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Courtney Jackson

“One of the things I love the most about teaching English is helping students feel empowered to have ideas and express them.”

Courtney Jackson says she laughs when thinking about it.

“If you had told my high school self that I’d be teaching English, I’d have said you’re nuts,” Courtney said.

Courtney not only teaches but is associate director of diversity, equity & inclusion, and dorm head of Batchelder Hall. It’s a full plate, but she does find some time for cycling, either on the road or on her Peloton.

Reading and writing were not her passions in high school. She said she also didn’t feel confident in her writing ability.

“One of the things I love the most about teaching English is helping students feel empowered to have ideas and express them,” Courtney said. “I love working with students who may not feel the most confident in discussion, may not feel the most confident in their writing, and to help students build confidence. Often, I see myself in them, and it's nice to end the term with them in a different place.”

Courtney was a day student at the Peddie School in New Jersey, playing soccer at both the club and high school level. Women’s soccer was on the rise in the United States, and in 1999 the United States hosted the FIFA Women’s World Cup and won the gold medal.

“I remember being a freshman in the fall of 2000. With women’s sports on the upswing, and to have a female athletic director at that time was really empowering to me,” Courtney said.

Her athletic director? Sue Cabot, now the director of athletics at Loomis Chaffee.

Courtney came to Loomis in 2018 and was an assistant coach of varsity girls soccer from 2018–20 and an assistant coach of varsity girls basketball in the 2018–19 and 2019–20 seasons. She now devotes her time to all her other duties on campus. Courtney was named the associate director of DEI in 2021.

Courtney majored in philosophy and played soccer at Lehigh University. She wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to do after graduation, but soon she was intrigued by the prospect of helping students.

“I used to think teaching would be boring because you do the same thing every year,” Courtney said. “But now I know that even if you teach the same book, the kinds of conversation that you have are different because of the students in the room. Different students pick up on different things or get excited about different things or have different questions. I think teaching is one of the most fun things you can do because of that.”

When students graduate from Loomis, Courtney said that she wants them to understand “they have developed the values and skills to tackle whatever it is they will come up against and in their various pursuits, and that they think about the impact they have on others and can be intentional about the actions they take.”

Courtney also is deeply committed to her work through the Center for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI).

“I hope what we can do is to make people excited about DEI work, and it is really about understanding and building community and cultivating a healthy campus environment,” Courtney said. “It can be challenging and hard at times, and intense at times, but at the end of the day we will be better for it. And it's about celebrating, uplifting, empowering, and understanding, which are all positive things.”


 

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