The Mississippi Association of Independent Schools held the annual concert band clinic Thursday and Friday in an abbreviated fashion. Jackson Academy musicians were among those who auditioned via recordings to perform with musicians from other independent schools. MAIS limited the clinic to 50 students this year. Students from eight schools earned spots. In a socially distanced setting at Hinds Community College, nine students represented JA, most holding first or second chair positions.
JA brightens up the season each year with a “Merry JA Christmas Carpool,” this year held Thursday, December 10. Special friends such as Elsa, Ana, and the Grinch, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, delighted students during their morning arrival.
College is different from high school, no doubt. Last week members of the class of 2018, 2019, and 2020 joined the current senior class in the Learning Commons to talk about the college experience. The first panel was held on Wednesday and attended by senior girls, who heard from Reese Anderson ‘20, Kennedy Nations ‘20, Azaria McDowell ‘20, Kayla Shepherd ‘20, Lizzy Childress ‘20, Avery Hederman ’19, Olivia Stringer ‘18, Skylar Alexander ‘19, and Erin Hederman, ‘19. The senior boys heard from Brent Butler ‘20, David Robertson ‘18, Miles Johnson ‘20, and Joseph Adams ‘20 the next day during their lunch break.
Last week, Jen Henson led an intense, five-day ACT prep bootcamp for Jackson Academy’s junior class. Monday through Friday, Henson taught proven strategies and tips to improve performance in five pillars of the ACT; English, science, reading, math, and punctuation. With 22 years of experience as a high school English teacher and nearly ten years owning her ACT coaching company Goal Digger, Henson’s work equipped students with a detailed map to increasing their scores and potentially locking in more competitive scholarships.
Jackson Academy hosted a signing Monday at 10 a.m. for two seniors who are continuing their athletic careers in college baseball next year. Parker Ryan signed with Pearl River Community College and Branson Tadlock signed with Jones County Junior College. Parker and Branson were joined at the event by members of their families, coaches, members of the baseball team, and classmates.
Ten Jackson Academy students have been selected to represent their school and hometown while learning more about leading and serving. Each year, area chambers of commerce and nonprofit organizations contact JA’s counselors with invitations for students to apply to their leadership programs. Specific programs have unique emphases, but all aim to cultivate men and women of character prepared to lead the next generation with wisdom and humility.
Viewing an exhibit of masters of Impressionism just a few moments from your school is an opportunity too exceptional to miss. Thanks to the Mississippi Museum of Art, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi, and the Feild Cooperative Association Incorporated, Jackson Academy art and French students received free admission to Van Gogh, Monet, Degas & Their Times, an exhibit of 74 pieces curated from the posthumously donated, personal collection of Paul and Bunny Mellon. The exhibit, which is the 17th collection of the Annie Laurie Swaim Hearin Memorial Exhibition Series, features some of the most prominent artists and works of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Just prior to Halloween, seventh and eighth grade students divided into groups by their birthday months and visited outdoor areas on campus designated for trick or treating. Ninth and tenth grade students raised money for Student Council Christmas projects by braving entry into a Haunted House Thursday evening.
Bronwyn Burford’s financial management students are out on a special assignment to research, record, and produce a podcast! Students will use the application Anchor to record and edit their findings on topics related to personal financial management. They’ll also be working together in groups of two or three, practicing collaboration, and interviewing friends and faculty for their episodes, a great way to hone communication skills. This project is so full of learning opportunities it’s categorized as an educational superfruit!
The year 2020 has been interesting for high school students, counselors, and college admissions offices, all of whom have had to navigate a challenging course in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jackson Academy’s Upper School Counseling Office has steadily adapted to provide students with guidance and clarity as they prepare to make a college decision.