Jackson Prep names new Head of School
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 12:00 PM
Jackson Preparatory School recently announced the appointment of Jason Lewis Walton, Ph.D., as the sixth Head of School, effective July 1, 2014.
Jason Lewis Walton, Ph.D.
Walton succeeds Susan Lindsay, Head of School since 2004, who will retire in June after serving the school for 40 years in a variety of positions including social studies teacher, sponsor of many extracurricular activities from golf coach to student council, department chair, senior high guidance counselor, junior high principal, associate head of academic affairs, and co-interim head of school.
Walton's appointment is the culmination of a comprehensive nine-month search process facilitated by Carney, Sandoe & Associates, a global independent school leadership search firm.
"The process we followed was thorough, deliberate, and consisted of months of screening and interviewing numerous highly qualified candidates representing both a national and local pool," search-committee chair Anne Wells Rogers said.
"More importantly, this process resulted in finding a person of Walton's integrity, leadership skills, and commitment to academic excellence. I would like to thank all of the search committee members who tirelessly worked together on this rigorous Head of School search. These members are Clay Hays, Steve Rosenblatt, Reta Haire, Doug McDaniel, Elisa Phillips, Jim Coggin, and Kelley Fenelon."
"The Jackson Prep Board of Trustees is very excited to have a Head of School with such a fantastic background," Dr. Clay Hays, President of the Board of Trustees, said. "Dr. Walton's doctoral degree in school administration from Vanderbilt should serve Prep well.
"We look forward to using his leadership skills as we build on the foundation that Susan Lindsay has set."
Walton is a fourth-generation educator in Mississippi. After receiving his undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Mississippi, he began his career in education by teaching high school for four years in north Mississippi.
"Jason's love for, and commitment to, education began when he was a teacher in the secondary school classroom," Haire, faculty representative on the Search Committee, said.
"The insight he gained there, combined with his experiences at the collegiate level, will serve him well as the leader of a college prep school like ours."
Jason applied to and was accepted in Vanderbilt University's nationally-ranked Ph.D. program, focusing on K12 school administration.
There he was selected by the chair of the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations to serve as Associate Editor of the Peabody Journal of Education. Subsequent to full-time doctoral work in Nashville, Jason served as Assistant Director of Tennessee's Office of Education Accountability, which provides non-partisan, objective analysis of education policy issues for many state agencies as well as the general public.
While serving the State of Tennessee, Jason was recruited to serve as Director of Strategic Initiatives at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. He worked to establish the strategic plan for the university - Lynn 2020. In 2006, he was named chief of staff and staff liaison to the Board of Trustees at Lynn. While serving in this capacity, Jason had the idea to apply to host a Presidential Debate at Lynn University. Over 40 well known institutions applied, and, in the end, Lynn was successful.
In October of 2012, Lynn was propelled onto the national stage when it hosted the last of three presidential debates.
Jason co-chaired the event and led the public facing effort on behalf of the university.
Dr. Kevin Ross, President of Lynn University and Jason's colleague for over eight years, said, "I know what it takes to lead a secondary school, having previously worked in administration for several nationally-ranked secondary schools, and Jason will make an outstanding leader."
Walton's wife, Laurie, has taught for many years at an independent K-12 Christian school in West Palm Beach, as a high school geography and Advanced Placement world history teacher.
They have two children, Caroline, age 10, and John, age five.
"I want to thank the board of trustees, selection committee, administrative team, faculty, staff, and students for all of the time and effort devoted to this important process,"Walton said.
"I am enthusiastic about Jackson Prep's future and look forward to building on the well-established foundation of excellence at Jackson Prep."