Fifty young baseball hopefuls eagerly took turns at the plate at Jackson Academy's Raider Park. The second through seventh graders were part of a program called Hitting with the Raiders that newly-named Varsity Head Baseball Coach Parker Harris and his coaching staff instituted this year. The hitting camp gave the boys an opportunity to hone their budding skills and to experience America’s sport with their friends. For Coach Harris, the camp was largely about building relationships, a key part of his philosophy of coaching. He is eager to share his love of the game with students. Harris was named JA’s head baseball coach at the close of the 2018-19 school year. His goals include growing the program, connecting with students in lower grades who have an interest in baseball, teaching life skills that are mirrored in the game of baseball, and of course, competitively pursuing state championships. Harris has been coaching since 2000 and has experience at a number of MAIS-member schools. He has coached in three sports and taught history, accounting, and computer. He holds a bachelor of business administration degree from Mississippi State University. Originally recruited by Athletic Director David Sykes, Harris has been at JA since the 2009-10 season serving as assistant baseball coach. “JA has always been one of the top schools in the MAIS. As a young coach, you want to get to the Jackson area. To me, the ultimate goal as a coach is to be at a school like JA,”
A record-breaking number of JA's theatre students earned recognition at the Mississippi Theatre Association’s Statewide Festival last weekend. Twenty-two students attended the festival in Oxford Thursday through Saturday, with thirteen students placing in the individual and 10-minute play categories. The following students were selected to compete in Individual Event Finals:Phoebe Guinn and Brent Butler - Acting DuetReese Anderson, Caitlin Johnson, Stella Allen - Acting FemaleDon Waller, Brent Butler, Thomas Arnold - Acting MaleReese Anderson - Musical FemaleDon Waller - Musical MaleGibson Cheney and Gretchen Morris - Musical Duet The following students placed in the 10-Minute Play category:All-Star Cast- Caitlin Johnson, Campbell DueaseOutstanding Tech - Wes ThomasOutstanding Playwright - Lucy ElfertOutstanding Cast- “Therapy Thursday” by Lucy Elfert, featuring Campbell DueaseBest Play - “A Very Punk Rock Play” directed by Hensley Moulder, featuring Caitlin Johnson and Rett Stanley The following students placed in the Individual Event category:Don Waller, 2nd place, Acting MalePhoebe Guinn, Hensley Moulder - 2nd place, Original SceneDon Waller - 1st place, Musical MaleBrent Butler, Phoebe Guinn - 2nd place, Acting DuetThomas Arnold, Gibson Cheney, Emma Collums, Lila Robertson - 3rd place, Acting Group The group shared their activities and answered questions from the audience in a takeover of the school's Instagram. One question that was posed to the students was, “Is theatre fun to be in?” The students replied, “Yes, and we’d love for you to be a part of our family!”
Ten students, each already a winner in their grade, stepped onto the PAC stage last Friday to compete in the final round of JA's National Geographic Geography Bee. The students represented grades four through eight and bravely answered questions about national and global geography, culture, landforms, and science before an audience of peers and family members. After 45 minutes, seventh grader Rob Penick earned first place, sixth grade student Yates Elfert claimed second place, and eighth grader Bo Barbour earned third place. Schools in all fifty United States of America participate in the annual geography tournament. The competition has three levels; school, state, and national. As the school’s winner, Rob will take an online test to determine whether he proceeds in the competition or not. If his score is among the top 100 in Mississippi, he will be invited to compete at the state tournament in March. Everyone who participates in the National Geographic Geography Bee earns something invaluable. The study materials and questions increase students’ knowledge of the world around them and highlight global issues such as deforestation, water scarcity, and wildlife conservation. The National Geographic Geography Bee inspires today’s students to become tomorrow’s explorers, scientists, and innovators by opening students’ minds to the diversity and delicacy of life on the blue planet.