Fort Dale Academy turns to Page

Published 3:00 pm Friday, July 19, 2019

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On the football field, Kurt Page quarterbacked his way into the record books, now he will be at the helm of Fort Dale Academy, hoping to bring his winning style to the Greenville private school.

Page, who holds the Vanderbilt University Commodores’ single-season record for passing yards (3,178), ranks fourth in career passing yards (6,233) and fifth in career touchdown passes with 35, has been a career educator and coach and was hired during the winter to take the place of longtime headmaster David Brantley who retired.

Page met members of the Greenville Lions Club Monday and spoke to them about his past and plans for FDA. He’s also spending long days meeting faculty, parents and alumni as he prepares Fort Dale Academy for another school year.

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“Mr. Brantley was awesome to give me some of his time as he was off-boarding and I’m  on-boarding,” Page said. “I’m really in the infancy of being the school leader here at Fort Dale and he was really good and gracious about discussing procedures and policies of how they run the school as far as meetings and opening school.”

Page was a teacher and football coach in Franklin, Tenn. He has decades of experience in education and athletic leadership in public and private schools.

Page received his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt where he was named an All-SEC quarterback. Page later earned his master’s degree in education from Texas A&M University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Education Leadership. He will defend his dissertation at the end of August.

The job of headmaster has many components from building maintenance to the students and parents. Page said that he is up for the challenges.

“You have a lot of parents from K3 through 12th grade who have aspirations of them advancing up to kindergarten or elementary school or elementary to junior high and junior high to high school and high schoolers looking for colleges, so many people with one mindset,” he said. “What I try to do is help as many people get what they want. If they’ll have a sense of purpose and know what they want, we’re going to present them with the opportunities at Fort Dale. We’re going to be consistent, effective and we’re going to have intentionality — we’re going to be intentional in everything we do.”

This year, Fort Dale Academy is celebrating its 50th anniversary, something Page said reflects on the school and its mission.

“We have been stewards of good fellowship and membership of our community,” he said. “We have a lot of our alumni staying here and raising their families in our community. We have second-generation families and maybe even a family with third-generation ties. These are people who want to be key components of Greenville. We have folks that have left for educational opportunities and gone on to great things. Their first entry point into the learning environment might have been Fort Dale Academy. My job is to instill that in the other folks that are coming through the system now. They needed to know that there has been greatness before them; there have been successful people who went here. Successful people and successful companies leave clues in how to be successful. I want to foster that environment; I want to be engaging in that environment.”

Page said for him, it’s about helping the students achieve what they want to in their journey.

“It’s exciting to see,” he said.

Fort Dale is also experiencing some facility changes and Page is excited about the efforts.

“We’re at a point where they (the board) have decided there will be three phases of enhancement to our campus,” Page said. “The first phase has already kicked off. It will be the building of a gym and weight room down at the part of our campus by the football stadium. That will really help with the lower school activities as far as practicing of sports such as volleyball or basketball that need to practice inside. It will help for our boys to have a weight room and girls to have a weight room on campus, so they can all get the work in over the summer. We’re trying to give opportunities for our students. They can get in and get their training and have a chance at self improvement.”

Page said he’s also anxious to help Fort Dale Academy grow enrollment wise.

“We want to grow in that arena,” he concluded. “We also want to grow in retention and have families that stay with us all the way from K3 to 12th grade. We have a number of those families and we want to strive for that. We want to keep our families here — happy and learning and growing. We want it to be a meaningful experience. That’s part of our being consistent, effective and intentional.”