Tuesday, August 22, 2017

J.A. Prez is moving on up.

The President of Jackson Academy will be the new CEO at Gulliver Schools in Miami. Jackson Academy sent this email yesterday:

August 21, 2017
Dear JA Family,
I write today to share with you that our President, Cliff Kling, has accepted the position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Gulliver Schools effective January 1, 2018. Gulliver is the fifth largest school in the National Association of Independent Schools serving over 2,200 students on four campuses in Coral Gables, Pinecrest, and Miami, Florida. While we are certainly disappointed that Cliff will be leaving us, it is a testament to the high caliber of Jackson Academy's leadership team that our President would be selected to lead one of the nation's largest and most prestigious independent schools. We wish Cliff the greatest success in his new position.
Cliff has faithfully served Jackson Academy for over 17 years, first as Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel, and he is currently serving in his fourth year as President. His contributions to JA have been immense and include:
  • spearheading the acquisition of the Oaks Apartments, doubling the size of the main campus;
  • overseeing the design, planning and construction of over $25,000,000 of campus improvements and upgrades including a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center, football stadium renovation, tennis complex, and a modern Learning Commons;
  • providing financial leadership and vision to help facilitate the implementation of JA's Apple one-to-one program, which led to JA's designation as an Apple Distinguished School;
  • implementing a STEM curriculum for grades 1 - 8 and installing three new STEM labs;
  • leading the processes of creating and adopting a new mission statement, the "JA Way" educational philosophy, "All for One" branding identity, and a new JA crest and seal;
  • recently negotiating the refinancing of JA's existing bond and other indebtedness at a savings of $165,000 per year for the next 15 years; and
  • working closely with the development office staff to raise record amounts in the JA Annual Fund each of the last two years, including over $420,000 this past school year.
Even in view of these many accomplishments, Cliff is most proud of the time he spent with the most important members of the JA family - our students. Cliff invested many hours meeting with our students in small groups in his office, interacting with them on campus, and attending and supporting our students in performing arts, sporting, and other events.
"I am so grateful for my many years at Jackson Academy, and I will always love this school," said Cliff. "JA has afforded me such incredible opportunities for both personal and professional growth. I've had the privilege of working with the finest colleagues anyone could hope to have. Our school is blessed with great students, wonderful families, and an incredible faculty and staff. Heather and I are especially grateful for the many teachers who have nurtured, inspired, and equipped our daughters who have attended JA since they were three years old. As parents, we can testify to the truth of how JA has been All for One for each of our girls."
I am also pleased to share with you that Jack Milne has been unanimously selected by the Board of Trustees to succeed Cliff and lead Jackson Academy as Head of School effective January 1, 2018. Jack was the obvious and clear choice following so closely after the national search process that we conducted last year, which resulted in our hiring Jack for the role of Vice President and Dean of the School. We considered many high-quality candidates during our search, including sitting heads of school. Even with such outstanding candidates, Jack stood out head and shoulders above the other candidates. We recognized when we hired Jack that he has the skills, qualities, and attributes to lead a school as Head. More than that, we recognized what a great fit Jack is for JA, and his time on campus since joining us has certainly confirmed that. Jack came to Jackson Academy after serving as a teacher, Middle School Head, and Associate Head at the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida where he served for 17 years. Jack holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Vanderbilt University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Florida College of Law. Jack and his wife Caroline are enjoying their transition to Jackson and are getting settled into their home on Sheffield Drive just down the road from the school. For additional information about Jack,  visit this recent post.
Jackson Academy is in an enviable position of leadership succession with its next Head of School already on campus, which will allow Cliff to spend this semester working with Jack to continue to orient him to Jackson Academy and the responsibilities of leading the school. I congratulate both Cliff and Jack on their appointments.
All for One,
Gregory M. Johnston, Chair
Board of Trustees


Anonymous said...

Good luck with the crazy Miami prices for everything!

Anonymous said...

Cliff Kling and his family will be missed-- he has done great things at JA-- but we are thrilled to have Jack Milne at the helm and even happier to have Jack and his lovely wife Caroline in the neigborhood. Congrats and best wishes to the Klings and the Milnes! Good things ahead for both Gulliver Schools and JA.

Anonymous said...

I was sorry to hear about this. Good luck to Cliff and his family.

Anonymous said...

Jack is the right man at the right time...divine intervention here...

Victor Fleitas said...

Growing up, I knew a few fellows who attended Gulliver Prep. Gulliver prep was, over thirty years ago, and remains an excellent school with an equally excellent academic reputation.

The college track and cross country coach, at my alma mater, previously coached at Gulliver Prep and had outstanding academic credentials (Princeton grad) in mathematics. As I recall, he could make almost as much tutoring Prep students for the SAT as he did from the day job.

Though I know next to nothing about JA or Gulliver Prep, I wish the new directors all the best in their knew positions.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance to Cliff. He will not be missed.

Anonymous said...

Cliff, you know you're living right when the B teamers come out to hate on you in the comments section of JJ. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that both Prep and JA will be searching for a new headmaster at the same time.

Anonymous said...

I've known Cliff a long time and he is a great guy. He'll be missed.

Anonymous said...

Kling's replacement is already in place, a new hire from the highly-regarded Bolles School in Jacksonville, FL: Jack Milne. I am a JA parent who was happy with Kling and am equally happy with what I have seen so far of Milne. Best wishes to both!

Anonymous said...

If you read the letter, JA already has their replacement.

Anonymous said...

"Interesting that both Prep and JA will be searching for a new headmaster at the same time."

Not they are comparable but SA is searching for a new head to start at the end of this coming year.

Anonymous said...

Not comparable? I have been told the cheerleaders are just as hot at SA.

Messick said...

Did Gregory Johnston just learn cursive?

Anonymous said...

5:18: Why are you making fun of that dude's signature? Can't you see that something must be wrong with him? Maybe he's slow. Or maybe he graduated from JA.

Anonymous said...

There's always David Sykes. He's worked at most private schools in some capacity or other. Surely he still a few ballpoints with ink left in them.

Anonymous said...

So is this like the seg academy equivalent of getting called up to AAA ball? Not bad for head of the fifth best school in a small city!

Anonymous said...

Not bad for head of the fifth best school in a small city!

Name the other four. Put up.

Anonymous said...

6:27 you are crazy. It's the 4th best. Assuming you include the entire metro and are talking high schools. But I agree if talking all grades. MRA still less than in every respect.

Anonymous said...

6:27 isn't far off, honestly. St. A is a lock for #1 in the city and state. After that, Madison Central and JP are neck and neck.

I'll concede that JA battles with Germantown, MRA, and St. Joe for 4th Place. But in any given year, the expectation is about 5th. Five years from now, I'd guess Germantown would be solidly ahead.

JA is not in an enviable market position. If you're going to drop $10K per kid, why not go ahead spend a little more on SA? If $10K is a stretch, why not just move to Madison? If you must go to an "academy," why not the one across the river in "safe" Rankin County?

Anonymous said...

and miss dodging sinkholes on the morning commute? That sounds terribly boring.

Anonymous said...

$10k per kid? LMAO Thanks for disqualifying yourself as knowing anything.

Anonymous said...

We wish JA was only $10K year! JA, Prep and SA are all in the $15-$18K range now.

Then There's This.. said...

Booster #14 @ 8:26.

Anonymous said...

It cracks me up when all the old people brag about SA. Most of the kids there have drug problems, and struggle to fit in with society when they graduate.

Anonymous said...

8:26 here. You're absolutely right: I don't know the exact price.

We did price SA a long time ago, when our oldest was starting elementary school. So clearly my numbers are outdated.

We didn't bother with JA and JP because, why would we? We live in Madison, so we just roll that money into the kids' college funds, which we've topped off before 9th grade. If they're lucky, they won't need them, since their teachers are awesome, and they already have very high ACT's in middle school.

But hey, if you're proud of spending more than I do (and spending as much as St. Andrew's on a school that isn't in SA's league) I guess that tells us something about JA families, no?

Anonymous said...

If you have to try that hard to convince yourself that MC or Germantown and their classes of 400+ are in the same ball park as some of the private schools in Jackson, then you probably already know the real truth. I'm not saying those are bad schools either but when you take into effect the entire experience, academics included, it's just not that close.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you can't come out and say what you mean, 10:59.

As a parent, what I know about the total experience at MC is that 90% of the kids are great. They produce boatloads of National Merit finalists, and more 30+ ACTs than some schools have students. They send kids to Harvard and Yale, and tons of next-tier schools like Baylor and Emory. They generally have few conduct issues. They beat JA and JP at things like quiz bowl, academic decathlon, and debate.

There are a lot of kids, sure. But there are a ton of excellent teachers, and class sizes are very reasonable.

I'm not knocking JA (or JP). You have some nice folks there. But I have to ask, by "entire experience," what exactly are you referring to? Just say it plain for us.

Anonymous said...

10:59 you are the one who has no idea! I have had kids at JA and graduated from JA. Madison County Schools are far superior to JA now days. Cliff Cling has destroyed all that JA use to be. The fine upstanding school that it once was. Hopefully the new gentleman that was brought in to replace Pat Taylor(another joke)and now set to replace Cliff Cling, will turn the school back around. Trust me I have ties back to the school that are older than me.

Anonymous said...

Bring the Brannings Back!! Integrity will follow! Great man great family! He still has eligibility! Retired to young! Come on Gregory, show you are the Pres you've been elected to be!

Anonymous said...

Madison Central doesn't compare to Prep or JA. I will say that JA will be losing students because of its location. Same for First Pres Day School. Parents are questioning the safety of the city and many are thinking about moving their kids. Prep might be teased by JA calling it Flowood Tech for being in Flowood, but those kids are much safer than being at JA.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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