• Ben Hill Middle School Family-


    We are very excited about getting the 2023-2024 school year started. Our administration and staff have worked hard this summer to get our building, our classrooms, our lessons, and our instructional strategies ready for our students as they return to school with us on August 2nd.


                Our school’s mission statement is to “instill a desire in ALL to take ownership of their learning.” This mission drives our work as educators at BHMS. We have committed to be relentless in our efforts to ensure that all students have high levels of learning. The BHMS faculty and staff have made the following collective commitments to our students, our colleagues, our families, and our community:


    1. We will live out our mission EVERYDAY at BHMS
    2. We will FOCUS on providing research-based, rigorous, and ENGAGING tier 1 instruction EVERYDAY
    3. We will teach bell-to-bell with an opening, work session, and closing everyday
    4. We will have HIGH expectations of ourselves, our students, and our parents
    5. We will make EVERY effort to engage our families and ensure that our students are in class daily
    6. We will commit to productively meet with our grade level and our collaborative team weekly
    7. We will take collective ownership of our school, all students, and the learning of every child at BHMS by refusing to accept EXCUSES
    8. We will cultivate TRUST and COMMUNICATE with ALL stakeholders


    We completed our second phase of renovations at Ben Hill Middle School to provide our students with the best possible learning environment. The renovations included improved air conditioning, remodeled bathrooms, remodeled kitchen, and renovated cafeteria. Our school is clean, fresh, and we are ready to realize our dream of BHMS being a beacon of light in South Georgia.


    Our school hours will remain the same for the 2023-2024 school year. School will start 7:30

    AM, and our day will end at 2:45 PM. The doors of our school will open at 7:00 AM for breakfast.


                We currently have 620 students enrolled at BHMS. We have 180 6th grade students, 228 7th grade students, and 212 8th grade students.


                Last year we rebooted our Parent-teacher Organization (PTO.) The group calls itself our “hype-squad.” Our squad helped with various events including a celebration on the first day of school, “hyping” up state testing, chaperoning dances, helping with celebrations, and helping at extra-curricular events. Any BHMS parent or guardian who is interested in helping with the “hype squad” can contact the school for more information.


                We celebrated several highlights from last school year including our 8th grade Crossover ceremony, improved Georgia Milestone results, maximum teacher retention, and our school culture. The 8th grade Crossover ceremony was a resounding success as 85% of our 8th grade students gained eligibility to participate in this prestigious ceremony. Students had to successfully pass all of their classes to celebrate in the Crossover as these students now are entering Fitzgerald High School College and Career Academy. Our school improved in our Georgia Milestones, and we expect to make another significant improvement this school year. We have only had to hire four new teachers which is a testament to the high-quality staff at BHMS and the culture of the school. Lastly, we work tirelessly to create a family atmosphere at BHMS for our students and staff. Our survey data shows that our students and staff enjoy being here, and we plan to continue making improvements to our school as we strive to create the best possible school culture for all stakeholders.


                Last February the Hurricane Health Clinic opened on our campus. The clinic serves our students, our staff at BHMS, and the community. The clinic is managed and operated by South Central Primary Care.


                As we prepare for 2023/2024, we have an improved intercom system that will allow us to play music in the mornings for students as they eat breakfast or prepare for the day. We find that our students respond well to being in a positive learning environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and also demands their best effort daily. Our students must be challenged academically and allowed to truly grow as they develop into young adults.


                I am extremely proud to be the principal of this school. Two of my personal children (one 6th, one 8th) will be in attendance this year, and I am proud of the school that they will be attending. As principal of this school, I treat every child at BHMS as my own. I will have high expectations for every one of our students, I will care for every child at this school, and I will do everything in my power to help every one of our students be successful.


                I ask that you get your children to school every day. We need them here. Please schedule appointments after school hours if at all possible so that they can be here learning. We will spend every day focused on instruction and providing our students with the best possible educational environment! I also ask that our students leave their cell phones and smart watches at home. These have been proven to distract from our positive learning environment and are not needed for you student to be successful at our school.


                We have an open-door policy at BHMS. If you need something, please come to the school or call me at 409-5573. We are here to serve your child, serve our families, and provide the best possible educational experience for our stakeholders. Thank you for your support. Go Canes!


    Please do not hesitate to contact me.


    Michael Heitzman

    Ben Hill Middle School Principal, Ed. S.


    229-409-5573 (Office)

    229-426-1135 (Cell)