Academy achieves AA academic ranking

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 8, 2006

Brookhaven Academy administrators are reeling over a recentannouncement that they have earned excellent ratings.

“BA just maintains an excellent educational presence in thecommunity,” said David Derrick, Executive Director of MississippiPrivate School Association (MPSA). “They are there to educatechildren and to provide a good academic environment. They are oneof our flagship schools in the state.”

MPSA schools are ranked into three basic divisions.Approximately 40 of 117 MPSA schools received a superior ranking ofAA. MPSA requirements are comparable to those of the SouthernAssociation of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Derrick said.

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BA Headmaster Dr. Miller Hammill said that this marks the secondyear the school has maintained an AA ranking. He credits the honorwith course offerings and teacher qualifications.

“Every faculty member is certified to be teaching the subjectthey are teaching. That is outstanding for any school system andI’m excited about that,” Hammill said.

Academy students have access to courses required for admissioninto college by the Institute of Higher Learning, Hammill said. Theschool is also participating in the new Mississippi ScholarsProgram, a statewide effort coordinated locally, to encouragestudents to take more challenging courses.

In addition to achieving AA status with the MPSA, BA is alsoaccredited by SACS. SACS accreditation involves a writtenself-study and a two to three day evaluation from a committee thatevaluates the school on eight to 10 standards.

The academy teaches elementary school children using the A BekaCurriculum which features a strong Christian emphasis, Hammillsaid.

Younger students also are encouraged to participate in theAccelerated Reader program, known to many public school students.Students in ninth through twelfth grades take college preparatorycourses sanctioned by the Institute of Higher Learning.

“We just need to continue doing what we’re doing,” Hammill said.”We feel real good about our continued strength in our academicprograms and our strong, qualified faculty.”