Falling In Love With Cedar Hill
(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) A lot can happen in five years – just ask Bessie Coleman Middle School Science/Math Teacher Carlece Jackson.
Jackson was visiting the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex five years ago. She had no intention of relocating to the area, but the Louisiana native/loyal New Orleans Saints fan wanted to see AT&T Stadium in Arlington, up close.
“I wanted to see the place where the Dallas Cowboys played,” Jackson said.
Jackson never found the stadium, she ended up about 18 miles to the southeast – across Joe Pool Lake – in historic downtown Cedar Hill.
Jackson fell in love with the community immediately, purchased a home in Cedar Hill and enrolled her son – then a high school freshman – in Cedar Hill ISD.
“I had never heard of Cedar Hill before that, but I thought ‘wow, this feels good, and I’ve been here ever since,” Jackson said. “I love that it has a small town feel, yet you still get to experience a large city, with Dallas nearby.”
Jackson, who had worked in Finance and Banking until that point, decided to try substitute teaching. She was hired as a full time teacher at Bessie Coleman in 2017, and in 2021-2022, she was named the Bessie Coleman Teacher of the Year.
None of it would have been possible had she successfully located AT&T Stadium that day.
“The funny thing is I still haven’t made it to AT&T Stadium – I gave up on it,” said Jackson, whose son graduated from Cedar Hill High School last spring and is a freshman at Southern University in Louisiana.
Bessie Coleman Principal Jared Peters said Jackson’s impact is felt in the classroom and in extracurricular activities.
Bessie Coleman Teacher of the Year
“Ms. Jackson is well deserving of the Teacher of the Year Award,” Peters said. “She is a mentor to one of our new seventh grade teachers, and she is also the sponsor of the Spiritettes – our cheer and dance team.”
Jackson originally subbed at the elementary and high school levels.
“Then, I thought let me try middle school, and it just worked perfectly,” Jackson said. “I always wanted to teach as many of my family members are educators.”
She graduated with an Economics degree from Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia and worked in the world of finance for close to a decade.
When she moved to Texas, Jackson knew it was time for a career change.
“Science never gets dull,” Jackson said. “It’s easier to keep the kids’ attention with stuff like that. The Sixth grader scholars are learning about the solar system now. We have so many interactive projects in science.”
Jackson said she was honored when she learned that she was the campus teacher of the year.
“I was shocked and absolutely flattered,” Jackson said. “It makes me feel like ‘wow’ somebody is paying attention to my professionalism.”