The appointment of Randall Day to the Hazlehurst City School Board last week was a good decision by the Hazlehurst Board of Aldermen. Day was given the nod to succeed Emmitt Smith, who has served the past few months since the state turned the district back over to local control. Smith submitted his resignation in late September as he and his wife have moved out of state to be nearer family in Arkansas.
I’ve known Mr. Day for years. I grew up with two of his three sons. The other was my high school basketball coach at Copiah Academy and has since become an attorney in the Madison area. My wife and family and I sit near Mr. Day and his wife Beckie at Hazlehurst United Methodist Church on Sundays. They are like family to us.
He serves as the Executive Director of the Hazlehurst Area Chamber of Commerce, going back to 2005. As a member of the Chamber’s Executive Board for seven years, I had the honor of serving with Mr. Day. He and I worked closely together during my term as president of the Chamber board from 2009-2011. When the board began discussions to create the Rockin’ Railroad Festival, Mr. Day lent every ounce of support to the effort, and he’s the steady hand in the planning of the festival each year.
Mr. Day also serves as the curator of the Hazlehurst Depot Museum and the Mississippi Music Museum located inside the Depot in downtown Hazlehurst. He is perhaps the first person tourists contact when they come into town and want to see and hear all about Robert Johnson and the railroad and the Confederate graves and a hundred other things of interest about Hazlehurst. Travelers awaiting a ride on the next Amtrak often venture up to the Depot to get out of the weather or just to kill time and discover so much more about the town after visiting with Randall for a little while.
He’s been a part of the Keep Copiah County Beautiful organization and can be seen picking up trash along Highway 28–sometimes alone–representing the Chamber on the annual clean-up day.
Mr. Day knows the community. Randall loves his community. He understands how important the survival and the proliferation of the separate school district is to new growth in the community and wants to see the district become the best. Hazlehurst is blessed to have him on the school board.