Graduation Special Edition
The 2017 valedictorians and salutatorians of Jackson Public Schools were offered more than $1 million in scholarships combined. They are:
  • Dymonte Boldin, valedictorian, and Jocelyn Knox, salutatorian - Callaway
  • Sylvionna Horton, valedictorian, and Myeshia Moore, salutatorian - Forest Hill
  • Victoria Hawkins, valedictorian, and Timara Ford, salutatorian - Jim Hill
  • Taquincya Liger, valedictorian, and Chanique McLaurin, salutatorian - Lanier
  • Jose Navas, valedictorian, and Brianna Jefferson, salutatorian - Murrah
  • Alicia Cox, valedictorian, and Kierra Mayberry, salutatorian - Provine
  • Jamal Jones, valedictorian and Kendall Camper, salutatorian - Wingfield
Jackson Public Schools celebrated the class of 2017 with commencement ceremonies on May 22 and 23 at the Mississippi Coliseum. A total of 1,452 graduates crossed the platform to accept diplomas in separate events for each high school. Our seniors earned a combined total of more than $20 million in scholarship offers.

During the 37th Annual Salute to Scholars program, Jackson Public Schools honored the top ten seniors of all seven high schools. The program is held each year to showcase the highest-achieving students in their graduating class. The Jackson Council PTA/PTSA and the Mayor's Office of the City of Jackson sponsor the awards program each year.

JROTC cadets from Jim Hill were admitted to West Point Prep School. Jaquan Byrd and Devario Marzittie will report for admission in July. U.S. Congressman Bennie G. Thompson nominated both scholars for an appointment. Though fewer than 10 percent of applicants are accepted, both JPS students were selected by the West Point Admissions Office. 

The Mississippi Economic Council saluted three outstanding JPS high school seniors and three teachers during its 2017 Education Celebration. The STAR honorees were Jailein Grant, student, and Larry Thurman, teacher, Jim Hill; Sylvionna Horton, student, and Mekael Carpenter, teacher, Forest Hill; and Jose Navas, student, and Greg Powell, teacher, Murrah.
Callaway High School senior Darryl Hampton IV scored 31 on the ACT, placing him in the 96th percentile nationally among all students who took the ACT. Hampton received a full scholarship to Mississippi State University where he plans to major in Computer Science. His goals include becoming a computer programmer for a Fortune 500 Company and later starting his own business.
Murrah High Has 14 members in its 30 Plus Club this year for scoring 30 or higher on the ACT. They are Kira Gaddis, Brandon Hedrick, Brianna Jefferson, Joshua Mannery, Jose Navas, Erica Sims, Oluwatosin Akinyemi, Justin Bell, Dyshante Bennett, Sophia Bowley, Courtney Drake, Jamyrcle Jefferson, Christin Johnson, and Kaitlin Fowler.

U.S. News and World Reports recognized Murrah High School as a bronze medal recipient on its Best High Schools list. Only 30 percent of public high schools in the United States earned this recognition. According to the report, Murrah was ranked No. 10 among all Mississippi high schools.

Two JPS scholars are headed to the National ACT-SO Competition in Baltimore this summer to compete for scholarships and other prizes. Jameia Boone of Murrah High School and Izaria White of Provine High School won Gold awards at the NAACP Jackson City Branch ACT-SO competition held April 1. Justin Bell of Murrah, placed in two categories at the local competition.
Brianna Jefferson and Mary Sampson received $5,000 Dave Cannada Scholarships. Jefferson performs in the school's marching band, jazz band, symphonic band, and percussion ensemble. She also plays team tennis for the school. Sampson is on the Ladies of Perfection dance and flag team. She serves the school as a member of the Student Council and is the reigning Miss Murrah. 
Forest Hill 2017 graduate Jeremy Donahue went to Carnegie Hall on June 8 to accept the National Gold Medal Award for artwork he submitted in the Scholastic Art Awards. Entitled "Man Eater" the piece garnered Donahue a Gold Key Award and was an American Visions Nominee in the Mississippi regional competition. Donahue was featured in a What's Working segment on WJTV News Channel 12
Murrah alum Candace Chambers was honored for her achievements as a graduate student of English. The University of Alabama selected Chambers for the Outstanding Graduate Student award. The National Council of Teachers of English presented her with its national Scholar for the Dream award. Chambers is a 2011 graduate of Murrah. 
Lanier High teacher Kristen Barnes-Clay was awarded the 2017 Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award. The National Science Teachers' Association recognized her at the Teacher Awards Gala held as part of its national conference in March. The honor rewards the most distinguished science educators across the United States. Barnes-Clay is a member of the 2006 class of Murrah High School.
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