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Founding Board of Trustees 1970

*Marshall M. Fortenberry, President
*Gus A. Primos, Vice President
*B. B. McClendon, Jr., Secretary
*Wirt A. Yerger, Jr., Assistant Secretary
*J. O. Manning, Treasurer
*Jesse L. Howell, Jr., Headmaster
*Fred W. McEwen, Sr., Executive Secretary

*William S. Cook
*F. Earl Fyke, Jr.
*Paul B. King
*Robert W. King
*Louie E. Little
*Albert L. Meena
*Ben Puckett
*Sam Riddell
*D. L. Simmons, Jr.
*William M. Spotts
*Victor P. Smith
*Robert N. Stockett, Jr.
*T. Arnold Turner, Jr.
*O. B. Walton, Jr.
*William C. Warner
*Calvin L. Wells

*Indicates deceased

Founded in 1970, Jackson Preparatory School is a coeducational day school serving Preschool through Grade 12.

Located on an 84-acre campus in the thriving city of Flowood, Jackson Prep is east of the state’s capital of Jackson, Mississippi. The Jackson Prep Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School combine to establish one of the premier educational institutions in the state. Our student body is diverse, representing various racial, ethnic, economic, and religious groups. For more than five decades, Jackson Prep has been committed to a standard of excellence in academics, arts, and athletics and prepares students for their future while instilling personal integrity in a challenging and engaging environment built on biblical values. With a 100% matriculation to college, Jackson Prep sets our standards high, so our students are equipped for future success.

Jackson Prep originated as a for-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Mississippi. Jackson Preparatory School, Inc., the original corporation, applied for and was granted non-profit status by the IRS on January 4, 1991. There was much work to be done before the transition on June 1, 1995, and the single individual most responsible for initial setup of the non-profit corporation and transfer of operations from the original corporation to Jackson Preparatory School Foundation, Inc. is Holmes Adams. The establishment of the Foundation has allowed Prep to raise funds to assist with operational costs and capital expenditures without drastic increases in tuition and is a key to Prep’s stable enrollment even in tough economic times.

Dr. Marshall Fortenberry served as the first chairman of the Board of Trustees, and it was primarily through his vision and energy that the school became a reality. Jackson Preparatory School opened its doors in August 1970, with Jesse L. Howell, Jr. serving as its first headmaster.

The Board of Trustees purchased acreage on Lakeland Drive in Flowood, Mississippi, a completely undeveloped area at the time. They felt the site would be easily accessible to Jackson and that it had great potential for growth. Construction of the high school building began in April of 1970 allowing only five months before school started to complete the job. Not only did they want a first-rate building finished in a short amount of time, but also, they expected the building to contain complete classrooms, science laboratories, administrative offices, and a library. During the spring, work began on the football field, practice field, stadium, and field house. The high school was finished in time for classes to start in September, and the football facility was completed soon thereafter.

From 1970 to 1972, construction continued around campus. During the 1970-1971 school year, construction of the gymnasium was completed. This gymnasium originally served not only as a basketball court, but also as an all-purpose meeting area for the school. During the summer of 1971, the school erected the junior high building to accommodate the burgeoning enrollment—after the first school year, the number of students increased from 646 to 966. At the same time, construction crews added the band and choir rooms and a lunchroom at the back of what is now the McRae Center.


During the 1971-1972 school year, the school also added a baseball field, a track, and tennis courts to its athletic facilities. In 1978, Jackson Prep began work on the new gym and the auditorium, which opened during the 1979-1980 school year.

In the following decades, Jackson Prep constructed the J. O. Manning Patriot Center, the McRae Fine Arts and Media Center, the Guyton Science Center, the Dining Commons, and The Centre for Arts and Leadership. The Centre showcases Fortenberry Theatre, a 1000-seat theatre, Lindsay Hall, a smaller theatre and event space, and the VanDevender Art Gallery. In addition to the new buildings, Patriot Avenue and Patriot Way were officially named and the now iconic clock tower was created.

In 2016, Jackson Prep began offering an International Program for students from other countries to experience American educational opportunities. The vision of the program is to build a more diverse and externally connected student body, to increase leadership opportunities, and to create a culturally immersive environment. To date, Jackson Prep has welcomed international students from Cambodia, China, Taiwan, and Spain just to name a few.  

For many years, the primary entry grade for students was Grade 7; however, Jackson Prep added Grade 6 in 2006 and Grade 5 in 2022. In the fall of 2023, Jackson Prep opened its 26,000 square foot Lower School serving Grades PreK-3 through 4 completing its long-range strategic plan. Now a cohesive campus, Jackson Prep is poised for growth and continued success.