MADISON – After eight years at Columbia Elementary School, Jamie Hill is stepping down as principal to lead Discovery Middle School.
“Discovery has always had a place in my heart,” said Hill. “I am blessed for this new opportunity to lead Discovery and be a Panther while replacing such an incredible leader in Ms. Kim Stewart who has retired.”
Hill plans to meet new faces and reconnect with school families and teachers he has crossed paths with. “Discovery has a rich tradition in Alabama and in our MCS district. Our administration, teachers and staff are exceptional, ”he said.
There are many reasons that led Discovery to reach # 1 in the State Rankings in 2021.. . and among the best in the South East and the nation. “I will continue this tradition and take us to innovative heights as we move towards 2022,” Hill said.
At Discovery, “obviously the students are older, have different needs and are much more diverse. The program is also more diverse with. . . advanced courses, clubs / activities, arts, world languages, career technology, special needs / gifted, athletics. We’re all looking for an identity, ”Hill said.
“Our students at Discovery, just like at Columbia, need to feel confident, valued and supported. They attend a structured, cohesive and fun school environment. Students feel recognized for being held to a higher standard, ”he said.
For 20 years as an educator, Hill taught kindergarten to grade 12 special education and served as the special education coordinator for the MCS district. In Athens he was an alternative school principal, then assistant principal at Discovery, Bob Jones, then senior administrator at Columbia.
After graduating from Hazel Green High School, Hill attended Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Alabama at Huntsville, and Athens State University to earn a BA in Collaborative Special Education.
Her graduate studies included a master’s degree in educational administration, Tennessee State University; Ed.S. in educational administration, University of Alabama at Birmingham; and Ed.D. in educational administration, UAB.
Hill already has a good idea of Discovery’s day-to-day operations. “The school is solid in terms of education and sport. I plan to get in and go to work, ”Hill said.
With the upcoming opening of Journey Middle School, a lot of time will be available to assess Discovery’s procedures and practices and gradually adjust them as needed, he said. “We’ve all been through a ton of changes during this pandemic. Our administrator, teachers, coaches, students and parents need consistency and support, ”he said.
Currently, Discovery enrollment is 1,365 students, of which 457 are in sixth year; 439, seventh; and 469, eighth. The Assistant Directors of Discovery are Gerald Franks, Kate Wade and Kurt Yancey.
Hill will be inducted into the Huntsville-Madison County Sports Hall of Fame in April 2022 for his baseball career with Hazel Green, MTSU, UAH and professionally with the Texas Rangers.
His wife Denise, who graduated from Bob Jones in 1993, works as a dental hygienist for Dr. Dale Allen. The Hill’s sons Cole and Cam attended the MCS. Cole graduated from the UA School of Business and played soccer; currently he is enrolled at Faulkner University Law in Montgomery. Cam is in his second year of business studies at Auburn University and plays baseball.
The family owns Rhett, a two-year-old golden retriever.
“I like to bowling, water ski and snow, and fish. My favorite getaway is probably our RV with my family in Auburn, ”he said.