“It’s a very humbling experience to have that kind of recognition,” Singleton said. “I have to pinch myself. I just appreciate Dr. (John) Kennedy and the board of trustees and all that were involved in giving me that honor, particularly while I can enjoy it before I’m dead.”
Lakeview Academy dedicated its new middle school building Thursday, honoring the man who served as head of the school from 1979-2005.
“It’s a real tribute to everyone I worked with and my years here and my family,” Singleton said. “I’m very thankful and grateful.”
John Kennedy, the current head of school, said the new building will primarily house sixth through eighth grades when school begins Thursday. It also allows the school a chance to respond to growth in the lower and middle schools.
“The middle school was in the original building, and we were getting cramped,” Kennedy said. “The lower school was also getting very cramped. The idea was we could expand the lower school into the former middle school and open this. Now we have fourth and fifth (grades) in what was the former middle school.”
In addition to housing middle school students, Singleton Hall will also be home for robotics classes in the lower and middle schools, as well as the learning support program that Kennedy said helps students with academic needs such as students with dyslexia.
“The public school has special ed, whereas we take in a student, it’s generally a family; say a family of three, and one of the kids has dyslexia,” Kennedy said. “They’re going to struggle in a traditional curriculum that we have.”
Kennedy praised Singleton for his work in building the school over more than two decades and noted that Lakeview annually gives an award in Singleton’s name, which he said was “for the student that best exemplifies Lakeview Academy.”
I’m not sure Lakeview would be where it is today without (Ferrell Singleton's) leadership. He’s been a good mentor to me ... A lot of times this is a lonely position.John Kennedy, Lakeview Academy head of school
“The average tenure of an independent school head is two and half years,” Kennedy said. “I’m not sure Lakeview would be where it is today without his leadership. He’s been a good mentor to me ... A lot of times this is a lonely position.”
R.K. Whitehead, a board member who was active in the 5-year process of seeing the new building become reality, said it was named for Singleton “to honor a man who played a very large role in what Lakeview became.”
Jane Hemmer, who chairs the board of trustees, called it “a wonderful day.”
“Ferrell Singleton was the head of school, and he was wonderful and it is just so significant and meaningful that we are honoring him by naming this building in his honor,” said Hemmer, whose children attended the school. She added that Singleton’s success as the head of the school was due to “his calm demeanor, his fairness and the efficiency with which he ran the school.”
Singleton noted that the middle school at Lakeview only had three classrooms when he first came to the school.
“It’s really fun to see how the school has matured and grown, and now we have a new building for the middle school,” he said. “It’s an amazing experience.”
Since leaving Lakeview, Singleton has held five interim leadership positions in schools and said he does “a little consulting.”