University School of Jackson


Headnotes: The Opportunity That is 2022


January 3, 2022   Greetings Bruins Families, I recently read a post from marketing author Seth Godin, in which he penned, “This is the most normal the world is ever going to be again.” Initially, the statement took me back, but upon further consideration, I have found this argument to be a liberating baseline in thinking about the days ahead. The pandemic and the related political, economic, and social repercussions have brought out the worst and the best in people. While exposing cultural divisions and pent-up frustrations, which have risen all too often to the surface, the challenging times we Read More

USJ Senior Steele Haynes Named 2021 Tennessee Titans DII-A Mr. Football Award Winner


USJ Senior Steele Haynes has been recognized at the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Awards banquet as one of nine 2021 Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Award winners. This season Steele switched positions from wide receiver to running back, accumulating 1,615 yards rushing over 152 carries in eight regular-season games, for a total of 29 touchdowns. Steele was also named the D-II A West Region Player of the Year. “We are proud of Steele and what he has done for us over the past four years; he is a tremendously hard worker with a strong work ethic. As the team captain this year, Steele was Read More

MS Director Livingston Graduates From Leadership Jackson


Congratulations to Middle School Director Margaret Livingston for graduating from The Chamber's Leadership Jackson program this evening. Read More

Headnotes: Thankful


December 1, 2021   Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas, USJ Families!   Being thankful requires us to practice the very profitable exercise of getting over ourselves. It seems impossible to be thankful for something I have accomplished if even one is capable of truly doing something worthwhile alone in the first place.   Thanksgiving serves as a reminder that God is truly the author of all things, the giver of every gift, and the One who stands totally in control of solar systems, the mightiest of nations, and the tiniest of viruses. As the Psalmist wrote, “It is He who has Read More

The Lady Bruins are the TSSAA Girls Soccer State Champions!


Congratulations to the USJ Lady Bruins on their 1-0 State Championship win over BGA!  Read more about their win on the Tennessean Website. Read More

Headnotes: Writing the Next Chapter


November 1, 2021   Greetings USJ Families, Few things are more exciting than potential...Many of us remember driving a baby home from the hospital and speculating on just how exactly this child was going to change the world. I love receiving and opening a new book in anticipation of all the lessons it has to teach me buried in its pages. In sports, we always look forward to the future accomplishments of the first-round draft pick or rookie of the year. We have just begun an ambitious initiative of strategic planning at USJ that brings a tremendous amount of potential with Read More

Headnotes: Reality on the Front Lines


We live in divisive times, and there are many issues and forces at play that amplify these divisions. Unfortunately, it is often easy to allow ourselves to get caught up and taken for a ride via our mass culture, as we are exposed daily to the dull discourse and predictable talking points that media outlets, political interest groups, and Facebook provide. Beneath the banal banter of our media, daily crime reports, and political infighting, however, real accomplishment occurs that often gets overlooked.   Daily life in the real world consists of worthwhile work that brings tangible results to people&rsquo Read More

Headnotes: Mission


September 1, 2021   Greetings USJ Families,   We strive for intentionality in being a mission-based institution. At almost every meeting and professional development session, the idea of mission is mentioned and questions are raised about how the issue we are addressing applies to our mission as a school. These conversations often make reference to the “three pillars” of the USJ mission:   “We instill a passion for academic, artistic, and athletic excellence while committing to personal integrity, mutual respect, and lifelong learning.”   When we mention the pillars, we are referencing the Read More

USJ Announces New Leadership for the Bruins Boys Basketball


When the USJ Bruins hit the court this fall, they will be under new leadership. Athletic Director Michael Stroup has appointed Coach Jeffery Jones to lead the Boys Bruins Basketball program with the assistance of Ryan Yates.    Athletic Director Michael Stroup shared, “We’re very excited to welcome Coach Jeffrey Jones to the Bruin family. With more than 20 plus years of coaching experience at the college level, I know Coach Jones will be an excellent mentor for our student-athletes in several different areas. In my conversations with him, Jeffery expressed his admiration for the USJ community Read More

Headnotes: 3 Words, 3 Truths, 3 Pieces of Advice


Class of 2021 Commencement Address   3 Words, 3 Truths, 3 Pieces of Advice   3 Words:   University...School...Jackson   I have a tremendous affinity for them separately, as well as when combined as one.   University: Latin for a community of teachers and scholars. Having been around for a thousand years, the university has grown thousands of minds by advancing inquiry, research, freedom of thought, and rigor.   School: I love every component of it - history lectures, recess, science labs, spelling bees, soccer practices, study halls, hot rolls from the cafeteria, musical productions, and even homework! I started at four years Read More

Ayers Duo to Lead The Way to a New Lady Bruins Legacy


The University School of Jackson’s Director of Athletics Michael Stroup announces Joel Ayers as the new head coach for the Lady Bruins basketball and softball programs. He will be joining the Bruin family along with his wife, Ashley, who will serve as the assistant basketball coach for the Lady Bruins.   “The Lady Bruins program has an established history of success statewide, and we are looking forward to building on that foundation,” said Coach Joel Ayers. “My wife and I are bringing decades of experience at multiple levels of basketball and are confident Read More

USJ Announces New Baseball Stadium Name


In the Spring of 2022, the Bruins will be playing baseball in Overton Stadium! At the conclusion of the current baseball season, renovations will begin on the current University School of Jackson baseball complex. USJ is able to start this project so soon due to the generosity of John and Whitney Overton. Their son, Jake, was a Bruins baseball player and a 2017 USJ graduate, and their daughter Olivia is a USJ sophomore who plays softball and volleyball. Today’s dedication of the baseball stadium comes on the heels of our new Lady Bruins Facility, artificial turf and football upgrades at Read More

Martha Sheffield To Assume New Administrative Roles at USJ


The University School of Jackson announces that Martha Sheffield will join the USJ administrative team full-time on August 1 as the new Assistant to the Athletics Director and as our Alumni Relations Coordinator. Martha is currently the Head Volleyball Coach for the Lady Bruins, and she will continue coaching in addition to her new athletics and alumni roles. “I am a firm believer in surrounding yourself with quality people, and Coach Sheffield has proven to be an outstanding asset to our athletics program since she joined us in 2019. We are pleased to bring her on full-time with the addition of Read More

USJ Announces New Lower School Director Cynthia Kirsch


The University School of Jackson is very pleased to announce Cynthia Kirsch’s hiring as its new Lower School Director. Mrs. Kirsch brings an extensive background in independent schools, from having attended one herself from Pre-K through 12th grade to serving 20+ years in leading independent lower schools in Dallas and Houston, Texas.     “The success of any organization depends upon hiring and developing excellent people. The nurturing and engaging culture of the Lower School stands as such an integral component of USJ. I am confident that our families will benefit from Mrs. Kirsch's tremendous experience Read More

Headnotes: Tested


Headnotes: Tested A few years ago, a friend and I planned to run a half marathon. We set goals, trained accordingly, and were ready to go on race day. On that cool, perfect for running April morning, we came out of the chute faster than usual and were “banking” time and feeling great, strengthened by the wind at our collective backs. As we hit mile six, still rolling and way ahead of our goal pace, I had a sense things may be going just a little too perfectly. I shared what would turn out to be an apt Read More

Headnotes: Tuition Truths


Tuition Truths I will admit I enjoyed reading the responses from our recent surveys, as it felt great to read parents rave about our committed and caring faculty, the school's response to Covid-19, and the improvements being made to the campus and the USJ experience. And while I don't particularly enjoy pain, I am always open to improvement personally and professionally, and I know that I, in my fiftieth year, and USJ, in its fifty-first, remain works in progress. Thus the critical comments were welcomed as well. One common concern raised about our school was the price tag. Read More

New Director of Auxiliary Programs and a New After School Care and Camp Bruins Coordinator


USJ Announces New Director of Auxiliary Programs and a New After School Care and Camp Bruins Coordinator After School Care and Camp Bruins Director Faith Dixon and Assistant Development Director Cathy Garrett recently announced that they would leave USJ at the end of the school year. Both of these administrators have contributed substantially to the growth of their programs and have served USJ well. We will miss them for their kindness, leadership, and steadfast support of USJ and its students, faculty, and staff. Two current staff members have been asked to take on portions of their roles, as explained below. Read More

New Director of Auxiliary Programs and a New After School Care and Camp Bruins Coordinator


USJ Announces New Director of Auxiliary Programs and a New After School Care and Camp Bruins Coordinator After School Care and Camp Bruins Director Faith Dixon and Assistant Development Director Cathy Garrett recently announced that they would leave USJ at the end of the school year. Both of these administrators have contributed substantially to the growth of their programs and have served USJ well. We will miss them for their kindness, leadership, and steadfast support of USJ and its students, faculty, and staff. Two current staff members have been asked to take on portions of their roles, as explained below. Read More

Headnotes: Pandemic Leadership


  November 2, 2020   Greetings USJ Families,   Did I mention that I love baseball? As a student and teacher of American history, I appreciate it as a quintessentially American invention and activity. I really appreciate this Gerald Early quote:   "There are only three things that America will be remembered for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: The Constitution, Jazz music, and Baseball. These are the three most beautiful things this culture's ever created."   Baseball is traditional. It brings back so many memories as it has been such a constant in my life. My friendships, family Read More

Randy Olswing Named Chief Financial Officer


The University School of Jackson announces the recent appointment of Randy Olswing to the senior leadership position of Chief Financial Officer. For the past twenty years, Mr. Olswing served as Assistant Head for Operations/Chief Financial Officer at Hutchison School, a private independent school located in Memphis, Tennessee. Before his tenure at Hutchison, Randy served as Bursar for the University of Memphis for fifteen years and served in various financial leadership roles for the University of Tennessee. Head of School Don Roe shared this about Olswing. "I am excited that Randy has joined our senior leadership team. We are extremely Read More

Headnotes: Fundamentals


  November 2, 2020   Greetings USJ Families,   Did I mention that I love baseball? As a student and teacher of American history, I appreciate it as a quintessentially American invention and activity. I really appreciate this Gerald Early quote:   "There are only three things that America will be remembered for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: The Constitution, Jazz music, and Baseball. These are the three most beautiful things this culture's ever created."   Baseball is traditional. It brings back so many memories as it has been such a constant in my life. My friendships, family Read More

Headnotes: The Bruin Walk


   The Bruin Walk   For those who proudly wear the Red and Columbia Blue, this path isn’t just special but treasured. It stands as a symbol of accomplishment. Emblematic of success. This leads to an important, if not existential question: Just how is this success defined?   We at USJ often speak of it. Of whom we are and aspire to be. We proudly (and rightfully) affirm the accomplishments of merit scholars, state champions, celebrate the elusive 4.0, or the ultimate score of 5 on the AP exam. Even as adults, we define our own measures of accomplishment: Read More

Headnotes: Day One of the Pandemic


September 1, 2020   Dear USJ Family,   Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, established a philosophy that has become legendary in the business world. He believes and teaches that successful businesses stay in Day 1 mode; the idea being that start-ups are hungry, think creatively, and outwork older, Day 2, operations who live in the static world of complacency. In spite of any criticisms Bezos may deserve, there is undoubtedly merit in this mindset. Major issues tend to grow as soon as one believes he has “arrived,” and we can all benefit from an attitude of constant improvement and daily seeking Read More

USJ names Ryan Yeates as Interim Head Basketball Coach


The University School of Jackson athletic director Michael Stroup announced today that Ryan Yeates has been named the Interim Head Basketball Coach for the Bruins. Ryan Yeates has worked with the Bruins as the Assistant High School Boys Basketball Coach since May 2019 and was named the Boys Head Middle School Coach in April 2020, and he will continue serving in this role. USJ Athletic Director Michael Stroup, "Very proud to have Ryan Yeates lead our boys' basketball program. Ryan has proven to be a great asset to our team, and we are excited to have his energy leading the charge when Read More

Our Daily Commitment to Health, Safety, and Families


Our Daily Commitment to Health, Safety, and Families   I am a huge proponent of consistency. If one wants to be successful academically, the key is not about rising to the occasion on the day of the ACT but about meaningful time in the books today. A happy marriage does not hinge on a romantic getaway, but on a regular evening strolls. Success under Friday night lights results from challenging afternoon practices and early morning lifts. As a lifelong educator, I believe that great teaching is not measured by the latest program but by the level of student engagement during Read More

Headnotes: The Heart of Decision-Making


  July 13, 2020   The mission. We all should know it…   “We instill a passion for academic, artistic, and athletic excellence, while committing to personal integrity, mutual respect, and lifelong learning.”   At the heart of this mission lies one objective: growing people. This frames everything we do. The Head of School must grow. Our Board of Trustees, administrative team and faculty are all dedicated to improvement, and we are all committed to growing our students. We are works in progress, and in order to better serve, we need to learn.   Therefore, every decision we make Read More

Headnotes - From the Office of Don Roe


  Greetings USJ Families,  While our leadership team has recently been focusing on the challenges of ending the spring semester, recognizing the accomplishments of our students, and now starting school in the fall, I feel I would be remiss if I did not take the opportunity to share and to challenge our school community in the wake of recent national events that, no doubt, also impact us as a school family.    Our nation has experienced trying times through the COVID-19 pandemic, the accompanying social and economic stresses, and now we have been moved by accounts of racial Read More

Don Roe Assumes New Role as Head of School at USJ


The University School of Jackson is pleased to announce that Don Roe has assumed the role of Head of School at USJ. Don is entering his 27th year as a leader in education and has been a part of the USJ family since 2012. During his tenure with the school, Don has provided exceptional direction through his roles as History Department Chair, Director of the Middle School, and most recently as the Associate Head of School.    Incoming Board Chair John Whybrew shared, “I am excited for the opportunity to work with Don as he formally takes over the Read More

USJ Hold First Outdoor Graduation Ceremony


The University School of Jackson held their first outdoor commencement ceremony on Kirkland Field in Carlock Stadium this past Saturday, May 30, at 9: 00 a.m. The 68 members of the Class of 2020 were joined by USJ faculty and staff, plus a limited number of family and friends to allow for social distancing.    The Class of 2020 found their time together cut short by this global pandemic, and they completed their senior year as part of USJ’s new Online Academy. Their ability to adapt to this change and continue the pursuit of their goals, will serve them well as they Read More

Coach Bryce King named USJ Middle School Dean of Students


The University School of Jackson is pleased to announce the promotion of Coach Bryce King to the position of Middle School Dean of Students. In this new role, Coach King will be responsible for monitoring and enhancing the quality of student life in the Middle School including organizing student events, monitoring behavior, and supporting the development of Middle School students. Coach King joined USJ in 2014 as a Middle School Algebra teacher. Through the years, he has assumed many new responsibilities within our school community, including Assistant Football Coach, Crisis Management Team Member, and ACT Math Prep Tutor. Head of School Read More

Margaret Livingston named New Middle School Director


Margaret Livingston has been named University School of Jackson's Middle School Director effective July 1, replacing Don Roe, who will be assuming his new role as the Head of School on June 1.    Mrs. Livingston most recently held the positions of Learning Coach and English Department Chair for South Side High School. She has experience with curriculum design and serves as a faculty mentor assisting her peers to improve best teacher practices. She is currently on the School Improvement Planning Committee and serves as a District-wide Literacy Council Member. In 2020, Livingston was named the "South Side High School Teacher Read More

Jim Hardegree Named Associate Head of School, Dean of Students


It is with great honor that the University School of Jackson announces the appointment of Mr. Jim Hardegree as our Associate Head of School, Dean of Students effective July 1, 2020. “Mr. Hardegree brings with him a tremendous amount of respect and trust, not only from me, but by our entire USJ community, which has been earned through years of service to our families in many important administrative roles,” says Associate Head of School Don Roe. “Jim currently serves as Dean of Students and will continue in this role along with football coaching duties. He also has experience as Read More

Lauren Yancey named Assistant Director of the Jones Academic Center


The University School of Jackson is pleased to announce the promotion of Lauren Yancey to Assistant Director of the Camille and Ralph Jones Academic Center (JAC). Lauren will assist the JAC Director, Christy Glenn, in the day to day operation of the center and with the instruction of qualifying USJ students.    The Camille and Ralph Jones Academic Center services assist the University School of Jackson community in maintaining a standard of excellence in USJ's highly competitive academic atmosphere. Academic support services for qualifying students range from managing and updating appropriate classroom accommodations to temporary support, in the Read More

Choral Students Selected to UT Martin Honor Choir


Nineteen of our Upper School Concert Choir students were selected to participate in the University of Tennessee at Martin's annual Honor Choir held January 16 and 17. Students spent Thursday and Friday working with faculty and guest conductors in preparation for their performance with the Jackson Symphony in May. The following students will be performing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Jackson Symphony on May 9: Caleb Bell, Olivia Cherry, Gabrielle Evans, Ashlynn Isbell, Kelsa Lunsford, Keaton Miller, Meg Miller, Lili Mahalati, Madison Maroney, Chidera Nwokolo, Mmesoma Nwokolo, Baker Northern, Lily Richardson, Ethan Persons, Ethan Schlegel, Anne Short, Seth Spry, Gracyn VanWinkle, Read More

USJ Board of Trustees Announces Don Roe as the New Head of School


It is with great excitement that the USJ Board of Trustees announces Don Roe as the next Head of School.   A lifelong West Tennessean, Don has been a part of the USJ community since July 2012 when he was hired as chair of the History Department where he also taught a popular AP US History Class.  Over the next few years, Don spread roots at USJ as he became the “Voice of the Bruins” for both football and basketball, starred in a school theater production, chaired a strategic planning committee, and led the school’s most Read More

USJ names Clayton Gant as new Head Baseball Coach


The University School of Jackson athletic director Michael Stroup announced today that Clayton Gant has been named the Head Baseball Coach for the Bruins.    "Going into this search for a new head baseball coach at the University School of Jackson, we felt like we needed to find a high character individual who excels as both a teacher and coach, as well as a leader of young men. We think we found exactly what we were looking for in Clayton Gant. Clayton is a USJ alum and is familiar with the expectations held by our school. What excites us Read More

Thank you!


Dear Families and Friends:   Today is Giving Tuesday, a global generosity movement. And on this day, USJ thanks you – our families - the lifeblood of our institution!   The USJ family is a giving one, currently and historically; look no further back than 2019.  In the spring, we held our annual Math-a-thon for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, raising almost $80,000 in the fight against pediatric cancer.  In April, many of you supported the Bruins Booster Classic Golf Tournament. Your support of the Bruins Club continues to enhance our athletic facilities. In May, due Read More

Construction Begins on the New Lady Bruins Facility


On November 25, USJ was joined by current and former Lady Bruins as we broke ground on the new Lady Bruins Facility. The $1 million facility includes approximately 6,000 square feet and is comprised of two varsity Lady Bruins locker rooms, three middle school locker rooms, a dedicated middle school restroom, and a dedicated varsity restroom fitted with showers and vanity tops. The varsity locker rooms, in particular, will feature custom wood lockers with individual electrical and USB charging ports in each locker. "This facility is something that we can all be proud of as a school and will offer a place to Read More

Students to Perform in the All-National Honor Ensembles


Four University School of Jackson students have been recognized as the “best of the best” nationally by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).   USJ students, Meg Miller (’21), Keaton Miller (’20), Ethan Schlegel (’20), and Lily Richardson (’20) will join 236 vocalists from around the United States in the NAfME Mixed Choir under the direction of esteemed conductor Tesfa Wondemagegnehu at the 2019 All-National Honor Ensembles (ANHE). Performances will take place November 7–10, 2019, at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.   The NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles (ANHE) represent the top-performing high school musicians Read More

USJ Announces Construction Approval For New Lady Bruins Athletic Facility


On September 25, USJ's Board of Trustees approved a proposal from MG Construction to enter into a contract for the construction of the new Lady Bruins Athletic Locker Room Facility. The $1 million facility includes approximately 6,000 square feet and is comprised of two varsity Lady Bruins locker rooms, three middle school locker rooms, a dedicated middle school restroom, and a dedicated varsity restroom fitted with showers and vanity tops. The varsity locker rooms, in particular, will feature custom wood lockers with individual electrical and USB charging ports in each locker. "This facility is something that we can all be proud of Read More

Two USJ Seniors Recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program


Two USJ Seniors, Elisa Kapunan and Anika Mahajan, have been recognized as Semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. Approximately 16,000 students in the nation received Semifinalist recognition last week out of over 1.5 million entrants. The Semifinalist pool represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. Only two students from Jackson were recognized, and both are seniors at USJ.   The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. Students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as an initial screen. Read More

Faculty Spotlight: Tina Plunk


Faculty Spotlight: Tina Plunk This year, Tina Plunk joins the University School of Jackson faculty with over 30 years of experience teaching and will serve as the Upper School Math Department Chair. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus on Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Memphis. She has experience teaching every level of math including; Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Algebra 3 (Dual Enrollment College Algebra), Trigonometry, Precalculus, and Physics.   Tina is married to Randy Plunk, and they live in Bolivar, TN. They have two sons, Jake and Clint, Read More

Faculty Spotlight: Jimmy Glosson


Faculty Spotlight: Jimmy Glosson Jimmy Glosson, a.k.a. Señor Glosson, is entering his 23rd year of service at University School of Jackson, where he is Chair of World Languages and Cultures and leads study abroad programs to Costa Rica and Spain. He holds a BA in Spanish from the University of Memphis, an MAEd in Instruction/Curriculum and Spanish from Union University, and has done additional graduate work at the University of Memphis and the University of Texas. He has taught AP Spanish Language and Culture for 13 years, during the last 10 of which 100% of his students Read More

Deirdre Sallee Hatcher Named Middle School Girls Basketball Coach


The University School of Jackson announces alumna Deirdre Sallee Hatcher as the new Middle School Girls Basketball Coach. Deirdre is a 1996 graduate of University School of Jackson and former Lady Bruin, who was selected as an All-State athlete while at USJ. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Appalachian State University while receiving a Division I basketball scholarship. Deirdre went on to earn a Master of Science degree in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Memphis. She worked for ten years as a counselor and coach with Jackson Madison County Schools, including basketball coach at Read More

Steve Stroud Named Head Softball Coach


The University School of Jackson announces Steve Stroud as the new Head Softball Coach. Steve comes to USJ with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education from Freed-Hardeman University. He has taught math, Algebra, and P.E., at the elementary, middle, and high school levels for 34 years. He has 15 years of experience coaching softball, including Head Softball Coach positions at Jackson Christian, Fayette-Ware High School, Adamsville High School, and Liberty Tech High School. Steve’s experience also includes various coaching positions in football, baseball, and tennis. Athletic Director Michael Stroup says, “I am excited for Read More

USJ Kicks-off Phase I of New Campus Master Plan with Lower School Playground Groundbreaking


On Monday, May 20, 2019, University School of Jackson kicked off the beginning of Phase I of their Campus Master Plan with the groundbreaking of the Lower School playgrounds. Students, wearing USJ hard hats, joined together behind the Lower School to watch and cheer as a group of their peers shoveled the first scoop of dirt for the new playground project. The new Early Childhood playground will include cutting edge age-appropriate equipment, turf grass, climbing hills, tunnels, velocity slides, and a small soccer field. There will also be a separate enclosed toddler playground. The first through fifth-grade playground will feature two full Read More

USJ Approves FieldTurf® for Football Field; Increases Imagine More Campaign Goal to $5 Million


When the Bruins step out under the Friday night lights this fall, they will be returning to a newly renovated turf field. The USJ Board of Trustees has approved a project to install FieldTurf® on the football field as part of the on-going Master Plan improvements and Imagine More Campaign. This project will also include striping for a soccer field.   Head of School Stuart Hirstein commented, “Our mission statement includes the words ‘we are committed to athletic excellence.’ This turf field is our commitment to upholding our mission of giving our student athletes excellent facilities, Read More

USJ Middle School Math Team participated in the UTM Middle School Math Competition


The USJ Middle School Math Teams participated in the 2019 Middle School Mathematics Contest held at the University of Tennessee at Martin on Thursday, April 11. There were approximately 240 middle school students from thirteen schools in the Memphis and West Tennessee area competing for math honors. Team members representing USJ for each grade were: 6th grade - Catherine Cheng, Winn Crook, Max Kilburn, Lidiah Mahalati, Dhruv Patel and Max Roe 7th grade - Hayes Carney, Chester Evans, Andrew Lawrence, Kendall Morris and Ellie Belle Weaver 8th grade - Zainab Baba, Ijeoma Oleru, Anderson Preston, Abe Stonecipher, Owen Stonecipher and Lilly Kate Varino. Read More

USJ Announces New Athletic Director and Assistant Athletic Director


The University School of Jackson is pleased to announce Michael Stroup has been named the Athletic Director for the Bruins. Michael has served as the USJ Head Football Coach since 2017 and will continue in that role along with his new duties. USJ’s Strength and Conditioning Coach, Nick Stamper, will serve as the Assistant Athletic Director.   “Michael and Nick have done a great job serving as interim Athletic Director and Assistant Athletic Director over the past few months, and have been proactive and responsive to coaches, parents, and student-athlete needs,” says Head of School Stuart Hirstein. Read More

Bruins Place 2nd in Gulf Coast Classic


Over spring break the Bruins traveled to Gulf Shores, AL to play in the Gulf Coast Classic Baseball Tournament. The tournament brought together some of the best teams from all over the Southeast for four days to battle it out at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex. The Bruins finished 2nd out of the 45 teams. Read More

Color of Music Winners


USJ students in Mrs. Tanner and Mrs. McPeake's art classes recently participated in the Color of Music contest sponsored by the Jackson Symphony. They listened to the selections and created artwork based on their interpretations of the music.  Congratulations to these lower and middle school art students for having winning entries in the Jackson Symphony’s Color of Music Contest. They will be honored at an awards ceremony and reception at the Civic Center on Saturday, April 13th. Blue Ribbon: Josie Dougan, 6th grade Blue Ribbon: Caroline Conder, 8th grade Honorable Mention: Ellen Driver, 6th grade Honorable Read More

33 Members Inducted Into The National Honor Society


On March 7, USJ inducted 33 new members into the National Honor Society. The purpose of the National Honor Society is to create enthusiasm for scholarship, promote leadership, and to develop character in our students. Congratulations to all of our new 2019 NHS Inductees!   New Members: Rachel Akin Emmanuela Alexandre Amar Boporai Jenna Box Luke Buchanan Reagan Carney Sydney Fesmire Emily Hailey Sarah Hanna Landon Hooper Aliza Horn Maddie Jones Livvie Leeper Meg Miller Lisa Nnaji Baker Northern Ben Northern Esosa Odeh Ikenna Oleru Ethan Persons Jackson Prince Emma Richards Kizer Robertson Channing Sellers Sydney Sellers Andrew Smith Mali Strong Savannah Tabor Read More

USJ Student Named National Geographic GeoBee Tennessee State Competition Semifinalist by National Geographic Society


Chester Evans, 7th Grade
USJ seventh grader Chester Evans has been notified by the National Geographic Society that he is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee Tennessee State Competition. The contest will be held at Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN on Friday, March 29, 2019. This is the second level of the National Geographic GeoBee competition, which is now in its 31st year. School GeoBees were held in schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school champion. School champions then took an online qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The Read More

New Members inducted into the National English Honor Society


Today we inducted 18 new members in the National English Honor Society (NEHS). Membership is an honor bestowed on students selected for their accomplishments in the field of English and in overall academic achievement.   New Members: Rachel Akin Emma Alexandre Amar Boparai Reagan Carney Sydney Fesmire Sarah Hanna Landon Hooper Hailey Houston Maddie Jones Lisa Nnaji Ethan Persons Kizer Robertson Sydney Sellers Mali Strong Savannah Tabor Mohid Tanveer Caleb Watlington Mary Helen Woods Read More

New Golf TrackMan installed at USJ


The USJ Golf program is excited about the new resource available to our students. With the new TrackMan installed at USJ, our student-athletes will have the ability to practice year-round and during inclement weather. Read More

‘17 Graduate Anna Jones Honored with Retired Jersey


On Friday, December 7, 2018, Class of 2017 graduate and starter at Middle Tennessee State University Anna Jones was honored with a ceremony as her #25 basketball jersey was retired. Anna holds the program’s all-time scoring record and all-time rebounding record and her jersey is only one of two Lady Bruins’ jerseys to be retired. Anna finished her USJ career with 2,794 points, 815 rebounds, 461 steals, and 372 assists. She was named a Division II-A Miss Basketball finalist for the third year in a row and the All-West Tennessee Girls Basketball Player of the Year for the second straight season. Read More

USJ Announces David Suber as new Upper School Director


The University School of Jackson is pleased to announce David Suber as the new Upper School Director. He will begin his new role on July 1, 2019. Mr. Suber is currently the Upper and Middle School Director of Lowcountry Preparatory School in Pawleys Island, SC.   Mr. Suber received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina and went on to attend Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina where he received his master’s in Secondary English Education.   “I am thrilled to welcome David to our USJ family,” says Head Read More

Don Roe named Associate Head of School, Middle School Director


It is with great pleasure that the University School of Jackson announces the appointment of Mr. Don Roe as our Associate Head of School, Middle School Director. As the Associate Head of School, Don will work closely with our Head of School, Stuart Hirstein, to oversee the wellbeing of USJ and our community. Don will play a significant role in the life of our school and will be deeply involved in all aspects of day-to-day operations. Don has proven himself as a leader and has the personal qualities, integrity, and skillset to add tremendous value to USJ in this new Read More

USJ Students Choir Students Selected to Showcase Their Talents as Part of the All National Honor Choir


During the 2017-18 school year, talented music students across the United States and overseas in military base schools practiced diligently to gain a chair or part in their local, district, and state music honor ensembles. And of those most elite high school musicians who were accepted to their district or All-State music ensembles, 550 of them—the “best of the best”—were selected for the National Association for Music Education’s (NAFME) 2018 All-National Honor Ensembles.    USJ choral students Jake Booher, Keaton Miller, and Seth Spry will participate and perform November 25-28, 2018 as Read More

USJ Lower School Students Participate in National Anthem Project


On Friday, September 14, 2018, the University School of Jackson Lower School students participated in The National Anthem Project. Classes lined up by grade level as they faced the front of the school to sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” for the 204th anniversary of the U.S. national anthem.   Members of the fifth-grade class spoke about the happenings of the Battle of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, which occurred September 13 -14, 1814, near Baltimore. This was where Francis Scott Key was when the battle ended, and he penned the famous poem we use today as our national anthem. The National Read More

Library Renovation Project


After months of designing, planning, and preparation, the Mary Frances Campbell Library is of cially open and fully functional for our Middle and Upper School students. “This renovation project and idea started after numerous meetings with students in which they communicated a need for a place where they could study in a comfortable setting,” says Stuart Hirstein, Head of School. “I think it is critical to our school that we create inspiring spaces where kids can interact with one another while studying. I wish to thank all of the donors who made this possible as well as Read More

Three USJ Students Named “Top 100 Readers”


Sunday, August 12, was a big day for three of our students.  The First Lady of Tennessee Chrissy Haslam as part of her literacy initiative for TN had challenged all TN students to read over the summer for at least 20 minutes a day. Students were then asked to send the Governor's Mansion their reading logs for the summer and then from those many students who submitted their name 100 students from across the state were selected to attend a dinner at the Governor's Mansion.  Parvan Nerwal, Emily and Tucker Davenport were honored to be part of this motivated Read More

New Academic Center to Provide Educational Support for USJ Students


The University School of Jackson officially opened the doors to its new Academic Center with a ribbon cutting on Thursday, August 9, 2018.    Head of School Stuart Hirstein shares his excitement saying, “The USJ Academic Center was the fulfillment of a major goal of our strategic plan launched three years ago. Our new Director, Christy Glenn, is a trained professional who brings a love of helping children reach their fullest potential using what we know about brain research. We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Christy's background and expertise and  Read More

Going for Goal With Our New Soccer Facilities


In the fall of 2016, our families began the process of raising over $75,000 to make improvements to our soccer facilities. Phase I, which included new bleachers and a retaining wall that will bring fans closer to the playing field and enhance visibility, was completed last fall. Plans for Phase II feature home and visitor shelters, locker rooms, and a press box with storage for team equipment. If you are interested in supporting this exciting project, please visit and designate Soccer Project or contact Cathy Garrett at [email protected] Read More

Alum Ryan Rolison Drafted by Colorado Rockies


This past June, Ryan Rolison (’16) was selected by the Colorado Rockies with the 22nd pick in the rst round of the 2018 Major League Baseball draft. The selection came as Ole Miss was playing Tennessee Tech in the Oxford Regional. “I really had no idea where I was going to go,” says Ryan. “I was focused on the team and rooting them on. I went back and one of the managers told me that the Rockies had just selected me. It was a surreal moment with my teammates.” Ryan went 10-4 this season for the Rebels Read More

Taylor Howell selected to play at the Junior Sunbelt Classic


Junior Taylor Howell was selected by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association to play in the 2018 Junior Sunbelt Classic. Each year, The Sunbelt Classic brings the best of the best players from eight states and Canada to compete against one another in a week-long tournament in McAlester, Oklahoma. Read More

USJ Theatre Students Win Orpheum High School Musical Awards


USJ was nominated in eight different categories for The Orpheum’s ninth annual High School Musical Theatre Awards. This award ceremony included 29 schools across West Tennessee and Mississippi. USJ took home the Outstanding Artistic Achievement award for the “rain on stage” in the school’s production of Singin’ in the Rain. Upcoming junior Jake Booher won Best Supporting Actor for his role as Cosmo Brown in Singin’ in the Rain and performed a special number with his fellow nominees. Sophomore Keaton Miller was nominated for Best Actor and was also the youngest nominee in Read More

National Merit Foundation Recognizes Three Students from 2018 Class


The National Merit Foundation has recognized three students from the University School of Jackson ‘s Class of 2018: Tyler Bruno, Adam Davis, Eli Garey, Anjali Mahajan, and Annabelle Reese. Tyler Bruno, is the son of Greg and Sondra Bruno. Tyler is a National Merit Semifinalist. He was selected to the NAfME All-National Honor Choirs for two consecutive years and the All-West Honor Band and Orchestra for four consecutive years. He is the President of Spanish Club, the Treasurer of National English Honor Society, and the Secretary of National Science Honor Society. He was selected to American Legion Boys' State and Read More

Three Seniors awarded Ned McWherter Scholarships


Three University School of Jackson students have been named recipients of the 2018-19 Ned McWherter Scholarship. Alden Cardwell, Camryn Coley, and Eli Garey were among only 80 scholarship recipients awarded statewide out of more than 1,500 applications. “Many highly qualified candidates throughout Tennessee applied to be a Ned McWherter Scholar, so we are happy to have three 2018 recipients. In addition to taking challenging coursework and having high test scores, recipients are also scored on their extracurricular involvement and demonstrated leadership. These students meet and exceed those criteria.“ said Carol Ryan, Director of College Advising. The Ned McWherter Scholars Program awards Read More

Students bring home top awards at 2018 TMTA competition


Twenty five USJ students participated in the regional TMTA (Tennessee Math Teachers Association) Math Contest. This competition took place April 10th at Freed Hardeman University. The TMTA award ceremony recognizes the top three students and top three teams. USJ earned first place team in Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and Calculus. Algebra I First: Lisa Nnaji Second: Mohid Tanveer Third: Yaren Dogan Fourth: Saeed Dardas Fifth: Amar Boparai USJ Team: First Place   Geometry First: Anika Mahajan Second: Ethan Schlegel Third: Elisa Kapunan Sixth: Evelyn Helms Eighth: Felix Nnaji USJ Team: First Place   Algebra II Second: Michelle Nnaji Third: Read More

USJ Alum Receives Fulbright Award


Blair McElroy (‘98) serves as the interim senior international of cer and director of the study abroad program at Ole Miss. This past year, Blair received a Fulbright award to South Korea to create a stronger connection between the university and the country. This grant allowed her to attend a two-week International Education Administrators seminar in June. “I am delighted and proud to have been selected as one of the eight grantees,” says Blair. “It was exciting to experience the Korean culture rsthand as part of a group of passionate individuals in the eld of international education. Read More

Tony Shutes Named Coach of the Year


Varsity Girls’ Basketball Coach, Tony Shutes, was named the Don Meyer Basketball Coaches Association of Tennessee’s Division II Coach of the Year for last season. Coach Shutes began working at USJ in 1987 and became the varsity boys and girls coach in 1991. During his time at USJ, Coach Shutes has also coached middle school boys and girls basketball, varsity golf, and boys soccer. His teams have won 17 District Championships; seven Region Championships; made 18 Sub-State appearances, and earned two State Runner-Up titles. Read More

Kevin Cheng Plays at Carnegie Hall


Sophomore Kevin Cheng had the opportunity to showcase his talents by playing in the 2018 High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall in New York City, February 1 -5. Kevin is an accomplished violinist who has been playing since the age of nine. During the High School Performance Series, selected musicians rehearse and perform under renowned conductors and have the opportunity to meet other like-minded musicians from around the world as they prepare for and perform at a truly world-class venue. Though much of the students’ time is focused on performance preparation, the week also allows students to experience the Read More

Bank of Jackson Art Show


Congratulations to the following Middle School students for having artwork selected for the Bank of Jackson Art Show. Pictured from left to right: 6th graders, Eady Davenport and Madeline Craig; 7th graders, Sophia Karg and Cassidy Bruno; and 8th graders, Carly Ingram and Ani Garabedian. Read More

New Infant and Toddler Program Lays Foundation for Learning


The start of the 2017-2018 school year revealed a few more strollers and toys around the Lower School with the creation of USJ’s Infant and Toddler Program. This new option has allowed families to enroll children as young as six weeks old into the Bruin family. The infant classroom includes children from six weeks old to twelve months, while the toddler classroom serves children from 12-24 months from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Schedules are based on individual needs, and a daily Activity Sheet is provided for each child. “Our goal when we started Read More

Sophomore Class Raises Money for the Dream Center


Sophomore class president Seth Spry had the idea for a pancake fundraiser to raise money for the Dream Center, which is a faith-based educational ministry for families and individuals who have experienced crisis in their lives. The entire sophomore class handled the publicity for the event, took pre-orders, and prepared the pancakes themselves. “I am so proud of our sophomore class officers for taking the initiative to support the Dream Center,” says Upper School Director Ben Murphy. “This was a completely student-designed project, and it was great to see the students having fun listening to music while Read More

Interdisciplinary Studies Encourage Lifelong Learning


Middle School Director Don Roe spearheaded a new idea for Middle School students this year. Interdisciplinary units have allowed students to dive into one particular topic or concept in all of their classes. Teachers decided the topics taught and worked to incorporate fun, interesting projects into their lesson plans. After spending two days touring ancient Egypt, seventh graders produced maps in teams, read about Egyptian creation myths, and solved puzzles to free themselves from escape rooms. They applied their knowledge by creating pyramids and measuring their creations using mathematical formulas and compared and even constructed Egyptian and Mayan pyramids in Read More

Don Roe Appointed to Tennessee Historical Commission


Middle School Director Don Roe was recently appointed to the Tennessee Historical Commission as a Representative of West Tennessee. The Tennessee Historical Commission is the State Historic Preservation Of ce for Tennessee, has multiple programs related to statewide historic preservation, and also works to implement the programs of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Mr. Roe was selected for his extensive background in the research and teaching of American history for over 20 years. His appointment was effective October 1, 2017, and will run through September 30, 2022. In addition to his strong background in American history, Mr. Roe was also chosen for his organizational Read More

Charles Campbell Named All-American


The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is the nation’s premier high school All-American game, featuring the best 100 players in an annual East vs. West matchup every January in San Antonio’s Alamodome. Senior Charles Campbell was selected to play in the All-American game and received his 2018 Army All-American Bowl jersey during the presentation in USJ’s Upper School Gym on September 28. The 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl took place on Saturday, January 6, 2018. Charles kicked two PAT’s and one eld goal. Read More

Contact us today to tour our campus, and see firsthand what the University School of Jackson has to offer.