Jackie Thomas is international. Born in Louisville to an American father and French mother, she has been speaking two languages since childhood. A graduate of Durrett High School in Louisville and Georgetown College in Ky., she obtained her MA in French from the Middlebury College (Vermont) program at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. Jackie continued living in France for 30 years where she worked at IBM France/Europe in Paris teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) and running the Skills Fitness Center. During that time she married and had two sons, Sergio and Eric. Her two sons now live in Louisville as does her 5-year-old grandson, Carter.
Returning to Louisville in 1997 was challenging! She decided to continue teaching ESL; for the last 15 years she has taught ESL at the University of Louisville, Spalding University, Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC), Western High and Waggener High. Now retired, she is the JCTC Director of “Next Step”, a yearly 2-week boot camp to teach Jefferson County Public School ESL high school students ‘how to get into college.’ She also enjoys being a facilitator at the Louisville Community of Mindful Living, studying meditation at the Earth and Spirit Center, and participating in 'Second Chance at Life.’
Since her own kidney transplant on April 8, 2014, Jackie has become a volunteer at the Jewish Hospital Transplant Center and attends meetings at the Second Chance @ Life Her spark is to ‘give back’ and be instrumental in helping kidney patients find living donors and continue to mentor her ESL students. In her spare time, she travels, hikes, swims, embroiders, reads, cooks, listens to NPR, takes care of her grandson AND attends the IdeaFestival!