Jackson Preparatory School (Mississippi)
Jackson Preparatory School (Jackson Prep), is an independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school enrolling 820 students in grades six through twelve. Located in Flowood, Mississippi, a suburb of Jackson, Prep sits on a 74-acre (299,467.38 m2) campus east of Jackson. The school has a controversial history as a segregation academy.
|Jackson Preparatory School|
|3100 Lakeland Drive
|Motto||Scholarship, Service, Character, Leadership|
|Grades||6 through 12|
|Color(s)||Blue and Red|
|Affiliations||National Association of Independent Schools, Southern Association of Independent Schools, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, The College Board, National Association of College Admissions Counselors, Southern Association of College Admissions Counselors, Cum Laude Society and the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools.|
|Tuition||Approximately $14,649 per year (before book costs)|
The school was founded in 1970 as a segregation academy. A biography of James Meredith cited the school creation as part of the campaign of massive resistance against the Brown v. Board of Education decision ordering racial integration of public schools.
At the time of its founding, a member of the White Citizen's Council remarked that the school was established because the "educational results of such forced interracial congregation are disastrous for children of both the white and black races". In 2014, it's student body remained over 97 percent white.
The Jackson Preparatory School faculty/staff comprises 85 people, including 43 (50.59%) who have earned post-graduate degrees. 15 (17.65%) faculty members hold Ph.D. degrees.
The school has a student council, debate team, a robotics club, quiz bowl team, chess club, intramural quidditch teams, student publications, service clubs, academic honorary societies, band, showchoir, drill team, cheerleading, visual arts classes and exhibits, drama and musical theater productions, is a MathCounts team, and other special interest teams.
Prep currently offers one of only two Classical Heritage Programs in the state. Prep offers a wide variety of courses, including East Asian Studies, and is one of four schools to be selected locally for a Cum Laude Society chapter.
The Jackson Prep chess team won the 2015 Mississippi High School Team Championship, which was held at Mississippi State University on March 21, 2015. The top 4 players on the Jackson Prep team combined to score 15 out of 20 points to place 1st among the 8 competing high schools.
Jackson Preparatory School's High School literary magazine is named Earthwinds. Earthwinds had earned four consecutive Gold Medals in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Critique of Student Literary Magazines as of the 2007-2008 school year. Earthwinds has also earned an All-Southern Rating, the highest commendation awarded by the Southern Interscholastic Press Association, judged by the journalism and communications faculty at the University of South Carolina this year.
The Sentry is Jackson Prep's periodically released high school news publication. It is a forum for students in grades ten through twelve to both to keep the Prep community informed, express their opinions, and learn about the process of journalism. The Revolution is The Sentry's junior high counterpart.
A robotics team representing Jackson Prep was formed in the early 2000s, but fell apart after a few competitive seasons. A team was reformed fall 2011 to compete in the Mississippi FLL Tournament. The team placed 37 out of about 50. In 2012, the team again participated in the Mississippi FLL Tournament. This time they placed 17 out of around 55. In January 2013, a FTC team was formed to compete in the state competition that spring. The team was selected to be on one of the two top alliances and went on to help their alliance place first in the competition.
Jackson Preparatory School's football team has been one of the state's most celebrated and elite programs since the school's founding in 1970. Competing as the Patriots, Jackson Prep is a member of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS), and currently competes in that league's AAA-I division. The Patriots have finished several seasons undefeated, most recently a 13-0 campaign in the 2012 season, culminating in the defeat of Jackson Academy by a score of 34-10 in the MAIS AAA Division 1 championship game at Mississippi College.
The Patriots became the first Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) team ever to defeat a team from the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA), when the Patriots defeated Newton County High School by a score of 24-0. Newton County finished the season with an 11-2 record, their only other loss coming from 2006 MHSAA Class 3A Champion/2007 Class 3A Runner-up Franklin County High School in the Quarterfinal Round of the 2007 MHSAA Class 3A Playoffs. Prep's victory over Newton County put to rest speculation that the smaller schools of the MAIS could not compete with their larger MHSAA counterparts. One week after beating Newton County, the Patriots cruised to a 50-0 victory over MHSAA Class 4A member Pearl High School, who finished 2007 with a 3-7 record. Prep's 2-0 mark against MHSAA teams in 2007 gave the MPSA a 3-1 record all-time against the MHSAA. The MAIS's only two losses came in 2000, when Prep was defeated by George County High School, then an MHSAA Class 4A team, by a score of 27-14, and to Oxford High School in 2013, a MHSAA class 5A team, by a score of 32-20. Oxford proceeded to reach the MHSAA 5A State Championship that year finishing with a 14-1 record.
Among the most notable players to come through Prep's program are former All-SEC, Ole Miss, and NFL New England Patriots wide receiver Ken Toler; former All-SEC Mississippi State and Canadian Football League standout linebacker Paul V. Lacoste; former Tennessee Vols standout and NFL player Will Overstreet; former Ole Miss and NFL offensive lineman Todd Wade and his younger brother, Justin Wade, a former standout linebacker for the Ole Miss Rebels.
Jackson Prep's flagship distance running program, the cross country team has won several state championships in recent years. Malcolm Saxon, a graduate of the University of Tennessee and classmate of Peyton Manning, not only coaches this team, but heads several informative business and religious classes during the school day.
Jackson Preparatory School is housed on a 74-acre (299,467.38 m2) campus. The Junior High and Senior High buildings each include academic classrooms and science labs. Each has a computer center with high-speed internet connections. Division administrators and counselors are located in both buildings, and the Senior High building houses a student publications center. At the heart of the campus is the 42,000-square-foot (3,900 m2) McRae Fine Arts and Media Center, which houses three art studios, a ceramics studio, band hall, choral music room, and art gallery. The McRae Center is also home to the Jesse Howell Library, with holdings that include nearly 20,000 volumes, 60 periodical subscriptions, 24 desktop and 48 laptop computers, databases, and other services. The Guyton Science Center houses six state-of-the-art science classrooms with laboratories and the Lyceum, a two-hundred-seat lecture/meeting facility. A new Dining Commons was constructed in 2008.
The Fortenberry Auditorium and Gymnasium, along with the J.O. Manning Patriot Center, provide athletic venues, a performing arts complex, dressing rooms, weight rooms, coaches’ offices, and laundry facilities. Prep's outdoor athletic complex includes a lighted baseball field, a lighted football stadium with 400-meter track, a soccer field, a girls' fast-pitch softball field, eight wheelchair-accessible tennis courts, a cross-country course, and multiple practice fields.
A new auditorium is currently being constructed behind the existing campus. The Fortenberry Auditorium is to be remodeled into a Global Leadership Institute office, and other new things like an internet cafe and a radio broadcast suite. The first stage of this project is projected to be completed in fall 2013.
- "What is a 'Segregation Academy'?". Jackson Free Press. December 17, 2014.
- McGee, Meredith Coleman (2013). James Meredith : warrior and the America that created him. Westport: Praeger. p. 40. ISBN 0313397392.
- Bolton, Charles C. (2005). The hardest deal of all the battle over school integration in Mississippi, 1870 - 1980 (1. ed.). Jackson, Miss.: Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 175. ISBN 1578067170.
- "What is a 'Segregation Academy'?". Jackson Free Press. December 17, 2014.
- "State Team Tournament Results". Retrieved 2016-02-16.