University School of Jackson

News

Two USJ Seniors Recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program

09/16/2019

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

09/09/2019

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

09/07/2019

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

09/03/2019

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

09/03/2019

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

05/21/2019

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

05/17/2019

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

04/12/2019

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

04/02/2019

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

03/26/2019

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

03/11/2019

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

03/07/2019

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

03/05/2019

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

02/12/2019

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

01/16/2019

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

12/11/2018

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

12/07/2018

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

11/08/2018

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

10/05/2018

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

09/14/2018

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

08/21/2018

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”

08/17/2018

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

08/10/2018

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

07/24/2018

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 usjbruins.org/give and designate Soccer Project or contact Cathy Garrett at [email protected] Read More

Alum Ryan Rolison Drafted by Colorado Rockies

06/20/2018

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

06/01/2018

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

05/25/2018

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

05/04/2018

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

05/04/2018

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

05/04/2018

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

04/04/2018

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

03/01/2018

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

02/28/2018

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

01/31/2018

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

01/24/2018

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

12/15/2017

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

12/10/2017

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

10/17/2017

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

09/28/2017

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

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