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Prattville, Autauga, & Elmore Counties Student Spotlights – May ’22

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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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Billingsley Names Prom King and Queen

Billingsley Names Prom King and Queen

Matthew Shanholtzer and Macee Motley were named Billingsley School’s Prom King and Queen 2022. Prom King and Queen are selected by seniors in attendance. Prom was held on April 9 at the Wyatt Barn At The Crossroads in Clanton, Alabama.

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Vocabulary Parade for Prattville Elementary 4th Graders

Vocabulary Parade for Prattville Elementary 4th Graders

Prattville Elementary School 4th graders participated in a vocabulary parade. We got the idea from the book Miss Alaineus, A Vocabulary Disaster.

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Pine Level Kindergarteners Work Hard at Making Words

Pine Level Kindergarteners Work Hard at Making Words

Pine Level students in Ms. Smith’s kindergarten class have been working hard on making words. Students were given a pack of alphabet cookies and asked to sort through the letters and make a CVC word. This student made the word MOM!

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Billingsley Teacher’s Grant to Fund Reading Fair

Billingsley Teachers Grant to Fund Reading Fair scaled

Billingsley School teacher Tralise Howard received a grant in the amount of $1200 from the Autauga Education Foundation. The grant will be used to fund a reading fair at the school. The reading fair contest is for students in grades Kindergarten through sixth grade. Winners will receive gift cards to Books-a-Million. The fair is scheduled for May 5.

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Prattville Intermediate Students Nominated for Volunteer of the Year

Prattville Intermediate Students Nominated for Volunteer of the Year

Prattville Intermediate School student Aurelia Ruffin was nominated during River Region’s 48th Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards.

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Military Month at Pine Level Elementary

Military Month at Pine Level Elementary

In April at Pine Level Elementary School, we recognized all of our students whose parents serve in the United State Military or are Retired or Veterans.  We are so grateful for the individuals and their families that sacrifice to serve our great Country.

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Pine Level Kindergarteners Make Easter Egg Collages

Pine Level Kindergarteners Make Easter Egg Collages

These Pine Level students in Mrs. Thomas’ Kindergarten Class enjoyed making Easter Egg Collages.  They were tasked with being creative and using color to form an Easter Egg out of pieces of color construction paper!

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Billingsley Senior Selected Bryant Jordan Scholar-Athlete

Billingsley Senior Selected Bryant Jordan Scholar Athlete

Jackson Manning, a senior at Billingsley School, was selected as the class 1A Region 4 Bryant-Jordan Scholar-Athlete. This award was developed by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in conjunction with the Alabama High School Athletic Association. The program recognizes Alabama high school seniors who display a high level of excellence not only athletically but academically as well. Manning was recognized during the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Awards ceremony that was held in Birmingham on April 11.

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Airport Road Heads to Robotics World Championship

Airport Road Heads to Robotics World Championship

The Airport Road Intermediate School Robotics Team has qualified to attend The Robotics World Championship, which will take place in Dallas, TX this May. We are excited about this opportunity and could not have done it without the help of our wonderful teachers/sponsors: Amber Blankenship, Sydni Edwards, and Amanda Main! Airport Road is under the direction of Marcia Stephens, Principal.  Best of Luck to our amazing Robotics Team!

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Pine Level Pre-K Student Honored Before Move to Belgium

Pine Level Pre K Student Honored Before Move to Belgium scaled

One of our Pine Level Pre-K students was moving to Belgium due to being in the military. The extent of this move was not lost on us, so we taught them all we could about Belgium. We made a passport, packed a bag, and took a virtual field trip/flight across the ocean. The students had so much fun spending the last day with their friend on an “airplane” high in the sky!

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Wetumpka High Senior Earns Eagle Scout Rank

Wetumpka High Senior Earns Eagle Scout Rank

Wetumpka High School senior Richie Bailey, a member of Boy Scout Troop 13 chartered by First Presbyterian Church of Wetumpka, has recently achieved Eagle rank. Bailey is 18 years old and got his start in Scouting as a founding member of Cub Scout Pack 429 in 2010, chartered at that time by Mulder Church in Wetumpka. While at Pack 429, he earned the God and Me and God and Family religious awards, as well as the Arrow of Light, the highest level of achievement in Cub Scouts.

In 2015, Bailey joined Troop 13, where he held a variety of leadership positions through the years, including senior patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, patrol leader and quartermaster. He has also served as a den chief for Cub Scout Pack 50 in Wetumpka. In 2017, Bailey completed his Order of the Arrow (National Scouting Honor Society) Ordeal with Alibamu Lodge 179 and became a Brotherhood member in 2021. In 2018 he completed National Youth Leadership Training and this past summer served as a camp staff member at Tukabatchee. At the end of 2021, Bailey received the prestigious Bryan Valliere Scout of the Year award from Troop 13.

As an active member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Wetumpka, Bailey chose a landscaping project that he hoped would help the church attract a new priest, since Trinity’s former priest had retired and the church was actively recruiting new clergy.

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Holtville High Senior Finalist for Military Child of the Year

Holtville High Senior Finalist for Military Child of the Year scaled

April is the month of the military child, recognizing and thanking those who are children of servicemembers and veterans. At Holtville High School we showed our gratitude to these awesome children by hosting a “Military Child Day” where everyone was encouraged to wear purple in support, and we also hosted a luncheon for students whose parents are active members of the United States military.

While we recognized all the students, one special young lady stands out and she has been selected as a finalist for the Operation Homefront “Military Child of the Year.” Operation Homefront is a national not-for-profit entity, and they “Build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive—not simply struggle to get by—in the communities that they’ve worked so hard to protect.” Brae Lee Morris, a Senior at Holtville High, was chosen out of thousands of students across the nation and was the only student selected to represent Alabama. Brae Lee is the daughter of Air National Guard O5 Lieutenant Colonel Leeann Chavers. Brae Lee is very active at Holtville and goes above and beyond every day. She is the Editor of The Lakusa Yearbook, Student Government President, Senior Class Vice President, she is also active in Junior Civitan, Mu Alpha Theta, Beta Club, National Honor Society, and DECA.

We are so proud of you Brae Lee and we wish you all the best while you continue your education at the University of Alabama!

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PCA Lady Panthers Clench Second State Basketball Championship and Player of the Year Title

PCA Lady Panthers Clench Second State Basketball Championship and Player of the Year Title

The Lady Panthers finished their regular season with a near-perfect record of 36 wins and just one loss! This incredible performance set them up to sweep the regional matchups by defeating Pike County and Trinity Presbyterian. From here, they faced off against Plainview in the state semifinals, claiming their position in the championship game with a conquering score of 53-36.

Senior point guard Ella Jane Connell, who totaled thirty-nine points during the game, clinched victory as she scored the winning three points. Once again, the Lady Panthers claimed the state championship title, with a winning score of 72-69 to record a back-to-back championship standing—a first in PCA history!

Senior Ella Jane Connell and junior Hannah Jones were named to the All-Tournament team following the game, and Ella Jane was recently crowned 3A’s Basketball Player of the Year for the second consecutive year! She has shattered all previous program records during her varsity career, and it’s only fitting that she wraps up her senior year with this prestigious award. According to Coach Roberson, “she is everything that is right and pure when it comes to team sports! She cares about her teammates’ success more than her own.” During this season, Ella Jane shot fewer times and scored because it was best for the team – not herself. “She is a great teammate and leader who looks after her teammates’ interests before her own,” remarked Coach Roberson. “Congratulations on one amazing high school career, but more importantly, thank you for the legacy you’ve left. Thank you for making me and your teammates better every day!”

Congratulations to our Lady Panthers for their well-deserved victory and historic season. We can’t wait to see what’s next for this program!

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PCA’s Tennis Team Growing in Interest and Wins

PCAs Tennis Team Growing in Interest and Wins

PCA’s three tennis teams are off to a fantastic start this year! On the 7th of February, PCA’s JV girls’ tennis team swept their first match against Alabama Christian Academy, with the Doubles teams winning 4-0 and the Single players winning 6-0. The Varsity Girls and Boys teams also had their first meet just a week later when they competed against Prattville High School. The Varsity Girls won 8-1, and while the Varsity Boys fought hard, they lost 0-6.

However, with this being the first year PCA has had both a JV girls’ and Varsity Boys tennis team, there is a lot of promise for the future. Coach Cantrell and Coach Brad Lee decided to build the program after noticing the immense popularity for the sport in try-outs, with 21 girls and four boys coming out. According to Coach Cantrell, the head coach of the team for the past four years, “This is the most interest we’ve had in tennis for sure! I am really excited about the JV girls tennis team. I think it is really going to help to continue to develop the girls tennis program.”

The players are certainly excited for this season. Sophomore Gracie Fuller, a Varsity player of three years, said, “I think this season is going to be very good to grow so that next year we can possibly go to state!” She continues to remark on the close relationships she holds with her teammates, saying that everyone is “sweet and supportive.”

Please come out and show your support to these teams as they continue to compete throughout the spring semester. Go Panthers!

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The Wizard of Oz Took Center Stage at PCA’s 6th Annual Benefit

The Wizard of Oz Took Center Stage at PCAs 6th Annual Benefit

PCA’s Drama Club, and a mix of other talented students, transported the benefit audience to the Merry Old Land of Oz in late February. The benefit dinner play, based on the movie Wizard of Oz, was a success among audience members young and old. Katie Furr, PCA’s Head of School, commented, “The amount of energy and effort that goes into our plays each year is amazing. The cast and crew did an incredible job of shining throughout this performance. Everything from the costumes to the set, to the acting, was truly first class.” The play truly does take a great amount of effort to pull off each year, and the product is a wonderful performance.

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Dedicated PCA Gymnasts Shine

Dedicated PCA Gymnasts Shine

PCA students are always up to something! Even outside of school, students dedicate their time and energy to activities they are passionate about, and one of those for three particular students is gymnastics. Sixth-grader Olivia Rossi, sophomore Sarah Birchmeier, and senior Alyssa Birchmeier (pictured) spend hours at the gym, working hard for the spring competition season.

On weekdays, the gymnasts work out for about four hours at the Don M. Smith Prattville YMCA Branch, conditioning and practicing skills in the events vault, bars, beam, and floor. Even on Saturday mornings, when most students are sleeping in, the girls are up bright and early to continue their work

Alyssa Birchmeier, who competes in level 8, states that the best part of gymnastics is “the time that I get to spend with my teammates and coaches because, through all of the good and bad that comes with the sport, I have developed some of my closest relationships. It is through these that I look forward to showing up at practice each day.”

Aside from friendships, though, gymnastics also builds character. The girls are constantly surrounded by words of encouragement, and they tackle each challenge as it is laid before them. It truly does take a tough mental mindset to be able to do everything these girls do.

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Applications for The Edge Accepted This Month

Applications for The Edge Accepted This Month

The Edge will start accepting applications in May 2022 for the 2022-2023 school year. The Edge is a virtual, Cognia Accredited, public school in Elmore County. The Edge is open to all students K-12 in Alabama. Please see our website for the application as well as FAQ and more information. We are excited to be adopting a new platform for grades K-5 for the 2022-2023 school year. Our new learning platform called is Flexpoint which was developed for Florida Virtual School. Please visit this website and click on “Explore Our Courses” to see sample Flexpoint lessons: https://www.flvsglobal.net/school-and-district-solutions/. For grades 6-12, we will continue to use Edgenuity. We look forward to seeing your application!

The Edge Website: https://theedgeelmoreal.schoolinsites.com/

The Edge Phone Number: 334-514-3931

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Prattville Intermediate Hosts Luncheon for Military

Prattville Intermediate Hosts Luncheon for Military

Prattville Intermediate School hosted its inaugural luncheon for military families, and it was an enormous success. We love our veterans!

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ECTC Fire Truck-Push In

ECTC Fire Truck Push In

Students in the Public Safety & Law program at the Elmore County Technical Center recently received a fire truck from the Wetumpka Fire Department and conducted a traditional push-in ceremony in the apparatus bay at ECTC’s new facility.

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A Special April at The Edge

A Special April at The Edge

The Edge staff supports Autism Awareness and the Month of the Military Child in April, 2022.

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EWA-C3 Industry Tour

EWA C3 Industry Tour

Representatives from Elmore County Schools participated in industry tours through Central AlabamaWorks during March where they visited Hyundai MOBIS, STERIS, and Premier Tech.  While touring Premier Tech, they met with a former ECTC student, Trey Gober (Holtville High 2019 graduate), in the Electrical program who is on their engineering design team.

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Gangsters and Flappers Invade Homeschool Co-Op

Gangsters and Flappers Invade Homeschool Co Op

Charlie Chaplin and Charles Lindbergh join flappers, gangsters, bank robbers, newsboys and Prohibition agents at Academy Days Co-op’s Roaring ‘20s Feast recently. These are the costume contest winners from each history class.

During the feast, homeschoolers and their parents enjoyed sampling a variety of signature dishes from the 1920s, such as deviled eggs, Waldorf salad, red velvet cake and pineapple upside-down cake. The feast culminated weeks of study on the 1920s period of U.S. history.

The Academy Days Co-op, held weekly during the school year at Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery, is designed for kindergarten through high school students to learn subjects difficult to teach at home or best taught in group settings. For more information about the co-op, visit www.AcademyDays.com.

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Prattville Primary Celebrates Student Reading Goals

Prattville Primary Celebrates Student Reading Goals

Prattville Primary is so proud of its student for reaching their reading goals for the 3rd nine weeks. They all celebrated with a slushy party.

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ECTC Ribbon Cutting

ECTC Ribbon Cutting scaled

The Elmore County Technical Center recently moved in the newly constructed wing on campus.  This facility houses 8 of ECTC’s 13 programs in expanded and upgraded classroom and lab spaces including a hanger for Aviation.  Staff invited board members as well as community and industry partners to the ribbon cutting ceremony during March.  Currently, the rest of the ECTC campus is undergoing renovations and reconstruction to improve the learning spaces for the other 5 programs and provide space to grow new programs.

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Student from The Edge Selected for Space Academy

Student from The Edge Selected for Space Academy

One of our very own students from The Edge, Sydney Biernesser, was selected to attend Space Academy for Leading Students in Alabama at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center! Congratulations Sydney!

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