Oak Forest Academy in Amite was established in 1969 and includes Pre-K through 12th grades. The administrator and high school principal is Jason Brabham, and the elementary and middle school principal is Amy McNeal.

In February 1969, a group of teachers and interested parents met in Amite and agreed to form a new school.

A 10-acre plot of land was purchased from the McClendon Estate. Ground was broken in July 1969 and cleared by Mr. Emile J. Courtney and Mr. Stanley Anderson. The concrete block building, which is the present-day elementary school, housed a mere 10 classrooms after being built by Amite Building and Supply.

The first classes were held in October 1969 for grades 1-9. Mrs. Betty Harrelson served as principal and second-grade teacher. Other original faculty members included: Allie Hyde, Marilyn Dees, Sue Frey, Grace Knighten, Mary Barbara Kinchen, Katherine Raborn, Julia Kemp, and Ruby Thompson. The original Board of Directors consisted of Jack Lindsay, Gordon Daniels, Fred Anderson, Roy Stewart, Jr., and Doug Kent. Kenneth Courtney and Lee Gray were added to the board in July 1969, then Hank Brumfield and Donald Houeye were added in December.

A contest was held for the students to select the school name, mascot, and school colors. Student entries were submitted to the board, who made the final decision: Oak Forest Academy, Yellow Jackets, and Black and Gold.

Today, OFA remains small enough to be personal, large enough to grow.

“We believe in nurturing students throughout their primary and secondary educational careers. Our private institution has served numerous families within the area for generations, cultivating an extremely high standard of excellence in classrooms, test-taking environments, and beyond,” Administrator Brabham said on the school’s website.

“Like the students of Oak Forest Academy, the majority of our dedicated, knowledgeable, and highly trained faculty stay with us throughout their careers,” he added. “Standing proud as a strong community of thinkers, innovators, and leaders, our staff ensures that your child is provided with every possible opportunity to succeed and thrive within our private school environment.”

Oak Forest is affiliated with the MidSouth Association of Independent Schools, Advanced Accredited SACS and the Duke University Talent Identification Program.

— Information from the school. See more at www.ofajackets.org

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