Heritage Academy
625 Magnolia Lane


United States
Patron saint(s)Columbus Educational Foundation[1]
PresidentKelly Trout, MD
PrincipalSean Harrison, High School
PrincipalDawn Dawkins, Elementary
HeadmasterGreg Carlyle, PhD
Color(s)Red and Blue
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools
Mississippi Association of Independent Schools
Southern Association of Independent Schools
[citation needed]
NewspaperThe Banner
YearbookThe Heritor
Tuition$5,275 - $6,675

Heritage Academy is a private school in Columbus, Mississippi. It was founded in 1964 as a segregation academy.[2]


Heritage was founded as a segregation academy.[3]

1989 football forfeitures

In 1989, Heritage Academy was the first school in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) North Conference to have a black player on its football team.[4] The school received national media attention when two other schools offered to forfeit games rather than play against a racially integrated opponent.[5] The opponents, Sharkey-Issaquena Academy and the East Holmes Academy, claimed that injuries, not race, were the reason for forfeiting the games.[4] Heritage Academy headmaster and head coach Ray Wooten rejected the other schools' denials, referring to them as "a bunch of bull."[4]

After seven players and two school board members resigned, East Holmes Academy reconsidered its decision to forfeit.[6] The black player, sophomore running back Scott Fuller, offered to quit the Heritage Academy team so the game could be played, but coach Ray Wooten insisted that Fuller remain on the team.[7]

Jabari O. Dunbar was elected the 1st and to date (as of 2019), the only African-American president of Heritage Academy's Student Government Association elected by his peers and the student body in 1991. Jabari then went on to become the 1st African-American to graduate with honors from Heritage Academy in 1992. His sister, Jasa'da Dunbar then became the 2nd African-American to graduate from Heritage Academy in 1998.[8]

Athletics and extracurricular activities

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Heritage Academy's first athletic director was Billy Brewer.[9] When Brewer later accepted a coaching position at Ole Miss, he told the Clarion-Ledger that his involvement with the all-white academy was his "own business" and that it would not impact Ole Miss's efforts to recruit black players.[10]

The Heritage Academy football team won the MPSA AAA championship in 1986 and the MAIS championship in 2012 and 2019.

The Heritage Academy basketball team won MPSA titles in 1992 (2A), 2018 (3A), and 2019(3A). The 2019 basketball team also went on to win the MAIS Overall Championship that year.

Heritage Academy golf won the MAIS 3A Championship in 2012, 2016, and 2017.

In addition to these sports, Heritage Academy also offers baseball, soccer, softball, volleyball, tennis, track and field, and cross country.

Non-athletic extracurricular opportunities include cheerleading, competitive dance, robotics, quiz bowl, various school clubs, and the spirit store.


  1. ^ Swope, Jan (September 13, 2014). "A Columbus school celebrates the half-century mark". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  2. ^ Steve Rogers (May 16, 2004). "Landmark court ruling changed America forever". The Commercial Dispatch.
  3. ^ Crespino, Joseph (2007). In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution. Princeton University Press. p. 241. ISBN 9780691122090. Retrieved 4 January 2018. ..."receiving tax exemptions, all but one enrolled only white students; the sole exception was an all-black private school." Table 8.1 includes Heritage.
  4. ^ a b c Dodd, Donald (October 12, 1989). "Heritage Academy adds black player, loses foes". Clarion-Ledger. p. 1.
  5. ^ "A Goal-line Stand For Prejudice". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  6. ^ AP (1989-10-20). "School Backs Down on Issue of Black Player". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  7. ^ Walker, Scott (October 15, 1989). "Black teen considered quitting for his teammates". Clarion-Ledger. p. 4D.
  8. ^ Simmons, Grace (April 27, 1991). "Heritage Academy Elects First Black Student President". Clarion-Ledger. Archived from the original on April 11, 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  9. ^ "A Columbus school celebrates the half-century mark". The Commercial Dispatch. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  10. ^ "What Billy Brewer says about". The Clarion-Ledger. December 24, 1982. p. C1 – via Newspapers.com.

Coordinates: 33°31′19″N 88°25′28″W / 33.52194°N 88.42444°W / 33.52194; -88.42444