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Middleburg Academy hires new head of school

Colley W. Bell has been named the new head of school for Middleburg Academy. The current headmaster at Nanesmond-Suffolk Academy, Bell will begin his tenure at Middleburg July 1. —Courtesy photo
Middleburg Academy will have a new head of school for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Middleburg Academy's Board of Trustees, in conjunction with current interim Head of School Ronald Sykes, has appointed Colley W. Bell III as the new head of school. Bell's tenure will begin July 1.

Bell is currently headmaster at Nanesmond-Suffolk Academy in Suffolk.

"We are excited to draw upon Mr. Bell's lifelong love of independent schools and his demonstrated leadership qualities,” said Michael Hoover, chairman of Middleburg Academy's Board of Trustees, in a press release. “Moreover, his strengths in management, finance, and community-building, as well as in the development of 21st century focused curriculum and technology, assured us that Colley is the right person to take Middleburg Academy into the future.”

For Middleburg Academy, Bell's hiring ushers in a new era for the school, which has undergone significant changes in the past four years. In addition to shedding its Catholic identity and changing its name from Notre Dame Academy in 2009, the school has had three interim heads in the same period as they hunted for a new permanent hire. Sykes emerged from retirement in 2011 to manage the school until a replacement could be found.

Middleburg is confident that Bell's pedigree and background will only benefit the school.

Bell has worked at independent schools since 1984 and has served in New York, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Illinois, Delaware and Virginia. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky and his master's degree at the Columbia University. At Nanesmond-Suffolk Academy, he helped the school receive an interim five-year accreditation and the school receive an all-time high record $1 million in gifts.

"Middleburg Academy's mission and vision are very much in keeping with my own beliefs. It is a school that captures you in a very personal way through a vibrancy that is contagious." Bell said. “I feel so privileged to serve as Middleburg Academy as its next head of school.”

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