Welcome to Maynard H. Jackson High School
Maynard Holbrook Jackson High School, formerly Southside Comprehensive High School, is presently in its 33rd year of operation. In the 2007-2008 academic year, as a part of the Atlanta Public Schools High School Transformation Initiative, stakeholders proposed renaming the school after Atlanta’s first African-American mayor, and the first African-American mayor of any major southern city, Mr. Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr. On June 16, 2008, the Atlanta Board of Education approved the renaming of Southside Comprehensive High School to Maynard Holbrook Jackson High School.
The school came into existence in the Fall of 1985 as a result of the merger of Hoke Smith High School (1947-1985) and Franklin D. Roosevelt High School (1947-1985). The previous design of the building reflected the comprehensive nature of the school, which integrated the seven Career Technology components of the school within its academic areas. Maynard Holbrook Jackson High School's first principal was Mr. Charles Hawk, who served from 1985 to 1991. Following Mr. Hawk, Mr. Joseph Carpenter served as principal from 1991 to 1993. In 1993, during Mr. Carpenter’s tenure, Jackson High School attained a partnership with General Electric (GE) that involved volunteers, financial assistance for an after-school tutorial program, an academic incentive program, a mentoring program, an attendance improvement plan, the Family Technology Resource Center, and a scholarship program. This program still continues to this day. Following the prolific reins of Mr. Carpenter, Dr. William Shepherd served as principal from 1993 to 2003. During his tenure, the school was named a Georgia Public School of Excellence in 1999.
From 2003 to 2012, Dr. Shirlene B. Carter served as principal of Jackson High. In the 2004-2005 school year, the GE program was restructured into five components: Professional Development: Teacher and Curriculum Enhancement; Student Enrichment; Student Incentives; Family and Community Involvement; and Program Management. The five-year grant ended in 2007; however, the school sustains the innovation provided by the GE grant today.
In 2008, in conjunction with the APS initiative, the school opened as several Small Learning Communities. These included Engineering and Early College, Information Technology, and Fine Arts and Media Communications. In the Fall of 2012, Mrs. Stephanie Johnson was appointed as the principal, who is credited with the school turnaround initiative that bolstered Jackson High School to one of the top public high schools in APS. Mrs. Johnson made it her mission to eliminate barriers for her students and instituted the school motto of Motivate, Educate, Graduate! This resulted in a Career-Ready Performance Index Score increase from 53.8 in 2012 to 76 in 2016. Athletic teams were also greatly expanded beyond the traditional football, basketball, and soccer as MJHS added Lacrosse, cross country team, swim, golf, etc. Mrs. Johnson was recognized as a 2017 National Principal of the Year Finalist, a 2016 Georgia Principal of the Year, and a 2016 Atlanta Public Schools Principal of the Year. From 2012 to 2014, the school facility underwent a $20 million, three-level, state-of-the-art renovation designed to house 1,400 students and moved from the Small Learning Communities back to a cohesive, whole school model.
In addition to its longstanding partnership with GE, Maynard Holbrook Jackson High School has established and maintained relationships with other well-known and influential community partners including: the Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Metropolitan College, Delta Air Lines, Fulton County Department of Human Resources, Emory University, Georgia Pacific, Georgia Institute of Technology, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, IBM, Imlay, Morehouse School of Medicine, Morehouse College, Kaplan, Inc., Lafarge, 100 Black Men, Inc., Spelman College, the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, and Wachovia Bank.
In 2013, MJHS was authorized as an IB World School and is the second high school in APS to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. In 2017, the school was authorized to offer the IB Career-related Program. During this time, the school tremendously increased its Advanced Placement (AP), IB, and other advanced course offerings, including the addition of Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and French to the curriculum. It is also during this time that Jackson High School students have been accepted to the most prestigious colleges and received the most academic scholarships in the school’s history. In 2019, Jackson High School will be authorized to offer the IB Middle Years Program in conjunction with Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School.
Today, Mr. Adam Danser serves as the principal of Maynard Holbrook Jackson High School. He continues the rich legacy of excellence established by all those who served before him.