More than 100 students, including many from Jackson Public Schools, competed in the NAACP's annual ACT-SO competition held at Chastain Middle School in the spring of 2012. Gold medalists at the state level qualify for the national finals to be held July 5-9, 2012, in Houston, Texas during the annual NAACP Convention. Winners from JPS were:
- Hillary Watkins, Music Vocal/Classical, Gold
- Mary Spooner, Photography, Bronze
- Mary Spooner, Original Essay, Gold
- Kahari Johnson, Original Essay, Silver
ACT-SO – the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics – is a major youth initiative of the NAACP. ACT-SO is a yearlong enrichment program designed to recruit, stimulate, improve, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African American high school students.