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February 2024 Student Spotlights – Montgomery

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Student & School Spotlights FEB RRP (Montgomery)
Every month we compile a list of students and schools doing great things across our community.  We have so many talented students in our area.  Greater Pensacola Parents joins with these families and schools to celebrate their achievements!
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Montgomery Catholic Campuses Celebrate Epiphany of the Lord

Montgomery Catholic Campuses Celebrate Epiphany of the Lord

The Montgomery Catholic Holy Spirit and St. Bede campuses celebrated the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord on Friday, January 5 with an assortment of fun and educational activities.
The feast of the Epiphany of the Lord marks the arrival of the Magi, commonly known as the three wise men, to the place where Jesus was born in Bethlehem. These Magi delivered three gifts: gold to symbolize Jesus’ kingship, frankincense to symbolize prayer, and myrrh to foreshadow Jesus’ death on the cross.
One of these three wise men, MCPS President Justin Castanza, made it a memorable time for our students by bringing his friendly animals, featuring a camel, donkeys, sheep, and goats. Students spent their energy on an obstacle course bounce house, traveled back in time to taste old-time delicacies and smell frankincense and myrrh, became kings and queens with arts and crafts crowns, and celebrated our Knights Football team winning the Class 4A State Championship by taking photos with the championship trophy.

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Montgomery Catholic Student Completes Eagle Scout Project

Montgomery Catholic Student Completes Eagle Scout Project

Montgomery Catholic 10th grader, Erik Ojala, completed his Eagle rank project by designing and building a Gaga pit outside of the MCPS middle school campus. The Eagle rank in Boy Scouts is very prestigious, and designing and leading a project is the most difficult requirement.
Ojala had discussed the project with MCPS President Justin Castanza. After getting the project approved, PICE (Partners in Catholic Education) got word of the project and fully funded it for Ojala and his team. When the build time came, troop 111 (Ojala’s troop), their sister troop 113, President Castanza, MCPS 8th grade President Juan Dana, and the Ojala family came together to make this project a reality. The build took six hours, consisting of mixing concrete, placing posts, and screwing treaded wood planks to create the pit walls in cold and windy conditions.
“Everyone who participated worked diligently to make this project one that will be enjoyed for years,” Ojala said.
Ojala intends to honor the pit later by adding a plaque with his name, his troop number, a thank you to PICE, and the name of the pit: The Venerable Bishop Frederic Baraga Gaga Ball Pit.

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ECA’s K5 Class Celebrated Winnie the Pooh’s Birthday

ECA’s K Class Celebrated Winnie the Pooh’s Birthday

The Five Year Old Kindergarten Class at Evangel Christian Academy recently celebrated Winnie the Pooh’s birthday. The annual celebration was held on the birthday of A. A. Milne the author and creator of Winnie the Pooh. The children were excited to learn that Christopher Robin was the real life son of A. A. Milne and that the characters in the Hundred Acre Woods were based on stuffed animals Christopher Robin owned. The stories about Pooh and his friends were based on bedtime stories Mr. Milne told his son. The students enjoyed several activities including a special Pooh Bear art project.

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Saint James Welcomes Columbus State’s Schwob Singers

Saint James Welcomes Columbus State’s Schwob Singers

On January 11, the Saint James Performing Arts Department welcomed Columbus State University’s Schwob Singers to campus. The Schwob Singers are directed by Dr. David Hahn, and they are CSU’s flagship choral ensemble.
The group spoke to the Saint James high school choir class and the Arts Leadership Council about auditions, scholarships, studying music, and how to get involved with the arts at the collegiate level.
The Saint James Performing Arts Department chair and choir director is Dr. Sallye York. Saint James School offers classes in the performing arts at all division levels.

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Talent Christian Academy Career Development Corner

Talent Christian Academy Career Development Corner

Our Career Development class is offered to high school students, the class allows professionals from many different types of employment to come by and speak with the students about future opportunities and internships. TEA Christian Academy was blessed with Brittany Bryant, Outreach Advisor, Trenholm State Community College.
Ms. Bryant spoke with the Career Development class on Thursday, January 11th during our Career Development class and encouraged them to start theirpre-college portfolios. She guided them through the online application process to attend Trenholm State Community College and she shared various facts about the programsoffered on campus as well as online.The students were very enthusiastic and engaged with the information provided to them. Trenholm State Community College offers a dual enrollment
program for high school students starting at 10th grade, the program is free of cost.
TEA Christian Academy has partnered with Trenholm, and plans to have more students to enroll in the dual enrollment computer course starting in the summer 2024.

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Montgomery Catholic Club Supplies Beanies to NICU

Montgomery Catholic Club Supplies Beanies to NICU

One of Montgomery Catholic’s newest clubs, Catholic Creations, has been hard at work this winter season. Co-founders and Montgomery Catholic juniors Sonya Povilus and Lily Abbott led their club in making 20 baby beanies that were donated to Baptist East’s NICU/maternity unit. We love our students’ hearts of service here at Montgomery Catholic.

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Montgomery Catholic Wrestling Team Historic Win

Montgomery Catholic Wrestling Team Historic Win

The Montgomery Catholic Men’s Varsity Wrestling team won the Region 2 1-4A Championship on Friday, January 5, 2024, for the first time in program history. The Knights defeated Reeltown 46-36, Beulah 54-28, PCA 42-39, and St. James in the final match with a one-point tiebreaker 37-36.
We express our sincerest gratitude to Julian McPhillips for his generous support of the Montgomery Catholic wrestling program, which was instrumental in establishing the program 14 years ago. Our program began with a sole varsity team, but thanks to his support, it has grown to include a Varsity Girls team and a JV Boys team. Thank you for all you have done for this team, Julian McPhillips.

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Saint James Math Team Wins AISA Math Competition

Saint James School is proud to congratulate its high school and middle school math teams! On Wednesday, January 10, the teams participated in the AISA Mathematics Competition for Division V.
The high school team won the competition in first place. The students that participated are Chloe (Wonyoung) Choi, Steve (Yigeon) Chung, Woochan Kim, and Jacob (Sung Woo) Shin. They had the highest score as a team and the highest ciphering score. Further, two students scored a perfect score on the written portion. These students are Chloe (Wonyoung) Choi and Woochan Kim.
The middle school team placed second in the district. The Middle School students that represented Saint James were Emily Darby, Sophia Kim, Yerial Kim, Jiyu Shin, and Emily Trock. Jiyu Shin will advance to state as an individual.
The high school students, along with Jiyu Shin, will be taking part in the AISA State Mathematics Competition on January 31 at Troy University in Montgomery. The high school students are taught and sponsored by Mrs. Priscilla Hadden. The middle school students are sponsored by Mrs. Debbie Moncrief.

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Montgomery Catholic Announces 2024 Bryant-Jordan Foundations Scholarships Nominees

Montgomery Catholic Announces Bryant Jordan Foundations Scholarships Nominees

Montgomery Catholic is proud to announce this year’s Bryant-Jordan Foundation Scholarship nominees. For the Scholar-Athlete Award, Cooper Davis. For the Achievement Award, Caleb McCreary.
The Bryant-Jordan Foundation Scholarships recognize senior Alabama student-athletes who exemplify inspirational leadership in both sports and academics. The Scholar-Athlete Award recognizes Alabama high school seniors who have achieved a high level of excellence not only athletically, but academically as well. The Achievement Award recognizes student-athletes who have achieved a level of success corresponding with their ability or who have overcome unusual hardships. This award is embodied by the individual’s efforts required to be the best at their craft.
The winners of these awards will be announced when the State Selection Committee meets in March.

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Saint James Collects Food for Meals On Wheels

Saint James Collects Food for Meals On Wheels

Saint James School’s elementary classes were excited to participate in their annual community service project with Meals on Wheels Montgomery. Meals on Wheels currently serves 431 hot meals each day Monday through Friday to seniors and ninety-five of their most nutritionally at-risk clients receive a frozen meal for Saturday and Sunday. Their goal is to keep seniors healthy, happy, and safe in their homes for as long as possible.
This year the food drive collected instant grits, instant oatmeal, and hot chocolate. Students were told about the Meal on Wheels mission and the importance of helping others in our community. In Counseling class, the students decorated bags in which the items could be delivered to the seniors in need. The items were handed over to Meals on Wheels employees and loaded by fifth grade students.
Community service is one of the core values of Saint James School. Annual projects such as this one help students see the value in serving others.

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Montgomery Christian School Polar Express Day

Montgomery Christian School’s first and second graders were filled with excitement as they showed off their colorful pajamas during the annual Polar Express Day. The highlight of the day was when the MCS students were able to indulge in warm hot chocolate with their friends and teachers. The festive atmosphere of the Polar Express theme created a lasting memorable experience of a day filled with laughter, and the joy of the holiday season.

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Montgomery Christian School Christmas Music Program

Montgomery Christian School’s Christmas music performance day was a celebration that allowed MCS students to showcase their talents and spread holiday cheer with the playing of hand chimes and the singing of cheerful holiday songs. MCS music teacher Mrs. Jenny Renner did a wonderful job leading the fourth and fifth grade classes with their musical performances with the hand chimes. Each student from kindergarten to fifth grade did an amazing job with their performances.

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TEA Christian Academy Remembers Dr. Martin Luther KING, Jr.

TEA Christian Academy Remembers Dr Martin Luther KING Jr

TEA Christian Academy held its 2nd Nine Weeks Honors program on January 11th. While the students were excited to receive their awards, they were equally excited to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the role he played in the Civil Rights Movement. Excerpts from his iconic speech ‘I Have a Dream’ and many of his famous quotes were echoed throughout the program. To reminisce even more, the students sang a few of the Freedom Songs that united the people during the non-violent protests and marches in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Additionally, a MLK Essay Contest was held and the top three winners were: John Cruz III, Anna Cruz, and Savian Ross. Congratulations! May we all have a dream and instill hope for a better future for all humankind.

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Exploring Philadelphia: An Unforgettable ACA 8th Grade Trip

Exploring Philadelphia An Unforgettable ACA th Grade Trip

Philadelphia, known as the birthplace of American independence, recently played host to an exciting 8th-grade trip that left a lasting impression on 23 students and 16 accompanying adults. Packed with historical landmarks, cultural experiences, and a sweet treat or two, the journey was a perfect blend of education and fun.
The adventure began with a symbolic climb up the iconic steps of the Museum of Art, famously known as the “Rocky Steps.” The students embraced the challenge, channeling their inner Rocky Balboa as they reached the top, taking in the breathtaking view of the city skyline.
Next on the itinerary was the Faith and Liberty Museum, where students delved into the rich history of religious freedom and its pivotal role in the founding of the nation. The interactive exhibits sparked engaging discussions among the group.
Valley Forge, a pivotal site in the American Revolutionary War, allowed the group to walk in the footsteps of history. The expansive grounds served as a backdrop for discussions on sacrifice, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of those who fought for freedom.
Gettysburg, with its historic battlefield, provided a poignant experience. Students absorbed the significance of this hallowed ground, reflecting on the sacrifices made during the Civil War and the enduring impact on the nation’s history.
No visit to Philadelphia is complete without paying homage to iconic symbols of freedom. The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall showcased the ideals that shaped the nation, reminding students of the importance of liberty and self-governance.
As the students and adults returned home, they carried with them not just souvenirs, but a deeper understanding of American history, cultural diversity, and the importance of cherishing our heritage. The Philadelphia trip became more than just a school excursion; it became a transformative journey that enriched minds and hearts alike.

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Saint James Students Chosen for All-State Choir

Saint James Students Chosen for All State Choir

Saint James School is proud to announce that it has nine high school and middle school students who qualified for the prestigious All-State Choir.
The students auditioned for board members of the Alabama Vocal Association. The board auditioned students from all over the state. This year marked the largest number of auditions since 2019. The students will travel to Birmingham on February 29th to rehearse with nationally recognized choral clinicians and perform a concert in the BJCC Concert Hall.
The students who were chosen are Aditi Shyam, Hilma Seeman, Abigail Roark, Rain Johnson, George Tran, Levi Johnson, TJ Vance, Jaxon Mason, Dominic Troccia, and Alex McIlwain.
Saint James School offers choral classes at all division levels as part of its Performing Arts Department.

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ACA’s Emma Cooley Shines in National Anthem Performance

ACA’s Emma Cooley Shines in National Anthem Performance

The kickoff of National School Choice Week at the Alabama State Capitol was marked by a stunning rendition of the national anthem, performed by ACA’s very own Emma Cooley. Alongside Governor Ivey, Cooley’s heartfelt performance set the tone for an event that underscored the importance of empowering families with educational choices.
Governor Ivey, emphasizing her commitment to families, expressed a priority in the upcoming legislative session to provide more control to parents over the state’s education funding. This includes exploring options such as Education Savings Accounts and expanding school choice offerings.
Emma Cooley’s representation of ACA at this significant event is a testament to the talent and dedication within the educational community. As we applaud her for the moving performance, we also anticipate continued support for increased financial and educational resources for families across Alabama.
In the spirit of National School Choice Week, the collaboration between Emma Cooley and Governor Ivey signifies a shared commitment to fostering an environment where families can actively participate in shaping their children’s educational journeys. The spotlight on ACA’s participation highlights the collective effort to enhance educational opportunities for every child in the state.

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MA Engineering Students Design and Test Towers

MA Engineering Students Design and Test Towers

Montgomery Academy students in Dinah McLemore’s Engineering Disciplines class recently tested the strength of towers they built in class. The towers were designed using parameters established by the Science Olympiad. Students designed, built, and tested prototype towers before working on their final product. Final towers had to span a 20cm X 20 cm opening, be at least 60cm tall, and weigh less than 20g. A loading apparatus was used to test the strength of each tower. A strength to weight ratio was used to determine the winning design.

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MA Student and Staff Spread Joy to Brantwood Children’s Home

MA Student and Staff Spread Joy to Brantwood Children’s Home

For over a decade, Middle & Upper School students, faculty, and staff have had the joy of providing Christmas presents for residents of Brantwood Children’s Home. This annual service project is led by our Upper School H.E.A.R.T. (Helping Eagles Are Right There) organization. Thank you to everyone that donated this year and helped to make this year’s drop-off such a resounding success!

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MA Seniors Selected for “Master” Works Exhibit at MMFA

MA Seniors Selected for “Master” Works Exhibit at MMFA

Montgomery Academy seniors Myers Pinckard and Luis Rubio from Computer Graphics and Design class were selected as part of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts student artwork “Master” Works exhibit this fall in celebration of the museum’s European Splendors exhibit. To coincide with the exhibition, artists were asked to submit unique reinterpretations of famous artworks. The chosen works reflect the special qualities of each artist and show that anyone can be a “master” artist in their right. Students selected works from the museum’s permanent collection or other well-known masterworks as inspiration for their own digital compositions created in Adobe Photoshop.

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Eagle Assembly Toy Drive 2023

Eagle Assembly Toy Drive

Montgomery Academy’s Lower School student-led leadership club, Eagle Assembly, delivered 254 donated toys to MAP Center for Excellence for children who live in the Washington Park neighborhood. These student leaders learned about the program’s history and current initiatives, while also creating posters and making presentations to their schoolmates to encourage participation.

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Trinity Announces New Head of School

Trinity Announces New Head of School

Trinity Presbyterian School is pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs. Suzanne Satcher as the new Head of School. Mrs. Satcher brings with her a wealth of experience, having served the Trinity community in various capacities since joining the school in 2000. Mrs. Satcher has served as Head of School on an interim basis since June 1, 2023.
“Our mission at Trinity is to provide the highest quality college preparatory education, training students in a Biblical world and life view,” said Mrs. Satcher. “Our faculty and staff have the unique calling to grow children’s minds as well as impact their hearts. I love Trinity, and it is an honor to lead an incredible student body and a remarkable faculty. I count it a blessing to serve the Trinity community as the Head of School and thank the Board of Trustees for entrusting me with this role.”
Since its founding in 1970, Trinity Presbyterian School has been a cornerstone in the lives of thousands of students and families, and the Board believes that Mrs. Satcher’s leadership will guide the institution to continued growth, accomplishment, and excellence. “We believe that God’s hand is on our school and all those who call it home,” said Ben Wilson, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “As we usher in a new season, we look forward to the positive impact Mrs. Satcher will have on our community and the enduring legacy she will help us build.”

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Forest Avenue Student’s Artwork Purchased by Museum

Congratulations to Forest Avenue fourth grader Grace Lee. Grace had artwork submitted to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. The museum has PURCHASED her artwork from her so it can be displayed and reproduced! We are so very proud of Grace!

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Forest Avenue Students Selected for MPS Art Show

Congratulations to Forest Avenue 4th grader Kylie Kwon and 3rd grader Tavaris Shepherd were selected to be adjudicated in MPS’s Superintendent’s Art Show. Kylie Kwon’s piece placed and will go on to be in the State Superintendent’s Art Show. Beautiful work! We are proud of both of you!

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Churches Collaborate with MCS for Holiday Celebrations

Churches Collaborate with MCS for Holiday Celebrations 

Montgomery Christian School collaborated with several local churches, spreading joy and festive cheer throughout their halls. Trinity Presbyterian Church, Heritage Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, Frazer Church, and Christ Church all played a crucial role by generously offering their time and resources. Each church adopted a class at MCS, bringing the magic of the holiday season directly to the students. MCS students were not only treated to delightful decorations but also enjoyed holiday treats and goodies provided by their church sponsors. This collaborative effort emphasizes the strong partnership between MCS and the churches in our local community.

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Spelling Bee Winner at FAAM

Spelling Bee Winner at FAAM

On Friday, January 19th, the Forest Avenue Spelling Bee took place. Our school winner was 4th grader Lynn Kim. Lynn is in Mrs. Hall’s and Mrs. Offord’s classes. Lynn will go on to represent Forest Avenue in the county spelling bee very soon. Congratulations to all of these spellers! This was one of our longest lasting spelling bees because everyone did so well! Best of luck to Lynn as she goes on to the next level. Happy Spelling!

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Little Learners at Trinity Enjoy Winter STEAM Activities

Little Learners at Trinity Enjoy Winter STEAM Activities

Our little learners in kindergarten have been on a snowy journey, exploring winter wonders and the creatures that call cold climates home! From enchanting winter-themed stories to engaging STEAM activities with ice and melting, the fun never stops!

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PTA Art Reflection Winners at FAAM

Congratulations to all of Forest Avenue’s PTA Art Reflections winners. They all worked very hard to showcase their many talents!

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Trinity 2nd Graders Welcome Wildlife Visitor

Trinity nd Graders Welcome Wildlife Visitor

Trinity’s second graders had a special visitor, Valerie Castanza from Raptor Ridge Wildlife Education! Bringing the enchanting forest to the classroom, she introduced three owls up close. Ms. Castanza shared insights on raptors’ habitats and ways we can protect these incredible creatures by preserving their homes. It was an educational adventure that took their animal habitat studies to new heights!

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Saint James Hosts Distinguished Young Women Participants

Saint James Hosts Distinguished Young Women Participants

On January 16, Saint James School was proud to host the Distinguished Young Women participants on campus. Participants from around the state showcased their talent routines before the competition, to be held during the weekend of January 19-20. The elementary school students in grades 2-5 were invited to watch the performances and hear about the Be Your Best Self Program. The county winners will participate in the state competition and will be evaluated in the areas of scholastics, interview, talent, self-expression, and fitness.
America’s Distinguished Young Woman, Alabama’s own Carrington Hodge, along with state chairman Michael Jones shared the importance of “Being Healthy, Ambitious, Involved, Responsible, and Studious.” Carrington, who was named the winner in last summer’s national finals, spoke to the students about being involved and always trying your best. They also presented awards to seven Saint James students who entered the “Be Your Best Self” essay contest. Students wrote about their commitment to being their best selves in academics, physical and mental well-being, character, and community involvement. These values mirror Trojan values which are practiced daily.
The mission of DYW is to empower young women to reach their full potential by providing scholarship opportunities for college as well as personal development to become confident leaders.

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A Culture of Service at Trinity

A Culture of Service at Trinity

Trinity high school students embraced the spirit of service, connecting with 20 non-profit organizations on a mission for positive change. At Trinity, we are fostering a culture of service and making a difference together. So far this year our students have done over 650 hours of community service!

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MA Middle School Basketball CCC Champs 2024

The Montgomery Academy Middle School and JV Boys Basketball squads won this year’s CCC Tournament. In the Middle School, JayJay Jackson and Mason Ellis brought home All-Tournament Team honors, while Reid McBride was named Tournament MVP. On the JV, Will Renfroe and Blake Parnell were named to the All-Tourney team, and Braden Gordon was named Tournament MVP. Congrats to both of these squads on bringing home the championship!

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Trinity Students Journey Through Europe

Trinity Students Journey Through Europe

Trinity’s Winterim took high schoolers on an unforgettable journey through Europe! Exploring the rich history and vibrant cultures of Italy, Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic, our 10th-12th graders soaked in two weeks of incredible experiences.

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Forest Avenue Robotics Team Wins Tournament

Forest Avenue Robotics Team Wins Tournament

On December 30, 2023, Penguin Robotics (Abraham Yang/LAMP 9th, Elijah Yang/FAAM 4th), won the Tournament (Teamwork) Champion award and also received the event’s highest award, Excellence Award, at the Muratics New Years VEX IQ Robotics Competition held at Oak Mountain Middle School. The Penguins are now qualified for the 2024 Alabama State Championship. They have worked tirelessly and we are so grateful to see their hard work come to fruition. Soli Deo Gloria and thank you for your continued encouragement!

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Trinity’s Winterim Poetic Journey Into the Outdoors

Trinity’s Winterim Poetic Journey Into the Outdoors

One of Trinity’s many Winterim adventures, Call of Nature, was a poetic journey into the great outdoors! Amidst rain-soaked hikes at Chewacla State Park and breathtaking trails at Oak Mountain State Park, our group of boys discovered the art of writing poetry inspired by nature’s beauty. From navigating floods to reaching the majestic King’s Chair summit, they gained a profound appreciation for the wonders that surround us.

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