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After Kosovo, Schade Family Reunites at JA

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Jackson Academy parent, Lieutenant Justin Schade, wanted to surprise his family. He succeeded, and he received a nice surprise in return.

The Army lieutenant with the 1st-185th Aviation Unit had been granted leave to return a few days early from Kosovo. He surprised his wife by showing up at home one night while the children were asleep. Melanie Schade quickly joined in on the surprise for their children and helped her husband stay hidden until the children were dropped off at school the next morning. The original plan was to check the children, Molly, second grade, and Amelia, K-3, out early and surprise them at home.

But when JA teacher Amanda Cross found out about the early check out, she and fellow faculty members suggested another, and larger, plan. They arranged a gathering of the entire Preschool and second grade in the Preschool Gym to officially welcome Lieutenant Justin Schade home.

Photo by Charlotte Barry

As music teacher Holly Collums announced a special guest, both girls showed shock and surprise as their dad entered. After lengthy hugs and tears, and a few moments to reconnect, the Schade family was serenaded by 250 children and adults singing “God Bless America” in Lieutenant Schade’s honor.

Lieutenant Schade had been gone since May 11, with one visit home at Christmas. This was his first deployment, although not his first extended trip away from family. Previous training had required travel and separation from the family when Molly was 4 years old (photo right).

The Schades planned a fun afternoon of lunch and play, which Amelia quickly seconded. Molly, though, had other ideas. She wanted to come back after lunch for STEM class.

Alpha and Omega Cheer for Teachers and Students

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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.

Click here to view the entire photo album from the game on Facebook.

JA Announces Vice President and Dean of the School Appointment

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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.”

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We’re Better Together! JA Joins ‘Go Gold’ Efforts

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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.

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Learning Commons Opens

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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.

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