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Educating the Whole Child

Pre-K3, Pre-K4, and Kindergarten Sunday, January 21 at 1:30pm Register Online

From Pre-K3 through 12th grade, STJ students, faculty, and administration work together to foster the potential of each child at Saint James School. Visit our state-of-the-art campus January 21st and experience first-hand the impact of engaged and experiential learning. Please join us! Our Open House program begins at 1:30pm on January 21st and is full of fun events that will help you and your child experience the complete education offered at Saint James School.


Leading the Way Since 1955 S T J w e b . o r g Ask us about our Financial Assistance Program. Academic support for English Language Learners available. Saint James School admits students of any religion, race, gender, creed, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.


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Montgomery Parents I January 2018

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HOME TO EAST MONTGOMERY Montgomery Parents I January 2018





January2018 58

Volume 23 Number 1



8 Living With Children John Rosemond

12 Kids Health Watch sponsored by Professional Pediatrics

The Private School Advantage

New Year, New Attitude

Learn three benefits from a parent’s perspective.

How shifting your mindset can help you tap more joy in 2018.



40 Pike Road Education Matters by Superintendent Charles Ledbetter, Ed.D.

44 Autauga Education Matters by Superintendent Spence Agee

48 Elmore Education Matters by Superintendent Richard Dennis

55 The College Years by Lee Gonet

56 Growing Up Online Carolyn Jabs

60 Parenting Today’s Teens Mark Gregston

Private School Guide

Details on River Region private schools including cost, registration dates, curriculum and more.

Why Are So Many Teens Anxiety-Ridden? Five ways you can help restore balance and peace.

On The Cover Dalton Washington, Annie Skoneki and Vara York are students at Saint James School in Montgomery. Dalton is in eighth grade and is such a fine young man. He plays football, basketball, and baseball and loves all three sports equally. His favorite academic course is science. Annie is a senior and a Student Ambassador for Saint James School. She is also a strong athlete, playing volleyball and basketball. Vara is in first grade. While she loves ballet, softball is her favorite sport. Her most loved subject in school is art. She is a bubbly, precious little girl.


65 A Page in a Book Gerry Paige Smith

89 Get This! Gerry Paige Smith

Departments 10 Bits and Pieces 14 School Bits 96 Calendar/Support Groups 104 Mom to Mom

Editor’sNote Happy New Year! Another holiday season has come and gone in a flash, and now it’s on to the business of fresh starts and new goals for 2018! Our goal at Montgomery Parents, as we kick off our 23rd year, continues to be providing River Region parents...each of you...with encouragement and insights into the rewarding and challenging work of raising children. This year we will continue to provide articles on parenting your teenagers, navigating the ever-changing world of technology with your kids, preparing your highschoolers for college, keeping your children as healthy as possible and more. Plus we will focus on various themes each month including our Baby and Toddler Issue in February, Summer Camps in March, and Child Care in April just to list a few. We begin the year with our anticipated Private School Issue to inform parents who are considering a shift to private education for their children. In this issue you will find articles on the Benefits of Private School From a Parent’s Perspective, along with advice for handling the all-important private school interview. We have also included our 2018 Private School Guide, a comprehensive listing of River Region private schools that includes registration information, clubs and extra-curriculars offered, testing requirements and other important information to help you narrow down the options. Please pay special attention to our advertisers, and look for the page number reference to find their full page advertorial. Here they offer further details on all their program has to offer and why it may be the right choice for your family. Also in this issue, we’ve included what we consider to be a very important article for the times. I doubt I’m the only parent who has noticed that many of our teenagers seem to

The River Region’s Foremost Parenting Source Montgomery Parents Magazine is founded on the principle that parenting is an exciting, diverse, challenging, and significant role in our community. Montgomery Parents Magazine is a community advocate for families and the parenting process.

Founder Marty Watson (1950-2006) Editor DeAnne Watson

Associate Editor Alison Rouse Research Editor Wendy McCollum Contributing Writers Dr. Rachel Abrams Spencae Agee Clare Anderson Richard Dennis Robert Coggin, M.D. Reginald Eggleston, Ed.D. Lee Gonet Mark Gregston Christa Melnyk Hines Carolyn Jabs Dr. Charles Ledbetter John Rosemond Gerry Paige Smith

Cover Photography Maria Wiggins

be struggling with anxiety and depression like never before. We hear stories about teen cutting and teen suicide way too often and it breaks our hearts. Maybe you are dealing with an anxious and depressed teen in your home. What are the factors that may be part of the cause? What can we, as parents, do to help? Dr. Rachael Abrams shares important insights in her article, Why Are So Many of Today’s Teens Anxiety-Ridden? She offers five ways parents can try to help restore peace and balance. For parents of young children, John Rosemond shares advice for dealing with toddlers throwing tantrums, and Carolyn Jabs helps us make YouTube Kids safer for our children in her Growing Up Online column. We will strive to provide information for all stages of the parenting journey throughout 2018, and we are always open to your suggestions and ideas for new content. My email is below...I’d love to hear from you. Happy New Year from all of us at Montgomery Parents to all of you!

Publisher Jason Watson

Associate Publisher Gena Hill Digital Manager Scott Davis Advertising Opportunities Stephanie Parsons, VP of Client Services (334) 213-7940 ext. 703

Ad Design Tim Welch Distribution Manager Chris Mitchell



Montgomery Parents I January 2018


Montgomery Parents magazine is published monthly by KeepSharing LLC, P.O. Box 230367, Montgomery, Alabama, 36123. Montgomery Parents is copyrighted 2018 by KeepSharing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. opinions expressed in Montgomery Parents magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.




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Trinity is Montgomery’s foremost educational institution, binding academic excellence with Christian values. Providing a challenging college-preparatory education, Trinity offers a rigorous academic program, committed educators, outstanding athletics, and a nurturing family environment. Our extraordinary educators at Trinity strike the perfect balance as they encourage students to strive for excellence, while emphasizing Christ-like character above all else. “The Trinity Experience” produces leaders who possess mental, physical and spiritual strength. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Director of Admission, Jenny McClinton, at 334.213.2213 or Tuition assistance is available. Discount offered to our military families. Trinity admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origins to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. Trinity does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origins in any of the educational policies, scholarship programs and athletics, and other school-administered programs.

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LivingWithChildren by John Rosemond

Is My Toddler’s Behavior “Normal”? Q: My parents recently told me that my husband and I are letting our toddler run our family and that it’s becoming increasingly uncomfortable for them to visit or have us visit with them – they live 10 miles away – because of her misbehavior. Mind you, she is only 28 months old. She throws frequent tantrums and often refuses to do what we tell her to do. That’s normal for this age, right? By the way, my parents had me when they were older and are sort of stuck in the old ways of doing things.

A: Saying that your daughter

is ONLY 28 months old may go a long way toward explaining this situation. Your parents, being “stuck in the old ways,” understand that the most advantageous time to deal with any given misbehavior on the part of a toddler is when it first appears – by nipping it in the bud, so to speak. This very active approach to discipline recognized that misbehavior snowballs downhill very rapidly. For better or worse, major disciplinary precedents are set during the third year of

Montgomery Parents I January 2018

life (24 to 36 months). These precedents determine, to significant degree, whether the child’s discipline will be relatively easy or extremely difficult from that point on. I’m going to guess that your parents are concerned that by excusing your daughter’s behavior on the basis of her age that you are creating a significant disciplinary “debt” that will create even more stress down the road for all concerned. I’m sure you want nothing more than for your daughter to be a happy child. Consider, then, that obedient, well-behaved children are much, much happier than disobedient, ill-behaved children. Common sense confirms that and so does the best research into parenting outcomes. I urge you to get a move on before your daughter becomes a full-blown family tyrant. First, create a “tantrum place” – a safe and relatively isolated place where you put your daughter as soon as a tantrum begins. A half-bath works well. When screaming


commences, in she goes until the screaming stops. Time-out does not generally work well with older children or major discipline problems, but it can be very useful with a toddler. The child’s room, assuming it is not a self-contained entertainment complex, will do. Five or ten minutes in relative confinement for disobedience sends a powerful message to a child this age. Use a timer set outside her door to let her know when her time of repentance is up. Concerning the “old” ways of raising children, which we abandoned beginning in the late 1960s and began listening to mental health professionals tell us how to “parent,” it is now plain as day that professional advice, based on psychological theory, has resulted in a parenting catastrophe. Over the past 50 years, for example, the mental health of America’s children has been in free fall, with no end in sight. The Book of Ecclesiastes, one of the so-called “wisdom” books of Scripture, says “there is nothing new under the sun.” Concerning children especially, that is spot on. Family psychologist John Rosemond answers parents’ questions on his website at


A K4-12 College Preparatory School


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Sunday, February 4, 2018 | 2 - 4 p.m.

Holy Spirit Elementary Campus, K4-6 grade 8580 Vaughn Rd., Montgomery, AL 36117 334-649-4404 St. Bede Elementary Campus, K4-6 grade 3850 Atlanta Hwy., Montgomery, AL 36109 334-272-3033 Middle School Campus, 7-8 grade 5350 Vaughn Rd., Montgomery, AL 36116 334-272-2465 High School Campus, 9-12 grade 5350 Vaughn Rd., Montgomery, AL 36116 334-272-7220


Join us for Open House and experience how we prepare students to become persons of faith, virtue, and wisdom. For more information contact or call 334-272-7221 ext. 32.

Grand Opening of Renovated Mount Vernon Theatre

Upcoming YMCA Father Daughter Dances

Join the Bell Road YMCA Saturday, February 3, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. for an enchanted evening in our Winter Wonderland. We invite fathers, uncles, grandfathers, step-fathers, etc. (sorry, no mothers and sons) to bring their special princess to dance the evening away. Food, fun and a photo to remember the occasion is included. Bring your dancing shoes to compete in the danceoff. Prizes go to our dance-off winners and our Best Dressed Couple. Cost for members: $30 per couple, $5 for additional child; cost for nonmembers: $60 per couple, $5 for additional child. Call (334) 271-4343 for more info. Join the Kershaw YMCA February 3 from 5-8 p.m. for a night in Paris. Cost: $35 per couple, $5 for additional child. Call (334) 265-1433 for more info. At the Grandview Family YMCA in Millbrook, enjoy an evening filled with finger foods, cupcake decorating, a photo booth and dancing for fathers and daughters (ages 4 and up). The evening (February 10 from 7-9 p.m.) will consist of dinner, dancing and a photo. Cost for members: $30 per couple, $5 for additional child; cost for nonmembers: $50 per couple, $5 for additional child. Call (334) 290-9622 for more info.

Montgomery Parents I January 2018

January 19-21 * 7 p.m. Fri. & Sat.; 2 p.m. Sunday Originally built in 1935 by Mount Vernon Mills and closed in 1968, the Mount Vernon Theatre at 321 Barnette Boulevard in Tallassee now includes a beautiful courtyard with large oak trees, a pergola, benches, tables and a display of water trickling down a wall of tiles in memory of loved ones. To commemorate the Grand Opening, Mount Vernon Theatre joins with the Talisi Historical Preservation Society’s Friends of Tuckabatchee in presenting an original play, Dear Mama: Letters and Music From World War II, written by Adrian Lee Borden, and based on true events of World War II. For more info and tickets, call (334) 991-2079, e-mail or visit www.

Disney on Ice at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center

January 24-28 * Various performance times. Join Mickey and Minnie Mouse on an inspiring walk down memory lane in celebration of magic and family fun. Dory is back with friends from Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory. Travel to Arendelle with Anna, Elsa and Olaf from Frozen. See Rapunzel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Buzz and Woody from Toy Story, Simba, Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King, and Jasmine, Aladdin and the Genie. For tickets or more info, visit www.bjcc. org/ or call (205) 458-8400. 10

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Area Mardi Gras Celebrations

In Prattville, Cruising the Creekwalk 5K and 1-Mile Mardi Gras Fun Run will take place January 27. They will start and end at the Doster Memorial Community Center, 424 S Northington St. in Prattville. Both courses go along the creek and through downtown where vendors will be set up for the City’s Mardi Gras celebration. Water stations will be located at the halfway and finish points. Registration will be held at the Doster Center beginning at 7:30 a.m. 5K race begins at 9 a.m. and 1-Mile Fun Run begins at 10. Race day entry fee is $30. All proceeds benefit the Youth Leadership Autauga County program. For more info, visit The Millbrook Revelers Mardi Gras Festival and Parade will be held on February 3. The Festival grounds will officially open at 9 a.m. The Parade will begin at noon after the staging at the Mill Creek Park located behind The Smokehouse Bar-B-Q restaurant on Main Street. The crowd will be larger in the area around the Village Green. Participating vendors come from Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida and of course Alabama. Food items vary from alligator on a stick to gumbo, red beans and rice, smoked turkey legs and much more. There will be fun rides for children of all ages: pony rides, water walker, a climbing wall and zip ride. Visit www.millbrookrevelers. org/ for more info. In Wetumpka, the 2018 Order of Cimarrón will host its Sixth Annual Mardi Gras Celebration on February 10. Vendors will be open at 9 a.m. selling food, arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, metal crafts and so much more. The Parade will begin sharply at 1 p.m. and will follow the Christmas on the Coosa parade route. This is a family-friendly event. Vendors and interested groups may look us up on Facebook or visit for more info.

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Alabama Nature Center’s Critter Crawl & Yeti Dash

February 10 This 5K trail run is like no other! The Critter Crawl is a trail run benefiting the Alabama Nature Center’s education programs that takes runners through a portion of the ANC’s 5-mile trail system. New for 2018 is the ANC Yeti Dash! The Yeti Dash is a 1-mile trail system run. Nature/critter costumes are mandatory for any guests who wish to participate in the Yeti Dash. Any guests who do not dress in costume will not be eligible to win a Yeti Dash medal. One medal will be awarded to the first-place finisher in each age group category. While you are here, be on the lookout for the elusive Yeti. You just might be able to snag a picture with him! Shirts are guaranteed for participants registering before January 31. Extras will be ordered but run out fast. Registration Station opens for packet pickup at 7:30 a.m.; Critter Crawl 5K Race begins at 8:30; Yeti Dash begins at 9:45; and a Trophy Ceremony will start around 10:30 once the last runner has crossed the finish line and results are in. Sign up on today!

Presented by Alabama Shakespeare Festival January 6-February 3, Snow Queen is the fairy tale that inspired Disney’s Frozen and the White Witch character in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Children will be spellbound as Gerda struggles to free her friend Kai from the clutches of an evil queen with a frozen heart. With the help of her faith and loyalty, Gerda proves that love can always triumph over evil. Recommended for ages 4+. For tickets or more info, visit or call (334) 271-5353.

An Expressive Evening at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts

January 25 * 6-8 p.m. Enjoy a FREE evening of creativity at the Museum with teens. Each year the MUSES, the Museum’s teen council, design and host a tableau of artistic expression presented by local students. Past acts have included poetry, vocal, and instrumental performances. For more info, call (334) 240-4333 or visit

Polar Plunge @ Kowaliga

January 13 * 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 295 Kowaliga Marina Road, Alexander City. Come walk, run, or dive into Lake Martin in the dead of winter! There will be food and drink specials from Kowaliga Restaurant, a warm-up tent, music, and fun and games. For more info, call (256) 215-7035 or visit





Sponsored by Professional Pediatrics

Cool Stuff for Babies Christmas has just passed, but there are many unique and useful products you might be interested in for baby showers, birthdays, or other occasions. Some of these items are inexpensive and others are relatively costly. There is usually a variety of products that might be substituted for these items. The Hutch Baby Rest is a combination super night light, sound machine, and alarm in a simple attractive design. It provides many choices of sounds and light features and is programable from a smart phone. The cost is about $60. Another sound machine is called the Baby Shusher which produces calming, rhythmic shushing sounds to soothe the baby. The type of sound is limited with this device, but the length and volume of the sound can be controlled from the machine. It is very portable and an app is available to allow its use away from home. It costs in the range of $30-40. Another product from Hutch is the Hutch Grow. It is basically a changing table pad but it has a built-in scale. This allows the baby’s weight to be carefully monitored. It also monitors feeding schedules, diaper changes, and more. It is monitored and recorded on a smart phone by a Bluetooth connection. It costs about $130. There are other products that are much

less expensive, but still very useful. One is a pacifier thermometer which is a digital thermometer attached to a pacifier. There is a wide variety of these devices from very basic to others that have features to indicate fever and to record temperature readings. Clinical studies have shown that the temperature taken with a pacifier thermometer and rectal thermometer are comparable and reliable. These range in the price of $4-15. One other similar product is a pacifier medicine dispenser. It is sometimes challenging to administer medications to infants and toddlers so many different devices have been developed to try to make this task a little easier. Some just have a chamber molded in the pacifier where the medicine can be placed. Others have a measuring tube or syringe attached to the pacifier to administer the liquid medicine. These can be found online and at local retail stores and drug stores. The cost ranges from less than $3 to up to $60. A very high-tech product for babies is the Owlet Smart Sock. This is basically a heart rate monitor and pulse oximeter oxygen sensor manufactured into a sock that is worn on the baby’s foot. It measures the baby’s heart rate and oxygen level and is monitored on a base station or by an app on a smart phone. This product may be useful for par-

ents who are very concerned for their infant, however, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend routine monitoring of infants. If you feel this product would be useful, it is suggested that parents receive formal infant CPR training by the Red Cross or a hospital in order to respond effectively to an emergency. This device costs about $300. Another baby monitoring product is the Cocoon Cam. This is a combination HD video camera and motion detector that allows you to see and hear the baby and monitor the baby’s respiration wirelessly. It is connected to a smart phone by an app. The retail cost is $150. It is important for parents to do their own research on any of these devices to make sure you find the best product for your needs. After all, we all want the very best for these precious babies entrusted to our care. Dr. Coggin received his medical degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine and did his pediatric residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. He began private practice in Mississippi and has been in Montgomery since 1983. He has two married daughters, one in Montgomery and one in Orlando, Florida. He enjoys college sports with his wife Cathy who is an attorney.

Montgomery Parents I January 2018


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OPEN HOUSE TUESDAY, 2/6/18 6:00 pm

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Macon East Academy is a college preparatory school committed to providing students with a safe, nurturing, environment that promotes academic achievement, patriotism, and belief in God through Christian doctrine. We provide students the opportunity to reach the full potential of their gifts and talents through the following benefits: • SMALL CLASS SIZES











15396 Vaughn Road

Cecil, Alabama 36013 - Just a few minutes east of Chantilly Parkway Telephone: 334.277.6566 Web: You’re always welcome, so please get in touch with our Admissions Office and come for a campus tour. We would love to show you around! 13 Leadership scholarship opportunities are available. l


Montgomery County Schools

Floyd Middle Magnet Takes Two Field Trips To Authentic Spanish Cultures

MEA Students Chosen for Duke TIP

Floyd Middle Magnet School Spanish Club attended a field trip to the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Festival in Birmingham November 2. The event focused on celebrating “the lives of those that came before and those that are still with us.” Students had the opportunity to participate in a jazz street parade and joined in the memorial call as well as danced and sang to Spanish songs. The students said the best part was the opportunity to taste several Spanish dishes served by various vendors. As a follow-up activity a month after, the students attended another field trip. On December 1, students watched the newly released animated musical comedy film from Pixar, Coco. Both the festival and the movie were evidence that students were able to acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints only available through the Spanish language and culture. Students were able to communicate and connect with the Spanish culture.

Macon East Academy students Wade Desmarais and Anna Glynn Lott have been selected to participate in the Duke University Talent Identification Program based on their performance on the ACT Aspire test taken last spring. This is the 38th Annual Scholastic Talent Search sponsored by Duke recognizing students who score in the 95th percentile or higher on one or more subtests of their school’s standardized testing. The 7th-grade talent search gives eligible students the opportunity to take either the ACT or SAT college entrance exams and get greater insight into their aptitude and abilities.

Knights of Columbus Continued Generosity to Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School

Forest Avenue Hosts Open House on Jan. 16

The St. Bede Knights of Columbus Council 893 presented a check for $5,000 to the St. Bede Campus of Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School this fall. Always generous, the Knights of Columbus sponsor numerous events throughout the year in support of Catholic education including scholarships for the school, a Thanksgiving basketball tournament and the PICE Golf Tournament each year. From left are Knight Mark Mosman, Rev. Alex Valladares, Principal Laurie Gulley, Grand Knight Barry Waite, Rev. Nicholas Napolitano and Knight Shane McKenny.

Forest Avenue Academic Magnet Elementary School (FAAM), an award-winning magnet program in Montgomery Public Schools, will host an open house for prospective kindergarten students and their parents on Tuesday, January 16, at 6 p.m. All families who are considering magnet schools as an option for their children are welcome to attend. Prospective families will have an opportunity to tour the school, including the library and science lab, and meet current students, teachers and parents to learn more about the school’s offerings. There will be activities for schoolage children while parents attend a short program in the auditorium. To sign up for the event, please visit Montgomery Parents I January 2018




D Montgomery County Schools

BTW Racks Up Accolades at State Trumbauer

Montgomery Academy Students Named to All-State Chorus

Four Montgomery Academy choral students made the 2018 Alabama All-State Chorus: Kelly Yoon, Alisha Singh, Kareena Singh and Carlyle Chandler. They will travel to Samford University in March to participate in the event. In order to be selected, the students had to learn five choral pieces on their own and were judged for note and rhythm accuracy and voice quality. Choral students from across the state auditioned, and the highest scores were chosen to participate.

Booker T. Washington Magnet High students put on quite a show at the State Trumbauer Secondary Theatre Festival at the University of North Alabama in Florence. The school sent 32 theater, musical theater and technical theater students to the festival to compete in 27 individual events and to stage one student-directed Studio Show. In the individual events, the students scored 23 Superior ratings and four Excellent ratings. Several students shined particularly bright in the individual events. Sean Golson and Michael Pritchard placed first, Del’Kyra Williams and Tori Carl placed second, and Victoria Crabtree placed third in their respective categories. BTW’s Studio Show, The Other Room, directed by Sean Golson, won one of three Best in Show awards. In addition, Katie Marcelino and Christian Jackson were named to the All-Star Cast, and Trinity Ross received the Best Supporting Actress Award. The festival brings together theater students in grades 9 through 12 from all around Alabama.

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Montgomery Parents I January 2018


Catholic Names New Director of Admissions



Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School has named Julie Lopez as the new Director of Admissions. “We are excited to welcome Julie to her new role at Montgomery Catholic,” said school President Anne Ceasar. “She will be integral in welcoming our new students and their families to our school community. Her energy and enthusiasm will help to continue the forward movement of our school.” From a military family, Lopez attended Montgomery Catholic in elementary and again in high school when her parents were stationed at Maxwell AFB. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Auburn University and has worked as a director of marketing and events coordinator for the past 13 years. Lopez has two children, Sophia and Camilla, and they are active members of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Montgomery. “As both a past student and current parent of two elementary students, I am more excited than ever to play such an integral role as director of admissions and look forward to blazing a bright new trail for prospective families to join our rich MCPS family history and strong Knight Nation,” said Lopez. She begins her role as director of admissions on January 2.

Send Your School News by the 12th of each month to: editor@montgomery 17


Montgomery County Schools

Eastwood Awards Spelling Bee Winners

Fourth-grader Caroline MacLeod won first place in this year’s Eastwood Christian School Spelling Bee. Eighth-graders Baillie Johnson and Luke Duggar,came in second and third place. The winning word was putrefaction. MacLeod will advance to the Montgomery County Spelling Bee where students compete to advance to the state competition.

Bethany Christian Celebrates In Pink

Bethany Christian Academy continued the school tradition of highlighting breast cancer awareness through a variety of pink activities. Students hosted a “Salute To Survivors” luncheon and special honoree was 93-year-old Mrs. Annie Matsey, an 18-year survivor! The “Parade of Pink” through the community was led by breast cancer survivors Jacquita Erkins, Sonja McCarden and Reggenia Baskin. The observance was concluded with a pink balloon release in honor of Mrs. LaWanda Similton and all the brave warriors who succumbed to the disease.


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Send Your School News by the 12th of each month to:

Montgomery Parents I January 2018

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Sidney Lanier Students Hold Toy Drive

Sidney Lanier High School students went above and beyond to make the holiday season better for 30 families in their community. The Lanier JROTC pitched in to help the Fellowship of Lanier Christian Students, also known as the Praying Poets, hold a toy drive for the Poet Nation PTSA Angel Project for Christmas. The students collected an impressive number of gifts, which were distributed to the families at the Lanier Parent Center before schools let out for winter break. Lanier Parent Liaison Cubie Rae Hayes said she started a similar drive last year with the help of the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots program. This year, she enlisted the help of the JROTC and others at the school to ensure the drive’s success. The response was heartwarming, she said. “It is most important that we teach our students the importance of sharing and caring,” Hayes said. “I am just so very proud of the involvement of our students at Lanier and their response to serving our community.” Shown are Lanier JROTC cadets, Fellowship of Lanier Christian Students advisors Yolanda Huntley and Shonda Tolliver, and Hayes.


ACA Participates in Hour of Code

Students at Alabama Christian Academy participated in the International Hour of Code recently. The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week and is a global movement reaching millions of students in 180+ countries. First- through fifth-grade students learned coding in the makerspace during STEM class with a variety of programs including: Scratch Jr., Sphero Robots, Little Bits Coding Kits, Code. org, Scratch and Lego WeDo. Fifthgrade students also visited Faulkner University and enjoyed a lesson on coding. Middle and high school students participated in the Hour of Code by using App Lab, which allows students to create their own app, Flappy Bird coding game, and Google Doodle Code celebrating 50 years of coding.

Montgomery County Schools

Saint James Fares Well in Art Show

Eastwood Selects Young Leaders for Conference

Eastwood Christian School has nominated five students from the sixth-grade class to represent the school at the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. this summer. The Junior National Young Leaders Conference offers high-achieving middle school students the opportunity to learn about leadership in a challenging and interactive program designed for the nation’s most promising middle school students. Eastwood’s nominees are: Anna Beth Coon, Johnson DeHuff, Jack Hawkins, Elisabeth Johnson and Emma Sonnichsen.

Montgomery Parents I January 2018

High school students from Saint James were recognized for their hard work, talent, and expertise in the 39th Annual School Art Show at the Alabama National Fair this fall. Claudia Hubbard took first place in Sculpture and Michelle Lee took first place in Printmaking. Ella Skier took second place in Watercolor Painting, Jin Kim took second in Mixed Media, and Jake Hastings took second in Printmaking. Hastings also placed third in Watercolor Painting, Christine Choi placed third in Opaque Painting, Payton Christian took third in Black and White Drawing, Whitman Kent placed third in Mixed Media, and Kylie Eng placed third in both Color Drawing and Printingmaking. Saint James students were also received Honorable Mentions for Black and White Drawing – Greta Decker and for Printmaking – Jin Kim.


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Montgomery Academy Students Create STEAM Projects

Montgomery Academy Lower School art teacher Mrs. Tullos used a student-centered approach with fifth-graders as they created a STEAM project to fuse art with one of the other domains: science, technology, engineering or math. As projects were completed, each student reflected on his or her work by writing an artist statement. One student shared, “My goal as an artist is to bring happiness and laughter through my artwork.� Visit the enrichment hall of the Lower School to see more.

Holy Cross Winter Outreach Project Benefits Montgomery Area Council On Aging

Students at Holy Cross Episcopal School participate in several outreach projects throughout the year as they practice the principles they learn in chapel each day. For their holiday season outreach project, Holy Cross partnered with Montgomery Area Council on Aging providing jars of peanut butter and tube socks to help Meals on Wheels recipients stay warm and nourished. Traci Herndon, Archibald Center coordinator and Christmas Bags coordinator with the Montgomery Area Council on Aging, visited the school to pick up the donated items that will be delivered with Meals of Wheels to Montgomery area recipients. Holy Cross students were proud to present Herndon with 230 socks and109 jars of peanut butter for the seniors and 29 pounds of pet food for their pets.


Montgomery County Schools

Montgomery Academy Economics Students Success in Alabama Stock Market Game

Macon East Football Ends Season in Semis

The Macon East Academy varsity football team had an outstanding 9-1 regular season with just one loss early in the year at Crenshaw. Macon East hosted rounds 1 and 2 of the playoffs defeating Clarke Prep 38-34 in round 1 and ending the season with a 50-13 loss to Escambia Academy in round 2 of the AISA AA playoffs. With 12 seniors and several new additions to the Knights squad, the team was ranked 6th by the Alabama Sports Writers Association heading into the playoffs. The 2017 season was the first team ranked since 2008 and the first to host a playoff game in 15 years. The Knights hope to carry this momentum into next year’s season and continue to build a successful football program. Five seniors (Logan Goree, Collin Harris, Zack Peacock, Wes Pugh and Tyler Watson) represented Macon East in the AISA All-Star Football game on December 1 at Cramton Bowl. Coach Glynn Lott, one of the coaches for the East team, was honored as AISA’s AA Coach of the Year at the all-star luncheon held prior to the game. Tyler Watson was awarded one of four academic scholarships presented each year to AISA all-star football players and cheerleaders. Although the East fell to the West in the game, the senior athletes enjoyed a fun week of football and spending time with their fellow AISA students. From left are Macon East AllStars Tyler Watson, Colin Harris, Logan Goree, Wes Pugh, Zack Peacock, and Coach Glynn Lott.

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Montgomery Parents I January 2018

The Alabama Stock Market Game (SMG) is an exciting 10-week, online trading experience sponsored by the Alabama Council on Economic Education (ACEE). Students begin with $100,000 and may purchase stocks, bonds and mutual funds and make any number of trades with their available funds. The teams with the most valuable portfolios at the end of the 10 weeks win their division. Montgomery Academy students made up half of the top ten winners in the South Alabama region! Second place: Hunter Rives, Third place: Anderson Crane, Fourth place: Bennett Griffin, Seventh place: Tucker Ayers, Ninth place: Lee Sahlie. They are all economics students in Dr. Scott Morris’s class. The major purpose of the Alabama Council on Economic Education is to promote a better understanding of the American economy and its relationship to international, national, state and local economic issues. The activities and programs of ACEE are to be directed toward objective, comprehensive and balanced economic and educational programs. In the promotion of economic understanding, financial literacy and entrepreneurship, ACEE serves as a resource for schools and teacher training throughout Alabama as well as an advocate for economic education and financial literacy. Through the development of partnerships among all educational institutions and systems, professional organizations of teachers and school administrators, ACEE has the purpose of promoting greater understanding of the principles, practices and values of America’s free enterprise heritage and economic system through teacher education.

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Catholic Middle Schoolers Start Advent in Service

In the spirit of giving, these Montgomery Catholic Middle School students purchased Christmas gifts for a family the campus is sponsoring through Catholic Social Services. School counselor Sarah Rech led the Advent service project by taking 15 students shopping on December 5 to choose gifts for the family, serving those in need and making their Advent count. Standing are: Samatha Day, Anyia Lowery, Ailish Gilbert, Amy Treloar, Kaylee Holmes, Zach Izer, Grant Eady, Trey Holmes and Michael Jones. Kneeling are: Thomas Giere, Angeles Gonzalez-Ansaldi, Josie Smith, Laura Thomas Zhvania, Cameron Beauchamp and Gibson Souriya. 22

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ACA Has Record Football Season

It was a year of firsts under first-year Alabama Christian Academy Head Football Coach Nate Sanford. The list of firsts and achievements for the Eagles include: - Defeated Trinity two years in a row for the first time ever. - Started 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the region for the first time ever. - Had 8 wins in the regular season for the time since 1981. - Made back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 2004-2005. - Won a playoff game for the first time since 1992 and playoff road win since 1990. - Advanced to the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 1990. - Won 10 games in a season for the first time ever. Despite missing three games due to injury, junior quarterback Reese Solar threw for 1,388 yards with 16 touchdowns and ran for 939 yards with 14 touchdowns. During Solar’s absence, Jalen Clark stepped in and led the team to a victory over MA. The team’s leading rusher was senior Alden Stroud, shown above, who rushed for a school record 1,830 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. Stroud also broke the record for most yards rushing in a single game, with 305 against Northside, in the first round of the playoffs. Senior Grayson Evans led all receivers with 28 catches for 559 yards and 9 touchdowns. Stroud was a close second with 27 receptions for 304 yards. Defensively, the Eagles top tacklers were Dawson Locklier (67), Cole Schlemmer (67), and John Wilson Jarrett (63). Garrett Cottingham led the team with 5.5 sacks and Blake Bryant and Alex Harmon each had two interceptions on the season. On Special Teams, kicker Jaeyeop Lee made two of three field goals and 33 of 34 extra points. Solar averaged 46.4 yards per punt. Stroud, despite being kicked away from all year, averaged 32.3 yards per kickoff return and returned two kicks for touchdowns. 23

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Montgomery County Schools

Forest Avenue Fifth-Graders Give Back Through Micro-Economy Project

Each year, Forest Avenue fifth-graders shop and wrap Christmas gifts for needy children in the Montgomery area as a part of their micro-economy project. The project encourages students to consider comparative shopping, taxes and other things when making their purchases. Funding for the project is made possible through family donations, PTA Night and a poinsettia fundraiser. The students raised nearly $4,000 and were able to provide gifts for 44 children during the holiday season.

Montgomery Parents I January 2018


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Bethany Christian Celebrates ThanksLiving

Bethany Christian Academy students demonstrated their mission of providing service to others by distributing full-course Thanksgiving meals and additional groceries to 25 families. BCA students excitedly participate in a variety of community service/outreach activities annually and truly believe that they are blessed in order to be blessings.

Macon East Holds NHS Inductions

Twenty Macon East Academy sophomores were inducted into the National Honor Society at a ceremony held November 7. These outstanding students exemplify the NHS qualities of scholarship, service, leadership and character. NHS Advisor Ray Clinton and NHS President Tyler Watson presented the inductees with their certificates and led the recitation of the NHS pledge. Bryson O’Malley (vice president), Madisyn Kennedy (secretary), Dawn Johnson (treasurer) and Hannah Johnson (chaplain) challenged the new members with the reading of the National Honor Society ideals. Each student inducted into the Macon East chapter of the National Honor Society has a GPA of 3.625 or better. 2017-2018 inductees include: Sarah Bishop, Kayla Boroff, Nia Kate Bray, Emily Brooks, Lane Johnson, Zach Kitchens, Spencer Lindemood, Emi Lott, Nick Marshall, Ally Matthews, Christian Moody, Bradford Nickles, Allison Parson, Rachel Sargent, Bishop Stringer, Taylor Anne Surles, Trent Watson, Parker Whittle, Haley Wren and Jake Wyrosdick.





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Holy Cross Sponsors Coin Drive Campaign

During the month of November, Holy Cross Episcopal School students began the “Giving Thanks for Holy Cross Coin Drive” sponsored by the Student Council. What began as an idea for a scavenger hunt to involve students in the Annual Mission for Excellence Campaign became a four-week adventure that generated $962.90 for the school’s annual fund. Holy Cross students celebrated with tailgating snacks for the school’s annual Iron Bowl game and had ice cream with sprinkles for dessert at lunch. Signs by the door of each homeroom displayed the amount given by the class and the percentage of the class goal that was reached.

TEA Christian Academy Names First Community Hero

Talent, Education & Art Christian Academy (TEA) feels that it is essential for communities to have strong leaders, as well as entrepreneurs, within the city who are capable of competing with major corporations and being successful. Small businesses are the heartbeat of most communities and TEA educators wish to show students that small businesses are very important. We admire individuals who take a chance and start their own businesses, especially those entrepreneurs who give back to the community. Therefore, TEA Academy started an awards program highlighting local heroes; the program focuses on individuals who have made a significant impact in the Montgomery community. It was an honor to acknowledge our first honoree, William Boyd, who gives back to the community in so many ways. Boyd served in the United States Army for almost 10 years, receiving an honorable discharge. He is married and is the father of two. Boyd has many noteworthy attributes including, but not limited to: hosting the talk show “The William Boyd Show” at WKXN and WKXK 102.7 FM., owning Boyd Enterprise Corner Car Lot, and founding The Lacy-Boyd New Year’s Eve Day Parade, which is held every year. Boyd has a love for politics, and his desire is to one day serve the community as a political figure. He is a strong pillar in the community who is not afraid to stand up for the people and be a voice for the people. In the future, Director of Research & Development Maggie McElroy-Washington says the TEA Academy will be honoring other community leaders who are making a difference in Montgomery.

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Montgomery Parents I January 2018


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Montgomery Academy Economics Students Visit WSFA

Dr. Scott Morris took his Montgomery Academy economics classes to WSFA’s television station to learn about the media business. The class met with Mark Bunting, the general manager, who discussed the challenges of traditional television versus online video, working on digital platforms and selling advertising.





Evangel Names Homecoming Court

Evangel Christian Academy recently named its homecoming court. The ninth-grade attendant was Ciarra Chaney, the tenth- grade attendant was Ayannia Clark and the eleventh-grade attendant was Ellejae Reynolds. JoEllen Whitfield and Katherine Blackwell were the twelfth-grade attendants. The court was presented during ECA’s homecoming football game. Chloe Perry was named ECA’s homecoming queen. She was crowned by Makenzie Whatley, ECA’s 2016 homecoming queen.






Lighthouse Participates in Operation Christmas Child

Lighthouse Christian Academy sent a total of 95 shoeboxes to children around the world. 27

Montgomery County Schools

ACA Second-Graders Collect Pajamas

The second-grade classes at Alabama Christian Academy helped spread Christmas cheer to the community by partnering with the Scholastic Pajama and Book Drive. More than 30 pairs of pajamas were donated, and in turn Scholastic will donate 30 books! The Scholastic Pajama Program believes, “Every child has the right to a loving good night, complete with new, clean pajamas and a comforting bedtime story. Pajama Program offers at-risk children the unconditional, magical gifts of pajamas and books so that they can enjoy the greatest benefit of a loving bedtime and peaceful good night: a fulfilling good day. After all, good nights are good days.” ACA second-graders wore pajamas to school to celebrate this day of service. Teachers Mrs. Donaldson and Mrs. Brolund said, “We enjoyed helping our students learn about the importance of serving others during this Christmas season!”

Macon East Baseball Signing Ceremony

Macon East Academy senior Drew Baker signed to play baseball with Chipola Community College in Marianna, Florida, as a pitcher. Chipola won the Junior College National Championship last year and had five players taken in the first 10 rounds of the MLB draft. Chipola is thought to be the #1 junior college in the nation for baseball. Going into his senior year, Baker was 5-2 on the mound with 21 strikeouts and just six hits in his junior season. As Macon East’s starting catcher, he will take a more prominent position on the mound this year for the Knights. At the plate as a junior, Baker hit 396 with an on-base-percentage of 455, scoring 15 runs, 37 RBIs, 13 doubles, 46 hits and 2 home runs in the lead off position. He was named AISA AllMetro Player of the Year. At catcher, Baker posted a fielding percentage of 961 and helped lead the Macon East team to its first State Championship in 13 years. In his sophomore season, Baker’s batting average was 402, with 14 runs, 23 RBIs, 43 hits, two home runs and an on-base-percentage of 453. At catcher, his field percentage was 981 with 21 runners caught stealing. He is the last player at Macon East who was part of the 2015 State Runner-up team where he started as a freshman behind the plate. Baker has been part of 93 wins as a Knight. Joining him at the signing ceremony were his brother (Chris Ivey) and sister (Ashley Ivey), both of whom played baseball/softball for Macon East and signed to play at the collegiate level.

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Holy Cross First- and SecondGraders Perform ‘Signs Of Christmas’

Holy Cross Episcopal School first- and second-grade students presented the Christmas pageant musical performance “Signs of Christmas” under the direction of music teacher Beverly Fain, first-grade teacher Leisa Harrison and second-grade teacher Ann Takacs. The program began with students processing into the beautifully decorated Chapel of the Annunciation by the glow of candlelight and fragrant cedar garlands as they softly sang “Silent Night.” The songs that followed, “Worship the King,”“Little Gray Donkey” and “Praise to the Infant King,” recounted the story of the Holy Family as they made their way to Bethlehem. “The Friendly Beasts” was performed from the viewpoint of each of the animals present that tender holy night in the stable, as they described their unique role in the birth of the Holy Child. Wise Men sang and told of their gifts to the King in the song “What Can We Give to the King?” which was followed by the angels who proclaimed the birth of the Messiah singing “Happy Birthday Jesus.” The poignant finale was performed by the entire cast which included the Three Kings of the Orient (Wise Men), Holy Couple, angels, and all the animals in the manger, as they joined together for the singing of “Christmas Isn’t Christmas ‘Till It Happens In Your Heart.” 28

Bethany Promotes Student Leadership



Saint James School Earns Acclaim at 2017 DOOT

Pastor KK Middleton was guest motivator for Bethany Christian Academy’s annual Fall Week of Spiritual Emphasis. This year’s theme was “The Leader In Me” and students were inspired during a week of assemblies led by the Student Government Association. Pastor Middleton is spiritual leader of Sweet Canaan Baptist Church in Tuskegee as well as a community activist, mentor and local entrepreneur. His personal leadership experiences and spiritual lessons of application both encouraged and challenged the students.

The annual “Doing Our Own Thing” (DOOT) visual arts competition and exhibition is made possible every year by the Arts Council of Montgomery. Saint James high school students were recognized at the 30th annual DOOT in several categories across the competition. All winning art pieces were displayed during the month of November in the APF Youth Art Gallery at the Armory Learning Arts Center. Claudia Hubbard took first place in Printmaking and Honorable Mention in Digital Art. Payton Christian took second place in Printmaking, Mattie Claire Jones took second in Sculpture, and Amari Simmons took second place in Digital Art. Third place in Opaque Painting was awarded to Amanda Grate, third place in Sculpture went to Gayeon Paek, and third place in Photography was awarded to Emma Williams. Honorable Mention for Black and White Drawing and for Printmaking were both awarded to Kylie Eng, Honorable Mention for Sculpture was awarded to Emilee Arrington, and Honorable Mention for Photography was awarded to Sarah Rice. “The Saint James Visual Arts Program is set apart by our desire and drive to produce not only critically thinking students, but students who know the value of both hard work and exceptional craftsmanship,” said visual arts teacher Evelyn Shoults. “We push our students to be better and more creative than they think they can be.”





Montgomery County Schools

Macon East Preschool Thanksgiving Feast

Macon East Academy preschool students welcomed their parents to a special Thanksgiving Feast in November. Dressed as pilgrims and Indians, the K3 and K4 students presented several songs for their guests before the luncheon. Under the instruction of Debbie Mills, Janet Johnson and Jane Adams, the preschool classes offer a unique and nurturing learning environment that combines fun with creative learning.

Churchill Holds Winter Program

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Churchill Academy’s winter program was held on December 12 at Thorington Road Baptist Church. Directed by Nelda Williams, lower school students ushered families and friends into the holiday season with a toe-tapping rendition of the “Jingle Bell Jukebox at Ruby’s Soda Shop.” The program was a tremendous success thanks to teachers, parent volunteers, the CAPA Board, and the extraordinary work of Williams. The beautiful facility paired with such a caring church staff made the 2017 winter program very special.

Montgomery Parents I January 2018

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Mongomery Academy Alumni Share During Career Connections

Montgomery Academy students in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades recently participated in a Career Connections program. A number of professionals who are also Montgomery Academy alumni graciously donated their time to speak about their career paths in architecture, business, the non-profit sector, medicine, law, marketing and communication, and military service through the alumni’s presentations. Each alum told his or her story about life after Montgomery Academy, sharing the choices they made which allowed them to pursue their dreams. These stories were inspiring to the next generation of MA students who are beginning to think about life beyond high school graduation and their own dreams for bright futures. Alumni who participated in Career Connections were: Stephen Dees, John Foshee, Sommerville Hill, Jake Jacobs, Clay McInnis, Anne Poundstone, John Sullivan and Burton Ward.

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ACA Named Katie’s Krops ‘School of the Year’

Alabama Christian Academy has been involved with Katie’s Krops for four years. Katie’s Krops was started by 8-year-old Katie Staglino, with the mission of “having no hungry people in my community.” Now 10 years later, Katie’s Krops has expanded to 100 gardens growing across the U.S. in 33 states and every garden is youth-based. ACA students grow, water and tend to vegetables growing in the garden. Over the last two years, the school has doubled the size of its garden from six beds to twelve. In the spring students plant squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, green beans, bell peppers and zucchini. In the winter collard greens, lettuces, spinach, carrots, beets and radishes are planted. Each year the school’s poundage has increased. In 2017 ACA collected and donated almost half a ton (over 950 pounds) to the Montgomery Area Food Bank. Due to this great accomplishment, ACA is a co-recipient of “School of the Year” out of all of the participating schools.


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Eastwood School’s 2017 Duke TIP Scholars

The following fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students from Eastwood Christian School are eligible for Duke University’s Talent Identification Program: Knox DeHuff, Lily Givens, Matt Hodges, Leah Johnson, Porter Johnson, Caroline MacLeod, Evelyn Williams, Buzz Champion, Abbie Ensminger, Andrew Ewald, Tally Hamilton, Emma Hawkins, Johnny Hodges, Ella Moore, Kurt Miller, Anna Beth Coon, Johnson DeHuff, Ben Duggar, Jack Hawkins, Molly Howard, Adler Horii, Elisabeth Johnson, Molly Katherine Mauney, M.E. Grace Shuemake, Emma Sonnichsen and Ava Grace Thomas. Students who participate have the opportunity to compete for national recognition.

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MEA’s Neven Honored By Quarterback Club

Macon East Academy quarterback Tucker Neven was honored as the Private School Player of the Week at the November 7 meeting of the Montgomery Quarterback Club. Neven returned to Macon East as a junior this year and led the team as QB into the 2nd round of the AISA AA playoffs. He had 1,643 passing yards for the season with 22 touchdown passes, as well as 165 rushing yards for three touchdowns. He is shown with MEA Coach Chad Michael.


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Catholic Students Shine in the Nutcracker

Five Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School students were cast in the River Region Ballet’s Nutcracker. Pictured backstage at the Davis Theater in downtown Montgomery before their debut on December 1 are from left: Ines Gonzalez-Ansaldi (9th), Cate Noell (1st), Frances Ann Rogers (3rd), Mo Drescher (1st) and Angeles Gonzalez-Ansaldi (8th).


OPEN HOUSE JANUARY 18TH 5:30PM-7:00 PM Evangel Christian Academy Evangel Christian Academy exists to partner with Christian parents to provide their

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Forest Avenue’s Annual Multicultural Night

Forest Avenue Academic Magnet School PTA recently hosted Multicultural Night, an annual event celebrating the school’s cultural diversity. Students and parents were encouraged to participate by wearing traditional attire from their native country, sharing a prepared native dish, and joining one of the cultural presentations planned for the evening. The night featured exciting performances by students that represented cultures from all over the world. These performances included a West African dance choreographed by Alabama State University dance student Brieona Carter; a chorus of students singing “De Colores”; a Tai Chi fan demonstration; a classical Indian dance and fashion show; and a Taekwondo black belt presentation. Fifthgraders also performed a pop culture dance entitled “Uptown Funk,” which celebrates a beloved part of American culture – pop music. At the conclusion of the event, students all joined together on stage to wave their flags and sing “We Are the World.”

child with a Christ-centered education. Our desire is to help each child achieve their God-given potential through providing activities designed to foster spiritual, academic and social growth.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord... Jeremiah 29:11

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Montgomery County Schools

Holy Cross Class Attends Nutcracker

Kathy Black’s third-grade class enjoyed a recent trip to see the Montgomery Ballet company present the 42nd annual performance of The Nutcracker. Prior to attending the performance, the class enjoyed making their very own nutcrackers, reading the story, and studying the country of Germany where the nutcracker is so much a part of history with families during the holiday season. The famous Steinback family was instrumental in spreading the popularity of nutcrackers.

Academy Students Paint Mural for Dream Court

Montgomery Academy middle school students recently designed and painted a mural on the storage container used to house all of Dream Court’s equipment. Dream Court provides an adaptive tennis program for individuals with special needs. Its mission is to teach the lifetime sport of tennis and life skills to children and adults differently abled. A group of students, led by visual art teacher Sara Woodard, primed, planned and designed the image for the storage container. These students included: MaryWeldon Armstrong, Emily Rose Benefield, Guy Hughes, Gaines Freeman, Web Brittain, Reese Parker, Lukas Yi and MaryLee Kelso.

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Montgomery Parents I January 2018


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Brew Tech Students Party with Gatsby Soiree

Brewbaker Technology Magnet High students brought the Jazz Age to life with a Great Gatsby Soiree, where students dressed up as flappers and wealthy socialites like those portrayed in the classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Some highlights from the soiree included a presentation on 1920s decor and ambience, Charleston dance lessons, and a dinner party. Brew Tech English teacher Whitney Cunningham decided her students would do more than just read The Great Gatsby this year. She assigned an in-depth project to immerse them in the time period and enhance their connection to the novel’s historical context. The culmination of the project was the soiree, which the students planned and executed. Besides researching the food, decor, art and architecture of the period, they also planned a menu, set a budget and prepared an appetizer and beverage for the event.




ACA Senior Chosen YMCA Man of Year Committee Member

Alabama Christian Academy senior Trey McGuire was selected to be a member of the YMCA Man of the Year Committee. The YMCA Man of the Year banquet is held annually, in the first week of December. Each student YMCA program is asked to select two representatives (who will make up the Presentation Committee) from their group to interview candidates and present them at the committee meetings. The committee helps select the winning nominee.


Montgomery County Schools

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Montgomery Catholic Basketball Players Clark & Walden Honored

Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School honored senior varsity basketball players Jessie Clark and Aleigha Walden after the school Mass on December 8 for their career accomplishments. Clark crossed the 1,000 career point-mark on November 21 during the Knights of Columbus Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament hosted at Montgomery Catholic. A proud day for her coach (and her mother), Jessie is the daughter of Jill and Jeff Clark. Walden broke the 27-year-old school record for assists with 552 career assists which she achieved on December 5 when Catholic faced LAMP. Aleigha is the daughter of Ashley and Michael Walden. Each was presented with a basketball commemorating her accomplishment by Athletic Director Daniel Veres and Principal Justin Castanza. Clark and Walden are shown with Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School Athletic Director Daniel Veres, President Anne Ceasar, Michael and Ashley Walden, (Coach) Jill and Jeff Clark and Principal Justin Castanza .

Bethany Christian Sends Hurricane Relief to Florida

After sending hurricane aid to Houston,Texas, Bethany Christian Academy once again rallied together for those devastated in Jacksonville, Florida. Special thanks extended to their beloved custodian Barry Shipman for volunteering to transport the blessings.

Forest Avenue Students Win in Local Writing Competition

Forest Avenue students won in all grade levels for the annual Roxie Lancaster Holiday Writing Competition. The contest invites students in grades 1-5 to write a short essay on an appropriate seasonal topic, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, winter and December. More than 700 essays from Montgomery County students were entered in this year’s competition. Submissions are judged based on originality, imagination and the ability for students to express themselves coherently. Students, parents and friends were invited to an awards ceremony where the children’s winning essays were read aloud by local celebrities Greta Lambert and Cory Lawson from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. The Roxie Lancaster Holiday Writing Competition is sponsored by the Arts Council of Montgomery, Regions Bank, Friends of the Public Library, and Montgomery City-County Public Library System, and honors the late Roxie Lancaster, a loyal supporter of the arts in Montgomery.

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Saint James Freshman Team Earns Spot at Youth Judicial Nationals The Saint James School Freshman Mock Trial Team received high honors for its participation in the 2017 Alabama YMCA Youth Judicial Competition. The team earned First Place in the Premiere League and will have the opportunity to represent the state of Alabama in the summer at the national competition in Chicago. The freshman team was led by Ryan Barranco and included team members Cole Armagost, Mackenzie Corley, Tyson Eley, Hannah Grace Griggs and Morgan Parish. Mackenzie Corley was also awarded the Best Witness Award at the competition. Saint James had a second Premier League Team that also had an outstanding competition. Members earned 4th place in the state and included Bailey Anderson, Virginia Braswell, Jeffrey Ford, Alex Rountree, Sydney Sullivan and Will Wales. Several Saint James students served in designated capacities during the competition. Saint James senior Claudia Hubbard is this year’s Youth Governor for the State of Alabama. Trinity Hunter and Lizanne Livings served as judges; Chaselea Rountree,

Steven Sadie and Katie McIntyre served as deputies; Lacy Brown, Hannah Mathis Ray and Travis Hamilton were bailiffs. The goal of Alabama Youth in Government is to develop young people who will be better citizens by being both knowledgeable and active in de-

termining the future of our democracy. YMCA Youth Judicial is a three-day Mock Trial Competition for high school students in grades 9-12. From left are Ryan Barranco, Cole Armagost, Tyson Eley, Claudia Hubbard, Hannah Grace Griggs, Morgan Parish and Makenzie Corley.

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H Montgomery County Schools

College Night @ The Rock

Montgomery Academy Third-Grade Students Study the States

Third-grade students at The Montgomery Academy recently presented “A Taste of the States.” The students studied the 50 states and capitals with each student creating a travel brochure from their research. As a culminating activity, the students enjoyed sharing their findings with their parents and sampling foods that are symbolic of America’s states.

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Montgomery Parents I January 2018


On November 6, high school students and parents of The Rock School participated in the second annual College Night event. The staff college and career advisor provided a College 101 presentation while admissions officers from eight colleges and universities provided valuable information about their respective institutions, their applications processes, how and when to apply for financial aid, and personalized meetings with each student. The Rock School delivers a college preparatory curriculum, with its students being accepted to more than 30 colleges and universities nationwide.

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Holy Cross Show Choir Performs Christmas Musical

“Jingle All The Way” was the title of Holy Cross Episcopal School’s show choir’s holiday performance presented on December 1 to parents, grandparents, family and friends in the Chapel of the Annunciation on the school campus. Music teacher Beverly Fain’s production blended a festive variety of holiday music to spotlight the 5th- and 6th-graders’ singing talents. The show opened to a medley of musical selections featuring “Silver Bells” and a unique lineup of songs featuring a beautiful Austrian Christmas lullaby “Sleep, Sleep, Sleep” and a rhythmic version of “Feliz Navidad” accompanied by students playing maracas, bongo drums, the claves and guiro (a hollow wooden tube with ridges played with a stick) which added a Spanish flavor to the song. “If You Just Believe” from the movie Polar Express, “Jingle In My Heart” and “Ring the Bells of Christmas” (with audience participation ringing jingle bells) were lively crowd pleasers, and “GPS Mess” added a comical addition to the variety of songs performed. The song featured elves and reindeer trying to rely on a faulty GPS phone app to guide them to their North Pole destination to find Santa and cheer him from his gloom of thinking the world cared more for gifts than the true meaning of Christmas and spreading love and cheer to others. At the conclusion of the performance, the choir took its “show on the road” to stops that included Wesley Gardens, Elmcroft and Oak Grove as the singers cheered residents, patients and staff.


MEA Holds Peggy Lanier Memorial Run

The first Peggy Lanier Memorial Run, held September 23, was a huge success. With 75 runners participating in a 5K, 1 Mile, and Biscuit Dash, the event included a pancake breakfast, silent auction and Nancy’s Italian Ice treats. Many of Peggy’s family and friends were on hand to support the event in loving memory of this avid runner and supporter of Macon East Academy. Peggy’s son Vic Lanier, an MEA graduate, finished the 5K in 2nd place. The 4th-grade class had the most number of student participants at the run, and were rewarded with a pizza party. A special thanks to MAC Sporting Goods for sponsoring this inaugural event and providing T-shirts.

Happy New Year! While we are embarking upon a new calendar year, we are beginning the second half of the school year with lots of activities and excitement. January brings our first ever AdvancED (formerly SACS) accreditation team visit as we complete the district accreditation process. Our educators, parents, and community have been working hard to prepare, and we are ready to show the team the fantastic learning that is taking place in Pike Road Schools. Our students are daily exhibiting their abilities to think, innovate, and create! We are in the midst of winter sports, with teams excelling in basketball and

wrestling. We are getting to the beginning of preseason practice for spring sports, as well, where we look forward to baseball, softball, track, tennis, and golf. As the winter begins to warm toward spring our sports calendar heats up accordingly. It is amazing to see Pike Road students engage in problem-solving, writing, presenting, and creating every single day. If you want to rekindle your hope for the future of this country, come see the amazing things Pike Road students are doing as they learn and the incredible young people that they are. Just be sure to bring your driver’s license or identification, because Pike Road Schools have begun use of the Raptor background check system for all visitors to take precautions that keep our students safe. Pike Road schools continues to grow, and we are making plans to successfully

handle that growth for 2018 and beyond. Our enrollment is up by almost 200 students over last year, and we anticipate a similar increase in enrollment for next year. We are working together with the Town of Pike Road to plan for growth and will be prepared to handle the learning needs of our growing community. We are glad that people want to live in Pike Road and have their children educated in our outstanding school system. To all of our newcomers, Welcome Home! 2018 promises to be a great year for Pike Road Schools! Happy New Year, and go Patriots! Chuck Ledbetter has been an educator for 28 years. He has earned a B.A. in history from Auburn University; a Masters of Education in history from AUM; and a doctorate in educational leadership from Auburn University. Chuck Ledbetter was a history teacher for 11 years, an assistant principal, a middle school principal, a high school principal, assistant superintendent for curriculum and for finance, and is in his ninth year as a superintendent. He is married to Kim and has three daughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren.


FEBRUARY 9-10, 2018


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Montgomery Parents I January 2018



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Eastwood Christian School

Anchored in the Word of God.

Open House K4-12th Grade

Following His direction.

Sunday, January 21, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Eastwood Presbyterian Church Sanctuary New Student Registration: January 22-February 2, 2018



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Education always takes a student somewhere; the real question is "where?" What is truth? What is good? What is beautiful? What does it mean to be human? What is the purpose of life? These are questions addressed at Eastwood Christian School and the answers given are drawn from historical Christianity. The Bible is our only rule of faith and practice. Eastwood students are equipped with academic skills and critical-thinking ability which are joined by biblical character. This is why an Eastwood graduate is able to navigate through the tumultuous waters of modern society.

Explore Eastwood and discover the difference. + 1701 E. Trinity Blvd. + Montomgery, AL 36116 + 334.272.8195 + Our Headmaster invites you to 41set an appointment with him.

Community Two Learners Visit Cancer Center

Mrs. Davis’ C2 family is doing a study on doctors, hospitals and medical care. The students even had the opportunity to visit the Montgomery Cancer Center. They met oncologists, nurses and a pharmacist. They learned how patients receive chemotherapy, how medicine is properly distributed, and even learned how nurses put an IV into a patient!

First Robotics Competition a Success!

Pike Road entered its first robotics competition with the mindset that it would be a good opportunity to gain experience for the next competition in February. However, both VEX-IQ teams entered by PRS ranked in the top ten AND made it to finals! This is especially amazing considering that these Patriots had only been collaborating on their robots for a month and had only had their practice field for a week. The students demonstrated incredible creative problem-solving skills and task commitment over the past month.

Free Little Library Available at Pike Road Elementary Pike Road Elementary has its very own free little library for the trail. If you need a book or have some to donate, you can find it at the top of the trail as you enter The Waters. Volunteer Jeff Kimball has done some amazing work with these boys!

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C3 Classes Participate in Google Hangout

At right, Mrs. Dickerson and Mrs. Franco’s C3 learners participated in a Google Hangout with Mr. Jordan, the program developer for the Belouga global collaboration platform learners are using to connect with classrooms worldwide to make a real and positive impact! Jordan answered all the learners’ coding questions and he ended with telling the learners, “Coding is a skill that can help you reach the entire world and there is nothing out of reach; it all comes down to your heart. There is always more to learn. There are no walls or limits to what you can do!” Montgomery Parents I January 2018


WSFA Meteorologist Visits Kindergarten Classes

Thank you to Amanda Curran from WSFA for teaching Ms. Beck and Mrs. Cobb’s kindergarten learners about the weather!



Community Six Learners Helping the Homeless

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As part of a C6 World Changer initiative, learners are crocheting, knitting and sewing scarves for homeless men and women in Montgomery County. LaDonna Brendle from Reality and Truth Ministries came to Pike Road Elementary so that students could present her with scarves that she will share with the more than 100 homeless and poor individuals the ministry serves daily. When asked if the ministry is in need of any other items, she shared the following list. If you are able to help, please send items on the list to school with your learner or drop them off at the front office: wool socks, hand warmers, foot warmers, thermal underwear, gloves, ski caps, blankets and coats. Thank you for helping our C6 learners change the world!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and is ready for a fantastic 2nd semester. What better way to start off a new year than with good news? Senator Clyde Chambliss gave the Autauga County Technology Center $20,000 to advance various career tech programs. We are blessed to have a Senator who supports public education. Santa Claus came early for some teachers during the Autauga Education Foundation Grant Reception on November 7th at Daniel Pratt Elementary School. I would like to congratulate the following teachers who received a grant: • Ivy Johnson (ACTC) - Calculations to Financial Success

Montgomery Parents I January 2018

• Donna Strickland (ACTC) - Health Science Internship Stethoscope • Kelly Mullins (ACTC) - Vet Science Lab Microscopes • Susan Butts (AHS) - Eagles Landing • Nora McGalliard (BHS) - Choir Performance Wear • Brooke Stinson and Taylor Cochran (DPES) - Lights, Camera, Action! • Melissa Beeson (MHS) - Laptops for Students • Megan Anglin (PLES) - Orff Stands • Emily Gregory (PLES) - Diversity in OUR World-International Flags • Kristal Martin and Jeanette Kermick (PLES) - Green Team • Teresa Calhoun (PIS) - Famous Scientists and You! • Catherine Newton (PIS) - Physical Education Smart TV • Norma Cusanek (PJHS) - From Farm to Table and Beyond • Courtney Spencer (PJHS) - History Chromebooks • Stacie Pruitt (PJHS) - PJHS Lab Cats Measure Up


• Nichole Davis (PKS) - Laptops from Prattville Kindergarten School • Kristie Glidden (PPS) - Engaging Students through STEM Literature • Denise Syslo (PPS) - Keep on Reading • Brittany Little (PPS) - Let Their Voices Be Heard • Jamey Ramsey (SC) - Sit Me Straight and Strong to Learn • Conchita England (SC) - Technologizing My Second Chance for a Bright Future I am looking forward to the many blessings that 2018 has in store for us. I take great pleasure in sharing the accolades that our schools, staff members, and students receive with the citizens of Autauga County. With so much news to share, take a moment to like “Autauga County Schools” on Facebook! Spence Agee is the Superintendent of Education for Autauga County Schools. He is a third generation educator with an ED.S. in Educational Leadership. He has 20 years of experience in the education field as well as 29 years of military experience. Agee is an active member at First Baptist Church in Prattville. He and his wife, Cesily, who is also an educator, have two daughters, Abby and Addison.







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Math & Science

Launch a Rocket Kayak in Mobile Bay Build a Robot

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Hosted by the Alabama School of Math and Science

Prepare for the ACT

June 4-8, June 11-15, & June 18-22

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COURSE SAMPLING ACT Prep, Algebra Review, Exploring Inner Space, Marine Biology, CSI: Mobile, Phun Physics, Using Java, Robotics, Field Biology, Psychology, Math Puzzles, Labs of Doom, Rocketry, Origami, Speak Up, Light Metals and Enameling, Apps for Smart Devices, and many more. Applications, more information, and course descriptions are online at WWW.ASMS.NET.


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Autauga County Schools

Prattville Christian Academy Makes Reading Fun with Licensed Therapy Dog

Marbury Senior Signs With Huntingdon

Marbury High senior Brandon Wilkes signed a dual scholarship to play both football and baseball at Huntingdon College next year. Wilkes, son of Cindy Thompson, has been on the football and baseball teams since he was a freshman, and he has also played basketball in past school years. Despite some substantial injuries this year and the past, Wilkes continued to excel in his leadership roles on the sideline while working to overcome his injuries.

Learning to read can be challenging for many elementary students! The pressures of reading in front of peers and teachers can overwhelm some students. However, reading to a therapy dog is proven to relieve this stress as students concentrate on the dog instead of on their own reading insecurities. Prattville Christian Academy students enjoy visits from a therapy dog who can be found roaming the library on most weeks. Piper, the friendly Golden Retriever, is licensed and insured through Therapy Dogs International (TDI). She spends one-on-one time with new, young readers. In addition to reading their favorite book to her, students are able to interact with Piper who is a lovable, furry companion always up for just one more hug. “Piper is loving to the children and provides a judgmentfree and relaxing environment for the students to practice their reading,” said Hillary Harrell, Piper’s owner and PCA parent. “Students can be a little shy at first but Piper quickly breaks the ice with her laughable antics.” To date, approximately 40 elementary students have enjoyed reading to Piper since the program began earlier this school year. Due to the program’s success, Harrell and school administrators are working to increase the amount of time that Piper is available to spend with students.

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Prattville High School AP Calculus and Show Choir Spread Holiday Cheer

Jordan Berry’s AP Calculus class and the Prattville High Show Choir, sponsored by Michael Wilson, took a day off to share holiday cheer with special needs students from Mrs. Larkin, Mrs. P and Mrs. Carver’s classes December 6. Principal Brock Dunn read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to the captive audience. Following the story and a visit from Santa, students decorated reindeer cookies, cut cinnamon ornaments and made magic reindeer food. Students were entertained with Christmas music by the Show Choir.

Autauga County Special Needs Treated to ‘Grinchmas’ Event

The “Merry Grinchmas” event was a hit with special needs students from throughout Autauga County. With hard work from volunteers and donations from citizens and businesses, students rang in the Christmas season. More than 100 students from 14 Autauga County classrooms received presents, a stuffed animal and a great meal at Real Life Church in Millbrook. The day included visits from Santa and also the Grinch. Next year’s theme has been announced as Polar Express. Montgomery Parents I January 2018




Prattville Speech and Debate Wins Local Tournament

The Prattville High School Speech and Debate team participated in the 2017 Prattville Christmas Classic Tournament held at Prattville Christian Academy November 30-December 2. Competing against 13 other teams from across the state, the Prattville team won the Individual Events First Place trophy as well as the Overall First Place Sweepstakes trophy. Congratulations to the following tournament champions and finalists: Duo Interpretation – Grace McKelvey and Isaac Sherman, Champions; Informative Speaking – Sandhu Aladuwaka Champion, Hugh Sparks 2nd, Chad Nichols 5th and Anderson Graves 6th; Programmed Oral Interpretation – McKelvey Champion, Isabella Stachewicz 2nd and Holly Griffith 3rd; Dramatic Interpretation – Sarah McKinney 3rd and McKelvey 5th; Prose Interpretation – Griffith Champion, Sherman 4th and Kristen Rousseau 5th; Impromptu Speaking – Aladuwaka Champion, Sherman 2nd, Sam Guerrero 4th and Kaleigh Gillespie 5th; Original Oratory – Will McQuiston Champion, Gillespie 4th and Jack Moore 6th; Poetry Interpretation – Stachewicz Champion, Rousseau 4th and McKinney 5th; Extemporaneous Speaking – Aladuwaka Champion, Sparks 2nd, McQuiston 3rd, Stephen Guerrero 4th and Sam Guerrero 6th; Congress – Sparks Champion, Sherman 3rd, McQuiston 4th, Stephen Guerrero 5th and Sam Guerrero 6th; Public Forum Debate – Ashtyn Daniel and Leigh Nicholson 4th. The Prattville team is coached by Katy Olienyk and Jordan Berry.


Marbury’s Cannon 2nd in Scoring in the State

According to Max Prep, Marbury High School basketball player Artasia Cannon is the second leading scorer in Alabama and the 18th leading scorer in the United States at 26.1 points per game. Alabama News Network reports that she has four games of 30-plus points this season, including a 40-point performance against Montgomery Catholic in the second game of the season.

Incredibly, 2017 has come and gone, and my first year as superintendent for Elmore County Schools has already passed! January is a time to reflect on the previous year – to continue successful practices as well as consider changes that have the potential to make the most positive impact on our students. When I took office in January 2017, my priorities were students’ mental and physical wellbeing, academic performance, and participation in extracurricular activities. Throughout the year, these priorities have guided my decisions and served as the catalyst for changes to directly benefit our students. First, several personnel changes were made to place more staff in our schools. Additional special education teachers were hired to better meet the needs of our students identified with special needs. Several campuses received an additional instructional support staff member to work with administrators and teachers in curriculum/academic areas. Our non-certified

Montgomery Parents I January 2018

salary schedule was also recently restructured and increased. Lastly, we were able to provide salary supplements to staff members who supervise non-athletic extracurricular activities. Even with these changes, we were able to achieve an overall cost savings on personnel. Administrators have also worked diligently to utilize their campus leadership teams to participate in decision making and help support all aspects of the school’s academic and extracurricular programs. The 2017-2018 Elmore County Code of Conduct was revised to decrease out-of-school suspensions. Keeping students at school increases the likelihood of their academic success which is the goal for all our students. Administrators are also engaged in professional development in the areas of curriculum, school law, and other areas to equip them to be even more effective in their role as instructional leaders. Current school administrators are expected to be much more than “building managers” – they must be knowledgeable in all areas of school operations, including academics/curriculum, extracurricular activities, special education rules and regulations, personnel laws, facilities and maintenance, transportation, nursing, and child nutrition. Principals in our K-4 schools are participating along with their


teachers in professional development focused on literacy and guided reading as a foundational skill to academic success. My goal is to provide opportunities for administrators to learn and grow in these areas to enable them to provide the best learning environment possible for the students on their campuses. Finally, the Elmore County Technical Center is exploring the possibility of adding two new programs for the 2017-2018 school year. Our high school students were recently surveyed to identify their areas of interest in these potential new programs. Student feedback is essential to help us offer programs to meet students’ interests, and the outcome of the survey will help us finalize course offerings, including the possibility of new programs, for the coming school year. We are excited about the growth at Elmore County Technical Center and our ability to provide students qualified to fill skilled positions when they graduate from high school. I’m looking forward to 2018 and the great things our students and staff will accomplish! Richard Dennis is the Superintendent of Education for Elmore County Schools. He is a 1983 graduate of Holtville High School. He served 21 years as a high school principal at Holtville High, Wetumpka High and most recently, Prattville High. He and wife, Leslie (also an educator) have three sons and a daughter.

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Elmore County Schools

Wetumpka Elementary Soars to New Heights

Wetumpka Elementary School partnered with Civil Air Patrol to kick off the new STEM program. The students of Wetumpka Elementary gathered outside to spell out WES and wave to the plane that flew above them. A big thanks to Civil Air Patrol and Dr. Bonnie Sullivan and Mr. Wright for braving the plane. WES can not wait to soar to new heights in their learning.

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Edgewood Takes Field Trip to Wetumpka Depot Players

The Edgewood Academy middle school students attended The Wetumpka Depot’s play A Christmas Story. The students were happy to see their fellow classmate, Wyatt Mulder, play the lead, Ralph. Mrs. Montgomery surprised the students when she stepped on stage playing Ms. Shields, the schoolteacher.



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Elmore County Schools

Wetumpka Depot Stocking Stuffers Help Wetumpka Elementary School

Elmore County Athletes At AHSAA All-Stars

Elmore County was well represented at the 31st Alabama-Mississippi Classic AHSAA All-Star game. Jake Andrews from Stanhope Elmore, and Chase Adams and Kavosiey Smoke from Wetumpka High were trained and prepared by Head Coaches Brian Bradford (SEHS) and Tim Perry (WHS). Annually, the teams are comprised of 40 of the top senior players in each state. Since the inception of the game in 1988, many of the players had successful college careers and some have reached the NFL. More than 60 current players with Alabama roots are playing in the NFL. Several current Alabama All-Stars have committed to Division I schools including Stanhope Elmore tackle Jake Andrews (Troy). From left are SEHS Head Coach Brian Bradford, SEHS player Jake Andrews, WHS player Chase Adams, Donnie Adams, and WHS player Kavosiey Smoke.

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Wetumpka Depot patrons collected a large assortment of fun stocking stuffers during the run of A Christmas Story for local children who needed some extra Santa love! Shown from left are Wetumpka Elementary School Counselor Natasha McMillan, WES second-grade teacher Cheryl Pointer Jones, Wetumpka Depot Executive Director Kristy Meanor, WES Principal Bonnie Sullivan, and Clay and Joseph who played Randy in the show.

Redland Choirs Bring Cheer to Eastdale Estates

Redland Elementary’s K-6th grade choir students performed on December 2 for the residents at Eastdale Estates in Montgomery. The students and their parents came out to share some Christmas joy to elderly residents by singing Christmas songs and passing out homemade baked goods. This was a wonderful way to show that it is better to give than to receive. Both choir groups are under the direction of third-grade teacher Misty Trussell.

Edgewood Students at Tallassee Reenactment

Edgewood Academy 4th- and 5th-graders learned about the early times of our history at the Tallassee Civil War Reenactment. Montgomery Parents I January 2018



Eclectic Helps Humane Shelter

Eclectic Elementary School second-grade students sponsored individual dogs and cats at the Elmore County Humane Shelter as part of their Christmas party celebration. The kids drew cards to determine which animal they would shop for during the project. They brought all the goodies to school, unwrapped them and piled them up in the classroom. The students also made cards for the animals at the shelter. Classes who participated in item donations were: Mrs. Nelson, Mrs. Wright, Ms. Hall and Ms. Preskitt; monetary donations: Ms. Gantt.

Airport Road Choir and Dance Team Entertain

Family and friends were delighted by another wonderful Christmas performance by the Airport Road Intermediate School Choir and the ARIS Dance Team. This presentation has become an annual event to showcase the hard work that the students have put in over the first half of the school year. ARIS strives to offer many extracurricular activities for the students and we are very proud of the dedication shown by these students.

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Elmore County Schools

Wetumpka Performs at Trumbauer Festival

Edgewood First Priority Bell Ringers

Edgewood Academy’s First Priority students spread Christmas cheer by ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. Students were located at Walgreens, Winn Dixie, and WalMart on December 12. First Priority is Edgewood’s student-led fellowship and outreach ministry.

The Wetumpka High Theatre Guild performed beautifully at the State Trumbauer festival. All but one entry received Superior ratings from their judges. Twenty-five percent of WHS entries placed in the top three of the entire state, and a few others were right at the threshold of doing the same. Festival winners include, from left: Jamarris Bozeman & Morgan Causey: 3rd in Contemporary Dramatic Duets (Varsity); Michael Armstrong: 2nd in Male Musical Dramatic Solo (Varsity); Zaylah Anderson: 1st in Female Comedic Monologue (Varsity) and a state champion; and Shealey Millergren & Tanner Caton: 2nd in Duet Pantomime (Novice).


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third largest pediatric hospital in the United States

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for 332 beds & 48 NICU bassinets

first LEED-certified hospital building in Alabama

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of the Top 20 employers in Alabama with more than 4,700 employees across the state

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pediatric teaching hospital for the School of Medicine at UAB

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to the Pediatric & Congenital Heart Center of Alabama, where more than 450 cardiac surgeries are performed annually

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of the only pediatric kidney dialysis program in the state — one of the largest in the country

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205.638.9100 1600 7th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233 Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children Lowder Building McWane Building Children’s on Third Outpatient Center Children’s Park Place

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Montgomery Parents I January 2018


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WES Principal Receives Award Dr. Bonnie Sullivan, principal of Wetumpka Elementary School, has received the Emergent Leader Award.

Wetumpka Middle Receives City Donation

Wetumpka Middle School received a check for $10,000 given by Mayor Jerry Willis on behalf of the City of Wetumpka. This money is for the use of Wetumpka Middle in improving teaching and learning. From left are Mayor Willis, WMS Principal Tremeca Jackson and WMS Assistant Principal Ewell Fuller.

Edgewood Bible Class Field Trip

Edgewood Academy’s Bible Class learned how grapes were pressed at the Biblical Historical Center in LaGrange, Georgia. While touring the center, the students saw how tents were made, walked through burial sites, and saw replicas of many biblical artifacts.




Elmore County Schools

Eclectic Elementary November Students of the Month

Kindergarten: Keymarhi Matthews, Jackson Jolly, Rontavious Butler, Bo Sanford, Kendall Johnson, Izzy Knight 1st Grade: Hunter Griffith, Khloe Moe, Ben Merritt, Carly Baker, Kady Adams 2nd Grade: Levi Reinert, Lane Rowe, Zykira Bowman, Jefferson Lucas, Trip Thomas 3rd Grade: Baylee King, Desiray Woodard, Caroline Hill, Keegan Lett, Danielle Reynolds, Caden Bryant 4th Grade: Kaley Brown, Jenna Robertson, Kaden Lamberth, Jasmine Ramirez


ARIS Participates in Hour of Code

Airport Road Intermediate had some very special visitors in early December. The Stanhope Elmore High School Computer Science class presented 4th-graders with the opportunity to learn about coding. The Hour of Code is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week and to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming. The students enjoyed this fun, interactive activity. We appreciate Stanhope Elmore teachers and students for giving ARIS students this opportunity.

Please send Your School News and photos to: by the 15th of month. It’s FREE!

RES Holds Spelling Bees

Redland Elementary held its school spelling bees December 5 for 3rd-6th grades. Front row from left are: Tristan Spence- 3rd Grade Runner-Up, Joshua Selmon- 3rd Grade Winner, Luci Johnson-5th Grade Winner, Jacob Perez-5th Grade RunnerUp, Kaiya Dixon-6th Grade Runner-Up; and back row from left: Charlie Stokes-6th Grade Winner, Taylor McCray-4th Grade Winner and Bryant Bishop-4th Grade Runner-Up.

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Edgewood Helps with Local Food Drive

Edgewood Academy junior Harris Woodruff coordinated a canned food drive. The students collected a total of 702 cans to be donated to the Elmore County Food Pantry. Shown above are second- and third-grade students. Montgomery Parents I January 2018

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TheCollegeYears Preparing Teens for Life Outside the Nest

by Lee Gonet

Why the FAFSA is So Important 1. You cannot attend most colleges without it. 2. It may earn you financial aid for school. The majority of colleges in the United States require students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The government uses this form to determine a family’s ability to afford a college education for their children, and most colleges use this information to award grants, loans, work-study opportunities, even non-federal aid. Much of the form is generally based on the tax returns of both students and parents. If your child is a senior and planning to attend college in the fall of 2018, you both would complete the FASFA based on 2016’s tax statements, in addition to answering a plethora of other incomerelated questions!


Once completed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which will dictate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Colleges determine your family’s financial need by calculating the difference between the Cost Of Attendance (COA) and your EFC. Your COA will vary from school to school based on the total estimated cost of tuition, fees, room and board, books, transportation, etc. According to Troy Onink, a contributor to Forbes Personal Finance column, “college aid formulas expect parents to contribute up to 47% of their after-tax income to college costs each year.” However, if your child’s EFC is less than the COA, he or she may qualify for financial aid even if your family earns a fairly large income.

Be aware that any scholarships a student earns count as income and will be used to lower his or her financial need. In other words, all private awards that a student earns will be deducted from the school’s COA, and your EFC will not change.


The FAFSA also determines your child’s eligibility for need-based federal grants such as the Pell Grant or the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG). Both are primarily provided for low-income families whose EFC is small. These grants are not repaid and can range from $600 to $6,000 per year for the Pell and from $100 to $4,000 per year for the SEOG. Colleges often confer additional needbased financial aid on those students who have already earned Pell Grants, and some families with adjusted gross incomes as high as $60,000 have earned these grants. Every school has discretionary funds for low-income students who demonstrate high merit. These awards are given strictly based on personal need at the moment and are not necessarily renewed from year to year. Never hesitate to explain extenuating circumstances to financial-aid officers, remembering that their job is to help you fund your child’s education.


The interest on Direct Subsidized Loans (currently 4.45%) is paid by the government until six months after a student leaves school, at which point interest 55

begins accruing. If you are able to earn, invest, and save a comparable amount as your child attends school, the loan can be paid upon graduation, essentially borrowing the money for free. The interest on Unsubsidized and PLUS Loans begins accruing immediately, and I advise against accepting these. All educational loans are in the student’s name except the PLUS Loan.


The Federal Work-Study program provides part-time jobs for students with financial need. I recommend pursuing these opportunities because the program encourages community service and work related to students’ courses of study. Each student applies for work-study on the FAFSA, but will have the opportunity to accept or decline specific jobs once school begins. Most employment is on campus, but some public interest positions are off campus. With each college acceptance letter, your child will receive a financial-aid package, including a combination of proposed scholarships, grants, loans, work-study, etc. Review and compare these carefully. You can even use them to negotiate additional aid money if your child is accepted by competing schools. The earliest you can complete the FASFA is October 1 and the latest is June 30, but do not put off filing because the money available for financial aid is limited, and if it has all been awarded to other students by the time you apply, it won’t matter if you qualify or not. When the money’s gone, it’s gone!

Lee Gonet is an avid learner, speaker, educator, and world traveler. She loves challenging teenagers to excel beyond what society considers possible by teaching young people to think deeply, learn intensely, and act purposefully outside the classroom box. For example, her daughter worked abroad by 16 and her son earned his Engineering Master’s by 20. Dreams do come true.

Making YouTube Kids Safer for Your Children Kids love videos—the sillier the better. And it’s a rare parent who hasn’t used them to secure a little quiet time. Today YouTube is, by far, the largest source of videos of all kinds. When they created an app for children in 2015, many parents assumed the content would be carefully curated and reliably child-friendly. Much of it is. YouTubeKids lets even young children happily swipe through a vast collection of content, much of it featuring familiar characters like Winnie the Pooh, Peppah Pig and PAW Patrol. Education clips are also plentiful, many from reputable sources like Khan’s Academy and PBS Kids. Mixed into this stew are videos created by users which vary enormously in content and quality. A small percentage include bizarre and even traumatizing images, sometimes of those same beloved characters doing lewd and violent things. How does this happen? Google uses artificial intelligence to decide whether a video is suitable for children. Although AI has come a long way, it doesn’t always spot problems that would be glaringly obvious to people. It may, for example, miss the nuance that distinguishes adult satire from the innocent content it’s meant to mock. And it’s often oblivious to trolls and clickbait—content created simply to lure clicks that generate revenue. In its defense, Google warns that children may encounter inappropriate content and asks that parents flag such material so other kids won’t see it. Of course, that’s a significant change. In the past, parents could assume children’s media was created with the wellbeing of kids in mind. On YouTubeKids, at least some of the videos are created to satisfy algorithms, stringing together content associated with key words in ways that are at best nonsensical and at worst disturbing. Google keeps changing its policies in an effort to stay Montgomery Parents I January 2018

ahead of so-called bad actors, but often it seems the robots and their handlers are playing catch-up. Even when content is properly curated, parents need to be aware that children see a lot of commercial messages on YouTubeKids. The Red subscription may be free of paid advertising, but children still have access to entire channels created by companies like Hasbro or McDonalds. They’re also likely to encounter unboxing videos, short segments in which someone breathlessly unwraps a toy or a sweet, a process that seems designed to incite cravings in kids. Unfortunately, the parental controls for YouTubeKids are very limited. Parents can’t set their own filters for content or create playlists of acceptable videos such as those reviewed by Common Sense Media ( youtube-reviews). Most kids will still explore by swiping, so it’s good to know about these options: Change the password. Find the Grownups only section in the YouTubeKids app, and unlock it by using the random four digit passcode. The numbers are spelled out so pre-readers can’t use the code. For any child at the edge of literacy, find the “Set my own Passcode” button and do it. Disable search. Searching for videos increases the likelihood that children will see something unsuitable. Google allows parents to set up a profile for each child, so search can be enable or disabled depending on the child’s age and self control. Off should be the default. Tap the lock icon in the lower-right, enter the password, choose settings, create or find your child’s profile, and toggle off search. Review history. Because YouTubeKids doesn’t have filters, parents can’t necessarily keep kids from seeing something they 56

don’t want them to see. The app does make it easy to review history which at least allows a conversation, after the fact, about why a video is objectionable. Block videos you don’t want your child to see. If you see something unsuitable for your child, block the video or the entire channel. Just tap the triple-dot button for the video and then tap block. Report videos no child should see. Reporting gets the attention of human screeners who are actually counting on conscientious parents to let them know about unsuitable content that slipped by the robots. Think of this as a public service. If you see something, say something by tapping the triple-dot button and then Report. Set limits. To its credit, YouTubeKids does include a timer. Once it’s set, a colored progress bar lets your child see how much time is left in a session. When the clock runs out, a “Time’s Up” animation appears and the app locks until a parent enters the access code. Consider other options. Last but not least, consider other options. YouTubeKids may have the largest collection of videos but, when it comes to kids, quality is preferable to quantity. Companies like Disney, Nick Jr, and PBS Kids have brands to protect so they are likely to be more careful about what appears in their apps. For other possibilities, consult the list of video alternatives compiled by Common Sense Media ( lists/streaming-video-apps). Regardless of where your child watches videos, talk often about what your child is seeing and ask questions that develop critical thinking skills. Why does your child like certain characters? Are they behaving in a way that would be OK if a real person did it? Why is something funny? Did your child learn anything from the video? Is someone trying to get them to buy or do something? Having these conversations helps children become more discerning about what they watch, a skill that will be only become more valuable as they get older. Carolyn Jabs, M.A., has been writing the Growing Up Online column for ten year. She is also the author of Cooperative Wisdom: Bringing People Together When Things Fall Apart. Available at Amazon and Cooperative @ Copyright, 2018, Carolyn Jabs. All rights reserved.



Hear Impact. See Impact. Feel Impact.





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Don’t miss this opportunity to witness demonstrations of astounding feats of strength by Team Impact, such as shattering five feet of concrete with one blow from their massive arms and snapping baseball bats in half with their bare hands. Invite your family and friends to this FREE event held at FBC Montgomery.

First Baptist Church

Sunday, January 28 through Wednesday, January 31

6:30 pm :: Main Sanctuary 305 South Perry Street :: Montgomery, AL 36104 334.834.6310 :: 57

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Want to bring more joy into your home this year? Try shifting your mindset. Not only can adopting a more optimistic attitude create a happier life, you’ll influence how well your kids respond to life’s daily challenges too.

Practice self-awareness. Try tracking your moods to get a better

sense of what you’ll need to do to better care for yourself each day. Jessica Mostaffa, early childhood mental health specialist and therapist who works with mothers suffering from depression, says this tactic helps her clients take a more mindful approach to their day-to-day emotional well-being.

Make a happiness list. Brainstorm a list of activities that help you feel better when you’re feeling depleted. Your list might include taking a warm shower, watching a comedy, gardening or taking a walk with a friend. “When moms start working on increasing time for themselves, it not only decreases depressive symptoms, but they also report having a better, more positive relationship and interactions with their children, partners and others in the home,” Mostaffa says.

“Children watch their parents. They pick up on moods and beliefs. A positive attitude is contagious--as is a negative attitude,” says psychologist Dr. Kristen Hensley.

Invite your kids to make lists too. When they’re angry or upset, they can turn to their list to help them manage their emotions in a healthy way. For example, shoot hoops, listen to music, draw, read or call a trusted friend.

Positively rewarding. A positive outlook boosts productivity, energy and motivation; helps reduce stress; enhances confidence and self-esteem; benefits health and even improves relationships with others. “A positive attitude can also help us be more flexible in our thinking and make seeing solutions to problems easier,” Hensley says. “Looking for silver linings in life can help build mental resilience and general optimism.” Montgomery Parents I January 2018

Reframe negative thoughts. Rather than trying to ignore them, work with cynical thoughts that creep into your head. Mostaffa suggests asking yourself grounding questions like: “What’s the evidence that thought is true?” “What’s the evidence that 58

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thought is not true?” “What’s the worst thing that could happen? “What’s the best thing that could happen? “And what’s the most likely thing to happen?”

Watch how you say it. Notice how you describe your obliga-

tions to yourself or others. For instance instead of saying: “It’s my responsibility to make sure the kids have their homework done,” you might say: “It’s my privilege to make sure that my children are doing what’s best for them.” “It’s those subtle shifts that have profound effects on our lives,” says Carla McClellan, an ACC-certified life coach.

Voice your gratitude. Foster positive thinking at meal time by inviting your family to share three things for which they feel grateful and why. Bedtime is a good time to reflect on the day too. “Daily affirmations can be powerful,” Hensley says. “These don’t have to be major things either. A five-year-old might say she’s grateful for the cupcake she got at school for a classmate’s birthday celebration because it made her happy. The purpose is to teach this kind of thinking and help it become a more natural part of everyday life.” Create a vision board. Imagine what you and your family would like to accomplish in the year ahead. Either make a family vision board or individual ones. Grab a stack of old magazines, scissors, glue and poster board. Cut out inspiring words, quotes and pictures. Ask each other questions like: “What are our dreams for the coming year?” “What do we want to see happen in our lives?” “What would an ideal vacation look like?” Set intentions. Alongside your daily to-do list, make a “to-be” list. Every morning set your intention. Ask yourself “who am I willing to be today?” Kind? Loving? Generous? Enthusiastic? “An intention is a laser focus for our energy. When we claim who we are willing to be, we can be that,” McClellan says.

Encourage quiet time. Quiet, unplugged time helps nurture

creative thinking, problem-solving and stress reduction. Gear down before bedtime as a family. Read together, draw or watch a show. This time together helps kids decompress and gives them space to express worries, concerns or stories from the day.

Weigh the positive and negative. If your child is troubled by a

situation at school or at home, encourage him to write down a positive thought about it on a card. On the opposite side, have him write the negative thought. “Then you can discuss with your child each side, how each makes him or her feel, and what the consequences of each side might be,” Hensley says. “Remind children that it’s OK to have negative thoughts and feelings. We just don’t want them to rule our lives.”

Play together. Experts agree, families who play together tend to

be happier and more deeply connected. Whether you throw the football, compete in a game of cards, dance to funky music in your living room, or make up games on a car ride, play will strengthen your relationship with each other.

Experiment with what works for your family. “All of these


types of activities and rituals are very important because they’re modeling a positive attitude, building a healthy way of thinking and interacting with the world, and helping children understand the link between thoughts, feelings and behaviors,” Hensley says. mp


Freelance journalist Christa Melnyk Hines and her husband are the parents of two boys. Christa’s latest book is Happy, Healthy and Hyperconnected: Raise a Thoughtful Communicator in a Digital World.



ParentingToday’sTeens by Mark Gregston


When Your Teen Is in the Wrong Crowd If you swim with the sharks, you’re bound to get bit. One bad apple spoils the whole bushel. Bad company corrupts good character. Many parents have added these phrases to their lexicon, because they illustrate the dangers of running with the “wrong crowd”. As moms and dads, we know how susceptible kids are to peer influence. You’ve likely spent many sleepless nights worrying about the people your child is hanging around. What are they teaching my son? What are they pressuring my daughter to do? Are these friends that will give needed support and encouragement to my teen, or will bring my child down? These are valid concerns if you suspect your child is hanging out with the wrong crowd. But let’s pause for a moment and ask just who is the “wrong crowd”? Here’s a simple definition we can use: The “wrong crowd” includes anyone who influences your child in ways that are contradictory to your values, systems, and beliefs as parents. When parents observe changes in their teen and note the actions and attitudes of their friends, they may arrive at the conclusion, “my teen is in league with some bad seeds.” When this happens, how do we gently guide our teens away from negative influences? My advice may not be what you might expect.

Teach Your Kids

As parents, part of our job is to protect our kids. We try to shield them from negative influences as much as possible. We’re not going to let our 12-year-old daughter hang around 18-year-old girls who smoke pot and sleep with their boyfriends. We have to shield our child’s innocence until they are mature enough to make wise decisions on their own. It would be foolish to let young children spend time with people who have serious hang-ups. But at some point, we must stop protecting our kids and start preparing them to make wise choices when choosing friends. If all we are doing is hold our kids back from this or that person, we are not equipping them to make smart decisions once they are free of our control. While every child is different, here is a basic guideline for starting that relational training: Montgomery Parents I January 2018

0–13 years old: Get to know and closely monitor your child’s friends. If your son or daughter is running with the wrong crowd this early, change schools, move houses, or pull your child from certain activities. At this age, they still need to have their innocence protected. 14–17 years old: Continue to monitor your child’s friends, but begin to slowly back off from controlling their relationships. If you have concerns about the people they are spending time with, talk with your kids about the problems you see. Also, set personal and family boundaries regarding the kind of behavior that is acceptable among friends and the kind that is not. 18+ years old: At this age, young people must be responsible for their own choices, including their choices in friends. If they are living with you, they must follow the rules of the house. But if they are on their own, all you can do is let them know you are available to talk and give advice if they ever feel they need it. As you train your teen to use discernment when choosing friends, you can help them along by asking good questions. For instance, you can ask, “I’m curious; would you ever drink and drive? Do you know someone who has? Did they think it was a good idea? Do you?” Or you can ask, “Has anyone offered you drugs? What crossed your mind in that moment?” These types of questions are effective because they help your child articulate their values, beliefs, and convictions. And if they ever get into a situation similar to the one you have discussed, chances are they will remember, “Hey, I remember telling my mom (or dad) that I don’t believe in drinking and driving. I’m going to pass.” By asking good questions, you are helping your child build up those decision-making muscles that will serve them well, whether they have good friends or not.

Embrace the “Bad” Kids

We have welcomed more than 2,500 teens to the Heartlight campus over the years. All of the teens that walk through our doors 60


would generally be included in what most people consider, the “wrong crowd.” But I love them all to death. Despite the numerous kids who have come through our program, I have yet to meet a “bad kid.” Now, I have met some strong-willed kids. I have helped teens with deep-seated problems and issues. But there isn’t one child who is beyond help. As moms and dads, we may spend a lot of time avoiding the “bad kids” and encouraging our children to do the same. But who needs a helping hand more than a teen who is hurtling off the tracks at 90 miles an hour? Instead of running from the wrong crowd, let’s run towards them! Turn your home into a safe, loving, and fun place where teens can hang out and interact. Provide alternatives for your kids and their friends. Invite them to watch a ball game. Pack up enough supplies, and take a group fishing. Let them set up their band in your garage. Set aside a weekend, and go camping with your kids and their friends. In this way, not only will you be providing a healthy outlet for teens to have fun, but they will be under your watch and protection. Rather than cautioning your teen to side step the problem kids, take initiative and be the mentor, leader, or life coach they need.




Be The Change

When you began to read this article, you probably thought that I would offer some suggestions about how to avoid the wrong crowd. Maybe you are a bit surprised at my approach to this topic. But please hear me out; no matter where you go, where you live, or who you know—there will always be a “wrong crowd” to worry about. So rather than spend all your time playing defense trying to block the bad kids from your teens, start playing the offense. Start influencing the “bad kids” yourself. And teach your teen to do the same. In that way, you won’t avoid the wrong crowd, you will change them!

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Mark Gregston is an author, speaker, radio host, and the founder of a residential counseling center for struggling teens located in Longview, Texas. Mark’s passion for helping teens can be seen in his 40 years of involvement with families as a youth pastor, Young Life area director, and now, as the Executive Director of Heartlight, where he has lived with and helped over 2,700 teens. To find out more about Mark and his ministry to parents and teens, you can visit or




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There Is Hope Ahead. 61

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1. Knowing that your child will receive a comprehensive education: academics, sports and extracurricular activities.

I am often asked what benefits there are for parents when they send their children to private school. The quintessential “What’s in it for me?” is a legitimate question. After all you are thinking about sending your baby off to a school where you are being told she will work hard, learn how to get along with others and be involved in all kinds of activities. And it is going to cost you a small fortune to boot.

Private schools educate the whole child. Educating the whole child requires an integrated program of academic studies, athletics and extracurricular activities. Essentially a private school is going to pick up where you left off when you sent her to school. You have invested some serious time raising your child. Remember how you did it? Always a variety of activities. Always encouraging your child to do things she didn’t know she could do. Always stimulating that little mind. Always inculcating a love of learning. Always patient explanations and answers to the hundreds of questions she had. Your age-appropriate answers and guidance laid the foundations for the next level of academic learning, sports and group activities. You had a plan. You worked

Your concerns are well-founded. So against that backdrop let’s examine what I personally consider to be the three main benefits for us parents of sending our children to private school. Lest you think that I am speculating or theorizing, all four of our children went to private school. All grades too. Nursery school. Elementary school. Middle School and high school. So I speak from my own experience as a private school parent. Montgomery Parents I January 2018


that plan. Now all any good private school is going to do is to build on that solid foundation. The personal growth which you have worked so hard at achieving is now in very capable, professional hands. The advantage for us as parents is that we no longer have to be the generalists in areas which we really perhaps didn’t know too much about. Indeed there even might have been areas which we avoided either because we did not enjoy them or felt incapable of presenting them effectively. For example, you discover that your child has a gift for music and art. Yes, you exposed her to music and art to the best of your abilities. But can you imagine how she will respond under the watchful eye and guidance of a teacher who has a degree or two in music or fine arts. The combination of that professional training and the deep, abiding passion which every good teacher feels for her subject is precisely what your child needs to develop her talents. With the private school taking the reins and responsibility for your child’s education, you can now relax and focus on the many enrichment activities which you can organize for her. Knowing that your child will receive a comprehensive education in academics, sports and extracurricular activities is in my opinion the most important benefit a private school gives us parents. No more worry about planning all that activity. The school does it as part of its daily, ongoing program. Seamlessly. Professionally. Effectively.

your undivided attention from the time she was born until now. Why would you want to undo all that good work? A small class size is the hallmark of just about every good private school I can think of. Students in small classes get to really know their teachers and vice-versa. Students in small classes cannot hide when they don’t know the answer or when they are feeling out of sorts. Students in small classes won’t be humiliated if they don’t know the answers or don’t understand the material. The skilled teacher will have the experience and skills necessary to draw your child into the discussion without embarrassing her. That’s much harder to do with a larger class. Classroom management absorbs more of a teacher’s time and attention when the the class is large. Because her students are fully engaged in the discussions and learning process, the teacher can move as quickly as she can through the material at hand. Let me use the analogy of driving in order to explain: driving on a road with lots of twists and turns, hills and blind spots typically will slow you down in order to be safe. Once you are on the interstate you can drive much faster while still maintaining the safety margins you want and need. Much the same thing with teaching. A large class size will

2. Knowing that your child will benefit from the individual attention which comes from being in a small class. Your child is unique. She has specific needs which simply are not identical with other children in her class. Similar, yes. But not identical. Knowing that your child will not be a number or a faceless name in a class register which has 30 other names in it gives us parents tremendous piece of mind. Remember: she had

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slow the teacher down because she has to try to keep all her students engaged. A small class size is rather like the interstate. You can move along at the speed limit safely and comfortably.

3.You will have the piece of mind which comes from knowing that your child is properly supervised while at school. You never let your child out of your sight when she was an infant. When she started socializing, you were very careful about where she went and with whom. So why would you want to start worrying now about whether or not your child is properly supervised while at school? To me the supervision which most private schools offer is a major benefit for us parents. Coupled with that is the fact that most private schools segment their various age groupings. So the primary grades will have their own building or section of a building just for them. Same with middle school and the high school grades. Their recreation facilities are separate as well and age appropriate. That gives young children the chance to explore and learn on their own terms. Bad behavior when it does occur is dealt with promptly. Simply put, if you break the rules, you will face consequences. Swiftly. That is of some comfort to most of us parents. We understand that things can and do happen. But at least the school has policies and procedures in place to deal with things when they happen. The safety of your child is paramount. Most private schools have zero tolerance for things such as substance abuse. That’s important to know. Most private schools pride themselves on being a community in which respect for other members of the community is expected. The tone is set by the board and the faculty staff. Students are expected to follow suit. These three benefits of private school are specific to us parents. Keep them in mind as you gather information and data about private schools. mp Visit for more.

Montgomery Parents I January 2018



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Getting the Inside Story No one loves a good story as much as a child. As little ones listen to books read aloud to them, they receive their first introduction to basic story elements like characters, settings and plot. Children’s literature often benefits from simple story structures so that new readers can learn traditional storytelling components and styles. But kids don’t always have a window into what it takes to actually build a story from the ground up. The following titles explore the evolution of a story with tongue-in-cheek humor and characters who all have their own tale to tell.

May I Have a Word?

by Caron Levis, Illustrated by Andy Rash (Farrar Straus Giroux / Macmillan) The alphabet letters on the refrigerator want to work together to tell a story. The letter ‘C’ suggests the story should be about cats. Letter ‘K’ counters that the story could be about a kangaroo or a king. Soon ‘C’ and ‘K’ are in an alphabetical war of words as each advocates for their own special words to take precedence in the tale. The other letters are rightfully concerned when ‘C’ and ‘K’ storm off leaving them without the means to spell ‘duck’, ‘socks’, ‘luck’ and many other important words. Only a very special story with just the right words can bring ‘C’ and ‘K’ back into the tale. Gently introducing phonetic sounds and basic spelling, beginning readers will get more that just a story from these delightfully animated letters of the alphabet.

I Want to Be in a Scary Story

by Sean Taylor, Illustrated by Jean Jullien (Candlewick Press) Little Monster is asking to be in his own scary story. Breaking the fourth wall, this title follows an implied conversation with the storyteller as Little Monster asks for new elements to be added to his tale. The level of scary adjusts up and down as Little Monster seeks just the right amount of scary in their story. After a string of spooky additions and changes, the story is still not exactly right for Little Monster. Sometimes what a good story needs to become great is simply a change in perspective. Featuring a bordering-onbold Little Monster who just wants to move from scared to scary, this is a great read-aloud conversation for every storytelling partnership.

Amy the Red Panda is Writing the Best Story in the World

by Colleen AF Venable, Illustrated by Ruth Chan (Greenwillow / HarperCollins) With a simple announcement, Amy the Red Panda begins writing the best story in the world. But as soon as Amy’s first sentence begins to form, letters of the alphabet begin to rain from the sky and friends arrive to help her story development. Her tiny friends insist that smaller animals make better stories (hippos and giraffes disagree). Digger friends suggest digging stories and flying pals offer flights of fantasy. Amy’s vision for her tale goes farther and farther off course as she’s beset with everyone’s diverging ideas about what makes a good story. Left with a chaotic alphabet and her original story in tatters, Amy discovers a new story emerging from her experience. Underlining the ability to make your own happy ending in the wake of unexpected changes, this title is a cheerful celebration of storytelling. Find more reading recommendations at


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The independent school admissions process varies greatly from one school to another. There is, however, one critical requirement that is truly universal--the interview. Students who apply to an independent school for admission to grades 6-12 are required to meet with an admissions officer in a one-on-one or small group setting. You worry as a parent that your child simply can’t have the maturity or know-how to converse in the manner required with a strange adult who is lobbing questions at your child. Yes, this can be anxiety producing for even the most savvy-minded parent. But, I’d like to help reframe your thinking on the admissions interview.

Montgomery Parents I January 2018



A Window into Your Child’s Personality

The interview offers an admissions committee a window into your child’s personality-his or her academic and extra-curricular interests, unique passions, and other skills that matter to your son or daughter. Keep in mind that the interview can be as short as 10 minutes for a younger child and up to 45 for the high school candidate. The interviewer is focused on evaluating your child’s academic potential and overall personality by engaging them in a guided conversation that centers on your child’s current school experience, particular strengths--academic, as well as, athletic, artistic, service, leadership, and other special interests. It may help to think of the interview as a detailed conversation for your child with a trained teacher. It is the job of the admissions officer to establish a rapport with your child. Admissions officers are student advocates. Admissions officers view their interactions with prospective candidates and their families as their number one priority. Knowing that the schools place extreme value on personal interactions with new families may shed new light on the interview process. It is important to remember that it is a two way street. You are evaluating a school in tandem while the school is interviewing you and your child.

The Fit is Important

While every school values different factors in the admissions process, all schools care greatly about your child’s academic and social fit in their program. Ideally, the interview will confirm that your child has the potential to encounter success in the program and will be a good match for the particular

grade level in which your child will enter. Of course, this is not a given so it is your job as parent to do your research prior to visiting schools so that you do not find yourself halfway through an interview at a school that does not align with what you want for your child. It can be rather uncomfortable to listen to an admissions officer emphasize academics and the ingredients necessary to excel in the highly structured, rigorous program when you have a child who has a wildly creative side that would be undernourished without a strong studio arts program. Ask about the most important factors influencing the admission decision during your visit. Again, this demonstrates your and your child’s interest in the school community, which also plays a critical role throughout the admissions process. Remember, you are the expert on your child. Think about how best to prepare your child for what to expect. The goal is to help your child display authentic interest, curiosity, and enthusiasm for the school. While not all admissions personnel are naturals at their job, most do facilitate an inviting experience with the student and are skilled interviewers. Many students enjoy being the center of attention when they are asked details about what they know best-- their school, teachers, friends, and special interests. Others, who may take a bit longer to warm up in such an intimate setting, may remain nervous and reserved throughout the interview.

Appearance is important. Whether there is a uniform or dress code, encourage your child to look the part. Use specific examples to illustrate what you are saying. Sharing a poignant description about a teacher you admire or bringing to life the last 30 seconds of a tied soccer game is hard for any adult to forget. Anything you say to help an adult to readily recall you is powerful. Come armed with questions for your interviewer. It speaks volumes to show that you have taken the time to read the school’s web site or view book and want to learn more. Ask questions to demonstrate sincere interest in a particular program or aspect of the school. Leave a positive impression on your interviewer. A formal “thank you” goes a long way. A hand written note or thoughtful email to your interviewer would be very good.

Helpful tips to share with your child include the following:

Do not, however, over-prep your child. Admissions officers cringe when they encounter students who offer mechanical responses to thoughtful questions that don’t offer any insight into how your child processes a novel question or idea. Trust the process and remember that while the interview is important, it is one part of the many admissions requirements for your child. Be on your best behavior and recognize that schools are assessing parents, as well as students, even at the high school division. mp

Body language is critical. How you say it matters just as much as what you say. Make good eye contact, smile, and be yourself.

Clare Anderson is an educational consultant with over 15 years of experience as a counselor, recruiters, and consultant for independent schools.

Prepare Your Child


Montgomery Parents I January 2018




Montgomery Parents I January 2018




4400 Bell Road | Montgomery, AL | 334-395-8222 |

A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE HOLY CROSS EPISCOPAL SCHOOL is a day school serving K4 through 6th grade in the Montgomery area. Our curriculum prepares students for entry into college preparatory programs in both private and magnet middle schools. Children of all religious, ethnic, and economic backgrounds are welcomed and valued for the diversity they bring. a place of FAITH Holy Cross unites the life of faith and the life of reason within the broad tradition of the Episcopal Church. We offer experiences to strengthen children’s faith and values so they may become stronger members of their families’ church affiliations, whatever these may be. Chapel services are held daily and opportunities for individual spiritual growth are provided through community outreach projects. a place of LEARNING With our spiritual nurturing, challenging academics, competitive athletics, and a strong commitment to the arts, our program is designed to instill and inspire confidence, self-discipline, leadership, responsibility, intellectual curiosity, and sensitivity to others. Holy Cross’s curriculum is designed to develop effective writing, critical reading, logical reasoning, analytical thinking,

personal responsibility, and civic-mindedness. Enrichment education continues in visual and performing arts, foreign language, physical education, library, STEM-infused science, and 21st century computing. We also offer ESL instruction for English language learners. a place of LOVE Our highly dedicated and experienced faculty, whose excellence in teaching is surpassed only by their genuine love of children, makes Holy Cross a place where children grow and thrive. Our faculty regards teaching as an exciting, stimulating, and rewarding ministry. They are committed to the education of the whole child and to providing individual attention to each student.



1PM - 3PM

Holy Cross offers a 5% discount for younger siblings and a 10% discount for active duty military and first responders. We also accept the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship and Scholarships for Kids. Ask us about additional financial aid opportunities. Holy Cross Episcopal School is accredited by AdvancED (SACS) and the Southern Association of Independent Schools 72 a proud member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools

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The OppOrTuniTies Are endless!


OPEN HOUSE Tuesday, February 6 6:00 p.m.

Macon East Academy is a college preparatory school committed to providing students with a safe, nurturing environment that promotes academic achievement, patriotism, and belief in God through Christian doctrine. Founded in 1995, Macon East Academy focuses on providing a family environment in a small school atmosphere. It is a place where students feel at home and know that every faculty member has a genuine interest in their education and personal achievement on and off the campus. Recognizing that each student is a valued individual with unique physical, social, emotional, and intellectual needs, our teachers provide the guidance needed to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning. The Macon East experience is designed to nurture and develop well-balanced, responsible, and dedicated young people. Macon East seeks to enroll students who are capable of achieving success inside the framework of a college preparatory curriculum. Our accelerated elementary classes are supplemented with offerings for all ages in music, Spanish, technology and both visual and performing arts. Throughout upper school, students have the opportunity to choose from a variety of Honors, Advanced Placement and Elective offerings. Macon East offers a 1:1 Apple iPad program equipping every student in Kindergarten through 12th grade with an iPad for use during the school year.


Athletics is a big part of life on campus at Macon East with over 80% of upper school students participating in one or more interscholastic team sports. Team sports at Macon East include baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, golf, soccer, softball, and volleyball. Beginning in 6th grade, elementary boys may participate in interscholastic football, and all elementary girls K3 - 6 may participate in cheerleading. Macon East has won numerous regional and state championships, and our coaches have received local and state recognition for excellence in coaching. Our most recent athletic achievements include 5 state championship titles for varsity softball, 6 state championship titles in volleyball, and state titles in basketball and baseball in 2017. Extracurricular activities include many opportunities for student leadership and community service through various clubs and organizations. At Macon East Academy, students are held to high standards in all areas of student life, and Christian values are reinforced throughout all school programs, policies and practices.

Leadership scholarship opportunities are available.


Montgomery Parents

For enrollment information contact Jill Taylor, Admissions Director, Phone at (334) 277-6566 Ext. 210 or74by Email at: I January 2018 15396 Vaughn Road | |

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Montessori@Mulberry The River Region’s Preferred Montessori Preschool Montessori@Mulberry’s CAMPUS

Montessori @ Mulberry has added a new building to its Mulberry Campus. The building is a charming house, newly renovated, next to the current location and includes a classroom, especially designed for children 12 months and older. We also have an additional playground for our younger students and a newly expanded Montessori Resource Center. We have also expanded our classroom to the outdoors with “The Children’s Garden.” Our students now participate in all the phases of gardening: from germination, planting, caring for and harvesting an organic crop. Terri Jackson, Executive Director, teaching students According to Terri Jackson, Executive Director, “The response to our unique educational approach has been very positive and we are excited to offer more opportunities for parents who appreciate the Montessori Education we specialize in.”

Montessori@Mulberry’s LOCATION

Montessori@Mulberry is centrally located in Midtown Montgomery a few blocks from Jackson Hospital and Huntingdon College. Conveniently located just blocks from Interstate I-85.

Montessori@Mulberry’s CLASSROOM








The Children’s Garden

Mrs. Guha, Lead Teacher, AMS Certified with Maxxim

In the Montessori classroom, each child is encouraged to reach his or her full potential in all areas of life. The specific needs of individual children are met at each developmental level. The classroom contains many multi-sensory, sequential Sadie working her lesson and self-correcting materials that facilitate learning. Concepts are presented in the Primary Classroom concretely and students work with materials until they are ready to move to more abstract materials. Children are free to work at their own pace with materials they have chosen. All classrooms have multi-age groupings, which encourages a family-like atmosphere where learning can take place naturally. Our curriculum, which is challenging, interdisciplinary and real world related, provides a strong academic bridge to elementary school.

WHY CHOOSE Montessori@Mulberry?

Is it a coincidence that many of the mavericks on the leading edge of innovation and creativity in our culture are Montessori graduates? The founders of Google and along with T. Berry Brazelton, noted pediatrician, to Peter Drucker, the well known management guru, were all educated in the Montessori Classroom. As you research and think about how you want your child to begin his or her education, Montessori @ Mulberry should be at the top of your list. We offer certified Montessori teachers in each classroom and a quality environment designed for fostering the love Kendall, Alex and Dylan having of learning. As a parent, you want the “peace of mind” knowing your child will have the fun with a “Group Hug” opportunity to learn and grow according to his or her ability. We invite you to call Terri Jackson at 265.7733 to schedule a tour and discover why Montessori @ Mulberry is the River Region’s preferred Montessori Preschool. Begin your child’s education for life with the skilled staff at Montessori @ Mulberry.

Offering Exceptional Educational Experiences for children 12 months through Kindergarten. Limited space available, call today to reserve your child’s placement.

Call Terri Jackson Today to Schedule Your Tour @ 334-265-7733 _ _ 2034 Clubview St. in the Mulberry District 75

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Scholarship Applications Available Now Saint James Odyssey Scholarships were awarded last spring for the 2017 academic year to Ellis Aday (center) for Kindergarten, Joshua Smith (right) for sixth grade, and Kira Butterbaugh (left) for ninth grade.

Saint James School prepares students for their educational Odyssey, their journey of lifelong learning. As a college preparatory, independent school, Saint James is committed to challenging and assisting students in realizing their individual potential and preparing them for lives of responsibility, service, and achievement. Students entering kindergarten, sixth grade, and ninth grade in the fall of 2018, who are passionate about their education, should apply for a Saint James Odyssey Scholarship. These division level tuition awards continue with the selected students in good standing until they advance to the next division at STJ. Applications, deadlines, and details are available at



Leading the Way Since 1955 S T J w e b . o r g Ask us about our Financial Assistance Program. Academic support for English Language Learners available. Saint James School admits students of any religion, race, gender, creed, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.

Montgomery Parents I January 2018

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Honor. Tradition. Academic Excellence.

OPEN HOUSE: Thursday, January 18, 2018. Intended for families of prospective K4 and K5 Kindergarten students. ENROLLMENT: Approximately 810 students K4-12. MISSION: Trinity is Montgomery’s foremost educational institution, binding academic excellence with Christian values. Providing a challenging college-preparatory education, Trinity provides a rigorous academic program, committed educators, outstanding athletics, and a nurturing family environment. Educators at Trinity strike the perfect balance as they encourage students to strive for excellence, while emphasizing Christ-like character above all else. “The Trinity Experience” produces leaders who possess mental, physical and spiritual strength. RECOGNITIONS: Trinity graduates have received over $35 million in merit-based scholarships over the last 5 years. Taking advantage of an extensive amount of AP courses on campus and online, a vast majority of Trinity’s AP students score between a 3 and a 5 on their exams, with many students being able to nearly complete their freshman college studies before ever graduating from Trinity. Two 2017 Trinity graduates were named National Speech and Debate Association Academic All Americans. This fall, the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program recognized twenty-four Trinity students as Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars. The Science Olympiad Team won the 2016 Regional Finals by defeating the Alabama School of Math and Science, while Trinity’s EnviroBowl Team has won 10 State Championships since 2001. The Alabama High School Athletic Association named a 2017 Trinity graduate the Regional Bryant-Jordan Scholar-Athlete Award; while the Alabama High School Athletic Association named a 2016 Trinity graduate the State Bryant-Jordan Scholar-Athlete Award. A 2017 Trinity senior was named the 2017 Distinguished Young Woman of Montgomery County. The 2015 Youth Governor for Alabama was a 2016 Trinity graduate, and is the 3rd Youth Governor Trinity has produced. Trinity’s Lower School Library also acts as a S.T.R.E.A.M. Lab (Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts, and Math, providing project-based learning activities to Lower School students. SERVICE: Serving others is paramount at Trinity. From the first day of Lower School to the last day of Upper School, Trinity’s focus is on putting others first. Trinity’s school-wide (K4-12) mission project, Change 4 Change (C4C), has donated nearly $100,000 in the past four years to charitable organizations in Montgomery and throughout the world. In 2016, Trinity launched a “Cyber-Seniors” class, which allows students to teach senior adults how to operate their computers, iPhones, iPads, and other technological devices. Partnering with a local elementary school, Trinity students serve as “Study Buddies,” during an afterschool tutoring program. Continuing local outreach, Trinity students provide food to 85 children weekly to a local elementary school through the “Feeding America’s Backpack Program.” 79

ARTS: Offering the only full-time dance program at a Montgomery independent school, Trinity’s award-winning fine arts program offers stateof-the-art areas for dance, choral, instrumental, visual arts, and speech. Trinity’s theatre department produces a full-scale musical each spring with a cast of more than 125 Upper School students. Trinity art students win major state and national awards in the arts and currently have artwork exhibited at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Trinity’s Art Department provides opportunities for exhibition and collaboration between emerging student artists and professional artists through its annual Pop-Up Art Gallery and Collaborative Studio showcased downtown in the Alley Station. Trinity’s Show Choir and band students perform locally as well as throughout the state each year. Expression through vocal and instrumental music extends through middle and upper school in formal Choral and Band performances. The award-winning Wildcat Pride Marching Band continues their record of excellence, as they had the largest number of students chosen for the 2016 All-State Honor Bands of any independent school in the River Region. The Middle School Concert Band, the first of its kind in the city, and the Symphonic Band allow students to increase their proficiency through rehearsing and performing concert band literature. ATHLETICS: Athletics play an integral part in Trinity’s educational program, which is designed to develop the whole person—mind, body, and spirit. Trinity fields 39 interscholastic sport teams, including football, volleyball, basketball, tennis, baseball, softball, golf, soccer, track, cross country, and swimming. Both men’s and women’s teams have excelled in the middle school, junior varsity, and varsity levels capturing many CCC and area titles. Many students and coaches are named AllMetro player or coaches of the year by The Montgomery Advertiser. Trinity has a long-standing tradition of championship-level teams, and many Trinity athletes play at the next level in several sports. Trinity has won 26 AHSAA state championships, most recently the 2017 Cross Country State Championship and the 2017 Girls Golf State Championship. Over 84% of students in grades 7-12 compete in at least one sport at Trinity. Trinity has produced more Jimmy Hitchcock Award recipients than any other school in Montgomery. EXTENDED CARE PROGRAM: Trinity offers an extended day through the Wildcat Club Program. This program is designed to be a true extension of the school day and provide more than just childcare. TUITION: At Trinity, the Apple 1:1 Program for Grades 6-12, quality lunches, textbooks, workbooks, and regular season athletic admission (K4-12) are all included in tuition. Trinity provides a generous needbased tuition assistance program. In addition, Trinity gratefully extends a 10% discount on tuition to active duty full-time military families.

TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL 1700 East Trinity Boulevard | Montgomery, AL 36106 334-213-2100 |

Independent 8

Edgewood Academy ad on page 51

P.O. Box 160, 5475 Elmore Rd, Elmore, 36025 Curriculum: Offers two diplomas - standard, dual enrollment; including advanced placement courses. Leadership: Headmaster: Clint Welch Grades: K3-12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, cheerleading, peewee cheerleading, Golf, track and Pee-Wee/Termite football. Clubs: National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, SGA, FCA, Spanish, Youth in Government, Drama, Beta, Accounting Team, First Priority, and Math Team. Additional Info - Testing Requirement: Admissions test & evaluation of scholastic record Registration deadline: Applications accepted all year; testing begins January on a firstcome, first-serve basis. Accreditation: AISA since 1974 and Advanced ED (formerly known as SACS), NCPSA and CITA Tuition: Please call for tuition rates.

(334) 567.5102

Hooper Academy ads on pages 53 and 73

380 Fischer Rd., Hope Hull, 36043 Founded: 1970 Religious Affiliation: Non –secular Curriculum: Advanced and standard diplomas, music and computer K5-6th Leadership: Headmaster: Dr. Liz Norman Grades: K5 through 12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Include football (grades 2-12), volleyball, boys and girls basketball, baseball, track, softball, weight training, dance, cheerleading, and soccer. Clubs: Scholar”s Bowl, National Honor Society, Science Club, Math Team, SGA, Performing Arts, Yearbook/Journalism, FCA, and Spanish. Additional Info - Registration Deadline: Based on availability. Accreditation: AISA; SACS; AAIS. Extended care program available. Licensed Day Care program available on campus. Tuition: K-12, Call for rates. (334) 288.5980

Macon-East Academy ads on pages 13 and 74

15396 Vaughn Road, Cecil, 36013 Founded: 1995 Curriculum: College Prep, Honors and AP Leadership: Headmaster: Glynn Lott Grades: K3 – 12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Basketball, football, baseball, soccer, golf, softball, volleyball and cheerleading. Clubs: Student Government Association, National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society, International Thespian Honor Society, Drama Club and Yearbook Additional Info - Testing Requirements: Tests given to K4, K5 & 1st grade; standardized scores 2-12. Accreditation: Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and School (AdvancEd/SACS), Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS), and Alabama Independent School Association (AISA). Teacher-student ratio: Preschool: 12; K-6th: 18; grades 7-12: 24. Tuition: Please call for 2018-2019 rates. Uniforms are required for 1st – 12 graders

(334) 277.6566 link on website

Montessori at Mulberry ads on pages 15 and 75

2034 Clubview St, Montgomery, 36106 Curriculum: Each child is encouraged to reach his/her full potential in all areas of life. The specific needs of individual children are met at each developmental level. Our curriculum, which is challenging, interdisciplinary and real world related, provides a strong academic bridge to elementary school. Leadership: Admissions: Terri Jackson Grades: 12 months through Kindergarten Additional Info - Registration Deadline: Open as space permits. Testing Requirements: Personal interview. Tuition: Please call for more information.

(334) 265.7733

Montgomery Parents I January 2018


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Saint James School

The Montgomery Academy

ads on pages 1 and 78

6010 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, 36116 Founded: 1955 Curriculum: College Preparatory Leadership: Head of School: Dr. Larry McLemore High School Principal: Dr. Bryan Oliver Middle School Principal: Mrs. Laura Spivey Elementary Principal: Mrs. Andrea Harris Grades: Pre-K3 through 12th (including all-day and half-day Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 options) Extra Curricular - Sports: Over 45 competitive sports teams, including basketball, football and baseball, tennis, equestrian, cross country, track, soccer, golf, wrestling, volleyball, softball, cheerleading, and indoor track. Clubs: Over 30 clubs and organizations including ten honor societies, SGA, Speech and Debate Club, Write Club, Film Club, Drama Club, French Club, Latin Club, Spanish Club, Math Club, Science Olympiad, Tri-M, Scholars’ Bowl, Stand Up to Cancer Club, Government Club, Book Club, Girls’ Club, Interact Club, Key Club, Pep Club, Student Y Club, Fellowship of Christian Students, Young Democrats, and Young Republicans. Additional Info - Testing Requirements: Admissions testing required. Contact Admissions Office (334-273-3021) for information. Registration Deadline: Testing begins in January and is ongoing as space becomes available. Initial invitations for acceptance mailed early March. Later enrollment as openings occur. Accreditation: SACS, NAIS, SAIS, AISA, SACAC, NACAC, and the College Board. Graduates of Saint James have received over $32.6 million in scholarships to colleges and universities across the nation over the past five years. Challenging academics, competitive athletics, and nationally recognized arts classes combine to create Central Alabama’s most engaging independent school environment at Saint James School (STJ). As Montgomery’s oldest independent private school, Saint James provides the most well-rounded course offerings in the area, blending superior academics and state-of-the-art technology, with absorbing enrichment, exploratory, and college elective classes. STJ offers a wide-range of unique pre-college major electives, Alabama’s only high school to do so. Saint James School envelops students in a 21st century learning environment, providing Macbooks® and iPads® for Grades 5-12, and integrated use of iPods®, iPads®, and Macbooks® in Pre-K through Grade 4 classes. The school’s talented and dedicated faculty is a vital component of the learning equation, creating a welcoming, yet challenging atmosphere to help students from Grades Pre-K3 through 12 reach their highest potential. As STJ students make great strides academically, they also grow personally, learning to become young men and women of character who are self-motivated, intellectually curious, reflective, and articulate. The rigorous academic curriculum is balanced with outstanding offerings in the nationally recognized fine and performing arts department and state championship athletic programs. To make the transition to Saint James easier, all new students are paired with a specially selected student buddy. Academic support for English Language Learners is provided to international students, to assist with English comprehension, reading, and writing skills. Tuition: Please call our admissions office or visit our website for more information on tuition, financial assistance, and scholarship opportunities at Saint James School. Mandatory drug testing, grades 6 – 12. Uniforms Required.

(334) 277.8033

ads on pages 76 and Back Cover

Upper School, 3240 Vaughn Road Lower School, 1550 Perry Hill Road Montgomery, 36106 Religious Affiliation: Non-sectarian Curriculum: College Preparatory; competitive admissions. The curriculum is designed to provide above average to superior students the preparation necessary for success, both in college and in later life. Through the Student Honor Council and the school’s Honor Code, the Academy strives to build personal integrity and character in every student. Mission: The Montgomery Academy develops leaders committed to honor, scholarship, service and the pursuit of excellence. Leadership: Head of School: Mr. Jay Spencer Director of Admissions: Ms. Susannah Cleveland Grades: K - 12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Collectively, our athletic teams have earned over 67 state championships, more than any other public or private school in the River Region! There are 31 teams for boys and girls in grades 7-12 including, basketball, soccer, football, golf, tennis, baseball, softball, track, cross country, volleyball, swimming and cheerleading. Coaches are dedicated to bringing out the best in their players and to teaching the value of sportsmanship and teamwork. Students in grades K-9 participate in physical education classes where they can explore a variety of sports and fitness activities. Montgomery Academy’s Athletic Department provides all necessary equipment such as bats, balls, helmets, and all required padding for football. In addition, all team uniforms are provided with tennis being the only exception. Parents of students participating on MA sports teams may incur costs for team spirit packs. Spirit packs include items that enhance team spirit and unity, but are not required for participation. Clubs: There are several clubs for students to join in the Lower, Middle and Upper School. These include: Academy Ambassadors, Art Club, Bible Studies, Creative Writing Club, Drama Club, Dance Team, Environment Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Speech and Debate, Government Club, HEARTCommunity Service, Honor Council, Math Club, Peer Pals, Science Club, Student Council, Student Newspaper, Foreign Language Clubs and Yearbook. Additional Info - Testing Requirements: An admissions test is given to all applicants in grades K-12. Please see our website regarding specific information regarding testing ( Applicants must submit a transcript and teacher recommendations. An interview is required for applicants in grades 6-12. Open House Dates: The Montgomery Academy has made some exciting changes to our Kindergarten admissions process this year! As more and more young families are juggling busy schedules, we want to allow families to visit our school on their own time. In addition, our goal is for families to view a typical Kindergarten day at our Lower School, where they may observe first-hand what makes our school special. Therefore, instead of a traditional open house, we have created a new Kindergarten admissions program called “K-View.” The K-View Kindergarten Preview experience allows parents to observe Kindergarten classrooms in action, meet with students and a faculty member and view a video highlighting our Kindergarten









Montessori Academy

1025 South Hull Street, Montgomery, 36104 Founded: 1982 Curriculum: Montessori including language, pre-reading, reading, math, science, history, art and music (AMS affiliated). Leadership: Director of Admissions: Erin Kilgore Grades: 12 months through 6 years Extra Curricular - Sports & Clubs: Ballet, Spanish and tumbling Additional Info - Registration Deadline: Open as space permits. Testing Requirements: Personal interview; Other: Celebrating 35 years of Quality Education for the Crucial Early Years American Montessori Society certified teachers. Tuition: Please call for more information.

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(334) 262.8685

Montessori School at Hampstead

5251 Hampstead High Street, Unit #111, Montgomery, 36116 Founded: 2011 Curriculum: Montessori Set in a beautiful community just off Taylor Road in Montgomery, Montessori School at Hampstead provides a hands-on, tailor-made approach to education that nourishes a child’s curiosity inside and outside the classroom. Our students are able to work at their own pace and receive the time and attention they need to excel. We offer programs not found at other schools, such as Farm and environmental sustainability classes, an international curricula supplemented by fundamentals, a Technology Lab, and theater, art, foreign language, and P.E. classes. Leadership: Admissions: Mandy Griffin, Associate Head of School Grades: 18 months – 6th grade Extra Curricular - Sports & Clubs: P.E., Tennis, Big Green Bus, Digital Yearbook; Other: On-site educational farm with school garden, music, theater, foreign language instruction in Chinese (18mo-5yrs) and using Rosetta Stone (6-12 yrs old) Additional Info - Accreditation & Affiliations: Affiliated with The International Montessori Council; Religious Affiliation: Interdenominational Registration Deadline: Rolling; Open House: We schedule school tours for 9:00am or 10:00am on school days; other tour times available by appointment. Testing Requirements: Parents required to tour (when geographically possible); Transcripts for students age 6 and up; meeting with educational psychologist for students age 6 and up. Tuition: $100 non-refundable application fee; tuition starts at $7,785 per year; program fees and costs can vary based on program options selected

program. K-View sessions will be held Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m -12:30 p.m. through February 2018. We believe this will provide a more personal and authentic look at what the Academy offers. There is simply no better way to understand the MA Difference than to observe the learning process in action. Visit our website to schedule your K-View, or call the Admissions Office at 334-272-8210, or email We look forward to meeting your family! Registration Deadline: Kindergarten testing should take place by February 15, 2018 and Grades 1-12 testing should take place by February 22, 2018 to be considered in the first round of decisions. After the February deadline, we will accept applications and consider applicants as space permits. Accreditation: The Montgomery Academy is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and is jointly accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Southern Association of Independent Schools. The Academy is also a member of The College Board, Educational Records Bureau, School Scholarship Service, Southern Association for College Admission Counseling, the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals, National Association for College Admission Counseling, Cum Laude Society, and the National, Southern, and Alabama Associations of Independent Schools, and the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education. NAIS membership, in particular, is a hallmark of nationally competitive independent schools. Tuition: Tuition at the Academy covers a hot nutritious lunch for the year in grades K-12, the enrollment deposit, admission to all home athletic events, snacks in grades K-5, most extracurricular and athletic team fees, a yearbook and all technology fees. The Academy does not charge new family fees or building fees. A separate bill for books and supplies (which will vary for each student and from year-to-year) and certain class trips is sent in the fall. Uniforms are required and are purchased by Lands’ End and/or Parker Uniforms.

(334) 356-1969 Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

Zelia Stephens Early Childhood Center

Alabama State University, 1100 Tuscaloosa Street, Montgomery, 36104 Founded: 1971 Curriculum: Teaching Strategies Creative Curriculum, Houghton Miflon and Harcourt Leadership: Headmaster: Sandra Hinton Grades: 3 years to Kindergarten Additional Info - Registration: March 1st; Testing Requirements: None Accreditation: Advanced Ed (formerly known as SACS); Tuition: Please call for tuition rates. Uniforms required.

(334) 272-8210

Autauga Academy

497 Golson Rd., Prattville, 36067 Founded: 1969 Religious Affiliation: None Curriculum: College Prep Leadership: Headmaster: Larry Pickett Grades: K3 through 12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Football, basketball, track, cheerleading, baseball, soccer, golf, softball & volleyball. Clubs: Beta, Science, Math, Yearbook, SGA, FCA, computer and School Newspaper. Additional Info: Testing Requirements: Entrance/admission exam Registration Deadline: Now accepting applications; Accreditation: AISA and SACS; Academic scholarships available for grades 2nd-11th. Tuition: Please call for rates. Extended Care Fees: Call for additional information.

(334) 229.4470

Protestant Alabama Christian Academy

(334) 365.4343

Lowndes Academy

ads on pages 31 and 68

215 South Broad Street, Lowndsboro, 36752 Curriculum: Elementary A Beka; college prep Leadership: Headmaster: Darrell Self Grades: K3-12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Football (Pee-Wee, Jr. High & Varsity), Girls Volleyball, Baseball, Softball, Track, Basketball and Cheerleading Clubs: Beta Club, FCA, SGA, ACE, Key Club, Spanish and Mathematics Additional Info - Testing Requirements: None; Registration deadline: Open Accreditation: AISA; Advanced ED (SACS); Other: After school care, music, dance, gymnastics, piano, yearbook staff. Annual Deer Hunt for school fundraiser. Tuition: Please visit website or call for more info.

4700 Wares Ferry Rd, Montgomery, 36109 Founded: 1942 Religious Affiliation: Church of Christ Curriculum: College Prep Leadership: Head of School: Dr. Misty Overman High School Principal: Mrs. Julie Taggart Middle School Principal: Mr. Mike Anderson Elementary Principal: Doug Black Grades: K4 through 12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Volleyball, Track, Soccer, Golf, Cheerleading, Swimming, Cross Country

(334) 278.3366

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Classical Christian, Latin, Logic and Rhetoric Mission: Offers classical approach to Christian education with a biblical world view dominating all subjects. Our shorter day (7:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.) for grades K4-6th offers more family time and individual activities. Leadership: Headmaster: John Geiger Grades: K4 - 12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Basketball, volleyball, baseball, cross country, soccer and tennis Clubs: Drama, Beta Club, SGA, Spanish Club Additional Info - Testing Requirements: Placement test/interview Open House: K4-12 is January 21, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. in the Eastwood Presbyterian Church Sanctuary. Tuition: Please call for tuition prices. Annual Registration fee of $255. Uniforms required. Registration: Begins January 22-February 2, 2018 for new students. Waiting list registration is on Admissions page of website. Please call Headmaster to schedule an appointment. Call for availability.

Clubs: Key Club, National Honor Society (Elementary, Middle School and High School), FCA, SGA, Math, Drama, Chorus, Band, Color Guard, Theatre, Scholars Bowl, Pep club, Spanish National Honor Society, FCS, Mu Alpha Theta, Bass Fishing club, Filmmakers Club. Additional Info - Testing Requirements: Evaluation of scholastic record, standardized test scores and placement tests. Registration Deadline: Open Accreditation: AdvancEd; Tuition: Please call for prices. Tuition breaks for multiple children. Uniforms Required. (334) 277.1985



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Cornerstone Classical Christian Academy ad on page 70

125 Calhoun Rd, Montgomery, 36109 Religious Affiliation: Ministry of Morningview Baptist Church Testing Requirement: Entrance Test required for all grades; Registration begins in February. We will be offering an Open House January, 18 at 6 p.m. Leadership: Headmaster: Jon English Lee, Principal Grades: K5-12th Extra Curricular - Clubs: Yearbook, Hand bell and Hand chime Choirs, Intro. To Engineering, Ukulele Club, Upper School Choir, Latin Club and Chess Club Additional Info - Accreditation: Meet criteria for accreditation with the Association of Classical Christian Schools; Registration deadline: Registration begins Feb. 1; Tuition: Please call for tuition rates. Tuition includes all costs with the exception of student uniforms and personal school supplies. Registration fee is an additional $250.00. Uniforms required.

(334) 272.8195

Evangel Christian Academy ads on pages 33 and 71

3975 Vaughn Rd, Montgomery, 36106 Founded: 1995 Curriculum: A BEKA, Bob Jones, Purposeful Design, ACSI, and McDougal Littell Leadership: Administrator: Rev. Scott Matthes Grades: K4 through 12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, track and cheerleading Clubs: SGA, FCA, Spanish Club, Booster Club and National Honor Society, Drama, chorus, yearbook, Computer Club, ACT Prep, Spanish, journalism, art, Graphic design and speech Additional Info - Testing Requirements: Testing is required; Registration Deadline: Open in February to all; Accreditation: AISA (Blue Ribbon School), Advance ED, ACTS and NCPSA; Tuition: Please call for tuition information. Uniforms required.

(334) 356.7788

Eastwood Christian School ad on page 41

1701 E. Trinity Blvd, Montgomery, 36106 Founded: 1996 Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian; Westminster Confession of Faith Curriculum: Lower school/ Sing, Spell, Read and Write; Harcourt Math; Spelling; Grammar; Bible, History, Science and Handwriting; Upper school/ Varied

(334) 272.3882






Holy Cross Episcopal School

Additional Info - Testing Requirements: SAT and ACT; Registration Deadline: None, applications accepted daily- tours available; Accreditation: NCSA and AdvancedEd; Before and after school care, certified teachers, small classes, college preparatory academics, daily Bible, Chapel; Tuition: see for rates. Family discounts and financial aid available. Uniforms Required

ads on pages 2 and 72

4400 Bell Road, Montgomery, 36116 Founded: 1998 Religious Affiliation: Episcopal Curriculum: College Preparatory Mission: Mission Statement: Holy Cross Episcopal School of Montgomery, recognizing the God-given gifts and abilities of all persons, seeks to develop these gifts by creating a Christian community in the Episcopal tradition and by providing a nurturing environment in which students of all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds grow spiritually, intellectually, and physically. Holy Cross offers a welcoming and loving faith-based environment where students begin their day in Chapel with songs, prayers and Bible stories. Academic strength and spiritual well-being are the basis of a Holy Cross education. Diversity of students in all areas is welcomed and encouraged. In addition to a strong academic program, students receive exceptional instruction in a variety of subjects aimed at identifying and developing their natural talents. All students K4 through 6th grade attend Spanish, Music, Visual Arts, STEM Lab, Physical Education, Library, Theater Arts, and Mac and PC Computer Lab. Formal Religious Instruction: Daily Chapel for all students. Leadership: Principal: Kathy Taylor Grades: K4 through 6th Extra Curricular Sport: AYSO Soccer, Hoops League Basketball, Fleming’s Taekwondo, Tonya Speed Dance, Cross Country Running, Additional Info - Open House: January 28, 1pm-3pm; Registration Deadline: Open; Testing Requirements: Admission test administered after application Accreditation: Dual accreditation with AdvancED (formerly known as SACS) and the Southern Association of Independent Schools; Other: Piano, guitar and violin lessons, and Abrakadoodle art. After school care available from 7:00 am 5:30 pm. Tuition: Call for rates or check our website. Financial Aid: 5% multiple child discount is offered, 10% military and first responder discount and need based financial assistance is available. We accept the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship and Scholarships for Kids. Uniforms required.

(334) 285.0077

Success Unlimited Academy ad on page 20

2328 Fairlane Dr., Montgomery (9th-12th grades) 4500 Vaughn Road, Montgomery (K3-8th grades) Montgomery, 36116 Founded: 2000 Religious Affiliation: Christian Curriculum: A Beka, Bob Jones, HoughtonMifflin, Silver Burdette Gin, and Glencoe Leadership: Principle/Owner: Susan Alred, M.Ed. Vice Principle: Lauren Morgan

Grades: K3-12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Volleyball, Golf and Cheerleading Clubs: Praise Band, Choir, Guitar, Art, Drama, FCA, FCS, Builders Club, Chess Club, and Career Start, Key Club and Yearbook Club. Additional Info - Registration Deadline: Open Testing Requirements: Consultations and Evaluations provided at time of enrollment. Accreditation: AdvancEd accredited; School offers morning classes, evenings and through Distance Education and Night School. Tutoring is available Monday-Thursday at our Fairlane Drive Campus. Monday-Thursday Tuition: Please call for tuition information; Uniforms Required (334) 213.0803

ad on page 11

3401 Harrison Road, Montgomery, 36109 Founded: 1996 Religious Affiliation: Non-denominational Curriculum: College Prep, A Beka, Bob Jones and Saxon Leadership: Principal: April Cash, M.Ed. Grades: K-3 through 12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Alabama Christian Sports Conference; varsity basketball and volleyball; Extra-curricular Activities: Student government, dance team, choir Additional Info - Accreditation: National Private School Accreditation Alliance/ “Class A School”; Testing Requirements: Interview for admission. Registration deadline: Open

New Hope Academy ad on page 24

301 Water Street, Prattville, 36067 Curriculum: We serve students with individual learning differences, including learning disabilities, autism/ Asperger’s, ADD/ADHD, physical issues, etc. Our curriculum is individualized to each child’s learning needs. Examples of curricula used include TouchMath, Handwriting Without Tears, Reading Mastery, Excel Math, Explode the Code and Spectrum Writing. Leadership: Principal: Tina Halbert, M.Ed., NBCT Grades: K-12th Additional Info - Testing Requirements: The director will test for academic levels upon acceptance to the school. Registration deadline: Enrollment is on a year-round basis Tuition: Please see website for more information

(334) 260.0984

Trinity Presbyterian School ads on pages 7 and 79

(334) 361.9505

1700 East Trinity Boulevard, Montgomery, 36106 Founded: 1970 Religious Affiliation: Christian Curriculum: Accelerated, College Prep Mission: Mission/Philosophy: Trinity is Montgomery’s foremost educational institution, binding academic excellence with Christian values. Providing a challenging college-preparatory education, Trinity provides a rigorous academic program, committed educators, outstanding athletics, and a nurturing family environment. Educators at Trinity strike the perfect balance as they encourage students to strive for excellence, while emphasizing Christ-like character above all else. “The Trinity Experience” produces leaders who posses mental, physical and spiritual strength. One hundred percent of Trinity graduates are accepted to postsecondary institutions, with many attending some of the finest colleges in the nation. Offering the only full-time dance program at a Montgomery independent school, Trinity’s award-winning fine arts program offers state-of-the-art areas for dance, choral, instrumental, visual arts, and speech. An athletic program with a long-standing tradition of championship-level teams, many Trinity athletes play at the next level in several sports. Athletics play an integral part in Trinity’s educational program, which is designed to develop the whole person—mind, body, and spirit. Leadership: Head of School: Mr. Kerry Palmer Grades: K4 through 12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Trinity fields 36 interscholastic sport teams, including football, volleyball, basketball, tennis, baseball, softball, golf, soccer, track, cross country, and swimming. Clubs: Art, Band, Choral, Dance, Drama, Forensics, Speech, Theatrical Design and Production and much more.

Prattville Christian Academy ad on page 47

322 Old Farm Lane North, Prattville, 36066 Founded: 1997 Religious Affiliation: Christian Curriculum: The PCA course of study uses various curriculums including traditional classes in math, language arts, social studies, and science. We utilize recognized curriculum taught with a Christian perspective, which demonstrates quality and structural flexibility. In addition to core academics, PCA offers instruction in physical education and the liberal arts, such as music, art, drama, and foreign language. Bible class, as well as chapel, is part of each student’s day. Prattville Christian Academy does not offer a special education program. Leadership: President: Ron Mitchell Grades: Pre K-3 through 12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Wrestling, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Varsity Football, Junior High Football, Peewee Football, Termite Football, Cross Country, Volleyball, Basketball, Baseball, Tennis, Soccer, Golf, Track & Field, Softball, and Swimming Clubs: National Junior Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.), International Thespian Society, Speech and Debate, Student Government, Key Club, National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Yearbook, Drama, Visual Arts and Speech and Debate offered under Fine Arts Montgomery Parents I January 2018


The Rock Christian School

(334) 395.8222


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Additional Info - Registration deadline: Open registration Open House: Thursday, January 18, 2018. Intended for families of prospective K4 and K5 Kindergarten students. Accreditation: Trinity Presbyterian School holds dual accreditation from the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). It holds membership in the Alabama Association of Independent Schools, The College Board, National Association for College Admission Counseling, Southern Association for College Admission Counseling, and the Coalition of Lighthouse Schools. Extended Care Program: Trinity offers an extended day through the Wildcat Club Program. This program is designed to be a true extension of the school day and provide more than just childcare. The Wildcat Club encourages students to learn and thrive in a relaxed and fun environment. Tuition: At Trinity, the Apple 1:1 Program for Grades 6-12 and other technology, quality lunches, textbooks, workbooks, and regular season athletic admission (K4-12) are all included in tuition. K4: $6,890; K5: $9,450; Grades 1-3: $11,400; Grades 4-5: $11,990; Grade 6-8: $$12,780; Grades 9-12: $12,900. Trinity provides a generous need-based tuition assistance program. In addition, Trinity gratefully extends a 10% discount on tuition to active duty full-time military families. Uniforms Required.

Additional Info - Testing Requirements: 4th Grade and up, entry test required Registration Deadline: March; Uniforms are required. Tuition: Call for rates

(334) 213.2100

(334) 478.3888

Adullam House Christian Academy

7469 Georgia Road, Wetumpka, 36092 Religious Affiliation: Non-Denominational Curriculum: Abeka Leadership: Headmaster: Rachel Harborth Grades: Preschool-12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Cheerleading, Basketball, Track & Field Clubs: Elective classes offered in Art, HomeEc, Computer and Music. Dual Enrollment with Central Alabama Community College

Bethany Christian Academy

1765 Highland Ave., Montgomery, 36107 Founded: 1899 Religious Affiliation: Seventh-day Adventist Leadership: Principle: Jerlene Johnson-Thorne Grades: Kindergarten to 8th Extra Curricular - Clubs: Music, Global Missions trips, Environmental Camp, Computer and Pathfinders Additional Info - Accreditation: AASAS, NCPSA, SUCOE, AdvancEd


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Testing Requirements: Admission test; Registration Deadline: Open registration Before and After school care. Tuition: Please call for rates and registration fees or visit our website. Uniforms required

Leadership: Principal: Gepetta Rogers Grades: K-3 through 12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Football, baseball, basketball, cheerleading, softball, and Volleyball Clubs: Jr. and Sr. Beta Club, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes Additional Info - Accreditation: National Private Schools Accreditation Group Testing Requirements: Screening test to determine student readiness. Registration: open enrollment at the end of January Tuition: Call for more information.

(334) 264.1078

Chapman Christian Academy

4711 Chapman Rd., Millbrook, 36054 Founded: 1994 Religious Affiliation: Christian Curriculum: A Beka and Bob Jones Leadership: Principal: Jon Chapman Grades: K4-12th Extra Curricular - Clubs: Chess Additional Info - Accreditation: National Association of Private Schools Testing Requirements: Grade level testing performed upon entry. Tuition: Competitively priced with other schools in the area. Please call for rates.

(334) 285.5615

Valiant Cross Academy

301 Dexter Avenue (located inside of River City Church), Montgomery, 36104 Founded: 2015 Religious Affiliation: Non-denominational Curriculum: Alabama College and Career Standards and Alabama Course of Study Mission: Our mission, our purpose is to help raise up men to be supernatural. Men who will learn from their youth, to let go of self, to let the Holy Spirit raise the to new heights. Courageous men, righteous men, committed men, loving men who will rise up to lead, to serve, to inspire. We will provide the armor to help the rise above. To rise above with Honor, with Discipline, with Integrity, with Excellence with Love. Leadership: Head of School: Anthony Brock Grades: 6th-9th grade with a level added each year Extra Curricular - Sports: Track, Football and Golf Clubs: Choir, Robotics, and Drill Team Additional Info - Registration Deadline: Open enrollment in February Accreditation: AdvancEd and AISA; After-school enrichment and tutoring Tuition: Please call for more information on tuition rates. Uniforms required.

(334) 285.5354

East Memorial Christian Academy

1320 Old Ridge Road, Prattville, 36066 Founded: 2002 Religious Affiliation: Christian/Southern Baptist; Ministry of East Memorial Baptist Church Curriculum: ABEKA, Glencoe Math, Bob Jones Leadership: Director: Bryan Easley Grades: K-4 through 12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Volleyball, basketball, football, cheerleading, track, baseball and softball, Archery, Elementary soccer and basketball offered. Clubs: Drama, Yearbook, Newspaper, Band, Art, Computer Technology, Speech, Creation class, Entrepreneurship, Chorus, Spanish, Rhythmic ribbon and Baton twirling. Additional Info - Testing Requirements: Records reviewed and interview Registration Deadline: Open; Accreditation: All faculties certified by State of Alabama, AISA, Advanced ED (formerly known as SACS)/CASI, NCPSA, Southern Baptist Assoc. of Christian Schools; Other: Daycare on site, 6 wks.-4 yrs. Call 358.4110; Pre-care/extended care. Tuition: Call for rates. Uniforms required.

(334) 301.0478

Victory Baptist School

5480 Main St and 3151 Highway 14 (Elementary Campus), Millbrook, 36054 Founded: 1971 Religious Affiliation: Baptist Curriculum: A Beka; Glencoe, Bob Jones Leadership: Principal: John Lopez Grades: K4 through 12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Football, boys & girls basketball, girls volleyball, girls fast pitch softball, boys baseball, track and cheerleading. Clubs: Yearbook, Choir, Drama, Government club, Public Speaking, photography, computer tech, Bible quizzing and spelling bee Additional Info - Testing requirements: Interview for admission. Registration deadline: Enrollment for new students is year round Accreditation: ACEA, AACS and NACSAA; After school care until 6 p.m., Pentium computer lab with Office; Tuition: Please check website for updated tuition. Uniforms required.

(334) 358.4085

Frazer Memorial Christian Kindergarten

6000 Atlanta Hwy, Montgomery, 36117 Religious Affiliation: Non-denominational Curriculum: Blended; A Beka Leadership: Director: Jill Struthers Grades: 6 wks. To 2 yrs. Mothers Morning Out; 3 yrs. - K4 & K5. Hours: 8:30 12:30 a.m. Additional Info: Registration deadline: Main registration for each fall is in January. Early drop off and Extended Day available for all ages. Music, field trips, chapel, physical education. Strong faculty with unwavering interest in your child. Tuition: Call for details.

(334) 285.0211 Please see link on website

(334) 279.0271

Roman Catholic

Lighthouse Christian Academy

3570 Bell Rd, Montgomery, 36116 Founded: 1987 Religious Affiliation: Baptist Curriculum: A BEKA Leadership: Administrator: Gary V. Mohney Grades: K-2 through 9th Extra Curricular - Sports: Upward Basketball, AYSO Soccer, volleyball, cheer Clubs: Band, Choral, Fine arts, Bible Quiz, Spanish and Computer Class Additional Info - Testing Requirements: Interview; Registration: Begins in February; Accreditation: In process of having K - 9th grade is accredited through ACEA; Before and after school care; Christ oriented education. Summer fun program. Tuition: Please call school for more information. Uniforms required for K5 – 9th.

Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School ads on pages 9 and 77

3850 Atlanta Highway, (K4-6) 8580 Vaughn Road (K4-6) 5350 Vaughn Rd. (7-12) Montgomery, 36116 The oldest continuous non-public K-12 school in Alabama, Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School was founded in 1873 by the Sisters of Loretto. Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic, all classes attend weekly Mass Curriculum: College preparatory, Honors and A.P. courses available. Religion is a core class. Mission: A K4-12 regional Catholic school in Montgomery with 144 years of educational excellence, Montgomery Catholic strives to help each student reach their God-given potential by offering the opportunity to grow in faith, with rigorous academics and opportunities to perform athletically and artistically. Mission: Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School is an integral part of the Catholic Church’s mission to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. As an adult community, we share in the responsibility to prepare students for college and beyond while helping them grow to become persons of faith, virtue and wisdom. Leadership: President: Anne Ceasar Elementary Principal St. Bede Campus: Laurie Gulley Elementary Principal Holy Spirit Campus: Nancy Foley

(334) 271.4200

Montgomery Christian School

3265 McGehee Road, Montgomery, 36111 Mission: To provide an academically challenging Christian education to children in inner city Montgomery. Leadership: Principal: Kathi Atkins Grades: Kindergarten K -5th Additional Info - Testing Requirements: None, Interview and assessment Registration deadline: Open; Accreditation: ACSI; Tuition: Based on family income and the number of children in the family. Uniforms required. (334) 386.1749

New Life Christian Academy

4230 Hwy 14, Millbrook, 36054 Founded: 1979 Religious Affiliation: Non-denominational Curriculum: A BEKA, Bob Jones, Alpha Omega, and Saxon. Montgomery Parents I January 2018


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Assistant Middle School Principal: Julie Wood 7-12th Principal: Justin Castanza Grades: K4-12th Extra Curricular - Sports: Cross country, football, volleyball, soccer, cheerleading, golf, wrestling, indoor track, outdoor track, basketball, baseball, softball, and tennis. The Arts, Clubs and Service: Concert Band, National Honor Society, Junior National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Key Club, Spanish Club, Government Club, Forensics Club, Science Olympiad, Math Club, Respect Life Club, Ambassadors Club, Pep Club, Drama, SGA, Yearbook, BEST Robotics, Cyber Patriots, Shield Bearers Club, Girls Leadership, Boys Leadership, Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Students have service opportunities throughout the year through Advisory classes and the Encounter program, helping them to share the Light of Christ in the community. Additional Info -Testing Requirements: Placement test (February, June and August.) Registration deadline: March of preceding year. Open House: Sunday, February 4, 2018 from 2-4 p.m. Families are invited to visit the school and meet our faculty and staff and learn more about our program. Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School offers a wide variety of summer camps for children in grades K-8 throughout the months of June and July. Students in grades 9 -12 participate in lap top program. Tuition: Approximate K4-6: $5,614-7,109; 7-12: $6,546-9,345, Multi-Child Discount Offered. Rates subject to change. Uniforms required.

Programs, Dance, STEM Club, Book Clubs, Home Economics, Spanish, Band and Choir. Additional Info - Testing Requirement: Placement Pre K - 8; Registration deadline: Please call for dates. Accreditation: Advanced Ed. (Formerly known as SACS) Other: Google School, Acellus, Weekly Mass service, Partnership with Cleveland YMCA Sports, Chinese Learning with AUM, Public Speaking Readiness, AR Star Program. Technology emphasized; enrichment in arts & conversational Spanish; strong accelerated reading program in place. After school care, hot breakfast and lunches, computer technology. Tuition: Affordable; call for more information. Family discounts available. Uniforms Required. (334) 265.4615

Unique Learning Needs Churchill Academy ads on pages 16 and 69

395 Ray Thorington Road, Montgomery, 36117 The only comprehensive school program in Montgomery specializing in educating bright children with unique learning differences. Founded: 1996 Curriculum: Individualized academic programs Leadership: Director: Kaye Pair, M.Ed. Grades: K -12th Extra Curricular - Clubs: Scouts and academic tutoring Additional Info - Registration: Begins January; Testing Requirements: Previous diagnosis of learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder or other, and average to above average intellectual functioning. Accreditation: National Independent Private School Association and Advanced ED (formerly known as SACS); 12:1 student-teacher ratio. Certified educational specialists. Tuition: Please call for tuition prices. Scholarships available. Uniforms required.

Saint Bede Campus (K4-6): (334) 272.3033 Holy Spirit Campus (K4-6): (334) 649.4404 Middle School Phone (7-8): (334) 272.2465 High School Phone (9-12): (334) 272.7220

Resurrection Catholic School

2815 Forbes Dr, Montgomery, 36110 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic Curriculum: Basic; strong traditional skills core curriculum with extensive enrichment & acceleration. Religion classes required Leadership: Principal: Mr. Tamarcus Milner Grades: Preschool age Pre K4- 8th Extra Curricular - Sports: Cheerleading and basketball available Clubs: Student Council, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Male and Female Mentor

(334) 270.4225



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2600 Bell Road Montgomery, Alabama 334.277.6690

460 McQueen Smith Road Prattville, Alabama 334.358.6411

Dr. John H. Payne IV • Dr. David Stanley • Dr. Davis Denney • Dr. Rob Owen 87

Homeschools Broad Church Academy

Leadership: Deborah Nichols (205) 687.8474

Dayspring Academy/High School

Leadership: Donna Mitchell (256) 353.2592

Evangel Christian Academy

Leadership: Denise Mathes Additional Info: A ministry of Evangel Temple (334) 272.3882

Everest Academy

Leadership: Deb Spradlin (205) 433.9828

Ezekiel Academy

Leadership: Maretta Oswald (334) 315.0010

Holy Spirit Academy


Huntingdon Learning Center


Leadership: Monica Burke (334) 294-7305 Additional Info: One on one instruction in a specific course (334) 277.9200

New Hope Academy

Leadership: Tina Halbert (334) 361.9505

Outlook Academy

Leadership: Carren Joye Additional Info: Ministry of Tri County Community Church in Millbrook (334) 290.0919

River Crest Academy

Leadership: Tanya Murphy (334) 398.2008

Sovereign Grace Academy

Leadership: Diane Day (334) 652.4606

The School at Sylvan Learning Center

ad on page 24

The Sylvan Learning Center in Montgomery is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and offers Home School services for children in grades K through 12. Students receive 560 hours of instruction in Math, Science, History, and Reading/English. Home School instruction is offered Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. State required electives are completed outside of the Learning Center as an independent study. Requirements: Transcripts from previous school withdrawal letter from previous School. Proof of registration with Home School Organization. (334) 262.0043 mp

Montgomery Parents I January 2018



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C’mon Kids! Let’s Get a Move On

Recommending the Best Toys and Products for Kids

In the age of handheld devices, it’s getting harder and harder to pull youth away from their screens. While the electronic landscape is a wonderland of entertainment, encouraging active engagement through active play is equally important to kids’ physical and emotional growth. Finding the right toys and resources that generate enthusiasm and energy are key to getting children and teens off the couch and into physical recreation. From products that inspire freeform creative movement to toys that offer directed challenges, the following recommendations are perfect picks for encouraging kids to get a move on.

by Gerry Paige Smith

Capture the Flag Redux

Little Tikes Pogo It (Little Tikes)

The ultimate combination of athletics and electronic gaming, Little Tikes Pogo It brings kids off the couch and into a full body experience. Beginners use balance and physical energy to keep the music playing as they jump, twist, bounce or turn on the ball platform. When the movement stops, the game resets for new challenges. Once kids master the basics, the ball platform flips over for a different kind of game play. Following the Pogo’s voice commands, the player must jump in specific directions to score points. Improved coordination, better balance, and muscle development are added benefits that come with this physically engaging play resource. Little Tikes Pogo It is an outstanding toy for both the child who needs more activity as well as the kid who need to burn off their extra energy.

Adding a whole new level of energy to a familiar team activity, Capture the Flag Redux introduces an illuminating option for this competitive game play. The kit includes glowing components (lighted orbs, jail markers, LED bracelets) that amp up the challenge between groups scrambling for victory on field. With updated instructions and alternative games, the lighted elements create an extra layer of excitement as players pursue lights through the darkness. The shadows of a community greenspace, a front yard at dusk or a dim gymnasium transform into a proving ground for kids as they seek out the opposition’s glowing targets. Combining the best of tag, ‘keep away’ and a high-octane Easter egg hunt, Capture the Flag Redux is a shining addition to the game shelf for exciting neighborhood play and team-building at group events.

SoundMoovz Musical Bands

All Surface Pro Swingball

Moving to the music is one thing. Turning movement into music is another experience entirely and an exciting next step for active listeners. Through a pair of matched bands (worn on wrists or ankles), Soundmoovz translates movement into music and special effects sounds. Using Bluetooth technology the wearer can generate over 400 sounds through their motions and gestures. Various modes like Musical, Instrumental, Robot and Karate help direct the theme of the soundscapes. Their physical compositions can be broadcast to speakers expanding the audience for each original performance. It’s the ultimate demonstration of creative energy expressed as sound. Ideal for the kid who moves to their own beat, SoundMoovz turns motion into music and opens an audible world of active possibilities!

Creating a nexus that joins tennis, racquetball, and tetherball, All Surface Pro Swingball offers dynamic game play with new energetic challenges. Using checker bats to strike a tennissized ball tethered to a steel pole, players cultivate their aim, strength and strategy as they work on their swing. The smaller ball target and added racquet challenge encourage stronger hand-eye coordination and motor skills. With a pole base that’s stabilized with water or sand, the swingball set is easily erected on surfaces ranging from grass to pavement. It’s also handily disassembled and portable in the included case for picnics, playdates and parties. Challenging fun for both solo and paired players, All Surface Pro Swingball puts a fresh spin on a beloved playground favorite.

(Capture the Flag Redux)



Gerry Paige Smith is a syndicated columnist recommending the best products for kids and their families. Discover more at


Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi


MPAA Rating: PG-13 Runtime: 150 minutes Overall: B+ Violence: CSexual Content: AProfanity: BAlcohol / Drug Use: B The MPAA has rated Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence. After awakening the force in Episode VII of the Star Wars saga, the battle is on between The First Order and The Resistance. Facing conflicts from within and without, fate flickers on the spark of hope that was supposed to ignite the galaxy in a joint effort to extinguish the dark. Will Luke really be the last Jedi? Is it still possible to rekindle the light side of the Force? These doubts and challenges provide the screenplay with many opportunities for violent clashes. Lightsabers slash, impale and dismember. Spaceships shoot, bomb and collide. Supernatural powers toss and choke opponents. Injury, death and mass destruction are seen and implied. And it becomes difficult to tell the good-guys from the bad-guys. For fans of the franchise, the action sequences will be sure to impress (although they do seem more lengthy than necessary). And the fluctuating motives add welcomed complexity to the good-vs-evil story. Even though some of the plot points may feel familiar (similar situations are depicted in past movies), the dashes of humor, special effects and questions about the survival of the Jedi will likely keep Star Wars aficionados sufficiently satisfied.


The Greatest Showman

Welcome to the Jungle MPAA Rating: PG-13 Overall: B Violence: C+ Sexual Content: B Profanity: BAlcohol / Drug Use: BThe MPAA has rated Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle PG-13 for adventure action, suggestive content and some language. Jumanji used to be a board game with the power to suck players into the action. The first few minutes of this sequel portray the transformation of the antique amusement into a video version, and the unfortunate consequences that befall the teen (Nick Jonas) who loaded the game into the console the four students are presently toying with. Following its usual format, Jumanji vacuums up the quartette, and places them within its jungle environment. Each of them now find themselves within the body of their game character: Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) is the invincible hero, Fridge (Kevin Hart) is his mousy sidekick, Martha (Karen Gillan) is a sexy, mix-martial-arts fighter, and Bethany (Jack Black) is a pudgy, middle-aged man. The only way back to their real lives is to beat the challenges of the virtual world. The script has fun with this concept, deriving humor from the juxtaposition of the characters’ personalities with those of their avatars. Amidst profanity shrapnel, some teen drinking and the glossing over of serious infractions like cheating on homework and lying to parents, this movie tries to teach the importance of team work. The characters also are forced face their fears, examine some of their hurtful interactions and consider changing their behavior – if and when they get back to their former lives. Thanks to these commendable moral messages, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle isn’t just all fun and games.

MPAA Rating: PG Overall: AViolence: B- Sexual Content: ALanguage: AAlcohol / Drug Use: C The MPAA has rated The Greatest Showman PG for thematic elements including a brawl. The Greatest Showman is a fanciful reinvention of the life of Phineas Taylor Barnum, a 19th Century businessman who defined the entertainment industry, and whose influence survives to this day. I say fanciful because this film is not committed to historical accuracy -- and doesn’t even want to be. Instead it relishes the anachronisms. It’s full to the brim with modern music and clever choreography that adds a playfulness that’s very fitting. After a childhood of poverty, P.T. Barnum, (played by Hugh Jackman,) is anxious to provide the comforts of life to his wife Charity (Michelle Williams) and their two daughters (Austyn Johnson and Cameron Seely). Motivated by love for his family, and his need to prove himself to Charity’s wealthy parents, Barnum buys a rundown museum in New York City and transforms it into a lively circus. This musical takes a sympathetic look at the universal longing for acceptance, despite underprivileged backgrounds or the limitations of physical appearance. And these themes stay strong in a screenplay that avoids most content concerns. If you don’t go in expecting a documentary, then you’ll find The Greatest Showman to be a vibrant, entertaining spectacle that carries its message of tolerance, kindness, and self-acceptance with sincerity. Montgomery Parents I January 2018

MPAA Rating: PG Overall: B Violence: C+ Sexual Content: B+ Profanity: AAlcohol / Drug Use: A The MPAA has rated Ferdinand PG for rude humor, action and thematic elements. The Story of Ferdinand is a children’s book by American author Munro Leaf. Published in 1936, the tale of gentle Ferdinand, a bull who prefers sniffing flowers to fighting others, was accompanied with detailed black and white illustrations by artist Robert Lawson. It quickly earned a devoted following of kids and grownups alike, including Walt Disney, who produced an animated version in 1938. If you grew up with this story, you may leave theaters feeling rather uninspired. Unfortunately, the 2017 screen adaptation has more in common with mediocre Saturday morning cartoons than it does with classic children’s literature. Fortunately, besides the lackluster quality of the writing, the movie is mostly harmless for youngsters. With the typical messages about friendship, being yourself, and treating others with kindness, it manages to pull off a sweet, if entirely unrealistic, ending. Violence is limited to slapstick situations, mild bullying and roughhousing. Perilous situations are handled carefully, avoiding the blood and gore that usually accompany packing plants and bull fights. Still, the acknowledged death of Ferdinand’s father and the uncomfortable reality of animal mistreatment may be troubling to some. In a world where conflict and misunderstanding often drive decision making, it’s refreshing to see a main character who rejects those philosophies, and a pity that the movie couldn’t do justice to the concept.


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Alabama Dance Theatre Celebrates the Holidays To celebrate the holiday season, company dancers, staff and special guests of the Alabama Dance Theatre gathered at the home of Artistic Director Kitty Seale. The house was beautifully decorated providing a perfect atmosphere for the festivities. The highlight of the night was a mischievous game of “Dirty Santa,” which provided superb entertainment, with all participants striving to obtain a desirable gift. A delicious array of dips, fruit platter, chicken fingers, taquitos, savory goat cheese torta, lime sherbet punch, and a varied assortment of desserts were provided by Janie Alford, Turner Seale, Barbara Pegues, Sarah McQueen, Suzanne Sheppard and Pamela Swan. Alabama Dance Theatre company members and staff enjoying the party included Aloria Adams, Jane Abbie Alford, Janie Alford, Abigail Barr, Catherine Cobb, Hayes Chapman, Chloe Crum, Emily Efferson, Savannah Golden, Ahsha Gray, Francie Hill, Karen Licari, Morgan Marshall, Ashley Martin, Mattie Mercer, Maya Pegues, Virginia Perry, Clover Hardin, Shannon McGaughey, Ryan Tucker, Ja’Niya Kennedy, Kaiya

King, Molly Selman, Camille Snead, Micah Sims, Alexandra Thomas, Casey Bailey and Reese, Jackie Berry, Emily Caruso, Kate and Robby Smith and Bennett and Chapman Robertson, Sara Sanford, Sarah McQueen, Suzanne Sheppard, Joy and Corey Ohme with Camilla and Caroline, and Kitty and Turner Seale.

The party provided a delightful finale to ADT’s 31th holiday season. Dancers are enjoying Christmas break before beginning rehearsals for the upcoming performances of The Little Mermaid March 2-4 at Troy University’s Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts. For info on upcoming performances or classes held at the Alabama Dance Theatre, call (334) 625-2590 or visit

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I am a family practice doc who sees teens and 20-somethings daily in my practice. And I have raised 3 teenagers in the past 9 years, as well as a beautiful group of their teenaged and 20-something friends, who also hang out at my house. I love young people in their teens and 20’s. I love their sass and their creativity and their general aliveness. And I am acutely aware that these young people represent the future of our world and will receive the burden of all the problems we have created for them. So, how are they doing? Last Thursday in my office I saw a strapping, healthy-looking 22-year old male who couldn’t attend school, get a job, or even look me in the eye because his social anxiety was so intense. I listened to a straight-A 18-year old who is taking a leave from college, even though she loves it, because her anxiety is keeping her from being able to focus on her work or attend class. And I saw a 16-year old who had been out of school for a year due to a wicked combination of social anxiety, sensitivity to loud noise, and a variety of anxiety influenced medical issues: headaches, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Montgomery Parents I January 2018


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I am seeing an epidemic of anxious, stressed out teens in my office and in my community. And I am not alone. There has been a significant increase in the number of teens and young adults with anxiety and depression in U.S. since the 1940s. As much as 25% of teens in the U.S. will fit the criteria for an anxiety disorder at some time, and anxiety is the most common mental disorder in adults, at 18% of the population (according to the NIH). The U.S. (and other Western countries) have a higher incidence of anxiety than the rest of the world, where the global prevalence of anxiety is only 7%. So U.S. teens and 20-somethings have become progressively more anxious over the last 60 years, are the most anxious age range in our society, and are more anxious than their peers in the rest of the world. What is going on in our culture and environment that is making our 21st century young people anxious? I think of our young people as the “canaries in the coal mines” of modern culture, with social, environmental, chemical, and community changes all coming to bear on their ability to function. No one knows exactly why teens are more anxious than they used to be, but I have a few guesses.

ment in which young people can feel safe, form connections with other young people, and be successful, is the key to helping them recover their peace of mind. And if you’re the parent of the anxious teen, your love, support and connection is a critical factor in their success. No matter how your teen is behaving, he or she needs your attention, your presence and your affection, if they’re willing to receive it.

Suggestion 1: Find an educational and social environment in which your teen feels safe and can be successful. Remember that “high achievement” is far less important for your young person’s success long-term than feeling comfortable and confident in her or himself. As a parent, even when it’s tough, try to stay open to communication, attention and affection with your teen or 20-something.

Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation: The impact of artificial lighting and technology on sleep is harsh for everyone in modern society, but it is particu-

larly important for teens, who need more sleep than adults, but have shifted sleep clocks, meaning that they naturally go to sleep later and get up later. The issue is that most schools start by 8 a.m. and teens can’t sleep in late, leaving them chronically sleep deprived. All artificial light has the result of reducing melatonin production at night and making sleep more difficult, but the light on computer and phone screens is a bluer light, and it has twice the suppressive effect on melatonin—severely impairing sleep in teens. A study published in the British Medical Journal reported that the more screen time teens engage in, the longer it takes them to fall asleep. Teens with 4 or more hours of screen time per day were 350% more likely to sleep less than 5 hours at night and 49% more likely to need more than 60 minutes to fall asleep. The impact of less sleep? Anxiety, depression, inability to concentrate and poor grades.

Suggestion 2: Help yourself (or your teen) sleep by limiting screen time at night and/or adding an amber filter to their phone, pad, or laptop to limit blue light exposure (see

Loss of community connection and support: In my book BodyWise, I write about the challenging mismatch between our physiology— which was designed for humans living thousands of years ago—and our culture and environment. And this is a more pronounced problem in Western countries than in more traditional cultures. Specifically, Western countries, like the U.S., have lost much of our communal connection. We often don’t even know our neighbors. The lack of religious and social community, the loss of family farms, and the increasing isolation of our nuclear families create environments which are less friendly to the happiness and relaxation of teens and adults alike. In the U.S., more social connections (at home, at work, in your softball league) lead to less depression and anxiety. Teens need social connections even more than adults, and not just through Instagram or Snapchat. Face to face interaction with friends reduces stress and fuels healthy development. My sister Lisa, who is a 30-year veteran educator specializing in anxious teens, suggests that creating an environ93

Couch Potato Kids: All humans are physiologically designed to be active, and young people, at their physical peak, should be the most active of all. Exercise is my number one recommendation for preventing depression and is also effective in combating anxiety. In addition, exposure to nature is particularly therapeutic, reducing both anxiety and depression.

Suggestion 3: Find any way for a young person to be active, preferably outside. Skateboarding, biking, walking to school, all sports, even fooling around outside—all count.

Helicopter parenting: Now seriously folks, I meet young people regularly who can’t cook, do dishes, drive, figure out a bus schedule, do their laundry, handle a bank account, or write a comprehensible letter or e-mail to an adult. This makes them incapable, vulnerable and dependent, and they know it. Which is why they’re stressed. Do they feel ready to be independent come the age of 18? No. Which is a cause for anxiety and an impending “failure to launch” that hurts everyone. Our job is to raise adults, and to give them inde-

pendence in every area that they’ve earned it, whenever possible. Let them fail at things while still at home so that they know how to figure out life when they leave home. A lifecompetent teen is a less anxious teen. And if you think that “tiger-parenting” a young person is a better option, in my opinion, excessively high parental expectations around school performance or college admissions is a major source of anxiety for many teens. Let them set their own expectations and establish an acceptable minimum for school performance. They should be responsible for their future opportunities as much as possible.

Suggestion 4: While living at home, require that your teen or young person care for their physical, nutritional, financial and transportation needs in whatever ways they are capable. Give them independence to make decisions whenever it is safe to do so. And don’t pressure them to meet excessively high academic expectations—let them set their own goals for achievement, and then support them.

impact of technology: Our brains were not built to withstand the amount of constant information

that barrages us. A study in Pediatrics of babies exposed to a DVD, showed significantly increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, when compared to babies who played with blocks. And another study in Pediatrics showed that early television exposure significantly correlated with later diagnoses of ADHD. Fast forward to the small children I see in cars and airports all over the world with headsets and pads playing games and watching shows. What is the impact of all this stimulation? Well, increased stress hormones. And increased growth of the areas of the brain that respond to stress. Ultimately, a human with a lower threshold for stress and anxiety. Reducing screen time, as best you can, at all ages of development, is key to reducing anxiety. Most importantly, do your best to limit access to violent games, which increase both aggression and anxiety. Realize that kids who are on Facebook and other social media sites more hours, are more depressed and anxious. Perhaps comparing themselves to the “perfect” lives of their peers, falsely portrayed online. Some social media is fine, but require real face-to-face interaction to reduce anxiety and learn social skills.


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Suggestion 5: Limit your teen’s access to and use of phones, pads and laptops when at home and require human interaction free of devices—at family dinner for example.

The impact of toxins in our food supply and environment: Twenty-five percent of U.S. residents eat at a fast food restaurant daily. And the food at those restaurants is processed, heavy with sugar and salt and highly inflammatory to the body and brain. A study in Tehran showed that the more processed food young adults consumed, the more likely they were to be anxious. Multiple studies have shown a reduction in the symptoms of ADHD, depression and anxiety when kids are fed a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, essential fatty acids (in nuts and fish) and healthy protein. We are also exposed to over 50,000 chemicals in our environment, water and food supply that were not present merely 60 years ago (most of which have not been tested for human safety). A sampling of the umbilical cord blood of infants born in the U.S. revealed more than 200 industrial chemicals. Of the 297 chemicals detected, 180 cause cancer, 217 are toxic to the brain or nervous system, 208 cause birth defects. We have been conducting the biggest experiment on industrialized food and toxic exposure that has ever been seen in human history. And increased rates of learning disorders, depression and anxiety in our youth are likely consequences of this experiment.

Suggestion 6: As best you can, keep your children and teens away from fast food and processed food. Only keep food and snacks at home that support their health: preferably organic fresh fruit, whole grain breads and crackers, nut butters and cheese, carrots and hummus. You’ll be amazed at how many healthy “snack foods” are available when you look for them. And avoid putting toxic herbicides and pesticides on your lawn or garden, which get tracked into the house or using toxic cleaning products. mp Rachel Carlton Abrams, MD is a family practice and integrative medicine physician, speaker and author, most recently of BodyWise: Discovering Your Body’s Intelligence for Lifelong Health and Healing. You can view her work at, or on Facebook: @doctorrachelabrams.


FamilyCalendar Monday, January 1

Anniversary of Hank Williams’s Death The native of Montgomery was the first country music superstar and one of the most important songwriters of the 20th century. Each year, his grave hosts a ceremony to commemorate his fascinating life on the anniversary of his death. This year will mark the 65th anniversary of the musician’s passing. For more info, visit event/64th-memorial-anniversary-of-hank-williamsdeath.

Tuesday, January 2

“Stars: The Powerhouses of the Universe” -Through January 31 Monday-Thursday @ 4 p.m.; Sundays @ 2 p.m. W.A. Gayle Planetarium. Every star has a story. Through every phase of their existence, stars release the energy that powers the Universe. Journey to the farthest reaches of our galaxy and experience both the awesome beauty and destructive power of STARS. General Admission is $6.50 per person, ages 5 and above. Shows are about an hour in length. All ages welcome. Doors open 30 minutes before show time for ticket sales. For more info, visit or call (334) 625-4799.

Wednesday, January 3

Capital City Master Gardener Association Lunch and Learn Series Open to the Public The first Wednesday of each month, noon to 1 p.m. Sessions are held at the Armory Learning Arts Center, 1018 Madison Avenue, Montgomery, next to the Curb Market. Related handouts from the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service are provided each session at no cost. Participants are encouraged to bring their lunches to each event. Iced tea and water will be provided.

Saturday, January 6

Home Depot Kids’ Workshop 9 a.m.-noon. Ages 5-12. Free workshop teaches children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety. Today’s project is build a block calendar to kick off the new year. Once the project is built, your child can decorate it with stickers and paint. In addition to the newly constructed project kit, each child receives a kid-sized orange apron and an achievement pin. For more info, visit workshops/kids-workshops.


profound moments from slavery, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights Movement. This tour highlights pioneers and unsung heroes who contributed to a new era. Cost: Adults - $10; 12 & under - $5; 4 & under FREE. Book your tour by calling (334) 595-9243. Alabama Shakespeare Festival Presents Snow Queen -- Through February 3 The fairy tale that inspired Disney’s Frozen and the White Witch character in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe comes to magical life on ASF’s Octagon Stage. Children will be spellbound as Gerda struggles to free her friend Kai from the clutches of an evil queen with a frozen heart. With the help of her faith and loyalty, Gerda proves that love can always triumph over evil. Recommended ages 4+. For tickets or more info, visit or call (334) 271-5353.

Sunday, January 7

First Sundays at One -- Also February 4 1-2 p.m. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Learn more about the traveling exhibitions as well as the Museum’s Permanent Collection in these FREE docent-led tours the FIRST Sunday of each month. For more info, call (334) 240-4333 or visit

based on her life experiences. Her message is that a sense of humor is an attitude, an approach toward working with people. She believes that this humor attitude can be developed and improved, and she outlines how to do so while she captivates her audiences with funny, original stories. Tickets begin at $32. For more info, visit or call (334) 481-5100. Booker T. Washington Magnet High School Presents Showcase 2018: Creative Innovation 5:30-9 p.m. Davis Theatre, 251 Montgomery Street. Reception and live production supporting the talent and hard work of the musicians, artists, writers, dancers, singers and tech-savvy support teams who are destined to be the civic, community and business leaders of the next generation. Creativity and exposure to the arts are proven components of improved test scores, greater job opportunities, and increased civic involvement. Tickets are limited and only $50 each. For more info, call (334) 269-3617 or e-mail: ccarter359@ or

Monday, January 8

WWE at The Garret Coliseum Doors open at 6 p.m. 1st match starts at 7:30. WWE VIP experiences also available. Meet your favorite Superstars with the WWE Superstar Experience Package. For tickets or more info, visit www. or call (334) 356-6866.

Elmore County Homeschool Organization Meets Also January 26 Elmore County Homeschool Organization is a non-profit support group for homeschooling families. We provide a positive socialization environment for homeschooled children & support and encourage their parents in the homeschooling process. We typically meet the second and fourth Friday of every month year-round from 10 a.m. to noon at Harvest Fields Community Church, 4280 Deatsville Hwy, Deatsville. Membership is free and is open to all homeschoolers in the tri-county area. For details, visit

Wednesday, January 10

Saturday, January 13

Central Alabama Master Gardener (CAMGA) Lunch & Learn Program Noon-1 p.m. Held at the Elmore County Extension (ACES) facility on Queen Ann Road in Wetumpka,

Whole Foods Second Saturday Kids Club 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Whole Foods, 1450 Taylor Rd., Montgomery. Looking for something fun to do with the kids? Each second Saturday, Whole Foods will host fun,

Find a listing of Public Library Storytimes and Events at!

Michael’s Kids Club -- Also January 13, 20 & 27 10 a.m.-noon. $2 per project. Supplies included. Ages 3 and up. Each session is 30 minutes. Parent or guardian must remain on premises. Jan. 6 is Snowman Canvas; Jan. 13 is Snowman Page Marker; Jan. 20 is Pony Bead Snowflakes; and Jan. 27 is Personalized Frames. For more info, visit AUM Offers Free Mandarin Classes -- Every Saturday Auburn Montgomery’s Confucius Institute continues to offer free Mandarin classes to the community. To register, send the student’s name, age and contact information to Civil Rights Walking Tours -- Every Saturday and Sunday 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. start times. Tours start from The Village Gallery. Come explore Montgomery’s history walking from different historical sties and engage in

Montgomery Parents I January 2018

these free events for the public are held on the second Wednesday of each month. Attendees are invited to bring their lunch and learn. Beverages are provided by CAMGA. For more info, call 567-6301 or visit www.

hands-on craft activities to teach kids about healthy eating. It’s totally free, and every participant gets a piece of fruit and whatever they make in the workshop! For more info, call (334) 523-2940 or visit

Thursday, January 11

Animal Track Casting at Alabama Nature Center 11:30 a.m. Here we will learn about the types of tracks different animals make such as raccoons, foxes, deer, and turkey! Bring the kids and even make your own cast of an animal track to take home. For more info, visit or call (800) 822-9453.

Live & Listen Presents Eat A Peach: A Tribute To The Allman Brothers Band 7:30-9:30 p.m. Capri Theatre. Featuring multiple members of Black Jacket Symphony, Eat A Peach brings a high-energy, authentic approach to their tribute, which will make for a night to remember in Old Cloverdale. For more info, call (334) 262-4858 or visit

Friday, January 12

Montgomery Performing Arts Centre Presents Jeanne Robertson 8 p.m. Jeanne Robertson specializes in hilarious humor


Polar Plunge – Kowaliga Restaurant 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 295 Kowaliga Marina Road, Alexander City. The Lake Martin Young Professionals support the Lake Martin Resource Association. Come walk, run, or dive into the lake in the dead of winter! Of course there will be food and drink specials from Kowaliga Restaurant, a warm-up tent, music, and fun and games. For more info, call (256) 215-7035 or visit

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R2DUO, Flute and Guitar Concert 2-4 p.m. Montgomery School of Music, 8307 Crossland Loop. Rachel Nozny and Robert Gibson are both faculty members in the John M. Long School of Music at Troy University and each enjoy active careers as educators and performers in South Alabama and its surrounding areas. This event is free to the public and hosted in MSoM’s recital hall. Tickets are required. A small reception will be held afterwards. Call (334) 518-9335 for information.

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Dads and Daughters Saturday (D.A.D.S) Calling ALL Fathers and Daughters for storytimes, fun and laughs, 11 a.m.-noon every 2nd Saturday at the Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library. There will be singing, dancing and arts & crafts. So come visit us and have an enjoyable time! For more info, visit ents/1374454692792666/?source=1.

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Second Saturday Divorce Workshop for Women Montgomery Country Club, Azalea Room, 3800 Narrow Lane Road. 9 a.m.-noon. 3-hour workshop that is offered monthly, designed to help participants explore the legal, financial, and emotional issues of divorce and gain a greater understanding of the process. Cost to attend is $20 per person and pre-registration required. For more info, please call or e-mail Sommer Morris at (334) 6121086 or You may also visit AMC Theaters Offers Sensory-Friendly Movietimes -- Also January 27 For guests and families living with autism or other special needs, AMC partners with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings where

we turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! This program is available on second and fourth Saturdays (familyfriendly) and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month. Please check your local theatre listings for specific showtimes, and don’t forget to share your family fun with #AMCSensoryFriendly.

Tuesday, January 16

Joe Thomas, Jr. 3rd Tuesday Guitar Pull 7-9 p.m. Three or four regional songwriters perform original music on the Cloverdale Playhouse’s intimate stage. Tickets are $10 at the door. Call 262-1530 or visit

Thursday, January 18

Food For Thought Noon-1 p.m. The Alabama Dept. of Archives & History, 624 Washington Ave. Bring lunch and and join us every third Thursday for these FREE lectures sponsored by Friends of the Alabama Archives. Drinks are complimentary. Today’s topic is “Finding Family History: The Secrets in an Antique Coverlet,” presented by Elizabeth Shores. Call (334) 353-4726 or visit Union Springs Red Door Theatre Presents Sean Dietrich 7:30 p.m. Sean Dietrich is a wonderful storyteller and has been known to sing a few songs along the way. He is a columnist and novelist, recognized for his commentary on life in the American South. His work has appeared in Southern Living, The Tallahassee Democrat, Good Grit, South Magazine, Yellowhammer News, the Bitter Southerner, Thom Magazine, and The Mobile Press Register. He has authored seven books. Tickets are $15 and may be ordered at (334) 738-8687 or

Amphibian Search Night Hike at Alabama Nature Center 5:30 p.m. Join us in a nighttime expedition to find native amphibians! Salamanders and chorus frogs are only active for a short time during the winter months, so seeing them in action will be a special treat. We’ll put on our waders, hike to vernal pools on the property, and slink into the cold water to see what we can find. Bring a flashlight. Waders are provided – adult sizes 7-13 available. Bring waterproof shoes/ boots if you prefer. For all ages. Admission: $5. Events begin at 6 p.m. Come at 5:30 to enjoy a BYODinner, and stroll through the Discovery Hall. For more info, visit or call (800) 822-9453.

Friday, January 19

Grand Opening of Tallassee’s Renovated Mount Vernon Theatre -- Through January 21 321 Barnette Boulevard, Tallassee. Originally built in 1935 by Mount Vernon Mills and closed in 1968, the theatre joins with the Talisi Historical Preservation Society’s Friends of Tuckabatchee in presenting an original play, Dear Mama: Letters and Music From World War II, written by Adrian Lee Borden, and based on true events of World War II. For more info and tickets, call (334) 991-2079, e-mail or visit

Saturday, January 20

Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson Re-enactment Wetumpka. French & Indian War and War of 1812 Reenactment. Admission - $2/adult & $1/child. For more info, call (334) 567-3002. 2018 Korean Cultural Experience 6 p.m. Davis Theatre, 251 Montgomery Street. Sponsored by the Alabama-Korea Education & Economic


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FamilyCalendar Partnership (A-KEEP), the title and theme for this year’s performance is “The Fragrance of Spring.” This year’s show will feature the musical, Broadway-styled performance of “The Fragrance of Spring,” a story about a young girl who overcomes evil and persecution in ancient Korea. The Performing Artists will also perform individual showcases of Korean UNESCO intangible cultural heritage properties in song, dance, and musical ensembles. Student tickets are $10 with ID; adults are $20. For more info, visit or call (334) 625-8515. Farm in the City: Tools & Tests at E.A.T. South 9-11 a.m. 485 Molton St. Get ready for gardening by having your soil tested. Participants will have a chance to take soil samples and read soil tests. We’ll also explore new tools that make weeding fun (really!) and how to keep your tools sharp and rust-free. Register at Third Saturday @ Art Museum

1-2 p.m. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Learn more about the works of art on view at the Museum in these FREE docent-led tours offered the third Saturday of each month. For more info, call (334) 240-4333 or visit

Wednesday, January 24

Montgomery Performing Arts Centre Presents Riverdance - The 20th Anniversary World Tour 7 p.m. Riverdance is composed by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty and directed by John McColgan. It features new costumes, new lighting, new projections and the addition of a brand-new number, “Anna Livia,” featuring the female members of the Irish dance troupe in an a cappella hard-shoe number. Tickets begin at $72. For more info, visit www.mpaconline. org/ or call (334) 481-5100. Disney on Ice at the BirminghamJefferson Civic Center -Through January 28 Various performance times. Join Mickey and Minnie Mouse with friends from Finding Dory, Frozen, Rapunzel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Toy Story, Lion King and Aladdin. For tickets or more info, visit or call (205) 458-8400.

Thursday, January 25

An Expressive Evening at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts 6-8 p.m. Enjoy a FREE evening of creativity at the Museum with teens. Each year the MUSES, the Museum’s teen council, design and host a tableau of artistic expression presented by local students. Past acts have included poetry, vocal, and instrumental performances. For more info, call (334) 240-4333 or visit Newcomers Club of Montgomery Monthly Luncheon The Newcomers Club of Montgomery invites all women of the River Region to attend our monthly luncheon from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the Arrowhead Country Club. Cost is $18 and reservations must be made by noon Monday, January 22, to Suzanne Lowry at (334) 396-5368 or Guest speaker will be Mr. Jerry Thrash, manager of Rosemont Gardens,

Montgomery Parents I January 2018


who will talk about the very interesting and deep history of the 125-year-old Rosemont Gardens. Visit www.

Friday, January 26

Alabama Shakespeare Festival Presents Fly: Inspired by the Story of the Tuskegee Airmen Through February 11 With a focus on hope, endurance and accomplishment, Fly tells the story of the first African-American Army Air Corp fighters known as the Tuskegee Airmen who flew over the skies of Europe and North Africa during World War II. Fly dramatizes the historic contributions made by the Tuskegee Airmen to the desegregation of the American military and the furthering of civil rights. Recommended ages 11+. For tickets or more info, visit or call (334) 271-5353. Capri Theatre Presents Repo Man 7:30 p.m. A quintessential cult film of the 1980s, this sci-fi comedy stars Harry Dean Stanton as a weathered repo man in a desolate Los Angeles, and Emilio Estevez as the nihilistic middle-class punk he takes under his wing. The job becomes more than either of them bargained for when they get involved in repossessing a mysteriousand otherworldly Chevy Malibu with a hefty reward attached to it. For more info, visit www. or call (334) 262-4858.

Saturday, January 27

Capri Theatre Presents Montgomery Film Festival IX 7:30 p.m. The Montgomery Film Festival showcases the works of amateur and professional filmmakers within Alabama, the U.S. and internationally in short film & feature length format. $8 tickets for Capri members; $10 tickets for General Admission. For more info, visit or call (334) 262-4858. Cruising The Creekwalk 5K and 1-Mile Fun Mardi Gras Run The run will start and end at the Doster Memorial Community Center, 424 S Northington St. in Prattville. Both courses go along the creek and through downtown where vendors will be set up for the City of Prattville’s Mardi Gras celebration. Water stations will be located at the halfway and finish points. Registration will be held at the Doster Memorial Community Center beginning at 7:30 a.m. 5K race begins at 9 a.m. and 1-Mile Fun Run begins at 10. Race day entry fee is $30. All proceeds benefit the Youth Leadership Autauga County program. For more info, visit

Sunday, January 28

Family Art Affair and Jazz Jams at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts 2-4 p.m. Music will fill the Museum and get your creativity going as you visit the studio and complete a FREE make-and-take art project. This program has specific themes related to Museum exhibitions and is sure to be fun and engaging for the whole family. Create your own piece of art inspired by live music and the works in the “Uncommon Territory” exhibition. For more info, visit or call (334) 240-4333.

Friday, February 2

The Black Jacket Symphony presents Led Zeppelin IV 8 p.m. Montgomery Performing Arts Centre. Tickets begin at $25. Visit or call (334) 481-5100.

Saturday, February 3

Millbrook Revelers Mardi Gras Festival and Parade The Festival grounds officially open at 9 a.m. The Parade begins at noon after the staging at the Mill Creek Park located behind The Smokehouse Bar-B-Q


restaurant on Main Street. The crowd will be larger in the area around the Village Green. Food items vary from alligator on a stick to gumbo, red beans and rice, smoked turkey legs and much more. There will be fun rides for children of all ages: pony rides, water walker, a climbing wall and a zip ride. Visit for more info.

Thursday, February 8

Union Springs Red Door Theatre Presents Walking Across Egypt -- Through February 11 Adapted by Catherine Bush from the book by Clyde Edgerton; directed by Kim Mason. Upon discovering a stray dog on her back porch, Mattie Rigsbee decides she’s too old to keep a pet and calls the dogcatcher. Little does she know that the dogcatcher, Lamar Benfield, will open her eyes to a whole world she never knew existed, a world that includes car theft, prison breaks and a juvenile delinquent named Wesley who is as desperate for a family as she is. Tickets are $15 and may be ordered at (334) 738-8687 or Cloverdale Playhouse Theatre Presents A Doll’s House -- Through February 18 7:30 p.m. performances Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sunday matinees. Nora, vibrant housewife and mother of three, appears to enjoy living the life of a pampered, indulged child. Nonetheless, she suffers from a crippling dependency on her husband. Henrik Ibsen’s classic work examines fundamental inequalities surrounding gender roles, power, independence and money. Recommended for ages 14 and up. For more info, visit or call (334) 262-1530.

Friday, February 9

Dream Women’s Conference -Through February 10 St. James United Methodist Church. Sponsored by Renew Women’s Ministry. Begins at 6 p.m. Friday and ends at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Featuring Pastor Alex Seeley and renowned worship leader Meredith Andrews. Tickets are $69. For questions or discounted registration for groups of 10 or more, e-mail Ticket required for entry. All tickets will be scanned upon entry to the conference. All sales are non-refundable! For more info, visit

Saturday, February 10

Crossroads Theater Presents In Her Own Fashion by Dolores Hydock Sponsored by the Pike Road Arts Council, this story play relays the funny, irreverent, true story of Ninette Griffith, who was fashion coordinator for Loveman’s Department Store in Birmingham in the 1950s and ‘60s. Tickets are $20, and are on sale no. To purchase tickets, stop by Town Hall, call (334) 272-9883 or email Patty Payne at Wetumpka’s 6th Annual Mardi Gras Celebration Hosted by the 2018 Order of Cimarrón. Vendors will be open at 9 a.m. Food, arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, metal crafts and so much more. The parade will begin sharply at 1 p.m. and begins on the West side of the Coosa River and will follow the Christmas on the Coosa parade route. This is a family-friendly event. Visit or find us on Facebook for more info. Critter Crawl 5K and Yeti Dash 7:30 a.m. registration station opens; 8:30 a.m. Critter Crawk 5K begins; 9:45 a.m. Yeti Dash begins. The Ala-

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bama Nature Center Critter Crawl is a trail run benefiting the ANC education programs that takes runners through a portion of the ANC’s 5-mile trail system. New for 2018 is the ANC Yeti Dash, a 1-mile trail system run. Nature/critter costumes are mandatory for any guests who wish to participate in the Yeti Dash. Any guests who do not dress in costume will not be eligible to win a Yeti Dash medal. Shirts are guaranteed for participants registering before January 31. For more info, visit or call (800) 822-9453. Sign up on


Breastfeeding Class Designed to prepare the expectant mother for breastfeeding her newborn. Also includes troubleshooting common problems to establish a successful breastfeeding experience. Jackson Hospital, Classroom 1. Cost is $15. Class schedule is subject to change, so please call 293-8497 or e-mail to register or for more info. Breastfeeding Class This one-time class at Baptist Health provides expectant mothers with information about breastfeeding including various factors influencing lactation, advantages of breastfeeding, basic anatomy and physiology of milk production, specific techniques to promote a successful breastfeeding experience and breastfeeding equipment and supplies. Classes are taught by IBLCE instructors. Partners are encouraged to participate. Class fee: $20. Registration is required. E-mail  Caring For Your Newborn Taught by Baptist Health Newborn Nursery nurses, this one-time class helps new families become familiar with the basics of caring for your infant in the first six weeks

after birth. This interactive class covers routine hospital newborn procedures along with bathing, diapering, swaddling and soothing, normal infant behavior, appearance and sleep patterns. Class fee: $20. Registration is required. Please e-mail for more info. A 10 percent class discount is available to Baptist Health employees and members of the military. Childbirth Basics Class Provides childbirth information for those who choose to have pain relief during labor and delivery. Sessions are taught throughout the year at Jackson Hospital, Classroom 1. Cost is $25. Call 293-8497 by your 4th month of pregnancy to register. Childbirth Preparation (Four Sessions on Monday Nights) This four-session class is taught by Registered Labor and Delivery Nurses on the campus of Baptist South. This class for new mothers covers topics ranging from how your body changes during pregnancy to signs of labor to the benefits of breastfeeding and what to expect during your birth experience. This class is complimentary. To register, call (334) 286-3466. Childbirth Preparation Boot Camp (One Day Saturday Class) This fast-paced one day class taught by Baptist Health’s experienced Labor and Delivery Registered Nurses prepares families to welcome their new addition. All aspects of Labor and Delivery from our hospital admission process through postpartum care are covered during class. Additional topics include Cesarean sections, medication and anesthesia options along with coping and comfort measures. Breathing and relaxation techniques are also introduced. Maternity Area Tour

is included as a part of this class. Class offered select Saturdays of each month. Fee: $60 per couple and includes lunch. Please e-mail for more info. A 10 percent class discount is available to Baptist Health employees and members of the military. ID required. Chinese Language Classes Auburn Montgomery’s Office of Far Eastern Initiatives offers Saturday classes for children and adults. The one-hour weekly courses are provided free-of-charge as a service to the community. For more info or to register, contact April Ma at 244-3018 or Diabetes Education --Prattville Baptist Outpatient Nutrition and Diabetes Education services available Wednesdays by appointment at Prattville Medical Park. Call 747-7700 Option # for more information. Diabetes Education --Baptist Outpatient Nutrition and Diabetes Education services available weekdays by appointment. Call 747-7700 Option # for more info. Family Nutrition Classes








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SupportGroups Fun, hands-on 3 or 6-week in-person or online course developed by well-known pediatrician Dr William Sears. Classes focused towards parents of children age 3-12. The goal is to learn simple ways to improve the health of your child through lifestyle, exercise, attitude, and nutrition. Fee includes materials, activities and a snack. A 2-hour preview class is available. For more info, contact or visit LeaninCentralAL. Foster Parent Training Classes Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries sponsors foster care training classes in the Tri-County Area. For more information on foster care or to register for the classes, please contact Bobbi Olson, Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries, at 334-430-7569 or e-mail Infant Safety/CPR This one-time class sponsored by Baptist Health will teach parents and grandparents the American Heart Association’s Family and Friends CPR for infants and children including care of the choking infant, infant rescue and breathing with hands on practice using ACTAR CPR dolls for class participants. This class will also help parents with creating a safe environment for their child. Classes are taught by certified CPR Instructors. This class is not a certification class. Fee: $10 per person. Registration is required. Please e-mail Maternity Area Tour Only Baptist Medical Center East maternity area tour for expectant mothers and families not attending Childbirth Preparation Class or Boot Camp. This tour is complimentary and is offered on select Saturdays of each month. Space is limited. Registration is required. Please e-mail for more info. Maternity Area Tour Baptist Health’s Maternity Area Tour is for parents not attending Childbirth Preparation Boot Camp. Tour is offered on select Saturdays of each month and is complimentary. Tour is for adults only. Space is limited. Registration is required. Please e-mail for more info. Pre- and Post-natal Fitness Classes Includes water aerobics, step-floor aerobics and strength training. SportsFirst. Call 277-7130. Pregnancy Nutrition Classes Interactive 3-week series of classes developed by wellknown pediatrician Dr. William Sears. Classes focus on lifestyle choices, attitude, and exercise at any stage of pregnancy; optimal nutrition before, during and after pregnancy; transition from pregnancy to motherhood. Courses can be taken separately or as a series. Jump in any time! Materials and snack provided with fee. For more info, contact or visit www. Prepared Childbirth Class (Understanding Birth) Jackson Hospital. Preregistration required. Topics include: pregnancy, labor, birth, options for pain management, medical procedures, cesarean birth. Note: This class is a basic overview of the labor and delivery process and does not prepare someone for “natural” or unmedicated childbirth. Cost: $25 (covers mother and support person). Class size is limited. Please try to register by the 5th month of pregnancy for the best selection of available class dates. Call (334) 293-8497 or e-mail: Sibling Preparation Class One-hour class is designed for expectant “big brothers and sisters” ages 3 to 8. They will learn about the arrival of their new baby through an introduction to the hospital experience and the early days at home. Parents should plan to attend with their child. Baptist Medical Center East. Registration is required. Call 273-4445 or e-mail Tales for Tots Join us for this FREE introduction to art in storybooks and in the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts galleries for young children and their families. Each time a different

Montgomery Parents I January 2018


work of art and special story will be presented. Next classes are January 17 from 10:30-11 a.m., and 1111:30 a.m. Call 240-4365 or visit

Divorce Care for Kids meets Tuesdays from 6-7:30 p.m. January 9-April 3, 2018 at Frazer Memorial UMC. Children of divorce or separation find hope, help and healing. Call 495-6350 or e-mail for more info.

Support Groups

DivorceCare meets at Vaughn Forest Church on Wednesday nights from 6-8 p.m. It fosters a weekly supportive and caring environment to heal the hurt of separation and divorce. The DivorceCare experience involves a dynamic video presentation, group share time, and personal workbook exercises. Facilitators for DivorceCare are Todd Smith, Wendy Timbie and Becki Harrison. To register or for more info, call 279-5433.

Adoption Support

Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections (APAC) This group provides education and social interaction for adoptive families. Montgomery Group meets 3rd Tuesdays, 6-7:30 p.m., Room 8114 at Frazer Memorial UMC. For more info, call Jill Sexton at 409-9477. Birth Parent and Adult Adoptee Support Group Children’s Aid Society hosts a free support group for adult adoptees and birth parents. This group provides emotional support for people at all stages of the life-long adoption process. Meetings held at Children’s Aid Society, 2141 14th Avenue South in Birmingham. For class dates and times, call Kathy King at (205) 943-5331 or e-mail kking@ Panda Pals is a support group for families who have adopted or in the process of adopting children from China. We have playdates, family nights and get-togethers to talk about raising our children from China. If you would like to join our group, just e-mail PandaPals2005@yahoogroups. com or call Tracie Singleton at 395-8215.

Cancer Support

American Cancer Society, including Montgomery, Elmore & Autauga Counties: **To access or sign up for these programs, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345. Look Good…Feel Better is an American Cancer Society program in which trained volunteer cosmetologists help female cancer patients deal with the side effects of treatment. Patients are taught beauty techniques to enhance their appearance and self image during or after treatments, including ways to disguise hair loss and skin changes. Call 1-800-ACS-2345 for more info. OTHER PROGRAMS/SERVICES OFFERED BY THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY: Reach to Recovery matches newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with survivors on a one on one basis. Free wigs and other supplies for cancer patients Free rides to treatment through our Road To Recovery program (where volunteer drivers use their cars and time to take in need cancer patients to treatment) Free lodging through the Joe Lee Griffin Hope Lodge in Birmingham (if patients are sent to Birmingham for treatment) On-line cancer information classes and support group through Information anytime and trained specialists at 1-800ACS-2345. Cancer Patient and Caregiver Support Group 1-2 p.m., Tuesdays, Montgomery Cancer Center, 4145 Carmichael Road. The group is facilitated by professionally trained health care providers and other members of the support care team. It’s free and open to all cancer patients and their caregivers. Call (334) 273-7000. General Cancer Support Group held at Christ Church, 8800 Vaughn Road, Tuesday afternoons at 1 p.m. This is an open group. For more information, please call Christy Holding at 531-1390 or Debbie Diemayer at 467-4578. Women of Hope Breast Cancer Support, Frazer Memorial UMC, 2nd Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. in Room 8114. Provides education, awareness and mentoring for breast cancer patients/survivors, family or friends. For more info, call 220-4599 or e-mail

Divorce Support

DivorceCare meets Tuesdays from 6-7:30 p.m. at Frazer Memorial UMC. Come to the Library area. This group will provide support & guidance to assist you in working through the issues, pain & pressures surrounding divorce. For more info, call 495-6350 or e-mail


DivorceCare and DivorceCare 4 Kids First Baptist Church Montgomery, Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $15 (scholarships available). Contact Kathy Cooper at or 241-5125. Second Saturday Divorce Workshop for Women Montgomery Country Club, Azalea Room, 3800 Narrow Lane Road. 9 a.m.-noon. This is a 3-hour workshop that is offered monthly, designed to help participants explore the legal, financial, and emotional issues of divorce and gain a greater understanding of the process. The cost to attend is $20 per person and pre-registration is required. For more info, please call or e-mail Sommer Morris at (334) 612-1086 or You may also visit

Gambling Support

Gamblers Anonymous meetings in the River Region Area: Saturdays @ 7 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church, 5375 U.S. Hwy. 231 (Directly across from the Winn-Dixie shopping center), Wetumpka. Call (334) 567-7534. Sundays @ 5 p.m., Mental Health Association, 1116 South Hull Street, Montgomery. Mondays @ 6 p.m., St Paul’s Lutheran Church, 4475 Atlanta Hwy., Montgomery. Gamblers Anonymous Hotline: 334-541-5420

Grief Support

Bereaved Spouses Support Group A new ministry of Cornerstone Christian Church, USA (Unavoidably Single Again) Ministries is designed to offer ongoing support, social events and fellowship to those who have lost their spouses to death. The group is open to ALL widowed individuals, regardless of age, religious beliefs, or length of marriage or widowhood. Meets 2nd and 4th Thursdays at the church’s building, 301 Dalraida Road. Please e-mail for more info. Bereavement Group, Hospice of Montgomery office, 1111 Holloway Park. This group is intended to address those affected by a recent loss (0-12 months after death). Through meeting with others who are walking a similar journey, you will be encouraged to work through the complications of your loss, understand your pain, and adjust to your new reality. For more info, call 279-6677. Compassionate Friends, Eastmont Baptist Church, 4505 Atlanta Hwy, first Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Compassionate Friends is a national self-help support organization for families grieving the death of a child. For more information about the group, call (334) 284-2721. Grief Recovery Support, Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy., Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. in Rm. 3105. Call 495-6350 for more info. GriefShare meets weekly at Vaughn Forest Church on Wednesday nights from 6-8 p.m. This program is nondenominational and features biblical concepts for healing your grief. Three key parts make up your GriefShare experience: video seminar; support group time; and workbook study. GriefShare will be led by Howard and Carol Payne and Jim Williams. To register or for more info, call 279-5433. Grieving With Hope, St. Mark UMC, meeting weekly on Tuesdays from 1-2 p.m. The group offers a place to share, care and heal from the losses of life. Facilitated by Dr. Lennie Howard and Marie Parma. Contact the church at 272-0009.

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SupportGroups Honoring Angels Like Owen, Inc. (HALO) offers family-oriented, Christian-based grief support groups that meet monthly. These groups are for families who have lost a child from 20 weeks gestation up to the age of 2 years old. Our parents’ group is for mothers and fathers. Our siblings’ group is for children ages 6-15. Both groups meet at the same time and place. HALO also offers free professional photography for families facing the loss of a child up to the age of 2 years old and needs-based financial assistance for burial. Visit www.honoringangelslikeowen. org or call (334) 328-1202. Mourning to Morning is a Christian growth group for mothers who have lost a child, from before birth through adulthood. We normally meet the last Thursday night of each month at Grace Baptist Church in Wetumpka, 304 Old Montgomery Highway. For more info, contact Alice Scarborough at (334) 462-4775 or Gwen Ellis at (334) 567-8754 or e-mail us at Join us on Facebook--Mourning to Morning Group. River Region Survivors of Suicide Loss meets on second and fourth Thursdays (excluding holidays) at Cornerstone Christian Church, 301 Dalraida Road in Montgomery from 6:30-8 p.m. This is an open group for those who have lost a loved one to suicide and welcomes anyone regardless of religious beliefs. Contact Cheryl Vinson at with questions or for more information.

Homeschool Support

ECHO (Elmore County Homeschool Organization), Harvest Fields Community Church, 4280 Deatsville Hwy, Deatsville. 2nd and 4th Fridays year-round from 10 a.m. to noon. This is a support group for homeschooling families in the tri-county area. Membership is free. For more info, please visit

Parent Support

D.A.D.S. (Dad and Daughter Saturdays) Second Saturdays at the Juliette Hampton Morgan Library in downtown Montgomery at 11 a.m. D.A.D.S. gives fathers and daughters an opportunity to read together to create fun, educational memories. This free event is open to the public and is sponsored by the Montgomery City-County Public Library and Dreamland Barbeque. For more info, call Ron Simmons at (334) 777-8596. La Leche League of Montgomery Area has served local mothers since 1984. Women who are pregnant, interested in breastfeeding and nursing mothers are invited to attend our free mother-to-mother support meetings or e-mail with breastfeeding questions. Join us with your babies. Children of all ages are welcome. We currently have morning and evening meetings. For more info, e-mail or visit llli*group*montgomery or “like” us on Facebook. Mom2Mom is a playgroup to connect mothers of children ages birth-5 years at Frazer United Methodist Church to share fun and inspiration in our journey together, with our children, and with Christ. E-mail Mom2mom@frazerumc. org for more information. Moms’ LIFE (Living In Faith Everyday) First Baptist Church, Prattville. Meets twice monthly from 8:30-11:45 a.m. in the chapel at First Baptist Church in Prattville August through May. For moms of all stages and ages of life. We offer a time of fellowship, Bible study, musical guests, special guest speakers and a lot of fun! Cost is $5 per meeting. Childcare provided by reservation. For more info and to reserve your spot, call Kelley Manning at 361-7919. The Montgomery Multiples Club is a non-profit organization offering support to the mothers and families of twins, triplets, and more in the Central Alabama region. They have a mom’s night out with dinner once a month. They also have a yard sale twice a year, in the spring and again in the fall. For more info, visit com/site/montgomerymultiples/home. MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), First Baptist Church, 305 S. Perry St., Montgomery. 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 9:30-11:30 a.m., September through May. Moms, need

a little break? We have educational speakers, great conversation, and fun activities. Free childcare is provided. Visit www.montgomeryfbc. org/MOPS or contact Tiffany Alewine at 241-5165. MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), Vaughn Forest Baptist Church, 8660 Vaughn Road, Montgomery. 1st and 3rd Tuesdays from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Are you in need of a time-out? MOPS joins mothers together by a common bond, to be better wives, moms and friends along this journey in the trenches of motherhood. Childcare is provided. For more info, e-mail vaughnforestmops@gmail. com or visit http://vfcmops.weebly. com/.

Pregnancy Loss/ Infertility

Hannah’s Prayer, Prattville First United Methodist Church, 2nd Thursdays and 3rd Sundays. Support group for women dealing with pregnancy loss/infertility issues. Call (334) 365-5977. Post-abortion Support Group, Saint James United Methodist Church. Do you have a secret you have promised yourself “you are taking to the grave?” Come and listen to stories of others who were scared to surrender their secret. Come and find healing and peace that you never even knew you needed. Come and learn about the One who came to set you free. Join us in a study of “Surrendering the Secret” by Pat Layton and know that you are not alone! (Learner guide and digital download sessions.) For more info, e-mail Sav-A-Life conducts a HOPE GROUP for women who have experienced the emotional aftermath of an abortion. Groups meet eight consecutive Thursday nights at 6:30 p.m. and are facilitated by women who have experienced abortion. The “Forgiven and Set Free” Bible study is used. Confidientiality is assured. Please call Kathy at 260-8010. “Take Heart,” Room 116 at Eastmont Baptist Church, first Mondays of each month at 6 p.m. Support group for women dealing with infertility and/or miscarriage. Contact Melissa at (205) 913-2667 for more information.

Single Parents Support

God Will Make a Way, Frazer UMC, Tuesdays from 6-7:30 p.m. Learn to follow God’s principles to thrive relationally, emotionally, and spiritually in 12 key areas of life and use God’s wisdom to cope with your most difficult problems. Call 495-6368 or e-mail for more info. Single Moms Support Group, Landmark Church of Christ, Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m. in Classroom 118. For more information call 277-5800. Single Moms’ Care and Support Group, Perry Hill United Methodist Church, 910 Perry Hill Road (corner of Perry Hill and Harrison Roads). Meets 2nd and 4th Thursdays from 6:15-8 p.m. Free snack supper provided to moms and children. Child care for infants-16 years. Call 272-3174 for more info. SWAK (Single with Amazing Kids), Maxwell / Maxwell Gunter AFB. This network is connecting and empowering single parents and their families through information, encouragement, and many family-oriented events throughout the year. We meet the last Wednesday or Thursday of each month. For more info, e-mail Join us on Facebook for daily restaurant specials, area kid-friendly events, and tips/ideas for families on a budget.

Central Alabama Autism Support Team (C.A.A.S.T.), St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Hwy. 31 in Prattville from 6-8 p.m. 3rd Thursdays quarterly (Feb., May, Aug., Nov.). Visit or e-mail casst50@yahoo. com for more info. Montgomery Area Down Syndrome Outreach, Vaughn Park Church of Christ, 2nd Fridays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. We have activities, speakers and special events throughout the year for the parents, siblings and children with Down Syndrome. Childcare provided. Visit www. or visit our Facebook page (MADSOG) for more information. Contact MADSOG at for more info. Montgomery Area Hearing Loss Support Group meets monthly at the Wesley Building of the First Methodist Church in Montgomery on 2nd Thursdays at 4 p.m. It is affiliated with the nationally recognized non-profit advocacy group, Hearing Loss Association of America. The purpose is to bring together all adults and parents of children who would like to know more about hearing losses, its causes and its possible corrections. Refreshments at each meeting. For more info, contact HearingInfo@ A Parent’s Perspective A therapeutic and educational group for parents of children with physical/emotional needs that provides direct support through shared experiences and coordinated by a trained facilitator. For more info and a free consultation, contact Julie Cox, LMSW at (334) 310-1649 or You can also “like” A Parent’s Perspective on Facebook. Traumatic Brain Injury Support, cafeteria at HealthSouth on Narrow Lane in Montgomery. 2nd Thursdays at 6 p.m. Sponsored by Alabama Head Injury Foundation for anyone with a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury or related disability. For more info, contact Holli at (334) 2900646 or e-mail: Visit

Teens/Families Support

Call Family Guidance Center of Alabama at 270-4100 for information about current classes. Support Group for Teens with difficulties communicating with parents and friends. Contact Felicia Pressley at Pressley Counseling by leaving a message at (334) 625-0159.

Special Needs Support

Alabama Angels Pageant, a nonprofit pageant for males and females of any age with special needs. Participation is free. 2016 pageant date TBA. Visit www. and look for us on Facebook!


Please send calendar info to

Girl Scouts Learn Bully Defense and Self-Defense

Celebrating MLK Day Through Service

Girl Scout Troop 9225, led by Yvonne Lee of Montgomery, trained at Johnson’s Martial Arts Academy for four weeks in Bully Defense and Self-Defense by Instructors David and Christopher Johnson. Several young ladies were taught how to avoid potential dangerous physical attacks, how to handle bullying and how to help others who are being bullied.

Pageant Benefits Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals January 27

The fourth annual Miss Miracle Maker Pageant, which benefits Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, will be held at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, January 27, at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Fellowship Hall in Prattville. This is an annual fundraiser hosted by Laura Grace Henry, the 2018 Miss Tuscaloosa’s Outstanding Teen. This annual charity pageant will offer 25 crowns and titles including two Supreme titles, seven division titles, seven optional Winter Wear Casual Wear titles, and seven optional photogenic titles. Princess crowns will be presented to those who do not win title crowns in the Baby to Petite Miss divisions. The pageant is a semi-glitz pageant open to girls, age newborn to 18 years, with seven age divisions: Baby Miss (newborn-23 months), Tiny Miss (2-3 years), Petite Miss (4-5 years), Little Miss (6-8 years), Pre-Teen Miss (9-11 years) Jr. Teen Miss (12-14 years) and Teen Miss (15-18 years).There are no area restrictions to compete. Age-appropriate makeup and attire are stressed. Hair and makeup artists are available onsite but must be booked prior to the pageant and while space is available. Attire for the pageant: All contestants will compete in Formal Wear for this pageant. For Baby and Tiny Miss, formal wear is a short pageant dress. For Petite Miss, formal wear is a long or short pageant dress of choice. For ages 6 years and up, attire is a long pageant gown. Contestants may also compete in two additional optional sides. The Winter Wear Casual Wear entry fee is $20. Winners in each age division win a crown and medallion. They may also compete in the Photogenic competition. Entry is $15 for the first photo and $5 for each additional photo – up to three additional photos. Winners in each age division win a crown and medallion. Two People’s Choice Crowns and Medallions will be awarded in the Baby to Petite Miss divisions and to the Little Miss to Teen Miss divisions for the contestants who raise the most money for Children’s Miracle Network. The registration fee is $70 and includes entry into the Best Gown, Prettiest Eyes, Prettiest Hair, and Supreme titles competitions. The early bird discounted registration fee ends on January 22. Applications can be found at Click on Holiday/Charity Pageants and on “Miracle Maker Pageant” for more info and to fill out an application online. Registration fees can be paid by clicking on SHOP from the menu bar and selecting “Miracle Maker Pageant” from the pulldown menu. For more info, call (334) 313-5444. Montgomery Parents I January 2018


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” On January 15, 2018, the nation will mark the 89th birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. This annual celebration gives us the chance to pay tribute to both the man and the ideals he embodied. MLK Day is an occasion to celebrate unity among all races and hope for a future when we are all treated equally. On MLK Day, HandsOn River Region, in collaboration with the North Precinct Service Providers Alliance, will coordinate more than 300 volunteers engaged in a variety of projects to enhance the quality of life for north Montgomery neighborhoods including Highland Gardens and Chisholm. The day’s activities will include: Grounds Maintenance and Improvements: Volunteers will perform a variety of tasks to build a more inviting atmosphere for neighborhood residents and visitors to enjoy. Smoke Detector Installation: Volunteers will install smoke detectors in Highland Gardens homes. Community Garden: Volunteers will perform seasonal tasks in Nehemiah Center’s Community Garden. Facility Work: Volunteers will move and organize stored items in Friendship Mission Women’s Shelter and The Chisholm Boys & Girls Club. Disaster Preparedness Activities: Volunteers will build disaster preparedness packets and distribute them to area residents. Hygiene Kits: Volunteers will pack hygiene kits to distribute to the area homeless. The work sites will include Boys and Girls Club Chisholm Unit, Friendship Mission, Highland Gardens Community Center and Community Park, Nehemiah Center and Shepherds Staff. Register today to be a part of this event to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For more info or to register, visit need/detail/?need_id=222762






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AdvertiserDirectory We know that readers consider our advertisers as valuable a resource as the editorial content in Montgomery Parents. We hope this directory saves you time as you refer to the magazine throughout the month. Page numbers follow the advertiser’s name.

Edgewood Academy, 51

Montgomery YMCA, 85

Edward Jones-Lane Easterling, 97

My Kids Attic Consignment Sale, 17

Evangel Christian Academy, 33, 71

My Kids Attic, The Shoppes of, 29

Adventure Sports II, 34

Family Guidance Center, 38

New Hope Academy, 24

Alabama Christian Academy, 31, 68

FC Montgomery Soccer Academy, 32

New Park, 4

AL Dept. of Public Health, Inside Front

First Baptist Church, 57

OB/GYN Montgomery, Dr. Desautels, 23

Alabama School of Math & Science, 45

Franchise Connection, 97

O’Connor Tennis Lessons, 48

Alabama Shakespeare Festival, 27

Frazer Memorial UMC, 32

Pet Palace Hotels, 43

Alabama World Travel, 63

Guild Mortgage, 3

Armory Athletics, 30

Herron Dermatology & Laser, 49

ASKIN/Synergy House, 97

Holy Cross Episcopal School, 2, 72

AUM Early Childhood Center, 81

Hooper Academy, 53, 73

Auburn Soccer Camp, 30

K Lynn Ice Skating School, 44

Autauga/Western Elmore Arc, 53

Kindermusik of Montgomery at FBC, 35

Baptist Health, Inside Back Cover

Kingry Orthodontics, 83

Beth’s Heirloom Sewing, 47

Learning Tree Child Care, 37

Bradford Health Services, 61

Lola Photography & Portrait Studio, 64

Burn Boot Camp Montgomery, 59

Macon East Academy, 13, 74

Chapman Orthodontics, 95

Major Organizers, 64

Children’s Clothing Exchange, 23

Mathnasium 19

Children’s Hospital of Alabama, 52

Med.Art.Talk Afterschool Program, 17

Churchill Academy, 16, 69

MEOW Academy, 93

Cornerstone Classical Christian School, 70

Memorial Presbyterian Childcare, 34

Cupcake Castles Travel, 19

Montessori @ Mulberry, 15, 75

Dentistry for Children, 48

Montgomery Catholic Schools, 9, 77

Docarmo’s Taekwondo Center, 40

Montgomery Dermatology, 85

The Rock School, 11

Down with the Pounds, 25

Montgomery Miracle League, 21

Trinity Presbyterian School, 7, 79

Dr. Kendall Dunn-Orthodontist, 59

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 99

Tru-Cut Lawn Care, 21

Dynamite Magic & Balloons, 91

Montg. Pediatric Dentistry/Ortho, 87

United Gymstars & Cheer, 35

Eastwood Christian School, 41

Montgomery Uniforms Plus, 88

Vaughn Park Mom’s Day Out, 39

Prattville Christian Academy, 47 Prattville YMCA, 44 Professional Pediatrics, 12 Pump It Up Party, 95 River Region TV, 94 Riverview Camp for Girls, 18 Rockin’ Jump, 26 Royal Home Services, 67 Saint James School, 1, 78 St. James UMC Renew Conference, 40 Spotless Cleaning Services, 8


Success Unlimited Academy, 20 Swim Prep, 91 Sylvan Learning Center, 24 Taylor Road Baptist Church, 39 The Montgomery Academy, 76, Back Cover

They too, were very active and kept in great shape. When I was 15 years old, my mother took me to one of her exercise classes. I was the youngest one in the class, but I enjoyed it so much! I started going three times a week with her. I came to love it so much that women started asking me when I would start teaching. I finally got certified and taught my first class when I was 22 years old. I’ve been doing it ever since. MP: In your opinion, how important is it to encourage children to live a healthy lifestyle? Even though they are very young, in what ways do you encourage your daughter and sons to have healthy habits?

Mary Katherine Skipworth

Mary Katherine: Things have changed a lot since I was a child. It seems like technology has taken over our children with cell phones, iPads, etc. It’s very easy for kids to get distracted by them, and therefore, stay sedentary. It’s so important that we keep our youth moving and keep physical education in our schools. We are a very obese country so it’s important that we also teach our kids healthy food habits. I make sure that I keep my kids moving and involved in extracurricular activities. My daughter loves tennis and my older son loves to run, so the two of us run in races together. I keep healthy snacks in the house and try to limit desserts.

MP: After you graduated from Auburn University, you enjoyed the fast-paced work of retail management. How has that work shaped you to manage your home more effectively?

MP: At Metro, you have many responsibilities. One part of your job is teaching fitness classes, which range from high impact cardio to exercise for the elderly. How do you maintain the energy needed to be the engaged mom that you are to your kids? Mary Katherine: I am very active during the week. I teach or attend at least six classes a week. It sounds tiring, but exercise actually gives me energy throughout the day. It also puts me in a better mood! I find that if I keep exercise in my daily schedule, it allows me to be a better mom. I also try and eat as healthy as I can, BUT there is nothing wrong with treating yourself. I eat chocolate every week!

Mary Katherine: Before my job at Metro Fitness and before I had children, I managed a gift shop. I loved every minute of it. I loved the people I worked with and I loved the constant interaction with the customers. When you are in a management position, you wear a lot of hats, just like motherhood. You have a lot of different tasks every day that need to get done. Being a mother is one of the toughest jobs in the world because there are so many things you need to get done in just one day. One can feel very overwhelmed at times! You go to bed at the end of the day and then the next morning brings on a new list of tasks. Working in management helped me build a foundation. I was able to take what I learned and apply it to raising children. I have come to realize that we can’t be too hard on ourselves when things don’t get done. Try not to stress, and just move on to the next day! It’s also very important that we take care of ourselves one day at a time.

MP: You waited 10 years to have your first child. What do you see as the benefits of waiting, and how different do you think you’d be as a mom if you had your first baby earlier on? Mary Katherine: I say do it when you are ready because it changes your life. It’s a wonderful journey! We are all different. There isn’t a right way. Most of my friends had their children when they were very young. They now have kids in junior high and high school while I still have a two year old! My advice....only YOU know when you are ready. MP: If you could go back and tell yourself one thing when you started your parenting journey, what would that be? Mary Katherine: I would tell myself to slow down. Try and enjoy every single stage. We are always in a hurry because life is so busy. It can get stressful. Take time to slow down and enjoy the moment. MP: What piece of advice would you share with our readers who are new moms?

MP: You mentioned that even as a child you were active, athletic, and an outdoor enthusiast. Would you say that your parents influenced t;hese traits? In what ways?

Mary Katherine: I’d have to refer to number 6. Being a new mom is scary. We think we are going to mess up. Slow down. Enjoy every moment because life goes by so fast. Before you know it, that newborn will be seven years old!

Mary Katherine: I was very active as a child. I loved playing outdoors with my friends in the neighborhood. I also came to love tennis and ended up playing all through high school. I cheered and danced in grades 9-12 at Saint James School and I loved it. I give my parents all the credit!

Montgomery Parents I January 2018

Mary Katherine Skipworth is a mother of three (Aniston-7, Oliver-5, and Walker-2). She is the Group Exercise Director at Metro Fitness in Montgomery.


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Do you have a rising Kindergartener? See MA’s All-New

We are changing the way you preview The Montgomery Academy for the Kindergarten admissions process. We want you to be part of the conversation, not the audience. HERE’S HOW OUR NEW EXPERIENCE BENEFITS YOU:


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The Montgomery Academy admits students of any race, religion, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students of the school.

Montgomery Parents January 2018  
Montgomery Parents January 2018  

The 2018 Private School Issue is here! Plus, Mom to Mom, Kids Health, family calendar, and much more!!