Amy Jackson

Dr. Jackson succeeds Priest as assistant superintendent of business
Posted on 08/12/2019
Dr. Amy Jackson

A long-time member of the superintendent cabinet at Poplar Bluff Schools will apply two decades of administrative experience in public education as she makes a transition from personnel to finance. 

Dr. Amy Jackson was hired in a unanimous decision made by the Board of Education in March to succeed Rod Priest as assistant superintendent of business, supervising and maintaining the financial structure necessary to support the educational programming of the R-I school district. 

“One of the things I like about Dr. Jackson’s background is that not only does she have a deep understanding and familiarity with our programs locally, she also has that experience having run a district on her own,” said Dr. Scott Dill, superintendent of schools. “I’m a big believer in growing our own—there’s nothing wrong with a new perspective, of course—but with that CFO position, I believe the district and community appreciate a steady hand at the tiller."

Prior to returning to her birthplace in 2002 where she held the positions of associate superintendent of special services and most recently assistant superintendent of personnel, Jackson served Risco Schools as principal and then superintendent – the youngest in the state at the time, she recalled, at just 28 years of age.

“There were not very many female superintendents in that area either—I knew of maybe one,” she explained. “But I always aspired to come back to my hometown and serve the Poplar Bluff community and our students in this region.” 

Jackson’s tenure began at the Technical Career Center teaching at-risk students math and science in the mid-1990s, but she soon would accept a full-time job as physical education instructor at Neelyville, where she notably started a girls high school softball team plus coached basketball. 

Ultimately developing an ambition to pursue a leadership position, Jackson received her doctorate in education from St. Louis University in 2000, and earned her master’s degree from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau prior. 

In her human resources post over the past nine years, Jackson is most proud of the students she has positively impacted by helping to seek out and hire high-quality teachers, several of whom went on to serve administrative roles. In 2016, Jackson helped bring the first doctoral program to Poplar Bluff so educators can advance their post-graduate degrees directly on the R-I campus through a partnership with Lindenwood University. 

"I worked with Dr. Jackson for three years and know the capacities that were an asset to her as director of human resources—her strengths, her attention to detail and her rigorous adherence to the statutory requirements of operating a school district—and I think we will realize a significant benefit of that same skillset in the CFO position," Dill continued. "While she will bring her own unique perspective to the position, she will also by virtue of her experience as a member of the cabinet understand the direction of the district and priorities for the community."

Having worked closely with Priest since he was first hired to take over the financial management of the district in 2010, Jackson said she considers the lifelong educator a mentor. Priest spent several weeks training Jackson as he helped prepare the budget for fiscal year 2020 before his retirement in June.

“I am very driven to do what is best for kids and teachers, and never held back on advocating what I believe in as far as what’s right and wrong,” Jackson stated. “I understand where we come from and where we have aspirations to go moving forward, and just want to ensure that we are fiscally sound and continue on the path we are on in terms of growth.” 

A graduate of the PBHS Class of 1989, Jackson is married to Mel, who is the senior vice president/market president for Southern Bank, headquartered in Poplar Bluff. Together they have three sons: Colton, who is a senior; Cameron, who is a freshman; and Caden, who is entering the sixth grade. 

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Cutline: Dr. Amy Jackson began the next chapter of her career in education as assistant superintendent of business on July 1.

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