Hall of Leaders

Pat Jackson

Pat Jackson taught fifth grade at several locations around Missouri as well as at Fairview and Grant Elementary Schools. At Grant, she enjoyed teaching in the same room where she was a student some years earlier. She served on the Partners in Education committee at Grant, where she introduced a banking and trust program. Pat had the privilege of helping to open three new schools during her career, including Mill Creek Elementary, where she remained until her retirement.

Pat attended Grant and Ridgeway Elementary Schools, Jefferson Junior High School, Hickman High School and the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in education.

In retirement, Pat has volunteered with the Assistance League of Mid-Missouri, the Missouri United Methodist Church and Show-Me Central Habitat for Humanity, where she helped organize the construction of the first local Habitat Office and Restore as well as the first All-Women Build in Columbia.

Owen Jackson

Owen Jackson served as the assistant superintendent for elementary education for the Columbia Public Schools from 1979-1990. He has also been an assistant principal and principal, both in Columbia and elsewhere in Missouri. Owen also served as the assistant superintendent of elementary education for the Northwest R-1 district, and as an adjunct professor of education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

He has a bachelor’s of science degree in elementary education from Southwest Missouri State College and a master’s of education in elementary school administration and a doctorate of education in school administration, supervision and curriculum, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

After retiring from CPS, Owen became an assistant professor of education at Columbia College and later the coordinator for clinical experiences. Among his many honors, he is the recipient of the MU College of Education’s Citation of Merit for Outstanding Achievement and Meritorious Service.

Julia Marsh

Julia Marsh taught in Columbia Public Schools for more than 26 years, with a special interest in mathematics. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she taught remedial and enrichment summer programs, led numerous math workshops for teachers, wrote and evaluated curriculum materials in a variety of subjects, and wrote assessment materials in elementary mathematics for the Missouri Department of Education. She also taught mathematics for the elementary classroom teacher at the University of Missouri.

She is a graduate of Hickman High School. She holds a bachelor’s of education degree and a master’s of education from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Julia was honored as a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching of Mathematics and Science in 1999 and 2001, and as the Outstanding Elementary Mathematics Educator by the Missouri Council of Teachers of Mathematics in 2003. She has also been heavily involved in local, state and national 4-H programs.

Jack Jensen

Jack Jensen’s 33-year tenure with the Columbia Public Schools began as a teacher at West Boulevard and then Russell Elementary. He later served as assistant principal at the then-new Mill Creek Elementary and at Smithton Middle School before becoming principal at Two Mile Prairie Elementary and Smithton. Jack was the assistant superintendent of elementary education for CPS for seven years.

Jack earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Missouri State University, and a master’s of education and doctorate in general administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Following his retirement from CPS, Jack served as the executive director of First Chance for Children, working on early childhood issues both locally and statewide. He is currently president-elect of Missouri KidsFirst, a statewide nonprofit working to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Donna Claycomb Sokol

Donna Claycomb Sokol is a graduate of Rock Bridge High School. Donna is the pastor of Mount Vernon Pace United Methodist Church in downtown Washington, DC. Since her appointment to the congregation in July 2005, the congregation has transitioned to a growing one composed of many young adults working to make a difference in the nation’s capital. She previously served as minister of congregational care at First United Methodist Church in Hendersonville, NC, and as director of admissions at Duke Divinity School. Prior to joining the ministry, she spent three years on Capitol Hill, serving on the staffs of U.S. Congressman Eric Fingerhut and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.

She earned her undergraduate degree from William Woods University, a master of divinity from Duke University and her doctor of ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary.

Donna is the co-author of “A New Day in the City.” She serves as a member of the Duke Divinity School Board of Visitors and regularly speaks about leading change and congregational renewal.

Stephanie Price

Stephanie Price is a graduate of Fairview Elementary, Smithton, West Junior and Hickman High School. She is a board-certified child psychiatrist in Charleston, SC, where she works as an attending physician at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also works in private practice to treat those experiencing personal anguish.

She played varsity tennis at Hickman and was the first player to medal in each of her four years at the state tournament. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts, where she received a tennis scholarship and played #1 singles and #1 doubles for the team. She holds a doctor of osteopathic degree from the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, and completed psychiatry residency training at Indiana University and a fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Stephanie is the recipient of many honors and accolades, and is dedicated to community involvement, including international service learning through medical mission trips.

Sally Cooper Myers

Sally Cooper Myers attended Grant Elementary, West Boulevard Elementary, Jefferson Junior High and Hickman High School. Sally served as a Miami University faculty member and administrator for 30 years, as director of the Recreational Sports Facility and Office of Recreational Sports program. During her tenure, she served as the senior instructor in the Department of Physical Education for Women and coached the Gymnastics Club. She retired in 1997 with emeritus status.

She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, with a bachelor of science degree in physical education, and a graduate of the University of Southern California, with a master’s of science degree in education.

Sally is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Outstanding Miami Woman Faculty Member for outstanding undergraduate teaching, the Regional Award of Merit from the Intramural Sports Association, and the Outstanding Student Affairs Service Award.

Lt. Colonel Marcella Ng

Marcella Ng is a graduate of Jefferson Junior High and Hickman High School. She is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and was the nation’s first African-American woman airplane and helicopter pilot in the U.S. Armed Forces in 1979, at the age of 23. Her first assignment was in Stuttgart, Germany, where she was the first woman and the first African-American woman assigned to the unit. She was the 55th woman to receive aviator’s wings in Ft. Rucker, AL, out of 48,000 total officer graduates through 1979 from the Army Aviator School.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was a member of ROTC and served on the drill team.

Marcella and her husband, retired Col. Dennis Ng, own and operate Mililani Woods LLC, a special events and wedding venue. Her likeness can be found on a mural permanently displayed at Lambert St. Louis International Airport, Black Americans in Flight: A Tribute to African American Achievements in Aviation from 1917 to the Present.

Karen Rawlings

Karen Rawlings has been an active volunteer with the Columbia Public Schools since 1975. She has volunteered in the library, health room, at field days, book fairs, science fairs, and as PTA president, as well as PTSA president at Hickman High School. She chaired the Hickman Music Boosters organization, which raised more than $40,000 to send the school chamber choir to Vienna, Austria. She was the first non-student to receive the Super Kewp Award.

When the Volunteers in Columbia Schools and the Partners in Education program were being established, Karen worked closely with Jolene Schulz at CPS to bring these two opportunities in volunteerism to fruition. Karen remembers spending time in nearly every school in the district, training teachers, parents and community volunteers in the merits of these programs. She was recognized by the National Association of Volunteers in 1991 for these contributions.

In addition to her numerous community involvement with other organizations, Karen volunteers at the Early Childhood Learning Center through the Partners in Education program. Karen and her husband, Dave, are founding members of the Columbia Public Schools Foundation, and Karen is also a past CPSF board member.

Traci Rogers

Traci Rogers moved to Columbia from Atlanta, Georgia, and has been an active volunteer and PTA officer at three schools. Traci is an IBM project manager and mother of two CPS students. She has logged more than 1,250 volunteer hours through the IBM Volunteer program, which issues grants for organizations each year. By logging over 100 hours annually, Traci has received four $2,000 grants for Paxton Keely Elementary and Jefferson Middle School.

Traci also has served as PTA president for the past four years at Paxton and Jefferson and led several committees for each school. She volunteers additional hours on the weekends to support all-day events such as the Robotics Regional Tournament. Traci also joined a CPS boundary committee to balance middle school populations.

Traci was nominated for an Outstanding Volunteer in Education by the Columbia Daily Tribune’s Hero Awards. She also was a 2017 IBM Volunteer Finalist and one of 36 nominees chosen globally.

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