B.A., West Virginia University
M.A. and M.E., George Mason University
Chat briefly with R-MA Upper School Dean Jonathan C. Ezell and you come away with an impression of a thoroughly amiable, very sincere, and a perhaps bookish man with a penchant toward bow ties and conservative suits. Read his curriculum vitae and what jumps out at you are activities he lists—like wrestling, basketball, football, and baseball—which he has involved himself in at R-MA, at one time or another.
You could say that Jonathan Ezell doesn’t hesitate to mix it up with his students. Rhetorically, he asked, "You can throw yourself into myriad activities to engage our children and what better place is there to do it than at R-MA?"
The dean is even more active in encouraging the academic pursuits of the student body, as he talks of instigating speech contests and academic quiz bowls, and taking part in exchange visits with children in Italy and England.
"I feel being a part of a stimulating learning community is important. I believe it is important for the world, our nation and our community, and ourselves. I feel fortunate to be part of Randolph-Macon Academy. Its mission is to shape the character of tomorrow’s leaders. To do that well, students need to explore ideas in English, political science, ethics and history; they need to develop skills mathematically and to understand the processes of science; and they need to be able to articulate their ideas orally and in writing." He added, characteristically: "All of this, to me, is tremendously fun and rewarding."
And all of the above describes the person who heads the academic program at R-MA – a fun-loving family man (wife Lisa, also an educator, and children Benjamin and Emily) who dabbles in travel, sports and theater, while tending the more serious aspects of providing a thoroughly rounded education for the upper school students.
Dean Ezell’s work ethic is reflected in his attaining one of two advanced degrees while Principal of R-MA Middle School (1997-2000), and the other while teaching upper school English. He joined the Academy faculty in 1986 and was named "Teacher of the Year" (by faculty vote) in 1990.
Dean Ezell was the Chairman of the Board of the Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce for two years, 2005-2007. His other civic activities include memberships in Front Royal Rotary Club and past president (1996-1998) and secretary (1994-1996) for Samuels Public Library. His hobbies include fly fishing, golf, chess, hiking, camping, and canoeing, as well as reading— political philosophy, ethics, literature, and philosophy.