W. I. Thames Elementary School (formerly Junior High and Elementary) was built in 1962-1964. The school is named after educator W. I. Thames. In 1906, W.I. Thames established South Mississippi College (where William Carey University stands today). He was principal and superintendent in several Mississippi towns. He served as Hattiesburg Superintendent of Schools from 1922 to 1939. Today, Thames Elementary serves students in grades Pre-K through 5th grade.