Golden Apple: Denise Jackson

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EDGEFIELD, S.C. (WJBF) – Denise Jackson has been teaching social studies at Strom Thurmond High School since 1984.

“I just cannot imagine not teaching,” Jackson says. “It’s what I think God meant for me to do.”

Today her A.P. students are revisiting things they’ve already learned, and trying to learn more.

“Choosing a topic that we have covered already that they just wish that they knew more about, that they could dig deeper roots-something that would excite them about history.”

They’re also learning a lot about today’s political climate especially the upcoming election.

“We’re constantly making connections to today, otherwise it’s not relevant to them.”

Ms. Jackson is in charge of Strom Thurmond’s award winning mock trial teams–a great way to learn about our legal system.

“We’ve been very fortunate at our school to win 4-5 state championships and be runner up several times,” she says. “That’s just because of the quality of the students behind me. They are on the edge of their seats.  They’re eager to learn. They are intellectually curious. They are driven. They are the leaders of tomorrow.”

But Ms. Jackson admits she can’t do this alone. She credits the families of Edgefield County for helping her succeed.

“We’re home to 10 governors. I hope even more than that in the future,” Jackson says. “This is a community of people who really care about this place. And the parents have clearly planted that desire in the hearts and minds of our students.”

Students who continue to get so much from Denise Jackson–almost as much as she gets from them.

“They make me get in the car in the afternoons and think about what they were able to push me to learn that day. It doesn’t ever stop.”

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