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Back to School! The beginning of the school year always brings changes, even if it’s just getting used to a new grade level or finding out you’re actually good at trig. At some Over the Mountain schools, there will be bigger differences, too – a new principal, an innovative playground and a superintendent with a distinctive honor. And in Hoover, a brand new school opens its doors. Our Back to School special section begins on page 18.

Birmingham Bombshells will present the third annual “A Picture of Health” Aug. 3 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Old Car Heaven. Patrons should come dressed in 1940s garb or as their favorite golden era “pin-up” personality. See About Town, page 4.

As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Chefs Move to Schools program, Homewood and Mountain Brook school systems are working with Samford University Chef Chris Vizzina to make school lunches healthier and tastier. See Life, page 10.

The fifth annual Funky Monkey was June 23 at B&A Warehouse. Presented by the Camp Smile-AMile Junior Board, the event benefits the Alabama camp’s program for children with cancer. See Social, page 10.

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Down the Wormhole


Vestavia Hills recently hosted the annual Miss Dogwood Pageant. For a list of the winners, see People, page 9.



rowse through more photos from the area’s biggest and best social events.

lan your evenings and weekends. Check out our extended online calendar of events in the Over the Mountain area.


hare your news. Got a news item you’d like to see in the Journal. Just click on “got news” and fill out the form to submit your good news.


s always, keep up with the latest happenings at the Journal on Facebook and Twitter.

In our next issue, get home improvement ideas and more back to school news from OTM area schools.


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July 28, 2011

Publisher: Maury Wald Editor: Laura McAlister Features Writer: Donna Cornelius Office Manager: Christy Wald Editorial Assistant: Stacie Galbraith Sports: Lee Davis Contributors: Susan Murphy, Bones Long, Cary Estes, June Mathews, Emil Wald, Marvin Gentry Advertising Sales: Suzanne Wald, Julie Trammell Edwards, Tommy Wald Editorial Intern: Matthew Terwilliger Vol. 20, No. 14

Over The Mountain Journal is a suburban bi-weekly newspaper delivered to more than 40,000 households in the Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover and North Shelby County areas. Hot Property is a paid advertisement. Subscriptions for The Journal are available for $24 yearly. Mail to: Over the Mountain Journal, P.O. Box 660502, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216. Phone: (205) 823-9646. E-mail the editorial department at E-mail our advertising department at Find us on the Web at Copyright 2010 Over The Mountain Journal, Inc. All rights reserved. The Journal is not responsible for return of photos, copy and other unsolicited materials submitted. To have materials returned, please specify when submitting and provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All materials submitted are subject to editorial review and may be edited or declined without notification.

coupon an item that is already buy-one-get-one-free. eary of caring How does that happen? I’m sure these people went who dances to first grade just like I did. We might have sat next to more divinely, each other in freshman algebra or biology. has the better voice or But somewhere along the line, we parted quizzical broke out in a slap fest ways. They asked the big questions. I asked when the in some chichi LA resnew “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie was coming out. taurant, I thought I’d Maybe if I hadn’t approached my science classes stretch my synapses as a plug-and-chug exercise, semester info in/semesthe other day and tune into a new show on ter info out. I didn’t even buy my textbooks. I rented the Science Channel. them. And I’m sorry. I’d seen the commerSo, here I am making a pitch to all of you now Susan Murphy cial for “Wormhole,” heading off to college. Right now you’re staring down and it looked intriguing that long list of core requirements and your major– sweeping classical soundtrack, mysteries of the focused mind is scoffing, saying, “I’m never going to universe, Morgan Freeman as use this.” a reassuring guide. I grabbed a But you will. One day some bag of Cheetos and settled in tweed jacket egotist, holding forth I sat there mid-crunch for a deliciously stimulating at a cocktail party, will toss a pondering the possibility. science-pithy barb into your conevening. The premiere episode set out to The universe shaped like versation, and you’ll honestly be explore the most recently derived able to say, “Yes, I read something a soccer ball? As Ricky theories about the size and shape about that.” of the universe. Surrounded by I know you’re chomping at the Ricardo said, to me the guy appropriately mysterious lighting bit to get down to the meat of your had a lot more ‘splainin’ to doctor/lawyer/engineer track, but and a string of mathematical formulas, a well-respected scientist try to remember that the world is a do. blew up a balloon in a Plexiglas very wide place. Other people are cage and concluded that the unijust as focused on their particular verse was shaped like a soccer paths as you are on yours, and it ball. can lead to major disconnect. Perhaps you could conI sat there mid-crunch pondering the possibility. The sider that art appreciation class as learning a foreign universe shaped like a soccer ball? As Ricky Ricardo language, that astronomy class as an attempt to reach said, to me the guy had a lot more ‘splainin’ to do. out across the great intellectual divide. Of course, it wasn’t like I had a better answer. I had In any event, listen. Read. Go to the labs, even if never given the universe’s shape much thought, which your lab partner never shows up and just wants to triggered another important question: Why? I live in copy your notes. File every non-related big idea away the universe. I have a stake in the game. Why didn’t in an accessible corner of your brain so years later I lie awake at night wondering about the edges of our when some newbie science genius comes on the screen existence? you won’t be caught sitting on the couch covered in Now, I don’t know if Morgan Freeman is bothered Cheetos crumbs feeling like a crash test dummy. by universal fringes or if he just reads the cue cards I taped the second episode of “Wormhole,” a lively discussion on the question, “Does time really exist?” and goes home, but it was obvious that there are people out there who bat the issue around in everyday con- Offhand, I’d say yes, but I’ve been wrong before. versation. They spend their time thinking about the far In any case, I’m ready to listen. OK, Mr. Freeman, frontiers like I spend mine wondering if I can double start ‘splainin’. ❖


What are you looking forward to most about the new school year?

“I look forward to not being outside in the heat and getting to sit down.” Josh Kidd Vestavia Hills

“I can’t wait to see my friends and play lacrosse.”

“I’m excited about learning my favorite subject – science.”

Ben Thompson Vestavia Hills

Caroline Crawford Hoover

“I’m looking forward to learning new things in math while I’m homeschooled.” Noah Crawford Hoover



Next Poetry Slam Is Aug. 5 at Library

The Birmingham Public Library will host its next poetry slam Aug. 5 at the Central Library. Bards & Brews showcases both veteran slammers and first-timers. Live music starts at 6:30 p.m. Call time is 7 p.m. Held on the first Friday of each month, slams are emceed

THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011 • 3

by events director Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins. Each contestant contributes $5 to the pot, and winner takes all. Southern Fried Slam rules will be observed. Craft beer will be available for sampling. Participants must be 18 or older to be admitted and 21 or older to be served. For more information, visit the Bards & Brews page on Facebook.

Men’s Group Welcomes Members

The Birmingham Men’s group is seeking prospective new members.The self-led men’s support group meets at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church every Monday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. It is not church affiliated. Call Dr. Dennis Adams at 4107743 for an interview. ❖

Heart of the House Gala committee members show off auction items for the Aug. 18 fundraiser. Making plans for the event are, from left, front: Erva Guenther, Sandy Thurmond, Vikki Grodner, Ben Weil, Evelyn Jones and Keri Till. Back: Rick Roth, Steve Bobulinski, Connie Stein, Frederic Photo special to the Journal Smith and Katherine Billmeier.

Gala Benefits Ronald McDonald House

The ninth annual Heart of the House Gala and Auction benefiting Birmingham’s Ronald McDonald House is set for Aug. 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Wynfrey Hotel. The event will honor Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb. Auction items include a Mini Cooper; Harley Davidson; trips to Las Vegas, Oregon vineyards, the San Diego Zoo, Denver Art Museum and Atlanta Braves games; Alabama and Auburn football tickets and backstage passes to Bryant-Denny Stadium; Instant Wine Cellars; art; diamond jewelry; children’s goodies; and more. Auctioneers will be WJOX FM’s Tony Kurre and ABC 33/40’s Nicole Allshouse. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama is Birmingham’s only affordable provider of temporary housing services focused on serving sick or injured children and their families who must travel to Birmingham for medical care. Event proceeds will benefit the RMH and also provide funding for the new Ronald McDonald Family Room at DCH Regional Medical Center. For ticket or sponsorship information, contact Patricia Craft at or 2127263.

BBG Cocktails Event Kicks Off Aug. 11

Cocktails in The Gardens toasts its fifth anniversary Aug. 11, Sept. 8 and Oct. 13 from 5:308:30 p.m. in the Hill Garden at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The annual event invites Birmingham’s young professionals and music fans to mingle while enjoying the sounds of homegrown artists. Admission is free for members and $15 for non-members. Imperial Catering will offer a cash bar, a signature drink along with wine and domestic beer and complimentary hors d’oeuvres. This season, a new V.I.P. area

is $25 for both members and nonmembers. The V.I.P. area, limited to 100 patrons, offers Cocktails in The Gardens’ most scenic views, an expanded menu and a more fully-stocked cash bar. “Surf on the Turf” will kick off the season Aug. 11, with entertainment by Birmingham native Jon Black. His music has provided the soundtrack for TV’s “90210,” “Private Practice” and “The United States of Tara.” Fresh from an appearance at the Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, the singer/songwriter recently was featured in Paste Magazine and American Songwriter. The season’s second event, “Green and Serene,” will be Sept. 8. Downright co-founder Matthew DeVine will perform a solo set featuring many of the funk and rock selections from his band along with his own material. Downright has toured the Southeast for more than a decade, releasing four full-length albums and a DVD. The final event of 2011, “A Haunted Affair,” will be Oct. 13. One of Birmingham’s veteran acts, Rollin’ in the Hay, offers its eclectic blend of bluegrass and Southern rock. Rollin’ in the Hay has opened for Gregg Allman, the Doobie Brothers, Alabama and Widespread Panic. Proceeds from Cocktails in The Gardens will help support the Friends’ mission to educate the public about plants, gardens and the environment. For more information, visit or contact Shelly McCarty at 4143965 or

Forum Focuses on Self-Publishing

Emmet O’Neal Library will present a Self-Published Author’s Forum Aug. 6 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the library. Self-published authors will present their works. The event includes a question and answer session. The forum is free and open to public. For more information, call Reece Sherman at 213-2620.


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4 • THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011

‘Picture of Health’ Helps Cancer Foundation

Birmingham Bombshells will present the third annual “A Picture of Health” Aug. 3 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Old Car Heaven. Patrons should come dressed in 1940s garb or as their favorite golden era “pin-up” personality. Tickets, now available at www. for $25, include treats from local restaurants, a photo and entertainment from DJ Rafa. Photographer Angela Karen started the “Picture of Health” event after being touched by a client with ovarian cancer. All proceeds from the event go to the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation. Founded in December 2009 by Laura Crandall Brown and her father, James “Jim” Crandall, the foundation focuses on education to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer and to help fund research for an early detection diagnostic test. At age 25, Laura lost her 15-month battle with ovarian cancer. Visit for more information.

‘Shear Kindness’ Haircuts to Help Kids

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama’s Young Leadership Board will host the second annual Shear Kindness hair cut-a-thon Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the second floor of the former Belk store at the Riverchase Galleria. The event will be held during



Natalie Globetti, left, and mother Karen Globetti are ready for their close up at this year’s Birmingham Bombshells Picture of Health.

Photo special to the Journal

Alabama’s 2011 sales tax holiday weekend. Supporters include the Galleria and Sirote & Permutt. Stylists from the Richard Joseph Studio Salon Spa at Belk, Aveda Institute, Sports Clips and Paul Mitchell’s Xcell Academy will all be giving haircuts in return for a donation to the Ronald McDonald House. Requested donations are $5 for children and $10 for adults. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama is Birmingham’s only affordable provider of temporary housing services focused on serving sick or injured children and their families who must travel to Birmingham for medical care. All proceeds will benefit the Ronald McDonald House and also provide funding for the new Ronald McDonald Family Room at DCH Regional Medical Center.

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Serving on the Young Leadership Board are, from left, front: Valerie Childers, Aimee Stagner, Victoria Robbins, Mallory Gudzan, Mallory Beaton and Cheryl Oswalt. Middle row: Ted Perry, Stephen Powell, Nick Braud, Jamey Armstrong and Casey Hardeman. Back: Meagan Perry, Ashley Witte, Adrienne Gunselman, Chijioke Ulasi, Mary Photo special to the Journal Compton, Keri Till and Michelle Crunk.

��������������������� Friday, July 29, Noon to 6pm Saturday, July 30, 8am to 2pm

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Indoor/Outdoor Sale 80+ Vendors, including furniture, household items, tools, toys, baby gear, sports equipment, clothing, jewelry, art, antiques and more! Proceeds benefit: Grace House Briarwood Church Acton Rd and I-459 All Welcome!!!

UA Jeffco Alums Plan Kick-Off Party

The Jefferson County Chapter of the University of Alabama Alumni Association will hold its annual Fall Kick-Off Party Aug. 4 at Old Car Heaven. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Coach Mal Moore, UA’s director of athletics, is the keynote speaker. Deidra K. Perry is event chairman. Former Alabama players, including Antonio Langham, Derrick Lassic, Kerry Goode and Jeremiah Castille, are scheduled to appear A buffet dinner will be provided by Full Moon BBQ, and a pair of Tide Pride season football tickets will be raffled, with proceeds going toward the chapter’s scholarship fund. Raffle tickets, $3 each or $10 for four, can be purchased by e-mailing jconrad@cbcocpa. com. The event is open to Alabama friends, fans and alumni of all ages. Admission is free for active chapter members, $25 for nonmembers and free for children 12 and under. Admission fees will support scholarships. Proceeds will also support tornado relief in Tuscaloosa. Those who are not members can join at the event or by visiting

‘Summer Storm’ Is Dance Event

The Vulcan Performers of Rhythm N Motion dance will produce their 18th professional dance entertainment event “Summer Storm” Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Wynfrey Hotel. The event includes dance exhibitions, art, silent auctions and a family-friendly NY/LA Social Dance Party to follow. A goods drive will benefit Three Hots and a Cot, a charity for homeless veterans. The fun starts at 6 p.m. with free dance lessons, including styles for the dance party after the show. An arts event will feature local painters, jewelry design and other crafts. Tickets can be purchased online for $8 at or at the door for $10. Performers include T.J. and Wendy Zito, Brooks Macbeth, Alexa Duchock, Nicole Gryder, Josh Herron, Libby Adkins, Glendinning Johnston, Heather Novak, Amanda Thomas and Keenan Murray. All dancers are local professionals who have regular jobs in fields such as graphic design, banking and sales as well as college students. Exhibitions will include the Vulcanettes junior dancers, Fy Swagga Hip Hop and other local dance groups. Local Justin Bieber impersonator Brad Price will make a special appearance. For more information, visit ❖


Finebaum Headlines CASA Luncheon

Paul Finebaum will be the guest speaker at an Aug. 17 luncheon hosted by CASA, a nonprofit network supporting and promoting court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children. The sports radio and TV personality will make predictions about the 2011 college football season at the event, set for 11:30 a.m. at The Club. Guests will be able to ask questions. CASA serves children from birth to 18 years of all races and economic levels. CASA volunteers are appointed by family court judges to investigate specific cases. These volunteers interview the children and others in an effort to guarantee the children’s best interests. The program’s goal is to see that every child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For more information or to buy tickets, visit KickOffForCASA. com.

Soiree Introduces Role Model Runway

The Girl Scouts Young Professionals Society will host the second annual Soiree@Saks Aug. 11 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Saks Fifth Avenue at The Summit. A Role Model Runway will be introduced this year. This fashion show will feature professional community leaders wearing some of Saks’ hottest fashions. Tickets, $30 for an individual and $50 for a couple, include beverage tickets. Tickets can be purchased at www.girlscoutsnca. org/soiree. The event will feature hors d’oeuvres by Café IZ, live music by the Jason Bailey Band plus a silent auction. Flip Burger Boutique will serve its liquid nitrogen cocktails, while other beverages have been donated by Good People Brewery. Also, guests will get the chance to shop at Saks Fifth Avenue, with a portion of the sales going back to the Girl Scouts. The first 50 guests will receive Super Swag Bags filled with goodies, and the next 100 will receive regular swag bags. There will also be a door prize drawing. All proceeds from the event will benefit the initiatives of the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama. For more information, contact Liz Furst at 980-4750, ext. 1023 or, or visit

SVHS Classes Will Reunite

The Shades Valley High School classes of 1969, 1970 and 1971 will have a reunion Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Pelham Civic Complex. The evening will include a D.J., dancing and refreshments of fruit, vegetables and hot hors d’ oeuvres. Visit for details about locating classmates and the reunion.


Helping plan the CASA luncheon are from left: Howard Bearman, CASA volunteer; René Williams Spain, CASA executive director; Hansell G. Burke, volunteer; Allison Burleson, planning committee member; and Journal photo by Laura McAlister Irene Little, chairman of the CASA board.

Gala’s Theme Is ‘Circus of Hope’

The American Cancer Society’s 31st annual Hope Gala will be Aug. 20 at Vestavia Country Club. This year’s event, themed “Circo Della Speranza” (Circus of Hope), honors Stanley R. Virciglio. Virciglio is a third-generation grocer and owner of the Piggly Wiggly stores in Crestline, Liberty Park and Homewood. A cancer survivor, he is known for his generosity to local non-profits and his support of education in Birmingham. The Hope Gala will begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails and a silent auction followed by dinner and a live auction. Live music will be provided after dinner by Livewire. Tickets Stanley R. are $250 Virciglio per person. Funds raised will support the American Cancer Society. For more information or to buy tickets, call Ellen Miles at 9308883.

Rebel Reunion Raises Funds for VH Schools

The Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation Ambassadors – Sharon Lovell, Joy Langley, Nancy Boone, Julie Meadows, Becky Crum and Donna Williams – will host a Rebel Reunion at 7 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Vestavia Hills Lodge. The event, Good Ole Rebel Reunion, will feature live music by The Usual Suspects and food by Ingram Link. The Rebel Reunion provides an opportunity for parents of Vestavia Hills graduates or grandparents of Vestavia Hills students to reconnect and celebrate the school system. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation. The Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation is a non-profit 501c (3) that’s mission is to provide perpetual financial

support to each of the Vestavia Hills schools. For more information about the event, call 978-8808 or e-mail Tickets are $50 and will be available at the door.

Tide, Tigers Unite for Tornado Relief

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Alabama and Auburn representatives have set aside their rivalry in sports and formed a foundation to raise money for tornado relief. The HEARTinDIXIE ���������������������� Foundation, along with UNITE|364, will host three events �������������� Aug. 13-15 to raise money for tor�������� nado relief efforts. All proceeds will benefit the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund, www.ServeAlabama. gov. The first event will be an ��������� Alumni Day flag football game ������ ������� ���������������������������������������������������������������� Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. at Spain Park ������� ���� High School football field. ����������������������������������������� The HEARTinDIXIE Benefit and Pairings Party will be Aug. �������������������������������������������������������������������� 14 at 6 p.m. at the Birmingham Marriott, 3590 Grandview Pkwy. ��������������������������������������������� Tickets are limited. ����������������������������������� The final event of the weekend is a charity golf pro-am tournament �������������������������������������������� Aug. 15 beginning at 10 a.m. at the ���������������������������������������������������������������������������� Greystone Golf and Country Club �������������������������������������������������� Founders Course. Birmingham’s Hubert Green ������������������������������������ will be the honorary host. Jerry Pate, Leonard Thompson, Steve Lowery, Michael Thompson and Boo Weekly have all committed to play in the tournament. Celebrity athletes taking part in the weekend’s events include Bo Jackson, Cornelius Bennett, Pat Dye, Ray Perkins, Al DelGreco, Bobby Humphrey, Stan White, Gene Stallings, Joe Cribbs and Lee Roy Jordan. Representing their respective universities are Ken Wilder, Alabama A-Club president, and Gordon Stone, Auburn Football Lettermen Club president. Scott Myer, Alabama Sports Hall of Fame executive director, is also helping with efforts to include all Alabamians in this statewide cause. For more information about the foundation, visit www. ❖

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At Alabama Girls State’s inaugural ball are, from left, Hoover High students Sarah Smith, Ana Luquerna and Jamie Baxley. Photo special to the Journal

Hoover Students Attend Girls State

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��� ������������������������������������������������� ������������������� ��������� ������������������������������������������������������������������ Get a home equity line of credit from IBERIABANK. �����������������������������������������������������������������

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Sarah Smith, Ana Luquerna and Jamie Baxley represented Hoover High School at the 2011 session of Alabama Girls State, held on the campus of Troy University. During the weeklong session, the students became citizens in an imaginary state, taking part in the political life of their community through campaigning for and electing city, county and state offices. They also learned about the operation of government by participating in party caucuses and through the election process. Well-known speakers and other state, county and city officials visited to talk to the young women about their civic responsibilities. Sarah is the daughter of Ron and Mary Smith. Ana’s parents are Francisco Luquerna and Ana Maria Ramirez. Jamie is the daughter of Jim and Jennifer Baxley. The three were selected to attend Alabama Girls State because of their outstanding leadership.

McCallum Is State Bar President-Elect

Homewood - 2340 Woodcrest Place | Fultondale - 1301 Decatur Highway Pelham - 2695 Pelham Parkway | Vestavia - 613 Montgomery Highway ������������������������������������� Mountain Brook Village | Crestline Village | Hoover Normal credit qualifications and other terms and conditions apply. Rates and terms of this offer are subject to change without notice. *Introductory fixed rate of 2.99% for the first six months of the contract. Thereafter, your APR is a variable rate based on the Wall Street Journal Prime plus a margin that is determined based on your creditworthiness and other credit criteria. An example of a recent margin used is 0.75% and as of 7/21/2011, the Wall Street Journal Prime Rate is 3.25%. Using this example, the effective APR after the introductory rate period ends would be 4.00%. The maximum possible APR on the variable-rate line of credit is 21%. Please consult your tax advisor for details regarding deductibility of interest and charges. For new lines of credit only. The minimum line amount is $10,000. Refinances with less than $10,000 additional credit are excluded from this offer. Subject to a $199 origination fee and a $50 annual fee. Home equity lines of credit are subject to satisfactory appraisal, title search and proof of ownership. Lender may require property insurance. Valid for owner-occupied, single-family primary residences, (townhouses, condominiums, co-ops and mobile homes are excluded). The $0 third party closing cost feature is not available on lines of credit with a principal balance of $250,000 or more or on lines of credit requiring the use of outside counsel to close, pursuant to current IBERIABANK lending policy. Some third party closing fees, typically ranging between $0 and $1,300, are waived. Other fees, for example, attorney fees and title insurance (if applicable), will not be waived. These fees typically range between $0 and $5,000, depending upon the circumstances of your line of credit. Local county tax fees may also apply and are not waived. Proof of income required for all lines of credit. The IBERIABANK home equity line of credit allows you to make multiple advances for any amounts and will be available for a 5-year draw. After the draw period has expired, any outstanding balance will be amortized over a 15-year period and will be payable in 180 equal monthly installments, depending upon the repayment terms and conditions of your line of credit agreement. You have the option of paying more toward principal whenever you choose with no prepayment penalties. Please see an IBERIABANK representative for additional details.

Phillip W. McCallum, a founding shareholder and senior partner in the Birmingham law firm of McCallum Methvin & Terrell PC, has been chosen presidentelect of the 16,600-member Alabama State Bar. He assumed office following the state bar’s annual meetPhillip W. ing July 13McCallum 16. McCallum attended Auburn University and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He earned his law degree from Cumberland School of Law. His firm, which concentrates its practice in complex litigation, class actions, insurance fraud and consumer protection, received the state bar’s 2010 Pro Bono Award for providing free legal services

to the poor. McCallum was vice president during the 2009-2010 term of Tom Methvin. He also served three terms on the Board of Bar Commissioners, the state bar’s decision and policy making body, and was a member of a state bar Disciplinary Panel. He served as president of the Birmingham Bar Association Young Lawyers Section and was a member of that bar’s Executive and Grievance committees. In 2010, he received the state bar’s President’s Award for meritorious service to the legal profession. He is a Fellow of both the American Bar Foundation and the Alabama Law Foundation, the only nonprofit statewide organization that supports programs providing civil legal aid to the poor. He is a charter member of the law foundation’s Atticus Finch Society, whose goal is to make access to justice a reality for all Alabama citizens. A lifelong resident of Vestavia Hills, McCallum has been active in many community and statewide service organizations. He currently serves on the Vestavia Hills Park and Recreation Foundation Board. He is past chairman of the Substance and Abuse Committee for the City of Vestavia Hills. He sits on the Board of Directors of Triumph Services, which provides community-based support to individuals with developmental disabilities who are trying to live independently. He is a volunteer coach for the Vestavia Hills Wrestling Club. He and his wife Kelley, also an attorney, have three children.

Ford Receives BSC Educator Award

Dr. Charlotte Ford, director of the Birmingham-Southern College Library and associate professor of library science, received the college’s annual Outstanding Educator Award during the 152nd commencement ceremony May 14. The award is given to an outstanding member of the BSC faculty based on recommendations by his or her colleagues. The award includes a cash stipend and an invitation to serve as speaker at the 2012 commencement. Ford, who lives in Homewood, assumed leadership of the BSC Library in 2008 after serving as assistant professor of library and information science at San José State University School of Library and Information Science. She served at BirminghamSouthern as coordinator of reference services from 2001-05 and reference/government documents librarian from 1991-96. Ford has a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Earlham College, a master’s degree in library science from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in library and information science from Indiana. ❖


Jetmundsen Brothers Earn Eagle Rank

Brothers Jonathan G. and Taylor Jetmundsen, both members of Troop 63 at Canterbury United Methodist Church, have attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Jonathan was elected as a member of the Order of the Arrow and the OA Brotherhood. He also has participated in Scout High Jonathan Adventure Jetmundsen trips to Florida Seabase and Philmont and has been awarded an Eagle Bronze Palm. His Eagle project was building picnic Taylor Jetmundsen tables and benches for PreSchool Partners. Jonathan is a junior at Mountain Brook High School, where he is a member of the varsity tennis team and the cross country and track teams.

Taylor’s Eagle project was building a bridge and pathway for the Turkey Creek Preserve in Pinson. He was elected as a member of the Order of the Arrow and served as a senior patrol leader for Troop 63. He completed the “Triple Crown” of Scout High Adventure trips by participating in trips to Florida Seabase, Philmont and the Northern Tier of Canada and was awarded an Eagle Bronze Palm. Taylor is a junior at Mountain Brook High School, where he is on the cross country and track teams. He is also a member of the Venture Crew 2010 and will serve as president this year. Jonathan and Taylor are the sons of Kelli and Norman Jetmundsen. They attend St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

ISS Alum Selected as Fallon Intern

William Nolan Jr., a 2009 alumnus of Indian Springs School and rising junior at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., has been selected by Fallon International to serve as a William Nolan Jr.

THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011 • 7

PEOPLE summer intern. Based in Minneapolis, Fallon International is a world-wide advertising and marketing firm that selects only three college students per year as interns. After working as a summer intern for Fallon, Nolan will spend his junior year studying at Harris Manchester College at Oxford University in Oxford, England. Nolan is from Mountain Brook and is the son of Bill and Frances Ross Nolan.

which in the past year won four other international and national awards: the Platinum Award in the Hermes Creative Awards, the seventh annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, PR News’ Platinum PR Award and the Clarion Award from the Association of Women in Communications. The Business Makeover Birmingham project is a joint program with Corsini

Healy Wins Business Award

Ruwena Healy’s Marketing 24/7, Inc. was recently named the winner of the ninth annual American Business Awards in the Small-Budget Marketing Campaign of the Year category. Award winners were presented during recent ceremonies in New York at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. The ceremonies were hosted by Cheryl Casone of Fox Business Network and broadcast nationwide on live radio by the Business TalkRadio Network. More than 500 attended the ceremony and represented some 215 organizations. The judges recognized Healy, president of Marketing 24/7, for the Business Makeover Birmingham marketing program,

Consulting Group LLC, Dent Baker & Co. LLP, Cobbs Allen & Hall Inc., Maynard Cooper & Gale PC, Marketing 24/7 Inc., ServisFirst Bank and Samford University’s Brock School of Business. The project partners offered winners more than $30,000 in professional services and a strategic business makeover to one Birmingham company. ❖

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fresh & flavorful

Chef Creates Nutritious – and Tasty – Meals for Students



hey sound like dishes from a five-star restaurant – chicken Florentine, spinach salad with strawberries, Dijon pork – but they’re not. These tempting creations are actually cafeteria food that will be served to students in Mountain Brook and Homewood when they return to school in August. The two school systems are working with Samford University Chef Chris Vizzina to make school lunches healthier and tastier. As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Chefs Move to Schools program, Chris is teaching school cafeteria employees how to incorporate fresh, healthy ingredients into school lunch menus. The program pairs chefs with willing schools so they can create healthy meals that meet schools’ dietary guidelines as well as budgets. In addition to Homewood and Mountain Brook, the chef, along with Jones Valley Urban Farm, is also working with Jefferson County, Birmingham and Trussville schools. “I’m trying to introduce them to healthier options,” Chris said. “Alabama is No. 2 in the nation behind Mississippi for diabetes and obesity. We’ve got to help them make healthier decisions and understand moderation is key.” While providing fresh options might sound difficult when serving up literally hundreds of meals, Chris said it is possible. He should know. As head chef at Samford, he serves more than 1,000 meals a day, seven days a week. With proper planning and fresh ingredients, Chris said, cafeteria food can be healthy and tasty. While the typical pizza and chicken nuggets are still on the school menu, the system has incorporated more healthy and gourmet items into the menu thanks to Chris’ training, said Carolyn Keeney, head of the child nutrition program at Homewood City Schools. This school year, students will be able to choose from dishes like ratatouille, a mixture of fresh sautéed vegetables, and fish tacos. In addition, she said, the system serves fresh and canned fruits daily plus whole wheat bread that’s made

Trinity Honors Longtime Volunteer

Trinity Medical Center recently honored Ethelyn Slaughter for her many years of service to the organization. The longtime volunteer was recognized for her 44 years and 18,650 hours of service to Trinity. Throughout her volunEthelyn Slaughter teer career there, she held several officer posi-

from scratch at the schools. “We’re just always trying to think of things we can do together with Chef Chris to make meals healthier,” Carolyn said. “It’s not just what we cook in the cafeteria, but it’s getting the kids involved, getting them excited so they’ll learn and take the healthy habits home.” Homewood joined the Chef Moves to Schools program last year. Since then, Chris has hosted two cooking demonstrations for students, one at the high school and one at Shades Cahaba Elementary. At Homewood High School, he showed students how to make lettuce wraps with grilled chicken in a chili sauce. “They really loved it,” Carolyn said. At the elementary school, students made their own pizzas using healthy toppings. “There, we had an ‘Eat the Rainbow’ competition,” Chris said of the demonstration at Shades Cahaba. “We gave the kids a list of proteins, fresh vegetables and sauces, and they picked the colors.” So far, students have been pretty open to the new dining options. Carolyn said it does take time for students to adjust, so they’ve been consistent and continued to offer the healthier items at all schools in the system. The employees have also been open to the new dishes. Mountain Brook and Homewood staff members recently met for more training from Chris at Homewood Middle School. Chris introduced the cooking staffs to new dishes, like pork Dijon, and worked on cooking techniques such as braising. “It’s really simple things we’re doing that everyone can do,” Chris said. “For instance, instead of flavoring collard greens with ham hock, use a smoked turkey wing.” When it comes to eating healthy, Chris doesn’t believe in skimping on flavor. Instead, it’s about choices, like choosing baked over fried foods and fresh instead of processed. “I want to make sure kids understand it’s about moderation,” he said. “It’s like balancing a checkbook. You can’t take in more calories than you burn. My job is to make sure they make the right choices.” ❖

Samford University Chef Chris Vizzina chops up vegetables for a ratatouille that he hopes will be served in Homewood and Mountain Brook city schools Journal photo by Laura McAlister this year.

PEOPLE tions and was a regular worker at the hospital’s information desk. A reception was held for Slaughter to mark her retirement from volunteer work at Trinity.

Zobel Will Lead Brother Bryan Mission The Brother Bryan Mission board of directors recently announced that Tom Zobel will be the organization’s new executive director. A Birmingham native, Zobel has more than 30 years of service in gospel rescue ministry. His first contact with rescue ministry was as a once-successful businessman whose own life was in great need

of change and restoration. Since 1982, he has served in leadership roles locally and nationally. In 2007, Zobel retired as executive director/president of Union Gospel Mission in Salem, Ore. He and wife Debbie then moved to Birmingham. Zobel is a past vice president of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions. In semi-retirement, he has remained active in the AGRM, consulting with other missions and assisting as a local part-time chaplain. Brother Bryan Mission has been reaching and serving needy and overwhelmed people with shelter, meals, clothes and Christian programs since 1940. ❖

New officers of Sunset Rock Chapter DAR were installed at a May 18 meeting at Lakeshore Foundation. They are, from left, front: Holly Mussell, vice regent and Anne Green, regent. Back: Laura Doumont, treasurer; Jean Cormack, chaplain, Jane Smith, librarian, Barbara Mayfield, secretary; and Nancy Corona, historian. Not shown: Betty Photo special to the Journal Bassinger, registrar.

chosen by grade, were Cate Cullen, 12th grade; Katie Benos, 11th grade; Hannah Moss, 10th grade; and Emilee Benos, ninth grade. Other junior winners included Mary Lauren Palmer, eighth grade; Meghan Levant, seventh grade; Stephanie Tunnell, sixth grade; Brooke Tarrant, fifth grade; Kailey Koch, fourth grade; Kayla Carole Morrow, third grade; Caroline Robinson, second grade; Whitten Teal, first grade; and Gracie Hodge, kindergarten.

Rebecca Bell, left, was named the 2011 Miss Dogwood, and Chandler Moss was named Jr. Miss Dogwood at the Vestavia Hills Dogwood Pageant. Photo special to the Journal

Dogwood Pageant Winners Chosen

Rebecca Bell was named Miss Dogwood and Chandler Moss was chosen Junior Miss more photos at Dogwood at the Vestavia Hills Dogwood Pageant March 5 at Vestavia Hills High School. Other high school winners,


THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011 • 9



Brock School Presents Student, Faculty Awards

Samford University’s Brock School of Business recently announced the 2011 Outstanding Faculty Awards and its Alumni of the Year. Dr. Melissa Woodley, assistant professor of finance, received the award for Excellence in Teaching. The award recognizes a fulltime business school faculty member for outstanding achievements, innovation and performance in teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Woodley was recognized for her mastery of classroom material, enhancing the student experience with the use of learning technology and her concern and dedication for her students. Dr. Darin White, associate professor of marketing, received

the award for Outstanding Scholarship. The award recognizes a full-time business school faculty member for outstanding achievements in research and scholarship. White is a prolific author. In the past year, he published five articles in his field for leading journals and will publish three more by the end of 2011. Sharon Jackson, assistant professor of business, received the award for Distinguished Service. The award recognizes a full-time faculty business member for outstanding service rendered to the school, the university, the academic community and the public. Greg Taylor, senior vice president of AgriBank, was named one of the 2011 Brock School of Business Alumnus of the Year. The award is given to an outstanding graduate who excels in business, has been a faithful supporter of the Brock School of Business and has demonstrated a commitment to remain active in the life of Samford. In his position, Taylor provides leadership and oversight to the overall strategic direction of the business while also overseeing the Wholesale Lending/ Relationship Management and Government Affairs teams for AgriBank. He is a 1982 graduate of the Brock School of Business with a degree in business administration. He is chairman of the school’s Advisory Board. ❖

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Event Benefits Camp Smile-AMile Programs


Turning out for the Funky Monkey event June 23 were, from left, Sam Hill, Jillian Theibirt and Lindsay and Photos special to the Journal Jonathan Handey.

he fifth annual Funky Monkey was June 23 at B&A Warehouse. Presented by the Camp Smile-A-Mile Junior Board, the event benefits the Alabama camp’s program for children with cancer. Jordan Truelove and Lauren Cater were event chairmen. Justin Truelove is the 2011 board president. More than 500 attended the party, where more than 150 silent auction items were sold. Live auction items included a trip to Missouri for a deer hunt and a miniature Labradoodle that stole the show. A wagon of wine, tub of craft beer and beach trip were raffled off. The event raised some $42,000 for Camp Smile-AMile. The camp provides year-round recreational and educational experiences for young cancer patients, their families and young adult survivors from Alabama at no cost. ❖

Above: Jennifer and Ralph Yarbrough were among Camp SAM supporters at the Funky Monkey party. Below: Leslie Parker left, and Lauren Cater also attended the event at B&A Warehouse.

Krista Wood poses with one of the evening’s most popular auction items, a Labradoodle puppy.

Assistance League leaders include, from left, front: Marie Taylor, headquarters; Barb Kelley, president; Rosemarie Kramer, president-elect; Sarah Wessel, community relations. Back: Lauri Soong, Operation Literacy; Jan Service, membership; Karen Baker, education; Anne Eady, assistant treasurer; Elizabeth Judd, PrimeTime Treasures; and Diane Martin, hospitality. Not pictured: Sandy Ridgeway, secretary; Charlotte Brown, Operation School Bell; Melinda Thornbury, fundraising; June Pryor, treasurer; and Jody Dean, corresponding secretary.

Photo special to the Journal

The Assistance League of Birmingham held ...

its final meeting of the year at The Club in Homewood. President Margo Niewodowski was thanked for her leadership during the past year. After the business meeting, Jane Maupin, former ALB president, conducted the installation of the new board of directors for 2011-2012. Afterward, members gathered for lunch. Assistance League of Birmingham is a nonprofit, nonsectarian, nonpolitical civic organization dedicated to service and philanthropic works. ALB continues on the local level the work started by National Assistance League. The Birmingham organization’s approximately 125 members raise funds to support Operation School Bell, Operation Literacy and PrimeTime Treasures.

The Mountain Brook Alumnae Chapter of ...

Kappa Delta held its spring luncheon May 5 at the home of Bethy Short. After guests enjoyed chicken, broccoli and fresh fruit salads, a meeting recapped the group’s events during the past year. Each year, two members are recognized for their service to the group and community. This year’s honorees were Sally Smith Legg and Dana Blair Davis. Sally received the Elizabeth Nesbitt Simpson Service Award in recognition of her service to the Kappa Delta house at the University of Alabama and for offering her art for the sorority’s charitable fundraising events. Dana received the Garnett McAdams Deramus

THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011 • 11



Community Service Award. She has been active in work with the UAB Cancer Center, the Junior League Choral Group and as a member of CountraBand, a band that has performed in many fundraising projects supporting

a variety of community causes. Romona Shannon, president for the past two years, was honored with a gift in gratitude for her time and dedication. She installed the following new officers, presenting each with a white rose: Libba Williams, president; Betsy Henley, Brooke Coleman and Ellen Webster, first vice presidents; Romona Shannon and Marlea Foster, second vice presidents; Margaret Troiano, treasurer; Hallie Rawls, assistant treasurer; Irene Gardner and Cindy Crowther, philanthropy; Garnet Baker, Jean Reed and Anne Greaves, Shamrock Committee; Mary Rooney, editor and publicity; Ann Lee, secretary; Maggie O’Connor, membership/directory; Murray Priester, Alabama liaison; Emory Richardson and Marye Beasley Seymour, Auburn Liaison; and Megan LaRussa, Birmingham-Southern Liaison.

The St. Andrew’s Society of the Middle South celebrated ...

its annual spring party and the running of the 137th Kentucky Derby May 7.

Guests feasted on fare provided by George Sarris, while Peggy Morgan recited the “Ode to the Haggis.” Jeff Hendry is president of the society. The garden event was cohosted by Lisa Roberts and her son, William A. Roberts Jr., at Lisa’s home in Mountain Brook. The simulcast of the Kentucky Derby provided the backdrop for the kilted members and their ladies who dressed in Derby hats as they placed faux bets on

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12 • THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011

the outcome of the race. Proceeds from the event sup��������������������������������������������������� port the Ian Sturrock Memorial Pipe Band as it prepares for the International Piping Competition in Edinburgh, Scotland, next year. Cheering for their favorite horses were Scott and Cameron Vowell, Kevin and Maibeth Keith, John and Margaret Harper, Charles and Elizabeth Miller, Charles Miller Jr., Wimberly and Pat Miree, James and Jane Larose, Martin and Peggy Morgan, Sharp and Louise Gillespy, Rob Kenan, June Emory, Rob Askhurst, Arthur and Joanne McConnell, Brian and Anna Keith, Nelson and Cassie Forbes, Bill and Lynn Hairston, Lamar and Carole Thomas, John and Dorinda Smith, Roger Vaughan; Rich and Beth Henry, ������������������������������ Barbara and Catherine Shepherd, Frank and ����������������������������� Barbara Cobb, Jeff and Mary Margaret Hendry, Stacy and Patrick Dennis, Scott and Kelley Walton, Roy and Linda Robertson, Paul and ����������������������������� Eva Franklin, Richard and ��������������������������������������� Natasha Randolph, Dowe Bynum, Winfield and Barbara Baird Jr., Willard McCall Jr., E. T. And Caroline Brown, ��������������������������� Rusty and Gina Boyd, Joseph Gamble, Crawford and Mary ����������������������������� McInnis, James Gilbert Johnson; Winfield and Paula Baird, Keith and Gina Sheffield, Ed ������ ���������������������������� and Linda Ramsey, James ������� ���������������������������������������������������������������� and Jane Wright, Charles E. ������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������� and Gail Sharp, Brian and enha nc in g l i f e w i t h pl an t s Bettie Sullivan, Charles and �������������������������������������������������������������������� Kimberly Sullivan, Brian Sullivan Jr. and Jennifer ��������������������������������������������� Sullivan, Wilson and Joanne ����������������������������������� Dinsmore, Charles and Dana McCarn, John and Ann Baker, Charles and Sandra Lynn, Ken �������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������� Wade and Lou Najjar, Lisa �������������������������������������������������� Roberts, William A. Roberts Jr., Sam and Carol Frazier and ������������������������������������ Wade and Brandi Dinsmore.


Above: Hostess Lisa Roberts, left, and St. Andrew’s Society of the Middle South president Jeff Hendry with wife Mary Margaret welcomed guests to a festive spring party. Left: John and Margaret Harper were among those attending the party.


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members enjoyed a salad plate with fresh pineapple, cantaloupe, strawberries, honeydew melon and date nut sandwiches. An ice cream dessert followed. Members attending were at Birmingham Country Club Doris White, Margaret and for a Mexican fiesta. Round Bill Whitaker, Pat Weitnauer, tables were centered with tall Bert Mcvea, Don and Anne crystal vases holding colorful Turnbull, Tommy and zinnias. Papier-mâché items Margaret Tucker, Cordette and Mexican décor added to the Wall, Eulala Woodall, Barbara theme. Thompson, Peggy and Ray Fiesta chairman Coquette Barnes greeted guests. Co-host- Sykes, Elaine Smith, Ginger and Art Sharbel, Pat and Tom esses Nancy Latimer and Jane Robinson, Louise and Carl Leslie assisted with arrangePinkerton, Betty and Dudley ments. Pewitt, Kathleen Owens, After cocktails on the porch, Patsy Norton, Don and Coleta Newton, Pat and Bill Miller and Martha and Jerry Miklic. Others there were Linda and Dick McLaughlin, Jackie and Bruce MacClary, Karen and Keith Lloyd, Jane Leslie, Villeta and Doug Layton, Nancy Lawrence, Nancy and Lamar Latimer, Margaret and Joe Langston, Nancy and Bob Jones, Connie Hinkle and Bob Hilley, Ann and Fletcher Harvey, Tallulah Hargrove, Fay Hall and George Boles, Mary Dean Gray, John and Beverly Goff, Jeanne and Bill Ray, Anne and Marshall Garrett, June and John Eagan, Lovie Dixon, Nancy Dewine, Martha and Paul Chism, Nita and Coy Collingsworth, Mary Elizabeth and Bud Conaway, Silhouettes Dance Club members who turned out for the group’s recent Martha and Jack Bartlett, Mexican fiesta included, from left, Nancy Latimer and Coquette Barnes Lou Bailey and Coquette and Bill Barnes. ❖ Photo special to the Journal and, front, Jane Leslie.

Silhouettes Dance Club members met May 7 ...


The National Society of Arts and Letters ...

held its 67th annual conference May 17-22 at the Doubletree Hotel. Conference co-chairmen Edith Bauman and Gail Ledbetter, with registrar/treasurer Catherine Rogers, organized and carried out all of the five-day events, including receptions, luncheons, meetings, competitions and dinners. The conference opened with a board reception at the home of member Phyllis Tinsley and Roye. John Culver of Sweet Peas Garden Shop created a buffet centerpiece of double begonias, lobelia and assorted ferns. Nancy Morrow and Nancy Jones assisted with the buffet. At the President’s Luncheon May 18 at the Doubletree Hotel, all 18 NSAL chapter presidents were escorted in, seated and presented with red porcelain roses. Crystal Vanrell, the 2010 Winston Scholarship voice winner, sang a Mozart aria. Helen Hudgens, longtime NSAL member, patron and published poet, read her poem, “Treasure our Time.” Dr. Karl Schaffer, alternate judge, presented his math dance choreography. Conference attendees and contestants met in the ballroom at The Club May 20. Dannette Ledbetter was floral design chairman for the entire conference. Entertainment included “Tango Ole” by Rita Snyder, Dr. Roswell Pfister and Dr. Sarah Alvaz, the “Dancing Doctors.” “Choreography: The Art of the Solo” was the focus of this year’s competition. Edie Barnes, Birmingham chapter member and national career awards chairman, presided at the all-day competition May 20 at the Doubletree ballroom. She was assisted by co-chairman Lynn Russell Davis and chapter dance chairman Cindy Free. Judges Wes Chapman, Daniel Lewis and Dr. Iris Fanger selected the top three winners and four runners-up. At the gala banquet on the following evening, Edie presented all 18 contestants with certificates. Choreographer Trey McIntyre was presented this year’s Gold Medal Award by national president Doni Lystra from the mid-Michigan chapter. Master of ceremonies Charles Altman from the Pittsburgh chapter announced the career awards prizes. Tyner Dumortier, New Jersey chapter, won first place and $10,000; Derek Crescenti, mid-Michigan chapter, won second place and $8,000; Laura Neese, Chatauqua chapter, won third place and $6,000; Rhea Speights, Birmingham chapter, won fourth place and $4,000; Kameron Saunders, St. Louis chapter, won fifth place and $3,000; Lara Friedman, Washington, D.C. chapter, won

THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011 • 13






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Among those competing in the 67th NSAL conference were from left: Rhea Speights, Birmingham contestant and fourth place winner; Caitlin Potosnak, Virginia/North Carolina contestant; Isabelle Collazo, Central Illinois contestant; and Derek Crescenti, Mid-Michigan contestant and Photos special to the Journal second place winner. sixth place and $1,000; and Catherine Tiso, Clearwater/ Tampa Bay chapter, won seventh place and $1,000. Chairmen of conference events included Loretta Brown, President’s Reception; Libby Odom, President’s Luncheon; Ruth Jensen, The Club evening event; and Mildred Allen-Taub, Gala Banquet Finale. Manning the registration table were Patti Manning, Zelda Covey, Jessie Williams, Mary Frances Reed, Maxine Williams, Dorothy Parker, Jeannine McElroy, Carolyn Satterfield, Pauline Fugazzotto, Sara Vaughn, Martha Willetts and Barbara Shepherd. Birmingham area members and spouses attending conference events included Ronnie and Edie Barnes, Robert and Edith Bauman, Kathleen Berecek, Loretta Brown, Zelda Covey, Steve and Lynn Russel Davis, Robert and Margie Denton, Cindy Free, Tallulah Hargrove, Jane Hinds, Carolyn Satterfield, Helen Hudgens, Virgil and Ruth Jensen, Rosemary Johnson, Ed and Nancy Jones, Melva Jones, Dannette Ledbetter, Patti Manning, Jeannine McElroy, Bennie Middaugh, Bart and Nancy Morrow, Libby Odom, Mary Frances Reed, Mel Robinson, Brown and Catherine Rogers, Barbara Shepherd, Ed and Mildred Allen Taub, Sue Watkins, Martha Willets, Jessie Williams, Gail Ledbetter and Riley Hill and Janis Zeanah. Guests of local members included Marcia Cleveland, Gina Gioiello, Joe John, L’Tryce Slade, Yolanda Gomez, Lee and Glendinning Johnston, Michael and Ritsuko Asano Huebner, Bailey Ledbetter, Heather McPherson, Emily Omura, Lisa Gibbs, Rita Snyder and Drs. Roswell Pfister and Sarah Alvarez.


The First Light Gala was held at the ...

Doubletree Hotel April 30. More than 300 attended, and 35 volunteers helped conduct the silent and live auctions. First Light provides emergency shelter for women and children. The presenting sponsor was Protective Life Corporation. Carolyn King, a Protective Life senior vice president more photos at and president of the OTMJ.COM First Light Board of Directors, hosted three tables of Protective staff members. Burr and Forman was a gala investor. Tables were also sponsored by corporations, churches and individuals who support First Light’s work. The evening began with a silent auction followed by the program, which each year honors First Light supporters. Longtime friends Nancy Skinner and Betty Drennen were the Honorees of the Year. Both women have been dinner and overnight volunteers, served on the board of directors and have been avid advocates for the mission of First Light for 20 years. Their greatest enjoyment has come from spending the night


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14 • THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011

SOCIAL fr esh ing loca est re l in dien to wn ts !

M THE FARM TO FRO DYRON’S TABLE at dyron’s we’re on a first name basis with our local farmers.

this month: ��fresh gulf seafood � from fishermen like greg and lee ��tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers �� from bonnie in clanton ��okra, squash and collard greens �� from rod at owls hollow ��organic tomatoes, and eggplant �� from michael at terra preta ��blackberries, blueberries, and figs �� from jason at petals from the past ��fresh peaches � from danny at durbin farms don’t forget, lowcountry happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30 (t-f) all summer long.

121 oak street

mountain brook 205.834.8257

with the shelter guests and offering a personal presence to women whose lives have been traumatized by homelessness. Nancy’s son, Jay Skinner, was able to attend, still wearing his Army Reserve fatigues after providing tornado disaster assistance all day. The Volunteer of the Year was the Starnes Davis Florie law firm, whose staff has been serving dinner to shelter guests for the past 10 years. Firm liaison Dawn Trull, who schedules staff members’ service dates, accepted the award with Mike Wright. Christie King conducted the live auction. Emcee was Alabama’s 13 news anchor Andrea Lindenberg. Auction items included works by local artists, including Frank Fleming, Maralyn Wilson, Tres Taylor, Ben Carlisle, Libby Wright, Carol Misner, Meredith Keith, Nall, Michael Marlowe and Steven Atha. Sogni, the daughter of honoree Betty Drennen, also created an auction item. The auction included a twonight stay at the Atlanta Ritz Carlton accompanied by a spa experience with a wine basket to take on the trip. Other offerings were an at-home wine tasting party for 12 by Wynter Byrd and Ingenium Wines, a steak dinner for the shelter guests, a cooking and dinner experience at Bottega and Highlands and a gourmet catered luncheon with emcee Lindenberg. Guests were invited to conduct individual table auctions for the clay calla lily centerpieces, created by artist Juanita Alexander Walker. The overall highest bidder won a $100 gift certificate to the Village Tavern.

The Service Guild of Birmingham held its ... annual May Luncheon in honor of the class of 2004 at The Club May 9. Awards were presented to the outstanding members for 20102011. Among those honored were Victoria Hubert, who received the Dedication to the Bell Center


Above: Attending the First Light Gala were from left: Preston and Lori Dixon and Claire and Ryan Medo. Below: Showing off auction items were from left: Nancy Skinner, Ruth Crosby and Betty Drennen.

Photos special to the Journal

Classroom Programs Award; Nancy Ferren, Outstanding New Member; and Melissa Oliver, Outstanding Service Guild Member. Jennifer Andress won the Betty Bell Service Award, presented to a member who goes above and beyond what is expected in their work with the children. The Garnett Deramus Award recipient, awarded to an exceptional member going past active, went to Laura Promer. President Julie Cundiff presented the awards and thanked all of the members for their dedicated service this year. The 2011-2012 officers,

Service Guild officers include, from left, front: Emily Forsythe, Melissa Oliver, Julie Gillis and Tracy Thornton. Back: Tommie Ford, Natalie Sansom, Christie Mundy, Jen Dent, Ashley Johnson, Nancy Ferren, Photo special to the Journal Julie Cundiff and Pauline Scott.

installed by past president Terri Yates, are Pauline Scott, president; Christie Mundy, president-elect; Melissa Oliver, vice president, Bell Center classroom programs; Beth Ann Morgan, vice president, communications; Ashley Johnson, vice president, membership; Mary Thomas Brewer, treasurer; Tracy Joyce, secretary; Julie Gillis, parliamentarian; Gina Henley, member at large; Tommie Ford, Guild Gala chairman; Nancy Ferren and Tracy Thornton, Mercedes Marathon chairmen; Natalie Sansom, nominating; Emily Forsythe, social and arrangements; and Jen Dent, special events. Others enjoying the luncheon were Leah Knight, Natalie Sansom, Caroline Sirkin, Nancy Ferren, Teresa Crain, Alice Womack, Lori Bailey, Leslie O’Kelley, Jess Mason, Melissa Huddleston and Anna Colvin. The Service Guild held its spring New Member Social May 1 at the home of Ashley Johnson. New members include Shannan Adkins, Aeana Calametti, Leighton DeBray, Allison DeGweck, Michelle Harbison, Kellie Harrington, Deana Hughes, Kendall King, Claire Kurtts, Jennifer McCain, Katy McCain, Alicia Neely, Courtney Passerella, Lani Perrigo, Whitney Perry, Mary Margaret Stephenson, Julie Terrell, Angela Weathers and Amber Woodward. ❖

THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011 • 15



MOMENTUM is a women’s leadership program which empowers a diverse group of women to develop leadership skills that impact business, culture and politics in Alabama. Each year, 25 women are selected to join the class, a nine month-long program.

The Dancing Darlings Red Hat Club met ... Above: Attending the MOMENTUM spring social were from left: Carole Cain, Kate Ray, Dotie Pak and Kim Daigle. Left: Also at the women’s leadership event were Cindy Williams, left, and Pam Johnson.

Photos special to the Journal

MOMENTUM recently gathered alumnae ...

at MIX for a spring social and special announcement. Board of directors president Dottie Pak and vice president Sharon Yeldell announced that in honor of the group’s 10th anniversary, a statewide women’s leadership conference will be held in Birmingham next spring. Longtime supporters Alabama Power Co. and Blue more photos at Cross Blue OTMJ.COM Shield of Alabama will be lead sponsors of the conference. Attending the event were Susie Abbott, Neeysa Biddle, Kem Blackledge, Katherine Bland, Carole Cain, Pat Carter, Linda Childs, Kate Darden, Dana Ellis, Sue Esleck, Carol Glass, Brenda Hackney, Marilyn Henry, Leigh Anne Hodge, Sidney Hoover, Karen Kelly, Debra Lewis, Susan Livingston, Jackie Martinek, Karen McFarland, Dottie Pak and Nan Priest. Others there were Connie Pruett, Tricia Raczynski, Kate Ray, Amy Stewart, Ronnelle Stewart, Yolanda Sullivan, Brenda Traweek, Cindi Vice, Laura Washburn, Gayle Watts, Alice Womack, Sharon Yeldell, Anne Yuengert, Della Fancher, Martha Bidez, Rebecca Hatcher, Joan Perry, Deb McGrew, Sheila McKenna, Pam Johnson, Betsy McAtee, Tracy Thompson, Linda Griggs, Michelle Bearman-Wolnek, Cathy Miller, P.J. Rossi Boren, Jacqui Hart, Tanveer Patel, Cindy Williams, Beth

Campbell, Joan Wright, Barbara Royal and Tina Upshaw.

recently at the Vestavia Hills home of Betty Bassinger for a summer luncheon. Guests enjoyed seeing her husband Ron’s mahogany statues, train collection and classic cars. Tables were decorated with red hat tablecloths and china. After lunch, Betty presented each guest with a special red hat favor. Members there were Barbara Dobbyn, Alice Ellison, Margarita Gracianette, Barbara Harbin, Marilyn Kelly, Mary Klemenc, Jean Morton, Reyford Nichols, Shirley Rierson, Marge Roper, Kathy Phillips, Shirley Vaughn and Bobbie Vaughn. ❖ Among those attending the Dancing Darlings Red Hat Club Meeting were from left: Marilyn Kelly, Marge Roper, Kathy Phillips and Jean Morton.

Photo special to the Journal

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Farm Market

2489 Rocky Ridge Road • Vestavia Hwy 150 • Hoover Mon-Sat 8am-6pm

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Mr. and Mrs. Robert VandeLune of Dothan announce the engagement of their daughter, Amy Lynne VandeLune, to Brent Ashton Howell, son of Dr. and Mrs. Larry Howell of Enterprise. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Ms. Jacqueline Robinson VandeLune of Birmingham and Mr. and


Dr. and Mrs. Larry C. Kilgore of Knoxville, Tenn., announce the engagement of their daughter, Lauren Elizabeth Kilgore,


Mrs. Brenda Lacey Schuler of Birmingham and Mr. Robert Eustace Schuler II of Birmingham announce the engagement of their daughter, Lacey Elizabeth Schuler, to Andrew Bennett Davis, son of Mr. and Mrs. Danny Claude Davis of Birmingham. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lee Lacey of Birmingham and Mr.

WEDDINGS & ENGAGEMENTS Mrs. Donald Shannon Sr. of Birmingham. Miss VandeLune is a 2005 graduate of Houston Academy and a 2010 graduate of the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition. She is employed as a registered dietitian with the Alabama Department of Public Health. The prospective groom is the grandson of the late Ms. Dorothy Kaczmarek Steakley of Dearborn Heights, Mich., and Mrs. Jewell Howell and the late Mr. Joseph Raymond Howell of Enterprise. Mr. Howell is a 2002 graduate of Enterprise High School and a 2008 graduate of the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in real estate finance. He is the founder and owner of Southern Point Company in Enterprise. The wedding is planned for Aug. 6 at noon at Covenant United Methodist Church in Dothan. A reception will follow immediately after the ceremony. to Jeffrey Allen Morgan, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Morgan of Birmingham. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Dr. and Mrs. William E. Morehead of Malden, Mo., and the late Mr. and Mrs. Clint Kilgore of Whitwell, Tenn. Miss Kilgore is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College and Vanderbilt Law School. She will join Burr Forman law firm in September. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Connie Morgan of Birmingham and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Baxley of Birmingham. Mr. Morgan attended Auburn University and is employed with Star Bagel Company. The wedding is planned for Aug. 20. and Mrs. John Hamilton Schuler of Palm Beach, Fla. Miss Schuler is a graduate of Mountain Brook High School and a 2011 graduate of Southern Methodist University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in financial consulting. She was a member of Alpha Chi Omega and was presented at the Beaux Arts Krewe Ball. The prospective groom is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Thomas Gibson of Pascagoula, Miss., and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Henry Horne Sr. of Lucedale, Miss. Mr. Davis is a graduate of Mountain Brook High School and a 2010 graduate of Southern Methodist University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a 2011 master’s degree in accounting. The wedding is planned for Sept. 17 at the Cathedral Church of the Advent. The couple will live in Austin, Texas.


Mr. and Mrs. Rick Burt of Rogersville announce the engagement of their daughter, Jennifer Lynn Burt, to Dr. Phillip Jordan Dean, son of Dr. and Mrs. Mark Dean of Dothan. The bride-elect is the grand-


Dr. and Mrs. James Scott Green of Homewood and Aviano, Italy, and Mr. and Mrs. Steven Craig Petermann of Ft. Walton


Mr. and Mrs. William Porter Stribling of Birmingham announce the engagement of their daughter, Mary Julia Stribling, to Elliott


daughter of Mrs. Mary Wheeler of Rogersville and the late Mr. Richard A. Wheeler and Mr. Thomas J. Burt of Columbia, Tenn., and the late Mrs. Shirley Burt. Miss Burt is a 2001 graduate of Lauderdale County High School. She graduated summa cum laude in 2005 from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in business management. She is a 2010 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, where she received her juris doctorate and master’s degree in business administration from the Manderson Graduate School of Business. Miss Burt is a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and is an attorney with Burr & Forman LLP in Birmingham. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. R. Aaron Jordan of Headland and Mr. and Mrs. Herman E. Dean Jr. of

Mountain Brook and the late Ms. Evelyn Farmer Sharp. Dr. Dean is a 2001 graduate of Northview High School. He is a 2005 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Alabama, where he received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. In 2009, he received his Doctor of Medicine, magna cum laude, from the University of Alabama School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Dean is a resident physician in Internal Medicine at UAB and will begin a Cardiology Fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C., in July 2012. The wedding is planned for Sept. 3 at 5 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood with Drew Holland officiating. A reception will follow at Pine Tree Country Club in Birmingham.

Beach, Fla., announce the engagement of their daughter, Elisabeth Reed Petermann, to Jonathan Ray Barnard, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Lee Barnard of Elizabethtown, Ky. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Glenwood Locke Webb of Mobile and Mrs. Anna Marie Petermann and the late Mr. Richard Paul Petermann Sr. of Ft. Walton Beach. Dr. Petermann is a cum laude graduate of BirminghamSouthern College with a bachelor’s degree and a graduate of Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She was a member of Mortar Board honorary society and vice president of Alpha Omicron Pi social sorority. She is employed at Bayside

Hospital for Animals in Ft. Walton Beach. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mrs. Dolores Pfeiffer and the late Mr. Lloyd Pfeiffer of Elizabethtown and Mrs. Pauline Barnard and the late John Barnard of Elizabethtown. Dr. Barnard is a graduate of Western Kentucky University, where he was on the Dean’s List and received his bachelor’s degree. He is a graduate of Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He was president of the student chapter of the American Animal Hospital Association and was a member of Alpha Psi fraternity. He is employed at Brightman Pet Clinic in Ft. Walton Beach. The wedding is planned for Sept. 30 in Valvasone, Italy.

Wood Taliaferro, son of Mrs. Norman Edward Taliaferro and the late Mr. Taliaferro of Houston. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Calvin Grisham of Decatur and the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Sligh Stribling of Guntersville. Miss Stribling is a graduate of Mountain Brook High School and a 2008 cum laude graduate of Rhodes College with a bachelor’s degree in English. She also studied at the Lincoln College of Oxford University in Oxford, England. Miss Stribling is a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority and was presented at the 2007 Ball of Roses. She is employed with DePelchin Children’s Center in Houston.

The prospective groom is the grandson of Mrs. Joseph George Danna and the late Mr. Danna of Houston and the late Mr. and Mrs. Myron Eugene Taliaferro of Houston. Mr. Taliaferro is a graduate of Subiaco Academy and a 2007 graduate of Rhodes College with a bachelor’s degree in history. He was a member of the varsity basketball team and is a member of Kappa Alpha Order. Mr. Taliaferro graduated cum laude from South Texas College of Law in May. He will be employed as an associate attorney with Brown Sims, P.C., in Houston. The wedding is planned for Sept. 17 at South Highland Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

Best Wishes to Brides & Grooms!

Send us your good news. Go to and click on “forms, issues & info” to submit an your announcement, or e-mail it to



Owens-Van Wagoner

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Edward Owens of Birmingham announce


Mary Katherine Williams and Andrew Horton Bartlett were married June 4 at the Church at


Mr. and Mrs. Louis Ernest Stomps of Tuscaloosa announce the engagement of their daughter, Fielding Virginia Stomps, to Drake St. Clair Donovan, son of Ms. Jackie Drake Donovan of Cullman

Get more OTM news • visit • find us on facebook • follow us on twitter

the engagement of their daughter, Caroline Marie, to Lieutenant John Nicholas Van Wagoner, USN, son of Mrs. Thomas Joseph Giardina of Virginia Beach, Va., and Mr. David Demarest Van Wagoner of Annapolis, Md. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles Richard Wall of Philadelphia and the late Mr. and Mrs. Ellis Edward Owens of Fyffe. Miss Owens is a graduate of Mountain Brook High School and a cum laude graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., where she received her bachelor’s degree in international studies and political science. She is in her second year of law school at Georgetown

University Law Center in Washington, D.C. The prospective groom is the grandson of Captain Edwin Arthur Shuman III, USN (Ret.) of Annapolis and Mrs. Eleanor Sue Allen Shuman of Virginia Beach and Mr. and Mrs. John Demarest Van Wagoner of McLean, Va. Lt. Van Wagoner is a graduate of Annapolis Area Christian School and received his bachelor’s degree in English at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. He is assigned with the Department of the Navy’s Office of Legislative Affairs in Washington, D.C. The wedding is planned for Aug. 13 at St. Frances Xavier Catholic Church in Birmingham.

Brook Hills. Rev. Gary Fenton officiated. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Williams of Vestavia Hills. The groom is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Jim Bartlett of Vestavia Hills. Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore an ivory silk tulle and lace ball gown with a sweetheart neckline and natural waistline. The lace bodice was trimmed with crystals and seed pearls. The tiered skirt was edged in handmade Italian lace and swept into a full chapel-length train. The bride’s chapel-length veil was worn by her mother. Maid of honor was Lauren Williams, sister of the bride. Bridesmaids were Whitney Blackwell, Rebecca Byars,

Michelle Mangham Cathey, Lindsay Chapman, Claire Freeman Cotton, Hannah Davis, Abigail Hecker, Christy Roach, Melissa Blount Smith, Marie Smyly and Jessica Weathers. The attendants wore peacock blue Dupioni silk floor-length dresses. Joseph Cox and Andrew Freeman were best men. Groomsmen were Harrison Bartlett, Kenton Bartlett, Tyler Carman, Will Christians, Allan Elsberry, Kevin Horton and Cragon Sims. The candle lighters were Frank and Robert Smyly, cousins of the bride. After a honeymoon trip to the islands of Nevis and St. Kitts, the couple live in Birmingham.

and the late Mr. Kent St. Clair Donovan of Mountain Brook. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. Louis Ernest Stomps Sr. of Birmingham and the late Mr. Stomps and the late Mr. and Mrs. James Wiley Mason Sr. of Birmingham. Miss Stomps is a graduate of Tuscaloosa County High School and the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in general business. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She is employed as a management trainee with Enterprise Rent-ACar in Alabaster. The prospective groom is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. John St. Clair Donovan of Mountain Brook and Mrs. Van Jackson Drake of Cullman and the late Mr. Drake. Mr. Donovan is a graduate of Mountain Brook High School and

the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in classics. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. He is a salesman for GNC in Birmingham. The wedding is planned for Aug. 13 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Cullman, with a reception at TP Country Club.

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THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011 • 17

18 • THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011



back to the books Based on the heat you wouldn’t know it, but yes, summer is almost over. In just a few short weeks, Over the Mountain students will head back to the classroom, and there’s lots of exciting stuff in store. Vestavia Hills can boast that it has the State Superintendent of the Year leading its system. However, if you ask Dr. Jamie Blair the honor goes to the community (page 20). Hoover has implemented a realignment plan that will alleviate growth and give it a new intermediate school. The best part is the impact on learning, though, according to Brock’s Gap Intermediate principal Scott Mitchell (page 21). Mountain Brook’s Brookwood Forest will have a new face this year, but Nathan Pitner isn’t new to the system (page 22). Kids in Homewood will be in tip top shape thanks to a new fitness circuit playground (page 19). Plus, see what’s in store in area private schools (page 24) and more news from OTM schools. Stayed tuned to our next issue for more school news from Shelby County and other private schools.



DATES TO REMEMBER: The first day for students is Aug. 10.

The last day Winter for students is Holidays are Dec. 21-Jan. 2 May 24.

Edgewood Elementary PE teacher John Dorough has been teaching children how to use the Journal photo by Matthew Terwilliger school’s new fitness circuit since it opened in May.

Playing with a Purpose

Edgewood’s New Playground Boosts Fitness – and Fun



dgewood Elementary has installed a new playground fitness circuit, recognizing childhood wellness as an important part of educating students. The fitness circuit, which opened the first of May, is different from a traditional playground. It’s targeted not just for play but for full fitness-focused physical activity. Edgewood’s circuit consists of 10 different stations for students to use, including a challenge ladder, balance beam and a place for sit-ups. Many of the stations were designed to be used in more than one way. Signs at each station give various fitness tips and explain the exercises. Once students learn the basic components of the stations, they have the freedom to invent and discover new ways of exercising. While signs at the fitness circuit explain the different exercises students can do at the stations, they also provide other valuable information about physical fitness. Exercise duration, frequency and technique are highlighted, as well as different body checks students can employ while exercising. There’s also information about warming up and cooling down before and after strenuous activity.

Students were taught how to use the equipment the first week the circuit opened, said John Dorough, Edgewood Elementary physical education teacher, so they can use it on their own with minimal oversight. Children were free to use the equipment this summer, but during school, students will use the stations during P.E. “The fitness circuit is a great alternative to other playgrounds,” Dorough said. “It’s one more tool we can use to incorporate physical fitness into our daily activities, and we are very fortunate to have it.” Once school starts, Dorough

said, students will use the fitness circuit at least once a week. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the playground in the spring with State Rep. Paul DeMarco in attendance. DeMarco introduced the notion of a fitness circuit and worked with the school’s PTO to secure the $15,000 for the special playground equipment. “We are grateful for the opportunity afforded our students on behalf of Rep. DeMarco and our PTO to enhance good health habits and exercise in a fun way,” said principal Patricia Simpson. “This endeavor promotes the excellence of Edgewood.” ❖

THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011 • 19

20 • THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011



DATES TO REMEMBER: The first day for students is Aug. 11.

The last day Winter for students is Holidays are Dec. 21-Jan. 3 May 24.

Dr. Jamie Blair shows students, from left: Elise Walker, Graham Thompson and Megan Walker, how to use one of the system’s iPads that the Vestavia Hills School Foundation helped purchase. Blair was recently named the Journal photo by Laura McAlister Alabama Superintendent of the Year.

Team Player


State’s Top Superintendent Credits Others for School System’s Success

attending training and professional development conferences, many of JOURNAL EDITOR which are given by the system’s faculty. Blair here are three said teachers are encouringredients to a aged but not required to great school sysattend the summer traintem, according to Dr. ing. Jamie Blair, superinten“They’re giving up dent of Vestavia Hills their summer to do this,” public schools: great he said. “They are not students, great parents forced. We’ve always put and great teachers. a big emphasis on proThose ingredients, Blair credits the community for helping the school fessional development. Blair said, earned system stay up-to-date with the latest technology That’s really where the him the title of State rubber meets the road in Photo special to the Journal and learning techniques. Superintendent of the the classroom.” Year for 2011. Blair was Although budget reductions are causing many chosen from eight finalists for the award, given by Alabama school systems to cut teacher training as the School Superintendents of Alabama. well as personnel, Blair said the impact should be While he’s honored to receive the title, he said the minimal to Vestavia schools. That’s because of the award is one he shares with the system and the comsupport from the community through taxes as well as munity. donations. “I am very flattered,” he said. “But at the same Vestavia schools receive much of their funding time, the superintendent is just a symbol out front. from local tax dollars, which Blair said helps keep I couldn’t have done this without the whole team class sizes smaller and technology and buildings – teachers, students and parents.” up to date. Then there’s the Vestavia City Schools Blair joined the Vestavia Hills school system in Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises 2000. At that time, student enrollment was about money specifically for classroom needs in the sys4,500, and there were five schools. Now, the system tem. has more than 6,500 students and nine schools. “Proration can’t touch those dollars. The federal Despite all the changes, the system has ranked government can’t touch those dollars,” he said. among the top in the state throughout the 12 years “They go directly to our kids. The foundation helps Blair has been superintendent. He said the system has been able to achieve this by focusing on the indi- us tremendously.” As the system gears up for the start of another vidual student. school year, Blair said Vestavia Hills will again focus “This system has always been at the top, but the on staying at the top in the state. Thanks to parents hardest thing about that is staying there,” he said. and teachers, the superintendent believes it won’t be “We drill it down to the individual child. Our admintoo difficult to continue the tradition. istrators do an excellent job of recruiting the best “Students here know their parents value a good teachers and getting them professional development.” education,” he said. “And the administrators and the Although school is out for the summer, Blair said teachers make sure each student receives the best faculty and staff members have been hard at work education based on their capabilities.” ❖




THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011 • 21

DATES TO REMEMBER: The first day for students is Aug. 15.

The last day Winter for students is Holidays are Dec. 21-Jan. 2 May 24.

Minding the Gap Principal, Teachers Prepare for Opening of New Hoover School BY LAURA MCALISTER JOURNAL EDITOR


oover has a new school, but this one is all too familiar to many in the community. In an effort to alleviate overcrowding, the city system has implemented a realignment plan that will go into effect this school year. At the heart of the plan is a new intermediate school that will be housed in the old R.F. Bumpus Middle School building in the Lake Cyrus neighborhood. Bumpus will move to Hoover High School’s freshman campus on Flemings Parkway, and the high school will once again be a school for grades 9-12. The new school, named Brock’s Gap Intermediate, will house fifth and sixth graders from South Shades Crest, Deer Valley and Trace Crossings elementary schools. When class starts for Hoover students Aug. 15, the new intermediate school should have about 750 students. “This is really a huge realignment for our school system,” said Scott Mitchell, Brock’s Gap’s principal. “It allows for growth in this area, which is really where the growth is in Hoover. It just made sense on paper, but really, it made sense for the kids develop-

mentally.” The three-story building will be set up with fifth graders on the first floor and sixth graders on the third. The second story will be reserved for elective classes and other special programs. Mitchell said the layout of the building will allow the two grades to be separate, but fifth graders will still get a transition into changing classes and using lockers, things they typically wouldn’t do until middle school. “The fifth graders will still have one primary teacher, but they will change teachers for social studies and science,” he said. “That will kind of prepare them for the shift to sixth grade. It’s a lot for them to handle at one time, and this kind of allows for an easier transition.” The intermediate school also will change its class groupings. In middle school, teachers in each grade are divided into groups numbered one-four and work together in teams. At Brock’s Gap, classes in each grade will also be broken down into four groups, but their names will be the Explorers, Discoverers, Navigators and Voyagers. “This is new to all of us, so we wanted to kind of take on an explorer theme,” Mitchell said. “We are going to keep the same mascot – the Buccaneers. We’re just going to go with a more friendly pirate.” One drawback to the intermediate school concept, Mitchell said, is sports. There won’t be pep

Getting ready to start the school year at Brock’s Gap Intermediate along with principal Scott Mitchell, center, are in front, from left: Dalton Brewer and Kyle Smith, and in back from left: Andrea Sunday and Victoria Journal photo by Laura McAlister Nicoll. rallies and teams as there are at the middle school. Mitchell hopes to change that by having some friendly in-school competitions between the grade groupings. He suspects that won’t happen until the next school year. In the meantime, he and the faculty and staff at Brock’s Gap are gearing up for the new year. During the summer, Mitchell has been meeting with teachers, who are settling into their classrooms. Mitchell comes to the new school from Deer Valley Elementary, where he was an assistant principal, so he already knows some of the students and teachers coming in this school year. So far, he said, the com-

Hoover, page 25

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22 • THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011



DATES TO REMEMBER: The first day for students is Aug. 16.

The last day Winter for students is Holidays are Dec. 21-Jan. 3 May 25.

Taking the Lead Nathan Pitner to Start School Year as BWF New Principal

Nathan Pitner is the new principal at Brookwood Forest Elementary School. He replaces Yvette Faught, who retired at the end of last school Journal photo by Laura McAlister year.



hen students return to Brookwood Forest Elementary Aug. 16, they’ll be greeted by a new principal. Nathan Pitner replaces Yvette Faught as principal. Faught retired at the end of the 2010-11 school year. She was principal at the school for 18 years, but worked there for more than 35. “I have some awful big shoes to fill I know,” Pitner said. “But it is nice to be able to come into a school that has done so well and is so successful.” This will be Pitner’s first time as principal, but he’s not new to Mountain Brook. In fact, he’s spent his entire career with the system. Pitner comes to Brookwood Forest from Cherokee Bend Elementary, where he was an assistant principal for four years. Before that, he taught third grade and sixth grade at Mountain Brook Elementary for a total of four years. Although he didn’t attend Mountain Brook schools growing up, he said he still believes he’s a “product” of the school system. “In Mountain Brook we like to talk about being a ‘product’ of the system,” he said. “I may not have gone to school here, but professionally, I am a product of Mountain Brook schools, which I’m very proud of and feel awfully fortunate.” That being so, Pitner said he understands the importance of the school to the community. Pitner said he started slowly moving over to Brookwood Forest

at the end of last school year. He said Faught worked with him to help ease the transition. “It’s been a pretty seamless transition,” he said. “We structured it so I could get over and meet the teachers. I think about it as joining the Brookwood Forest family. That’s one of the first words I heard here was ‘family.’” In addition to the family of teachers and staff at the school, Pitner has been working with parents and members of the Parent Teacher Organization to get to know the school community. One of his goals as principal is to bring teachers, parents and students together. “The days where a teacher stands in front of the room and teaches are pretty much over,” Pitner said. “We’re breaking down the walls. More and more we are partners with students and their families. That’s job No. 1.” While this summer has been spent getting to know his new school and staff, Pitner said the start of the school year on Aug. 16 will bring new challenges. The biggest will be getting to know the about 500 students at the kindergarten-sixth grade school. At Cherokee Bend he was known for knowing all his students and forming relationships with them. He wants the same at Brookwood Forest Elementary, he said. “I want to get to know all the students. I want to know each of their names and something about them,” he said. “That’s what I’ll really miss about Cherokee Bend, all the students. But I’m excited to get to know everyone here, and be able to sit and eat lunch with them and just get to know them all.” ❖



THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011 • 23

Selection also is based on teacher and guidance counselor nominations and written essays.

MBHS Grad Joins Teach For America

Elizabeth White, a Mountain Brook native, has been accepted to Teach For America’s 2011 corps.

Teach For America is the national corps of top recent college graduates who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools. White is a 2007 graduate of Mountain Brook High School and a 2011 graduate of the University of Mississippi. She will teach in Nashville. This year’s Teach For

America’s talent pool was the most competitive ever. Nearly 48,000 individuals applied, and 11 percent were accepted. White joins Teach For America’s incoming corps of 5,200 new teachers. These corps members earned an average undergraduate GPA of 3.6, and 100 percent held leadership positions while in college. ❖

This year we celebrate our 100th year of providing care to children and families. In 1911, in response to a great community need, a group of concerned citizens formed Holy Innocents, a hospital for children.

Over the Mountain students attending the Alabama Governor’s School included, from left, front: Caroline Veazey, Rachael Gamlin, Adriana Galindo and Elizabeth Coats. Back: David Fargason, Shanna Liu and Photo special to the Journal Andrew Wisner.

OTM Students Attend Governor’s School

Several students from Over the Mountain schools were chosen to attend the 2011 Alabama Governor’s School at Samford University June 19-July 1. They were among 80 outstanding rising high school seniors from 23 counties who attended the two-week honors program. Participants included: Rachael Gamlin of Birmingham, Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School; Elizabeth Coats of Cahaba Heights, Briarwood Christian School; David Fargason of Mountain

Today, as Children’s of Alabama, we continue the mission of meeting a great community

Brook, Indian Springs School; Adriana Galindo and Caroline Veazey, both of Riverchase, Spain Park High School; and Shanna Liu and Andrew Wisner, both of Vestavia Hills, Vestavia Hills High School. AGS participants received college level experience in academics, creativity and leadership. Course topics included the arts, law, healthcare, research science, Alabama history and a dozen other subjects. AGS students are nominated by their schools on the basis of academic ability, leadership qualities, creativity and community service.


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24 • THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011



DATES TO REMEMBER: The first day for students is Aug. 15.

The last day Winter for students is Holidays are Dec. 21-Jan. 3 May 25.

Indian Springs will have students from all over the world, as well as Birmingham. The 2011-12 Photo special to the Journal student body will represent 12 countries and 12 states.

From Birmingham to Australia


Indian Springs to Host a Diverse Student Body in 2011-12

oarding students from 12 countries and 12 states will join day students from the Birmingham area for the first day of classes at Indian Springs School (ISS) Aug. 15. Students from Australia, Cameroon, China, England, France, Germany, Japan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Spain will be part of the school’s boarding community this year, along with students from the following U.S. states – Alabama (including the Birmingham area), Alaska, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. The only day/boarding school in the Birmingham area and the only non-sectarian, non-military day/ boarding school in the state, ISS is nationally ranked in the top 20 by Boarding School Review, a boarding school review and information web site. Indian Springs is also the 2009 recipient of the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement, given to the state’s top math and science AP program. In 2011, the school had in its graduating class the national co-

champions in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, the leading high school boys soccer scorer in the nation, and one of the top chess players in the U.S., The class amassed $4.3 million in college scholarship offers. In 2011-2012, the school will engage in a schoolwide theme, “Energy and the Environment,” which will give intentional direction and purpose behind a range of academic and extracurricular activities throughout the year. Academic and financial aid scholarships are available for the 2012-2013 academic year. Visit www. for more information. Indian Springs School is a national leader in coed boarding and day education in grades 8-12, located 16 miles from downtown Birmingham. Founded in 1952, the mission of the school is to develop in students a love of learning, a sense of integrity and moral courage, and an ethic of participatory citizenship. For more information, visit www.indiansprings. org. ❖

DATES TO REMEMBER: The first day for students is Aug. 19.


The last day Winter for students is Holidays are Dec. 21-Jan. 4 May 22.

Technology Teaching

Altamont Students Will Start School with iPad 2s

he Altamont School will start the year with a new learning tool for its fifth and sixth graders. The school purchased enough iPad 2s for each student in those grades to use. Altamont also has plans for a one-to-one program that will provide a tablet or a laptop for each

student at the school. Fifth and sixth grade teachers will implement the iPad 2s in two ways. In classrooms, the devices will provide secondary sources for each core subject. For example, while studying the Renaissance, sixth graders can view relevant videos and complete web searches that

supplement their learning. Any student can blog, contribute to a wiki, play with grammar applications or read an eBook. Also, students will be given broad, open-ended assignments and use their iPads to look for applications and web-based content that enhances their learning experience. ❖



Hoover page 21

Vestavia Hills High School’s Relay for Life campaign broke records for the school again this year. Participants raised more than $170,000.

A Relay to Remember

Photo special to the Journal

Vestavia Students, Teachers Honor Memory of Former Librarian at Fundraising Event



tudents at Vestavia Hills High School found inspiration to break fundraising records at Relay for Life this year. The event was dedicated to Vestavia Hills High School librarian Evelyn Gordon, who lost her battle with cancer the same day students kicked off the 2011 Relay for Life fundraising campaign in January. Evelyn had been a librarian at the school for 12 years. “This year’s Relay was very special because we had just lost Evelyn,” said Jennifer Carson, Evelyn Gordon who teaches science at the high school. “Her presence in our school and in our lives will be missed.” In all, the fundraiser raised more than $170,000 for the American Cancer Society, surpassing the students’ goal by more than $20,000. Last year, the high school raised about $145,000 for Relay and took first place in its six-state division for the top youth fundraising event. While awards have not been handed out yet for this year, students are confident they will win again. “I’m really proud of our committee and the students and faculty for stepping up to reach our goal this year,” said event co-chairman Laura Freeman. Students hosted several events leading up to the April 9 all-night relay at the school. Teachers even got into the spirit and formed their own Relay team, Team Gordon, to honor their former colleague. “Evelyn was the impetus behind the push to reach and surpass our goal this year,” said librarian Cathy Manis, who worked with Evelyn. “She was the most genuinely kind person I ever met.” In addition to being a librarian,

Evelyn was also a member of the Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church, where she volunteered time to the Hospitality Network and other ministries. She was married to Curtis Gordon for 39 years and had two sons, David and Jonathan Gordon, as well as two granddaughters, Emma and Sarah Gordon. Evelyn also had a brother, David Hays, and two sisters, Frances Dillender and Mary Lipscomb Team Gordon was one of more than 80 teams that raised money to fight cancer and increase awareness during Vestavia High’s Relay campaign. Other fundraising events included Hoops for Hope and Relax for Relay, where students could donate money in order to wear pajamas to school. The school also had a cell phone/electronics drive, talent show, student-faculty basketball game and restaurant fundraisers at places like Mugshots and Yogurt Lab. They organized a Relay Rave at the Vestavia Lodge, where students enjoyed music played by a student D.J. “It’s nice to see students come together for something other than football games,” said Alex Perez, co-chairman for the event. “There are no particular groups or cliques that run the entire show – everyone helps out.” More than 1,000 students participated in this year’s Relay. To ensure the continued success of the fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, students are in charge of selecting their own committee chairmen each year, and seniors mentor fellow classmates before graduating. The event has continued to grow every year since Vestavia’s first Relay for Life in 2002. “There are a lot of students in our community that have had family affected by cancer, so it is good to see everyone get together to fight the disease,” said Kristin McDonald, who is an American Cancer Society staff partner. Kristin also praised the Vestavia Hills school system for being supportive of the student fundraising and other efforts that go into Relay for Life. ❖

THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011 • 25

Get more OTM news • visit • find us on facebook • follow us on twitter

munities have been open to the system’s realignment plan and Virginia College is hiring! the opening of the intermediate Virginia College, Online Programs continues to grow and school. Since most elementary change students’ lives. Our mission is, in part, to provide high schools are named after the comquality, career focused educational services to a diverse student munity they are in, they went in population in a dynamic, growth oriented setting. the same direction when naming If you have a passion for helping college students change their the intermediate school. Brock’s lives and if you would like to be a part of an expanding college Gap is a historic landmark in the area, which was settled in the with its face to the future, please contact us, now. 1800s. Please send your letter of “There was a ridge that cut interest and resume to: through the railroad tracks known as Brock’s Gap,” Mitchell said. “We wanted something historical and unique, since the school is a new concept for us. Hoover has always had the traditional school � model.” ������������������������� ������ would �������������� The traditional model be a kindergarten-fifth������� grade elemen���������������������������������������������������������������� tary school, sixth-eighth �������middle �������� Formerly “The Window Man” Danny Clemons, Owner and ninth-12th grade high school. While many other systems in the ������������������������������������������������������������������ 15 Yrs. Exp. Licensed & Insured area have intermediate schools, • Replacement Windows • Rot Repair ������������������������������������������������������������������������ Hoover will be the first with a Carpentry Work • Sunrooms Large Selection of fifth-sixth grade school. Mitchell Manufacturers ��������������������������������������������� suspects more systems will move ALL TYPES OF WINDOWS • Aluminum/ Steel/ in this direction. ����������������������������������� Wood Clad • Wood & Vinyl • Fogged Glass “There are several fifth-sixth Bay/ Bow/ Architectural • Picture Windows • Tilt grade schools nationwide, and ALL TYPES �������������������������������������������� OF DOORS • French • Storm they are very successful,” he said. Entrance • Swing/ Sliding • Glass Stained ���������������������������������������������������������������������������� “I think people on the other side �������������������������������������������������� Fiberglass/ Insulated • True Divided Light Doors of town are going to be paying MAINTENANCE FREE VINYL REPLACEMENT ������������������������������������ close attention to us. With great WINDOWS W/ LIFETIME WARRANTY teachers, students and communiCell: 205 - 223 - 8180 Office: 205 - 835 - 8180 ties already in place, I don’t think we can fail.” ❖


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The Plan at a Glance:

The Hoover City Board of Education approved the following realignment plan in February: • Columbiana Road Property (former Berry Middle School) will be converted to a districtwide alternative school. • The freshman campus will be combined with the main Hoover High School campus making it a ninth-12th grade school again. • The freshman campus will be the new home of Bumpus Middle School, which will become a seventh-eighth grade school. • Start fifth and sixth grade intermediate school, Brock’s Gap, with Deer Valley, South Shades Crest and Trace Crossings as the feeder elementary schools. • Realign Ross Bridge students with Bumpus Middle School (were attending Simmons Middle School). • Re-direct Russet Woods students currently zoned for DVES to SSCES beginning with 2012 school year kindergarten students. Provide for internal transfers to SSCES for older siblings.

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26 • THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011


Members of the Mountain Brook JV girls soccer team are, front row, from left: Kate Perry, Baily Martin, Katie Windle, Caroline Milligan, Emma Fasking, Peggy Haynes and Charlotte Weaver. Standing: Anna Bolton, Sophie Johnston, Maggie Albright, Olivia Lantz, Elizabeth Clutton, Maggie Dodson, Mallie Wilson, Alexa Ruttenberg and Christina Lilly.

Mountain Brook JV Team Has Undefeated Regular Season

The Mountain Brook junior varsity girls’ soccer team finished the spring season without a defeat in regular season play. The team had 15 wins and only 1 loss, which came in tournament play, plus two tie games. Mountain Brook’s schedule included Hoover, Vestavia, Spain Park, Briarwood Christian, Oak Mountain, Grissom, Thompson, Hewitt-Trussville, McGill-Toolen

Catholic and Auburn. Team members Alexa Ruttenberg, Elizabeth Clutton, Charlotte Weaver, Christina Lilly, Olivia Lantz and Kate Perry also played on Birmingham United Soccer Association teams that won multiple Alabama state championships in their divisions. Peggy Haynes, Anna Bolton, Baily Martin and Caroline Milligan spent many hours training and playing club level soccer. Milligan, the keeper, is the only team member who’s a second generation Mountain Brook soccer player. Her mother,

Suzanne, played in the mid-1980s. Milligan’s aunt, Megan O’Neill, was team captain as a senior in the mid-1990s. Forward Baily Martin’s mother, Margaret, was a collegiate track and cross country star for the College of William and Mary. The team is now selling promotional corporate banners that will line the soccer field. To buy banners, contact Scott Flowers at Mountain Brook High school. Proceeds will provide new balls, soccer training equipment and meals and help with travel costs.


Team Sting Wins AAU 13 Club Green Division Volleyball Championship Held in Orlando

Team Sting AAU is made up of top players from different schools in Birmingham. These girls are from Vestavia, Homewood, Hoover. Mountain Brook and Forest Park. The tournament held in Orlando hosted more than 10,000 participants from all over the United States. Team members are front row, from left: Alexis Turek, Kate Ragland, Dusti Hodges and Katie Moore. Standing: Savannah Francis, Kyra Hunter, Abby Bridges, coach Shelby Brandon, Caroline Plouff and Anne Raines Doidge.

Irons Trophy Awarded at Mountain Brook

Two of Mountain Brook Highs School’s outstanding long distance track athletes have won the 2010 Colonel George V. Irons Distance Trophy awarded at Mountain Brook High School Assembly last May. This award is presented in memory of Dr. George V. Irons, Sr. Irons broke records throughout the South as Captain of the University of Alabama Distance Team in the 1920s. Irons became the only University of Alabama track and field athlete ever inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Irons is also the only

Twisters Perfect at Auburn Camp distance runner inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in its 35 year history. William L. Irons, Dr. Irons’ son,

presented this years trophies to Marie Demedicis and Jack Morgan during the school’s annual awards day ceremonies, above.

The 12u Alabama Twisters at the Auburn University Team camp June 10-12 where they were undefeated are seen with some of the AU women’s basketball team after the camp. Pictured are Coach Michael Pruet, Paige Pruet, Elizabeth Philpot, Josie Aler, Jailyn Maddox, Kelsi Hobbs, Lauren Granier and Kendra Langham. Not pictured- Emily Towles, and Jessica Compton.

Shades Mountain Nine Year Old Nationals Win Metro Tournament

The Shades Mountain 9 Year Old Nationals finished the Metro All-Star Tournament with an undefeated record of 9-0. Shades Mountain won an exciting championship game against the Mountain Brook Nationals with a final score of 6-1. Team members are from left to right are, bottom row, from left: Colton Davis, Davis Young, Luke Tulloch, Brody Moss, Cooper Tullo, and Carter Wright. Standing: Matthew Whatley, Jonathan Skurstenis, Jake Willett, Lawrence Hammonds, Kole Roberts, and Colby Davis. Head coach is Craig Moss and assistant coaches are Rick Davis and Russ Davis.



Higginbotham, from back cover

maxed by a 29-23 victory over Dothan at Legion Field to win the state championship. “That was just an incredible group of guys,” said Higginbotham. “There are a lot of teams with great athletes, but the 1975 team had great chemistry. Everybody practiced and played with great dedication to what we were doing. “Any team that wins a championship is going to have great chemistry. That’s exactly what happened with Alabama in 2009 and Auburn in 2010.” Ogilvie, later a star at Alabama and now a successful businessman, said Higginbotham was a highly positive influence in his life as an athlete – and as a young man. “Coach Higginbotham was one of those coaches that really helped me develop,” said Ogilvie. “Any success I may have had on the football field was in large part due to him. He got me ready to play for Coach Bryant at Alabama. “But the most important thing about Coach Higginbotham was the way he helped all who played for him prepare for life after football. “He was the kind of coach that parents could feel comfortable entrusting their sons to play for.” Higginbotham seemed to be on top of the football world at the end of 1975, but the good times were fleeting. The coach and Mountain Brook parted ways soon afterward, for reasons which still aren’t

Hot Months, from back cover

during the summer months. The point is, however, they have comparatively little “down time” in the summer, particularly compared to their parents. “There is more demanded of them (high school athletes) than ever before,” said Robert Higginbotham, former football coach at Mountain Brook and Shades Valley. “Kids don’t get much of a summer anymore. There are so many things requiring their time now.” The new phenomenon for high

Richard, from back cover

you face is a very good player, or they wouldn’t be there.” A third difference, she said, is the time spent on the road. “You’re out of class a lot,” she explained. “During the spring, I probably missed nearly half my classes. But we’re able to keep up with them online.” Richard hasn’t chosen a major yet. “Everyone tells me I should change my major in college at least two times,” she said, laughing. “But I want to find one thing and stick with it. So I’m taking a lot of different courses to get a taste of everything.”


completely clear. Ever resilient, Higginbotham moved on to Shades Valley, where he coached well into the 1990s, producing a long line of winners and reaching the state 6A championship game once. “I really enjoyed playing for Coach Higginbotham,” said former Mountie Todd Fowler, who quarterbacked Shades Valley from 1978-79. “I learned a lot about football and life from him.” Higginbotham concluded his career at Tuscaloosa County, where he built the Wildcats into consistent state championship contenders. Looking back over his 38 years in the profession, Higginbotham said that high school football underwent a great evolution during his long tenure. “The biggest change was the rise of the spread offenses,” he explained. “When I was coaching at Shades Valley, for example, we ran the Wing-T. It was a good offense, but it was hard to move the ball because the defenses could stack a small part of the field and stop you. Once offenses went to the spread, the other team had to defend the entire field, and that made it easier to score.” The other difference, Higginbotham added, was the sophistication of the coaches. “There are a lot of really smart guys in high school coaching now,” he said. “Just take a look at the coaches at Mountain Brook today – they are really brilliant guys. When I first started in coaching, we believed that if we just worked hard and were tough, we’d be okay. “Now it’s a completely different mindset

built on technique and skill. The whole thing is so much more sophisticated than when I started.” Higginbotham isn’t one of those coaches who sit around complaining how much better high school kids were in the “old days.” “I don’t think kids have changed that much in 38 years,” he said. “They are still willing to work hard and have great passion for the game of football.” In fact, Higginbotham thinks today’s high school athletes may be even more dedicated than those in the past. “There is more demanded of them than ever before,” he said. “Between off-season workouts and seven-on-seven camps, kids don’t get much of a summer anymore. There are so many things requiring their time now.” One negative of that, however, is the near-demise of the traditional high school three-sport athlete who played football, basketball and baseball. “We used to encourage our football players to play other sports as well,” Higginbotham recalled. “Now, with the overlap of the seasons, that’s so much more difficult to do. If a kid can play just two sports these days, he’s doing pretty well.” Among Higginbotham’s mentors in coaching were his father – who passed away a few months ago – and his college coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant. “I learned a lot from both of them, but at the end of the day, a coach has to be himself,” he explained. “A lot of guys got in trouble when they tried to be Coach Bryant or somebody besides who they were. “Whatever anyone says, I did it my way.”

school football in the summer is the 7-on-7 tournament, where schools from all over the country gather on a high school campus for a sort of glorified flag-football championship. Players wear helmets but no pads. Blocking and tackling are not allowed. The games originally started as just competition between local schools but have grown in importance over the years. For example, the recent National Select 7-on-7 Championships, presented by Under Armour, were hosted by Hoover and Spain Park and featured teams that came from as far away as Arkansas to compete. The competition is interesting to watch from a spectator stand-

point and gives coaches an early opportunity to see how their players react in something similar to real-game conditions. But it also shaves a couple of more weeks from an athlete’s free time during the summer. Of course, football players know that late July is when they need to start getting their minds on the sport, as fall practice starts just a couple of weeks afterward. The early August practice schedule isn’t anything new. The sight of 16- and 17-year-olds practicing football wearing full pads in 100 degree heat has been a part of the game in Alabama since the 1970s. If I had my way, things would go back to where they were in the

After a stellar freshman year, Richard understands that the bar is set high for her second season. She may move into Liberty’s number one singles position, as last year’s entry has graduated. “We lost our number one girl, and we didn’t recruit anybody to replace her,” she said. “So I could get the call.” Although Richard will play any spot that her team needs, she admits her preference is singles over doubles. “I guess I have a greater comfort level with singles,” she said. “In singles, if I make a mistake it’s all on me – there’s accountability.” No matter what happens on the tennis court, Richard has her priorities in order. “I’m just blessed to be able to

play tennis and glorify God,” she said. “As long as I remember that, everything else will take care of itself.” Richard also understands that every time she takes the court, she represents not only herself and her school but all the people who helped her excel at her chosen sport. That includes her tennis mentor, Josh Goff of Hoover County Club, Liberty coach Chris Johnson and certainly her parents, Dick and Debra Richard. “I really appreciate all my coaches and everyone who invested so much of their own time in me,” she said. “I try to think about them every day.” In tennis as well as life, Cameron Richard is walking the walk.

THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011 • 27

Higginbotham is enjoying life out of the football spotlight, but he plans to be plenty busy this fall. He’s a regular tailgater at Alabama home games and is planning road trips to the Crimson Tide’s battles against Penn State and Florida. “I’ve got a bucket list of stadiums I want to visit before I die,” said Higginbotham. “Beaver Stadium at Penn State is definitely one of them.” When the coach looks back on his career, he can smile. “I’ve got no regrets about anything,” he said. “I had a ball coaching. I don’t know how I could have been happier.” One thing’s for sure. Robert Higginbotham did it his way.


from back cover first women’s basketball team (NCAA Division I) and served on the NCAA Gender Equity Committee. At the high school level, he served on the Alabama High School Athletic Association District 5 Basketball Committee and coached, coordinated and managed various aspects of successful athletic programs. He also has experience in technology, financial management and communications. “It’s an honor to be associated with the Homewood School System. Homewood has such a rich tradition of excellence in academics and athletics, it’s a privilege to work here,” said Tubbs.

1960s and before: Football practices started around Labor Day, and the season began on the third Friday night in September. Of course, with playoffs now stretching into December, my fantasy will never happen – but I can still dream. The shorter summers can hurt kids from a financial standpoint as well. In many areas, students need summer jobs not just for extra spending money but sometimes to help with household expenses. If athletes have only a few weeks to work, they’re going to have to find a very understanding employer to hire them for such a short period of time. And while most summer jobs for teens don’t exactly require rocket scientists, the work experi-

ence itself can be valuable for the vast majority of high school athletes who won’t go on to the professional ranks. But the toothpaste is pretty much out of the tube. Leisure time is in short supply for high school athletes, and that’s not likely to change. So those days of summer may be hazy, but they aren’t lazy – that’s for sure.


In a story in the July 14 issue of the Over the Mountain Journal, some baseball statistics for Georgie Salem, 2010-11 Over the Mountain Boy Athlete of the Year, were listed incorrectly. In the 2011 season, Salem hit for a .442 average with 7 home runs. The Journal regrets the error.

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Liberty Belle


Team Sting Wins AAU 13 Club Green Division Volleyball Championship. See page 26

Former Rebel Richard Makes Big Impression as Freshman BY LEE DAVIS JOURNAL SPORTS WRITER


hen most of us think back on our freshman year of college, memories of getting lost on campus, living in a smelly dorm room and sitting in classes with more than 300 students often come to mind. When Cameron Richard looks back on her freshman year of college, her memories will be very different. At Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Richard was anything but a typical freshman. The former Vestavia Hills tennis star played the number two and three singles positions for the Lady Flames, and number one and two doubles in the fall and spring seasons. At the end of the year, Richard was named Big South Conference Freshman of the Year. “I must say that I never saw that (the award) coming,” said Richard, when contacted last week. “It was a total surprise. I’m not even sure I realized that such

Tubbs Is New Homewood AD

Homewood City Schools has hired Kevin Tubbs as its new athletic director. Tubbs comes to Homewood from Mountain Brook High School, where he was the physical education department chairman, coach and teacher for four years. Tubbs earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, with certification in physical education. In 2008, he received his master’s degree in education from the University of West Alabama. During his 17 years in education, Tubbs has worked as a teacher and coach in Jefferson County, Mountain Brook and at Birmingham-Southern College. At BirminghamSouthern, he helped form the

See Tubbs, page 27

an award existed. It certainly was flattering to win.” Perhaps Richard’s best week of her freshman year came March 7-13. She compiled a 3-1 record, highlighted by leading Liberty to its first conference win of the season, a 6-1 victory over Presbyterian College. Against Presbyterian, she partnered with fellow freshman Alexandra Sheeran to win the number two doubles contest and ripped Christina Limantoro 6-3, 6-0 to win the number two singles match. During the same week, Richard took an impressive number three singles victory against Kristina Koprcina of highly-regarded Marshall University. She defeated Koprcina 7-6, 4-6, 10-2. Of course, success on the tennis court is nothing new to Richard. In high school, she helped lead the Vestavia Hills Lady Rebels to four consecutive Class 6A state championships. Soon after arriving at Liberty, however, she quickly learned the differences between the college and high school versions of the game.

His Way

Former Coach Enjoys Life Away From Football BY LEE DAVIS JOURNAL SPORTS WRITER


ootball was part of Robert Higginbotham’s life almost from the moment he was

born. His father, Morris, was one of the most successful high school coaches in Alabama history. The younger Higginbotham starred at Hueytown and played linebacker and defensive back at the University of Alabama before beginning his own coaching career that spanned four decades. He began his career as an assistant to the legendary Shorty White at the old Banks High School before becoming head coach at Mountain Brook in 1973. From there, Higginbotham had successful tours at Shades Valley and Tuscaloosa County before finally hanging up his whistle two years ago.

Lee Davis

Short Summer: Prep Athletes Get Little Break In Hot Months

Former Vestavia tennis standout Cameron Richard, now playing at Liberty University, was named Big South Conference Freshman of the Photo special to the Journal Year. “One of the big differences in college is that you spend so much time with your teammates, there is more camaraderie,” said Richard. “There’s some of that in high school, too, but more in college because you’re around your teammates all the time.” Another difference, she said, is

the game itself. “Everybody is a good player, and the pace of the game is much faster than high school,” Richard explained. “Sometimes at Vestavia, there were matches that were relatively easy. In college, everyone

He retired with a cushion full of memories – the vast majority of them good ones. “I guess the thing that stands out is that my career went for 38 years,” said Higginbotham, when reached by phone last week. “Not everybody who gets into coaching can make that claim. We had a lot of good times along the way.” Perhaps surprisingly, Higginbotham said he didn’t get empty feelings on Friday nights during his first season away from the game. “I really didn’t miss it at all,” he admitted. “I enjoyed every minute

of coaching, but once it ended, I didn’t look back.” Higginbotham faced skeptics in his career. The first time may have come early, when he left his attractive assistant’s job at perennial power Banks to take over the Spartan program, which had gone 3-7 the previous year. Some said nobody could win at Mountain Brook, but Higginbotham knew better. “It was a great community with a lot of good people in it,” said Higginbotham. “It was a great opportunity for me as a young coach at that time.” After the first season, Higginbotham couldn’t have been blamed for having second thoughts. His maiden voyage at Mountain Brook produced only a single victory. But greatness was just around the corner. Armed with a profusion of young talent, the Spartans improved to 7-3 in 1974. Then a solid team became a great one, when a highly-regarded running back prospect named Major Ogilvie moved from Vestavia Hills to Mountain Brook at the start of the 1975 season. Guided by Ogilvie and quarterback Richard Burg, the Spartans rolled to a perfect 13-0 record, cli-

Robert Higginbotham had successful tours at Mountain Brook, above, and Shades Valley in the 1970s.

See Richard, page 27

See Higginbotham, page 27


here are some people who think summer vacation is a luxury we can’t afford these days. They tout the belief that if American children go to school 12 months, then maybe we can catch up with our foreign competition on the education front. Personally, I think there are a lot of holes in that argument, but this is no forum to go into them. I do think, however, that the idea of the “lazy, hazy days of summer” is a myth, particularly to today’s high school athletes. First, from a time perspective, summer has never been shorter. When I was a student in the early 1970s, we got out of school in May and started back the Tuesday after Labor Day in early September. Often, we played the first high school football game before school actually began. So summer lasted a full three months. Now, school lets out at about the same time – or maybe a week or so later. But almost every school resumes for the fall in early to mid-August. So that denies today’s kids almost three full weeks of summer vacation that their parents once enjoyed. But beyond sheer time spent, summers are shorter than ever. Ask your average high school varsity athlete – regardless of the sport – how he or she spent the summer. The odds are good that they spent most of June and July at sports camps, competing in summer leagues or playing travel ball, with only a week or two at the most allowed for time at the beach or the lake with family and friends. Then, by the time Aug. 1 rolls around, they’re busy getting ready to return to school. And all that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, most high school athletes enjoy playing or practicing their favorite sport

See Hot Months, page 27

Over the Mountain Journal Back to School 2011  

Over the Mountain Journal July 28, 2011 Back to School Issue

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