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Message from the

Oxford Mayor STATE OF THE CITY 2017 was a record-breaking year in the City of Oxford. We celebrated our city and all of its accomplishments and came together to help those in need. Our city has expanded in technology and capital, and we have many more projects that are on the horizon. I’m proud to lead the City of Oxford through its next phase of growth and continued investment in the future. Your tax dollars are at work, and we are working diligently to make Oxford the best place in Alabama to visit, work, live, and raise a family. I am proud that Oxford has one of the best school systems in the state of Alabama. Oxford City Schools is a leader in the state with their technology, curriculum, and advanced classes. Because of the one-cent sales tax, we were able to give the school system $6,060,925.35 in the 2017 fiscal year, a number that has increased since we instituted the tax. Over the past three decades, we have given our schools over $120,000,000, and I have been blessed to be a part of that, first as your finance director, and now as your mayor. Even U.S. News & World Report gave Oxford City Schools high praise: in 2017 alone, we were ranked #4


District with the best teachers in Alabama, #5 Best places to teach in Alabama, and we were the 10th best and the 10th safest school district in Alabama. Our school system is working to make our students’ educations challenging and fun while preparing them for the workforce or college. We have many different academies that our students can take advantage of—our engineering, industrial technology, health science, digital arts and television production, business technologies, teaching and learning, and fine arts and foreign language academies are preparing our students for higher education and putting them on a career track. Our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Program is one of the best in Alabama as well. In all grades, our students are learning computer science and participating in maker and design thinking labs and have their own robotics and academic competition teams. Many of our students are graduating high school early with accelerated degrees and already have enough college credits to start on their major coursework or to receive a trade certificate or Associate’s degree.

We are proud of the Oxford High School athletic programs and their great success in 2017. Our football team has won back-to-back region championships; the wrestling team won the 6A State Championship, the boys’ basketball won the regular season 6A Area 13, and the girls’ basketball team finished second in the Calhoun County Tournament. I’d like to personally thank the teachers, students, and administrators that have helped our great city achieve success. We have become a great place to live, and a large part of that is because of our school system that is a leader in the area and the state. We have instituted a Customer Service Training Program in collaboration with Oxford High School. The participants often meet in “The Connection” at the OHS Media Center which allows for unique methods of collaboration. Participants are grouped and rotate through “pods” to enhance the conversation. At the end of each session, we share highlights and any ideas, thoughts, and questions that are derived from the discussions. This new way of sharing input allows for a much more informal setting, and it has produced some excellent suggestions. The City of Oxford Customer Service Committee was highly impressed with the ideas and feedback put forth by the students. Senior citizen guests were invited to the next meeting, and the conversation was even more stimulating and productive. It has been such a joy seeing our bright and forward-thinking teenagers learn from, interact, and share their thoughts and knowledge with the city’s leadership and our senior citizen population. The information and suggestions gathered from these ongoing meetings will allow the committee to make decisions with the heart of Oxford in mind. The ideas and opinions in these meetings share the hopes and dreams of residents who call Oxford home and ways to keep or attract people to Oxford. The City of Oxford is making improvements to its infrastructure. We are in the planning stages of widening Leon Smith Parkway from Choccolocco Park to the Interstate 20 bridge. It will consist of a five-lane roadway southward to the intersection of Boiling Springs Road and Choccolocco Park. It will then transition back to a standard twolane roadway south of the intersection. The new red light on the parkway has been a blessing, and traffic accidents in that area have decreased significantly. We are also about

to begin working on Snow Street to solve drainage issues. Our Historic Downtown Oxford renovation is coming along nicely as well, with the sidewalks and downtown roads getting a much-needed facelift that will improve traffic, parking, and aesthetics of the oldest part of our city. We have already invested $300,000 in underground utility relocations, and we are projected to spend an additional $2.2 million on sidewalks, green space, and historically appropriate lighting that will add to the beauty of our downtown. In 2017, our Public Works department paved 28 roads at the cost of approximately $600,000. They picked up about 500,000 pounds of leaves from residents, and 26,000 cubic yards of limbs and tree trimmings. Public Works also unveiled their new custom-made winter weather truck. The winter weather truck, which was built in-house, allows us to pre-treat roads and bridges with a liquid deicing mixture, and it enables us to spread sand across roads and bridges. Additionally, we have purchased a snow plow that can be utilized as needed. In the past few months, these new vehicles have been a vital part of making sure that we can clear the roads of ice and snow efficiently. On a final note, we have saved the taxpayers money by starting a vehicle repurchasing program. We bought 18 vehicles in 2017 that would have cost $540,000, but because of this program, we were able to trade in our vehicles and spent only $118,000 in total purchases. That is a cost of $6,555.56 per new vehicle. Our new 311 Call Center and Help Line is off to a great start. From March-December 2017, Oxford 311 processed 3,059 service requests. The number of calls has increased monthly, so we are expecting more calls daily. I encourage our citizens to continue to call 311 to report things such as potholes, flooded roads, downed trees, graffiti, or any other non-emergency issues you may have. Our emergency services are also leaders in the state. One of the most important reasons that businesses and new families move to Oxford is because of our commitment to keep our citizens safe. Our previous leadership and current leadership have always maintained a proactive role in making sure our police officers and firefighters are adequately funded and have the resources to have the most up-to-date technology and equipment in the United States.




The police department has some of the most advanced equipment in the nation. The Lenco Bearcat G-2 armored rescue vehicle provides our city’s finest with mobile armor to keep our officers safe and to rescue officers and citizens in shooting events. In 2017, the Oxford Police Department patrolled over 1 million miles, had over 26,000 Calls to Service, and made 1,480 arrests. Additionally, Police Chief Bill Partridge was recently appointed by Governor Ivey to the Alabama Peace Officers and Training Commission, which will continue to bring a positive image to our police department and departments around the state. I would like to personally thank Chief Partridge and his fine officers for maintaining the safety of our citizens and visitors. Our fire department has been working diligently to educate our citizens on fire safety and prevention and in fighting fires in Oxford. Our new ladder truck has been used in significant structure fires and has proven to be an asset to the city. The new Robert E. Hendricks Fire Station #2 on Friendship Road will help improve response times and citizen safety in one of our most populous areas. The new station includes an office for the Oxford Police Department and serves as the backup Emergency Operations Center. We now have three fire stations that are staffed at all times, and with Oxford growing in business, industry, and citizens, our commitment to safety has increased. I would like to commend Chief Gary Sparks for his appointment to the Alabama Fire College and Personnel Standards Commission. It is great to have both of Oxford’s chiefs in high-profile roles within the state. In 2017, the Oxford Fire Department had 1,061 calls to service and have made over 900 fire inspections and pre-fire plans. They tested over 900 fire hydrants, over 20,000 feet of fire hose, and all of their equipment and trucks. They have also installed over 300 free smoke detectors and have conducted fire safety classes at all Oxford schools. Chief Gary Sparks and his firefighters are doing a great job at keeping Oxford safe, and I thank him for his dedication to our city.

keting Department staff and other city employees, go above and beyond to create content our citizens will enjoy. From the feature stories to the city calendar, the citizens love it and we are happy to be able to keep them in-the-loop. It is truly a way for everyone to have Access to all things Oxford. The Oxford Performing Arts Center is becoming the arts and entertainment showcase of the Southeast. In 2017 alone, we had 114 total events, including five series that presented both nationally- and internationally-acclaimed artists. We had eight national touring Broadway performances, 39 free community and school events, and 17 free events that were sponsored by OPAC. Visitors from 37 states across the U.S. came to see our shows and our reach is continually expanding. 1,321 students became involved in community and education outreach, and we had over 80 volunteers. The Oxford Performing Arts Center also completed several capital projects including the opening of the new Dr. Larry K. Martin - Wren’s Nest Gallery and the opening of Superior Hyundai Signature Donor Lounge. Our Signature Corporate Sponsors also include Webb Concrete and Building Materials, NobleBank & Trust, Regional Medical Center, BR Williams Trucking, Edward Jones of Oxford-Anniston, and Hale Building Company, and their contributions to our city are vital to the continued growth of the arts and entertainment in our area. With the Downtown Oxford Renovation Project underway, we do ask that you are mindful of the construction zones at OPAC and the rest of the area, but I don’t believe that should keep you from seeing some of the award-winning events that are coming to the center in 2018. The staff at OPAC are doing an excellent job, and I believe that we will continue to break attendance records in 2018.

We have also placed storm shelters in our city. The safety of our residents and visitors will continue to be our number one goal, and we are ensuring that the community is protected from any threat, including severe weather. I have had many discussions with our police and fire chiefs about ways to improve citizen protection, and I believe adding the storm shelters were an important step towards increased safety. Shelters were installed in Bynum and DeArmanville, and we will continue to add more at strategic locations.

The Oxford Public Library has had great success in 2017, and our expectations are for them to build on the momentum they have achieved. The Summer Reading Program was a big success for our children and adults that participated, and there were almost 24,000 items checked out during that time. For the entire year, we had 57,112 visits to the library, 92,151 items that were checked out, and 11,602 reference inquiries. The library has almost 60,000 books, over 4,300 audiobooks, 3,460 DVDs, and over 33,000 E-books and E-Audiobooks. OPL and Oxford Parks and Recreation also started a new cooperative program: Oxford Civic Center, Friendship Community Center, Bynum Community Center, and the Senior Citizens’ Center now have books that are available to check out at each location.

The Oxford Access magazine continues to thrive and improve with each publication. Our writers, which include the Mar-

Oxford Parks and Recreation is continuing to lead the nation in many respects.



Choccolocco Park, the jewel of the South, was named the #1 High School Baseball Field in America and the #2 ballpark “every planner in America must see,” according to sports’ magazines. We have hosted collegiate events at the park, with the Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Tournament, Softball Tournament, and Track and Field Championships being held in the same month. During the OVC Baseball Tournament, 50 home runs were hit at the Signature Baseball Field, which gave rise to the new tagline at the park, “Boom Choccolocco!” We also were home to Jacksonville State men’s baseball team last year, and will continue to host them in 2018 while they complete renovations to their home field on campus. Along with hosting the Calhoun County High School Baseball Tournament and Softball Tournament, our facilities also served as home field to the Oxford High School varsity baseball and softball teams. Choccolocco Park also held the 2017 Dixie Youth Baseball World Series, with teams from twelve southern states attending. I would like to thank our grounds crew and our stellar staff at Choccolocco Park for making sure the World Series was a great success. Because of our staff, we have now reached into the international market, and teams from all over North America are scheduling tournaments at our award-winning facility. The number of games and tournaments was staggering for 2017: for baseball, we had 63 days of baseball tournaments and 62 individual games, with 115 games being played on the signature field. For softball, we had 41 days of tournaments and 44 stand-alone softball games, with 89 games played on the signature field. For soccer, we had 34 soccer tournaments and 72 individual soccer matches. Our track and field had 12 days of meets, and we had six 5k events, with more coming this year. With 24 practice days for baseball, 37 practice days for track and field, 63 practice days for soccer, and 24 practice days for cross-country, there is a good chance you see events going on all across the facility on any given day. For the entire year of 2017, Choccolocco Park saw 1.3 million visitors and the Civic Center had over 500,000, so I consider that to be a great achievement, and I believe we will set new attendance records in 2018. The calendar at the park is filling up rapidly, and I’m proud to have an excellent staff that knows how to promote, advertise, and host tournaments at our award-winning recreational facilities. We are continuing to invest in Oxford Parks and Recreation. At the Oxford Lake area, we are planning to build a botanical garden that will bring nature observers from around the south to Oxford. This will be done with help from the State of Alabama and other agencies. We will be adding multi-pur-


pose fields at the Civic Center (on the gravel area and the old par three driving range) soon. We are adding several more multi-purpose fields at Choccolocco Park that will be located near the current multi-purpose fields that currently house football and soccer. Most of this construction will be done in-house with the help of Calhoun County. We are thankful for their willingness to collaborate with us on our projects. We have repurposed the old Hendricks Fire Station #2 into a substation for the Street Department and to use as a storage facility for Oxford Parks and Recreation. We are planning to have our canoeing and kayaking water trails finished by Spring, and the new Bike-Share program should be up-andrunning by the end of Summer. Cider Ridge Golf Club is continuing to have a record number of rounds played at one of the most customer-friendly courses in the nation. Lee Shurden, the new Club Manager and Director of Golf Operations, is working to ensure Cider Ridge’s success in the golfing community. He has given the golf shop and restaurant updates and minor renovations, and his staff has been busy over the winter making improvements to the club and the grounds. Cider Ridge has also launched a new, more user-friendly website that will allow golfers to book tee times online or right from their phones. Along with our investment in recreation, we are continuing to invest in retail and business around Oxford. We now own the space at Quintard Mall where Sears once was located, which has already hosted a dinosaur exhibit and is on track to host several more kid-friendly events. With this investment, the City of Oxford is able to control what goes into the building and to make sure it's beneficial to our citizens. The future of the Quintard Mall looks promising as well: there are some very interesting plans to redevelop the shopping center, and the city council and I are currently looking at ways to redevelop our portion of the mall, so we hope you are excited about what’s in store. On another retail note, The Oxford Exchange continues to be the destination for shoppers from Atlanta to Birmingham. The Oxford Commons shopping center construction is scheduled to start back in the near future, so I hope you are looking forward to the completion of that area. We have also had investors from the area locate in Oxford. The new RMC Mediplex has ushered in a new era of medical innovation, technology, and convenience that is in an ideal location for Oxford residents. The medical center is home to primary care physicians; ear, nose, and throat specialists;

orthopedic doctors; and endocrinologists. It also has full-service imaging and diagnostics, and has high-tech lab and occupational health services. With 35 full-time staff and the physicians and their staffs, the Mediplex is improving access to healthcare in Oxford and the surrounding area. Oxford’s finances are in good shape. Per our last audit, we have $90 million in our all fund balance and $68 million in our general fund balance. The auditors are pleased with what they saw, and I hope you, the taxpayer, are also pleased with the economically-responsible steps we have taken to ensure that we are financially secure for not only today but for tomorrow as well. We have also been able to be secure in our capital projects over the past decade and the capital projects we project to begin over the next few years. I enjoy working with the Oxford City Council. Our council president Chris Spurlin and members Phil Gardner, Charlotte Hubbard, Mike Henderson, and Steven Waits, have worked with me to pass ordinances for the benefit of our city. In my year-and-a-half as mayor, we have been able to adopt a new zoning ordinance, create an environmental board, and begin new capital projects and investments in our city. We participated in the National Day of Prayer and were able to dedicate Liberty Park, our new monument to veterans and police officers, at Oxford Lake. The council and I have also worked to lure new businesses to our city. In 2017, 40 new businesses opened in Oxford, and we are continuing to be an attractive place for retail and industry. I appreciate the teamwork and forward-thinking leadership that our city council is providing to our hometown. We have soldiered through great loss in our city. The loss of our previous mayor, Leon Smith, who served as our leader for over three decades, brought back many fond memories to many friends and family. He shined a light for Oxford, and I am honored to continue his work and lead our city down a path of prosperity. It was a privilege to know long-time Oxford Police Captain Steve Palmer. He was an excellent public servant and a dedicated protector of Oxford. Jack “Slab” Blakemore was also a valued employee for the city. He was our handy-man, and his tireless work in helping us make sure everything ran smoothly did not go unnoticed. Our Choccolocco Park Director, Rusty Riley, also passed away in 2017. Even though he was with us for a short time, the fruits of his labor can still be seen at the park. Through all these losses, Oxford has remained strong and leaned on each other to help pick up right where they left off. I am proud of the work they did, and I can say with certainty that each of them

left a legacy at Oxford. I am most proud of you, the citizen. We have sought input from our workers and residents on ideas to make Oxford continue to grow, and the response has been amazing. Not only are our workers involved in creating a team environment in their departments and across departmental lines, but our citizens are proactive in making sure that we have the best city the state has to offer. The volunteer support we have received has been astounding, whether helping monitor our walking trails at Choccolocco Park or participating in a neighborhood sidewalk and road cleanup. The council and I are proud to have you as stewards of our city. People want to come to Oxford because we genuinely want them here. From sports at Choccolocco Park to the events at the Performing Arts Center, we are told that we are the most welcoming and friendliest city in the country. Word about Oxford is spreading nationwide, and people from across the country are starting to get familiar with what our city has to offer. Recently, I was one of three mayors from Alabama selected to meet with President Trump as he revealed his infrastructure plans for our cities. The people I met commented on how now nice we “folks from the South” were. I can say this with certainty: if you treat people with hospitality, friendliness, and a bit of southern charm, they will fall in love with the land and the people, and that’s what makes us great. Some may say that the City of Oxford is its own best-kept secret, but I believe our reach is rapidly expanding. We are recognized locally and regionally and even beginning to be known nationally and across the entire North American continent. This is a compliment to our citizens, staff, and volunteers. They want to come to Oxford because of you, so thank you for everything you are doing for us. In closing, I am confident to say that the state of our city is strong. We are looking to build on a prosperous 2017 by continuing to work together to make Oxford better than it was. Because of our city council, our departments, my staff, and most importantly the citizens, I believe that we can accomplish the goals we have set for 2018 and the years to come. Oxford is strong, Oxford is determined, and Oxford will continue to rise because of its citizens, who will celebrate with their neighbors and help newcomers and even those who are just passing through. That is what makes us proud to call our city home. God bless our citizens and may God continue to bless Oxford. — Mayor Alton Craft








Hire a Licensed Contractor With spring just around the corner, the warmer weather tends to inspire us to make improvements to our homes. You may be considering whether to remodel your existing home or build a new one. The City of Oxford Building Department wants you to be confident that you have hired a qualified and licensed contractor to do any work.

Licensing agencies have websites that you can utilize anytime:

Here are some tips to keep in mind before hiring your contractor:

Ask your friends and family if they have used a contractor that they would recommend. Call 811 “Call before you dig” Alabama Homebuilders Licensure Board Alabama Plumbers & Gas Fitters Examining Board Alabama Heating, Air Conditioning

and Refrigeration Contractors Alabama Electrical Contractors Board Alabama General Contractors Board

Other helpful resources are: International Code Council

Always get several quotes in writing for your project. Remember that not everyone who advertises is a qualified contractor. Before you choose a contractor, we welcome you to call the Building Department at 256-831-9685 to make sure they are appropriately licensed. Anyone doing construction on a residential home of $10,000.00 or more is required to have a State of Alabama Home Builders License, and I recommend that anyone who does any work on your home has that qualification. State certified contractors have a wallet-sized license that they carry with them. Ask to see the license and note the license number. Contractors who are licensed to work in the City of Oxford also have a card. All HVAC contractors, plumbers, and electricians must be certified. Again, ask to see the license.

Once you have chosen your contractor, make sure to get a written contract detailing all work to be completed and the total cost of your project–this protects you as well as the contractor. City License and Permits are required for all jobs. These can be obtained at the City of Oxford Building Department at 42 Public Works Drive, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A contractor who asks for money up front or says that he doesn’t need a permit should always be a red flag. Most contractors are honest and reliable, but unfortunately, some take advantage of your money and leave you with unacceptable work or an unfinished project. Don’t be a victim! Contact your City Building Department with any questions or concerns that you have.




CHARLOTTE HUBBARD City Council Spotlight By Joshua Craft

COUNCILWOMAN CHARLOTTE HUBBARD IS CURRENTLY IN HER SECOND TERM ON THE CITY OF OXFORD’S LEGISLATIVE BODY, AND SHE IS THE COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE ON THE ZONING AND PLANNING BOARD. Councilwoman Hubbard was born in Roanoke, and her family moved to Eastaboga when she was six months old. She attended Bynum Elementary (which is now Bynum Community Center) and graduated from Oxford High School. While still in high school, her brother, Willard Young, who was serving his country in Vietnam in 1968, was one of the first KIA casualties of the war from Oxford. His name, like many others who have fallen, is on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., and on the wall at Centennial Memorial Park in Anniston. Upon completion of high school, she went on to graduate with her teaching degree from Auburn University. Charlotte moved back to Oxford and began her teaching career and continued her education as well, receiving a Master’s degree in Education from UAB and earned her Administration degree from the University of Alabama; she then became a principal in the Oxford City School district. Hubbard embarked on a new opportunity after serving as an administrator and began working for the Alabama Reading Initiative where she worked for two years before retiring. She continued to help educators for several years until becoming the proprietor of her new restaurant, Hubbard’s Off Main, which she still owns today. “SHE’S BEEN A KEY COMPONENT IN GETTING NEW BUSINESSES IN THE AREA, AND HER TIME AND DEDICATION HAVE BEEN PIVOTAL TO DOWNTOWN’S GROWTH AND REVITALIZATION.”

When asked why she ran for council, the answer was simple: “I wanted to bring a platform for change, growth, and improvement through zoning and planning,” and she has worked hard to see that objective realized. Charlotte also went into detail about the Downtown Oxford Revitalization project, which was also a big part of her decision to run. “When the Performing Arts Center was built, that was a catalyst for downtown revitalization, but I wanted to ensure that the rest of Downtown Oxford wasn’t forgotten and that we could become a destination, not only for visitors but for families wanting to move here.” Downtown business owner Leah Cleghorn (née Sparks) of Southern Girl Coffee, said “Charlotte is the reason my business is in Downtown Oxford. She’s been a key component in getting new businesses in the area, and her time and dedication have been pivotal to downtown’s growth and revitalization.” Charlotte is the widow of former Calhoun County District Attorney Joe Hubbard, whom she was married to for 32 years before he passed away from a long battle with cancer in 2011. Her oldest son, Adam, graduated from Oxford in 1999 and works at a local company. Charlotte’s youngest son, Jared, graduated from Oxford in 2001 and passed away in 2011. On behalf of the City of Oxford employees and residents, thank you, Councilwoman Hubbard, for your tireless work on behalf of the citizens.





Public Works Update It’s an honor to give you a quarterly update on Public Works projects in our great city! We have several exciting and new improvements to tell you about. As you know, we have dealt with snow and ice a few times this year. In a joint effort between our department and the department of fleet services, we were able to unveil our new custom-made winter weather truck. We were able to combine the functionality of multiple vehicles into one. This truck allows us to pre-treat roads and bridges with a liquid deicing mixture. It also has a spreader bed on it which lets us sand roads and bridges, along with a snow plow that we can utilize as needed. We feel that this vehicle is indeed one of a kind and helps us continue promoting the forward thinking in our great city. As mentioned in the last issue of Oxford Access magazine, we have a couple of lighting projects in the works. The first project will replace the existing streetlights with efficient LED lighting along Highway 78 from Leon Smith Parkway to Watson Drive. This project will provide much cleaner roadway lighting that will increase visibility and help make our roadways safer. The second project will be to replace the existing flashing school zone lights located on Highway 78. Electricity currently operates the lights. They will be replaced with high intensity flashing LED signs that are solar powered. Both of these projects save money and helps to use taxpayer dollars most efficiently. These upgrades should begin soon.

As most of you know, we installed a traffic signal at the Leon Smith Parkway and Crystal Waterway Drive intersection. The signal has significantly improved the traffic flow in the area. The 4th Street and Barry Street intersection has been controlled by a traffic signal for many years. As a result of a recent traffic study, the traffic volumes did not warrant a traffic signal in that area any longer. Please note that the intersection is now controlled by a flashing signal and a two-way stop on 4th Street. The utility work along Snow Street is progressing, and we anticipate this project to move along smoothly once the relocations are completed. Once the utility relocations are finished, the storm drainage improvements will begin and be followed by the new asphalt paving. Our curbside leaf vacuum pickup will continue through mid-April. This service only collects loose, non-bagged leaves. Leaves that are bagged will be picked up year-round by our weekly curbside service. As a reminder, please keep in mind that our leaf vacuum trucks do not move at the same pace as our weekly curbside service. Due to the operational nature of our vacuums, loose leaves must be placed in their own pile and not mixed with limbs, brush, or other curbside pickup items. Leaves will not be vacuumed if there are other objects mixed with them. As always, please continue to separate curbside items into individual piles such as leaves, limbs and trimmings, rubbish, and bagged items like leaves and grass clippings. We have multiple trucks that collect different items and separate piles allow us to complete the task much more efficiently. Help us spread the word and help yourself stay informed by liking and following us on Facebook. Search City of Oxford Department of Public Works or @oxfordpublicworks. God Bless. Sincerely, Rusty V. Gann, P.E. Public Works Director/City Engineer

RUSTY V. GANN, P.E., DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS, CITY ENGINEER (256) 835-6124 | 42 Public Works Drive, Oxford, Alabama OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | WINTER 2018


HONOR GUARD Law enforcement officers pledge to serve the public good and put their lives on the line daily. The City of Oxford is blessed to have a police department and officers who appreciate the meaning of integrity, service, and pride, and who continuously demonstrate their honor, unity, and brotherhood. The City of Oxford is proud to have the Oxford Police Department Honor Guard, reflecting the department's, City’s, and community’s honor and respect for our law enforcement’s service and dedication. On the Honor Guard are six of the OPD’s finest officers. Officers who are highly motivated and maintain exceptionally high standards of appearance and conduct and show an aptitude for ceremonial duty. The Honor Guard is led by Lieutenant Donald Ridley, and consists of Sergeant Phibbs, Sergeant Stancil, Officer McKenzie, Officer Pesnell, and Officer McCorckle. Together, they work diligently to show their upmost respect to the selfless act of service of fallen heroes and their families. Lieutenant Ridley describes the Honor Guard as a dignified and formal way to represent the City of Oxford and the Oxford Police Department. One can readily recognize the Honor Guard at a parade, graduation, funeral, and other formal events by their attire. Dressed in their Marine Corps-inspired uniforms, the Honor Guard displays and escorts the Alabama State Flag and the American Flag on ceremonial occasions and official functions with precision and dedication. To ensure their full potential as an Honor Guard, the brothers in blue received hands-on training at the Honor Guard Academy in Broward County, Florida, near Ft. Lauderdale. The training consisted of learning the proper way of casket guarding, casket watching, how to handle the flags and rifles, and the proper marching techniques. Lieutenant Ridley said, “It has to be done a certain way because we always want to be respectful, especially to the flag.” The officers wearing the Honor Guard uniform recognize their dedication to integrity, loyalty, service, and precision. “We take this very seriously. We are the personification of what Oxford stands for, and we will do it with excellence,” Lt. Ridley said. To request having the Honor Guard at an event, one can contact Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge or Lieutenant Ridley.








ARE YOU DREAMING BIG ENOUGH A framed map of the world was the backdrop at a recent gathering of family and friends of Erin Stephens. They were sharing words of love and encouragement with her before she embarked on an almost yearlong trip, with the World Race, to the other side of the world. This challenging endeavor will take Erin and a small group of other young adults on an adventure to share Jesus, show love, and maybe even change the world–just a little bit. The World Race is a mission trip that challenges the participants to abandon their worldly possessions and traditional lifestyle in exchange for a journey to serve others and live amongst people in their real, raw community. Changing the world one person at a time is a task that Erin has lived out before. As a teacher at Oxford Middle School, Erin has been the robotics teacher for 5th and 6th graders at C. E. Hanna Elementary School for two years, and before that, she taught math to 7th and 8th graders. But this year, she is taking a leave of absence to be part of the World Race mission trip. The interdenominational mission trip is through an organization called Adventures in Missions based out of Gainesville, Georgia. They promote the experience and challenge its participants by “calling them out of their comfort zone to experience what God is doing in the world.” The World Race has multiple trips to a range of destinations, also called “routes.” Erin’s route is called Expedition and will take her to eleven countries over eleven months. She explains, “How we work and interact with others will be different in each country we visit. In some countries, we may have a ministry partner set-up, and when we go in, we know who we are working with and the goals.” Most of Expedition’s route, however, is in the 10/40 Window (the rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia approximately between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude), and there are a lot of uncertainties. Erin shares, “The purpose of this route, in the 10/40 Window, is to witness in the most unreached area of the world as



far as Christianity goes. There are over 4.95 billion people in the area. Very few Christian missionaries go there. And a meager percentage of mission funding goes to the area. My team and I will go in with the intention to build relationships with people.” Further, she says, “I first read about the 10/40 Window while researching the World Race. I went on line and found the Joshua Project, and as I read, I began sobbing–my heart was burdened so bad for it! And I just knew the Lord was calling me.” Mission work has been a calling for Erin for many years. She has traveled to Tanzania in Africa and Nicaragua in Central America. “I went to Nicaragua on a Water Ministry Mission Trip, and it was different from any trip I had been on before,” Erin explained. She and the team repaired existing water wells. The village was using what she described as a “bicycle system” where a handle was rotated, and a rope brought up cups of water. The problem, however, was that the wheel was always exposed. To prevent contamination of the water, the volunteers changed it out from an exposed wheel to a covered pump.

The trip was rewarding, but Erin returned home feeling like it wasn’t enough. She says, “At that point in my life and my career, I was looking for something more.” Erin attends Life Church in Oxford and her urge for something more was reinforced only two months later when the congregation began a Bible study of Chase the Lion by Mark Patterson. “It was fabulous. The book will change your life. Don’t read it if you don’t want your life changed,” Erin said. “The first chapter grabbed me, and I couldn’t let it go. I just knew that God wanted something more for me. And not only that, I wanted to be used more for God. I wanted to do more than the once-a-year week-long mission trip. I started praying about it and asked if the World Race was an option. Could this actually happen?” Following her desire was neither cheap nor easy. Erin had to raise funds for her travels and managed to reach 60% of the total amount required. “I’ve sold t-shirts and bracelets. I sent letters to friends explaining what I was doing. It’s hard for me to ask people for money, but I have learned through this process that there are joyful givers– people that want to support what you are doing.” The World Race is graceful enough to break the payments into four deadlines. Erin has already met two deadlines, with the next deadline coming up at the end of February, followed by a final deadline in April. She shares, “When I first started this, I thought it was impossible–that there was no way to raise that much money. But our God is amazing. I am very blessed to be able to do the World Race.”


You can follow Erin’s journey through her blog:

Training Camp was one of the

hardest experiences of my life. It was emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausting. But it was emotionally,

physically, and spiritually

empowering. And uplifting.

And restoring. And refreshing. It’s easier to avoid hard things; to go around them instead of

through them. But then we never get stronger. The World Race will

be hard. Community will be hard. Packing up your tent every

morning is HARD. But would we ever truly appreciate the sunshine if it never rained?

Would we ever appreciate the heat if it was never cold? So to my support family,

when you see a hard post from me, please know that God is

working. He is in the hard places! And we will rejoice together when He reveals the sun.

This has been a hard journey for Erin. God gives each person her own journey, and she knows that others may not see all the things she has been through, in her personal life, leading up to this point. It has been a year of preparation that had her taking a leave of absence from work and making the decision to sell her home. She had a big yard sale and sold most of her belongings. Last Fall, she met up with her World Race team in Georgia, and they bonded through ten days of intensive training. They endured early mornings and late nights with no free time or breaks with the purpose of preparing them physically, spiritually, and emotionally. “They wanted us to get used to living in close community with the team and being in tight spaces with people. We had a market simulation where we had all of our belongings with us, and we had to go out and get food. They were trying to teach us what to expect.” She shares that she doesn’t want people just to hear the exotic locations she will visit and be jealous of her travels. “It’s going to be hard. I try to imagine living out of my backpack for eleven months. You carry all your items on your back. You use it or wear it, and then it goes back in. And if you can’t get to what you need, you take stuff out and dig around,” she said. “God has been preparing me for this my whole life–I can see so many events in my life that have led me to this. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be eye-opening. It’s, hopefully, going to be fun. But it’s also going to be heartbreaking.” “Be careful what you pray for,” Erin shares. “If you are truly open to what God wants you to do, it’s not going to be easy, but it will all be worth it.”

When I met Erin, it was just 48 hours before she boarded a plane in Atlanta, flying to her first destination in Australia. She was generous with her time and shared a few details of her trip and final preparation: WHERE WILL YOU GO? Australia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Spain, and Morocco. But the team knows that the route could change at any time. HOW MANY ARE IN YOUR GROUP? Our whole group is called a squad. Thirty-one participants like me have never done the World Race before. We have four alumni squad leaders. These leaders will be with us the first five months, and we also have six alumni team leaders. They have each done the race before. We will split up into teams, five to six people per team plus the alumni leader, totaling 41 people. WHAT ARE YOU PACKING? (Laughter from Erin while she ponders the question) Right now I have packed eight shirts. I think that is way too many. But I plan on not wearing three of them until June or July because they say no matter how often you wash your clothes, they still start to smell. I imagine it’s because of the dirty water leaving an odor on the clothing. I have a down jacket that will pack down into a compact bag. I have a tent. I have a sleeping bag. I have a year’s supply of probiotics and vitamins. I have pants, shorts, and skirts. I can buy shampoo and soap as we travel, so I am only bringing those in travel sizes. One thing I am concerned about is contact solution, so I will take my glasses. I am also packing a little bit of make-up–I’m trying not to over pack that. I’ve got my Bible, my notebook, my MacBook, my Kindle, my phone, and letters people have written me. I’ve got my travel adapters and converters. Too much stuff, but I’ll make it work. WHAT COUNTRY ARE YOU THE MOST EXCITED TO SEE? I’m excited about Nepal. I’m also very excited about Morocco and the culture there. I look forward to walking through the markets. WHAT ARE YOUR CONCERNS? I’m concerned about my stuff getting stolen. I hear about that happening to people. And I worry about forgetting something. But if so, I’ll live without it. And I’m a big introvert. It is something God has been working on me for years. I’m one of the biggest introverts on my squad. But as far as talking to other people, I can get the conversation going, talking about them. That doesn’t bother me. WHAT WILL YOU MISS? There are two luxuries I miss while being on mission trips: brushing my teeth with clean water (from a faucet), and a bathroom. FAVORITE ITEM YOU PACKED? One thing I have discovered is that the sarong is the best towel you can take on a mission trip. Better than a microfiber! It dries so quickly. And you can use it as a scarf or a blanket.




Alan Atkinson may have only started working as the City Clerk for Oxford last year, but he has worked in municipal government for over 25 years. Born in Garfield, Georgia, Atkinson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Jacksonville State University. He says, “I’ve done a lot of jobs over the years including retail, and I’ve been a dispatcher.” Atkinson and his family moved to Oxford in 1988. Before that, he and his wife lived in Talladega where she worked at the federal prison. Atkinson’s wife, Teresa, recently retired from the prison, after working there for 29 years. They have two adult daughters. Amy is a respiratory therapist at UAB, and Sarah will graduate from UAB in April with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Atkinson has a life-long love of watching and playing sports. For years, he played basketball at the YMCA, but he now stays in shape by swimming and playing racquetball. He says swimming is a lot easier than basketball on the knees. Atkinson is an avid reader and has served on the Oxford Public Library board. Atkinson enjoys the variety that comes with the job of City Clerk. He interacts with the public, city employees, and the city council. He shares, “I receive phone calls about a lot of various topics, some including zoning questions in regards to parcels of land, requests for annexation, or questions about animal control.” As City Clerk, Atkinson is in charge of the municipal elections which occur every four years. “It is a very busy time, but also a fascinating time. City elections are challenging because there’s a lot of extra, important work.” One of his current projects is one that will help shape the future of Oxford. Atkinson recently went to a training and informational session with the U. S. Census Bureau. The next census occurs in 2020, but the City of Oxford and other municipalities are already starting to prepare for it. In regards to the Census, Atkinson said, “Our busiest time reviewing and gathering information is now. The census bureau will send us information in the next few weeks about what our maps look like–where they show the population numbers, the households, and what the maps define residential areas. We have 120 days after receiving the information to look it over and update the maps and information and submit it to the census bureau. These results are significant to the City and the whole state because it influences funding on the state and local level, and also representation in the U. S. House of Representatives.” The City of Oxford is grateful to have Atkinson as City Clerk and appreciates his expertise, and the many years of experience he brings to the City.








BACK LEFT TO RIGHT: Reed Robinson, Dylan Hulsey, Dalton Rowe, Emmanuel Webb, Reese Howard, Brandon Haynes, Peyton Howard, Tyler Petty, Sydney Osburn, Jacob Lee FRONT LEFT TO RIGHT: Ian Jobst, Ethan Baker, Kaitlin Watson, Danielle McKinney, Ashlynn Abernathy, Brianna Nolte, Mary Jackson NOT PICTURED: Carson Freeman, Kayla Huckeba, Hector Caceres, Ozioma Ozor-Ilo, Datreauna Dye



Oxford High School is committed to celebrating the achievement of ALL students. They have created a new program to honor students for doing exceptionally well on the ACT college admissions exam. In order to be inducted in the ACT 30 and Above “O Club,” students must have a composite score of 30 or above on the ACT. Twenty-two students were honored last week at the unveiling of the ACT Wall. The celebration reiterated the importance of academics at Oxford High School and provided another opportunity to celebrate learning. Students were honored with pictures mounted on plaques and hung on the wall. These plaques will remain until graduation, and those names will be permanently engraved on an alumni plaque. Parents, family, teachers, administration, city officials, and school district leaders gathered with excitement at the first celebration of the O Club. Twins, Reese and Peyton Howard are two of the first inductees. Parents Daniel and Sheri Howard were in attendance. Daniel praised Oxford City School teachers and coaches for their support both academically and athletically. There seems to be a common thread in the lives of these students: their accomplishments range from those in the classroom (Advanced Placement courses, Robotics, Honor Roll, etc.), to athletics, band, choir, community service, and leadership roles in various clubs.

While having 22 members, there are many students on the cusp of joining the “O Club.” As students reach the score of thirty or above on the ACT, their names will be added to the wall. OHS is looking forward to adding many more names. According to data from various colleges, each ACT question can be worth hundreds of dollars in scholarships. Increasing a test score by one point can be worth more than $5000 in scholarships. Oxford High School has made a commitment to improve and recognize student achievement on the ACT in order to increase post-secondary opportunities. Principal Heath Harmon led the ceremony and congratulated the students on their exemplary academic achievements. Mr. Harmon values the importance of celebrating learning. He emphasized, “We have many opportunities to celebrate athletic accomplishments at OHS. We also want to showcase our academic accomplishments.” Mr. Harmon also thanked assistant principal Ryan Barkley for his efforts in this project. Mr. Barkley reiterated, “We are excited about the academic conversation this has sparked. It is inspiring to hear students talking about their current ACT scores and their plans to improve.”




WHY I TEACH Oxford City School System Teacher Spotlight — Shirley Dodd WE ARE PROUD TO HAVE SOME OF THE BEST EDUCATORS AND HIGHEST RATED SCHOOL SYSTEMS IN THE STATE. RECENTLY, WE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHAT AND GET TO KNOW SHIRLEY DODD, WHO WAS AWARDED AND RECOGNIZED BY THE OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS EDUCATION FOUNDATION AS “EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH” IN NOVEMBER 2017. Dodd grew up in the small, rural town of Kosciusko, Mississippi (known for being Oprah Winfrey’s hometown). Upon graduating from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Education, Dodd briefly worked at a business college, until realizing she would rather work with children. Subsequently, Dodd went back to school and obtained an English teacher certification. Dodd has taught in several states, including seven years in Mississippi, two years in Georgia, and ten years in Tennessee, where she also served as an assistant principal. She has worked for Oxford City Schools for 15 years and is retiring from her career in education this spring, after 34 years of teaching. Dodd shares that her children are products of the Oxford School System–her son Freddie graduated in 2004 and is now a dentist in Texas, and her daughter Shelby, who is getting ready to go to optometry school in Memphis, graduated from Oxford High School in 2012. While not teaching, Dodd and her husband Max enjoy spending time with their family–especially while traveling. Dodd says, “We love going to Cancun, New York, Orlando, and Savannah. After I retire in May, I want to fulfill some items on my bucket list, including traveling to every state–and its capitols–as well as experiencing and exploring something exciting and unique to the individual states we visit. I also really want to go to Europe.” We invite you to join us in congratulating Dodd with a great career in education, and hope you enjoy getting to know her better in the Q&A that follows: What made you want to become a teacher? Many of my family members are educators. Not only do they teach, but they also have jobs as administrators and various other positions in education. Some have taught and retired, and some are just getting started. The thing that stood out the most to me, and sparked my interest in the field of education, was teachers’ love for children and their passion for teaching. Teaching was not just a job for them; it was their life! I also had a teacher who encouraged me to major in education. The encouragement from family and a great teacher, along with my love for working with children led me into the field of education.




Oxford city school teacher Spotlight — Shirley Dodd

What is the most satisfying thing about teaching? There are many satisfying things about teaching, but there are two that stand out the most to me. One includes learning about how I have had a positive influence/impact on many of the students I have taught. It is very nice and satisfying hearing that, whether it comes from in-person conversations with old students, or through letters, texts, or phone calls. It means so much to me when I speak to previous students, now adults, and they introduce me to their spouse or children and tell them that they were proud to have me as their teacher and that they learned so much in my classroom. Another satisfying thing about teaching is seeing your students learn, and witnessing the “Ah ha” or “light bulb” moment when they master a skill or become proficient in a concept. It is a celebration for the students as well as for the teacher! Have you taught other grades? Yes, my first teaching job was as a business education teacher at a business college. After that, I’ve taught reading, social studies, and English in grades six through eight. I love middle school students. I have taught sixth and seventh grade English/Language Arts for 15 years at Oxford Middle School. I also had the opportunity to be an assistant principal/curriculum coordinator for one year in a middle school before I moved to another state. What do you look forward to the most at the beginning of each year? I look forward to meeting my students, seeing what they are interested in, finding out how eager they are to learn, and checking to see how many students will tell me, “You’ve taught my sister, brother, aunt uncle, or cousin!” I also look forward to getting my room ready. When they come on the first day, I want my classroom walls to be filled with educational materials for the students to read, and learn something daily, as they look around the room– even when I’m not teaching. I also want it to be a place where they feel safe, and where the environment is conducive to learning. Finally, I want my classroom to display my personality for the students to see, and I want it to be comfortable and feel like home.


What’s the most challenging part of being a teacher? Because I believe that every child can learn, I sometimes find it challenging to have a student come to me and say, “I just don’t get this! I give up!” This is the part where many teachers, including myself, work diligently so that the students realize they can do it. Sometimes it takes many strategies, different learning styles, collaboration from other teachers and students, and hours of research, lesson planning, and assessments to make certain that the students can say, “I got it, I understand!” That’s the “Ah Ha” moment. How do you want former students to remember you? I want my students to remember me as someone who loved and respected them, who was a champion for their education, and worked hard for them so that they could be successful in my classroom. I want to be remembered as someone who had a “good ear” when they were in need of a teacher to talk to about their problems in class or at school, and, finally, someone who was not judgmental, but fair–yet firm. What methods do you use in your classroom to bring out the best in students? There is no “one” method or strategy to use in the classroom to bring out the best in students. A good teacher knows that it is going to take many different strategies for the student, as well as the teacher, to bring out the best. Collaboration, communication, empathy, lesson plans, assessment, and doing it all over again, every day, will bring out the best in our students. When you see former students who are now older, what’s one thing they typically say they remember about your classroom? We really don’t talk about the classroom. We spend a lot of time trying to catch up on what’s been happening in their life, what they are doing, and what their future plans are. Occasionally, they will ask me if I remember something funny or significant that happened when they were in my class.






The typewriter was used to type prescriptions in the pharmacy of Butenschon Drugs, owned and operated by Frank Butenschon (Sr.). Frank was born in Anniston and was a 1908 graduate of Vanderbilt. In 1916, he went to work at Palace Drugs in Anniston on Noble Street and three years later left to worked at Privett Drugs in Oxford, on Main Street. He opened Butenschon Drugs in 1931 on Main Street in downtown Oxford.




Hunter Gentry, Jane Batey, and Fred Denney review the plans for the downtown project.

DOWNTOWN STREETSCAPE PROJECT The streetscape project in downtown is underway and progressing. The goal of the project is to enhance the economic vitality in the historic district by transforming Main Street and Choccolocco Street. The improvements are intended to provide a cohesive pedestrian-friendly experience with improved lighting, bike lanes, way-finding, greenspaces, and more parking. Throughout this project, downtown is still accessible, and daily operations will continue for each business. To stay up-to-date on all happenings in Historic Downtown Oxford, please be sure to “like” and “follow” us on our Facebook Page at Historic Main Street Oxford and check out our website at Historic Main Street Oxford , P.O. Box 3383, 100 Choccolocco Street , Oxford, AL 36203




WHY I SERVE Q &A with Brian Waits

Name: Brian Waits Hometown: I grew up in Oxford and attended Oxford High School. Title/rank: Captain (Supervisor of Patrol Division) Years with the Oxford Police Department: I have been with OPD since 1986. Family Bio: I have been happily married to my wife, Paula, for 14 years. Together, we have four children, four grandchildren, and a seven-year-old Great Dane. Our two daughters are stay-at-home moms. We have one son who is attending JSU’s Police Academy, and one son is a Sophomore at the University of Tennessee at Martin. My wife has been a principal for Williamson County Schools in Franklin, Tennessee for the last five years. Currently, we have a home in Oxford and a home in the Nashville area. Needless to say, we spend a lot of time traveling back and forth on the weekends and holidays and making the best of the time we get to spend together as well as time spent with our children and grandchildren. What made you want to go into law enforcement? After high school, I took a class at Gadsden State Community College that included an internship with the police department. After that course, I knew I wanted to be in law enforcement. What is a typical day like for you? Most days are spent answering questions from patrol officers as their supervisor and helping to make decisions that will better the department. In my former position as a Lieutenant, I supervised ten officers and the jail.


What are some of the rewarding things about being in law enforcement? The most rewarding aspect of being in law enforcement is the opportunity to help others when they have a problem and the opportunity to help keep our community safe. What has surprised you the most about working at OPD? The most surprising and also one of the most rewarding things about working at OPD is the positive response we receive from the Oxford community. With the concerns in society today, regarding the public’s perception of law enforcement, there has been an outpouring of support from the citizens of Oxford. Many Oxford community members have shared tokens of their appreciation in the form of snacks, kind notes of encouragement, or simply by paying for an officer’s meal at a restaurant. What do you find most challenging with law enforcement? The most challenging part of working in law enforcement is being able to balance this line of work and your personal/family life. Being in law enforcement can be very difficult on every member of the family. There are days when you come home completely exhausted, physically and mentally. Having the support of your family, as well as the support of your department–working together as a team–is essential. What do you wish people knew about OPD? If I could help people recognize one thing about OPD, it would be to understand better the reality of how our officers often miss holidays and family celebrations and events in order to serve and protect the community. Our officers are extremely dedicated, and their willingness to give their time and efforts on a daily basis, making personal sacrifices along the way, is to be commended.




What might people be surprised to learn about you? Some people may be surprised to know that I have a son who is currently in law enforcement. My step-father also served over 25 years as an Alabama Highway Patrolman. He retired as an Alabama State Trooper Captain. I am certainly proud to have three generations of law enforcement officers in the family. What would you tell people who are interested in becoming a police officer? Being in law enforcement is rewarding and challenging at the same time. I have a firm belief that being in law enforcement is similar to preaching... It’s a calling to serve others. Once an individual answers this calling, it becomes a way of life and a career that many will enjoy up until retirement age. Law enforcement calls for many sacrifices to be made by the individual, but the brotherhood you become a part of is one you will cherish for a lifetime. If you weren’t in law enforcement, what would you be doing? I would probably like to own a restaurant. My father was a chef and a cook in the military and served as the manager for Holiday Inn. I developed a love for cooking as I watched him work for many years in the culinary and restaurant business. What do you do when you are not working? When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my wife and family.


What three words would you use to describe OPD? Integrity, Loyal, and Elite What is your wish list for the next five-ten years? Continued improvements in technology for the department, growth of the force in quantity, sustaining quality officers, and for all of our officers to go home safely at the end of each day. Favorite movie: US Marshalls Favorite book: The Notebook Favorite music: The Eagles Favorite TV show: Miami Vice Favorite sport: Football (War Eagle!) Favorite Holiday tradition: I don’t have a favorite. I just enjoy spending time with my family every chance that I get.

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Oxford Lumber Ace Hardware serves do-it-your-selfers, remodelers, and builders. You will find most anything you need in hardware, paint, plumbing, electrical, power tools, building materials, and lumber. Come Visit Our Newly Remodeled Plumbing Department – New Items, More Choices!

Shop OXFORD LUMBER for all your building & remodeling supplies (256) 831-0540 | 1400 Barry St, Oxford AL | | OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | WINTER 2018




Message from the

Oxford Fire Chief 2017 was an exciting year for the Oxford Fire Department and the City of Oxford. There were many accomplishments for our city that are a direct result to the leadership of our Mayor Alton Craft, our City Council, our city department heads, and our city employees. We look forward to even greater accomplishments in 2018. Mayor Craft has taken the reigns of leadership and the foundation that were laid by Mayor Leon Smith and is directing our city to even greater heights during some difficult economic times. City departments are working on the premise that we are all on one team, “Team Oxford.� We will do whatever it takes to provide the safest, most pleasant quality of life for our citizens and our visitors. Oxford has always been a special place where we take pride in our community and our schools. We come from different backgrounds, different jobs, different religions, different political preferences, but the one thing that we can agree on is OXFORD. Oxford is that special place that we can call HOME.

Chief Gary Sparks




GOOD DEEDS Many people do not realize all the voluntary good deeds first responders do every day. This is especially true during the holiday season. The Oxford Access team had a chance to sit down with Chief Gary Sparks to hear about what the Oxford Fire Department did to help the people of Oxford. SMOKE DETECTORS The holiday season is a time when many people’s houses tend to catch flame. The City of Oxford Fire Department has taken proactive actions to help prevent these fires. The month of October is considered to be fire prevention month and the fire department spends extra time raising fire awareness. One way they raise awareness is by going door-to-door asking Oxford residents if they have smoke detectors and whether they work correctly. Homes they come across with no smoke detectors are offered equipment free of charge. Homes with non-functional smoke detectors get a set of fresh batteries. Thanks to the people and businesses in the community donating money to the fire department, Oxford firefighters have been able to equip homes with smoke detectors for about 15 years. Chief Sparks said, “It is just so important the smoke detectors work because it is a proven fact that they save lives.” The Oxford Fire Department knows, first-hand, this to be true. One of the smoke detectors the firemen placed in a home in October 2017 saved a nine-year-old boy and his mom in December. The little boy heard the alarm sounding and he was able to wake his mother up, and get out of the house before calling the fire department. Their living room suffered some damage, but the family was able to save a lot of their belongings.


“MOST IMPORTANTLY, THEY WERE ABLE TO SAVE THEIR LIVES,” CHIEF SPARKS SAID. “SOME OF THE GUYS THAT WERE ON THE CREW WHO ANSWERED THE CALL WERE SOME OF THE ONES WHO INSTALLED THE DETECTOR. SO, IT WAS GOOD FOR THEM TO SEE THE RESULTS OF THEIR HARD WORK.” Chief Sparks believes this could have ended very tragically if not for the smoke detector. Sadly, fatalities from fires are all too familiar and Alabama has historically been in the top three in fire fatalities. With the help of the campaign “Turn Your Attention to Fire Prevention,” fire departments all over the state are implementing awareness by talking to schools, civic groups, and speaking at public events. These efforts have helped fire fatalities decrease by 35 people from 2016 to 2017 in Alabama. Chief Sparks says, “It is still too many, and we want to reduce the number. Knowing there were more lives saved this year, though, that is a win for us.” If you do not have a working smoke detector, please do not hesitate to contact or go by Fire Station #1. They will be happy to help you get one working in your house as soon as possible.


TOYS AND BICYCLES Toys for Tots is a charity that donates toys to children and locally is led by the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps reached out to the Oxford Police and Fire Departments asked them to set up donation boxes at their stations. The toys donated were then given to kids in the community. The Anniston Kiwanis Club received a donation of over 400 bicycles. The bicycles were new but needed minor repairs and the Kiwanis Club reached out to different organizations in the community to help. “The Oxford Fire Department took on 20 bikes, and did anything we could to help, whether that was putting on pedals, or pumping up tires,” Chief Sparks shared.

FOOD DURING WINTER WEATHER During the most recent winter weather, Alabama Power used the Oxford Civic Center as a staging area for their employees. The group had food catered to the center and was left with a considerable surplus. Because of the amount of food left over, they called the Fire Department to come dine. Still with extra food left, the firemen decided to go out into the community and give people plates of food. They delivered plates to the Salvation Army, Second Chance in Anniston, and supplied over one hundred plates to various houses and apartments in Oxford. According to Chief Sparks, if multiple people were living in one place, the firefighters went back to the station and made more plates. Chief Sparks said, “It was something they didn’t have to do. They could have sat here in the fire station and only ran the calls they had. They cared enough about the people of Oxford to make sure they had food while the roads were closed. That’s the kind of people we have working for us, and I am extremely proud of them.”



Greetings from Cider Ridge Golf Club

First, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Lee Shurden, and I came to Cider Ridge Golf Club as the new Club Manager and Director of Golf Operations. I grew up outside of Starkville, Mississippi, but have spent the past five years as the Head Golf Professional at the World Golf Village Resort in St. Augustine, Florida. My wife and I moved in November, and we are having a blast getting reacquainted with North Alabama. Hopefully, all of the winter weather and snow is tailing off, and spring will be in full swing soon! Everyone at the club has been busy at work during the winter, making improvements all over the club. The golf course itself looks to be in great shape for the coming season, and we’re also busy updating our golf shop and restaurant layouts, among other things. One of the exciting new things has been the recent launch of the new golf club website. The updated site features a more user-friendly look and interface, and it will also allow users to book tee times online or right from their phones. The

online tee sheet connects directly with the tee sheet in the golf shop and automatically updates inventory every time tee times are booked. It allows for easy booking if any of our guests want to book a tee time after the golf shop closes operations for the evening. Heading into this spring, Cider Ridge is finalizing its plans for several programs including spring/summer junior camps and clinics, our PGA Junior League teams, and the Cider Ridge Invitational that will be held April 21st and 22nd. Information and signups for all of these can be done by contacting the golf shop staff (256.831.7222) or by visiting our website We all look forward to seeing everyone out at the club whether it’s to play a round of golf with friends, have lunch at the Cider Ridge Grille, or come out for an evening event. Thanks to everyone, and I look forward to meeting everyone this year and being a part of this great community.

200 Apple Blossom Way, Oxford, AL 36203 | 256-831-7222 |






Great Egret

BIRDWATCHING AT CHOCCOLOCCO PARK Last August, while on a walk around the lake at Choccolocco Park, my friend Steve Vinyard saw two snow geese. Snow Geese live in the very far corners of northern Canada, Alaska, and northeastern Siberia. They undergo epic journeys by air, migrating up to 5,000 miles one way (10,000 miles round trip) each year. When they migrate, they fly very high–above 20,000 feet. On breeding grounds, sentinels are used to watching for predators. They are only rarely seen in this area, but Steve is an avid and experienced birder and identified the two seen at the lake at Choccolocco Park. This initiated some conversations with other local birders and a couple of photographers who also mentioned seeing a menagerie of “cool birds”; that is, species that were interesting and rare for our area–at Choccolocco Park.

It is thought that the combination of open meadows, a good-sized lake, and a large, continuously flowing creek attract many bird species. A few species of note that are regularly seen: Barn Swallow Eastern meadowlark Grasshopper sparrow—you hear it more than you see it American kestrel—a neat little falcon Killdeer—nests in plain sight; pretends to have a broken wing Less common: Snow Goose—as described above Bald Eagle—our national emblem Osprey—spotted carrying a fish Common Loon—Katharine Hepburn On Golden Pond American Avocet—curved beak



The number of bird species identified at Choccolocco Park stands at 54, but we expect it double over the next two years. American avocet (Recurvirostra americana) American coot (Fulica americana) American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) American kestrel (Falco sparverius) American pipit (Anthus rubescens) American robin (Turdus migratorius) Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) Barn swallow (Hirunda rustica) Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) Blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) Blue-winged teal (Anas discors) Bufflehead (Bucephala alveola) Canada goose (Branta canadensis) Carolina chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) Cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) Common bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) Common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) Common loon (Gavia immer) Double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) Downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) Eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) Eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna) Eastern phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) Great blue heron (Ardea herodias) Great egret (Casmerodius albus) Great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) Indigo bunting (Passerina cyanea) Killdeer (Charadrius vociferous) Mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) Northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) Northern flicker (Colaptes auratus) Northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) Pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) Pileated woodpecker (Hylatomus pileatus) Pine warbler (Setophaga pinus) Red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoenicus) Ring-necked duck (Aythya collaris) Rough-winged swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) Ruby-crowned kinglet (Regulus calendula) Ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) Snow goose (Chen caerulescens) Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) Swamp sparrow (Melospiza georgiana) Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) Willet (Tringa semipalmata) Yellow-rumpled Warbler (Setophaga coronata)

Eastern Meadowlark

Yellow-rumpled Warbler

American Kestrel

You can get help identifying birds and participate in tracking species locally and nationally with apps downloaded onto your phone. Joe Watts, president of The Birmingham Audubon Society and Alabama Birding Trails, recommends ebird.





A recent photography/art-safari in Tanzania provided a small surprise, which led to some fascinating mysteries of nature, and the opportunity to learn more about early-human history. It’s all spelled out in a new painting, “Apparition.” The tiny figure wrapped in blue and red shukas (Maasai blankets), began to materialize from the opposite side of the volcanic-ash dune. At first, just her small, dark head rose from behind the sandy crest. Then, her full body eased into view as she walked slowly, almost floating, towards the tapering end of the dune. Her head was tilted slightly downward–eyes contemplating her feet and the knife-like edge of the crest, as though measuring each next step. Beyond nonchalance… this young Maasai girl seemingly was as oblivious to the small awe-struck audience as she was to the blazing sun. I realized on the spot that this was my chance if I ever hoped to capture a moment in time, in a simple, symbolic painting.


“SHIFTING SANDS” On the drive across the desert-like basalt rock with scattered sand, volcanic ash and scrub brush, thoughts tend to shift toward the wildlife spectacle to come. A few scattered hardy critters begin to appear, gazelles, and even an occasional giraffe. Our enthusiastic driver and guide, Emmanuel, looked back and asked me, “Have you heard of the ‘Shifting Sands?’” I hated to admit that I hadn’t. “Well, you’re about to see them, and you’d better be ready–they move.” In only a few minutes, we were standing directly in front of what looked like a giant sand dune. On photo safaris, an unwritten rule is to start photographing when a subject appears and save the questions for the eventual pause. Questions were coming like little asteroids: What is this, exactly? Where did it come from? How did it get here, and what’s it made of? Why doesn’t it simply blow away with the breezes and strong winds? Does it really move, and how much?


About this time, the little Maasai materialized, apparently from nowhere. She eased down the face of the dune, and our guides approached her. Her manyatta, or tribal village, was unusually remote, even for the highly mobile Maasai pastoralists. She spoke no Swahili, and our other guide, Godson, a Maasai, found it difficult to talk with her in another dialect of the Maa language. It is not surprising to see individuals or small groups of Maasai men or boys at the remotest locations in Tanzania or Kenya. I don’t recall ever seeing a girl of ten or eleven years with no other members of her tribe. She seemed comfortable in her solitude, apparently finding great satisfaction in her own enormous sandbox. She seemed puzzled, however, when we, through our guides, gave her money for the privilege of photography (this is not a breach of protocol or the beginning of a bad practice–all Maasai, male and female, are familiar with the value of the shilling, or the American dollar). The uniqueness of that moment and the surroundings, has remained with me, and the theme always revolves around time. Within a stone’s throw of the “Shifting Sands” sits “Ol Doinyo Lengai”–The Mountain of God, resting, but ready. This volcano is, for the Maasai “where God lives.” Unique among all volcanoes of the world, this volcano (which still erupts on occasion, with the latest eruption in 2006) ejects a cooler, gentler lava–which comes out black and soon turns white due to the concentration of soda. The dark, sandy dune, “Shifting Sands,” is regarded in Maasai folklore as being the child of Ol Doinyo Lengai. And God is a kind and gentle god. The ash of Lengai is an almost snowy appearance–not fire and brimstone. Molten natron or soda is slow and beautiful, and when a major eruption occurs, the chimney blasts out sandy ash, dark in color because of the iron content. Scientists seem to agree with the traditional folklore in relating the Shifting Sands to God’s Mountain. And the dune? Sand from the volcano blows onto the vast, empty flats. Unidirectional winds carry the grains, some of which adhere to dry grass until a small accumulation occurs. Then it becomes a slowly growing geological structure, and it continues to do so today.

Why doesn’t it scatter? When one throws a handful of the sandy dune into the air, rather than scatter, it consolidates in mid-air. The iron ash is magnetized. And so, the uniqueness of Africa continues to work its magic. Winds from the volcano’s direction blow at the dune, moving the sand, grainby-grain from the base of the great crescent to the ridge of the dune, and gently allows the grains to roll over the crest. In time, the 100-yard-long dune moves progressively at a rate of about 30 feet per year. This area of Tanzania holds some of the greatest mysteries of our planet. I wonder what those two creatures who left timeless footprints in Laetoli* millions of years ago were thinking as they walked, maybe in fear of another eruption (that did come from a volcano in their area and in their time.) Perhaps not. Maybe they walked as casually as this young Maasai girl in May 2017, meditating as she left her ephemeral footprints on a dune of dark sandy ash, an incredible gift from Lengai himself. Footnote: Africa’s “Great Rift Valley”

This rift in the earth’s crust is beyond imagination–a 30 to the

40-mile-wide ribbon of the earth where its crust has dropped up to several thousand feet, running from the Mediterranean

Sea for 3,700 miles southward to Mozambique. The Great Rift is a “Wonder of the Natural World,” and it slices through Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania, where many remarkable

fossils were discovered (several of them being made by two generations of the Leakey family).

Ol Duvai Gorge is the best known paleontological site in Afri-

ca, and perhaps the world. Only 25 miles or so from Olduvai, is Laetoli, where, some 3.6 million years ago, two early hominins (adult and child Australopithecus afarensis) walked through

wet volcanic ash. Their tracks were rapidly fixed and “cemented” when a second volcanic eruption rapidly covered the

tracks with another layer of ash. Subsequent excavations there revealed an incredible 88-foot-long trail totaling 70 footprints. On previous safaris, the guides always had a quick answer when I asked them to route us to *Laetoli–“The tracks are

guarded and covered with layers of protective materials to

preserve them.” It was somehow a relief to realize that these

invaluable remnants of long ago activity were being appreciated and protected, although it would have been unforgettable to be able to touch a footprint or two. Paleontologists are

fortunate people, I think. Especially when they first experience one of the greatest miracles God added to his creations in nature–an incredible process called fossilization.




From the Ground Up Welcome to Spring, everyone! It has been a winter for the record books. Between the snow, ice, and sub-freezing temperatures, I’m sure everyone is like me and ready for springtime flowers and warmer temperatures to get here. For us in the grounds management industry, wintertime is often the time to complete projects, both large and small. At Choccolocco Park and Cider Ridge Golf Club, that is what we have done. The crews at both facilities have worked hard in the inclement weather to prepare for the year ahead. Additionally, our equipment technicians have been preparing all our equipment for what we know will be a long year of maintaining over 400 acres of turfgrass. As springtime approaches, there are several things that you, as a homeowner, can do to prepare your lawn for the year ahead. A few of those items include your spring pre-emergent application, fertilizer applications, and equipment maintenance. All of these are vitally important in maintaining a beautiful and healthy lawn. In turfgrass management, we often work a season ahead. Like us, you should aim to stay proactive and apply products or perform certain practices to prepare for the upcoming season. This is especially important when it comes to weed management. It is much easier to PREVENT weeds than it is to ERADICATE weeds (eradicate is just a fancy word for kill). In preparation for summer weeds (such as crabgrass, goosegrass, etc.), a pre-emergent herbicide will need to be applied to your lawn. These herbicides are often applied by spreading granules across the entire lawn at the rate indicated on the label of the herbicide. You need to apply this by mid-March so it can be incorporated into the top half inch of the turf before the weeds germinate. For the “Do-It-Yourselfer,” many of our local farm and garden stores carry these products and have professionals there who can help you select the products appropriate for your lawn.

Springtime is also a good time to feed your lawn. Following are a few guidelines one should follow when selecting the right fertilizer and the right time to apply it. First, it is recommended to perform a soil sample to help pick the right fertilizer. You need to know what and how much nutrients to apply. This can be done by taking samples of the soil in your lawn at a depth of three to four inches and submitting it to the local county extension office. Once the results arrive, you have the correct “recipe” to follow in regards to what nutrients to use. Once completed, and you have selected the appropriate fertilizer, make sure there are no more freezing temperatures in the forecast. This typically occurs in April. AS SPRINGTIME APPROACHES, THERE ARE SEVERAL THINGS THAT YOU, AS A HOMEOWNER, CAN DO TO PREPARE YOUR LAWN FOR THE YEAR AHEAD.

Finally, it is important to make sure that your lawn care equipment is maintained properly so it can tackle the hard work of maintaining your lawn for the year. Make sure the oil is changed, the grease fittings are grease, and the blades are sharp and balanced. Dull and unbalanced blades often cause an uneven cut that will have different shades of green for several days following a mow. At Cider Ridge, Choccolocco Park, and Honours Golf, we pride ourselves on our agronomic experience and expertise. I hope these few tips will help you begin a successful lawn management program. If you have any questions, feel free to stop me or any of the superintendents at the park or golf course as we’re always happy to talk turf with anyone! I hope you have many opportunities to enjoy the grounds that we manage at Cider Ridge Golf Club and Choccolocco Park. We take great pride in the management of these two premier facilities and love to see folks experiencing them. I look forward to seeing you out on the golf course or in the park soon!




Khristie Goodwin Receives Prestigious Award

On November 6, 2017, Oxford City Schools’ Khristie Goodwin was awarded the highly regarded Outstanding Curriculum Leader Award at the Alabama Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (AASCD) Fall Instructional Leadership conference. The AASCD is a diverse community of educators, forging covenants in teaching and learning for the success of all learner. Their purpose shall be the improvement of supervision, curriculum development, and instruction in Alabama schools. At their annual conference in Orange Beach, Goodwin was presented with a plaque and recognized for her outstanding contributions to curriculum development, advancement, and implementation in Oxford City Schools. Goodwin holds a Bachelor of Science degree, three Master of Science degrees, and an Educational Specialist degree. She works as the Special Education and Curriculum Coordinator in Oxford City Schools and shares how grateful she is for the recognition. “It is an honor to represent the curriculum and instruction work of Oxford City Schools through this leadership award,” Goodwin said. “The Alabama Association for Supervision of Curriculum Development has contributed to the growth of professionals in our schools and to be acknowledged by this distinguished group is very humbling.” She continues to say she and her colleagues are fortunate to work in a city that values, supports, and invests in education. “I have learned so much through the interactions of such fabulous Oxford teachers and administrators over the course of my career who have a desire to

grow collectively, continually. It is very satisfying to be a part of a professional and collaborative work environment that enables us to perfect our craft of teaching and learning continually. It is our goal to be the best we can be for our students in this ever-changing society.” According to Goodwin, Oxford City Schools strive to provide students with a learning environment that is safe, promoting growth at all levels. They want their students to know how to persevere and problem solve effectively and efficiently. “Developing the whole child is essential, and we must provide active physical education curriculum along with opportunities to develop creativity through fine arts curricula (art, music technology, show choir, band, and theater),” Goodwin said. “Providing an array of educational experiences is paramount in students exploring a variety of interest. As they find their passion and future direction, we desire that students graduating from Oxford City Schools will demonstrate and apply the knowledge and skills they gained as they become adults.” In Oxford City Schools, Goodwin is responsible for innovative initiatives and continuous system improvement. She is responsible for all special education programs and the coordination of K-12 and gifted programs. She is responsible for the supervision of instructional specialists and counseling programs, and she is the psychometrist and testing supervisor. Goodwin is also the system’s contact for the Alabama Reading Initiative, Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative, Alabama Reading initiative Project for Adolescent Literacy, and Seamless Instruction State Improvement






Grant. Goodwin led the school system’s efforts to organize advisory committees to include stakeholders in district curricular decisions such as Oxford City Curriculum Cabinet, reading, and math leadership committees. She evaluates teachers, instructional specialists, counselors, and central office supervisors through state-mandated Educate Alabama procedures, and she supervised the facilities portion of the school system's strategic plan, among much more. Over the last 12 years, Oxford City Schools have become more demographically and socio-economically diverse as evidenced by their free/reduced lunch percentages rising from 39 to 57 percent, as well as a subsequent increase in ethnic diversity throughout the system. Under the leadership curriculum and instruction of Goodwin, the school system has researched, trained, and implemented best practices to increase student achievement. These efforts have resulted in many success stories of students overcoming obstacles in their lives to go on to post-secondary pursuits. During the last two years, 80 percent of the students in the Oxford City School District have shown average to high average rates of growth (also referred to as learning gains) in Science, Math, and Reading. The Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama recently presented to the Business Education Alliance a study that showed Oxford City Schools’ systemic process of planning and implementing continuous improvement practices appeared to show a great impact on student’s lives and achievement. According to Goodwin, Oxford City School’s curriculum and instruction team strive to provide equitable and balanced curriculum and instructional delivery to all students within the district. The program planning begins with a systematic process of understanding content standards and how they are interconnected horizontally and progress vertically. The standards are prioritized, and the lessons are delivered using a balance of innovative methods using technology along with a balance of evidence-based instructional practices. Given these circumstances, Oxford City Schools defined national research trends. Despite the decline in achievement associated with poverty, Oxford City Schools have continued to increase in all forms of performance. A cycle of continuous improvement planning has been collaboratively developed and regularly modified over the years. Each year, the plans are fully implemented and adjusted based on evidence guiding future decisions. Innovative schedules have been implemented in every school in order to provide teachers opportunities to engage in daily collaborative planning outside of, and in addition to, their planning period. This has enabled teachers to implement a balanced assessment system and develop and implement common formative assessments periodically for areas targeted in the growth plans. Custom technology has been designed to help teachers analyze their data promptly and create viable action plans to help students. The curriculum department holds ongoing professional learning communities that are planned and connected with follow-up support sessions. School-based administrators, in collaboration with district curriculum



and instructional staff, also conduct professional learning communities for teacher-leaders to lead daily collaborative planning sessions in each of the system’s schools. The Curriculum and Instruction Department, under the leadership of Goodwin, has worked with Oxford High School to develop online programs and courses to increase flexibility for students. Flexible scheduling has been implemented, and students are more smoothly and efficiently transitioned into college or the workforce. As a result of Oxford City Schools’ blended instructional model that includes personalized learning for all students, the district has consistently ranked as the highest academic performing majority poverty school system in Alabama. This process has also resulted in the district being ranked in the top 10, academically, of all districts–regardless of socioeconomic status. This success has not been by accident, but instead, a result of (intentional) planning, professional development, and follow-up support. These efforts have yielded a well-balanced and effective educational program for all children served by the Oxford City School System. Oxford City Schools and Goodwin’s hard work and success are noted and praised by educational institutions and leaders from across the state. Cathy W. Gassenheimer, A+ Executive Vice President of the Alabama Best Practice Center, spoke highly about Goodwin, saying, “I have known and worked with Khristie Goodwin for almost ten years and find her insightful and passionate about the students, teachers, and parents she serves. She is a dedicated life-long learner who constantly seeks additional knowledge and information.” Gassenheimer continues with saying, “Khristie is a servant leader who puts others and their needs first. She is an innovator and is always willing to try new things if she believes it will improve teaching and learning in Oxford. I have had the opportunity to witness, firsthand, the dynamic and effective teaching in Oxford City School, and it is impressive and impactful. Khristie’s vision, passion for her own and other's learning, and her commitment to excellence has helped shape Oxford City Schools into a world-class school system.” It is evident that Goodwin’s approach, along with Oxford City Schools’, epitomizes the leader who inspires, focuses, and sustains others’ efforts to adapt to an ever-changing set of demands and to design and deliver a curriculum that addresses the needs of all students. As Jackie A. Walsh, Author and Primary Consultant with the ABPC, said, Goodwin is a humble leader and one who does not seek credit. However, she does “seek opportunities to collaborate with others in order to take both small and large steps to advance learning for students and adults within her sphere of influence.” We are proud to have Khristie Goodwin in our city and grateful for how hard she works to improve the lives of our children.



Oxford Public Library


Bring Your Own Device


You may bring in food and drinks you like at no charge, and any additional decorations you like. No alcoholic beverages. LARGE ROOM 46’ x 60’ Room Fee $300.00 Cleaning deposit $100.00 HALF ROOM 30’ x 46’ Room Fee $150.00 Cleaning deposit $75.00 QUARTER ROOM 23’ x 30’ Room Fee $75.00 Cleaning deposit $35.00 256-831-1750 Call us or email us to talk about your event

Oxford Public Library Mondays 3:00 p.m. 60

Bynum Community Center Fridays 11:00 a.m.

We love to make a celebration!


COME CHECK US OUT The Oxford Public Library continually listens to our community and wants to help our community. We have seen some needs and received some patron requests for additional specific services at the library, and I am pleased to announce that the library is addressing needs in our community. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to the Bynum Community Center to learn how to use your phone, tablet, or laptop. This program has been very popular and useful to patrons of the library, and we would like to reach out to the Bynum community to offer this same program there. It’s as simple as it sounds. If you would like to learn more about the device you don’t know how to use (or would just like a little help navigating it), just bring it with you, and we will help you. Join us on Friday mornings at 11:00. New mothers need support. Motherhood is hard. Breastfeeding is not always easy. Postpartum life sometimes offers surprises. New mothers do not always have a place to find other mothers to share experiences, but OPL is here to provide such a place. Drop in to the library on Mondays from 10-12 for Fresh & Seasoned, which pairs new mothers with local doulas, lactation consultants, or other new or experienced mothers. Siblings are welcome, and help is abundant. Goal setting is important. The new year is a great time of year to set goals, but sometimes February sees that the plans set in a resolution aren’t staying in the forefront. Vision Boards can help keep those plans stay in focus. Creating a Vision Board can help in the process of determining which goals are important to you. Displaying that Vision Board in a place seen often can often

reinforce those goals so daily decision making can move the goal closer. Join OPL on February 16th at 2:00 to learn more about Vision Boards. Create a Vision Board to further personal goals. Knowledge is power! OPL offers over 12,000 free online courses to help our community become better and stronger. If you need to advance your skills in Microsoft Office, learn about social media, advance your business skills, improve customer service in your business, increase leadership skills, expand your financial intelligence, or reinforce other core competencies, OPL is here to help there, too! Each course’s completion will provide a certificate of completion. Simply go to our website,, and click on Online Resources under the Services tab. Click on Knowledge City, and you are well on your way. As with most of our online resources, your username will be your last name; your PIN will be the last six digits of your library card number. You will be asked to create a free account with a brief questionnaire to assess which courses would immediately interest you. You can get started quickly, and feel more powerful in your life with more knowledge. Our book club has been popular (and opinionated!) here at OPL. Teens are invited to get in on the action in their very own book club. Join OPL on the last Tuesday of each month at 3:30 for a lively and interesting book club conversation. These and so many more resources are available to you here at the Oxford Public Library. OPL is here to help our community, and we are eager to show you what we have to offer. Come check us out!

BOOK ART 2nd Tuesday of each month 10:00

BOOK CLUB 3rd Monday of each month 3:00

TEEN BOOK CLUB Last Tuesday of each month 3:30

ART CLASS 2nd or 3rd Saturday of each month (check calendar)

BUNCO 1st Tuesday of Each month 10:00

Blind Date with a Book February-all month

February 16 @ 2:00 Vision Board Class

Indoor Easter Egg Hunt March 29 @ 10:00

Fine Free Week April 8-14

Money Smart Week April 21-28

OPEN MONDAY - FRIDAY 9 TO 5. SATURDAY 9 TO 1. SUNDAY 1 TO 5 (256) 831-1750 | 110 East 6th Street, Oxford, AL 36203 | OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | WINTER 2018


The cost of admission to this event will be a donation to benefit Wesley Lyons, son of Oxford Police Officer Gerry Lyons & Amanda Lyons OXFORD CIVIC CENTER (256) 831-2660 401 McCullars Lane, Oxford



Oxford Police Department It’s great to be writing you in another edition of Oxford Access. In each periodical, I use the opportunity to provide updates about our agency; though we have just begun 2018, we are well into a progressive year. As with any successful organization, we understand the importance of progressive change. Having the fluidity to implement new ideas has been a beneficial element for us thus far. We are, therefore, consistently evaluating ways to improve. From recruiting strategies to general policies, we are determined to leave a well-balanced and professional police department for the future. We often place a great deal of attention on the public’s perception of our department, and rightfully so. Without the public’s support, our department could never provide effective services. Glady, though, the support of our community is overwhelmingly positive. Still, if we are insistent on keeping a positive image, we must further continue to develop. The public’s perception is critical to us, and that aspect of our agency will not change. For the current and future employees, however, we must consistently review and implement ideas that will give them the tools to enhance our professional image further. Behind the scenes, we are continuously planning for the future of our department; and through these strategies, we essentially strengthen each member on our team. We have always practiced this concept; but as we grow, the correlation between individual strengths and the public’s perception is increasingly apparent. Professionalism can only be measured by those we serve and based on your support; I feel as though our agency is of the most professional in the State. I have no doubts we will continue to be an integral segment of our great city. We will remain loyal, serve with integrity, and will always “Strive for Excellence.”

Message from the

Very Respectfully, Chief Bill Partridge

Police Chief






100 Choccolocco Street Oxford, Alabama Buy online at with no convenience fees! Charge by phone by calling 256-241-3322 Purchase at the OPAC Box Office in advance: Monday – Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Purchase at the door beginning 90 minutes prior to most ticketed events.


WHAT: Images of The South The Artwork of Dr. Art Bacon WHERE: Martin-Lett Gallery of Art Oxford Performing Arts Center 100 Choccolocco Street, Oxford, AL HOURS: Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and during all OPAC events ADMISSION: Free On display to the end of February

“Going to a Gig” Acrylics

Dr. Art Bacon

Artist, educator, and scientist

Dr. Art Bacon is Talladega College professor emeritus of the natural sciences and humanities. After 40 years as a member of the faculty, staff and administration, he is enjoying his second career as an accomplished artist, poet, and painting teacher at his studio in Talladega. His collection now on display in Oxford includes his newest painting, Basket Weaver, the color-rich Fruithurst General Store,

and a 2010 self-portrait of the artist.

Ink wash with color added.

My artwork reflects the fact that I am having a whole lot of fun in my old age. If you notice, most of the pieces are of people. I just love painting people. The older and sometimes neglected people are so expressive and show the greatest amount of character.




AMAZING GRACE Presented by the NobleBank & Trust Broadway Series with support from BR Williams

24 FEB

AMAZING GRACE, the Musical is based on the awe-inspiring true story behind the world’s most beloved song. A captivating tale of romance, rebellion and redemption, this radiant production follows one man whose journey ignited a historic wave of change. John Newton, a willful and musically talented young Englishman, faces a future as uncertain as the turning tide. Coming of age as

tickets: $35 - $45 - $59 | 7:30PM Britain sits atop an international empire of slavery, he finds himself torn between following in the footsteps of his father – a slave trader – or embracing the more compassionate views of his childhood sweetheart. Accompanied by his slave, Thomas, John embarks on a perilous voyage on the high seas. When that journey finds John in his darkest hour, a transformative moment of self-reckoning inspires a blazing anthem of hope that will finally guide him home. OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | WINTER 2018



Spotlight Summer Theatre Camp

Experience musical theatre in a fun, half-day camp for students entering grades 1-7 in the Fall of 2018. Your child will work alongside arts and theatre professionals and teaching artists during daily rehearsals, in dancing, singing, acting, and visual arts. With props and costumes, singing and scenework, your child’s experience will culminate in a performance of an exciting, youth-appropriate main stage performances for friends and family. WEEK ONE: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | June 11-16 WEEK TWO: King Arthur’s Quest | June 24-30 WEEK THREE: Blackbeard the Pirate | July 9-14 with the Missoula Children’s Theatre

CAMP ACTIVITIES INCLUDE: Auditions Rehearsals Acting Workshops Dance Sessions Tech Theatre Demonstrations Theatre Crafts Interactive Theatre Games Snack and Story Time Main-Stage Performance Registration begins Wednesday, February 21 at noon Three Ways to Register: ONLINE: PHONE: 256-241-3322 IN PERSON: OPAC Box Office during regular business hours Monday-Friday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 70


March 2 2018

7:30PM TICKETS $19 — $29 — $39

An Evening with Sandi Patty SEASON EXTRA! NEW DATE

February 23 2018

7:30PM TICKETS $15 — $20 — $25

Swan Lake by The Alabama Ballet SEASON EXTRA!

March 10 2018

7:30PM TICKETS $19 — $29 — $39 An Irish Heart

Atlanta Pops Orchestra &

Chloe Agnew




The Hit Men Presented by Edward Jones of Oxford - Anniston


MARCH THE HIT MEN are five brilliant musicians and singers who, throughout the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, toured and recorded with some of the biggest names in the music business—Frankie Valli, Carly Simon, Tommy James, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Cheap Trick, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Barry Manilow, Rod Stewart, Blood Sweat and Tears, and many more. These are the

tickets: $19 - $25 - $29 | 7:30PM actual artists who performed with the most famous acts of all time and helped send so many songs to the top of the Billboard charts. They are extraordinary players and singers; they are world-class entertainers who were there when these songs were recorded. They also have the backstage, insider stories to prove it.




Jerrod Niemann Presented by Webb Concrete & Building Materials


MARCH With a stunning batch of new songs that push and pull at country music’s borders, JERROD NIEMANN returns with the best album of his career – and quite possibly the most relevant country release of the year. This Ride, the singer-songwriter’s fourth album and his first for Curb Records, reminds fans, country radio and all of Nashville that Jerrod is one of the genre’s most engaging vocalists and entertaining performers. “This album is like Life 2.0 for me,” says Jerrod of his creative rebirth. “If This Ride were a movie, it would be told from the point of view of the man in the story instead of the boy. Challenging

tickets: $35 - $45 - $55 | 7:30PM yourself as a human being and as a man is what life is all about, and it’s been rewarding to put that into my music.” Debut single “God Made A Woman” is a prime example of that hard-won personal growth. The ballad is a classy, gorgeous love song that rightfully returns the object of affection to a pedestal. After a deluge of colloquial “hey girl” shout-outs in recent years, “God Made A Woman” restores dignity to country lyricism. “I love and respect the entire history of country music, but if you’re ever going to leave your own mark, you have to have your own voice and vision,” he says. “And while it’s easy for people to sum you up from what you've done in the past, it’s our job as artists to show behind the curtain and reveal what else we have to offer.” OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | WINTER 2018


The Oak Ridge Boys

Presented by Webb Concrete & Building Materials

22 April

Theirs is one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry. The four-part harmonies and upbeat songs of THE OAK RIDGE BOYS have spawned dozens of Country hits and a Number One Pop smash, earned them Grammy, Dove, CMA, and ACM awards and garnered a host of other industry and fan accolades. Every time they step before an audience, the Oaks bring four decades of charted singles, and 50 years of tradition, to a stage show widely acknowledged as among the most exciting anywhere. And each remains as enthusiastic about the process as they have ever been.


tickets: $49 - $59 - $69 | 7:30PM Their string of hits includes the Country-Pop chart-topper “Elvira,” as well as “Bobbie Sue,” “Dream On,” “Thank God For Kids,” “American Made,” “I Guess It Never Hurts To Hurt Sometimes,” “Fancy Free,” “Gonna Take A Lot Of River” and many others. In 2009, they covered a White Stripes song, receiving accolades from Rock reviewers. In 2011, they rerecorded a thirtieth anniversary version of “Elvira” for a Cracker Barrel Old Country Store project. The group shows no sign of a slowing down, still touring and just finishing a new album titled 17th Avenue Revival.

Presented by Greg & Cheryl Potts The Potts Children’s Theatre Series

March 29 2018

6:00PM TICKETS $12 adults — $8 children

My Father’s Dragon SEASON EXTRA!

April 20 2018

7:30PM TICKETS $29 — $39 — $49

Menopause The Musical Presented by The NobleBank & Trust Broadway Series with support from BR Williams

April 27 2018

7:30PM TICKETS $29 — $39 — $49

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | WINTER 2018


A HUMBLE STAR IN THE MAKING CLAY WEBB When the Oxford Access team was given the opportunity to catch up with one of the nation’s hottest names, one can only imagine the excitement we had. When the country’s best football coaches go out of their way to catch a glimpse of Robert Clay Webb (better known as Clay), we felt quite privileged to chat with the 6-foot-3 offensive lineman and elite wrestler between his English and History classes. For those not familiar with the phenomenal Oxford product, here’s an introduction of the humble five-star athlete you will likely read about for many years to come. Webb is a junior at Oxford High School. He was born and raised in Oxford and has attended Oxford First Baptist Church since he was two years old. At Oxford High School, Webb has emerged as a five-star athlete and is one of the nation’s most sought-after football recruits. Impressively, lists Webb as the nations 9th best overall recruit and ranks him the best offensive center recruit in the country. If one is in the same room as Webb, it is hard to miss him. He is likely the biggest guy in the room and always has been. Webb said, “I have always been huge compared to everyone else. In my kindergarten class, I was getting in trouble because I would accidentally knock people down.” It is almost as if he was designed to play football. His first year of playing was in fifth grade. He began playing for the middle school team in seventh grade, and by his eighth grade year, he was moved up to play left tackle on the varsity team’s offensive line.






Webb gives a lot of credit to Coach Padgett, his eighthgrade offensive line coach, and Coach Tapley, the current offensive line coach, for helping him become the player he is today. Right after his eighth grade football season, colleges began recruiting him. “I guess it was around the time I came to high school and noticed I already had some colleges interested in me that I realized I was a fairly good player. I try not to let it go to my head, though,” Webb said.

“DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL.” Webb has several colleges, including University of Alabama, Auburn University, Clemson University, University of Georgia, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Michigan State, and many more universities that are recruiting him. When asked what he looks out for during the recruitment process and what the deciding factors will be when he makes up his mind, Webb said, “If I feel like the school is the best choice for me academically, then I feel like I should play there. But, honestly, it really comes down to the position coach and players.” Being a veteran on the varsity football team, Webb enjoys motivating, teaching, and ultimately helping the younger players with their game. At an early age, he discovered his passion for assisting others and enjoys being a person others can depend and lean on. When he graduates next year, Webb shares that he would like to study civil engineering or criminal law in college. He hopes to one day become a police officer. “While playing in the National Football League (NFL) is always a football player’s dream, I want to do something with my life that revolves around helping others, and I think working in law enforcement or as a civil engineer would allow me to do that,” Webb said. Besides the obvious–his size–one may wonder what made Webb so darn good at football. When asked, Webb’s face changed as he was looking around in the school's hallways, almost as he was made uncomfortable with the question. It was quite obvious that Webb is not one to brag, especially about himself. With his feet firmly planted on the ground, Webb is as unaffected by the attention from dazzled Division I coaches and impressed media outlets as a high school student can be. With a sigh, Webb attempts to tackle the question (no pun intended). 80

“I have been wrestling since I was in 4th grade, and the mental aspect of it, having to learn how to beat someone that’s often better than you in a one-on-one wrestling match has helped me a lot in football.” There is no secret that Webb is an essential part of the Oxford High School football team, but he also plays a big role on the school’s wrestling team, where he competes in the 285-pound, heavy-weight division. While the diet, cardio workouts, and the individual concept of wrestling is, in Webb’s own words, much harder than football, he says it only makes him a better football player. “Wrestling makes me quicker and stronger,” Webb said. Webb is also involved with the track and field team, where he competes as a shot put and discus thrower. In the classroom, he enjoys history, especially when the teachers talk about World Wars I and II. At home, he likes building and painting models of war tanks–a hobby that originated from his neighbor, who was a WWII veteran. Some of Webb’s big influencers and people that are dear to his heart include his mother Dana, sister Emory Webb, and grandfather Clayton Henson. We asked Webb whether he thought he would continue to keep in touch with old teammates after graduation. He gave us the look, one that would intimidate any defensive lineman, before saying, “I hope, and will try my very best to be friends with my teammates for the rest of my life. They are the people I’ve worked out with, practiced with, and sweated with. They are really important to me.” Webb has a bright future ahead of him, and the Oxford Access staff is confident he will continue to make his family, friends, Oxford City Schools, and the entire City of Oxford community proud for many years to come. We appreciate the time we spent with Clay and the words of wisdom he shared. We admire his raw talent, skills, and determination and we would like to end his magazine spotlight with his advice to young kids who look up to him: “Don’t be afraid to fail. You can always train, try harder to get better, and give it a shot again.” Good luck, Clay, in all of your athletic and academic achievements. Oxford is proud of you, and we wish you and your teammates success!



JOHN W. EICHELBERGER, son of Jacob Eichelberger and Asenath Scoggins Eichelberger, was born on May 29, 1848, and passed away on September 22, 1849. The grave of infant John is the earliest marked grave in the cemetery.


Oxford Memorial Gardens Cemetery By Hunter Gentry

Oxford Memorial Gardens Cemetery, located a few blocks northwest of Historic Downtown Oxford, was purchased in early 1849 by William Harrison. Some Confederate Soldiers, as well as a Union Soldier, World War I, World War II, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans are buried there. The cemetery has over 2,500 burials and is the last resting place to a 104-year-old “Oxfordian,” the first Governor of the Dakota Territory, and a former slave, an infant boy, and a merchant killed by Union Troops as they raided downtown Oxford. Sources:,, The Anniston Star, &

OPHELIA ALLEN ADERHOLT, believed to be Calhoun County’s oldest resident at the time of her death, was born on January 7, 1854, to Reverend Asa Franklin Allen and Serena Adeline Cunningham in DeArmanville, Calhoun, Alabama. Her full birth name was Nancy Ophelia Victoria Allen but was known most of her life as Ophelia. She grew up on her father’s plantation adjacent to her grandfather’s estate, Hudson Holley Allen. Throughout the 1950s, she was interviewed on many occasions where she recalled events of Union Troops raiding her father’s home and the execution of a deserter. Around 1875, she married Henry Thompson, and they had one child, Mary Adeline Thompson (Vann). Henry Thompson passed away shortly after the birth of Adeline. In 1880, Ophelia married William Samuel Aderholt, and they had three known children, Joe Louie Aderholt, Virginia Aderholt (Lacy), and Ansel Franklin Aderholt. From 1882 until the time of her death on March 2, 1958, she resided at the same home on 2nd Street in Oxford, Calhoun, Alabama. Sources:,, & The Anniston Star

JOHN L. PENNINGTON, Governor of the Dakota Territory, was born in May 1829 in New Berne, Craven, North Carolina. Throughout his early life, he was employed as an apprentice at the “Raleigh Star.” This would be the start of his life career as a journalist. He later founded the “Columbian” and the “Daily Progress” before the outbreak of the Civil War. In 1866, he was elected as a Republican in the Alabama Legislature, serving until 1873. In 1874, Pennington was appointed by President Ulysses Grant to serve as the first Governor of the Dakota Territory. His time as governor was highlighted by reducing interest rates, the extension of the railroads, and relief for farmers. His success was followed by conflict with the natives due to the discovery of gold, and a plague of grasshoppers destroying crops. President Rutherford Hayes appointed Pennington as an internal revenue collector. In 1891, he returned to Alabama and resided at McPherson Street with his daughter and sonin-law in Oxford. He passed away on July 11, 1900. Sources:,, The Anniston Star, &

ELIZA HARRISON CAMPBELL, a former slave of William Harrison, was born on August 19, 1831, in Alabama. Records and accounts of her early life, as well as the names of her parents, have not been discovered but we do know she married James Campbell and worked most of her adult life as a cook. The 1900 U.S. Federal Censuses documented her living with her daughter, Della (Delia) Campbell Clark, and son-in-law, Floyd Clark, at 53 Spring Street in Oxford. In the 1910 census, it was recorded that Eliza had a total of five children, but only two were living at the time. She passed away on November 22, 1912 and was buried just a short distance from William Harrison. Sources: &



RICHARD HALL LLOYD, also known as Robert Loyd or R.H. Lloyd, was born between 1839 and 1840 in Noxubee County, Mississippi to William Butler Lloyd and Mary Elizabeth Hall. Richard enlisted in the 36th Mississippi Infantry but filed for disability shortly after due to diabetes. He married Appie Amanda Matheny in 1861 and moved to Oxford and worked as a merchant and commissariat to Benjamin Clark. On April 23, 1865, Union Troops raiding through downtown Oxford killed him. He was laid to rest in the Oxford Memorial Gardens Cemetery in an unmarked grave. An account of the skirmish that led to his death and details of the ruin and destruction left behind after the raids are detailed in a 1910 “Oxford Tribune.�


THE ACCOUNT OF THE SKIRMISH On or about the 22nd of April 1865, General Croxton of Wilson's Corps with 1,200 cavalrymen, made a raid into Northeast Alabama. He struck in the Alabama and Tennessee Rivers Railroad at Munford, and as General Rowan had previously visited the people of Talladega, he concluded to turn northward. At the southern limits of Oxford, several shots were fired and heard by Mr. Neil, our splendid railroad agent. He left the depot hurriedly. The raiders fired several shots at him as he crossed the fields and he got faster. I think his name was Nathan P. Neil. As the vanguard came into town, Hugh Brownlee, sought shelter in the Post Office. Just as he entered the door, a ball passed through the window. At this W. Frank Hanna, the postmaster moved immediately under the counter. The Post Master was undiscovered though the Yankees were all about. As the vanguard came up in front of the Post Office, Captain Clark, commissariat and Loyd (RICHARD HALL LLOYD) his clerk, were behind a wooden building on the opposite side of the street. Captain Clark fired a brass derringer and killed one of the raiders and his horse. Clark and Loyd were at once captured by the Yankees- Loyd's captures accused him of the shooting and told him they were going to kill him. He denied doing the shooting and one of the Yankees said“You know who did, which is just as bad.” Loyd requested that he be given a chance to run for his life. The raiders agreed at the word. He ran through the alley across the railroad and over the fence with the raiders shooting at him with their rifles. When the raiders saw that their prisoner had not been hit they gave chase and captured him near where Mr. Shufford now lives. The little finger had been shot from one of his hands—but he was otherwise unhurt.

It being estimated that nearly 100 shots were fired at him. Then he was dragged back to the mouth of the same alley where being held, he was shot in the back with a carbine. He lingered until 12 that night and died. His grave is located in the Oxford Cemetery. The depot being filled with Army provisions, was burned. The fire spreading to the Snow’s Hotel and two stores adjoining. All of which were destroyed with their contents. The raiders captured James Stamp and W. Carey Dodson and carried them as prisoners along the road northward to the Alabama Iron Furnace which was then located on what is now the Southern part of Anniston. At the furnace, they were opposed by a few men and during the skirmish, William O. Turnipseed killed a Yankee in a close engagement under the big white oak west of what is known as the “Blue House.” During the excitement, Stamps and Dodson escaped getting each a horse on which they rode to freedom unharmed. The furnace being used by the Confederate government was burned as was also C.J. Cooper’s gin house and two or three bales of cotton. A part of the raiders went on to Jacksonville and besides annoying the citizens, committed some minor depredations. They crossed the mountains to White Plains and rejoined the command at Davistown on the way to Wilson’s Thread Factory on the Tallapoosa which they destroyed. Through Captain Clark, whom the raiders had captured, kept prisoner several days, and later paroled, we received the first authentic intelligence of the surrender by General Robert E. Lee which had occurred on the 9th (of April).

Sources:,, Bessie Coleman Robinson Collection (Public Library of Anniston - Calhoun County) & Mary Beth Marchant



Sunshine and gusty winds welcomed the 1st Annual Makar Sankranti at Choccolocco Park. Event organizers Neil Patel and Milin Patel, both of Oxford, were please with the well-attended Indian Kite Festival.






With the establishment of the innovation station, now housed on the third floor of the Oxford High School media center, issues arose common with any new infrastructure, namely, a scheduling system to “book” one of these innovative stations. The four primary sections of the innovation station are three “pods” and a “Glass classroom.” THE SPACE IS DESIGNED TO CREATE A SAFE AND CREATIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS ALIKE. The Oxford High Media Center’s recent additions include state-of-the-art projectors, blackboards, seating, and a glass classroom equipped with “hidden viewing” capabilities. All of these features facilitate the interactive learning environment known as The Connection. It truly is a place where students and teachers alike can collaborate like never before. As word about The Connection spread, more and more sought to utilize it for themselves. This migration led to some scheduling errors, inevitably resulting in a few amusing standoffs. Thus, Mr. Harmon tasked OHS’ renowned Computer Science department with the creation of an original and intuitive method for scheduling these facilities so that everyone would know who booked the facility, for how many periods, and why they would be using the facilities.


With the help of AP Computer Science and AP Computer Science Principles instructor, Mrs. Mintz, OHS 7th period APCS class began work. Dozens of man hours and about 20,000 lines of code later, the OHS Connection web application platform was created. It is a fully functional mono page website that allows users to book appointments, see who has already scheduled appointments, and give reviews and media of their experiences. It truly is a sleek, professional, and functional website that encompasses every need. This website was built by a group of Oxford high school computer science students; nothing more, nothing less. The Connection Website took many hours of coding and hard work to build. I wouldn’t be lying if I said there were some sleepless nights hitting the deadline. I have to give credit to Ian Jobst who was the main programmer of the website. Without him, this project would have been amateur at best. Thank you to my peers who helped all of us make a remarkable product. You can view the website at https://oxfordconnection.github. io/; this is a website that Oxford High will hopefully use for many years to come. After my peers and I have moved on from OHS, the upcoming Computer Science students will take this on and keep our website up and running. I can’t wait to see the future of OHS, making a mark not only in sports but in academics as well.

UPDATE FROM OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT, DR. GOODWIN 2018 has gotten off to a fantastic but very fast start for the Oxford City School System. Our teachers and staff members at each school “hit the ground running” in early January to prepare for our students returning to classes. During our January in-service days, we declared our theme to be “Lifting Off to Higher Levels of Learning!” as we looked at ways to implement our process of Continuous Improvement for all of the children we serve. Our goals 1) developing responsible citizens, 2) developing analytical readers, 3) developing mathematical thinkers, 4) developing students who can use scientific reasoning skills, and 5) celebrating our successes through a positive marketing program will be woven into the fabric of our classrooms and learning experiences. Our teachers also took time to celebrate our second consecutive year to be named an Alabama top ten school district (#10/#137) as ranked by Niche®, a national school database, on the merits of safety, academics, athletics and extra-curriculars, and technology. We are proud of this designation that would not be possible without our School Board’s strong leadership, tremendous support from our City and parents who are actively involved in working with our schools. Our success is a true team effort.

January is also Alabama’s School Board Appreciation Month. During this time each school “adopted” a Board Member and had opportunities for them to participate in educational activities. Our visits were as follows: Oxford Elementary Coldwater Elementary DeArmanville Elementary C.E. Hanna Elementary Oxford Middle Oxford High

Mr. Shaddix Mr. Davenport Mrs. Phillips Mr. Davis Mr. Jones Dr. Bolton

January also saw our district lose school days to icy travel conditions. This unfortunate but understandable circumstance that we experience from time to time did not stop many of our teachers from continuing the learning process by way of technology and social media. I am proud to let our parents know that our schools are working diligently to have on-line and “weather ready lessons” for our students in case more winter weather causes delays or closings. Though many of the experiences are technology based, some are traditional in case of power outages. If you have not done so already, ask your student if they took advantage of these opportunities during our recent “snow days.” Go Big “O!” Jeff Goodwin, Ed.D. Superintendent, Oxford City Schools






OXFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY Mondays: 9:30 Crochet 10:00 Fresh & Seasoned 3:00 BYOD

Wednesdays: 10:00 Quilting 12:00 Watch It Wednesday Thursdays: 9:30 Knitting 10:00 Story time Sundays: 2:00 Sensory Friendly Fun Time

March 9-10 White Plains High School Softball Tournament March 30-31 USSSA Softball District Tournament April 14 ASA Fastpitch Tournament April 21 Randolph County Softball Tournament

OXFORD CIVIC CENTER SENIOR AEROBICS Low impact aerobics with certified instructor Lyn Brown. Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:00 a.m. Class is free. Everyone welcome! MEN’S CHURCH LEAGUE SOFTBALL March 6, meeting @ 5:30 p.m.

Tuesdays: 10:00 Beginner Computer Class 2:00 Enhanced Computer Class

OXFORD LAKE March 2-3 Saks High School Softball Tournament


SENIOR DANCE SCHEDULE 2018 March 16 — Duo Sonix April 13 — Sundance May 11 — Ryan Robertson June 8 — Duo Sonix July — no dance August 17 — Sundance September 21 — Ryan Robertson October 19 — Sundance November 16 — Duo Sonix December 14 — Ryan Robertson 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Admission is $5 per person For more information, call 256-831-2660

FRIENDSHIP COMMUNITY CENTER YOGA CLASS Mondays and Thursdays 6:00 p.m. Holly Box, instructor Cost: $10 per class ART CLASS Jack Hadder, instructor Begins Monday, February 19th. Call the instructor 256-488-5510 to sign up and get the supply list



BYNUM COMMUNITY CENTER YOGA CLASS 1st Saturday of every month staring in March 3 More classes may be scheduled if there is high interest. 9:00 a.m. Holly Box, certified instructor Cost: $10 per class ZUMBA CLASS Monday 6 - 7 p.m. Thursday 6 - 7 p.m. Natasha Hammack, certified instructor Cost: $3 per class or $20 a month SENIOR AEROBICS Low impact aerobics with certified instructor Lyn Brown. Every Tuesday & Thursday 3:15 - 4:15 p.m. Class is free. Everyone welcome! TECHNOLOGY CLASS Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Laptop, tablet, or phone Every Friday at 11:00 a.m. Amy Henderson, instructor Learn basic computer skills, how to check out E-books and E-magazines

OXFORD PARD YOUTH SOFTBALL Sign-up begins on February 1, at Civic Center, Bynum or Friendship, $60; $50 for second child; $40 for third OXFORD ULTIMATE LEAGUE February 17 TRYOUTS 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. All registrants will need to attend tryouts at the Jack Stovall Fields to be drafted. Team captains will scout registrants in order to determine who they will draft. If

registrants do not show up to try out, they will be hat-picked on draft day. DRAFT 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. The draft will be a serpentine draft. Team captains will meet with commissioners at the Oxford Civic Center to make picks. Registrants will be contacted by their captains after the draft and before pre-season practice. Pre-season practices run from February 19 to March 7 Season games start March 8

2018 OXFORD DAY CAMP DATES SPRING BREAK DAY CAMP March 26 - March 29 (4 days only) (*no day camp on March 30, Good Friday) SUMMER DAY CAMP Starts May 29 (*no day camp on May 28, Memorial Day) (*no day camp on July 4, Holiday) Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Registration fee: $20 per child Costs: $75 per child; $70 second and third child *$60 for the above listed holiday weeks, no additional discount. Swimming, skating, movie time, field trips, and lots of outdoor activities. Participants must be part of the Oxford School district Call Pam Harris, Program Director 256-831-2660 for more information;

Civic Center (256) 831-2660 | Friendship (256) 831-2679 | Bynum (256) 241-2716






Friendship Community Center THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:

Cricket Wireless • McDonald’s • Sarrell Dental • Target • Rosa Reed

Easter Egg Hunt is for ages 0-12 only Age groups will be separated Prize eggs in each age group Each child should bring their own basket


a.m. Sharp!







CHOCCOLOCCO PARK BASEBALL Calhoun County Baseball Tournament March 9-13 Oxford Classic Baseball Tournament March 16-31 SOCCER County Tournament April 5-7 SOFTBALL Calhoun County Softball Tournament April 10-14 TRACK AND FIELD County Meet April 9




February 24, 1:00 p.m. JSU vs. Radford

March 24, 1:00 p.m. JSU vs. Jacksonville University

February 25, 1:00 p.m. JSU vs. Radford

March 25, 1:00 p.m. JSU vs. Jacksonville University

March 6, 6:00 p.m. JSU vs. Kennesaw State

March 29, 6:00 p.m. JSU vs. Murray State

March 9, 6:00 p.m. JSU vs. Austin Peay

March 30, 6:00 p.m. JSU vs. Murray State

BASEBALL February 16, 3:00 p.m. JSU vs. Southern Illinois

March 10, 1:00 p.m. JSU vs. Austin Peay

March 31, 1:00 p.m. JSU vs. Murray State.

February 17, 1:00 p.m. JSU vs. Southern Illinois

March 11, 1:00 p.m. JSU vs. Austin Peay

February 18, 1:00 p.m. JSU vs. Southern Illinois

March 13, 6:00 p.m. JSU vs. Samford

February 23, 3:00 p.m. JSU vs. Radford

March 23, 6:00 p.m. JSU vs. Jacksonville University

JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY AT CHOCCOLOCCO PARK TRACK & FIELD Gamecock Invite March 10 Choccolocco Challenge March 30-31

ALABAMA’S BI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION It is not often that a state celebrates two centuries of statehood. During the span of 2018 and 2019, the state as a whole will celebrate its “Places, People, & Stories.” Oxford will be participating by supporting, creating, and executing events and activities that commemorate the local stories of our people, places, and path to statehood. It is fully encouraged that anyone interested get involved with our committee.









How can we help you? CITY SERVICES HELPLINE DIAL 311 OR 256-241-4311 MONDAY - FRIDAY

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.





Profile for City of Oxford

Oxford Access Winter 2017  

There’s no place like Oxford, AL—and no one brings the city to life like Oxford ACCESS magazine. We showcase our city, the people, places, a...

Oxford Access Winter 2017  

There’s no place like Oxford, AL—and no one brings the city to life like Oxford ACCESS magazine. We showcase our city, the people, places, a...

Profile for oxfordpac

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