At the August 21 board meeting, Irving ISD trustees voted unanimously to name the library at Nimitz High School the Gregory C. Jackson Library, in honor of a longtime teacher and Academic Decathlon coach.
“We’ve all heard of Greg Jackson’s classes and Academic Decathlon team,” says Board President Randy Randle. “He put Nimitz High School and Irving ISD on the map.”
Jackson, a passionate Irving ISD alumnus and educator, left an impact on Nimitz students during his 46-year career in the district. He taught math courses including AP Statistics, Statistics, Pre-Calculus, Algebraic Reasoning and Algebra II. In 1987, he began coaching Academic Decathlon and throughout his 34 years as coach, his program finished in the state top 10 for 21 consecutive years and won the regional title for 25 out of 28 years. It was ranked as the #1 large school program of the decade for both the 1990s and 2000s, and Jackson was named the first ever Academic Decathlon Coach of the Year in 2004.
The success of the Nimitz Academic Decathlon program began in the library. When Nimitz formed their first team in 1985, meetings were often held in the library where access to encyclopedias and other works was easily obtained.
In 2001, Jackson’s classroom was moved to the classroom attached to the library at Nimitz, eventually becoming the home of the Nimitz Academic Decathlon program both during the school day and for those after school and Saturday meetings. Although Jackson retired in 2021, he continues to assist with Academic Decathlon, coming to campus – likely the library – whenever invited.
“This is an amazing honor,” Jackson told the Board of Trustees. “Nimitz High School has a special place in my heart, and the hundreds of kids who participated in the Academic Decathlon are all family to me.”