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Educate the mind to think, the heart to feel, the body to act. - TROY Motto 1887

If a university would commit to this endeavor, imagine the type of graduates it would produce. They would be lifelong learners, taught to think beyond the present and prepared to see tomorrow’s answers. They would have giving, empathetic hearts. Most importantly, they would be moved to action – seeking careers that serve the greater community. They would be Troy University students and alumni. If you are called to serve a greater purpose, then Troy University is the university you’re looking for.

“One of the Best in the Southeast” - Princeton Review “Ranked Among Top Schools in the Nation” - Forbes Magazine

In class • Online • Within reach • • Find us on: 3


from the publisher hose were the days, when I only had to worry about potty training and keeping kids

corralled from danger. Now with teenagers, I’ve entered a life that is fun but sometimes overwhelming—and definitely more expensive! As my boys approach adulthood (or at least collegehood), I feel a sense of urgency to prepare them for life beyond our home. At 15, my oldest, Spencer, is a smart kid with a lot of interests ranging from football to jazz band. My middle, Mitchell is 13; he is a percussionist and wrestler. My youngest, Trevor, is 11 and plays anything that involves a ball. My husband, Dave, travels this journey with me —He provides comic relief and the stern dad-voice when needed. Two years ago, we felt confident that their college funds were well funded, given a sizable infusion from their grandparents. However, once we investigated the current costs of private and public universities, our confidence turned to consternation. How did college costs rise so much in two short decades? The more internet searches about college that I did, the more I realized, “I don’t even know what I need to

know”about the financial side of sending

kids off to continue their education. And, my need to make sure I’ve instilled certain skills and values in them before they go was heavily reinforced.

This magazine was born from my

on the cover Sarah Catherine Hook, a hard-working theatre enthusiast and her parents. Photography by Britsnap Photography



in each issue

desire to help my children make

19 22 30

wise choices and help them navigate the pathway to adulthood— without me hovering. (Although, I may never quit hovering completely.) I want them to



know how to drive a car safely, how to balance a checkbook, perform other basic life skills, and


develop a vision for their future and work to realize it. Also, with a looming six-figure college bill for each

publisher Pam Mashburn

child, my pocketbook necessitated that we get more

art director Erika Tracy

involved in our children’s preparation. Their job is to

graphic design Heather Cooper

get good grades, get involved in activities that don’t

editorial consultant Ryan Dohrn

involve TV or Xbox, and prepare to earn scholarship-worthy SAT/ACT scores! High goals,

writers Caitlin Howell, Jennifer Kornegay

I know, but all achievable with the right resources. Which is where parents come in; we are

sales Stacie Berry

the best resource to give information, support and motivation our teens need. We just have to know how to best deliver all of that to them. And that’s where Potential enters the picture. Potential is designed to help you find those tools and other resources that will assist you in helping your college-bound child achieve and fulfill their potential. Our premiere issue focuses on six local teenagers who are excelling in different areas and accomplishing some really cool things! Our favorite part has been talking to their parents. We love learning from parents who are helping their children reach their goals and sharing what we learn with you. Potential is for you, so let us know what you think about this issue. Our goal (the fulfillment of our potential) is to be your go-to guide when it comes to “parenting teens to achieve.”

photography Drew Hoover Martin Harris/Britsnap Photography distribution LeAnne Thomas potential is published by exploreMedia. 2012 exploreMedia. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited. Editorial content verified but can not be guaranteed. 7956 Vaughn Road, #331 • Montgomery, AL 36116 P: 334-201-8787 F: 866-587-2517

questions & comments

pam mashburn / 334.201.8787

4 believe thos0e1? 20 can s from little guy


forms & guidelines Nominations for Teen Spotlight available at

! n i a g a Think

nts: e d u t s e g e ll o c e r Futu UM? ow Think you kn


Warhawk Welcome

Tour the campus and residence halls, explore our academic offerings, learn about financial aid and even take advantage of our fast-track admissions!

Saturday, October 13, 2012 Saturday, January 26, 2013 Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Warhawk

e-bound nts for colleg ve e g in m o c rs. f these up gomery offe Catch one o Auburn Mont t ha w e se students and

What is it really like to be a student at AUM? Find out by talking with current students and even visiting a real class in session!

Monday, November 12, 2012 (Veteran’s Day) Monday, February 18, 2013

An Evening with Alumni

Join us for refreshments and fun as we hear from some of our most successful alums about why they chose AUM.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

To register for one of these events, or to learn more about AUM,

visit or call 334-244-3615 or 800-227-2649

Campus Tours

Every day is a great day to experience Auburn Montgomery. Take a one-on-one cruise through campus with an AUM Ambassador. View the university from a student’s perspective and get the inside scoop on AUM campus life.

Register at

Like us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: @aumadmissions

gear up

tailgate-ready cheer with serious style

Nothing says fall in the South quite like cheering on your favorite team. No matter your colors, looking good while showing some school spirit doesn’t mean you’re stuck in a game day tee.

style with spirit Attention ladies! No matter your team, a great pair of J. Brand pants and a few layering options will get you through the fall football season looking your best. Available at hue studio, inc.: J. Brand Jeans , $168. Wrap jacket, $98. Orange dress, $48. Red peacoat, $60. J. Brand cords, $168.

Fight! Go! warm-ups Get prepared in advance for those chilly night games. Crocheted headband, $15, Southern Homes & Gardens.


details, details Don’t miss a single play! Tervis Tumblers come in every team and keep drinks chilled or warm. $12-20, Tucker Pecan.


Spirit comes in all sizes. Use these buttons off the field too to show team love. Canvas button, $4, Southern Homes & Gardens.

5 things


smart apps smart phone apps for parents

1 2

iWonder Surf

Block adult sites automatically on iPhones, iPads and iTouch. Additional things we liked: You can filter specific sites and even disable internet browsing. With smart phones replacing cell phones, it’s nice to know we can still protect our kids. $.99

MyMobility Family Tracker

Have the text and the phone call—teens can press the checkin button to let you know they are okay and their location. What teenager wants to take time away from their socializing to write a text? One button press and everyone is happy. It makes coordinating hectic pick-ups easier too. free


Find my iPhone

Where’s my droid?

Both of these apps are must haves in a world of couches, cluttered cars and kids that misplace our and their phones. Two features we love: (1) Even if the phone is on vibrate, the app will cause it to ring loudly. (2) The geo location can help you find where you left it if it’s out of earshot. free

4 5

Plugged In

Providing detailed reviews of movies, TV shows and music, this app makes it easy to answer kids’ requests to see a specific movie. If you say “no,” it’s based on knowledge instead of gut, which is fair for everyone. free

Life before text This app disables text and

phone usage when a driver reaches speeds over 10 mph. Statistics show that over 50 percent of teens text while driving, and that deaths caused from vehicles and texting are six times higher than those involving alcohol. There are overrides, but you’ll be altered via email. $3.99


what i know now career: Eighth-grade world history teacher Prattville High School Lions (reigning 6A Champions) assistant football coach


- 2006 graduate of Prattville High School - Bachelor of Science and Teaching Certification, Huntingdon College

sports background:

- three-year letterman in both baseball and football - twice named defensive back to the Montgomery Advertiser’s All-Metro team. During his senior year, Hall was recruited by several colleges for both baseball and football scholarships. He accepted a scholarship from Wallace State Community College because of its national top-tier program. After one year, he transferred to Jeff Davis Community College in Brewton to finish his two-year base coursework. He was recruited by Huntingdon

bryant hall

on the field for work and play

College for both his football and baseball skills.

advice for others:

Just because your child is talented in sports, don’t assume they will get a scholarship, especially to a top-tier university. Make sure you have a backup plan. Understand the different coaching styles of the staff. Coaches recruit a lot differently than they coach. Some schools may offer a scholarship, but if the student is injured or not able to perform to expectations, the scholarship may go away. Think through different scenarios so that you can ensure that the school you choose will meet your career goals.

looking back:

Tech habits:



m a e t e m Ho ntage adva 8


Hall returned to his hometown and alma mater, Prattville High School, as a coach.

Like most 20-somethings, Hall gets his technology fix via Facebook and Twitter on his iPhone.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study, so I wish I had taken more time to evaluate all the different college opportunities and determine what field I wanted to study. Transferring schools is a painful process that can cause you to lose credit hours. Make sure you investigate different career options so that you are not wasting your time in the wrong college or major.

what’s cool about your job:

Helping kids learn the truth about stereotypes and see realistic views of the world and how it works.

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costs are impacted as much by the make of the car as it is

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for teens

As your teen approaches their 15th birthday, the reality of having another driver in the house sinks in. For 73 percent of American households, this also means purchasing another car and insurance. has compiled a list of 2008 and 2009 used cars under $15,000 that earned high marks for reliability, safety, fuel economy and lower insurance costs for families. Interesting note: Insurance

child to earn good grades, a driving school certificate and maintain a strong safety record.’s Top 10 used cars for teens.

Drew Hoover Photography Senior Portrait Special! Between now and November 16, receive 33% off our normal rates when you mention Potential Magazine! • 334-201-8066 9

wise words

ACT vs. SAT sharpen your knowledge on college entrance exams


What’s the deal?

The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the American College Test (ACT) are both tests that most colleges are using as a requirement to acceptance. So which is better, the ACT or the SAT or should you take both? Preparing for these tests is a must, so taking both can be a daunting task.

The Basics

The SAT is known as an aptitude test, testing not what a student has learned in school, but their own verbal and reasoning skills. However, the ACT is an achievement test meant to assess what a student has learned in school. As a general rule, the ACT is the standard for Alabama public colleges and universities along with most Midwest state schools. However, since neighboring states encourage the SAT testing, most schools accept either score. Depending on your student and their skill set, they may perform better on one over the other.

Concordant Score

When it comes to comparing SAT scores to ACT scores, colleges have a difficult time. Fundamentally, the tests measure different skills; this means that there is no true equivalent between the two. Nevertheless, institutions must be able to correlate the scores. This is done using concordance tables. According to, “Concordant scores are defined as those having the same percentile rank with respect to the group of students used in the study.” Using these tables, universities are able to create a standard or cutoff based on both tests. View the concordance table for ACT and SAT scores on

Which test

should my teen take?

Deciding which standardized test to take is not always a precise science. Understanding the test differences and realizing that every student has strengths will help them make better decisions and be more confident taking one or both of the entrance exams.

Consider the SAT if your teen: • needs more time allotted to answer questions • has good language skills • is strong in math • does not feel pressured by the guessing penalty Consider the ACT if your teen: • is able to work quickly on tests • has a wider range of knowledge in science, math and language • will feel pressured with a guessing penalty

They say the most important academic test your child will take is the ACT or SAT test.

college entrance exams . . .

it’s just a test,


But like the names implies, it’s primarily an “entrance exam,” right? While the obvious goal is to get the highest score possible, once we (since the parents are vested in the outcome) get the minimum score for admission, everyone sighs a breath of relief. But these tests can determine more than just admission. They also determine scholarship amount and sometimes course of study. Apparently in some competitive fields, the college can limit student enrollment in that area based on applicant scores and GPA. However, most of us are concerned with the word scholarship, which of course translates into how-much-is-thisgoing-to-cost? Not surprisingly, the senior year of high school is the key time to qualify

for scholarships. In fact, most four year scholarships are based on all that your child has achieved up to this point. While students spend years earning good grades and participating in different activities, most students spend less than 11 hours preparing for the SAT or ACT test. ACT and SAT prep classes teach students how to take the test, reinforce academic skills, and build speed,” said Rebecca Bloodworth, AUM director for youth programs.” Prep classes will not hurt your score, they will only improve it. Parents are taking the lead enrolling their teens. We also have several schools that find funding to send high-achieving students to prep classes—They realize the value of preparation.” There are several local and online prep courses available. Check out for resources and local course listings.




length & time


Students will notice questions getting more difficult as they progress; this is different than the ACT. Also, for the math portion, there are some problems that entail written answers in addition to the multiple choice. Finally, the required essay is the last portion of the SAT.

This test has 140 questions as well as a required essay, all of which takes a total of 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete.

The SAT measures aptitude in the areas of reading, writing and mathematical reasoning. A great emphasis is placed on vocabulary in the critical reading section, much more than the ACT.

The difficulty remains consistent throughout the entire test. The test is all multiple choice, and the essay is saved for last.

The ACT has 215 questions and an optional essay; it allots 3 hours and 25 minutes of actual testing time if the essay is included.

Measures the areas of mathematics, English, reading and science. The science portion covers chemistry, biology, earth science and physics but is really evaluating an ability to understand the graphs, summaries, and other given information. Math includes some basic trigonometry; student should at least know how to use sine and cosine.

Raise their ACT score! ACT Complete Review Nov. 5-Dec. 6 / Classes do not meet the week of Nov. 12 or Nov. 19 / 6-8 p.m. (Mon-Th) / 12x / Center for Lifelong Learning / $202

“Our family is doing a bit of celebrating tonight as Mark was able to raise his ACT score 3 points. He had been hovering at the 27 mark for his last two tries and came in at a whopping 30 on his last. Would you kindly accept my appreciation, and pass along to the others responsible for the class also.�

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Visit or call 334-244-3804 Like us at

writing & essay



The required essay for the SAT is allotted a time of 25 minutes for a student to complete. Unlike the prompts for the ACT, the SAT will usually present a general issue and a student will need to elaborate on it using outside examples.

Guessing is not encouraged on the SAT since every wrong answer counts off. However, if a student is able to narrow his/her choices down to three, their chance of guessing correctly increases, and they should then make an educated guess.

Each section of the SAT is worth

While grammar usage is important for both tests, the ACT stresses punctuation and even questions rhetoric strategies more. The essay for the ACT is optional; however, often colleges are requiring it for admission. For this 30-minute essay, a student will possibly be asked to take a stand on a potentially controversial topic.

For the ACT, there is no penalty for guessing an incorrect answer. Students are encouraged to mark and answer for every question, whether they know the answer or not.

Each section of the ACT is scored out of 36 points. To calculate the combined score, the scores from each section are averaged. The average score is usually around 21. The combined score is known as the composite score.

up to 800 points and is weighted. On average, students usually score around 500.

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life 101


for college Potential magazine has found a few tried and true methods of saving for college, along with a few creative ways to help you and your child save.


savings & investments

529 Plans

529 Plans were created in 1996 to provide tax benefits to families saving for college. These plans invest in mutual funds, stocks, bonds and money market accounts. As long as the funds are used for qualified educational expenses, it is disbursed tax-free. You are able to participate in the Alabama 529 Plan or in another state’s plan, so have a qualified financial planner help you understand the best plan for you. However, one advantage to investing in the Alabama CollegeCounts 529 Fund is that contributions up to $5000 per contributor are deductible when computing your Alabama taxable income.


Roth IRAs

Roth IRAs were designed for retirement planning but do allow you to use them for college expenses. A benefit to this funding is that it does not penalize a student’s financial aid consideration (whereas 529 Plans can). However, the earnings on this investment will be taxed by both federal and state when used for educational expenses. Tuition, books and educational fees are considered eligible expenses, but room and board is not. Again, it’s important to consult a financial planner to understand the best vehicles for college savings investment.

529 bonus tip

With a CollegeCounts 529 Rewards Visa Card, you can earn 1.529% on your everyday purchases.

#2 Creative and Easy Ways to Save Upromise

Upromise is an online shopping service that gives you 5-15 percent rebates to use toward a college fund. You have to be intentional but there are many advertisers on their site that can contribute to your college fund. You can choose to have the rebates deposited into a high-yield savings account where Upromise will match earnings at 10 percent, or deposit them into a 529 account, pay down student loans, or have a check dispersed.

Common Cents Checking

#3 Forego the presents. Go for the gift. Let your family and friends know that your children’s education is a priority. Instead of a traditional presents, have them make an investment in your child’s future. Ugift at has made it super easy!

#4 Keep up the good work

“Putting your savings on cruise control is the most reliable way to ensure your college savings plan is set in action,” said Jessica Pigg, business development manager at Guardian Credit Union, “Most importantly, set a savings goal and keep track of your progress. Periodic assessment of your progress is critical to staying on track with your college savings plan.” So, set your goals and work with your financial advisor to determine the best course of action for your family. Make it intentional and as automatic as possible.

extra credit

Check out these sites for more ideas





Common Cents Checking is a painless way to save. Every time you use the debit card, it rounds up to the next dollar and deposits that amount

into a savings account. Guardian Credit Union offers this program to its members and matches the first month savings at 50 percent. Subsequent months are matched at 5 percent. It’s a great way to save and earn an additional $300 per year!


Automagically rounds up your debit card purchases and puts the change in your savings account. We match it at 50% for the first month. 5% after that. Up to $300 a year!



happy + healthy What is a concussion?

Classified as an injury to the brain caused by a heavy jolt or blow to the head, concussions used to be considered relatively mild injuries, but doctors now know about potential long-term effects that concussions can cause, and that knowledge has spurred the sports world to help athletes understand the risks of concussions.

Signs of a concussion

We all need to know how to identify obvious concussion signs on our children. Common physical symptoms of concussions include headaches, blurry vision, dizziness and loss of balance. Additionally, there are some mental symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating and sluggishness that are associated with concussions.

Attention and detection

head in the game

risk of concussions in teen sports We often allow our teens to play various sports to help them learn the importance of teamwork, sportsmanship and an active, healthy lifestyle. However, most sports carry relevant concussion risks. In fact, recent studies have shown that sports concussions have nearly doubled over the past decade.


Today, our doctors are equipped with terrific tools such as the MRI and CAT scan that can reveal hematomas and other issues with the brain, and our expanded medical knowledge of concussions has caused the National High School Athletic Association to create and enforce strict injury rules. Generally, any player who exhibits signs of a concussion after a blow to the head during a game must be removed from athletic play immediately. Dr. Larry Epperson, board certified neurologist, works with most area high school and college athletes who have received a concussion or head injury. In his field for 23 years, he has a personal interest in concussions since his son is a football player at Samford University and was an all-state middle linebacker in high school. Epperson uses the American Academy of Neurology Concussion safety guidelines when determining guidelines and postthe severity of concussions and injury rest periods have a protocol for clearing athletes not been established for for play. There are basically athletes under the age of three grades of concussions: 14 playing in recreational grade 1, which includes lightleagues. A growing headedness, dizziness and brain is a different issue, pain for less than 15 minutes; grade 2, which includes lightand Epperson advises headedness, dizziness and pain parents to stop play for for more than 15 minutes; and a season if a concussion grade 3, which includes any loss occurs during of consciousness. recreational league play. For the first two grades, the injured athlete is pulled from play and must be medically cleared to play within one week. For grade 3, the athlete must be symptom free for two weeks before it is safe for renewed sports participation. The AHSAA requires that the student athlete have a written clearance from a doctor to be able to play sports after any concussion. Epperson cautions that parents need to be sure that their

did you know?


where does your

sport SCORE

Check out these stats that break down concussion rates for popular high school sports. AE (Athletic Exposures) refer to any on-field appearances in a sport, which include practices and games but do not account for playing time. There are between 60 and 77 concussions per 100,000 AEs for football, which makes it the most dangerous sport for concussions. Girls’ soccer has the second-highest concussion rate; about 35 of every 100,000 AEs result in concussions. Boys’ basketball has a concussion rate as high as 21 per 100,000 AEs compared to a rate as high as about 18 per 100,000 AEs for girls’ basketball. Cheerleading is more dangerous than baseball and girls’ volleyball combined with a rate of 11.5 concussions per 100,000 AEs. Despite high-pitch velocities in baseball, the sport has a concussion rate of about 5 per 100,000 AEs compared to a rate of about 14 per 100,000 AEs in softball. Concussion statistics courtesy of:

children are symptom-free for a week before resuming play. Continued headaches and other symptoms indicate that the brain has not fully healed. Research has shown that if the student athlete engages in contact sports too soon after a concussion, they can develop Second Impact Syndrome. and could lead to long-term problems or even death. Additionally, athletes who suffer from Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) as a result of multiple concussions can completely lose their ability to play their sport. An example is former NFL player Ted Johnson who retired at the age of just 32 because he could no longer play the game. The former New England Patriots linebacker admitted that he suffered from severe depression, dizziness and excessive drowsiness maybe due to CTE. Concussions in relation to sports are still being studied. Doctors are continuing to gain perspective into how concussions affect each individual differently. Meanwhile, sports associations are trying their best to reduce concussion rates and keep players as healthy as possible. However, if a student athlete has two concussions in the same sport during that athletic year, they should sit out the rest of the season, according to Epperson. He often tells athletes, “God gave you one brain, so you have to take care of it!”


By wisdom is a house built, by understanding is it made firm, by knowlege its rooms are filled. Proverbs 24: 3- 4 At Montgomery Catholic, our students flourish in a rigorous academic environment designed to fully develop their individual God-given gifts — while strengthening their lifelong walk in the Christian faith. Enroll now by calling 334-272-7221 ext. 32, or visit St. Bede Elementary Campus Holy Spirit Elementary Campus Middle School Campus High School Campus

Statewide Youth Theatre Program May 27- June 9

Audition Dates November 3, 2012 Bob Jones High School 650 Hughes Road Madison, AL 35758

St. Paul’s Episcopal School 161 Dogwood Lane Madison, AL 36608

November 10, 2012

Alabama Shakespeare Festival One Festival Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

Alabama’s Only Professional Teen Theatre Intensive A highly selective auditioned resident camp at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. High School students from across Alabama audition to participate in this two-week intensive taught by professional actors and artists. Daily workshops, rehearsals and social activities culminate in fully produced performances of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. For more information contact Greta Lambert at or (334) 271-5393. 18


Images courtesy of Auburn UNiversity

auburn university

Auburn University has a lot to offer. Find out if it deserves a spot on your teen’s college consideration list.


BY Caitlin Howell

anked as one of the top 50 public universities for the last 20 years, Auburn University, located in Auburn, Ala., is what many would consider a medium to large university. In 1856, Auburn was established as a land grant university and currently has over 25,000 students enrolled in both the undergraduate and graduate programs combined. Auburn offers more than 140 possible degrees within 12 different colleges and schools. The campus is full of many beautiful buildings, gardens and green-spaces. Such a college is commonly applied to; however, more often than not, the application process and all that goes along with the school itself can be a mystery. Cindy Singley, the director of University Recruitment, was able to answer many of the questions that applicants, or parents of applicants, might have.

facts about applying

“We are looking for students that can be successful,” said Singley. Two of the best indicators of this are a student’s GPA as well as their ACT or SAT scores. A strong GPA and test scores are beneficial in a competitive admission process.

Auburn University’s application itself does not involve long essays. Instead, it requires responses to short answer questions that allow the student to talk through: • involvement with extracurricular school activities, faith organizations and public service • employment experience

• significant experiences, achievements or failures that affected them • reasons they selected Auburn University and their goals • attributes or accomplishments that set them apart • barriers that may have adversely affected their high school performance.

As part of the review process, the University will also consider legacy status as well as the GPA and test score. A legacy is a student who had a family member graduate from Auburn prior to the student’s application. According to Singley, evaluating underrepresented areas of the state is also important to the University. Student applications are accepted beginning August 1 of each year.


By October 1, the early action criteria will be defined based on the strength of the application pool. Acceptances based on Early Action criteria begin on October 15 and continue on a weekly basis. Reviewed decisions are made on November 15, December 15 and complete on February 15. The overall average ACT for the previous two freshman classes has been approximately 27 and the average GPA around 3.80.


The University provides a number of housing options to accommodate up to 4,500 oncampus students. There are three locations for housing on-campus, all of which are made up of both all-female and co-ed residence halls with a new location currently under construction. In order to apply for housing, a student must first be admitted and then make a $200 confirmation deposit. Priority for housing is based on the date of the housing application.

relieve some of the pressure of tuition and other fees is to obtain a scholarship. There are two types of merit-based scholarships the University awards to students meeting certain requirements. The first scholarship type is for Alabama residents and is known as the Spirit of Auburn Scholarship. These scholarships are guaranteed to students whose application materials are received prior to December 1 and who have scored at least a 28 on the ACT or 1250 on the SAT, and have 3.5 GPA or better. There are three levels of Spirit of Auburn scholarships, all of which are renewable fouryear awards. A student with an ACT score of 28 or 29 will receive $2,500 a year for four years. A student with an ACT score of a 30 or 31 will receive full tuition for four years. Finally, a student who scores a 32 or better on the ACT will receive full tuition for four years as well as $1,000 technology stipend during their freshman year. In order to retain the scholarships, recipients are required to

notable graduates Tim Cook - CEO of Apple Octavia Spencer Oscar-winning actress of “The Help” 1290 and GPA of 3.5 or higher. In addition to these scholarships, the University also offers General and Legacy scholarships, among others. Department scholarships are also awarded from several of the colleges and schools. The admissions application serves as the scholarship application for the Universitylevel awards and must be received by December 1. Departmental scholarships may have a separate application and a different deadline. Detailed information is available on each college’s and school’s website.


Involvement is important to the achievement of college students. According to Singley, an involved student is a happy student; and a happy student is a successful student. Auburn University provides an ample amount of involvement opportunities with over 300 organizations on campus that range from hobbies, academic interests and intramural sports. Some of the more prominent organizations on campus include Student Government Association, University Programs Council and Greek life. A common question is the number of students involved in Greek life – at Auburn, it is approximately 25 percent. While these are great outlets that many freshmen get plugged into, there are numerous other clubs and channels in which a freshman can become involved.

honors college war eagle! Strong ties to the community, Greek and other organizations, dedicated staff (Director of University Recruitment Cindy Singley pictured above) and a rich history of traditions keep life on Auburn’s campus booming.


The student population at Auburn is made up of 60 percent in-state students. Many of the out-of-state students come from the surrounding states – Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Approximately 60 percent of the student population is currently making use of some type of financial aid. With that being said, money is a popular subject among applicants and their parents. The best way to


maintain a 3.0 GPA while attending Auburn. The next type of University-provided scholarship is the Academic Scholarship for non-Alabama residents. Non-resident applicants who have their application materials in by December 1 will be considered for these scholarships. These scholarships are offered at three levels based on qualifying test scores and GPA. The minimum score for consideration is an ACT of 29 or SAT of

The Honors College is an outstanding resource that Auburn offers to qualified students and that Singley sees as a “complement to academics.” With a variety of educational opportunities, the Honors College aims to provide a “small-college feel on a large campus,” stated Singley. The smaller class sizes in Honors classes provide for a more collaborative learning environment with greater accountability. Living in the Honors residence hall is a wonderful opportunity for Honors students to be around other like-minded individuals. Acceptance into the Honors College requires a 29 on the ACT, a 3.75 GPA and completion of a separate application. Students who

parent involvement

Parent involvement is encouraged at Auburn University. Camp War Eagle is a mandatory two-day orientation for incoming freshmen, and while parents are not required to attend Camp War Eagle, it is encouraged. Overall, parents find Camp War Eagle a valuable experience and enjoy having their own student counselor during their time on

ƒ Auburn has been ranked in the top 50 public universities for 20 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report.

campus tours

ƒ According to a recent survey, 80% of bachelor’s degree recipients were employed within three months of graduation, with 96% employed within one year.

Available Monday through Friday, four times each day and include an admissions overview. Reserve a spot online at meet all of these requirements will then be chosen out of the pool of applicants based on these qualifications. In 2012, there were 650 students selected for admittance into Auburn’s Honors College. Honors College students enjoy some interesting perks such as book clubs with deans and even the AU President. Auburn has a strong development program that has produced Rhodes Scholars and a Gates Cambridge Award – only 2 out of 32 recipients total were from a public university. Many of these students, as well as many of the general student population, also participate in the co-op program and internships.


One of the most notable aspects of Auburn University is its rich history of tradition and the mystery behind how many of these traditions originated. Of the many traditions the students, faculty and staff have, some of the most well-known include the flight of the eagle before football games, rolling Toomer’s Corner in toilet paper and the “War Eagle” battle cry. While the soaring of the eagle is an incredible sight, where this tradition truly began is unknown, therefore most students choose to pick the story that they like the most. Rolling the trees on Toomer’s Corner after a victory or important event originally began by rolling the traffic lights of a prominent intersection on the edge of campus. This then migrated to rolling the trees closest to this intersection. The “War Eagle” battle cry is another tradition with an unsolved background. Nevertheless, this does not prevent students from embracing these traditions whole-heartedly.

campus. There is also a parent association that works to keep parents involved. Auburn University is a wonderful institution that provides its students with numerous opportunities to flourish. With abundant traditions, growing facilities and a warm, Southern atmosphere, it is easy to see why anyone would want to apply to Auburn University.

ƒ Auburn offers more than 140 options for undergraduate degrees.

Don’t be just another pretty face.

Be an

Auburn Tiger.

ƒ In the past five years, graduates and students have won an Academy Award, the Heisman Trophy, a Rhodes Scholarship, a Pulitzer Prize, and been named the CEO of Apple. ƒ Auburn is included in the 2013 edition of Princeton Review’s The Best 377 Colleges. ƒ When asked, 96% of our graduates say they would choose Auburn again.


In the

spotlight teens making marks

They’re ready for their close ups! In each issue, Potential is shining the spotlight on several area teens. Including boys, girls, athletes, musicians, philanthropists, leaders and stellar students all from varied backgrounds--the list is quite diverse. But they all have one thing in common: an achievement (or achievements) that make them not just noticeable, but noteworthy. PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARTIN HARRIS/BRITSNAP PHOTOGRAPHY


claim to fame

This Prattville High School senior has some mixed feelings about her newest title: valedictorian. “I had never really thought about the whole class rank thing,” she said. In the past I just sought to do my best, and that is what I am continuing to try to do.” It’s obvious that for Kristina, academic achievement is not the goal, but a means to a greater end. When asked what has driven her to excel in school. “I want to maximize my learning experiences because I want to be able to use my honed skills and improve my abilities to serve and give back to my community,” she said. She plans to double major in Accounting and Economics and double minor in Finance and French with hopes of landing a job at one of the big four accounting firms after graduation.

on the move

Born on Travis Air Force Base in Vacaville, Calif., Kristina has moved around a lot, thanks to her dad’s career in the Air Force. A positive attitude has helped her adapt to everywhere she’s been. “Moving around so much has immeasurably benefitted me and taught me a lot. Each move is different, as each new location offers different opportunities,” she said.

point of pride

Kristina’s even helping other students who find themselves in the same position. “I am most proud of founding the Student Ambassador Program at my high school with a friend of mine. As a new student to PHS arriving from Ft. Collins, Colorado, at the beginning of my tenth-grade year, I saw the potential benefits of a program that would ease the transition of new students by providing a friendly face to give new students a tour of the school, basic info about the academics, clubs, athletics and answers to questions.

PG (parental guidance) rating

kristina armstrong

“My parents laid a solid foundation of a good work ethic when I was little. I also believe emphasizing how they were proud of my hard work even more so than my accomplishments has emphasized the importance of integrity, not only in an academic setting, but in all aspects of life.”

parents’ perspective Kristina’s parents Dennis and Rose believe in leading by example, and Dennis and Kristina’s older sister Angela (a National Merit Scholar) have influenced Kristina with their dedication. “Kristina’s father as a 27-year officer in the Air Force was a role model in work ethics, leadership and excellence. He’s shared his experiences of travel to 62 countries,” Rose said. “And her older sister Angela was and still is probably more influential on Kristina’s motivation than anyone else. Kristina saw Angela’s dedication to studying and the sacrifice of being so focused.” “Kristina has seen me study and focus on both work and my masters and PhD classes. That probably served as an example for her,” Dennis said. The couple offered this wisdom to other parents: “Spend time with them, let them know they are important and help them see the bigger picture in life,” Dennis said. “We try to emphasize a well

rounded approach to life rather than just academics.” “Encouraging her to implement her ideas despite adversity has resulted in ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking,” Rose added. “Put limits on how many hours a hard charger can ‘work’ when she/he gets too fatigued to prevent burnout. Most importantly: Don’t be a peer, be a parent! Guide and mentor ideas. We stress that character is more important than achievement.”


claim to fame

All the world has been a stage for this Montgomery Academy senior and capital city native, who’s been envisioning herself in the glow of the spotlight since she was a kid. “I have always dreamed of being on the stage. As long as I’m performing somewhere, I will be happy!” Her passion for performing has actually helped her overcome being seriously shy, an obstacle that could have stopped her natural talent from developing. She pushed herself through her fears, and in middle school she got her first solo in a school musical. “I belted my heart out the whole way through! Ever since then, I’ve known performing was what I wanted to do.” And she’s done it, singing in the AMEA honor choir and concert tours across the country, starring in school productions and playing multiple roles in “Fables Here and Then” at the Cloverdale Playhouse in Montgomery. It hasn’t always been so easy though. “When I was in the ninth grade I auditioned for the Alabama All-State SSA high school honor choir. I went into the audition unprepared, thinking I could make it because I already made it the last two years. When I didn’t make it, I realized I could not have that mind-set. I look at that mistake as a lesson that I will never forget.”

oh the drama

Sarah Catherine is pursuing her childhood dream all the way to college where she plans to major in vocal performance. “But I love musical theater so I would like to take acting and dance classes too. I can NEVER decide if I like opera or 
musical theater more.” she said.

giving back

“This summer I had the opportunity to be part of the Montgomery Academy Philanthropy 101 class. My eyes were opened to the serious needs of the people of Montgomery, and it made me appreciate my family, my home and my health.” she said.

sarah catherine hook

PG (parental guidance) rating

My parents and I understand how risky this business is, but we believe in passion along with God’s plan. I think they are so supportive of my music and acting because they see how happy it makes me.”

parents’ perspective Catherine, a consultant for Etcetera (a women’s designer clothing line) and Hampton Hook, a loan officer at Supreme Lending, have always believed in Sarah Catherine’s future, even when she faced some bumps in her road. “Sarah Catherine was always a ‘little bit behind’ her friends and classmates. She was much smaller than her peers, very shy, and she struggled academically. She had to work harder than the other kids to keep up in school, and there was always an extra effort on her part. We believe her struggles created in her an excellent work ethic and a drive to do the very best that she could in whatever she was doing.” And they’ve helped her believe too. “We’ve encouraged her to trust her instincts and to never give up. Also, we have always supported her love of the stage and her desire to perform.” Hampton said. “We saw this ‘love of the stage’ as a positive, and


we nurtured it. But it’s worth noting that we were never the ones to push her to take lessons or to audition.” Catherine offered some wisdom when it comes to nurturing talent. “If your child has a special talent, allow it to develop. Let God show you what great plans He has in store for your child.”

claim to fame

What do you get when you cross a love of music, a gift for leadership, natural smarts and some serious study habits? St. James junior Josef Jackson. This drum major leads the St. James band and is actually grateful for the heavy responsibility the title brings with it, saying it only fuels his fire to do well. “Being drum major is a very demanding job. I constantly have to push people to focus or try harder, but I also have to balance the work with some humor and fun to make rehearsals enjoyable.” he said. “ I think it’s good for me that it’s a little stressful though; it keeps me motivated and it keeps me moving.” That drive is evident in the classroom too; Jackson is one of only a handful of National Merit Scholars in the city, an honor he’s worked hard to achieve. “It feels good to know that all the studying I’ve been doing for the past four years is paying off. 

paging Dr. Jackson

College is definitely on Jackson’s horizon, and he’s narrowed his list down to Vanderbilt, the University of Georgia, Samford, Yale, Sewanee, Alabama and Auburn. No matter where he ends up, adding Dr. in front of his name is the end goal. “I want to go to medical school and become some type of physician,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed Biology and Anatomy classes in school. Some family health issues have added to his interest in medicine and may determine his specialization in med school. “Both of my grandmothers had birth complications with some of my aunts and uncles,” he said. “My parents feared that they might be sterile because they took four years to conceive my brother and another seven for me. I would love to research reproductive disorders and find a way to minimize their effects.”

just for fun

“I love to just listen to music. I have a great playlist on my iPod that I always whip out and listen to to cheer up or calm down.”

josef jackson

PG (parental guidance) rating

“My parents have pushed me from the very beginning of my educational career to succeed. I picked up the motivation that I have from them, and I’ve run with it to do all the things that I’ve done today.”

parents’ perspective Josef ’s dad Jeff Jackson is retired Air Force and now works as a contractor for Exelis at Maxwell AFB. His mom Lisa is a stay-at-home mom. As to what influenced Josef to achieve National Merit Scholar status, Jeff offered this: “Josef enjoys academic challenges and competitions; he always has. And we’ve always tried to instill a desire in our children to achieve as much as possible.  Josef has been willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals.” Lisa shared some tips on parenting high-achieving teens. “We pray with him and for him a lot! We also feel that music is an integral part of the learning process, so we introduced music into his daily routine early on,” she said.

“Reading is crucial too; both our children were reading before they entered kindergarten, and we kept them supplied with ample books to encourage a love of learning.”


claim to fame

daniel lobello

Taking a tragedy and transforming it into something uplifting is a special gift and just one of the many talents possessed by Catholic High School junior and Montgomery native Daniel LoBello. When a dear family friend died, the 16 year old looked past his own grief and found a way to help others, exhibiting some strong leadership skills in the process. “We had a very dear friend pass away from breast cancer. Although she wasn’t a blood relative, she was my ‘Aunt Kathy.’ “After she died, my younger brother, David, and I wanted to do something in her memory. I heard about the Pray in Pink Event sponsored by the Joy to Life Foundation that brings together people in congregations across the area to pray for a cure for breast cancer and provides information about breast cancer. I thought it would be great to have this event at our Church,” he said. So he contacted the right people and then took charge of organizing it for his church, making prayer cards and pink ribbons to pass out at mass each weekend. His philanthropic efforts are not limited to this cause alone. “Recently I participated in a HOBY Conference and learned about the plight of world hunger. I participated in a local food drive when I returned,” he said. And he and his brother helped out a local school. “We gathered school supplies for a second grade class at Ladonia Elementary School in Russell County. Don’t think your small action won’t make a difference.”

and there’s school too

Daniel has excelled academically, earning a spot in the Junior Honor Society and a place in the American Mathematics Competition, all while playing basketball and football. He’s still considering which university to attend but plans to study aerospace engineering because, “I have always been challenged by the idea of building or creating things.”

daniel lobello

PG (parental guidance) rating

Daniel is grateful to his parents for pushing him past his comfort zone. Learning to play certain sports and also the guitar came with some challenges, but my parents have encouraged me to try new things, even when I didn’t want to.”

parents’ perspective According to Steven, a professor of psychology at Auburn University Montgomery, and Donna, Director of the State of Alabama Multiple Needs Child Office the “it takes a village” concept is true. “Daniel has been a student at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School since kindergarten. He has received positive support and guidance not only in our home, but also from faculty, staff and coaches. His drive and his character have been influenced by many, not just us,” Donna said. Both Steven and Donna say Daniel is very self-motivated, and offered a bit of advice for other parents of self-motivated kids. “He tends to know what he needs to do to accomplish his goals. We try to listen to him and to offer guidance and support, when needed,” Donna said. Support is the key. “At


times I feel Daniel is pushing himself too much, and I may try to encourage him to not do as much. If he tells me he can do something, I have to stop and remind myself to support him and to be there to offer help, if needed.”

Know a Teen with Potential? Potential Magazine highlights high-achieving teens

between the ages of 13-17 years old for our Teen Spotlight in each issue.

Steps to Become a Teen Spotlight: Download the application form from Complete the application Submit the application with nomination from school administrator or community leader Evaluation from the Potential Magazine Advisory Board Interview conducted by Potential Magazine staffers with you and your parents If selected, a photo shoot will be scheduled for you and your parents

Teen Spotlights are eligible for a $500 Achievement Scholarship Areas of Achievement: • Academics • Leadership • Business • Sports • Philanthropic • The Arts • Overcoming Adversity • Citizenship and Community Service

To fill out a nomination form, go to our website


claim to fame

daniel lobello

Less than a year ago, LAMP Magnet High School senior Allison Nguyen lost something she’d been quite attached to. But in dealing with this loss, she’s gained a new perspective on life. Significant injuries from a car accident she barely remembers resulted in the amputation of Allison’s leg. “I fully remember my 11 days at rehab. It was really an eventful experience because it was the hardest 11 days of my life,” she said. There are stages of coping that many amputees go through, and while Allison believes she is no longer in stage one, suffering, she’s not sure she’s at her emotional journey’s end, full acceptance. “I am definitely not suffering anymore,” she said. “However, I am not at the acceptance stage yet. Although I believe I will get there, currently, I’m taking it one day at a time.” Sometimes, those days have been long and hard. “I really thought that not having a leg would be the end of the world. I failed in the way that I let those thoughts overtake me during the months of hospitalization, rehab and home health.” But now, she’s overcome that failure. “Today, I am doing so much better at thinking positively about the future and believing that it is possible for me to pursue my dreams ad goals.”

and there’s school too

The 17-year-old has was born in Vietnam and moved to California then Georgia before her family settled in Montgomery. She maintains a 3.5 GPA, plays tennis and hopes to be a surgeon. “I have always grown up wanting to be a doctor.” she said. “Although it sounds childish, I like opening things up and fixing things. I guess that is how I settled on surgeon.” Despite some of the obstacles her injury threw in her way, she’s kept going and kept positive. “I am motivated because of my parents. I think of my mom many times whenever I am down,” she said.

PG (parental guidance) rating

allison nguyen

“Of all the things that my parents have taught me, the most important thing is being grateful for what I do have in my life. They definitely have taught me to stop thinking about what I don’t have. They helped me recognized that I am so much more privileged than most of the people my age across the globe.”

parents’ perspective Allison’s parents Angie and Frank are both cosmetologist and own/operate a local nail salon. Coming from Vietnam to America has given them a unique take on parenting their high-achieving teen. “As an immigrant coming to a nation with empty hands, we feel as though it is our duty, and for the good of our daughter, to be driven and set high goals for her future,” Angie said. “Education is an important thing in our family. We all want the best for our children and for them to achieve a better life than we have. And the only way to reach that goal is to set a clear educational route for her through good study habits and teaching her to focus.”


Angie also had this advice to share. “Over the years, I have learned to give our daughter the freedom and room to make her own mistakes.”

claim to fame

Zoe Portis is in 7th grade at Trinity Presbyterian School. She’s got a large, loving family and a great group of friends. But only a few years ago, a seven-year-old Zoe’s picture looked much bleaker. She lived in a mud hut in Ethiopia where she had to walk miles for water and felt the pangs of real hunger all to often. She had no education. After the deaths of her entire family, her future was uncertain. But when Cole and Joy Portis adopted Zoe and brought her to their home in Montgomery, she was given the opportunity so many children take for granted, the chance to go to school. And it was a chance she seized. Despite not knowing a syllable of English, she entered 1st grade. Her enthusiasm for learning pushed her past the language barrier, and by the end of 2nd grade, she was in the highest reading group and won the trophy for most Advanced Reader points. “It is the accomplishment that I am most proud of,” she said.

all-around achiever

josef jackson

Zoe’s academic progress has been stellar for any student and made even more impressive by what she’s overcome. Her pure determination and zeal for life have earned her the admiration of teachers and friends. She was recently voted class favorite. She runs cross-country, plays soccer and basketball and is learning more of her native language, Amharic. But her gratitude and gracious manner truly set Zoe a part. “God has been so gracious to me. I have a wonderful family and friends who accepted me and welcomed me with love.” She’s considering devoting her life to mission work. But she’s also interested in being a model. “I love fashion and being in front of the camera. I am always posing for the camera and I love it!”

PG (parental guidance) rating

zoe portis

“My parents have done so much for me I don’t even know where to start. First of all, they adopted me and gave me a future. They brought me to their home, and I am able to say I have a Mom and a Dad. They have been great role models to me by showing me what love is and teaching me about Jesus.

parents’ perspective Cole, a local attorney, and Joy, a stay-at-home mom have been overjoyed to see the young lady Zoe has become. “When she got the AR trophy, I was blown away,” Joy said. “She attacks everything with that same passion: soccer, piano, basketball, running, friendships, helping with her siblings, missions, etc. She realizes she is blessed with many opportunities and she doesn’t take them for granted. We are blessed to call her daughter! “ Cole and Joy know that some of who Zoe is comes from her early childhood. “She has so many life experiences that have shaped her character and attitude.  I just encourage her to keep her focus on Christ and His plan for her and the gifts He has given her,” Joy said. “She recently returned to Ethiopia on a mission trip and her passion and love for Ethiopia is so evident.  As her mom I try to recognize areas where she is gifted and areas of interest and provide opportunities to mature them as she explores life.” Cole echoed his wife. “Even after losing

her biological mother and father, as well as her beloved grandmother, God instilled in Zoe a wonderful nature to be content in her circumstances and to do her best in the environment where she is placed. Zoe now understands that God was working all things together for good. As a result of her confidence in God, she genuinely is kind and generous with others,” he said.


take note statewide Youth Theatre Camp Auditions


The Youth Theatre Camp includes two weeks of master classes taught by professional actors. who appear in the 2013 repertory season at ASF. Campers will stay at a local college and will rehearse according to a professional schedule while enjoying a variety of extra-curricular theatre themed activities. “They will receive an experience that many don’t even get in an undergraduate theatre program. It is an excellent resume item for students as they prepare for their college careers in theatre,” said ASF Education Director Greta Lambert. UPCOMING AUDITIONS:

Nov 3: Bob Jones High School and St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Madison AL Nov 10 – ASF, Montgomery AL

ASF Young Playwrights Competition An off-shoot of the Southern Writers’ Project, ASF’s Young Southern Writers’ Project One Act Play Competition was created to give a voice to a new generation of Southern authors. Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place writers and their teachers and include: (1) play readings of the first, second and third prize winners in the fall of 2012 at various locations throughout Alabama, (2) tickets to an ASF production and an opportunity to meet Southern Writers’ Project playwrights, (3) publication on the ASF web site. SUBMISSIONS DUE:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013. MORE INFO:

OPEN house kumon academic enrichment oct. 20 - 21 An after-school program to build and strengthen math and reading skills for kids preK through 12th grade. Troy University Montgomery – Nov 1 Troy University’s Montgomery Campus is having an Open House for students and parents to find out more about attending Troy University. Application fee for Spring 2012 semester will be waived for students registering that night.  WHEN: 5:30 - 7 PM WHERE: Davis Theatre REGISTER: 334-241-9506 MORE INFO: 334-241-5931 AUM Warhawk Welcome OCT 13 Tour the campus and resi-


come on in

dence halls, explore academic offerings, learn about financial aid options and learn about the fast track admissions option! AUM EXPERIENCE DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WARHAWK - NOV 12 What is it really like to be a student at AUM? Find out by talking with current students and visiting a real college class! AUM RECEPTION FOR FUTURe students NOV 13 6pm What better way to learn about AUM than from some of our most outstanding graduates? Join us as we hear from some of our most successful alums about why they chose AUM. WHEN: 6PM WHERE: Wynlakes more info: 334-244-3615


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2 Armory Learning Arts Center hosts this juried competition and sidewalk art contest which provides an opportunity for 10th-12th graders to exhibit work in the APF Youth Gallery. The public is invited to observe the Sidewalk Art Competition, begins at 12:30 – 2:15 pm with awards at 2:30.

Roxie lancaster children’s holiday writing competition Thursday, december 13 This county-wide literary competition offers scholastic opportunities to 7 -12 grade to share their holiday memories and family traditions. WHERE: Juliette Hampton Morgan memorial Library Auditorium, 245 High Street MORE INFO & REGISTRATION: 334.271.ARTS


PARENTS & TEENS who are making decisions about:

• Colleges • Cars & Insurance • Prom • Graduation and Birthday Parties • Tutoring and College Preparation • Sports and Activities • Private Lessons and Camps • Computers, Tablets and Cell Phones • 334.201.8787

• Christmas Gift Ideas • Volunteering Tips • Senioritis • Graduation Gift Ideas • Summer Programs

• Summer Jobs and Internships • SAT/ACT Prep • Applying for Colleges • Scholarships and Awards • NCAA Athlete Requirements

.........and more!


Here, we are all

about the future.

In fact, it’s sort of the point.




Our educational results go far beyond our impressive college placement list, cultivating in our graduates intellectual curiosity, strong character and a deep awareness of their contributions to society. To learn more about the truly distinctive character of The Montgomery Academy, contact Susannah Cleveland, Director of Admissions, 334-272-8210.

Th e M o n t g o m e r y A c a d e m y T h e

P u r s u i t

o f

E x c e l l e n c e | montgomeryacademy. org Financial Aid Available


It is the policy of The Montgomery Academy to treat all applicants in a non-discriminatory manner, without regard to age, color, gender, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, or any classification protected by federal, state or local law.

Potential Magazine 2012  

Potential Magazine