Davis wears many hats at BA’s helm

Published 5:00 am Friday, August 7, 2009

The 2009-10 school year began today at Brookhaven Academywithout a permanent top administrator in place, but interimheadmaster Herbert Davis continues to provide a steady guiding handin several areas of school activities.

While some interim directors are expected only to hold the rope,Davis has been pulling it tight while working three jobs – interimheadmaster, football coach and athletics director – and getting theacademy ready for the new school year.

“We’ve made a lot of strides in the last few months, and for me,it’s really starting to come together,” he said. “We’re making ahuge push technology-wise.”

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Since Davis took over after the resignation of former headmasterDr. Miller Hammill in January, he has overseen the installation ofa new computer lab, complete with 24 terminals and a projectorscreen. He said the reshuffling of the school’s computer inventoryhas also allowed more computers to be placed in the library.

Davis is also taking steps to see that, in the near future,every classroom at BA is equipped with a SMART Board, aninteractive white board that projects a teacher’s work for theentire classroom to see. Also in the works for the near future willbe Web pages for every teacher where work assignments will beposted for the benefit of students and parents.

This year will also see a technology-based policy change for theschool’s ninth-graders, Davis said. All BA freshmen will now berequired to make Power Point presentations, a common requirement incollege that Davis wants his students to master beforehand.

Davis said his method for orchestrating the improvements to BAfor 2009 were just like those methods he uses on the footballfield.

“Every year, I always went somewhere to find whatever I could tohelp our football program, and now we’re doing that for ourclassrooms,” he said. “That computer lab, I set it up exactly theone we had at (Heritage Academy, Columbus). The coaching world is acopycat world. You just find what works.”

No matter what happens to his job as interim headmaster, Davissaid he would continue to push for technology upgrades and seek outnew ways to push his students to excel.

“That’s the kind of guy I’ve always been – we don’t want to bestatus quo,” he said. “I love what Tim Tebow (quarterback,University of Florida Gators) said the other day when they askedhim about practice, and whether or not his team was becomecomplacent after last year – ‘If you’re not getting better, you’regetting worse.'”

The search to find a permanent headmaster, meanwhile, wastemporarily called off due to the condition of the economy andadministrative shuffling, said BA Board of Directors Chairman Dr.Steve Mills.

“We had to kind of cool it for a while,” he said. “We’ve donesome belt-tightening, some things with out budget and rearrangedsome job assignments – the same things a lot of businesses aredoing in these economic times. But now that we’ve kind of gottenour budget and our personnel stable, we’re going to start lookingfor a headmaster at the start of the year.”

Mills said the search was called off and Davis was asked to wearmultiple hats at BA to ensure stability at the institution.

“He’s done an excellent job, and the board’s been pleased withhis performance,” he said.

Davis said he was enjoying his interim position. He predicted notrouble with handling the headmaster’s job on a permanent basis,but wonders if the board of directors would want its headmaster tohave so many duties.

“Whatever they decide, if it’s best for Brookhaven Academy,that’ll be fine with me,” Davis said. “I graduated here, I went 12years here and BA means a lot to me. I’m just trying to do what’sbest for the school.”