Hammill new academy headmaster

Published 6:00 am Thursday, January 22, 2004

A Brookhaven native and former community college dean willreplace Dan Boyce as headmaster of Brookhaven Academy next year,according to officials.

Dr. A. Miller Hammill has been selected by Brookhaven Academy’sSearch Committee to lead the school after Boyce leaves at the endof the school year.

“I feel Brookhaven Academy is very fortunate to have someone ofDr. Hammill’s character and ability to lead us into the future,”Boyce said. “I look forward to getting to know Dr. Hammill muchbetter in the months to come during the transition.”

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Boyce, who also served on the search committee, said he wasacquainted with Hammill before the selection process, but did notknow him well.

“He’s very well qualified, and he’s a very dedicatedindividual,” the headmaster said.

Hammill returned to Brookhaven after serving as an administratorfor more than 30 years at Pearl River Community College. He servedas the dean of student affairs, athletic director, director ofstudent life and dean of men after initially being employed therein 1969 as a mathematics instructor and head coach of the men’sbasketball team.

“He obviously has the academic background and the experience,”said Linda Moak, chairman of the search committee. “We’re thrilledhe accepted.”

Dr. Richard Rushing, president of the academy’s board ofdirectors, agreed.

“He’s very well-rounded from a leadership, academic and athleticstandpoint. He’s had leadership positions in all those areas,” hesaid. “We had many qualified applicants and went through anextensive search process, but his presence just stood out.”

Moak and Rushing said Hammill’s ties to Brookhaven also played aminor role in their selection.

“It’s good to be back home,” Hammill said. “I’m very excited Iwas selected and I’m eager to begin.”

Hammill and his wife, Norma Hammill, a science instructor,retired from PRCC on July 1 and returned to Brookhaven to be closerto their family.

He did not plan to stay retired when he moved here, he said.

“I knew I would would continue to work in some area,” Hammillsaid. “We basically retired to be closer to our children and tofollow the Lord’s will.”

The couple’s daughter, Melanie Bishop, is a doctor of pharmacyat King’s Daughters Medical Center. She is married to Steve Bishopand they have one daughter, Katherine, 9 months. They live inSummit.

Their other daughter, Jennifer Rebich, lives in Brandon with herhusband, Richard, and daughter, Anna Miller, 6. She works for amarketing firm in Jackson.

Hammill is a 1961 graduate of Loyd Star High School and a 1963graduate of Copiah-Lincoln Community College, where Norma now workspart-time as a science teacher. He received his undergraduatedegree in mathematics from the University of Southern Mississippiin 1965, his Master’s of Science from the University of Mississippiin 1969 and his Doctorate of Education at Ole Miss in 1985.

He served as a mathematics teacher and junior high basketballcoach at Loyd Star High School from 1964-1965.

Although Hammill does not officially take the post of headmasteruntil July 1, Boyce said, the incoming headmaster will be visitingthe school periodically.

“We’ve talked about it and I think it’s very convenient that helives here,” Boyce said. “I think it will be a great time oforientation and observation.”

Hammill said he was very impressed with what he has already seenof the school.

“I think Mr. Boyce and the board have done a tremendous job, andI hope I can continue what they’ve already begun here at BrookhavenAcademy,” he said. “I’m excited about the Christian learningenvironment I see. I think that’s a strength we can build on withthe dedicated faculty. I can’t wait to begin.”