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Welcome to the Upper School!

West Tennessee’s College Preparatory School

Welcome from Ben Murphy, Upper School Director

Hello! On behalf of our faculty and staff, I would like to welcome you and your families to the University

School of Jackson’s Upper School. For our continuing students, welcome to a new part of the building. We

are excited to be with you as you continue your journeys at USJ. For those of you new to USJ, welcome to a new school community; we are glad you are considering joining us. Thank you to everyone for allowing us to be a part of your family’s educational experiences. Jordan Boyd, Student Government Association President, 2014-2015

From arts, to sports, to academics, USJ strives to enrich the lives of young individuals. The faculty and staff at USJ give students the options to succeed in any field they may wish to pursue. I have never been pushed to do anything here. I have been expected to do great because that is the USJ way. The USJ community is where every student, even new students, can find a place. If you are a student of multiple talents, USJ is the place for you. If you love to play the trombone and also love to play baseball, you have a place here. If you love to sing in a choir and also excel in biology, you have a place here. If you love to show your talents on the stage or even on the gridiron, you have a place here. What USJ offers to each student is unique, just like the student. At USJ, I have had the privilege of being with the best faculty in West Tennessee for nine months out of the year every year since PreK. With the help of my teachers, I know that I am 100 percent ready for college. I am truly blessed to have had USJ to prepare me, and I will always love being a part of the USJ family.”

On the cover, from top, Chemistry,

English III, Freshman English Honors

Ninth grade is certainly a transition year for students as report cards be-

come transcripts and middle school sports become varsity sports. They go

from being the oldest in their division to the youngest, from knowing everything about how a middle school works to knowing rather little about how

an upper school works. For students coming to the USJ Upper School from other high schools, there is a transition process as well. One of our tasks

as an upper school faculty is helping all students new to the Upper School adapt to a new set of academic expectations and become more confident in their abilities. This process will take some time, but our teachers will be

there to work with these students, to help with managing workloads, and to assist in developing the skills necessary to be successful undergraduates.

Ben Murphy

Even in the short amount of time I have been at USJ, I have learned that the Upper School faculty are

among the most dedicated teachers one will find anywhere. They are committed to providing our students with a challenging yet supportive curriculum, and they approach each day with a focus on furthering their students’ learning. Your child will get to work with great teachers each and every day.

For our incoming students, graduation seems far away, but it will be here before they know it. During the

years prior to their graduation, a lot will change for these students, but what will not change is USJ’s commitment to providing them a quality education. Our graduates are admitted into many of the finest institu-

tions in the country, and we welcome the opportunity to help your children work towards their college goals. Any journey begins with one step, and we thank you for the privilege of helping your children take their first upper school steps at USJ. Thank you for choosing our school. Go Bruins!

From Kay Shearin, Admissions Director

I also extend a warm welcome to you and your family. If you are a current family, we appreciate your continued support of University School and its programs. If you are a prospective family, we appreciate your interest in our school and welcome you to our campus. I invite your child to spend a day with us and

shadow one of our students in order to learn more about University School and see for yourself the endless opportunities that await your child at USJ.

Upper School is an important time in your student’s life. The next four years are

critical as your child prepares to meet the challenges of college and beyond. As

Kay Shearin

stated in our mission statement, University School is committed to guiding each student to reach his or her maximum potential and to developing a passion for academic excellence and lifelong learning.

Our faculty and staff are also committed to building relationships and to working in partnership with our students and their families to ensure success in every facet of school life: in the classroom, in athletic

endeavors, in the area of fine arts, and in service within our community. At University School of Jackson, it truly is an education for a lifetime.

Rob Platt, far right, teaches his English II Honors class.

Upper School Curriculum

It’s true. USJ’s Upper School curriculum is challenging as we prepare students for the rigors of college. The strength of USJ, however, lies not only in our Advanced Placement and Honors courses, but also in every course in our curriculum. Each student is given the opportunity to achieve and to learn, and those who rise to the challenge find themselves well prepared for life after USJ.

Our courses aren’t easy, but if students are willing to work and apply themselves, they can be successful in our curriculum. Ninth graders, for example, will learn how to use their time wisely and how to

study. They will learn how to master the workload and still have time for sports, the arts, community service, or whatever interests them.

Freshman courses include Algebra I or Honors Algebra I, French or Spanish I or Honors French or

Spanish I, Biology or Biology Honors, English or English Honors, World History, and an elective. For

both the foreign language and math courses, factors considered when placing students include previous honors courses and placement test results. Both Biology Honors and English Honors, however, will accept students who want to try an honors curriculum.

For a complete list of our courses, visit


From Broadcast Journalism to Forensic Science, USJ’s

curriculum is filled with a variety of elective courses. They are Accounting, Band, Book Study Seminar, Broadcast

Journalism, Choir/ USJ Singers/ Concert Choir, Computer Coding, Computer Science AP, Criminal Justice, Digital Tools, Fitness, Forensic Science, International Art/

Exploratory Art, Intro to Theater/Advanced Theater, Intro to Spanish, Journalism, Library Research and Operations, Music Theory AP, Personal Finance, Photography,

Programming and Robotics, Psychology, Psychology AP,

Speech, Studio Art and Studio Art AP, Study Abroad, U.S. and World Issues, Wellness, and World Religions.

USJ — what can I say? For the last seven years, I’ve had the unique honor of being able to identify myself as a USJ Bruin. USJ’s ‘commitment to excellence’ has fully engrained itself into my mind, and I find myself constantly challenging myself and pushing the limits of my education. The dedicated faculty has given me more than enough room to expand my knowledge and encourages all students to surpass their own goals. However, without the undying support of USJ’s student body, I know I would never have been able to come as far as I have. It’s amazing to me how USJ is able to bring its classes together, nearly blurring the lines from one grade to the next. I think this sense of inter-class unity and the exceptional learning environment USJ provides are the two main factors contributing to its status as ‘West Tennessee’s College Preparatory School.’ Moving forward into my college career and the life that lies beyond, I know I will be well prepared for the challenges I may face. I’m also certain I’ll never forget the experiences I’ve shared with my USJ family. Once a Bruin, always a Bruin.” — Govind Bindra, SGA President, 2013-2014, now attending Harvard College

Upper School Faculty

I am so thankful that my parents have sent me to USJ. This school has already prepared me immensely for college and even for the rest of my life. I am very glad I have taken challenging classes and pushed myself, even though I might not have appreciated it at the time. The work ethic USJ has instilled in me will stay with me forever. The Fine Arts at USJ are a huge blessing to me. I have gained confidence through music and theater and, under the direction of very talented teachers, I have been able to do what I love: perform for others and use my voice. The Fine Arts here are unmatched by any surrounding school; from choral festivals to musicals to plays, our school stands alone in its excellence. I am fortunate to have had many incredible teachers during my time at USJ, and there are far too many to name. Mrs. Linda Hawks ingrained a love of reading in me, Mr. Don Newman and Mrs. Carla Roach inspired me to want to succeed in mathematics, Mr. Don Roe motivated me daily in his AP U.S. History class, and Mrs. Jane Ramer triggered a love of biology in me. Teachers at USJ truly do care about your success. I am appreciative of the rigorous courses that USJ has to offer and that I took advantage of such courses. I will owe any of my future success to the foundational education that USJ has given me, and I am forever grateful for that.� — Molly Maroney, Junior

Debbie Anton Guidance Counselor, Psychology MTSU, B.S. U of Tenn, Knoxville, MSSW Univ. of Memphis, MAT

Amanda Beal Photography Asbury University, B.A.

Danielle Boyd Technology Coordinator, Computer Coding

Bridget Clark English Department Chair Univ. of Tenn, Martin, B.A. Univ. of Memphis, M.A.

Paul Conway World Issues, Speech Lambuth University, B.A. Lambuth University, M.A.

Erica Davidson Theater Univ. of Tenn, Martin, B.A.

Teresa Dunn French Eastern Michigan Univ., B.A. University of Oregon, M.A. Marygrove College, MAT

Allie Durham French Union Univ., B.A., History Union Univ., B.A., French

Dian Eddleman Choral Music, USJ Singers, and USJ Concert Choir Harding University, B.A.

Tales from college

Austin Orr's biology teacher at Union University was setting up the first lab for the class. She asked, "Do I have any USJ graduates in this class?" When Austin, a

2014 USJ graduate, raised his hand, the teacher said, "If you have any questions

when I'm gone, see him." Austin helped his classmates manage their first lab, while they asked, "How have you done this before?"

Jimmy A. Glosson Spanish, Foreign Language Dept. Chair Univ. of Memphis, B.A. Union University, MAEd

John Herriman Science Union University, B.S.

Christie Golden Mathematics, Science Union University, B.S. U of Tenn., Memphis, B.S. Union University, MAEd

Dr. Tammy Grant Tom Grant Music Band, Music Dept. Chair U of Southern Miss., BMEd Jones Co. Jr. College, A.T. NE Louisiana Univ., MMEd U of Southern Miss., B.Ed. Univ. of Memphis, DMA Trevecca Nazarene U, M.Ed.

Libby Lynch Mickey Marley Visual Arts, Dept. Chair Government, Fitness Union University, B.A. Univ. of Tenn, Martin, B.S. Memphis College of Art, BFA U of Memphis, MAT

Linda Hawks English, Yearbook MTSU, B.S. Univ. of Memphis, M.Ed.

Anna McPeake Art Lambuth University, B.S. Union University, M.Ed.

Malea Mullins Chemistry, Forensic Science Lambuth University, B.S. Texas Tech Univ., M.Ed.

Donald Newman Mathematics Dept. Chair Bethel College, B.S. U of Tenn, Knoxville, M.M.

Nice Panthofer Spanish Union University, MBA

Rob Platt English University of Memphis, B.A. Univ. of Tenn, Martin, M.Ed.

Anna Powell Spanish, Criminal Justice Univ. of Memphis, B.A.

Jane Ramer Science Dept. Chair, Biology Lambuth University, B.S. Union University, MAEd

Kim Rainey Upper School Secretary

Katie Ramer English Lambuth University, B.A. Union University, MAEd

Carla Roach Mathematics University of Memphis, B.S.

Don Roe History Department Chair Lambuth University, B.S. University of Memphis, M.A.

Tommy Russell Mathematics Rhodes College, B.S. Univ. of Memphis, M.Ed.

Upper School Faculty

Judy Sanderson Science West. Carolina Univ., B.S. U of South Carolina, M.Ed.

Oliver Simmons Accounting, Economics, Fitness and Wellness Florida State Univ., B.S. Florida State Univ., MSA

Scott Tinker Broadcast Journalism U of Tenn, Knoxville, B.S.

Beth Vise Librarian Univ. of Tenn, Martin, B.S. Univ. of Tenn, Martin, M.Ed.

Mary Anne Ward Algebra Union University, B.S. Univ. of Memphis, M.Ed.

Will my child be prepared for college?

Yes! USJ seeks to prepare its students for college through a rigorous college-

preparatory curriculum. USJ has a three-level track that allows students to pursue an academic path that works to their strengths. Classes at USJ are designated

College Placement, Honors, or Advanced Placement. A student can chose to purKyle Williams World History Lambuth University, B.S.

Dr. Jan Wilms Computer Programming and Robotics Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, B.A. University of Mississippi, M.A. University of Mississippi, M.S. Miss. State University, Ph.D

sue more rigorous coursework in areas where he or she feels strongest and in which the student has the most interest.

In each class, teachers use capstone experiences and final exams to determine

the breadth and depth of student knowledge. In fact, learning how to study for final exams, how to write major papers, and how to construct comprehensive projects

are just some of the areas where students feel they are most prepared for college. By the time a student graduates from USJ, he or she will have taken as many as 42 final exams and will have created countless research projects.

It’s all about Honor!

The goal of the USJ Honor Code is that each student lives as a re-

dents are honorable young

ways his or her own, and around whom the property of others is

the right to be trusted. Uni-

sponsible person — one whose word is a bond, whose work is alsafe. Lying, cheating, and stealing have no place at USJ.

In recognizing that honor can be learned, USJ uses an honor system to facilitate the Honor Code. The Honor Code is administered by the Honor Council, a body of class representatives elected by the stu-

dents. Its duty is to present the concept of individual honor to all students and to uphold that concept through enforcement of the USJ Honor Code.

The USJ Honor Code is predicated on the assumption that all stu-

Honor Code Oath

men and women and have

At the beginning of each school year, all students recite this oath together:

versity School of Jackson

“As a student at the University School of Jackson, I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor condone the actions of those who do.”

students desire to learn in an atmosphere where

honesty and integrity endure and are an integral part of their

lives. In the Upper School, beginning each year, each student will recite the USJ Oath of Honor, thereby accepting his or her responsibility for this Honor Code.

We believe that a culture of honor can only be created when stu-

dents are held accountable to each other for the culture they create.

Did you know?

USJ offers 17 Advanced Placement

courses for college credit. They are …

An “AP” or an “Advanced Placement” course offers students the opportunity to study college-level

w English Language w English Literature w Calculus AB w Calculus BC w Computer Science w Biology w Chemistry w Environmental Science w Physics B w U.S. History w French Language w Spanish Language w Psychology w Music Theory w Studio Art 2-D w Studio Art 3-D w Studio Art Drawing

and is equivalent to introductory courses taken the first year of college. At the end of the year, students

All of the AP courses offered at USJ have

university may give the student college credit or advanced placement in college courses.


Computer Science AP class

USJ and Advanced Placement

courses during high school. The Advanced Placement program curriculum is set by the College Board

participating in AP classes take a national exam. Depending on a student’s performance on the exam, a However, even if a student does not achieve a score that qualifies for college credit, college admission

offices look favorably on students who have selected this more rigorous curriculum. Research also has

shown that participation in AP coursework increases a student’s chances of doing well in college and the likelihood the student will complete a bachelor’s degree in four years.

USJ offers 17 Advanced Placement courses, all certified by the College Board. This gives our students the opportunity to take one or more college-level courses in their areas of interest. Our strong AP

program sets us apart from most other schools. By the end of their first semester of college, many USJ graduates are classified as sophomores or better because of the AP credits earned in high school.

The AP curriculum requires students to develop critical thinking skills in order to be successful on the national test. According to a January 2011 New York Times article, the College Board continues to prioritize critical thinking skills, explaining that the expectations are “important because critical thinking skills are considered essential for advanced college courses and jobs in today’s information-based economy.”

According to the College Board’s Advanced Placement website, the key ingredients for success in an AP

course are curiosity, creativity, and commitment. While USJ takes into account scores on placement tests for course scheduling, the main criteria for placement in an AP class are a student’s desire to take the

course and teacher recommendations. USJ teachers do not just want students who will make excellent scores on the AP exam, but also students who will add to the classroom environment and are willing to

move out of their academic comfort zones. Much like college professors, USJ’s AP teachers also expect students to take ownership of the course and use a hands-on approach to acquire the understanding needed to perform at an exceptional level.

been audited and certified by the College The strength of USJ’s AP curriculum

lies in our teachers. Our 12 AP teachers have a combined experience of nearly 300 years in the classroom and 150

years of teaching the AP curriculum. Nearly all have been AP graders,

meaning they have graded the free-

response sections of AP tests for the College Board.

All USJ students in AP courses are required to take the Advanced

Placement test in order to get AP credit

on their transcripts. Advanced Placement tests are graded on a 0 to 5 grading

scale with 5 being the top score and 3

being a passing score. In tests taken in

Spring 2014, 91 percent of USJ students scored 3 or higher on their Advanced Placement exams, and 67 percent

scored 4 or higher. The state average for a score of 3 or higher was 60 percent.

I enjoy my classes because of the stimulating discussions and the captivating topics. One of the most important things I have learned at USJ is learning for the intrinsic value, rather than completing work for the grade. At USJ, students are truly invested in their learning, ask follow-up questions, and stay after school to better understand concepts. This level of academic maturity has positively influenced me and helped me gain a better perspective. My teachers can be very demanding, but overall, I enjoy meeting the challenges. I have been very grateful to have so many supportive teachers that have pushed me and given me the tools needed to be successful. Coming to USJ from Seattle was very difficult, but I believe it has made me a more well-rounded person. Not only did I have to stand up to the academic rigor of USJ, but I was forced to be more outgoing socially. I found the USJ community to be very welcoming and supportive. I definitely feel that USJ has prepared me for college.” — Amanda Holloway, Senior, National Merit student, will attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

USJ students on the Spanish immersion trip to Costa Rica in summer 2014 stand on the steps of El Museo Nacional in Downtown San José, Costa Rica. Teresa Dunn, near right, works with a student in her French class, while Jimmy Glosson, far right, teaches Spanish.

Foreign Language

USJ’s Upper School offers four years of Spanish and four

years of French. Honors and Advanced Placement courses also are offered in both languages. As much as possible, French and Spanish teachers immerse students in the language from the

moment they enter the classroom. Becauses of this, many USJ graduates are fluent in a foreign

language, preparing them for today’s global marketplace. In alternating summers, Spanish students are given the oppurtunity for an immersion experience in Costa Rica, and French students study abroad in France. Students can earn credit after taking either trip.

A Spanish tale from college

Marisa Mariencheck, a member of the USJ Class of 2014, did so well on her Spanish placement test at Washington University in St. Louis that she was placed in a 300-level Spanish class. The head of the department asked to meet with Marisa and read something she had written in high

school Spanish. Marisa took him a paper she wrote for Jimmy Glosson. The department chair was so impressed that he invited her on a spring break trip he is leading to his native country of Cuba.

Classes at USJ are challenging, but if you do your homework every night, there should be no issues with your classes.


Home of state championships in nearly every sport,

University School of Jackson’s athletic teams frequently

advance to the post season. Since spring 2012, we’ve won state championships in baseball, softball,

and boys doubles in tennis. Football, boys cross country, boys tennis, girls soccer, and both boys and girls golf were state runners-up, the girls cross country team came in third place, and girls tennis

reached the final four. The competition cheerleading squad earned a top-10 finish on the national level. During the 2013-2014 school year alone, 17 USJ athletes earned All-State honors.

USJ’s Middle and Upper Schools field 37 teams in 20 different sports to provide a host of opportunities for students interested in athletics. Our athletic complexes are among the best in West Tennessee.

Community Service and Leadership

We offer our students many opportunities to become leaders, to learn how to make real decisions that

It is absolutely possible to play sports and take classes. All you have to do is manage your time wisely, and if there is a scheduling issue, you can resolve it with your teacher. An example is when I was in choir. We had a concert on Saturday, but I had to go to Vanderbilt for a football recruitment trip. I simply talked to my choir teacher, and we worked it out.” — Trey Smith, Sophomore, Finalist for Tennessee’s Mr. Football Award

have a real impact in others’ lives. We also instill in our graduates a mission to help others. Besides our student-run Honor Council, we have more than 20 clubs and interest groups. They range across all disciplines and provide students opportunities to pursue their passsions. All clubs and every grade are required to complete a community service project each year. Upper School students must also log 50 hours of community service hours to graduate.

A Community Service story Tyler Terry completed his community service

requirement for graduation by helping a retiree with yard work and household projects.

Carol Matthews Lipscomb recently left her job to

care for her bedridden mother. She said it has been

manners were excellent, his work was close to

but Tyler has been “an absolute lifesaver.”

about anything asked of him.”

a difficult time financially, mentally, and spiritually, Tyler helped her move into her mother’s house, cleaned the attic, and made the backyard

presentable. “Tyler has gone above and beyond in helping my mother and I,” Lipscomb said. “This young man never left a job undone. Tyler’s

perfect, and not one time did I hear him complain Lipscomb said he easily surpassed USJ’s gradua-

tion requirement of 50 community service hours just working at her home. “If Tyler is an example of the caliber of students you have at your school, then I commend you,” Lipscomb said in a letter to USJ.

I like my classes because they’re all pretty challenging, and the teachers are motivated. My favorite teacher is Mr. Newman because he makes me push myself to meet my potential. I like being at USJ because there’s a strong sense of community throughout the school, and you can find a friendly face wherever you go.” — Kayla Puzdrakiewicz, Sophomore, All-State Cross Country runner

The Arts at USJ Visual Arts

USJ offers a comprehensive and sequential visual arts program.

Students can pursue a four-year art curriculum that culminates in one or more Advanced Placement Art portfolios. These portfolios

are often used by students to gain admittance to some of the most prestigious art and design colleges in the United States, including the Parsons School of Design and the Fashion Institute of

Technology, both in New York City, and the Savannah College of

Coming in to USJ wasn’t very difficult for me. I had already known some of the students who go here through church functions or out-ofschool stuff. I did make a lot of new friends, though. The classes in the ninth grade aren’t too bad. They do put a work load and a lot of pressure on you to get it done in time.

Art and Design in Georgia.

Students also have the opportunity to

participate in numerous art competitions throughout the region. For example, 13 students had artwork accepted into the

West Tennessee Regional Student Juried Art Competition this year, and students

submitted 21 winning entries to the MidSouth Scholastic Art Competition.

By far my most favorite teacher in the ninth grade is Mrs. Hawks. She’s really enthusiastic in what she teaches. Overall, the ninth grade is a good grade in which to enter USJ.” — Lydia Woods, Freshman, first-year USJ student USJ’s teachers always push their students to improve themselves. They are always willing to help students; they are always available to help or discuss school-related matters with their students. My favorite teachers include Christie Golden, Katie Ramer, and Don Roe. They inspire me to keep a commitment to learning and to being the best student I can be. My classes are challenging, but they inspire me to better myself.” — Jordan Stewart, Junior

Choral Program

The USJ Choral Program offers many opportunities. The program includes Freshmen Choir, USJ

Singers, and the USJ Concert Choir. The USJ Combined Choirs perform many concerts throughout the year including Veterans Day, Christmas, and the annual spring Pops Concert. USJ is proud to have a high number of students selected to the Regional Honor Choir and the Tennessee All-State Choir.

Additional performance opportunities include Quad-State Honor Choir, National Honor’s Ensemble,

ACDA Division and National Honor Choir, regional Solo/Ensemble Festival, and the UTM Honor Choir. During this school year, six students were named to the Tennessee All-State Choir, and 29 students were named to the Senior High All-Northwest Honor Choir. Dr. Tammy Grant directs the Freshmen Choir. Dian Eddleman, past president of the Tennessee Music Education Association, directs USJ Singers and the USJ Concert Choir.

Performing Arts

USJ is the only school in West Tennessee that puts on two full-scale musicals and one

dramatic production per year. A live student orchestra or band accompanies our

musicals. We also have the

only Tri-M Music Honor society in the region, and we are the

only school to offer AP Music Theory.

The fall 2014 musical was Seussical, and it featured students from

fourth grade through the Upper School. The production appealed to all ages and included elements from at least 15 of Dr. Seuss’

books. The spring 2015 musical will be the Broadway production of Disney’s Mary Poppins. And, yes, we expect Mary’s umbrella to transport her across the stage.

need later in life.”

In January, Upper School students

gripping play about

hardly do enough plays to get all the talent showcased. Although I theater, being on stage is a wonderful life lesson that teaches

many skills they will

in the Pond, a

program to the coordinated effort among all the Fine Arts

realize that many of my actors may not go on to a career in the

confidence, and so

performed A Ripple

Dr. Tammy Grant attributes the success of USJ’s musical theater departments. “We have developed such a talent pool that we can


domestic violence

written by USJ students in collaboration with the Wo/Men’s

Resource and Rape Assistance Program (WRAP). All proceeds from tickets sales and donations went to WRAP.

Band Program

With the emphasis on teamwork, the USJ Band program is all about making a difference in the lives of our students and community. USJ’s

expanded program ranges from All-West Orchestra, Jazz, and Concert Band, to AllState, Solo & Ensemble, Honor Bands, musicals, and church ensembles in which students can participate. First-year students have their first concert at Christmas. They play four pieces and then one piece with all the band members.

“The pieces are in line with what the students can do, but I do try to keep it a notch above what they think they can play to keep them challenged,” said Band Director Tom Grant. “For the group piece, we place the more experienced students by the younger ones to help them feel comfortable and good about themselves.”

It is a great experience coming to USJ in the ninth grade. The upperclassmen are very inclusive and welcoming. I was wrong to think that it would be hard to make friends as a new student. I enjoy every one of my classes. The teachers are great, and I can tell that they enjoy teaching. If I ever need help with something, the teachers are always able to take time and help me

with whatever I need. Some of the classes can be difficult, but the teachers give you everything you need to be successful. Ninth-grade year is a great year to establish yourself as a student and really build a great foundation for the next three years of high school.” — John Henry Woods, Freshman, first-year USJ student

Did you know? The 68 students in USJ’s Class of 2014 were offered more than $6.1 million in

scholarship money! They planned to attend 27 different colleges in the United

States, and one student was headed to college in Panama.

Already, members of the Class of 2015

College Advising

The goal of our College Advising team is to provide individualized attention and support to our students as they participate in the college search and selection process. Many colleges will be a good “fit” for each student, and we guide our students as they research colleges, meet deadlines, and plan for the future.

Shannon Whisenant, Assistant Director of College Advising, starts by meeting with each freshman and sophomore student and his or her parents. They talk about the college admissions process Shannon Whisenant and set up online accounts in Naviance, which the student will use often to keep track of accomplishments, test scores, and GPA. Carol Ryan, Director of College Advising, meets individually with juniors and seniors and their parents. Junior parents and juniors fill out separate online questionnaires before Ryan schedules the first meeting.

Carol Ryan

With the help of College Advising Assistant Lori Howell, the College Advising Office distributes information about upcoming college visits, college entrance testing dates, open houses, scholarship opportunities, and summer programs.

USJ holds an annual College Admissions Seminar for juniors. Representatives from various universities and colleges provide students and parents with vital information and advice on both the college admissions process and the keys to achieving success in college. Programs on financial aid and other topics also are offered to students and parents. Most recently the College Advising Office partnered with YouScience to offer an online assessment profile for the Class of 2016. The tool provides insights Lori Howell about students’ professional strengths, and it helps them determine which major and career paths they could pursue in college. After developing their profile, students met with USJ’s college advisors to analyze the results. Although many prestigious independent schools use YouScience profiles, USJ is the first in West Tennessee to adopt the program. We are proud that 100 percent of USJ graduates meet college admission requirements. Their USJ education makes them competitive applicants at the most academically selective schools.

have been accepted at … w University of Alabama w University of Alaska, Fairbanks w University of Arkansas w Auburn University w Belmont University w Boston College w Carson-Newman University w Georgetown University w Georgia Tech University w University of Georgia w University of Kansas w Lee University w Louisiana State University w University of Memphis w University of Michigan w Millikin University w Millsaps College w University of Mississippi w Mississippi State University w Montana State University w Oklahoma City University w University of Pittsburgh w Purdue University w Rhodes College w Samford University w University of South Carolina w South Dakota School of Mines w Southern Methodist University w University of Tennessee, Chattanooga w University of Tennessee, Knoxville w Vanderbilt University w Viterbo University w Webster University ACT Composite Score Averages for 2014 Graduates … Tennessee: 19.8 United States: 21.0 USJ: 28.0

2011 upper school brochure  
2011 upper school brochure