Looking forward to school district’s resurgence

Published 8:30 pm Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Brookhaven School System has been here for over 100 years, and the Brookhaven community has always been very supportive. A successful system is very important to a community in many ways.

I came to Brookhaven in 1965 after four years of teaching and coaching in Mississippi and a year at the University of Alabama where I earned a degree in Counseling and Guidance. I was the counselor at Brookhaven High School for five years.

Then, I served as the director of federal programs for three years, assistant superintendent for eight years and superintendent for eight years.

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While working in the Brookhaven School System, I earned an Educational Specialist Degree and a Ph.D. Degree in School Administration and Supervision from The University of Southern Mississippi.

I retired in 1989 with 30 years in education in Mississippi and worked as an adjunct professor for William Carey University and Mississippi College in public school administration and served as a consultant for the State Department of Education.

I worked for 15 years as a field representative for Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society. I also have served 23 years in the Mississippi Army National Guard. During this time, I actively served during the Meredith Crisis in 1962 and in 1990 during Desert Storm.

I feel that these experiences in education, the military and my career in Woodmen of the World qualify me to express my feelings on the current situation now existing in the Brookhaven School District.

Our community expects and demands a quality school system. This school system has always maintained a high accreditation rating by the state of Mississippi and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Brookhaven School System has always ranked at the top of districts in Mississippi and has attracted excellent administrators. The patrons of this school district demand that the system be restored to its former excellent position as one of the top schools in the state of Mississippi.

During my tenure as superintendent of this district, from 1981 to 1989, the administrators, faculty and I were able to add additional foreign languages, advanced placement courses and the JROTC.

The Lincoln County School Superintendent, Mr. Versie Rushing, and I were together able to form a joint vocational technical system that was available to both school districts.

In 1982, the Tupelo, Clinton Brookhaven High Schools and 180 other districts in the United States were named National Model High Schools in the United States. The following year, Wal-Mart was considering Brookhaven as a possible location to add a new distribution center.

As part of this selection process, two Stanford education professors met with me and other community leaders appraising the possible location. As a result of the distinction of being selected as one of the National Model High Schools in the United States, Wal-Mart officials selected Brookhaven as the site of the new distribution center.

In 1970, the Brookhaven School District went to a unitary school system.

This new endeavor along with the influences of Assistant Superintendent, Mr. John Dow, other school and community leaders and the Brookhaven parents and students, was successful. In addition, we were able to reach even more unitary goals.

As a former Brookhaven School Superintendent, I feel devotion, love and loyalty to this district, and I look forward to returning to our former superior standing in our community and in the state of Mississippi.

George Brumfield of Brookhaven is a former superintendent of education in the city school district.