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VISIONS Su mmer 2013


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Visions The Montgomery Academy


Established 1959

Mission Statement

Head of School Dave Farace

The Montgomery Academy develops leaders committed to honor,

scholarship, service and the pursuit of excellence.

Associate Head of School Vivian Barfoot

Director of Advancement Carolyn Peddy Bryan ‘75

Director of Communications Leigh Barganier

Annual Giving & Alumni Programs Coordinator Marie Harrington

The Montgomery Academy 3240 Vaughn Road Montgomery, Al 36106-2725 (334) 272-8210 • Fac (334) 277-3240 The Montgomery Academy is a member of

National Association of Independent Schools The Montgomery Academy admits students of any race, religion, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students of the school. 2 Visions - Summer 2013

Montgomery Academy’s new mission statement, see “A Letter From the Head of School, Dave Farace” on page 34.

2012-2013 Board of Trustees

2012-2013 Alumni Council

Mr. Clark Sahlie ‘84 President Mr. Dorman Walker Vice President Mr. Ronnie Brown ‘92 Secretary/Treasurer Mr. Sam Adams Mr. Owen Aronov Mrs. Carol Brewbaker Hodges Mrs. Leura Canary Mr. Lee Copeland ‘75 Mr. Lewis Gayden ‘87 Mr. Sommerville Hill ‘89 Mr. Mike Jenkins IV Dr. Brad Katz Mr. Jim Leonard Mr. Gil McKenzie Mr. Temple Millsap ‘74 Mrs. Sarah Moore Mrs. Lee Grant Sellers ‘84 Mrs. Roly Singh Dr. Rodney Smith Mrs. Debby Spain Mrs. Stacey Stakely Mr. Pete Taylor ‘80 Mrs. Karen Vinson

Mr. Sommerville Hill ‘89 President Mr. John Ashworth ‘92 Mrs. Mahaley Paulk McInnes ‘92 Mrs. Jeanie Montiel Parnell ‘95 Mr. Hart Johnson ‘97 Mr. Gray Borden ‘97 Mr. Alex Carothers ‘98 Ms. Leigha Cauthen ‘99 Mr. Allen Sheehan ‘00 Mr. Evans Bailey ‘01 Mr. Gary Tsai ‘01 Mrs. Georgia Stevenson Holmes ‘01 Mrs. Mary Beth Brown Walls ‘02 Mrs. Mallory Watson Searcy ‘02 Mrs. Elizabeth Bloom Williams ‘02 Mr. Philip Sellers ‘02 Mr. Taylor Williams ‘03 Ms. Rachael Saucer ‘03 Mr. Robert Mooty ‘04 Mr. Clay McInnis ‘05 Mrs. Britney Crawford Sellers ‘06

visions table of contents

4 Academics

Advanced Placement, Commencement, College T-Shirt, Creek Week, Faculty Spotlight: Becky Snellgrove

16 Arts

Upper School Chorus Celebrates Successful Season

17 Athletics

52 State Championships, Boys Tennis State Championship, Girls Tennis State Championship, Girls Track & Field State Championship, Hitchcock Winner

22 Activities

Retirement Reception, Grandfriends Day, Eagle Day

26 Alumni

Class Notes, Career Connections, Alumni Spotlight, A Letter From The Head of School

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By Cheryl McKiearnan”

It is with a mixture of exhilaration and exhaustion that takers (survivors, if you ask them) of AP exams exit the secluded rooms where the tests are given. The exams last upwards of 3 hours and consist of multiple choice and essay questions that call on everything a student has in terms of knowledge and critical thinking skills. Completing an AP course and its exam is like training for and finishing a marathon: hard work leads to a well-deserved sense of accomplishment. Since the 1980s, the Advanced Placement program has showcased the intellectual ambition, stamina and achievement of MA students. This spring 105 Academy students sat for AP exams in 16 different subjects. It is not unusual for an MA junior or senior to take several Advanced Placement courses in a year. Most spread their efforts across disciplines, stacking their daily schedule with such classes as AP Comparative Government, Spanish, Chemistry and Calculus. The exams are graded on a 5-point scale. While many colleges award course credit for scores of 3 of better, students taking the exams tend not to list the possibility of amassing credits as their primary reason for taking the courses. The pursuit of excellence, of excellence for its own sake, seems to motivate AP students at MA. Hendrick Adams, Class of 2013, and William Haynes, Class of 2014, have between them taken 14 AP courses; William has registered for five more for his senior year. They both focus on the

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challenge of taking advanced classes, on the motivation provided by the need to master a year’s worth of material. The exam looming in May is something to work toward; as Hendrick points out, it is a tangible measure of a student’s knowledge and skill as compared to those of students from all over the country. She appreciates lessons taught by AP courses that transcend specific subjects: time management; the discipline to study steadily instead of cramming; the strengthening of writing skills. Michael Floyd has taught AP US History, World History and European History. He too cites the benefits of the writing skills that AP tests require. Advanced history courses push students beyond the mere recitation of facts; in well composed essays, they must explain connections among events and explain why things are the way they are. Similarly, William Haynes stresses that in physics the skill of applying knowledge is all-important. In short, the Advanced Placement program insists that students become sharper critical thinkers, and that they hone their interpretive and analytical skills. Achievement on the AP level requires engagement and commitment from students and teachers alike. Cindy Ackerman notes that in her AP Calculus AB and BC classes students are attentive and desire in-depth knowledge and enjoy the fact that there are many ways to approach a question. Teachers invest considerable time and study in

these courses as well. Like their counterparts at schools all over the country, MA’s AP teachers attend summer workshops to gain and maintain current knowledge of test formats and of best practices in teaching. Some, like Michael Floyd and Spanish teacher Ana Baker, have served as AP readers, actually grading the free-response sections of exams in their subjects. Doing so is a valuable way to further immerse themselves in the courses and offers another way of measuring their methods and approaches against those of other teachers whose schools participate in the program. Though purists would argue that pursuing a 5 on an AP exam is its own reward, the truth is that students, teachers and schools benefit from the AP program in very visible, tangible ways. According to College Counselor Jay Rye, some MA students have entered college as sophomores because of the credits that their AP scores have enabled them to earn. The savings in time for students and money for families can be considerable. For students AP courses offer a rewarding experience; for their parents, they may offer a real financial benefit. For the Academy and its teachers, the courses and exams are a call to institutional excellence. Every May as our test takers reach the end of the yearlong marathon, we all celebrate an important race well run.

AP Courses Taught at the Academy from 2008-2013 Art History Biology Calculus AB Calculus BC Chemistry Comparative Government & Politics Economics: Macro Economics: Micro English Language/Composition English Literature/Composition Environmental Science European History French Language Latin: Vergil Music Theory Psychology Physics B Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism Physics C: Mechanics Spanish Language Spanish Literature Studio Art - 2D Design Studio Art - 3D Design Studio Art - Drawing U.S. History U.S. Government & Politics World History


*as of press time, 2012-2013 data was not available


17 AP Scholars 7 AP Scholars with Honor 6 AP Scholars with Distinction


12 AP Scholars 8 AP Scholars with Honor 8 AP Scholars with Distinction


14 AP Scholars 9 AP Scholars with Honor 19 AP Scholars with Distinction 6 National Scholars


19 AP Scholars 12 AP Scholars with Honor 18 AP Scholars with Distinction

AP Scholar: Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams

AP Scholar with Honor: Granted to students who

receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams

AP Scholar with Distinction: Granted to students

who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams

National AP Scholar: Granted to students in the

United States who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams

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Class of 2013

The Montgomery Academy

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Hendrick Holley Adams Sarah Ross Wyatt Adams Sterling Howard Anderson Addison Linn Anthony Grayson McRae Anzalone Rachel Jordan Blondheim Katherine Elizabeth Broadfoot Lee Ellen Bryan Erin Francis Budny Savannah Reid Bullard Abigail Lorraine Capouya Nolan Scott Clark Meri Abigail Crawford Barton Crenshaw Crum Laura Katherine Crum Caroline Stone Elliott Elizabeth Ann Franklin Emily Katherine Garcia Morgan Beth Heumann Elizabeth Ramey Hobbs Sarah Catherine Campbell Hook Emily Yi-Fei Hou Trevor Lyon Hughes Athqiya Rayisa Israil

University of Alabama Auburn University Auburn University Southern Methodist University College of Charleston Western Kentucky University Auburn University Washington & Lee University Auburn University Birmingham-Southern College Southern Methodist University Huntingdon College College of Charleston University of Alabama University of the South: Sewanee Auburn University Boston University University of Georgia University of Montevallo University of Alabama State University of New York at Purchase College Boston University Auburn University University of Alabama at Birmingham

The Montgomery Academy

University of Illinois University of the South: Sewanee University of Alabama University of Texas at Dallas University of the South: Sewanee University of Alabama Auburn University Rhodes College Auburn University University of Alabama University of Alabama Samford University University of Montevallo Auburn University University of Alabama Auburn University University of Alabama University of Mississippi University of Denver Southern Methodist University Auburn University University of the South: Sewanee University of Alabama University of the South: Sewanee

Class of 2013

Won Jong Jin Andrea Grey Demetropoulos Jones Cameron Norrell Jones Christopher James Kropa Robin Garrett Laurie Jr. Marshall Collier Lee Mallory Alexandra Long Mary Elizabeth Massey John Neill McCorvey Elizabeth Drake McGowin Jackson Graham Muller Andrew Douglas Patterson April Elizabeth Shambo Hollan Pritchett Smith Paige Ann Smith William Edward Speaks Kristin Carolyn Stakely Foy Catherine Wilkerson Stevenson Annabel McElroy Strickland Corrie Hill Tankersley Ryan Elizabeth Terry Joseph Parker Turner Thomas Hayes Vinson Aidan Patrick White

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Reverend Chip Broadfoot was the 2013 Baccalaureate Speaker. 8 Visions - Summer 2013

Sterling Anderson receives his diploma from Board of Trustees President Clark Sahlie ‘84.

Ellen Brooks ‘69 delivered the 2013 Commencement Address.

Commencement Address Ellen Brooks Class of 1969 May 23, 2013 It is an honor to be invited to give the Commencement address to The Montgomery Academy Class of 2013. But I do have one question: why did it take forty-four years to ask me? You must have heard about the other two graduation talks I have given. The first was at a small private school much like the Academy. The year after my talk, it closed. The other is a different story. It is still operating and with a waiting list. What a great experience - I had a captive audience. It was at a state prison. Standing here tonight I have so many memories of my Academy years: moving to the new campus from the Governor’s Mansion, attending the first graduation, making lifelong friends. And then there are the memories of things that didn’t happen: 1. I played every sport MA offered, was the captain of the volleyball team, and was the only senior on the state runner-up tennis team, but never won the athletic award. 2. In my class of 28, eight of us were National Merit Finalists, but the article in the school paper listed only seven; my name was omitted. 3. I ran for president of the junior high student body and lost by two votes. Yet, I still was asked to speak tonight. By the way, I am the second in my class to do so. Now for a fun memory: Eighth grade; 1964; the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth. To celebrate, every class had to perform some Shakespeare. My class did “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” There are two things that I vividly recall: the guys had to dress like fairies and these lines between Puck and a Fairy: “How now, spirit! Whither wander you?” and “Over hill, over dale, thorough bush, thorough brier, over park, over pale, thorough flood, thorough fire, I do wander everywhere….” I have arrived at the question I want to ask you graduates tonight: “Whither wander you?” The easy answer is of course off to college: 27 in-state and 21 out-of-state, as near as across town and as far as 1400 miles. What a wonderful journey ahead for you! Tonight is called “commencement,” the beginning of something. It has been said that “a beginning is only the start of a journey to another beginning.” This isn’t even your first commencement. When you began your education at the Academy, you began the “pursuit of excellence,” the school mission. Notice the mission is the “pursuit,” not “excellence.” To pursue is to seek; to seek is to journey. So one journey ends and a new one begins. After college, there will be more commencements: grad school, first full-time job, marriage, children and so on.

Ellen Brooks Biography Ellen Brooks came to The Montgomery Academy as a third grade student in 1959, the year The Montgomery Academy was founded. During her ten years at the Academy, Ms. Brooks excelled not only academically, but also in sports, playing on the tennis, basketball, and volleyball teams. She was also very involved in the arts as a member of The Academy Players, the theater club, and an editor of Aerie. A 1969 Academy graduate, Ms. Brooks was a National Merit Finalist and attended Vanderbilt University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in English. She received her Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1976, where she was a winner in the John A. Campbell Moot Court Competition and also was elected to Honor Court. Ms. Brooks began her legal career in prosecution in 1977. She held positions as Deputy District Attorney, Director of the White Collar Crime Unit of the District Attorney’s Office, and Chief Deputy District Attorney all in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit of Alabama under District Attorney James H. Evans before being appointed as Deputy Attorney General for the State of Alabama. She has served as the District Attorney of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit of Alabama since 1993, and in 1999, was selected District Attorney of the Year by the Alabama District Attorneys Investigators Association. Her dedication to the community and helping others is unsurpassed. Ms. Brooks is involved in several local, state, and national organizations, including The American Cancer Society, Angel House, Child Protect, Church of the Ascension, Crimestoppers, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Junior League of Montgomery, Montgomery Area United Way, and the Sunshine Center, just to name a few. She has been the recipient of several distinctive awards, most recently including Citizen of the Year by the Montgomery Advertiser and the Commitment to Service Award from the Montgomery Sunrise Rotary.

I suppose that now is the time I am expected to offer advice for college. Here it is: 1. Tattoos are easier to put on than take off. 2. In the words of radio stars Rick & Bubba, “What do you find on Trouble Street? Trouble!” So stay off the street. 3. Play nice. But what I want to share, expected or not, is advice for life. Be who you are meant to be. Steven Tyler, a former judge on American Idol and member of the band, Aerosmith, sang in the band’s song “Amazing”, “Life’s a journey, not a destination.” That’s quite different for you whose goal in life thus far has been to graduate and be accepted into college. Worthy as that goal is, it alone is not very fulfilling. How you got to this point is what counts. This class will not be known for simply making it, but will be remembered, in the words some of your teachers shared with me, as smart and sweet, dedicated (to school, activities, and each other), a family. In the unscientific survey some of you completed for me, you told me you want

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Caroline Elliott, Sarah Ross Adams and Erin Budny enjoy a few moments together before Commencement.

Dave Farace, Ellen Brooks, Vivian Barfoot, Chip Broadfoot and Clark Sahlie.

Emily Hou is all smiles as she receives her diploma.

happiness and success. They too are journeys. You can find joy and satisfaction in the doing of something, not just in finishing it. It is the everyday living on your journey that matters most. Let’s explore having a goal in life. A life goal is what we strive for and use to measure our success. In the survey, you defined success in a number of ways: being happy, feeling secure, making money, raising great kids, achieving something, having fun. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the father of the Civil Rights movement, saw success in a different light. He noted, “We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service relationship to humanity.” I believe that being successful occurs when making a difference is greater than making money. It is knowing that your life matters. And what about happiness? Dr. Albert Schweitzer, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, observed: “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” In choosing our life goals, it is tempting and sometimes convenient to let others determine it for us. Maybe you don’t know what to major in or what job to accept. Family, friends, teachers, culture, circumstances can dictate your career path, if you let them. You may join the family business or do as I did and become a lawyer like my father, grandfather and uncle. Just because it’s right for someone else doesn’t necessarily make it right for you. Of course it can be and frequently is, but it needs to be your decision. Never take a job out of a sense of duty. Forty years of a duty job is a long, long time. American consultant and sales coach Ben Gaye III, tells us, “No amount of travel on the wrong road will bring you to the right destination.”

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Neill McCorvey, Drake McGowin, Jackson Muller and Drew Patterson gather before Commencement.

Your life goal should reflect who you are, why you’re here and where you want to go. Only when you freely and purposely choose your life goal, can you live to your potential. Passion for your work is critical. Earl Nightingale, a motivational speaker and author (and the radio voice of Sky King), said it this way, “We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.” Don’t be surprised if along the way, the journey itself changes you. There will be bumps on the road and detours on your journey. View them as opportunities to gather wisdom and to correct your path if needed. My friend John, an Academy alum, after years of practicing medicine went back to school to change his specialty. He just needed to tweak his life goal, not throw it out. As the Buddhists say, “If you are facing in the right direction, all you need to do is keep on walking.” Having a life goal does not require as much work as you might think. Orison Swett Marden was an American spiritual author in the new thought movement who also held a degree in medicine and was a successful hotel owner. He counsels us not to fret. “When we’re sure that we are on the right road there is no need to plan our journey too far ahead. No need to burden ourselves with doubts and fears as to the obstacles that may bar our progress. We cannot take more than one step at a time.” In the survey, I also asked about your fears. The overwhelming response was fear of failure – school, work, relationships and happiness. It’s probably a good thing none of us knows at the start of a journey all the difficulties to be faced or we might never begin. Fear can paralyze us. On the other hand, fear can motivate

Members of the Class of 2013 Aidan White, Foy Stevenson, Parker Turner, Anna Strickland, Corrie Tankersley, Ryan Terry and Hayes Vinson.

Classmates Laura Katherine Crum, Addison Anthony and Lee Ellen Bryan

Board President Clark Sahlie hands Cameron Jones her diploma.

us, like it did me last night when I realized this speech was not ready to give. The final question tonight: how do you know the right path for you? Our journeys are unique. No person can tell you what your journey should be. But help is available. In Jeremiah 29:11-13, God speaks to us about our life journeys. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Daily strive to know God and what He would have you do, by Bible study, prayer and following His commandments. Ask for guidance as David did in the reading this morning, Psalm 40:8, “I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” Be still and listen. Then and only then can you answer, “Whither wander you?” As for me, remember my memories of things that didn’t happen? 1. While I did not receive the athletic award, I played college tennis and was ranked in Alabama ladies doubles. It’s given me a lifetime of pleasure, a tennis shop and a lot of friends. 2. That school paper slight has been more than made up by the hundreds of times I have been quoted in newspapers across the state. In fact one paper seems to have the computer set to spit out, “Brooks said,” in articles where I haven’t even been interviewed. 3. Despite my early political defeat, I have won four elections for District Attorney and had the privilege of doing what I love.

Siblings Truman Hobbs ‘07, Lizzie Hobbs ‘13 and Sam Hobbs ‘09

From those experiences, I have learned: life is not fair; success does not always appear in the form we expect; and I am not in charge. My dreams are coming true in ways I could never have planned. We all have dreams. But too often we do not get to live them fully. Life gets in the way. Sometimes it’s the little things; sometimes the big ones. In her book, Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar NafisI describes life in Iran after the revolution as she secretly teaches Western Literature to seven female students at great risk. The political rules were harsh and the punishment severe. She tells the story of a painter friend who began her career by depicting scenes from life. Over time her work became more abstract; her paintings, splashes of color. When asked to explain the transition, the painter said that reality had become so intolerable that all she could paint now was the color of her dreams. The author poses the question, “How many people get a chance to paint the colors of their dreams?” What the Iranian people have faced is one of the great human rights struggles in the world. While hopefully you will not personally face such a large obstacle, you will nevertheless confront your own hurdles. If an Iranian painter can put brush to canvas, imagine what you can do. Class of 2013, you are the color of the dreams of those here tonight. Now it’s your turn to paint. Be who you are meant to be. One of my favorite characters at this point in my life is Maxine, the crabby philosopher for Hallmark cards. Were she here in my stead, she would end with these words of wisdom, “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and wellpreserved body. But rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow! What a ride!’” Now get moving on that journey. See you in forty-four years!

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Class of 2013 College Acceptances Alabama A&M University Arizona State University Ashland University Auburn University Auburn University Montgomery Berry College Birmingham-Southern College Boston University Brenau University Clemson University College of Charleston Davidson College Furman University George Mason University Hillsdale College Huntingdon College James Madison University Louisiana State University Loyola University New Orleans Marshall University Millsaps College

Mississippi State University New York University Ohio University Rhodes College Samford University Southern Methodist University Springhill College Stillman College St. John’s University State University of New York at Purchase College Texas Christian University Texas Tech University The Ohio State University Troy University Tulane University University of Alabama University of Alabama at Birmingham University of Arizona University of Arkansas University of Colorado at Boulder

University of Denver University of Georgia University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign University of Massachusetts Amherst University of Mississippi University of Montevallo University of North CarolinaGreensboro University of Rochester University of South Carolina University of the South: Sewanee University of Texas at Arlington University of Texas at Dallas University of Virginia University of Washington Wake Forest University Washington & Lee University Western Kentucky University Westminster Choir College

The Class of 2013 of The Montgomery Academy claims numerous accomplishments in the classroom, in the arts, in the sports arena, and in the community. Comprised of 48 students, this Senior Class celebrates the recognition of 12 students in the National Merit Scholarship Program and the Advanced Placement Scholars Program. Since joining the Upper School in the Fall of 2009, members of this class have played key roles in interscholastic athletics, capturing 12 State Championships, while at the same time contributing to the Speech and Debate program's recognition by the National Forensic League as being in the top 1% in the nation. With acceptances to 61 different institutions of higher learning, 40 students in the Senior Class have been offered $3,515,484 in merit-based scholarship money, an amount which does not include financial aid or need-based scholarships. 12 Visions - Summer 2013

Class of 2005

Class of 2021

CREEK WEEK OVER THE YEARS For a week this spring, the fourth grade class at the Academy had the unique opportunity to spend part of their day learning about the Indian culture from Butch Fuller, a Creek Indian. A charismatic storyteller, Mr. Fuller used a replication of a Native American hunting camp to captivate the students with every lesson. His presentations centered on the daily life of Creek children and showed students a progression of items authentic to what may have existed on the front lawn of the school during the 18th Century. Students were enthralled with everything Mr. Fuller had to share, especially his demonstrations on hunting techniques including how to prepare and fire a rifle and to use a blowgun. In his presentation, Mr. Fuller also noted many advances, including the use of flint and steel to create fire, which Creek Indians made as a result of European influence. A member of the fourth grade faculty shared, “Creek Week is a special experience for fourth graders that brings history to life, giving students a hands-on learning opportunity outside of the classroom.”

Class of 2010

Class of 2005

Class of 2019

Creek Week 2013

1997 was Frank’s last year as the leader of Creek Week.

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faculty profile

Becky Snellgrove

by Jan Pringle

It was mid August of 1982 when I nervously took an anxious little boy to his first day of first grade. I was immediately comforted when I was greeted by a smiling teacher who, in my son Will’s eyes, seemed to resemble an angel. I could not have known at the time that Becky Snellgrove would not only have a major lifelong influence on Will, but on me as well. Three years later in 1985, I was hired as a first grade teacher at The Montgomery Academy Lower School and taught on a team with Becky Snellgrove for twenty-five years. When I was hired at the Academy, my previous experience had all been in Special Education and Speech Therapy. I had never taught first grade and was extremely anxious about the prospect of doing so. Becky became my mentor and my example. She taught me how to teach reading, math, and all the basic subjects that are mastered in that important year after kindergarten. More than that, Becky was and continues to be an example to me of someone who truly is passionate about children and teaching. Becky is from the small town of Elba, Alabama. She grew up in a large family with strong ties to one another, to their church and to their community. She is a wonderful story teller, and her stories about her early life in Elba are both entertaining and heart warming. I also love to hear Becky tell stories about her husband, Seth. They work as a team enjoying and caring for friends and family members. Before coming to The Montgomery Academy, Becky taught at Dannelly Elementary School. She is related to Ken Dyess, a legend at our school, and he persuaded her to apply to teach at the Academy. What a jewel for our Lower School! I will forever be grateful to Ken for bringing us Becky.

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When Becky started teaching on the Vaughn Road Campus 37 years ago, there were two classes in each grade. She taught on that campus until the Lower School opened in 1988. Becky has seen many changes over the years at The Montgomery Academy as well as in the teaching profession. She has accepted each change with a positive attitude and inquisitive mind. Her ability to adapt to new teaching methods and ideas, yet not lose sight of what she knows is effective in teaching young children, is impressive. After serving as a classroom teacher for a number of years, Becky assumed the role of resource teacher in first grade. This important position has enabled Becky to work closely with the other first grade teachers and all of the first grade students each year. She has developed a writing and literature program that, in my opinion, is among the best in elementary education. Each year our first graders get to learn about and read all different genres and then creatively write their own versions. Becky guides the students through the process in a careful way that leads to a love of literature and writing. Becky is also an excellent reading teacher. Among her first grade responsibilities is teaching reading to a small group of students each day. I am continually amazed at her expertise in this area and the rapid progress her students achieve. Field trips in first grade are extremely well planned due to Becky’s organizational skills. She works closely with the event coordinators, teachers, and parents to make sure each outside activity is a fun, unique educational opportunity for our students. Every detail is covered! Additionally, Becky plans activities to teach her students emphasizing our culture study, visiting author, holidays, and special events. One of Becky’s hidden talents is what I call, “efficient decorating.” She can decorate and organize a classroom to utilize every inch of space in the most effective manner one can imagine. It is no secret that I was glad to allow Becky to set up my classroom at the beginning of school each year for the twenty-five years I taught first grade. The office space she uses currently as a resource teacher is an example of her skills in this area. All of us at the Lower School marvel at the amount of materials she has so efficiently organized in such a small office. It is a gift! Perhaps if Becky were asked her greatest accomplishment at The Montgomery Academy aside from molding young lives, she would reply that it is our annual Christmas Pageant. The pageant will celebrate its fiftieth year this December and is one of MA’s strongest traditions and Becky has played a major role in its production over the years. Students, parents, and teachers cherish our Christmas Pageant and look forward to it each year. Lasting memories are created; alumni never forget the part they played in the First Grade Christmas Pageant. Becky Snellgrove is one of the most dedicated teachers I have ever known. She is a professional in every sense of the word and epitomizes the motto in our mission, which is “to pursue excellence.” Becky is a person of strong faith and that faith undergirds everything she does. Her loyalty to The Montgomery Academy and her love for all children is evident to all who know her. Becky is indeed a true treasure for our school and community.

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Upper School Chorus Celebrates Successful Season By Damion Womack • Director of the Arts • Upper School Chorus Director


he Upper School Chorus excelled in all areas this year and garnered many outstanding accomplishments and awards. The chorus received invitations to perform at the Mississippi State Choral Colloquium, Furman University Chapel, area churches in the city, and at the 2013 Alabama Music Educators Association State Convention as one of only two high school choral ensembles selected to perform at this prestigious event. The chorus ended their concert travel season by earning First Place at the Heritage National Choral Competition in New York City.


In order to receive invitations to compete on the National or Regional level, choruses must receive Superior ratings in their own state competition. This event is extremely competitive, due to the fact that the chorus competes against schools of all sizes, many times, much larger than the size of the Academy. That being said, our process of becoming successful begins the first full day of classes. Chorus meets everyday for 50 minutes during which the students work on sight-reading, tone quality, diction, and many other choral methods that will ensure success. In addition, as a “non-auditioned chorus” we have the challenge of performing just as well as other auditioned ensembles. Students in chorus are fully committed to do their best each time they perform– the main reason why the Upper School Chorus is considered one of the best performing choral groups in the state.

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Top: The Upper School Chorus was one of only two high school chorus groups invited to perform at the 2013 Alabama Music Educators Association State Convention. Bottom: The Mississippi State Choral Colloquium was a great experience for the chorus members.

STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS The Pursuit of Excellence in Athletics by Anthony McCall













The number 50 represents celebration. Whether it’s an anniversary, birthday, or milestone in sports, 50 stands as a significant number in many aspects in our culture. In 2009, The Montgomery Academy celebrated 50 years as one of the State of Alabama’s most prestigious K-12 learning institutions. In April of this year, The Montgomery Academy’s Athletic Department proclaimed another milestone as the girls’ varsity tennis team won the school’s 50th Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) state championship. This monumental feat was accomplished in only 39 years of competing in the AHSAA. Surpassing this landmark placed our athletic department in the enviable position as one of ten of the AHSAA’s 405 members to ever win 50 state championships. This remarkable accomplishment is a testament of the relentless commitment of time, energy, and cooperation given by numerous Montgomery Academy studentathletes and coaches over the years. As our athletic department continues to move forward, we look to increasing the aforementioned number of state titles as we work diligently to enhance athletics’ role in our student-athletes’ educational experience.

AHSAA schools with 50 or more team state championships

Mountain Brook High School (Birmingham) St. Paul’s Episcopal School (Mobile) UMS-Wright Preparatory School (Mobile) Virgil I. Grissom High School (Huntsville) Hoover High School (Birmingham) Huntsville High School (Huntsville) Vestavia Hills High School (Birmingham) McGill-Toolen Catholic High School (Mobile) Scottsboro High School (Scottsboro) THE MONTGOMERY ACADEMY

203 158 95 94 70 64 64 54 53 52

River Region schools team state championships

Lee High School (6A) 33 Lanier High School (6A) 32 Trinity Presbyterian School (3A) 21 Jeff Davis High School (6A) 16 ACA (4A) 13 St. James (4A) 12 St. Jude (1A) 12 Carver High School (6A) 5 Catholic High School (3A) 3 Brew Tech (4A) 1 LAMP (3A) 0 Visions - Summer 2013 17


For the third year in a row, The Montgomery Academy Varsity Boys Tennis team won the Class 1A - 3A State Championship. The team was in a close battle for first place during the initial day of the state tournament, but completely dominated the second day to easily win by 16 points. Bo Torbert, Bonner McLemore, and Allen Millsap won individual state championships in singles and the doubles teams of Will Spain/Guy Hood and Bonner McLemore/Allen Millsap also won state titles. Hunter Carroll was the state runner-up at #1 singles and teamed with Bo Torbert to finish as state runner-up at #1 doubles. While winning individual titles are great, the main focus of all of the players on the team was capturing the team title – the 12th state championship for Varsity Boys Tennis. During the season, the Eagles finished second in the prestigious McGill Tournament in Mobile which featured teams from Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and Alabama. They also defeated three of the top five Class 6A schools, the Class 5A state champion and the runner-up in the Class 1A-3A tournament finishing the year with a 29-3 record. While 2013 was an exceptional year for Varsity Boys Tennis, the future looks bright as there were no seniors on the team.

PICTURED: Coach David Bethea, Clayton Muller, Allen Millsap, Bonner McLemore, Hunter Carroll, Guy Hood, Will Spain, Camp Spain, and Bo Torbert

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During the spring of 2013, The Montgomery Academy Girls Varsity Tennis team enjoyed a successful season, winning 10 of 14 matches and capturing another Class 1A-3A State Championship. This accomplishment makes six state titles in a row for a group of seniors that have played in the top six since 7th grade. The top six players at State were Hollan Smith, Mary Elizabeth Massey, Gretchen Lee, Lee Ellen Bryan, Hannah Snider and Holland Griffin along with alternates, Madeleine Flemming, Barton Crum and Lilla Bea Granger. Hollan Smith and Mary Elizabeth Massey served as captains of the team and both girls continued to set a high standard for competitiveness on the court while displaying excellent sportsmanship and leading the team by example. The successful season saw the varsity girls with wins against local competitors as well as victories against several out of town teams. Two of the squad’s losses came against Vestavia Hills High School, the Class 6A State Champion and against Mountain Brook High School, a Class 6A State Finalist. The other losses came against out-of-town opponents Pensacola Catholic High School and Brookstone School–both closely contested matches. At the Class 1A-3A State Tournament, Houston Academy became the only school to challenge the MA. The final tally had MA with 72 points to Houston Academy’s 48.

PICTURED: Back Row from left to right: Assistant Coach Fairlie Herron, Madeleine Flemming, Holland Griffin, Lee Ellen Bryan, Gretchen Lee, Hannah Snider, and Coach Denise Tinney. Front Row from left to right: Barton Crum, Hollan Smith, Mary Elizabeth Massey and Lilla Bea Granger

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GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD State CHAMPIONSHIP Led by seniors, Drake McGowin and Corrie Tankersley, the girls’ track and field team put forth a combined effort to capture The Montgomery Academy’s second state championship in Track & Field. The Lady Eagles, competing in 16 out of the possible 18 events, scored 110 points to win the tournament held in Selma, Alabama. Drake McGowin won her fourth state championship in the pole vault and now holds both the Class 2A and 3A state records in the event. Teammate Taylor Gerard took first place in the 800 meter race for the second year in a row, with Drake McGowin and Elizabeth McGowin scoring in the event, coming in 4th and 7th places, respectively. Later in the meet, Drake McGowin and Taylor Gerard teamed up with Maclou Dillon and Jazmyn Dozier to win the 4x400 relay. Taylor Gerard went on to win the 1600 and 3200 meter runs, as well. Drake McGowin captured her third gold medal of the weekend while joining Elizabeth McGowin, Emily Pierce, and Dawson Buettner on the 4x800 meter relay team.

BY Kevin Weatherill

Other medalists for the girls included: Kaylee Quinn (silver-3200, bronze-1600) and Kacky Starke (silver-pole vault). Scorers (top 8 in an event) for the girls included: Corrie Tankersley (100 meter hurdles), Sarah Payne (triple jump), Emily Pierce (1600, 3200), Ashley Anthony (pole vault), and the girls 4x100 meter relay team of Alice McGowin, Laurel Buettner, Maclou Dillon, and Jazmyn Dozier. The state meet capped off a tremendous final month of the season, as the girls won the Capital City Conference (CCC) Junior High and Varsity Championships, as well as the Class 2A, Section Championship. The success at the CCC, sectional, and state championship meets was a product of competing in Auburn, Birmingham, and Mobile against some of the state’s top 5A and 6A programs. The team owes much of its success to the fine coaching of Michael Floyd (pole vault, jumps), Charles Heffner (sprints, hurdles), Gary Nelson (throws), and Michael Berry (mid-distance, distance).

PICTURED: First Row: Corrie Tankersley and Drake McGowin. Second Row: Alice McGowin, McClou Dillan, Sara Payne, Jazz Dozier Third Row: Coach Michael Berry, Elizabeth McGowin, Lauren Buettner, Taylor Gerrard, Coach Gary Nelson, Coach Michael Floyd, Dawson Buettner, Kaleigh Quinn, Emily Peirce, Coach Charles Heffner, Coach Kevin Weatherill

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Krisie Stakely 2013 Jimmy Hitchcock Female Award Recipient On May 2, senior Krisie Stakely was named the 2013 Jimmy Hitchcock Female Award Recipient. A state champion runner in cross country and track, Krisie was also a member of the 2013 state runner-up girls’ soccer team. In addition to her athletic pursuits, she excelled in the classroom, was involved in community service through her school, and active in her church. Krisie was a member of the Honor Council, an Academy Ambassador and received the character award given by the faculty in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade. Krisie has a 4.2 GPA and will attend the University of Alabama in the fall. Krisie was captain of the State Champion Cross Country team in 10th, 11th and 12th grades. She was named to both the all-state and all-metro teams, as well as, winning the team MVP award. In outdoor track and field, Krisie has been MVP and named to the all state and all metro teams. Her 3200 meter relay team not only won the state championship, but also set a state record. Pastor Jay Wolf of First Baptist Church described Krisie as having, “a positive attitude that is contagious. She is a positive leader and role model for younger students. She is looked upon with high respect by her peers, both at church and at school and is not ashamed or afraid to stand up for what she believes is right.” Pastor Wolf went on to state, “I know Krisie’s judgment to be sound and mature, her character to be of the highest quality and her faith in God to be genuine and consistent.” Coach Kevin Weatherill stated, “She is comfortable with her beliefs and who she is as a person. The way she lives her life is a great example to not only her peers, but her coaches as well. She clearly has the athletic and academic credentials to win this award, but her character is her strongest quality.” The Jimmy Hitchcock Award is given annually to one senior male and female athlete who have shown Christian leadership in athletics and exemplify strong personal character, dependability, 100% effort, and leadership on their teams, in their church, and at their school. Nominated by their coaches and schools, 56 senior athletes were honored during a ceremony at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church. Congratulations, Krisie!!! PHOTOS

Top Left - For the past five state championship wins, MA XC runners have posed with the

“blue” trophy on the bridge at Oakville Indian Mounds Park while spelling “WE 1” with their fingers. Keeping up the tradition (l-r) Alice McGowin is the “W”, Emily Pierce is the “E”, Krisie Stakely is the number “1” and Maggie Chambers holds the championship trophy. Sidebar Top- Krisie accepted her award at the 54th Annual Jimmy Hitchcock Memorial Award banquet. Sidebar Bottom- LAMP’s Dan Brake, Jonathan Evans, chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys and guest speaker at the Jimmy Hitchcock Memorial Award Banquet, and MA’s Krisie Stakely.

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retirement reception May 5th, 2013 The Montgomery Academy recognized Dr. Ann Linder and Doc Holladay for their service to the Academy and wished them well as they start a new chapter in their lives during a retirement reception on May 5.

Cindy Ackerman, Ann Linder and Stephanie Hill

Dr. Ann Linder has been at The Montgomery Academy for 18 years. Her enthusiastic and animated teaching methods are not only going to be missed by her students, but also the colleagues she has influenced. An avid traveler, Dr. Linder guided numerous trips to France that immersed students in an unknown culture that was so familiar to her. She also dedicated much of her time to work with the Honor Council “reinforcing students’ appreciation for honesty and ownership of work.” These are just a couple roles she has played at MA that have touched the lives of so many students on campus. Faculty could always depend on her for thorough, accurate reports at Department meetings and giving advice to new and younger faculty members. Faculty members young and old will always cherish her “legendary” hostess abilities and her delicious accomplishments in the kitchen. Dubbed a “walking encyclopedia”, someone once said “if you put a quarter into her for information, you always got a dollar’s worth.”

Doc Holladay has been at the Academy for 14 years. As a guru in technology, Doc has helped the Lower, Lisa Clayton, Linda Holladay, Doc Middle, and Upper School with issues involving Holladay, Jan Pringle and MacBooks, iPads, and SmartBoards. His patience Meredith Marshall and ability to explain advanced technological methods in laymen terms are a blessing to everyone he assists. While his support with technology has been invaluable, what we’ll miss the most is his gentle spirit and ever present warm smile. The Lower School teachers noted they are especially going to miss his kind attitude and willingness to help. Apart from his role with all things technology, Doc also serves a very special additional role at the Lower School, story teller. Each year for the Advanced Reader celebration, Doc dresses up like a train conductor and reads The Polar Express. In addition to the AR celebration, Doc dons an oldfashioned nightshirt and cap to read ‘Twas the Night Ann Linder and Cheryl McKiearnan Before Christmas to the Kindergarteners. Clearly, these two wonderful people have been incredible assets to the Academy. We are certainly sad to see them go, however we are all proud to celebrate their years with The Montgomery Academy.

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Katherine Taylor, Ann Linder, Val Forester, Becky Brooms, Ana Baker and Teresa Pittman

Larry Vinson, Doc Holladay and John Tracy

Bobbie Woodard, Sara Woodard, Betty Saunders and Mandy Poundstone


Bobby Eskridge with his grandmother Dora Haas

Mary Evelyn McLemore and her Grandfriend

Anna Powell and her Grandfriend Ellen Auerbach

The Lower School library is always fun place!

Camille Price is all smiles on Grandfriends day

The third and fourth graders love their grandfriends!

By Kathryn Josey

April 5, 2013

What child doesn’t like to show off their school? The Montgomery Academy Lower School students are no different. The lower campus was abuzz with excitement the morning of Grand Friends Day. Each grade level, Kindergarten through Fourth grade, performed a song in the auditorium honoring their special guests and then met their Grand Friends in their classrooms to begin a student led tour. The proud young tour guides went throughout the building into each enrichment class, to the lunchroom for refreshments, and to the gym for a photo op to commemorate the day. Smiles were seen on every face, young and old alike, as they all departed from a delightful morning spent together at The Montgomery Academy.

John and Claire Poundstone and Linda Ford

Jones Corley with GrandFriends Jane and Buck Corley

Thomas Woodward with Special Friends

Brabee Pirnie and Kathy Maddox

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Eagle Day 2013

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Eagle Day 2013

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Class Notes

Class Notes 1983


At the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) annual meeting of members the Board of Directors welcomed lauded music retailer, Jessica Freehling-Kazzie, as one of its new members elected to a three-year term. FreehlingKazzie is one of eight music-industry professionals joining the Board this year. The NAMM Board of Directors provides guidance and leadership to the NAMM membership, and to the music instrument and product JESSICA FREEHLINGindustry.

Regan Reding and Tim Jewett were married on May 11, 2013. They live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.



John Allen Jones, IV, 44, a resident of Montgomery, Ala., died March 13, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Leah; his children, Lauren and John Allen Jones, V, of Montgomery, and Weldon, Emelyn and Anna Sanford Lewis Jones of Fairhope, Ala.; his parents, Fran and John Allen Jones, III, of Montgomery, and his sister, Kelton Jones Morris (Harrison) of Dothan. He is preceded in death by his sister, Jacque Jones Longshore, and his grandparents, Lucile and John Allen Jones and Olean and Bob Hardwich.

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1992 Barbara Bear and her husband, David Mount, proudly announce the birth of their son, William Manning Mount, on May 22, 2013.

1993 It’s a boy for Elizabeth Amberg Livingston and her husband, Paul! Reed Alexander was born on April 21, 2013. Reed joins big sister, Audrey, who is almost three. Rachel Mears and her husband, Farzin, proudly announce the birth of their son, Anderson Jahan, on February 18, 2013. Miles Roane Dixon, son of Sarah Bridges Dixon and her husband, Michael, was born on December 31, 2012.

1994 Will Pringle and his wife, Catherine, are pleased to announce the birth of James Cooper on May 2, 2013.

1995 Micah Lightfoot Jiles and her husband, Zach, are excited to announce the birth of their son, John Evert, on January 12, 2013. They live in Columbus, Georgia. Lida Cunningham Sease and her husband, Matthew, announce the birth of their daughter, Sarah Carter, on Thursday, April 25, 2013.

1996 Brett Ialacci spoke at the Academy’s tennis recognition ceremony, celebrating the accomplishments of all four tennis teams, on May 1. He spoke about his tennis experiences at MA and challenged the players to continue BRETT the pursuit of excellence in their IALACCI lives both on and off the court.

Class Notes Laurie Avant and Scott Smith were married on April 13, 2013, in Rosemary Beach, Florida.

Phelps Reid and his wife, Brooke, welcomed daughter, Alice, to the family on February 13, 2013.


Justin Reynolds and his wife, Melissa, joyfully announce the birth of their daughter, Lucy Katherine, on February 14, 2013.

Hart Johnson and his wife, Mary, proudly announce the birth of their daughter, Virginia May, on February 7, 2013. Tristan Patton recently joined Sandra Nickel Hat Team, REALTORS firm. Patton received a degree in data processing and TRISTAN business major at Morehouse PATTON College in Atlanta. He returned to Montgomery after he discovered real estate sales while in a computer marketing job in Atlanta. James Watkins was selected as 2013-2013 Florence Independent School District Teacher of the Year. James coaches and teaches at Florence High School in Florence, Texas.

1998 Emily Carmichael and her husband, Ethan Babcock, happily announce the birth of their daughter, Louisa Hellen Carmichael, on May 11, 2013. Will Parker and his wife, Karen, are excited to announce the birth of their son, “Bennett” Nathan, on March 20, 2013. Shawn Webster and his wife, McCall, joyfully announce the birth of their twins, Penelope “Poppy” Mae and Tristan Wyatt, on May 24, 2013. Alicia Marshall and Rob Culler were married on May 4, 2013, in Charleston, South Carolina.

1999 Leigh Figh Abbott and her husband, Henry, happily announce the birth of their son, Jack, on May 8, 2013. Jack joins big brother, Henry, who is almost two. Patricia Gregory Alias and her husband, Shaler, proudly announce the birth of their daughter, Hendee Hayes, on March 12, 2013. Joe Hubbard and his wife, Ashley, are excited to announce the birth of their daughter, Sally Hannah, born March 11, 2013.

J.T. Thornbury and Katie Murphy were married on December 8, 2012, in New Orleans, Louisiana. They reside in Birmingham, Alabama where J.T. is an attorney with Maynard Cooper & Gayle Law Firm.

2000 Joi Anderson and Chris Chambers were married on March 16, 2013. The happy couple lives in Montgomery. Amanda Shewmake Codding and her husband, Ben, have a baby girl! Charlotte Ruth made her appearance April 29, 2013. Allen Sheehan married Elizabeth Utley on June 1, 2013, at the home of Elizabeth’s family in Greenville, Alabama. The couple resides in Montgomery where Allen is a partner with the law firm, Capell & Howard, P.C.

2001 William Thomas Ashley, IV, son of William Ashley and his wife, Amy, was born on March 23, 2013. Will, Amy, and baby, Will, live in Montgomery where Will is an attorney at Webster, Henry, Lyons, White, Bradwell & Black, P.C. and Amy teaches fourth grade at the Academy. Matthew Figh and his wife, Kelly, proudly announce the birth of their daughter, Shelby Katherine, on May 10, 2013. Matt is currently a resident in surgery at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Georgia Stevenson Holmes and her husband, Dustin, proudly announce the birth of their son, Burton Townsend, on May 27, 2013. Molly Murphy graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in May 2011. She is practicing law in Birmingham with the firm of John D. Saxon, P.C.

2002 William Davis and Rebecca Cook Davis ‘04 announce the birth of their son, Penton, on February 1, 2013.

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Class Notes

Class Notes Sally Vann Wiggins and her husband, Raley, joyfully announce the birth of their daughter, Emily, on March 12, 2013. Sally and her family recently moved to Montgomery.

2003 Bart Smith and his wife, Rachel, are excited to announce the birth of their daughter, Martha Vaughan, on May 25, 2013.

2004 Ginny Gross and John Wesley Queen were married on March 16, 2013, at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Montgomery. The happy couple lives in Greenville, South Carolina. Ginny is a graduate of Furman University and received a Masters in Community Counseling from Denver Seminary in Denver, Colorado. Ginny is a Nationally Certified Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in the state of South Carolina. She is also a member of the American Counseling Association and works with Riley Therapy as a counselor. Paul Caudill Miller III was born on March 12, 2013, son of Caudill Miller and his wife, Jamie Grace. Meagan Vucovich and Ryan Robichaux were married on May 11, 2013, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Montgomery. They currently live in Birmingham.

2005 Molly Parker and Carter Wallace were married on May 4, 2013, at First United Methodist Church in Montgomery. Cole Wise and Emily Conrad were married on April 20, 2013, at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Montgomery. Katherine Williams and Robert Shaw were married on April 13, 2013, at First United Methodist Church in Montgomery. Katherine graduated from The University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Information Services and Italian Language. She also attended and graduated with honors from the International Culinary School of Dallas. She is employed at Culinary Focus in Dallas, Texas. Victoria “Torrie” Miller was named Communications Director for the House Rules Committee under Congressman Pete Sessions. For the past two years, Torrie has served as Communications Director for Sessions in Washington, D.C.

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2006 Britney Crawford and Philip Sellers ’02 were married on January 26, 2013, at First United Methodist Church in Montgomery. The happy couple currently live in Montgomery. Philip Moody obtained a M.A. in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University in May 2013. Brittany Tucker Bethea earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Auburn University in May 2013.

2007 Liz Laurie and Justin Bogie were married on June 8, 2013, at The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama. The newlyweds currently reside in Washington, D.C.

2008 Laura Bownes was accepted to The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Medicine. Scotty Shinbaum graduated Cum Laude with Distinction from the University of South Carolina with a major in Sports Management. He interned with the Daytona International Speedway, the Darlington Raceway, and the Mobile BayBears.  He briefly worked for the Tampa Bay Rays in group sales before starting a new job as Account Executive for the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Boyd Taylor was presented the 2013 Jon Sandige Student Commitment Award from the Center for Public Television and Radio for his exemplary personal dedication and professionalism. He recently graduated Cum Laude from the University of Alabama with degrees in Spanish and Telecommunications & Film. Maggie Wedgworth graduated from the College of Charleston’s Masters of Accountancy program in May 2013.

2009 Lizzy Beale graduated Cum Laude from the University of Alabama with degrees in Spanish and Plant Biology.


Class Notes

Evan Broder graduated from Vanderbilt University (premed) in May 2013. Evan will attend medical school at The University of Alabama at Birmingham starting this fall. Cameron Owens was accepted to Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2017.

2010 Sarah Reid Harris was recently inducted into the following honor societies during The University of Alabama’s Honors Day: Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), Mortar Board and Kappa Tau Alpha society. MARGARET VIRDEN

Margaret Virden recently completed a Congressional internship in the office of U.S.

Rep. Martha Roby. She is a rising senior at Mississippi State University where she studies business management. Margaret also serves as a member of the Mississippi State Student Association Senate.

2012 Miah Brooks, of Millsaps College, was named the Southern Athletic Association women’s basketball Player of the Week for games played January 28 - February 3. Jonathan Moore finished his first year at Huntingdon College on the Dean’s List of High Honors. He is a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and on the baseball team. He just returned from Washington, D.C., where he interned with Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri. Anne Saunders has been named to the Dean’s List of the College of Science and Mathematics at Auburn University for the 2013 spring semester.

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Class Notes Stay Connected: Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Visit us at to learn about upcoming events and more.

Calling all Academy Alumni! Have you recently begun an exciting new career, gotten married or had a child? Have you taken any exciting trips? We want to hear about it! Share your news and send us your photos for the upcoming edition of Visions. Email marie_harrington@

Parents of Alumni: If your child no longer lives at your address, please notify the Alumni Office at marie_harrington@ or 334-273-7155 of his/her new mailing address, and let us know if you would like to continue to receive this publication.

milestones and memories This clipping from the “Alabama Journal” on December 16, 1960 announced the launch of the school’s paper “The Academy Eagle.” Laura Cates was named editor in chief, Eddi Ezell was the feature editor, Luann Higginbotham was managing editor, Dixie Ann Thompson was the society editor and Robert Ingalls was the news editor. We hope you enjoy this Milestone and Memory from The Montgomery Academy’s history!

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Career Connections is a program that brings Montgomery Academy alumni back to campus to speak to sophomores about opportunities available to them after high school, college and beyond.

ALUMNI SPEAKERS SRING 2013: Evans Bailey '01 - received a B.A., Cum Laude, from the University of Georgia in 2005, and his J.D., from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2008. Evans is currently an associate attorney with Rushton Stakely in Montgomery. Kasdin Miller '03 - graduated from Yale University with a B.A. with honors, Political Science in 2007 and obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2012. Kasdin is currently working as Deputy Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General of Alabama in Montgomery. Pete Taylor '80 - graduated from the University of Alabama and is President of his family-owned business, Standard Roofing. Pete has 3 children: Pete, Class of 2015, Helen, Class of 2017, and Turner, Class of 2021 all attend the Academy. Elmore Inscoe DeMott '86 - graduated with a B.S. in Math and Fine Arts from Vanderbilt University. Elmore started her photography business in 2009 and is the proud parent of Mary Elmore and Anne Miles, Class of 2018. Rob McLendon '01 – graduated from the University of Georgia Terry College of Business with degrees in Business and Spanish. He is currently an analyst with ANV in Barcelona, Spain. Rob spoke to the students via Skype. If you are interested in being a Career Connections speaker or would like to recommend an alum, please contact Marie Harrington at or 334-273-7155.

31 Visions - Summer 201331 Visions - Summer 2013


john mcwilliams John McWilliams, a 1996 graduate of the Academy, excelled in academics, athletics, and the arts during his years at the school. While at the Academy, John was a state champion in Forensics, a state runner-up on the tennis team, starred in numerous plays from The Music Man to Little Shop of Horrors, and sang in the chorus. His senior year, John was inducted into the Cum Laude Society and won the Faculty Award for Excellence. After graduation, John attended Yale University where he received a Bachelor’s Degree with honors in History, before returning to the Academy as a teacher in 2000. Since 2000 he has had many roles and along the way completed his Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College. Currently the Middle School Director, John has a unique perspective on life at the Academy.


We recently sat down with John to ask him a few questions reflecting on his time at the Academy.

➤What would you do if you were not in education?

➤What is the most challenging aspect of the work you do?

I think that if I weren’t in education, I may have pursued a career in the theater. I actually came pretty close to pursuing that route. I have always (and will always) have a passion for the theater, but I have found ways to include that passion in the many aspects of my job in education and administration.

I think that the most challenging aspect of being Middle School Director is not knowing what is going to happen next during the day. I’ve come to realize that, despite my best efforts to have a plan for the day, there are always unexpected events. Sometimes, I feel in control of my day, but, honestly, sometimes I don’t.

Top Left: John McWilliams ‘96, and Max Smith ‘97 reflect the entire team’s pride in winning the 1996 State Forensics Championship. Top Middle: John McWilliams tells the people of River City about the trouble they’re in in the Academy’s production of The Music Man. Top Right: John McWilliams demonstrates perfect form as he reaches for a difficult volley. McWilliams won the Coach’s Award for team leadership and his #1 doubles team (with Brett Ialacci ‘96) was a state runner-up in 1996

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➤What was your most memorable Academy moment as a student? And as a member of the faculty? As a student, I have to say that the library dedication was one of the most impressive events that stands out to me. I remember David McCullough’s speech and seeing the faculty dressed in academic robes. The Garzon Library is certainly one of the most beautiful school libraries that I’ve ever seen, and I am so happy that I was able to be here to see it dedicated. As a faculty member, the opening night of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Theater was certainly one of the most memorable experiences that I’ve had. I was SO proud of the students who presented such a beautiful production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and I was honored to serve as the Performing Arts Chair and the assistant director of that production. It was amazing to see one of my main dreams for the school -- the building of a dedicated theater space -- finally become a reality.

➤What/Who inspired you to become a teacher? Well, first of all, I must say that my family played a major role in my move into education. As everyone in the MA community knows, my mom is teacher. And my dad has been a teacher and coach of tennis throughout his adult life. My paternal grandmother was an elementary teacher as well. So...the teaching profession definitely runs in the family. I remember playing school as a child and visiting my mother’s classroom at the community college where she taught. Here at MA, I was inspired by many of the teachers I had. I must specifically name two sources of inspiration: first of all, former faculty member David Ball played an instrumental role in my decision to pursue history as a field and go into the teaching of history, while Jay Rye played a major role in convincing me to consider returning to MA. I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to return in the fall of 2000.

➤What were you involved with during your time in college?


At Yale, I was in an acappella singing group for four years called, “Redhot & Blue,” the oldest co-ed singing group on campus. Certainly, my experience in the chorus here at MA prepared me for that. I also was very involved in theater at Yale as a result of my dramatic experiences at MA.

I also got involved in a teaching program at Yale called the Ulysses S. Grant Foundation that gave me the opportunity to teach Middle School students in the New Haven public school system supplementary English classes on Saturday mornings.

➤What different positions have you held at the Academy? I have taught the following courses: Middle School Forensics, US History, AP US History, The Cold War, Great Ideas of Philosophy, AP Comparative Government, The Cold War, The Age of Terror, and an English seminar called Fact or Fiction. Additionally, I served as Chair of the Performing Arts Department, and I also served as co-chair of the school’s accreditation process.

➤What impact has the Academy had on your life? I can’t fully express the impact that this school has had on my life. I feel so very blessed to have been associated with this school for the past 22 years as a student, an alum and a faculty member. This school has opened so many doors to me in my life. It led me to have such an enriching academic experience in college, and, now, it has created so many amazing professional opportunities for me. I will forever be grateful to the Academy for the role that it has played in shaping who I am.

➤What are the specific Academy traditions that you like? I pretty much love them all. I really love our beautiful commencement exercises outside on the lawn. I love Eagle Day. I love and cherish our Honor Code. I love the Senior - Faculty Dinner. I love our new tradition of the convocation on the first day of school. ■

Left: John McWilliams ‘96 and Lauren McRae Foshee ‘96 perform a scene portraying the roles of Seymour and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors Right: Upper School Chorus members sing in their winter performance.

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A LETTER FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL A New Mission Statement Built on the Wisdom of our Past In politics, some people are known as “policy wonks.” You know the type: they have a keen interest in and a quirky love for developing and implementing political strategies and policies. As an independent school educator, I am a self-confessed “mission wonk” and, yes, I just made that term up. I’m a little obsessed with school missions and don’t understand why most people are not. You can imagine my excitement, then, in forming a committee at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year with the task of reviewing and revising The Montgomery Academy mission statement. This action was the result of one of the Board of Trustees’ approved school goals for the year. The group, comprised of students, faculty, alumni, current parents and trustees was led by Lower School Director Jan Pringle and Board Member Lee Copeland ‘75. On May 20, the committee presented a draft of a new mission statement to the Board of Trustees that was unanimously approved. Below you will find our former mission statement followed by our new mission statement. Former Mission Statement The mission of The Montgomery Academy is the pursuit of excellence within the four major spheres of Academy life: academics, the arts, athletics and activities. Implicit in this is the existence of an environment in which students are simultaneously supported and challenged. The ultimate component of this mission is to assist students in becoming adults of strong moral character who contribute to society in both their professional and community lives. New Mission Statement

THE MONTGOMERY ACADEMY DEVELOPS LEADERS COMMITTED TO HONOR, SCHOLARSHIP, SERVICE AND THE PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE. I am deeply grateful to the committee for their long hours of research, vigorous (but always civil) debate, and careful wordsmithing in crafting this new mission statement. While most school mission statements are too wordy and similar (Google a few and you’ll know what I mean) I believe our new statement is bold and concise. It differentiates the Academy from other schools and clarifies our mission as an independent school with the pursuit of excellence at the core of our existence. It also honors our past by recognizing that the Academy has always focused on cultivating and inspiring leaders who are ethical and engaged citizens with curious minds and open hearts. There has never been a more exciting time to be an MA Eagle. Armed with our new mission statement, the Academy faculty will continue to do what they do best: build enduring, meaningful relationships with students based on mutual respect and trust, nurture ethical and intellectual excellence and, in the process, shape the leaders who will shape the world.


Jan Pringle, Lee Copeland '75, Lee Grant Sellers '84, Jim Leonard, Kevin Weatherill, Ana Baker, Damion Womack, Dexter Hobbs '06, Anthony McCall, Drake McGowin '13, and Grayson Anzalone '13.

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“I do.

With a planned giving strategy

tailored to your needs, you can put your assets to work for The Montgomery Academy, while you and the school share in the benefits. Let the Advancement Office help you and your financial advisors develop a gift plan that meets your financial and philanthropic goals.

Young Boozer

For more information on planned giving and gifts to the endowment, call Carolyn Bryan, Director of Advancement

parent of two MA graduates, former Board President and Alabama State Treasurer •


• m o n tg o m e ryac a d e m y. o rg Visions - Summer 2013 35


RELAX RECONNECT October 11 & 12

Alumni Weekend 2013 The Montgomery Academy

Visions Summer 2013  
Visions Summer 2013  

Alumni, academics, athletics and the arts