Dear Mr. Pillar,
I just returned home from the 7th and 8th grade choir concert, and wanted to take a minute to tell you that it was out of this world! I feel so lucky that my daughter is involved in a music program that is so enthusiastically promoted and put together so well. It truly went above and beyond the ordinary concert with the decorations and the music. Mr. Upchurch is just as fun to watch as the choir! That is a man who is truly doing what he loves, and what he is meant to be doing. We are so lucky to have him.
While I've got you, I also would like to express my most sincere gratitude for you and your entire staff. As parents, it feels like middle school passes in the blink of an eye and I wonder if you ever get the praise you deserve. Your job is no easy task, and not only have I never had a single complaint or disappointment with JCMS, but I am so impressed with every aspect of the school. The sports programs (swimming, cross-country, and track) have been nothing but positive, inclusive and instructive. The teachers have been enthusiastic, helpful and communicative. The rules/discipline are fair, consistent and communicated to the kids in a firm but kind manner. The office staff has been nothing but friendly and helpful. After having both of my children go through, I can say that I absolutely love Jackson Creek. So thank you, thank you, thank you for leading such a fine program and group of people! Every school should hold you as an example of what to strive for!
The education opportunities are what drew us to Jackson Creek Middle School. The principal, Mr. Pillar, played an integral role in bringing the foreign language program back to the middle schools and started the Chinese Language Program which both of our children love. Second year foreign language students may obtain credit in which they have the option to transfer to high school. That same option is available for higher level math courses as well. The music and arts programs round out the students core requirements along with many school clubs for extracurricular activities besides sports. The school encompasses curriculum designed to address all students from the advanced student to the special needs student. The counselors work earnestly to help you get the best educational experience for your child that is available. The staff is courteous and helpful. My wife and I are now in our third straight year with a student at Jackson Creek Middle School. We commute approximately 40 miles (one hour) each way to school because we feel that strongly about education and the value that Jackson Creek provides.
Excellent principal, teachers, and staff. I remember my middle school experience as a very negative - with administrators who expected the students to be bad and spent most of their time yelling at them. My daughter's experience at Jackson Creek has been completely different - Principal Pillar sets a positive tone, treating students with respect and inspiring them to treat each other well and take advantage of all the exciting opportunities - academic and extracurricular - that the school provides. Great school!
The teachers, the head of school, and the staff of Jackson Creek Middle School have made the transition to middle school a wonderful one for my son. They have done this with their kindness, with their energy, with their understanding of the wants and needs of this age group, and with their obvious knowledge and love of their specific content areas. The team approach, or school within a school model, has given my son the ability to be with same group of kids and the same teachers each day for half the day which has created a real sense of community...his teachers know his name and his personality. Its obvious they care about his well being (go JAG team! :) ). What is most important is this: My son gets up each morning and...seriously...is HAPPY to go to school with his friends! I couldn't have asked for a better 7th grade experience for my son. Thank you JCMS!!
I couldn't be more pleased with the middle school experience for my kids at JCMS. One is in 8th grade and the other is in high school now. Both have had very positive experiences there. Both ran Cross Country and that was a great way to make friends (and it's for everyone, it's a no cut team and everyone feels valued and welcome). Academics have been strong and there aren't the bullying experiences that I remember from my middle school days long ago. Teachers and administrators are approachable and friendly and Mr. Pillar is doing an outstanding job! For a larger sized school, it feels "smaller". It is a good transition from elementary to high school with the block scheduling approach. Students are part of a smaller block in a much larger school Highly recommend!
JCMS is the perfect size with active, friendly administrators and teachers who have the confidence and leeway to elevate their classes far beyond standard middle school stuff. Our son is in his second year of studying Chinese, participates in the new speech team and has played football for two years while learning great study and social skills. Just walk into the school and you can see, feel and even smell how different and special it is.
I'm a little perplexed by all the negative comments about Jackson Creek posted on the same day, August 2, 2015, which was the day BEFORE school started this year. My son is in his second year at Jackson Creek and this hasn't been our experience at all. I remember middle school as an absolute horror: bullies, negativity, cliquishness. Certainly there are 'in crowds' at Jackson Creek like at any school, but my son (not a 'popular kid') came home after the first week of class and said "I never knew I had so many friends." The students are kept so busy there's not really an opportunity for the kind of mayhem I remember. He ran cross country, which included a cross-section of 'popular' and 'less popular' kids, and everyone was nice and positive. He had a truly transformative music class with Mr. Donnelly. And he is two grades ahead in math and does substantial math homework every night. No school is perfect but I can't think of anything this one is doing wrong, and there's tons they're obviously doing right. Thanks Mr. Pillar!