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San Juan High School alumnae inducted into foundation’s Hall of Fame

Tracey Jacobson, a class of 1983 graduate of San Juan High School, currently serves as Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. // Image credit: SJEF

By Sara Beth Williams–
The San Juan Education Foundation inducted three new people into the Hall of Fame at an Evening of the Stars gala on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. One of the honorees included San Juan High School graduate Ambassador Tracey Jacobson (Thomas).

Jacobson is a San Juan High School graduate from the class of 1983 and has had a multitude of career accomplishments over the last several decades, according to a biography posted on the San Juan Education Foundation’s website.

In an email to The Sentinel, San Juan Education Foundation Executive Director Colleen Cadwallader listed several qualities and qualifications in which the foundation looks for in potential Hall of Fame honorees. One of the first qualifications is that the individual must be an SJUSD alumni.

“Ambassador Jacobson was chosen for her long contributions to a more peaceful world,” Cadwallader said.

Jacobson currently serves as the Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Abba, Ethiopia. After graduating high school in Citrus Heights, Jacobson went on to receive her BA from John Hopkins University in Baltimore and her MA from John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

She has received two Presidential Meritorious Service Awards and numerous State Department Superior Honor Awards, serving both domestically in Washington D.C., and internationally in multiple capacities and positions.

Cadwallader said the gala included 170 guests in attendance, with performances by students from several high schools in the district. San Juan High School’s Culinary Academy made desserts, which were auctioned off during the event. Cadwallader reported that $90,000 was raised in support of SJUSD.

The two other honorees of the evening were Kent Kern, who graduated from Bella Vista High School in 1986 and later became superintendent of schools, and William Pretzer, who graduated from Rio Americano High School in 1968, and now serves as Senior Curator of History at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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