Jackson: gone but never forgotten

Jake Carriveau ‘14
Sports Editor

Dave Jackson, LCN’s former principal, will never be forgotten.

Dave Jackson, LCN’s former principal, will never be forgotten.

Crusader Nation is a saying known by many, but there is only one man who can take credit for trademarking the term at LCN. Not only did he show us how to have tons of school spirit, but also he showed us how to be kind, caring, and most of all, loving people. He was the one and only Dave Jackson.
The class of 2014 is the last class at LCN to have had Jackson as their principal. He retired as principal in 2011. He passed away suddenly on February 12, 2012.
“I was only a freshman when he was principal, but I knew what a great guy he was just from what I heard. But then on the first day of school, I walked in all scared being a little freshman and saw a big, tall man with good vibes just radiating off of him. He saw me and immediately greeted me and made me feel welcome,” said Richard Petty ’14.
Jackson was a man who didn’t care who you were, or if he knew who you were. He would always say hi or ask how you were doing because he knew that just a simple gesture like that could make your day a little bit better, and that’s what he was all about.
“I feel like when he was here, the school had more school spirit,” said Reilly Becker ’14. “He was always at every game and was very supportive of every athlete.”
It was rare that Jackson would miss a varsity sports game. He loved to support LCN athletes, and loved to watch the teams win.
At 212 degrees fahrenheit, water boils, creates steam, and steam has enough power to run a locomotive. Jackson used this as a philosophy to live by.
“I knew he always had a 212 attitude even though I never met him before,” said Kristian Alafriz ’15. “I never heard a bad thing about the man.”
212 was a motto that Jackson always followed, and told everyone to live by. In an eerie coincidence, February 12, 2012, was the date that he died.
Seniors and teachers at LCN will never forget the hefty, lasting breath that would be heard while he was on the PA system, or the infamous saying “This isn’t Metro Beach, ladies” referring to girls wearing shorts that were a little too skimpy during the spring time. Another saying he made famous that is still used today by students and teachers is the simple “Stay classy, LCN.”
“Whenever he would say ‘this isn’t Metro Beach ladies’ I would always laugh,” said Justin Cuffaro ’14, “It’s not something a lot of people would think is funny, but anytime he would say it, I had to laugh.”
The year that Jackson died was a very special year for the basketball team. They went far in the MHSAA playoffs and beat many great teams. They won a game at University of Detroit Mercy’s gym, and also made it to the Final Four where they played at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, home of the Michigan State Spartans. The extraordinary run in the playoffs was very special because it was in the wake of Jackson’s death. You couldn’t go to a game without hearing the enormous student section chanting “Do it for DJ!” as loud and proud as they could.
“It was almost like it gave us something to play for. When he passed away we were no longer just playing to win, we were playing in his memory. The whole school came together and got behind us and it drove us to play that much harder every game,” said Kyle DeSchaepmeester, a senior on the team that season.
Jackson was that kind of guy to bring the whole school together. He was a man that everyone could get along with and anyone he came in contact with him would be a better person for it.
“Anyone who ever met him knew what a good guy he was, and even the people who never met him knew he was the nicest person ever,” said Tara Koth ’14.
Dave Jackson will forever be a name remembered around LCN. If you walk into the LCN gymnasium and look up, you will see an enormous painting of Jackson giving his signature thumbs up. This painting is not only there to remember him, but also to show that no matter what, he will always be watching over the school and everyone in it.
Jackson was one of a kind, and he can never be replaced. The thing that is most remarkable about this man is he didn’t take being principal as only his job; he looked at it as his life. On behalf of everyone at LCN, we miss you, Mr. Jackson.

Former LCN student Katie Rysiewicz takes a photo with Dave Jackson at the senior barbeque in 2011.

Former LCN student Katie Rysiewicz takes a photo with Dave Jackson at the senior barbeque in 2011.