still the first one I want to call or I message pictures of the kids and their accomplishments. She is family my whole family loves her. I could go on and on but this is just a small highlighted version.

Tami Williams Posted 3 months ago

I have never met someone more committed towards serving students than Ms. Jackson. Even through internal and external adversities, Ms. Jackson continues to make her students her priority by making them feel valued and advocating for educational equity. I recall a time Ms. Jackson would even visit her student and their parent to provide them with additional support and tutoring. Above and beyond is an understatement! Thank you for all you do for our youth!