June 21 River Region Student Spotlights

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Students and schools across the River Region have done great things to close out the school year. See if your child and their school is spotlighted.

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Eastwood Names AISA State Winners 1

Eastwood Names AISA State Winners

Two Eastwood Christian School lower school students’ art pieces advanced to, and placed in, the AISA 2021 State Art Show. First-grader Micah Lawrence won second place for his photograph entitled “I See You” in the K-1st grade photography division. Fifth-grader Albert Christensen was awarded first place in the 4th-6th grade sculpture division for his work entitled “Monster Clay.”

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Eastwood Congratulates Alum Author

Eastwood Congratulates Alum Author

Eastwood Christian School graduate Erin Kate Powe has released her first book publication, Consolations in the Night. Powe compiled her writings and designed the cover for her book. She recently graduated from Auburn University.  Her book can be purchased from

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Academy Students Win Math Olympiad scaled

Montgomery Academy Students Win Math Olympiad

Virginia Hope, Alisha Singh and Ellie Kim recently competed in the Alabama State University Math Olympiad. Nine schools competed in the competition. The written contest consisted of 200 multiple choice questions to be completed in 120 minutes. The Montgomery Academy won the competition and Kim received the highest overall score out of all participants with a score of 159 correct out of 200 questions. Their teacher is Cindy Ackerman.

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Macon East Senior Receives Awards

Macon East Senior Receives Awards

Macon East Academy senior Will Desmarais was selected as a 2021 recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award. The DAR Good Citizens Award and Scholarship Contest, created in 1934, is intended to encourage and reward the qualities of good citizenship. This award recognizes and rewards individuals who possess the qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism in their homes, schools and communities. These students are selected by their teachers and peers because they demonstrate these qualities to an outstanding degree.

Desmarais was also chosen as an AISA Student Government Association Leadership Scholarship recipient. He is an outstanding academic student, student manager for the football and baseball teams, and serves as an officer and member in several school organizations. He plans to attend Auburn University in the fall and major in business administration.

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STJ Art Students Place in AISA Contest scaled

STJ Art Students Place in AISA Contest

Saint James high school art students made a great showing at the Alabama Independent School Association District 5 Art Competition held April 23. Saint James had 18 high school students compete. Of those, ten received awards.

The following students placed in their listed division: Best of Show & 1st Place – Drawing No Color – Natalie Magee; 1st Place – Printmaking – Luke Beasley; 1st Place – Photography – Sierra Boles; 1st Place – Mixed Media – Alexander McHorne; 1st Place – Acrylic Painting – Maddie Shields; 1st Place – Three Dimensional – Jordan Wesley; 2nd Place – Gouache – Sydney Eng; 2nd Place – Mixed Media – Logann Dean; 3rd Place – Three Dimensional – Aijah Robinson; and 3rd Place – Photography – Kate Rees.


In the High School Division, first- and second-place winners moved on to the AISA State Competition  May 11 at Faulkner University.

Front row from left are: Aijah Robinson, Jordan Wesley, Logann Dean, Kate Rees and Sydney Eng; back row: Sierra Boles, Alexander McHorne, Luke Beasley, Natalie Magee and Maddie Shields.

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Brew Tech Robotics Team Heads for State

Brew Tech Robotics Team Heads for State

Two teams from Brewbaker Technology Magnet High qualified this year for the Alabama VEX Robotics Virtual State Championship. BrewTech has had teams qualify each year since 2012 for the Alabama State Championship and has had teams go on to participate in the VEX World Championships eight times.


Normally the state championship would be held on the campus of Auburn University and have 45 to 50 teams competing with an audience of around 450 people but, because of COVID, things were a little different this year. Thanks to the pandemic and the switch to virtual learning, the Brew Tech robotics program had significant setbacks, so qualifying was a bigger accomplishment than usual.


Members of the two teams are Robert Parker, Chris Smith, Brady Tolerson and William Lawlor. They are shown practicing at the school.

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ACA Partners with Feed the Need scaled

ACA Partners with Feed the Need

Alabama Christian Academy hosted a four week-long campaign to raise $100,000 and pack 10,000 meals to distribute between Montgomery and Haiti. ACA’s students and faculty showed up and showed out.  They raised more than $120,000 and were able to pack 20,000 meals to distribute throughout the tri-county area and Haiti. Each of the students and several parents got to participate in the packing party on May 14. They were able to scoop, pour and seal the food packets and then turn around and box them up to prepare them to be sent overseas.

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Montgomery Academy Teacher Honored by Gov. Ivey

MA Teacher Honored by Gov. Ivey

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a commendation recognizing Montgomery Academy teacher Connie Deal’s dedicated service to the state of Alabama and arts education. Deal was named the Art Educator of the Year by the Alabama Art Education Association and Outstanding Educator for the State of Alabama by the Visual Arts Achievement Program of the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

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Brew Tech Teacher Receives AFA Honor

Brew Tech Teacher Receives AFA Honor

Brewbaker Technology Magnet High engineering teacher Steve Ballard was named the Alabama Air Force Association’s Aerospace/STEM Teacher of the Year. The AFA awards Teacher of the Year honors on the state and national level to encourage aerospace education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Ballard leads the engineering department at Brew Tech, including a robotics program that has racked up numerous awards through the years. Many of his students have gone on to great careers in engineering.

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MPS Students Place in Arts Contest

MPS Students Place in Arts Contest

Three Montgomery Public Schools students placed in the 2021 National PTA Reflections program. They were among only six total in the entire state to place nationally.


Minjae Eum of LAMP High won an Award of Excellence in the Musical Competition. Kristopher Roton of Booker T. Washington Magnet High won an Award of Merit in Photography. Gaia Moore of BTW won an Award of Merit in Dance Choreography.


Roton’s winning photograph is shown.

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Academy Student Earns Hitchcock Award 2

Academy Student Earns Hitchcock Award

Montgomery Academy’s Leighton Robertson was named the 2021 Jimmy Hitchcock Award Female Recipient! She is the 15th overall Hitchcock winner from MA.


Robertson is a member of the MA track, soccer and basketball teams. She is captain of both the basketball and soccer teams, has more than 1,000 career basketball points, has been named to the 3A All-Area basketball team 9-12 grades, and was CCC player of the year. In soccer, she is a three-time state champion and was named to the 2020 North-South All-Star team.


Robertson is Student Council president, serves on the FCA leadership team, is vice president of the English Honor Society, secretary-treasurer of the H.E.A.R.T. club, and has a 4.5 GPA.

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Author Visits Macon East Students 1

Author Visits Macon East Students

Macon East Academy students were treated to a visit from children’s book author Blaire Carter Graham. She shared her book called Nugget’s Prayer with the students and even brought Nugget along for lots of love. Graham lives on Laurel Hill Farm in Shorter, Ala., and has lots of animals she uses for inspiration for her books.


Graham aims to inspire young and old readers to be strong and confident about who they are and where they are from. She also wants readers to know the importance of friends and family. One Bible verse she holds close to her heart is Joshua 1:9. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

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STJ Middle School Art Students Compete 1

STJ Middle School Art Students Compete

Saint James middle school art students competed in the AISA District Art Competition. Art teacher Bethany Davis said the students have shown wonderful growth as artists this school year. The following were were awarded in the following divisions: 6th grade Printmaking: 1st place – Kaleigh Soto and

Drawing color: 1st place – Kaleigh Soto; 7th-8th grade Painting: 1st place – Mae Puckett; Printmaking:

1st place – Izzy Pappas and 3rd place – Bridget Shaffer; Drawing non-color: 1st place – MaryEllis Killough,

2nd place – MaryEllis Killough and 3rd place – Stella Kim; 3-D Arts/crafts Needle Felting: 2nd place – Davie Hipp.


Winning pieces by Saint James Middle School artists are shown.

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MA Girls Soccer Wins State Championship 1

MA Girls’ Soccer Wins State Championship

Montgomery Academy girls’ soccer team won the 4A-5A championship. In the championship game, the girls defeated Saint John Paul II 6-1. Leighton Robertson was named MVP. This is the fourth consecutive state championship for girls’ soccer and ninth for the program.

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MEA Students Attend Alfa Conference 1 scaled

MEA Students Attend Alfa Conference

An elite group of ninth- and tenth-graders from throughout Alabama attended the Alfa Youth Leadership Conference at the 4-H Center in Columbiana April 29-30. Macon East Academy representatives included: Anna Watson, Wade Desmarais, Ryan Russell, Matthew Kitchens, Anna Glynn Lott and Jack Jones.

Students applied for the conference which focused on training future leaders. It is sponsored by the Alabama Farmers Federation, Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation, county farmers federations and Alabama Farm Credit (AFC). Attendees came from 30 counties and worked to identify personal strengths, develop negotiation skills and discover a passion for service. The agenda included team-building activities at the 4-H Center’s challenge course and teen safety workshops. AFC was a new supporter of the program this year and sponsored motivational speaker and leadership trainer Rhett Laubach, who challenged students to be a positive influence on their peers.

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MA Students Visit Zoo 1

MA Students Visit Zoo

As part of their study of animals, Montgomery Academy third-graders visited the Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum. Students applied what they’ve learned in science to observe wildlife more closely.

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BTW Student Receives Rotary Scholarship 1

BTW Student Receives Rotary Scholarship

The Montgomery Sunrise Rotary Club has awarded Tiarra Smith of Booker T. Washington Magnet High a $1,500 scholarship. In fact, the Rotary Club increased its scholarship amount from $1,000 to $1,500 because of Smith’s passionate commitment to community service.


Smith plans to attend Alabama A&M University to study civil engineering in the fall. She also received a $20,000 Heritage Gold scholarship from Alabama A&M and a $40,000 Future of STEM Scholars Initiative scholarship.

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Homeschoolers Celebrate Medieval Times 1

Homeschoolers Celebrate Medieval Times

Homeschooler Shelby Carter took up a sword as a Templar Knight along with (counter clockwise from top left) Kellen Halbrooks as a ranger, Shelby Chappell as a fair maiden, Josh Maddox as a monk, and Noah McAliley as the Black Death to salute the Middle Ages in the home version of Academy Days Co-op’s traditional Medieval Feast. After a remote school year of learning world history via online classes, the homeschoolers dressed in the costumes they would have worn to the historical feast, but at home.


Starting this fall, the homeschool co-op will resume classes in person at Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery. In addition to history classes, Academy Days Co-op offers more than 35 homeschool classes in science, theatre, art, creative writing, math, literature and PE for preschool through high school. Visit for more information.

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STJs Beasley Chosen in Agency Art Contest 2 scaled

STJ’s Beasley Chosen in Agency Art Contest

This year, Southern Teachers Agency received 500 entries for its 12th annual Student Art Contest. Saint James junior Luke Beasley has been selected as one of twelve winners.


The artwork of the twelve winning students will be reproduced in the Southern Teachers Art Calendar for the 2021-22 academic year. The Southern Teachers Agency will send these calendars to hundreds of independent schools around the South. This summer Saint James will receive five copies of the calendar for Beasley and two for his teacher.


Beasley will also receive $50 worth of gift certificates for art supplies, which have generously been provided by Blick Art Materials.

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STJ Art Students Place in Local Contest

Saint James School had two students place in the Draw Montgomery Competition. Sponsored by the Montgomery Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the Draw Montgomery Art Competition is a juried art exhibition for students in grades 7-9 and 10-12 in south central and southeast Alabama. The environments of the River Region including south central and southeast Alabama should be the focus of the subject matter for entries (architecture, interiors, structures, landscapes, etc.). The artwork will be exhibited at the Anita P. Folmar Youth Art Gallery of Montgomery at the Armory Learning Arts Center. Both winners, Izabella Janush-Hernandez and Sydney Eng, are taught by Saint James art teacher Evelyn Shoults.

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ECA Students Place at District Art Show 1

ECA Students Place at District Art Show

The Alabama Independent School Association District Art Show was recently held in Montgomery. The event included artwork from all of the AISA schools in the Montgomery Area. Several students from Evangel Christian Academy won awards. Kassidy Brown, Jeremiah Bradford, Cayde Williams, and Skylar Romain all won first place.


Several students took home second-place ribbons. These students were Izzy Wright, Gisele Brown, Ryleigh Caldwell, Deasia Shipman and Lailah Watts. Several students also placed third. These included Alonna Huffman, Chloe Johnson, Evalynn Zeigler-Rose, Ryleigh Caldwell, Reese Anderson, Kennedy Softley and Karissa Brown.

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ACA Seniors Sign with Faulkner

Alabama Christian Academy senior Sarah Johnson signed a four-year soccer scholarship with Faulkner University. She graduated with a 4.5 GPA and was one of the top in her class.


Johnson will travel overseas to participate in a mission trip to Sweden. While there, she will join the Vikarby IF Soccer Club which is more than 100 years old. She will train to prepare for college soccer at Faulkner University. Johnson will also assist with children in the only evangelical church in the city where she is staying. She was born in Sweden and is a Swedish citizen who can speak the Swedish language.


Senior Norton Sewell also signed a four-year soccer scholarship with Faulkner University. Sewell is well known around ACA and has been involved in multiple activities including band and soccer. He is a leader on and off the field.

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Evangel Student Begins Own Business 1

Evangel Student Begins Own Business

Carlos (CJ) Brown loves birds. Because of his passion, he decided to buy and raise baby chicks as a hobby. He enjoyed his new hobby so much that he began adding other birds. Before long, Brown had a miniature farm. He decided to start selling some of his animals.


Today, even though Brown is still a student at Evangel Christian Academy, he owns his own bird business. He raises and sells many types of birds including chickens, ducks, peacocks, turkeys and guineas. He also has swans, geese and colorful pheasants. He has several varieties of each type of bird. For example, he has both India Pied and Opal White Eye Peacocks. He also has Silkies and Red Laced Wyandottes chickens. He has even started branching out to other animals such as Patagonian Cavies and rabbits.


Brown enjoys sharing his birds and information about them with others. During the Easter season, he brought Silkie chicks for ECA’s elementary students to see. The students were amazed by the unusual chickens.

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Catholic Boys’ Track Wins State Championships

April 30-May 1, the Montgomery Catholic boys’ track & field team won the 3A state championship in Cullman, Ala. Many personal records and school records were set by this astounding group of athletes. Led by coaches Hollis Johnson, Coy Hunter and Raheem Armstrong, the Catholic boys brought home the school’s first-ever outdoor track & field state title.


“I didn’t really have any expectations,” said Sam Leslie, one of the senior captains and distance runners on Montgomery Catholic’s track team. “I knew going in that I had to do the best that I could. I knew that we could win, but I didn’t know that we would win.” Leslie has been running for Montgomery Catholic since the seventh grade. When asked about what his fondest memories were running for Catholic, Leslie replied, “Winning state in outdoor this season and winning state in cross country back in 2018.”


For the sprinting events, Jeremiah Cobb led the way for the Catholic Knights, winning the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.88 and winning the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.21. Cobb also placed second in the 400-meter dash, scoring big for the team. Other points were accumulated as well, with E.J. Babies placing fourth in the 200-meter dash, Matthew Galvin placing sixth in the 400-meter dash, and Kylon Griffin placing eighth in the 100-meter hurdles. The 4×400-meter relay, run by Titus Franklin, Dylan Tyynismaa, Jamerion Augustus and Matthew Galvin, placed second overall and the 4×100-meter relay, run by DJ Carter, Javen Augustus, E.J. Babies and Jeremiah Cobb, placed seventh overall.


On the distance side, Harrison Skala, Hollis Johnson and Sam Leslie accumulated a ton of points throughout three events. In the 800-meter run, Leslie placed third overall, Johnson fourth, and Skala seventh. In the 1600-meter run, Johnson placed third overall, Leslie fifth, and Skala seventh. In the 3200-meter run, Johnson placed second overall, with Leslie finishing fourth. Catholic’s 4×800-meter relay, run by Leslie, Harrison Skala, Henry Skala, and Johnson, placed second overall.


In the fielding events, Shawn Sponslor placed second in the high jump at 6-2 while also placing eighth in the javelin throw with a mark of 132-03. Galvin placed second overall in the triple jump with a jump of 40-9.25 while also placing sixth overall in the long jump at 19-2.25. DJ Carter placed third overall in the long jump, measuring in with a jump of 20-3.


Photo credit: Eileen Aaron

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MEA Softball Team Named State Runners Up 1

MEA Softball Team Named State Runners-Up

The Lady Knights softball team finished an amazing season as AISA 2A State Runners-Up. The girls completed their season with a record of 46-18. The Lady Knights entered the state tournament as the usual team to beat, making the finals for the ninth consecutive year. They beat Lowndes 10-5 and Edgewood 9-7 in the semi-finals, thus advancing to the winner’s bracket against Southern Academy. Southern rallied in its last at-bat in both games to defeat MEA 6-5 and 10-4 to win the Class AA title.

Breann Morrison, Kylee Smith and Taylor McKinney earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team.  The team is comprised of seven seniors: Breann Morrison, Taylor McKinney, Devyn Debardelaben, Kadence Ward, Georgia Blaze, Alyssa Clark and Hannah Parker. All seniors contributed this year with remarkable athletic ability and true leadership.


Three Lady Knights have signed athletic scholarships to participate in softball at the collegiate level. McKinney will join the mighty Trojans at Troy University. Debardelaben will play for Shelton State in Tuscaloosa. Recently, Ward signed with Florida State College at Jacksonville.

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Montgomery Academys Philanthropy Class Honored 1

Montgomery Academy’s Philanthropy Class Honored

Montgomery Academy’s Philanthropy 101 has been named HandsOn River Region’s Volunteer of the Year in the Youth category. HandsOn River Region recognized the Philanthropy 101 Class of 2019 in their annual Volunteer of the Year Celebration recently. Femi Adediji, Class of 2020, accepted the award on behalf of the group. Faculty sponsors are Mandy Poundstone and Denise Wentworth.


Philanthropy 101 is a unique program that challenges rising seniors to use their abilities to make a difference in their community. Through classroom activities, visits to a variety of nonprofit agencies and foundations, and hands-on service, they discover various ways to give. As a part of the curriculum, students learn how to analyze a nonprofit’s financial statement and learn how a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization operates. They learn how to distinguish between administrative and program costs. While students earn no school credit for completing the course, each is given a stipend, which must be donated to a single nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization of his or her choice. At the final luncheon, each student gives a presentation about the organization he or she has chosen and presents a donation to the organization’s representative.

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STJ Students Place at ACTE

Saint James elementary and middle school students competed in the Alabama Consortium of Technology in Education State Tech Fair. “At the state level, this is a big deal,” said Deborah Otis, Saint James educational technology specialist. Technology teachers Tina Waggoner (elementary) and Martha Cavanaugh (middle school) enjoyed watching their students go through the process of creating and competing.


On February 17, Saint James School hosted the 2021 ACTE Virtual Tech Fair for Region 5. In past years, the Tech Fair has been an in-person event and presentation of projects, but due to Covid, Regional Director Otis hosted a virtual event. Students from grades 3 through 12 competed in this year’s fair from all over the region. Regional Winners moved on to the State Fair.


For Animation, Level 1 (3rd and 4th Grades), 1st Place was awarded to Peyton Stewart and 3rd place to Zoe Cortell. In Audio, Level 1 (3rd and 4th Grades), 1st Place was awarded to Harper Martin. For Digital Game Design, Level 2 (5th and 6th Grades), 1st Place went to Hanan Miller. In Multimedia Applications, Level 1 (3rd and 4th Grades), Yeriel Kim received 1st place. For Robotics Design, Level 2 (5th and 6th Grades), Jackson Clovis was awarded 1st place. In Video Production, Level 1 (3rd and 4th Grades), 2nd Place was awarded to Will Roark, with 3rd Place going to Molly Phillips. In Video Production, Level 2 (5th and 6th Grades), Emily Trock won 1st place, and Dina Hagler won 2nd place.


For Animation, Level 2 (5th and 6th Grades), 1st Place went to Asher Hagler, and 2nd Place to Abigail Roark. In Productivity Design, Level 3 (7th and 8th Grades), Sophie Shoults was awarded 1st place. In Website Design, Level 2 (5th and 6th Grades), 3rd Place went to David Boles.


Front row from left:  Dina Hagler, Will Roark, Zoe Cortell, Molly Phillips and Harper Martin; back row:  Jackson Clovis, Emily Trock, Peyton Stewart, Yeriek Kim and Hanan Miller.


Front row from left: David Boles, Asher Hagler, Sophie Shoults, Abigail Roark

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STJ Earns Global Seal of Biliteracy 1

STJ Earns Global Seal of Biliteracy

Two Saint James School students of the Class of 2021 have earned the prestigious honor of the Global Seal of Biliteracy. Spanish instructor Rhea Grate said both students worked very hard to achieve this level of language fluency.


Sumner Brown earned the highest score in all four categories tested:  reading, writing, speaking and listening. He has earned the Working Fluency status. This has been achieved after only three years of high school instruction.


Aubrey Wright earned the Functional Fluency status. She finished Spanish 4 during the 2019-2020 school year (including one quarter of fully remote learning).


“In a global society where intercultural communication has become increasingly important, the Global Seal provides a unique and recognizable certification of language skills,” says the Global Biliteracy Seal website. “The Global Seal of Biliteracy provides a universally consistent and inclusive micro-credential to increase opportunity for bilinguals from middle school through adulthood. It is our hope that those with language proficiency will credential their skills at one of our three certification levels and then continue to grow their skills in order to ‘Level Up’.”


Saint James School offers several world languages, including Spanish. It is offered up to Spanish 4

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ACA Holds Graduations

Alabama Christian Academy celebrated the kindergarten class of 2021 with a graduation celebration at Faulkner University May 14. Forty students graduated and then came back to do their parade of graduates.


On May 16, ACA graduated its senior class of 2021 with 82 students.

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Eastwood Names AISA District Winners

Eastwood Christian School hosted the AISA District V Art Show April 23, at Eastwood Presbyterian Church’s fellowship hall. The show was judged by three outside, expert jurors. It was not open to public viewing due to COVID restrictions.


The following students are District winners from Eastwood. First-place winners advanced to the AISA State Art show held at Faulkner University May 11.


First place: Hadley Ann Dean, painting, K-1st grades; Micah Lawrence, photography, K-1st grades; Delta DeHuff, photography, 2nd-3rd grades; Lillie Mathews, collage/mixed media, 2nd-3rd grades; Harper Thomas, waterbase, 4th-6th grades; Albert Christensen, 3D arts/crafts, 4th-6th grades; Collier Kent, photography, 4th-6th grades; Rivers DeHuff, collage/mixed media, 4th-6th grades; John Hodges, color drawing, 7th-9th grades; Steadman Meadows, 3D arts/crafts, 7th-9th grades; Johnson DeHuff, photography, 7th-9th grades; and Knox DeHuff, collage/mixed media, 7th-9th grades.


Second place: Elyse Jones, collage/mixed media, K-1st grades; Sadler McClure, color drawing, 2nd-3rd grades; Caroline Pearson, printmaking, 2nd-3rd grades; Forrest Fike, collage/mixed media, 2nd-3rd grades; Delta DeHuff, photography, 2nd-3rd grades; Delta DeHuff, 3D arts/crafts, 2nd-3rd grades; Rivers DeHuff, printmaking, 4th-6th grades; Knox DeHuff, photography, 7th-9th grades; Lily Givens, waterbase, 7th-9th grades; and Hope Birchfield, painting, 7th-9th grades.


Third place: Adrian Talbot, 3D arts/crafts, K-1st grades; Adrian Talbot, painting, K-1st grades; Micah Lawrence, photography, K-1st grades; Hadley Ann Dean, waterbase, K-1st grades; Kate Hankins, 3D arts/crafts, 4th-6th grades; Amy Kate Coon, printmaking, 4th-6th grades; Hope Birchfield, painting, 7th-9th grades; Steadman Meadows, color drawing, 7th-9th grades; Ansley White, collage/mixed media, 7th-9th grades; Payten Langley, non-color drawing, 10th-12th grades; and Payten Langley, collage/mixed media, 10th-12th grades.

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ACA Promotes Summers as Head Football Coach 1

ACA Promotes Summers as Head Football Coach

Alabama Christian Academy has hired Michael Summers as the 17th head football coach in ACA’s 79-year history. Summers has more than 17 years of coaching experience and has served as ACA’s defensive coordinator for the last 10 seasons. Additionally, he has served as ACA’s assistant head coach, offensive line coach, and JV head coach. He oversaw the bruising Eagles defense during the 2020 season that saw ACA advance to the AHSAA 4A quarterfinals and the addition of new defensive records.


ACA’s coaching search evaluated nearly 50 candidates, including coaches with state championship victories, college coaches and a variety of excellent coaches with winning programs and strong cultures.  “Coach Summers distinguished himself in his approach to building relationships, equipping young men for long-term success, and pursuing championship caliber football,” said ACA’s Head of School Greg Glenn.


“I believe this job is what I was put on this earth to do,” said Coach Summers, “I grew into a young man as a student athlete on ACA’s football team. I’ve taught and coached ACA students for the last 16 years.  No one loves and believes in our students more than I do and I am thrilled to build on the foundation that has been laid by my fellow ACA head coaches.”


Summers and his wife, Valerie, are parents of Tyson, Ryder and Levi, all current ACA students. He hosted an evening book study for ACA faculty throughout most of this year and is a constant fixture at ACA sports events such as baseball, soccer and bass fishing.

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ACA Senior Earns Hitchcock Award 2 scaled

ACA Senior Earns Hitchcock Award

The male recipient of the 62nd Jimmy Hitchcock Award was presented to Alabama Christian Academy student Miller McCarthy on May 4.


“He is everything I hope my own sons can be and everything I wish I was,” said ACA Coach Michael Summers. “He is one of the most outstanding and well-rounded students we have ever had attend our school. His effort and leadership have been second to none in preparation, practice and the games. Every once in a while a player comes along who embodies everything that you as a coach have been looking for in a player: commitment, toughness, vocal leadership, work ethic, talent and passion. He exhibits the fierceness and dedication of Christ in that he is selfless. He constantly puts his teammates above himself.”


Miller was also named Mr. ACA and won the prestigious athletic Wade Black Norton award. Norton was an athlete, comedian, and most importantly, a Christian who passed away during his senior year at ACA. The award represents everything good about ACA and athletics.


In addition to his rigorous sports schedule and sports achievements, Miller took many AP and honors classes and graduated with a 4.4 GPA. He regularly attends Landmark Church of Christ. He will attend The University of Alabama in the fall with a full tuition scholarship and major in pre-med.

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Academy Boys Tennis Wins State Championship 1

Academy Boys’ Tennis Wins State

The Montgomery Academy boys’ tennis team defeated Mountain Brook to win the 6A State Championship. The girls’ tennis team claimed the 6A State Runner-Up title. This is the 17th state championship for boys’ tennis.

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STJ Track Students Break School Records

The Saint James girls’ and boys’ track & field teams accomplished numerous victories at the AHSAA Outdoor Championship held April 29-31. Several personal best and school records were broken at the meet.


The boys finished 17th out of 36 teams, and included Jarrett Simpson (100m, 200m, 300m), Carey “Tripp” Owens (200m, 400m, 4x400m), Lucas Huckabee (Shotput, Discus Throw), Connor Owens (Shotput, Discus Throw), Nathan Buckner (4x400m), Dylan Stokes (4x400m), and Will Wales (4x400m).


Throwers, Huckabee and Owens, kicked off the meet on Thursday with the Discus Throw event. Huckabee finished 4th overall in the 4A classification for the event and threw a personal best of 134-06 feet. The following day, Owens threw his 2nd furthest Shotput mark, which placed him 3rd in the event. Also on Friday, Tripp Owens set a personal best in the 400m sprint (51.56); this time hr broke the previous school record set in 2018. Simpson ran a personal best on Friday, in the 100m, and competed in the 200m and 300m Hurdle events. The boys wrapped up the championship with the 4x400m relay race. Team captain Wales started the race strong, followed by Stokes to Buckner finishing with Tripp Owens. The boys’ overall performance at the championships was one of the best in recent years.


The Lady Trojans finished 4th out of 27 teams, and left the meet with several top performances. Presley Miles (3200m, 1600m, 800m, 400m), Kendal Wright (3200m, 1600m), Kendall Hardaway (200m, Triple Jump, Long Jump, 4x100m), Hannah Richardson (200m, 400m, 800m, 4x100m), Chelsey Craig (4x100m), and Logann Dean (100mH, 300mH, 4x100m) made up the team.


Team captain Miles finished her high school career winning the 3200m, 1600m and 800m races. She has dominated these events for the past four years. Richardson set a personal best in the 400m on Friday, which placed her 3rd overall in the race. She was also on the 4x100m relay, along with Hardaway, Craig and Dean. Craig is the newest addition to the track family. She started the 4x100m with an amazing lead, handing the baton to Richardson then Richardson to Dean then Dean to Hardaway. Hardaway’s strong finish helped the team break the current school’s record! Shortly after the relay, Dean finished 2nd in the 100m hurdles. She also finished her high school running career with another state medal; she has placed in this event for the last three years.


Shown, 4X100 Relay Team: Hannah Richardson, Kendall Hardaway, Logann Dean and Chelsey Craig.


Jarrett Simpson during the Hurdle event.


Connor Owens as he competes in the Shot-Put event.


State Champion Presley Miles won the 3200m, 1600m and 800m in her final high school state track meet.

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Churchill Academy Celebrates Graduates 3

Churchill Academy Celebrates Graduates

The Churchill Academy Class of 2021 was honored on May 20 through a graduation ceremony at Thorington Road Baptist Church in Montgomery. With safety in mind, students were allowed to invite 10 guests each and families were seated in family units to ensure comfort for all attendees.


Seniors entered the sanctuary to “Pomp & Circumstance” played by Churchill Academy Music Director Nelda Williams, and were seated across the front of the sanctuary to await their individual student recognition addresses by the high school coordinator and instructors. Each address spoke to the strengths, achievements, character and goals of each member of the senior class from a member of the Churchill Academy High School team.


The Senior Class of Churchill Academy for 2021 included: Caleb Riley Wilkinson, John Thomas (JT) Aplin, Sarah Elaine Gil Backus, Harvey Keuntae Bannerman, Katherine Lynne Bennett, Jack Martin Dradzynski, Zachary Darnell Faulkner, William Kaleb Gilliland, Jade Makenzie Hayes, Cassie Leanne McVay, Carter James Ratulowski, Beau Braxton Terry, Alexia Vania Thomas and James Alexander Young.


Valedictorian Caleb Wilkinson served as the keynote speaker for this year’s graduation ceremony. Wilkinson’s speech individually addressed each member of the senior class, and was met by a standing ovation from those in attendance.


Diplomas for the Class of 2021 were presented by School Director Kaye Pair, High School Coordinator Patsy Lockwood and school therapy dog Tyson. Upon acceptance of their diplomas, each graduation candidate crossed the stage to speak to members of the high school teaching staff, Mrs. Hall, Mrs. Kiernan and Mr. Zienart, and finally to a surprise visit from Coach McCluskie to wrap up the year. (Mrs. Backus attended the ceremony in her role as a parent; however, students were able to connect with her following the ceremony.)

The Class of 2021 from Churchill Academy made history as the largest class (14) to ever graduate from the school, the first class to ever have a full year as part of the school’s new Distance Learning Campus, and the only class to ever receive the “Survivor Cords” associated with navigating a full senior year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Pike Road Ladies Auxiliary Scholarships 1

Pike Road Ladies Auxiliary Awards Scholarships

The Pike Road Ladies Auxiliary awarded its community service scholarships for 2020-2021 to two outstanding students. The two individuals were chosen from a large pool of applications. Scholarship recipients Tanner Moore and Abbie Snipes were honored with an appreciation dinner on April 23.


Moore, son of Scott and Leigh Ann Moore, is a graduate of Macon East Academy. He plans to attend Southern Union and later transfer to Auburn University and major in wildlife ecology/forestry.

Moore was a member of the Macon East football and baseball teams, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and treasurer of the Student Government Association. He enjoys volunteering at school, Saint James UMC, Night to Shine, Mission Montgomery, mission trips and December to Remember service projects.


Snipes, daughter of Donnie and Darleen Snipes, is a homeschooled graduate of Ezekiel Academy. She plans to attend AUM and major in psychology/environmental science. Snipes serves as class secretary/treasurer of Keeping It Classical Homeschool. She has volunteered with the Pike Road Ladies Auxiliary for five years assisting with many community service outreach programs, Pike Road Branch Library, PAWS volunteer fostering kittens, Golden Animal Hospital and Montgomery Humane Society. She has a loving heart for animals.


Moore and Snipes both received $500. They have demonstrated a passion for volunteering while maintaining a level of academic achievement.

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Pike Road Track Breaks Records 1

Pike Road Track Breaks Records

Pike Road varsity boys’ and girls’ track & field team competed in the 2021 AHSAA Class 4A-7A State Championship held in Gulf Shores April 29-May 1.


Our girls’ track team placed 6th overall in this meet. Those who placed top three earned a trip to the podium to receive medals. Our girls’ 4x100m relay team led the way by earning a trip to the podium with the Class 5A State Championship title after timing a 48.03 and setting a new school record. Our girls’ 4x100m relay team members are Gabriel Stephens, Kirsten Stroud, Victoria Stephens and Jasmine Moore. Moore also placed third in the 400m after setting a new school record of 58.77 and earning another trip to the podium. She then placed 6th in the 100m. Stephens placed 5th in the 100m and 4th in the 200m. Stroud placed 6th in the 200m. Stephens placed 2nd in long jump, earning another trip to the podium.


Our girls’ 4x800m relay team placed 8th while setting a new school record with a time of 11:18.87. Members of the 4x800m relay team are Gracie Phillips, Hadleigh Todd, Natalie Pennington and Abby Grace. Finally, our girls’ 4x400m relay team placed 7th. Members of that 4x400m team are Kirsten Stroud, Natalie Watson, Gabriel Stephens and Gracie Phillips.


Our boys’ track team placed 14th in this meet. Dejuan Lyles placed 7th in the 400m while setting a new school record time of 50.89. Sylvester Smith placed 4th in the 200m and set a new school record time of 23.17. Dylan Payne placed 5th in the 800m and set a new school record time of 2:04.06. Our boys’ 4x400m relay placed 4th in their event while setting a new school record time of 3:30.32. Members of that relay team are Dejuan Lyles, Machai Cooley, Sylvester Lyles and Dylan Payne.

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PRHS Softball Players Sign Scholarships 1

PRHS Softball Players Sign Scholarships

Three Pike Road High School (PRHS) softball players signed letters of intent to play softball at the collegiate level. All three ladies have played for PRHS for the past six years, their entire playing eligibility. Pitcher Samantha Melton signed with Central Alabama Community College. She has played with the Bad News Babes, Diamond Babes and APEX. Outfielder Jaliyah Brown signed with Miles College. She has played with Dream Team, Alabama Force and EC Bullets. Outfielder Kirsten Stroud also signed with Miles College. She has played with Dream Team, Impact Gold and EC Bullets Thrash.

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PRHS Students Gain Management Experience 1

PRHS Students Gain Management Experience

Pike Road High School learners participated in “Mad City Money,” a money management program hosted by Alabama ONE Credit Union.


Each participant: received a life that included a family and an income to support their family; practiced budgeting as an adult with realistic circumstances; identified and experienced the consequences of poor decisions; developed good judgment regarding spending and making a budget; and gained an understanding that budgeting is a necessary step in good money management and that it isn’t difficult.

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PRHS Holds Academic Signing Day 1

PRHS Holds Academic Signing Day

Pike Road High School (PRHS) hosted its first Academic Signing Day this year. Academic Signing Day is a chance to celebrate the acceptance of our students into colleges, technical schools or the military. All PRHS seniors and their parents were invited to attend this special celebration May 20 on Patriot Field.  Participating seniors announced their college career plans, there were opportunities for photos, and light refreshments were served following the celebration.


Follow us on Facebook ( to see spotlights of all participants as we celebrate their commitment and success.

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PRES Enjoys Patriot Games 1

PRES Enjoys Patriot Games

Pike Road Elementary students enjoyed a day full of outdoor games, snow cones and fun!  Patriot Games is the perfect way to celebrate being a Pike Road Patriot and to celebrate the end of the school year.  Students played on numerous inflatables, ran relay races, and cooled off thanks to the Pike Road Fire Department’s ladder truck. We are appreciative of all of the parents and grandparents that volunteered, to our PTSA for helping with the Patriot Games, and to Coach Killough and the P.E. department for setting up and scheduling the event.

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FFA Students Advance to State 1

FFA Students Advance to State

Patrick Quinn, William Guy and Kylon Garett are the first Future Farmers of America members from Pike Road High School to compete in the district and state poultry judging competition. They placed 4th in the central district and 9th in the state.


Levi Noles is the agriscience teacher and FFA advisor for PRHS. He is building a flourishing FFA program at the school.

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PRHS Special Ed Teacher Receives Grant 1

PRHS Special Ed Teacher Receives Grant

Jennifer Veres, a special education teacher at Pike Road High School, was recently awarded a classroom grant by the Association of American Educators Foundation (AAEF). The funds received from this grant will be used to purchase manipulative materials to enhance the multisensory curriculum for Veres’s students. Veres hopes these new materials help her students gain number sense and self confidence in their abilities to empower them. She will also be able to train other math teachers how to incorporate these methods in their daily teaching.

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Pike Road Prayer Walk

On May 6, students, teachers, staff, parents and members of the P.R.A.Y.E.R. Team gathered in recognition of the National Day of Prayer. Faith leaders representing eight Pike Road churches visited each school campus to offer a moment of prayer for our community, our nation and our schools.


The P.R.A.Y.E.R. (Pike Road Area Your Emergency Response) Team is an ENHANCE initiative committee made up of local faith leaders who collaborate to ensure the physical and spiritual needs of Pike Road residents are met in the case of tragedy. The team meets on a regular basis to work on projects such as creating a resource directory and identifying needs in the Pike Road area. Most recently, the PRAYER Team has been active in coordinating a safe response to the needs and challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.


If you would like to learn more or join the P.R.A.Y.E.R. Team, contact Katy Garren at


PRAYER Team Leaders from Christ Community Church, St. James UMC and Woodland United Methodist visited Pike Road Elementary School.


PRAYER Team Leaders from Century Church, Pike Road Baptist, the Montgomery Chinese Church at Pike Road Baptist, and Taylor Road Baptist visited Pike Road Intermediate School.


PRAYER Team Leaders from Antioch Baptist, Murdock Chapel AME Church, St. James and Woodland UMC

Visited Pike Road Jr. High and High Schools at the Georgia Washington Campus.

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Pine Level Student Saves Mom 1

Pine Level Student Saves Mom

The quick action of a Pine Level Elementary School (PLES) second-grader may have saved his mother’s life.

Holly Johnson was driving down I-65 recently along with her son Tatum. Her parents live in Birmingham and they sometimes meet in the middle in Jemison. Holly had made it halfway between Verbena and Clanton when she had an asthma attack and she wasn’t carrying her inhaler.


“For me not to carry my inhaler was not that uncommon,” Holly said. “I knew that we had just a short drive to meet my parents so I didn’t think to put it in my purse.”


Holly pulled off the interstate and Tatum asked his mom where her inhaler was located. By this point, she could no longer speak but through gestures made Tatum understand she didn’t have it with her. Springing into action, Tatum unbuckled his seat belt and jumped into the back seat and got his own inhaler out of his backpack. He gave her the first pump of the inhaler and after a few minutes Holly became more coherent. He also gave her water as he had been taught to do. As soon as he saw she was okay, Tatum unlocked his mother’s cell phone and called his father. Luckily, Holly had a Life360 tracking app on her phone.


“He didn’t freak out, he just went into action,” Holly said. “We try to teach our kids what to do in different scenarios and he used that knowledge.”


She said PLES has reinforced that education by talking to the students about different safety and health issues. “This is the first time that Tatum has had to deal with an emergency situation because of my asthma,” Holly said. “He has great critical thinking skills and thirsts for knowledge. I am proud of the young man he’s becoming.”

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PCA Softball Team Wins Regionals

PCA Softball Team Wins Regionals

In a sweep of the Alabama High School Athletic Association regional tournament, Prattville Christian Academy’s Lady Panthers earned a spot in the 3A state tournament. PCA defeated Thomasville (10-0), Oakman (5-3), and Catholic (8-1) to improve to 32-8 and continue their state chase.

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Prattville Hires Wallace Head Football Coach

Prattville Promotes Wallace Head Football Coach

Prattville High School is hiring JB Wallace as its next head football coach. Wallace served as defensive coordinator under former Prattville head coaches Jamey Dubose and Caleb Ross. In March Ross announced that he would be leaving Prattville to join the staff at Troy University.


Wallace, who graduated from Prattville in 1998, has served as the head coach for Marbury High School the past two seasons – tallying a 12-10 record with a first-round loss in the 5A playoffs each season.

He will become the 35th head coach of The Lions.

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Prattville Primary Named CLAS School 1

Prattville Primary Named CLAS School

Prattville Primary School was named a School of Distinction by the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) for excellence in education.

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Two of Prattville Christian Academy’s varsity cheerleaders will pursue their passion for cheer at the collegiate level after signing letters of intent in front of their families, friends and cheer squad. Anna Connell signed a letter of intent with Huntingdon College after the Hawks selected her to join their team. Peyton Cobb signed a letter of intent with Troy University after the Trojans selected her out of 71 tryout participants. Both student-athletes will receive athletic scholarships.


Cobb has cheered most of her life! Before attending PCA, she cheered competitively with Titan Gymnastics and Cheer in Wetumpka. She began as a junior varsity cheerleader in the 7th grade and continued to perfect her passion as she grew, becoming the squad’s co-captain for her junior and senior years. Cobb was named a UCA All-American in 2019, 2020 and 2021. She was invited to and performed in Orlando, Fla., as a select group of All-American cheerleaders in 2019.


“Peyton is a joy to know,” said Lisa Hardman, PCA’s assistant varsity cheer coach. “It has been so wonderful getting to watch her grow as a leader, and without a doubt, she is going to make an incredible Trojan cheerleader.”


Connell began her cheerleading career as a pints cheerleader in the second grade under the direction of Kimberly Simpson, PCA’s former varsity cheer coach and now cheer director. Connell has developed her skills and leadership abilities under Simpson for the past 10 years. Her Huntingdon coach will be only her second coach in her cheer career. She was named the squad’s captain this year and also received UCA’s All-American honor in 2021.


“Anna has a heart of gold,” said Jennifer Goff, PCA’s varsity cheer coach. “It has been a joy to watch her grow this year, and there is no doubt she is going to make a positive impact on her Hawk squad this fall.”

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PPS Celebrates Cafeteria Staff 1

PPS Celebrates Cafeteria Staff

Students and teachers celebrated the best cafeteria staff ever on Happy Lunch Hero Day. The students and staff at Prattville Primary School sent cards and words of encouragement to the wonderful cafeteria staff that kept the school well fed.

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Prattville Eagle Scout Buries Time Capsule at PJHS 1

Prattville Eagle Scout Buries Time Capsule at PJHS

In honor of Prattville Junior High School’s 50th Anniversary and its transition from North Highland School in 1969, Prattville High School senior Robert Humphrey and Boy Scout Troop 25 buried a time capsule in front of the school as part of Humphrey’s Eagle Scout project.


The time capsule will be dug up in 2040. Some of the buried items include hand sanitizer, face masks, and a red silicone arm band used at PJHS to designate those at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and having complications. Other items include historical documents concerning the land the school sits on, calculators, a smart phone to represent the device held by 90 percent of the student body and faculty members, an English teacher T-shirt, COVID-19 scientific information and student accounts of what the year was like dealing with the pandemic.


Toilet paper was also included to represent the massive shortages at the beginning of the pandemic when people were nervous and stockpiled essentials.


The audience laughed as PJHS Principal Janice Stockman said a Common Core Math Assessment workbook was included. She said a baseball signed by the physical education staff was included as well as a list of slang words popular in 2020-21 like social distancing and “flatten the curve.” Stockman said a few items will be sealed but not buried such as a memory book from North Highland School that explains the history and significance of the school, a sweatshirt from the last graduating class of the North Highland Panthers, and a 2020-21 PJHS yearbook.


“It is an honor to celebrate 50 years of an amazing school and to honor the tradition of excellence in this building, even before it became Prattville Junior High School as it stands today,” Stockman said.

Stockman said 115 students took a survey which will be included with questions such as what they think life will be like in 2040.


Humphrey, who will attend Auburn University in the fall and major in aerospace engineering, said the project took about two months to complete.  He has been in scouting since the first grade and is also a member of the PHS marching band and Prattville First United Methodist Church.


Prattville Junior High was originally built as North Highland School and served secondary students. At that time, it was an all-black school. The class of 1969 was the final graduating class of North Highland and the following year was a transition year. In 1970, the school became integrated and changed to Prattville Junior High.

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PCA Middle School Students Place in Scholastic Tests 1

PCA Middle School Students Place in Scholastic Tests

Ten Prattville Christian Academy middle school students placed at or above average in the Scholastic Challenge 2021. Ryan Lueck ’27 placed highest among his peers at 72%. The national average is 56%. This national academic competition is a challenging activity that allows sixth-grade students to demonstrate problem-solving skills and knowledge in several academic areas.

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Prattville Senior Named Natl Merit Finalist 1

Prattville Senior Named Nat’l Merit Finalist

Prattville High School senior Carter Stockman is the only student in Prattville this year to earn the distinction of National Merit Scholar Finalist, and one of only 200 in the state. As a finalist, he’s competing for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth $32,000 that were offered nationwide this spring.


Carter’s twin brother Cleveland made it to the semifinal round in the competition. Their mother is Janice Stockman, principal at Prattville Junior High School, and their dad Jeff Stockman is an assistant principal at Pine Level Elementary.


Carter said he took the test in October of his junior year. He found out earlier this year that he made it to the finalist round. “I am thankful for the opportunity to demonstrate what I have learned as I have had great teachers along the way,” Carter said.


Both brothers are Eagle Scouts with Troop 25. At school, Carter is a member of Student Government Association, competes on the robotics team and is involved in the Technology Students Association. He has narrowed his college choices to Auburn University or the University of Alabama. He plans to major in mechanical engineering.


Carter also just competed in a statewide robotics competition where he placed eighth in the state. He runs a rapid prototyping business and has designed items ranging from educational tools to cookie cutters.

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Facility Dogs Join PLES copy 1

Facility Dogs Join PLES

Pine Level Elementary is so excited to have two facility dogs, Gunner, and Maggie to assist with meeting the social and emotional needs of our students. The dogs were trained by Service Dogs of Alabama. Schools and the dog’s handlers must fill out an extensive application to receive a grant for the dog to be placed in the school as a facility dog.
During the day, the dogs interact with students in a variety of ways.  We have seen students’ anxiety decrease and academic motivation increase when they have the opportunity to spend time with each dog.

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Pine Level Shares Cultures

Pine Level Shares Cultures

Students in Mrs. Gregory’s class at Pine Level Elementary have traveled the globe as they have been learning about cultures around the world. They chose a country that they researched and created a display out of recycled computer boxes. Students then wrote speeches that they videoed explaining their country. Videos were organized and shared with their parents and student body at Pine Level.

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PPS Faculty Members Awarded

PPS Faculty Members Awarded

The Autauga County Children’s Policy Council held a ceremony to recognize teachers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty this year. Judy Cordell received the award for Prattville Primary School for her commitment in going above and beyond during this challenging year. The Council also, for the first time ever, recognized a principal. PPS Principal Mrs. McNider received the award for Principal of the Year.

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Prattville Primary Celebrates Seniors 1

Prattville Primary Celebrates Seniors

Prattville Primary School celebrated the 2021 seniors with a senior walk-through. As PPS focused on The Seven Habits, we looked to Begin with the End in Mind. Prattville Primary students had the opportunity to see the end results of all their hard work. We celebrated our graduates as they walked the halls of PPS.

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ECTC Computer Students Win at Conference copy

ECTC Computer Students Win at Conference

Elmore County Technical Center’s Computer/IT students racked up at the 2021 SkillsUSA Alabama State Leadership and Skills Conference with three state championships and three additional medalists!

Shown for Cyber Security are Logan, state champion, and Kris, participant; Technical Computer Applications – Matthew, state champion, and Ben, silver medalist; and Information Technology Services – Ashton, state champion, and Josh, silver medalist. Jenifer (not pictured) was an IT bronze medalist.

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Victory Student Places in National Contest

Victory Student Places in National Contest

Lonnie Hollon, a senior from Victory Christian Academy in Millbrook, competed in the annual American Association of Christian Schools (AACS) National Competition, which was held virtually this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Bob Jones University, a Christian liberal arts university in Greenville, SC, facilitated the virtual event.


Approximately 1450 students from 28 states participated in the AACS National Competition, having captured top honors in their state contests. The students, representing more than 150 Christian high schools, competed in 72 categories in the five basic areas of Bible, music, speech, art and academics.

The Bible competition included preaching and teaching. Academic competition included testing in 15 subjects, composition and spelling. Vocal and instrumental music students challenged each other in eight solo and 10 group competitions. Speech contestants participated in 11 different categories, such as dramatic interpretation, humorous interpretation, extemporaneous speaking, original oratory and acting. Art students submitted art for 17 different categories, such as sculpture, drawing, painting, printmaking, digital media, mixed media, woodworking and photography.


The virtual event, judged by the faculty of Bob Jones University, concluded with a livestreamed awards ceremony, virtual campus tour, and masterclasses that provided contestants with an opportunity to learn tips and insights from competition judges.


Hollon captured first place in the national spelling bee. She has participated in spelling bees since fourth grade.

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ECHS Student Receives 4 H Scholarship

ECHS Student Receives 4-H Scholarship

Elmore County High School senior and 4-H member Abigail Luster has received the Ann Barr 4-H Scholarship. She plans to attend Auburn University in the fall and major in animal science.


During 4-H, Luster has been involved in the River Region 4-H Livestock Club (8 years), shown goats, participated in 4-H Chick Chain, and attended 4-H MidWinter Teen Leadership Retreat. Because of 4-H, she says, “I was able to learn and improve the skills I needed to compete, make unforgettable memories in showing, and learn valuable lessons I will use for the rest of my life.”


While in school, Luster was also the Elmore County High School Marching Band drum major 2019-2021, French horn section leader (2018-present), and the Senior Beta Club secretary.

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ECTC Students Earn Welding Certifications 1

ECTC Students Earn Welding Certifications

Shown are Welding seniors from Elmore County Technical Center who have gone above and beyond their coursework, paying out of pocket to take additional industry certifications.  From left, certifications were earned by Xzavier (from Wetumpka) 3G Stick SMAW; Noah (Holtiville) 3G Stick SMAW & 3G MIG, and Conner (Holtville) 2G MIG GMAW & 3G Stick SMAW.

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Elmore County Honors Sewell Winners

Every year, the Joe Sewell Memorial Award recognizes outstanding senior athletes from high schools in Elmore County who have consistently represented the highest ideals of Christian leadership and emulate the character of Joe Sewell. The 2021 recipients of a $1,000 scholarship award are: Girl’s Academic Award: Macy Elizabeth Adams, Edgewood Academy; Boy’s Academic Award: Samuel Brian Barlet, Elmore County High School; Girl’s Athletic Award: Alexis Love, Tallassee High School; Boy’s Athletic Award: Benjamin Kyzer Barker, Wetumpka High School; Girl’s Church, Community and Character Award: Erika Renae Broadway, Holtville High School; Boy’s Church, Community and Character Award: Paxton Lee Price, Holtville High School; Girl’s Leadership Award: Rikki Lee McAdams, Stanhope Elmore High School; and Boy’s Leadership Award: Richard Matthew Hicks, Holtville High School. The 2020 recipients of a $3,000 scholarship award are: Girl’s Overall Award: Morgan McKinlee Causey, Wetumpka High School; and Boy’s Overall Award: Carson Michael Peevy, Edgewood Academy.

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Girl Scouts Donate Cookies to Coosada scaled

Girl Scouts Donate Cookies to Coosada

This year has been hard for educators all over the state due to the pandemic. That’s why Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) came up with the idea to spread a little joy by donating cookies to schools.

To do this, GSSA asked their Facebook followers to nominate schools by commenting on their Facebook post. GSSA said after a day the number of responses they received was astounding! The organization then randomly selected three winners to receive cookies for their entire staff, and among the winners was local school Coosada Elementary.


“Our goal is to spread joy and show some love for all that our educators and supporting staff does,” says Karlyn Edmonds, GSSA CEO. “We hope that these cookies show them just how much we value their hard work and appreciate them.”

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Edgewood Welcomes Back Boys Basketball Coach

Edgewood Welcomes Back Boys’ Basketball Coach

Edgewood Academy is rehiring Coach Darryl Free to fill the position of head basketball coach, starting with the 2021-22 school year. Free, who was highly successful during his three-year stint with the Wildcats, won the 2019 AISA 2A State Basketball Championship, and then followed that accomplishment with a run to the AISA final four the ensuing season.


During his three years at Edgewood, Free served as athletic director and varsity head basketball coach, and in his last two years, head football coach. He spent the 2020-21 year as the varsity boys’ head basketball coach at W.S. Neal High School in Brewton, Ala.


“We really enjoyed our time at W.S. Neal, and my family and I forged relationships that will last a lifetime. But, when Edgewood Academy called, we had to answer. This is the place that we call home,” Free said.


Now that the 2020-21 basketball season is over, Free is eager to see what his team will have in store for next year. “I’ve coached a lot of these kids before, so they’re all familiar with my expectations. We’re going to have a young team, but that’s a challenge that we’ll face head on.”

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ARIS Celebrates Library Week

In Celebration of National Library Week, Airport Road Intermediate School students participated in daily events such as Favorite Book Character Dress-Up Day, field day activities, and many other exciting events.

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Holtville Student Named CTE Student of the Year scaled

Holtville Student Named CTE Student of the Year

On May 6, Elmore County Career and Technical Education hosted its 7th Annual CTE Awards Banquet recognizing 68 students across the school system who have excelled in their career and technical education programs.  A Student of the Year is chosen in each of the 19 different programs, and from those winners, the team selects one Overall CTE Student of the Year. This year, the winner was Kaitlyn Wheeler from Holtville High, pictured with Elmore County CTE Director Emilie Johnson.

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Coosada Wins Bright Ideas Grant

Coosada Wins Bright Ideas Grant

Teacher Heather Perdue and Yellow Pod First Grade of Coosada Elementary won the Bright Ideas Grant for $1,000 from Central Alabama Electric Cooperative. With this grant, they were able to successfully hatch 35 chicks! Students enjoyed witnessing the 21-day process of incubation, learning about the life cycle of chickens, and what it takes to raise chicks. The chicks will be sent to local farms where the students will continue to follow and observe the growth of each chick.


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