Back in May, the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District approved to offer the former president of Alameda College, Dr. Jannett Jackson, the seat for Chancellor and she was named as such during the meeting on June 25. But before she had been offered the job as Chancellor, Jackson had a three-year contract as the president of Alameda College in 2010.
Jackson was born in Shreve Port, Louisiana with her family of eight and would play baseball, box hockey, basketball and other sports in a sandlot that was just behind the house. She later moved to Kansas with her mother before finally moving to Soma, California.
When she was 19, she decided to join the Air Force after changing her mind about her major. She had been planning on becoming a doctor and was working at a Veterans hospital when she started to feel that it was not the right job for her.
At that time the slogan was “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure,” and it was this that started to make the Air Force sound like a good idea. It would be a good way to make some money and also provide a chance to travel, as well.
When she first joined the Air Force, she did not like to salute, wear a cap that would mess up her hair and thought if she would show up a few minutes late she could just stay a few minutes late. Her mentor Master Sargent Yeager changed that for her.
“He said, ‘You know, Jannett, we have rules for a reason. Two or three minutes can mean life or death, and saluting is not a meaning of someone being behind or below someone, but a form of salutation,” Jackson said.
This was something that resonated with Jackson.
“He also told me that ‘you can stand outside and knock on a door, or you can learn the rules and the doors will just open for you,’ (and that) ‘(I was) extremely bright and that (I) could do anything that (I) set my mind to,’” she said
During her time in the Air Force, she also went back to school at Fresno State to get a Bachelor’s of Arts in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction.
Jackson began to realize the joys of teaching while in the Air Force teaching other soliders how to jump from an aircraft and survive the fall, as well as what to do once they hit the ground. She would later pursue a career involving teaching because of this.
In 2010, she retired from the Air Force as a Colonel and left with awards for Air Man of the Month, Quarter and Year.
Though she may have left the Armed Forces, she continued to carry many of the things that she learned from her time there such as if you wanted something, “learn the rules and then use them to your advantage.”
This is an idea that she has constantly used throughout her life, like when she went back to school to receive her Doctorate in Education Administration from the University of Texas at the age of 42, to help her get a position in a school system.
She continued to learn the rules so that she could become the president of a college and now a chancellor.
“Life is a series of circles,” Jackson said when she mentioned that she started in an agricultural town and is now living in one.
It made sense that when she wanted to advance in her job in education, she would go back to what she had learned earlier and learn the rules so she could eventually make her way to where she is now.
With the many awards and degrees that Dr. Jackson has it can be seen that she is a very driven individual, but she is also a very kind person who takes her job seriously.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Dr. Jackson on a few occasions and I can tell you that she has a very friendly and warm personality. Our chancellor has made it clear to me that she genuinely considers not just the needs of our students, but also how we perceive the decisions that are made at the district level. She brings a feeling of camaraderie and inclusiveness to meetings and I really look forward to working with her this year,” Christopher Southern ASLPC President said.