True Blue Magazine - Summer/Fall 2022 Issue

Page 1

A Publication for Jackson Academy Alumni, Families, and Friends
JA has so positively shaped my character, and I will forever be so grateful for that.”
- Priya Ray ’21, Columbia University

Head of Lower School Sarah Love Reflects on Her 20-year Career at Jackson Academy

08 Love Looks Back
12 New Master Plan “Investing in Our Mission” Capital Campaign Completes Phase One, Poised to Begin Phase Two 18 New JA Brand Platform Launched Newly Refreshed Brand Platform Revealed During 2022-23 Faculty Convocation Contents FEATURES 2 TRUE BLUE



Patti Wade

Director of Marketing and Communication


Jonathan Blackwell Graphic Designer


Belmont University Photography

Jonathan Blackwell

Catherine Burford ’17

Frances Bussey

Daymon Gardner

Martha Grace Gray

Josh Hinkle ’17

Rachel Lies

Richard Stafford

Suzanne Thigpen

Patti Wade

Gracie Weatherly Jim Wilkirson

Robert Wilson


Jim Wilkirson

Chief Advancement Officer

Suzanne Thigpen Director of Annual Fund

Frances Bussey Director of Alumni Relations




The class of 2022 lined up one last time, ready to walk into The Brickyard for graduation. (Photo by Martha Grace Gray)


Leaving a Legacy

During the 2021-22 school year at Jackson Academy, people and events illustrated how important it is to leave a positive legacy. When a teacher, coach, or staff member influences a school, the result can be dramatic and enduring.

In December, the JA community watched in anticipation as Coach Jan Sojourner led girls basketball players in a game that would mark her 1,000th win as a coach. Former basketball players returned for the moment, drawn back to their high school alma mater by an influential female leader and mentor who had made an imprint on their lives. Then, as school closed in May, an announcement revealed that the beautifully refinished basketball court would bear her name. This story is on page 34.

Also, during the year, an email forecasting the retirement plans of long-term Head of Lower School Sarah Love came. Love will conclude her service to JA after the 2022-23 school year. She helped guide the structure of JA’s lower grades, maximizing learning and development in age-appropriate ways while preserving original tenets of the school, such as a curriculum that emphasized phonics-based reading and time for play, recess, and movement. During her tenure, Lower School Chapel blossomed. Read more about Sarah Love on page 8.

As school closed, students observed teachers considered institutions at

JA deliver their final Keynote presentations, reshelve their last Accelerated Reader books, and even cook one more batch of Disney waffles for their classrooms. These long-serving classroom teachers, Lorraine Blount, Harriett Eppes, Debra Hastings, Jana Ragland, Tina Shaw, and Chris Tucker, each retired with up to 40 years of service at JA.

In all these examples, we see one thing that a 2021 Pew Research Center study reported: Connections to people found in family and friendships make life meaningful. JA’s new brand messages, illustrated on pages 16-19, will help express how the relationships nurtured at JA help students develop purpose and significance for the life ahead.

The stories of teachers, coaches, students, and educational philosophies found in the pages of this issue of “True Blue” highlight the meaningful connections fostered in JA’s classrooms, halls, offices, stages, fields, and courts. They illustrate one way that meaning in life is found: by investing in others.

A Letter From the Editor 4 TRUE BLUE

A Message From the Head of School



In my first letter to the Jackson Academy community last summer I stated, “I am excited about fostering a culture within our faculty and staff based on mission centered goals so we may push each other to be our best. We are indeed poised for some incredible things this year and in years to come.” After completing my first year as head of school, I am pleased to share that our faculty and staff have diligently and purposefully worked hard to deliver on our mission.

I am often asked, how is the school doing? Appreciating there is work yet to be done and areas that need improvement, the state of the school is strong. We have a stellar past, but our future, Lord willing, looks even brighter. While hard metrics like academic success, enrollment, and fundraising are some of the strongest in our school’s history, softer metrics, while just as important, are evident to those who walk our campus. Karen and I came to JA in large part because of the way it made us feel during all of our visits over the years. This feeling is palpable on our campus.

This year we have some new teachers and coaches bringing incredible energy and enthusiasm to our campus. They join an established staff who model our school culture to keep our school centered. This incredible team of faculty and staff, Board of Trustees, parents, and alums together create a strong testimony to our most important constituent — our students.

Each day everyone who serves at Jackson Academy is expected to read the mission statement and recommit to this ideal. Scripture states, “Those to whom much has been given, much is expected.” Our mission reflects a level of expectation that manifests itself in tangible ways for which each of us is duly accountable. On behalf of the faculty and staff, which I am honored to call colleagues, we deeply appreciate the opportunity to spend our days with our Lord’s most precious gift of children.

Blessings, and go Raiders!



Ana Tucker

The Lower School Spanish teacher loves helping prepare students for their futures and enjoys teaching Zumba classes to her coworkers.

Ana Tucker started teaching Spanish at five schools in the Jackson area for the International School of Languages after her youngest child left for college. In 2006, she decided to join the faculty at Jackson Academy. “I felt it was the right place for me plus the principal and staff made me feel very welcome,” Tucker said. “I have been blessed to have been at JA for as long as I have.”

HIGH POINT OF DAY: When the students speak to each other in Spanish

CHALLENGES YOU: There is so much to learn about the Spanish language and cultures, it can be hard to fit it all into one year.

COMES EASY: Explaining Spanish and telling the students all the interesting things about the culture

STILL TO DO? Travel to Jerusalem and other international destinations

FAVORITE JA MEMORY: One Christmas, the Lower School staff and I danced to the song “Feliz Navidad” on the stage, and the students began singing the song, too.

WHAT I CHERISH MOST ABOUT JA? I will carry with me the memories and feelings created with my students and friends at JA for the rest of my life.

JUST FOR FUN: Spending time with my grandkids and traveling

NEVER THOUGHT I’D TRY: Teaching Zumba classes to my coworkers


Connor Gee ’22

This campus heavy hitter leads with purpose and character.

State champion golfer Connor Gee is known for his follow through—on and off the course. From leading morning devotions over the intercom to planning campuswide events like a fundraiser for local hospitals, Connor gets things done by listening, delegating, speaking up, and taking cues from his role models. He served as Student Body President his senior year.

MY HIGH POINT Winning the golf state championship



Bring back the student-faculty basketball game

More community service projects


English and writing


Recovering from a shoulder surgery before the beginning of golf season


Planned a Las Vegas-themed prom, the best of all time

NEVER THOUGHT I’D TRY Co-creating an honor code


Honor Council chair

Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader

Student Ambassador

Alpha and Omega mentor

Planning campus events



Love Looks Back


Sarah Love is a familiar face within the halls of both the Preschool and Lower School. Love’s career at JA spans 20 years, starting as an administrative assistant for former president Peter Jernberg and culminating with her appointment as head of Lower School three years later. The 2022-23 school year will be Love’s last at JA, as she plans to retire from education and embark on a new chapter in her life.


Love’s career in education spans 34 years, during which she has taught a variety of age groups from sixth grade to high school. In addition to teaching, she was also the principal of a small private school in the Mississippi Delta. She made the decision to move to the Jackson area to be closer to her family.

In 2002, Love accepted a position as Mr. Jernberg’s administrative assistant.

“I had the absolute privilege of sitting outside [Jernberg’s] office for two years and learning from the master of education,” Love recalled. “He is such a people person, and it gave me an opportunity to learn about the school and the culture.”

In 2004, Love was promoted to assistant dean of the Lower School, a position that would help her to transition into the role of dean the following year after

the current dean, Nancy Alford, retired. Love spent that year getting to know the students, parents, and teachers at the Lower School.

“That year that I had as assistant dean was absolutely invaluable,” said Love. “By the time I took over, I felt like I was very well positioned to hit the ground running. I credit the leadership of the school at that time for making that possible.”

An accomplishment Love says she is most proud of during her time at JA is the establishment of the chapel program. Once a month, kindergarten through fourth grade students come together to sing songs, listen to a spiritual message, and learn a Bible verse.

“The bulk of our children are involved in a church. We have lots and lots of

Features 10 TRUE BLUE

different denominations. We wanted to support that, but we also didn’t want to impose any kind of doctrinal pieces to it. We wanted it to be an extension of whatever type of church or home a child was in,” Love explained.

Another of Love’s achievements is the transition from procedural math to Math in Focus, a curriculum based on the Singapore method of teaching math. It emphasizes the application of math skills to real-world situations.

“It focuses as much about the why of math as the how. It teaches that there is one answer, but there are a lot of different ways to get to that answer,” Love said.

Obviously, during her 20-year tenure at JA, Love has witnessed a lot of changes within the school. Advances in technology have created new teaching

opportunities. Also, the school has structured academic divisions to address the particular developmental needs of students by grade level. When Love became head of the Lower School, she presided over grades one through six. Later, a Middle School was designed especially for grades five through eight. K3 was added in the early years of her time at JA. Today, Love oversees K3 – fourth grade.

As she completes her final year at JA, Love says she will miss the people the most – parents, students, and co-workers.

“I will miss the people that I worked with. Many of them are friends, and I know those friendships will carry on after I retire. I will miss the kids,” she said. “There’s nothing like elementary children to brighten your day. It’s God’s calling on my life, and he will find a new place for me.”


Investing in Our Mission



In the fall of 2018, Jackson Academy hosted parents, alums, students, faculty, and extended family for an evening “think tank” session to discuss and dream about what the next 50 years might hold for JA. The evening marked the first large-scale curriculum and facility needs discussion since the debut of a new master plan for the campus almost a decade prior.

As a result, the school began a feasibility study to prioritize and further explore the recommendations made during the evening session. In early 2020, JA hired the J. F. Smith Group to research and interview a diverse cross-section of the JA community to gain insight as to what focus the school needed to concentrate on for the next decade and beyond.

Once completed, the study pointed toward three distinct goals identified by all of those interviewed:

1 Look critically at campus square footage and determine if all areas were utilized to their fullest and if JA should reassign some areas’ current uses to different and future needs.


2 With the need for increased collaboration and a more hands-on classroom model, further enhance the science curriculum with new lab experiences for all ages from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

3 As an offshoot of the first objective of reworking square footage, explore a new multi-purpose

facility for the increased flexibility of our current curriculum and extracurricular activities, including expanding After School programs for all ages.

To help guide and implement this process, JA hired Dean Architecture to help assess current conditions and bring the future vision to fruition.

With the culmination of this study and ongoing campus assessments underway, JA launched the current campaign, “Investing in Our Mission,” in the fall of 2021. JA identified campaign leadership throughout all divisions and divided the campaign into four separate building and renovation phases. Fundraising for the campaign began with hopes of


completing all four phases during a 5-7 year period without incurring increased debt.

Phase One was an infrastructure phase that reworked current on-campus parking, traffic, and carpool patterns and redistributed all underground utilities. The early utility work made it possible for that area not to be disturbed again as future phases progressed. This first phase began with the start of school in August 2022 and was completed in November by contractor Brassfield and Gorrie.

Successful fundraising has allowed JA to begin Phase Two immediately following Phase One. Original plans had called for a new Upper School Science Center as Phase Two and

a Middle School addition as Phase Three. Each of these phases allowed the movement of current classes into new square footage and the redesign of original classrooms for lower grades and special subjects through kindergarten.

After considering the current funds raised, the designs that had been objectively laid out, and JA’s enrollment growth in lower grades leading into Middle School, the school decided to expand the Middle School first. JA also considered the timing of the next phase due to rising construction costs in the world climate.

JA is now adding more classrooms to incorporate the sixth grade and prioritizing this addition as Phase Two,

thereby making the Upper School science addition Phase Three. After Phase One concludes, MidState Construction will begin Phase Two, with completion set for the fall of 2023, coinciding with the start of school.

Fundraising for Phase Three will begin this fall. It will continue until JA secures funds for the Upper School Science Center addition. This phase also includes reworking those vacated areas and reallocating to other grades. This third phase will provide a centrally located campus plaza with permanent space for Raider Network, JA’s signature SOAR program, and the JA Campus Store.

Phase Four will include the construction of a new competition gym with a concession area that will double as a satellite cafeteria. Further enhancements in this phase will be reworking current athletic facilities into more multi-purpose spaces for current and future programming.

To learn more about the campaign and how to partner with those families who have already pledged to ensure the future success of Jackson Academy, please get in touch with Jim Wilkirson in the Office of Advancement (

Thank you in advance for “Investing in Our Mission.”

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Ashley and John Adcock

Susannah and Cameron ’04 Albriton

Angie and Brad Antici

Catherine and Peter Arnold

Cindy and Mike Bailey

Ashley ’94 and Gabe Baldwin

Dee Ball

Marsha and Haley Barbour

Annie Laurie and David ’05 Barrett

Amy and Cliff Bates

Stacy ’89 and Chris Bates

Beth and Jonathan Blackwell

Lana and Guy ’95 Boyll

Kirsten and Rex Bradshaw

Lauren and Maury ’98 Breazeale

Debbie and Mike Brister

Ashley and Joseph Bronzi

Marie and Josh Brooks

Bronwyn ’83 and Chris Burford

Leah and Darin Busby

Amy and Bill Bush

Courtney ’95 and Jason Bush

Frances and John ’06 Bussey

Leigh ’89 and George Butler

Ann Boswell Carlson ’03

Wanda Carmichael

Catherine and Jon Carter

Bonnie and Jim Chapman

Nancy and William Cheney

Katie and Jamie ’92 Chustz

Lamar Chustz

Mysti ’96 and Philip ’96 Chustz

Cori and Jay Ciaccio

Sarah Clark ’00

Amanda and Trey ’02 Clark

Patty and Don Clark

Holly and Webb Collums

Claudia and Dennis Conklin

Abbie and Sam Cox

Amanda and Myles Cross

Nan Dear

Lindsay ’94 and Dodds ’92 Dehmer

Melissa and Josh Denson

Courtney and Walt Denton

Ali and John ’84 Dinkins


List as of August 15, 2022

Lea and Cal Easley

Carrie Ann and Wilson Eatherly

Jennifer and McKie ’94 Edmonson

Lee Ann ’88 and Mike Elinski

Susan Elliott

Gail and John England

Harriett and Mark Eppes

Cyndi ’92 and Bryan Eubank

Ashlee and Ed Flechas

Rebecca and Parker Fowler

Patricia and Lane Frazier

Mallory and Ryan Gnemi

Stefanie and Alan Grant

Lee Ann and Brad Griffin

Katrice and Jeff Hadley

Price and Robert Halford

Jennifer and Rowland Hall

Angie ’96 and Neil Haraway

Carny and Mike Harkins

Debra and Paul Hastings

Mimi and Andrew ’07 Heard

Amy and Robert ’90 Hederman

Jane and Robert Hederman

Avery Hederman ’19

Josh Hinkle ’15

Jane and Mark Hinkle

Gloria and Stephen Hirn Neely Holland

Susan Ingram

Paula and Randy James Hillary ’00 and Chesley ’99 James Abby and Benjamin ’04 James Lindsey and Matt ’95 James Pat and Peter Jernberg

Krysten ’06 and Jay Jernigan ’06

Michelle and Greg ’91 Johnston

Colleen Jones

Brandon and Foster ’98 Kennedy

Robin and Ed Kennedy

Karen and Palmer Kennedy

Betsy King

Lynn Ladner

Janna and Will ’03 Lampton

Lauren and Reid ’94 Lester

Laurie and Donald Lewis

Stancie Ley

Sarah Love

Jessica and Jeffrey ’96 Lohmeier Hayley and John Lundy Cynthia ’89 and Tim Mahaffey

Stephanie ’00 and Collin Maley Kristin and Patrick Malouf Jennifer and Chris ’93 Mathison

Rosanne and Joe Maxwell

Evan McCarley

Corinne and John McCormick

Sandra and Mike McKay Beth and Tim McWilliams

Liz ’93 and Kerk Mehrle

April and Jimmy Messer

Jennifer and Robert Miller

Joy Miller

Lauren and Nick Miller Michelle and Jon Mills Mary Clay and Matt Morgan

Lynda Morse

Beth Murray

Suzanne ’91 and John ’83 Murray Jan ’89 and Wen Nance Kristen ’95 and Lee ’93 Nations Erin and Max ’06 Neely

Tanya Newkirk Wanda and Randy Pearcy

Lulu and Scott ’90 Pedigo Sandy and Charlie Penick

Genny ’05 and Logan ’98 Phillips

Sydney and Christian Pinnen

Spencer Jones Pittman

Paula and Paul Pratt

Linda and Gus Purviance

Mandy and Brad ’97 Reeves

Christy and Chris Richardson

Colleen and Stan Roberts

Mandy and Ray Robertson

Bronwyn and Danny Robertson

Castlen and Mitchell Rogers

Ronnie Rogers

Kerri and Michael Sanders

Jeanne ’93 and John ’92 Scarbrough Scarlet and Darrington Seward

Tina Shaw

Grace Simmons

Caroline and Kirk ’02 Sims

Geri Beth and Allen Smith

Nancy and Jerry Smith

Mary Elizabeth and J. George Smith

Lori Snider

Jan Sojourner

Sissy and Greg Spence

Liz and Art Spratlin

Mandi and Bob Stanley

Cathy Strauss

Brenda and Richard Sullivan

Bebe and John Sumner

Nancy and David Sykes

Shay and Rob Tatum

Charlotte ’06 and Jeremy Taylor

Mamie and Zach Taylor

Lee Ann and Calvin ’94 Thigpen

Suzanne and Tate ’88 Thigpen

Rachel and Walt Towery

Meredith ’89 and Joel Travelstead

Sandra ’09 and Rob Triplett

Chris and Sharon Tucker

Ana and Patrick Tucker

Pam and Jon Turner

Patti Wade

Jennifer and Brandt Walker

Meri Scott and Hank ’09 Waterer

Lynn and Ben Waton

Susan and Walter Weems

Brittany and Eddie ’03 Wettach

Eleanor Wettach

Susan and Alan Whitfield

LaDonna and Steve Whitney

Bonnie and Gray Wiggers

Kelly ’02 and Louis Wilkinson

Audrey and Jim Wilkirson

Mary Carolyn ’95 and Brad Williams

Ashley ’87 and Mark Willson

Patrice and John Worley

Jamie and Ellis Wright TRUE BLUE 15
four-phase campaign of INVESTING
MISSION has raised $4,945,276 .
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New JA Brand Platform Launched

How Jackson Academy faculty, families, students, and alumni express their experiences with JA helps others know and understand the school, its purpose, and its personality. When

faculty and staff gathered for Teacher Work Week in August, before students arrived on campus, they participated in sessions about refreshing JA’s brand platform. The brand platform

is a framework to express JA’s attributes to others.

When a school uses consistent brand messages, prospective families have a clearer idea of what to expect


if they choose to become a part of the school family. Consistent brand messages are also informative to donors, alumni, school neighbors, and the broader community.

TO LOOK UP TO JACKSON ACADEMY 4908 RIDGEWOOD ROAD, JACKSON, MS 39211 JACKSONACADEMY.ORG Equestrian team co-captain Future veterinarian ELLEN MORGAN This ribbon-winning JA equestrian is a national Pony Finals contender. My high point Placing 40th of 94 in the 2021 USEF Pony Finals Never thought I’d try Being vice president and representative in student council Still to do Alpha and Omega, when I get to be a kindergartner’s role model 601.362.9676 TRUE BLUE 17

“The brand strength that is gained when all of us are speaking and writing from a consistent framework matters quite a bit,” said Director of Marketing & Communication Patti Wade. “Today, most everyone experiences information overload. There is so much information to consume that people cannot pay attention to everything available. Consistency helps people gain a more accurate understanding of JA–and they are more likely to respond when they hear a consistent message multiple times. They may choose to take a tour, donate, attend an

event, or speak highly of the school in their community, for example.”

Refreshing JA’s brand platform included a look back at JA’s history and how JA has branded the school up to this point. It also involved an assessment of current opinions and attitudes about JA from the perspective of students, parents, alumni, faculty, and staff. JA looked at how peer institutions, both near and within the Southeast, presented their schools. The JA Marketing & Communication staff then worked to help JA continue to have its unique voice in


the marketplace. A team of individuals representing many parts of the JA family contributed to the brand refresh, guided by an organization specializing

in independent school communication.

JA made no change to the beloved mission statement or the JA logo. “We used the JA mission statement as the starting point and kept it in mind throughout our work,” said Wade.

JA families and friends will see new material delivered throughout the academic year on all of JA’s communication channels. “We believed it was time to evaluate the framework we use to talk and write about JA to ensure it was fresh and resonating with our audiences. We are excited to tell the stories of JA’s students, faculty, and programs using the refreshed brand platform,” Wade said.

Published author Uplifting storyteller
This creative writer and budding percussionist published his first of two books at age 10. Never thought I’d try Turning my journal into a book about my mom Just for fun Writing a fictional play about second chances My other interests Art Band Football Basketball 18 TRUE BLUE
3 Brand Attributes These are characteristics that describe our organization’s personality: Well-rounded Supportive Family-oriented Welcoming Accomplished Grounded Traditional Spiritual Forward-thinking
JEFFREY GAO This engineeringminded problem-solver plans to someday run his own software development company. Have to work at it Playing with more consistency in tennis to wear down my opponents Just for fun Built my own computer in 8th grade My other interests Raider Network broadcasting Chess Club Tennis team Church volunteer Newspaper staff REACH YOUR PERSONAL PEAK Volunteer STEM teacher Future software engineer + TRUE BLUE 19
“ The
that is gained when all of us are speaking and writing from a consistent framework matters quite a bit.”


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STEM Education: 4 C’ing the Future, Today

Defining STEM is a simple task. It is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. But its simplicity ends there. STEM is much more than a catchy buzzword that seeks to combine the four subjects under a single umbrella. At its core, STEM is a teaching philosophy that integrates all four disciplines together into a cross-curricular program that offers instruction in real-world (as opposed to purely academic) applications and teaching methods.

To understand why STEM education has become so popular over the past 20 years, one must first consider the amazing transition between the industrial revolution and the information age.

A Brief History of STEM

The development of STEM can be traced back to the Morrill Act of 1862, which created land grant universities to promote agricultural science. The Space Race with the Soviet Union not only prompted President Eisenhower to establish the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958, but also brought more national attention to science education. More recently, this focus was increased with the birth of home computers, cell phones, and, ultimately, the internet. As a result, the demand for domestic workers proficient in the computer sciences exploded. However, by the end of the 20th century, achievements in the STEM disciplines by students in the United States were falling behind those of other industrialized nations. To address this growing disparity, the National Science Foundation (NSF) created the acronym SMET in 2001 to reflect new standards in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology for K-12 schools. Thankfully, the acronym was changed to STEM later that year. Since that time,

numerous governmental initiatives such as No Child Left Behind, Educate to Innovate, and the Inspire Act have called for increased funding and emphasis toward STEM education. Some 20 years later, STEM has now become a common, and in many ways, critical, part of school curricula.

The Four Cs

In 2002, the National Education Association (NEA) began a two-year journey to develop what became known as a “Framework for 21st Century Learning.” This project focused on 18 different skills that would equip students for success in a global economy. Over time, it was determined that the framework was too long and complicated. To resolve this issue, four specific skills were deemed to be the most important. They became known as the “Four Cs” — critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. STEM is a natural extension of these skills, as it embraces each as an essential part of the learning process. In a study reported by The Washington Post, Bloomberg/Businessweek and others, employers said students are unprepared for the workforce. Many claim candidates are applying for jobs without the skills that will make them successful employees. So, what do employers want? In short, they want excellent soft-skills (4Cs) and STEM aptitude. So, let’s take a brief look at each of the “Cs” individually.

1 Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the analysis of an issue or situation and the facts, data, or evidence related to it. It is to be done objectively (without influence from personal feelings, opinions, or biases) based solely on factual information. Under the heading of Critical Thinking are several skill subsets that are an integral part of STEM, including observation, analysis, inference, and

problem-solving. One great example of critical thinking usage would be during our Extreme Earth unit that focuses on such lessons as layers of the earth, earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis. During the visit on landslides, groups are given a sloping landscape tray on which they must create retaining walls from clay (problem solving). The goal is to prevent as much erosion as possible to the hillside. Once finished, the tray is backfilled with sand and a saturating “rain” is simulated. Students must observe the results, analyze any weaknesses in their engineering, and make inferences on ways to improve their design.

2 Communication

Communication is a necessity in any work industry. Candidates must be able to communicate in many different mediums such as presentations, email, and formal written documents. During STEM projects, not only do the students have to communicate well with one another, they must be able to describe or explain their thought process. The ability to do so in a clear, articulate manner is of paramount importance. During our unit on Air and Water, for example, groups are challenged to create a filtration device from plastic bottles and a variety of materials such as cotton balls, coffee filters, sand, charcoal, etc. Once completed, they test their device by passing dirty water through it. However, the challenge doesn’t end there! We stage this project as an episode of Shark Tank and discuss profit margins and investments. Teams are given a budget and each of the possible filtration materials has a cost assigned to it. This way, the students not only have to think in terms of what will produce the clearest water, but also yield the highest profit margin. Once the testing is complete, each team must use excellent communication skills as they “pitch” their device to Mr. Wonderful (me).

3 Collaboration

This piece is probably the one that I find most thrilling and mesmerizing to watch. My class is divided into


five tables, each of which ideally accommodates four students; although, due to varying class sizes, some tables have only three students. These are mixed by gender so that most tables group together two boys and two girls. While there are times that each child is working on his/her own individual project, groups are usually working together collaboratively to complete the project at hand. As they strive to find a harmonious balance between the more assertive personalities and more timid ones, they learn to appreciate and value differing approaches and solutions. I have had many Lower School teachers tell me that they have seen an improvement in how well their students work together in the classroom as a result of STEM Lab. Learning to work well with others is a life skill that will pay dividends long after graduation.

4 Creativity

In STEM, creativity is probably best defined as “thinking outside of the box.” While there are times that it manifests itself in more artistic or aesthetic ways, designing a unique structure, vehicle, or gadget certainly involves a great deal of creativity. There are times when the students are constructing from instructions, because I believe the ability to interpret a set of plans or sequenced steps is also a valuable skill. But my favorite “builds” are the ones

where the children must rely on their own imaginations to complete a project from inception to execution. One of the favorite regular visits by my third and fourth graders is called “Girls vs. Boys Day.” These are held at the end of most six-visit units and based on the subject matter we just completed. Each of the two groups is given an oversized building set of various sticks and connectors (think giant Tinker Toys) and given a project to build. For example, at the end of their Marine Biology unit, fourth-grade teams were charged with building a submarine that could contain their entire team. Points are given based on teamwork, detail, realism, etc. I absolutely love seeing them work together to create something strictly from their collective imaginations. These lessons are a perfect example of integrating all four of the Cs into a single project.

Adding the Secret Sauce

In addition to integrating the Four Cs, I also incorporate two philosophies that have guided me through my entire 29-year teaching career. The first is that, regardless of subject matter or age, learning should be FUN. Every single STEM visit during the fouryear journey began with a desire that it be fun and engaging. In fact, most activities that get replaced are because I found something that I thought would

be more fun for my students! A perfect example of this just materialized over the past few weeks. I got the idea to stage three different elaborate Escape Rooms for my fourth-grade students. These are themed to an Egyptian Tomb, Blackbeard’s Treasure, and Harry Potter. Designed to take two visits each to complete, each of the fourth-grade classes is rotating through the different rooms over a three-week period. While my educational objectives include critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, code decryption, and data collection, the kids simply find themselves immersed in a dimly lit place of fog, flickering lanterns, thematic music, strange props, hidden clues, and the freedom to explore with flashlights to locate and solve the eight challenges. The level of excitement shown is just unbelievable and so gratifying to see firsthand. My hope is that they never lose this love for learning as they grow older.

The second philosophy that guides everything we do in STEM is approaching science from a biblical worldview. I consider teaching to be a spiritual gift, and, as such, I want our Father’s name glorified in everything we study. I can think of no other subject that speaks to the awesome handiwork of God like science. Whether that be the intricacies of the human body, the endless boundaries of space, the physical laws of the universe or the miracle of life itself, we acknowledge God to be the creator, author, and sustainer of it all.

In Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed this insight into STEM Education and, specifically, our Lower School STEM program. Being a STEM instructor and working for Jackson Academy has been the highlight of my teaching career. I have been so blessed to work with such amazing professionals and leaders in the Lower School department. In 202223, the program and I will be celebrating our tenth anniversary at JA! I can’t wait to see what the future holds. One thing is for sure; I know the kids will have an absolute blast as they prepare to tackle our 21st century world.


Professional Development Enhances Educational Experience for Everyone

Jackson Academy invests in professional development throughout its academic divisions, inspiring and supporting teachers to explore innovative teaching methods and provide the priceless gifts of attention and compassion to their students. Sixth grade English teacher Mallory Gnemi was appointed to serve as the Middle School’s professional development coordinator for 2021-22. In this blog post, she discusses the benefits of professional development and the Middle School’s focus on streamlining communication and strengthening community in the coming months.

What is professional development, and why does it matter?

Continuous personal and professional development is our key to the future.

Professional development sessions are often done to teachers; rarely are these sessions planned with, for, and by teachers. Professional development

is defined as ‘continuing education and learning for workers already in the workforce.’ The goal is to expand and deepen our skills as educators.

How does professional development benefit students?

Professional development benefits students because the more we, as educators, stay engaged in the learning process, the better teachers we are for our students. We want them to see that we are lifelong learners. When we bring what we learn from professional development sessions back to the classroom, we build our expertise portfolio, which builds confidence in ourselves. I think students and parents can recognize and appreciate these qualities in their educators. At Jackson Academy, we want to cultivate a culture of continuous learning, understanding, and communication. If we are doing these things outside the classroom, imagine what we can continue to do

inside the school with those sharpened skills. Students are our future; we must stay with them yet be prepared for them every step of the way.

What are JA teachers doing for professional development this year?

This year, the Middle School decided to focus on the theme of Communication and Community. Being a physically divided division on campus requires us to work extra hard to ensure our collaboration as a Middle School team with our entire school team. Our goal as a division was to create sessions planned with, for, and by our teachers this year. Each month, we invite a different faculty member from around campus to come to share with us their lessons learned, advice, and tips for communicating effectively within and beyond the Middle School. Our August guest was Head of School Palmer Kennedy, who offered his experience communicating with parents, students, and fellow teachers. In September, we heard from Beth Murray, director of learning diversity, who guided us in recognizing learning differences and communicating those needs to support staff beyond the classroom. Teachers take notes, give input, and are encouraged to identify three significant takeaways from the sessions. Feedback from the teachers is how we create teacher engagement in the professional development process so that everyone’s voice is heard.


Director of Learning Diversity Shares Memorable Insights into Memorization

Memory is likely one of the most important but misunderstood functions of the brain. To understand memory and its strengths and weaknesses, you need to understand the variety of types and the influence the brain’s natural processes have on learning.

You may have a child who remembers everything about a vacation you

Brain Basics


took years ago, from the smell of the perfume Aunt Betty wore to all the food consumed over a week, but this same child may not be able to remember spelling words or math facts. This doesn’t mean they have a poor memory. Instead, it indicates that they are likely not maximizing their memory by using the system which works best for them.

Types of Memory Short Term

This is located in the front of your brain, used for temporary storage. This is the kind you use for a Friday spelling test and will likely wipe away unless your brain feels it is important enough to transfer to long-term memory.

Long Term

This is located in the back of your brain and is stored for a long time. It needs to be organized for easy retrieval. This is the memory used for an exam, or previous math skills learned to move forward in more complex problems.


This is “school memory,” composed of facts to be learned. It is the type you learn in class to take a test comprised of new information.


This is one of the most robust memory systems. It can be compared to a brain field trip. Episodic memory pulls information from your senses and creates a personal connection that retains information.

Active Working Memory

The brain is wired for 7 – anything over 7, and the brain gets muddled

` The brain loves color- attaches easily

` The brain loves movement through spaces – including touch

` The brain is mostly water – it needs hydration and doesn’t learn well dehydrated

` The brain needs protein to function optimally – what are you having for breakfast?

` The brain needs consolidation – time to rest and remember, then retrieve

This is the multi-tasking memory. It is the ability to hold parts of a task together in your mind while doing another job. You can compare it to a computer with many windows open at one time. This memory is needed for many things in school, from writing an essay (keeping the information organized, punctuated, and spelled correctly) to working on a complex math problem holding math facts in memory while sequencing the problem through the steps.

Learning techniques to help maximize your child’s memory will enable the memory systems to unite and help your child learn faster and retain information longer.


Creative Strategies for Memorization

Pegs of the Body

This strategy can be used to learn a list of items in an order or a group:

State an adjective and create a physical motion that directs attention to the “peg” for easy retrieval. For example, touch the first peg and say the first item in the list you are memorizing, then touch the second peg and say the second item you are working on remembering, etc.

DIY Interactive Flashcards

Remember that 7 is the best number of items to memorize! Anything over that will become muddled, so try to divide information into small groups close to that number when studying in one sitting. Interactive flashcards are great for vocabulary, people, places, events, dates, scientific formulas, etc.

Supplies needed: white paper (cut into 1/4s and folded in half to make a tent), colored pencils, and pens

1. On one side of the flashcard, write a word in large letters using a dark color

2. Using pictures and acronyms, depict the definition of the word using different colors

3. On back of the card, make a list of definitions using only one or two words

4. Set up your tents on a tabletop and quiz yourself or a partner using either side of the cards

For example, to learn the parts of speech, color code each word to refer to a different part of speech:

Nouns = Yellow

Verb = Orange Adjective = Blue

Adverb = Purple

Map it Out: Visualize the Information

Some children need a flow chart or a visual map to remember information. This is great for reading comprehension, science, or history. Students learn how to connect events or information and turn it into a picture. Divide a poster into quadrants and draw out data into a diagram. They can go back and look at the sign and call questions out while they use the visual. Once you think they have it, take the poster away and ask questions. They will remember the pictures. Be sure and use different colors in each quadrant of the poster.

Create & Take Practice Tests

Practice the way your child is going to be tested. Create or have your child create a practice test from notes. Have them answer it and share it with a friend. Break it down, so they only do one section at a time. Take tests over and over until it is in memory. REMEMBER: Just because you know it doesn’t mean they do! Patience!

Study in Different Spaces

Study for each subject in a different room or part of a room. Your brain connects to space. For example, when studying for science, go to a place that has anchors on the wall. If your child is trying to remember a sequence – use a picture on the wall to visualize the sequence. Brains need placement.

If you are studying for several tests in a day, move around the room or space in the house to learn that particular subject. Doing all studying in one place does not maximize the brain’s retrieval. MOVE to a new spot for each subject.

Take Breaks to Consolidate Information

After 20 minutes of sitting, blood pools in your seat and feet. Take a short break, and make sure you have plenty of snacks and water available. Walk around for a few minutes, or do anything that gets the oxygen going again.

Go to bed on an empty stomach of visual input. Do not allow your child to watch TV or play video games after studying. Studying should be the last thing they do before you sleep (other than saying prayers!). In the morning, help your children look at the information they studied again on the way to school. This will move the stored data back to the front of the brain for easy retrieval during the school day.

Learn from your child’s test scores. If one method works, stick to it. If it doesn’t, try a new one. Try, try again until you find the method that works the fastest and helps your child learn the information. Remember this: You will never be held as accountable for being good at everything as you are when you are in high school. We all choose careers in our areas of strength. While your child is in school, they are developing the ability to learn – and that ability will be essential no matter what career they choose!

For more Perspectives in Education blog articles, visit JACKSONACADEMY.ORG/PERSPECTIVES-IN-EDUCATION TRUE BLUE 25


Jackson Academy had a new head girls tennis coach in the 2021-22 season – former JA tennis state champion Mary Rebecca Barry Jeffries ’01 – but the results were the same.

Another state championship. The JA girls won their seventh consecutive state championship this season.

JA won in No. 1 girls singles (junior Emily Buchanan), No. 1 girls doubles (sophomore Lucy Lee and freshman Ellie Hogue), No. 2 girls doubles (sophomore Mary Hampton Walker and sophomore Landry Lester) and mixed doubles (senior Annalee Willson and Drake Lester) and Carolina Walker finished second at No. 2 girls singles in the

Midsouth Association of Independent Schools Class 6A state tournament. Emily won her fifth state title, two singles and three doubles. Ellie won her second doubles title.

JA finished with an 11-2 overall record with losses only to Mississippi High School Athletic Association Class 6A state team champion Madison Central and MHSAA Class 6A Tupelo. JA went 5-0 in Class 6A conference play, winning four matches 9-0 and defeating Jackson Prep 5-4.

JA’s 2021-22 team may remind longtime Raider tennis fans of Jeffries’ success when she was playing for JA. She won three consecutive MAIS Overall No. 1 girls singles championships and didn’t lose a match in her final three years of high school from 1999 to 2001. Jeffries, who

Championship Year for Tennis; Girls Win Seventh Straight Title 26 TRUE BLUE

was in the Top 100 in the girls 18s division rankings in the country, went on to have a successful career at the University of Missouri.

Jeffries replaced Colleen Roberts, who is now coaching basketball at Starkville Academy. Roberts guided the Lady Raiders to six consecutive state titles and coached the team for the previous 13 seasons.

“This past year was truly a blast,” said Jeffries, who is also a teaching pro at Parham Bridges Tennis Center. “I am just grateful I had the opportunity to coach such a great group of boys and girls this past year. I am thankful I had Coach Ronnie Rogers and Chicho Chaves there to help me throughout the season.”

2021-22 MAIS Athletic Highlights Accents STATE CHAMPIONS (Kick Division) STATE CHAMPIONS (Pom Division) Boys Soccer STATE CHAMPIONS Boys Tennis STATE RUNNER UP Cheer STATE RUNNER UP (Tumbling Division) Girls Soccer STATE CHAMPIONS Girls Tennis STATE CHAMPIONS Golf STATE RUNNER UP Volleyball STATE CHAMPIONS TRUE BLUE 27

2021-22 Athletic Signings Top JA Records

Jackson Academy celebrated the athletic and artistic accomplishments and collegiate commitments of 20 students in 202122, marking the largest known number of signings in an academic year. Each signing is celebrated on campus with friends, teammates, family, and coaches. Athletes and a recent alumnus were honored with Gatorade Player of the Year recognition.

Chandler Anderson, Baseball MUW (Miss. Univ. for Women) Jordan Bertschler, Soccer Holmes Community College Sarah Carnathan, Volleyball Austin Peay State University Joseph Ciaccio, Baseball Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Tate Collins, Football Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
Cha’Myrean Ellis, Basketball Mississippi Delta Community College Samuel Hadley, Soccer Jones College Marcus Harris, Football Alabama State Remy Jones, Volleyball Mississippi College Dakota Jordan, Baseball and Football Mississippi State University Grayson Lee, Baseball Coahoma Community College Banks McNair, Soccer Jones College Lani Roberts, Soccer Holmes Community College
Kris Robinson, Football East Central Community College

Emery Thigpen ’21 Returns for Gatorade Player of the Year Honor

Emery Thigpen made school history by earning JA’s first Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year in boys soccer at the end of his senior year. Emery rounded out his senior season with 14 goals, 18 assists, and a state championship. After an impressive resume of academic achievement, community involvement, and volunteer work at Jackson Academy, Emery attended The University of Mississippi, where he finished his freshman year there. He returned to JA during the final signing of the 202122 school year to be recognized for his Gatorade POY soccer honor.

Anna Claire Sheffield, Volleyball Mississippi College Garrett Smith, Baseball Coahoma Community College JT Thigpen, Baseball Southwest Mississippi Community College Max Walenta, Football East Central Community College
Athletics 30 TRUE BLUE


Jesse Taylor has been named head coach for varsity boys basketball at Jackson Academy. As assistant varsity coach and head coach for the junior high and junior varsity teams, he has coached seventh through twelfth-grade boys for the last three seasons.

“Jesse is a talented basketball coach who has been very successful with our JV program. But more than that, he is a builder of young men,” said Associate Head of School for Student Life Jimmy Messer. “He lives out our mission statement every day as he nurtures, inspires, and equips our student-athletes to be the best basketball players they can be, and as a spiritual leader, he helps them discover their purpose.”

Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mississippi College, where he led the conference three-point percentage and served as captain of the MC basketball team. The Chattanooga, Tennessee native has led JA’s JV team to a 54-14 record, with two consecutive JV state championship appearances and a 2020-21 JA state championship win.

“My chief aim is to carry on the Raider tradition of passion, dedication, and leadership in the basketball program for years to come,” said Taylor. “It is an honor to be a Raider.”


Aubrey Blackwell was hired in May as the head football coach. Blackwell was previously coaching at Benjamin Russell High School. Before Benjamin Russell, he built the program at Montgomery Catholic in Montgomery, Alabama, into a championship contender. Coach Blackwell led Catholic to a 54-19 record over six seasons, including appearing in the state championship game in 2020.

Associate Head of School for Student Life Jimmy Messer shared his thoughts on Blackwell: “He is not only an outstanding coach but a great human being. Our team will benefit from his influence on the field, in the weight room, in the classroom, and in the halls,” said Messer. “He will be focused not only on coaching athletes in the game of football but also on preparing them for the game of life.”

Blackwell said he is honored and excited to be with the Jackson Academy family. “I look forward to working diligently with our faculty, coaches, and community to help build a strong family atmosphere,” said Blackwell. “I will strive daily to do all the small things necessary to develop young men of character, integrity, toughness, and faith. Together as one, we will develop a life-giving culture that we all will be very proud of and want for years to come.”



Associate Head of School for Student Life Jimmy Messer announced this spring the addition of Michael Brinson as head strength and conditioning coach. Brinson played high school football at University Christian. He is a Jackson native and University of Southern Mississippi alumni, where he later served as a graduate assistant strength coach at USM. Brinson has served on strength staffs such as the University of Kansas, Liberty University, and most recently at the University of Missouri. Although he has no coaching responsibilities, he oversees the strength and conditioning program for all athletes.



Dakota Jordan ’22 First Gatorade POY in Baseball

In 2021-22, senior outfielder Dakota Jordan was named Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year, a first team outfielder on the Priority One Bank/ Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson team, and to the MAIS Class 6A AllState team. In June, he was named to the Collegiate Baseball All-American Team. He put up numbers his senior year never seen before in a Jackson Academy baseball uniform.

The Mississippi State baseball signee set school records with 16 home runs (third highest in the nation, two behind the leader, according to MaxPreps), a .524 batting average, a .635 on-base percentage, a 1.180 slugging percentage, and 57 runs batted in. He tied the school record with 55 runs. Jordan was four short of tying the MAIS home run record, set by Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Hunter Renfroe of Copiah Academy in 2010.

Jordan broke records of Matt Denny ’12 (12 home runs, 56 RBIs, and .938 slugging percentage in 2011), David Mooney ’06 (.512 batting average in 2005), Trent Tyre ’18 (.589 on-base percentage in 2018), and tied the 2018 run record of Edwin Smith ’18.

Jordan led JA to a 21-14 record and a MAIS Class 6A semifinal finish. The Raiders were the only team to defeat 6A state champion and 6A state runner-up Madison-Ridgeland Academy in the regular season.

Jordan was also a pitcher and had a 3-0 record with three saves this season. He threw out multiple runners and made many outstanding catches from his right-field position.

“I knew what kind of baseball player we were getting (Jordan transferred from Canton Academy), but we were getting a much better person,” JA Head Coach Parker Harris said. “Dakota is a player that all the other players fed off. I think the most impressive part of the season was that Dakota didn’t have a home run until spring break (mid-March). He showed so much growth as a player toward the end of the season. Dakota took what other teams gave him instead of pressing for a hit. His ceiling as a player is very high. I can’t wait to see what his future holds.”

In football, the 6-foot, 215-pound wide receiver set a school record with 877 receiving yards this season. Jordan broke Langston Anderson’s mark of 765 yards in 2016 despite missing the first game last season. Jordan was in San Diego playing baseball in the Perfect Game Showcase.

Jordan made the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Football Team and the MAIS Class 6A All-State team. He was the only player to make both the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Football and Baseball Teams this season.


Gatorade POY Distinguishes Lakin Laurendine as State’s Best High School Volleyball Player

For the third year in a row, the Jackson Academy Lady Raider volleyball program boasts the top player in the state. Senior Lakin Laurendine was named the 2021-22 Gatorade Mississippi Volleyball Player of the Year.

This is the eighth time in the last nine years that a JA athlete has received the Gatorade Mississippi Player of The Year distinction. Lady Raiders have claimed the coveted Gatorade state award in volleyball four times. Lakin is an Auburn University commit who helped lead JA to its third straight state championship as she collected 509 kills, 378 digs, 111 aces, and 46 total blocks in her first year as a Lady Raider. Lakin led the state of Mississippi in kills, which puts her fourth in school history in that category. She helped lead JA to a 38-8 record, with the team earning its seventh state championship overall.

“I can’t thank JA enough, and all my teammates and coaches who supported me this whole way, because I wouldn’t be here without any of them,” Lakin said.

Gatorade says the award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Lakin as Mississippi’s best high school volleyball player. Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners, and educators.

This summer, Lakin was selected to attend the Under Armour All-American Camp in Orlando, Florida. This camp features elite athletes from across the nation. During the camp, athletes are coached to improve their skills with drills and games. While at the camp, athletes compete for a spot on the Under Armour All-American Team.

Signature Sojourner Athletics
Names Raider Dome Court After Girls Basketball Coach

Jackson Academy longtime girls basketball coach Jan Sojourner now has her signature ingrained into the court of the Raider Dome.

“I was stunned when the school told me they were going to do this,” Sojourner said. “There are so many people who have touched my heart, spent time and effort, and worked hard for this to be possible. It’s not just me. There are a lot more people who deserve to have their names on the court who have helped build this program. There are the players, assistant coaches, administrators, and parents who are the reasons why this is happening. God has placed many individuals in my path over the years who have invested in this program. It’s an honor to represent them with my name on this court.”


Sojourner became the third coach in Mississippi history to win 1,000 girls basketball games this past season. She has won 1,009 games in 42 seasons, with 907 wins and a Midsouth Association of Independent Schools record six Overall Tournament championships in 37 seasons at JA.

Sojourner graduated from Copiah Academy, played point guard, and helped Mississippi College to a national runner-up finish in 1974. She won 102 games in five seasons at Canton Academy before coming to JA.

“We felt it only fitting that Coach Sojourner begins this season with this special designation,” JA Chair of Board of Trustees Robert Hederman said. “We celebrated with our students, alums, parents, friends, and the athletic community at large at a formal dedication of the ‘Sojourner Court.’

“Jan certainly deserves this honor,” said JA Assistant Coach Ronnie Rogers, who has helped Sojourner for the past 17 seasons. “She lives and breathes Lady Raider basketball. It is only fitting that the court is named after her.”

Former JA player Conley Chinn ’18, who just finished her college career playing for Division I Belmont in Nashville, said, “What she has brought to Jackson Academy and to all the young women who have had the privilege of playing for her is unbelievable. Her name on the court symbolizes the hard work, the grit, the perseverance, the mental toughness, and the ‘team first’ attitude Coach Sojourner brings to Jackson Academy every day. Every athlete that plays for Coach Sojourner leaves not only a better athlete but a better person.”

God has placed many individuals in my path over the years who have invested in this program. It’s an honor to represent them with my name on this court.”

Praise From 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee Conley Chinn

Shortly after completing her athletic career at Belmont University, one of the best players in Jan Sojourner’s 37 years at Jackson Academy spoke about the Raider Dome court being named in honor of her former coach and mentor.

“It means the world to me that Jackson Academy is honoring her with this court because she absolutely deserves it,” said Conley Chinn ’18, the MAIS Player of the Year her junior and senior seasons. “She never likes to take the moment or credit away from her teams and their successes, but we all know who is the real reason why we win championships and leave Jackson Academy as stronger and more determined women.” Chinn led JA to a 78-3 record and Overall Tournament championships in 2016 and 2017.

“She was with me every step of my recruiting process throughout high school, and during five years of playing college ball, she texted me after almost every game,” Chinn said. “To this day, every time I’m home, we get breakfast together. Not many people get to experience a coach who will always keep up with you and be in your corner.”

Chinn had an outstanding career at Belmont. She was named Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a second-team Academic All-American for two consecutive years. She was one of only four women’s basketball players in the country with a 4.0 cumulative grade point average in undergraduate studies. Chinn was a captain on two NCAA Tournament teams. After graduation, she received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and was a nominee for the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year.

Jan Sojourner said that Chinn is an incredible ambassador for JA. “She is proud to have graduated from JA and always willing to give back to any program,” said Sojourner. “Everything Conley has accomplished, she had to make a sacrifice. We who are fortunate to coach, play, or just be around her benefit greatly from her sacrifice.”

Photo courtesy of Belmont University Photography


Students remember relationships, says Jimmy Messer, Jackson Academy’s associate head of school for student life. Athletic and art activities offer essential skills – teamwork, resilience, organization, and physical fitness, to name a few – but how adult leaders make students feel valued leads to lasting positive memories.

With oversight for athletics, arts, and activities, such as chapel and clubs, Messer has a bigpicture perspective that encompasses the outside-of-class experiences of every student. Enriching student life is one reason Messer prioritized staffing structure and facility decisions in his first few months at JA. These decisions are helping athletics and arts strive toward a definite mission: enhancing positive experiences for every student

who chooses to participate in an extracurricular activity.

In athletics, he has focused on hiring a staff of individuals devoted to helping students reach their potential at JA and beyond. “Our mission as an athletic department is to help each player reach their God-given potential in every area of their lives,” says Messer. “While we want to win every time we compete, we also want to produce student-athletes

who will be winners in life. We have assembled a staff that we believe is devoted to this mission.”

New Head Coach Aubrey Blackwell leads Raider football, and he has several new staff members, highlighted by the addition of Defensive Coordinator David Duggan. Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Michael Brinson joined the staff in spring 2022. Matthew Gabriel will assist Brinson in strength


and conditioning for athletes. JA has also placed new assistant coaches in baseball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and track.

“Facility improvements include The Brickyard’s new 40-foot video board, which will add to an already awesome experience at our sporting events hosted in this facility,” Messer said. “We also recently updated the playing surface in the Raider Dome, including renaming the court in honor of longtime Lady Raiders basketball Head Coach Jan Sojourner. Several other areas have received painting, maintenance work, updated logos, and new equipment.”

In arts, JA filled the Upper School choral music director role previously held by Amy Whittenton ’12. Garrett Lindsey joined JA after eight successful years in Jasper, Alabama, in which he developed competitive show choirs, a regional show choir competition, and advanced the school concert choir program.

These hires, facility improvements, and programmatic changes are all designed to enhance the student experience. “Coaches and directors in the arts spend as much time with students as anybody,” said Messer. “Our head of school, Palmer Kennedy, and I feel that No. 1, we should be valuing kids, so I want to model that. We want every player, not just the star player or the lead in the show, to be valued. When students leave here, yes, they remember the wins and the losses, but I think more than that, they remember the relationships they built with their coaches, teachers, sponsors, and directors. They want to come back and see them because of the relationships.”

The new associate head of school for student life position has as one of its roles building a bridge for interactions across campus. “The school envisioned a position that would bridge the gap between athletics, arts, and the school to make sure we are all working in the same direction and on the same team, from a communication standpoint and from the sharing of students who participate in multiple activities and teams. It’s a work in progress,” Messer said. “Hopefully, I will be that bridge that communicates with arts,

that communicates with athletics, communicates with the spiritual life aspect, and also communicates with Lower and Middle Schools.”

Students are drawn to programs where coaches, directors, and teachers show they care. He believes it is up to leaders to be intentional about encouraging students to participate, to make sure students know what is available, and to create programs students want to be a part of. He also believes in offering new activities, varying activities to spark students’ interest, and intentionally involving students who may not currently be involved. He refers to it as “recruiting our halls.” For example, Messer said a new Bass Club is in the works. Last year, staff worked to increase participation in Showtime, JA’s Middle School show choir. Another project in the works is an intramural program serving Lower School and lower Middle School. With coaches and student coaches, this intramural program would give students opportunities to be role models and gain experience teaching younger students.

Despite the details needed to accomplish these ideas, Messer maintains a focus on the mission of helping students reach their God-given potential and feel valued in every program they choose. Messer believes that is one of the strengths of an independent school.

“If we create an environment where kids feel valued, where they feel they are a part of something bigger than themselves and have this camaraderie, I think they play or perform at a higher level, which leads us to win games or succeed in an arts program. We’re doing it because it is the right thing to do, because at the end of the day, we want to create equipping, inspiring, and nurturing programs. Yet, we also feel that if we do those things, we will put a better product on the field or stage.”

Messer said he and his wife, April, who works in the JA business office, and their daughter Macy, a junior, have felt a warm welcome to JA. “We’ve enjoyed becoming a part of the JA family. We feel very welcomed.”



Garrett Lindsey was hired this summer as the new director of Upper School choral music. Lindsey spent the last eight years at Jasper High School and Junior High School in Jasper, Alabama. During his tenure, he took the show choir program into the competitive world of show choir. He also established the Jasper Foothills Show Choir Classic, JHS’s own regional show choir competition.

Additionally, Lindsey advanced the school concert choir program, receiving numerous superior ratings during state assessment and having students selected for all-state choir and all-state show choir. Part of this success was due to Lindsey’s work with sixth-eighth grades, giving growth to the overall choral program.

In 2019, he was named the JHS Teacher of the Year for changing the culture and expectations of what a choral music program can be and for building the most diverse group of students on campus. His main goal every day is for his students to achieve more today than they thought possible yesterday. He holds the “hard work pays off” philosophy, and he always expects students to do their best, simply because they can. At JA, he has observed a culture of mutual respect and a desire for everyone to succeed and be their best.


Arts Waltzing to Rave Reviews in 2021-22

Jackson Academy Performing Arts presented Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” in October 2021- with a modern twist! Students performed beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” and

“Ten Minutes Ago,” alongside an up-todate, hilarious, and romantic libretto by Tony Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane.

The script called for students to don lustrous costumes and elaborately coif their hair, accessorizing with hats and gloves before stepping onto a stage set

for magic to unfold. Behind the scenes and in the orchestra pit, an immense amount of coordination and teamwork kept all 49 cast members and 15 crew members in sync before, during, and after the show. The Fairy Godmother made a magical entrance using the stage fly system to delight audiences in JA’s 800-seat auditorium.


The excitement is far-reaching when students and staff produce a production such as Cinderella. For instance, on Friday before the Saturday opening, cast members dressed in character and greeted Preschool and Lower School students during the morning carpool. Sleepyeyed students snapped to attention

as princes and princesses in formal attire asked them if they were coming to the ball and helped them carry their backpacks and bags down the sidewalk. The morning carpool greeting was covered by WLBT TV 3 and was followed by a live interview at 11 a.m. with Cinderella on the Performing Arts Center stage.

The show ran Saturday and Monday at 7 p.m. with a Sunday matinee, including an optional tea party. Many little princesses attended the tea party to try on the glass slipper, make a wish with the Fairy Godmother, and meet Cinderella personally. Funds raised from the pre-show tea supported the Make a Wish Foundation.


2022 Drum Major Helps Lead Band to Accolades, Signs Band Scholarship

Setting the pace for the band was part of the role of Kendrick Davis ’22 as drum major. He has been called a student who “leads by example,” who always does the right thing, and a person other students want to emulate. Besides determining timing and cueing the first notes, Kendrick displayed non-musical qualities that gave the marching band that extra spark.

During his senior year, he signed with William Carey University on a band scholarship.

Upper School’s Houston Hearn Choreographs for Finale

When the Middle School show choir Finale took to the stage in early December 2022, the script they learned in class told the story of Christmas, and the dances they had learned brought Upper School student Houston Hearn’s choreography into

the spotlight. Houston is a member of the Upper School show choir, Encore. When he was in seventh grade, Upper School students choreographed a song that he performed with the show choir. That experience sparked the idea that he could someday try his hand

at choreographing. That idea became a reality when Houston was invited to create the dance to accompany the song “You Can Trust the Promises of God.”

The sixth graders participating in Finale shared about what it was like to learn from an older student. “He was a good influence because when he came in, it was just so fun,” said Berkleigh Akins. Houston introduced the group to ripples, where all of the dancers perform the same move but on different beats so that it seems to ripple across the entire stage. The students loved taking on new challenges. “He was always saying, ‘Y’all got it!’” Kinlee Lutken said, describing how Houston led

them through the hardest part of class - the last ten minutes before play break.

“He has a good personality, and every time we would see him outside of class, he would remember everyone,” Parkes Denton said. “He was patient and good at teaching us,” added Arnaz Bhuiyan, and Ava Malouf shared that “[Houston] set an example of working hard and doing your best.”

At Jackson Academy, students share one campus from K3 through twelfth grade, creating opportunities to collaborate and learn from one another that enrich every experience and build a close-knit community of encouragers and friends.

Arts A YEAR IN THE LIFE: PERFORMING AND FINE ARTS AUGUST Belhaven Arts Instructor Selects Visual Arts Winners in Talent Show OCTOBER Annalee LeDuff’s Work Honored in State Drawing Competition Marching Band Earns MAIS Overall Champion Title NOVEMBER Vocalists Receive Superiors at MAIS Voice Competition DECEMBER Christmas With the Arts Features JA Choirs, Bands, and Theatre “The Girl in the White Pinafore” Wins All Star Cast, Best Ensemble, and Best Direction at North DramaFest JANUARY JA Students Return from MS Theatre Association Award Winners Students Earn Gold and Silver Keys, Honorable Mentions at Scholastic Art Competition 2021-22 42 TRUE BLUE

Honors Band Takes on Special Projects, Leadership

The feeling of being a leader is one of the unexpected aspects of JA’s honors band class. Nine band members from sophomore to senior took part in an honors experience with many benefits, and not simply the extra three points the honors projects add to their average.

Projects included real-life duties a professional musician would undertake as well as creative endeavors. Their work included reformatting the entire music library, locating former JA band alumni, creating and producing a video of the entire band season, running band Instagram and Facebook accounts, scheduling the drumline to perform at basketball and soccer games, and organizing the drum room.

JA Show Choirs Excel

Jackson Academy’s show choirs, Showtime and Encore, recently concluded their competition season. The groups traveled and competed against some of the top show choirs in the state, the Southeast, and the country, finding success at all levels of competition.

Showtime is made up of 34 seventh through ninth grade singers/dancers, 13 crew members, and 10 band members. This season, Showtime presented a show inspired by the children’s book Bridge to Terabithia. In their interpretation, outcasts turn to royalty, the impossible becomes possible, and the ordinary is turned extraordinary in this world that lives on, even though we grow and change.

Showtime competed at the Northeast Jones Classic. They earned second place in the Middle Mixed Division, the Spirit of Show Choir award, third place overall, and outstanding performer – Annie Craig. At the West Jones Show Choir Invitational, Showtime earned second place in the Middle Mixed Division. They also earned second place in the Middle Mixed Division at the Petal Show Choir Invitational and were awarded outstanding costumes. Finally, at the Brandon Show Choir ELITE, Showtime earned first place in the Middle Mixed Division, outstanding show design, first place Overall, and outstanding performer.

Encore, Jackson Academy’s high school show choir was made up of 49 ninth through twelfth grade performers, with a band of 10 members and a crew of 13. Their competition show is a retelling of C.S. Lewis’s famous story, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. With award-winning costumes, sets, and choreography, Encore’s 2022 competition show has captivated audiences all season.

At the Northeast Jones Classic, Encore earned second place in Large Division, first runner-up Overall, and the Spirit of Show Choir award. At the West Jones Show Choir Invitational, they earned third in Large Division, second runner-up Overall, and Best Performer. Encore then traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to compete in the Heart of America competition. There, they earned first runner-up, Best Costumes, and Best Soloist. Encore finished their season at the Brandon Show Choir ELITE. They earned second in Large Division, first runner-up Overall, and Best Performer.

Band Performs with MAIS Bandmaster’s Clinic FEBRUARY JA Hosts Annual Showchoir Competition Scholastic Writing Competition Names JA Silver Keys, Honorable Mentions MARCH
Theatre Makes ThesCon’s Top Three Performances at
Encore Earns Awards at Heart of America in Nashville
APRIL Band Captures Awards at Smoky Mountain Music Festival
Show Choir Spring
Features Encore, Showtime, Seniors
Upper School Presents “While the Lights Were
in the Blackbox
Encore Performs at Mustard Seed, Sharing Final Number with the “Seedsters.”
Scholastic Art Competition Displayed in PAC Gallery

Students in Action


Service That Comes from the Heart

Jackson Academy students are familiar with service opportunities, not because the school requires service hours, but because students recognize the value of serving. Often, JA students see needs and initiate service opportunities for their classmates.

This past year, student-led and school-initiated programs included fundraisers for local and national organizations, drives to collect coats and other supplies, leadership for special observances, and investing time with people in need.

performs at the Mustard Seed, sharing the stage with the “Seedsters.”

Campus Black History Month Initiatives

The Upper School gathered for a Black History Month chapel program that was designed by a student committee and performers, including, from left to right, Pariss Smoot, Genesis Graves, Marcus Harris, Kennedy McKee, and Morgan Dilworth. Rebecca Fowler was the faculty advisor.

Students observed Black History Month throughout February with study, activities, and art recognizing Black men and women throughout history. From Lower School to Upper School, JA teachers created learning opportunities to inform and engage their students on the history behind the month.

Middle and Upper School students submitted drawings, paintings, or other artwork to be displayed in the Performing Arts Center gallery. In the Lower School, third and fourth graders in Joy Miller’s art class learned about artwork by Alma Woodsey Thomas, the first Black woman to be given a solo art exhibit at the Whitney Museum in New York and the first Black woman to have her work included in

the art collection of the White House. Fourth graders researched and reported on influential African Americans. In their research, they read biographies, wrote in their journals, and created posters focused on the positive impacts of influential African Americans.

Upper School gathered for a chapel program designed by a student committee and performers. The program included a presentation by Mississippi Civil Rights Museum docent and former Freedom Rider Hezekiah Watkins and CityHeart Church Pastors Kevin and Andrea Reid.

Senior Morgan Dilworth ’22 said the group wanted to plan an educational and entertaining program. “I just really hope that our

younger students will see that we did this ourselves and it turned out to be something amazing,” she said. “I hope that this will inspire them to keep the tradition and not be afraid to offer their input on topics that are important to them. Since our theme is “JA was JA is,” I really hope that everyone’s eyes will be opened to how lucky we are

to all be together at JA. Not that long ago, we wouldn’t have been able to make the diverse friendships and lifelong bonds that we have now. We’re so lucky.” At the close of the program, Head of Upper School Brandi Richardson encouraged Upper School students to let her know if they would like to help lead the program next year.


Students in Action

Anything But a Backpack Day

A stroller. A garment bag. A trash bag. A suitcase. A briefcase. A rolling cart. A wagon. In February, seventh and eighth graders carried their school books and supplies in anything other than a backpack as a fun way to raise money for a no-kill animal shelter. Each student donated $3 to CARA (Community Animal Rescue and Adoption) to participate in the popular social media trend and raised $460 for the shelter. CARA helps animals receive veterinary care, food, shelter, socialization, and other assistance. Fifth and sixth grade students wore special attire in observance of the day.

Music and Togetherness Uplift

Upper School Encore students spent an afternoon in a special way. They performed their competition show with The Mustard Seed residents and team, sharing the arts and sharing the dance floor for their final song! Mustard Seed is a Christian community for adults with developmental disabilities. Everyone felt uplifted and blessed from spending time together.


Student-initiated Rowdy Coat Drive

The JA spirit group, the Rowdies, sponsored a coat drive during the 2021 Homecoming Week. Children’s coats were donated to Good Samaritan Center and adult coats were donated to Shower Power. Coats were dropped off at carpool during Homecoming Week and given to any “masked Superhero Rowdy.”

Shower Power originated when one of its founders asked a homeless person she had befriended how long it had been since his last shower. One year was his answer. With two other individuals, she founded Shower Power, which helps restore dignity to people who are experiencing homelessness by providing self-care and other resources. Senior Barton Boyll ’22, who worked with Shower Power one summer, developed a fundraising method and a coat drive, bringing Shower Power service opportunities to the JA community.

Service Fair Connects Students with Opportunities

According to the online news source Mental Floss, teenagers who volunteer have better grades and a higher selfimage. Volunteers are believed to live longer, manage stress better, experience less depression, and have greater life satisfaction, the site notes. When one person chooses to help another, that action has a ripple effect, causing others to get involved. A giving lifestyle provides a sense of purpose, which ties in beautifully with Jackson Academy’s mission statement.

JA introduces service opportunities to Upper School students through a Community Service Fair. Nonprofits such as Mustard Seed, Mississippi Children’s Museum, Good Samaritan Center, Mississippi Food Network, Mission First, Hope House Ministries, Joni & Friends, Canopy Children’s Solutions, and the Diabetes Foundation set up booths to present partnership opportunities. The Community Service Fair helps students see how they can get involved. JA does not

require but instead encourages student participation in community service. The school wants the service to come from the heart — not be mandated.

“We try to encourage students to think about things that are important to them and then find a place to get involved,” said Community Service Coordinator Audrey Wilkirson. “I tell them to

volunteer for something easy like serving a meal and then notice other needs at that organization, step up, and build their story. We find that those who “build a story” continue that type of service after high school and into adulthood. We have partnered with some wonderful organizations that offer our students credible service that teaches them how to be servants.”


Scholars 2021-22

Cum Laude Society

The Cum Laude Society recognizes the highest degree of scholastic achievement in secondary schools and has only granted charters to four Mississippi schools. During the 2021-22 academic year, the school’s chapter of Cum Laude welcomed the following students to membership; (from back, left) Ishmam Bhuiyan, Gibson Cheney, Clayton Mahaffey, Houston Hearn, Ashton Tate, Jeffrey Gao, Wilson Eatherly, Parker Lowe, Joseph Ciaccio, Sandon Guild, Logan Huff, Davis Lee, Conner Gee, Dev Sharma; (front) Maggie Koury, Regan Felder, Annalee Willson, Caroline Redman, Bailey Berry, Sarah Carnathan, Anne Barret Roberson, Elizabeth Copeland, Annalee LeDuff, Avery Brooks, Abigail Addison, Anna Carlisle Nichols, and Abby Arnett.

National Merit Finalists

The status of National Merit Finalist is reached only by the top 0.5 percent of all high school Juniors taking the PSAT test. Jackson Academy is proud to acknowledge Abby Arnett, Gibson Cheney, and Sandon Guild as 2022 National Merit Finalists.

National Honor Society

Sophomores inducted into the National Honor Society this spring at Jackson Academy were (from back, left) Tack Mahaffey, Zyon McDowell, Benjamin Watson, Mya Coins, Anna Margaret Hooker, Vivian Baker, Kate Frost, Abby Fielder, Alex Guild, Blair Wilson, Red Deaton, Titus Taylor, Gautam Ray; (front) Liles Williams, Landry Lester, Danielle Wallace, Caroline Champagne, Anna Kate Lucas, Olivia Smith, Anna Grace Doggett, Mallory Brooks, Sydney Thaxton, Virginia Browning, Sam Roberts; Not pictured: Jonea Carter and Reese McMichael

Juniors inducted into the National Honor Society at Jackson Academy were (from back, left) Sydney Grace Hewitt, Mary Manning Farese, Merritt Nations, Drake Lester, Samuel Long, Adams Kennedy; (front) Lilly Gebhart, Ann Cole Hammons, Madison Fairley, Emily Buchanan, Anna Lauren Parker, Mary Peyton Barnette, Brooke Rogers

Seniors inducted into the National Honor Society at Jackson Academy were (from back, left) Morgan Dilworth, Ashley Runnels, Avery Adair, Anna Claire Bush (not a new member), Hayley Mawson, Mary Clare Van Loon; (front) Fowler Boyll, Mary Gibson Lundy, Ridley Dehmer, Michael Hederman, John Moak Scarbrough, Noah Ramey


National Junior Honor Society

The National Junior Honor Society recognizes students who demonstrate excellence in scholarship, leadership, service, character, and citizenship. Jackson Academy inducted 29 Middle School students in February. JA seventh-graders who were inducted are (from back, left) Phillip Browning, Jack Satcher, Nicholas Jones, Liam Spratlin, Keigon Lowery, Anderson Mehrle, Sam Seward, Steven Hederman, Vaiden Taylor, Walter Towery, Parker Thomas, Holt Huff, and Riley Flechas; (front) Carson Caraway, Georgia Weeks, Avery Buchanan, Meridith Ray, Anna Holladay Craft, Mary Madison New, Sarah Katherine Williams, Allie Shay, Phoebe Graham, Audrey Chapman, Macy Gerrard, and Caitlyn Brown. JA eighth-graders who were inducted are (from left) Preston Perkins, Morris Griner, Riley Edwards, and Audrey Arnett.

Hall of Fame

Jackson Academy seniors (from back, left) Gibson Cheney, Sandon Guild, Clayton Mahaffey, Wilson Eatherly, Connor Gee, Marcus Harris; (front) Anna Carlisle Nichols, Abby Arnett, Maggie Koury, Regan Felder, and Annalee Willson were inducted into the school’s 2022 hall of fame for exemplifying the highest standards of integrity and engagement in all areas of school and community life.

Scholars 2021-22 50 TRUE BLUE

STAR Students and Teachers Recognized

Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Sandon Guild, son of Suzanne ’92 and Cameron ’92 Guild of Ridgeland, was the Jackson Academy Class of 2022 Valedictorian. Regan Felder, daughter of Kimberly and Bill Felder of Madison, was the Jackson Academy Class of 2022 Salutatorian.

The Mississippi Economic Council sponsors the Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) Program to encourage scholastic performance among high school students. STAR students are selected based on ACT scores and scholastic averages, and designate a STAR teacher for significant contribution to their success. Jackson Academy’s STAR students and teachers for 2021-22 were Gibson Cheney recognizing JA Director of Theatre Arts Kerri Sanders, and Sandon Guild honoring Middle School English Teacher Roseanne Maxwell.

29+ ACT

In the 2021-22 academic year, 65 Jackson Academy Upper School students achieved a score of 29 or above on the ACT. As a college-preparatory school, Jackson Academy proudly celebrates students’ pursuit of academic excellence and congratulates each of the following students on their accomplishment.

Scholars 2021-22
Abigail Addison Thomas Antici Abby Arnett
Baldwin Drew Barrentine Eliza Beckett Bailey Berry Ishmam Bhuiyan Cade Breeland Avery Brooks Mallory Brooks
Castle Gibson Cheney Joseph Ciaccio Sarah Clay Elizabeth Copeland Kendrick Davis Red Deaton Morgan Dilworth
Eatherly Lucy Elfert Lila Eubank Lauren Fairley Mary Manning Farese Regan Felder Cade Gadman Jeffrey Gao
Gardner Connor Gee George Giddens Sandon Guild Alex Guild Houston Hearn Emma Duncan Hogue Logan Huff
Koury Ava Ladner
LeDuff Davis Lee Libby Lohmeier
Johnston Maggie
Samuel Long Parker
Hayden Parr
Perkins Noah Pressler
Quin Gautam Ray
Mahaffey Daniel
Barret Roberson
Sharma Ashton Tate Titus Taylor Ellis Tharp Hayes Tharp
Redman Anne
Thigpen Danielle
Olivia Claire Williford Annalee Willson Parker Yarborough

Teachers of the Year

Jackson Academy recognized the 2021-22 Teacher of the Year award recipients at the JAA’s annual Spring Faculty Appreciation Luncheon. Each year, one teacher from each division is selected by their peers to receive this distinction.

Ali Dinkins

Librarian Ali Dinkins received the Preschool Teacher of the Year Award for K3 and K4. Dinkins graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in theater arts. She started teaching at JA in 2017. “The most rewarding part of my job is teaching the character lessons revealed in the picture books I select for library time,” she said. “That is my opportunity to live out our JA mission of inspiring each student to live a life of purpose.”

LaDonna Whitney

Fourth-grade teacher LaDonna Whitney was awarded the Teacher of the Year Award for grades one through four. She graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Whitney has taught fourth grade at JA since 2017. “The most rewarding part of teaching is when a student comes back to see you or writes you a letter telling you what you have meant to them,” she said. “Those are true treasures.”

Mallory Gnemi

Sixth-grade English teacher Mallory Gnemi received the Teacher of the Year Award for Middle School. She graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s in communications and public relations. She earned her master’s from Belhaven University in curriculum and institution in 2017. Gnemi has taught at JA for seven years, the last five in sixth grade. “The greatest part about every grade level being on one campus is that we always get to see our students- past, present, and future,” she said. “Being able to build relationships that last beyond the classroom is the most rewarding part.”

Chris Tucker

Social studies teacher Chris Tucker was awarded the Upper School Teacher of the Year Award. He began teaching at JA in 1984, remaining in the job his entire career. He completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social science with an emphasis in political science at Mississippi College. Tucker’s favorite JA memory is winning a state championship in soccer as head coach. He hopes that during his years on the JA faculty he has been able to pass along the value of JA’s culture, which he has personally experienced, to new teachers.



R CLASS of 2022

Avery Caroline Adair Daniel Robert Adams Rayfield Adams III Abigail Cross Addison Jordan Elizabeth Bertschler Barton Lee Boyll Fowler Frances Boyll Kathleen Hollis Bronzi Kristian Alexander Clark Jalia Marie Coins Ashton Tate Collins Caroline Michael Courtney Cha'Myrean Chavron Shante Ellis Lauren Nicole Fairley Regan McKensie Felder Reid Elliott Felder Matthew Coleman Frost William Cade Gadman Tye Damien Gardner Connor Thomas Gee Marcus Tonnell Harris II Michael McCormick Hederman Logan Andrew Huff Richard Anthony Jasinski III Crisler Danielle Johnson Keaton Jacob Johnson Harrison Scott Johnston Remy Monique Jones Parker Randall Lowe Mary Gibson Lundy Kenneth Brooks Magee Timothy Clayton Mahaffey John Coulson Mars Daniel Elias Martin Hayley Margaret Rose Mawson Molly Elizabeth McClure Hayden Alexander Parr Jacob Hayden Perkins Olivia Claire Quin Noah Teixeira Ramey Caroline Carlyle Redman William Jeffery Rhodes Aidan Madalynn Rich Reginald David Rigsby II Pariss Kelis Smoot Walter Graham Stevens Stephen Scott Swalley III Michael Ashton Tate Harper Ellis Tharp Jeffery Timothy Thigpen Reed Montgomery Travelstead Natalie Grace Turner Chandler Daine Anderson Ethan Christopher Archie Addison States Armstrong Abigail Grace Arnett Jane Elizabeth Arnold Nicholas Joseph Barone Jr. Andrew Shane Barrentine Guy Ellison Bates Manche Bennett Brooks Andrew Bennett Burks Jonathan Emmanuel Burns Anna Claire Bush Sarah Gail Carnathan Elizabeth Jennings Castle Robert Gibson Cheney Joseph Scott Ciaccio Gunner Hemingway Cress Lyllian Caroline Crisler Marjorie Elizabeth Crumpton Kendrick Samuel Davis Rachel Elizabeth Deaton Ridley Scott Dehmer Morgan Christine Rebecca Dilworth Wilson Robertson Eatherly IV Sydney Aliana Gholar George Sturgis Giddens Jeff Parker Grant Genesis Chelsey Graves Sandon St. Clair Guild Hudson James Hadley Samuel Jeffrey Hadley Porter Williams Harrell Dakota DyMon Jordan Henry Patton Kincaid V Magdalen Carol Koury Jenna Grace Lancon Annalee Dale LeDuff Davis Mitchell Lee Grayson Mitchell Lee Libby Kate Lohmeier Kennedy Simone McKee Cameron Patrick McMichael Hilton Banks McNair Alden Miller McNamara John Quitman Morgan III Gretchen Frances Morris Anna Carlisle Nichols Charles Christopher Nutter Jr. Anne Barret Roberson Lani Gail Roberts Mollie Ann Robertson Kristopher Daniel Robinson Lana Ashley Runnels John Moak Scarbrough Anna Claire Sheffield Garrett Chandler Smith Mary Clare Van Loon Maxwell Hayes Walenta Wesley Banks Whittington John Arthur Wicks III Frances Phillips Wilkirson Andrew Watson Williams Devlyn Tyree Williams Annalee Nichols Willson

College Choices

Avery Caroline Adair

Colorado State University

Daniel Robert Adams

Mississippi State University

Rayfield Adams III

Alcorn State University

Abigail Cross Addison University of Mississippi

Chandler Daine Anderson Mississippi University for Women

Ethan Christopher Archie Mississippi College

Addison States Armstrong University of Mississippi

Abigail Grace Arnett University of Mississippi

Jane Elizabeth Arnold University of Mississippi

Nicholas Joseph Barone Jr Millsaps College

Andrew Shane Barrentine Mississippi State University

Guy Ellison Bates University of Mississippi Jordan Elizabeth Bertschler

Holmes Community College

Fowler Frances Boyll University of Mississippi

Barton Lee Boyll University of Mississippi

Kathleen Hollis Bronzi

Mississippi State University

Manche Bennett Brooks University of Mississippi

Andrew Bennett Burks University of Mississippi

Jonathan Emmanuel Burns Mississippi State University

Anna Claire Bush

Mississippi State University Sarah Gail Carnathan

Austin Peay State University

Elizabeth Jennings Castle

Mississippi State University

Robert Gibson Cheney University of Alabama

Joseph Scott Ciaccio

Mississippi State University

Kristian Alexander Clark

Hinds Community College

Jalia Marie Coins

University of Southern Mississippi

Ashton Tate Collins

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Caroline Michael Courtney University of Mississippi

Gunner Hemingway Cress University of South Carolina

Lyllian Caroline Crisler

University of Mississippi

Marjorie Elizabeth Crumpton University of Mississippi

Kendrick Samuel Davis

William Carey University

Rachel Elizabeth Deaton University of Mississippi

Ridley Scott Dehmer University of Mississippi

Morgan Christine Rebecca Dilworth University of Mississippi

Wilson Robertson Eatherly IV University of Mississippi

Cha’Myrean Chavron Shante Ellis

Mississippi Delta Community College

Lauren Nicole Fairley University of Mississippi Regan McKensie Felder

Mississippi State University Reid Elliott Felder University of Mississippi Matthew Coleman Frost University of Mississippi

William Cade Gadman Coahoma Community College

Tye Damien Gardner Mississippi State University

Connor Thomas Gee University of Mississippi

Sydney Aliana Gholar

Texas Southern University George Sturgis Giddens University of Mississippi

Jeff Parker Grant Mississippi State University

Genesis Chelsey Graves University of Mississippi Sandon St. Clair Guild University of Alabama

Hudson James Hadley Mississippi State University

Samuel Jeffrey Hadley

Jones College

Porter Williams Harrell University of Mississippi

Marcus Tonnell Harris, II

Alabama State University

Michael McCormick Hederman Mississippi College

Logan Andrew Huff Mississippi State University

Richard Anthony Jasinski III Millsaps College

Crisler Danielle Johnson Alcorn State University

Keaton Jacob Johnson University of Mississippi

Harrison Scott Johnston

Mississippi State University

Remy Monique Jones Mississippi College Dakota DyMon Jordan Mississippi State University

Henry Patton Kincaid, V Mississippi State University Magdalen Carol Koury University of Alabama

Jenna Grace Lancon Colorado State University

Annalee Dale LeDuff Samford University Davis Mitchell Lee

Mississippi State University Grayson Mitchell Lee Coahoma Community College

Libby Kate Lohmeier University of Mississippi Parker Randall Lowe University of Arkansas

Mary Gibson Lundy Mississippi State University Kenneth Brooks Magee

Mississippi State University Timothy Clayton Mahaffey University of Mississippi John Coulson Mars Mississippi State University Daniel Elias Martin

North Carolina A&T State University Hayley Margaret Rose Mawson Guilford College

Molly Elizabeth McClure University of Mississippi Kennedy Simone McKee Xavier University of Louisiana Cameron Patrick McMichael University of Mississippi Hilton Banks McNair

Jones College

Alden Miller McNamara University of Southern Mississippi John Quitman Morgan III Mississippi State University Gretchen Frances Morris American Musical and Dramatic Academy, NYC Anna Carlisle Nichols University of Mississippi

Charles Christopher Nutter, Jr Mississippi State University

Hayden Alexander Parr University of Alabama

Jacob Hayden Perkins Mississippi College

Olivia Claire Quin University of Mississippi

Noah Teixeira Ramey

Mississippi State University

Caroline Carlyle Redman

Samford University

William Jeffrey Rhodes University of Mississippi

Aidan Madalynn Rich

Savannah College of Art and Design

Reginald David Rigsby II

University of Mississippi

Anne Barret Roberson

Baylor University

Lani Gail Roberts

Holmes Community College

Mollie Ann Robertson

Mississippi State University

Kristopher Daniel Robinson

East Central Community College

Lana Ashley Runnels

University of Mississippi

John Moak Scarbrough

Samford University

Anna Claire Sheffield

Pearl River Community College

Garrett Chandler Smith

Coahoma Community College

Pariss Kelis Smoot

University of Mississippi

Walter Graham Stevens

Mississippi State University

Stephen Scott Swalley III University of Alabama Michael Ashton Tate Oklahoma State University

Harper Ellis Tharp University of Mississippi

Jeffrey Timothy Thigpen Southwest Mississippi Community College

Reed Montgomery Travelstead Mississippi College

Natalie Grace Turner

Mississippi State University

Mary Clare Van Loon

Mississippi College

Maxwell Hayes Walenta

East Central Community College

Wesley Banks Whittington

University of Mississippi

John Arthur Wicks III

University of Mississippi

Frances Phillips Wilkirson

Mississippi State University

Devlyn Tyree Williams University of Mississippi

Andrew Watson Williams

Mississippi State University

Annalee Nichols Willson University of Alabama

Class of 2022 56 TRUE BLUE

Academic Signing Days

Jackson Academy proudly hosted three Academic Signing Days in recognition of those students who earned scholarships to colleges and universities near and far. Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi hosted individual signing events and students attending other Mississippi schools or studying out-of-state were recognized at a third event.

Mississippi State University

Jackson Academy was pleased to welcome Mississippi State University President Dr. Mark E. Keenum to campus in April for Academic Signing Day 2022. Twenty-one members of the class of 2022 accepted scholarships from MSU. These students have received awards from MSU for academic excellence, community engagement and service, and athletic ability totaling $529,368 over four years.

The University of Mississippi

JA was honored to welcome The University of Mississippi Chancellor Dr. Glenn Boyce to campus for the school’s 2022 Academic Signing Day. Thirty-six members of the Class of 2022 were presented with awards by Boyce and an Ole Miss Admissions Counselor. The scholarships that these students received total over $1.1 million.

Other Mississippi and Out-of-State Schools

Senator Trent Lott visited Jackson Academy’s campus this spring to speak to graduates who participated in an Academic Signing Day designed to recognize students who were receiving scholarships from colleges and universities throughout the United States and internationally.


Unsuspecting Heroes Challenged to Serve Others as Graduates Depart JA

“The Bible is full of unlikely heroes, reluctant leaders, and unsuspecting saints who never knew they had a great gift until God called upon them to use it,” said valedictorian Sandon Guild. “Whatever gift He has blessed you with, I would challenge you to use it to serve others in His name.” Guild posed this challenge to his classmates during Jackson Academy’s 2022 graduation ceremony. For the third year in a row, graduation ceremonies were conducted in The Brickyard, a new and favored tradition introduced during the pandemic.

Head of School Palmer Kennedy thanked members of the Class of 2022 for providing exceptional leadership

throughout their senior year and their entire JA experience. This senior class with 116 graduates gave the Class of 2023 large shoes to fill. The Class of 2022 had many outstanding accomplishments, with acceptance to more than 50 colleges and universities. Forty-one seniors received invitations to honors colleges and special programs. Two students received the most prestigious scholarship extended to students by Mississippi State University. Twenty-two seniors signed letters of intent to continue their athletic careers at colleges and universities and one signed a scholarship offer for band. There were 28 students who scored a 29 or higher on the ACT. The total amount of scholarships offered to the class is more than $8 million.

Class of 2022 58 TRUE BLUE

I would like to thank the class of 2022 for providing exceptional leadership during their senior year and throughout their entire JA experience. This class inspired us, and provides the hope we all need that things are going to be ok in this changing and challenging world. As we welcome the class of 2023 as seniors we look for their leadership, following the footsteps of those before them from 1959-2022. They will chart their own course and their own way to create a path helping JA continue to advance its role in our city, region, and beyond.”

- Palmer Kennedy, Head of School

Students who graduate from JA after attending the school from kindergarten through twelfth grade experience the benefits of belonging to the same community throughout their primary and secondary education. Called “Lifers,” these students return to the familiar campus and community year after year during the most significant social, psychological, and educational development of their lives, enjoying a sense of continuity and security even as they change and grow into young men and women. DANIEL ADAMS ABIGAIL ADDISON JORDAN BERTSCHLER BENNETT BROOKS ANDREW BURKS ANNA CLAIRE BUSH ELIZABETH CASTLE GIBSON CHENEY CAROLINE COURTNEY GUNNER CRESS CAROLINE CRISLER RACHEL BETH DEATON RIDLEY DEHMER REID FELDER PARKER GRANT SANDON GUILD HUDSON HADLEY SAMUEL HADLEY HARRISON JOHNSTON ANNALEE LEDUFF DAVIS LEE LIBBY LOHMEIER MARY GIBSON LUNDY BROOKS MAGEE CLAYTON MAHAFFEY MOLLY MCCLURE CAMERON MCMICHAEL BANKS MCNAIR ALDEN MCNAMARA ANNA CARLISLE NICHOLS HAYDEN PARR OLIVIA QUIN NOAH RAMEY WILL RHODES LANI ROBERTS JOHN MOAK SCARBROUGH ELLIS THARP REED TRAVELSTEAD BANKS WHITTINGTON FRAN WILKIRSON ANNALEE WILLSON Lifers 60 TRUE BLUE


Endowed Scholarship Recipients

The Bausch and Lomb Science Award

Dev Sharma

The Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award Jeffrey Gao

The George Eastman Young Leaders Award Houston Hearn

The Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology

Samuel Long

“I Dare You” Leadership Award

Adams Kennedy

The Faculty Award

9th Molly Marie Moody and Stanton Cole

10th Liles Williams and Caleb West 11th Avery Brooks and Walker Lake

The Character and Service Award 9th Ellen Morgan and McNeill Haraway 10th Anna Margaret Hooker and Tack Mahaffey 11th Molly Baldwin and Cooper Flechas

The Outstanding Raider Award 9th Logan Burger and Parker Halford 10th Alyssa Martin and Thomas Earl 11th Gracie Drew Pratt and Samuel Long

The Herschel Brickell Family Endowed Scholarship Miller Usry

The Glenn Cain Scholarship 9th Sophie Henderson 10th Mallory Brooks 11th Dev Sharma

The Andrew Yoste Defore Scholarship Ken-Dell Davis

The 20th Century Endowed Scholarship Emma Duncan Hogue

The Julie Dyer Collins Leadership Award Win Hooker

The Harmon and Faye Bowman Memorial Scholarship

Stella Allen and Walker Lake

The Mary Sprayberry Memorial Art Scholarship

Ann Cole Hammons

The Hallie Houston Keyes Scholarship Merritt Nations

The Scott Branning Scholarship Alex Guild

The Frances Anne Fortner Memorial Scholarship Lucy Elfert

The Jane Gibbons Scholarship Lila Pressler

The Higgins Family Scholarship Kinlee Lutkin

The Leigh Anne Ward Scholarship Miley Williams and Steven Hederman

Dan Morse Award Mary Lamar Chustz and Baird Kennedy

Dev Sharma Jeffrey Gao Houston Hearn Samuel Long Adams Kennedy Molly Marie Moody
Stanton Cole Liles Williams and Caleb West Avery Brooks and Walker Lake McNeill Haraway and Ellen Morgan Anna Margaret Hooker and Tack Mahaffey Cooper Flechas and Molly Baldwin Logan Burger and Parker Halford Thomas Earl and Alyssa Martin Gracie Drew Pratt and Samuel Long Miller Usry Mallory Brooks, Dev Sharma, and Sophie Henderson Ken-Dell Davis Emma Duncan Hogue Win Hooker Walker Lake and Stella Allen Ann Cole Hammons Merritt Nations Alex Guild Lucy Elfert Lila Pressler Kinlee Lutkin Steven Hederman and Miley Williams Baird Kennedy and Mary Lamar Chustz TRUE BLUE 61

JA’s Parent Organization Enriches School Community

The Jackson Academy Association (JAA) parent organization works closely with the school to enact many levels of support, including fundraising, event planning and management, and community building. Members of the parent body are active throughout the school year and summer, with two of the group’s most recognized programs being A Blue & White Night in August and the JA Fall Carnival in October. Each family connected to JA is automatically a part of the JAA membership.

Funds raised from A Blue & White Night and the Fall Carnival enable the JAA to provide enrichments and scholarships throughout the school, including teacher grants for innovations in the classroom, classroom resources, athletic facility improvements, teacher work-week meals, student receptions, faculty and staff appreciation

luncheons, outreach through JA Cares for families in need, The Jernberg Scholarship support, and much more.

2021-22 JAA President Angie Haraway ’96 said that the funds raised are invested directly into projects that benefit JA students and staff. “We funded two important projects this year related to performing arts and assisted with several upgrades to some heavily used areas on campus,” she said. “Of course, one of our favorite things to do is find ways to show our incredible faculty and staff appreciation throughout the year.”

In addition to raising funds, A Blue & White Night fosters community among the families of JA. Guests enjoy beautifully presented hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, and fellowship. A highlight of the event is a silent auction

that features creative work by area artists and students, clothing, travel packages, decor, catering packages, collectibles, jewelry, and many other items. A Blue & White Night was August 13 at The Country Club of Jackson. The event chairs were Leslie Henson ’99 and Lorraine Boykin.

The JA Fall Carnival is one of the Jackson area’s oldest and largest fall festivals. This community-wide event, which has been named Best Festival/ Event in the Clarion-Ledger’s readers’ choice awards, features old-fashioned carnival games, a costume contest, jump houses, a bake sale, and a beloved pumpkin decorating contest. Kimbrell Evans ’05 and Katie Hobgood chaired the Fall Carnival held Tuesday, October 18.

The parent organization’s overall mission is to promote the unity of spirit among parents, faculty, and students concerning the school’s goals and achievements; to encourage the involvement of all parents in association-sponsored activities, and to provide enrichment, parent support, and financial assistance where needed to enhance the overall educational experience of all students.

Overseeing the operations of the parent organization for the 2022-23 school year is JAA president Stephanie Maley ’00.


Booster Club Introduces Trivia Night

Teams gathered at Bridlewood of Madison on March 27 to compete in the Jackson Academy’s Athletic Booster Club’s first Trivia Night. Participants enjoyed concession-stand favorites such as barbecue nachos, sausage dogs, pizza, and popcorn when the doors opened at 5 p.m. Then at 6 p.m., Chief Advancement Officer Jim Wilkirson and Voice of the Raiders Bryan Eubank served as dual emcees as they quizzed the teams with questions such as:

Who was the first United States president to earn an MBA?

How many commonwealths are in the United States?

In the show “Elmo’s World,” what is the name of Elmo’s fish?

How many years are in an eon?

After five rounds of questions with creative door-prize competitions in between, one team emerged victorious:

World’s Problem Solvers. They received a $500 restaurant gift card, compliments of Jennifer and Derek Emerson of Walker’s DriveIn, Local 463, and CAET, and a free table at next year’s event. Doolittle Raiders had the second highest point total, and The Octogenarians came in third.

Booster Club board members and a committee chaired by Geri Beth Smith volunteered throughout the evening, and the event served as a fundraiser for the Booster Club’s support of JA’s athletic program.

The Booster Club’s primary role is to provide support for all aspects of JA’s sports and spirit teams and to encourage school spirit among students, families, and friends. With JA’s K3 through twelfth grade campus, the Booster Club has opportunities to focus efforts from the youngest students to graduating seniors.

Each year, the Booster Club receives a list of requests from athletics regarding areas where financial support would be helpful. Requested projects that received funding from the 2021-22 Booster Club included the areas of archery, band, spirit programs, golf, baseball, basketball, football, Raider Field turf, and gymnasium mirror room carpet.

The Booster Club elects officers to lead the organization for the next year. Brett and Jenni Graven served in the Booster Club President role for 2021-22. They passed the torch to Tommy ’94 and Suzanne Barnette for the 2022-23 school year.

Athletic Booster Club
2021-22 Statistics JA Annual Fund $ 511,700 Children’s Promise Act* $ 400,000 Grand Total Giving $ 911,700 BOARD OF TRUSTEES $ 222,893.13 (100%) PARENTS $ 239,701.25 151 Donors (22%) GRANDPARENTS $ 131,300.66 111 Donors (14%) FACULTY AND STAFF $ 67, 594.03 169 Donors (93%) ALUMNI $ 158,239.26 108 Donors (3%) PAST PARENTS $ 104,180.22 73 Donors (10%) *Children’s Promise Act Notice: In 2019, the Mississippi Legislature passed the Children’s Promise Act, which authorized a tax credit for businesses when they donate to an Eligible Charitable Organization. To receive the tax credits, applications must be completed and filed with the MS Department of Revenue on January 1 and time stamped prior to the maximum annual cap being reached. For more information, please contact Jackson Academy’s Office of Development at (601) 364-5754. 64 TRUE BLUE

JA ANNUAL FUND Donors 2021-22

Cornerstone Circle $25,000+


Ergon Foundation, Inc.

Millbrook Cricket Farm, Inc.**

Robert Hederman ’90 Steven Hederman ’92

PPI, Inc.**

The Calhoon Family

The James Family

Geri Beth and Allen Smith

The Yates Companies, Inc.** Carolyn and Jason ’94 Voyles

Benefactor Circle $10,000+

Barbara Gough

Sharon Martin and Bobby Graham

Anne Maxwell and Bill Hussey

Hillary ’00 and Chesley ’99 James

Lisa and Michael ’92 Johnson++ Jordan and John ’07 McGowan**

Jan ’89 and Wen Nance+

Holley and Don Noblitt

Scarlet and Darrington Seward

Specialty Metals Supply, Inc.**

Audra and Phillip ’86 Bowman

Bobbie and Frazier Ward

Rebecca and Robert Watson Ashley ’87 and Mark Willson

Honor Circle $5,000+

Linda and Gene Barrett

Josie and Mel Burgess

The Wesley A. Caldwell Foundation

Patty and Don Clark

Fresh Cut Catering and Floral* Amy and Robert ’90 Hederman Kinkade’s Fine Clothing*

Hayley and John Lundy

Mahaffey’s Quality Printing, Inc.+ Jennifer and Chris ’93 Mathison Melissa and Jay Meacham

Cherry and Patrick Mullen

Sustainer Circle $2,500+

Wanda Carmichael

Laura and Derek Dyess

Jie Zheng and Pei Jian Gao

Marty and Leland Gebhart

Lee Ann and Brad Griffin Price and Robert Halford

Kathy and Steve Kowalski

Deborah and Les Lampton

Jessica and Jeffrey ’96 Lohmeier

Lauren and Nick Miller

Claire and Logan Phillips

Shelter Insurance, Meeks Agency*

Leigh and Scott ’92 Shoemaker

Eleanor Wettach

Mary Carolyn ’90 and Brad Williams

Visionary Circle $1,000+

Albriton’s Jewelry*

Deborah Allen

Rosemary and Les Aultman

Marsha and Haley Barbour

Becky and Tommy Blanks

Lauren and Maury ’98 Breazeale

Susan and Larry Brooks

Leigh ’89 and George Butler

Lamar Chustz

Barbara and Jason Craft

Dean Architects, P.A.

Thomas A. Cook ’92

Lindsay ’94 and Dodds ’92 Dehmer

Laura and Derek Dyess*

Jack Forms

Michelle J. Gibson

Billie and Bill Grogan

Suzanne ’92 and Cameron ’92 Guild Abby and Ben ’04 James Paula and Randy James Pat and Peter Jernberg

George and Whit Johnson Kim and Richard Johnson

Michelle and Greg ’91 Johnston Robin and Ed Kennedy

Louise and Luke ’84 Lampton* Jennifer ’93 and Mike Lowe

Jonathan McCullough ’00

Kenneth O’Keefe

Stephanie ’00 and Collin Maley Newk’s Eatery*

Susan and Joel Payne

Lulu and Scott ’90 Pedigo

Sandy and Charlie Penick

Vera and Flip Phillips

Elizabeth ’99 and Percy Quinn

Gordon Redd

Connie and Leonard Roberts

Stacy and James Roberts*

Morgan and Aaron Samuels

Jeanne’93 and John ’92 Scarbrough Helen and Clay ’94 Summerford

Anthony Thaxton* Martha and Mike Summerford Carolyn Thompson

Charles S. Tindall III Meredith ’89 and Joel Travelstead Robin and Marty Tucker Charlotte and John ’90 York Myra and Woody York

Loyalty Club $500+

Kathy and Larry Accardi Nancy and Whit Adams Lynn and Leigh Allen

Lorraine and Smith Boykin

The Can Man* Susan and Ken Chapman Mysti ’96 and Philip ’96 Chustz Melanie and Theo Costas* Suzy and Todd Everett Lydia Cox and Roger Fish Kathy and Nelson Gibson Mary Jane Greenlee

Frank Hadden

Jean and Scott Hines Margaret McCrory Karen and Jeff Morris

Robert Neely Clare and George Nelson Kathryn and Chris Nutter Melinda and Steve Ray Sharon and Tom Rhoden Mandi and Bob Stanley Celina and Rick Sumrall Xiaorong and Niu Tan

Ingrid and Timmy Taylor Lee Ann and Calvin ’94 Thigpen Kay and Joe Usry

Melanie and Warner Wadlington Theodore Waechter

Belynda and Howard Waring Susan and Walter Weems

Louis and Kelly ’02 Wilkinson Linda Young

Scholar Club $250+

Suzie and Jeff Adcock

Thelma Anderson


Pam and Jason Arnett Judy Arnold

Lisa and Craig Bailey Amy and Cliff Bates

Aqfa Sultana and Azad Bhuiyan

Mary Alice and Steve Browning

Jane and Barry Burks

Lind and John Bussey

Helen and York Craig

Shannon and Hamp Dye

Melanie and Rob Eiland

Tessie and Jerry Golden Aaron Graham ’04

Mary Ann and William Griesbeck Brandee and Joseph Harrington

Debbie and Lee Harris

Jane and Robert Hederman

Jackson Academy Class of 2021

Tony and Dawn Jasinski

Quinn and Bradley ’99 Kellum

Rhoshunda and Mike Kelly

Brandon and Foster ’98 Kennedy

Jenny and Pete Markow

Sandra and Ken Meacham

Gloria and Tommy Moore

Dana and Bill Robertson

Susan and John Ryan

Natale and JJ Sheehan

Southern Beverage*

Julie and Cole Smith

Sandy and Lester Smith

Bean and Floyd Sulser

Alicia and Michael Tate

Louisa and Tate Thigpen

Clare and Gilbert Van Loon

Ginger and Bob Williford Ann and Denny Zimmerman

Century Club $100+

Vickie Lynn Adams

Lynn and John Albriton

Suzanne and Jim Almas

Chandra and Henry Anderson

Chandler Dane Anderson ’22

Rhonda and Bobby Armstrong

Susan Arnold

Samuel Balkans

Julie and Bobby Banks

Annie Laurie and David ’05 Barrett

David and Kate Bowman

Lana and Guy ’95 Boyll

Janet and Richard Burnette

Debbie and William Campbell

Katie and Jamie ’92 Chustz

Marietta and Jimmie Coins

Kathy P. Cole

Marimae Coleman


JA ANNUAL FUND Donors 2021-22 (continued)

Marlene Cook

Julie Evers Crump ’84

Patrina and Glen Dace

Gail and John England

Sandra Eubank

Carol and George Evans

Kesha and Robert Flantroy Beebe and Nick Garrard

Genny and Derek Ginn

John Gordon

Rebekah and Josh Gregory Allen Griffin

Frank Hadden

Anita and Emmitte Haddox

Ann Harper

Mary Lene and Newt Harrison

Avery Hederman ’19

Erin Hederman ’19

Elizabeth and Glyn Hilbun

Frannie Hillyer

Nancy and Bill Howard Carol and Victor Jones

Patton Kincaid ’22

Lucy and Seth Knight

Frances Ford Knight

Ann and Gerry Lauman

Jane and Larry Lee

Virginia and Charles Lee Lexington Independents*

Denise Lynch

Lindsey and David Lynch

Natalie ’96 and Josh Lynch

Helaine and Thomas Maley Lynn and Jim McArthur

Latrina and Anthony McClenton

Corinne and John McCormick Reid McMillan

Missy and Mike McMullan

Beth and Tim McWilliams

Mimi and Robert Mehrle

Austin and Martin ’05 Miller

Kristen ’95 and Lee ’93 Nations

Maureen and Harold Oriol

Julia and Guy Parker

Mary and Charles Parker

Dorothy and Steve Parr

Laura ’97 and Adam Pennebaker

Martha Perkins

Jamie Priest

Shirlene Priest

Joyce Pully

Gus and Linda Purviance

Deena and Dan ’83 Richart

Reginald Rigsby

Patty and Michael Robbins

Sue and Jim Roberts

Fran Robinson

Rose Lee and Joe Robinson

Sherry and Richard Rula Betsy and Joe Samuels Linda and Danny Smith Matt Smith ’08

Nancy Stevens

Brandi and George Stinson Evelyn and Barney Tanner Emily ’12 and Landon ’08 Thompson Margaret and Tommy Thompson

Stephanie Toler

Claire Turner

Martha and Tommy Tyson Rebecca ’98 and Michael ’98 Ueltschey Stephanie and Tim Vivians Shonda and Jason Walenta

Linda Wardlaw

Felice and John Wicks

Annalee Willson ’22 Dray Willson ’17 Turner Willson ’19 Isabel and John Woods

Anniversary Club $50+

Claire ’97 and Charles Belknap Esther Benson Carter and Glenn ’96 Breazeale Cassandra Brown Nancy and Robert Bryson

Leslie and Gregory Carpenter

Linda Dixon

Clark Gamblin ’87 Grayce Geary ’23 Becky and Steve Greer Teresa and Gregory Hill Matt Hinkle ’03 Beth Keeler

Jodie ’98 and Jeffrey Lockhart Judy and Larry Marett Julie Murray

Jennifer Cricenti Rheder ’98 Kristie and Chris Rohman Gloria Scott

Elvin Shepherd Lisa and Bill Schroeder Carrie and Eddie Shelton Lee and Leigh Smith Ginger ’94 and Ben Wallace

Scholar’s Club $25+

ReKettsia and Van Alexander Lorraine and David Blount Guy Bowering ’92 Nicole and Jay Brendel Ruby and N.Z. Bryant Tomeka Cheatham Phyllis and Don Collins Polly Crosthwait Lendon and Sean Ellis Aubrey Farmer ’96 Laurie and Josh Fleming

Anna ’01 and Jacob ’99 Harlan

Angie ’96 and Neil Haraway

Kerri ’89 and Rusty ’89 Hawkins

Anne Marie Lundy ’19

Eliza Lundy ’15

Kristin and Patrick Malouf Tara and Tony Pazzaglia

Judy Potter

Jamie Rasberry Nancy and David Sykes Clarke Wilkirson ’16

$1- $25

Tyler L. Armstrong Michelle and James Baquie Kristian A. Clark ’22

William Clark April and Freddie Davis Dot-t and Joe Dehmer Ashley and Brian Johnson Angela and Mitch Lee Kaleshia and Marcus Polk Christy and Billy Quin Sandra and Chip Stevens Malon Stratton ’17 Owen ’89 and John Stratton Reeves Stratton ’20 Sabrina and Jeffrey Thigpen *

Gift In Kind
** Children’s Promise Act + Combination of in-kind donation and financial contribution ++ Combination of Children’s Promise Act and financial contribution

JA ANNUAL FUND Faculty & Staff Donors 2021-22

Sustainer Circle $2,500+

Angie and Brad Antici

Mary Clay and Matthew Morgan

Visionary Circle $1,000+

Alexis and Josh Dorman

Karen and Palmer Kennedy

Lynn and Ben Watson

Audrey and Jim Wilkirson

Loyalty Club $500+

Lea Cross

Gloria and Stephen Hirn

Sarah Love

Kathryn and Tyler Parvin

Patti Wade

Jennifer and Brandt Walker

Scholar Club $250+

Frances and John ’06 Bussey

Jamie and Richard Byrd

Melissa and Josh Denson

Ali and John ’84 Dinkins

Harriett and Mark Eppes

Patricia Frazier

Sandra and Mike McKay

Brandi and Brandon Richardson

Mandy and Ray Robertson

Jacob Sullivan

W.T. Taylor

Suzanne and Tate ’88 Thigpen

Sharon and Chris Tucker

Brittany and Eddie ’03 Wettach

Century Club $100+

Ashley and John Adcock

Taylor and Justin Beard

Beth and Jonathan Blackwell

Trey Brister

Marie and Josh Brooks

Bronwyn ’83 and Chris Burford

Hope and Bob Burford

Leah and Darin Busby

Amy and Bill Bush

Courtney ’94 and Jason Bush

Ann Boswell ’03 and Chris Carlson

Catherine and Jon Carter

Casey Chapman

Cathy and Mark Chinn

Cori and Jay Ciaccio

Becky and Bobo Clarke

Claudia and Dennis Conklin

Courtney and Walt Denton

Ali and John ’84 Dinkins

Dawn Duncombe

Amanda and Tommy Ferrill

Brittany Ford

Rebecca and Parker Fowler

Mallory and Daniel Gnemi

Jennifer and Rowland Hall

Laura and Parker Harris

Mimi and Andrew ’07 Heard

Jane and Mark Hinkle

Josh Hinkle ’15

Susan Ingram Mary Rebecca ’01 and Matt Jeffries

Krysten ’06 and Jay ’06 Jernigan

Colleen Jones

Nancy and David Kilpatrick

Laurie and Don Lewis

Lisa and Steve Lofton

Evan McCarley

Madi ’14 and Austin Scott

Melodi and Tim McNair

April and Jimmy Messer

Jennifer and Robert Miller

Sheri and Clint Moody

Lynda and Eugene Morse

Kayla and Seth ’00 Mosal

Beth Murray

Vickie and Kenneth Neal Erin and Max ’06 Neely Wanda and Randy Pearcy

Shelle and James Pinkard

Paula and Paul Pratt

Laura Pressler

Bronwyn and Danny Robertson

Tina Shaw

Leanna and Mike Shay

Kerri and James Smith Mallory and Richard Stafford

Cathy Strauss

Tammy Thompson

Avery and Matt Truitt

Cheryl Griffin and Richard West

Amy ’12 and Will Whittenton

Beth Williamson

Patrice and John Worley

Jamie and Ellis Wright

Anniversary Club $50+

Brooke and Scot Akins

Sara Bannerman

Jackye Barbour

Nancy and Bill Cheney

Jennifer and John Conway

Cyndi ’92 and Bryan Eubank

Jennifer Funderburg

Carny and Mike Harkins

Roxie and David Hood

Chloe Hudson

Erica Jones

Stancie Ley

Shelie and Ben Lucas

Bryan Madden ’99

Michele and Mark Markow

Gloria Morris

Summer and Daniel Phyfer

Mary-Danielle and Andrew Prince

Taylor ’11 and Tyler Reeves

Castlen King-Rogers and Mitch Rogers

Ronnie Rogers

Kerri and Michael Sanders

Lori Snider

Brenda Sullivan

Bebe and John Sumner

Candice and Todd Taylor

Sandra ’09 and Robert Triplett

Avery and Matt Truitt

Susan and Alan Whitfield

LaDonna and Steve Whitney

Scholar’s Club $25+

Whitney Allen

Cindy and Michael Bailey

Dee Ball

Allie Coats

Abbie and Sam Cox

Holly and Webb Collums

Carrie Ann and Wilson Eatherly

Susan Elliott

Ashlee Flechas

Neely Holland

Lisa Kimbriel

Rebecca and Chad Lessard

Rosanne and Joseph Maxwell

Suzanne ’91 and John ’83 Murray

Dixie and Lance Pogue

Lee and Jana Ragland

Kathy ’82 and Richard Sheffield

Grace Simmons

Laura and Jesse Taylor

Ana and Patrick Tucker

Bonnie and Gray Wiggers

$1 - $25

Lorraine and David Blount

Kirsten and Rex Bradshaw

Anna and Shawn Chatham

Caleb Canterbury

Nan and Glen Dear

Katrice and Jeff Hadley

Lynn Ladner

Linda Lambert

Joy Miller

Michelle and Bob Mills

Tanya Newkirk

Sydney and Christian Pinnen

Jennifer and Cliff Powers

Kellie and Jeffrey Rhodes

Chris and Christy Richardson

Zachary and Mamie Taylor


JA ANNUAL FUND Alumni Giving 2021-22

Class of 1982

Kathy Cockayne Sheffield

Class of 1983

Bronwyn Caves Burford John Murray Dan Richart

Class of 1984

Julie Evers Crump John Dinkins

Class of 1986

Phillip Bowman

Class of 1987

Tripp Arnold Clark Gamblin Ashley Edmondson Willson

Class of 1988 Tate Thigpen

Class of 1989

Leigh Barnett Butler

Kerri Quayle Hawkins Rusty Hawkins Cynthia Burney Mahaffey Jan Laws Nance Owen Edmondson Stratton Meredith Montgomery Travelstead

Class of 1990

Robert Hederman Scott Pedigo Mary Carolyn Ikerd Williams John York

Class of 1991

Greg Johnston Suzanne Kinard Murray

Class of 1992

Guy Bowering

Jamie Chustz

Thomas A. Cook

Dodds Dehmer

Cameron Guild

Suzanne Greer Guild

Steven Hederman

Michael E. Johnson John Scarbrough

Scott Shoemaker

Class of 1993

Jennifer Lee Lowe Chris Mathison Lee Nations Jeanne Moak Scarbrough

Class of 1994

Courtney Allison Bush Lindsay Hines Dehmer Clay Summerford Calvin Thigpen Ginger Van Skiver Wallace Jason Voyles

Class of 1995

Guy Boyll Matt James Kristen Kennedy Nations

Class of 1996 Glenn Breazeale Mysti and Philip Chustz Aubrey Farmer Jeffrey Lohmeier Natalie Tinnin Lynch Angie Stubblefield Haraway

Class of 1997

Claire Smith Belknap Laura Payne Pennebaker

Class of 1998

Maury Breazeale Foster Kennedy Jodie Low Lockhart Jennifer Cricenti Rheder Michael Ueltschey Rebecca Gough Ueltschey

Class of 1999

Jacob Haralson Chesley James Bradley Kellum Bryan Madden Elizabeth Calhoon Quinn

Class of 2000

Hillary Taylor James Stephanie Baker Maley Seth Mosal Jonathan McCullough

Class of 2001

Anna Smith Haralson Mary Rebecca Barry Jeffries

Class of 2002 Kelly Jeanes Wilkinson

Class of 2003 Ann Boswell Johnson Carlson Matt Hinkle Eddie Wettach

Class of 2004 Aaron Graham Benjamin James

Class of 2005 David Barrett Martin P. Miller

Class of 2006 John Bussey Jay Jernigan Krysten Keyes Jernigan Max Neely

Class of 2007 Andrew Heard John D. McGowan

Class of 2008 Matt Smith Landon Thompson

Class of 2009 Sandra England Triplett

Class of 2011 Taylor Elliott Reeves

Class of 2012

Emily Turbeville Thompson Amy Arinder Whittenton

Class of 2014 Madi McNair Scott

Class of 2015 Josh Hinkle Eliza Lundy

Class of 2016 Clarke Wilkirson

Class of 2017 Dray Willson Malon Stratton

Class of 2019 Avery Hederman Erin Hederman Anne Marie Lundy Turner Willson

Class of 2020 Reeves Stratton

Class of 2022 Chandler Dane Anderson Kristian A. Clark Patton Kincaid Annalee Willson



Grandparent Society 2021-22

Kathy and Larry Accardi

Nancy and Whit Adams

Vickie Lynn Adams

Lynn and John Albriton

Deborah Allen

Lynn and Leigh Allen

Thelma Anderson

Susan Arnold

Rosemary and Les Aultman

Dee Ball

Julie and Bobby Banks

Marsha and Haley Barbour

Linda and Gene Barrett

Becky and Tommy Blanks

Susan and Larry Brooks

Ruby and N.Z. Bryant

Nancy and Robert Bryson

Janet and Richard Burnette

Lind and John Bussey

Ann and Rick Calhoon

Wanda Carmichael

Susan and Ken Chapman

Lamar Chustz

Patty and Don Clark

William Clark

Kathy P. Cole

Phyllis and Don Collins

Marlene Cook

Thomas A. Cook

Lydia Cox and Roger Fish

Helen and York Craig

Polly Crosthwait

Dot-t and Joe Dehmer

Gail and John England

Sandra Eubank

Carol and George Evans

Jack Forbus

Tessie and Jerry Golden

Barbara Gough

Mary Jane Greenlee

Becky and Steve Greer

Mary Ann and William Griesbeck

Allen Griffin

Billie and Bill Grogan

Anita and Emmitte Haddox

Ann Harper

Debbie and Lee Harris

Jane and Robert Hederman

Elizabeth and Glyn Hilbun

Jean and Scott Hines

Paula and Randy James George and Whit Johnson

Carol and Victor Jones

Robin and Ed Kennedy

Kathy and Steve Kowalski

Lucy and Seth Knight

Frances Ford Knight

Linda Lambert

Deborah and Les Lampton

Jane and Larry Lee

Virginia and Charles Lee

Denise Lynch

Helaine and Thomas Maley

Jenny and Pete Markow

Judy and Larry Marett

Lynn and Jim McArthur

Corinne and John McCormick

Margaret McCrory

Sandra and Ken Meacham

Mimi and Robert Mehrle

Gloria and Tommy Moore

Robert Neely

Clare and George Nelson Holley and Don Noblitt

Maureen and Harold Oriol

Julia and Guy Parker

Dorothy and Steve Parr

Martha Perkins

Claire and Logan Phillips

Vera and Flip Phillips Judy Potter Shirlene Priest

Joyce Pully

Gordon Redd

Sharon and Tom Rhoden

Connie and Leonard Roberts

Fran Robinson

Rose Lee and Joe Robinson Sherry and Richard Rula Betsy and Joe Samuels

Elvin Shepherd

Lisa and Bill Schroeder

Kathy ’82 and Richard Sheffield

Lee and Leigh Smith

Linda and Danny Smith

Sandy and Lester Smith

Bean and Floyd Sulser

Martha and Mike Summerford

Evelyn and Barney Tanner

Ingrid and Timmy Taylor

Louisa and Tate Thigpen

Carolyn Thompson

Charles S. Tindall III

Margaret and Tommy Thompson

Stephanie Toler

Martha and Tommy Tyson

Kay and Joe Usry

Melanie and Warner Wadlington

Linda Wardlaw

Belynda and Howard Waring

Rebecca and Robert Watson

Susan and Walter Weems

Eleanor Wettach

Ginger and Bob Williford

Isabel and John Woods

Nancy and Bill Yates

Linda Young

Myra and Woody York


True Blue Raiders 2021-22

Dr. And Mrs. Mohit Ahuja

Valorie and Thomas Albright

Susannah and Cameron ’04 Albriton

Jessica Aldy

Kristin and Sidney Allen

Mary Kathryn ’04 and Bo ’99 Allen

Angie and Brad Antici

Lindsey and Matt ’99 Armstrong Tyler Armstrong Pam and Jason Arnett

Lindzey and Jeremy Arnold Anna and Fred Asher

Elizabeth and Al Banks

Deidre and Austin Barbour Michelle and Kevin Barnett

Suzanne and Tommy ’94 Barnette Stacy ’89 and Chris Bates

Monifa Beal-Horton

Taylor and Justin Beard

Lauren and Frank Benner

Shannon ’01 and David ’99 Blanks

Lorraine and David Blount

Arlevia and Warren Bowen

Audra and Phillip ’86 Bowman

Courtney and Andy Brien

Ashley and Joey Bronzi

Joshua Brown

Jane and Barry Burks

Ashley and Norman Cannady Ann Boswell ’03 and Chris Carlson

Amy L. Champagne

Chris Champion

Bonnie and Jim Chapman

Mysti ’96 and Philip ’96 Chustz

Amanda and Trey ’02 Clark

Bethany and Chad Cooley

Barbara and Jason Craft

Kelly and Blake Cress

Lindsay ’94 and Dodds ’92 Dehmer

Lauren ’02 and Preston Denley

Courtney and Walt Denton

Sallie and Michael Dier

Ali and John ’84 Dinkins

Ellen and Charles Durst

Mallie and Mark Earl

Jamie and Alex Eaton

Jennifer and McKie ’94 Edmonson Kimbrell ’05 and Erick Evans Suzanna ’04 and Jeff Evans

Heather and Drew Fairley

Laurie and Josh Fleming Memrie and Jason Fortenberry

Lucy and Bill Gault Mary Margaret and Kevin Gay Kysai and James Geary

Carolyn and Ross Glendye

Emily and Kyle Godfrey

Bethany and Preston ’03 Gough Neeli and John Graham

Jenni and Brett Graven

Emily ’96 Greer and Stephen ’95 Greer

Rebekah and Josh Gregory Lindsey and John ’03 Gresham Lee Ann and Brad Griffin Kelly ’99 and Josh Guyton Price and Robert Halford

Anna ’00 and Jacob ’99 Haralson Angie ’96 and Neil Haraway Brandee and Joseph Harrington Kristen and Bo Harwell Camille and Barry Hassell Amy and Robert ’90 Hederman Terri and Steve ’92 Hederman Carrie and Nicholas Henderson Trey and Britny Hester Lyn ’98 and Breck ’97 Hines Katie and Rhett Hobgood Courtney and Chad ’96 Hosemann Anne Maxwell and Bill Hussey Abby and Ben ’04 James Hillary ’00 and Chesley ’99 James Leisel ’05 and Nicholas ’04 Jew Erin and Troy Johnston Reagan and Alan ’90 Jones Sarah Beth and Brandon Jones Lindsay and JonMark Jordan Quinn and Bradley ’99 Kellum Rhoshunda and Mike Kelly

Brandon and Foster ’98 Kennedy Karen and Palmer Kennedy Nancy and David Kilpatrick Carley and Chris Laney Jessica and Nick Laura Lauren and Reid ’94 Lester Jessica and Jeffrey ’96 Lohmeier Jana and Craig Long Ramsey ’02 and Brian Long Jennifer ’93 and Mike Lowe Mae and Clark Luke Hayley and John Lundy Stephanie ’00 and Collin Maley Michele and Mark ’97 Markow Ruthie and Will Massey Whitney and Graves Maxwell Tara and Tyson McCoy Lauren and Brandon Meeks Elizabeth ’93 and Kerk Mehrle Jessica and Brent Miley Lauren and Nick Miller Sheri and Clint Moody Mary Clay and Matt Morgan Betsey and Will ’03 Mosby Kim and Jared Nelson Allison ’97 and Jess ’98 New Caroline and Jack Nowell Austin and Joel Nutt Christie ’95 and Ashley Ogden Christy and Shannon Orr Erica and Jeremy Ory Sandy and Charlie Penick Ceejaye and Mitch ’98 Peters Genny ’05 and Logan ’98 Phillips Jeanine and Steve Pickering Ann Purcell ’01 Elizabeth ’99 and Percy Quinn Jocelyn and T. C. Rollins Gene and David Ross Kiera and Daniel Rushing Susan and John Ryan Morgan and Aaron Samuels Vanessa ’95 and John Pettey Sandifer Scarlet and Darrington Seward

Natale and JJ Sheehan

Leigh and Scott ’92 Shoemaker

Caroline and Kirk ’02 Sims

Misti and Clint Sims

Jennifer and Ben ’93 Skipper

Anne McCaslin ’09 and Parker ’09 Snow

Keyla and Christopher Spankovich

Liz and Art Spratlin

Mary Ellen ’99 and Jeff Stancill

Mandi and Bob Stanley

Ashley and Randy Copeland

Helen and Clay ’94 Summerford

Stella Gray and Phillip Sykes

Candace and Walker Tann

Drs. Charlotte ’06 and Jeremy Taylor Amy and Anthony Thaxton

Lee Ann and Calvin ’94 Thigpen

Rachel and Chase Thompson

Carmen and Adam ’03 Thrash

Rachel and Walt Towery

Rebecca ’98 and Michael ’98 Ueltschey Elizabeth and Jeff ’94 Upchurch

Catherine and Stephen Usry

Whitney and Slates Veazey

Holly and Matt Vollor

Jennifer and Brandt Walker Story ’94 and Todd ’90 Warren

Meri Scott and Hank ’09 Waterer Kyla and David ’00 Weems

Brittany and Eddie ’03 Wettach Julia and David Whitt

Alexa and Steven Wier

Jane-Claire and Nason Williams

Mary Carolyn ’90 and Brad Williams

Alicia and Sam Williford

Ashley ’87 and Mark Willson

Miranda and Ben Wilson

Katherine and JR Woodall

Charlotte and John ’90 York Meredith ’00 and Harrison ’97 Young

*This list reflects True Blue Raiders as of July 7, 2022.

Special thanks to the Jackson Academy Association, Inc. (JAA) and the Athletic Booster Club for supporting multiple initiatives across campus during the 2021-22 academic year.

Booster Club 2021-22

Karen and Palmer Kennedy

Angie and Brad Antici

Anna and Fred Asher

Brian Baker ’87

Suzanne and Tommy ’94 Barnette

Annie Laurie and David ’05 Barrett

Deidre and Austin Barbour

Jill and Burwell Barton

Lauren and Frank Benner

Ester E W Benson

Arlevia and Warren Bowen

Speciality Metal Supply, Inc.

Lorraine and Smith Boykin

Lana and Guy ’95 Boyll

Ashley ’05 and Jeff Brantley

Janna and Brian Breland

Jennifer and Jerry Brewer

Ashley and Joey Bronzi

Allie and Marcus Burger

Jane and Barry Burks

Lauren and Ricky Caraway

Pam and Don Carnathan

Mysti ’96 and Philip ’96 Chustz

Tabitha and Stephen ’92 Clay

Debbie ’89 and Edward ’91 Copeland

Barbara and Jason Craft Kelly and Blake Cress

Dana Deviney

Sallie and Michael Dier


Jennifer and McKie ’94 Edmonson

Cyndi ’92 and Bryan Eubank

Suzy and Todd Everett

Kimberly and Bill Felder

Kesha and Robert Flantroy

Lucy and Bill Gault

Kysia and James Geary

Neeli and John Graham

Stefanie and Alan Grant

Jenni and Brett Graven

Brooke and Charles Greenlee

Stephen ’95 Greer

Lee Ann and Brad Griffin

Frank L. Hadden III

Katrice and Jeff Hadley

Price and Robert Halford

Madison ’99 and Chris Harrell

Leslie ’99 and Matt Henson

Laura Hillman

Beth and Jason Hosey

Linda Carol and Tom ’93 Hudson

Hillary ’00 ad Chesley ’99 James Kim and Richard Johnson Kim and Kevin Johnson

Scarlett and Brent ’83 Johnston

Brandon and Foster ’98 Kennedy

Lynn Ladner

Ann Marie ’91 and Stephen ’91 Lee

Joy Lester

Lauren and Reid ’94 Lester

Ramsey ’92 and Brian Long

Crystal Wise Martin

Jennifer and Chris ’93 Mathinson

Tara and Tyson McCoy

Lauren and Brandon Meeks

Elizabeth ’93 and Kerk Mehrle

Jan ’89 and Wen Nance

Ashly and Zach ’01 New Christie ’95 and Ashley Ogden

Christy and Shannon Orr

Ronica Palato

Katie and Tim Parker

Jeanine and Steve Pickering

Christy and Billy Quin

Linda and Tony Ramey

Mandy and Brad ’97 Reeves

Reginald D. Risby

Paheadra Bratton Robinson

Kristie and Chris Rohman

Jennifer and Fredrick ’94 Salvo

Jeanne ’93 and John ’92 Scarbrough

Scarlet and Darrington Seward Kathy ’82 and Richard Sheffield

Leigh and Scott ’92 Shoemaker

London and Joseph Simpson

Jennifer and Ben ’93 Skipper

Geri Beth and Allen Smith

Kelly and Jose Sosa

Liz and Art Spratlin

Mandi and Bob Stanley

Shay and Rob Tatum

Amy and Anthony Thaxton

Rachel and Walt Towery

Cynthia and John Turner

Staci ’99 and Brent Tyler

Shanda and Jason Walena

Nicky and Andy Walker

Rivers ’97 and Shaun Walker

Brittany ’05 and Ben ’98 Walker

Lynn and Ben Watson

Julia Patton Whitt

Alexa and Steven Wier

Mary Carolyn ’90 and Brad Williams

Ashley ’97 and Mark Willson



1 COURTNEY MCCOY STREETER is a kindergarten music teacher at Madison-Ridgeland Academy. She and her husband, Clinton, have two daughters, Sallie Kaye and Anne Rivers. Clinton is a landscape architect. Courtney and Clinton are the proud grandparents of Tommy Clint Taylor, son of Sallie Kaye and Matt Taylor of Clinton.


2 STEPHEN CLAY and wife, Tabitha, live in Jackson and have two children at JA, Sarah and Caden. Stephen works as an attorney/lobbyist with The Clay Firm and Tabitha is a registered nurse.


ASHER STREET BEAM and husband Jim live in Ridgeland. Jim is an attorney and Dr. Street Beam is an Associate Professor of Radiologic Sciences. She was one of the recipients of the 2021 Radiologic Technology Distinguished Author Award in Honor of Jean I. Widger for the peer-reviewed article, “An Investigation of MR Imaging Scanner Noise and its Effect on Technologists.” All peer-reviewed articles published in Radiologic Technology the 2021 calendar year were considered, and the journal’s

Editorial Review Board selected the article as the year’s most outstanding.


NATALIE GUCKERT recently relocated to Nashville, Tennessee to work as an architectural designer and project manager for McAlpine Tankersley Architecture. They are one of the country’s most highly respected architecture and interior design firms with offices in New York City, Atlanta, and Nashville. The firm is renowned for the creation of timeless houses and interiors, and the firm’s portfolio includes residential buildings throughout the United States, and in Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Their work is regularly featured in shelter magazines.

FOSTER KENNEDY serves as senior vice president, corporate banking manager at Trustmark Bank. He is married to Brandon. They have two children, Adams and Baird, that attend JA.


NATALIE SMITH BORLAND and husband, Patton, along with big brothers, Barrett and Coleman, welcomed baby sister, Mamie Myrick on February 4, 2022. They live in Mountain Brook, Alabama. Natalie is a teacher for Mountain Brook Schools, and Patton is a screen printer.


RAMSEY CRUISE LONG and husband Brian live in Jackson with their three children, Ann Arrington, Carter, and Cruise. Brian is the VP at Mississippi Federal Credit Union.


MATT HINKLE was recently appointed as the operations officer of the Mississippi State Fire Academy. As operations officer, Matt is responsible for developing strategic plans for the agency and ensuring training is meeting the needs of our fire service in the state of Mississippi. Matt is also tasked with the planning and coordination of the MSFA’s Emergency Response Team which is attached to Mississippi Task Force 1, an Urban Search and Rescue asset within Mississippi’s Office of Homeland Security.


JONATHAN GIURINTANO and wife Taylor, welcomed a daughter, Maristella Noelle Giurintano, on December 21, 2021. They reside in Washington, DC, where Jonathan is currently a head and neck surgeon and an assistant professor of Otolaryngology at Georgetown University Medical Center. Taylor is a dentist.

Class Notes 2 4 3 1 72 TRUE BLUE

6 7

5 8


ELIZABETH BLEVINS CRENSHAW and husband Cole live in Tupelo with their two children, Will and Liza. Elizabeth is a licensed master social worker and is currently a stay-at-home mother. Cole is a credit underwriter at Renasant Bank.

JACK MURRAY recently moved to Gulfport to take a new position as a primary care physician with Singing River Health System. He’s joined by his wife, Christine Bowman Murray (2011), and daughter, Charlotte.


3 ANDERSON BUSSEY and Merry Grace Bussey, along with big brother Anderson welcomed George Stokes on January 31, 2022. They live in Jackson.

4 HUNTER EVANS and wife Mary Kathryn live in Jackson with their daughter Amelia. Mary Kathryn is a therapist and Hunter is the owner and chef at Elvie’s in Jackson. True South, a series on Southern food and culture, recently came to film at the restaurant; the show will be airing this fall on the SEC Network.

ELLEN THOMPSON TURNER and TODD TURNER live in Madison with their daughter, Ellie. Ellen is a nurse and Todd is a financial advisor with Ashford Advisors.

5 MARY ALEX NAIL DOYLE and husband, Harrison live in Pensacola, Florida, with their three children, Harbor, Rosie and Walter. Harrison is a mechanical engineer.

MARGUERITE JOHNSTON and her business partner started Still Johnson Interiors in June 2021, after working in the interior design industry for years. Still Johnson Interiors is a full service interior design firm with residential projects all over the Southeast. In March 2022, they opened a furnishings and accessories store in downtown Birmingham, Alabama.

6 KENDALL KIRK SINGLETON and husband Russ live in Hattiesburg. Kendall is owner/artist of Kendall Kirk Singleton Art. Russ is corporate account manager at Stryker. Kendall published her first coffee table book, “A Colorful Collection,” through Palmetto Publishing, and it is available for purchase on her website,


EMILY WARNER SPRING and husband Peyton, welcomed a daughter, Ellie, on April 28, 2021. Emily is a speech-language pathologist at Beyond Therapy for Kids. Peyton works for Puckett Rents.


CAROLINE WALKER REED and husband Daniel, welcomed a daughter, Elizabeth Little on February 23, 2022. They live in Jackson. 2016

7 TAYLOR TUCKER graduated in 2022 with a Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Mississippi. She is a morning news anchor for WMC5 in Memphis, Tennessee. 2017

CHELSEA FRANCOIS graduated from Mississippi State University in May with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering and a minor in mathematics. She is working as a continuous improvement process engineer with WestRock in Dublin, Georgia.


8 BRYANT THAXTON recently won a Southeastern Regional Emmy for Musical Composition in the documentary “Walter Anderson, the Extraordinary Life and Art of the Islander.” Bryant graduated from Mississippi College in May.

Class Notes printed here were submitted since JA’s Spring 2022 issue. TRUE BLUE 73


Sarah Love

Virginia Hughes England

Suzanne ’91 and John ’83 Murray

Marie Hulsey

Judy Arnold

Tripp Arnold ’87 and family

Dr. Jack McCubbin

Frannie Hillyer

Dr. Jane Ann Lampton Moore ’88

Judy Arnold

Tripp Arnold ’87 and family

Suzanne, Tate ’88, and Kathleen ’23 Thigpen

Lamar Chustz

Memorial Scholarships



Susan Elliott

Cyndi ’92 and Bryan Eubank

Beth Swearengen

Judy Arnold

Charles Clifford Wicker

Susan Ingram

John “Steve” Worley

Susan Ingram

Pat and Peter Jernberg

Sarah Love

Tate ’88 , Suzanne, and Kathleen Thigpen ’23

Bryan Madden ’99

Dixie and Lance Pogue

Brittany and Eddie ’03 Wettach

Memorials listed as of May 31, 2022

Mary Alice Dear Barbara Bailey Randall Ashleigh Arnold Dehmer Memorial ’83 and Chris Burford Suzanne ’91 and John ’83 Murray Scott Branning Memorial Scholarship and Bobo Clarke

Daniel Adams ’22

Bronwyn and Danny Robertson

Abigail Addison ’22 Susan Ingram

Chandler Dane Anderson ’22 Chandra and Henry Anderson Joyce Pully

Addison Armstrong ’22 Tyler L. Armstrong

Abby Arnett ’22 Pam and Jason Arnett

Jane Elizabeth Arnold ’22 Susan Arnold

Dee Ball, JA teacher Grayce Geary ’22

Drew Barrentine ’22 Susan Ingram

Ellis Bates ’22 Jamie Rasberry

Lorraine Blount, JA teacher

Mysti ’96 and Philip ’96 Chustz Patty and Don Clark Becky and Bobo Clarke Sarah Love Lynn and Jim McArthur Ashley ’87 and Mark Willson

Logan Burger ’25, JA student John Gordon

Anna Claire Bush ’22 Courtney ’94 and Jason Bush

Wyc ’35 Bussey, JA student Frances and John ’06 Bussey

Elizabeth Castle ’22 Susan Ingram

Morgan Cheatham ’26, JA student Tomeka Cheatham

Kristian A. Clark ’22 William Clark

Dennis Conklin, JA teacher

Chandler Anderson ’22

Kendrick Davis ’22 Nicole and Jay Brendel

Ridley Dehmer ’22 Dot-t and Joe Dehmer Jean and Scott Hines

Melissa Denson, JA teacher and Head Volleyball Coach Kathy ’82 and Richard Sheffield

Wilson Eatherly ’22 Bronwyn and Danny Robertson

Harriett Eppes, JA teacher

Michelle and James Baquie Lauren and Maury ’98 Breazeale Mysti ’96 and Philip ’96 Chustz Patty and Don Clark Becky and Bobo Clarke Sarah Love Lynn and Jim McArthur Ashley ’87 and Mark Willson

Rebecca Fowler, JA teacher Grayce Geary ’22

Patricia Frazier, JA teacher Patton Kincaid ’22

Grad Night and Senior Class Committee Chairs Ashley ’87 and Mark Willson

Sandon Guild ’22 Suzanne ’92 and Cameron ’92 Guild

Debra Hastings, JA teacher Mysti ’96 and Philip ’96 Chustz Patty and Don Clark Becky and Bobo Clarke Angie ’96 and Neil Haraway Lynn and Jim McArthur Ashley ’87 and Mark Willson

Mimi Heard, JA teacher Austin and Martin ’05 Miller

Avery Hederman ’19 Jane and Robert Hederman

Amy and Robert ’90 Hederman Jane and Robert Hederman

Drew Hederman ’28, JA student Jane and Robert Hederman

Erin Hederman ’19 Jane and Robert Hederman

Michael Hederman ’22 Catherine and Jon Carter Jane and Robert Hederman Susan Ingram

Steven Hederman ’27, JA student Jane and Robert Hederman

Terri and Steve ’92 Hederman Jane and Robert Hederman

Gloria Hirn, Former JA teacher Erin Hederman ’19

Foster Hodges ’24, JA student Tara and Tony Pazzaglia

Logan Huff ’22, JA student Susan Ingram

Susan Ingram, JA teacher Katie and Jamie ’92 Chustz

JA Board of Directors Paula and Randy James

JA Class of 2022

Ann Boswell ’03 and Chris Carlson

Suzanne ’92 and Cameron ’92 Guild Kayla and Seth ’00 Mosal Brandi and Brandon Richardson Jeanne ’93 and John ’92 Scarbrough Clare and Gilbert Van Loon Patti Wade Ashley ’87 and Mark Willson

JA Class of 2022 Rowdies Jim Wilkirson

JA Class of 2022 Volleyball Seniors Melissa and Josh Denson

Lilly James ’33 Ingrid and Timmy Taylor

Perry James ’29 Ingrid and Timmy Taylor

Pruet James ’27 Ingrid and Timmy Taylor

Taylor James ’30 Ingrid and Timmy Taylor


Harrison Johnston ’22 Bronwyn and Danny Robertson

Anne Keenan, Former JA teacher

Annie Laurie and David ’05 Barrett

Patton Kincaid ’22 Susan Ingram

Rebecca Kincaid, JA parent Patton Kincaid ’22

Annalee LeDuff ’22 Michelle and James Baquie Anita and Emmitte Haddox Susan Ingram

Grayson Lee ’22 Angela and Mitch Lee

Mary Gibson Lundy ’22 Elizabeth and Glyn Hilbun Anne Marie ’19 and Eliza ’15 Lundy

Brooks Magee ’22 Susan Ingram

Hayley Mawson ’22 Joy Miller

Judy McKeigney, Former JA teacher Avery Hederman ’19

Banks McNair ’22 Melodi and Tim McNair

Alden McNamara ’22 Susan Ingram

Julia Miller ’34 Austin and Martin ’05 Miller

Hayden Parr ’22 Dorothy and Steve Parr Jamie Rasberry

Ashton Polk ’28, JA student Kaleisha and Marcus Polk

Paula Pratt, JA staff Grayce Geary ’22

Olivia Quin ’22 Anna ’01 and Jacob ’99 Haralson

Jana Ragland, JA teacher

Michelle and James Baquie Mysti ’96 and Philip ’96 Chustz Patty and Don Clark Becky and Bobo Clarke

Sarah Love Jim and Lynn McArthur Ashley ’87 and Mark Willson

Noah Ramey ’22 Susan Ingram

Aidan Rich ’22 Susan Ingram

Reggie Rigsby ’22

Linda Dixon

Dr. Reginald Rigsby Bronwyn and Danny Robertson

Danny Robertson, JA teacher and coach Katie and Jamie ’92 Chustz

Mollie Ann Robertson ’22 Susan Ingram

Tina Shaw, JA teacher

Mysti ’96 and Philip ’96 Chustz Patty and Don Clark Becky and Bobo Clarke Sarah Love Lynn and Jim McArthur Ashley ’87 and Mark Willson

Anna Claire Sheffield ’22 Kathy ’82 and Richard Sheffield

Graham Stevens ’22 Sandra and Chip Stevens

Ashton Tate ’22 Nicole and Jay Brendel Alicia and Michael Tate

Greer Taylor ’35 Ingrid and Timmy Taylor

J.T. Thigpen ’22 Sabrina and Jeffrey Thigpen

Katharine Todd, JA teacher

Katie and Jamie ’92 Chustz

Chris Tucker, JA teacher

Katie and Jamie ’92 Chustz Mysti ’96 and Philip ’96 Chustz Patty and Don Clark Becky and Bobo Clarke Lynn and Jim McArthur Ashley ’87 and Mark Willson

Natalie Turner ’22 Susan Ingram

Reed Travelstead ’22 Ashley and Brian Johnson

Mary Clare Van Loon ’22 Susan Ingram Clare and Gilbert Van Loon

Richard West, JA teacher Annalee Willson ’22

John Wicks III ’22 April and Freddie Davis

Hunter Wilkirson ’19 Clarke Wilkirson ’16

Jim Wilkirson, JA staff Ashley ’87 and Mark Willson Annalee Willson ’22 Dray Willson ’17 Turner Willson ’19

Fran Wilkirson ’22 Rebekah and Josh Gregory Susan Ingram Clarke Wilkirson ’16

Drew Williams ’22 Susan Ingram

Annalee Nichols Willson ’22 Owen ’89, John, Malon ’17, and Reeves ’20 Stratton Ashley ’87 and Mark Willson

Jamie Wright, JA teacher Christy and Billy Quin

Honorariums listed as of May 31, 2022

Honorariums 76 TRUE BLUE
Jackson Academy acknowledges gifts made in memory of faculty, staff, and JA family members each year in the True Blue magazine. To submit a memorial, contact Suzanne Thigpen at or mail your memorial to Suzanne Thigpen, Jackson Academy, 4908 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, Mississippi 39211.
4908 Ridgewood Road Jackson, Mississippi 39211
As part of their writing curriculum, fourth-grade students learned about conducting an interview and writing a news story. Each student received a list of questions they posed to an Upper School student.