WAVERLY – After 27 years of teaching at Waverly High School, Kathleen Jackson of Lincoln will retire at the end of this school year.
Jackson graduated in 1981 from the University of Nebraska with an animal science degree. But due to an economic recession at the time, she said there were few jobs available for her.
“The only jobs open were feeding in the stock pens at sale yards and working as a USDA meat inspector,” Jackson said.
Having no interest in pursuing those careers, Jackson saw the state was in need of science teachers, so she returned to college to quickly earn her teaching certificate.
Jackson said she taught for a time at smaller schools, before making her way to Waverly. She found the class B school to be just the right fit for her. The school was big enough to have multiple teachers for similar subjects to trade notes with but small enough to have the close relationships with the students, parents and other teachers.
“It has a family atmosphere and it’s never boring,” Jackson said.
While she taught many different classes, both at Waverly and other schools, her subjects were always something science related.
From biology and chemistry, to ninth grade science, anatomy and physics, her experience with different fields of science classes is as wide as it is varied.
“Everything but advanced placement, I’ve taught at some point,” Jackson said.
With retirement arriving, Jackson said she has been making plans to spend more time training and showing her dogs and help out at her family’s ranch in Western Nebraska.
“After that, then we’ll see what happens,” Jackson said.
However, Jackson said there will be a number of things she’ll miss about teaching at Waverly, specifically interacting with her students and watching them grow. She added she will also miss teaching “grand-students”, the children of her past students.
“I like my students, they’re just fun,” Jackson said.