The Class of 2010

University School of Jackson is proud to present the Class of 2010. Listed after each student’s name are some highlights of the student’s high school accomplishments and the college he or she plans to attend.

Kayla Austin, a varsity soccer player, worked to promote local and state awareness for Invisible Children, which champions the cause of child soldiers in Uganda. She is a member of the National Honor Society. Kayla will attend the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Sara Barnes, who was accepted to the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Visual Arts, won a Silver Key for her art portfolio in the National Scholastic Art Awards and a Gold Key and Best Art Portfolio in the Regional Awards. Her fashion design was the audience favorite in Design for a Cure, a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society. Sara will attend Parsons The New School for Design.

Emily Bearb, a junior volunteer for the Kiwanis Center, is a member of the varsity track and field team, the National Art Honor Society, and the French Club. She will attend Auburn University.

Charlie Brackeen is active in Young Life and was a three-year member of the varsity basketball team. He received the Most Improved Award in basketball. Charlie plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Katie Brantley received superior ratings in the regional solo-ensemble competition. She is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, the International Club, and the Environmental Club. Katie will attend Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).

Dusty Bright, captain of both the baseball and football teams his senior year, was a member of the 2009 All-West Team for both baseball and football. Dusty will attend Mississippi State University.

Katie Brown served as yearbook editor her senior year and was Lower School yearbook editor her junior year. She is vice president of the International Club and was voted “Most Spirited” by her classmates.

Kyle Bryan, a varsity baseball player since eighth grade, helped the team win the state runner-up title in 2007 and advance to the state tournament in 2008. Kyle will attend Union University.

Trey Buckley was a member of two state runner-up teams: USJ’s 2009 football team and the 2007 baseball team. Trey will attend UT Knoxville.

Courtney Byrd, a member of the All-Northwest Honor Choir and National Honor Society, won a scholarship for her fashion design in the American Cancer Society’s Design for a Cure. A varsity cheerleader, Courtney made the All-American Cheerleading Squad her junior and senior years. She will attend the University of Mississippi.

Zach Carver designed the Senior Celebration DVD for the annual senior moms’ luncheon. He is a member of the 2010 first-place Regional Envirothon Team and is vice president of the Comic Book Club. Zach will attend MTSU.

Josh Castellaw, an Eagle Scout, has been a member of the USJ band since fifth grade. He played in the pep band at football games and in the orchestra for Upper School musicals. Josh also played with the Jackson Community Band. He will attend Tennessee Tech University.

Anna Kate Craig, president of the National Art Honor Society, served as class secretary all four years of high school. Her fashion design won the top award at Design for a Cure. She will attend the University of Mississippi.

Cori Crenshaw is a USJ student ambassador and president of the International Thespian Society. She was selected for the All-Northwest Honor Choir, and her artwork was chosen for exhibit in the West Tennessee Regional Art Competition. She will attend MTSU.

Madeline Crocker was a member of the 2009 state championship tennis team. She won a Gold Key in the Mid-South Scholastic Art Competition. Madeline is a member of the National Honor Society and received the UT Alumni Award for Academic Excellence. Madeline will attend Louisiana
State University.

Sara Barnes, left to right, and Alex Phillips both plan to major in fashion design at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City.


Hunter Day, a member of the National Honor Society, was a varsity basketball player for four years and a Girls State delegate. She was voted “Best All-Around” by her classmates. Hunter will attend Mississippi State.

Rachel Deaton, a four-year member of the varsity golf team, helped her team win the 2008 state championship. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and National Art Honor Society. Rachel signed to play golf at Austin Peay State University.

Ryan Denton, an Eagle Scout, was a four-year varsity football player and is a member of the track team. He also was a member of the first-place team in the 2010 Regional Envirothon. Ryan plans to attend MTSU.

Eric Dietz, a four-year varsity football player, helped his team win the 2009 state runner-up championship. He was selected for the All-State Honor Choir. Eric will attend the University of Mississippi on full scholarship.

Keith Dubina, a member of the USJ inline club hockey team his junior and senior years, also played varsity football his sophomore year. He will attend Tennessee Tech.

Ryan Easterling was selected to the All-Northwest Honor Choir and was captain of the inline club hockey team. He will attend UT Knoxville.

Steven Farhat, a four-year starter on the varsity soccer team, played both forward and mid-field positions. Steven will play soccer at Lambuth University.

Katie Beth Fesmire, a varsity softball player since eighth grade, signed to play softball at Union University. She had lead roles in USJ musicals and was selected to the All-Northwest Honor Choir five years in a row.

Frances Freeman, a graduate of Leadership University, is president of the Key Club. She will attend Mississippi State.

Katherine Anne Glover, a Girls State delegate, attended the Governor’s School for the Sciences. She is a member of the National Honor Society, and her team came in second place in the Regional Envirothon. She will attend the University of the South.

Yurick Griggs was named to the All-District Team in basketball and received the Links Leadership Medallion Award. He is a member of the Movie Club, Spanish Club, and Art Club. Yurick will attend the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Nathan Grimm, president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, was selected to the All-State Honor Choir for the last three years. Nathan attended the Governor’s School for the Arts in Vocal Concentration and was Student Government Association treasurer his sophomore year. He will attend King’s College in New York City.

Five graduates earned the rank of Eagle Scout. They are Ryan Denton, who will be attending Middle Tennessee State University; Josh Self, Lipscomb University; William Teer, Samford University; Josh Castellaw, Tennessee Tech; and Marshall Talkington, UT Knoxville. All are members of Troop 12 at First United Methodist Church. Their service projects included building duck boxes for a nature reserve, landscaping North Park, building birdhouses for a local nursing home, collecting toys for needy children, and building cat houses for the Humane Society.

Morgan Hancock, National Honor Society treasurer, was a speaker at the Annual Methodist Conference. She was a Junior Rotarian and named a UT Leader for Tomorrow. Morgan will attend UT Chattanooga.

Clay Harbin, an All-State golfer, was captain of the varsity boys golf team. He is on the honor roll and a member of the Key Club. Clay signed to play golf at UT Martin.

Annabeth Hayes, a graduate of Leadership University, is an AP Scholar, president of the Spanish Club, and an alum of the People to People Leadership Program. Annabeth will attend Rhodes College.

Amber Helms, an honor roll student, attended Governor’s School for the Arts. She is a member of the National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society. She will attend the Douglas Education Center.

Catherine Hudson,
a graduate of Leadership University, was team captain of the girls soccer team her junior and senior years. She is a three-year member of the National Honor Society and was voted “Miss USJ” by her peers. Catherine will attend UT Knoxville.

Carly Ibach is a junior volunteer at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital and a four-year Jackson Symphony ambassador. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. Carly will attend the University of Alabama. She received an Alumni Honors Scholarship from Alabama.

Huey James, a member of the Art Club, is undecided about his college choice.

Tyler Jones is captain of the boys soccer team and a member of Mu Alpha Theta. He went on the Spanish immersion trip to Costa Rica in 2008 and was a kicker on the varsity football team. He will attend UT Knoxville.

Rachel Jordan, a professional model since 2007, was the 2010 cover artist for the American Medical Association Christmas Sharing Card and a featured survivor finalist for the American Heart Association’s Go Red campaign. Rachel is a member of the National Art Honor Society and Tri-M Music Honor Society. She will attend the University of Mississippi and receive a choral scholarship.

Chelsea Kee, an AP Scholar, was a People to People Student Ambassador to Japan. She won first place in the Tennessee Math Teachers Association (TMTA) regional competition in Advanced Topics and Calculus and third place in Algebra II. She also won an acting award for her lead role in “Annie Jr.” Chelsea will attend Tennessee Tech.

Logan Kirby, a member of the 2009 Envirothon team, was on the bowling team and had perfect attendance at USJ throughout high school. He will attend Jackson State Community College.

Cheyenne Kirk, a graduate of Leadership University, played varsity baseball for three years and was a member of the All-Northwest Honor Choir. He was voted “Best Personality” by his peers. Cheyenne will attend Mississippi State.

Carey Beth Kirkland is captain of the varsity cheerleading squad, business manager for the yearbook, and vice president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. She also was selected to the All-State Honor Choir. Carey Beth will attend UT Knoxville.

Stephanie Kurth, president of the National Spanish Honor Society, was selected to the All-Northwest Honor Choir and is a member of the National Honor Society. She is active in St. Mary’s Catholic Church youth group. Stephanie will attend the University of Dallas.

Hannah Lifsey will major in biochemistry and molecular biology and minor in visual art at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.


Hannah Lifsey, an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor, attended Governor’s School for the Arts and was an Exchange Club Student of the Month. A member of the National Honor Society, Hannah will attend Centre College.

Wil Little played on the varsity baseball team for four years and was a varsity football player for two years. Wil plans to attend the University of Mississippi.

Austin Long, a swimmer and cross country runner, was captain of the cross country team and a state-qualifying cross country runner. He also was a Memphis Swim Club champion swimmer. Austin will attend UT Chattanooga.

Jordan Marley, a varsity basketball player for four years, was given the “Unsung Hero” award in basketball her junior and senior year. She will attend Mississippi State.

Austin Martindale is an All-State football player and was named MVP of the All-Star Toyota Football game. Austin was an alternate to Boys State and came in third in the 2009 state 400-meter track meet. He will attend Mississippi State.

Kate McKnight, Student Government Association president, received a Best Actress award and was a member of the varsity track and field team for five years. She will attend the University of Evansville in Indiana.

Conor McMahon, goalkeeper for the varsity soccer team, is chaplain of the Movie Club and a member of the French Club. Conor will attend the University of Alabama.

Walker McWherter, a Mr. Football State finalist, was named All-State in football. He is a Leadership Jackson graduate and was a delegate to Boys State. He will attend Rhodes.

Halie Miller, who signed to play basketball at Bethel University, was named to the 2010 All-District Team in basketball and was named USJ’s Most Valuable Player for the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Halie was one of 20 seniors selected to play in the 2010 West Tennessee All-Star Basketball game.

Nicole Mitchell, a four-year varsity soccer player, was named to the All-District Team in soccer. She is a member of the National Honor Society. Nicole will attend Florida Gulf Coast University.

Shelby Moore was a member of the first-place Regional Envirothon team. She also participated in Milan Vineyard’s Week of Missions. Shelby will attend Bethel.

Sara Muir, an All-District basketball player, was a member of USJ’s 2009 state championship two-mile relay team. She is yearbook editor and a High School Student Athlete of the Year as USJ’s representative to the Jackson-Madison County Sports Hall of Fame. She will attend Mississippi State.

Roger Murray, an honor roll student, was named to the All-District Football Team and the All-West Tennessee Honorable Mention Football Team. He also is a member of the Spanish Club. He will attend UT Knoxville.

Kendall Nelson had her artwork selected into the West Tennessee Art Competition. She is a member of the National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society. Kendall will attend Mississippi State.

Hannah Newmon has been a volunteer at Jackson-Madison County General and Regional hospitals for three years. She is a member of the National Art Honor Society and is a five-year varsity tennis player. She will attend Mississippi State.

Colton Norton, class salutatorian, is a National Merit Commended student and an AP Scholar. Colton won five state championships in tennis, including both the singles and doubles championships in 2009. He was a state finalist for the Wendy’s Heisman High School Award and also won the Sewanee Writing Award. President of the Senior Class, Colton will attend UT Knoxville.

Preston Overbey, a varsity baseball, football, and basketball player, was named to the All-West Tennessee and All-District teams in both baseball and football. He will play baseball at the University of Mississippi.

Neel Patel, a National Merit Scholarship finalist, won first place in Algebra II in the TMTA regional math competition. He was captain of USJ’s team in the UTM Science Bowl, won the Renu Bausch & Lomb Science Award, and was named an AP Scholar with Distinction. Neel will attend Emory University.

Madison Patey, who was named three times to the All-State Girls Tennis Team, has led the USJ varsity girls tennis team since eighth grade, including the 2009 state championship team. She is a member of the National Honor Society. Madison has signed to play tennis at the University of North Alabama.

Jay Michael Patterson was a member of USJ’s state runner-up championship golf team in both 2007 and 2009. He is on the Youth Leadership Board at Northside United Methodist Church and was a member of the church’s Nicaraguan mission team. Jay Michael will attend the University of Mississippi.

Brad Pearson, a four-year varsity football player, is a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and National Art Honor Society. He will attend UT Knoxville.

Will Pearson was selected to the All-Northwest Honor Choir four years in a row. He is a member of the Spanish Club and bowling team, and he played church league basketball. Will plans to attend the University of Mississippi.

Ivana Percival, an honor roll student, is president of the National Honor Society. She will attend the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Kayla Petty, an All-State volleyball player, is an honor roll student. She was voted “Wittiest” by her peers. Kayla will attend UT Knoxville.

Alex Phillips, an SGA officer, won three scholastic Silver Keys in the Mid-South Scholastic Art Competition, two in her junior year and one as a senior. A graduate of Leadership University, she was voted “Most Talented” by her peers. Alex will attend Parsons The New School for Design.

Amelia Ray, who competed in four state golf tournaments, helped her team win the 2008 state golf
championship. She received a Gold Key in the Mid-South Scholastic Art Competition and is a member of the National Art Honor Society. Amelia signed to play golf at Lambuth University.

Hillary Ross, a member of the Key Club, has played varsity tennis for four years and was a member of the 2009 state championship team. She will attend Mississippi State.

Josh Self, class essayist, has been on the 4.0 honor roll since he was a freshman. He was named an AP Scholar with Distinction. Josh is a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and Spanish National Honor Society. An Eagle Scout, he will attend Lipscomb University.

Stephanie Shackelford is a five-year varsity softball player and was named to the All-District Team in her sophomore and junior years. She is a member of the National Honor Society and was treasurer of the junior class. Stephanie will attend Mississippi State.

Dhun Sharma, a Young Life member, was captain of the USJ football team and named to the All-State Team in football. He is undecided on his college choice.

Yuki Shinosawa, a varsity tennis player, will attend college in his native Japan.

Hunter Smith, a varsity baseball player, was named to the All-State, All-Region, and All-District teams his sophomore year and to the All-District Team his junior year. He also was the 2008 District MVP and was named an Under Armour Pre-Season All American. Hunter will attend Austin Peay State University.

Brittany Spicer was selected for the All-Northwest Honor Choir five years in a row. She is a member of the French National Honor Society, National Honor Society, and Tri-M Music Honor Society. Brittany will attend Union.

Marshall Talkington, an Eagle Scout and varsity golfer, was a member of the 2006 state championship golf team and 2009 state runner-up team. Named a “Top Junior Golfer” in the United States, Marshall signed to play golf at UT Knoxville.

Brittney Teel, a four-year competitive cheerleader, is captain of the cheerleading squad, editor of the Lower School yearbook, and a member of the National Honor Society. Brittney will attend Union.

William Teer, an Eagle Scout, is a six-year member of the All-Northwest Honor Choir. He was named “Mr. USJ” by his peers and is a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. William will attend Samford University.

Rachel Thomas, selected for the All-Northwest Honor Choir three times, was voted “Best Personality” by her peers. Rachel is a member of the National Honor Society and vice president of the Key Club. Rachel will attend Gordon College.

Tyler Tollison, an honor roll student, is a member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. He played football his senior year. Tyler will attend the University of Mississippi.

Eric Villarreal, class valedictorian, was a 4.0 honor roll student throughout high school. He is the speaker of USJ’s first Honor Council. Eric was a Junior Rotarian, an SGA Student of the Month, and a varsity football player. He will attend the University of Mississippi.

Matt Weiner, an honor roll student, is a member of the National Honor Society, National French Honor Society, and National Art Honor Society. A varsity football player, Matt was named to the 2009 All-State Football Team. Matt will attend UT Knoxville.