Tara McDaniel

Tara McDaniel
Preschool Dean

Tara McDaniel, who has been with Jackson Academy for over 10 years, is entering her seventh year as head of the Preschool and director of After School programs. Prior to her current role, she served for three years as a faculty member in second and third grades at JA. Mrs. McDaniel holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in education from Mississippi College.

Preschool Division

The Preschool Division seeks to give your child the best possible beginning. Through personal attention from a caring faculty and a thoughtful academic curriculum, we develop your child’s physical and mental abilities.

Student Benefits

  • iPad for students
  • Cultivate key skills such as creativity, communication and collaboration
  • Acquire social and emotional growth as well as character development
  • Learn Spanish and study other cultures
  • Enjoy field trips and outside activities
  • Gain proficiency in reading through the Superkids Reading Program
  • Accelerate math skills using the Singapore Math Curriculum
  • Year-Round After School Program

JA Preschool students in the K3 S.M.A.R.T. Kids Lab

JA Makes Learning Fun

Engaging and imaginative, our programs accelerate student learning by cultivating their natural curiosity. We incorporate visual, auditory and tactile experiences to help young students gain a deeper understanding of the world around them. By focusing on what really matters, we help build open hearts and minds.

The academic curriculum covers reading, writing, listening, motor skills, and exploring, as well as art, music, and library.

  • Each day starts with a Bible story, the Pledge of Allegiance, and prayer.
  • Mind and Motor physical education channels children’s natural energy into the refinement of their perception and coordination abilities.
  • Teachers integrate iPad games so students can practice concepts of shapes, letters, counting, colors, and more.
  • Tea Party break time each day allows for snacks and socializing.
  • Cooking activities create a fun and tasty way to try out reading and math skills.
  • Spanish vocabulary and culture lessons expose children to the idea of language and global diversity.
  • Annual traditions such as our Christmas music programs, Mr. McGregor’s Garden Tea Party, career day, and the Easter egg hunt are eagerly anticipated times to celebrate and show off progress to proud parents.
  • Lunch Bunch and After School programs provide extended care options that allow your child to sample activities, arts, and music.
  • Most Preschool teachers are certified in early-childhood or elementary education, and several hold master’s degrees.

What’s Next

Preschoolers move on to the first grade in the Lower School feeling safe and secure as part of the JA community. The academic exploration and play from their preschool years instill in children the foundation for a lifelong love of learning.

Jackson Academy’s Preschool seeks to give your child the best possible beginning. JA’s Preschool is dedicated to providing a caring and loving atmosphere. Each teacher strives to ensure daily opportunities for mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and physical growth.

JA’s Preschool gives students an excellent start in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. They explore and expand their knowledge of the world, all enhanced by an outstanding introduction to art, music, and library. Another program, Mind and Motor, focuses on developing the children’s perceptual motor skills, strengthening the link between moving and learning by giving them numerous opportunities to deal with concepts of space, shape, abstract thought, and problem-solving.

JA Preschool Admission

Schedule your in-person tour of Jackson Academy’s Preschool to learn more about JA and decide if it’s a good fit for your child, by contacting admissions@jacksonacademy.org or call 601.364.5761. If you are ready to begin the application process, click here.