Message from the President


Will Crossley

It is a distinct honor and privilege to share this message with you in my capacity as president of The Piney Woods School. Here, we firmly believe that students – even those of limited financial means – can do extraordinary things, consistent with the opportunities that we make available to them. Our students – both male and female – hail from more than 24 states and foreign jurisdictions; from inner-city urban locations, as well as rural spaces; from points north, south, east, and west. As diverse as they are, our students share this status: they all receive scholarship support to help fund their education here. They also share an amazing result: admission to post-secondary educational institutions.

I know these principles well and in a personal way. While I am the fifth president of this historic, 106-year-old institution, I am the first alumnus to head our school. As a former student from a family with limited financial means, I benefitted enormously from the vision of our founder, Laurence Clifton Jones, and the generosity of donors who supported him, and who by extension supported me. I later attended world class universities and pursued an impactful legal practice in Washington, DC. Even so, I have always remembered that this institution gave me my start and I never forgot the lesson we still teach our students today: to whom much is given, much is required in return.

We educate the head, hands, and heart to ensure our students develop the cognitive tools necessary to perform in any academically rigorous setting, a strong work ethic and the perseverance to overcome sustained challenges, and a moral compass calibrated on Christian principles. We do this work in a living and learning environment, nestled in the rural, soft rolling hills of Mississippi’s pine belt country; and through a faculty, staff and administration that is uniquely- qualified, strongly committed, compassionate, empathetic, and continuously improving. From our demonstration farm to our classrooms, our dining hall to our residence halls, our students have always been an integral part of the development of our community.

As you learn more about us, I am confident you will quickly appreciate why we have an abiding love for this humble place called The Piney Woods School and hold its rich history and unique culture in such high regard. If you are a prospective student, you should know that we encourage independent thinking and nurture self-discipline through a strong supportive structure. If you are a prospective donor or partner, know that we put our students first in all that we do and it is support like yours that has yielded a consistent record of success.

Join with us by sharing our school with worthy and qualified applicants, and by visiting our giving page at Thank you in advance for exploring our community and supporting the important work that we’ve committed ourselves to fulfill for nearly 106 years past; through grace, we shall continue for many more years to come.

© 2015 The Piney Woods School.

5096 Highway 49 South • Piney Woods, MS 39148 • (601) 845-2214