LearnBoost welcomes Jackson High School
Jackson High School is a public high school located near downtown Jackson, Michigan. created in 1908 with the merger of Jackson's West Side and East Side High Schools and moved to its present location in 1927. The school has an enrollment of about 1800 students in grades 9-12. The school's mascot is the Viking. The athletic teams compete as members of the Capital Area Activities Conference.
Jackson High school offers a wide range of classes, from remedial to advanced placement. Jackson High School has a dual enrollment program where students can take courses at the local community college. Students from other high schools, such as Lumen Christi Catholic High School, East Jackson High School, and Northwest High School, are allowed to enroll for courses at Jackson High. Foreign students from all over the world, such as Ukraine, Germany, and Brazil, can attend through an exchange program.
The administration of Jackson High School consist of four grade principals and one building principal, who are responsible for the day to day running of the school, along with supervising events, and implementing curriculum. The building principal, also known as the Principal for Instruction, is Mrs. Barbara Baird-Pauli. Baird-Pauli began her term as Principal in July 2008. She handles the day to day operation of the building, oversees the curriculum, manages the budget, and directs the other administrators. The former class of 2011 principal was Mr. Bobby Burton who on October 1st 2009, died after a fight against leukemia. The current class of 2011 principal is Mr. Russell Davis who, due to budget constraints is also the Athletic Director, is a University of Michigan graduate and former NFL football player. The 2009 class Principal is Mr. Jeremy Patterson a 1993 graduate, and former physical education teacher at Jackson High. Mr. Patterson attended Spring Arbor University, and Michigan State University where he received his masters degree with an emphasis in Educational Administration. The class of 2010 principal is Mr. Tracey Lowder and the class of 2012 principal is Mr. Christopher Billingslea.
The faculty at Jackson High School consists of nearly 150 teachers and support staff. The faculty is a diverse group of men and women dedicated to their profession and their students. While all of the teachers have their bachelors degree, many have their masters degree and have completed additional graduate work. All of them are highly qualified to teach in their area of study.
The student body ranges in size from 1700 to 1900 students, the average freshmen class is between 550-700 students, while the graduating class is between 300-400. The student ethnicity consists of 61% Caucasian, 33% Black/African American, 3% Hispanic, 1% Asian, and 1% American Indian. (For more see table below, with state wide averages) Despite the size of the school many students feel at home because "there is room for everyone to fit in" as opposed to smaller schools where there may be many small cliques.
Source: MI Dept. of Education, 2004-2005
Originally built in 1927 for $1,660,000, the building is one of the most prominent high school buildings in the state of Michigan. It is faced in brown brick and trimmed in limestone. The architecture of the building is an excellent example of the collegiate goth style, with its two long wings flanking a prominent, spired tower. The building is three stories tall with a basement for additional class space and cafeteria. It stands 33 meters, or 109 feet tall. Recently, thanks to the generosity of the community, Jackson High School received a nearly $30,000,000 dollar renovation, that restored the building to its original grandeur, after many years of neglect due to budget constraints. The original building, along with existing additions, were gutted and restored with modern amenities added. In addition, a brand new state-of-the art science wing was built with teaching space and lab stations complete with computers. A highlight of this exquisite building is Britton Hall, commonly referred to as the Shakespeare Room, that is patterned after an old English hall in Stratford, England. It stands over two stories tall, with ceiling to floor leaded glass windows, black walnut balconies all around, a performance stage, and a beautiful fireplace.
At Jackson High School, education doesn't stop in the class room. As a requirement to graduate students must have 20 hours of community service. Students also learn the value of generosity through Thanksgiving Giving, a school wide canned food drive to benefit the Jackson community. The event has given over 1,000,000 nonperishable food items to the food bank of the Salvation Army. JHS has traditionally raised around 100,000 or more items each Thanksgiving, however with the hard economic times and rising food cost the total has seen a slight decrease in recent years. In 2009 the students surpassed all expectations and once again exceeded the 100,000 can goal. Jackson High School is on the Salvation Army's list of top donors, and Thanksgiving Giving is the largest high school canned food drive in the nation.
Jackson High School has a long standing tradition in the performing arts. The Drama Club presents 2-3 performances each year and often provides a condensed version of a play for the elementary schools. The beautiful Jackson High School auditorium is the backdrop for several community events as well.
JHS has four concert bands. The Cadet band is composed of freshmen, varsity and varsity wind ensemble are sophomores through seniors, and the symphony band is just juniors and seniors. The cadet band performs in MSBOA class D.The class is how difficult the music. The higher the class, the harder the music. The range of music class is from D-AA and Jackson High School reads at the top level of A.The Varsity band is a class D band, Varsity Wind Ensemble performs in MSBOA class C and students must audition. The Varsity Wind Ensemble is considered a small wind symphony which may only have one or two people per part. The MSBOA class A Symphony band has traditionally been one of the best high school bands in the state. Recognized for their rich tone and excellent musical interpretation, the band usually has 60+ members. In addition to the four concert bands Jackson High has two after school jazz bands and a volunteer based 130+ member Viking Marching Band. Students are not required to march but choose to do so on their own time.
The choir program has two different choirs to suit ones vocal abilities, Varsity Voices, and Euphony Choir. The Jackson High School Euphony choir has performed in Carnegie Hall and numerous times in the State Capital. Euphony has also recently achieved a I rating at District Festival, and went on to perform at State Festival, the first time this had been done in nearly two decades. The choir program has steadily been growing in size over the past few years. In March/April of 2009, the Jackson High School Euphony Choir went to New York City for the second time and received a silver rating.
The Jackson High School orchestra is the only high school orchestra in Jackson County. Recently, the JHS Orchestra achieved a I rating at the MSBOA District Festival, and was permitted to go to the State level; something that has not been achieved in nearly two decades. Though the Orchestra was large and fairly famous in the beginning days of the school, dwindled in size, support, and fame several years later. However, recently, due to its achievements, support has risen and the Orchestra is becoming stronger, as it was many years ago.
Jackson High School offers a class in theater. The drama club puts on two to three performances per year.
The visual arts classes at Jackson High give students seven classes to choose from. Classes vary from general art classes to Sculpture, Drawing and AP Studio Art.
The Jackson High School Athletic program is under the leadership of Mr. Russell Davis, a University of Michigan graduate. After his collegiate career Mr. Davis was drafted to the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he assisted in winning a Super Bowl against the Minnesota Vikings. The Athletic program at Jackson High is seen a privilege and an honor and should never be placed ahead of a students educational curriculum. Sports offered for both boys and girls are; basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, track, and tennis. In addition Jackson High also offers boy's baseball, football, hockey, and wrestling, and girl's cheerleading, softball, and volleyball.
Jackson High School's Athletic Facilities are among the best in the State. Jackson High School's gymnasium is a 2000+ seat facility that holds home basketball games, along with MHSAA playoff games. The gymnasium has three full basketball courts, volleyball courts, and a three lane 160 meter indoor track. Withington Community Stadium and Dungy Field are home to the Jackson High School football and track and field teams, as well as the Lumen Christi High School football team. On October 24, 2008, Dungy Field was dedicated to the entire Dungy Family, most notably Tony Dungy, a Jackson Public Schools Alumnus who became the Indianapolis Colts football coach and the first African American Football coach to win a Super Bowl. Over the summer a brand new playing surface was installed, the playing surface is Field Turf, which is the same as many teams in the NFL play on. The track at Withington Community Stadium and Dungy Field has a 9 lane 400 meter surface made of a combination of rubber and polyurethane, much like many division 1 college tracks. Withington Stadium holds 10,000 people, is known as one of the finest stadiums in the state, and hosts MHSAA football playoffs, along with the Midwest Meet of Champions, a track meet in which the fastest seniors from the Midwest compete. The soccer teams play at Justin Mehall Memorial Field, a soccer complex with one main lighted field that holds 1000 spectators in the bleachers located to the west of the field and three additional fields for practice and tournaments. Jackson High School also has two different tennis facilities, the 6 court complex is at Jackson High School, and the new 10 court Dennis Kiley Tennis Complex is located at the Middle School at Parkside, but is utilized by Jackson High School. Jackson High also has a 6 lane 25 yard length pool, a fitness center, and a second gymnasium.
In over 80 years, the cross country program at Jackson High School has won 4 State Championships and 9 City Championships. The program has also produced 32 All-State athletes, 67 All-County athletes, and 62 All-Conference athletes. The men's teams who were ranked 5th in the State in the 1970s have won 11 Conference Championships, and have a dual meet record of 271 wins 166 losses and 5 ties since 1927. The women's teams have had 6 conference wins, and a dual meet record of 82 wins and 56 losses. The Cross Country team is always welcoming new members to come out and run. Coach Anderson is very dedicated to his athletes and welcomes students of all abilities.
Jackson High School offers more Advance Placement classes of any other high school in the county. During the Presidential election of 2008 two ensembles of JHS students have preformed for both Presidential Candidates. The Symphonic Band preformed the National Anthem for Republican Nominee John McCain, while the Nationally Acclaimed Black History Tour Group, a club of Jackson High School African American students sang for President Elect Barack Obama. In addition, the Black History Tour Group has sung for President George W. Bush twice, and Michigan Governors Jennifer Granholm and John Engler.