Skipper takes reins as Morgan headmaster

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

With more than 29 years of academic experience, Randy Skipper has taken the reins as headmaster at Morgan Academy.

Skipper worked for the Montgomery County Board of Education for 26 years before retiring. After retiring, he went to Lowndes Academy, where he was headmaster for three years.

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Skipper said it was Christopher de Buzna who first recommended that he consider coming to Morgan Academy, when the two were discussing de Buzna’s retirement. Skipper met with officials and was offered the position.

Now, he commutes from Lowndesboro, 30 miles each way, to Selma. His wife, Dottie Dickson, commutes into Montgomery. The couple has five children and one granddaughter, who will be three months old this week.

Skipper was born in Selma, and is a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery. He received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in administration from Troy State University-Montgomery.

Skipper recalled his grade school days with fondness. &8220;I had a good time in school,&8221; he said.

Some of the best times came his junior and senior year, when Robert E. Lee was the state’s football champion. Skipper would later become his alma mater’s principal.

Skipper said working with students keeps him feeling young. He hopes to impress upon students the fact that they can perform well academically and also have a social life, a lesson he took to heart as a student. As headmaster, &8220;I treat the students with respect, and they become aware of that pretty quickly,&8221; he said.

In his spare time, Skipper said he enjoys golfing, scuba diving, horseback riding and snow skiing. He and his wife have also traveled considerably, visiting places such as Belize, Cozumel, Mexico, and Nassau, Bahamas, and many cities stateside including San Francisco, Boston and New York.

Corim Oaks, 7th, 9th, and 10th grade teacher at Morgan, as well as varsity cheerleading coach, said Skipper is great as a headmaster. &8220;He’s very visible,&8221; she said. &8220;He has great rapport with the kids and the teachers.&8221;

Skipper said that school administrators plan to evaluate the curriculum this year and increase course offerings for next year, including Advanced Placement courses and a wider range of electives. Also in the works: a new computer system that tracks students’ attendance and test scores for parents to access. &8220;We’re basically looking to tweak what we have, not completely change it,&8221; Skipper said.

Morgan Academy has won the Alabama Independent School Association’s (AISA) President’s Award 15 times for academic achievement and is an 11-time winner of the AISA Chairman’s Award for athletic achievement.