History of Heritage Academy
Heritage Academy is a coeducational, independent Christian school located in the heart of Columbus, Mississippi. Heritage Academy was founded in 1964 by the Columbus Educational Foundation to serve the needs of the surrounding community by creating an effective learning environment for the students of the area. In the fall of 1965, thirty-three children in three grades attended classes that met at First Presbyterian Church.
In 1966, the school moved to First Baptist Church because of renovations at First Presbyterian Church. During this year, grades four, five, and six were added. Showing continued growth over the next five years, Heritage’s home moved to the five-acre track on North Fifth Street. Heritage Academy Elementary was built and opened for the 1967- 1968 school year with grades 1 – 6 and Nancy Landrum was the elementary principal.
The school continued to expand and grow. For the 1970-1971 school year, the high school building was opened to house grades seven through twelve. This also increased the grounds of the school to twenty-two acres.
In 1972, the football field was completed and named after a founding supporter, C. L. Mitchell. The school’s first official homecoming was celebrated this year. The seventies were an era of firsts for Heritage Academy with the first Student Government Association being formed, the inaugural issue of the school newspaper, The Banner, and the school annual, The Heritor, going to press.
Through the years, many renovations and new buildings were added, as well as curricular programs. Buildings such as the High School SAB, the Martha Claire Fitzner Hall, the Robotics Lab and Spirit Hall, and the Bo Simpson Field House were added over the years. After a successful Capital Campaign in 2016, the science and math rooms were renovated to incorporate a state of the art biology lab as well as three STEM labs, including the Entrepreneurship lab.
Heritage has enjoyed many athletic successes over its history. The athletic program has won 47 state championships in school history. The boys’ and girls’ tennis teams won the first state championships in school history in 1982. Since then, the Dance, Cheer, Boys’ Basketball, Swim, and Football teams have all won state championships. The 2019 boys’ basketball team, led by Coach Russ Whiteside, captured the first overall state championship in school history.
In May 2022, Heritage Academy welcomed Sean Harrison as the ninth Head of School in school history. We look forward to celebrating 60 years in 2024.
We are thriving today, excited about the future, and proud of our history in beautiful Columbus, Mississippi!