Hugh M. Jackson was born and raised on the flat farmlands of north-central Illinois. The nearest village, population of 100, was Troy Grove - a tiny speck on the map known only for its rather notorious distinction as being the birthplace of a very distant relative, "Wild Bill" Hickock. Five years of elementary school were completed in northern Illinois, together with three years in southern Texas, followed by four years of high school, again in northern Illinois. From early eighth grade on, and for the next seventeen years, his every move was focused on one outrageous goal. He was going to be the first person to set foot on the moon. This was "pre-Sputnik" times and the United States had no space program and he had no idea, yet, as to how he was going to get to the moon (or get back). So … here was the plan. Learn to fly – then finish eighth grade – do well in high school – go to college – join the Air Force – go to the moon. After seventeen years of preparation, Hugh was a finalist in the Astronaut Selection of 1966. Neil Armstrong, being five years older, was already in the Astronaut program, but not yet selected for the Apollo 11 flight to the moon. In the 1966 selection, Fred Haise was picked for Apollo 13, and Hugh replaced him as a NASA experimental test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base. Needless to say, Hugh never made it to the surface of the moon and neither did Fred Haise, although Fred came 240,000 miles closer to that objective.
Hugh's college education consisted of six semesters at the University of Illinois acquiring the BS in Aeronautical Engineering, then one year of graduate school at Cornell University in New York, and several more years at the University of Illinois completing the requirements for the Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. Mixed in with the years of graduate study were several years of work in the aerospace industry as well as teaching engineering, mathematics, computer science, and astronomy at universities in Illinois and California. Military and government service spanned twenty-eight years as a fighter pilot in the Air Force, Air Force Reserves, Air National Guard, Marine Reserves, Forward Air Control with Army paratroopers, and test pilot with NASA.
Hugh's wife, Ann, hails from the upper Midwest. Her entire education - grade school, high school, college and graduate school - were completed within the excellent school systems of Minnesota. Together, Hugh and Ann maintain a very high level of involvement in the education of their daughter, Laura, who is now in the International MBA Program at Pepperdine University. Both parents encourage and promote a healthy, vigorous lifestyle with running, skiing, and swimming being the exercises of choice.
Summer vacations are typically an opportunity to experience other cultures and learn something about the more remote parts of the world. Past summers have included trips to Alaska, Hawaii, Scotland, England, Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, Australia, Japan and South Korea, as well as visits to Mt. Vernon, the Smithsonian, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore and Civil War battlefields.
Hugh states, "I hope to find a way to maximize the educational opportunity for each and every student in the Central School District. I would like to see every student proficient in reading, and benefiting from that opening to the world around them. I would like to see every student proficient in writing skills, computer skills, and basic as well as applied mathematics. I would also like to see the schools promoting, in every way possible, the mental and physical health of our children. Nothing on this list is beyond reach - we simply have to focus on high standards, motivate the children to do their best, and then acknowledge and reward their individual accomplishments."
Members of the Board of Trustees can be reached at Central School District Office:
Phone: (909) 989-8541 Fax: (909) 941-1732
E-mail: c/o firstname.lastname@example.org
c/o Central School District Office
10601 Church Street, Suite 112
Rancho Cucamonga, California 91730