Tessa RaeShun Pettigrew ( Birdine) was born on August 17th, 1977. The 31st of March, 2023 was the day she made her transfer into eternity. Tessa was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, and she received her high school diploma from Berkner in the year 1995. Her path revealed an unwavering commitment to achieving her goals. She had her first child, Tre Jackson, before she graduated from high school, and although though she was a young mother, she never stopped focusing on her education.
As a result, she was able to maintain her resilience and responsibility while simultaneously fulfilling the roles of parent and student. She gave birth to her second son, Joshe Jackson, when she was enrolled in classes at the University of North Texas. She persisted in her studies and received her degree in 1999 with a primary concentration in fashion merchandising and a secondary concentration in business. She went on to work for a number of big corporations, including Zales Corporation as an Assistant Buyer, JCPenney Corporation, Inc., as a Direct Inventory Analyst, and One Technologies, LTD as an Internet Marketing Analyst, among others.
Throughout the course of her professional life, Tessa had a great desire to give back to the community and assist those of a younger age in navigating the path to achievement. She became involved in several campus participation programmes and events throughout her time at Berkner High School, which is what first sparked her interest in the field of education. In October of 2002, while she was following her new life’s purpose and working at her alma institution, she grabbed the attention of a fellow alum named Nathaniel Pettigrew.
At the time, Nathaniel had just just returned from his term of service in the United States Navy, and he was looking for someone to talk to. After dating for somewhat more than a year, the couple wed on July 10, 2004, at New Mount Zion Baptist Church, where she had been a member for a good number of years. Tessa Pettigrew was offered her first teaching position at Berkner High School in August of 2008, little over three years after the birth of her third child, Mason Pettigrew, who was born on August 15, 2006. Tessa participated in extracurricular activities such as the dance team, AVID, and DECA in addition to her work in the classroom.
She increased her position in campus leadership to include being a mentor teacher for newly hired teachers as well as a classroom career and technology instructor for classes in marketing and business. In addition to that, she created a unique mentorship programme catered only to female students. In the end, Tessa and Nathaniel were blessed with identical twin girls named Anaula and Brielle Pettigrew. (born May 31, 2011). Tessa pursued further studies and in 2016 she was awarded a Master of Arts degree in education. After that, she transferred to Lake
Highlands High School, which is Berkner’s primary competitor. Prior to her return to Lake Highlands High School, she worked as an Assistant Principal at the Forest Meadow Junior High School. Tessa served as a beloved principle to the senior class after having previously served as a mentor teacher, department chair, and finally as the school’s administrator.
Her father, Homer Lavern Birdine, Sr., passed away in December of 2021, leaving Tessa without a living parent. Those left to cherish precious and lasting memories include her husband, Nathaniel Pettigrew; mother, Melba McGaha; children: Tre Jackson, Joshe Jackson (Grace), Mason Pettigrew, Anaula Pettigrew, and Brielle Pettigrew; grandchildren – Tre DeAnthony Jackson, Jr., Avianna Giselle Jackson, Myles Eli Jackson, and Mallory Jackson; brothers, Homer Lavern Birdine, Jr. (Alison) and Tyson Timms (Tiffany); as well as a host of extended family members and friends.