Jamie Hill takes reins as principal at Discovery

MADISON – After eight years at Columbia Elementary School, Jamie Hill is leaving as principal to lead Discovery Middle School.

“Discovery has always had a place in my heart,” Hill said. “I’m blessed for this new opportunity to lead Discovery and be a Panther while replacing such an amazing leader in Mrs. Kim Stewart who retired.”

Hill anticipates meeting new faces and reconnecting with school families and faculty with whom he has crossed paths previously. “Discovery has a rich tradition in Alabama and our MCS district. Our administration, teachers and staff are outstanding,” he said.

Many reasons have led Discovery to reach first-place ranking in the state in 2021 . . . and among the best in the Southeast and nation. “I’ll continue this tradition and take us to innovative heights as we move into 2022,” Hill said.

At Discovery, “obviously students are older and have different needs and are much more diversified. The curriculum also is more diverse with . . . advanced courses, clubs/activities, the arts, world languages, career tech, special needs/gifted, athletics. We’re all in search of an identity,” Hill said.

“Our students at Discovery, just like at Columbia, need to feel trusted, valued and supported. They attend a school environment that is structured, consistent and fun. Students feel recognized for being held to a higher standard,” he said.

During 20 years as an educator, Hill taught PreK-12 special education and served as Coordinator of Special Education for MCS district. In Athens, he was Alternative School Principal, followed by assistant principalships at Discovery, Bob Jones and then top administrator at Columbia.

After graduation from Hazel Green High School, Hill attended Middle Tennessee State University, University of Alabama in Huntsville and Athens State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in collaborative special education.

His graduate study has 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 pulse of Discovery’s day-to-day operations. “The school is sound instructionally and athletically. I plan to get right in and go to work,” Hill said.

With Journey Middle School opening soon, plenty of time will be available to evaluate Discovery procedures and practices and gradually adjust as needed, he said. “We’ve all been through a ton of change during this pandemic. Our admin, teachers, coaches, students and parents need consistency and support,” he said.

Currently, enrollment at Discovery is 1365 students, with 457 in sixth grade; 439, seventh; and 469, eighth. Discovery’s Assistant Principals are Gerald Franks, Kate Wade and Kurt Yancey.

Hill will be inducted into Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame in April 2022 for his baseball career at Hazel Green, MTSU, UAH and professionally with Texas Rangers.

His wife Denise, a 1993 Bob Jones graduate, works as a dental hygienist for Dr. Dale Allen. The Hills’ sons, Cole and Cam, attended MCS. Cole graduated from UA School of Business and played football; currently, he’s enrolled at Faulkner University Law in Montgomery. Cam is a sophomore business major at Auburn University and plays baseball.

The family owns Rhett, a two-year-old golden retriever.

“I love to bowl, water and snow ski and fish. Probably my most favorite getaway is to our camper with my family in Auburn,” he said.

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