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Dr. Jack: A Milestone Year

Millie Kirkland, Staff Writer

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2016 is a milestone for many reasons for one adored teacher in our community: Dr. Jack.

This beloved teacher has been sharing his knowledge with Harpeth Hall girls for 20 years now. Many may know him by his coveted winterim classes: Gilmore Girls, The Kennedys, and Disney Films. Others may have been lucky enough to have him as a teacher. Still others may know him from his coaching.  No matter how you know him, the important part is that you know this wonderful man.

What you may not know is that this History teacher is also an author. This year, Dr. Jack finished his novel that he has been working on for 25 years. He progressed in his writing, one chapter after another, until he reached his current state of 336 pages.

15 year old Lozak, the sole surviving member of his tribe, is forced to fight for his land. The trees on his land, worth millions of dollars, are desired by an unknown criminal. “This is the forest primeval–and someone is trying to steal it.” Set in Chicago in the late 1890s, this suspenseful novel is bound to keep you flipping the pages.

I, for one, cannot wait to read this book! As of right now, Dr. Jack is sending out letters to agents as part of the publishing process. For those of you who do not know the publishing process:

  1. Send query letters (a brief summary of book and biography)  to agents.
  2. Per agent’s request, send the first few pages (10-50).
  3. Per agent’s request, send full manuscript.
  4. The agent’s job is then to find a publisher.

Dr. Jack has just received his first request for a full manuscript! He has also sent out other queries from which he is yet to hear back.

Despite his accomplishments, Dr. Jack did not always see himself as a history teacher and author. Before his 20 years at Harpeth Hall, Dr. Jack held many jobs. One of these a folk singer. He says that  “the music bug got me after college”. During his 8 years as a musician, he was also a bartender and a house painter to name a few. When he was younger, he wanted to be a teacher, but he “lost sight of this” for a while. He returned to this career path though after he was finished with music. During college, he double majored in English and History because of his love for the stories they both told and the interpretive nature of these classes. When he again thought of becoming a teacher and returning to graduate school, naturally, he chose history as his focus.

And Harpeth Hall is glad he did! Dr. Jack, thank you for your 20 years spent making Harpeth Hall a better learning space for all the girls here and instilling a love for history deep into the hearts of your students.

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