RIVERVIEW: New principal

Published on: June 7, 2018

New principal chosen for Bell Creek Academy


Chris Hammill, a former superintendent in Michigan, has been named principal for Bell Creek Academy in the 2018-19 school year.

Bell Creek Academy will get a new principal for the coming school year, one who has served as a superintendent in Michigan.

Charter School Associates, which operates Bell Creek, has selected former Michigan superintendent, Chris Hammill, Ph.D., as the school’s new principal. He will replace Margaret Fahringer, who will become an area director within the company. 

Hammill has an extensive leadership background, having held numerous building and district-level leadership positions, Charter School Associates announced.

Hammill is in the process of moving and could not be reached for comment for this report.

“One advantage for parents to send their children to Bell Creek is the assurance that they will be in a safe, nurturing environment that promotes high academic achievement,” said current principal Margaret Fahringer.  “Small class size and a challenging curriculum prepare their children for a positive college experience.”

According to its website, Bell Creek Academy offers a “rigorous and challenging curriculum; character-based education program; a safe, secure campus, private school environment; and highly qualified teachers providing individualized instructional strategies.”

The charter school also offers enrichment in S.T.E.A.M. — Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math education.

Hammill, the new principal, served as chief school operations officer for Athlos Academies in Boise, Idaho. He also served as the superintendent for Mt. Morris Consolidated Schools in Mt. Morris, Mich.; as well as Owossa Public Schools in Owossa, Mich. 

As a principal, Hammill turned around two low-performing elementary schools, leading one to National Blue-Ribbon status, according to Bell Creek’s parent organization.

Students at Bell Creek Academy, which has both a middle school and high school, offers accelerated STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), as well as small classrooms. It will get a new principal for the coming school year.

“Chris brings a tremendous amount of experience to Bell Creek. He has taken a single school to the point of national recognition and successfully managed the complex structure of a district. I believe this makes him the right leader for Bell Creek Academy, which is both a sixth to eighth-grade middle school and a high school,” said Michael Strader, president of Charter School Associates. 

Bell Creek Middle School and High School are both “A”-rated schools based on the Florida Department of Education grading scale. Bell Creek Middle and High School have each earned designation as a Florida High Performing Charter School, the highest rating awarded by the Florida Department of Education.

Patricia Rogers serves as the board chair for Advantage Academy of Hillsborough, Inc., the local not-for-profit governing board that oversees BCA, and said she is pleased with the selection. 

“Bell Creek has established a strong reputation in the Hillsborough community, something of which we are all very proud,” she said. “The addition of Dr. Hammill only bolsters our belief that Bell Creek will continue to be a great choice for our families.” 

The board plans to host an open house in the coming days to introduce Hammill to the community.

Bell Creek Academy consists of Bell Creek Academy Middle School for grades six to eight, and Bell Creek Academy High School for grades nine to 12. Charter School Associates, Inc. manages both schools, along with 22 others throughout Florida.

The two schools have a combined enrollment projected at over 1,000 students in the 2018-2019 school year. Bell Creek Academy is a Cambridge International Examination site, and students who complete the Advanced International Certificate of Education or AICE diploma program receive the State of Florida’s maximum Florida Academic Scholar’s tuition scholarship without having to meet the usual minimum GPA and SAT/ACT testing scores. 

Bell Creek Academy High School was also named to the US News & World Report’s listing of notable U.S. High Schools.

To learn more about Bell Creek Academy, visit www.bellcreekacademy.com, or call 813-793-6075. The schools are located at 13221 Boyette Road, Riverview, FL 33569.