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Academics.. ................... 4 Community................... 6 Arts.. .............................. 10 Athletics....................... 12 Faculty.......................... 14 Events............................ 18 Alumni.. ....................... 20


USJ’s Mission We instill a passion for academic, artistic, and athletic excellence while committing to personal integrity, mutual respect, and lifelong learning. 232/240 McClellan Road Jackson, TN 38305 731.664.0812 •

BOARD of TRUSTEES Caroline Campbell Lee Driver Anita Hamilton Darrell King James Kirkland Bethany Lawrence Geoffrey Lindley John New

Identity Statement USJ is a non-denominational, non-sectarian, college preparatory school dedicated to academic excellence and to our founding principles of faith, service, and scholarship. Based on a heritage grounded in JudeoChristian values, we provide an educational environment where students of all ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds are valued and respected. The faculty, administration, and students are empowered to nurture and embrace the Judeo-Christian values and our operating principles. Through the fulfillment of our mission and adherence to these core principles and values, we prepare our graduates to be responsible and informed world citizens.

Ryan Porter Michelle Prince Sarah Pucek James Robinson Ashby Scott Kathryn Tucker Jeff Watlington John Whybrew

ADMINISTRATION Stuart Hirstein Head of School Benjamin Murphy Upper School Director Don Roe Middle School Director Dr. Louise Dunn Lower School Director Laura Moore Director of Admissions 2

2017-2018 Honor Council

Something New Is Brewin’ In The Middle/Upper School Library Design plans for the renovation of the Mary Francis Campbell Library shared by the Middle and Upper Schools were unveiled last fall. In working with a design consultant, students, faculty and staff decided the library needed a more organic feel. The redesign includes several group study/meeting spaces as well as a “Brewin’ Café” area for students to gather and unwind.

“Our kids deserve a space that responds to changes in technology and culture while providing a central location for collaborative learning and quiet study areas,” says Head of School Stuart Hirstein.

Renovations are set to begin this summer in order to have everything in place for the 2018-2019 school year. If you would like to make a donation towards this project, please visit and designate Library Renovations, or contact Cathy Garrett at



Interdisciplinary Studies Encourage Lifelong Learning


Middle School Director Don Roe spearheaded a new idea for Middle School students this year. Interdisciplinary units have allowed students to dive into one particular topic or concept in all of their classes. Teachers decided the topics taught and worked to incorporate fun, interesting projects into their lesson plans. After spending two days touring ancient Egypt, seventh graders produced maps in teams, read about Egyptian creation myths, and solved puzzles to free themselves from escape rooms. They applied their knowledge by creating pyramids and measuring their creations using mathematical formulas, and compared and even constructed Egyptian and Mayan pyramids in Spanish class. “With this, we stress the importance of lifelong learning and application,” says Don Roe. “Lifelong learning is a part of our mission statement. We want to give our students the opportunity to learn in a new way as well as give them the tools to make connections across their courses.”

National Merit Recognition Finalists: Anjali Mahajan Tyler Bruno

Commended: Annabelle Reese Eli Garey Adam Davis

Flexible Seating and Student-Centered Classroom Redesigns Third grade teacher Jessica Platt began reading about flexible seating a few years ago and was eager to use it for her class this year. “I’ve always liked the idea of it but never really knew where to begin,” says Mrs. Platt. “We started collecting yoga balls, crates and pillows, rugs, stools, and camper chairs from our families and discount stores. I found some tables in the building that worked perfectly, so I knew we were ready to make the change.” On Halloween, the students got to work redesigning the classroom. They helped to clear out desks and chairs and prepared the seating options. Through the transition, students tried out all of the seating and made a “top three” list of their favorite seats. Now, they rotate around to their favorite places to sit. One of Mrs. Platt’s students, Suri Ghodadra, says, “I like flexible seating because we can move around instead of just sitting in a normal chair and being still.” Since October, there have been several other teachers and classrooms adopt a flexible seating arrangement.


Solar Eclipse Fun On August 21, our students, faculty, and staff took their science lessons outside to the lawn to watch The Great American Eclipse. Our younger students enjoyed eclipsethemed snacks and watched the live NASA broadcast, while grades 1-12 participated in group outdoor labs.

6th Grade Nashville Study Tour In September, the sixth grade class spent the day on a study tour in Nashville where they visited the State Capitol and met with Senator Jackson, Representative Eldridge, and Representative Lollar. They then toured the Adventure Science Museum and The Hermitage.

7th Grade Atlanta Study Tour Seventh graders spent a busy three days in Atlanta this fall. The students visited CNN Studios where they learned about green screens and broadcasts. They also went to the World of Coca-Cola, learning about the history of the product and sampling Coca-Colas from around the world. Students played in Centennial Park and raced go-karts for fun. The trip had an educational component, too, as they visited the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, which tied into their recent unit on Civil Rights. A final highlight of the trip was a visit to the College Football Hall of Fame where students learned about their favorite teams and punted, passed, and kicked like real football players.




Elizabeth Atkins Wins Dancing with the STARS Lower School Music Teacher Elizabeth Atkins won Jackson’s Dancing with the STARS, a fundraiser to benefit the STAR Center. The STAR Center’s mission is to help any person with any disability realize their potential. Elizabeth is pictured with her partner, Bubba Holsinger, and her choreographer, Kim Holley.

Sophomore Class Raises Money for the Dream Center Sophomore class president Seth Spry had the idea for a pancake fundraiser to raise money for the Dream Center, which is a faith-based educational ministry for families and individuals who have experienced crisis in their lives. The entire sophomore class handled the publicity for the event, took pre-orders, and prepared the pancakes themselves. “I am so proud of our sophomore class officers for taking the initiative to support the Dream Center,” says Upper School Director Ben Murphy. “This was a completely student-designed project, and it was great to see the students having fun listening to music while cooking the pancakes. They learned a great deal about how to coordinate their efforts and collaborate as a group.”

Another RIFA Food Drive Success USJ and Trinity Christian Academy once again collected food for Regional Inter-Faith Association (RIFA) last fall. Their collective goal for 2017 was to raise 75,000 lbs. of food. Collection days began on Friday, September 1 and went through Thursday, September 7. Students collectively raised 62,000 lbs. of food. “It was so impressive that both schools collected so much food in such a short period of time,” says Upper School Director Ben Murphy. “We finished extremely strong and helped many people in West Tennessee. 62,000 pounds in four days is extraordinary when you sit down and think about it.” In 2016, the two schools brought in a combined 66,000 lbs. of the 175,000 lbs. of food received for the RIFA Food Bank. This was a record-breaking donation for RIFA and a huge endeavor for the schools. Due to these efforts, 390,320 meals were distributed and RIFA was able to have #10 cans (green beans, corn, potatoes, baked beans, etc.) all year long in the Soup Kitchen. “Our students are always amazing in their response to this worthy cause,” says Bridget Clark, English teacher and sponsor of the Key Service Club. 6

A&P Students Sponsor Middle School Dance On December 14, upperclassmen from Christie Golden’s Anatomy & Physiology class hosted a dance for USJ’s middle schoolers right before Christmas break. This dance was a great event and also provided a mentoring opportunity for the high schoolers and a charity project. Proceeds from the t-shirt sales for the dance went to Project 541 in Honduras, which is led by 2010 USJ alumna, Kayla Austin. The night raised over $3,600. “I would have never thought of this idea had it not been for the 40 phenomenal seniors I have in class,” says A&P teacher Christie Golden. “They were more than eager to volunteer, which is a true testament to their character. Not only was this a neat opportunity for my students to mentor to the middle schoolers, but we were also coming together in support of a member of the USJ community.” See page 22 for more information about Project 541.

Veterans Day Program On November 7, the USJ Concert Choir performed at the school’s Veterans Day Assembly organized by the Social Studies Honor Society. This program honored veterans who were willing to give their lives to preserve freedom. Faculty and students joined together in Blankenship Theater to salute veterans and current members of the Armed Forces. Our students welcomed veterans and guests from the community and our USJ family.

Lower School Gift Drive This past holiday season, our Lower School got into the spirit of giving in a big way. The teachers and students discussed ways they could give back to the community. Each grade level then selected a community group they wanted to help in lieu of a gift exchange. The amount of donations we received for each organization was overwhelming. Thank you to all of our Bruin families for participating! Baby Bruins to Junior K Kindergarten 1st grade 2nd grade 3rd grade 4th grade 5th grade

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Eden of Youth Town Blankets for chemo patients Chemo bags Blessing bags Angel Tree Project (Salvation Army) The Humane Society


New Infant and Toddler Program Lays Foundation for Learning The start of the 2017-2018 school year revealed a few more strollers and toys around the Lower School with the creation of USJ’s Infant and Toddler Program. This new option has allowed families to enroll children as young as six weeks old into the Bruin family. The infant classroom includes children from six weeks old to twelve months, while the toddler classroom serves children from 12-24 months from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Schedules are based on individual needs, and a daily Activity Sheet is provided for each child. “Our goal when we started the program was to meet the needs of our families and provide a safe and loving environment for parents to drop off their infant or toddler while dropping off their older child,” says Early Childhood Education Director Beth Hudson. “We wanted this program to be more than just a daycare. We wanted to rise above the standard and meet the needs of these babies while encouraging their growth and development in all areas.” The Infant and Toddler Program is governed and certified by the Department of Education. The program has specific rules and regulations it follows with staff, students, and facilities. A program evaluator comes twice a year—once unannounced—and checks records and facilities. The program follows these standards to provide the best care possible for students. Teachers use a guide for planning meaningful experiences and instructional activities and follow developmental and learning frameworks for all children. The key areas of USJ’s Infant and Toddler Program are Approaches to Learning, Social-Emotional Development, Language and Early Literacy, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Physical Development.


“I am 100% satisfied with our decision to put our son in USJ’s Infant and Toddler Program,” says Megan Dennison, whose son is in the Older Infant Class. “The teachers not only made sure my son was comfortable, but that I was too. It’s more than just childcare; it’s a learning facility where children are developing motor skills, performing sensory work, and engaging in different activities.”

Q&A Whitney Meriwether What made you decide to enroll your child in the Infant and Toddler Program? I teach English in USJ’s Upper School and know how much the faculty and administration pour into every level of education here. I stayed home until my son was eight months old, and knowing that 1) he was right across the parking lot, and 2) he was being cared for by truly loving teachers who listen and communicate incredibly well with parents, made the transition much easier. What is your favorite thing about the Infant and Toddler Program? The teachers! Megan, Loretta, and Sara make every parent feel like their child is the class favorite. It is comforting to know that they are more than just caregivers; they love these babies and nurture each child’s specific needs. In what ways does the program work to provide a learning foundation for your child? The teachers introduce the infants to age-specific sensory and developmental experiences. When popping over from the Upper School, I often catch them singing songs, reading books, and making art projects. It is so fun to see how well the teachers facilitate social interaction among the infants.

We Love Our Baby Bruins!




Bank of Jackson Art Show Congratulations to the following Middle School students for having artwork selected for the Bank of Jackson Art Show. Pictured from left to right: 6th graders, Eady Davenport and Madeline Craig; 7th graders, Sophia Karg and Cassidy Bruno; and 8th graders, Carly Ingram and Ani Garabedian.

Kevin Cheng Plays at Carnegie Hall Sophomore Kevin Cheng had the opportunity to showcase his talents by playing in the 2018 High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall in New York City, February 1 -5. Kevin is an accomplished violinist who has been playing since the age of nine. During the High School Performance Series, selected musicians rehearse and perform under renowned conductors and have the opportunity to meet other like-minded musicians from around the world as they prepare for and perform at a truly world-class venue. Though much of the students’ time is focused on performance preparation, the week also allows students to experience the best of the sights and the performance arts in New York City, which includes attending a Broadway show, visiting famous landmarks, and a cruise aboard a private yacht.

The Branchman The Branchman, a play written and directed by USJ student Harrison Hamm, begins with the alleged kidnapping of high schooler Laurel by the town’s legendary monster, The Branchman. Kimmie, a hardhitting teen journalist, enlists a posse of other kids including an aspiring actor, a makeup artist, and a film enthusiast to solve the mystery. However, when her newfound crush, the edgy junior park ranger, Tony Branches, becomes the prime suspect, she finds herself at odds with what could be truth. With everyone around them acting like children, it is up to these kids to discover the identity of The Branchman. The play was performed on campus this fall, and was invited to travel to perform at the 10-state Southeastern Theatre Conference High School Theatre Festival in Mobile, Alabama in March.

I learned so much from the trip. From a musical standpoint, there was about 10 hours of intense rehearsal each day, and I improved greatly from that. Playing with talented musicians and a high-level conductor forced me to focus and play my very best. It was a humbling experience because I realized there are so many great musicians all over the country, and playing with some of them was unforgettable. To be considered for selection to the 2018 Honors Performance Series, students must submit a 3- to 5- minute audition recording, a letter of recommendation from their instructor, and a performer biography. “Kevin is not only a top student and musician, he is a ‘top person,’” says Tom Grant, Performing Arts Department Chair. “Kevin is always helping others with their music and academics, and he goes through his day with a smile and a patient moment to listen to the concerns and views of others. He is humble and kind—a person who exemplifies the best of USJ.”

The Magic Flute Performance Our second graders had the opportunity to see The Magic Flute presented by The Jackson Symphony and the UT Martin Choral Department.


Peter Pan JR. This junior musical was directed by Dr. Tammy Grant, Upper School teacher for ninth grade choir and AP Music Theory. “We have such a talented group of Middle School students here at USJ,” says Dr. Grant. “They did an outstanding job with Peter Pan JR. In fact, the Lower School students are still talking about how much fun they had at the Monday morning performance.”

Tyler Bruno Selected to All-National Honor Choir Senior Tyler Bruno was selected to the NAfME All-National Honor Ensemble for the second year in a row. The ANHE represent the top performing high school musicians in the United States. Tyler, along with the rest of the All-National Honor Choir, performed at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida, under the baton of Dr. Randall Stroope.

Zombie Prom

Director and Upper School Music Teacher Dr. Tammy Grant wanted to give students more ownership in shows and used Zombie Prom to do it. The production included many student musicians, and there were also students working the lights, managing the stage, building the set, and even designing videos to be played during the show. The students enjoyed taking on more responsibility in the shows. “If you missed Zombie Prom, you truly missed out on a fun time with great music and exciting choreography,” says Erica Davidson, Upper School Theater Teacher. “The musical was very different from the typical Disney productions, but the students had a blast.”


Athletics N E W S

Golf Teams Continue Excellence First-year coach Shelby Sain led the boys and girls teams to successful seasons with the boys finishing the regular season 38-0 and the girls notching a 16-2 record. Both teams were runners-up in the Regional Tournament, and both advanced to the State Tournament. At State, the girls’ team came in fourth with senior Jill Yates finishing ninth in the state. The boys’ team came in sixth, and senior Grayson Kirk finished twelfth. “I had a great first season as head coach. I am incredibly proud of everything both teams accomplished this year,” says Shelby Sain. “As bittersweet as it may be to look forward to next year’s season without our four awesome seniors—Grayson Kirk, Harrison Miller, Carrie Beth Workman, and Jill Yates—I am excited to see what both teams can accomplish next year.”

Charles Campbell Named All-American The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is the nation’s premier high school All-American game, featuring the best 100 players in an annual East vs. West matchup every January in San Antonio’s Alamodome. Senior Charles Campbell was selected to play in the All-American game and received his 2018 Army All-American Bowl jersey during the presentation in USJ’s Upper School Gym on September 28. The 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl took place on Saturday, January 6, 2018. Charles kicked two PAT’s and one field goal. 12

Going for Goal With Our New Soccer Facilities In the fall of 2016, our families began the process of raising over $75,000 to make improvements to our soccer facilities. Phase I, which included new bleachers and a retaining wall that will bring fans closer to the playing field and enhance visibility, was completed last fall. Plans for Phase II feature home and visitor shelters, locker rooms, and a press box with storage for team equipment. If you are interested in supporting this exciting project, please visit and designate Soccer Project or contact Cathy Garrett at



Congratulations to our six seniors who signed to play collegiate sports this fall.

Jacob Buie

Charlie Darnell

Kallie Pickens

Football • Southeast Missouri University

Baseball • Delta State University

Softball • University of Tennessee at Martin

Charles Campbell

Soccer • University of Memphis

Jack Edwards

Football • Indiana University

Ryan Miller Football • Furman University

(Additional spring signings will be featured in the fall magazine.)




Kathy Brandt Named WBBJ’s Educator of the Week In August, Junior Cubs teacher Kathy Brandt, was named WBBJ’s Educator of the Week. This made her eligible for the statewide Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Month Award. Mrs. Brandt says, “Being recognized as Educator of the Week came as a complete surprise to me. It was so encouraging to be recognized in a profession that I absolutely love. I am grateful for all the parents who entrust their sweet children to the USJ faculty.”

Kay Shearin Retires After 30 Years at USJ Kay Shearin has been Director of Admissions at USJ for 30 years. During her tenure, she has enrolled over 4,000 students and made lifelong friendships with parents, students, faculty, and staff. “It has been an honor to serve USJ for the past 30 years, and I truly cannot imagine finding a better school home for my children or a better workplace for myself,” says Kay. “Through the years, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most dedicated and caring individuals in this profession, and I have seen firsthand the impact they have made on our students. What a blessing to be a part of this amazing environment.”

Laura Micetich Speaks at Women in Business USJ faculty member Laura Micetich (‘09) recently inspired women at the Jackson Chamber’s Women in Business Luncheon. She shared her message about empowerment and making life-changing decisions. Up until 2014, Laura says she was “morbidly obese.” While in the process of trying to lose weight for a surgery that required her to be within a certain body mass index, Laura fell in love with lifting weights. She was then able to lose weight on her own. “There’s a moment when our brains try and convince us not to act on our impulses, not to act on our passions,” Laura said. “I argue that in that moment, before you have time, you need to move, you need to act.” 14

Don Roe Appointed to Tennessee Historical Commission Middle School Director Don Roe was recently appointed to the Tennessee Historical Commission as a Representative of West Tennessee. The Tennessee Historical Commission is the State Historic Preservation Office for Tennessee, has multiple programs related to statewide historic preservation, and also works to implement the programs of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

20-Year Milestone Honorees

Mr. Roe was selected for his extensive background in the research and teaching of American history for over 20 years. His appointment was effective October 1, 2017, and will run through September 30, 2022. In addition to his strong background in American history, Mr. Roe was also chosen for his organizational skills, enthusiasm, creativity, and strong work ethic. He has acted as an exemplary role model for both faculty and students through his positive attitude and exceptional personal values. Mr. Roe’s past experiences in the school system have also helped him become a strong leader and effective communicator.

25-Year Milestone Honorees

“I have had the opportunity to spend much of my life teaching the lessons of the past and how we can apply them to our lives today,” says Mr. Roe. “The mission here, albeit in a politically contentious time, is the same: preserving the history of our state and encouraging the study of it. I am delighted to serve toward that goal because I believe it can positively impact people.” 30-Year Milestone Honorees

Faculty Anniversaries We have many faculty members with over 20+ years of service at USJ. 30+ YEARS:

20+ YEARS:

Sylvia Bell

Jimmy Glosson

Lisa Cates

Tammy Grant

Bridget Clark

Libby Lynch

Larry Jones

Lisa Marley

Jane Ramer

Karen Morganti

Kay Shearin

Ruth Ann Morrison

Tony Shutes

Regina Sills

Linda Yates

Shay Young

25+ YEARS: Amber Anderson Phyllis Gayton Rhonda Klipfel Heidi McDaniel Sarah Pate

Thank you to all of our outstanding faculty and staff for your dedication and commitment to USJ!


Tony Shutes Named Coach of the Year Varsity Girls’ Basketball Coach, Tony Shutes, was named the Don Meyer Basketball Coaches Association of Tennessee’s Division II Coach of the Year for last season. Coach Shutes began working at USJ in 1987 and became the varsity boys and girls coach in 1991. During his time at USJ, Coach Shutes has also coached middle school boys and girls basketball, varsity golf, and boys soccer. His teams have won 17 District Championships; seven Region Championships; made 18 Sub-State appearances, and earned two State Runner-Up titles.

Teachers College at Lower School Since the beginning of the school year, the lower school faculty have been working on implementing the Writer’s Workshop. This approach to writing is based on research conducted at Columbia University over the past 30 years. “We have been very fortunate to have trainers from the Teachers College at Columbia come to USJ to work with our students and faculty as we seek excellence in literacy,” says Lower School Director Louise Dunn. “Our students have embraced the writer’s workshop and have significantly changed their perceptions of writing and their roles as writers within the community of their classroom,” says Dr. Dunn. “Providing real and viable audiences for the work of a writer gives the students purpose. Our teachers have provided such opportunities not only within their grade levels but across the school. We cannot wait to read the next chapter of words from our USJ writers.”

Donald Newman Endowment Continues To Grow To honor Mr. Donald Newman and to thank him for all he has meant to the USJ community for the past 32 years, USJ has established the Donald Newman Endowed Chair of Mathematics. This endowment will help ensure USJ’s ability to hire and retain outstanding faculty in mathematics like Mr. Newman. A preliminary campaign has already raised more than $136,000 in gifts and pledges toward our goal of $250,000. If you would like to make a donation towards the Donald Newman Endowed Chair of Mathematics, visit or contact Cathy Garrett at



Upper School Director Attends Leadership Jackson “You will meet so many amazing people.” “You will learn so much.” “The best experience of your life.” Whenever I talked with a Leadership Jackson (LJ) alumni about the program, these were the consistent responses I received. When I hear such high praise for any program or event, I usually become suspicious. When it came to Leadership Jackson though, such comments were right on target. During my nearly four years in Jackson, most of my experiences have centered around USJ. Partly due to the amount of events and activities at the school and partly due to my own choices, I had not really learned much about our area. As I shared with my LJ classmates at our final session, I had created my own personal bubble around 232 McClellan Road and I realized it was stunting my growth as an educator and as a person. Leadership Jackson opened my eyes to just how much is going on in our community and how many people and organizations are constantly working to improve the Jackson area. The guest speakers and presentations were a factor in this realization, and it was really my classmates who helped me to see and understand the different aspects of Jackson. We came into the program with 32 different experiences of Jackson, and it was inspiring to listen to their stories about how they came to love this community. Their passion for serving others was a huge reason I learned as much as I did during the program. One of the major elements throughout the program was trust. At our COPE retreat at Camp Mack Morris in September, we divided up into three teams (mine was the Honey Badgers, the most fierce mammal on the planet), and we were asked (although at the start, we all might have felt “forced” was the more accurate verb) to trust each other, first on the ground and then 30 feet in the air on a high ropes course. When the only reason you are not falling from a tree is because three people you just met are working together to keep you tethered, you tend to trust them moving forward. That trust enabled us to have honest conversations that helped us better understand each other’s perspectives. We all left the program feeling more confident about Jackson’s future and our ability to create positive change. There is so much potential for growth in the area, and I firmly believe USJ can be a huge part of our area’s progress. I feel that as each of us age, we sometimes tend to think not that we know it all but rather that we know enough. Leadership Jackson reminded me that one can never know enough, especially when it comes to our community.




9/11 Commemoration On September 11, 2017, students gathered outside of the Upper School for a commemoration event organized by junior and seniors. Students placed nearly 3,000 American flags in the grass near the football stadium, and USJ parent Ed Jackson III (‘99) made a few short remarks. After school, the cross-country team collected the flags, which were donated to the American Legion.

Grandparents’ Day Grandparents’ Day was a celebration of community as Lower School students showed these important members of the USJ family how much they are appreciated. “It was a pleasure to see the students sharing their learning experiences,” says Lower School Director Louise Dunn. Grandparents visited the science lab to explore experiments and see the animals, created projects in the art rooms, and whizzed into the tech lab to experience the power of the apps and sites used by students. They also had the opportunity to shop with their grandchildren at the book fair where the students were double winners with their purchases. Each book bought helped the school accumulate Scholastic book points for purchasing more books for the classrooms. “We were blessed to have the support of Upper School students on the Lower School campus as well, making sure that all students had a special someone to share the day,” says Dr. Dunn.


Parents Club Continues Tradition with 47th Holiday Mart The 47th Annual Holiday Mart hosted by our Parents Club took place from Friday, November 17 to Sunday, November 19. “We had another successful Holiday Mart this year,” says Ginger English, President of the Parents Club. “We appreciate all the hours of hard work the faculty, students, and families donate to this wonderful fundraiser for our school. It is always a perfect way to start the holiday season. We can’t wait until next year!” Through the hard work of our volunteers, the Holiday Mart raised over $180,000.

The Bid & Boogie This year’s Bid & Boogie gave everyone a much needed break from the house after a full week of snow and ice kept everyone at home. The evening featured live and silent auctions, with entertainment provided by Number One Party Band. Guests enjoyed a cocktail buffet by Coyote Blues and Rock’n Dough and lighting decor from TB Lighting. Forty West Designs’ Whitney Overton provided the lounge seating.




BIRTHS Congratulations to Kristen Currie Hunt (’06) and her husband, Jeremy, on the birth of Hudson Judah Hunt. Hudson was born May 27, 2017, weighing 7 lbs., 3 oz. and was 19 ½” long. Last fall, Hudson and big brother Hayes moved with Kristen and Jeremy to Haiti where they are doing full time mission work with Mission of Hope. Brooke Carver Martindale (’08), and Miles Martindale (‘08) welcomed Molly Palmer Martindale on October 1, 2017. Molly weighed 7 lbs, 15 oz. and measured 18.5” long. Congratulations to the family who are residing in Hendersonville, TN. Frank Crocker (’07), and his wife, Dallas, welcomed Marion Moore Crocker on October 22, 2017. Frank is currently attending the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University pursuing a career in investment banking. He also serves in the reserves as a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. Anna Gardner Kail (‘01), and her husband, Cody, welcomed twins on January, 11, 2018. Renn Elizabeth weighed 6 lbs.,12 oz. and was 19 inches long. Phillip “Riggs” weighed 7 lbs., 1 oz. and was 19 inches long. They join big brother Chase who is in the seventh grade at USJ. Anna Fowler Mullins (‘08) and her husband, Justin Mullins (‘08), welcomed their first child, Charles “Charlie” Patrick Mullins, on November 21, 2017. He weighed 7 lbs and was 20 inches long. 20

WEDDINGS Congratulations to Kristin Wheeler Freund (’05) and Joe Freund who were married on August 12, 2017. Kristin completed her medical residency in June 2017 at Washington University/Barnes Jewish Hospital and now practices as a private OBGYN in St. Louis. Best wishes to Jordan Perchik (’09) and Lee McAlister who were married on June 10, 2017 in Birmingham, AL at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church with the reception following at B & A Warehouse and the honeymoon in Kona, Hawaii. Lee is a freelance journalist, and Jordan recently graduated from medical school at UT Health Science Center. He is a medical intern at the University of Tennessee Hospitals in Memphis. They will be moving to Birmingham in June 2018 for Jordan’s residency in Radiology at the UAB Medical Center.

UPDATES Kathy Tenison Trawick (OHA ’77) and her husband, Mike, recently relocated to Nashville where Kathy is now the Executive Director of the Tennessee Fair Housing Council. Scott Ellis (’96) has recently been named the new Region 11 Manager for Farm Bureau Insurance. Region 11 lies between Knoxville and the TriCities of East Tennessee. Scott is a 2000 graduate of the University of Tennessee and began his career with Farm Bureau as an agent in Montgomery County. He moved to Knoxville in 2005 to work in the Knox-Northshore office. In January 2016, he became agency manager of the Knox-Western Avenue office. Scott currently resides in Knoxville with his wife Krista and their two children.

Blake Shaver (’06) graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2010 where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and served as Recruitment Chair and President. Blake also graduated from the Nashville School of Law in December 2016. He is currently Medical Sales Manager, Southwest and Southeast District, for Carestream Health, LLC. Blake is the son of Randy and Priscilla Shaver of Springville, TN; nephew of 1977 graduate the late Ronald (Ronnie) Joe Shaver, and grandson of OHA board member Bertie Rozzell Shaver and his wife, Betty Joe Shaver. Ashley Smith (’09) was announced as one of the 30 scholarship winners for the 2017 Women Leaders National Convention, which took place in Dallas, Texas this past October. In August 2017, brothers Warner Thomas (’11) and Ross Thomas (’13) began professional school on the same day. Warner began medical school at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine after obtaining a B.S. degree cum laude in biology from the University of Tennessee at Martin and an M.S. degree in pharmacology from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Ross began law school at the Cecil C. Humphreys College of Law at the University of Memphis after obtaining a B.S. degree in accounting at Union University. While in law school, Ross has also received the Amy E. Spain Memorial Scholarship, which is given to a student demonstrating academic merit, commitment to community/ professional service, and personal industriousness.

Have an update you would like to share? Please email your information to Cathy Garrett at

Mattie Boyd (’14), who attends Rhodes College, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the RiverArtsFest, a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote and develop public appreciation and support for the visual and performing arts in Memphis. Students are nominated for consideration by their respective art departments, which also submit samples of the students’ work for review.

Caroline and Isabela Anawate (’17) were honored by the Tennessee Community Organizations as 2017 Volunteers of the Year for their work at MHDS. While they preferred separate assignments, both Caroline and Isabela worked with clients of MHDS on a weekly basis. Isabela is currently pursuing a medical degree at Vanderbilt, while Caroline is working towards a psychology degree at the University of Georgia.

Meredith Maroney (’14) is a senior at the University of Tennessee studying journalism and Spanish. She is returning to Miss Tennessee as Miss Scenic City and was second runner-up in 2016. Meredith works for VFL Films/SEC Network at UT and enjoys fundraising for various Alzheimer’s advocacy organizations and the Children’s Miracle Network. Photo Credit: Matt Boyd Photograph.

Mitzi Michaelson Recognized as a“Top Wealth Adviser Moms” Mitzi Carter Michaelson (‘88), Wealth Management Director with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, was recently recognized on the Working Mother/SHOOK Research’s “Top Wealth Adviser Moms” list. In total, 46 Merrill Lynch advisers were recognized this year.

Past Homecoming Queens Crown Newest Queen Sarah Stone Smith (‘97) and Carrie-Brown Smith Campbell (‘07), former USJ Homecoming Queens, were at the game and helped with the crowning of USJ’s 2017 Homecoming Queen, Rachel Davis.

OHA Class of 1976 The OHA Class of 1976 is not waiting for another reunion year to get together. They are celebrating their 60th birthdays with a celebration scheduled for July 21, 2018 at the home of Molly McLemore Rheney. For more information, please contact Christi Higbee-Quesada at 21

Class Reunions at 2017 Homecoming The USJ Class of 1997 celebrated their 20th reunion by attending the USJ Homecoming dinner and game on Friday night and gathering at the Jackson Country Club on Saturday night.


The Class of 2007’s 10th reunion celebration also began at USJ’s Homecoming festivities and continued with an evening at Flatiron Grille on Saturday. If your class is planning a reunion, please let us know if we can be of assistance. Email Cathy Garrett at


Kayla Austin: Impacting Lives Through Project 541 Kayla Austin (‘10) is transforming lives in Honduras with a nonprofit organization she started in 2013 called Project 541. This organization is committed to supporting and empowering girls and women in La Moskitia, Honduras, a remote region with limited resources. Kayla began operating programs in May 2014 after graduating from Union University with a bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management in April 2014. Kayla now lives in Puerto Lempira, directing a residential home and a young women outreach mentoring program. “There really is no substitute for having the incredible opportunity to play a small part in the rehabilitation, physically or mentally, of another person,” says Kayla. “I consider it a great gift that I have been able to know these amazing people, see them grow, and watch them heal. I can share a part of their burden and watch them go forward in life victorious. There’s nothing better than that!”


Upcoming Reunion The USJ Class of 1988 will be gathering for a 30-year reunion on August 4, 2018. Details are still being finalized. For more information, please contact Jennifer Norville Atkinson at

Join us for a summer of fun! We offer a wide variety of day camps, fine arts and athletic camps, and academic courses for children of all ages. Our camps are open to all, not just USJ students. Below is a list of our offerings for summer 2018:

May 23-24 Boys Basketball 3-on-3 Instructional League (Wed-Thurs) (Rising 4th-11th) 1 to 3:30 p.m. $80

May 29-June 1 Basketball for Boys and Girls (Rising K-1st) 10 a.m. to noon $105 Boys Basketball (Rising 2nd-5th) 12:30 to 3 p.m. $105 Girls Basketball (Rising 2nd-8th) 9 a.m. to noon. $105 Guided Summer Reading Honors Classes (Rising 6th-10th) Week 1 of 2; $130/8 sessions

June 4-8 ACT English Prep (Rising 10th-12th) 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. $155 ACT Math Prep (Rising 10th-12th) 1 to 3 p.m. $155 Art-Rageous Art Camp (Rising 1st-8th) 10:30 to noon or 12:30 to 2 p.m. $175 Best of the West Soccer Camp (Rising K-7th: 9 a.m. to noon) (Rising 8th-12th: 5 to 8 p.m.) $125 Guided Summer Reading Honors Classes (Rising 6th-10th) Week 2 of 2 Little Bruins TOT Basketball (3 to 6 years old) 10:30 a.m. to noon $105 SCRATCH 2: Intro to Programming (Rising 4th-6th) 1 to 3 p.m. $155

June 11-15

July 9-13

Baseball Camp (Rising K-4th) 9 a.m. to noon $105 (Rising 5th-8th) 1 to 4 p.m. $130 Driver’s Ed (Age 15 by June 15) 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. $400 Little Bruins Art Camp (3 to 6 years old) 10:30 a.m. to noon or 12:30 to 2 p.m. $125 SCRATCH 1: Intro to Programming (Rising 2nd-3rd) 1 to 3 p.m. $155 Volleyball (Rising K-8th) 9 a.m. to noon $105

Little Bruins Beginner’s Gymnastics (3 to 6 years old) 10:30 a.m. to noon $105 July Soccer Camp (Rising K-8th) 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. $105 Musical Theater Camp Week 1 of 2 (Rising 1st-9th) 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. $175 for both weeks Tennis Camp 3 (Rising K-2nd) 8 to 10 a.m. $105 (Rising 3rd-12th) 8 to 11 a.m. $155

June 18-22 Drama Camp (Rising 6th-12th) 1 to 3 p.m. $155 Football Camp (Rising K-8th) (Mon-Wed) 8 to 10 a.m. $105 Little Bruins Superhero Camp (3 to 6 years old) 10:30 a.m. to noon $125 Tennis Camp 1 (Rising K-2nd) 8 to 10 a.m. $105 (Rising 3rd-12th) 8 to 11 a.m. $155

June 25-29 Little Bruins American Girl Doll Camp (3 to 6 years old) 10:30 a.m. to noon $125 Tennis Camp 2 (Rising K-2nd) 8 to 10 a.m. $105 (Rising 3rd-12th) 8 to 11 a.m. $155

No Camps July 2-6

July 16-20 Guided Summer Reading (Rising 6th-10th) Week 1 of 2; $130 for both weeks July Boys Basketball (Rising 4th-6th) 9 a.m. to noon. $125 Little Bruins Under the Big Top Camp (3 to 6 years old) 10:30 a.m. to noon $125 Musical Theater Camp (Rising 1st-9th) Week 2 of 2

July 23-27 Algebra Boot Camp (Rising 8th-9th) 2 to 4 p.m. $155 Guided Summer Reading (Rising 6th-10th) Week 2 of 2 Middle School Math Fundamentals (Rising 6th-8th) 12 to 2 p.m. $155 Running Camp (Rising 5th-8th) 8 to 10 a.m. $105 Upper School Study Skills (Rising 9th-12th) 10:30 to 12:30 p.m. Free

Register online at

CAMP BRUINS OPEN ENROLLMENT: Feb. 15-Apr. 15, 2018 ALL OTHER CAMPS: Mar. 15-May 15, 2018


May 29-August 1, Mon-Fri (closed July 4) 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Your children will love our organized, 10-week summer daycare program full of learning experiences and fun activities, which are developmentallyappropriate for 2-year-olds through rising 6th graders. Structured weekly themes include water play, arts and crafts, jumpers and inflatables, physical activities, and music. Tuition: 5 days a week all summer: $1,402; 4 days: $1,122; 3 days: $953; 2 days: $730. Optional cost by the week: $160 per 5-day week; $130 per 4-day week; $100 per 3-day week. Registration is $50 per child/$100 per family maximum with a $15 per child t-shirt fee.

SUMMER LIBRARY KIDS NIGHT OUT! Wednesdays: June 6, June 13, June 20, July 11, and July 18.

Session 1: Friday, June 15 Session 2: Friday, July 13

The Lower School Library will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a special presentation each week at 10 a.m. Families with signed enrollment contracts may check out books. These presentations are free and open to the public.

Parents can enjoy a night out while the kids have their own adventures! Join our Camp Bruins staff for an evening of fun. Activities include scavenger hunts, escape room-themed puzzles, movies, and indoor gym activities including inflatables. Each child will enjoy a pizza dinner, drinks, and snacks. 6 to 10 p.m. $25 per child. Ages 3 years to rising 6th grade.


1:30 p.m. on the following Tuesdays: June 5, June 19, July 10, and July 24. Escape the summer heat and enjoy a free, family-friendly movie shown on Blankenship Theater’s big screen. Open to USJ families, alumni families, and their guests.

Questions? Contact Director of Summer Programs Melissa Zerfoss at 731.300.3686 or 23

Upcoming Events USJ Weekend 2018 April 19, 20, 21 & 23

Commencement 2018 Saturday, May 12

West Jackson Baptist Church at 3 p.m.

Thursday, April 19 6 p.m. - Arts @ The U - Student Art Exhibit and musical performances in the Blankenship Theater

Friday, April 20

Homecoming 2018 Friday, September 21 USJ vs. First Assembly Christian School

11:30 a.m. - Parents of Alumni Luncheon, Mary Frances Campbell Library 4 p.m. - USJ Softball vs. North Side

Saturday, April 21 10 a.m. - Alumni Co-ed Soccer Game 11:30 a.m. - Barbecue @ The U - Look for the tent in the athletic complex 12 p.m. - USJ Soccer vs. Jackson Christian 1 p.m. - USJ Baseball vs. Trinity Christian Academy 1 p.m. - USJ Softball vs. Jackson Christian

Monday, April 23 12 p.m. - USJ Golf Tournament, Jackson Country Club 7:30 p.m. - POPS Concert

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Jackson, TN Permit #845 232 McClellan Rd. | Jackson, TN 38305

Parents of Alumni: If this publication is addressed to your son/daughter who no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please notify the Alumni Office of his/her new mailing address by emailing

USJ Spring Magazine 2018  
USJ Spring Magazine 2018