JA Commencement Exercises to go on tonight

By ANTHONY WARREN,

Jackson Academy’s commencement exercises will go on as scheduled tonight, a day after senior Frances Anne Fortner was killed in a car wreck.

The ceremonies begin at 7 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church. For family and friends unable to attend, the event will be broadcast on JA’s Raider Network, https://raidernetwork.org.

On Thursday, Frances Anne, 18, was driving north on Ridgewood Road when her car hit an unsecured manhole cover and flipped her vehicle, Jackson police say. Fortner was transported to UMMC, where she died.

In honor of her memory, Frances Anne’s diploma will be the first one given and “will be accepted by a fellow senior and best friend,” Head of School Jack Milne said.

JA has a counseling staff that is being made available to upper, middle and lower school students. JA also has a chaplain, who is an ordained minister, who is on hand to support those affected, Milne said.

A gathering was held Thursday night for students at the JA Learning Commons.

Ninety-six students are expected to graduate.

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Cathy Haynie, head of school at Christ Covenant School, is serving JAAIS (Jackson Area Association of Independent Schools) as president this year.