DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — Davis School District hired its first African-American assistant superintendent, following the death of Izzy Tichenor and a federal investigation into the district's handling of racial issues.
READ: More bullying accusations emerge at school Izzy Tichenor attended
The school system was "deliberately oblivious" to harassment of Black and Asian pupils, according to a Department of Justice inquiry report released in late October.
Izzy Tichenor, a 10-year-old girl at Foxboro Elementary School, died by suicide just days after the DOJ report was released. Izzy was often bullied, according to her mother, because she was Black and autistic.
Dr. Jackie Thompson will be working on diversity and equity issues, according to a news release from the district on Monday.
Dr. Thompson begins her position in early December.
“We believe Dr. Thompson will be key in moving us in a definitive direction as we move forward in our efforts to do better for all students,” Davis School District Superintendent Reid Newey
said. “She is a valuable resource and someone who understands better than anyone where we need to go.”
Dr. Thompson retired from the Davis School District in 2018. At that time, she was serving as the Director of Educational Equity. Her duties and responsibilities included the District’s Parent Equity Committee, multicultural education, civil rights issues, Respecting Ethnic and Cultural Heritage (REACH) training, Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID), and the V(i)llage Program.
Prior to joining Davis School District in 2000, Thompson taught public school in Idaho and California, worked as a gender equity specialist and education specialist in the Utah State Office of Education, and as an Equal Employment Opportunity specialist at Hill Air Force Base.
During her career, Dr. Thompson received numerous awards and national recognition including the Spirit of the American Woman Award for Public Education in 1994 and the Utah Women’s Achievement Award presented by the Governor’s Commission for Women and Families in 1998.
She served as Mrs. Utah in 1999 and was the recipient of the Salt Lake Branch NAACP Martin Luther King Award for the year 2000. Additionally, she was the 2011 recipient of the Drum Major Award for the Utah State Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Commission and recognized by the Idaho State University Alumni Association with the Professional Achievement Award at its 2015 Commencement.
READ: Davis Co. School District bans LGTBQ, BLM flags as 'too political'
On Nov. 12, 2012, Gov. Gary Herbert appointed Thompson to the State Multicultural Commission. She also served as the Education Chair on the Utah State Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Commission.
Thompson is a native of Nashville and she is the oldest of nine children. She is married to Edward Thompson, who retired as a contracting supervisor at Hill Air Force Base. They have two sons, two daughters in-law and four grandchildren.