Naismith era officially ends

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 1, 2005

Staff report

After 16 years as the president of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Dr. Douglas C. Naismith officially retired Thursday.

Naismith was named to the Board of Trustees in l982, and served as interim President from l989 through l991 when he was named the school President.

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During his tenure, Naismith has continued to pursue a course of academic and extra curricular excellence.

Over the past 15 years, enrollment has grown from 850 students to approximately 1,040, making NSA one of the largest independent schools in the Commonwealth.

The Academy has also adopted programs for financial aid, racial and economic diversity, foreign exchange, character education, classroom technology, and an expanded array of athletic offerings for boys and girls.

Additionally, Naismith focused on expanding a number of NSA’s Advanced Placement courses and was responsible for hiring a staff of three to work in the college counseling office.

The school’s physical plant has also expanded dramatically under Naismith, such as new upper- and lower school libraries, the camp gymnasium, a new middle school building for grades five through seven, science, math, and art wings, a foreign language wing, the Helen Holland early school, tennis courts and the new soccer and softball fields were all added under his leadership.

Perhaps Naismith’s most noteworthy achievement, however, is his recognition around the state and throughout the East as a diplomat for the school.

&uot;Under his leadership, the school has grown and developed into a premier day school. It is a better school because of him,&uot; said assistant upper school headmaster Brenda Kincaid.

&uot;I will miss his presence on the administration hall.&uot;

Naismith has gone from a military officer to Spanish linguist, from a tractor salesman to school administrator.

&uot;Anything I have been able to accomplish is a result of the support of others,&uot; he said. &uot; I am a borrower of ideas who relies on the inspiration of those around me.&uot;

He hopes that his &uot;energy can now be centered on reflection, relaxation, and family.&uot;

He is looking forward to spending time with his wife, Mary Jane, their five children and six grandchildren; visiting them all across the United States.

&uot;Being a part of our grandchildren’s life is a major retirement goal of mine,&uot; Naismith said.

Shane A. Foster, headmaster of NSA’s Upper School, has been appointed to fill the position, beginning today.