Annette Beckwith

Meet Annette Beckwith! Annette is the principal of Jefferson Elementary School. Annette is married and the mother of four and one grandchild. Interestingly, she is originally from Iowa. She
Annette has been working for the Jefferson City Schools for 19 years. She does her best to make everyone feel warm and welcome in and outside of school.
We would like to thank Annette for sitting down with Abernathy Cochran Group representatives Alex Chau and Kalvin Nguyen to talk about her life and love of Jackson County.

Question: What inspired or led you to your current career?

Answer: “One of my biggest inspirations is my mom. She dropped out at 16 and proceeded to have four kids. She said this, and it’s a powerful visual, but all through life, she’s felt like she was in a room with many doors but they were all shut to her because of a decision she made when she was 16. And so, I’m just very passionate about helping every child, every parent, and every teacher get whatever they need to be successful. Another reason is that one of our children didn’t believe that school was their thing. But he had some teachers at Jefferson High School that really invested in him and told him that they saw in him, and so he did go on to graduate even though he had a very rocky high school career. Now, he is a lawyer. It’s almost like two contrasts. You know, one struggled and dropped out and the other struggled and preserved and I believe that what I do gives opportunities for others.”

Q: Who was your favorite teacher growing up?

A: “I had a teacher in the 7th grade. He was my language arts teacher and his name was Mr. Frye. My parents were not really encouraging about school; it was just a foreign environment for them. That’s really a pivotal time during your school years. He said, ‘I really think you can go to college and you’re probably going to get a scholarship,’ and it wasn’t mentoring or anything like that. It was really just a few comments and a few conversations where he envisioned what you could be and, therefore, you could believe in yourself. And when you see something and believe it, you start to go for it. And after that, I thought to myself, ‘Maybe I want to go to college.’ I have three siblings and I was the first one to go to school. Now, all of them have gone to college, and now all four of my children have gone to college and have graduate degrees, so it’s just funny how the whole generation can change. Part of that is due to his compass because I never would have considered college.”

Q: What is your favorite childhood memory?

A: “Our family did a lot of camping. My dad was just a daredevil; he would go hang gliding, parachuting, and racing go-karts. You just have to remember that it doesn’t have to be that big flashy stuff: it’s really about spending meaningful time together. Definitely, I think the times we spent camping were some of my best memories.”

Q: What advice would you give to a crowd of people?

A: “Seize the day. I passionately believe that we are building the life that we are living in. Every choice that you make to further yourself as an individual, to set yourself up for your future, to be decent, kind, and good—you’re building the life that you’re going to live, whether it’s with school or family. I just feel like everyone is so rushed and busy. Life is precious, so enjoy it. Enjoy your family, your kids, and your spouse. And if you don’t enjoy it, then do something about it.”

Q: What local business makes you the most nostalgic about Jackson County and why?

A: “Well, I would think of Fred’s Pharmacy. My understanding is that people still call him in the middle of the night, and those things are just unheard of anymore. It’s just a sweet, little small-town pharmacy. The person there has been running it for years, and he knows almost everyone that he serves. He cares about them and serves them with excellence.”

Q: What three words mean “Home” to you?

A: “Let’s go with faith, hope, and love. If you can build a home, build it on faith, hope, and love, and I think you have a place where people are going to want.”

The Faces of Jackson County is a project to showcase the amazing people that live or work in our community. If you would like to nominate an interesting person to be featured please email abernathycochran@gmail.com.

Jill Venable-Abernathy with the Abernathy Cochran Groupwould love your Faces nominations.

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