The City of Lakewood, in partnership with the Clover Park School District, is highlighting the “Hidden Heroes” of our community. The campaign kicks off today. It includes an e-newsletter sent weekly for the month of February. Each newsletter will feature Black or African American professionals in the community who are making a difference.
Johnathan Jackson, Visiting PLU Professor, Executive Coach
Lakewood native Jonathan Jackson has centered his professional life around helping others. He worked as executive director of the Fair Housing Center of Washington, director of development at the Foundation for Tacoma Students and most recently he served for five years as the Executive Director of Palmer Scholars.
A Clover Park High School graduate, Jackson went on to graduate from Pacific Lutheran University with his undergraduate degree and master’s in business administration. He serves on the PLU Alumni Board and as a visiting professor of business. Jackson first started at Palmer Scholars in 2014 as a program director, mentor and board member. He returned in 2018 to lead the organization that is focused on helping low-income students of color in Pierce County achieve success. Whether that’s by attending college and getting a degree or entering an apprenticeship or trade school to learn the skills needed to begin a successful career.
Jackson’s passion for social justice and equity is evident in the time he gives to help others. He recently left Palmer Scholars to embark on a new journey as a business owner of Thought Partner Solutions, LLC which focuses on executive coaching and strategic advising.
Carla Estes, Principal, Lochburn Middle School
Carla Estes is the principal at Lochburn Middle School in the Clover Park School District. Estes is an expert in curriculum development, public speaking, event planning, educational leadership, and community outreach.
Estes is an instructional leader and professional with a Master of Education, focused on Educational Leadership and Administration, from Concordia University Irvine. Estes was responsible for leading the academic transformation of several schools in Los Angeles, California, which serves as one of many examples of her immense impact on students, families, and their communities.
Locally, since taking over as Principal of Lochburn, the middle school’s academic growth metrics are trending up. Estes also recently implemented an – Sports and Entrepreneur program to engage students.
Lauren Taylor, Principal, Manitou Elementary School
Lauren Taylor is the Principal at Manitou Elementary School in Tacoma. With over 15 years of experience as classroom teacher, instructional coach, and school principal, Taylor has led a monumental shift in the quality of education and academic achievement for students in South Tacoma.
Her work and dedication have truly equipped and empowered young people to excel. In 2019, Taylor was featured in an article written by Microsoft, which highlighted her creation of a Microsoft Power Platform app solution to improve the reading assessment process for students and educators. This innovation and shift to not only use technology to reach students, but to develop it herself shows her innovation and dedication to providing tools and resources necessary to see her students succeed.
Members of the Harrison Preparatory School Black Student Union share why it is important for them to see Black and African American leaders in the education field.