Rebecca Jackson is a former Republican politician from Louisville, Kentucky, previously serving as the Jefferson County Judge/Executive and also running unsuccessfully for the party nomination for governor. She is the former chief executive officer of the WHAS Crusade for Children, a local charity that operates a large annual local telethon. She is now CEO of Mastery Mavens, an internet based professional development tool for teaching professionals.
Jackson began her career as a teacher for children with special needs in Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) in 1973. She taught children K-12 in a variety of schools. She was promoted to Learning Specialist, an administrative position. Jackson left JCPS and took a position as Director of the Parent Education Project at the University of Louisville. In 1987 Jackson founded JobCenter, Inc., a not-for-profit employment agency for persons with special needs. In this agency specializing in Supported Employment, she placed persons with special needs in businesses within the community.
Jackson first won elective office in 1989, upsetting a long-time Democrat incumbent Jefferson County clerk. She was re-elected in 1993. In 1998, Jackson ran for and won the race for Judge/Executive, and served one term. She was the last person to serve in that office before city and county governments merged in 2002; the office was largely replaced by the Mayor of Louisville Metro, though technically the office still exists in a largely ceremonial capacity. Jackson had been a staunch proponent of a consolidated city-county government.
Jackson represented the United States as an observer to the December 1993 elections in Russia when they adopted the new constitution and elected the first persons to the Duma (parliament). She represented the United States in Bulgaria as one of two specialists on how to establish a primary election for the many factions of the pro-democracy movement. In the following election the pro-democracy movement unseated the communist Parliament and took back the office of Prime Minister. Jackson also traveled to China on a National Association of Counties trade mission.
Jackson began work in Romania in the fall of 2003. She worked with the schools in Constanta to develop methods of teaching children with special needs in the regular classrooms as these children were mainstreamed from special schools to local schools by government legislation. She also visited and worked with the Franciscan Sisters who founded the Fundatia Surorile Clarise, an orphanage in Braila.
Jackson joined the WHAS Crusade for Children in 2005, the first person from outside the WHAS-TV corporate structure to hold the post. She was instrumental in establishing an endowment for the telethon, funded by bequests from people who left the Crusade donations in their wills. This endowment is designed to fund the day-to-day operating expenses of the organization, allowing 100 percent of the donations collected from the general public to go directly to agencies providing direct services to children with special needs.
Jackson is the author of the locally best-selling children's book "Mackenzie And The Baby Robin." Released in 2004, the book has a spiritual message and features her oldest grandchild, Mackenzie. "Mackenzie And The Baby Robin" was illustrated by her cousin, Richard Wayne Thompson.
Jackson joined her oldest son, Wes, as a founder of Mastery Mavens LLC in August, 2010 taking the position of CFO. In September, 2011 Wes moved to another position and Jackson became CEO. Mastery Mavens provides innovative technology for teacher improvement. Through this program teachers get direct observation and personalized feedback delivered at the teachable moment via the internet. The program increases the volumn of participation with this feedback. Mastery Mavens can save schools, districts and colleges time and money by allowing them to review, comment, and evaluate from any internet connection. This allows master teachers to mentor others from across a building or district at minimal cost (no hiring of substitute teachers while the mentor is away). Schools using Mastery Mavens have formed efficient professional learning communities. Mastery Mavens can be used to provide self and peer evaluation toward continuous learning hours. Mastery Mavens empowers instructional leadership teams.
Jackson is also active in her church, Highview Baptist Church. In 1980 she founded Kentucky's New Horizons, a social-recreation program for adults with handicaps, a ministry of Highview Baptist. She has directed it ever since. In 2006, she was appointed by Fletcher to the Board of Trustees for the University of Louisville. In February, 2011, Jackson and husband, Ralph, brought Lucica from Braila, Romania to the United States to complete high school at Mercy Academy in Louisville. Lucica is an orphan from Fundatia Surorile Clarise.
On the web site of her gubernatorial campaign, Jackson listed her "first home" as Short Creek, Kentucky.
Jackson has been married to Ralph W. Jackson since 1969. The couple has three sons, three granddaughters, two step-granddaughters and a foster daughter.
- "Rebecca Jackson named WHAS Crusade for Children CEO". Business First of Louisville. 2005-05-25. Retrieved 2007-06-10.
- Press release from Gov. Ernie Fletcher: "Governor Fletcher Appoints Members to the University of Louisville Board of Trustees," July 20, 2006
- JacksonForGovernor.com, accessed through Archive.org on 2007-06-04
- Jackson, Rebecca (2007-06-01). "A firefighter's Crusade story". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2007-06-04.[dead link]
David L. Armstrong
|Jefferson County Judge/Executive (Kentucky)
(ceremonial capacity only)