Feb 27, 2024 - News

How Des Moines Public Schools chair Jackie Norris starts her day

Jackie Norris (center) at DMPS school board meeting

DMPS chair Jackie Norris (center) at a school board meeting with former member Dwana Bradley (left) and current vice chair Maria Alonzo-Diaz (right). Photo: Courtesy of DMPS

In her 40s, Des Moines school board chair Jackie Norris would wake up at 6am and promptly finish her sprint triathlon by 8am.

  • Now in her 50s, you'll likely find Norris up a little later, starting her day instead with daily gratitudes β€” a tip she learned from Andrew Huberman's podcast.
  • "I just write down three things that I'm grateful for and I throw it in a jar and every once in a while, I make my family do it."

State of play:A look at her resume shows impressive roles, such as assistant to former President Obama, chief of staff to Michelle Obama and now, president of her own business, Horizon Group.

Since going through menopause and shifting to a post-2020 work life, Norris says her body just works differently as she evolves.

  • "I wish I was regimented β€” 6am β€” but I'm just not. So, I think for me, waking up and being grateful and starting with the right mindset is the right way to start your day."

⏰ Wake up: 7am.

🍳 Breakfast: A cup of coffee from her Keurig and a banana.

πŸ“š What she's reading: Axios Des Moines, the Register and CNN.

  • She ends her day with The Atlantic, KCCI, WHO-13, the New York Times and more CNN.

πŸ’‘ Her piece of advice: "Do everything in your power to be your authentic self and not be afraid to say what you think."

  • "It's gotten me really far in life. I've had some pretty amazing jobs."
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