Danville native earns doctorate

Tina Nelson-Jackson

DANVILLE — Tina Nelson-Jackson, a native of Danville, received a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Management from Capella University with a 4.0 GPA earlier this year.

In May, Nelson-Jackson was appointed assistant principal of discipline of Houston County WIN Academy (an alternative school) in Georgia.

She is the youngest daughter of Rufus Nelson Sr. and Bessie Nelson, and the granddaughter of community activist, Owen Lee Nelson.

Before earning her doctorate, she earned an educational specialist degree in leadership from Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, and she earned an educational specialist degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Piedmont College in Demorest, Ga.

Additionally, she earned her master’s degree in education and bachelor’s in career occupations from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

She obtained her first degree, an associate’s in criminal justice, from Danville Area Community College after graduating from Danville High School in 1984.

Although she was a teen mother in high school at 16, Nelson-Jackson’s father assured her that education would be her best chance of defying the statistics of becoming a high school drop-out as a result of being a teen mom.

With that in mind, Nelson-Jackson went on to graduate in the top 10 percent of her senior class, in which she received a financial scholarship to attend DACC.

After which, she became a wife, experienced divorce, transitioned through multiple jobs, returned to school as a single parent while working full-time, and overcame poverty.

She is the mother of Rufus Ivory Nelson, II, Sabrina Nelson, and Sydney Thomas. She named her son after her father, her real life superhero. She has seven grandchildren.

Before relocating to Macon, Ga., in 2000, Nelson-Jackson served extensively in various leadership capacities in Danville involving juvenile delinquency prevention services, positive alternatives for youth, community development and restoration projects, and criminal justice services. She also served as the vice-president and long-standing member of the grassroots organization, Elmwood Community Playground & Civic Group.

In October 2019, Nelson-Jackson became the sole proprietor of Nelson Legacy Properties, LLC, in which she purchases and provides affordable housing for low-income families.

As a licensed/ordained evangelist and pastor, she is the founder of TinaDee Ministries, LLC, which is a non-profit organization that was developed to provide social services for youth, women, and low-income families.

On May 12, Nelson-Jackson was appointed as the assistant principal at the WIN Academy.

She has served as an educator at Northside Middle School for 12 years while simultaneously wearing many hats as a team leader, teacher mentor, Professional Learning Community chair, Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies coach, In-School Mentoring coordinator, Guiding Coalition member, spelling bee coordinator, Starbase 2.0 (STEM) Club leader.

Also, Nelson-Jackson is the founder of Dream Girls Mentoring Program and Guys With Dreams Mentoring Program designed especially for African-American female and male middle school students with high disciplinary patterns that impede their academic progress. These students are provided with African-American mentors who assist them through a “rites of passage” experience and facilitate educational advancement strategies, cultural relevance, dream/vision board development, communication skills, coping skills, and anger management.

In the near future, Nelson-Jackson plans to publish her realistic fiction novel based on her life story, a self-improvement book, and a spiritual guide on 21st century evangelism. Much of her success is attributed to her mother, Bessie Nelson, who allowed her to be herself. She was influenced to do greater works by her mentors, Owen Lee Nelson (grandmother), Dr. Rosie Milligan (great-aunt), and Kenyaka Hunter (great-aunt).

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