Snapshot: Natalie Jackson
Occupation: I am the Director of Human Services in Newtown. I’ve been here since May 2019. I am a licensed clinical social worker. As a social worker, I’ve worked in foster care and early intervention. Most recently, I was the Director of Adoption for a human service agency in lower Fairfield County. I learned about the position in Newtown through someone who was working in town, and it seemed like such an exciting opportunity and a new challenge for me professionally.
Family: I was born in Georgia, and my parents were high school sweethearts from a small southern town. My dad was transferred to New York City when I was 3, and we’ve been up here ever since. I grew up in Norwalk and am the oldest of three girls.
I met my husband, Greg, in college and we’ve been married 17 years. We have two amazing kids. Mia just turned 12 years old and is in seventh grade. Alexander is 9 years old and in fourth grade.
Pets: We have a dog, Bo Jackson. My husband and my son named him. Bo is about 3 years old and is a rescue from Kentucky. He’s a great dog and full of energy.
What do you like to do in your free time? I love spending time with family and friends. I also love anytime I can be by a beach or near water, hiking, and this season my favorite thing to do is read by the fire.
Do you have a favorite book genre? I like reading mysteries and dramas.
Where do you hope to travel in the future? I have a lot of destinations. Next on the list is Italy. I’d also like to go back to Spain, and I’d like to go with my kids to South America.
What is the best part about Newtown? Absolutely the warmth and generosity of the community. It’s so community-oriented. I love how much is happening here for residents, from the little ones all the way to seniors. There is always something happening to be a part of. Getting to know the people through the different roles in human services has been an incredible experience.
Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My grandmother, Frances Griffith. I grew up calling her Mawmaw Francey. She was probably one of the strongest women I know. She got to really travel the world and was always going on trips somewhere with a group. Even though I lived in Connecticut and she was in Georgia, I knew she was always there for me.
If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? My grandmother. She passed away a few years ago, so having the opportunity now, knowing what it’s like to not have her on the other end of the phone, I’d really appreciate that.
Who is your favorite musical artist? The Dave Matthews Band.
Do you have a favorite TV show? I like sitcoms. Anything funny.
What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? “That which does not kill us makes us stronger,” which I believe is from Friedrich Nietzsche, but I’ve always heard it from my dad. It was his mantra to us.
What is something you cannot live without? Connections with people — and also pizza.
What is your proudest accomplishment? I would say moving to Brazil. We lived there for about a year when my daughter was 1, while my husband was doing research for his PhD. I didn’t speak any Portuguese, had left my job, and it really pushed my comfort zone. I ended up being able to spend my days on the beaches of Rio with Mia and experience a new culture. I found my strength to survive in something that was very different.