This Baylor alum is superintendent for the oldest school district in Texas
In 1836, 41 delegates gathered at Washington-on-the-Brazos to formally sign the Texas Declaration of Independence. In 1845, Republic of Texas President Anson Jones signed the charter for Baylor University in Independence, Texas. And in 1875, the state of Texas created its first independent school district: Brenham ISD.
Nearly a century and a half later, the superintendent of Brenham ISD — which includes residents of both Washington-on-the-Brazos and Independence — is none other than Baylor Bear Walter Jackson, Ed.D. ’06.
Throughout his time obtaining his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, Dr. Jackson knew he felt led to lead and encourage others. To this day, he says, his “life’s goal is to inspire others to greatness.” But he also knew the world of education was filled with politics, and he had wavered between becoming a pastor or an educator. “I remember retired education professor Dr. Jimmy Williamson saying to me ‘Walter, you will impact many more lives in the school system than you will at a local church!’” he says. “And that did it for me.”
Jackson has now spent almost a quarter of a century in public education. The first 22 years came as a teacher, principal and area superintendent in Houston’s Alief ISD, leading up to Jackson’s hiring as superintendent at Brenham in 2015 — the district’s first African-American superintendent. He’s received state-wide recognition, serving on the boards for the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Legislative Council, Baylor Scott & White Hospital, and the Texas Equity Center. He’s also traveled across Europe, Saudi Arabia and China to study international education and its impact on students, and participated in national conversations about education and leadership at events such as the Harvard Institute for Superintendents and District Leaders.
“I’m just a small town boy from Devers, Texas,” says Jackson. “I am absolutely proud, honored and humbled to be leading Brenham ISD, the oldest public school district in Texas, established in 1875 just a few miles away from the original Baylor campus!”
Sic ’em, Dr. Jackson!