The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

Welcome to Mount Carmel, Ms. Jackson

Matthew Malloy ’25
Ms. Jackson started working at MC this past August.

There’s a new face in the counseling office. Ms. Rachel Jackson applied to be a counselor at MC last spring and began working at the start of the school year in August. In the past, students at MC were assigned their counselor alphabetically, but now there’s a counselor for each class who then remains with that class as they progress through MC from year to year. Ms. Jackson has been assigned to be the counselor for the class of 2026.

While Ms. Jackson may be new to Mount Carmel, she definitely isn’t unfamiliar with the southside. 

“I went to Donoghue Elementary on 37th and Cottage Grove,” she said. “One of my favorite parts about where I grew up was that I went to the same school with my older brother and cousins. Having the same teachers that my brother had was a big deal to me.”

Ms. Jackson also grew up near Donoghue Elementary, which meant she didn’t have to travel far when she got to high school. 

“I went to Dunbar Career Vocational Academy,” said Ms. Jackson. “It was pretty close to Donoghue and where I grew up.” 

Ms. Jackson was active as a kid and has some fond memories of spending time with her family. 

“I liked to run and ran track in elementary school and high school,” said Ms. Jackson. “I also loved traveling with my family. We would always spend time with each other, and we went on a lot of trips and vacations together. I can remember getting on the road to visit my brother when he was in college at Clark Atlanta University.”

While in high school, Ms. Jackson didn’t have a clear idea of what she wanted to do for a career, but she was interested in helping others. 

“I knew I wanted to help people in some way,” she said. “It was between counseling, social work, and teaching.”

When it came time to graduate from Dunbar, Ms. Jackson carried over her interest of helping people to a school not that far away. 

“I went to Northern Illinois University,” she said. “I wanted to help people, so I joined some mentorship programs and tutored some local elementary school kids. Helping the youth and helping other people has always been a passion of mine.”

Ms. Jackson graduated from NIU but did not immediately begin working in education. After some time, she knew she wanted to go back and continue her education. 

“Before I chose to go back to school, I was working in retail and then eventually higher education,” she said. “I worked in admissions at various institutions helping students and their families. I focused on applications and scholarships. It was then that I realized there was no better time to go back and get my degree.”

Ms. Jackson applied to a masters degree program and took some classes in-person until COVID came around. 

“We switched to remote learning,” she said. “Around that time I went from taking one class to three classes. My program took three years and I graduated this past May.”

After graduating with her Master’s Degree in School Counseling, Ms. Jackson looked around to apply for jobs in Chicago. 

“When I saw an opening at Mount Carmel, I knew I needed to apply right away,” she said. “I’ve heard great things about the school, and my dad used to always talk about Donovan McNabb when I was growing up.”

While Ms. Jackson was familiar with MC, she wasn’t that used to an all-male environment at a school. 

“I was a little nervous coming in because I’ve never worked in an all male school,” she said. “I was more nervous that this was my first job after getting my masters degree.”

Ms. Jackson began working at the start of the school year and has become a great fit in the counseling office already. 

“Once I started working here I realized that I just love what I do,” she said. “I have a passion for counseling whether it’s at a coed or all male school.”

As Ms. Jackson is heading into the third trimester of her first year at MC, she’s looking forward to continuing the relationships she’s built with students. 

“I feel a family feel here at Mount Carmel,” she said. “I see the brotherhood the boys have, and it doesn’t seem clique-ish at all. Everyone embraces each other, and it feels like a family environment for our young men.”

While Ms. Jackson is the counselor for sophomores, she has been helping fellow counselors Mrs. Vanessa Miguez and Mrs. Kristina Luster with preparing students for college. Ms. Jackson also organized class registration for sophomores, but said she’s been focusing on some other goals as well. 

“Being a first time school counselor, I’m just looking forward to learning my role,” she said. “I want to learn what works for Ms. Jackson and how I can impact students.”

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About the Contributor
Matthew Malloy ’25, Staff Writer
Matthew Malloy is a junior at Mount Carmel High School. He resides in the Southside of Chicago in the Beverly neighborhood and attended St. John Fisher Elementary School. Matt is currently a member of the student council, The Merchant, varsity golf team, varsity volleyball team, and the Caravan Media Group in which he is the play by play announcer for all home football and basketball games. As for academics, Matt is in the top 10 for the class of 2025. He first gained interest for journalism by watching ESPN’s College GameDay and reading The Beverly Review. His favorite sports commentators are Dick Vitale, Gus Johnson, Ray Clay, and Jim Nantz. As for favorite sports teams, Matt likes the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, Manchester United F.C., Chicago Bears, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and his favorite golfers are John Daly, Bryson DeChambeau, and Collin Morikawa. His favorite band is the Red Hot Chili Peppers and his favorite album is The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. Matt’s favorite movies are Goodfellas and Asteroid City while The Office, Freaks and Geeks, and Friday Night Lights are his favorite TV shows. He and his cousins are continuing the tradition and legacy of the O’Connor family at Mount Carmel as he is the nephew of Dan O’Connor ‘95 and grandson of Frank O’Connor ‘61 and Kathy O’Connor, who works in the spirit store and is an avid supporter of Mount Carmel.