Elmore County Student Spotlights-August 2021

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Every month we compile a list of students and schools doing great things in Elmore County.  River Region Parents joins with their families and schools to celebrate their achievements!
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Wetumpka FFA Installs Beds at WMS

Wetumpka FFA Installs Beds at WMS

The Wetumpka Future Farmers of America chapter installed two 8×10 raised beds at Wetumpka Middle School!

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Stanhope Dominates Elmore County Distinguished Young Woman Contest

Stanhope Dominates Elmore County Distinguished Young Woman Contest

Stanhope Elmore High students swept the Elmore County Distinguished Young Woman pageant.

Second runner-up Abbie Deason also won Essay and Self Expression.
First runner-up Anna Grace Deason also won Self Expression, Interview, Talent and Fitness.

2021-2022 Elmore County DYW winner A’Nyia Lynch also won Talent and Fitness.

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Elmore County Recognizes ECTC Students

Elmore County Recognizes ECTC Students
Elmore County Recognizes ECTC Students

At June’s Elmore County Board of Education meeting, the following students from Mr. Spivey’s computer technology program received top finishes at the 2021 Skills USA Alabama State Leadership and Skills Conference: Logan Burkhart, state champion in Cyber Security; Matthew Rogers, state champion in Technical Computer Applications; Ben Blair, silver medalist in Technical Computer Applications; and Ashton Geer, state champion in Information Technology Services. All of these students represented the state of Alabama in the National Skills USA Competition that was held virtually this summer.

Shemaiya Peek, a student in the Medical Sciences Program under the direction of Mrs. Colquitt, won first overall in the state in the HOSA Medical Research Project as well as the top 20 for the Health Care Issues Exam. She competed at the HOSA International Leadership Conference in July. Peek was unable to attend the Board Meeting because she was participating in the University of Alabama’s five-week Rural Scholars Health Program.

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Elmore County Announces New Hires

Elmore County School Board met at Stanhope Elmore High’s new band room this summer. During the meeting, new personnel were introduced, including Assistant Principals Michael Collins, below, for SEHS, and Paige Davis, below center, for Wetumpka Elementary.

New Technology Integration Specialists include: Shay Atchison, Vanessa Brown, and Melissa Easley.
SEHS also introduced two new coaches, Flavia Freeney for volleyball and Keith Jones for softball.

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Wetumpka Students Attend Girls & Boys State

Wetumpka Students Attend Girls Boys State
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Upcoming Wetumpka High senior Abigail Wright and recent graduate Jazmin Faulkner attended Alabama Girls State sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary in June.

Upcoming senior Ryan Rouse attended Alabama Boys State, also sponsored by the American Legion, in July. Both weeklong programs were held on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa and are leadership and citizenship programs which focus on exploring the mechanics of American government and politics.

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Remembering Old Tallassee High School

Remembering Old Tallassee High School

Tallassee High School has stood in nearly the same location on Barnett Boulevard since 1916; in its most recent incarnation, the same building has been there since 1929.

No more. On the last day of school in May, the Class of 2021 and the faculty of Tallassee High School were presented with pieces of the original wood.

Naturally, it came from the floor of Room 221. Agriscience teacher Dr. Daniel Free cut the sections for the faculty and seniors as parting gifts, and each piece was emblazoned with “THS 1929-2021.”

As we closed down school for the year, it was difficult not to take note of the history passing before our eyes. We had just survived perhaps the most challenging year in the history of public education with the Covid pandemic. We also had the usual comings and goings that mark the end of a school term.

This time, however, we weren’t only saying farewell to a class, teacher, or administrator: we were saying goodbye to a building.
Local historian Bill Goss noted that the original Tallassee School for grades 1-12 was constructed in 1915-1916. It was located on King Street, where Stumberg Gym sits today. This original building was very modern for its day, and even included indoor restrooms. The original school, built by Mount Vernon Mills, burned on November 11, 1928.

The THS we have known opened on November 13, 1929. Tallassee Mount Vernon Mills built the new school in one year and two days.

In that one year and two days, architects and designers sought to imitate the construction of Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery. Keep in mind, in those days Lanier was downtown on McDonough Street, the school now known as Baldwin Middle School, which opened in 1910. The Lanier High School on South Court Street was being built at the same time in 1929 as Tallassee High School and has a decidedly different appearance. It was dubbed the “million dollar school” for its castle-like look that emulated many Gothic-styled university buildings of that era.

Tallassee High School has a great history of its own. The 2021-22 school year will be an interesting year as the faculty and students have classes in trailers on the band field — called “mobile learning spaces” — but when we begin the 2022-23 school year, we will be in the finest and most up-to-date academic facility in the River Region.

Written by Michael Bird, choral director & assistant band director


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