• August Mobley

CHS Honors First Black Administrator

Updated: Mar 4

In light of Black History Month, on Friday, February 25th, Columbus High School held a program to honor Mr. Jimmie Habersham, CHS's first African-American Administrator.

Devin Howard (12), Dr. Crumbs, and Jordyn Howard (12) pose with Mr. Habersham (left) and his son (right). In the center is a portrait of Habersham, painted by Chandler Fletcher (c/o '17). The portrait is to be hung up in the the front lobby of the school.

Spearheaded by Dr. Crumbs and organized by English teacher Mrs. Jenkins, the program was held exclusively for seniors.


The opening remarks were given by Devin Howard (12), and Mr. Habersham was interviewed by Jordyn Howard (12).


"It was nice to see all of my peers engaged in hearing about someone who was so influential to how we do things today," says Devin Howard.





Mr. Habersham was born and raised in Jefferson County, GA. He received degrees from Savannah University, Clark Atlanta University, and Auburn University. He came to Columbus to teach math at Carver High School. He later became the school's assistant principal.


He transferred to Columbus High School during the 1971-72 school year, becoming the school's first African-American administrator. This transfer happened during early integration in Columbus.


Habersham was "somewhat apprehensive to come to Columbus High School," due to the fact that it was not as desegregated as other schools in the area. During the process of integrating schools in Columbus, boycotts were held at Lakebottom Park, along with a march to the superintendent's office with a police escort.


Luckily, these reactions did not deter Habersham, and his arrival at CHS was met with overwhelming positivity.


"I was well-received by administration, faculty, and staff," he revealed. "We all got along like family. I had no problems with teachers, I treated them professionally, they treated me professionally, we had a clear understanding."


Prior to his arrival, CHS was not the full magnet academy that it is today. However, it became fully magnet during his tenure at Columbus.


"Columbus High School has always had better students, so to speak. [We] had some students out of county come here."

Superintendent Dr. David Lewis and school board members Naomi Buckner and Laurie McRae pose with Mr. Habersham, his son, and Dr. Crumbs.



As the program reached its conclusion, Dr. Crumbs took the opportunity to thank Habersham for his contributions to Columbus High.


"I wouldn't be sitting here today if not for you," he praised.







What are Habersham's hopes for future students? For them to be "patient, considerate, [and] understanding" and "as productive as they can in society."


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