Champions of Change
Tamra L. Jackson, 2009 U.S. Department of Education Classroom Fellow, Bridgeport High School. Tamra currently serves as the principal and high school English for Bridgeport High School, a small, rural, agricultural community largely dependent upon a migrant, agrarian labor force. She has taught college English, AP psychology, journalism, and honors courses for 23 years in Bridgeport and has seen the community become increasingly Hispanic and poor over that time. Bridgeport, and Tamra in a leadership role, have worked to demonstrate that rigorous preparation and persistence are the fundamental building blocks for student achievement and that this student population can graduate from high school college and career ready. She has established innovative programs with community colleges to certify teachers to be able to provide college level courses and provide college credit to students who may otherwise not see college as a part of their future. As a result, Bridgeport High School received the 2009 Washington Achievement Award in both Language Arts and Overall Excellence, an award designed by the State to recognize top performing schools. As both principal and English teacher, the award is testimony to Tamra’s work.