Smith named BHS principal

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Brookhaven High School’s new principal, the son of two LincolnCounty natives, said he feels as though he’s coming home.

Dr. Jay Smith, the son of Donna Kyzar Smith and J. Hugh Smith,said he’s looking forward to taking over the reins at BHS when hiscontract begins July 1. After having been at the helm of anelementary school for the last seven years, he said it’s time toget back into high school administration.

“I’m very, very excited, actually,” he said in a telephoneinterview Tuesday. “I’ve been a high school principal, and I’vebeen looking forward to getting back to where I belong.”

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Smith was the principal at Wingfield High School before hiscurrent tenure at Gary Road Elementary School in Jackson. Smithsaid he sees returning to high school administration as thefulfillment of a personal goal.

“It’ll be a personal challenge getting back to high school,” hesaid. “I have three priorities, and those will be the safety ofstudents, high quality instruction and extracurricular and athleticteams second to none.”

Brookhaven School District Superintendent Lea Barrett said cityofficials are thrilled with the choice of Smith as the newprincipal.

“The thing I’m excited about is that he’s got a good handle oninstruction and experience as a high school principal,” she said.”He also brought Gary Road’s rating from a Level Three to a LevelFive.”

Smith, who has been in education since 1993, will be inBrookhaven on April 23 to meet the BHS faculty. He currentlyresides in Byram with his wife Michelle and their three children,Cheyenne, 10, Jayden, 8, and Brady, 4.

The 39-year-old educator got his bachelor’s and master’s degreesat Mississippi College and his PhD at the University of SouthernMississippi.

Smith’s contract at Gary Road expires June 30,

He said he will take some time off and sell his home, but willrelocate to Brookhaven as soon as his personal business is settled.His family still owns land in Lincoln County, and he said he’slooking at the possibility of building on the family land.

Smith is succeeding Susan Chapman, who is retiring at the end ofthis school year after more than 32 years with the district. Shehas been BHS principal for the last six years.