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Village Living neighborly news & entertainment for Mountain Brook

Volume 8 | Issue 6 | September 2017



Mountain Brook firefighters give insight into their lives away from the station

hifts at the Mountain Brook Fire Department — aside from varying calls from the community — look very similar. “The first part of the day … we’re checking on the truck, making sure everything is where it needs to be. Then, we kind of go into a cleaning routine,” said fireman Mark Franklin, an apparatus operator for Engine 3. During the 24 hours the firemen are on their shift, they clean the firehouse, check equipment, complete training and respond to calls, among other tasks. Sometimes the crews cook together, like the

crew with whom Jon Head works. He’s been a part of MBFD since 2004. Tony Ratcliff, a plugman for a MBFD engine crew, said many firemen will go to the gym since being fit and in shape is part of a fireman’s job.

Mountain Brook firefighters, from left, Jon Head, Mark Franklin, Eric Meyers and Tony Ratcliff pose together in Firehouse No 1. Photo by Sarah Finnegan. For the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Mountain Brook Junior High teacher Derek Kennedy takes the time to show his students videos from the event before asking them to look at the situation from different perspectives. Photo by Lexi Coon.

INSIDE Sponsors........... A4 News................... A6 Business............ A9 Events...............A13 Celebrations....A17 School House.....A17

Private School Guide................A22 Sports................ B4 Community......B10 Medical Guide.... B12 Calendar.......... B22

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An Important Piece A do-it-all H-back, senior Spartan Clay Stearns is owning the versatile position in unique way.

See page B1

9/11: Teaching tragedy to young students By LEXI COON

Working Together Mountain Brook’s volleyball program enters a new season with young team full of potential.

See page B4

The Sept. 11 attacks are something that many Americans lived through. They watched the twin towers fall, the clouds of smoke envelop the streets of New York City; maybe they even stared at their TVs in horror as the second plane struck. For individuals who lived through Sept. 11, 2001, many

remember where they were that day. But for a majority of grade school students, Sept. 11 is not a memory — it’s a history lesson. Mountain Brook High School teacher Joe Webb said he began teaching the event the year it happened.

See TRAGEDY | page A25

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Village Living

About Us Editor’s Note By Erica Techo It’s September, which means it’s my favorite time of the year: college football season. Growing up, my dad taught me the importance of watching — and understanding — football from an early age. From first through eighth grade, he would sit down with my cheerleading squad and walk us through the basics. It started simply: The team with the ball is on offense, and the team without the ball is on defense. It slowly progressed to an explanation of downs and various plays. On Saturday mornings, we’d cheer on our rec football team, and on Saturday nights we would don the Red & Black to cheer on our UGA Bulldogs.

Once I hit high school, I added cheering on the sidelines every Friday night to my weekend routine. The football tradition carried through my family for our whole lives — my brother led our high school spirit section, and we’d go to UGA games when we could. If not, we’d all be in front of the big-screen TV in time to watch the Dawgs kick-off. Since moving to Birmingham, I cannot go to UGA games or family cook-outs every weekend, but football continues to hold a special place in my heart. I’ll watch every televised game, and find radio coverage of the others, and I’ve even added Alabama and Auburn games to my calendar

— for water cooler talk on Monday, of course. And this football season, I’m looking forward to another outstanding season of coverage from our sports desk. You’ll start to see our high school football magazine — 88 pages of features, rosters and other must-know information — around town and at each team’s home game. For everything else, make sure to like Village Living on Facebook, follow @village_living on Twitter and subscribe to our e-newsletter.


The local community gathered for the seventh annual Otey’s Fest on the evening of July 29 and was treated to food, fun, local brews and live music. Photo by Lexi Coon.

Village Living Publisher: Managing Editor: Design Editor: Director of Photography: Sports Editor: Assistant Sports Editor: Digital Editor: Page Designer: Copy Editor: Community Editor: Community Reporters:

Dan Starnes Sydney Cromwell Kristin Williams Sarah Finnegan Kyle Parmley Sam Chandler Alyx Chandler Melanie Viering Louisa Jeffries Erica Techo Jon Anderson Jesse Chambers Lexi Coon Emily Featherston

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James Plunkett Eric Clements Vicky Hager Ellen Skrmetti

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graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. Village Living is designed to inform the Mountain Brook community of area school, family and community events. Information in Village Living is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of Village Living. We reserve the right to edit articles/photos as deemed necessary and are under no obligation to publish or return photos submitted. Inaccuracies or errors should be brought to the attention of the publisher at (205) 313-1780 or by email.

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Village Living


Plans for new Caldwell Mill Road bridge proceed By LEXI COON As Mountain Brook is spending time repaving roads and adding more sidewalks, the city is also planning to replace the bridge on Caldwell Mill Road. Blair Perry with Gresham, Smith and Partners presented four new bridge options, listed from least to most expensive, to city council members at the council meeting on Aug. 14: a box culvert, a CON/SPAN arch bridge, a flat slab bridge and a precast bridge. Perry suggested the second option, which is a CON/SPAN arch structure. This design was the second least expensive option and will leave an open bottom for the creek, which requires a lower maintenance than other options. It also comes in precast pieces that can be stacked together and requires little environmental disturbance, creating a faster construction time than other proposed methods, Perry said. “We think it’s a very aesthetically pleasing structure with the arch in there,” Perry said, agreeing with council president Virginia Smith that they would work to fit the bridge with the city’s current aesthetics. “It’ll look a little like a road just going over top.” Perry said they can use a stamping method to create a stone-like architecture to it, and they have planned a walkway for pedestrians. The new bridge will not have any load restrictions, either, which will allow emergency vehicles to safely cross. Councilman Phil Black said he was concerned with the amount of drainage the area currently sees, and in response Perry stated they are already looking on how to prevent water from running onto the bridge. The council approved this bridge selection, and Perry said the plan is to put the project out to bid this fall and follow with construction

Blair Perry, with Gresham Smith, discusses the options for a new bridge on Caldwell Mill Road at the City Council meeting on Aug. 14. Photo by Lexi Coon.

around the first of the year. Once construction crews have broken ground, it is estimated that the project would be completed in three months. Also during the council meeting on Aug. 14, members: Approved the minutes from the meeting on July 24. Discussed the Master Sidewalk Plan with Jennifer Bailey of Sain Associates and decided to review the plan for two more weeks to allow for any additional questions or concerns to arise before moving forward with federal grant applications. Reviewed bids for the Jemison Park pedestrian bridge. Bidding was opened at 2 p.m. on Aug. 14 and by the time of the council meeting, city manager Sam Gaston stated they had received three bids, with the lowest being $225,000. Gaston said they would work with

that bidder to present a contract to council at the next meeting. Approved a resolution recommending retail beer and wine licenses to DHV, LLC (trade name Nothing But Noodles). Approved a resolution recommending the State of Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control board transfer all ABS licenses of AMP Restaurants, LLC (trade name Another Broken Egg Café) to Cojak Investments of Mountain Brook. Carried a resolution authorizing the installation of a 150W (equivalent) LED street light on a new pole at the intersection of Cahaba Road and English Village Lane and authorizing the payment of approximately $5,868.30 for the installation and electrical connection of said pole by Alabama Power Company. Approved a resolution authorizing the execution of an agreement with MT2 for shell casing

removal and berm remediation at the firing range. Approved a resolution setting a public hearing for Sept. 11, 2017 to consider an ordinance amending Chapter 129 of the City Code with respect to short-term real property rental regulations. Carried a resolution to approve a real estate office conditional use application submitted by ARC Realty for property at 2718 Cahaba Road. The council agreed to take an additional two weeks to review the application and how parking situations could impact the surrounding area. Approved a resolution appointing Skipper Consulting to study certain intersections within the City under the APPLE grant previously authorized upon the adoption of Motion No. 2017-082. Approved a resolution authorizing the execution of a memorandum of understanding between the City and Jefferson County Commission with respect to [possible future] storm debris clean-up and disposal. Approved an ordinance for a stop sign on Conrock Road at Rockhill Road as well as Westbury Road and for a stop sign on Spring Valley Circle at Spring Valley Court. Approved a resolution authorizing a contract with Morris-Shea Bridge Company for athletic fields improvements at the high school athletics complex subject to receiving a certificate of insurance. Approved a resolution to renew an agreement with PReMA Corporation. The company is “a government services company focused on increasing local government revenues through innovative and effective revenue and tax collection programs,” according to their website. Approved a resolution declaring certain city items surplus. The next meeting will be on Aug. 28.

September 2017 • A7

Zoning, rentals discussed at planning commission Officials discussed the possible rezoning of 2908 Pumphouse Road and short term rentals during the Planning Commission meeting on Aug. 7. Photo by Lexi Coon.

By LEXI COON During the planning commission meeting on Aug. 7, property on Pumphouse Road was discussed. The planning commission heard from representatives from Shannon Waltchack, which is looking to purchase and develop the current Wales Goebel site at 2908 Pumphouse Road, and hopes to have the site zoned as a planned unit development, or PUD. Although this was the third meeting that this issue was discussed, no decisions were made, and the item was carried over to commission’s next agenda. The parcel of land in question has 25 percent of its area in Mountain Brook and 75 percent in Jefferson County, said Derek Waltchack with Shannon Waltchack. If purchased by Shannon Waltchack, they would like to develop it into an office and storefront space no larger than 9,000 square feet and have the parcel annexed into Mountain Brook, he said. “We think it makes the most [sense] to bring it all into Mountain Brook so that the city can better control what happens on the property,” Waltchack said. “We’ve requested a PUD zoning that will permanently keep our project small.” Residents who live nearby were concerned with many factors, including but not limited to, the types of tenants, parking, light pollution and the visibility of the property. Waltchack said the potential tenants including an interior design studio, a small bookstore or offices. He said the low number of parking spaces mean larger businesses will not fit in the leasing space. A traffic study was also requested, for a second time, by the planning commission since it was not presented at the meeting. Residents were still concerned that the rezoning and development would alter the aesthetics and community feel of the villages.

“The city has been very consistent [at maintaining the villages] since it was founded,” said Ricky Bromberg. Fellow resident Gates Shaw had similar feelings toward the area, and although he said he thinks the designs are beautiful, he doesn’t think the city should be rezoning the property to commercial development. After residents voiced their opinions regarding the property along Pumphouse Road, resident Sue Feldman spoke in support of Airbnbs and similar rentals in the city of Mountain Brook. Since the work session between City Council and the Planning Commission on July 12,

both commissioners and council members have gotten letters from residents voicing opposition to having Airbnb and VRBO rentals available in the city. Commissioner Susan Swagler also said they received “one very eloquent letter stating why [the rentals] aren’t such a bad idea after all.” Feldman is the sole short-term renter in Mountain Brook who has obtained a business license from the city, which is required for renters. Feldman said that sometimes there are people and families traveling to the Birmingham area who, instead of staying in hotels, would like the comfort of a home, much like the families of patients in hospitals in Birmingham. She also said that by opening to renters,

homeowners are more likely to invest in their home’s upkeep, which adds to the value of the city and that visitors tend to stay longer and spend more money in the neighborhood in which they are staying. But, she understands that cities need ordinances. “I’m in favor of ordinances. I think ordinances are guide raises and I think guide rails are good,” she said. “But I also think what is done should be driven by facts and not fear.” The commission voted to recommend that the council approve the ordinance as drafted, which prohibits rentals under 30 days in residential zoning.

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Village Living

Board of Education reviews financial statements, new teacher orientation With one day to go before the start of school, Mountain Brook Board of Education met to review old and new items, including New Teacher Orientation Week. Photo by Lexi Coon.

By LEXI COON With one day to go before school starts back up, the Mountain Brook Board of Education met on Aug. 14 to review financial statements and bank reconciliations, new teacher orientation week and the previously discussed C-9 Data Governance policy. According to Karen Lusk Smith, chief finance director for Mountain Brook City Schools, the school system as reached 91 percent of its total revenue and 96 percent of its ad valorem while in the tenth month of the cycle. The system is also four percent ahead of where it was this time last year and has a fund balance of $16.6 million Board members then welcomed Lauren Kiser, Crestline Elementary’s newest third grade teacher and interventionist, to discuss new teacher orientation week.  “New teacher orientation week was phenomenal. It was very informative, very entertaining, it was exhausting mentally and physically, and of course, naturally, it was effective, challenging and engaging,” she said. 

New teacher orientation week was phenomenal. ... it was effective, challenging and engaging.


New teachers were introduced to board members, district administrators and their peers. “That was the most important thing to me, was forming those relationships that week,” she said. Kiser said they learned more about the Mountain Brook Schools’ values, such as taking care of everyone in the school, creating and caring for relationships and striving to have knowledgeable and charismatic educators. Kiser said on the first day, Superintendent Dicky Barlow told the teachers they were now

a part of the Mountain Brook family, regardless of how long they had been there. “As I reflected throughout the week, I thought back to the day that [Crestline Principal Laurie] King called and hired me for my position at Crestline until … I’m sure the last day that I set foot in a Mountain Brook school, someone will always ask ‘Are you OK? How can I help you?’ and they will tell you that they are here for you,” she said. “And as a new teacher coming in, that was  the most precious

thing ever and it was so reassuring.” Board members continued by reviewing the C-9 Data Governance, to which Barlow said there were no comments from residents, and board members approved the revisions. New personnel and the disposal of surplus items was also approved, as were the minutes of the previous meeting. The next board meeting will take place on Sept. 11 at 3:30 p.m. at Mountain Brook High School.

First class fast

September 2017 • A9

Mountain Brook resident Tricia Holbrook opening new concept salon


When Tricia Holbrook was in the throes of her career in institutional investments, it was hard to find time to sit down for regular hair, nail and skin care appointments. And between work, community involvement and kids activities, Holbrook said she imagines many, like herself, can’t always make time for those “maintenance” activities. “You run out of time for yourself,” she said, but thinks she has come up with the solution. This month, Holbrook’s Speed Spa will open in the former Harper’s Salon location on Petticoat Lane in Mountain Brook Village. While “speed” and “spa” may sound like mutually exclusive concepts, Holbrook said she and her team have come up with a way to provide top notch service without demanding hours of a person’s time. “The concept is to deliver first class services in an efficient and timely manner,” she said. But fast doesn’t mean sub-par, she said, but instead, she and her team have come up with creative ways to make every beauty process– whether hair, skin or nails–more efficient. “We’re trying to put the time of the client first and foremost, ahead of ourselves,” she said. Some factors in eliminating “wasted” time during a normal beauty appointment are as simple as keeping the client in the same location during the entire process. In the case of a hair appointment, the client would remain in the same chair through the shampoo, cut and color, thanks to innovative finishings such as slide-out sinks. For nails, Holbrook said she has often requested having a manicure and pedicure done simultaneously, but that most salons are not set up in a way to make that process comfortable for the client and technician. From the location of the chairs to the types of sinks and other furnishings, Holbrook said

Speed Spa, pictured while still under construction in August, is set to open this month off of Petticoat Lane in Mountain Brook Village. Photo by Emily Featherston.

the goal was to make the entire salon run as efficiently as possible. “We’re trying to be more scientific and more sophisticated in execution,” she said. But the key to the process, she said, will be the mobile application customers can utilize. The app will do everything from making appointments to payment–customers can save credit or debit card information safely in the system–eliminating the need to wait in line. However, Holbrook said that if someone

wants to book or pay for an appointment the traditional way, they are more than welcome. “You can still do everything traditionally, we just think it’s a lot easier to do it with the app,” she said. Customers will also be able to shop Speed Spa’s curated selection of beauty products. Rather than sticking to a single brand, Holbrook said she opted to choose the best products from different suppliers. “We’re going to be fresh in that area,” she

said. “As a consumer, you know that we love it if we’re offering it.” Holbrook said she wanted to emphasize that the services will still be the best–or at least tied for the best–and clients won’t be rushed. “There’s just no wasting of the client’s time,” she said. Holbrook said she and her team are hoping to have a grand opening event on Sept. 22. For more information, visit Speed Spa’s Facebook page at

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Coming Soon Chef Ben Vaughn has announced that he will open a new restaurant, Root to Tail, at 2031 Cahaba Road in English Village in September. Vaughn has worked in restaurants around the country and owned his own restaurant in Memphis before moving to Birmingham.


News and Accomplishments Wiggly, with locations at 3800 2 Piggly River Run Drive and 41 Church Street, now offers grocery delivery via Shipt, an appbased grocery delivery service.

September 2017 • A11

Hirings and Promotions LAH Real Estate, 2850 Cahaba Road, Suite 200, has hired Kathy Byrd, Kaylei Seidner, Julie Archibald, Michael Allen, and Wescott Shaw as RealtorsÂŽ. 870-8580,


Anniversaries Hufham Orthodontics, 120 Euclid Avenue, is celebrating its 16th anniversary in September. 871-8881,


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Village Living

In good hands Birmingham Zoo vets keep an eye on aging residents such as tiger, python, sloth By LEXI COON “Judging by wild animals, everything could be considered geriatric. Everything is relative,” said Birmingham Zoo veterinarian Dr. Richard Sims. He’s referring to the many challenges that animals in the wild face: illness, in-fighting, starvation and hunting, to name a few. “Us offering good care to our animals in human care is changing how long they can live,” he said. The zoo has many animals that would be considered “geriatric” based on a general life expectancy for the animals in human care. Some, including their secretary bird, children’s python and emerald tree boa, are the oldest of their species in all of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited zoos across the country, and some are simply reaching their older years. One of the more notable elderly residents is 18-year-old Kumar, their Malayan tiger, whose average life expectancy under human care is between 18 and 20 years old. Others include Steve, a 34-year-old children’s python; Tadpole, a 38-year-old Nile hippopotamus; Dino, a 20-year-old yellow-backed duiker; Reynardo, a 27-year-old Hoffman’s two-toed sloth; and Ol’Greg, a “95ish”-year-old alligator snapping turtle. Once animals reach their later years, fellow zoo veterinarian Dr. Stephanie McCain said they begin watching for problems with their teeth, signs of arthritis, sight challenges, kidney and cardiac issues and cancer, much like doctors do with people. “As they get older, the likelihood increases,” she said. “It parallels humans. Humans are animals.”

McCain said while some animals may start to look like they are ill, they are actually just aging. “From a visitor’s standpoint, Kumar is aging, and he is skinny,” Sims said. McCain attributed this to less movement and a loss of muscle mass as well as just general aging. “A lot of comments on Facebook have been, ‘Why don’t they feed the tiger?’ and obviously, that’s not the case,” she said. But still, the animal staff provides great care for their animals. “The zoo focuses a lot on getting animals to do their part in care,” McCain said. Staff has worked with the animals to create certain behaviors to facilitate checkups, such as an “open mouth behavior,” to see their teeth, allowing access to tails to draw blood and “paws up” to check their feet and pads. This level of training helps reduce stress levels during exams. “The open-mouth behavior took one of the lions a week, but Kumar still struggles with it,” McCain said. “And the North American river otter can’t do it at all, but she’s trained to do echocardiograms awake,” Sims said. While all animals are well-trained, the husbandry behaviors are conducted with barriers between the staff and the animals for the safety of everyone involved, and if they found anything more serious, it is pursued as seen fit. Some of the geriatric animals are also on medication to manage their disorders, such as a few of the goats who are seen for arthritis and Toby, a 19-year-old ocelot, who is frequently checked for kidney disease, Sims said. If a circumstance does arise when an animal needs a specific surgery or additional diagnosis

Dr. Stephanie McCain and Dr. Richard Sim work on removing a tumor from Birmingham Zoo’s Malayan tiger, Kumar, who at 18 years old is reaching the late stages of average life expectancy. Photo courtesy of Birmingham Zoo/Kiki-Nolen Schmidt.

testing, the zoo can perform certain procedures on site or can reach out to a network of local vet specialists, McCain said. And, it’s all for the care and well-being of their animals.

“A lot of the animals have been with the zoo for most of their lifetime,” Sims said. “We take care of them from birth to death; that’s our responsibility.”

September 2017 • A13

Events City Manager Sam Gaston speaks to a group of children during a previous Little Leader Day. Photo courtesy of Amber Benson.

A patron of the 2016 Taste of Mountain Brook stops by Davenport’s Pizza Palace’s table. Photo by Sarah Finnegan.

Taste of Mountain Brook comes to Crestline Little Leader Day returning Oct. 1 By LEXI COON The annual Taste of Mountain Brook is celebrating its third year on Sept. 17 in Crestline. Originally started to bring the community together for a family-friendly event, the event has also benefited All in Mountain Brook since its inception said Leigh Ann Sisson, Crestline liaison for the event. She said the event highlights the great restaurants of Mountain Brook while bringing families together for an evening of good food and fun. Sisson said typically, the participating restaurants within the community will put together small dishes of their special plates for patrons to try for the evening. Even though Sisson said, “It’s taste of Mountain Brook, not meal of Mountain Brook,” it is still a filling evening.

“By the time you’re done a course you’re stuffed because it all just comes together so nicely and people really do get full,” she said. Food ranging from local ice cream to small plates from the Grand Bohemian’s Habitat will be available and Sisson said entertainment will accompany the event. “It’s all home grown entertainment,” she said, mentioning that previously the Mountain Brook groups such as ABOG, Una Voce, the Dorians, cheerleaders and the jazz band were present. The kids zone will be making a reappearance in front of City Hall, too, as will the grand fire truck finale. The event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m and as of Sept. 1, tickets are $20 per person while children 12 and under are free. To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit or stop by the Chamber of Commerce.


After starting the initial planning last year, former Leadership Mountain Brook members handed the reigns over to new members Alexis Kennedy, Claire Smith and Virginia Williams to carry the event to Oct. 1. Designed to introduce younger Mountain Brook community members to the inner workings of the city, the event is available for students in third through sixth grade said Leadership Mountain Brook advisor Amber Benson. Participating students will be greeted by Mayor Stewart Welch and meet with department heads within the city to learn about their roles. Later, they will be given tours of both the fire and police departments. Previous Leadership Mountain Brook students spent time coordinating with department heads to create an enjoyable and entertaining

experience for the kids participating, too. “It’s not going to be boring. It’s going to be fun and engaging,” said former Leadership Mountain Brook student Sarah Hydinger previously. Due to time constraints, Benson said that there will not be a service component to the event this year and there will be a limit to how many can participate, possibly around 50 children. It will be open to all students within the specified age range in Mountain Brook, not only those who are in the Mountain Brook Schools system. Registration for Little Leader Day closes on Sept. 22 and costs $30. Participating students will be given snacks, a t-shirt and the book, “Buttons Explores the Brook” and a certificate of completion. They will also be able to paint their hand prints on the Tot Lot fence. The event runs from 1-3 p.m., although check in is at 12:45 p.m. To learn more or to sign up, visit

A14 • September 2017

Village Living

Patriot Day ceremony to be held at Vestavia Hills City Hall By EMILY FEATHERSTON Vestavia Hills will take its turn this year at the over the mountain tradition of spending the morning of Sept. 11 in solemn remembrance. At 8:30 a.m. at Vestavia’s City Hall, members of the Vestavia, Mountain Brook and Homewood communities will gather for a moment of silence, prayer and contemplation of the events 16 years ago. Brig. Gen. David Ling, commander of the Army Reserve Sustainment Command of Birmingham,

Homewood Fire Department member Brian Bowman performs on the bagpipes at the 2016 Patriot Day ceremony. Photo by Sarah Finnegan

will be the featured speaker at the event. Ling was formerly the director for U.S. Forces Korea, which works to maintain military readiness in the region and strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea. Just Singin’ from Vestavia Hills High School is scheduled to perform as well. Vestavia Hills City Hall is located at 1032 Montgomery Highway. Parking is available in both the front and rear of the building. For more information, contact Assistant Fire Chief Marvin Green at

Miles for Smiles 5K set for Sept. 16 By ANNA HUFHAM

The ASDA will be hosting their annual race, Miles for Smiles, on Sept. 16 starting at Otey’s Tavern in Crestline. Photo courtesy of Bright Chang.

UAB will be hosting a Miles for Smiles 5K with the Alabama American Student Dental Association (ASDA) this fall. The 5K will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 11 a.m. on Sept. 16. The race kicks off at Otey’s Tavern, continues down Dexter Avenue to Church Street, loops around Country Club Boulevard, and ends back in Crestline Village. The Alabama ASDA will also hold a 1-mile Fun Run the same day as the 5K. The Fun Run also begins at Otey’s Tavern, but diverts from the 5K to run along Mountain Brook Lane, reunites with the 5K at Jackson Boulevard, then separates again to end in Crestline Village.

There will also be an after-party held for the runners at the end of both races. There is a $25 fee to run in the Miles for Smiles 5K and a $20 fee for the one mile Fun Run. The fees for the 5K and the Fun Run increase to $30 and $25, respectively, after Sept. 9. T-shirts are included with each registration fee. Proceeds from the races will go towards Cahaba Valley Health Care, a nonprofit organization that administers health care, including dental services, to residents of Jefferson and Shelby counties. Anyone is welcome to run or walk in the Miles for Smiles 5K or one mile Fun Run. For more information, contact the directors of the races at uabasda

September 2017 • A15

The Birmingham Zoo will be hosting its 17th annual Zoo Gala on Sept. 15, shortly after opening their new Henley Park Event Lawn on Sept. 7. Photo courtesy of Lynsey Weatherspoon.

Zoo opening event lawn, hosting annual gala By LEXI COON After much planning, the Birmingham Zoo will be opening its event lawn, Henley Park, on Sept. 7. The venue features over 32,000 square feet of natural landscaping and can hold 2,500 guests at a given time for events such as weddings, festivals, corporate dinners and banquets. Lindsey Renfro, special events manager at the zoo, said catering options range from barbecue to elegant meals are available for selection. Currently, the zoo is offering special pricing for the grand opening and the following year, ranging from $2,500 to $3,500 per event depending on the number of people. The zoo will also be hosting their annual 17th annual Zoo Gala, with this year’s theme

“Mambo with the Macaws,” on Sept. 15 from 7-11 p.m. Renfro said they typically host around 500 gusts, and this year they will be treated to music by Atlanta Steel Pan and Island Music Trio and The Main Attraction, Caribbean cuisine by Kathy G & Company and performances by Luminaries Entertainment Flame Throwers in an island-party atmosphere. The online auction for the event will open on Sept. 8 and tickets, which are already on sale, are $200 each for zoo members or $250 each for non-members. Proceeds will benefit the zoo’s mission of “inspiring Passion for the Natural World,” it’s operational efforts, educational programs and conservation research. To purchase tickets or learn more, visit

Venture Crew 2010 members spend a day at the Red Mountain ropes course during one of the crew outings. Venture Crew 2010 and two additional local crews are hosting an open house on Sept. 14 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Mountain Brook Community Church. Photo courtesy of Venture Crew 2010.

Local Venture Crews hosting open house to prospective members By LEXI COON Venturing, which is part of the Boy Scouts of America program, is a youth development program with high-adventure activities that follows the vision of the BSA: “… To prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law,” said Venture Crew 2010 advisor Kelly Byrne. “Venturing is youth-led and youth-inspired. Venture Scouts will acquire life skills and gain experiences that will prove to be valuable as they grow older,” he said. While their normal meetings are the first and third Thursday of each month at the Canterbury UMC, Venture Crew 2010 and two additional local crews are hosting an open house on Sept. 14 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Mountain Brook Community Church. Byrne said currently the

crew has between 12 and 14 members and they recruit new members during the month of September. The program is open to both girls and boys ages 13-20 and participants grow and learn more about themselves. “Personal growth comes from these adventures and helps our venturers identify and develop talents that serve them well,” Byrne said. Community service is also an integral part of venturing. “It allows us to sustain our communities by identifying needs and targeting them,” he said. “Venturing’s commitment to community service allows our crews to develop a program full of opportunities to serve others — and to have fun while doing so.” To learn more about venturing, visit ventur or contact Will McIntyre at william. for additional event information.

A16 • September 2017

Pooches on the Patio back to benefit humane society By LEXI COON For one evening this September, Vino will be going to the dogs. Scheduled for Sept. 6 from 5:30-8:30 p.m., the restaurant will be hosting its second Pooches on the Patio event, again to benefit the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. “The first year it was held because last year was Vino’s fifth anniversary,” said Katie Beck with Style Advertising. “It was such a big success last year that they decided to have it this year.” Beck said the event will again feature adoptable pets, which members of the humane society socialize throughout the evening, and families can bring their own dogs to sit with them on the patio while they eat dinner. “[Last year], everybody loved sitting out on the patio with adoptable pets walking around and learning more about the human society,” This year’s event will again feature adoptable pets, which Beck said, and Vino promembers of the humane society socialize throughout the vided water bowls for any evening, and families can bring their own dogs to sit with them on the patio while they eat dinner. Photo by Sarah Finnegan. thirsty dogs. During the hours of the event, 15 percent of the sales that evening will go towards the humane include brownies and Vino’s well-known apple fritters. “That’s truly a treat, for sure,” she said. society, too. While Beck said that registration and tickSimilar to last year, specialty drinks will also be available, and all attendees — two-legged or ets are not required for the event, she did recfour-legged — will receive a goodie bag. Beck ommend calling to make reservations for the said that the goodie bags for the people will evening. Contact Vino by calling at 870-8404.

Village Living

Citywide prayer breakfast Sept. 29 at Canterbury UMC By LOREN HOPKINS City Lights will host the first annual Women’s City Prayer Breakfast on Sept. 29, from 7-8:30 a.m. The event is at Canterbury United Methodist Church, with tickets $10 each. Sophie Hudson, an entertaining Southern writer, will Hudson be the Keynote Speaker. Hudson hopes her stories will encourage women to find moments of faith in their everyday lives. Fox News anchor Janet Hall will be the event’s emcee. The Prayer Breakfast is hosted by City Lights, a group founded and run by women across Birmingham who seek to inspire and empower other women in their Christian calling. City Lights founder Susan Yarbro said, “Our vision for the Prayer Breakfast is women coming

together in prayer, service and fellowship to make an impact in our city for God's glory.” “We have women from 15 churches helping to promote and plan this event,” Yarbro said. All women in the Birmingham area are welcome to attend. After the Prayer Breakfast, a service fair will also be held in order to connect and inform attendees on various outreach opportunities. Twenty-five local ministries will be highlighted in the hopes of getting everyone involved. Canterbury UMC is located at 350 Overbrook Road and can be reached at 871-4695. Updates and tickets for this event can be found at the City Lights website,, or on their Facebook page, “City Lights Birmingham.”

Mountain Brook Schools Notice of Non-Discrimination: The Mountain Brook school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or age in any of its programs and activities, or in matters of employment, and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. It is against the policy of the Mountain Brook Board of Education to have different rules or regulations on the basis of sex in employment, including recruitment, hiring classification, and other terms, conditions or privileges of employment. The Board, in accordance with Title IX (20 U.S.C. S1681, et seq.), strictly prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender in its programs or activities, or any matters of employment. The prohibition includes sexual harassment based on sex, sexual assault, as defined by law and Board policy. Sexual harassment

and sexual assault complaints should be filed and reviewed under the Board’s sexual harassment policies (G-32, J-49). All other complaints under Title IX will be filed and reviewed according to the Board’s general complaints and grievance procedures (G-34, J-41). The Superintendent is authorized and directed to designate a Title IX Coordinator, whose duties will include, but not be limited to receiving and responding to Title IX inquiries and complaints. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies: Dr. Dale Wisely-Director of Student Services (Title VI), Dr. Susan Cole-Director of Personnel (Title IX), Dr. Missy Brooks-Director of Instruction (Title II), Mrs. Shannon Mundy-Special Education Director (Section 504). Contact Information: 32 Vine Street, Mountain Brook, AL 35213, 205-871-4608.

September 2017 • A17


School House Palmer appoints local students to US Service Academy

Rushing - Sellers Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Eldon Rushing of Birmingham announce the engagement of their daughter, Katie Michelle Rushing to Randal Woodson Sellers, son of Mr. and Mrs. Randal Hugh Sellers of Alexandria, Virginia. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. Norma Lyons Barron and the late Mr. Marcus John Lyons, Jr., and Mrs. Lillieth Draper Rushing and the late Mr. R. J. Eldon Rushing of Birmingham. Miss Rushing attended Mountain Brook High School. She is a graduate of the Harrison School of Pharmacy and completed a Pharmacy Residency in Ambulatory Care at Auburn University. She is

a member of Delta Gamma social sorority and the Junior League of Birmingham. The prospective groom is the grandson of the late Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Charles Garbarini of Memphis, Tennessee, and Mrs. Ronald Carl Pearson of Surprise, Arizona and the late Mr. Bob Lee Sellers of Memphis. Mr. Sellers attended The Altamont School and is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The bride-elect is employed by CVS Pharmacy. The prospective groom is employed by Atlas Air. The wedding is planned for December 9.

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WASHINGTON D.C. – Rep. Gary Palmer has announced 14 students from Alabama’s sixth congressional district who have received offers and will attend one of the United States Service Academies for their higher education and serve at least five years in the military. For a student to apply to a service academy, the student must receive a nomination from a congressman, senator, the vice president or the president. The service academies include the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; the U.S. Air Force Academy; the U.S. Naval Academy; the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy; and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The USCGA does not require a congressional nomination.   “Every year I have the honor and privilege of nominating outstanding students from the Sixth District of Alabama for an appointment to our nation’s service academies,” Palmer said. “Receiving an appointment to a service academy is a competitive process with each academy having an acceptance rate of less than 15 percent. I am pleased to announce the 14 students from Alabama’s sixth district who received my nomination and accepted an offer from a U.S. Service Academy.  “Please join me in congratulating these outstanding individuals and their families as they embark to learn at the highest levels and serve America in extraordinary ways.” The students and their schools are as follows: ► John Allen Bass from Chelsea High School received an appointment

Congressman Gary Palmer stands with local students after appointing them various U.S. service academics. Photo courtesy of Cate Cullen.

to the U.S. Military Academy ► Wiley Burns from Riverside Military Academy received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy ► Kaley Ann Fulton from Marion Military Institute (Hewitt-Trussville High School) received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy ► Davis Holley from Spain Park High School received an appointment to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy ► Ryan Kirk from Mountain Brook High School received an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy ► Daylen McGhee from Shades Valley High School received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy ► George Moore from Briarwood Christian School received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy ► Duncan Morris from Mountain Brook High School received an appointment to the U.S.

Naval Academy ► Elexus Oliver from Thompson High School received an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School ► Stav Pappas from Mountain Brook High School received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy ► Blake Randle from Oak Mountain High School received an appointment to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy ► Gunnar Schultz from Oak Mountain High School received an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy ► Jackson Weyhe from Hewitt-Trussville High School received an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy ► Sarah Whitley from Oak Mountain High School received an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy – Submitted by the office of Rep. Gary Palmer.

A18 • September 2017

Village Living

MBJH PTO funds outdoor lunchroom pavilion When Mountain Brook Junior High students were asked how their experience at MBJH could be improved, many students expressed a desire to have more outdoor space, especially during the lunch period. As a result, the MBJH PTO stepped up to fund an outdoor lunch pavilion.

Construction of the outdoor lunch pavilion was completed over the summer. The outdoor lunch pavilion is a much needed expansion of the lunchroom and provides a wonderful outdoor space for students to enjoy. – Submitted by Monica Sargent. Rendering courtesy of Monica Sargent.

BWF caps year with field day CBS students shared inventions and taught teachers about learning through exploration and play during the Mountain Brook Learning Conference. Photo courtesy of Christina Smith.

Students present their inventions at Learning Conference Cherokee Bend Elementary School iLab students led a session at the Mountain Brook Learning Conference on June 5. They shared their inventions and taught teachers about the importance of learning through exploration and play. Mountain Brook teachers as well as teachers from other school systems were in attendance for this four-day learning conference. – Submitted by Christina Smith.

Students celebrate the end of the 2016-17 school year with field day at Brookwood Forest. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Woodry.

After a busy May that included fifth-graders hosting a Mother’s Day Tea, multiple grade-levels sharing poetry celebrations, and third graders sharing speeches to change the world Brookwood Forest Elementary held its annual Field Day.  The event was Monday, May 22, as a celebration of another successful year at BWF. Parent volunteers and PE teachers Jay Gilliand and Sally White ran this successful event with the help of sixth grade student volunteers. The event featured four competitive events for each grade along with time for popsicles. Each class competed as a team. Each grade level discussed being safe, respectful, and doing their best in all events.  The class from each grade level with the highest point total from individual events won the opportunity to have a silly string battle with Principal Nathan Pitner and Assistant Principal Christy Christian.  Each year the event serves as a fun way to celebrate the school year. – Submitted by Kathleen Woodry.

September 2017 • A19

BWF holds Forest Fling Brookwood Forest Elementary held the annual Forest Fling on April 21. Students, teachers and staff had a lot of fun. BWF incoming kindergarten students also joined in the fun. BWF parents volunteered their time by providing baked goods and working different booths such as Free the Beast, Happenin’ Hair, Sand Art, Fancy Fingers, numerous inflatables, and all kinds of carnival treats. The sixth-graders had fun taking turns in the dunking booth, an annual tradition.  The Forest Fling was chaired by Patti Wilkerson. – Submitted by Kathleen Woodry.

Brookwood Forest students Charlotte Schroer, Katherine Dean, Anna Richards and Olivia Hazelrig at Forest Fling. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Woodry.

CES welcomes 8 new teachers There was so much to look forward to as summer came to a close and children, parents and teachers began to anticipate the beginning of a new school year. A new year means new friends and new teachers, not to mention the possibility of new clothes and school supplies. There is much excitement and energy associated with going back to school. As the 2017-18 school year gets underway, Crestline is excited to welcome a group of eight new teachers to their family. This energetic bunch comes to Crestline with 59 years of combined teaching experience. While the children were away from the school during the summer, much preparation was completed. The new staff members participated in new teacher training and worked with their mentors throughout much of the summer. In addition, they prepared their classrooms and worked on lesson plans, so that they were ready to meet and greet each new smiling face on the first day of school.

Teachers Paige Tatarek, PE; Kendra Bierbrauer, enrichment; Susan Weston, fourth grade; Melinda Howe, fifth grade; Michelle Ramsey, first grade; Lindsay Westlake, first grade; and Lauren Kiser, third grade/intervention. Photo courtesy of Caroline Springfield.

One of these new teachers said that joining the Crestline staff was a “dream come true.” – Submitted by Caroline Springfield.

Summer filled with technology, robotics, coding and much more The school year may have ended May 23, however teaching never stops. Throughout the summer, the doors of Crestline Elementary were opened for learning. Teams of Crestline teachers offered camps. Third-grade teachers Tara Davis and Laura Rives offered a week-long TechCamp for rising third-, fourth- and fifth-graders. This camp provided students an opportunity to learn more about Google Classroom and work within the framework to create, format and share documents and presentations. Most importantly, the curriculum focused on Digital Citizenship, meaning teaching children how to safely research information and pictures. Fourth-grade science teacher Amy Anderson provided two opportunities for Coding and Robotics Camp open to rising first through sixth-graders. The children were introduced to and worked with Ozobot, Dash and Dot, 3-D Printing, and Osmo. Ozobot and Dash and Dot are interactive robots that allow children to practice coding skills. Osmo is a tool that transforms your iPad

Weston Barringer and Georgia Jayne Stuckey study at Tech Camp in June at Crestline Elementary. Photo courtesy of Caroline Springfield.

into a hands-on learning tool. The basic features focus on math, spelling and drawing. The 3D printer is used to create three-dimensional objects in which layers of material are formed under computer control. All aspects of this camp fostered creativity and problem solving through hands on play. – Submitted by Caroline Springfield.

MBE students among poetry contest winners

Eva Jane Worthen, shown reading her poem at the Board of Education meeting, came in third place with her poem “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Photo courtesy of Kate Mather.

Three students from Cindy Peavy’s Mountain Brook Elementary third-grade class won awards in the Poetry Society of Virginia’s annual student poetry contest. Baker Cullum placed second with his poem titled “I Am.” Eva Jane Worthen came in third place with her poem “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” McCray Faust’s poem “Dewdrops” earned her first honorable mention. These students were competing against thirdand fourth-graders from across the country. Peavy has had students place near the top of this contest each year that they have entered. – Submitted by Kate Mather.

A20 • September 2017

Village Living

NEW MBE PTO BOARD INSTALLED In May, the PTO leadership of Mountain Brook Elementary met for a brunch at the home of Bragan Petrey. The 2016-17 PTO President, Kristy Parrott, thanked outgoing officers and chairs and installed the new PTO Board for 2017-18. New officers: Front row: Ashley Seligson, secretary; Amy Moore, vice president of communications; Bragan Petrey, president; Ashley Blomeyer, vice president of technology; Suzanne Perkins, president-elect. Back row: Ashley Inscoe, treasurer-elect; Hill Weathers, treasurer; Mary Virginia Mandell, vice president of fundraising; Kristy Parrott, parliamentarian. Not pictured: Nikki Still, vice president of events; and Mandi Cooper, vice president of volunteers. Mountain Brook Elementary is thankful for the leadership and service of these officers. Photo courtesy of MBE PTO.

Brookwood Forest Elementary celebrated the start of the new school year with “Picnic in the Forest.” Photo courtesy of Kathleen Woodry.

Brookwood Forest kicks off new school year with ‘Picnic in the Forest’


The Over the Mountain fifth-grade boys basketball championship was won by the Mountain Brook Bulls. Pictured, front row: Billy Allen, Christopher Yeilding, Charlie Elliott, Wil Lucas and Fields Mendelsohn. Back row: Evans Oliver, Ty Davis, Carson Romero, James Cameron Adams and Clyde Beavers, along with Coach John Pat Weinacker. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Yielding.

New teachers at Brookwood Forest stand with their mentors, as well as Principal Nathan Pitner and Assistant Principal Christy Christian. Photo courtesy of Brookwood Forest Elementary.

The halls of Brookwood Forest Elementary were filled with excitement getting ready for the new school year. On Sunday, Aug. 13, staff, teachers, students and families met for the annual “Picnic in the Forest” at BWF. It was a fun-filled evening on the fields at BWF meeting up with old and new friends before school starts. Families enjoyed dinner and dessert from the food trucks that were on hand. The all-ages kick ball game was a big hit. On Monday, Aug. 14, Ranger PTO volunteers welcomed new kindergarten students to orientation while members of the MBHS band played for their arrival. Following the kindergarteners, newcomers to BWF had the school to themselves as they were toured around by class “ buddies” and met their teachers. In the afternoon, teachers and staff welcomed back students for the annual Meet the Teacher which gave students and parents the opportunity to visit classrooms before the first day of school, allowing students to find their classrooms and meet the teacher.  – Submitted by Kathleen Woodry.

September 2017 • A21

the GREATEST week ever Spartans high school band beats the heat for summer camp

The Mountain Brook High School marching band practices its upcoming 2017 halftime show — planned with the title “Fight Night” and miniature boxing rings —on Aug. 3. Photo by Sarah Finnegan.

By LEXI COON It’s hot at the end of summer. The sun is beating down and the humidity is high. Most people can be found taking last-minute vacations before school starts up or staying inside with air conditioning. But not the Mountain Brook High School marching band. For them, it’s time for band camp. “This is the week where we get all of our basic fundamentals for our marching program in,” said band director Jason Smith. Band members come together to relearn how to move with an instrument as well as relearn how to play their instruments in case they’ve forgotten over the summer. “And, we get to teach the kids about the band family,” Smith said. “Band camp week is one of the greatest weeks ever for those reasons.” Family is an important aspect to the marching band as Smith said once they’re together, band members will automatically have friends throughout the school and form bonds with each other that will last them until graduation and beyond the confines of MBHS. “If you’re a band kid, you never walk into the lunch room without knowing somebody that’s in band with you and having a place to sit,” Smith said. “No matter what, you’ll always have a friend.” And during camp, the freshmen get to experience what MBHS marching band is all about. Smith said a lot of the freshmen come in wide-eyed and excited, but they’re mostly

nervous. “A lot of kids are still trying to figure out not only if they want to do something like this in the hot sun for eight hours a day, but they’re also nervous because they don’t know what to expect.” The seniors, however, approach the camp with greater responsibility, such as welcoming new members and helping everyone learn what to do. Smith said they start each morning with calisthenics and breathing exercises to warm everyone up and build the endurance needed to march properly with instruments. “To carry these instruments, you have to have lot of arm strength, you have to have a lot of upper body strength and then you have

to learn to control muscles you don’t normally use in marching band,” he said. Next, they delve into the fundamentals of marching, learning forward and backward marching, transitions and drills sets which are practiced on a repetitive basis. “You go back and do it again. ‘One more time — oh no, 10 more times,’” Smith said, until everyone is comfortable with their movements. The band does this for a week, operating from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and continues their camp for a second week with three-hour blocks of training over four days. “That essentially makes up our band camp,” Smith said. “And during that time our goal is to

not only get the fundamentals [and] music in, it’s to try to get the show on the field so when we come back to school we’re just cleaning and making it sound good.” This year’s show comes with the title “Fight Night” and miniature boxing rings for their football game half-time performances. Smith said they’re featuring artists such as the Black Eyed Peas and Panic! At the Disco as well as excerpts from “Mulan.” Anyone is welcome to view the half-time show, and Smith said he expects that everyone who attends will recognize the selection of the music. “It’s going to be a neat show featuring some pretty cool music,” he said.

A22 • September 2017



INSIDE Highlands School........ A23 The Altamont School........................... A24 Advent Episcopal School........................... A24


Village Living

September 2017 • A23


HIGHLANDS SCHOOL Founded in 1958 by educator, civic leader and philanthropist, Evalina Brown Spencer, Highlands School is an educationally progressive independent 4k-8th grade school and 6 weeks-3-year Family Center. Distinguished by its research-based, contemporary approach to education, Highlands’ faculty and staff partner with students and families throughout their educational trajectory to maximize student learning and wholechild development. Upon graduation from Highlands, students are prepared to thrive academically, professionally and socially in a constantly changing, global world. Highlands’ approach to learning systematically builds one success/challenge upon another. As students move through our Primary, Elementary, and Middle grades, they are joined on their journey by a partnership of teachers, parents, and administrators working to develop increasing degrees of initiative, integrity, and self-confidence. Through quality time with teachers, open and meaningful dialogue with each student’s parents, robust learning opportunities which include arts appreciation, physical education, character and leadership development, combined with rigorous academic programming creates a special learning environment at a most critical span in a student’s life. We deliver a curriculum from early childhood through the eighth grade that challenges every student to reach his or her potential and prepares them for lifelong success. Our culture emphasizes academic excellence in a supportive environment. To this end, we see the importance and value of embedding social-emotional learning throughout our school day. Research has been clear that academic learning is impacted by social and emotional competence. Ever mindful of these priorities, our strategic roadmap includes differentiated learning strategies, appropriate and seamless integration of technology, as well as robust global education experiences. Highlands’ faculty and staff are constantly

KEY FACTS • GRADES: 4K-8 • WHERE: 4901 Old Leeds Road • CALL: 956-9731 • WEB:

“ exploring the most effective approaches to education for students. Throughout these endeavors, we believe that the most effective learning occurs when it is relevant and students are focused and engaged. Woven throughout our teaching and learning is a project-based learning approach – one in which students develop skills for living in a knowledge-based, highly technological society. They actively explore realworld problems and authentically engage in content. As project work is cross-curricular, students learn to apply skills, knowledge, and strategies from a variety of content areas and curriculum standards are addressed while developing critical thinking, problem-solving ability, collaboration, communication, and

creativity. Our graduating 8th graders leave with confidence, are not afraid to take risks, are in charge of their own educational journey and have developed the leadership skills to excel in high school and beyond.


► Ranked on The Best Schools list of the Top 50 Private Elementary Schools in the United States. ► Our 3rd-8th graders are in the top 15 percent of all independent school students in ERB mathematics test scores and in the top 15 percent of all independent school students in ERB reading comprehension test scores. School-wide curriculum concentrated on. ► School-wide curriculum concentrated on

Highlands’ education of the whole child is unsurpassed. The in-depth instruction in music, art and foreign language is an uncommon gift to our children. Friends and relatives express amazement at students’ knowledge of subjects such as music theory and history, art history and technique, and three foreign languages.


21st century skill include creativity, collaboration, communication, critical thinking and cooperation. ► Low Student-Teacher ratios allowing for personalized attention guaranteeing individual success for students.

A24 • September 2017


The mission of The Altamont School is to improve the fabric of society by graduating compassionate, well-educated individuals capable of independent thinking and innovative ideas. To this end, the school attracts, nurtures and challenges students whose commitment to truth, knowledge and honor will prepare them not only for the most rigorous college programs, but also for productive lives. Altamont is a small family of approximately 350 students in grades 5-12 with socio-economic, ethnic and religious diversity. Altamont is a good choice for students who excel in their present school but want greater breadth and challenge in all areas of school life. We combine an intensive, college preparatory academic program with a personalized college search program. At Altamont, there are many opportunities for students to develop multiple talents by participating in arts, foreign language, community service, clubs, class projects, science competitions and athletics. Students also benefit from unparalleled service leadership opportunities through Altamont’s C. Kyser Miree Ethical

Village Living


Advent Episcopal School

KEY FACTS • GRADES: 5-12 • WHERE: 4801 Altamont Road S. Birmingham, AL 35222 • CALL: 879-2006 • WEB:

Leadership Center. Altamont is located five minutes from downtown Birmingham on the crest of Red Mountain in a secluded residential neighborhood. The campus features the Cabaniss-Kaul Center for the Arts, the Pharo Art Studio, the Lacey-Day Photography Studio, newly renovated athletics spaces, two science wings, a study garden, a 14,000-volume library and much more. Experience all that Altamont offers for yourself by attending an Open House or scheduling a campus tour.

Since its establishment in 1950, Advent Episcopal School has built a national reputation for academic excellence. Offering pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, Advent is a diverse community of bright children who excel in an environment that is safe, stable and enriching. The school provides students with varied opportunities to develop and demonstrate their talents and abilities both inside and outside the classroom and ultimately prepares them for lives of purpose and service. For the second year in a row, Advent has received the President’s Award for the top K-8 school in the state from the Alabama Independent School Association. As the only PK-8 school in downtown Birmingham, Advent is able to take advantage of the rich and extraordinary educational and cultural opportunities at our doorstep. Meaningful exposure to fine art, music, foreign language and critical thinking spurs intellectual curiosity

KEY FACTS • GRADES: PK-8 • WHERE: 2019 6th Ave N. Birmingham, AL 35203 • CALL: 252-2535 • WEB: adventepiscopal

amongst our students. Advent is small by design, even though our students come from 44 different zip codes. Every Advent student is known by name. They are challenged, celebrated, filled with wonder as Advent instills early on a desire to be lifelong learners. If you start here, you can go anywhere!

September 2017 • A25


CONTINUED from page A1 Webb has been teaching U.S. history for 22 years and works with the 11th grade, so his students ages range from 15-18 years old. He said he wasn’t concerned about teaching the subject because he has mature groups of students in his classes. “I was in the teachers lounge talking with the principal, and we watched it happen,” he said, reflecting on 2001. “So we discussed it some the rest of the day with the kids.” To cover the event, Webb created a discussion around the events from his own experiences and research surrounding the attacks. Talking about any subject, Kennedy said, can help students process the information better than a standard lecture and they learn from both each other and their teachers. Webb said after one discussion, a student was curious just as to what terrorism was. “Some want to retaliate, but we explain, ‘Against who?’” he said. And for the most part, he finds the discussion to be helpful for students to understand the attack and its aftermath. Derek Kennedy, seventh grade civics teacher at Mountain Brook Junior High, has students who are a little younger, around 12-13 years old. This is his third year teaching at Mountain Brook, and Kennedy said that as a civics class, they cover lessons on other countries and American history. He said teaching the attacks is “unique.” “It’s not something that happened hundreds of years ago … it’s something that their parents and grandparents, maybe even friends, aunts and uncles, experienced,” he said. “I just kind of wanted to make it real for them.” To make it real, he goes back to the day it happened. “What I do is play the live footage when they walk in the class without discussion or warning,” he said, to bring out the emotion students might have if it was their first time seeing it and it was real. He only tells his students the footage isn’t live. Then, Kennedy assigns roles: victim, bystander, first responder and member of the government. “President of the United States is the one everybody wants to be but then decides they don’t after we get into discussion,” he said.

Each year, MBJH teacher Derek Kennedy spends time looking through footage of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that he will later show his students to help them gain understanding of the events that transpired. Photo by Lexi Coon.

It [the attack] has an affect on them whether they realize it or not. They’re living in the affect.

He’s trying to get his students to view the attacks from a variety of perspectives by asking them what they would have been doing during the attacks and what their role would be as a way to garner empathy for those affected and create more understanding about the event. “They seem to do really well with the discussion,” he said. “They seem to enjoy being able to kind of live in the moment as opposed to me


just showing the videos.” His students take ownership of the lesson and look deeper into their learning, which Kennedy said helps there be “the respect for the event that it deserves.” If time permits, after going through the discussion, Kennedy has his class take the online tour of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum and see the monument that stands in

the Towers’ place today. While some students may visit the site on family trips, he and Webb said they haven’t taught any students who were directly affected by the attacks. “A few knew someone who was there, but only peripherally,” Webb said. “It’s like knowing someone who was at Pearl Harbor.” Kennedy said, too, that he’s hoping his students are noticing how the attacks have affected America today. “I’m just really trying to make it relevant to them and have them form a connection … I think sometimes kids have that disconnect [with history] of ‘Oh it happened 100 years ago, it doesn’t have an affect on me,” he said. “It [the attack] has an affect on them whether they realize it or not. They’re living in the affect.”


BEST OF MOUNTAIN BROOK Village Living Best Mexican Food

A26 • September 2017

Village Living Left: Tony Ratcliff has served with the National Guard for 21 years and been deployed overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq. Ratcliff serves as a 1st Sergeant Army medic. Photo courtesy of Tony Ratcliff. Far left: Jon Head moves his cattle around his fields on a Saturday morning. Head lives out in Pine Mountain in Remlap and helps manage a farm with his father. Photo by Sarah Finnegan.


CONTINUED from page A1 “This is our firehouse. This is our house,” apparatus operator Eric Meyer said. “[Spending time together] makes us close. You spend onethird of your life with these guys.” But the similarities between work shifts fade when the firemen start their 48 hours off.


At the fire department, Head is a lieutenant, or an officer on an ALS engine company. For his days off, however, Head is a cattle farmer and traveling clinical educator. “It started as a family business,” he said of the cattle farm in Pine Mountain that he calls home. “My grandfather started raising cattle in the ’60s or ’70s … [My dad, brother, uncle and I] continued that business even after he passed away.” Together, they raise between 30-40 commercial black Angus beef cattle on about 100 acres. On any given day, Head is performing maintenance on farm equipment, harvesting hay or taking care of the cattle with his family. “That’s the fun part about a farm, there’s not really an average day,” he said. Because Pine Mountain has several farms in the community, he said, locals look out for one another. He even looks after his own community as the chief of the volunteer fire department and chairman of the Blount County Fire and EMS Association. Head is also one of the only paramedics in the community. “It’s essentially 20 minutes to anywhere, and at least 20 to 25 minutes to the nearest hospital,” he said of his town of about 500 households. “We [the local fire department] can bring the treatment to patients much more timely and efficiently.” And Head uses his training from over the years to help train others so they, too, are prepared. Previously, Head worked in the emergency department as a nurse for 16 years and started teaching certification courses on the side nine years ago. This past year, he transitioned into a system education role out of St. Vincent’s. For usually at least one day per week, Head travels to facilities to teach pediatric advance life support, advance cardiac life support, a trauma nursing core course and emergency nursing for pediatrics. In Mountain Brook, Head is a member of the city’s tactical team, teaches EMS classes at MBFD and helps develop EMS training that has been used statewide. He said it’s his many backgrounds that help him both in and out of the fire department. Head said his time spent as a nurse has helped him develop that “gut instinct” with patients and farming has been a valuable experience as well. “Part of what we do in dealing with people is getting to know the folks,” he said. “Sometimes, that farming background and that particular topic helps develop that … entry into their life. We actually find that a lot, especially in our older folks because a lot of them have farms out in the country.”


As a plugman, Ratcliff is responsible for connecting to a fire hydrant and performing initial actions when arriving on a call. He’s been at MBFD for 13 years and also works with the fire department in his neighborhood of Adamsville. “I just kind of like working in the area that I live in,” he said. He has also been in the National Guard for more than 20 years. “I was already in the National Guard when I interviewed to come here [to MBFD],” he said.

Above: Cahaba Brewing managing partner Eric Meyer pours a glass of their Irish Stout inside the brewery. Right: Mark Franklin lives in Georgia and commutes to Mountain Brook several times a week for his shifts. Photos by Sarah Finnegan.

He started in the guard as a radio repairman and the infantryman, moving up to become a medic and a first sergeant in the guard. Since then, he has completed two overseas deployments: first for a year in Iraq and later for nine months in Afghanistan. Ratcliff said as a first sergeant and medic, he was in charge of training other medics and making sure his fellow guardsmen received proper treatment. While deployed, his fellow firemen kept him up to speed with everyone’s goings-on back home, sending him photos and updates in care packages. “I think being in the guard first kind of helped me with the fire department,” he said, explaining he was more structured and mission oriented. “There’s a lot of times one [role] translates to the other.” While he isn’t in a supervisory role in the fire department like he is in the National Guard, he still makes sure everyone is taken care of and said the different viewpoints help him understand both sides to decision making. “When you’re in leadership in one job and you’re in a position of being under somebody else, you kind of understand what the other person is going through,” he said. Being deployed has also helped him handle stressful situations to plan a course of action. “You have to learn how to slow down and take in everything that’s going on,” he said. “When I got [deployed], you’ve got an IED blowing up to the right of you, you’ve got someone in the vehicle yelling commands. Coming back to the fire department, it’s kind of the same way [on calls].” While some calls are simple, he said, others require “tactical patience.” He said his experiences in military have helped him relate to patients, much like Head’s experiences with farming. “It comes up and it alleviates that stress in the back of the transport,” Ratcliff said.


Eric Meyer, a Hoover resident who started with MBFD 14 years ago, became interested in firefighting because the ability to help others in their time of need appealed to him. “People are usually calling us at their worst moment, and we have to have the ability to arrive and no matter what the problem is, we have to find a solution,” he said. But he isn’t just a fireman — he’s also a managing partner of the Cahaba Brewing Company.

“I’d always been a homebrewer,” he said. Years ago, one of Meyer’s friends brought up the idea of starting their own brewing company as others in the area were taking hold. “It just kind of started with that idea and it’s quickly progressed.” Cahaba Brewing Company was founded in 2011, and Meyer said they started with the goal of being on tap at The J. Clyde in Southside. Now their beer can be found throughout the state. Because of scheduled days off Meyer was allotted as a fireman, he said he was able to be hands-on with the brewery as an employee as it was taking off. “For any small business, that’s a huge expense,” he said. And his fellow firefighters knew it was coming, too. “I’d been talking about it for a while,” he said. “They are your brothers. You’d be excited when something good is happening, then sad when something bad is happening. Just like you are with your family.” He’s noticed that personal management and leadership abilities have carried over to his job at the firehouse, too. “The firehouse is a business, just the guys on the truck are doing something a little different,” he said, mentioning that he feels blessed to have a healthy family and two careers that he loves. “Both of them, both my jobs I miss when I’m away.” And he appreciates the support and camaraderie of his fellow firefighters, too. “If you have the respect of those guys, that means more than any promotion you could get or any job title you could have,” he said.


Originally from Oklahoma, Franklin and his wife moved to Birmingham for better opportunities, where he found the Mountain Brook Fire Department. “I’m going on 26 years with the fire department,” he said. Two years ago, it was time to move again. But this time to Atlanta. “My wife, she got an offer she couldn’t refuse on a job she didn’t apply for,” he said. At the same time, Franklin said, their youngest child was about to go to college and he had a little over a year before retirement. He had also recently closed down the heating and air business he previously ran and had stopped

leasing many of the homes he rented out in Birmingham. “It was kind of the perfect opportunity for where we were in that position in our life,” he said. “The only thing I was doing was this [at the MBFD].” Now, Franklin starts his commute from Atlanta around midnight before each shift. “I like that time because there’s less traffic on the road,” he said. “We have enough space where I can go into the station and get in a bed [before my shift].” Both his background in renting homes and working on the air duct system aided him as a fireman as well. “When you’re working on houses you learn about houses,” he said. “Heating and air is like electric and plumbing combined.” There’s also problem solving, customer interactions, time management and knowing how units operate. Franklin said he can go into a house on some calls and recognize if a burning smell is coming from the heating and air conditioner. “Electricity, heating and air equipment, lights … all that helps because it’s all intertwined,” he said. “You know how things are built and work.” And he still keeps a balance with family, the fire department and the drive over. While Franklin admitted that he may have changed his plans as a fireman if he had longer left at the department before moving, he did say that there is one thing staving off his retirement: his books. “[Retiring] would kill my listening time [for books],” he joked. “I’d never read a book before I came to the fire department. I’ve read the whole time I’ve been here.” Franklin said because firemen work on average 10 days a week with 24 hour shifts, it isn’t uncommon for them to find second or even third jobs. Many at MBFD do, and Franklin said he’s worked with men who owned trailer parks, operated a pest control business or worked in landscaping. It’s a balancing act of many abilities and calendars, with firemen swapping out their hardhats for other equipment after their shift is done. And when they return to the firehouse from their other adventures a couple days later, the cycle starts again.

September 2017 • A27

Village Living B SECTION


Sports B4 Faith B7 Community B10 Medical Guide B12 Calendar B22

An important piece Spartans’ do-it-all H-back Clay Stearns owns the position in unique way

Clay Stearns (48) isn’t likely to win a 100yard dash or jump out of the gym, but his abilities have earned him the nickname, “Big Skill.” Photo by Sarah Finnegan.

By KYLE PARMLEY If football was a game of chess, Clay Stearns would be Mountain Brook’s most impactful piece: the queen. He can move in any direction. He can line up anywhere. He can do everything. Stearns is the H-back for the Mountain Brook High School football team. He can line up in the backfield, on the line of scrimmage or on the outside. He can block with physicality, catch passes and run with the ball in his hands. “It’s not jack-of-all-trades at that position, you’ve got to master all the different skills of the sport,” said Mountain Brook head coach Chris Yeager. Players like Stearns are no longer the norm in the game of football. The H-back position requires players to do many of the things that fullbacks and tight ends did in more conventional offenses, before the emergence of the spread offense that is so prevalent in today’s game. Yeager says finding players like Stearns is “the hardest thing to find in football right now.” Refined motor skills and physicality normally

fall on opposite ends of the spectrum, according to Yeager, but Stearns possesses both. “You usually don’t find them in the same person,” Yeager said. “You do in Clay. A [big] guy that’s comfortable out in space and guys that can run.” Stearns is not going to win a 100-yard dash or jump out of the gym, but his abilities have

earned him the nickname, “Big Skill.” He has learned to get the most out of his natural talent and supplement it with pure technique. “When you’re not as fast your average person, everything has to be perfect up to that point,” Stearns said. “The details that the coaches tell us to run our routes to get open, it’s got to be perfect. If it’s not, you’re not going to

have a chance.” Add in his desire to win, and Stearns is every coach’s dream. “Out of all the guys I’ve ever coached, Clay Stearns is probably one of the fiercest competitors I’ve ever coached,” Yeager said.

See STEARNS | page B6

B2 • September 2017

Village Living

September 2017 • B3

B4 • September 2017

Village Living


Spartans enter fall with young team, potential By KYLE PARMLEY The Mountain Brook High School volleyball team has an interesting flavor to it this fall. The 12-player varsity roster consists of one freshman, one junior and one senior. The rest are sophomores with little to no varsity experience. “They’re learning to work together,” said coach Vickie Nichols, who takes over for Haven O’Quinn, who departed for Birmingham-Southern in the offseason. “That’s the key to it this year. It’s going to take all of us to get through the season.” Senior Libby Grace Gann and junior Ellen Dulin will have to act as the elder statesmen for a Spartan team that is the three-time reigning Class 7A state champion, but has a new-look roster and new coach in Vickie Nichols. “They’ve got to lead,” Nichols said. “They’re working well together and I think now we’ve got the working relationship that we need.” They both lead the team differently, and Nichols said she is leaning on those unique traits to guide the team as a whole. Of Gann, Nichols said, “Libby Grace, being the setter, she’s like the quarterback for the team. She’s going to have to be mentally tough and stay strong and step up and make things happen. She knows how to get it done. She’s been on three state championship teams.” While Gann’s strength is honing in on the competitive side of things, Dulin focuses on boosting the morale. “She’s a hard worker,” Nichols said. “She’s a person who’s very good at picking people up when they’re having a difficult time on the court. She doesn’t get down very much.” Nichols is admittedly a relationship-oriented person, so she said a great deal of time was

Setter Libby Grace Gann is Mountain Brook’s only senior this fall, and will be relied upon heavily. Photo by Sarah Finnegan.

spent over the summer working not only on the technical aspects of the game, but also on developing cohesiveness amongst the team. She believes that will pay off in the long run,

especially with such a young team. “Togetherness is going to be huge and that’s why we’re working towards the things we need to do to keep us together,” Nichols said.

With Gann solidified at setter and Dulin taking a role in the middle, the rest of the lineup presents great opportunity for the rest of the girls. Grace Carr got a great deal of experience on the outside last fall as a freshman and will look to carry more of a load this year. Sarah Catherine Cooper, Mary Katherine Fowlkes and Lilly Gilbert will join Carr on the outside. Ellie Dayhuff and Kate Amberson will help out in the middle with Dulin, while twins Ann and Liz Vandevelde will take care of defensive roles. Claire Chester is a right side and Hannon Taterek will help out the twins on defense. Reiterating her point about needing all 12 members to help carry the team to the finish line this fall, Nichols will not be able to rely on just a handful of girls. Players will have to be prepared to find themselves in the rotation once they take the floor. “I’m developing for the future as well as for right now,” Nichols said. “It’s going to be huge that they understand that their role is not to put a uniform on and sit on the bench. Your role is to contribute all the time.” As far as the expectations that come with being a reigning state champion, three times over, Nichols thinks it’s “great,” and that every player in the program should take pride in last year’s title. She said, “Whether they played last year or not, because they’re part of Mountain Brook volleyball, it trickles all the way down from ninth grade to the JV to the varsity. They’re champions.” Even if the four-peat doesn’t come to fruition, Spartan volleyball should still be a force in the future. “There’s greatness to come for many years,” Nichols said.

September 2017 • B5


Mountain Brook High School junior Gram Denning will help lead the way for a Spartan boys squad aiming for its first state title since 2011. Photo by Sam Chandler.

MBHS boys, girls cross-country teams set sights for season By SAM CHANDLER Eighteen points in two seasons have separated the Mountain Brook High School boys cross-country team from its 14th state title in school history. This fall, the Spartans are aiming for a breakthrough. They have the talent to do it. The Mountain Brook boys return five of their top six runners from a 2016 state runner-up squad that enters the season with fire in its belly. The past two Novembers, in which Auburn held them off for blue maps by narrow margins, weigh heavy on their minds. “To lose by less than 10 points two years in a row, it’s tough,” head coach Michael McGovern said. “I think it’s their time.” Auburn in the spring graduated a senior class that won four state cross-country titles in as many years, and the departure has opened the doors for a new team to take its place atop Alabama’s distance running hierarchy. No school is more qualified to fill the vacuum

than Mountain Brook. The Spartans boast a deep roster laden with individuals who should vie for All-State honors come season’s end. A few, including Charlie Slaughter, Hunter Harwell and Gram Denning, are likely to find themselves in contention for an individual crown. “You’ve just got to be confident but humble at the same time,” said Denning, a junior. “We’ve got to keep it very disciplined.” Slaughter, a senior, and Harwell, a junior, both posted top 10 efforts at last year’s state meet. Based on personal-best times, they are the top two returners in Class 7A. Harwell has run 15 minutes, 50 seconds for 5K; Slaughter has run 15:52. Denning, who placed 16th at the 2016 state meet, is coming off a strong outdoor track season that should serve as a springboard for cross-country success. Slaughter and Harwell can’t say the same.

Both were forced to call off their spring campaigns due to injuries. But the two transitioned during the summer back into daily training routines and now have their sights set on making resilient comebacks. Denning plans to be by their side each step of the way. “We need each other in order to compete, and I think that’s going to take us a long way,” Harwell said. “I think we’re going to be able to perform really well if we keep that mindset.” Joseph Pitard and Brooks Reddy round out a core group whose contributions should have Mountain Brook challenging for its first state championship since 2011. The Spartan girls have a similar goal in mind. After watching Huntsville snap its 13-year title streak last fall, the team is determined to reclaim its stake at the peak of the state standings. “This is not what we wanted, but now we have that passion about it that we’ve never had

before,” said Mary Alison Anderson, one of the team’s top returners. “For me and the seniors, it’s our last chance to do this.” It will take some fight for Mountain Brook to retrace its golden steps, as Huntsville returns the majority of its talent-crammed team. Plus, the Spartans will have to compensate for the loss of their top runner: 2016 state champion and current Vanderbilt Commodore Anna Grace Morgan. Her absence will be felt, but it does not pose an insurmountable obstacle. Mountain Brook returns seven of its top nine runners, all of whom have broken 20 minutes for 5K. Anna Balzli, a junior, is the chief candidate to pace a top group that also includes Tessa Allen, Lily Hulsey and Anderson. “She’s kind of next in line to be that number one girl for Mountain Brook,” McGovern said of Balzli. “That’s a tough mantle to hold sometimes, but I think she’s ready to do it.”

B6 • September 2017

Village Living


CONTINUED from page B1 As far as where he lines up, Stearns said that there is no predominant spot for him. Before each snap, a real-life “Where’s Waldo?” scenario unfolds. Stearns could be a wide receiver lined up near the boundary. He could be flanking the right or left tackle on the line of scrimmage with his hand in the ground. He could be beside the quarterback in the backfield, on the opposite hip of the running back. Stearns’ dad, Shane, is the Mountain Brook offensive coordinator, and gets his son’s seal of approval, along with the rest of the coaching staff. “Our coaches do a wonderful job splitting everything up,” Stearns said. “You never know what’s coming at you.” Stearns’ favorite aspect of his game is clearing a path for his running back, but while he is running passing routes, defensive backs and linebackers bring unique challenges when they cover him. He uses his size to shield off defensive backs, who are usually smaller and quicker than Stearns. Linebackers are typically more similar in body type and skills, so Stearns relies on his technique to beat them. The ability to absorb a great deal of information and apply it is one of Stearns’ greatest strengths. He has to know everything about the Spartan offense, not just his assignment on any given play. “It’s a huge responsibility,” he said. “The offense, they depend on you. Without a tight end, it’s hard to run your offense, especially the way we run ours.” Another responsibility that Stearns holds to a high level of importance is his role as a team leader. His standing as a senior is not taken lightly. “Ever since I was knee-high, I can remember being around seniors,” Stearns said. “Now to finally be one, it’s a good feeling. I think it’s 110 percent leadership. Everybody’s watching you, everybody’s following you, looking for you to direct them. I just think it’s a big thing.” Stearns called the 2016 football season the most fun season of football he has experienced.

Stearns (48) called the 2016 football season the most fun season of football he has experienced. But it’s not the wins that Stearns will remember. The seniors who guided that team played a big part in steering the ship, he said. Photo by Todd Lester.

The Spartans rebounded from a pair of threewin seasons to an 8-3 record and a playoff appearance. But it’s not the wins that Stearns will remember. The seniors who guided that team played a big part in steering the ship. “Our senior class was unbelievable in the leadership that they showed us,” Stearns said. “It was fun, not because we won a bunch of games, but because of the relationships we’ve built. … It was just really special.””

Stearns is also an all-state baseball catcher, and plans to pursue either football or baseball as a college sport. He is unsure as to which he’ll choose, but he’s not happy about having to give one up. “I love both of them so much,” he said. “I hate the day when it comes that I’m going to have to pick one to stick with.” Yeager thinks Stearns can play either sport, but feels his ability as a football player

is certainly not recognized as much as it should be. “I think Clay’s got talent and ability, but his biggest thing is his intangibles. I believes he’s going to have opportunities, but he’s not as appreciated as much as he should be appreciated.” But at Mountain Brook, “Big Skill” is a valuable piece, on the chess board and the football field.

September 2017 • B7

Faith Life Actually By Kari Kampakis

Embracing humility and the unexpected There are certain moments in parenting where you want to hang your head in disgrace and immediately disappear. One of my moments came when my then 5-year-old daughter rounded the corner of my friend’s fancy home (during a fancy gathering for moms) surrounded by boys and holding a dead squirrel by the tail. She was clearly the leader of this pack, marching toward me and the other adults to show off their discovery near the woods. Since none of the boys would touch the squirrel, my daughter volunteered. They all looked so proud, these young explorers channeling their inner Daniel Boone and swaggering toward us like characters in a pioneer movie. I screamed, freaked out and rushed my daughter to the bathroom. While lathering her hands with soap and scrubbing them raw, I wondered what the protocol was. “Should I call my pediatrician?” “Could she have contracted rabies?” “What about other disgusting diseases that squirrels might carry?”  Dealing with wild animals was new territory for me. It was something I’d never thought to learn about, especially having daughters. Later that night, I replayed the sequence of events for my husband. I needed a sounding board to help me think through the incident because in typical mom fashion,

I blamed myself. I felt like I’d dropped the ball in not teaching my daughter an important lesson that could have prevented the humiliation I felt. I told my husband, “I simply never thought to tell her not to touch dead squirrels. It never crossed my mind that she might think that’s OK.” Clearly this story is comical now, part of our family folklore that I’ll never let my daughter live down. And what I’m discovering as my kids grow up is how this story also illustrates the secret plight of every parent. You see, we try so hard to prepare our kids for every situation. We try to prevent every dumb move and decision they might make by having talks on what they should and shouldn’t do. And just when we think we’re doing well, when we’ve covered all the important bases and feel confident about our parenting and possibly even superior to other parents — BAM! Our kid pulls a fast one. They disappoint us in some blindsiding way. They come out of the woods with an ugly surprise that mortifies us because other parents are watching, and now they know the truth. Our kids aren’t perfect ... and neither are we. Anyone who thinks otherwise is an absolute fool. The upside of these moments is how they humble us. They keep us off the high horse. They make us more compassionate

toward other parents who may also be talking behind closed doors and asking questions like: “Where did I drop the ball?” “What did I not teach my child that I should have taught them?” “What were they thinking?” The fact is, all kids mess up. They will all make some dumb decisions that we never thought to discuss in advance. It’s not because we’re bad parents or they’re bad kids, but because we’re human and they are, too, and even the best parenting in the world can’t change our flawed nature.  If we’re parenting from a place of pride, the fall off the high horse could really hurt. It could make it hard to look other parents in the eye. Instead of worrying about our child, we’d be worried about how our child makes us look. Our priorities would be out of whack. But if we’re parenting from a place of humility — as we’re called to do — we can avoid a painful fall. We can look other parents in the eye and say, “Yes, my child messed up. I’m going to help them get through this and remember how often I mess up, too.” We can put our child’s well-being over our ego and not worry about what other people think, because in the grand scheme of life, the opinions of people don’t matter.  What matters most is our child’s relationship with God, and where that is headed. 

Humility in parenting is good and essential. The humble parent is someone who I enjoy being around and trust for advice. Staying humble is a journey, especially if the kids are doing well, but somehow life has a way of keeping us parents in our place. Just when we think we’ve got this parenting gig nailed, a curve ball will come. Our child will round the corner toting a dead critter by the tail. In these moments, we are forced to admit we aren’t perfect parents and our kids aren’t perfect kids, but that’s okay because we love them anyway, even on their critter-toting days. Every child deserves parents who are humble enough to love them unconditionally and wise enough to keep incidents in perspective. While some incidents might be embarrassing now, with a little time and distance, they might be retold with a sense of humor we gain through firsthand experience. Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Birmingham area mom of four girls, columnist and blogger for The Huffington Post. Her first book, “10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know,” is available on Amazon and everywhere books are sold. Join her Facebook community at “Kari Kampakis, Writer,” visit her blog at or contact her at kari@

Village Living

B8 • September 2017

WINNERS Village Living would like to thank all of the community members who participated in this year’s contest. To view all contest submissions, visit villageliving


Left: AJ Gates playing football. Photo courtesy of Charles Skinner. Below: Stuart Summers with son Forest Summers, 10, atop Bald Mountain in Uinta National Forest, Utah. Photo courtesy of Chris Summers.


Britt Reddens captures some July 4th fun with his grandsons Walton Redden, Parker Redden, Fuller Adams, Lawson McKnight and Adams McKnight at Echo Lake. Photo courtesy of Britt Redden.

Brody Morrison enjoying beach life at Sandestin Beach. Photo courtesy of Amy Nagrodzki.




17-year-old Whit King snapped this shot while enjoying some quality time outdoors. Photo courtesy of Julia King.

September 2017 • B9

B10 • September 2017

Village Living

Community Mountain Brook’s Evans and Sisson earn Eagle Scout rank Henry Evans and Hamp Sisson, both scouts with Canterbury United Methodist’s Troop 63, have earned the rank of Eagle Scout and were recognized at an Eagle Court of Honor ceremony April 30 at Canterbury Chapel. Evans and Sisson have both served in a number of leadership roles within Troop 63. Evans served as librarian, assistant patrol leader, patrol quartermaster and patrol leader. Sisson served as troop guide, assistant senior patrol leader and assistant patrol leader. Evans’ Eagle project was to demolish and rebuild a large potting shed for the Fern Society at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The new potting shed provides a covered location for Botanical Gardens and Fern Society volunteers to pot plants. Sisson’s Eagle project consisted of building and installing three benches within the Alabama Wilds section of the Birmingham Zoo. This portion of the Zoo is deemed a sensory friendly area and is designed for those who have sensory disorders.

William L. Irons, center, with Colonel George V. Irons Distance award winners Charlie Slaughter and Anna Grace Morgan. Photo courtesy of William L. Irons.

Henry Evans, left, and Hamp Sisson both received their Eagle Scout rank in April. Photo courtesy of Jane Evans.

Both Evans and Sisson raised the necessary funds to cover construction costs of their projects, and they recruited family members, other

scouts and friends to help with the building. Henry is a junior at Mountain Brook High School, where he is a member of the Interact

Club, Future Business Leaders of America, The Sword and Shield newspaper staff, Mu Alpha Theta math honorary society, Spanish Honor Society and the National Honor Society. He is a member of Cathedral Church of the Advent, where he serves as an acolyte. He is the son of Janie and Wally Evans, and the grandson of Trudy Evans, Mary Jane Ernest, Anne Howard and the late Dr. Walter Evans and Dr. Pete Howard. Hamp, also a junior at Mountain Brook High School, is a member of the football and basketball teams, outreach officer for First Priority, SGA representative, Relay for Life Club Junior Chairman, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta math honorary society and the Interact Club. Hamp is an active member of Canterbury Methodist Church and youth group, and of BigTime ministries. Sisson is the son of Tommy and Leigh Ann Sisson, and the grandson of Lois and Jim Caldwell, Laura Sisson and the late Jerry Sisson, Martha Ann Sisson and Joe Alexander. – Submitted by Jane Evans.

Students awarded Colonel George V. Irons Distance Trophy Two Mountain Brook High School long-distance track athletes have won the Colonel George V. Irons Distance Trophy, which was presented at MBHS’s track and field banquet at the Country Club of Birmingham on May 16. Irons’ son, William L. Irons, presented this year’s award to Anna Grace Morgan and Charlie Slaughter at this year’s banquet. The trophy is given in honor of Dr. George V. Irons Sr., who broke records throughout the south as caption of the University of Alabama distance team in the 1920s. The Colonel George V. Irons distance trophy

is awarded to the top distance track athlete who has excelled in scholarship, leadership and service. Recognized as the “South’s premier distance runner,” Irons was inducted in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1978. He is the only University of Alabama track athlete — the only distance athlete, inducted into the hall of fame in its 50 year history. The winners of this trophy have demonstrated talents, skills and courage in the fierce “arena of competition” which on other fields on other days will bear the fruits of victory, said William Irons. – Submitted by William L. Irons.

September 2017 • B11

MBJH art teacher Jimmy McGowan and Caroline Parker. Photo courtesy of Jimmy McGowan.

MBJH student wins state art award Mountain Brook Junior High ninth-grader Caroline Parker won Best of 3-D/Craft in the State Visual Arts Achievement Program 2017 for her sculpture, “Fishing,” made with a floral foam block and fishing lures on a wooden base.

In order to compete at the state level, students must win in their district. Caroline is a very talented young artist with a bright future. – Submitted by Jimmy McGowan, MBJH art teacher.

The 61st annual Museum Ball raised around $600,000. After dinner, guests were invited to the outdoor terrace for dancing with entertainment by the Surround Sound Band. Photo courtesy of Cate McCusker.

Museum ball returns record $600K The 61st annual Museum Ball took place Saturday, May 6, at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Co-chairs Beth and Scott Adams, Tracey and Rich Bielen, Tricia and Mark Drew welcomed more than 400 guests for the fundraising event, which returned a record-breaking $600,000. Inspired by landscape paintings from the Birmingham Museum of Art’s collection, the evening’s theme was Southern Splendor, and the museum’s galleries were transformed into lush, elegant dining spaces embellished by floral arrangements of magnolias, gardenias and hydrangea and decorated with silver accents and delicate porcelain table settings. Alex and Jill Garmon of A.G. Events designed and produced the Ball’s decor. Chef James Boyce and his staff from Galley and Garden treated guests to a fourcourse menu of Southern cuisine that included a gulf jumbo lump crab cocktail, stuffed quail,

a main dish of braised Angus beef short rib with classic sides of collards, grits, deviled eggs, field pea succotash and peach bread pudding. All were masterfully paired with wines that included Steelhead pinot noir, Felino chardonnay and Gloria Ferrer blanc de noir. After dinner, guests were invited to the outdoor terrace for dancing with entertainment by the Surround Sound Band. Beth and Scott Adams; Tracey and Rich Bielin; Emily and Bill Bowron; Elizabeth and Tom Broughton; Tricia and Mark Drew; Beverly and Stan Erdreich; Scott and Annie Goldberg; Wyona and Tom Hamby; Nyah and John Hudson; Rupa and David Kitchens; Margaret Livingston; Lisa and Craft O’Neal; Elizabeth and Andrew Pharo; Dora and Sanjay Singh; Nancy and Ray Watts; and Mallie and Jay Whatley were in attendance. – Submitted by Cate McCusker.

Masingill to attend Ole Miss School of Law Catherine Masingill, daughter of Jim and Elizabeth Masingill, completed her summer as this year’s Society of American Forester’s Henry Clepper Forest Policy Intern in Washington D.C. She is a recent graduate of Mississippi State University, where she majored in Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation with a concentration in Law and Administration. She went on to attend the University of Mississippi School of Law in August. A native of Mountain Brook, Masingill spent a great deal of her childhood on her family’s hunting land where she took sanctuary beneath the trees hunting, fishing and exploring. Her passion only expanded after spending her summers at Camp Mac, where she went on to be a camp counselor and instructor of wilderness skills, archery and shooting sports. Because of her love of the outdoors and commitment to good stewardship practices, she developed and initiated a city-wide recycling program for both her school district and the downtown villages

Catherine receiving the 2017 Senior Academic Achievement Award for MSU’s College of Forest Resources, Department of Forestry. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Masingill.

through Leadership Mountain Brook. Her ultimate goal is to act as a consultant and educator for caring for our renewable resources and instilling the idea of leaving tomorrow better than today while balancing the need for economic growth to the public. – Submitted by Elizabeth Masingill.

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WEIGH TO WELLNESS 4704 Cahaba River Road Q: What is Weigh to Wellness? A: A medically supervised weight loss clinic offering a customized approach with various options including nutritional guidance, protein supplements/meal replacements, prescription medications and injections among many other tools. Our program is uniquely individualized based on your health characteristics, lifestyle and weight loss goals. Whether a patient is looking to lose 10 pounds or 100 pounds, we have a plan for you! Q: Who is on the Weigh to Wellness staff? A: Owner Leslie Ellison has acquired a wealth of knowledge with over 21 years of experience in the industry. Dr. Timothy H. Real is the medical director and is board certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine. We also have fulltime Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists. Our staff is able to recognize many psychological and genetic factors that cause obesity and design processes specific to each of our patients for the best results. Q: What results do patients typically have? A: Patients typically lose an average of 2-5 pounds weekly. It is inspiring to see how excited our patients get when they see great results. It keeps them motivated and focused! Since opening in



June of 2014 we have celebrated over 15,000 pounds lost! Q: How much does the program cost? A: A medical evaluation which

includes an EKG, lab tests, body composition analysis and a physical with Dr. Real is required to start any program — the fee for the medical evaluation is $130. Programs can range from $13-$100 weekly. Costs vary depending on if the patient chooses to use any meal replacements, protein snacks, prescription medication (if applicable) or injections that may enhance weight loss. Everything is a la carte! There are NO CONTRACTS and NO SIGN UP FEES. Q: Does the program have one-on-one counseling that will help develop healthier habits? A: Yes. Patients are typically seen on a weekly or biweekly basis for one-on-one counseling and behavior modification. Accountability and structure is key to every patient’s success. Q: Do I have to follow a specific meal plan or keep a food diary? A: There are many options offered, but the patient picks and chooses the aspects of the program that best fits their lifestyle. Benefits to keeping a food diary are detecting food intolerance, controlling portion sizes, keeping you mindful of nutrition and often identifying triggers to unhealthy eating. Patients who keep a food journal typically lose twice the amount of weight of those that don’t. Q: Do I have to buy special meals or supplements? A: No, but Weigh to Wellness does offer convenient meal

replacements and protein snacks. Most patients love these healthy options because they are great for grab and go! Q: Does the program provide ways to deal with such issues as social or holiday eating, changes to work schedules, lack of motivation, and injury or illness? A: Yes. There is no perfect time to diet. Our experienced staff is used to working around any of these issues. We encourage each of our patients to think of it as a lifestyle change, not necessarily a diet! Q: Will Dr. Real work with my health care provider if needed (for example, if I lose weight and my blood pressure medications need to be adjusted)? A: Absolutely. We are happy to follow up with your primary care doctor or specialist at any time with your consent. Q: Does the program include a plan to help me keep the weight off once I’ve lost weight? A: “I can’t think of one thing I love that I don’t have to maintain — the oil in my car, the grass on my lawn, the paint on my home,” Ellison said. Yes, we offer a FREE lifetime maintenance program and it is the most important part of the program. Patients can continue to come weekly, biweekly or monthly for maintenance and there is no charge!

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205 Country Club Park, Crestline 2823 Greystone Commercial Blvd., Greystone

Q: What do physical therapists do and how can they help with an injury? Physical Therapists are experts at treating movement disorders, including problems with your muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and/or tendons. After a thorough evaluation, your therapist will decide which exercises and hands-on techniques are needed to maximize your ability to function normally. Q: What are some common misconceptions about physical therapy? Many patients think they can only access their physical therapist by referral from a physician. Based on a state law passed in 2012, patients no longer need a referral to see their physical therapist. Call us for an appointment today to discuss your problem. If you do see a physician first, ask them if physical therapy would help your condition. Many times, physical therapy can help you avoid having to take medications that may cause unwanted side effects. Early intervention may also save money and time in the long run. Many patients think that therapy only consists of exercises that are difficult and painful. Specific exercises that address your individual needs are important to your recovery, but good therapy also consists of handson techniques including manipulation, mobilization, myofascial release, massage, manual stretching, dry needling, instrument assisted soft tissue massage, therapeutic taping and other skilled techniques. Throughout the course of your care, we will advance your exercises appropriately as your pain levels allow. We also use modalities such as heat, ice, electrical stimulation, spinal decompression/traction, ultrasound and iontophoresis. Q: How successful is physical therapy in pain management? Most of our patients come to us with pain. Unfortunately, many of the

dysfunctions we treat start long before the pain shows up. You can even have pain in an area that is removed from the dysfunction (called referred pain). We are experts in helping you manage and overcome pain so you can return to your normal activities. In some cases, pain is a sign of injury or a normal part of the healing process. Following your evaluation, your therapist will help explain your pain and show you ways to minimize or eliminate it. Q: Can physical therapy eliminate the need for surgery? In some instances, physical therapy can prevent surgery. For example, if a patient has a shoulder that subluxes or has too much movement in the joint, therapy can help by strengthening the rotator cuff and other surrounding muscles to tighten the shoulder joint, preventing the excessive movement. In many cases, therapy prior to surgery or “pre-hab” is also helpful. This allows time for your body to prepare for the surgery and usually results in better outcomes following surgery. Q: What are some of the main reasons people need physical therapy? A: ► Back pain/bulging discs ► Arthritis ► Balance problems and/or falls ► Tendonitis ► Sports injuries ► Headaches ► Plantar fasciitis ► Muscle strains/ligament sprains ► Bursitis ► Car accidents ► Post-surgical rehab ► Work-related injuries ► Work-place injury prevention and testing ► Ergonomic assessment ► Education and knowledge about body structure and performance ► Injury prevention ► Dizziness



► Proper exercises and technique ► Pelvic pain ► Breast cancer rehab ► TMJ/TMD ► Sciatica ► Parkinson’s Q: What sets TherapySouth apart from other physical therapy clinics? A: TherapySouth was founded on a set of core values that guide the way we do business: faith, family, integrity, service, compassion, fitness, perseverance and giving. Our therapists strive to provide a warm, friendly and professional environment to facilitate your recovery. And our 24 convenient clinic locations with more than 60 physical therapists provide you with hands on care, close to home and work! Q: How much training do physical therapists go through? A: Following undergraduate studies, therapists complete three additional years of training to achieve their doctorate degree in physical therapy. Many therapists also complete postgraduate specialization training in manual therapy, functional dry needling and ergonomics, to name a few. Q: Who should I go see when I have an injury or pain? A: Your physical therapist is a great resource to help with any of your musculoskeletal needs. If you have been experiencing pain for more than two weeks, you should seek help. Frequently, the course of treatment is much quicker when the problem is addressed early on.

If the condition is outside of our scope of practice, we will help guide you to the appropriate medical professional. Q: Can physical therapy help with chronic pain or old injuries? A: Absolutely! Ideally, patients will seek therapy early on, but should you be dealing with a chronic condition that has been bothering you for months or years, we can still help. Q: Once I start physical therapy, how long will I need to attend? A: Your physical therapist will discuss this with you following your evaluation on your first visit. In most cases, patients attend therapy 2-3 times per week, but the frequency and length of care depend on the patient’s specific problem and needs. Your therapist will set reasonable goals for you to achieve prior to discharge.


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930-0930 or 969-8100 Q: Why did you choose to become an ophthalmologist? A: I have always enjoyed helping others. As a young girl I was enthralled by my father’s ability through cataract surgery to regain the sight of his patients. I also want to help people improve their quality of life by improving their vision. It is a great feeling when a patient returns to the office one day after cataract surgery and they are so excited to see clearly again. Helping people is why I went into medicine. Q: What do you plan to offer in your new position? A: My medical training in ophthalmology focused on the surgical and laser correction of vision in patients who suffer from cataracts and glaucoma. At Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C., I see patients for evaluation and management of acute and chronic eye diseases including cataracts. Cataract surgery has become another form of refractive surgery. Like LASIK, cataract surgery allows patients to see clearly at all distances without the need for glasses. Advanced premium lens implant designs allow patients to regain sight over a range of different focal points to see near, computer length, arm’s length and distance without the need for glasses. Astigmatism correction is also possible with single and multifocal lens implants. We also manage and treat dry eye conditions with a wide array of the most advanced treatment options including LipiFlow. To schedule an appointment, please call 205-930-0930. Q: Is LASIK the only option for Laser Vision Correction? A: Michelson Laser Vision Inc. and its predecessor have been performing vision correction surgery by laser since 1991. We have always been on the forefront of the newest technology. Now refractive surgery is not just LASIK. We focus on providing a variety of surgical treatments — all with the most advanced stateof-the-art technology — to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Blade-free LASIK and PRK are the most common procedures we perform, but we also offer surgical lens implants for the correction of severely nearsighted people who may not qualify for LASIK or PRK.  Each patient receives extensive screening tests with the most advanced diagnostic equipment to determine a customized treatment plan.

Q: Can you tell us more about advanced premium lens implants? A: During cataract surgery, the patient’s cloudy natural lens is removed, and a new lens implant is inserted into the eye. A standard intraocular lens allows a patient to focus at one point and glasses may be necessary for a full range of vision. Advanced premium lens implants are designed to correct presbyopia and distance vision so that the patient can see near and far without glasses. What is exciting about these advanced premium lenses is that they also can be used in patients who don’t have cataracts but have refractive errors preventing them from seeing near and far without glasses. After a clear lens extraction with a premium lens implant, patients should be able to see at all ranges of distance without glasses. Special advanced testing is required to determine if a premium lens is suitable to achieve an optimal outcome because some patients may not be candidates for these lenses. Anyone interested in eliminating or reducing their need for glasses can get more information by visiting our website, michelson, visiting us on Facebook or calling 205-969-8100.



JJ EYES 2814 18th St. S.


Q: What sets your office apart from other Birmingham area eye care providers? A: JJ Eyes is one of the only eye exam facilities in the region where the patient receives 100 percent of the eye testing from a doctor. We offer a complete eye exam given by our optometrist. The exam involves a series of tests designed to evaluate your vision and check for eye diseases. Q: What services do you offer? A: At JJ Eyes, we offer full service eye exams and specialized contact lens fittings, as well as help with difficult prescriptions. In addition, we carry a wide variety of designer eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses in our boutique. To find out more about booking an eye exam, feel free to call our office, where one of our highly trained staff members will be happy to assist you. Q: What technological advances do you offer to help provide the best care? A: At JJ Eyes, we not only supply a wide selection of unique designer eyewear, but we also utilize the latest in state-of-the-art technology to provide you with the best and most protective eyewear available. The following are some of the latest technologies available at our eyewear boutique: Ultra-Thin High Index lenses; Progressive lenses; UV protection; antireflective coatings; and a wide variety of other products from both Carl Zeiss and Hoya Labs. Q: What should patients know before they come in for an appointment? A: Our complete eye exams generally take about 20 minutes to complete and involve a series of tests designed to evaluate your vision and check for eye

diseases. Each test during the eye exam evaluates a different aspect of your vision or eye health. We also have parking in the rear of the building, and at JJ Eyes you never have to wait for your appointment. Q: What is your advice for helping patients improve their eye health? A: Scheduling a regular eye exam is essential not only for keeping your eyes at peak performance, but for keeping your whole body healthy and happy. At JJ Eyes, our highly trained optometrist professionals can detect a variety of additional health issues when conducting an eye exam including heart disease and diabetes. That level of importance extends to children, as well. Q: How does your staff contribute to a great patient experience? A: Our goal at JJ Eyes is to provide the ultimate customer experience and quality merchandise with state-of-the-art lenses and couture frames. We are a premier optical boutique that carries exclusive top lines found only in the world’s most metropolitan areas. We pride ourselves on our customer service where we take the time to evaluate each client’s face shape, coloring and personality when fitting for a pair of glasses.

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ERGOSCIENCE PHYSICAL THERAPY 201 Office Park Drive, Suite 150 Q: How is ErgoScience different from other physical therapy offices in Birmingham? A: We help our patients get back to what they love. People come to us after injury, surgery or when a chronic problem gets worse. Most of them just can’t do the things they love and need to do, whether it’s sports, work, or family/ home activities. Through our treatment we reduce pain, improve movement and help them find a way to get back to doing what they love. Q: What services do you offer? A: We focus on the primary problem, of course. But often, there are ancillary problems that directly affect the primary problem. And if you don’t address those, improvements will not be lasting. Our treatments provide lasting improvement. We emphasize a hands-on approach to correct joint restrictions and muscle tightness/spasm. To that we add the latest in modalities: dry needling, cold laser and instrumented soft tissue work. Our newest addition, motion sensor technology, allows us to track subtle movements that you can’t see with the naked eye but are essential to injury-free function. This technology — previously available only to elite athletes — is now available to all our patients. Q: What diagnoses do you treat? A: We treat all orthopedic diagnoses. Many of our patients have multiple diagnoses/problems. Restrictions in one area of the body can lead to problems in an adjacent joints and muscles. Our patients include everyone from triathletes to pregnant women to folks with joint replacement, low back pain and children who participate in sports.




Q: Do I need a referral? A: It’s not required for a one-time evaluation/treatment but is required for consecutive treatments. Q: What will my insurance cover? A: ErgoScience accepts all insurance plans. They’re all somewhat different, but most cover some portion of physical therapy. We verify coverage and patient costs prior to starting therapy to eliminate surprises. We never want the

cost of treatment to keep someone from feeling better, so we try to work with all carriers and/or develop private pay options. Q: Could you tell me about your staff? A: We have physical therapists, a certified hand therapist, physical therapy assistants, and technical staff with kinesiology, exercise science and nutrition backgrounds. We address not

only the primary problem, but we also educate our patients on the impact of general health, fitness and wellness. When you come in, you can expect to be seen by both PTs and PTAs who work closely to deliver consistent care. Our treatment is consistent and we do our best to keep you with same therapist. Q: What are some of the most common problems that you see? A: The top things we see are chronic neck and back pain, rotator cuff issues, plantar fasciitis and knee pain. We also see patients who have undergone surgery for a variety of orthopedic conditions. Q: How soon should people seek physical therapy after suffering with pain? A: The sooner the better. The earlier you come in, the easier it is to fix the problem. Lots of folks wait too long. They think they can take pain medication or rest and the problem will go away. Nine times out of 10, it doesn’t and even if the acute pain resolves, people are left with muscle tightness and weakness that makes the problem return. If they address the underlying problems to the pain with physical therapy, they can avoid a lot of future aches and pains, especially as they get older. Q: How can people know if physical therapy is right for them? A: If the problem involves muscles, tendons, bones or nerves and if it interferes with your life, then it’s a problem physical therapy can fix. Physical therapy as a whole is underutilized. Lots of people don’t realize that physical therapy can keep them active, moving and free of pain.

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GREAT SMILES ORTHODONTICS 36 Church St. Q: In 2017, Great Smiles Orthodontics was one of the top Invisalign providers in the state. To what do you attribute this success? A: I attribute our success to all the extra time and effort we have spent in continuing education for Invisalign. When patients come in and want to be treated with Invisalign, we tell them yes! We love treating adults and teenagers with Invisalign. I enjoy showing before and after pictures of patients’ teeth we have treated with Invisalign that have bites similar to theirs. A picture is worth 1,000 words, and it gives our patients confidence in our ability to get an amazing result. As someone who has worn Invisalign myself, I think that the popularity of it will continue to increase, and I’m very excited about what the future holds. Q: There have been some exciting advances in technology in orthodontic care. What can you tell us about these? A: One of our favorite advances has been the incorporation of a 3-D intraoral scanner into our offices. This means no more goopy impressions of your teeth! From these scans, we can order our Invisalign trays, appliances and any retainers our patients might need. The fit is so accurate, too. It’s a gamechanger. Also, we can do a simulation of what your teeth with look like orthodontic treatment from our scan, and we have incorporated Acceledent, a FDA-cleared medial device, into our practice that allows teeth to move faster and with less discomfort. We love being on the



cutting-edge of technology. Q: You are seeing an increase in adult patients. Why do most adults get orthodontics? A: Adults are getting orthodontic treatment because they want to feel good about their smiles, too. We also treat a lot of adult patients who had orthodontic care as a teen but have had shifting of their teeth due to time and lack of retainer wear.

Finally, some our adult patients are working closely with their general dentists for new crowns, veneers, etc., and the dentist wants their teeth in the proper position before they invest in their new restorations. We love the team approach when taking care of our adults so their aesthetic and restorative goals can be achieved. Q: What are some misconceptions

people have about orthodontics? A: A couple things stand out to me. First, you are never too old for orthodontic care. We have patients over 70 years old in our offices, and their teeth move great! Second, many patients had been told in the past they are not a candidate for Invisalign. I disagree. Most patients who walk into our office can be treated with Invisalign — you just have to know what you are doing to get amazing and predictable results. Finally, orthodontics is painful. It doesn’t have to be! Using the Acceledent in combination with your orthodontic treatment makes a significant difference in discomfort. Q: What would you say sets Great Smiles apart from other Birmingham area orthodontists? A: We are a team of three female orthodontists who work together to bring you and your family incredible smiles. We plan our treatment cases together — it’s nice to have multiple sets of eyes looking at each case in order to develop the best treatment plan. Also, we are continually learning in order to provide our patient’s with world-class care. We are always utilizing new technology, attending continuing education classes and meetings, and learning new ways to treat our patients better. As an orthodontist, you have to be committed to change. Finally, we really love what we do. I hope that is what is most evident when you walk through our doors. It never gets old watching patients’ teeth move and their smiles change. I truly believe we have the most rewarding job.

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CARDIOVASCULAR ASSOCIATES 3980 Colonnade Parkway Q: What is congestive heart failure? A: Congestive heart failure, or CHF, is not a disease, but the name used for a syndrome in which the heart isn’t able to meet the needs of the body. Several different heart diseases can result in CHF if not taken care of properly. CHF can range from very mild to life threatening and almost always requires therapy to control and treat. Q: How do I know if I have heart failure? What are the symptoms? A: The most common symptoms of CHF are shortness of breath, swelling and fatigue. These may all be present or any one of them can occur alone. Unfortunately, these symptoms can also come from a number of other problems besides heart failure, so your physician will need to help sort out the possible cause. Q: If I am diagnosed with heart failure, can it be treated? A: Yes! CHF is something that is very common, and there are a number of effective treatments ranging from lifestyle changes to medications and even devices that can be used to help the heart. The right treatment for any particular patient depends on many different factors and will need to be specially adjusted for each individual. With proper treatment, CHF patients can often return to normal activity and have the condition


brought under good control. Q: Does heart failure mean my heart is about to stop? A: No. Although some patients with heart failure do have problems with their rhythm, the “failure” just means the heart isn’t keeping up with the needs of the body right now. Treatments are geared toward helping the heart do a better job of meeting those needs. Q: How can I prevent heart failure? A: Because heart failure is most often caused by some other heart related problem, the most important thing for prevention is to prevent, recognize and properly treat other issues such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, valve problems, etc. We also know that early recognition and treatment is important to a successful outcome, so talk with your physician if you have concerns and if appropriate see a cardiologist to evaluate your heart further.


► Shortness of breath ► Swelling in the legs ► Inability to do normal activities without giving out ► Severe fatigue ► Inability to lay flat in a bed without feeling out of breath ► Sudden significant weight gain ► Filling up quickly when eating


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AMERICAN FAMILY CARE Multiple locations across the metro Birmingham area Q: American Family Care celebrated its 35th anniversary this year. To what do you contribute this growth and success? A: We would not be where we are today without everyone in the AFC family believing in our vision of providing the best healthcare possible. We’ve had the privilege of helping literally millions of people live happier, healthier lives. Surely, the satisfaction of that reality is what continues to drive us all. Q: What services does your company provide? A: All AFC medical centers are designed, equipped and staffed to provide accessible primary care, urgent care and minor emergency treatment. Each clinic features a high-tech, high touch approach, including digital X-rays, onsite lab testing, state of the art diagnostics and electronic medical records.  Each clinic also provides a full suite of occupational medicine and workers compensation services. These services include OSHA-mandated medical surveillance exams, D.O.T. and non-D.O.T. drugs screens, physicals and breath alcohol tests, among many other services. Q: What makes your company unique? A: If you were to look at the online reviews across all of our clinics, you would find the average rating is very high,

403-8902 or (800) 258-7535


especially in comparison to other health care providers. Our goal is 100 percent patient satisfaction, so our doctors and staff work hard to not only provide great health care, but provide it in a caring and compassionate way. Quality of care is number one, but our unparalleled convenience also sets us apart. We have nearly 20 clinics across north-central Alabama that are open seven days a week, some of which are open until 8 p.m. High-quality care, coupled with unparalleled convenience, make us completely unique. Q: What are some goals, both present and future, for AFC?

A: Long-term, our vision is to become one of the most widely known and admired brands in health care. Currently, we are on track to grow from 200 clinics to 500 in the next four years. Of course, the only way we are going to achieve these goals is to focus on providing the best possible health care every day. Q: How do you make sure each patient receives quality care in an efficient way? A: We are always looking for ways to measure and improve the patient experience. This includes monitoring our wait times in every individual clinic throughout the day. Additionally, we continually

survey our patients about their experiences with us, which we track and report for every clinic and every physician. Q: How does AFC give back, both corporately and within the community of each location? A: We have several healthrelated causes in which we focused our efforts. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is one that we are particularly passionate about. We have also traditionally been a strong supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. However, there is a long, long list of other organizations we’ve contributed in recent years,

including United Way, Junior Achievement, Camp Smile-AMile and dozens more. While many of the causes we’ve supported are located in Alabama, we also invest thousands of dollars each year toward local schools, youth sports leagues and other great causes. It’s a privilege to be trusted by people to take care of their health. We not only honor that trust by working hard to provide them with the best care possible, we also recognize the importance of supporting the local institutions that are important to the quality of their lives.

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Calendar Mountain Brook Area Events Sept. 6: Pooches on the Patio. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Vino. Benefiting the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. Free. Food and drinks available for purchase.

Sept. 26: Chamber Luncheon. 11 a.m. Botanical Gardens. Featuring Brittany Wagner of Last Chance U. Visit mtnbrook

Sept. 17: Taste of Mountain Brook. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 pm. Grassy lawn in front of Emmet O’Neal Library (Hoyt Lane). Sample food from various restaurants. Visit

Sept. 29: Women’s City Prayer Breakfast. Canterbury United Methodist Church. Keynote speaker: Lysa TerKeurst and emcee Janet Hall. Tickets $10 www.

Mountain Brook High School Football Sept. 1: @ Helena. 7 p.m. Sept. 8: vs. Hoover. 7 p.m. Sept. 15: @ Thompson. 7 p.m. Sept. 22: v. Spain Park. 7:45 p.m.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Events Sept. 9: Planting, Transplanting, and Re-Potting Trees and Shrubs. 9 a.m. Members only. Sept. 9: Family Yoga in the Gardens. 9 a.m. Ages 3 and up. $15 drop-in (child and 1 adult), $5 for additional family members. Sept. 9 & 16: Photography Class - Memorable Images. 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. $100 members, $120 non-members.

Sept. 2: International Vulture Awareness Day. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 9: Special Saturdays. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Zoo-based learning experiences for children and adolescents with cognitive or physical disabilities. Sept. 15: ZooGala 2017. 7 p.m. Mambo with the Macaws. Dinner and cocktails. $200 per person for members, $250 per person for non-members.

Ages 21 and up. Sept. 16: International Red Panda Day. 12-3 p.m. Participate in red panda fact games and crafts. Sept. 23: La Celebracion! 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Celebrating the culture of Birmingham’s Hispanic and Latin community through bilingual keeper chats, animal encounters, arts and crafts and more.

Sept. 17: Photo Talk. 2 p.m. Instructed by Hank Siegel. Free, $5 donation suggested. Sept. 23: Local pharmacy. 1 p.m. $30 members, $35 non-members. Sept. 27: Lunch & Learn - Plant in a Straw Bale. 11:30 a.m. Free and open to the public.

Emmet O’Neal Library Events Mondays: Toddler Tales Story Time. 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays: Together Time Story Time. 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays: Library Out Loud. 3:30 p.m.

Birmingham Zoo Events

Sept. 13: Lunch & Learn - Benefits of Trees. 11:30 a.m. Auditorium. Free to the public.

Wednesdays: Mother Goose Story Time. 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

with Get Rhythm! 5:30 p.m. Sept. 26: Hot Off the Press. 6 p.m. Young Adults Sept. 5: Teen Advisory Board. 5 p.m. Sept. 5: READ Club. 6 p.m. Sept. 9: Game On! 1-4 p.m.

Wednesdays: Movers & Makers. 1:30 p.m.

Sept. 10: ACT Challenge. 1-4 p.m.

Thursdays: Patty Cake Story Time. 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Sept. 21: Teen Trivia Challenge: Back to School Edition. 6:30-8 p.m.

Thursdays: SNaP. 3:30 p.m. Saturdays: Family Story Time with Mr. Mac. 10:30 a.m.

Adults Wednesdays: Brown Bag Lunch Series. 12:30 p.m. Bring a sack lunch; beverages and dessert provided.

Sept. 11: STEAM Powered: Minibots. 4 p.m.

Sept. 8: Yoga with Marie Blair. 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Sept. 12: Family Night: Outdoor Drum Circle

Sept. 11: Great Books book group. 6:30 p.m.

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Emmet O’Neal Library Events (cont.) Sept. 12: The Bookies book group. 10 a.m. Sept. 14: UAB Neuroscience Café. 6:30 p.m. Parkinson’s Disease update. Sept. 19: Documentaries After Dark. 6:30 p.m. A Will for the Woods, followed by Skype Q & A with one of the filmmakers. Sept. 22: Standing Room Only. Radio-

head’s OK Computer rockumentary. 6:30 p.m. Stay after the film for 90s alternative karaoke and the OKNOTOK giveaway. Ages 21 and up. Sept. 26: Community Conversation on Aging sponsored by Choice Home Care: 10 a.m. Living Wills, Trusts, Bank Services and other Financial Hassles. Sept. 26: Genre Reading Group. 6:30 p.m. Discussing books on photography.

Area Events Sept. 1-2: Anthony Hamilton. 7:30 p.m. Alabama Theatre. With special guest Avery Sunshine. Visit Sept. 1: UAB House Party with Sam Hunt. 7 p.m. Uptown Entertainment District. Free concert to celebrate the return of UAB football. Sold out. Visit Sept. 2: Southeastern Outings River Float, Picnic, Swim. 9 a.m. Locust Fork in Blount County. Visit Sept. 2: UAB football vs. Alabama A&M. 2 p.m. Regions Field. Visit Sept. 4: 26th Annual Labor Day Celebration and Moon Pie Eatin’ Contest. 9 a.m. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Admission $3-$5. Visit Sept. 7: Birmingham Art Crawl. 5-9 p.m. 113 22nd St. N. Meet local artists and performers and buy their work. Visit Sept. 7: Lady Antebellum. 7:30 p.m. Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. With special guests Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young. Tickets $24-$180. Visit Sept. 8-9: Birmingham Artwalk. 5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday. Birmingham Historic Loft District. Free. Visit Sept. 8-10: Dolores Hydock: The Lady with All the Answers - The Ann Landers Story. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. RMTC Cabaret Theatre. Tickets start at $15. Visit Sept. 9: Southeastern Outings Potluck Picnic Lunch. 11:30 a.m. Oak Mountain State Park, loser fishing lake. Followed by afternoon kayak, canoe paddle or dayhike. Visit Sept. 9: Birmingham Southern football vs. Huntingdon. 6 p.m. Krulak Stadium. $10. Kids 18 and under are free. Visit Sept. 9: Bill Burr. 8 p.m. Alabama Theatre. Comedian performance. $33-$43. Visit Sept. 11: BAO Bingo. 7 p.m. Birmingham AIDS Outreach. $15-$25. Visit birminghamaidsoutreach. org. Sept. 14-16: St. George Middle Eastern Food Festival. 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. St. George Melkite Greek Catholic Church. Visit sainttgeorge Sept. 15-17: MotoAmerica Championship of Alabama. Barber Motorsports Park. 5 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets $10-$60. Visit Sept. 15: Sheila E. 8 p.m. Alys Stephens Center. Tickets $39-$59. Visit Sept. 15: Tedeschi Trucks Band. 8 p.m. Alabama Theatre. Tickets $39-$160. Visit Sept. 16: Tannehill Trade Days. 9 a.m. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Admission $3-$5. Visit Sept. 16: Chris Stapleton All American Road Show. 7 p.m. Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. Tickets $30-$70. Visit Sept. 17: Trucks by the Tracks. 11 a.m.

Railroad Park. Featuring food trucks, musical acts and more. Visit Sept. 17: Mary J. Blige: Strength of a Woman Tour. 8 p.m. Legacy Arena at the BJCC. $61.50-$126.50. Visit Sept. 21-23: Greek Festival. 10:30 a.m. Holy Trinity-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Featuring Greek food, music, dancing and more. Free admission, food and drinks priced separately. Visit Sept. 22-24: Homestead Hollow Arts & Crafts Festival. 9 a.m. Homestead Hollow, Springville. Visit Sept. 22-24: Disney on Ice: Follow Your Heart. Legacy Arena at the BJCC. 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday; 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $15. Visit Sept. 22: Black Jacket Symphony Presents performs The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” 8 p.m. BJCC Concert Hall. Tickets $29-$80. Visit Sept. 23: Southeastern Outings Kayak and Canoe Trip. Tallapoosa River, Heflin. Depart 9 a.m. from Leeds Highway 78 gravel parking lot. Visit Sept. 23: Oktoberfest Birmingham. 1 p.m. Caldwell Park. Tickets $10 early bird general admission, $45 VIP. Visit Sept. 23: Miles football vs. Tuskegee University. 5 p.m. Miles College. Visit miles Sept. 24: Southeastern Outings Dayhike. 2 p.m. Black Creek Trail, Fultondale. Visit Sept. 24: Breakin’ Bread. 1 p.m. Sloss Furances. Food, wine and beer festival with musical entertainment and cooking demonstrations. $35 general admission, $99 VIP. Visit birmingham Sept. 24: Heart of Alabama Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimers. 1:30 p.m. Railroad Park. Two-mile walk begins at 3:15 p.m. Visit Sept. 24: 26th Annual Magic City AIDS Walk & 5K Run. 4:30 p.m. Railroad Park. Family friendly event featuring walk, music and more. Visit Sept. 25: Young the Giant. 8 p.m. BJCC Concert Hall. With special guests Cold War Kids and Joywave. $37. Visit Sept. 28: Joey Alexander. 7 p.m. Alys Stephens Center. Pianist performance focusing on The Future of Jazz. $40. Visit Sept. 28: Live at the Lyric: Ani Difranco. 8 p.m. Lyric Theatre. $32-$55. Visit Sept. 30: Irondale Whistlestop Festival. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Historic Downtown Irondale. Featuring art and food vendors. Free admission. Visit Sept. 30-Oct. 1: Great Southern Gun & Knife Show. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. BJCC Exhibition Halls. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets $9. Visit

Village Living September 2017  
Village Living September 2017