About Cliff Kling

Clifton L. Kling became the second president of Jackson Academy June 1, 2014. An attorney and certified public accountant, Kling has been with JA since 2000, serving as chief financial officer and general counsel.

Kling’s leadership will ensure JA continues to lead the way at a time when unprecedented changes are taking place in education. He is focused on inspiring students to explore their creative interests and passions, providing learning opportunities that are connected to the real world, and building skills needed for future success. He is enthusiastic about an educational landscape that is more responsive to students in new ways that foster engaged, active learning. He looks forward to guiding JA as teaching and learning embraces a more student-centered focus, utilizes technology in different forms of instruction, develops more project-based and inquiry-based learning, and gains insights from new brain research. His role, in part, will help students connect to learning objectives where they have keen interest and propel development of essential skills in creativity, communications, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and global culture and understanding.

He is active in regional associations currently serving as a board member of SAIS, an association serving and accrediting independent schools throughout the Southeast, and as a chair of visiting accreditation teams for SAIS/AdvancedEd. He has been a presenter at regional and national educational conferences and has held various leadership roles in community organizations.

A native of Clinton, Kling graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He completed his Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law, graduating summa cum laude. Prior to joining JA, he practiced law at Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens, & Cannada, in the general and commercial litigation departments and worked at KPMG Peat Marwick as a staff accountant performing audits for financial institutions.

He and his wife, Heather, a first grade teacher at Casey Elementary, have two children, Ainsley, 12, and Alise, 8, both of whom are students at JA. Kling is an active member of Broadmoor Baptist Church where he has served as a deacon and a Life Group teacher. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports, reading, traveling with family, and he is an avid snow skier.