Hillcrest High School’s girls basketball team is featured on the Title IX 50th anniversary cover of Sports Illustrated.
The cover includes photos from different womens sports highlighting the anniversary of the groundbreaking rule that ensures women equal access to athletics. Title IX applies to schools, local and state educational agencies, and other institutions that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education.
Hillcrest alumna Khadijah Patterson is featured in the center of the photo collage of the June 2022 issue of the national sports magazine. The rest of the team is featured prominently in the left hand corner of the front page.
The team, which advanced to the second round of the girls state championship, was comprised of Megan Johnson, Annitre Jackson, Victoria Smith, Keandrea Dabney, Sierra Williams, Ronnitre Jackson, Latianna Collins, Khadijah Patterson and Tracilla James.
“That was a real good team,” remembers principal Teddrick Estes, who led the school during the team’s run in 2019. ”They went to the playoffs and won the first round!.”
The team’s photos were selected by Sports Illustrated editor Marguerite Schropp Lucarelli, who combined the images with other prominent figures in women’s sports. The cover has photos of major athletes such as Serena WIlliams, Billie Jean King, Allyson Felix, Pat Summit, among others. Readers of the magazine could also upload related pictures on the magazine site as well as share them on social media with the hashtag #becauseoftitleix.
Hillcrest High School is one of thousands of public charter schools covered under Title IX that receive federal funding from the Department of Education. A recipient institution that receives Department funds must operate its programs free of discrimination based on sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Some key areas in which recipients have Title IX obligations are: recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; sex-based harassment, which encompasses sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; treatment of LGBTQI+ students; discipline; single-sex education; and employment.
What is Title IX?
Title IX applies to schools, local and state educational agencies, and other institutions that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education.
The inclusion of the Hillcrest High School women's basketball team on the magazine cover brings a sense of pride to the institution, according to principal Estes, who believes that athletics is an important factor of the most important part of the school: academics.
“It’s going to be super important for our students to see… in this neighborhood we are sometimes overshadowed by some of the larger high schools in the area, and so our kids don’t always get the recognition that the other White Haven High Schools do. So, to see this small high school on the cover of a nationally recognized publication is huge”, said Estes.
“To know that we are on the same cover of Sports Illustrated magazine with Serena Williams and a ton of other major female athletes, I think our students are going to be super excited. It makes young people inclined to consider Hillcrest when transitioning from middle school to high school”, added Estes.
Hillcrest High School is one of five schools led by Green Dot Public Schools in Memphis, alongside Wooddale Middle School, Kirby Middle School, Fairley High School and Bluff City High School. Green Dot’s schools are committed to student athletes achievements on and off the field, as teachers and staff prepare students for college, leadership and life.