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New Heritage Academy principal returns to his roots

August 24, 2009

A desire to work in full-time ministry brought Dewitt "Hunter" Powell back to Washington County.

A native of Hagerstown's east end, Powell, 48, became the new principal this summer for Heritage Academy, a private, nondenominational Christian school west of Hagerstown.

"We live in a very aggressive world that promotes humanism and self. I want to be a part of teaching and part of leading a Christian organization that stands firm in biblical beliefs and traditional Christian values," said Powell, who attended Pangborn Elementary and North Potomac Middle School. "God has led me in the past to be a teacher, counselor, director and administrator, and each time I can truly state that serving youth and parents has always been at the front."

A 1979 graduate of Broadfording Christian Academy, Powell has a doctorate degree in educational leadership. He has been in education for 21 years and operates ProjectBeachhead, www.projectbeachhead.com, a non-denominational ministry designed to help families. Through the ministry, Powell presents parenting seminars to churches and other organizations.

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He has compiled his thoughts in a book, "Surviving the Hormones," which is being reviewed by a publisher.

"We need to take a stand, and I am here to teach the next generation," Powell said. "This generation needs to be better than mine in leading our nation."

Powell comes to Heritage from Alldredge Academy and Residential Treatment Facility in Davis, W.Va., where he was executive director and head of the school. Prior to Alldredge, Powell directed the experiential leadership development program for cadets at Virginia Military Institute. At VMI he taught boxing and advance water survival skills. He served as associate director of the summer transitional period, associate director of residential living and aquatics director. He also started the Fellowship of Christian Athletes program, where he ministered to cadets each week.

Since taking the Heritage post July 24, Powell has been busy meeting with faculty, staff, parents and students. He has been attending numerous "meet and greet" receptions in the homes of families who have students attending Heritage.

Powell said he was attracted to Heritage because it has the atmosphere of a small school, it upholds traditional Christian values and because he will be working with "godly board members and employees who truly care about Heritage.

"I am very grateful in working with a faculty that is mission-oriented with a desire to serve God," Powell said. "I am humbled in the position in realizing the great administrators who have been before me."

Powell and his wife, Rosemary, have three daughters: Tamara, a sophomore at Liberty University in Virginia; Karyn, a freshman at Liberty; and Bethany, who will be in seventh grade at Heritage this fall.

Heritage Academy offers classes for 4-year-olds to 12th grade on an 11-acre campus on Walnut Point Road, six miles west of Hagerstown.

For more information about Powell or the school, call 301-582-2600 or visit the school Web site at www.heritage-academy.net.

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