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Mississippi school teacher killed by a drunk driver



Tyra Small-Jackson
Tyra Small-Jackson

A Mississippi school teacher was killed in a car crash by a suspected drunk driver on Saturday. 48-year-old Tyra Small-Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene on I-55 in Madison County. 

Another vehicle was traveling the wrong way and hit the car Jackson was riding in near the Gluckstadt exit. 32-year-old Jordan Sullivan, of Louisville, has been charged with Aggravated DUI. 

The Canton Public School District released the following statement:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Canton Public School District, Superintendent Gary Hannah, Faculty and Staff, and the entire student body, we extend our condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the family of Mrs. Tyra Small-Jackson. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

Mrs. Small-Jackson was a loving and dedicated educator in the district who will be sorely missed in our community. She was selected as Nichols Middle School’s 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year and received numerous awards during her tenure in the district. Her beautiful spirit will forever live on in the memory and the hearts and minds of the countless lives she touched. 

We are thankful for Mrs. Small-Jackson’s years of distinguished service to the Canton Public School District. She dedicated her life to making sure her students felt loved and prepared for the next level. She will be truly missed.

She submitted the following biography upon her selection as Nichols Middle School’s Teacher of the Year.

Tyra Small-Jackson is a 23-year veteran teacher and a native Cantonian who has matriculated through these halls as a Mighty Tiger. She was Miss Sophomore, Miss BSAP, a yearbook staff member, and an editor of the Tiger Tribune. She was a member of the Canton High Gospel Soul Children, founded by the great Randolph Watson. Being in the choir afforded her an opportunity to travel in and out of state, perform in choir competitions, record music professionally, and also sing in the movie A Time to Kill. Mrs. Jackson was also a member of Mu Alpha Theta and the National Honor Society. While being in Mu Alpha Theta, Mrs. Jackson was able to compete in math competitions on the local and state levels. She graduated in 1994 in the top 3 of her class. 

After graduating high school, Mrs. Jackson attended Belhaven College, later named Belhaven University. While there, she was a member of BSA, the Black Student Association, a Scholar in Resident, and a recipient of Representative Bennie G. Thompson’s scholarship. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. 

Mrs. Jackson chose to give back to her community and began her teaching career at Nichols Middle School under the leadership of Mr. Cleveland Anderson. She has taught 7th-grade Reading, 5th and 6th-grade ELA, and 8th-grade Computer Discovery, ICT II, and Cyber Foundations II. She has worked at Porter Middle School and briefly at Canton Elementary. Throughout her tenure, she has served on several committees and received many accolades. 

While teaching, Mrs. Jackson furthered her education by attending THEE Jackson State University, where she received a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. 

Mrs. Jackson’s philosophy in education is that all children are unique and must have a stimulating educational environment where they can grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. It has always been her desire.

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