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Perry Jackson wins KENS 5 EXCEL Award for SAISD

The fourth-grade teacher isn't afraid to step outside the classroom. From home videos to robot races – she'll do anything to get the attention of her young students.

SAN ANTONIO — The KENS 5 EXCEL Award honors the best educators in our community. Each year, we visit 19 school districts and we highlight one educator who’s helped change kids’ lives. 

This week’s EXCEL winner comes from San Antonio Independent School District. She's a fourth-grade teacher who isn't afraid to step outside the classroom.

From home videos to robot races – Perry Jackson knows how to captivate her students' attention. She'll do whatever it takes to get them learning, but teaching wasn't always her life's plan.

Jackson worked as a paralegal assistant at a law firm for a little bit.

"Really, the longest thing that I did was I was a nanny for about five or six years," she said.

It turns out being a nanny is exactly what she needed she realize her true passion.

"I want I knew I wanted to keep working with children and I started thinking 'What are ways I can do that?'" she told KENS 5 Anchor Sarah Forgany.

One way was to go back to school in her late 20s and finish her degree. It's a good thing she did.

"I always think of that song that's like, 'Tell me something good.'" she said.

Every Friday, her students at Neal Elementary School look forward to "Good Things Friday."

"I ask them to really dig down deep and see if you can just find one thing – one thing that has made you smile this week," Jackson said.

But, this week – it'll be Ms. Jackson bringing the positive news to the class. 

"She's definitely a very passionate teacher in everything that she does," Assistant Principal Maria Angelica Astorga said.

Jackson speaks highly of her students and her philosophy of how she respects them really stands out.

"They will be valued and they will be listened to and that their opinions, their contributions – no matter how small they may perceive them to be – what they do, what they say, who they are, matters in this world," she said.