Academic Resource Center led by Beth Murray-Wilson

Beth Murray Wilson
Beth Murray-Wilson, coordinator of studies, has been in education for 30 years. During those years, parents in the Jackson Metro area have come to rely on her wise counsel regarding learning differences and optimizing curriculum to meet specific learning needs. Now, Beth is bringing that expertise to Jackson Academy on a full-time basis after having worked  part-time at JA for the past three years.

Whether working directly with students, or overseeing ARC, the Academic Resource Center, Beth’s influence is felt throughout campus.

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Cliff Powers’ “Creature Corner”

Cliff Power's Creature Corner

(From left): Ford McDaniel and Annalee Willson with Cliff Powers

Can you describe your role as 21st century learning specialist?
I will be working with PK through fourth grade teachers on ways to implement and integrate technologies that enhance and expand classroom curriculums. In these grades, that will target the use of SMARTboards, iPods and iPads specifically.

How is this role new or evolving for JA?
This position was created as a result of the iLearn initiative. However, the intention is to have the need for this role decrease over time as teachers become increasingly comfortable with technology integration. To balance this offset, my responsibilities as lower school STEM lab instructor will continue to expand. I am already thinking of ways to grow the STEM program in the future including the involvement of first grade and kindergarten.

Describe your role as Lower School STEM instructor.
Beginning this year, the STEM lab will be serving as the science curriculum for second, third and fourth grades. My responsibilities are to not only teach the subject matter, but to serve as the facilitator for the team-based, hands-on projects.

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JA Alternate Traffic Route

To Jackson Academy Parents and the JA Community,

As you may have read in the newspaper recently, the City of Jackson will be working on a utility project on the Ridgewood Road and Sheffield Drive intersection. Jackson Academy was informed of the project several weeks ago, but was not given dates of the project or traffic changes planned at that time. Yesterday afternoon we were notified that the project would begin this Monday, August 26, immediately after morning carpool. The duration of the project is planned for two to three weeks, but in reality we do not know the length for project completion.

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Her name was Barbara

JA Robotics(From left): Charlotte Palmer and Lexi Lomax

Barbara sported a bright blue bow as she made her way down the Middle School hallway, just past the lockers. Her classroom was nearby. She had to be back in the classroom in three minutes, but the hallway offered a brief excursion to demonstrate her success in the robotics “Unplugged Programming Challenge.”

Barbara is a robot, created by seventh graders Charlotte Palmer and Lexi Lomax in teacher Katie Chustz’s seventh grade science class.

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School Nurse Touches Lives, Keeps JA Healthy

Nurse Kathy Sheffield

After graduating from JA, Kathy Cockayne Sheffield blithely selected the major of nursing at Vanderbilt University. Yet through nursing, she has touched the lives of young and old in orthopedic, home health, nursing home and school nursing. And now, as JA’s school nurse and eighth grade science teacher, Kathy’s choice of profession and her connection to JA are a perfect fit.

“I love being at JA. It seems like I’ve come full circle,” said Kathy. “I graduated from here in 1982, thankful for a healthy and safe environment where teachers encouraged learning. Now I’m proud to be part of the faculty that provides a healthy and safe environment with an emphasis on learning.”

The school nurse position was created this year and is housed in the Lower School office across from Suzanne Brown’s office. “I will be working (nursing) in the Lower School office from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., will teach eighth-grade science from 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., and will be available to the Middle School and Upper School in the afternoon. I am on call all day for emergencies in any of the buildings,” she said. “Each building (Preschool, Lower, Middle and Upper schools) has my phone number and can reach me if I am needed.”

Kathy looks forward to not only treating illness, but also preventing it. “I can provide wellness services to the faculty such as blood pressure screening, glucose monitoring, identify iron deficiencies and set up weight loss programs.”

She enjoys educating students and faculty/staff about safety and health issues. She’s presented to faculty on the subjects of handling blood related emergencies safely and preventing dehydration headaches through proper water intake, and has scheduled health talks in Preschool and Lower School on ways to prevent the flu at JA. “I plan to have speakers come in and discuss the importance of a healthy diet and exercise as well,” she said.

We’re happy to have Kathy at JA, and she’s glad she selected nursing, no matter how it came about. “When it came time to pick a college, I applied to Vanderbilt and Baylor. The application asked what major I would be applying for,” she explained. “I had no idea, so I discussed it with my father. He said, ‘You look nice in white– why don’t you become a nurse?’ and I did. I have loved every minute of nursing!”