Saying good bye to one of NCSLA’s most notable members is so hard to do but Michael Conoly Jackson of Sprivey’s Corner, North Carolina, passed away Thursday, December 28, 2017.
Mike wore many hats throughout his science career in North Carolina. This included being Regional Director for National Science Educators Leadership Association (NSELA) and President of three science associations: North Carolina Science Teachers Association (NCSTA 1982), North Carolina Science Leadership Association (NCSLA 1991), and NSELA (1992).
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He taught science for 35 years, including service at Lenoir Community College, East Carolina University, Camp Lejeune Schools, Southeastern Community College, and most recently at the Tarheel Challenge Academy. He also served many years in Caldwell County as Science Supervisor where he recruited teachers to NCSLA encouraging and providing leadership opportunities for them at the county and state levels which translated into student excitement and achievement.
In 2010, the North Carolina Science Leadership Association honored Mike Jackson for his outstanding contributions to science education by naming an award after him. The Michael C. Jackson Distinguished Service Award is given annually to the person who has performed a great service to science education in North Carolina. The North Carolina Science Leadership Association is deeply indebted to Mike; if it were not for him and the colleagues he rallied into action when he was Region C Director for NSELA, NCSLA might not be in existence today. Through his determined efforts, a nucleus of science educators met, planned, organized, and NCSLA previously known as NCSSA was born.
Mike Jackson was born in Spivey's Corner, NC, raised in Roxboro, and graduated from Roxboro High School. He was a true-blue product of North Carolina State receiving his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees (under Norm Anderson, Jack Wheatley, Charlie Lytle, and Sally Berenson) all from NCSU. His science concentration was in horticulture but his extra-curricular activities early on actively engaged him in the Mid-Atlantic Marine Educator’s Association. After many years of living a science professional life, Mike retired in 2006 to Spivey's Corner where he resided in his great grandfather's farm house where he kept busy with rescuing chocolate Labrador Retrievers, restoring church gardens, traveling, and enjoying each new day of life.
Mike Jackson was a dear friend and loved by all who knew and worked with him. His excitement, vision, enthusiasm, and direct determination lite a fire under all to work toward a better world for science education in North Carolina. Mike demonstrated what it means to be a true leader.
Read more about the Michael Jackson Distinguished Service Award and submit a nomination today!