Seniors and kindergarten students in Alpha and Omega attended the faculty-student basketball games together this past week. They cheered and watched games between female faculty and Upper School girls and male faculty and Upper School boys. The games were competitive and close in score, which made the event all the more exciting! Ultimately, getting to spend time with their Alpha and Omega friend was the most fun of all.
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Jackson Academy President Cliff Kling has announced that Jack F. Milne has been named Vice President and Dean of the School. Milne will fill the role of senior administrator overseeing academics, arts, athletics, and student life upon the retirement of JA’s current Headmaster, Pat Taylor, in May 2017.
“Jack brings a wealth of experience and an impressive skill set to Jackson Academy after having served for 16 years at one of our country’s leading independent schools, The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida,” said Kling. “During the interview process, it was immediately very obvious to the search committee that his student-centered philosophy, his teaching background, his relational skills, and his leadership experience are an excellent fit for Jackson Academy.”
Friday, September 9 at the pep rally and the football game, love and support for children and families impacted by cancer was emphasized. Gold clothing, special T-shirts, gold glitter, and gold ribbons abounded as the JA community rallied to recognize and honor the courage of children affected by cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Go Gold is an outreach effort in area schools that helps educate students about types of childhood cancer and how they can help a classmate who is struggling with it. Go Gold also supports the Campbell Bulldog Fund, established to fund childhood cancer research at the Mississippi’s Children’s Cancer Center, located in Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
“We raised $1001.00 Friday night, and the goal was to bring awareness to our campus. The JA campus came together and proved once again that we are always better together,” said Paula Pratt, associate dean. Signs at the pep rally and game honored members of the JA community who have experienced cancer.
On Monday, September 12 students got their first official look at their new learning and gathering space. The Upper School library at Jackson Academy was renovated this summer into a multi functional Learning Commons, a central hub for student learning, collaboration, and innovation. The space is inviting, colorful, open, and light-filled, but it is a workhorse when it comes to flexible learning space.
The Learning Commons allows for student collaboration and study, access to technology and other learning resources, and space for free time and student entrepreneurial efforts. It provides options for how students work individually or in groups, with or without technology. Specific areas include spaces for active learning, collaboration, small groups, medium groups, a learning theater, a media/broadcast room, traditional stacks, gathering spaces, and flexible classrooms with moveable walls.
JA students and faculty/staff have been mobilizing efforts since mid-August to support victims of flooding in Louisiana. Initiatives began within a couple days of the flooding when an Upper School student began a drive to collect bottled water, clothes, and school supplies. An Upper School faculty member and his class collected cleaning supplies, paper towels, bottled water, and school supplies, which were sent through a church. This past Friday, a Lower School teacher drove to Baton Rouge to deliver directly to those affected $3,400 worth of gift cards students had collected. She also delivered hand made cards expressing the support and love of the young students of JA.
The JAA initiated a school uniform drive. Nearly 350 skirts and skorts were sent to Central Private School, which is an MAIS school. This school serves grades K3-12. Also, 300-350 shorts and pants were delivered to Central Public School District in Baton Rouge.
JA Upper School students joined forces with JP on Wednesday to raise funds for Red Cross relief efforts. Within 48 hours JA students raised over $2,000 by setting up collection tables at the soccer and football games.
Support efforts are ongoing. Lower School has adopted Northside Elementary in Denham Springs. Books have been sent to the school, and more gently used books are being collected. Grades two through four have designated Northside as the recipient of the books from their Accelerated Reading Read 4 Need program for the first term.