January 23 Education Issue and Private School Guide

Page 18

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Alabama Christian Academy Students: Caden Donaldson (6th grade), son of Adam and Lindsey Donaldson, is actively involved in basketball, flag football, and in his youth group.

Jaide Newkirk (10th grade), daughter of Jeremi and Sherry Newkirk, plays volleyball and basketball, and is part of the Athletic Ambassadors.

Kaliyah Opoku (4th grade), daughter of William Opoku and Brittany Young, is involved in gymnastics, is an active member of Vaughn Park Church of Christ, and loves spending time with family.

Columns 12 Teacher of the Month 16 School Bits 74 Family Calendar 76 Mom to Mom
Editor’s Note
Say the
14 Montgomery Education Matters by
40 Elmore Education Matters by
48 Dinner’s Ready by
73 Teens, Tweens & Screens
On The Cover Volume 28 Number 2
DeAnne Watson Kids
Beth Long, PhD, LPC, BCBA
Superintendent Dr. Melvin Brown
Superintendent Richard Dennis
Kimberley Carter Spivey
by Kristi Bush, LSW
January 2023 50 Choosing a School A three-step approach to finding the right fit for your child. 63 College Admission: 101 What you don’t know, but need to, about the application process. 44 Private School Guide Details on local private schools to help you find the best fit. 70
Year’s Health Resolutions for making your health a priority in 2023.

Happy New Year! The holidays have come and gone, and so has half of another school year. With that, some of you may start thinking about options for your child’s education next year. Maybe you have a preschooler, and it’s time to decide where he will attend elementary school. Or, possibly, you have a child going into middle school and feel like it’s time for a change. Our Annual Education Issue and Private School Guide is here to help this month!

Though the reasons vary, many parents consider a private education for their kids at one time or another. We are blessed with many exceptional private schools in the River Region, but sorting through them and narrowing down your search can be challenging. Our 2023 Private School Directory will get you started with the details you need to eliminate some and put others on your shortlist. Next, make sure to plan a visit to those schools to get the authentic feel of the campus and determine if it’s a good fit for your child. Many schools advertising in this month’s issue are preparing for their annual open houses, so it’s the perfect time to go and see things up close for yourself. Also, Heidi Smith Luedtke’s feature, 3 Steps to Choosing the Best School for Your Child, will help you determine what matters most to your family before you start your search.

In keeping with our education theme, Charline Barger has contributed a helpful article for those of you with high school juniors and seniors. Applying to colleges can be daunting for students and parents, so check out College Admissions 101 to find out all you need to know about the college application process.

Finally, what January issue would be complete without touching on the new year and changes we hope to make healthwise? Pam Molnar’s feature, Make Your Health a Priority in 2023, discusses how to move towards a more fit body and mind this year, plus 7 Must-Have Apps for a Healthier 2023.

All of us at River Region Parents wish you a Happy New Year! We look forward to walking alongside you this year in your parenting journey.

River Region Parents Magazine is founded on the principle that parenting is an exciting, diverse, challenging, and significant role in our community.

River Region Parents Magazine is a community advocate for families and the parenting process.


Marty Watson (1950-2006)


DeAnne Watson

Charline Barger

Dr. Melvin Brown

Kristi Bush, LSW Richard Dennis

Beth Long, PhD, LPC, BCBA

Heidi Smith Luedtke Pam Molnar Kimberley Carter Spivey

Cover Photography

Judy Barranco www.judybarrancophotography.com Publisher Jason Watson jason@riverregionparents.com

(334) 213-7940 ext. 703 adservices@keepsharing.com or Text 334.328.5189

Scott Davis

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 6
editor@riverregionparents.com Research Editor Wendy McCollum
Contributing Writers
Advertising Department
Ad Design
Region Parents magazine is published monthly by KeepSharing LLC, P.O. Box 230367, Montgomery, Alabama, 36123. River Region Parents is copyrighted 2023 by KeepSharing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. opinions expressed in River Region 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.
Tim Welch River
Editor’sNote DeAnne

Come EXPERIENCE MORE at Macon East. We are a private college preparatory school, committed to providing students with a safe, nurturing environment that promotes academic achievement, patriotism, and belief in God through Christian values. We strive to make our school the best educational value in the Montgomery area when considering cost, quality of education, leadership opportunities, student life, and extracurricular activities. Thousands of families have trusted Macon East Academy and we hope your family will too!

Call Jill Taylor, Admissions Director, for a campus tour or come to our Open House in February.

7 www.facebook.com/RiverRegionParents
Financial aid is available, please contact the
MACON EAST ACADEMY 15396 Vaughn Road l Cecil, Alabama 36013
only 10 minutes from Chantilly Parkway, serving the Pike Road and surrounding communities Telephone: 334.277.6566 Web: maconeast.net
school office for more information.
Experience More! OPEN HOUSE THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2 5:30 - 7:00 pm
Macon East is MORE than a school. Learn MORE. Participate MORE. Become MORE.

Appreciating the Differences

One of the reasons I am so passionate about my job is that I want to help other parents not make all the mistakes I made. Unfortunately, one of my greatest blunders is that I did not embrace and appreciate the differences between my oldest child and me.

I am an extreme extrovert. I love being around people, listening to people, and watching people. I enjoy humans so much that I built a career around them. I have been genuinely interested in others for as long as I can remember. I have never been afraid of strangers. My parents never had to pay for Girl Scout Camp because I always sold more than enough cookies to go for free.

My oldest child is an extreme introvert. People and social gatherings have always exhausted him. When he was a toddler, he played for hours on his own. He never wastes time on small talk. He is now 21 and

has had the same best friend since he was 8 (even though we moved 15 hours away when he was 11).

Because I value people and relationships so much, I viewed his introversion and quietness as a problem. I feared he would never be successful because he would not be able to connect with others. I started to make expectations on the number of people he spoke with at church and school. I required him to schedule social outings with friends. I have no regrets about pushing him in areas that were uncomfortable for him, and he is very thankful that I did. What I do regret is not appreciating our differences and respecting him more.

As he matured into an adult, he recognized that he needed to learn to be comfortable around others. He became a barista, a tutor, and a leader in clubs at his college, and he forced himself into situations that helped him grow in areas that he began to recognize as shortcomings. My

oldest was the first person to teach me that we grow and learn when we feel supported, not when we are forced to do so. He also taught me that we all develop in our own time. What do I know now that I wish I had known then?

1. Move at their pace. My husband made our children shake hands with and thank every service member or police officer we saw in public. He modeled this for them, practiced this with them at home, and then always did it first to break the ice. It was very uncomfortable for our children, but they always followed his lead because he moved at their speed and skill level. Over their time in our home, they learned how to do this confidently, and by the time they were teenagers, they could shake hands with and talk to anyone.

2. Recognize the difference between a lack of skill and a personality preference. We all need to know how to talk to people, but we do not all need to talk to everyone everywhere.

Your number one goal as a parent should be to meet your children where they are and encourage necessary growth. All of us have unique gifts, talents, and purposes. When you are blind to those in your own children because of your biases, you limit their potential and harm your relationship.

Dr. Beth Long received her education in Counseling Psychology from Chapman University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Beth has worked in six unique clinical environments across the country and currently owns Works of Wonder Therapy in Montgomery. Beth utilizes the knowledge from a variety of different disciplines to give her patients the best care possible. To learn more visit www.worksofwondertherapy.com.

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 8


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of February 8, 2023. Pre-registration is required. Registration starts January 3rd and ends February 1st or when classes are full. There is a waitlist and classes will be filled in the order in which we were contacted. Thank you for your understanding and your interest!
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Shen Yun at MPAC

Wednesday, January 18 * 7:30 PM

Montgomery Performing Arts Center, 201 Tallapoosa Street, Montgomery Shen Yun presents the incredible art of classical Chinese dance with a blend of stunning costuming, hightech backdrops, and an orchestra like no other. Be prepared for a theatrical experience that will take your breath away! Call (334) 481-5100 or visit www.mpaconline.org.

Night to Shine

Friday, February 10

Wynlakes Golf and Country Club

Thorington Road Baptist Church is thrilled to partner with the Tim Tebow Foundation for Night to Shine 2023. We will enjoy great music, dancing, karaoke, food, and lots of other fun things! Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience centered on God’s love, for people with special needs, ages 14 and older. Visit www.trbaptist.org.

The Black Jacket Symphony presents Fleetwood Mac’s


Saturday, January 7 * 8 PM

Montgomery Performing Arts Cente36104 Get your tickets now to relive that moment with a live concert experience unlike any other as The Black Jacket Symphony recreates Fleetwood Mac’s iconic album Rumours live in its entirety—plus a full set of Fleetwood Mac’s greatest hits. (334) 481-5100 www.mpaconline.org

MMFA Youth Studio Class: Expression Through Color

Saturday, January 21 * 1 PM - 4 PM

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts

All 8-13 year-old artists are invited to join Tiiwon Siaway, a talented and energetic artist and educator, for a creative after noon in the MMFA’s studios. You will be exploring color theory and colored pencil techniques to create vibrant color and expressive works. All experience levels are welcome. Fee of $10 includes art supplies and snacks. Visit www.mmfa.org to register, space is limited.

Healthy Start 5K

Saturday, January 7 * 8 AM

Creek Walk 5K

Saturday, January 21 * 9 AM

Doster Center, Prattville, AL

Make plans to start 2023 off running! The Annual Cruising the Creekwalk 5K will take you through historical downtown Prattville.Cost is $30. Packet pickup and race day registration will be held at the Doster Memorial Community Center beginning at 7:30 am on January 8. Visit www.cruisingthecreekwalk. itsyourrace.com for more info.

ASF presents Jubilee

January 5 through January 29

Playwright and director Tazewell Thompson brings an innovative and heart-stirring score to life with this uplifting a cappella tribute inspired by real life. The bold, African American, world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers shattered racial barriers in the U.S. and abroad, entertaining kings and queens for more than 150 years. Recommend ages 12 and up. Visit www.asf.net.

Willis Bradford Branch YMCA, Prattville, AL

The Prattville Alumni Association of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. will be hosting their 4th Annual Healthy Start 5K Run/Walk. Set your own pace. Cost is $35. Registration/packet pick-up will be from 6:30 AM - 7:30 AM. Runners/Walkers will hit the pavement at 8:00 AM. Visit www.healthystart.itsyourrace.com/ event.aspx?id=15419.

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The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Alabama Shakespeare Festival

February 23 through March 12

Shakespeare’s final play is a story of adventure, magic, music, and forgiveness. Prospero has been exiled on an island with his daughter for more than a decade when he conjures a storm that crashes his enemies on the island in a violent shipwreck. What follows is a story that asks, “How do we forgive and move on after we have been harmed?” Rick Dildine directs, and ASF alumnus Greta Lambert stars as Prospero. Recommended for 13 and up. Visit asf.net for tickets.

Swan Lake

Friday, January 13 * 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Davis Theatre, 251 Montgomery Street

Swan Lake, the classic ballet presented by The State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine, will be presented at Troy’s historic Davis Theatre. Call (334) 241-9567 or visit www.troy.edu for tickets.

Bluey’s Big Play at BJCC

January 3 and January 4 * 6 PM

BJCC Legacy Arena, Birmingham, AL Don’t miss your chance to see Bluey, Bingo, Bandit and Chilli live in their first stage show—Bluey’s Big Play! Visit www.bjcc.org for tickets.

2023 Wetumpka Mardi Gras Festival

Saturday, February 18 * 9 AM

Gold Star Park in Wetumpka

The Order of Cimarron is hosting our 9th Annual Mardi Gras Celebration and Parade in downtown Wetumpka. Vendors open at 9 a.m. with the parade rolling at 1 p.m.

11 www.facebook.com/RiverRegionParents

Mike McCluskie

Churchill Academy

For the love of sports, Mike McCluskie played every sport in high school and plays competitive sports to this day. His passion for the games led him to become a PE teacher at Churchill Academy, where he also teaches Algebra.

Coach McCluskie shares, “We didn’t have a sport at the school, so we decided to check interest in track and field, and more than 20 kids were interested. That was three years ago, and we’ve had a track team ever since (minus the Covid year).” He also says that becoming an Algebra teacher was by accident. “Being a special education teacher in a public school, I was doing a lot of inclusive teaching in a regular education classroom. I was fortunate enough to be in the classrooms of two of the best Algebra teachers I’ve ever known. So I relearned the subject, and when the opportunity arose here at Churchill to teach it, I took it. I’ve taught it for four years now and love it.”

Mike McCluskie graduated from the University of South Alabama with a degree in Special Education K-12. His degree allows him

to wear many hats: parent, friend, counselor, and chauffeur, to name a few. Wearing all those hats has provided a chance to build great rapport with students, which enhances the learning process. He explains, “It’s not just a profession that stops in May when school is out. It’s a yearround job.”

In his classroom, Coach McCluskie likes to challenge his students and get their best results. In addition, he adds, “I like to keep them updated on options after they graduate from Churchill. I want kids to leave the school prepared for that next chapter in life, whether going to a four-year school, a technical school, or straight into the workforce.”

Coach McCluskie feels he will never officially retire but will find different avenues to use his ability to teach, whether tutoring or helping a neighbor’s kid struggling with algebra homework.

Mike has been married to Jennifer McCluskie for 30+ years. They live in Prattville and have three sons; Chris (30), Casey (28), and Kyle (26).

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MPS Enters 2023 With a Sense of Purpose and Resolve

A new year is here, and our school district has both hard work and exciting times ahead. We have had time during our winter break to sit and reflect on our achievements and the many hills we still have to climb. Now it is time to move forward at full speed as we continue our mission of continuous improvement for the benefit of our students.

We are launching several initiatives this year, including a full curriculum audit, a new Strategic Plan and the development of the Portrait of an MPS Graduate. The audit will help us sharpen our focus on the student data that actually allows us to create better outcomes for students. The audit, which we will commence in February, will inform

us on every piece of information that we’re using and every data source we use to glean that information. With the reformation of the district’s Strategic Plan, we will make crystal clear our short-term and long-term objectives and the path we will take to reach them. The Portrait of a Graduate will be a comprehensive look at the values and skills a graduate of MPS should possess.

The Strategic Plan process and the development of a Portrait of a Graduate will also present great opportunities to engage our community as we will collaboratively determine what each of these will look like.

The district was accepted into the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools in September of 2022, and our membership will allow us to network with superintendents and districts around the nation to gain insights into developing tools that will raise classroom learning to a new level. Many parents will be interested to know that the application period for MPS magnet schools begins January 4 and will continue through the end of the month. I encourage every family that has an interest

in magnet programs to apply at the district website. Applications are open to all, and there is information about applying available on the website.

Ultimately, our goal is for every school throughout the district to offer a variety of programs that engage our students and help them find their unique skills and talents. This will include selections such as art, music, advanced courses, career technical education and dual enrollment so that students can explore their artistic potential and their future professions.

The work ahead will not be easy, but we will tackle it with enthusiasm. No one ever accomplishes great things by staying in their comfort zone, and we will not reach the heights we seek unless we set our standards high.

Melvin J. Brown, Ed.D., is the superintendent of Montgomery Public Schools and previously served as superintendent of Reynoldsburg City Schools in Ohio. He has 24 years of school administrative experience.

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 14
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Montgomery County Schools

Macon East Academy Students Compete in Spelling Bee

Lane Wallace (4th), Jaziyah Torbert (5th), Sophie Clark (6th, Kam Ackron (7th) and Gavin Spencer (8th) recently represented their grades in the AISA District Spelling Bee competition. Alternates who attended in support of their classmates were: Glenn Browder (4th),

ECA Student’s Business is Buzzing

Most elementary students only dream of growing up, owning their own business, and helping their community. However, for Zuri Yu, her dream is already a reality. Zuri, also called Zizi, and her father, Sam Yu, are partners in Zizi’s Bee Company LLC. Sam developed an interest in bees a few years ago. He shared his passion with his daughter and Zizi’s Bee Company was born. The company’s logo was modeled after Zuri. The company harvests local honey from its hives located in Montgomery, Al. Zuri helps her father take care of the bees and even has her own bee keeper’s outfit. Her father is very cautious and Zuri has never been stung. ZiZi’s Bees also focuses on helping the community. Zizi’s Bees partners with Help a Brother Out Foundation which helps feed poverty stricken areas in Montgomery, Alabama. Zizi’s Bees encourages communities to turn vacant lots into honeybee colonies and beautiful pollinated gardens. The fruits and vegetables produced are given to the elderly and the community. Zizi’s Bee Company sells honey and honey related products and also specializes in bee removal services. Some of the products include various size jars of raw honey, snack sized honey straws, cinnamon creamed honey, and beeswax melts. You can find Zizi’s Bee products in Montgomery at Renfroes’s on Atlanta Highway, IKARE Pharmacy, and Food Outlet in Eastbrook. They also sell products at Sweet Creek Farm Market in Pike Road and Beulah Mae’s Sothern Kitchen in Alabaster.

Eastwood Christian School Junior Players Presented Cinderella

The Eastwood Christian School Junior Players performed their 2nd annual Winter Musical. The cast, composed of students from the 2nd-7th grades, brought Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella to the Eastwood stage. This was a magical beginning to the 2022-2023 theater season at Eastwood. The Upper School (6th-12th grades) Eastwood Players look forward to performing Beauty and the Beast this coming March.

Trinity Hosts Christmas on the Boulevard

Christmas on the Boulevard at Trinity School featured something for everyone with food, fun, fellowship, shopping, and performances. Christmas snow globes were a big hit with these two cuties!

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 16
University of Kentucky Visits ACA ACA welcome University of Kentucky coaches to campus to check in on a couple student athletes they have been recruiting. It was nice having Coach Stoops and his staff on campus and being able to visit with them. We are excited about the opportunities these student athletes are receiving and cannot wait to see where this leads them in the future!

championship game with his record-setting performance. His 93-yard touchdown pass to senior Ethan Beard during the championship game was the longest touchdown pass in school history. KJ had 42 touchdown passes in 2022 which added to his 87 career touchdown passes – both set new school records.

Jackson had several teammates who scored during the championship win. Seniors Ethan Beard and Cosner Harrison , along with juniors Ziggy Holloway and Clint Houser were all instrumental in helping get the ball across the goal line. After the game, Jimmy Perry said, “It only took me 43 years to get a championship! I’ve been blessed and it’s been a great journey with this program. This moment was the sweetest of them all.” Photo by Preston Phillips.

MA’s Evie Townsend Recognized for Artwork

Montgomery Academy fourth grader Evie Townsend was recently recognized for a whimsical piece of art she created, making her work the official holiday card for the Montgomery Humane Society. Mary Hughes from the Humane Society presented Evie with her award, along with $100 for winning top prize in this year’s contest!

Send Your School News to: editor@riverregionparents.com.

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Montgomery County Schools

TEA Enhances Learning Through Therapeutic Behavioral Counseling

TEA Christian Academy, Inc. begins and ends each 9-weeks of school by taking a preventative approach with their school’s Thera peutic Behavioral Counselors who provides the staff with Professional Development training on theory, and evidence based strategies in an effort to help students succeed in the classroom, and with their peers. According to Dr. Mariel Moore, who specializes in Therapeutic Behavioral Counseling, she indicated according to research, numerous studies have suggested that success in school is related to students’ degree of emotional adjustment (Cybele, 2003; Dang, 2008). Many students have a hard time adjusting depending on various environments, classroom sizes, surroundings as well as expectations. Additionally, negative relationships also play a factor between classroom management efficacy, beliefs and irrational beliefs central to authoritarian attitudes toward students can come off as demanding or aggressive, and in return can result in conflicts.

It is without a doubt, the Professional Development training Dr. Moore has provided our students, and staff with is an evidence-based approach which has enhanced our teachers’ performance, and is continuing to foster positive teacher-student relationships, and is enhancing our student academic success. Dr. Moore, we are blessed to have you on our TEAM.

Montgomery Catholic


Perform in the Nutcracker

Congratulations to Montgomery Catholic students, Frances Ann Rogers (8th grade), Cate Noell (6th grade), Mo Drescher (6th grade), Isabella Acosta Iruegas (3rd grade) and Ava Ike (3rd grade) on their beautiful performances at the Alabama River Region Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker

The Joy of Christmas at Trinity School

Trinity Kindergarten students perform The Joy of Christmas play to parents, students and faculty. This is a highlight of the Christmas season at Trinity School.

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 18

ACA Lower School Collects Toys for Family Promise of Montgomery

Lower school kids gave Christmas toys for children who shelter with Family Promise of Montgomery, a program for homeless families with children. Jayme Teague, the director of Family Promise came to ACA Friday December 5 t vb o speak to the students about the program and we presented her with many, many toys for the children. This project aligned with our 4th graders literature study of the book, The Family Under the Bridge. It is a story of a homeless family and the struggles they encounter at Christmas.

BrewTech Medical Academy Students Have Been Busy

Students in Brewbaker Technology Magnet High’s Medical Academy had a busy semester. Seniors have been working at medical facilities in the area as a part of their Health Science Internships. Many of them also attended the Joint Leadership Development Conference and met U.S. Olympian Dee Dee Trotter. They celebrated National HOSA Week and kicked off the festivities by participating in spirit dress days, then ended the week by presenting donations to the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless.

MPS Third Grader Wins Essay Contest, Displays Selflessness

MPS third grader, Tereko Moore, recently won the Rotary Club’s “Service Above Self” Essay contest. He had the top essay out of all MPS third graders and was awarded $50 for the achievement at a recent Rotary Club luncheon. His class also received $250 and a pizza party.

Tereko’s grandfather and step-grandmother live in the Flatwood community and their home sustained quite a bit of damage from the tornado. When Tereko found out he won, he said he wanted to donate his prize money to the Flatwood community. The Rotary Club decided to make a sizeable donation to the Flatwood community in Tereko’s honor for his selflessness. Commissioner Isaiah Sankey, who represents the Flatwood community, was invited to be in attendance to receive the donation from Tereko and the Rotary Club on behalf of the Flatwood community.

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Country Christmas. We had over 50 kindergarteners through 12th grade participate and had several faculty, staff and parents participate in it. They performed your traditional Christmas songs and had several solos, group performances, and stand-up acts. We are so lucky to have such talent at ACA and so many people willing to support our students, faculty, and staff.

Montgomery County Schools

Young Scientists at MA Study Chemical Reactions and Energy

Montgomery Academy eighth grade scientists in Mrs. Stefos’s chemistry class recently started a new unit learning concepts related to chemical reactions and energy. For this particular experiment and observation, students asked questions that arose from careful observation of a flameless heater in an MRE (meal ready to eat),

identifying design flaws and brainstorming ideas to design a solution for a flameless heater that heats food through a chemical process that transfers energy... but first, they needed to try out the MREs themselves! Student reactions to the final food products predictably varied wildly!

Send Your School News by the 12th of each month to: editor@riverregionparents.com.

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 20

Saint James Students Participate at YMCA Judicial State Competition

During the weekend of November 4-6, sixteen Saint James School students participated in the 2022 Fall YMCA Judicial State Competition. Two teams of students participated as a part of the competition. Saint James seniors Brooke Bender and Anna Dickey served as jus tices for the event. Sean Duong served as Deputy and as Bailiff. The students received their case in late September/early October, then studied and practiced in order to compete against approximately 50 other

over the state. They participated in four trials (as Prosecution or Defense in three trials and as a jury in one trial). The Saint James teams won several of their cases. Special recognition went to GeorgeAnn Killough

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Montgomery County Schools

Saint James Elementary Students Collect Goods for MACOA’s Meal On Wheels

During the month of November, the Saint James Elementary School collected items for the annual holiday community service project. This yearly event is geared to show younger students the value of giving back to the community. This year the students brought in and collected requested items for a food drive benefiting Montgomery Area Council on Aging (MACOA). MACOA requested Instant oatmeal, instant grits, and hot chocolate Students in grades K5-5th also decorated bags in counseling class that the food will be delivered to homes in. Lessons centered around giving to others and gratitude.

Students in K3-5th grade collected boxes full of food.

Fifth grade students helped load the Meals on Wheels van.

These items are packed in the grocery bags that the students decorated and will be given to senior citizens in their program over the week of Christmas to ensure that they have plenty to eat. Saint James School is so honored to work with MACOA as a part of its commitment to community service.

Dalraida QUEST Students Win ALFA Poster Contest

Mrs. Trussell’s QUEST students from Dalraida Elementary School had several winners in the ALFA Farm-City Poster Contest. The theme for this year’s poster contest was, “Sustaining For The Future.”

They all won for the school level and county level! Way to go to all of these Amazing students!

Pictured are: Left to Right (Front Row- Melody Jackson, Leah Napier, Kassidy Milledge, Alexis Smith and Jeannie Smith) (Back Row- Mrs. Misty Trussell (Dalraida QUEST teacher), Antonio Webster, Carina Ocampo, Iris Escobar, Margot Perez, Liliyana Causey, Joycelan Bailey, Natalie Martinez and Dr. Bryan Cutter (Principal at Dalraida Elementary School)

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 22

ECA Student Performs the Lead Role in the Nutcracker

Sarah Paterson senior at Evangel Chris tian Academy, recently had the honor of per forming the lead role of The Sugarplum Fairy in two performances of the Alabama River Region Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. I addi tion to the leading role,

Sarah also performed the principal role of Dew Drop during the other two performances. Sarah is part of Alabama River Region Ballet’s Senior Youth Company and has been dancing for 14 years. Over the years, she has also performed other leading roles such as Clara in The Nutcracker and Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty.

TEA’s Holiday Program

TEA Christian Academy, Inc. held its year-end holiday program. It was a time to celebrate the Reason for the Season, as well as the end of the second 9-weeks grading period. The students, on-campus and virtual, did an amazing job singing several holiday classics and performing a skit, Tree Ornaments, written by their Performing Arts teacher, Mrs. Bonnie Robinson. TEA’s newest staff member, music teacher Daniel Barlow, did an outstanding job leading and directing the choir. The students have wholeheartedly welcomed his instruction, motivation, and encouragement. TEA looks forward to a great remainder of the 2022-2023 school term.

Bear Artists Have Display at MMFA

Artists in Mary Bonikowski’s art class at Bear Exploration Center had their art chosen to be on display at the Montgomery Museum Fine Arts Artworks Corridor Exhibit. The art was inspired by installation artists Jamele

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Wright, Jr. and Lillian Blades. Students were excited to meet both artists at a special reception. The art will be on display through January.

Montgomery County Schools

Montgomery Christian Alumni Christmas Cookie Event

On December 8th, Montgomery Christian School welcomed over 25 Alumni back for the first ever Christmas Cookie decorating party.

teachers and administrators. As students

MCS building on McGehee, fives, and hugs were given as so many were thrilled to see one another again. Many of the MCS alumni attend local private or magnet schools, so gatherings such as this are key to continue the community built so well during their elementary days at MCS. The next event is scheduled for February 23, 2023. MCS alumni, if we do not have your updated contact information, please give us a call at 334.386.1749.

Cornerstone Classical Students Perform at Annual Evening of Excellence

Cornerstone Logic & Rhetoric students awed an audience of faculty, staff, parents, friends, and family Thursday, November 17 during the school’s annual Evening of Excellence. Displaying the student’s labor and talents and the school’s classical and Christ-centered mission, a trio of young men showcased their musical talents, Logic school students recited portions of Horatius at the Bridge, Juniors and Seniors recited the entirety of the Sermon on the Mount, and 9th and 10th graders dramatically recited selections from Augustine’s City of God, Shakespeare’s Henry V, and Dante’s Divine Comedy. The evening began with a presentation of Cornerstone’s new Strategic Plan by Head of School John Bradley and culminated with a Logic & Rhetoric School Chorus performance, fellowship dinner, and annual dessert auction benefiting the Cornerstone Annual Fund.

River Region Parents I January 2023 24

MA Senior Receives Premier Distinction in NSDA

Montgomery Academy senior Charlie Hill has received Premier Distinction, the highest degree in the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) Honor Society. Fewer than 3% of NSDA members earn Premier Distinction prior to graduation. This milestone is a celebration of the hundreds of hours Charlie has spent preparing, practicing, and competing to hone his communication and leadership skills. Congratulations to Charlie on this accomplishment!

Grand Story Hour at Trinity School

Trinity School had the BEST time at the Grand Story Hour! Our guests made gingerbread houses, heard a story from Ms. Hastey, and Santa joined in on the fun!

Wildlife Educator Visits Macon East Academy

Macon East Academy hosted wildlife educator, Vicky Smith, for her “Batty About Bats” presentation for grades PreK-6th grade. The students enjoyed meeting her live bat friends and learning all about how important bats are plus many interesting facts about them.

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Montgomery County Schools

Eight MPS High Schools Take Part in Robotics Competition

All eight MPS high schools took part in the first Hyundai Initiative for Robotics Excellence (H.I.R.E.) High School Robotics Competition. The district’s partnership with Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama and Auburn University’s Southeastern Center of Robotics Education (S.C.O.R.E.) made this competition possible. In January 2022, Hyundai gave MPS a $78,800 grant to expand robotics to every high school in the district.

Educators from S.C.O.R.E. provided training for MPS teachers to implement robotics programs at each school. “This partnership with Hyundai and Auburn University provides enormous benefits for our students. Through robotics, they are learning about everything from coding and engineering to teamwork and leadership. I can’t wait to see students put that learning into action,” said Dr. Melvin J. Brown, superintendent of Montgomery Public Schools. Brewbaker Technology Magnet High teams won both Tournament Champion Awards and the Judges Award, a Park Crossing High team won the Excellence Award, and a Booker T. Washington Magnet High team won the Design Award.

Trinity 5th Grade Choral and Band Concert

5th graders at Trinity School held a choral and band concert for parents and students, including a special visit from their kindergarten buddies. It was a fun assembly

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 26

Cornerstone Announces 2-Day Program for 2023

To disciple more children for Christ and to fulfill parents’ desire to be involved in their children’s education, Cornerstone Classical Christian Academy announces the launch of a new 2-day-a-week collaborative program to start in Fall 2023. Students enrolled in the new collaborative model will receive instruction in all courses while on campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays. At least one parent will deliver the balance of the required classroom hours at home. In this way, the family that desires to have their children at home more will not have to partner with multiple organizations to construct an education for their child. Students who enroll in Cornerstone’s collaborative program will be Cornerstone students. Cornerstone will provide report cards, transcripts, and diplomas to those who meet graduation requirements. Students can participate in athletics, House activities, school field trips, fine arts classes, and our drama and performing arts classes. Cornerstone partners with parents to prioritize faith, character formation, and educational growth. Grades with collaborative options for 2023-2024 include grades 3K-4K and 7-12.

Cornerstone will offer a collaborative option in grades K-6 with sufficient interest. Cornerstone will continue to offer its classical and Christ-centered education 5 days a week for grades 3K-12.

Cornerstone will host monthly informational sessions regarding the new collaborative model on January 5 at 7:30 am, January 12 at 12:00 pm, January 19 at 3:00 pm, and January 27 at 7:30 am. Cornerstone is located at 125 Calhoun Rd in Morningview Baptist Church. To register for an informational session or receive more information, contact the school at info@ccamontgomery. org, at (334) 356-7788, or visit our website at www.ccamontgomery.org.

Cornerstone has also announced that it will begin offering a 5-day-a-week and 2-day-aweek 3K program beginning August 2023. Designed to instill a love of learning, a sense of wonder at God’s creation, and to begin critical habit training, Cornerstone’s 3K program will offer parents of the River Region a unique approach to early childhood education.

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Encouraging each child to achieve their God-given potential GOD HAS A PLAN AND A PURPOSE FOR ME Evangel Christian Academy “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord... Jeremiah 29:11 Accredited: ACTS, AISA, SACS, Advanced ED, NCPSA 3975 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL 36106 ecalions.org 334-272-3882
AISA Blue Ribbon School

Montgomery County Schools

Sibling Team from Forest Avenue and Baldwin Win Robotics Award

Forest Avenue Academic Magnet students Johanna and Elijah Yang and Baldwin Middle Magnet student Abraham Yang participated in their second VEX IQ tournament at Bumpus Middle School in Hoover. This sibling team, called Penguin Robotics, pictured at left, won the Teamwork Champion Award and qualified for the Alabama State Championship in 2023. They are currently ranked second among the 111 teams in Alabama whose scores are officially recorded!

ACA’s Giving Back Around the Community

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 28

‘Twas the Night Performance at Trinity

Trinity School Arts Department put on a spectacular performance of ‘Twas the Night to a packed house at the MPAC in December. The Fine Arts Department at Trinity is unique in that it includes Dance, Band, Choir, Show Choir and Visual Arts. Trinity is the only independent school in the River

Figure Drawing at MA

Local artist Milton Madison led The Montgomery Academy Upper School’s Contemporary Drawing and AP Studio classes in figure drawing exercises. Mr. Madison first demonstrated how to capture a foundational likeness by sketching quickly & loosely while observing the whole form of the subject, and then leading students in timed drawing exercises, observing and rendering figures from live models--thanks to freshman Miila Chapman and Ms. Bocquin! Mr. Madison is originally from Birmingham and has resided in the River Region area since graduating from Alabama State University with his BA in graphic design. In addition to his work creating vibrant, contemporary portraits, he is also known locally for his public art, having completed and contributed to several murals around and in downtown

Dalraida Student Wins Picture Contest

Dalraida Elementary School 5th QUEST student Carina Ocampo (Mrs. Trussell’s 5th grade QUEST class) was chosen as a winner in the Montgomery Humane Society’s “Howl-i-day” picture contest. The theme for her picture was how a pet finds their forever loving family when adopted. We are so proud of her!


Montgomery County Schools

Macon East Mother’s Day Out Christmas Fun

Macon East’s Mother’s Day Out students counted down the days until Christmas and were busy with many Christmas activities. From reviewing our academic skills using Christmas themes to making ornaments and surprises for our families, the classroom was buzzing. They also learned that giving is just as important as receiving. The students collected can goods for the Dixie Electric Food Drive and donated toys for the Heart to Heart Foster Care Ministry. They took their first off-campus field trip to Choctafaula Farms where they participated in Christmas games, took a trail ride to see camels, goats, horses, cows, wildebeests, ostriches, and zebras, and topped off the day with a visit from Santa.

BTW Students, Teachers Bring Back ‘Washingtonian’ Magazine

A storied tradition has returned to Booker T. Washington Magnet High with the resurrection of the student-created magazine “The Washingtonian.” Young authors, storytellers and journalists worked together to create the first edition of ‘The Washingtonian’ since the early 2000s. Creative Writing magnet instructor Ken Spear teamed up with the Visual Arts and Photography magnet instructors, Mark Dauber and Virginia Olson, to help guide the project.

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 30
ARTWORKS INTERACTIVE GALLERY Now reopened—ArtWorks is an engaging gallery for all ages, where visitors can connect with art through interactive elements or enjoy the spaces set aside for quiet reading and imaginative play! Learn more and plan your visit at mmfa.org. Blount
Muesum Drive
AL 36117
Cultural Park One

TEA Arts & Craft Student of The Month

Lamine Sougou is an eighth-grade student at T.E.A. Christian Academy, Inc. Lamine is the Arts and Craft student of the month, he is a great student; with a quiet spirit- he is kind and loving. His love for drawing is why he enrolled in the Arts and Craft class; his drawings often depict how he feels. Lamine enjoys the process of creating his art and loves to see what he can make from just a blank canvas.

We are so proud of you, Lamine!

Joy to Life Receives Donation

Montgomery Christian Invited to Christmas Tree Lighting

Montgomery Christian School was invited to participate in Montgomery’s Capitol Christmas Tree lighting event. Governor Ivey honored us by asking three of our students to help her light the Christmas tree. Throughout the evening, the students were in awe of the beautiful music, the wonderful decorations, and, of course, the beautiful Christmas tree! It was an honor for Montgomery Christian to participate in this long standing tradition.

Montgomery Christian School’s purpose is like no other in Montgomery. It is an elementary, nonprofit (501c3) where every student receives a scholarship in order to experience a quality private Christian education. We believe rigorous curriculum, dedicated educators, involved parents, and Biblical worldview are vital to the success of our students.

Montgomery Christian School admits students of any race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship programs, and other

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from Trinity Margaret Roby (SGA Missions chair) and Lallie Rogers from Trinity Presbyterian School

Montgomery County Schools

ACA Second Graders Give Back

The ACA 2nd graders host a Pajama Drive each year during the month of December. These pajamas are donated to the Family Sunshine Center. This year we collected 48 pairs of pajamas. Our students are learning the importance of serving others by providing

In order to be truly helpful to you, healthcare has to be convenient and accessible. That’s why, at Jackson Hospital and Clinic, we offer services designed around your life. Like one-number scheduling for all of our primary care offices, telehealth appointments and JacksonCONNECT, which lets you access your health history, test results and much more anytime. Plus, as we continue to add more primary care locations, getting the care you need will just keep getting easier. YOUR HOME FOR HEALTH

for patient care that requires less patience.

Pike Road Intermediate Chess Team Champions

Congratulations to our chess team who are the 2022 River Region Team Chess Middle School Champions. Keep up the great work!



of the Year

And Pike Road Intermediate School’s 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year is Mr. John David Phillips! We are so proud of you, Mr. Phillips and how much you have positively impacted your learners and our school as a whole. Keep up the great work!

PRIS C6 Band Students Perform Christmas Concert

Congratulations to our C6 band students on a concert well played last night. We are so proud of you and the incredible progress you’ve made this year!

Send Your News to: editor@ riverregionparents.com.

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 34

Macon East Fourth Graders Enjoy Field Trip

Ms. Johnson’s fourth grade class enjoyed an educational field trip this past Friday that goes along with their study of Alabama State History. The students were able to tour Alabama’s historic Capitol. They were able to view the beautiful rotunda, the spiral staircase, the Avenue of Flags, and the portraits of the former governors. The students also enjoyed touring The First White House of the Confederacy and The Alabama Department of Archives and History. Their special treat added to an already fun-filled day was eating lunch at Chris’ Famous Hot Dogs. Special thanks to Mrs. Custard and her daughter for taking time to guide us and give their expertise at all these historic places.

Macon East Students Participate in AISA All-Star Football

Eight Macon East student-athletes were honored to participate in the 2022 AISA All-Star Football game held December 2 at Cramton Bowl. Deonte Powell, Sanders Manning, Gabe Spencer and Hunter Tillman all represented Macon East for the East team. Gabe Spencer was honored as Most Outstanding Offensive Back for the East team. Madison May, Ar’monni Payne, Hannah Kate Hodges and Mikalah Belser cheered the East team on from the sidelines as part of the all-star cheerleading squad. The participants enjoyed a few days of practice with their fellow AISA teammates. The East team beat the West team this year 36-22.

Pike Road High School Leo Club Collects Chrismtas Toys for Kids

Our Leo club did a great job collecting toys to help make Christmas merry and bright for lots of children!

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Autauga County Schools

Prattville Christian Cheer Team Earns Bid to Nationals

PCA’s competition cheer team is the 2022 Space Center Regional Champions after a stunning performance, earning them a bid to the National High School Cheerleading Championships in Orlando later this school year!

Pine Level Elementary Study Space

Mrs. Shavers’ and Ms. King’s 4th Grade classes at PLES worked in groups to research 7 different astronauts. Each group was responsible for researching an astronaut, creating a Google Slides presentation, and presenting it to their class. They also enjoyed watching the video of the launch of Artemis 1-Orion to the moon and learning about NASA’s new initiative. This was a concluding activity for their Reading Unit on Science and Space.

Hannah Jones of PCA Signs Letter of Intent

PCA proudly announces that volleyball with the University of Mem phis in Memphis, Tennessee. Fol lowing the school’s first state volleyball championship title, of which she was an integral part of, she continues to blaze new trails as the program’s first student-athlete to commit to an NCAA Division I institution to further her pas

“Hannah has been such an important part of our program for the past six years, helping the program to grow and compete at the highest level,” said Coach Cantrell. ”The time and effort she put into her play, this program, and her team is appreciated more than she will ever know! She definitely leaves a legacy on campus, and we are excited for her as she starts this next journey. We know she will continue to do big things at Memphis!”

PIS Hosts Winter Wonderland Evening

On Friday, December 9th, Prattville Intermediate School hosted a festive Winter Wonderland evening of memorable sing-alongs, special guests, and Christmas cheer for students and their families.

PCA Students Perform in “A Seussified Christmas Carol”

Maggie Kervin ‘24 and Ty Yost ‘26 brough the most beloved Christmas tale to life on Prattville’s Way Off Broadway Theatre stage. The sold-out “A Seussified Christmas Carol” is a whimsical reinvention of Dickens’ timeless story in wacky rhymed couplets.

Bottle Buddies at Prattville Elementary

Students in Ms. K. Ferguson & J. Grotlisch’s fourth grade classes at Prattville Elementary School researched, wrote, and created a “bottle buddy” to introduce their science inventor “bottle buddy” inventor to their classmates.

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 36

PCA’s Patrick Litz Signs Letter of Intent with Huntingdon

Prattville Christian Academy is proud to announce that Panther senior, signed a Letter of Intent to play baseball with Huntingdon College, a local NCAA Division III program. Litz is a three-year starter for the Panthers with an average ERA of less than 2.00 – recording a 1.74 earned run average during his junior season last year. He was an integral part of the team’s success last year, defeating

Billingsley Attends Leadership Conference

Billingsley School FBLA students attended the Alabama Joint Leadership Conference in Mobile, AL.LDC provides leadership development for CTSO students. The goal of JLDC is to build


Autauga County Schools

Prattville Intermediate and Elementary Choirs Sing at Montgomery Zoo

The Prattville Intermediate School Cougar Choir and Prattville Elementary School Bobcat Choir weren’t monkeying around with their fun and festive Christmas Concert at the Montgomery Zoo on Wednesday, December 7th.

Jr. Beth Club


at PIS

Please Subscribe today to The Unfolding Story Podcast! This daily podcast will accompany the reading plan.

School News


River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 38
to: editor@ riverregionparents.com by the 15th of the
Prattville Intermediate School is so proud of our 38 5th Graders and 46 6th graders that were officially inducted into Jr. Beta Club on Friday, December 9th. Congratulations to our students who have worked hard, served their community, and maintained all As for this great honor! TheUnfoldingStory One Book. One Story. One Year. Journey with us chronologically through the Bible in 2023! fbcprattville.org

Pine Level Fourth Graders Study Electricity

Ms. King’s 4th grade class at Pine Level Elementary School just completed a science unit on electricity. We learned about different types of electrical circuits, energy sources, conductors/insulators, etc. Pictured above is a group of students that successfully created a circuit in order to turn on a lightbulb! Some students even figured out how to use their energy source and wires to create audible

Helping navigate the mental health system for teens and children.

Services are FREE and confidential. Services provided by phone are not medical advice and should not be considered as such.



Williams Signs to Faulkner Softball

Prattville Christian Academy proudly announces that Sarah Williams, one of the team’s three seniors, signed a Letter of Intent to continue her softball career collegiately with Faulkner University. Williams, the Lady Panthers’ catcher, is a silent giant on the field. While she doesn’t talk much or rarely raises her voice, her stats and accolades speak loudly about her athletic gift and leadership abilities. Sarah is one of the most decorated student-athletes on campus, earning three state championship titles since 2018. As just a seventh grader starting on the varsity roster, she was critical in turning a 5-1 game against Gordo High School around giving the team the opportunity to advance in the 3A State Tournament, ultimately winning it all to capture PCA’s first state championship after joining the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

Services are provided via telephone by licensed mental health professionals who recommend the most appropriate mental health resources.

PIRC is available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

PIRC is NOT a crisis or suicide hotline. Call for mental health resources.

The PIRC is generously supported by funding from the Anne B. LaRussa Foundation of Hope, United Way of Central

(7472) 205- 638

Many of us can still recall that teacher from our childhood that made a difference in our lives.

Teachers “back then” often spent their entire careers in the classroom teaching children. Sometimes they retired after 30 or more years of service, having spent their entire career in the same classroom at the same school. There was generally little turnover; however, in the event a principal needed to fill a position, properly certified candidates were readily available, and the interview process was very competitive.

Fast forward to 2022-2023, and it is easy to see how drastically things have changed in public education. “Teacher shortage” is a frequent and recurring topic among district and school administrators, teacher education programs at colleges and universities, and the Alabama Department of Education.

Of the 144 city and county school systems in Alabama, the majority have been forced to hire teachers on emergency or provisional certificates, which indicates teacher shortages across the state. Elmore County currently has 30 teachers on emergency or provisional certificates, meaning they did not graduate from a teacher education program at a college or university and are pursuing certification via an alternative route.

Recruiting and retaining teachers is a priority across the state. Classroom teachers are the single most influential people in a child’s education. Their impact on students cannot be overstated, and we know how critically important it is to place the best, most qualified teachers in every classroom. One step we have taken in Elmore County is the establishment of a Teacher Task Force, which began meeting periodically throughout the school year in October 2021. The goal of the Teacher Task Force is to gather information to help us address the needs and concerns of classroom teachers as well as identify what steps we can take to help us increase their re-

tention. We have already implemented some of their suggestions and recommendations, and we look forward to their ongoing positive impact as they continue to explore ways to retain quality teachers.

If you or someone you know is contemplating a career change or you desire to work in a position where you can make a lasting impact in the lives of children, I urge you to consider the teaching profession. There are several ways to achieve teacher certification, and our Human Resources Department can provide you with that information. Please visit our website, www.elmoreco.com, or call us at (334) 567-1200.

Our great teachers help us fulfill our purpose, day in and day out: Every Student Empowered – Every Student Succeeds.

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.

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 40

Elmore County Schools

Edge Virtual Students Celebrated for Reaching IXL Goals

We had a BLAST celebrating our Edge Virtual School K-6th stu-

Redland Middle Spelling Bee Winners

Congratulations to our 2022 Spelling Bee winner, 6th grader, Kristen! We’re very proud of all participants! We’d like to say a special thank ing and also to Mrs. Boone and Mrs. Powell-Williams for all their hard

ECTC Hospitality Students Study Cooking

Hospitality and Tourism students have been learning about reading recipe, selecting correct ingredients, and making the correct measurements to make pizza. Their final project results were delicious treats for the class to enjoy.

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Elmore County Schools

Redland Elementary Choir Sings for


The RES Choir went on a field trip to Crowne Nursing Home to spread Christmas cheer with the residents! They had so much fun performing their Christmas program, and all of the residents loved it. Christmas with RES is the best!

Successful Food Drive at ECTC

The Teaching & Training and Hospitality & Tourism programs at ECTC held an FCCLA Canned Food Drive for the Elmore County Food Pantry.

River Region Parents I January 2023

EDGE Teacher Shelby Howe Named Secondary Teacher of the Year

Elmore County has named Shelby Howe the Secondary Teacher of the Year for Elmore County. Shel by Howe is the 7th-12th grade History teacher at the EDGE Virtual School in Elmore County. She has fourteen years of experience teaching both English and History at the secondary level. Mrs. Howe was a double major at Samford University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Arts in English. She also holds a master’s degree in Secondary English Education from Auburn University. She is certified to teach Advanced Placement U.S. History, Advanced Placement Language, and Advanced Placement Literature and scores for the AP U.S. History exam every summer. Mrs. Howe especially enjoys educating others about the unique opportunities EDGE Virtual School has to offer.

ECTC Teacher of the Year

The Elmore County Technical Center’s 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year is Building Construction instructor Michael Miller. He is pictured (center) with Elmore County

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River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 44

As a parent, I knew of the many milestones my children would face, from learning

Honors/AP/IB Courses: Colleges love to see students who challenge themselves,


takes up one of the ten lines on the Common

: Share the effects each school; research and use observations

45 www.facebook.com/RiverRegionParents

Time to Shine: Below average stats? Numbers do not give a full picture; personality, perseverance, and passion come through here.

Make it Personal: Lower GPA due to medical conditions or difficulties at home? Low scores because of anxiety? Schools know each student’s experience is unique; they will pay attention, so be sure to share.

The Cost of Applying

Test Registration: $55-60 for each attempt

Test Prep: Online $100-$2,800, in-person $800-$3,600, private tutors $1,600-$8,000.

Tips: Watch for free testing days at your child’s school. See if you qualify for a fee waiver. A book and index cards are not to be frowned upon! Search for free online resources (see below).

Application Costs: Average fee is $50, up to $100. Tips: Request fee waivers on the application or through the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). Watch for schools without fees and free registration weeks. Start filling out an application and wait; you may receive a fee waiver by email!

The Waiting Game

How long until we find out? Anywhere from days to months, the average wait time for roll-

ing admissions is 4-6 weeks. Look for early action/decision deadlines to speed up the process (usually early Nov. or Dec.)

Don’t worry!

If your child doesn’t have top credentials, don’t be discouraged. There is a school for everyone, and a college’s average GPA is just that, an average. Utilize the school’s counselor for resources and advice. Speak with admissions officers in person if possible. Some will tell you activities aren’t as important to them as grades; some value the essay above all else. If your student isn’t aiming for a top-tier school, they don’t necessarily need to apply to several. Submit early, so there is time to apply to more if needed, but one may be enough if your child knows what they want and are aware of a college’s expectations.

Once your student has clicked that submit button, sit back, attempt to relax, and know you have done your job. Your not-solittle kiddo will reach that milestone and soon be ready to face the next one on their own.


Admissions Calculator/School Rankings: www.usnews.com

www.niche.com www.prepscholar.com(plus test prep, application experts)

GPA Calculator: https://gpacalculator.net/

Free/Inexpensive Test Prep: www.khanacademy.com www.act.org www.ixl.com

Charline Barger is a freelance writer who teaches high school English and Creative Writing. She also

River Region Parents I January 2023 46
47 www.facebook.com/RiverRegionParents

Happy New Year!

School is back in session from the holidays, and parents are resuming taking kids to and from activities, so schedules are hectic and time is limited. So after a long day, it’s nice to have quick and easy meals for your family.

Kori Chin, a local mom, shares one of her family’s favorite recipes. She’s married to Mike Chin, and they have four children: Morgan (21), Michael “Mikie” (19), Makenna (16), Mya (9), and a threeweek-old grandson, Ridge. After 23 years of moving around the country due to the Air Force, Pike Road is now home to the Chin family. Mike is a Program Manager and PMP instructor for veterans. Kori is a Holistic Health Practitioner helping others find healing opportunities. The couple has been married for 24 years.

Kori learned early in marriage that food was her husband’s love language. She shares, “I’ll be honest. I didn’t know much about cooking, but I wanted to learn. Our first assignment was in Okinawa, Japan. There, I met many amazing military spouses who became my mentors in so many ways. I can say with confidence that they taught me how to cook. I loved gathering with other families and enjoying a meal. Over the years, we’ve often opened our homes and shared meals. I love how food brings people together!”

In Alaska, the Chins owned a CrossFit gym for many years, and nutrition was a pivotal component of athleticism, as they discussed it often. Mike quickly learned his way around the kitchen and on the

grill. Kori loves the memories of her kids sitting at the counter chatting as she cooked for her family. Their son, Mikie, has become an amazing cook. He loves to experiment and try new things. “I think food might be his love language, too,” Kori admits. Their daughters aren’t strangers in the kitchen, and some of Kori’s favorite memories are cooking or prepping a meal together.

Their favorite quick and simple meals are always stir-fries. Of course, some good chicken or shaved ribeye tossed with all kinds of fresh veggies and served with steamed rice is a staple a few times a week in their home. But the meal Kori makes that always makes her kids smile is Zuppa Toscana soup. Kori explains, “I looked up the recipe to surprise Mike because it is his favorite soup at Olive Garden. I’ve tweaked it over the years to thicken it and make it more filling.”

Zuppa Toscana


10-12 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into bit size pieces 2 pounds of bacon

2 pounds of Hot Jimmy Dean sausage

1 pkg frozen chopped spinach

1 onion diced

2-3 cloves of garlic

One cup of heavy cream

16 cups chicken broth (I sometimes split it between bone broth and chicken broth)


Everything is cooked in one pot. Cook the sausage until no longer pink and set aside to drain grease. Cut the bacon into bite-size pieces and toss it into the pan. Cook the bacon until crispy and set aside. Add the onion to the bacon grease and cook down, adding the garlic during the last minute of cooking. Throw in the potatoes and chicken broth and boil until soft. Then add in the sausage, bacon, spinach, and cream. Stir to combine. Serve it with sourdough, and it never disappoints.

Kori explained they often don’t have leftovers, but on the odd occasion they do, she adds a bit of broth to the thickened soup the next day, and it’s delicious.

(Note: you can half this for a smaller pot.)

Kimberley Carter Spivey is a freelance writer, blogger, author, and entrepreneur. When she’s not working as an Instructional Systems Designer and copy-editor on Maxwell AFB, she’s busy freelancing, blogging, or toiling away at her next book. Her debut book Bloom: How to Get from Good Enough to a Life You Love can be purchased on Amazon and girlyouwrite.com.

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Comparing schools is challenging because each institution offers unique programs in a unique environment. One may present a specialized science curriculum geared toward a future in engineering, while another focuses on developing cooperation and compassion through active community service. The comparisons parents must make are apples-to-oranges at best. Faced with so much detailed information about so many exciting opportunities, it’s hard to stay focused on the end goal: finding the best educational option for your student.

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Approach the school-selection process with this three-step strategy to make sure your kids’ needs come first.

Step 1: Assess your Values

Start your school-selection process at home. “Ask yourself what you expect of a school and what you expect of your child, in terms of attitude, behavior, motivation and achievement,” says educational psychologist Jennifer Little, Ph.D., founder of Parents Teach Kids. You may want a school that has high cultural or ethnic diversity, or whose students and staff have religious values similar to those of your family. Clarifying your values will help you put schools’ marketing materials in context.

Acknowledge practical matters as well. Determine how far you’re willing to drive and how much tuition you can afford. Be honest with yourself about the level of involvement you will have in your child’s school. Create a personal checklist of your requirements and limitations so you don’t overlook important factors.

Step 2: Seek Info

For each potential school, collect information on curriculum, student-teacher ratio and academic outcomes. Study data that show how students scored on placement tests for math, English and foreign languages, and pay particular attention to how many students graduate and what schools they attend next. Also, pay attention to accreditation. The National Associa-

other educators who are in touch with national standards and teaching trends.

Examine course descriptions, materials and teacher preparation to evaluate the quality of a school’s curriculum. Also, ask about choice. You want your child to have a firm foundation in primary subjects and a choice among interesting electives. Kids are motivated to learn when they can pursue subjects they select. Learn about the availability of special programs that interest your child, such as language immersion or music instruction.

Visit schools on your short list to evaluate the academic workload and environment. Ask students how much homework they do each night and attend classes to see how teachers affect learning. Do they use readings, lectures or group discussion? Do students do projects, community service or internships at local businesses or universities? A school’s instructional strategy should match up with its educational objectives and your child’s learning style, Little says.

Keep in mind a school is more than its academic programs. It is a community of learners. Observe social dynamics among students and ask how teachers encourage cooperation and manage behavior problems. Kids can’t learn when they’re struggling with classroom chaos or feel left out of exclusive cliques.

ways. Involvement from alumni suggests a strong sense of pride in the institution. Find out how long teachers have been at the school and whether they receive regular professional development. High turnover may reflect bad management.

Step 3: Focus on Fit

“Ideally, you want to match the school to the learner,” says Faya Hoffman, founder of the Washington, DC, learning concierge service, My Learning Springboard. “A school with a phenomenal reputation may not be the right fit for your child.” Be honest about whether an institution’s approach fits with your student’s interests and temperament.

If your child has an Individualized Educational Plan due to learning (or other) disabilities, find out what services are available to meet his needs. Smaller schools may not have fulltime staff to provide speech or occupational therapy or counseling services. Speak directly with staff members who provide services your child needs, so you understand how your child will get help.

Although it may be inconvenient, Hoffman says siblings may need different educational approaches – and different schools – to learn and thrive. Focus on each student as an individual to make the best decisions.

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Heidi Smith Luedtke is a personality psychologist and mom of two. She is the author of Detachment Parenting.
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15396 Vaughn Road ● Cecil, Alabama 36013 ● (334) 277-6566 ● www.maconeast.net


From the moment you and your family step foot on the campus of Macon East Academy, you instantly feel a part of the family. You realize you are loved and valued for who you are and who you are going to become. You are not defined by labels such a scholar, athlete, or artist, because you are all these things and so much more. At Macon East Academy, you will explore them all. Macon East Academy will partner with your family to help your child reach their fullest potential! Thousands of families have trusted Macon East Academy, and we hope your family will too. Dual Enrollment and Financial Aid are available.

Open House

Thursday,February 2

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

You will have the unique opportunity to get to know Macon East in an intimate setting. Teachers, staff, and students will be available to answer all questions you may have. If you are curious about whether Macon East is a good fit for your family, this is the perfect opportunity to find out. K3 - 12th grade students are welcome to attend with their parents.

• Mission: 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 values.

• Location: Cecil, Alabama, right outside Montgomery serving the Pike Road and surrounding communities.

• Total Enrollment: 300 students K3 - 12th grade

• Pre-School: K3 and K4 students experience a nurturing fun-filled day of developmentally appropriate activities.

• Mother’s Day Out: 3 or 4 day option for 3 and 4 year olds.

• Extended Daycare: Available for students enrolled in K3 - 6th grade

• Uniforms: K5 - 12th grade

• Technology: 1:1 iPad program in grades Kindergarten - 12th grade

• religioUs AffiliAtion: Christian-based, nondenominational

• fAcUlty: Our team of educators bring the learning to life by providing context and meaning at every turn. These professionals provide students with the individual attention they need as they begin to take responsibility for their own learning.

• College Counseling: Year-round guidance and support from our College Counselor for students and their families as they go through the college selection and application process.

• Sports: Macon East offers student-athletes a stellar athletic program. Students are able to partipcate in over 18 sports including baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, golf, soccer, softball and volleyball. Macon East has won 27 state championships and 18 runner up. Several Macon East student-athletes have continued to participate at the collegiate level.

For enrollment information contact Jill Taylor, Admissions Director, at (334) 277-6566 Ext. 210 or by Email at: jtaylor@maconeast.net


SOAR WITH THE EAGLES AT The Montgomery Academy

At The Montgomery Academy your child will soar! Here, we challenge our students with a strong college preparatory curriculum, as well as the chance to explore the world beyond academics. We offer an environment that builds a strong moral character that allows each student to be a leader in their community. Our carefully crafted program is designed to develop the full and unique potential of each and every student.

The Montgomery Academy provides an exceptional K-12 education:

— A supportive, challenging and joyful learning environment that cultivates academic, artistic and athletic excellence

— Meaningful and lasting relationships between teachers, students and parents

— Strong belief in developing servant leaders who recognize their responsibility to help strengthen their communities

— Active parent engagement in the learning process and in volunteer opportunities

Full-time college advising office, with 100% of our graduates going on to college and admitted to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the nation

— Students are nurtured, engaged and empowered to reach their maximum individual potential

Montgomery Academy has been named by NICHE as the #1 K-12 School in the Montgomery area as well as the #1 Best Private High School, and #1 Best High School for Athletes.

The best way to experience MA is to come tour our campus and meet some of the people who help make MA extraordinary.

Contact the Admissions Office at 334-273-7155 to schedule a personal tour, in-person or virtual.

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The Pursuit of Excellence | WWW.MONTGOMERYACADEMY.ORG
What if your child could learn and grow in a warm, welcoming community surrounded by bright, curious and motivated students and inspirational teachers?

An Open-Doors Policy

Times Change. Our Faith Doesn’t. Holy
Elementary St. Bede Elementary Middle School Campus High School Campus Schedule
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1700 East Trinity Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36106 334-213-2100 www.trinitywildcats.com

O OPEN HOUSE: Thursday, J January 19, 2023. Intended for prospective parents of K3, K4, and K5 students. For more information, contact Jenny McClinton, Director of Admission, jmcclinton@trinitywildcats.com.

E ENROLLMENT: Approximately 700 students K3-12.

M MISSION: Trinity School provides students the highest quality college-preparatory education, training them in the biblical world and life view, thus enabling them to serve God in spirit, mind, and body. The “Trinity Experience” is extraordinary in every way, and is an education that is unique as your child. Trinity offers 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. One hundred percent of Trinity graduates are accepted to post-secondary 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—spirit, mind, and body.

A ACADEMICS: Trinity graduates have received over $35 million in merit-based scholarships over the last 5 years. A 2022 Trinity graduate were named a National Merit Finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program and two members of the Class of 2023 were named National Merit Commended Students. One hundred percent of Trinity graduates are accepted to post-secondary institutions, with the majority of students attending their first choice of a college or university. Trinity School offers over 34 Advanced Placement (AP) courses and Honor courses. The Lower School STEAM Studio is inspiring critical thinking in students (K3-5th grade), where they are engaged by stimulating curriculum that increases achievement and creates positive attitudes towards the study of STEAM-related fields—science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics. The Lower School Media Center encompasses a library and an innovation lab, providing project-based learning activities to Lower School students.

unteering their time and giving to make the community and world a better place. Therefore, a variety of service opportunities are provided to Lower School students. They practice leadership, problem solving, collaboration with others, time management, and communication. Trinity believes that while completing community service projects, students develop real-world skills that will help them succeed in middle school, high school and beyond.

T TECHNOLOGY: Trinity was the first school in the River Region to be recognized as a Apple Distinguished School. Trinity’s curriculum offers several technology courses, including Coding, Robotics, Broadcasting/Digital Video, College Tech Basics, and Computer Graphics. Dedicated to a learning environment utilizing the tools and resources of the 21st century classroom, Trinity was the first school in the River Region to implement a grade-wide laptop initiative, providing students equal access to technology. Every student in Grades 6 to 12 is issued an Apple laptop for use during the school year. Macbooks and iPads are available for lower school students to use daily in the classroom.

A ARTS: Trinity’s theatre department produces a full-scale musical each spring with a cast of more than 125 Upper School students. Trinity’s Art Department provides opportunities for exhibition and collaboration between emerging student artists and professional artists through events such as the Pop-Up Art Gallery and Collaborative Studio. Show Choir and band students perform locally as well as throughout the country and state each year. Trinity is the only independent school in Montgomery that offers a full-time dance program and offers a superior, multi-faceted band program that provides a variety of musical and performance opportunities. The award-winning Wildcat Pride Marching Band continues their record of excellence, receiving straight superior ratings at statewide competitions. The Middle School Concert Band and the Symphonic Band allow students to increase their proficiency through rehearsing and performing concert band literature.

S 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 (K3-12) mission project, Change 4 Change (C4C), has donated over $125,000 in the past five years to charitable organizations in Montgomery and throughout the world. Trinity’s junior and senior classes annually serve over 1,100 hours of community service with local organizations, such as Common Ground, Habitat for Humanity, and The Salvation Army. Trinity believes students benefit greatly—both academically and emotionally—from vol-

ATHLETICS: The Athletic Program at Trinity fields 36 interscholastic sport teams and is designed to provide opportunities for competitive athletics while enriching the total educational experience of each student-athlete. Both men’s and women’s teams have excelled in the middle school, junior varsity, and varsity levels capturing many CCC and area titles. 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 31 AHSAA state championships—5 in the last 4 years—the 2021 and 2022 Girls Soccer State Championship, the 2020 and 2021 Volleyball State Championship, and the 2022 Baseball State Championship. Over 84% of students in grades 7-12 compete in at least one sport at Trinity.

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AIM Academy ad on page 26

530 Antioch Lane, Pike Road, AL 36064

Your four-year-old will continue building their skills and confidence while adding layers of knowledge through practice and novel opportunities. Concepts previously introduced become more easily understood through continued hands-on learning and repeated opportunities to practice. Through their active learning and the supportive bond of our teachers, Aim Academy Pre-K students build confidence, thrive as independent learners, and enter kindergarten well prepared for success.

Director: Leann Marion Curriculum: Learning Beyond is a highly innovative, 100% digital curriculum that provides our teachers with a robust library of activities and lessons in a developmental progression. Learning Beyond’s developmentally appropriate activities are aligned with Alabama’s early learning standards. The standards are integrated into each activity with an intentional focus on physical development, social-emotional skills, early mathematics, language, and literacy and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).

Other: We proudly offer childcare and educational programs for babies and young children up to 4 years old, including infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and pre-K. For children between 5 and 12 years of age, we provide an exciting before and after school program and summer camp.

(334) 509-4225 https://youraimacademy.com/

Alabama School of Math and Science ad on page 53

1255 Dauphin Street, Mobile, AL

Mission: Mission Statement: The Alabama School of Mathematics and Science’s mission is to provide academically motivated Alabama students with exceptional preparation in the fields of math, science, and the humanities, empowering them to improve their community, state, and nation.

Leadership: Dr. John Hoyle Grades: 9th - 12th

Extra Curricular: Sports: Girls/boys basketball, Cross Country, archery, golf, tennis, soccer and girls volleyball and Pep Squad. Arts: Choir and band. Over 35 clubs on campus (Key Club, Allies, Anime, Black Student Union, Environmental Science Club, Cooking Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Chess Team, Future Engineers’ Club, Yearbook, German Club, Off the Leash, IGNITE, IMPACT, Lab of Learning, HOSA, Heroes of Health, Red Cross Club, Technalliance, Origami Club, Movie Club, Scholars Bowl, Weightlifting Club, Women of the World, Multicultural Student Union, Swing Dance Club, Yoga Club, Ultimate Frisbee).

Other: Debate team, Robotics team, Mathematics team, Science Olympiad & SGA. Additional Info: Requirements: Application and Interview Application Deadline: Priority consideration if given to those applications submitted by February 15, 2023. Applications are accepted and processed through July. Accreditation through COGNIA. Tuition, room and board are free. (251) 441-2100 admissions@asms.net www.asms.net

Macon-East Academy

ad on page 7 and 56

15396 Vaughn Road, Cecil, AL

Founded: 1995 Religious Affiliation: Christian-based, non-denominational Leadership: Headmaster: Glynn Lott Grades: K3 – 12

Extra Curricular: Sports: Athletics: Macon East Academy offers student-athletes a stellar athletic program. Students are able to participate in over 18 sports including baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, soccer, softball, and volleyball. Macon East has won numerous regional and state championships. Several Macon East student-athletes have continued to participate at the collegiate level. Clubs: Student Government Association, National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society, International Thespian Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Students, Drama Club and Yearbook

Additional Info: Honors and Advanced Placement Classes: Biology, English, Art Technology: All Macon East students in Kindergarten through 12th grade are issued an Apple iPad for use during the school year. There are two computer labs on campus. College Prep: The Macon East curriculum stresses ACT preparation and college and career readiness. ACT Prep is offered as an elective junior & senior year. Our college counselor provides year-round guidance and support for students and their families as they go through the college selection and application process.

Testing Requirements: Tests given to K4, K5 & 1st grade; standardized scores 2-12

Accreditation: Cognia/Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Alabama Association of Independent Schools, Alabama Independent School Association (AISA), and the National Council of Private School Accreditation Teacher-student ratio: Preschool: 12; K-6th: 18; grades 7-12: 24

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Tuition: Please call for rates. Uniforms are required for 1st – 12 graders

Extended Daycare: Available for students enrolled in K3-6th grade, afterschool care is held on campus and operated by Macon East Academy. Tutoring is also available for students during extended care.

(334) 277.6566 www.maconeast.net

Montessori School at Hampstead ad on page


National Honor Society, Latin National Honor Society, French National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, student newspaper, yearbook, photography, Media Club and other special interest groups.

5251 Hampstead High Street, Suite #111, Montgomery, AL

Founded: 2011 Curriculum: Montessori

Leadership: Melanie Morrison, Head of School Grades: 12 months – Kindergarten

Religious Affiliation: Interdenominational

Extra Curricular: Other: On-site educational farm with school garden, music, library, and Big Green Bus.

Additional Info: Accreditation & Affiliations: Affiliated with AMS (American Montessori Society) and IMC

Registration Deadline: Rolling Open House: We schedule school tours for 9:00am or 11:00am on school days by appointment. Testing Requirements: Parents required to tour (when geographically possible) and allow for an onsite visit/observation for their child in the classroom. Tuition: $100 non-refundable application fee; program fees and costs can vary based on program options selected so please contact the office for details. (334) 356-1969 hos@mshmontgomery.org MSHMontgomery.org

Facebook: facebook.com/MontessoriatHampstead Twitter: twitter.com/MSHMontessori Instagram: instagram.com/MontessoriMontgomery/

River Region Academy

ad on page 60

4240 Lomac Street, Montgomery, AL

Mission: The mission for River Region Academy is to provide a safe, personal, quality education where all students are engaged, encouraged, and empowered in learning and inspired to achieve their fullest potential. Our vision is for every student to become a critical and creative thinker, lifelong learner, and productive citizen.

Leadership: Principal: Kris White Grades: K-12; seniors have formal graduation ceremony

Extra Curricular: Partnerships with homeschool organizations to provide support services (sports, clubs, enrichment, etc.)

Additional Info: Additional Info: River Region Academy is accredited by Cognia, formerly known as AdvancEd and/or SACS. By offering a low studentto-teacher ratio, we are able to individualize and meet the educational needs of each student. We offer: Half Day Schedule Grades 7-12 (8:00-12:30); Full Day Schedule for Elementary K-6 (8:00-2:45); No school on Fridays after Christmas. We accept Alabama Accountability Act scholarships; have degreed teachers; and offer a wide variety of on-campus/independent electives. (334) 262.0191 kris.white@riverregionacademy.com www.riverregionacademy.com




ad on page 611 and 6010 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, AL

Founded: 1955 College Preparatory Pre-K3 through 12th grade (including all-day and half-day Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 options). Advanced Placement, Honors, and advanced classes are offered in 27 areas, encompassing both middle and high school.

Leadership: Head of School: Dr. Larry McLemore High School Principal: Mrs. Jennifer Poplin Middle School Principal: Mrs. Shelaine Taylor

Elementary School Principal: Mrs. Andrea Harris Grades: Pre-K3 through 12th (including all-day and half-day Pre-K3 and PreK4 options)

Extra Curricular: Sports: 41 competitive sports teams, including football, basketball, baseball, tennis, equestrian, cross country, track, soccer, golf, wrestling, volleyball, softball, cheerleading, and indoor track. Won the Girls Indoor Track state championship title in 2021 and 4 state championship titles in 2019, including Girls Indoor Track, Girls Tennis, Girls Outdoor Track & Field, and Girls Cross Country. Varsity Volleyball competed in 6A state competition. Clubs: Campus organizations include: Student Government Association, Key Club, Interact Club, Chess Club, Government Club, Science Club, Drama Club, Latin Club, French Club, Spanish Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Students, Drama, Band, Cheerleading, Dance Team, Bridge Builders, Choir, Speech and Debate, Math Team, Science Olympiad, Tri-M, Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, Peer Leaders, Student Ambassadors, Spanish

Additional Info: Rigorous academics, competitive athletics, and nationally recognized arts classes combine to create Central Alabama’s most engaging independent school environment at Saint James (STJ). Montgomery’s oldest independent school, Saint James provides the most well-rounded course offerings in the area, blending superior academics and state-of-theart technology with absorbing enrichment, exploratory, and college elective classes. Since its founding in 1955, Saint James School has always focused on educating the whole child. And with this focus, programs embracing STEAM have always been part of the Saint James curriculum every day, at all grade levels. These skills, along with writing across the curriculum, make Saint James the premier college preparatory school in the Montgomery area. Saint James School envelops students in a 21st-century learning environment, providing iPads® for Grades 3 - 12, and regular access to technology in lower elementary and preschool classes. The school’s talented and dedicated faculty, almost half of whom have masters or doctoral degrees, is a vital component of the learning equation, creating a welcoming yet challenging atmosphere to help students from Grades Pre-K3 - 12 reach their highest potential. As the 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. Students participate in a minimum of four schoolwide service projects annually, with additional opportunities to serve our local community. Saint James has had 9 National Merit Scholarship Finalists and 16 National Merit Commended Students in the past five years. Graduates of Saint James have earned over $30.5 million in scholarships awarded over last 5 years, with 100% of our students accepted to 4-year institutions.

Tuition Includes: Daily Lunch prepared in the Saint James Commons by Flik Independent School Dining for All Grades (excluding half day Pre-K3 and half day Pre-K4); Individually Assigned Technology Devices for All Students Grades 312 and Technology Fees for All Grades; All School Supplies for Pre-K3 through Eighth Grade*; Consumable Books for Pre-K3 through Eighth Grade; Day Field Trips for all grades; Fall School Pictures for all grades; Junior & Senior Class Fees; Most Middle School Textbooks; Parent Association (PA) Dues for each family; Student Admission to all Home Sporting Events; Iliad Yearbook for all students. *Calculator, ear buds, and iPad stylus are not included in tuition. (334) 277.8033 admissions@stjmontgomery.org www.stjmontgomery.org

The Montgomery Academy ad on page 57 and Back Cover

Upper School (Grades 6-12) 3240 Vaughn Road Lower School (Grades K-5) 1550 Perry Hill Road, Montgomery, AL

Curriculum: Our K-12 college preparatory curriculum seeks to educate the whole child by focusing not only on each child’s academic development but also on their physical and social-emotional development. Beginning in ninth grade, our course offerings include twenty-three Advanced Placement sections offered in all core areas.

Mission: Mission: The Montgomery Academy develops leaders committed to honor, scholarship, service and the pursuit of excellence.

Leadership: Head of School: John McWilliams

Director of Admissions: Rachael Gallagher Grades: K - 12th

Extra Curricular: Arts: Our Speech & Debate program is ranked in the top 1% in the nation and has won 18 state championships, more than any other public or private school in Alabama. Both Lower and Middle School Choruses have earned statewide accolades and have been invited to participate in festivals across the southeast. Our Upper School Chorus has earned superior ratings at district and state competitions, including winning first place the past four consecutive years in a national choral competition. The black-box theater on the Vaughn Road campus is where students in grades 5-12 may participate in full-length productions during the year. Every single child in grades K-4 participates in a performance each year. Student actors compete and are honored annually in the State Theater Festival. Our K-12 Visual Arts program submits pieces to exhibits across the River Region, the state and nationally, winning at every level.

Athletics: Athletic teams at The Montgomery Academy have earned 76 state championships (as of fall 2021), more than any other public or private school in the River Region! Both our boys and girls athletic teams have achieved success. Seventy-two percent of Middle and Upper School students participate on one of our thirty-five athletic teams. Our students have also been honored over the years by receiving the Jimmy Hitchcock Memorial Award, the Jimmy Hitchcock Freshman Award, and Bryant-Jordan Scholar Athlete award. Several Academy student-athletes have gone on to participate at the collegiate level. Students in grades K-9 participate in physical education every day.

Clubs: Students learn leadership skills both in and outside the classroom. Many participate in organizations like Student Council, Youth in Government, Mock Trial, Model UN, and various community service organizations. With

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over 23 clubs offered in the Upper School, from cooking to coding, student government to STEM, there is something for every student’s interest.

Additional Info: Other: Montgomery Academy students are recognized annually as National Merit Semifinalists and Finalists. Students have earned Advanced Placement Scholar Awards and have been recognized as AP Scholars, AP Scholars with Honor, AP Scholars with Distinction and as National Scholars. A majority of our seventh grade students qualify to participate in the Duke University Talent Identification Program.

Open House: Join us for a Kindergarten Open House on February 2, 2023. RSVP online at montgomeryacademy.org/open house

Our Kindergarten Preview, “K-View” allows families to experience a typical Kindergarten day. To schedule your K-View at a time that works for your family, visit www.montgomeryacademy.org/k-view. For our Grades 6-12 applicants, our shadow day experience pairs prospective applicants with a current student buddy for a day in the life at MA. What better way to experience “the MA Difference” than to be an Eagle for a day! Tours of both campuses are available at any time.

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.

Tuition: The tuition package at the Academy includes the enrollment deposit, admission to all home athletic events, a hot nutritious lunch, 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. Please visit our website www.montgomeryacademy.org or call the Admissions Office (334) 273-7155 for more information on tuition, financial assistance and our scholarship opportunities, including Renaissance and Millsap Scholarships. (334) 272-8210 admissions@montgomeryacademy.org www.montgomeryacademy.org

Autauga Academy

497 Golson Rd., Prattville, AL

Founded: 1969 Religious Affiliation: None Curriculum: College Prep Our mission is to ensure a quality education for traditional students, provide a family environment that embodies Christian values, with small classes, a qualified faculty, and a fully accredited academic program, ensure post-secondary success by offering a general and college preparatory curriculum.

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 COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED)

Academic scholarships available for grades 2nd-11th.

Tuition: Please call for rates. Extended Care Fees: Call for information. (334) 365.4343 generals@autaugaacademy.com www.autaugaacademy.com

Edgewood Academy

P.O. Box 160, 5475 Elmore Rd, Elmore, AL

Curriculum: Offers 2 diplomas - standard, dual enrollment; including advanced placement courses.

Mission: We provide students with a comprehensive college preparatory education in a safe and supportive environment, preparing students for a future of lifelong learning and productive citizenship.

Leadership: Headmaster: Jay Adams Grades: K3-12th

Extra Curricular: Sports: Football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, cheerleading, peewee cheerleading, Golf, track & field 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 first-come, first-serve basis.

Accreditation: AISA since 1974 and COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED), NCPSA and CITA Tuition: Please visit website or call for tuition rates. (334) 567.5102 www.edgewoodacademy.org

Hooper Academy

380 Fischer Rd., Hope Hull, AL

Founded: 1970 Religious Affiliation: Non –secular Curriculum: Advanced and standard diplomas, K5-6th - ABEKA Mission: Our missions is to provide a balanced and quality curriculum, which allows each student the opportunity to achieve full potential and maximize mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual growth. Students will be provided opportunities to develop self-confidence through knowledge, applied skills, and desirable character traits acquired in a sound academic environment.

Leadership: Headmaster: Dr. Liz Norman Grades: K5 through 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Include football (grades 3rd-12th), volleyball, boys and girls basketball, baseball, track, softball, cheerleading, and soccer.

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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; COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED); AAIS Extended care program available. Licensed Day Care program available on campus. Tuition: K-12, Call for rates. (334) 288.5980 www.hooperacademy.org

Lowndes Academy

215 South Broad Street, Lowndsboro, AL

Curriculum: Elementary A Beka; college prep

Leadership: Headmaster: Barry Mohun Grades: K3-12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Football (Pee-Wee, Jr. High & Varsity), Girls Volleyball, Baseball, Softball, Basketball, and Cheerleading Clubs: Beta Club, FCA, SGA, ACE, Key Club, Spanish and Mathematics

Additional Info: Testing Requirements: None

Registration deadline: Open Accreditation: AISA; COGNIA (formerly known at AdvancED) Other: After school care, music, dance, gymnastics, piano, yearbook staff. Annual Deer Hunt for school fundraiser. (334) 278.3366 lowndesacademy@yahoo.com www.lowndesacademy.org

Montessori Academy

1025 South Hull Street, Montgomery, AL

Founded: 1982 Curriculum: Montessori Curriculum- includes language, prereading, reading, math, science, history, art, and music (AMS affiliated).

Leadership: Administrator: Erin Kilgore Grades: 12 months through Kindergarten/Montessori age-appropriate academic program

Extra Curricular: Sports & Clubs: Ballet, Spanish, and Tumbling

Additional Info: Registration Deadline: Open as space permits.

Testing Requirements: Personal interview

Other: Celebrating 36 years of Quality Education for the Crucial Early Years. Lead Directresses are American Montessori Society Certified or International Montessori Council Certified teachers. Tuition: Please call for information. (334) 262.8685 Montgomery.montessori@gmail.com www.Montessorimontgomery.com

Montessori at Mulberry

2034 Clubview St, Montgomery, AL

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: Director: Terri Jackson Grades: 12 months through Kindergarten (334) 265.7733 montessori.mulberry@gmail.com Facebook: Montessori at Mulberry


Alabama Christian Academy ad on page 21 and 52

4700 Wares Ferry Rd, Montgomery, AL

Founded: 1942 Religious Affiliation: Church of Christ Curriculum: College Prep

Leadership: Head of School: Greg Glenn

Associate Head of School: Josh Roberts

Assistant Principal: Manuel Guice Upper School

Principal: Julie Taggart

Lower School Principal: Doug Black Grades: K3 through 12th

Extra Curricular: Sports: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Volleyball, Track, Soccer, Golf, Tennis, Bass Fishing, Cheerleading, Swimming, Cross Country

Clubs: Key Club, National Honor Society (Lower School and Upper School), FCA, SGA, Math, Drama, Chorus, Band, Color Guard, Theatre, Scholars Bowl, Pep Club, Spanish National Honor Society, FCS, Bass Fishing Team, Capture Club.

Additional Info: Testing Requirements: Evaluation of scholastic record, standardized test scores, and placement tests.

Open House: January 23, 2023 Registration Deadline: Open Accreditation: COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED)

Tuition: Please call for prices. Tuition breaks for multiple children. Uniforms Required. (334) 277.1985 www.alabamachristian.org

Cornerstone Classical Christian Academy

ad on page 32

125 Calhoun Rd, Montgomery, AL

Religious Affiliation: non-denominational Curriculum: Veritas, Memoria Press, Saxon Math

Mission: Cornerstone Christian Academy’s mission is to glorify God by preparing students spiritually and intellectually for life-long service in His kingdom.

Leadership: Headmaster: John Bradley, M.A., J.D Grades: K5-12th

Extra Curricular: Clubs: Yearbook, Choir and Photography

Additional Info: Registration begins in February. Open House will be in January. Please call for more information. Testing Requirement: Entrance Test required for all grades Accreditation: Cornerstone is a member of the Association for Classical Christian Schools. Registration deadline: Open and begins February 1st and continues through May 31st.

Tuition: Please call for tuition rates. Uniforms required. (334) 356.7788 www.ccamontgomery.org

Eastwood Christian School ad on

page 54

1701 E. Trinity Blvd, Montgomery, AL

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 Classical Christian, Latin, Formal Logic and Rhetoric

Mission: Offers classical approach to Christian education with a biblical worldview dominating all subjects. Announcing Full Day, 7:45-2:00, with extended study hall and enrichment options for School Year 2022.

Leadership: Head of School: Joel R. Bius, Ph.D. Grades: K4 - 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Basketball, volleyball, baseball, cross country, tennis and sporting clays.

Clubs: Theatre, Beta Club, SGA, and Spanish Club

Additional Info: Testing Requirements: Placement test/interview Open House: Jan. 10th at 6:30 p.m. at Main Campus, 1701 E. Trinity Blvd.

Registration: Early Registration is January 11, 2023-February 3, 2023

Waiting list registration is on Admissions page of website. Please call Head of School to schedule an appointment. Call for availability.

Tuition: Please call for tuition prices. Uniforms required. (334) 272.8195 admin@eastwoodschool.org www.eastwoodschool.org

Evangel Christian Academy

ad on page 27 and 55

3975 Vaughn Rd, Montgomery, AL

Founded: 1995 Curriculum: A BEKA, Bob Jones, Purposeful Design, ACSI, and McDougal Littell Mission: Evangel Christian Academy exists to be an extension of the Christian family in training and developing of Christian students for committed service to our Lord Jesus Christ. Through quality academic instruction, the impartation of Biblical values and providing activities designed to foster spiritual, academic, and social growth, ECA works to help each student reach their potential in Christ.

Leadership: Administrator: Bobby Johnson Grades: K4 through 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, track and cheerleading Clubs: SGA, FCA, Booster Club, National Junior Honor Society and National Honor Society, Praying Parents, Drama, ACT Prep, Spanish, Speech, Creative Writing and over 30 more high school electives.

Additional Info: Testing Requirements: Testing is required Registration Deadline: Open in February to all Accreditation: AISA (Blue Ribbon School), SACS-CASI and ACTS Tuition: Please call for tuition information. Uniforms required. (334) 272.3882 Link on website www.ecalions.org

Prattville Christian Academy

ad on page 37 and 59

322 Old Farm Lane North, Prattville, AL

Founded: 1997 Religious Affiliation: Christian Curriculum: PCA offers a 1:1 digital learning environment with a focus on preparing Christian leaders for life. Honors, advanced placement and onsite dual enrollment classes are offered along with a Healthcare and Engineering Academy as well as a Sports Medicine internship. PCA also offers a gifted program for students in grades 1-5 and a resource center which provides academic support to students outside of the regular classroom during the school day in an effort to reduce the time students spend tutoring outside of school hours.

Mission: Prattville Christian Academy is a non-denominational K3-12 school committed to providing a quality, Christ-centered education with an emphasis on life readiness. PCA is dedicated to providing academic excellence in a caring, Christian environment. Through personal example and individual relationships, PCA develops confident, independent thinkers who find purpose in the pursuit of life.

Leadership: Head of School: Katie Furr, MBA Grades: Pre K-3 through 12th

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 66

Extra Curricular: Sports: PCA is a member of the AHSAA and offers 14 competitive sports programs for boys and girls that offer a connection with a small group of students with similar interests.

Sports include football, volleyball, wrestling, basketball, softball, baseball, golf, track, tennis, cross-country, cheerleading, swimming, and soccer.

Clubs: PCA has more than 25 extracurricular options for students of all ages to find activities that interest them. These activities include school ambassadors, art, drama, Science Olympiad, band, Model UN, student government, honor societies, photography and many others.

Additional Info: Registration Deadline: None, applications accepted throughout the year. Virtual campus tours available online. Physical tours by appointment only.

Accreditation: Prattville Christian Academy is accredited by the National Christian School Association (NCSA) and COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED).

Tuition: Tuition rates are available on the website and include textbooks for all students and school supplies for grades K3-5. Family discounts available. Uniforms required for grades 1-12. (334) 285.0077 www.4pca.org

TEA Christian Academy (Talent Education & Art Christian Academy, Inc.) ad on

page 24

2637 Eastern Blvd., Montgomery, AL

Religious Affiliation: Generic Bible Base Teaching

Curriculum: A-Beka

Leadership: Headmaster: Prof. Maggie McElroy-Washington, MBA; MGMT, MKTG Grades: Pre K-12th

Extra Curricular: Activities/Clubs: Acting, Choir, Drum-Line, Debate, Student Government Associate, Dance Team, Modeling and Weight Training

Additional Info: Testing Requirement: IOWA Standardized

Registration Deadline: Open enrollment. Must have a 3.20 GPA to enroll.

Other: Certified teachers, School Days are Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., (after school tutorial) Open to the community: 3:30-6:00 p.m., Summer Enrichments, Credit Recovery.

Tuition: Please call for tuition rates. Uniforms Required. (334) 517.1717 Teachristianacademy1@gmail.com teachristianacademy.net

Trinity Presbyterian School ad on page 3 and 62

1700 East Trinity Boulevard, Montgomery, AL

Founded: 1970 Religious Affiliation: Christian Curriculum: Accelerated, College Prep

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. One hundred percent of Trinity graduates are accepted to post-secondary 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 championshiplevel 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. Bill Shelnutt Grades: K3 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.

Electives, Clubs and Activities: Art, Band, Choral, Dance, Drama, Speech, Theatrical Design and Production and much more.

Additional Info: Additional Info: Registration deadline: Open registration Open House: Thursday, January 19, 2023 at 6 p.m.. Intended for families of prospective K3, 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: Please call for rates. Uniforms Required. (334) 213.2100 admissions@trinitywildcats.com www.trinitywildcats.com

Adullam House Christian Academy

7469 Georgia Road, Wetumpka, AL

Religious Affiliation: Non-Denominational Curriculum: Abeka Mission: The objective of AHCA is to provide a nurturing, Godly environment where children can reach his/her full potential. It is our desire to teach our children integrity and high standards of conduct to equip them for success!

Leadership: Headmaster: Rachel Harborth Grades: Preschool-12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Cheerleading, Volleyball, Basketball, Track & Field Clubs: Elective classes offered in Art, Computer and Music. Dual Enrollment with Central Alabama Community College

Additional Info: Testing Requirements: 4th Grade and up, entry test required (334) 478.3888 www.facebook.com/adullamhousechristianacademy

Bethany Christian Academy

1765 Highland Ave., Montgomery, AL

Founded: 1899 Religious Affiliation: Seventh-day Adventist

Leadership: Principle: Jonathan Ogburn Grades: Kindergarten to 8th Extra Curricular: Sports: Volleyball, Cross Country, Track & Field, Basketball, Tennis and Soccer; Clubs: Music, Global Missions trips, Environmental Camp, Computer and Pathfinders

Additional Info: BCA holds accreditation with the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist School, Colleges and Universities, and the National Council for Private School Accreditation. (334) 264.1078 http://antp25.adventistschoolconnect.org

Chapman Christian Academy

4711 Chapman Rd., Millbrook, AL

Founded: 1994 Religious Affiliation: Christian Curriculum: A Beka, Bob Jones and South Western Publishing Co.

Mission: Providing a traditional education in the minimum amount of time. A Christian curriculum is used and a Christian world view is taught.

Leadership: Principal: Jon Chapman Grades: K4-12th

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. (334) 285.5354 www.chapmanchristianacademy.com

Lighthouse Christian Academy 3570 Bell Rd, Montgomery, AL

Founded: 1987 Religious Affiliation: Baptist Curriculum: A BEKA Leadership: Principal: Janelle Ford Grades: K-2 through 10th Extra Curricular: Sports: Volleyball, Basketball and Cheerleading Clubs: Band, Choral, Fine arts and Computer Class

Additional Info: Testing Requirements: Interview Registration: Begins in February Accreditation: Accredited through ACEA and AACS

Other: Before and after school care; Christ oriented education. Summer fun program. Tuition: Please call for information Uniforms required for K5 – 9th. (334) 271.4200 www.lcasailors.org

Montgomery Christian School 3265 McGehee Road, Montgomery, AL

Curriculum: Singapore, Handwriting Without Tears, Purposeful Design, ABEKA, Houghton Mifflin and Positive Action for Christ.

Mission: To provide an academically challenging Christian education to children in inner city Montgomery.

Leadership: Director: Pam McLemore Principal: Stephenie Price Grades: Kindergarten K -5th Additional Info: Testing Requirements: K-5th Registration deadline: Open Accreditation: ACSI Tuition: Based on family income and the number of children in the family Uniforms required. (334) 386.1749 info@montgomerychristianschool.org www.montgomerychristianschool.org

New Hope Academy

301 Water Street, Prattville, AL

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.

Mission: New Hope Academy provides innovative programs and teaching strategies in a supportive environment. Our curriculum is designed to improve students’ academic and social skills, which leads to a better quality of life opportunity. Our instructors help students overcome challenges through structured classwork and individual attention.

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) 361.9505 haileymorrow@newhope4kids.com www.newhope4kids.com

New Life Christian Academy

4230 Hwy 14, Millbrook, AL

Founded: 1979 Religious Affiliation: Non-denominational Curriculum: A BEKA, Bob Jones, Glencoe, Apologia, Alpha Omega, and Saxon.

Leadership: Principal: Ira Collier Grades: K-3 through 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Football, baseball, basketball, cheerleading, softball, and Volleyball Clubs: Jr. and Sr. Beta Club, Art Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes Additional Info: Accreditation: Association of Christian Teachers & Schools, National Council for Private School Accreditation and Cognia (formerly SACS). Testing Requirements: Screening test to determine student readiness. Registration: open enrollment at the end of January Tuition: Call for more information. (334) 285.5615 www.newlifechristianacademy.com

Success Unlimited Academy

2328 Fairlane Dr., Montgomery (9th-12th grades, Night School & tutoring) 4500 Vaughn Road, Montgomery (K4-8th grades)

Founded: 2000 Religious Affiliation: Christian Curriculum: A Beka, Bob Jones, Houghton-Mifflin, Silver Burdette Gin, and Glencoe

Mission: SUA provides a safe and loving environment where students feel accepted and are challenged by educational excellence, instilled with loyalty to our country, and developed through spiritual growth. We believe all students can be a success through Christ who strengthens them.

Leadership: Headmaster: Susan Alred, M.Ed. Vice Principle: Lauren Morgan Grades: K4-12th Extra Curricular: Athletics: Registered with AISA, Football, Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Volleyball and Cheerleading Clubs: Praise Band, Choir, Guitar, Art, Drama, FCA, FCS, Builders Club, Chess Club, Career Start, Key Club and Yearbook Club.

Additional Info: Registration Deadline: Open Testing Requirements: Consultations and Evaluations provided at time of enrollment. Accreditation: COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED)

Other: School offers morning classes, evenings and through Distance Education and Night School. Tutoring is available Monday-Thursday at our Fairlane Drive Campus. Tuition: Please call for tuition information. Uniforms Required (334) 213.0803 www.suacademy.com

Valiant Cross Academy

301 Dexter Avenue (located inside of River City Church), Montgomery, AL

Founded: 2015 Religious Affiliation: Non-denominational Curriculum: Alabama College and Career Standards and AL Course of Study Mission: Our mission, our purpose is to help raise young men up to be supernatural. Men who will learn from their youth, to let go of self, to let the Holy Spirit raise them 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 them rise above. To rise above with Honor, with Discipline, with Integrity, with Excellence with Love.

Leadership: Head of School: Anthony Brock Grades: 6th grade - 12th grade Extra Curricular: Track, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Cross Country, Golf Additional Info: Registration Deadline: Open enrollment in January Accreditation: COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED) and AISA Other: After-school enrichment and tutoring Tuition: Please call for more information on tuition rates. Uniforms required. (334) 694.9200 Anthony@valiantcross.org www.Valiantcross.org

Victory Christian Academy 3151 Highway 14 , Millbrook, AL

Founded: 1971 Religious Affiliation: Baptist Curriculum: A Beka and Bob Jones

Leadership: Administrator: Jill Pastorelli Grades: K4 through 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Football, baseball, boys & girls basketball, girls volleyball, girls fast pitch softball and cheerleading Clubs: Yearbook, Drama, HomeEc, Life Skills and Government Additional Info: Testing requirements: Interview for admission. Registration deadline: Enrollment for new students is year round Accreditation: AACS and MSA-SCESS Other: After school care provided by daycare until 6 p.m., I pads and Chrome Books accessible to all students, Smart Boards available for classrooms. Tuition: Please check website for updated tuition. Uniforms required. (334) 285.0211 www.vcamillbrook.com

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 68

Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School ad on page 25 and 58

Middle School & High School, 5350 Vaughn Rd, Montgomery, 36116

Saint Bede Campus, 3850 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery, 36109

Holy Spirit Campus, 8580 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, 36117, Montgomery,

Founded: 1873 by the Sisters of Loretto

The oldest continuous non-public K-12 school in the state of Alabama. One of the reasons we have been around for 148 years, is because we value relationships. We want to get to know you and your student(s). This information is just the beginning. Give us a call today to visit our campuses and become a part of the Montgomery Catholic family.

Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic, all classes attend weekly Mass. Students of all faiths are welcome.

Curriculum: Core classes for all grade levels include Math, Science, History, English, and Theology. College preparatory, Honors, and A.P. courses available in the high school.

Mission: A K3-12 regional Catholic school in Montgomery with 148 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: Leadership: President: Justin Castanza Middle and High School Principal: Eileen Aaron Elementary Principal St. Bede Campus: Laurie Gulley Elementary Principal Holy Spirit Campus: Nancy Foley Grades: Saint Bede Campus (K3-6), Holy Spirit Campus (K3-6), Middle School Phone (7-8), and High School Phone (9-12).

Extra Curricular: Sports: Cross country, football, volleyball, cheerleading, wrestling, indoor track, basketball, outdoor track, baseball, softball, golf, soccer, and tennis. Fine Arts: Beginning Band (grades 5-6), Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Color Guard, Choir, and Drama Service and Clubs: VEX Robotics, Cyber Patriots, Makers Space, eSports, Campus Ministry, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Key Club, Government Club, Forensics Club, Science Olympiad, Math Counts, Pro-Life Club, Ambassadors Club, Pep Club, SGA, Yearbook, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Girls on the Run. 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.

Summer Camps: Athletic, Art, MakerSpace, Band, Color Guard, Laser Cut Creation, Jr. Engineering, Drama

Additional Info: Testing Requirements: Placement test (February, June and August) Visit our website to schedule your own private tour with Julie Emerson, our Director of Admissions. You can also contact her at 334-318-3777 or jemerson@montgomerycatholic.org for more information. Students in grades 10-12 participate in a one-to-one Apple laptop program.

Tuition: Please call for tuition rates. Multi-Child Discount. For families with more than 3 students, a tuition cap may be applicable. Please contact the business office to discuss the tuition cap. Rates subject to change. Uniforms required.

St. Bede Campus (K3-6): (334) 272.3033

Holy Spirit Campus (K3-6): (334) 649.4404

Middle School (7-8): (334) 272.2465 High School (9-12): (334) 272.7220 www.montgomerycatholic.org

Resurrection Catholic School ad on page 18

2815 Forbes Dr., Montgomery, AL

Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic Curriculum: Basic; strong traditional skills core curriculum with extensive enrichment & acceleration. Religion classes required; technology emphasized; enrichment in arts & conversational Spanish; strong accelerated reading program in place. After school care, hot breakfast and lunches, computer technology.

Mission: Resurrection Catholic School is committed to continuing the Catholic tradition of providing an environment of academic excellence in which students can grow intellectually, spiritually, physically, and socially.

Leadership: Principal: Dr. Martha Pettway Grades: Preschool age Pre K4- 8th

Extra Curricular: Sports: Cheerleading and basketball available Clubs: Student Council, Male and Female Mentor Programs, Dance, STEM Club, Book Clubs, Home Economics, 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, Public Speaking Readiness, AR Star Program, First Class Prek4 program and Summer Enrichment and Feeding Programs

Tuition: Affordable; call for more information. Family discounts available. Uniforms Required. (334) 230.1970 school@resurrection-missions.com www.rcseaglepride.org

Unique Learning Needs

Churchill Academy

395 Ray Thorington Road, Montgomery, AL

Mission: Churchill Academy strives to define success individually within the structure of a supportive, nurturing environment, focusing on the uniqueness of the learners social, emotional, and academic needs; resulting in students demonstrating self-advocacy and reaching their full potential.”

Leadership: Director: Kaye Pair, M.Ed. Grades: K -12th

Extra Curricular: Clubs/Activities/Programs: Track, Chess, Journalism, Scouts, Work Study, Academic tutoring, snapology, ACT administration, Test Prep, Individual Learning Programs, Dual collegiate enrollment, work study for credit, career exploration, vocational rehab, Easter Seals, Prom, Dances, MANE, family involved activities away from school and at school, and Churchill Academy Parent Association Entrance Requirements: Churchill conducts individualized assessments to determine students’ strengths and areas of concern. Placement testing is given to lower and middle school students. (334) 270.4225 www.churchillacademy.net


Classical Conversations ad on page 18

Classical Conversations is a proven Christian education program created by parents for parents. We do this through a Christ-centered and family-friendly approach to homeschooling that makes everything biblical and simple. Our program covers K-4 to College Credit and includes college degree opportunities for parents, as well. To find a program near you visit Community Search on our website. www.classicalconversations.com

Dayspring Academy/High School Leadership: Donna Mitchell (334)518.9181 dayspringacademy@yandex.com www.dsacademy.org

Evangel Christian Academy Leadership: Rachelle Whatley Additional Info: A ministry of Evangel Temple (334) 272.3882 www.evangelfamily.org

Everest Academy Leadership: Deb Spradlin (205) 433.9828 alabamahomeschooling.com

Ezekiel Academy Leadership: Maretta Oswald (334) 315.0010 www.ezekielacademy.org

Huntington Learning Center Leadership: Christi Davis (334) 277.9200 huntingtonhelps.com

New Hope Academy Leadership: Tina Halbert (334) 361.9505 www.newhope4kids.com

Outlook Academy Leadership: Carren Joye Additional Info: Ministry of Tri County Community Church in Millbrook (334) 290.0919 info@outlookacademy.com www.outlookacademy.com

River Crest Academy Leadership: Tanya Murphy (334) 398.2008 www.rivercrestacademy.com

69 www.facebook.com/RiverRegionParents
Roman Catholic

When January arrives, many of us have already thought about our resolutions for the new year. According to Statista.com, the most common resolutions in the U.S. are health focused, including exercise more, eat healthier and lose weight.

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 70

Sadly, by January 8th, 25% of us have already given up, and by July 4th, only 46% of people are still successful with their plans to stay healthy. So how do you become one of the successful ones? By having a plan that includes small changes to your lifestyle without turning it upside down.

Cut back on alcohol and sugary drinks. By the time the holidays are over, we have all had our share of empty-calorie drinks. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams of daily sugar for women and 36 grams for men. You will find that much sugar in a 12 oz. can of soda, an 8oz. margarita or a Grande Vanilla Latte. Going into the new year, try reducing your intake of sodas, specialty coffee drinks, and alcohol. Then, slowly exchange those sugary drinks with water, unsweet teas, and homemade vegetable juice drinks until you have kicked the habit.

Start a consistent exercise program. Not everyone enjoys going to the gym to exercise. In fact, Americans spent $397 million on unused gym memberships last year, according to a survey by Finder.com. Save your money and get moving doing something you enjoy. Join a pickleball league, go on daily walks, participate in a weekly yoga or spin class, or simply lift weights at home. Use accountability apps like StickK or Pact, or find a friend to exercise with you to keep you motivated.

Make a meal plan and prep for it. As a busy mom, I set aside time on Sunday afternoons to plan our week of meals, make a grocery list and prepare anything I can to make dinner

Seven Must Have Health Apps for 2023 1. Calm – For better sleep, reduced anxiety, improved focus (Subscription) 2. Map My Walk – Routing map for walking, biking, running, etc. (Free or subscription) 3. Streaks – To do list allowing you to keep track of your healthy habits ($4.99, iOS only) 4. Flo – Period, ovulation predictor and pregnancy calendar (Subscription) 5. Think Dirty. Shop Clean – Scan beauty and cleaning products to find out their ingredients (Free and subscription) 6. Fooducate – Weight loss app with recipes, diets and community (Free or subscription) 7. Freeletics – Free exercise app that you can do anywhere (Free or subscription)

time more manageable. By hav ing a plan, it will be easier to include more whole grains, fresh vegetables, and lean meats into your meals and keep you from hitting the drive-thru on the way home. Pinterest and Insta gram are excellent sources for dinner ideas to supplement your go-to lunch and dinner recipes. Need more help? Check out the SideChef app for easy recipes and meal plans connected to grocery apps like Amazon Fresh or Walmart.

Keep learning, growing, and pursuing new things. Despite the old wives’ tale, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Is this the year you learn Spanish or how to play the piano? Maybe it’s the year you reenter the workforce or start your own business. Even tasking yourself with a simple Word a Day vocabulary builder or a daily crossword puzzle pushes you just outside your comfort zone. Challenging yourself exercises your brain and makes you mentally strong, helping to fight cognitive decline in the future.

Get more sleep. While many of us are probably aware of how much sleep our kids need, we don’t realize how important sleep is to our health. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to allow their body to rest, repair and recharge. Improve your sleep habits by keeping a consistent bedtime and

creating a relaxing routine to prepare your body for rest mode. Keeping the bedroom cooler at night, replacing old mattresses, and using apps like White Noise Lite will aid in getting a full night’s rest.

Make all your doctor appointments for the

It is amazing how often you can put this task off, but by scheduling at the beginning of the year, you will have a better chance of getting and keeping the appointment you want. Start with an appointment for a physical and discuss your health goals with your provider. Don’t forget to schedule time with a dentist (2 cleanings per year), dermatologist, gynecologist, and optometrist. Be sure to schedule your mammogram and any other age-appropriate medical tests, too.

Connect with more people. If we learned one thing during the pandemic, it is that we need human interaction. Join groups with your interests, like book clubs, animal rescues, or nature enthusiasts. Plan a consistent date night with your spouse, a mom and me date with your kids, or monthly dinner with your neighbors. Want to stay connected with people who are far away?

Enjoy a Zoom cocktail hour with friends who live out of state. You can also reach out to a pen pal group and start exchanging letters with someone from across the country or the world.

Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three who strives to make her New Year’s resolutions last longer than January.

Is Your Child Talking to a Stranger Online (Part One)

We all remember when our parents warned us “not to talk to strangers.”

For those of us north of 35, that mostly meant we were not to talk to someone in person we did not know. Or do not talk to someone who approaches you that your parents do not know. Today this takes on a whole different meaning. Do not talk to strangers now applies more to the “online space” than the “in-person” space. But what are the odds that your kid will talk to someone online they do not know? And how early is this happening?

Every parent worries about online predators at some point, and we must be cautious. While it is rare for our kids to be contacted by a predator, it does happen, and it is best to be prepared. While the incidence of these unwanted contacts seemed to be declining between 2005-2010, the numbers surged back up post-pandemic. This is due to many of us being isolated and on our devices more than ever, giving predators a perfect opportunity to take advantage of and manipulate new online users.

Today’s article will be the first of a two-part series. First, we will discuss how these dangerous interactions can come to be in the first place and the risks associated. Then, next month, we will discuss how to prevent it from happening and how to talk with your child specifically.

A recent survey in 2019 of almost 4000 children found that 43 percent, ages 8-13, are talking to people they do not know online. They chat either via social media or gaming platforms. Some research indicates kids as young as five are chatting with strangers. This typically happens when they get access to gaming devices. It is equally terrifying that more than half of these kids are providing their addresses and phone numbers. We will also be remiss to think these conversations happen only among young children. Teens are just as guilty, and the incidence of meeting these strangers in person rises once young kids become teenagers. Many of these meet-ups result in a teen being taken. So chatting with a stranger can have many consequences, ranging from inappropriate conversations to grooming, soliciting of pictures, and even sex trafficking.

In reality, anyone can create a fake profile and pretend they are someone else. These predators can “groom” your child into thinking they are your child’s best friend or, for older kids, someone with whom they can have a romantic relationship. Research shows that predators will wait days, months, or even years to establish a strong relationship with your child or teen before they act on any plans they have for your child. It is incredibly easy for hackers to glean information from young children and then use it to access their parents’ accounts.

With older teens, we see a disturbing trend of predators using information to blackmail teenagers. For instance, if inappropriate pictures have been shared, the next step may be to ask for videos. If those are shared, then the predator may ask for more videos. If the teen refuses, this is when harassment and blackmail begin. This becomes a viscous, exhausting, and terrifying cycle that most teens feel they cannot escape.

Let me stop here for a second and mention that many times instead of an unknown predator asking for pictures or information, the “predator” is someone your child DOES know. More often, I see kids and teens pressuring one another for inappropriate information and pictures than I see predator activity.

As parents, we want to lead from confidence and knowledge rather than fear. Next month we will discuss what to look for specifically on your child’s devices and what conversations to have. In the meantime, your best defense is your open dialogue with your child and random device checks. It will be your absolute best way of discovering what your child is doing online.

Kristi Bush serves as a national education consultant and social media safety advocate.

She is a licensed social worker with greater than 15 years of clinical practice and health care experience.

She attended Troy and Auburn University where she studied social work and counseling. Kristi travels nationally and has spoken with thousands of children, parents, professionals and organizations about the benefits and threats associated with social media. You may reach Kristi through her website at www.knbcommunications.com.

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Tuesday January 3

Bluey’s Big Play

6:00 PM BJCC Legacy Arena, 1898 9th Ave North Birmingham, AL, 35203 Get your tickets now to see Bluey and friends on stage. Go see Bluey’s Big Play Tuesday, Jan. 3 or Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 6:00pm. www.bjcc.org/

Wetumpka Nutrition Class

($5 member/$10 non-member)

9:15 AM Wetumpka YMCA, 200 Red Eagle Rd. Wetumpka , AL, 36092 This class meets the first Tuesday of every month in Group X Room. This class will teach simple ways to properly fuel the body in order to sustain a healthy weight, healthy heart, and healthy brain function.

(334) 567-8282 www.ymcamontgomery.org/specialevents/

Thursday January 5

First Thursdays at the PRAC

5:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Pike Road Arts Center, 944 Wallahatchie Rad Pike Road , AL, 36064 The Arts Center will be open on the first Thursday of each month! Stop by to explore and shop the handmade gifts and original art by Alabama artists available in the Arts Center’s Water House Gallery, get to know the Arts Council, and enjoy special evening discounts on a variety of items! www.pikeroad.us/events

MMFA Art Talk (free)

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1 Museum Dr. Montgomery, AL, 36117 Participants can bring one work of art for feedback or just join the conversation for creative inspiration! (334) 625-4333 www.mmfa.org

Saturday January 7

Healthy Start 5K ($35) 8:00 AM Willis Bradford Branch YMCA, 972 McQueen Smith Road S Prattville, AL, 36066 Prattville Alumni Association of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., will be hosting their 4th Annual Healthy Start 5K Run/Walk. Set your own pace. Registration/ packet pick-up will be from 6:30 AM - 7:30 AM at Willis Bradford Branch YMCA, Prattville AL. Runners/ Walkers will hit the pavement at 8:00 AM. www.healthystart.itsyourrace.com/event. aspx?id=15419

Health Expo

10 AM – 2 PM, by Strong Tower at Washington Park, held at 2840 Boys Club Road, Montgomery, AL 36108 This is a free event that was created to help you kickstart any health goals you set at the beginning of 2023! Free food, nutrition and exercise classes, and more. Come out, ask questions and get started on physically becoming a healthier you!

Bluegrass Jam and Sit & Sew

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Alabama River Region Arts Center, 300 W. Tallassee St. Wetumpka, AL, 36092 The Alabama River Region Arts Center hosts a bluegrass jam open to all players of acoustical instruments and singers. Sit and Sew encourages all quilters, knitters and crocheters to bring projects to work on. (334) 578-9485 www.lakemagazine.life/localevents/bluegrass-jam-and-sit-sew/event_d9ad16508e1b-11e9-bc98-fbbacf284549.html

MMFA Adult Studio Class: Mixed Media with Sarah Wright ($35)

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1 Museum Dr. Montgomery, AL, 36117 Please join Sara B. Wright, artist and art educator, for this teen and adult studio class to create a Mixed Media Painting. Participants will create works of art on canvas using various colors of tissue paper, paint, and various media. Fee includes all art supplies and snacks throughout the day. Limited space. (334) 625-4333 www.mmfa.org

The Black Jacket Symphony presents Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” 8:00 PM Montgomery Performing Arts Center, 201 Tallapoosa Street Montgomery, AL, 36104 Get your tickets now to relive that moment with a live concert experience unlike any other as The Black Jacket Symphony recreates Fleetwood Mac’s iconic album Rumours live in its entirety—plus a full set of Fleetwood Mac’s greatest hits. (334) 481-5100 www.mpaconline.org

Wetumpka Cruiser

3:00 PM - 6:00 PM, Dowtown Wetumpka, E Commerce St. Wetumpka, AL, 36092 This is a special showcase of antique cars located in Downtown Wetumpka on E Commerce Street, 3pm-6pm. Enjoy the show! www.cityofwetumpka.com/

Sunday January 8

Michaels Sunday Makebreak: Beaded Choker Necklace

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Michaels Stores, All Locations Prattville, Montgomery, AL, 36066 New year! New you! Come into your local Michaels and learn a new hobby! www.michaels.com/

Much Ado About Nothing ($15)

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Capri Theatre, 1045 East Fairview Avenue Montgomery, AL, 36106 Alabama Shakespeare Festival in partnership with the Capri Theatre present this National Theatre Live film. (334) 262-4858 www.capritheatre.org

Tuesday January 10

Art After Five: Boundless Opportunities (free)

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1 Museum Dr. Montgomery, AL, 36117 Join the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts’ Montgomery Moderns and the Mayor’s Young Professional Council for an evening exploring the boundless possibilities that the new year brings with a vision board party. Cash bar and snacks. (334) 625-4333 www.mmfa.org

Growing and Repotting Orchids (free)

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM, First Presbyterian Church, 100 West Bridge Street Wetumpka, AL, 36092 Judy May, Elmore County Master Gardener and avid orchid grower will identify the different types of orchids we can grow in our home, best way to care for them and when and how to properly repot orchids. Water is provided. Bring a sack lunch and a friend. (334) 567-6301 www.aces.edu/event/holiday-decorating-in-the-south/

Friday January 13

Swan Lake

7:30 PM - 9:30 PM, Davis Theatre, 251 Montgomery Street Montgomery, AL, 36104 Swan Lake, the classic ballet presented by The State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine at Troy’s historic Davis Theatre. (334) 241-9567 www.troy.edu/student-life-resources/arts-culture/davis-theatre/

Saturday January 14

Serve Day at the Zoo (free)

9:00 AM Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Museum, 2301 Coliseum Blvd. Montgomery, AL, 36110 Volunteers at the Montgomery Zoo are very important people and play a vital role in the success of the Montgomery Zoo. We are looking for energetic individuals who want to volunteer in a beautiful and fun place. Ages 12-16 must be accompanied by an adult, under 19 must have written permission from parent/ legal guardian. (334) 625-4905 www.montgomeryzoo.com/

Sunday January 15

Exhibition on Screen: Cézanne ($12)

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Capri Theatre, 1045 East Fairview Avenue Montgomery, AL, 36106 The Montgomery Museum of Fine Art continues our partnership with the Capri Theatre to present the Exhibition on Screen series. The second film in the series, and one of its most successful films, is dedicated to the life and work of Paul Cézanne. Capri Member: $10 (334) 262-4858 www.mmfa.org

Cake and Sip ($55-65)

4:00 PM The Velvet Room Bistro, 3526 Eastdale Annex Montgomery, AL, 36117 Come decorate your own cake while sipping on wine and mimosas and listening to the best in R & B.

(334) 647-1262 www.eventbrite.com/e/cake-sipfounders-day-edition-tickets-482759204777

Michaels Sunday Makebreak: Decoupage

Mason Jar (free)

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Michaels Stores, All Locations Prattville, Montgomery, AL, 36066 Come into your local Michaels and take a break and make a craft.

Tuesday January 17

MMFA Art Ed Central (free)

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1 Museum Dr. Art Ed Central is a professional development workshop open to all Art Educators and Alabama Art Education Association (AAEA) members. During this workshop, instructors will tour the BOUNDLESS exhibition and Peggy Raines, Artist in Museum Shop and Art Educator, will lead an artmaking activity.

(334) 625-4333 www.mmfa.org

Wednesday January 18

Shen Yun

7:30 PM Montgomery Performing Arts Center, 201 Tallapoosa Street Montgomery, AL, 36104 Shen Yun presents the incredible art of classical Chinese dance with a blend of stunning costuming, high-tech backdrops, and an orchestra like no other. Be prepared for a theatrical experience that will take your breath away!

(334) 481-5100 www.mpaconline.org

Backyard Birding - Autauga County

Lunch and Learn (free)

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM, Trinity United Presbyterian Church, 610 Fairview Ave Prattville, AL, 36066 Tyson Farmer from Wild Birds Unlimited will be the speaker teaching how to attract birds to your landscape, what is best to feed and when and how to identify bird species. This event is free to the public. Water provided, bring a sack lunch and a friend too!

(334) 361-7273 https://www.aces.edu/event/backyard-birding-autauga-county-lunch-and-learn/

River Region Parents I January 2023 www.riverregionparents.com 74


Saturday January 21

MMFA Youth Studio Class: Expression

Through Color ($10)

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1 Museum Dr. Montgomery, AL, 36117 All 8-13 year-old artists are invited to join Tiiwon Siaway, a talented and energetic artist and educator, for a creative afternoon in the MMFA’s studios. You will be exploring color theory and colored pencil techniques to create vibrant color and expressive works. All experience levels are welcome. Fee includes art supplies and snacks. Space is limited.

(334) 625-4333 www.mmfa.org

Cruising the Creek Walk 5K ($30)

9:00 AM Doster Center, 424 S Northington St Prattville, AL, 36067 Make plans to start 2023 off running!

The Annual Cruising the Creekwalk 5K will take you through historical downtown Prattville. Packet pickup and race day registration will be held at the Doster Memorial Community Center beginning at 7:30 am on January 8, 2022. (334) 657-1987 www.cruisingthecreekwalk. itsyourrace.com

Michaels Pro Jewelry Making

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Michaels Stores, All Locations Prattville, Montgomery, AL, 36066 Are you a pro jewelry maker? Come learn about the benefits and deals you can get with partnering with Michaels for your jewelry making needs! www.michaels.com/

Sunday January 22

Michaels Sunday Makebreak: Woodburn Snowflake

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Michaels Stores, All Locations Prattville, Montgomery, AL, 36066 Come into your local Michaels and take a break and learn how to use wood burning to make a fun and free winter wall art piece. www.michaels.com/

The Temptations and The Four Tops

7:00 PM Montgomery Performing Arts Center, 201 Tallapoosa St. Montgomery, AL, 36104 It’s a Motown, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Grammy Lifetime Achievement double header featuring The Temptations and The Four Tops. The Temptations include original member Otis Williams. The Four Tops include original member Abdul “Duke” Fakir. (334) 481-5100 www.mpaconline.org

January 5 - 29

ASF presents Jubilee Alabama Shakespeare Festival, 1 Festival Drive Montgomery, AL, 36117 Playwright and director Tazewell Thompson brings an innovative and heart-stirring score to life with this uplifting a cappella tribute inspired by real life. The bold, African American, world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers shattered racial barriers in the U.S. and abroad, entertaining kings and queens for more than 150 years. This production is recommend ages 12 and up. (334) 271-5353 www.asf.net

Thursday - Saturday January 12-14

The Montgomery Qualifier Taylor Road Baptist Church, 1685 Taylor Road Montgomery, AL, 36117 The Catalyst Speech and Debate Club is hosting its annual tournament, the Montgomery Qualifier, January 12-14 at Taylor Road Baptist

Church. We are expecting 125 students from 5 states and are seeking community judges to give feedback to our students. No experience is required! Judging one round is a three-hour commitment. Join us as volunteer community judge and see what our speech and debate league is all about! Go to ncfca.org, click “judge,” and find Montgomery on the map. Questions? Contact montgomeryjudges@ncfca.org. (682) 802-2727 www.ncfca.org/judge-a-tournament/ montgomery-al-qualifier/

Sundays in January

Harriot II Sunday Blues Cruise ($35) 4:30 PM - 7:00 PM, Harriott II Riverboat, 213 Commerce Street Montgomery, AL, 36104 The Blues Cruise is a two-hour cruise featuring live Blues entertainment from local entertainers. The Wheel House Grille has a full bar and concessions available for purchase. This cruise is offered each Sunday. Don’t miss the boat!

(334) 625 - 2100 www.funinmontgomery.com

Fridays in January

Harriot II Friday Night Dinner Cruise ($35-55) 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM, Harriott II Riverboat, 213 Commerce Street Montgomery, AL, 36104 This two-hour cruise features a fully plated dinner from a local chef, live entertainment, and a full bar for purchase. This dinner cruise is available every Friday! Don’t miss the boat!

(334) 625 - 2100 www.funinmontgomery.com

Sunday, February 5

2023 Murder on the Menu

12:30 PM – 4 PM, Wetumpka Civic Center, 410 S. Main Street, Wetumpka, AL, 36092 Murder on the Menu is the yearly fundraiser for the Wetumpka Library featuring top-notch mystery authors from around the country. This event targets readers, writers, aspiring writers and fans of mysteries of all types. Books will be available for purchase, and the authors are happy to autograph. Cost is $40 per person and includes a catered lunch and chances to interact with the authors. Scheduled authors include Julia SpencerFleming, Lissa Marie Redmond, Erica Spindler, Con Lehane, and Dean James, writing as Miranda James. For a complete list of authors and more information visit https://wetumpkalibrary.com/frie.../murder-onthe-menu-2022/.

Saturday, February 11

Seedy Saturday

EAT South, 485 Molten St, Montgomery, AL Seedy Saturday is a celebration of seeds & our garden community. You are welcome to bring seeds to share or just show up if you need seeds. Free.

Saturday, February 18

2023 Wetumpka Mardi Gras Festival

9:00 AM Gold Star Park in Wetumpka The Order of Cimarron is hosting our 9th Annual Mardi Gras Celebration and Parade in downtown Wetumpka. Vendors open at 9 a.m. with the parade rolling at 1 p.m.

Please check with each venue prior to attending the event to verify the information provided is still accurate and up to date.

Please send calendar info to editor@riverregionparents.com.

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Jackson questioned everything. What worked for Emma did not for Jackson. I had to learn to parent and discipline each one differently. I’ve learned not to sweat the small stuff with the second child.

RRP: What hobbies do you enjoy when you’re not in mom or work mode?

Brandi: I’m always in mom mode, and my favorite thing is watching my children play sports. When I have free time, I love spending it at the beach, finding new fun places to have dinner, lazy days with Netflix, and hanging out with friends.

RRP: What’s the best part about being a mom?

Brandi: Unconditional love, theirs and mine. Knowing that God picked me to be their mom is the best job in the world. Being a mom slows life down. I don’t wish for the next big event to be here. A simple day at home snuggling on the sofa or playing cards around the table holds just as much value and memories as a big occasion or holiday. Motherhood makes me step back and appreciate all the small things.

RRP: How do you teach your children to find value in themselves and stay authentic to who they are?

Brandi: I’ve always taught my kids to know who they are and whose they are. They certainly are not perfect, but they know they are a children of God and have been raised to know their worth and value.

RRP: How do you address technology/social media in a day and age when kids have so much access at their fingertips?

Brandi: It’s a daily battle with both children. I do not allow devices at the dinner table and ensure both children leave their phones downstairs at night. Jackson being the youngest, has more restrictions. He’s only permitted to play Xbox on the weekends. Sometimes, I allow a mid-week free night after homework is finished. I try to teach Emma to self-regulate her time spent on social media. It’s hard, really hard, and I’m not always sure how successful I have been with this.

RRP: What parenting hack did you gain from your parents?

Brandi: Say what you mean and mean what you say. Consistency is important. I try hard to follow through with what I say. However, sometimes it can be difficult, and I must reevaluate the lesson I’m trying to teach at that moment. Ultimately, I want my children to understand what is expected of them.

RRP: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself about raising kids?

Brandi: Get to, not have to. Don’t look at everything as having to do it, but rather getting to do it. One day you won’t get to do it anymore. Cherish everything!

Brandi Moody is a native of Montgomery. She’s married to her husband, Jon, for almost 20 years. They have two daughters: Emma (17) and Jackson (9).

1 www.facebook.com/auburnopelika.parents THE —MONTGOMERY ACADEMY— KINDERGARTEN OPEN HOUSE Thursday, February 2, 2023 6pm | Lower School Campus | 1550 Perry Hill Road  Dinner provided for parents and their rising Kindergartener.  Learn about the MA Difference, which puts an emphasis on nurturing and developing the whole child through a robust curriculum.  Hear about TailorMAde Tuition, where families pay what they can afford.  See why MA was named Montgomery’s #1 Best Private K-12 school in Niche Best Schools 2023 rankings. RSVP at MontgomeryAcademy.org/OpenHouse by January 30 The Montgomery Academy montgomeryacademy.org Scan to RSVP

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