In 1909, an educator named Laurence C. Jones discovered that the illiteracy rate in Rankin County, Mississippi, was above 80 percent. Considering this inexcusable, Jones founded the Piney Woods Country Life School with the goal of educating the sons and daughters of the impoverished citizens — some the children and grandchildren of former slaves — of the county. Now in operation for over a century, the Piney Woods School is one of only four historically African-American boarding schools in the United States and continues building upon Jones’ mission that, “all students can learn, develop a strong work ethic, and lead extraordinary lives through academic achievement and responsible citizenship.”
It is an honor and privilege to have this opportunity to serve as President of The Piney Woods School. As a former student and board member, I have an abiding love for Piney Woods and profound awareness of its rich history and countless contributions in the areas of teaching, service, and personal development. I will continue to promote the mission of the institution along with our core values.
Two important objectives for us are (1) student recruitment and retention, and (2) donated giving. We look forward to engaging with our students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and other stakeholders to seek their perspectives about the important issues facing the institution as we cast forward. These meetings and discussions represent what will be key aspects of my presidency-engaged communication with all constituents, collaborative problem-solving, and a staunch focus on what is best for our students.
Welcome to this brief portal into the Piney Woods experience. Join with us by sharing our school with worthy and qualified applicants, and by visiting our giving page. Thank you in advance for exploring our community and supporting the important work that we’ve committed ourselves to fulfill for nearly 105 years past, and for many more years to come.