• We are always proud of the amazing work of Jackson Public Schools alumni. Our spotlight series highlights the work of alumni who are using their skills and talents to make a difference. Follow us here and on social media.

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Alumni Spotlights

  •  Dr. Herbert V.R.P. Jones

    Dr. Herbert V.R.P. Jones

    A class of 1967 graduate of Brinkley High School

    Dr. Herbert V.R.P. Jones is one of the nation's foremost figures in choral conducting and pedagogy and an expert in the intersection between theology and musical expression. Dr. Jones is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and a class of 1967 graduate of Brinkley High School (now Brinkley Middle School).

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  • Dathan Thigpen

    Dathan Thigpen

    A class of 1998 graduate of Forest Hill High School

    Dathan Thigpen is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and a class of 1998 graduate of Forest Hill High School. While in JPS, Mr. Thigpen began his music journey at Casey Elementary, Morrison Elementary, and APAC. “JPS has been very instrumental in my success in music,” said Thigpen. “I started off at Casey Elementary where I played the violin and sang."

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  • Janet Marie Smith

    Janet Marie Smith

    A class of 1975 graduate of Callaway High School

    Janet Marie Smith is a Major League Baseball (MLB) executive, architect, and urban planner. Smith has built and managed renovations of several major and minor league baseball parks in the U.S. including Baltimore, Atlanta, Boston, and Los Angeles. She became one of the first women to hold an executive position with any MLB club when she was promoted to Vice President of Planning and Development with the Baltimore Orioles in 1989. Smith is best known for her work developing Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which set a new standard for ballparks.

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  • Dr. Nashlie H. Sephus

    Dr. Nashlie H. Sephus

    A class of 2003 graduate of Murrah High School

    Dr. Nashlie H. Sephus is a native of Jackson and a class of 2003 graduate of Murrah High School/Power APAC. After graduation, she attended Mississippi State University and received a B.S. in computer engineering in 2007. Dr. Sephus received her Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2014 and worked for a year with Exponent, a technical consulting firm, in New York City. Her core research areas were digital signal processing, machine learning, and computer engineering. Dr. Sephus had several internships and research experiences worldwide with companies such as IBM, Delphi, University of California at Berkeley, GE Research Center, GE Energy, Miller Transporters, and Kwangwoon Univ. in South Korea.

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  •  Dr. Henry T Sampson, Jr.

    Dr. Henry Thomas Sampson, Jr.

    A class of 1951 graduate of Lanier High School

    Henry T. Thomas Sampson, Jr. was born in Jackson, Mississippi, and was a class of 1951 graduate of Lanier High School. He went on to attend Morehouse College before transferring to Purdue University. While at Purdue, he joined Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. In 1961, he graduated with an MS in engineering from the University of California Los Angeles. Sampson also received an MS in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1965, and his PhD in 1967. He was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering in the United States.

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  • Dr. Tommie Mabry

    Dr. Tommie Mabry

    Class of 2007 graduate of Bailey High School

    Dr. Tommie Mabry grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, and is a class of 2007 graduate of Bailey High School. Due to a lack of positive role models, Dr. Mabry turned to life in the streets. He was expelled from numerous schools, and by age eleven had been arrested for breaking and entering. Things started to change for Dr. Mabry when he joined an AAU basketball team that traveled around the world. Although he was shot in the foot during his senior year, he received a full basketball scholarship to Missouri State University-West Plains. After completing his undergraduate studies at Tougaloo College, he taught school in the same district where he had been expelled.

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  • Herman Horton

    Herman Horton

    Class of 1983 graduate of Wingfield High School

    Herman Horton is a Jackson native and class of 1983 graduate of Wingfield High School. He attended Jackson State University and received his Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and police services and his Master of Arts in criminology and justice services. Horton is a retired U.S. Army master sergeant with 28 years of service (10 in the Marine Corps and 18 in the Army) where he served as a military police instructor, military police investigator, drill sergeant, deputy inspector general, and Army battle command training evaluator.

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  • Dr. Amber Johnson Avery

    Dr. Amber Johnson Avery

    Class of 2006 graduate of Lanier High School

    Dr. Amber Johnson Avery is a Jackson native and a class of 2006 graduate of Lanier High School. At Lanier, Dr. Avery was a member of the girl’s basketball team and earned All-State honors within the program. She graduated from Lanier with a GPA in the top 10 of her class. From there, she attended Tougaloo College for two years on a basketball scholarship and also ran cross-country for the institution. She continued her educational matriculation and cross-country collegiate career at LeMoyne-Owen College and received her bachelor’s degree in computer science in 2011. Dr. Avery received her master’s degree in computer science from Jackson State University in 2013.

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  • Tomekia Reed

    Tomekia Reed

    Class of 1999 graduate of Murrah High School

    Coach Tomekia Reed is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and a 1999 graduate of Murrah High School. After graduating from Murrah, she began her collegiate basketball career at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. She helped lead the program to a WNIT appearance before transferring to Hinds Community College for the 2000-2001 season. At Hinds, Reed led the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) in rebounds per game and was also second in the conference in scoring. She was chosen as an All-State first-team selection.

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  • Lori Jackson Evans

    Lori Jackson Evans

    Class of 1995 graduate of Murrah High School

    Lori Jackson Evans grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, where she attended and graduated from Murrah High School in 1995, and Jackson State University in 1999 and 2004. She is employed with Regional One Health as Manager, Community and Stakeholder Engagement. In this role, she manages strategic community engagement activities and supports marketing, communications, volunteer services, external affairs, and public relations for Regional One Health.

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Last Modified on Friday at 11:56 AM