Hillcrest Christian School
|Hillcrest Christian School|
|4060 South Siwell Road|
|Campus Director||Ace Bryant|
|Grades||K3 through 12|
|Color(s)||Royal blue, white, gray, and black|
|Affiliations||Southern Association of Independent Schools, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Mississippi Private School Association|
In 1985, W.J Simmons, chair of the state White Citizens Council, discussed the history of the school with Clarion-Ledger. Simons acknowledged that "Race was a motivating factor in the early days." Simmons also stated "admitting blacks lowers educational standards. Racial mixing is wrong when it's forced. And if it's not forced, it's not likely to occur."  In the same article, headmaster Gary McGee said that he didn't know if the Hillcrest Christian school would admit black students and that if a black student applied for entrance, the matter would need to discussed by the school's trustees.
The current campus was originally known as Council McCluer, which was a separate school opened the same year as Hillcrest. Council McCluer was part of a system of twelve schools in Jackson founded and run by the Citizens' Council of Jackson.
For much of its early life, the school was located at Sykes Road and Wheatley Drive in south Jackson, and operated as a K-9 school. In 1985 the school merged with the McCluer Academy, another segregation academy. The combined school used the former McCluer Academy campus on Siwell Road for the high school and middle school. The school ultimately moved all operations to that campus and sold the Wheatley property in the late 1990s following the construction of an elementary school building at the Siwell campus.
Hillcrest Christian School has a variety of clubs and organizations. The Hillcrest National Honor Society is known throughout the Jackson area. In YMCA Youth Legislature, the school has experienced success. Over ten students have been named Outstanding Senator and/or Representative. Hillcrest has also been represented in positions such as House Floor Leader and Youth Governor.
Hillcrest Christian School has a diverse fine arts program that includes Symphonic and Marching Band, Praise Band, 2-D Art and 3-D Art and Music Appreciation.
The Choral Music and Instrumental Music programs have a history of success at regional and national festivals and competitions. The Hillcrest "One Spirit, One Sound" Marching Band has also been successful, posting all-superior ratings at regional and state marching competitions. MoThe band has scored all-superior at the 2006 Pinson Valley Marching Competition and Best Overall at the 2005 West Alabama Marching Festival. In concert band, Hillcrest posts equally impressive results. After participating in the 2006 St. Louis, Missouri Heritage Festival, the band received their second invitation to the Festival of Gold, a national competition held in Boston Symphony Hall. The band first attended the Festival of Gold in April 2005, posting a 4th-place finish nationally.
All Hillcrest teams participate in the Mississippi Private School Association's Division AAA. Hillcrest fields teams in football, basketball, baseball, tennis, and track.
Coached by former Mississippi State standout Shane Kelly, the Cougars won the 2006 MPSA Academy AAA Division I title, beating Jackson Academy. They also won the Academy AAA Division II State Championship in 2007, beating Magnolia Heights School. Under the leadership of Coach Paul Wyczawski, the current pitching and recruiting coach at Murray State University, the Cougars won several state titles in the 1990s, including three consecutive state AAAA titles from 1996 to 1998.
Since 1989, Hillcrest has had more than 35 student-athletes play in the collegiate ranks, including:
- Stephen Head - Class of 2002, Ole Miss graduate, and current minor league player for the Cleveland Indians
- Cody Satterwhite - Class of 2005 and current professional baseball player
- Seth Smith - Class of 2001, Ole Miss graduate, and current Colorado Rockies player
Hillcrest teams have appeared in the MPSA State championship twelve times, including championships in 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2006, 2007 and 2008.
The Cougars won the MPSA Overall Championship in the 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2007 seasons.
- Taryn Foshee - won the 2003 Miss Clinton pageant while a pupil at Hillcrest Christian School and received a commendation from the Mississippi Legislature; 2006 Miss Mississippi; 3rd runner-up in Miss America 2007
- Stephen Head - minor league first basemen for Cleveland Indians and winner of Boo Ferris Award, given to Mississippi's top collegiate baseball player
- Scott Savage - former drummer for multi-platinum, Grammy- and Dove Award-winning band Jars of Clay
- Seth Smith - outfielder for Oakland Athletics
- Carlos Moncrief - outfielder for San Francisco Giants
- McGee, Meredith Coleman (2013-03-21). James Meredith: Warrior and the America that Created Him. ABC-CLIO. p. 40. ISBN 9780313397400.
- Jones, Keven (1985-04-28). "A Changing of the Guard". Clarion-Ledger. p. 1. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
- Kanengiser, Andy (December 10, 1985). "Desegregation Helps them Cope Now". Clarion Ledger.
- Hillcrest Christian School, Official site
- "Hillcrest Christian School", Great Schools
- "Senate Concurrent Resolution 573", Mississippi Legislature, 2003.
- Chris Joyner, "Miss Mississippi makes it to top 5 in Miss America pageant", Hattiesburg American, February 15, 2007.