CAMP VERDE - Teachers never really know what long-term impact that they have on the students or even who they might be influencing in good or bad ways. They can only hope they are helping to develop leaders with a knack for making tough decisions in tough times.
Yavapai-Apache Nation Vice Chairman Robert Jackson Sr. had a long career with the U.S. Postal Service before retiring and also served on the Tribal Council. But all these years later he can still point to the classroom teachers who taught him core values.
"I had two very influential teachers that impacted my life throughout school," he says. "Mrs. Tavasci was my second grade teacher, and she taught me self-discipline and self-control. She never hesitated to use the paddle when we were misbehaving, and this taught me the self-control and self-discipline needed to interact throughout school and life.
"Mr. Richmond in high school really taught me to dig deep within myself, not to fear anyone, but to respect everyone and to recognize and use my God-given talents."
These are lessons Jackson says he continues to use in daily life.
"As the Vice Chairman, I have applied these principles to the office that I serve, to my commitment to my tribal members and in working with the Tribal Council, as well with my personal life and family," he says.
Jackson pursued a late-in-life higher education, earning membership in the leadership and honor society Sigma Alpha Lambda at Northern Arizona University. He was sworn in as YAN Vice Chairman in 2010. He is a former member of the Cliff Castle Casino Board of Directors and the former chairman of the Nation's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund Board of Directors.