Augusta Preparatory Day School has a new leader.
Ferrell Singleton signed on to be the interim Head of School for the 2014-2015 school year.
“I love being here,” Singleton said after only a few days getting settled into his new office. “The school has a great reputation. ... When this opportunity presented itself, I was pleased to put my name in the hat and am excited about joining a great school, helping it move forward.”
Singleton was hired for one year to replace Becky Gilmore with the task of helping the school’s board of directors find his permanent Head of School replacement, and an interim and long-term Head of Upper School to replace Stephen Schools.
Singleton said he will advise the board in the search and “do whatever I can to make sure that the next person will be a successful head, the right match for this community and this culture.”
As a long-time independent school administrator, Singleton brings more than 50 years experience to Augusta Prep. He started teaching in 1962 and accepted his first administration role as the head of the lower grades at Christ Christian School in Greenville, S.C. He served as director of Middle School at Lovett School in Atlanta from 1966 to 1969 before becoming headmaster at Valwood School in Valdosta, Ga., from 1969 to 1979.
He served as president and headmaster of Lakeview Academy in Gainesville, Ga., from 1979 to 2005, when he decided to focus on interim roles and providing professional guidance to schools in times of transition.
“We are elated to have Mr. Singleton join us here at Prep, knowing his expertise will greatly benefit our school during such a pivotal time as we strategically plan a vision for our future,” Augusta Prep board President Clay Boardman said.
Singleton has served as president, vice president and executive committee member of the Georgia Association of Independent Schools and former regional president of the Georgia High School Association.
But it’s the children Singleton said he loves to serve.
“I cannot imagine what it’s like to work in a job and not look forward to going to work,” Singleton said. “I love the school environment. Basically, we’re all here because we feel like we can have a hand in making a difference in the lives of children.”
Singleton officially takes his post on July 1, but has been in the office several days in June settling in to ensure he can hit the ground running.
He said he’ll spend the year at Augusta Prep implementing the school’s recently completed strategic plan, which includes some expansions and upgrades.
But Singleton definitely doesn’t expect to spend his year locked in his office.
“I’ll spend a lot of time walking around campus visiting classes. That’s the fun part,” Singleton said. “If you’re having a bad day, all you have to do is walk into a kindergarten or pre-K class. It’ll change your whole day.”
Singleton said he’s impressed with the high character of the school administration, adding that he believes it is a trait others considered in previous hires.
Though Singleton has commuted from his Gainesville home for his previous interim, he plans to temporarily move to Augusta with his wife, Linda, who is retiring as a pediatric physical therapist.
“It’s an adventure,” Singleton said. “It really is. I enjoy new challenges. Getting to know a new community, it will be a fun experience.”