Middle School

USJ's Middle School, for grades 6-8, eases students through the transition from Lower School to the college preparatory classes in Upper School in a safe, nurturing and supportive environment. The Middle School's curriculum is content driven; by the end of each school year, students are expected to accomplish specific performance goals in each area of the curriculum.

The Middle School offers a core of academic subjects that are enriched with the fine arts, computer technology, foreign language, and physical education. Honors courses are offered in mathematics and English. Seventh and eighth graders take a full period of either Spanish or French.

Middle School teachers use a variety of teaching methods to address the various learning styles of students. These include hands-on activities, lectures, research, technology and many cross-curriculum activities. Technology and character education are integrated throughout the curriculum.

Students' performance is tracked so teachers have a good idea about what students know and what they need to be taught to meet learning objectives.


Don Roe Named New USJ Middle School Director

Don Roe has been named University School of Jackson’s Middle School Director effective July 2017, replacing Jim Hardegree who is currently the Interim Director. Hardegree will assume his previous responsibilities as the Dean of Students.

Roe is in his 23rd year of teaching and his 5th year at USJ. His background includes teaching positions at North Parkway Middle School, Northeast Middle School, North Side High School, and Madison Academic High School where he was also the head coach of the Academic Decathlon. Roe was the Gilder-Lehrman History Teacher of the Year for the state of Tennessee in 2005.

Roe has a master’s degree in history from the University of Memphis and a bachelor’s degree from Lambuth University. He is a Jackson native. Roe has been married to his wife Melinda for 19 years, and their nine-year old son, Max, is in the fourth grade at USJ.

"USJ is a special place, and I love working with such a dedicated group of professionals and with young people who desire to pursue excellence in all things,” Roe said. “This school is home for me and my family."

Stuart Hirstein, Head of School at USJ, expressed his excitement about the new Middle School Director: “Don possesses the attributes required to successfully lead the middle school at USJ, and we are delighted to welcome him to the administrative team. Don is a proven instructional leader who has tremendous energy, enthusiasm, and dedication, and he will serve the school well in this vital role.”

“Mr. Hirstein, the Board of Trustees, and the administrative team are clearly committed to growth and to the future of our school, and I am so honored to get to play a part in it,” said Roe. “I look forward to working with and supporting our talented and dedicated middle school faculty as we pour our lives into the lives of our students. Jim Hardegree is currently doing a tremendous job, and I hope to continue the standard of excellence that he and Courtney Burnette have set for this division.”

Roe is no stranger to leadership, having chaired one of the school’s strategic planning work groups as well as chairing USJ’s Southern Association of Independent Schools accreditation, which the school will undergo in February.

"The values espoused in our mission statement are 100% congruent with my personal philosophy,” said Roe. “To get to work with such a special faculty and to communicate these principles to our families in such a critical phase of our students' development excites me. I believe as we implement our new strategic plan together and continue to work on improving every day, USJ's students will benefit directly. It is my goal that students would not just be impacted positively today, but due to our work here, would be better prepared for the next level of their education and to make a positive impact on the lives of others."