New BA principal excited by change
by Courtney Warren
May 07, 2014 | 3444 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bayou Academy is adding a new member to its administration.

Gary Crowell will become the new elementary school principal and Kathryn Ann Donna will teach middle school writing.

Originally from Batesville, Crowell is a graduate from South Panola High School and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in math/biblical studies/psychology at Blue Mountain College and a masters and doctorate from Ole Miss in educational leadership.

"I've been in education for a little more than 30 years and all my time I've heard great things about Bayou Academy and their relationship with Delta State. I've heard about their one-to-one program and that excited me and I'm excited about being a part of it," said Crowell.

Crowell and his wife Janet have three grown children and three grandchildren and he currently teaches secondary math at Calhoun Academy.

Janet works at the University of Mississippi in the chancellor's office.

Crowell said he looks forward to Bayou because of the opportunities for students and also because he will be working with an old friend.

"Coach Jimmy Hicks and I have worked together before at Tunica Academy. When I heard the position was open and Jimmy was there, the opportunity to be a part of a thriving school made me want to apply and be a part of it," he said.

Not only had Crowell worked in private school teaching and administration, but he has always worked in the public school system.

"I think something unique I can bring to Bayou is that I have taught all grade levels and have worked at the Ole Miss athletic department mentoring athletes. I was a public school principal in Marshall County and an elementary principal at Tunica Academy," he said.

Crowell said both school systems could bring a unique mix to Bayou Academy to strengthen what they already have.

Crowell said he is most excited about the new technology Bayou has.

"I'm excited about the new tech programs. There will be training in the next few weeks for the incoming smart boards. I'm excited about the new computer labs and the opportunities to be a part of hands-on technology excites me," said Crowell.

"We are in an age where knowledge is at our fingertips and hands-on learning and hands-on technology is a big part of the learning process. Technology can grow children and they are never too young to start," he said.

Crowell added Bayou has made an advancement in technology in a short amount of time thanks to the new administration and because of Bayou's partnership with Delta State, it is only going to get better.

"There are so many different programs at our fingertips and they already have so much there. Because of their relationship with DSU there is so much more they can do," he said.

Crowell said he is excited to become a part of the Cleveland community and has had experience with the arts in Cleveland through attending programs at the BPAC with students.

"I'm looking forward to the new opportunities. This will be a challenging opportunity to use my talents in a thriving school and to get to know the community. I look forward to meeting the parents and patrons of the school, working with a talented staff and a dedicated leadership program, and giving what I can through my background in Mississippi education," he said.

Crowell added, "I'm a Christian educator who loves children and a believer in preparing productive Christian citizens. Children are never too young to begin their path for the future."

Bayou Academy Headmaster David Granville said he is looking forward to working with Crowell.

"I can tell you Mr. Crowell will be an excellent addition to the school. With his experience, wisdom, knowledge, and love for the kids, he'll be a great addition to our team and do wonderful things for the school," Granville said.