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Featured Alumni Profile (July 2014)
Dr. Versie Ray Hamlett is a native of Palestine, Arkansas. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Lane College in 1994; her Master of Arts degree in Education from Freed-Hardeman University in 1995; her Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Freed-Hardeman in 2006, and her Doctor of Education degree from Union University in 2008.
Our featured alumna was recently appointed Superintendent of the Humboldt (Tennessee) School System. On the occasion of her historic selection by the City of Humboldt School Board, she became the first African-American and the first woman Superintendent in the history of Humboldt. Prior to her appointment, she served as the Chief Academic Officer of the Jackson Madison County School System; and also as a former elementary school principal and teacher over a span of 19 years. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Education at Lane College.
Dr. Hamlett is a member of the Jackson Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and the Humboldt Rotary Club. She is a member of Hurt’s Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and is married to Mr. Melvin Ross Hamlett, Sr., Lane’s Vice President for Business and Finance.
About her tenure at Lane College, Dr. Hamlett shared the following:
My most memorable moment during my matriculation at Lane College occurred at my graduation ceremony as I listened to Dr. Wesley Cornelius McClure deliver the 1994 Senior Class Charge. He challenged our class to discover the power of potential, do the unthinkable, dare to be bold and make new trails for others to follow. Dr. McClure explained the essence of Lane College’s Motto Esse Non Videri “To be, Not to Seem.” As I listened to his words, I truly felt that I was receiving my own, individual charge to meet the demands of decision-making situations through thoughtful, rational, and creative thinking.
With this charge from Dr. McClure, I knew that this young lady from a small town in Arkansas who was the first in her family to attend and graduate from college was ready to begin a journey that would expand her horizons and set an educational and professional trajectory beyond expectations! Throughout my journey, I go back often to those powerful words of Dr. McClure. I continued my educational training and completed my doctoral degree and passionately extended myself to further horizons that I knew with determination I could reach. My power of potential was always forefront as I trained and studied to reach the pinnacle of leadership for a school district. I hold Dr. McClure’s words steadfast as I work tirelessly each day for the success of all students whose lives that I impact.