The woman found dead in her Hampden home on Tuesday was a longtime elementary school teacher in town, and was described by former colleagues as a dedicated educator.
Georgeanne Jackson, 73, taught at George Weatherbee Elementary School in Hampden for 32 years, starting in 1983, Regan Nickels, assistant superintendent of Regional School Unit 22, said in an email sent to district staff on Wednesday.
Jackson taught one year of seventh grade, and for the remaining 31 years, she was a Gifted and Talented teacher until she retired in 2015.
“She knew how to inspire children, and how to motivate them,” said Kathryn King, who taught English at Hampden Academy and whose children were in Jackson’s Gifted and Talented class at Weatherbee.
“She was as much a mentor and an advocate for her colleagues as she was for the children,” she said. “She appreciated and loved the profession.”
King described Georgeanne Jackson as a dedicated teacher who could analyze her students’ potential and find ways to help them achieve it.
“She knew how to inspire and impassion kids in elementary school,” she said. “She never talked down to children. She elevated them. She was intuitive. She was kind and warm, and she was really inspirational.”
Nickels knew Jackson for years when she was principal of the Weatherbee school.
“Georgeanne was passionate about her work with students,” she said. “She was a real reader and enjoyed sharing that with the students very much.”
Georgeanne Jackson’s ex-husband, 73-year-old David Jackson, who was found unresponsive in the Kennebec Road home and taken to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, was also a teacher.
When King attended Orono High School, David Jackson was one of her teachers. She graduated in 1978, the same year he started teaching at Hampden Academy, where he was an English teacher for 14 years, until 1992, according to Nickels.
King later went from being David Jackson’s student to colleague, when she started teaching at Hampden Academy in 1990.
While police said Tuesday that the two were married, David Jackson filed for divorce in 2009, and lived in Searsport at the time of the divorce, according to court documents filed in Waldo County. Georgeanne Jackson became the sole owner of the Kennebec Road home where the two were found Tuesday as part of the divorce arrangements, according to Penobscot Registry of Deeds filings and Hampden assessment records.
Police continue to investigate the circumstances of Georgeanne Jackson’s death and monitor David Jackson’s condition.
“While circumstances surrounding Georgeanne’s death and Mr. Jackson’s hospitalization are still coming to light, we share in the community’s memories of a long lived career and the many lives that Georgeanne touched during her years as a teacher, colleague and friend,” Nickels said.
They were found after Hampden police, acting on a request from a relative, checked on the couple. Police said an autopsy of Georgeanne Jackson’s body would be performed Wednesday.
“I’ve been trying to get my mind around it since I learned. Of course I was shocked and grieved for them and for their family and for all of the people who cherished them,” King said. “Even though their approaches were unique, they were forces of nature.”