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Edgewood Headmaster Jay Adams Says Past Year Has been a Challenge but Position Was Good Fit for Family

Special to the Elmore Autauga News

First one bug, then another.

Edgewood Academy Headmaster Jay Adams has done just about everything you can imagine at a school. He has taught a variety of subjects, coached and has been a headmaster twice. However, he will readily tell you that this past year has been unusual and challenging to say the least.

Adams was named headmaster of Edgewood Academy and assume duties for that position on June 1, 2019. A graduate of Lee University in Tennessee, Adams is certified in English, science and mathematics. He also holds a minor in Bible. In the three years prior to becoming headmaster Adams taught British and American Literature, Chemistry, Physics, Marketing, Geometry and ACT Prep at Edgewood. Prior to Edgewood, Adams spent 16 years at Cornerstone Christian School (Columbiana), including six years as head of school. 

“I kind of got burned out on administration when I was at Cornerstone, and I wanted to get back in the classroom. There was a great opportunity at Edgewood and I came here and a good fit for my family,” stated the Alabaster native. “I really enjoyed teaching, but after a while the bug hit me to get back into administration. Clint Welch was leaving, and the opportunity to become headmaster at this fine school was very appealing. I think I made a good decision.”

Adams has a unique philosophy. He believes an administrator also needs to be in the classroom a fair amount of time.

“I really think that administrators need to be in the classroom some. You need to keep your feet in the classroom so you don’t lose touch of what you are trying to achieve at the institution,” explained Adams. “As for me, I haven’t taught a class since about mid-March and I’m itching to teach again.”

Just when Adams was enjoying his first year as headmaster and teacher at his new school the other bug hit. It didn’t hit Adams personally, but it hit the school world and turned things upside down.

The bug was COVID-19, and it forced the shutdown of schools everywhere. Edgewood was no exception.

“We were having a good year and the virus hit just before Spring Break. At first we thought we would be out the scheduled break week and maybe another week. Obviously, that didn’t happen,” Adams said.

The minute it looked like the virus would take a bigger toll on the school year, Edgewood began to equip its teachers with information and resources for distant learning. The school had a special plan for the younger kids where parents picked up and dropped off assignments. Under Adams’ leadership things went well and Edgewood’s school year survived the attack of COVID-19.

One of the things that Adams did to retain focus by all and keep the Edgewood family moving forward was to survey parents.

“We wanted to make sure that all was well with the kids and that we were being successful in our education efforts. The parents appeared satisfied with their children’s progress, and satisfied with our efforts to move forward,” Adams said.

After several months of shutdown and various shelter orders parents are growing anxious and restless everywhere, and it’s true of Edgewood parents according to Adams. “It hasn’t been a regular summer for anyone. Parents are anxious, especially those that rely upon two incomes,” Adams said. “We continue to survey parents, and the childcare issue is coming into play. Parents want their kids at school. I have yet to have a parent embrace distant learning for the future. I think we must operate under the assumption that we will have a normal school year, and prepare for that while talking extra measures to protect the health of our students.”

Adams said the school was turning a teacher’s work room into a sick room to make sure sick kids would remain separate from others while at school. The school will also physically restructure the office area to maximize efficiency and minimize potential illnesses.  

“We are looking at a lot of things to see what else we can do. We want to educate our students and keep them healthy. There will be more challenges to come and I think we need to work diligently to prepare for a variety of scenarios. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we look at things, the way we prepare and the way we react. It is a different world now,” Adams said.