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Hayles head of school at Copiah Academy

COPIAH — Paul Hayles had no intention of leaving Amite School Center, but an opportunity came along that he couldn’t pass up.

Hayles, an Adams County Christian School alumnus, was named head of school at Copiah Academy last week after serving in the same position at Amite School Center from 2011-13.

“Me and my family are excited,” Hayles said. “We feel like it’s a great opportunity for my family. It was unexpected. When I was contacted, I wasn’t necessarily looking to leave where I was, but it was just too good to pass up.”

A former ACCS football player, Hayles was head football coach at his alma mater from 2007-10 before becoming head of school at ASC in 2011. He served as head coach at ASC this past season but will not coach at Copiah Academy.

“A tough thing to do is to be a head of school and head football coach and put 100 percent into both,” Hayles said.

Hayles said Copiah Academy has an excellent staff in place, which was the main draw to moving to Copiah.

“They’ve had a consistency of growth, and the administrative staff in place is top-notch,” Hayles said. “One of the things we’ll be looking to do is hire an athletic director and head football coach, and that’s something that will be in place soon.”

Though he no longer coaches at ACCS, Hayles said he stays in regular contact with several people at the school.

“I talk to Rick Fife, the AD, and of course, (headmaster) David King and I have stayed in touch,” Hayles said. “I talk to (girls basketball coach) Melanie Hall, too. There are great people there; great families and kids. It was a difficult thing to leave there when I did.”

Coaching football is something Hayles said he enjoys, but he also said he won’t miss it when he serves strictly as head of school at Copiah Academy.

“I really won’t, because I’ll get to watch my children,” he said. “That’s something I find as much enjoyment out of as I did when I played. There’s something unique about when it’s your offspring out there.”

Hayles has three sons: Braxton, who’s in ninth grade; Dalton, who’s in seventh grade; and Tristan, who’s in fifth grade.