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Sault College grad 'still in shock' after being selected for Premier's Award

WestJet Captain Stacey Jackson graduated from the Aviation Technology program in 2005
Sault College alumnus and WestJet Captain Stacey Jackson has been selected for the 2021 Premier's Award in the technology category.

Sault College alumnus and WestJet Captain Stacey Jackson has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 Premier’s Award in the technology category. 

The Premier’s Awards are handed out annually to honour the contributions of Ontario college graduates in seven categories - apprenticeship, business, community services, creative arts and design, health sciences, recent graduate and technology. 

“I still can’t believe it. I’m still in shock,” Jackson told SooToday during a tour of the Sault College campus with her husband and three children Friday.   

When Jackson looked at the other nominees in the technology category, she felt as though she had no real shot at being selected for the award. 

“The people in this category, they are trendsetters, they are changing their industries. These are the movers and shakers,” she said. 

Jackson graduated from the Aviation Technology - Flight program at Sault College in 2005.

She has been employed by WestJet for about seven years now, routinely embarking on flights throughout North America, Mexico and the Caribbean - all while flying a Boeing 737. 

The native of Mississauga, Ont. also teaches aircraft accident investigation to new investigators through the Air Line Pilots Association, and serves as president of the Upper Canada Chapter for Women in Aviation International and is a part of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations (IFALPA) Female Pilots' Working Group, a global advocacy group for women in the piloting profession. 

Prior to flying for WestJet, Jackson worked for Toronto-based Trans Capital Air, where she has flown evacuation missions for the United Nations. 

At one point during her stint with the flight company, Jackson flew a number of evacuees out of South Sudan on behalf of the UN after a civil war broke out. 

“We did a tactical departure that we had done in Afghanistan before, so I was comfortable with doing that - and we were able to successfully complete the mission. We got the dignitaries and high-profile people out of the country,” she said. 

Jackson says that she initially wanted a change of scenery when she chose to enroll at Sault College. 

“When I looked at the choices, Sault College had the program that I wanted with the outcomes that I wanted in the time frame that I wanted - in the city that I wanted,” said Jackson. “I wanted something new, something different, something that was not southern Ontario.

“I wanted a change. I wanted to have that independence - and I found all of that here. I loved my time here.”

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James Hopkin

About the Author: James Hopkin

James Hopkin is a reporter for SooToday in Sault Ste. Marie
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