Every month we compile a list of students doing great things across the River Region. We have so many talented students in our area. River Region Parents joins with their families and schools to celebrate their achievements!
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Schools Use ‘Zombie’ Method for Social Distancing
Montgomery Public Schools is taking a number of steps to ensure that students are following guidelines such as social distancing to keep themselves and others safe. Some students have been creative about it. One method that is taking hold at several schools is the instruction for students to “walk like a zombie” when they are walking in a single file line. What this means is that the students hold their arms out in front of them so that they are never too close to the person in front of them.
At Wares Ferry Road Elementary, this technique is working well. In this photo, you might notice that the student in the foreground is taking the instruction quite literally. The lunchtime routine is that each grade arrives in the lunchroom at staggered times, and each class enters the lunchroom separately. Students pick up their lunches and return to their classrooms, where they are socially distanced while eating.
Eastwood Fifth-Graders Welcome New Students
Cheers and laughter could be heard in the Eastwood Christian Grammar School hallways as fifth-grade students welcomed the younger children on the first day of school with pom-poms and encouragement.
Montgomery Academy Hosts Minecraft Camp
Campers explored, learned, problem solved and created aMAzing and unique worlds together using the popular game Minecraft in a day camp led by Montgomery Academy librarian Frances Smith.
Montgomery Catholic Hosts UCA Cheer Camp
Montgomery Catholic Cheerleaders welcomed members of the Universal Cheerleading Association for a three-day camp for their cheer squads. During the camp, the cheerleaders learned numerous cheers, new dance routines and stunt formations. Several cheerleaders were recognized as UCA All-American Cheerleaders. Varsity All-American cheerleaders are Aniya Lowery, Jessica Hankins, Anna Nekic, Abby Baker, Jaden Martin and Bebe Neeley. Middle School All-American cheerleaders are Kennedy Johnson, Adeline Gadilhe, Hayley Whetstone and Hayden Whetstone.
Montgomery Catholic varsity cheerleaders for 2021-22 are Bebe Neeley, Grace Claybon, Jaden Martin, Taylor Ellis, Virginia Driver, Abby Baker, Emily Ramroop, Jessica Hankins, Maggie Stewart, Aniya Lowery, Mary Helen Greene, Anna Nekic, Sarah Ellis, Nea Washington and Florence Weller. Varsity cheerleaders are coached by Sarah Berg.
Montgomery Catholic Middle School cheerleaders for 2021-22 are Sara Turner Burt, Kennedy Johnson, Adeline Gadilhe, Kallie Hampton, Ava Henderson, Collier Hickman, Kamryn Iverson, Autumn Walker, A’Siahia Williams, Hayden Whetstone and Hayley Whetstone. Middle School cheerleaders are coached by Mary Kelley.
Photos by Sarah Berg & Mary Kelley
Trinity Coach Receives FCA Award
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes presented Trinity Presbyterian School Coach Ken Whittle with the Bubba Scott Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual AHSAA – FCA Coaches Luncheon. The award is named in honor of former AHSAA Executive Director Herman “Bubba” Scott, who helped bring FCA to Alabama schools more than 40 years ago.
ACA, Faulkner Unite to Welcome New Year
For the fifth year in a row, Alabama Christian Academy crossed the ditch to participate in Faulkner University’s Convocation to officially start another school year. The schools were able to join in a time of worship together and shared goals that each school is wanting to achieve this coming year.
Trinity Cheerleaders Enjoy Little Cats Camp
Trinity Presbyterian School varsity cheerleaders hosted a Little Cats cheer camp. The girls enjoyed cheering, stunting, dancing and making signs.
Montgomery Academy Hosts Cheer Camp
The Montgomery Academy varsity cheer team hosted a camp for students to learn the basic mechanics of cheerleading and improve individual cheer skills.
TEA Christian Academy Prepares Students for Successful Year
Talent Education & Art (TEA) Christian Academy, Inc. has prepared for the new school year with all of the NEW initiatives in mind. TEA Academy’s enrollment continues to increase with new students! As a part of the week-long orientation, students were welcomed into a new environmental safety set-up. They were given a series of core-curriculum tests in an effort to assess their overall learning to determine where they are versus where they should be based on standards.
Additionally, students were provided with a professional development workshop presented by Dr. Mariel Moore, who is one of TEA’s board members. This workshop covered everything that students should know regarding their overall mental health, to include how children develop purpose for life and learning, how parents and teachers can best support students’ mental health, social-emotional development, why we benefit from listening to each other’s stories and more. Mrs. Bonnie Robinson, Rev. Anderson Ayers and Mrs. Tiffany Davis, along with Principal Maggie McElroy-Washington, gave the students an overview of their passions for helping to make a difference in the lives of students.
TEA Academy’s motto is “Taking An Extra Step Towards Educational Excellence.” Therefore, we take an extra step in making sure our students are learning, and that their mental and physical needs are met in a safe environment. Also, personal resources are provided, such as good health, strong social connections and positive engagement in activities. When all of these resources come full circle, they will support students by helping them to develop meaningful, life-long goals. TEA Christian Academy is off to a great school year!
Mayor Reed Greets T.S. Morris Elementary Students on First Day of School
T.S. Morris Elementary students were off to a great start on the first day of school when they were greeted outside the building by Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed.
Reed offered a warm welcome, encouragement and fist bumps to the students as they entered the covered walkway leading to the school’s front door. Meanwhile, volunteers and school employees gathered bottled water and other donations for the start of the school year. Overall, there was a generous amount of community support for the start of the school year throughout the district as students returned to face-to-face learning.
Churchill Celebrates Important Birthday
On August 13, students, staff and teachers at Churchill Academy celebrated the birthday of Tyson, the school therapy dog, with a cake party and lots of singing and hugs. Tyson turned seven years old and has been a member of the Churchill Family for five years.
Hyundai Donates 450 Backpacks, Supplies to MPS Students
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama has long been a valued partner of Montgomery Public Schools, and this year they came through again with a donation of 450 backpacks filled with school supplies for MPS students.
What makes the donation even more special is that the Hyundai employees themselves donated all the items. It is a true sign of community support that so many employees pitched in to help this year.
Supplies inside the bags include pencils, pencil sharpeners, crayons, glue, storage bags, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Superintendent Dr. Ann Roy Moore and Board of Education members were on hand to accept the donations and even helped load the backpacks onto a truck. The backpacks and school supplies were later distributed to families eligible for assistance.
Churchill Academy Welcomes Students Back with a Splash
On August 5, Churchill Academy held its annual “Back to School Splash” for students and their families. Students had the opportunity to play corn hole or splash down the big inflatable water slide while parents relaxed, enjoyed some delicious food and mingled with the staff. It was a great kickoff to the new school year.
ACA Starts New K2 Program
This year Alabama Christian Academy launched a new program geared towards two-year-old students. We have started a pre-K program that is play based but is very focused on helping these students learn habits that will help them be better prepared for the following years of school. Twelve students are in the inaugural class.
Eastwood Celebrates Back to School
Eastwood Christian School seniors Gantt Higginbotham, Bennet Bozeman and James Hodges enjoyed a game of frisbee with their teacher, Daniel Atkins. Families enjoyed an SGA-sponsored Back to School Bash/Luau complete with tailgating, tents, fun decorations, live music and fellowship.
Churchill Academy Hires New Teacher
Churchill Academy hired a new lower school teacher for the 2021-2022 school year. Madison Sumerlin was born and raised in north Georgia and is a recent graduate of the University of North Florida, where she earned her bachelor’s degree. During college, Sumerlin worked at a special needs school as a behavioral specialist, so her experience has been beneficial to the students at Churchill.
“I am honored to be a part of the Churchill family,” she said. “Teaching has always been a passion of mine. And I look forward to a great year teaching lower school subjects and also serving as the P.E. teacher.”
Sumerlin and her husband Cody live in Millbrook with their newest family member, four-legged fur baby, Charlie—the golden retriever.
Macon East Cheerleaders Attend Troy Cheer Camp
The Macon East Academy varsity and junior varsity cheer squads recently competed at Troy University at UCA cheer camp. Cheerleaders from all AISA (Alabama Independent School Association) schools attended for a week full of instruction and competition. Both Macon East squads had some unfortunate events prior to and during the week but pushed through as champion cheerleaders would represent their school and coaches well. The junior varsity squad brought home fifth place in situational sideline. The varsity squad came home with the Superior Award. Both junior varsity and varsity squads received superior ribbons for their camp dance and cheer.
Two Macon East cheerleaders were selected as UCA All-American Cheerleaders: Katie Kitchens (junior varsity) and Kaiden Byrom (varsity). Senior Hendley Culpepper was chosen as AISA All-Star and will cheer in the upcoming AISA senior All-Star football and basketball games in Montgomery. Culpepper received UCA’s coveted “Pin It Forward” honors from the camp staff for her leadership, spirit and motivation.
Three Macon East cheerleaders participated in the jump off competition. Kitchens represented the JV, while Hannah Kate Hodges and Lathan Johnson participated in the varsity division. Both Kitchens and Johnson made it to the second round of the jump off competition. Special thanks to the MEA cheer coaches, Summer Kyser and Kindall Bishop, for their hard work and dedication throughout the summer practices and camp.
Front Row: Junior Varsity Shamaiah Thomas, Gabbi Vinson, Payton Underwood, Katie Kitchens, Alexis Davis and Mollie Ross. Gavin Spencer is not pictured.
Back Row: Varsity Madison May, Hendley Culpepper, Kacy Rutland, Hannah Kate Hodges, Kaiden Byrom, Ali Churchwell, Rachel Major and Anna Watson. Lathan Johnson is not pictured.
New Health & Wellness Program Starts at ACA
Alabama Christian Academy has a new program starting this year to improve our physical education program. JL Dockins has stepped into a new role as the director of health and wellness and is in charge of our new Eagle FITT Program. The goal of the EagleFITT program at ACA is designed to help develop each student spiritually, mentally and physically. The weight room has been fully equipped with 11 power racks. There is also a newly outfitted Cardio Room with commercial treadmills and bicycles.
Macon East Celebrates Fall Athletes at Night with the Knights
Macon East recently enjoyed a night of introductions for all the fall sports athletes and coaches. The football field was filled with varsity knights all the way to the precious pre-k Wee Princess cheerleaders. This was a great kickoff to our fall sports season and gave everyone a chance to cheer for their favorite athlete no matter how big or how small!
Montgomery Academy Hosts Softball & Baseball Camp
Players improved their knowledge of softball and baseball in a camp led by Montgomery Academy Coaches Stephen Vosel and Damon Haecker. The basic fundamentals of baseball and softball such as throwing, catching, fielding, hitting and base running were covered in this day camp.
McNeely Represents ECA at Girls State
Kysha McNeely was chosen to represent Evangel Christian Academy at the 2021 American Legion Girls State. The event was hosted by the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa this summer. McNeely and other girls from the state enjoyed listening to women from various leadership positions. The outstanding women shared their tips for being a great leader and their success stories. Some of the speakers were politicians, business leaders and military commanders including a female general.
McNeely was excited to see Governor Kay Ivey in person and listen to her speak. She was also impressed by Dara Torres, an Olympic swimmer who earned 12 medals and formerly held the world record in three different events. Torres became the oldest person to join the U.S. Olympic swim team even though others told her she was too old. She encouraged the students to never give up on a personal goal even when others try to discourage you.
During the event, the students formed a fictional state and students campaigned for various state and local positions. McNeely decided to run for district attorney and was chosen to represent her political party in the final election. She enjoyed the opportunity to participate in Girls State and felt that it helped her grow as a future leader.
McNeil Represents ECA at Boys State
Aaron McNeil was chosen to represent Evangel Christian Academy at the 2021 American Legion Boys State. The weeklong event took place at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Boys from all over the state represented both public and private schools. The students enjoyed listening to leaders from all walks of life discuss tips on how to become a successful leader. The students also learned how government is structured and elected state and local leaders to establish a fictional society.
The participants also divided into smaller interest groups. McNeil chose to join the Military interest group and enjoyed meeting other people who shared his interest in this career. He made several new friends and contacts with which he still stays in touch. After a full day, the boys were given the opportunity to participate in various sports. McNeil enjoyed the opportunity to participate in this event and said he learned many valuable lessons to help him grow as a leader. His only regret was that he wished there was more time.
Trinity’s JV Volleyball Team Tournament Champs
Trinity Presbyterian School’s junior varsity volleyball team is back-to-back Auburn tournament champs! The girls went undefeated and finished the day taking down Auburn in the 6th match of the day to claim the trophy.
Trinity Kicks Off New School Year
Excitement filled the halls of Trinity Presbyterian School as students were welcomed back for the school year! K3 teacher Beverly Godwin is shown with Fox Caraway and Weston Burgess on the first day.