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!
Eastwood Grammar School Handwriting Competition Winners
The following Eastwood Christian School students have been selected as school winners in the annual grammar school handwriting competition. The winners in grades one through five represent the school in the state-level competition for the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Competition: kindergarten, J.J. Miller; first grade, Jace Allen; second grade, Jesse Beaver; third grade, Sadler McClure; fourth grade, Emmie Jones; and fifth grade, Amy Kate Coon.
Montgomery Catholic 4th-Grader Wins Regional Spelling Bee
Justin Lee, a fourth-grader at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School, won the Montgomery Regional Spelling Bee on February 7. He successfully spelled 44 words correctly during the competition. He will move on to the Statewide competition on March 26 in Birmingham. Lee is an avid reader and currently holds the national record for the most Accelerated Reader points earned in a nine-month period with 2,718.6 points.
BTW Students Place in Reflections Competition
Several Booker T. Washington Magnet High Photography and Creative Writing students placed in the Montgomery County PTSA Reflections competition.
Arial Miller won first place in Photography, and Jayden Amir Robinson won second place. Alyah Dunbar won first place in Literature, and Jamesyn Williams won third place.
Pictured is Arial Miller’s winning photograph.
Bear Celebrates Black History Month
Bear Exploration Center third-grade students brought history to life in celebration of Black History Month with oral and written presentations about famous inventors, scientists and mathematicians. Students pictured represent Otis Boykin, Bessie Coleman and Thomas Jennings.
Saint James Announces Winners in High School Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
The following Saint James students are winners in the High School Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
Gold Keys were awarded to Carter Miller in the category of Drawing & Illustration and Aroa Jung in the Painting category. Jung was also awarded Honorable Mention in the Drawing & Illustration category.
Silver Key winners were Sierra Boles in Photography and Wendy Stombaugh in Painting.
Luke Beasley was awarded Honorable Mention in Drawing & Illustration. Cole Williams was awarded Honorable Mention in Digital Art, and Bandgi Patel also received Honorable Mention in Photography.
The two Gold Key winners will move on to the second round of judging for National Recognition and Awards. The national award winners will be announced March 23.
The winners listed here represent the classes of Art 1, Art 2, Art 3, Photography, Graphic Design, AP Drawing, and AP 2D Design. These classes are taught by Evelyn Shoults.
Front row from left are Wendy Stombaugh, Aroa Jung and Bandgi Patel; back row: Luke Beasley, Carter Miller, Cole Williams and Sierra Boles.
TEA Christian Academy Holds Awards Program
TEA (Talent, Education and Arts) Christian Academy held its second nine weeks awards program which included acknowledging Black History Month. The program was held on site as well as virtually, and parents who joined virtually truly enjoyed the program. On-site and hybrid students participated and shared with devotion and the Black history portion of the program. Honor students (A and A-B), the Bridge Builder Student (Jamari Davis), and the Leadership Student of the Month (Jakkobi Black) all received Certificates of Excellence.
TEA’s school motto was the theme for the program—Taking an Extra Step Towards Educational Excellence—which highlighted four foundational tools (Empower, Encourage, Inspire and Motivate). During the month of February, as a project, all students were responsible for spotlighting a Black history maker each school day. This gave them an opportunity to learn even more about the contributions of Blacks in history. The knowledge about the past enabled students to better understand the struggles, life-changing inventions, and notable accomplishments of those who paved the way for all of us to freely embrace the present, with a renewed hope for a future where there is liberty and justice for all.
Macon East Competes in Math Competitions
Macon East Academy recently competed in the AISA State Middle School and High School math competition.
Middle School participants were: Madison Vocino, Braiden Watkins, Sarah Davis, Parker Ruskin, Chrissy Cooper and Cole Streetman.
High School participants were: Luke Noffsinger, Ethan Jones, Rachel Major, Jack Jones, Alison Magda and Matthew Kitchens.
Montgomery Academy’s Lee Wins App Challenge
Montgomery Academy Upper School student Ted Lee participated in the 2021 Congressional App Challenge and won first place in Alabama’s Second Congressional District for his app titled “PC Builder.” Lee’s app is designed to help individuals build their own PC that meets their needs and budgets; the app will be featured in an exhibition at the U.S. Capitol this year.
The U.S. House of Representatives officially launched the Challenge in 2015 to help inspire innovation and learning in computer science and coding. The Challenge is a nationwide effort that allows students to compete against their peers by creating an application or “app” for mobile, tablet or computer devices. Student teams compete against each other by congressional district, and the winning apps are showcased at the U.S. Capitol each year.
ACA Seniors Visit Alabama Shakespeare Festival
Alabama Christian Academy seniors have been studying Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. They were privileged to be able to visit Alabama Shakespeare Festival to watch the live performance. Our theater class also attended the play with them. It is always fun to be able to take a field trip to see a play that you have been studying.
STJ Students Participate in Junior Youth Legislature
On January 28, Saint James 7th- and 8th-grade students visited the Alabama State Capitol to participate in Junior Youth Legislature. This program is part of Youth in Government and is an introduction to the legislative process. Students participated in workshops on the bill writing process and parliamentary procedure.
Seventh-graders who participated were Kaci Armistead, Sloan Ledford, Natali McCord, Conrad Miller, Zachary Rains, Abigail Roark, Aidan Saldanha, Anne Kingsley Shaul and Grace Smith. Eighth-graders who attended were MaryEllis Killough, Macy Potts and Jessica Tran. The team works under the guidance of 7th-grade teacher Diane Gilliland.
Students are shown at the Alabama State Capitol.
MA Students Make Rose Windows
As they prepared for this year’s Culture Study featuring Germany, Montgomery Academy Lower School students learned about stained glass and specifically “rose windows” in BeeLee Tullos’s art class. Students then created their own German rose window pieces from black fadeless paper and colored cellophane. On a sun-ny day, they add a delightful pop of color to the campus hallways!
Montgomery Academy Students Create Book Advertisements
In Kelsey Reagan’s classroom, Montgomery Academy fifth-grade students were challenged to choose any fiction book to read over the winter break. Instead of a traditional book report, students were tasked to plan, design and create a T-shirt advertisement for their book. Students proudly wore their shirt creations to school and gave a two-minute book talk pitch trying to persuade their classmates to read their book.
JD Cheerleaders Receive Bid to National Competition
The Jeff Davis High cheerleaders received a bid to the national cheerleading competition in Orlando, Fla., after finishing third of eight in the national qualifying regional competition. However, due to COVID-19, the squad did not travel to Orlando. Pictured here are the seniors with their UCA third-place flag.
Capitol Heights, Carr Middle Robotics Teams Place in Tournament
The robotics teams from Capitol Heights and Carr middle schools had a great debut on the state stage, with both placing in the top six at the state robotics tournament at Auburn University. The Capitol Heights team finished in fifth place and one of the Carr teams finished in sixth place out of 31 teams. This is the first year that every school in the Montgomery Public Schools system has a robotics team.
ECA Kindergarten Enjoys Valentine’s Tea Party
Evangel Christian Academy’s kindergarten class recently held a special tea party in honor of Valentine’s Day. The students had recently learned about mealtime etiquette. The party gave them a chance to display their good manners. The students dressed in formal attire during the luncheon. Everyone had a great time and displayed wonderful manners!
Park Crossing Senior Receives $1.3 Million in Scholarships
Park Crossing High senior Omarion Calloway is a storyteller with a passion for shining a light on important issues through the medium of film. He will have the chance to refine his craft after receiving a $320,000 scholarship to New York University. Overall, Calloway has been accepted to 21 schools and received a total of $1.3 million in scholarship offers. Other schools that made offers included Emerson College, Pace University and Michigan State.
Calloway said he has dreamed of being a filmmaker since he was 10 years old and has wanted to attend New York University for just as long. He is pictured here with his mother.
Montgomery Academy Students Dissect Brains
Sometimes, science requires you to get out of your comfort zone and get a little messy! In Marlee Winn’s Anatomy & Physiology class at Montgomery Academy, students expanded their knowledge of the nervous system by dissecting a preserved sheep brain. The class identified the specific lobes and structures that are responsible for the different processes in the brain. As the students wrapped up this chapter of their studies, it was exciting for them to locate the structures that coordinate with the content they had been studying.
Saint James Middle School and JV Basketball Teams Win CCC Championships
Saint James middle school and junior varsity basketball teams competed and won the Capital City Conference championships.
For the Middle School girls’ team, the championship game was a defensive struggle between Saint James and Catholic, with Saint James winning 59-25. Saint James won its 6th MS girls’ CCC championship and third since 2016. Natalie Barton led the way in the championship game with 19 points as she was named Tournament MVP. Also named to the All-Tournament Team were Marley Beard, who added 18 points in the finals, and Lily Stanford. Saint James finished the season 13-1, only losing a regular season game at Prattville Christian.
In the junior varsity tournament, Saint James girls met up in the championship against Catholic and won 26-20. Saint James won its 10th JV girls’ CCC championship since the yearly tournament began in 1994, its third in a row, and sixth overall since 2012. Saint James finished the season 11-1 with only a regular season loss to Catholic. Kaylin Corley led the Lady Trojans with 12 points as she was named Tournament MVP. Also named to the All-Tournament Team were Katie Irving, Sydney Johnston and Hope McCain for Saint James.
For the junior varsity boys’ tournament, Saint James played Trinity and defeated them 70-38. Saint James won its 7th JV boys’ CCC championship. They are back-to-back championships repeating from last season. Paxton Wingard and Dylan Stokes were named to the All-Tournament team, and Matt Middleton was named Tournament MVP.
BrewTech Plays Host to Korean Teaching Students
Brewbaker Technology Magnet High had the privilege of hosting a delegation of graduate students from Korea. The Rambassadors, BrewTech’s official student hosts, also welcomed Korean professors and gave them a tour of the school’s STEM-certified program.
The Korean graduate students are pursuing education degrees at Global Teachers University through the Alabama-Korea Education and Economic Partnership, or A-KEEP, one of MPS’ cherished community partners. The BrewTech family made lasting ties with the special guests during their time in Alabama.
Pictured are Rambassadors, Korean students and BrewTech Principal April Lee.
Dr. Dunn and the Tooth Fairy Visit ACA’s 2nd Grade
The staff from Dr. Dunn’s office at Just for Grins comes each year to visit the Alabama Christian Academy second-graders during February for dental health month. Dr. Dunn and her assistant, Sparkle the tooth fairy, discussed the importance of taking good care of your teeth. They presented a magic show that the classes thoroughly enjoyed!
ACA Upper School Pancakes for Valentine’s
Valentine’s Day is a special day for most, but the faculty and staff of Alabama Christian Academy’s Upper School wanted to make sure it was a special day for all. The faculty and staff arrived at school early that Monday morning to prepare and have pancakes ready for the masses by 7:15 a.m.
Saint James School Wrestling Team Wins Piedmont Dogfight Invitational
Saint James Wrestling Team competed in the Piedmont Dogfight Invitational January 29. The Trojans finished in first place as a team.
Numerous individual team members placed as well. In their individual weight classes, Granger Hicks scored first place while Braylen Corley and Clayton Craft placed second. Logan Hartson, Pruitt Conner and Jake Streeton placed third in their individual events. The team is coached by Head Coach Jeff Corley, and Assistant Coaches Wes Smith and Darin Boyd.
From left are Granger Hicks, Coach Darin Boyd, Clayton Craft, Ariel July, Coach Wes Smith and Coach Jeff Corley.
ACA Appoints New Middle School Coach
Alabama Christian Academy Football has named Danny Madison the Middle School football head coach. As an ACA alum, Madison is excited to get to work and have the opportunity to build a program that all alumni can be proud of.
“Coach Madison loves our students, and he loves teaching football. He is an exceptional coach, and he will prepare our middle school athletes to excel as they grow smarter, stronger and more focused under his leadership,” said ACA Football Head Coach Michael Summer. He is the exact kind of coach that I want to have an impact on our students.”
100 Days at ECA
Evangel Christian Academy’s Elementary classes recently celebrated the 100th day of school. The children participated in several activities that highlighted the number 100. Many students dressed up to look like they were 100 years old.
Montgomery Academy Kindergartners Celebrate 100th Day Wedding
At the Lower School campus, Montgomery Academy kindergartners celebrated the 100th Day of School with the annual wedding ceremony of Zero the Hero to Miss Ten. This special day is an exciting mathematical milestone for our littlest learners.
Booker T. Washington Students Place in Scholastics Competition
Several BTW Photography and Visual Arts students placed in the 2022 Scholastics Art & Writing Southeastern Art Region-at-Large Competition. BTW received five Gold Keys, five Silver Keys, and seven Honorable Mentions.
Students who received a Gold Key will move on to the National Competition. Pictured are the winners and some of their artwork.
Macon East Cheerleaders Showed Up to Shine
The Macon East cheerleaders joyfully participated in the Night to Shine “Shine thru.” They were cheerleaders, dance partners, smile makers, red carpet walkers and they brought energy and spirit as they encouraged each participant to shine bright at this event.
Front row from left are: Hendley Culpepper, Ali Churchwell, Madison May, Katie Kitchens, Alexis Davis and Rachel Major. Back row are: Hannah Kate Hodges, Coach Summer Kyser, Lathan Johnson, Kacy Rutland, Payton Underwood, Anna Watson and Kaiden Byrom.
BTW Student Wins At Piano Festival
Booker T. Washington Magnet High senior Marcus Daniels won his category at the Boykin Piano Festival Honors Recital. His performance piece was Khachaturian’s “Toccata.” He also received a scholarship.
Fellow BTW student Kai Lavender received a rating of Outstanding in performance and theory and an Honorable Mention. BTW student Cari Payne also received a rating of Outstanding in performance and theory.
Two Teams from LAMP Qualify for VEX Robotics World Championship
LAMP High had 11 teams compete in the Alabama State Vex Robotics Championship, and two of them have qualified for the World Championship in May.
Team 81218G with Andy Lim, Ian Kim, Jaehee Koo, Ian Shin, Wonjun Lee, Paul Choi, Injun Lee and Sunho Kim were tournament semi-finalists and qualified for worlds.
Team 81218J with Daniel Vallejo, Rhea Arya, Leah Kwon, Brandon Zumba, Alma Muñoz, Elizabeth Lee, Emily Baek, and Alisha Zarin qualified for worlds from the robot skills list.
Team 81218K with Jessica Lee, James Hong, Kaiya Patel, Gicelle Lopez, Lindsay Levy, and Siyun Kim also won the Whataburger What-A-Bot award at the state competition.
Eastwood Competes in State Bible Competition
Under the guidance of Reverend Lee Bloodworth, Eastwood Christian School students competed in the Alabama Christian Education Association State Bible Competition. In the Junior High Bible Expository Preaching category, Knox DeHuff won 1st place, and Jack Leathers won 2nd place. In the Junior High Bible Topical Preaching category, Owen Strickland won 1st place, and Bronner Swicord won 2nd place. The winners presented their sermons at chapel to the sixth- through ninth-grade students, as well as parents and guests.
STJ Performing Arts Guild Presents Annual Cabaret
Saint James School Performing Arts Guild presented the 2022 Cabaret on February 10-12. This year’s theme of “Road Trip” took the audience on a musical journey featuring country tunes, rock and roll, and pop music. Students in grades 2-12 performed as part of the production which delighted audiences and had them singing along.
The show featured 24 musical numbers beginning with “Life is a Highway” and ending with “Dancing in the Streets.” Small group numbers including the elementary choir, Rising Stars, were featured as well as numbers designed for the full cast. Rising Stars is an elementary choir for grades 2-5. Choreography was directed by Simbiti Wright, a major in Choral Music Education at Huntingdon College. Student choreographers who contributed were Anna Colson, Dodge Prim, Emma Sherlin, Taylor Potts, Kassidy Thompson, Lizzy Dickens, Nicole Jung, Macy Potts, Sophie Shoults and Abigail Huynh.
The program was orchestrated by Director Lonny Harrison and Musical Director Sallye York. Dr. York (piano and synthesizer) and Band Director Andy Martin (percussion) provided musical accompaniment, along with Saint James junior Kaelyn Morgan on guitar. Matt King was the bassist.
Cabaret is an annual event at Saint James which brings together all division levels. This year’s production featured 42 members of Rising Stars, 52 middle school and high school cast members, and 27 crew members. For a significant number of seniors, it was their 10th cabaret! All students who wish to participate may do so in any of the following capacities: production, house crew, backstage crew, lighting, sound crew, publicity, costume crew, or onstage performance.
Montgomery Christian Forms First Basketball Team
Montgomery Christian School had the opportunity to field its very first Hoops League Basketball team. Made possible by generous donors, nine boys in grades 4 and 5 were able to compete in eight regular season games and one tournament game. The team practiced two times a week at Holy Spirit Elementary School plus the players received a basketball to practice on their own at home. Our team would not have been possible without so many people in the community willing to give their time—especially Coaches Ben Lott, Ken Moates and Carlos Smith. The school celebrated the team with a pep rally before the last game, a first also for MCS students.
MEA Scholars Bowl Competes at District
Macon East Academy High School Scholars Bowl Team traveled to Edgewood Academy to compete in the AISA district competition. Our Knight team made it to the Final Four! Team members are: Ethan Jones (10th grade), Bryant Rascoll (senior), McKinnon Hammonds (senior) and Jack Jones (junior). McKinnon was top scorer and team captain.
Hyundai Donates $78,800 to MPS for Robotics
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama presented Montgomery Public Schools with a check for $78,800 to expand robotics programs at all eight high schools! Hyundai is working with Auburn University to provide ongoing training and support for robotics at MPS. The presentation was made during a robotics tournament featuring teams from every MPS middle school. The tournament itself was possible because of a grant from Hyundai two years ago.
MPS Students Named Presidential Scholar Candidates
Seven Montgomery Public Schools students were chosen as candidates in the U.S. Presidential Scholars program. Being a Presidential Scholar is one of the highest honors a high school senior can receive. The MPS students chosen as Presidential Scholar candidates are Zoe D. Dryjanski, Hariaksha Gunda, Saad M. Khan, Yeachan Park and Cheyeon Yun of LAMP High; Hailey Mullins of Brewbaker Technology Magnet High; and Jayden Amir Robinson of Booker T. Washington Magnet High.
Mullins is also a candidate for Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education, and Robinson is one of only 60 candidates in the nation to be a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.
STJ Students Selected for District Honor Band
On January 29, several members of the Saint James School band auditioned for All State and District Honor Bands with the Alabama Bandmasters Association. Four of the Marching Trojans were selected to the District VI Honor Band: 8th-grader Matthew Baker (baritone saxophone), sophomore Alex Clenney (French horn), and juniors Matthew Ohliger (alto saxophone) and Rose Statam (bass clarinet).
These students traveled to perform in Auburn February 18-19.
Montgomery Academy Football Player Signs with Dartmouth
Jamal Cooper, a senior at Montgomery Academy, signed a letter of intent to continue his football career at Dartmouth College.
Eastwood Holds Bake Sale for Zana Missions
The Eastwood Christian School fourth-grade and sixth-grade girls hosted a bake sale to support Zana School in Uganda. The girls baked delicious treats to offer for sale just in time for Valentines Day. Their labor of love raised $639.43.
BrewTech Sends Seven Teams To State Robotics Tournament
After a busy weekend, Brewbaker Technology Magnet High ended up with seven teams qualified for the Alabama VEX Robotics State Championship.
BrewTech sent five robots to compete at a tournament at Montgomery Catholic and two robots to a tournament at Wallace State Community College in one weekend.
The two teams that competed at Wallace did very well. One team won the overall skills competition and the Excellence Award, the highest award given to a team during a tournament. The other team won one of two Tournament Champions Awards. In addition, one of the teams that competed at Catholic brought home the Design Award.
BrewTech robotics students and their parents are shown.
MA Student Work on Display at MMFA
At the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts you’ll find a number of incredible pieces created by Montgomery Academy Upper and Lower School students in an exhibition entitled “Home.” Their instructors include Connie Deal, Ivey Scott and BeeLee Tullos.
Students are: Mary Weldon Armstrong, Thomas Barker, Ruston Bassett, Emily Rose Benefield, Anna Kate Blissitte, Chandler Brazil, Lela Davidson, Davis Hartley, Pierson Hartley, Emma Hernandez, Kathleen Johnson, Ellery Link, Mary Evelyn McLemore, Reese Parker, Sadie Sease, Caroline Sullivan, Jayne Townsend, Journey Ward, Miriam Wooten and Lukas Yi.
Feel Good Friday Reaches Beyond Alabama Christian Academy
Ken Flemming is a 4th-grader in Mrs. Weed’s homeroom. Every Friday, the 4th-grade classes have “Feel Good Friday” and do something to encourage someone else. One such Friday they all wrote sticky notes and put them on the windows of cars.
Well, this gentleman, Mr. Jeff Phelps, Mississippi State DL coach, happened to be the recipient of Flemming’s little note of encouragement. Little did he know how impactful that would be. Mr. Phelps was running a half marathon the next day that he was feeling a little nervous about. So, after running the race he came back through town recruiting and wanted to meet Flemming. Thank you, Coach Phelps, for making Ken’s day!
STJ Student Places in County Spelling Bee
After winning the local school spelling bee held at Saint James, seventh-grader Nandita Nagarad represented Saint James at the Montgomery County Spelling Bee. She won second place, spelling 42 words correctly. She and the winner battled it out for fourteen rounds before the winner was decided. Her prize was $200.
The bee is sponsored and managed by Smith-Wynn Post 96, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
Macon East Features Reading Buddies
Mrs. Keeble’s 6th grade Macon East Academy class enjoys participating in a reading program with the kindergarten class. The reading buddies program helps model good reading and students improve their skills. The older students gain the opportunity to develop fluency as well as a sense of pride in their accomplishments. In addition, they often come to see the value and love of reading as well as gaining self-esteem. Kindergartners build a relationship with the older students and improve their reading skills as well.
Montgomery Academy Participates In Alabama Stock Market Game
The Alabama Stock Market Game (SMG) is an exciting 10-week, online trading experience sponsored by the Alabama Council on Economic Education. Students begin with $100,000 and may purchase stocks, bonds and mutual funds and make any number of trades with their available funds. The teams with the most valuable portfolios at the end of the 10 weeks win their division.
Led by Scott Morris, the Montgomery Academy Upper School Team performed brilliantly, placing in the Top Ten in the South Alabama Region, with individual top rankings in a field of more than 200 other entrants! From left are Coleman Bell (6th place), Chandler Brazil (7th place), Weldon Sorrell (1st place) and Sanders Pierce (2nd place).
Montgomery Christian Students Study Art of Jacob Lawrence
Montgomery Christian School students learned about American artist Jacob Lawrence, a painter known for his portrayal of African-American historical subjects and contemporary life. The art created by the students was done similarly to Lawrence’s work with the highlighted background and bright colors. The elements of art focused on in Lawrence’s work were line, shape, color and his use of overlapping objects. During their time at MCS, the students study more than 46 classical artists, their lives, their paintings and their inspirations.