Chris Jackson, Manager of School Partnerships, Austin
Guaranteed first-round draft pick if Catalyst ever forms a football team, Chris grew up in Weatherford, Texas, hunting, fishing, playing sports, and generally doing nothing to dispel stereotypes about Texans. As a teenger, Chris was an all-star student-athlete, graduating in the top five percent of his class at Weatherford High School and serving as Parker County's all-American during his junior and senior year. After high school, Chris took his talents to Hardin-Simmons University, where he played quarterback for two more years before transferring to Texas State University, a college with a rich array of undergraduate degree programs, a long list of notable alumni (including President Lyndon B. Johnson and Grammy Award-winning country music star George Strait), and a school mascot named "Boko the Bobcat." (Boko was appointed Texas State's mascot in 1921, after beating out a long list of alternatives including "Chucky the Chickadee," "Eddie the Emu," and "Sammy the Sloth Bear," who was so distraught at not winning he holed up in a dingy forest cave and lived out his remaining days on littered cigarette butts and discarded half-empty bottles of Wild Turkey.) After graduating with a degree in Sports Science and a minor in Business Marketing and Management, Chris went on to graduate school, earning a Master's in Science Education. As Catalyst's Manager of School Partnerships in Austin, Chris brings our ACT and SAT prep programs to high schools and districts throughout the city, from Cedar Creek to Driftwood and Dripping Springs to Rock Round. (Among Austin's many other endearing peculiarities, its neighborhoods all sound like sleepaway camps.) When he isn't leading the charge to make Catalyst the biggest n' brawniest education company in his beloved home state, Chris enjoys spending time outdoors with his girlfriend, tubing down San Marcos River with friends, and teaching his non-Texas colleagues the meaning of sayings like "He wouldn't bite a biscuit." (We're still not entirely sure what that means, but something tells us it has nothing do with being gluten-free.)
Why He Works for Catalyst
Loves being part of an organization where there is simply no question he is the best athlete.
How the Universe Has Punished Him for Being a Freakishly Good Test-Taker
Though it took him many tearful nights to finally admit it, and though he's still struggling to come to terms with it, Chris Jackson — Catalyst's power-lifting, pickup-truck-driving, former college quarterback — has incredibly dainty handwriting. During his early teen years, when Chris first started realizing he had exquisite penmanship, he tried everything to write less elegantly — mimicking his father's sloppy scrawl, pretending he was a doctor jotting down a prescription — but the harder he tried writing like someone else — someone less graceful, dammit — the more shapely his letters appeared. Now in his mid-to-late twenties, Chris realizes his penmanship is always going to be incredibly delicate and chic, and you know what? He's okay with that. He's even started embracing his former secret, penning long, handwritten thank you notes to others when a crisp "Thx!" text would have sufficed. So, the next time you see Chris (perhaps while he's benching 265 pounds or hunting in Texas Hill Country with his part-wolf dog), pull him aside and say "Hey, man. I just want you to know that I know, and that I'm proud of you." Chances are he'll just grunt a manly "cool," but deep down inside, he'll be saying "Thank you, my friend. Thank you."
Favorite 80s Movie / Favorite 80s Nobel Laureate
Platoon / Gertrude Belle Elion (Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1988)