By Stephanie Johnson
It is with pride that I want our community to share the celebrations, accomplishments and goals for 2015 and beyond as we work to create a school community that provides multiple opportunities for student achievement through globally competitive academics, athletics, extracurricular activities, and service. I want to begin by thanking all southeast Atlanta community members who donated or volunteered for our very first Maynard Jackson “Feed Our Families” Thanksgiving Dinner on Thanksgiving Day. We met our goal of ensuring that our students and their families who wanted a familiar place to dine on Thanksgiving had plenty to eat right here at school. Additionally, I want to thank all community members who made donations in December to our families experiencing emergency situations with their homes. Your donations helped us keep several families in stable locations throughout the holidays.
Below are Maynard H. Jackson High School’s Seven Most Impressive Accomplishments so far for the 2014-15 school term.
- We created a partnership with Georgia Tech through our Early College Pre-Engineering Program at Atlanta Metropolitan College that will provide students opportunities to have transfer admission to Georgia Tech in Engineering upon completion of their pre-engineering program. The Regional Engineering Transfer Program (RETP) will give student participants full expectations of completing the program requirements and receiving admission to Georgia Tech when they graduate. All of these students were on the honor roll at Atlanta Metropolitan and Maynard H. Jackson High School for Semester 1.
- Our International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is off to a great start. The first IB Class for Maynard Jackson graduates in May 2015, and the students are preparing diligently to pass their IB Exam this spring. It is a privilege to offer students the opportunity to complete the most rigorous diploma recognized throughout the world.
- Maynard H. Jackson High School has added every GHSA sport in our athletic offerings over the past year. Football and Volleyball teams competed in the state playoffs this year. We fully expect our swim, wrestling, lacrosse, and tennis teams to become as competitive as our volleyball, football, basketball, baseball, track, soccer, and cross country teams.
- Jackson High Students are now competitively participating in extracurricular activities such as Engineering and Robotics, Mock Trial, Debate Team, Academic Decathlon, Chess, and Model UN in addition to the already established clubs and organizations offered to students.
- With our continuing support for our fine arts programs, including one-act plays, ballet, drama, chorus, orchestra, band, and art, we offer shows throughout the school year. We are very proud of the scholarships provided by the Atlanta Ballet to our students and the superior rating our chorus has received at competition this year. We have more Governors’ Honors Finalists in Fine Arts than any other subject this year. We will publish the names after the final interview.
- We are taking global competitiveness seriously through partnerships we have created with Germany, China and other countries. These partnerships have afforded opportunities for our students to study and produce meaningful work with students, teachers, administrators, and college professors in our own school community and in Germany and China. Our school partnership from Germany visited us for 10 days in October. Students and teachers from our Chinese partnership will be visiting in February to engage in lessons and projects with our students as well. Our Jackson High School students will be visiting Germany in June and China in July.
- On Monday, January 12, Jackson High School became an official “No Place for Hate” site. This program is created to encourage students to interact positively with one another and to bring awareness to bullying and good character.
Additionally, we are creating a community garden on our rooftop and growing plants through hydroponics in our building.
As you can see, this school is continuing on the road to excellence by challenging our students to acquire and refine three key characteristics that are essential for success at school, in their future careers, and in life: advocacy, the ability to cope, and personal/social intelligence. We challenge our students to identify their passion, their purpose, and their priorities. As our school diversifies and grows, we want our students to experience a greater level of academic success. At Jackson High School there is something for everyone. In addition to maintaining a safe and rigorous academic environment, we are also committed to engaging the East Atlanta community. If you are interested in volunteering at the school, please call 404-802-5200 for additional information. The continued success of our school community begins with you.