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Welcome to Lee Academy

Welcome to Lee Academy, Home of the Cougars! Our preschool through twelfth grade school, located in Marianna, Arkansas, has a rich heritage of excellence. In everything we do, from athletics to academics, we strive to develop young adults who will be successful in all walks of life. At Lee Academy, we encourage our students to think creatively, and we provide a positive learning environment as we ensure a sense of responsibility for their academic and social choices.

We thank you for visiting our website and hope you will enjoy it as you learn how Lee Academy students grow as individuals in our challenging and supportive curriculum, geared toward developing young people who are equipped to shape the future. We invite you to browse the pages of our site to find bus routes, lunch menus, and registration information as well as a school calendar to keep you up-to-date with the activities at Lee Academy. Please bookmark our site and visit often.

A Message From our Headmaster

Dear Students, Parents, and Community Members,

Life and Basketball

I have a confession to make. I did not get into the teaching profession because of my burning desire to educate young people. I got into it because I wanted to become a coach. Teaching was merely something I had to do in order to pursue my passion. You see, I am a sports junkie. I especially love basketball. To top that off, I am a very competitive person. It does not matter if it is a ball game or a card game. I hate to lose! Once I actually became a teacher and a coach, my priorities did change, and I learned that teaching actually is more important than coaching. I try to instill that fact into my players by stressing that grades must come first and that in order to have the opportunity to play, you have to take care of business in the classroom. Still, that did not change my love of basketball nor did it alter my competitive nature.

At Lee Academy, we have several rivals in our surrounding area that spark contempt simply by the mention of their names – the Black Knights, Eagles, and Thunderbirds – just to name a few. As we prepared to play West Memphis Christian, the scoundrels at the top of my hit list, I spent hours trying to figure out a way to knock them off. It was not going to be an easy task.

As many of you are aware, something happened that night that brought everyone back down to earth to understand perspective. Our senior girls were in the middle of the first half when suddenly Gary Cordell, a basketball official who lives in West Memphis, slumped to the floor right in front of our girls’ bench. A hush fell over the crowd as his lifeless body lay there on the hardwood. It did not take long to realize that he had suffered a heart attack. In an instant, Chareda Harvey and Charlyn Lovell were at his side, along with two patrons from WMC. They immediately began CPR when they could not find a pulse. Someone called 911 as the battle for life began. People in the stands and girls from both teams began praying together. Gary’s angels, as he refers to them now, were able to revive him. The ambulance finally arrived to take him to the hospital. At that moment, basketball did not seem very important. The games were postponed for another night and the crowd met together at the end of the gym to have another prayer for Gary. Two hated rivals came together with one purpose in mind – to lift Mr. Cordell up to our heavenly Father to ask for mercy. Indeed, God did answer our prayers that night. We are so thankful that Gary is doing well and making plans to come to Lee Academy when we play West Memphis in January. He wants to meet his “angels” face-to-face to thank them for saving his life.

Yes, sports are a wonderful thing. They provide an outlet for all of us to enjoy whether we are playing, coaching, or simply spectating. But moments like these slap us in the face and help us realize that many things are so much more important. I believe we all learned a life lesson that night. We can be thankful for so many things. Life itself is precious and should never be taken for granted. Neither should we take for granted the privilege we have at Lee Academy to be able to pray at school and at athletic events. Witnessing a miracle on December 10 helped remind me of the fact that win or lose, we serve a wonderful God. As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, let us be thankful for the many ways in which he blesses us all year long.


Mark Lay, Headmaster