Tobi Jackson

Profiles of Leadership | Topic 1Who are you?

“Together We Can Fly” is a photo of The Dunbar High School Aviation Center Ribbon Cutting. It is exceptionally important to me, as to my right is former City of Fort Worth Mayor pro Tem Mr. Bert C. Williams, who is my Godfather. His example, led me into public service and for that, I am eternally grateful.

I’m Tobi Jackson aka “AXN JXN,” Tobi J, and Mom. A lifelong resident of East Fort Worth, I attended Eastern Hills Elementary, Meadowbrook Middle and Eastern Hills High School, which are all located within the district I have served as a FWISD Board Trustee since 2010. FWISD successfully prepared me for matriculation and graduation with a B.A. from The University of Texas at Arlington and an M.S. from The University of North Texas. As a product of public schools, I am also a fierce proponent of public education.

My career has spanned from education to corporate America, but, one component always persisted, an involvement in the helping professions and especially areas that improve Fort Worth. Be it education, healthcare, or politics, the goal was the same: #righthererightnow #livenlovefwyouth #livenlovefw

Currently with, over 4 decades of community service in Tarrant County, my focus is firmly planted in any organization that works to move the needle for all Fort Worth youth. One such organization is Fort Worth Sparc, where I serve as the Executive Director. Unlike the FWISD, where we impact 209 square miles and 87,000 students, FW SPARC reaches all 349 square miles of our 250,000 Fort Worth youth. We work to ensure that all youth in Fort Worth have high quality Out of School Time programming in their local community. We know through safe, quality filled environments after school, students win with: higher academic achievement, improved on time attendance, and positive behaviors. My areas of passion within education are fluid, as modalities to build sustainable change rise to the surface.


I #livenlovefwyouth and believe that together we can build #aBetterFWin2anOPTIMALFW #righthererightnow and #togetherwefly (January 2017).

Profiles of Leadership | Topic 2 | Building Credibility

Michael Zukerman

Describe your efforts to increase how others see you as forward-looking.

I.M. Terrell was formerly an all Black High School. Over the years it was abandoned and became a dilapidated shell. A former superintendent sealed the building and eventually it was remodeled and used as an elementary school. Most all Black High Schools are honored, by remodeling, and purposed as a modern high school. In this case, it took years to move I.M. Terrell Elementary from an elementary to a high school. It took teamwork and vision from our board, staff and community to determine a dual utilization of this “hallowed ground”. Thanks to the hard work put in by all, I.M. Terrell High School will become a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) and VPA (Visual Performing Arts) High School for all FWISD students interested in pursuing those areas. (2017)

Profiles of Leadership | Topic 3 | Vision: Crafting It

What is your vision for the future?

Fort Worth is a city of 850,000 citizens, 250,000 of which are under 18 years of age. Fort Worth currently has a large group of our citizenry focused upon education and specifically, literacy. Our future as a better Fort Worth, should at minimum, project all students as college and career ready upon graduation. The future of an Optimal Fort Worth would project students as college and career ready with altruistic hearts. This photo demonstrates The Peruvian Association of Dallas Fort Worth sharing gifts at Christmas with our Eastern Hills Elementary Principal Paula Brooks, for disbursement to her neediest students. The vision is clear. Our students are being immersed in education conjoined with altruism. The result can be an optimal Fort Worth.(2017)

Profiles of Leadership | Topic 4 | Vision: Creating Buy In

Photo Credit: Vicki Burris

How do you create buy-in for your vision?

Rational/Logical Persuasion, Inspirational Appeal, Consultation and Collaboration.

Trustee Dr. T.A. Sims is an inspirational and innovative leader, who has served as the District 4 FWISD Trustee for 34 years. This clearly visible raw steel, beams and active construction site, existed in Dr. Sims’ vision. Moving from the vision to this photograph required: Rational and Logical Persuasion, Inspirational Appeal, Consultation and Collaboration. Initially, when Dr. Sims verbalized his vision to the board, it was rapidly rejected by all, including me. How could we close and relocate 3 departments and an elementary school to realize the vision that is the VPA/STEM?

Initially, rational and logical persuasion was ineffective, however, consultation and collaboration built the school.
Approaching Tarrant County leaders and citizens, we were rapidly infused with reasons to proceed. Not only did we have nearly immediate support via this consultation process, we gained collaborators, who each possessed inspirational appeal and ownership in the project. As these conversations increased in frequency, so did their duration and the intensity.

Today, you see the longest serving trustee in the nation, from an urban district, standing in front of what was once a vision. This building will serve each of our students with extended pathways of opportunity for decades to come. #livenlovefwyouth #abetterFWbecomesOPTIMAL

Profiles of Leadership | Topic 5 | Sharing your vision with the world

Photo Credit: Susan Hullett Moffitt

As a newly elected school board trustee, it was apparent “community” involvement was paramount to the optimization of exceeding performance standards in each school. This observation was easy to ascertain, challenging to gain, and would be difficult to maintain. We began at Eastern Hills Elementary with a “whole school” approach, led by the Head Custodian, Susan Moffitt. Mobility of students, moving from school to school, for various reasons has been a huge limiting factor of urban school success, and Fort Worth is no exception to this observation. Each time a student moves, they lose 4-6 months of school year growth.

Led by our Head Custodian, Eastern Hills Elementary parents, community, students and staff built a “pathway to success”, which points to Eastern Hills High School. It’s an expectation that each elementary student will attend high school, and they know their neighborhood high school is Eastern Hills High School. Further, our community knows. Parents walk with their children daily on the path, to and from school. What they know is, education changes a community, builds bridges and a strong and vibrant future for Fort Worth. Every parent wants a better life for their children, and the “pathway to success”, works to remind each of us that strong community support, parental involvement and invested teachers, administrators and ancillary staff are the solution to building a Better Fort Worth into an Optimal Fort Worth. #livenlovefwyouth #betterFWbecomesanOPTIMALFW #work4kids

Profiles of Leadership | Topic 5 | Sharing your Vision with the World

Photo Credit: Susan Hullett Moffitt

As a newly elected school board trustee, it was apparent “community” involvement was paramount to the optimization of exceeding performance standards in each school. This observation was easy to ascertain, challenging to gain, and would be difficult to maintain. We began at Eastern Hills Elementary with a “whole school” approach, led by the Head Custodian, Susan Moffitt. Mobility of students, moving from school to school, for various reasons has been a huge limiting factor of urban school success, and Fort Worth is no exception to this observation. Each time a student moves, they lose 4-6 months of school year growth.

Led by our Head Custodian, Eastern HIlls Elementary parents, community, students and staff built a “pathway to success”, which points to Eastern Hills High School. It’s an expectation that each elementary student will attend high school, and they know their neighborhood high school is Eastern Hills High School. Further, our community knows. Parents walk with their children daily on the path, to and from school. What they know is, education changes a community, builds bridges and a strong and vibrant future for Fort Worth. Every parent wants a better life for their children, and the “pathway to success”, works to remind each of us that strong community support, parental involvement and invested teachers, administrators and ancillary staff are the solution to building a Better Fort Worth into an Optimal Fort Worth. #livenlovefwyouth #betterFWbecomesanOPTIMALFW #work4kids (2017)