2020 Fall Magazine

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TUSCALOOSAFallACADEMYMagazine2020 A Look Inside A Fond Farewell Virtual AlumniKnightsNews

Head of School Bryan Oliver, Ph.D Upperboliver@tuscaloosaacademy.orgSchoolDean Alan Barr Middleabarr@tuscaloosaacademy.orgSchoolDean Brooke Peterson Lowerbrookepeterson@tuscaloosaacademy.orgSchoolandPreschoolDean Mary Madge Crawford Schoolmmcrawford@tuscaloosaacademy.orgCounselor Candace Sutton Athleticcsutton@tuscaloosaacademy.orgDirector Todd Bradford Directortbradford@tuscaloosaacademy.orgofDevelopment Paige Lancaster plancaster@tuscaloosaacademy.org Director of Admission Niccole Poole Directornpoole@tuscaloosaacademy.orgofCommunicationsand Marketing Elizabeth Truelove Fleet Directorefleet@tuscaloosaacademy.orgofTechnologyPrograms Tammy Scheiring Businesstscheiring@tuscaloosaacademy.orgManager Jennifer Barnette Bookkeeperjbarnette@tuscaloosaacademy.org Terri Jones Receptionist/Registrartjones@tuscaloosaacademy.org Becky Karnes Alumnibkarnes@tuscaloosaacademy.orgAffairs Paige ElizabethLancasterTruelove Fleet efleet@tuscaloosaacademy.orgplancaster@tuscaloosaacademy.org BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2019 - 2020 M r. Jimmy Duncan Mr.PresidentReese Brooks Vice President Mrs. Noel Amason Mr.SecretaryGrant McAllister Mr.TreasurerTyler Davis Mr. Lee Henderson Mrs. Favor Hinton Mrs. Tara Howell Mr. Josh Johnson Dr. Chris McGee Dr. John Marshall Mrs. Amy Mullin Mrs. Emily Norris Mr. Hal Piper Mrs. Julie Smith Dr. Bud Standeffer Mr. Michael Warr 420 Rice Valley Road North Tuscaloosa, AL 35406 (205)758-4462 TUSCALOOSAACADEMY.ORG Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS). Tuscaloosa Academy is a member of the Alabama Independent School Association (AISA). MISSION Front Cover 2020 Graduation Ceremony on the football field.

12019-2020 Table of Contents A W ord from Dr. Bryan Oliver Head of School A Fond Farewell Cita Smith Virtual Knights Teachers’ Point of View Graduation 2020 Upper School Honors TA In The Community TA In Review TA Family TA Life TA NationalAthleticsGeographic Classroom AlumniAdmissionsTAKSTAPAHealthcare Heroes Children of Alumni Alumni News Annual Fund


“The mission of Tuscaloosa Academy is to provide a college-preparatory education in a supportive environment of intellectual freedom, to cultivate a love of learning, and to maximize each student’s potential for academic achievement, character development, and readiness for life in a global environment.”

Dr.Sincerely.Bryan Oliver Head of School


Dr. Bryan Oliver

The New Normal

We were suddenly thrown into a situation like none of us had ever seen. What we thought was going to be an extended Spring Break, turned into working through a pandemic, finishing the school year with remote learning, cancelling spring sports, prom, and finding totally different ways to educate our students. As days turned into weeks within the fourth quarter, our teachers and students adapted and persevered. A new normal had started for all of them, and like I have seen many times before, the TA Way took over.

2 Head of School

I have never seen a time where our school has grown more as a fam ily than I did in the spring of 2020. Our teachers and seniors led the way and set an example that will not be forgotten in our school’s sto ried history. Parents, teachers and students all stepped up to make our new normal work. Part of our new normal was the school’s first graduation held on the football field. I have never been so proud to celebrate our seniors. In less than a week, we were able to plan and execute an event that might never be matched.

I do not believe that the Class of 2020 will simply be remembered for graduating during a pandemic. It would be an injustice for that to happen. I will remember them as a class that grew closer, had grit, taught us that circumstances don’t define who we are, and that we can get through anything as the TA family. Thank you to everyone who made our new normal possible and good luck to our Class of 2020. Your impact on our school will be a lasting one.

It never ceases to amaze me that a different challenge has presented itself each year I have been in education. The 2019-2020 school year was no different. I know that my perspective has changed over the last year, and I will never approach a school year thinking I have seen it all. With each new challenge, comes an opportunity to help our students learn and grow. Our academic year started as any other typical year. We had a highly touted senior class, with almost 40% of them being a part of our 30+ ACT Club. We had a successful fall and winter sports season which included winning the school’s 18th varsity boy’s basketball state championship. We performed school plays, competed in ac ademic competitions, held Homecoming, Grandparent’s Day, and other school events. Then came March 13, 2020.

For three years, I was the Middle School Dean. While I enjoyed certain aspects of that job—particularly visiting classes to observe some of the great things happening at TA—I found that I really missed teaching and soon returned to the classroom.

This year, we had three teachers to reach retirement age: Cita Smith (43 years at TA), Susan McCorquodale (32 years at TA), and Marsha McDonald (49 years at TA). Jill Woods (15 years at TA) also retired due to health reasons. We will treasure their memories at Tuscaloosa Academy and wish them all well in their retirement.

As time went on, I taught both subjects—English and Spanish. I spent many years as the Lower School Spanish teacher, traveling from room to room with my Spanish-speaking puppets. Rosco el lobo was particularly popular with the elementary students.

32019-2020 A Fond Farewell

Years later, I moved to middle school English and still taught some Spanish classes as needed. I love young adult literature, so teaching novels like The Outsiders in 8th grade and To Kill a Mockingbird in 9th really made me happy. I changed some novels over the years, but never those two. Seeing students react strongly to the end of The Outsiders has provided me with some of my best teaching moments—watching one girl’s face as she declared that she would never sit with her clique again in the cafeteria, consoling another girl who cried and cried over Dally’s death, and having two students win first place in the state of Alabama for their letters about that book in the Letters about Literature contest. Any time that a student and I read the same book and talk about it, it feels like there is no age difference, and no teacher-to-student instruction—we are just two people discussing a book we like.

I first started at TA in the fall of 1977 as a part time teacher. I taught English 9, Spanish I, and 1st and 2nd grade Spanish. TA offered only Latin and French as its foreign languages at that time, but the headmaster had lived in Texas and had seen the need for Spanish and the success of teaching foreign language to young students. He approached me about a week before school opened and told me I’d be teaching Spanish to little ones. I had no idea how to do that, but with the help of a first-grade teacher and my own background in babysitting, I made it. I bought coloring books and used the pictures to generate conversations---“El elefante es grande,” for example. So, I became TA’s first Spanish teacher.

I came to TA when I was young and engaged to be married. And now I’m leaving as a grandmother. I can’t think of a better profession to invest a lifetime in than teaching, and I can’t think of a better place to spend that time than Tuscaloosa Academy. During retirement, I look forward to spending time with my two granddaughters, walking every morning, reading books. cooking with my husband, traveling, and sitting in my back yard with Peanut on my lap. Thank you, Tuscaloosa Academy, for being an important part of my life!

What are some of my favorite memories at TA? There are so many, but I always love graduation; it is so rewarding to watch the poised and accomplished young people whom I once taught march across the stage to receive their diplomas. I like thinking about all the successful, contributing members of society that TA has sent out into the world. I love the memories of TA trips I chaperoned—the Civil War battlefield at Vicksburg, the beautiful monuments in Washington DC, and the great boat rides and squid dissections at Dauphin Island Sea Lab. I love the memory of the AAIS Convention that was hosted by TA when Louise Gambrell and I served as co-chairs for that event. We hosted independent schools from all over the state and had Winston Groom, the author of Forrest Gump, as the keynote speaker. I love memories of watching some of our sports teams win championships—I especially recall riding the bus to Troy when we won the AISA football championship in the fall of 2012. I also love the many friendships I have formed with colleagues over the years. We have had and still do have some wonderful faculty and staff at TA, and I’ve been blessed to call many of them my friends. The parents at TA have been supportive and generous, and it’s been a pleasure getting to know so many of them and being pampered by them at holidays. But my favorite folks at TA would have to be my students. How I have loved learning and laughing and sometimes arguing with them. I have loved hearing them read aloud some of their innermost thoughts in class, and I have fond memories of obsessing over The Hunger Games with one group. I love watching what my former students accomplish!

When we are in school, I enjoy just popping into the classrooms to see the students and what they are doing in the class. During our remote learning time, I enjoyed doing the same thing! I would zoom into their virtual classrooms and see the kids all sitting at their devices, chatting with each other, or listening to their teachers. It was fun to see them this way! School is just not school without the kids, virtual or in person!

Mary Madge Crawford, LS Dean

Jessie Hocutt, Lower School Art

When presented with this task, I was a bit apprehensive of how to continue to make learning meaningful and meet the needs of my students. There were sev eral trial and error moments, but I was able to implement components of dif ferentiated learning and work on ways to hone my skills in that area. It can be a daunting task, but it is doable. I look forward to continuing to research and implement different modes of instruction in the classroom, whether online or face to face with the overall goal of meeting student’s needs.

Rene McNeal, MS Teacher’s Point of View

While nothing can replace the connections and community that being at school and in our classrooms brings, I am so proud of all the students and staff at TA for making the most of an impossible situation.

As an art teacher, it was hard to imagine how I would even begin to teach such a hands on subject virtually. One of my favorite fellow art teachers, Cassie Ste phens, makes tutorial videos of her art lessons. I figured I might as well give that a try! Making my video tutorials helped me keep up with my own creativity so it was really a win-win. It was challeng ing because I couldn’t be there to help encourage and show my students how to do it but the parents stepped up! I had some great turnouts for my tutorials and later, my Zoom classes. Art is such an important subject no matter how you create it. Because of the parents, I was able to have my art classes again. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my students and parents’ support!

Ending the 2020 school year virtually due to a global pandemic will definitely be an experience I will never forget. Al though it was difficult not to be able to engage with the students in our class rooms and missing the day to day inter actions, I am thankful we were able to continue learning and having our class es on Zoom. A bonus to virtual learn ing is that it took place in the comfort of our homes, surrounded by our loved ones, and with the peace of knowing that everyone was safe and healthy. It also allowed me time to grow as an educator by learning new technology, ap plications, and ways to bring creativity into my virtual lessons.

Jaclyn Foster, MS & US A goal of mine for each school year is: How can I help each child reach their full potential? After coming back from Spring Break and starting distance learning, I was even more determined to make that happen knowing that there would be MANY challenges, and many challenges there were. Working at a school like TA has many positives but as a new teacher, seeing this family rally together to support one another was incredible. Teachers, administrators, family members were all working together to achieve that one goal. The dynamic was praiseworthy in an uni deal situation. Now let’s talk about the real superheroes--the five and six year olds who showed up to every Zoom meeting with a smile on their face and an enthusiasm for learning. Many things had to be adapted and we all learned how to be flexible, but one thing remained--how we all care for and support each other. I am so proud of the hard work and effort that was displayed; that helped my students reach their full potential. Distance learning was not ideal but with the TA family it was Victoriacommendable.Lohr,Kindergarten

4 2019-2020

As a science teacher, the great challenge for me during this quarter of remote learning was keeping my lessons as ex periential as possible. I tried to adjust my lab exercises and practice assign ments so the students could easily work on them from home. In some cases I re placed lab activities with computer sim ulations. Ultimately, I wanted to keep my curriculum as hands-on as I could under the circumstances.Matthew Noatch, US Science I could not be prouder of the energy our teachers demonstrated when quick ly shifting gears to a remote learning plan this spring. We are fortunate that we have a dedicated faculty, a strong technological infrastructure, support ive families, and motivated students. Teachers leaned into their profession al learning communities to share best practices with each other and wrestle through how to design meaningful assignments and maintain student engagement in this new setting. Several creative assign ments come to mind - the creation of the healthy plate video as signment for grade 6 science, the demonstration of the Coriolis effect in grade 7 science, sidewalk chalk math in grade 6, and the German color graffiti assignment, to name a few. The middle school also learned how to hold large gatherings online. Aside from weekly Zoom faculty meetings, which used the breakout rooms for small group planning, we also continued several traditions remotely: a grade 4 moving up experience, a grade 8 celebration, and two middle school honors day celebra tions. We were able to recognize and celebrate virtually our two middle school teachers retiring: Mrs. Cita Smith and Mrs. Susan McCorquodale. And while none of us would like to return to remote schooling, we have grown tremendously and will take what we have learned into whatever “new normal” we face in the months ahead.

Brooke Peterson, MS Dean


Teaching on Zoom was challenging, but very rewarding experience. I was forced to jump out of my comfort zone just like the students and parents and experiment with creativity when possible. I also had to remember to stick to a routine utiliz ing structure to make the students com fortable. I was extremely pleased with students efforts on Zoom and parents ef forts to see that assignments were completed at home and turned in weekly. Parents corresponded by text, phone calls, and emails as needed. Though it was often hard to teach a concept effective ly on Zoom, I found that seeing students’ faces and listening to their comments and needs was sometimes more important than trying to get the concept across at that Louisetime.Gambrell, Third Grade Words cannot express how very proud I am of our first graders for diving into virtual learning! Overnight they en thusiastically adjusted to a much more independent style of learning with out the benefit of immediate feedback from teachers and cooperative learning amongst peers. Parents rose to meet those immediate needs and support ed their children unconditionally! We struggled with taking turns, but learned to wait patiently and learn from others. We learned to be prepared for Zoom classes so that we wouldn’t miss out on “the good stuff”. We learned to look “outside the box” for resources that could help us to solve problems. We learned that, “Together, We Can!”. Suzy Gatewood, First Grade I did not really know what to expect as we entered the distance learning model. One aspect that caught me by surprise was how students became more emo tionally withdrawn with each passing week. I observed and learned how the school ramped up its focus on provid ing both emotional and social support for faculty, students and families. I re alized it was not just me who felt adrift during the distance learning time. Going forward, we will focus on many areas and put in place measures to ensure communica tions between families and the school are fluid and reciprocal. We need to look out for each other if this happens again and communication is the best way to achieve thisAlangoal.Barr, US Dean

Christina Marie Sealy

If I had to pick words to describe the Class of 2020, one of them would be involved. The graduates of this class make up a myriad of different activities, whether it be theatre, sports, academics, or community service. Not only are we active in many different avenues of life, but we also are leaders in these activities and role models for the young er students who wish to follow in our footsteps. Another word that I would pick is clever. While some of the teachers might have different thoughts associated with this word, thanks to Bo and Carson Woods, this class’ cleverness is apparent in everything that we put our hands on. The final word that I would describe this class as is resilient. Wheth er it be on the basketball court in the championship game or in Mrs. Lowery’s calculus class as she puts up derivatives on the board to solve, all the graduates here tonight have fought through challenges and triumphed.

6 2019-2020 •

Senior Class

As Charles Swindoll once said, “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.”

While this quote is certainly more applicable now than ever, the Class of 2020 has been living by this quote for our entire school careers. As adversity has come our way, we have managed to make the best of bad situations while also forging connections that will last for the rest of our lives.

As we all embark on our different journeys, let us not for get the knowledge, the memories, and the people of Tusca loosa Academy. Thank you.

Exerpts taken from Christina Sealy’s valedictorian speech

Valedictorian Brooke Bassett Salutatorian

Anna Katelyn Kuhn University of Alabama

Lillie Elizabeth Nichols University of Alabama

James Harold Roberts University of Alabama

Carson James McNeal University of Alabama - Huntsville

Sidney Lenard Becher University of Alabama

Christina Marie Sealy Georgia Institute of Technology

Jaylon Trevon Stevenson University of Alabama

Samford University

William Pate Wade University of Alabama

Matthew Ethan Winfield University of Alabama

Arizona State University

Meredith Kate Taylor


HamptonGrinnellGeorgiaFurmanFreed-HardemanFaulknerDordtCulver-StocktonUniversityUniversityCollegeUniversityUniversityUniversityInstituteofTechnologyCollegeUniversity Harding UniversityTuskegeeTroyTreveccaSheltonSamfordPepperdineMississippiMississippiLouisianaLipscombJudsonJohnsJacksonvilleJacksonvilleUniversityStateUniversityUniversityHopkinsUniversityCollegeUniversityStateUniversityCollegeStateUniversityUniversityUniversityStateCommunityCollegeNazareneUniversityUniversityUniversityofAlabama

McLean Chamberlain Standeffer University of Alabama

Hildegarde Marta Abney University of Alabama - Birmingham

Madison Elizabeth Moore University of Alabama

Andrew West Sutter University of Alabama

Auburn University

Anna Grace Haley Harding University

George Nicholas Miller University of South Alabama

Michael Robert Krueger Western Carolina University

Lindsey Reid Stephenson Auburn University

Brooke Kennedy Bassett Auburn University


Sabrina Layne Goodbread Trevecca Nazarene University

William Ellis Kilgore University of Alabama

Lauren Claire Bielstein

Robert Alexander Warner Wallace State Community College - Selma Benjamin Michael Wates University of Alabama

Daniel Drake Arnold University of Alabama - Hunstville

Kevin Joseph McNeal Clemson University

Robert Ethan Moore University of Alabama

Carson Alexander Woods University of Alabama

William Nathaniel Luke Gatewood Johns Hopkins University

Brendan Mason Mulanix University of Alabama

Thomas James Williams University of Alabama

Jamal Key’Shaun Darien Faulkner University

Russell Braden Ware University of Alabama

University of AlabamaUniversityBirminghamof AlabamaUniversityHuntsville of Georgia University of Iowa University of Memphis University of Mississippi University of Missouri University of Mobile University of Montevallo University of North Alabama University of Puget Sound University of the South - Sewanee University of South Alabama University of Southern Mississippi University of Tennessee University of Virginia University of West Alabama University of West Florida Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State WesternUniversityCarolina University

Baylor College Clemson University Colgate

72019-2020 Attendances

Phil Erskin McDuff University of North Alabama

Logan Colley Harris University of Alabama

Judson College

Jonah Holley Ji-chun Kim University of Alabama

students volunteered

Established in 2012 in honor of one of our fine alumni, Caroline Amason. This award is present ed to the student that has experience adveristy and has demonstrated courage, perserverance and spirit. Carson McNeal

The United States Army Reserve honors one student for academic and athletic excellence. Luke Gatewood Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award

National Scholar/Athlete Award

community service hours or


Girls State Rep.: Natalie Sanders Boys State Rep.: Patton Miller

year. Total number of hours completed by Upper

Recipient is selected on the basis of interest & faithful participation in the TA Key Club Chapter. Autumn Pernell

President’s Student Service Award School 100 more one School Key Club


Given to a senior who is jointly selected by the faculty and senior class who strongly demonstrates the qualities of a good citizen. Luke Gatewood Girls State and Boys State A citizenship program that provides training in the practical aspects of government and em phasizes a student’s character, leadership ability and traits of good citizenship.

Caroline Virginia Amason Award

Eighteen Upper

students: 6,048 Outstanding

8 2019-2020 UPPER SCHOOL HONORS DAY May 15th, 2020 DEPARTMENTAL AWARDS English Christopher Major Carson Claytor John Brennan McAllister Lauren Bielstein Dakota McAbee Science Oliver Kneer Macaleb Madden Brooke Bassett Lillie CarsonSidneyNicholsBecherClaytor History Birdie Sun Mark Gregory Hudson Mason Mulanix Art Dakota McAbee Theatre Anna Grace Haley Mathematics Kathryn Grace Mentel Sara Chase McMullen Mary Alice Roe Isabella Ellis Autumn Pernell Brooke Bassett Luke Gatewood Latin Brooke Bassett French Elisabeth Wuensche Spanish Autumn Pernell German Greta Peterson Technology Oliver Kneer Sara Chase McMullen Emma Grace Sims Isabella Ellis Brooke CamdynBassettCobernMasonFriendMichaelKruegerChristinaSealy JUNIOR CLASS BOOK AWARDS Saint Michael’s Book Award Maria Sealy & Emma Grace Sims Sewanee Book Award Autumn Pernell Washington and Lee Book Award Lane Marshall Jefferson Book Award Mark Gregory Hudson Yale Book Award Natalie Sanders AISA AWARDS AISA All-State Academic Team Brooke ChristinaBassettSealy AISA Student Athlete Sidney Becher Luke MadisonGatewoodMooreChristinaSealy AISA State Math Competition Luke MadisonChristinaGatewoodSealyWillWadeBrookeBassettMoore


Presented to a graduating senior whose drive, integrity, and citizenship qualities are emblematic of Ronald Reagan, our nation’s 40th president.

Maria Sealy

Aspirations Award - Lucy Bonhaus, Madison Moore, & Lillie Nichols

Founded in 1958, HOBY’s mission is to inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation. Students are selected by their schools to participate in the program.

Established in 1982 by the Tuscaloosa Academy Board of Trustees in honor of Dr. Hale’s 16 years of service to the school as a member of the Board of Trustees. The award is given to the stu dent who has shown the potential of becoming a National Merit Scholar.

Established in 1972 in memory of one of Tuscaloosa Academy’s original 113 students.

Lane Marshall Paul W. Bryant Memorial Award

National Center for Women in Information Technology Honors high school women who are active and interested in computing and technology. The multi-tiered structure includes recognition at the national and local levels.

Eric Rodgers, Ph.D Award Named for Dr. Eric Rodgers, a physics professor at the University of Alabama for many years. Dr. Rodgers retired from the University as Dean of the Graduate School and subsequently taught physics at TA for one year. The award is given for excellence in physics and is presented to the student who has demonstrated the greatest interest and academic achievement in the study of physics.

An academic competition for recognition and college scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Pro gram by taking the PSAT/NMSQT, which serves as an intial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year, and by meeting other entry requirements. The program is in its 63rd year and honors individual students who show exeptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. This year, Tuscaloosa Academy is pleased to announce a senior that has been named a National Merit Scholarship Program Finalist: Christina Sealy Ronald Davis Award for Excellence in the Study of American History and Government


Greta Peterson

Rising Star - Natalie Sanders


National Merit Scholarship Program

Brooke Bassett Patricia Dyeann Palmer Memorial Award Established in 1978 in memory of Dyeann Palmer and is presented to a senior girl who is most outstanding in service to the academy.

Madison Moore

Lily StateAbernathyAmbassador, Anna Katelyn Kuhn

The oldest award presented at Tuscaloosa Academy . It was established in 1967 in honor of Dr. Lewis, husband of Nell C. Lewis, who retired in 1988 after twenty-one years of service to TA. It is presented to the student who demonstrates academic excellence in the study of science.

Christina Sealy

Anna Katelyn Kuhn George H. Bell Award Named for Tuscaloosa Academy’s first head master and is presented annually to the student who best exemplifies the citizenship goals of the school.

Lauren Bielstein

Presented annually to the student who demon strates the greatest interest and excellence in the study of American Government. Bo Roberts

Honorable Mention - Lily Abernathy, Anna Grace Haley, Autumn Pernell, Christina Sealy, & Lindsay Stephenson

Dr. L. Tennet Lee, Jr. Award for Excellence in Mathematics

Named in honor of Dr. Lee, a professor at the University of Alabama. Dr. Lee worked with TA to develop the original mathematics curriculum. This award is presented to the student who has demonstrated the highest level of academic achievement in the study of mathematics.

Headmaster’s Knight Award for Service Above Self Tuscaloosa Academy’s most prestigious award and is presented annually to the student who best exemplifies service above self. Will Wade

Neil P. Satterfield Memorial Award for School Spirit

Presented to a 10th grade writer whose unusual insight and perception demonstrate a unique connection with the world around her.

Christina Sealy

The highest honor given by Tuscaloosa Academy. The faculty selects the student who is most deserving and outstanding on the basis of character, scholarship, citizenship, and loyalty.

Ronald Reagan Leadership Medal

Anna Grace Haley

Faculty••Award for Academic Excellence

Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership

Dr. Louis F. Armstrong Award for Excellence in English Named in honor of former headmaster of Indian Springs School. Dr. Armstrong worked very closely with the founders of Tuscaloosa Academy at the time it was established. This award is presented to the senior who, through independent study, class participation, and research, demonstrates a high level of academic achievement in English.

Everett Hale Award for Academic Excellence

Luke Gatewood

Laura Allison Harbin Writing Award

Albert G. Lewis, Jr. M.D. Memorial Award

Established as a memorial to the late Coach Paul Bryant and is awarded annually to an outstanding scholar and an exemplary citizen.

Christina Sealy

National Certificate of DistinctionSara Chase McMullen

30+ Club recognizes students who have scored a minimum of 30 on the ACT. This score qualifies them for elite academic merit scholarships at numerous colleges and universities. Among these scholarships are Presidential Awards, Dean Awards, and University Scholar Awards. The students’ pictures are displayed in the school as an example to younger students and as a testament to the students’ families of the hard work and dedication to academics that their student has achieved. Brooke Bassett Class of 2020 Luke Gatewood Class of 2020 Madison Moore Class of 2020 Bo Roberts Class of 2020 Christina Sealy Class of 2020 Braden Ware Class of 2020 Benjamin Wates Class of 2020 Carson Woods Class of 2020 Anna Mills Fleenor Class of 2021 William Beeker Class of 2022 Lane Marshall Class of 2021 Isaiah Poston Class of 2024 Lauren Bielstein Class of 2020 Morgan Smith Class of 2022 •• Dan Arnold Class of 2020 Layne Goodbread Class of 2020 Will Wade Class of 2020 Matthew Whitfield Class of 2020 Camryn Whiteside Class of 2021 Autumn Pernell Class of 2021

10 2019-2020 30+ Club



112019-2020 Service to community is a long-standing tradition at Tuscalo osa Academy. Even in the young years of TA, there was a ser vice club for students named TASK, an acronym for Tuscaloosa Academy Service Klub. Upper school students were members and completed a multitude of service projects in the community and for the school. Fast forward several years and TASK became Key Club, and international service organization for high school Instudents.theschool year 2000-2001, a new course was offered at TA called Service Learning and was taught by Dr. Jane Searcy, our school counselor. At that time, no one had ever really heard of Service Learning as a class, so it didn’t gain many students, and eventually stopped being offered. But one thing came out of that year—recording all student service hours. TA also took it one step further and began requiring all US students to complete 20 hours of community service each year. We were the first local school to have a service requirement for graduation, although many schools across the nation have this requirement today.

service with a smile

T-Town Solution to Pollution cleaned up a park in Alberta City. Students passing out breakfast to teachers before Christmas holidays.

Although many students like to complain about having to “get service hours,” I know that they get a fulfillment out of doing a great job, and the comradery of working together for the common good. As Albert Einstein said, “Only a life lived in the service to others is worth living.” Written by: Abbie Reed

Each year at Honors Day, students are recognized for completing 100 hours or more of community service in upper school, and 50 hours or more in preschool-middle school. Over the years, the requirements have evolved into what we have today and they have remained much the same for the past several years. In low er school, the number of students that completed 50 hours or more has been few, but that number increases in middle school. In upper school, there are more that reach that magical number of 100 hours. This past year, our upper school students completed 6,048 hours and most of those hours were completed through a nonprofit organization. Since we recognize our “service year” as spring break to spring break, COVID-19 didn’t have an impact on the number of hours completed last year. It most definitely will have an impact on the number of hours completed for this school year, 2020-2021. Last year, students at TA completed just under 10,000 hours. These hours were completed in community organizations such as the West Alabama Food Bank, with students collecting cans of food with students from the University in the Beat Auburn, Beat Hunger Food Drive and also working in the warehouse, pack aging and distributing food. Another organization that many students served with last year was S.D. Allen Ministries. This involved many of the senior class and was a year-long service opportunity organized by Luke Gatewood, senior class co-pres Otherident.

Children’s Hands On Museum (CHOM), Temporary Emergen cy Services, Santa’s Elves, Giving Hope, RISE, Summer Knights, concession workers at all TA sporting events, and many local churches, where students served on outreach teams, served at special events, participated in mission trips, and served as nurs ery and youth workers and mentors.

organizations that had a lot of student popularity were:

Middle and Upper School students participating in the Krispy Kreme Challenge that raised money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Alabama. The technology department made mask bands with donated materials using the school’s 3-D printer for local healthcare workers. Phillip Lancaster assisting Reed Acker at Punkin Knight. Key Club students manned all the booths at the event.

The TA Drumline is one of the many student-led groups that upper school students can be involved in.

Good independent schools find their balance by measuring very carefully the four pillars of the educational process on which they rest. These pillars are: academics, athletics, arts, and char acter education. In the Upper School we are surrounded by vi brant, talented young adults, dedicated and gifted teachers, and supportive parents who are passionate about these components. This is the Upper School Experience.

12 2019-2020 TA IN REVIEW

Upper School Highlights

The Upper School Math Team members: Will Wade, Christina Sealy, Madison Moore, Brooke Bassett and Luke Gatewood. Upper School students dressed in blue to honor the memory of Officer Dornell Cousette. Written by: Alan Barr

In the words of the mother of one of our graduates, Tuscalo osa Academy is a place where “each child is encouraged and supported to write the story of his or her own life”. At TA, we encourage each student to step off the beaten path to explore and discover which path will lead him or her to their version of success. We are teaching that each child is different and offers something unique to Upper School.

The Tuscaloosa Academy Upper School is a student-centered environment where we prepare individuals with an emphasis on more than just books and desks. We are more than college prep. We are life prep and the lessons of leadership, teamwork, collaboration, integrity, and empathy are woven throughout the upper school experience.

Senior Drive Around is always a fun day for our seniors, as well as the Lower and Middle School students who chase after the candy that is thrown from the cars.

Whether a student’s passion is in academics, athletics, technol ogy, and/or fine arts, faculty, administration and coaches work with students individually in preparation for them for life be yond campus. From 9th through 12th grade, students are ad vised on class schedules and other activities pursuant of the col lege application process and experience.


The Homecoming Bonfire was brought back to life this year. Eve Barnette and Macon Warr getting ready to cheer on the varsity football team!Senior baseball players Alex Warner, Will Wade, Braden Ware, Carson Woods and Thomas Williams. Upper School students on the College Tour at Belmont University.

One of the favorite events of the year for our seniors is the annual trip to the Birmingham Zoo with their Kindergarten Buddy.

• Promote positive self-esteem, self-identity, belonging, integrity and pride amongst all students

MS Community Building: A Kingdom of Castles Like many initiatives in middle level education, the conversation began around how to build community and a sense of belonging in our middle school. As a small, independent school, we deeply value a school culture where students are known: Individual Attention. Maximum Opportunity. There are many ways we achieve this - small class sizes, dedicated teachers, a wide offering of academic possibilities and extracurricular activities.

14 2019-2020 TA IN REVIEW

• Create a culture of constant and consistent encouragement of students to achieve their best Pairs of teachers sponsored Castle groups of students in grades 5-8. Two student representatives were elected to lead activities, and programming throughout the year was developed by Castle Coordinator: Mrs. Price. The faculty sponsors worked with the student representatives to implement creative activities throughout the school year.

Middle School Highlights

Students could earn Castle points throughout each quarter through attending sporting and artistic events after school, completing trivia challenges, competing in Castle activities, such as minute-to-win-it games or basketball tournaments, or showing Castle spirit on Castle days. These points were tallied throughout the quarter and each quarter we celebrated the Castle winners. Castle identity was visible throughout the middle school hallways with castle signs on every student locker and castle projects prominently displayed on our walls - quotes, personalized hand art, castle mottos, and finally castle animals. We saw the benefits of these groups from the moment we began them at our back-to-school retreat. Finding ways to bring our 5th through 8th grade together as one is important Castle Sponsors: Jaclyn Foster, Ryn Rogers, Cita Smith, Brad Starks, Barry Sander son, Lesley Price, Jaclyn Cook, Brooke Peterson, Suzanne Abernathy, Angelica CannedBrown. goods collected as a service project during the Thanksgiving holidays.

• Develop opportunities for student responsibility, team work, cooperation, and leadership skills

2019-2920 Castle Leadership Castle WindsorSponsors:(England)Mrs.Cook & Coach Starks Reps – Ellen Norris & Spencer Stephens Castle HeidelbergSponsors:(Germany)Mrs.McCorquordale & Mrs. Brown Reps – Kendall Tillery & Brock Abston

• Provide peer support to help promote positive mental health and relationships

We have many students who have grown up at TA, calling the school home, and even those who have committed themselves to Tuscaloosa Academy for several generations. And as new students join our community each year, we strive to enfold them into TA life, giving them access to these opportunities and hoping they feel the same sense of belonging. These are the real strengths of TA. However, the very real challenges of the shifting identity of every adolescent threatens the social stability students feel as they enter school each day, whether they are new or “lifers”. Every middle school teacher knows we have to work a little harder during these years to tend to the socio-emotional wellbeing of our students. Thus, the conversation among our faculty led to the start of something new this past year - the creation of a Kingdom of Castles. Drawing upon the knight motif, we opted for Medieval castles, and pulling from the languages and cultures we teach, we settled on castles from England, Germany, Spain, France, and China. The program began with this larger vision in Inclusivemind: of all learners and including sporting, academic and artistic endeavors, the Castle Program seeks to

Castle AlhambraSponsors:(Spain)Ms.Rogers & Mrs. Abernathy Reps – Mills Turnipseed & Millie Mullin Castle Carcassonne (France) Sponsors: Mrs. Price & Coach Sanderson Reps – Cate Ramey & Russell Cole Castle PingyaoSponsors:(China)Mrs. Smith & Mrs. Foster Reps – Ella Money & David McNeil

Written by:Brooke Peterson

Above left: Students working on their mosaics. Above right: Issac Henderson participating in the Castle Games. Student passions and leadership led to creative programming; the byproduct was greater belonging and unity. This is at the heart of middle school socio-emotional learning.


Developing more opportunities for student leadership during the instrumental middle school years remains a key goal of the program. For example, last year a Castle program sprang out of the interests of our students competing in a Nat Geo Challenge of finding ways to eliminate plastic. Our castle groups encouraged recycling community-wide by collecting bottle caps. They came pouring in from every corner of the school, and with the tops, we saw a dramatic uptick in how quickly our plastic recycling bins were filling up. The plastic tops were upcycled into our castle animal artwork, now proudly displayed in our hallways.

Final product from Castle Windsor of a buffalo made from bottle caps. The middle school locker area with the bottle cap artwork on display above.

to our middle school identity. The groups congealed our middle school and also worked to enfold our new students, helping them quickly meet people and get to know a variety of teachers.

The upcycle bottle cap project where bottle caps were collected throughout the school to encourage recycling and a different medium of art.

And while the Castle programming was cut short due to the remote learning shift last spring, we plan to continue to develop this program in creative ways. In the TA middle school, we always aim to give our students an opportunity to work hard, play hard, try new experiences, be known, and most importantly, grow!

Mrs. Murphree and Ms. Gibson’s PreK class dressed up during Homecoming Week. Written by: Mary Madge Crawford

16 2019-2020 TA IN REVIEW

Janet Chambers

The school year of 2019-2020 will always be defined as the year with the extra, extra, long Spring Break! When school dismissed on March 13th, teachers and students alike expected they would all re turn in two weeks. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Yet, we still held out hope. At the beginning of each week, we would anxiously await the “go ahead” to return to school. Instead, we spent the entire fourth quarter at home. Our teachers and students rose to the challenge and never slowed down. Teach ers gathered materials for the children to work on at home and scheduled week ly drive-by pickups for these. Students, from the preschool up, had Zoom lessons with their teachers and classmates several times a week. They continued their read ing, whether individually with a teach er, via Zoom, or in the whole group. In addition, they continued with math and other subjects. For example, preschoolers had their circle time, show ‘n tell, and arts and crafts. Many times the teachers would video themselves teaching the class so the children could watch it at their conve nience instead of having to be in front of the computer at a certain time of day. Meanwhile, faculty and administration were cognizant of the amount of time the children were on the devices. It was im portant to the school that children did not stay glued to a screen or sitting around all day. To help prevent this, Coach George, our PE coach, sent out a weekly physical activity sheet encouraging children to get up and move. In addition, Mrs. Cates Zoomed in for music lessons and Ms. Hocutt Zoomed for some fun art lessons on a weekly basis. In the meantime, teachers were becoming creative on how they could teach through different means. One of the most fun things they did was to have a lunchtime Zoom, just so everyone could eat their lunch while talking to their friends! This allowed the students to have their social times, which were greatly missed by ev eryone. The Lower School even had a Spirit Week! Students were encouraged to let their hair go wild for Crazy Hair Day, dress like someone in their class for Twin Day, do a math-related activity, such as measuring, cooking; or graphing the dif ferent types of trees in their yard, for Math Day. These were followed by Bring Your Pet to School Day, where students showed off their real or stuffed pets. They ended the week with TA Day where they dressed up in all sorts of blue and gold.

Lower School Highlights and Preschool

Teachers also worked hard to stay up to date on best practices. They had weekly Zoom faculty meetings to discuss what was working or not working with their students. In addition, they exchanged ideas on how to do new things from find ing new books to assign and read through Epic, to sending out links for virtual field trips. And they did their best to send out special messages, like the one below, to help their students have a great day.

“It was so lovely to see most of you today, especially as it happened to be Allie’s spe cial day! Happy Birthday, Allie! So sorry I forgot to include the video introducing the ‘w’ sound yesterday! Hopefully you should get it today. (The whales making waves in the water!) The craft today is weaving a lit tle basket. If we were in school, we would make salt dough apples to go in the basket to fit in with the story of Snow White, but I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to do some w-w-weaving! The video today is of a basket being made in fast motion. Hope fully, the children will recognize the in and out weaving just the same as they are doing today! The yoga is Alice in W-W-Wonder land! There is also a singalong from Snow White. Wishing you a Terrific Tuesday!”

CeCe Hanley with her pets on “bring your pet to school day” during virtual spirit week. The third grade class outside on the playground. Mariem Elsayad outside her home with her Kindergarten Graduation sign.

172019-2020 First grade dressed up for Halloween and went to Pine Valley Retirement Home to trick-or-treat.

TA Young Singers prepare to perform at the Holiday EmersonConcert. Coppock, McKinley Shirley and Maddie Fryer are all dressed up for Homecoming Week. Harper Shipley and her Earth Day activity. She creat ed a pet hotel from used items around her house. Michael Krueger, Jackson Wright and Kevin McNeal during a Senior Buddy event.

2018 Quebec City, Canada – Summer 2020vacation.Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

18 2019-2020 TA FAMILY

Since 2011, Tuscaloosa Academy has welcomed dozens of in ternational students joining our community each year, most ly German and mostly coming to Tuscaloosa for employment with MBUSI, or one of its many supplier companies. Enriching the TA community, they enliven our lives with new cultural ex periences and cross-cultural friendships that sometimes last a lifetime. However, the journey of these families is hardly mono lithic. For some, this is their first experience living as an expat anywhere outside of their region in Germany. While other TA international families have not been German but rather Turkish or French. And still other families live a truly international life, coming to us from one country, staying here for many years, and moving on from TA to yet another brand new experience. For this article, I share the story of two of these “nomadic” families.

Family Schanz Family Schanz arrived in Tuscaloosa in 2012 and extended what is typically a 3-year stay to 7 years. Both Julia and Jonas graduat ed from Tuscaloosa Academy, and Jakob was in grade 8 when he finally left TA. However, Alabama was not their first abroad ex perience, nor is it their last. The Schanz family began their inter national journey in 1997 when Mr. Schanz first took a position in Juiz de Fora, Brazil. This is, in fact, where Julia was born - a defining fact of her life. In 2000, the family returned to Germany for 9 years, where both Jonas and Jakob were born. And in 2009, the family packed up their possessions and three children (then ages 11, 9, and 4) and headed to Monterrey, Mexico, for three years, and finally onto Tuscaloosa to settle into our school. By 2019, the family was already well-seasoned travelers and the two oldest children were already studying in universities in Ger many, so they welcomed a move to another entirely different part of the world, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. When asked about her decisions to explore a semi-nomadic life, Mrs. Gabi Schanz describes her love of travel, of learning about new cultures and languages and traditions. She says she values, “the opportunity to experience living a different life and working under complete ly different conditions over a longer period of time than just va cations.” However, they also make the most of their vacations and currently are taking advantage of the beautiful places to visit in Vietnam and throughout Southeast Asia. In addition, she ex plains the ways her family grown closer and the ways living in different countries has helped her children learn to be flexible, understanding, and empathetic of the “foreigner” experience. She notes that her children have “developed an understanding of, and appreciation for the philosophies of people from differ ent cultures.” But with each move, she shares that a part of their heart stays; they miss the TA family. The Schanz children also describe the ways various cultural experiences have enriched their lives. They ac knowledge the initial struggle -new languages, new cus toms, new school expecta tions, starting again making friends, etc. But they also see the ways they have become adaptable and have developed an innate interest in different cultures and people. Jakob describes the ways he keeps in touch with his TA friends on a regular basis but also how his new friend group at the International School of Ho Chi Minh City (ISHC MC) is culturally diverse - each of them comes from a different part of the world. To give you a sense of scope, Jakob’s school has 1,460 students from over 50 nationalities and 150 teachers from 20 different nationalities. Jonas is studying International Project Engineering in Germany, which is mainly taught in English, and

Stories of Cross-Cultural Journeys 2009 Colegio Euroamericano, Monterrey, NL, Mexico – First day of school.

German International Program

Luca Tuscaloosa,graduation-KindergarteninAL. BenDätzingen,graduationKindergarteninGermany.SinaChina.graduationKindergarterninBeijing,

The truly international life does not mean rejecting one national identity and replacing it with another. Instead, it means deep ening and broadening your identity. The Bickel family loves the Southern heart of warmth - the grocery store greetings, the pa tiently waiting at stop lights, the friendly chats with backyard neighbors. They hope to stay here for some years. And what’s next? Mrs. Bickel takes their opportunities one step at a time. Time will only tell.

After climbing the many stairs to the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

Written by: Brooke Peterson

Exploring temples in Beijing dressed in Alabama garb.

192019-2020 has decided to continue practicing his Spanish at university. He is excited for his semester abroad next year, though he hasn’t de cided where yet. Jonas is still in contact with his friends from TA and hopes to meet them again soon. Julia reflects on her experi ences with cross-cultural connections and notes how they have led her to her current career path - she is finishing up her degree in International Business at ESB School at Reutlingen University and will be starting her final internship this fall. Her university classes and internships have allowed her to study and work so far in Germany, USA, and Vietnam. She is not sure where she will go next but certainly it will be a place that embraces the wide array of human experiences in our world and will be a job that navigates topics crucial to cross-cultural work.

Family Bickel Family Bickel arrived in Tuscaloosa this July for their third ex tended stay in Alabama. In many ways, this is a homecoming. Their oldest of three children, Luca, was born here during their first placement and their third child, Sina, was also born in Tus caloosa, during their second stay here. In fact, Luca’s English is so American that you may not know he is not American. Hailing from Daetzingen, a small town in Baden-Wurttemberg (South west section of Germany), Mrs. Inken Bickel shared with me about her decision to leave her hometown full of the familiarity of family and schools and customs, and begin a life of living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (now three times), and Beijing, China. To live in another land is to be a pilgrim looking to meet new people and embrace new customs and traditions. Every time she moves, Mrs. Bickel describes the ways her family enlarges their experience, packing up bits and pieces of every culture with them to bring to their next adventure. In this way, the word home has become less of a specific location and more of the place they are planted together at that moment. They have learned to be at home in many places around the world. Pictured here is a perfect example of this blending of cultural experiences. At TA, Luca graduated from kindergarten in his blue cap and gown and started first grade with his traditional German sugar cone or Schultüte filled with sweets and goodies. Back in Dätzingen (Germany) Ben also donned his blue TA cap and gown at the end of his kindergarten experience, and Sina experienced both a kindergarten graduation and a grade 1 Schultüte while living in Beijing. Similarly, the American “Elf on a Shelf” seems to fol low them everywhere - to Germany then Beijing and back to the United States. New cultural experiences don’t supplant tradition al one, they expand their family experience.

Even though the Bickel family has now built a house in Gechin gen, Germany, and have plans to eventually return for the kids to finish school and enter the universities in Germany, Mrs. Bickel shares that after all of this time living abroad, her hometown feels a bit small and when she returns to visit, she simultaneously is glad to be back but also finds that she doesn’t quite fit in the same way. This question of what it means to be German…or Indian... or Turkish…or American after spending so much time in other countries, is always a complex one. I like the quote TA French teacher Lesley Price has at the bottom of her email: “To speak a second language is to possess another soul” (Charlemagne).



Written by: Sara-Margaret Cates

Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tinman, and Lion face the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz at the Historic Bama Theatre

Students successfully competed in the AISA Regional and State Drama competitions, and prepared for our spring play. Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, the upper school theatre students presented part one of the 10-Min Play Festival. This event featured six plays directed by theatre students, featuring theatre students, and even some original student-written works. In spring 2021, we hope to continue this event and establish a tradition for an annual student play festival. Unfortunately, like so many other arts organizations, we had to cancel our spring show. However, the students have continued to work and are very excited about our fall 2020 shows. This year will look a little different from previous years, but it will still be a wonderful experience for all. Make sure you are keeping up to date with the Performing Arts at Tuscaloosa Academy. There is a place for everyone at TA!

In the fall of 2019, the TA Players presented the beloved classic, The Wizard of Oz at the Historic Bama Theatre. The first major musical production in several years, Oz represented dedicated hard work from students in the middle and upper school, as well as some special guest actors from the lower school as the adorable munchkins. A true “school-wide” experience, students from all ages auditioned, acted, danced, and worked together to present this amazing, sold out show! In addition to the fall play, the TA Players also participated in the Walter Trumbauer Theatre Festival, once again competing against theatre students from across the state in both public and private schools. TA Players in the upper school brought home several awards including the district’s Best Supporting Actress (Gloria Wimberly) and Third Place in the State for Solo Male Pantomime (Mark Hudson). Additionally, the TA Player’s studio show #CENSORED was named a district Best in Show and recognized at state as a Superior show. Anna Grace Haley was named the first alternate for a theatre performance college scholarship through the Alabama Conference of Theatre’s Secondary Division, beating out hundreds of fellow actors from throughout the state. Every student who participated in Trumbauer Festival medaled in at least one category. The TA Players are making big waves in a highly-competitive state, and other schools are taking notice. Spring 2020 brought many challenges for everyone, including the performing arts. However, it did not stop the TA Players!

20 2019-2020

The Theatre Department at Tuscaloosa Academy has grown tremendously in recent years, building upon prior successes and taking strides to become competitive within the community as an exceptional place to study the performing arts.

TA Players compete at the Walter Trumbauer State Theatre Festival in Troy, Alabama.


The third grade presents “It’s a Jungle Out There” which included these party animals.

The TA Players win top honors at Walter Trumbauer District Theatre Festival and pass on to the state competition.

King of the Forest - Tinman, Dorothy, Scarecrow, and Lion visit the wonderful Wizard of Oz in the 2019 Fall Play.

Members of the class of 2020 participate in the school play.

Members of the class of 2020 participate in “The Wizard of Oz.”


By: Jessie Hocutt Kindergarten finished works of Starry Starry Night.

Yes, I am the art teacher who wore a Bob Ross wig for zoom art class this sprubg! When smacked with the challenge of going remote, I opted for a digital art class. I wanted students to have access to a fun and exciting art class no matter what! My goal in art class is to get students excited for, and interested in, art. As a child growing up at TA, I loved my art classes. They were fun, challenging, and interesting. That is where I discov ered my love and intrigue for all things art! That is what I strive for in the TA Art Department. I want the students to foster a love and appreciation for art plus have a little fun! It is such an important subject for them to learn how to express themselves, figure out how to create with certain me diums, and learn about the influential artists of the past.

This year, I am focusing on projects for the students that re quire a bit of critical thinking, tapping into their imagination and self-expression. Art is meant to be an outlet; a way for stu dents to express their feelings and thoughts through various techniques. I hope to help my students use this class for that. This year, we are working on scratchboard artwork, illusion art, self-portraits, mixed-media art, painting, drawing, and visual journals, just to name a few!

Although we might not have the AISA art show in the way we normally do, we will have digital art competitions where stu dents can enter their artwork. I am searching for some options for us during this COVID-19 year to do safely and socially dis Itanced.lookforward to this year with the students and hope that these classes get them excited for art!

232019-2020 Wyatt Bonner with one of his Virtual Art Class projects with Ms. Hocutt. Preschoolers with their red-nose art projects.Lee Lampert in Kindergarten, enjoying painting with Ms. CeceHocutt.Hanley painting a Starry Starry Night.

Lucy Bonhaus, Lily Abernathy, Elisabeth Wuensche, Autumn Pernell Esports Team

Girls Who Code AP Computer Science Principles students helped sponsor a Girls Who Code club for middle school girls. The US students worked on coding exercises and hosted guest speakers to encourage girls to pur sue careers in STEM areas. The students in charge are listed below.

A program sponsored by the Earsketch Ciara Remix Competition. It uses music software called Earsketch which is based on the Python program ming language. The competition required students to program original music but they had to include a selection of provided clips of music artist Ciara’s music within their composition. There were over 1,200 entries from 32 states.

Tuscaloosa Academy was awarded the 2019 AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award. This award recognized TA as a leader in engaging female students in the field of computer science. Only 4% of all schools offering AP classes earned this distinction.

The TA Esports team had an incredible inaugural season! Players competed in League of Legends, Rocket League, Smash Ultimate, and Rainbow 6 Siege. They found mentors in players from The University of Alabama, formed friendships with players from schools across the nation, and traveled to Atlanta to compete onstage at DreamHack. The best finish was by the Rainbow 6 Siege A Team who missed the Sweet 16 bracket by one point! Please congratulate all of the Esports team members for their accomplishments and for bringing something new to TA!


TA’s Crimson Team finished in 3rd Place: Elisabeth Weunsche, Kaden McGee, Lane Marshall, Haven Thompson College Board Distinction Award

Integrated Marketing Communications Competitive Conference (IMC3) Tuscaloosa Academy students competed against nine other schools from Alabama and Mississippi, against 136 students. Madison Moore 2nd Place, Graphic Design Natalie Sanders 1st Place, Graphic Design Sara Chase McMullen 2nd Place, Social Media Lucy Bonhaus 1st Place, Comm. Photography Lindsey Stephenson 2nd Place, Photography Braden Ware 2nd Place, Radio Advertising Anna Grace Haley 2nd Place, TV Anchoring Christina Sealy 1st Place, Public Relations CyberKnights

TA’s White Team finished in 7th Place: Lily Abernathy, Lucy Bonhaus, Avalon Pernell, Natalie Sanders


Two teams of four students competed in the Crim son Defense Cyber Security Competition held at the University of Alabama. This was a jeopardy-style contest that challenged students to solve various cy ber security problems. Both teams received a variety of prizes from the UA Computer Science department and Northrup Grumman.

Girls Go CyberStart A program for high school girls to learn ethical hack ing and forensics skills by solving problems including encryption, decryption, debugging, network intru sion detection password hacking, etc. The TA team qualified to compete in the National Championship for Girls Go CyberStart 2020. Lucy Bonhaus, Lily Abernathy, Elisabeth Wuensche, Christina Sealy, Autumn Per nell, Natalie Sanders

Carson McNeal, Ethan Moore, Drew Sut ter, Silvan Staiger, Kaden McGee, Mason Friend, Camdyn Cobern, Lane Marshall, Haven Thompson

Amazon Future Engineers

MG Hudson Top 10 Finisher Tuscaloosa Academy’s Lower School Robotics team 2020 members completed all 5 missions in the Wonder League Robotics Competition and were selected for the final Invitational round. Congratulations on a superb job!

TA’s graduation requirements require students to take consecutive years of at least one world language. Ideally students will continue to study the language they chose in middle school. Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, and AP are offered to high school students.

At TA, we believe in helping every student work towards developing proficiency in one or more languages in addition to their home language. Language learning is a valuable part of each faction of our school, beginning in preschool and stretching through senior year. Pre-K and Kindergarten will study Spanish all year long. In the lower school, we slowly introduce students to Spanish, French, German, and Mandarin Chinese. During the middle school years, students are encouraged to choose a language pathway to prepare them for earning high school credit. Once they have chosen a language pathway commensurate with their goals and abilities, students have the opportunity to continue their language study through levels 1, 2, 3, 4 and AP. With numerous engaging classes to choose from, we hope students will develop a love for learning languages while fostering crucial interpersonal and cross cultural skills.

Middle School Language Program

Ms. Sullivan’s Spanish Class during Spirit Week.


Morgan Smith

Chelsea Lampert ElizabethMitchWuenschePiper Mencion honoraria (50th-74th percentile) Donald Abney, Olivia Amason, Eve Barnette, Lucy Bonhaus, Megan Bonhaus, Dawson Bielstein, Carson Claytor, Lucy Corder, Sarah Miller, Mary Alice Roe, Ellen Sadler, Walker McKee, Christopher Major, Jordan McAbee, Marion Norris, Maria Sealy, Tyler McNeal, Harley McNeal, Trey Smith, Lauren Richmond, Anna Mills Fleenor, Patton Miller, Autumn Pernell, Natalie Sanders, Alex Pereyda Premio de bronce (Bronze) (75th - 84th percentile) Sara Chase McMullen, Hendrix Bailey, Riley Henderson, Jalyn Copeland Premio de plata (Silver) (85th - 94th percentile) Libbi Cate Stell, Annmarie Henderson, Morgan Smith Premio de oro (Gold) (95th percentile or higher) Isaiah Poston Certificado de Excelencia Members of the Sociedad Honoraria Hispànica are eligilbe for this award based on the student’s Spanish average and score on the National Spanish Exam.

Lower School Language Program

Throughout the school year, each grade level will rotate through French, German, Mandarin, and Spanish language study.

As they move into middle school, students first take a foundational language course in 5th grade. Then students have the opportunity to explore two or more languages of their choice more fully before choosing a language to pursue into upper school. An increased focus on interpretive and presentational skills coupled with purposeful instruction in grammar allows for more rigor as students decide on their personal language paths. Particularly motivated students (with a teacher’s recommendation) may begin to take high school-level courses in 8th grade.

In Pre-K and Kindergarten, students learn Spanish, while children in grades 1 through 4 will be exposed to multiple languages. Each quarter-long language unit will engage students in thematic study of language and culture with a focus on interpersonal speak and listening skills.


NATIONAL FRENCH EXAM CERTIFICATE OF MERIT Mention (50th-74thd’honneurpercentile)

Upper School Language Program

Seniors Christina Sealy and Phil McDuff were named to the AISA West All-Star Basketball teams as well as Sam Rowley, Jaylon Stevenson and Phil McDuff being named to the AllTourney Basketball team. We had four students to be named All-State Athletic Scholars: Luke Gatewood, Madison Moore, Christina Sealy and Sidney Becher. Junior, Houston Evans, was named to the al.com AllState Baseball Terrific 20 for the AISA. Tuscaloosa Academy has a long tradition of training studentathletes to compete at the next level. Over the years, we have had students go on to play for colleges and universities across the country. This year was no different. We had seven seniors to sign with schools at the next level and two other students to commit to schools.

The 2019-2020 athletics season may have been cut short, but our student athletes still managed to pull off great fall and partial winter seasons. Among those great accomplishments is the Class AAA Boys Basketball State Championship! The Knights cruised past Pike Liberal Arts School in the school’s 18th State Boys Basketball Championship! This is the most state championships for boys basketball in AISA history. Our Girls JV Basketball team also won the state championship against Morgan Academy.


Back Row: Coach Barry Sanderson, McLean Standeffer, Byron Abston, Logan Harris, Will Wade, Phil McDuff, Carson Claytor, Mitch Piper, Jaylon Stephenson, Sam Rowley, Mason Mulanix, Brad Starks, Max Westjohn. Front Row: Landon Stell, Elliott Mount, Jack Standeffer, Tanner Smith. Annmarie Henderson, Hill Warr, Harley McNeal, Libbi Cate Stell, Ellen Norris, Ivy White, Jalyn Copeland, Margaret Sadler, Amity White, Lucy Corder, Ellen Sadler, Coach Gabby George.

26 2019-2020 TA ATHLETICS

Alex Warner signed with Wallace State Community College to play baseball. Luke Gatewood signed with Johns Hopkins University as a long snapper.Layne Goodbread signed with Trevecca Nazarene University to play soccer.

Phil McDuff is a walk-on at the University of North Alabama for football. Meredith Taylor signed with Judson College to play softball. 272019-2020

Jamal Darien signed with Faulkner University to play football.

This year, Tuscaloosa Academy was fortunate to be able to hire Jaclyn Foster as a middle school Social Studies teacher. Jaclyn is a National Geographic Certified Educator, a National Geo graphic Certification and Geo-Inquiry Trainer, a member of the National Geographic Steering Committee, and on the National Geographic Educator Leadership team. She is also a presenter on behalf of National Geographic Education at local, state, and national conferences.

They met with legendary scientist Dr. E.O. Wilson, Charles Schribner the Executive Director of the BlackWarrior River keepers, and Mayor Walt Maddox.

The 2019–2020 GeoChallenge invited students to investigate the urgent issue of plastic pollution in our waterways. Students used important skills such as teamwork, research, innovation, critical thinking, and persuasive communication as they learned about watersheds and plastics in our lives and communities. They cre ated a solution to prevent plastics from polluting our waterways. They communicated about the plastic pollution problem and created their team’s solution. They also designed and created a map highlighting the problem and solution, and they produced a dynamic video about the team’s solution.

28 2019-2020

National Geographic Geo Challenge: Also this year we had three teams of seventh and eighth-grade students who participated in the second annual National Geo graphic Geo Challenge National Competition. Team T-Town Solution to Pollution, Team Adaption Faction, and Team Crim son Plastics.

Jaclyn is a certified Social Science Teacher for grades 6-12 and has also been a Special Education Teacher for grades K-12 with a focus on nonverbal autism. She has taught in a variety of roles, in a variety of states, for over 16 years. Social Science education has always been her favorite area of study and the focus of her undergraduate degree. She has been heavily involved in the Na tional Geographic Society’s Education Department.

“I enjoy bringing the explorers-mindset to my students and in corporating the National Geographic Learning Framework into my lessons. I also include a variety of project-based and tech nology-enhanced learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. Currently, I am excited to be building a new 8th grade Human Geography curriculum for next year. My goal at Tuscaloosa Academy is to share my enthusiasm for learning with my students to help them become the changemakers of tomor row by developing a global perspective of the world.” Explorer Classroom This past year her students participated in many National Geo graphic live Explorer Classroom sessions. Explorer Classroom connects students with National Geographic Explorers—leading scientists, researchers, educators, and storytellers—as they share their stories and experiences from the field. Our students were able to ask questions to Explorers in Indonesia, India, Costa Rica, Africa, Iceland, and National Geographic Headquarters. They also had the opportunity to talk to multiple Pulitzer Prize-win ning journalist Paul Salopek as he chronicles his decade long journey walking across the planet. Paul has been on the cover of National Geographic Magazine and his articles about his jour ney continue to be featured in the magazine.

National Geographic Service Learning Projects

Service-learning gives students in Grades 5-12 an opportunity to see how their own interests can be turned into action, empow ering them to recognize their own roles in effecting change. Stu dents learned how to identify issues in their community, how to Mrs. Foster’s students shown here with Dr. E.O. Wilson. Written by: Jaclyn Foster

All of the students created National Geographic Service Learn ing Projects for the 2019-2020 school year.

Mrs.year.Foster at the National Geographic Certified Educator’s Conference.

292019-2020 research solutions to the issues they found, and how to plan and take a course of action to bring about change. They also learned how to communicate with community leaders and created re flecting journals to evaluate the success of their work. Some of their projects included learning what needs senior citizens had in a local nursing home and creating a plan based on those needs. The students ended up teaching senior citizens about internet safety and a variety of communication applica tions and tools they can use to keep in touch with their loved ones. Other students created service-learning projects to help out the local animal shelters, libraries, the homeless, food banks, habitat for humanity, and other local community outreach pro grams.

T-Town Solution to Polution Team during Plastic Cleanup Awareness Day at Alberta Park.

A newspaper clipping from The Northport Gazette highlighting a few of the Explorer Classroom Scientists the class was able to hear from during the

Students at Glen Haven Nursing Home. MS students showing their support for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness. Students at Plastic Cleanup Awareness Day at Alberta Park.

Dear TA Family, As the 2020-2021 Tuscaloosa Academy Parent Association (TAPA) President, I am so excited to serve in this position as we begin another school year. Although we are ex periencing unprecedented times due to COVID-19, I know our TA family will easily move forward and adapt to whatever our new normal may look like. The role of TAPA is to assist and support the faculty and students of TA. It is through our parent volunteers that TAPA is able to host events such as Punkin’ Knight and the Bake Sale, assist with Book Fairs, host teacher luncheons, and Dine with the Dean for our academic honor roll students, provide duty-free lunch for our teachers, and snacks for our faculty/staff in the teacher’s workroom. TAPA also provides Parent Education Seminars, operates the “Knights Armour” School Store, and contributes funds for school improvement projects each year. In previous years, TAPA has been able to help fund improvements to the playground, the teacher’s workroom and the newest addition, the iLab. This academic year will be TAPA’s fifth year at TA and each year we strive to grow and improve. Please consider signing up for a committee or participating in one or more of our events. Every event provides a great opportunity for you to get involved in your child’s school, as well as allowing you to meet members of the administration and many, wonderful parents during the process.

Opportunities to volunteer range from events that are once a year, to one week, or monthly; anything you do will be appreciated not only by TAPA and the entire TA family, but your child will delight in the fact that you are at their school helping out. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or have ideas for TAPA. You can reach me at (205) 292-1234 or tapa@tuscaloosaacademy.org. I am looking forward to a wonderful year!

BestCharlyeRegards,Adams2020-2021TAPA President

30 2019-2020

At the beginning of last school year, the school’s store transitioned from an in-person store to an online store called TA Knights Armour. Our mission with the store is to provide affordable and func tional TA merchandise that you enjoy and allows you to support TA at the same time. The Knights Armour is funded by the Tuscaloosa Academy Parents’ Association (TAPA). All proceeds made by the store, allow TAPA to fund their many projects/events such as meals and snacks for the faculty, Dine with the Dean for Lower School and Student of the Quarter for Middle and Upper School, Book Fair, as well as many more activities.

Tuscaloosa Academy Knights Supporters

TAKS would like to thank those who volunteer weekly and those who have shared their financial resources. This involve ment and dedication helps make our athletic program among the best in AISA. Your involvement is welcome. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact a representative below or the TA office.

The TA Knights Armour is located at the football pavilion. It is open every Wednesday for walk-in shopping or curbside pickup for online orders. You can also contact the store and set up an appoint ment if the store hours do not work with your schedule or you need an item sooner than the allotted pickup day.

Finally, congratulations to Coach Barry Sanderson and his 2020 state championship basketball team. Congratulations to ALL of our winning student-athletes! Go Knights!

TAKS President Ray Cole

Ifwww.taknightsarmour.com.youhaveideasofitemsthat you would like to see offered in the TA Knights Armour contact us and let us know. We are always looking for ways to make your TA experience more enjoyable whether it’s by providing you with a comfortable t-shirt, a hat to wear while playing golf, a tumbler to use by the pool, a stadium cushion to use at the game, an umbrella to use when it rains--what ever the need, the Knights Armour has got you covered.


TAKS is the support group for all student-athletes at Tuscaloosa Academy. We are supported by parents, companies and friends with our annual TAKS All Sports Program and concession stand revenues. These funds provide the resources that our student-athletes need to remain competitive as we annually fund uniform, equipment replacement and facility improvement. A large portion of TA students are active participants in a variety of sports programs. TAKS supports all sports at TA including baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, football, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.


TALeighSincerely,HollyhandKnightsArmour Chair

Be sure you follow the TA Knights Armour on social media to keep up with the “items of the week”, last call for when there is only one item left of something, clearance sales, pop-up sales info., pre-orders, and more. You can follow us on Facebook at “TA Knights Armour” or on Instagram @taknightsarmour. Our email address is taknightsarmour@tuscaloosaacademy.org and website is

A few highlights of how TAKS supports the TA athletic programs: new soccer equipment, replacing stadium field turf and irrigation upgrades, cheer mats and equipment, new outfield fence for baseball, new uniforms, stadium bleacher replacement and refinishing and repainting the gymnasium court.

APPLICANTS (GRADES 1 - 4): Submit the online application, fee, student recommendation form that is completed by a current teacher, transcript/report card, complete admissions testing, writing sample, and meet with Lower School Dean, Mary Madge Crawford. Visitation day required prior to enrollment.

AND KINDERGARTEN APPLICANTS (PK3, PK4, K5): Submit the online application, fee, student recommendation form that is completed by a current teacher or caregiver, and participate in Pre-K Experience TA Day offered in February each year. Students must turn 3 by September 1 and be toilet

Applications for each academic year are available online at www.tuscaloosaacademy.org in January. A $100 non-refundable application fee is assessed to each student application and can be paid online when the application is



For more information, please NiccolecontactPoole Director of npoole@tuscaloosaacademy.orgAdmission205.758.4462

DID YOU KNOW… all of our admission information can be found online. Everything from tuition and fees, financial aid, and how to apply. The process is fast and easy! Just click “Admissions” on the menu and you will find helpful links located on the left-hand side of the screen.

32 2019-2020

•MIDDLE SCHOOL APPLICANTS (GRADES 5 - 8): Submit the online application, fee, a student recommendation form completed by a current math or language arts teacher, a student recommendation form completed by a principal or school counselor, transcript, complete admissions testing, writing sample, and interview with Middle School Dean, Brooke Peterson. Visitation day required prior to enrollment.

•UPPER SCHOOL APPLICANTS (GRADES 9 - 12): Submit the online application, fee, a student recommendation form completed by a current math or language arts teacher, a student recommendation form completed by a principal or school counselor, transcript including any/all standardized test scores, complete admissions testing, writing sample, and interview with Upper School Dean, Alan Barr. Visitation day required prior to enrollment.


Student recommendation forms and transcript request forms are available in the online application under “Instructions and Resources.”


Student Ambassadors are selected by a committee. The selection com mittee is as follows: Upper School Dean, Middle School Dean, Lower School Dean, School Counselor, and Director of Admission. The Direc tor of Admission is the Advisor for the program. Each May the Student Ambassador application is available for the coming school year. Student Ambassadors are announced in May and their term of service is from the time they are announced until April 30 of the following year. Through this program, the Administration of Tuscaloosa Academy seeks to pro vide a training opportunity for TA students that aspire to be Ambassadors at the collegiate level.

The Tuscaloosa Academy Student Ambassadors program is a leadership training opportunity for students in grades five through twelve. Interested students submit an application, two teacher recommendations, participate in an interview, maintain good aca demic standing, display positive character traits, abide by school rules and local laws, and have completed at least one academic year at Tuscaloosa Academy.

On Staircase: Patton Turnipseed, Ollie Kneer, Harper Sikes, Lucy Corder, Mary Alice Roe, Morgan Smith, Mollie Corder.


A group of ambassadors after the Veteran’s Day Program.

2019-2020 Student Ambassadors: Seated: Amy Tran, Lucy Bonhaus, Harley McNeal, Libbi Cate Stell. Standing: Jack Smith, John Brennan McAllister, Taylor Rayburn, Luke Gatewood, Brooke Bassett, Autumn Pernell, Anna Katelyn Kuhn, Anna Mills Fleenor, Madison Moore, Mark Gregory Hudson, Hinton Howell, Holman Bearden.

34 2019-2020


Ken’s receptionist was exposed to the virus in the community and suddenly had to telecommute. “We were short on some telecommuting equipment and it was impossible to get more, so we had to make some stretches to make things work.”

Beth Miller Sims (Class of 1993) is the RN Scheduling Coordinator at a local nursing home in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Megan McGiffert M.D. (Class of 1997) is a physician and partner at Tuscaloosa Friday,Pediatrics.March 13, 2020 was the day the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Alabama and the day Tuscaloosa Pediatrics realized that everything was about to dramatically change. On that day, not only did we hear of COVID19’s arrival to Alabama, but we also had our first patient express concern that they could have been exposed. After work that day, we held an emergency meeting with the physicians and de partment heads to make plans. Over the weekend we transformed our of fice into two separate offices – one for sick patients and one for well patients – with separate entrances and separate staff. Our waiting rooms were closed. We scrambled for Personal Protective Equipment such as N95 masks, surgi cal masks, goggles, face-shields, and gowns, and also for extra cleaning sup plies. Our community (including some of my fellow TA alumni) really helped us in this area by donating what they could spare. Hundreds of cloth masks were made by friends of our practice to help us protect our staff and patients.

Ken Ponder M.D. (Class of 1982) is a physician at Blue Water Medicine in Niceville, FL. Ken realized COVID-19 was going to be a real threat but it really hit him hard when one of his patients was the first in his county to succumb to the disease.

Ken has a solo internal medicine prac tice in Niceville, Florida a small town near Destin in the panhandle. “We had to scramble and do some horse trading to get the protective equipment we needed to continue seeing patients.”

As both doctors and small business owners, any extra time outside of see ing patients was spent reading articles and watching webinars on both the lat est medical information on COVID19 as it emerged and on running a busi ness during a pandemic. We also in creased our communication with our patients by sending out frequent up dates in the form of emails and through social media platforms. Another big change was the introduction of Tele medicine coverage by insurance com panies allowing us to conduct medical visits over the phone and computer in certain circumstances. Now, it is several months later, and we are getting used to this new normal. We continue to care for both sick and well children. We make it our prior ity to ensure every child is fully im munized so our country does not also experience an outbreak of measles or whooping cough during this pandem ic. Our focus now is on the upcoming winter months and how to best care for our patients during that time.

Nursing homes look and feel different ly today than they did pre-COVID-19. Besides testing for all employees and residents, employees go through a mini physical every day when coming to


36 2019-2020

Ken made house calls in several as sisted care living facilities which were locked down. “I really felt bad for those residents unable to see their families in person for months.”

Bethany Holcomb Sexton (Class of 2008) is an RN in the cardiac cath lab at OurDCH.department had to stop doing elec tive procedures at one point and peo ple were scared to schedule their heart caths, so our number of scheduled pro cedures decreased drastically. Our de partment sent us to work other places in the hospital such as the COVID tent, N95 mask sterilization and doing tem perature checks at the front door of the Ithospital.wasreally hard for people coming in for their procedures and having to be alone since their families couldn’t come in, we had to be the patients family and loved ones while they were in our care. It was difficult for me at first being pregnant because we really didn’t know if I was at an increased risk, so I had to take extra precautions and be very careful when taking care of the COVID patients. Thank you to each alumni who contributed to this article. We are so thankful for the amazing things all of our alumni who work in healthcare are doing amidst these trying times.

HEALTHCARE HER ES work. We are screened with a question naire including signs and symptoms of COVID-19, contact with anyone who might have the virus, and recent travel history. We are screened with tempera ture and oxygen saturation checks daily and wear masks at all times. Burnout can be high and staffing is complex, yet we have many dedicated and loving employees who continue to provide ex cellent care. Our residents have endured many complicated changes since the first of March. No family, friends, or outside groups have been allowed in the build ing. Most have not hugged, touched, or even seen their family members in sev eral months. Our residents wear masks in the hallways and must remain six feet apart. We try to provide unique activi ties and visitations while still maintain ing social distancing. We have car pa rades where family members can drive by and see their loved ones outside while still keeping distance. Residents can visit with family and friends from the building through their windows, or through FaceTime or Zoom. We pro vide fun and creative activities for our residents both inside and outside in the fresh air. Our residents love to re ceive mail. If you are looking for a way to brighten someone’s day, send letters or cards to nursing home residents! We look forward to safely opening nursing homes again for visitors in the future. For now, we will work together to pro vide a happy and safe environment for loved ones.


Luke Standeffer (Class of 1985) is the Administrator at Northport Medical Center and the Senior Vice President, DCH Health System.

There obviously has been considerable debate regarding mandatory masking requirements in many communities and states. While wearing a mask is not a “cure all” in my opinion, it certainly has the potential to reduce the risk of exposure and transmission of the vi rus. I wish everyone good health going forward and encourage all to use good judgment with hand hygiene, social distancing, and masking.

The COVID-19 pandemic represents the most significant public health issue we have faced in three generations. In Tuscaloosa, the state of healthcare is manageable, but fragile. We experi enced a peak in COVID related hospi talizations during the month of July. I have witnessed tremendous dedica tion and commitment from our local health care workers. Our staff comes to work every day to serve others, know ing that they may be putting them selves, and ultimately their families and loved ones, at risk. The physical and emotional fatigue of staff impacts all hospitals’ ability to meet the volume demand and needs of patients.

38 2019-2020 TootsieClassBurchfieldof2026 Vivian Conger Class of 2034 LukeClassGatewoodof2020 Scottie Godwin Class of 2034 Bo ClassHamnerof2026 Campbell Hamner Class of 2022 Logan Harris Class of 2020 Geoffrey Love Class of 2024 JB ClassMcAllisterof2022 Sara Chase McMullen Class of 2023 Dakota McAbee Class of 2021 Jordan McAbee Class of 2023 Leroy McAbee Class of 2025 Ellen Norris Class of 2025 Margaret Sadler Class of 2025 Natalie Sanders Class of 2021 HarryClassShumakerof2033 Emma Grace Sims Class of 2021 JackClassStandefferof2022 McLean Standeffer Class of 2020 Picture This! Children of TA Alumni

Holman Bearden Class of 2025 Kinsley Biggs Class of 2021 Wyatt Bonner Class of 2032 Briggs Booth Class of 2034 Gracie Brooks Class of 2026 Reese Brooks Class of 2023 Spence Burchfield Class of 2024 Ford Hinton Class of 2024 Arey Howell Class of 2028 Hinton Howell Class of 2029 Banks Hudson Class of 2030 Beckham Hudson Class of 2033 Brooklyn Hudson Class of 2028 BebeClassHuffakerof2021 Marion Norris Class of 2023 Mark Norris Class of 2027 Asher Phillips Class of 2033 Porter Phillips Class of 2030 Allie Plott Class of 2028 Ellen Sadler Class of 2023 Coleman Thetford Class of 2022 Hill Warr Class of 2023 Macon Warr Class of 2022 Leon Sadler Class of 2023 Jackson Wright Class of 2033 392019-2020

2003 William was named Builder of the Year in Tuscaloosa. He also welcomed a new baby girl to the family, Lucille Frances. He is married to Kristin and they also have a three year old son, Wills.

1996 Recognized as an Alabamian Making a Difference in D.C. by Yellowhammer News for his position as director of federal affairs with General Motors.

Nicole Barker Richardson 1997 Recently relocated to Chicago, IL from Tuscaloosa, AL.

1987 Recently moved to Aiken, SC to take over as the Executive Director of the Etherridge Center for the Fine & Performing Arts at USC Aiken. Billy Godoy

Patton Smith 1999 Began a new job as an Associate Creative Director at BIG Communications where he works on the Valvoline brand. His daughter, Sawyer, is now two years old.

William Blakeney

Jennifer Hocutt Wright 2003 Jennifer and Nick Wright welcomed son, Rollins Joseph Wright to their family on November 20, 2019. He joins big brother Jackson (7) and big sister Audrey Ann (5).

Sarah Ann Higgins

Suzy Wright Gatewood 1982 On May 21, 2020, the last of the Gatewood family, Luke Gatewood, graduated from Tuscaloosa Academy. This makes all five members, Mark ‘81, Suzy ‘82, Wright ‘10, Celia ‘13 and Luke ‘20 TA Alumni!

Pictured below: Brittany, Billy, Sally (5), Marley (3) and Rawls (1).

Mary Lane Lewis Falkner


Grace McPherson O’Grady

Albert Lewis 2002 Along with his sister, Mary Lane ‘03, and their father, are partners in the law firm of Lewis, Lewis and Falkner in Tuscaloosa.

2003 Welcomed a daughter, Mary Miller Elizabeth Falkner on January 2, 2020.

1982 Her youngest child, Grace Tatum O’Grady, is a 2020 high school graduate and will attend the University of the South-Sewanee. Susie Cade Mullins 1984 Susan and Marc (‘82) Mullins’ son, Cade, got engaged to Kellie Cummins of Cleveland, MS. The wedding will be in November 2020. Their oldest child, Mindi Perlis, is expecting her fourth child, so they will be grandparents again in August.

40 2019-2020 Paul Bryant Crook

1982 Moved back to Tuscaloosa in 2013; can’t wait to move to Baldwin Co. in 2022.

Caroline Burchfield Lasseter 2003 Caroline is the driector of development for the PARA Foundation in Tuscaloosa. She has raised 2 million dollars for an all-inclusive playground to be built at Sokol Park. This playground will be unique to Tuscaloosa, in that, it will be a place for special needs children to play with they typically developing friends and family. It is scheduled to be finished in early 2021. She is married to Lake (‘02) and they have two children, Sarah Nelle and Edward.

2019-2020 Tyler Barton

PK-9thpositionacceptedandteacherSchoolbeenyears,theMayfrominhergraduatedrecentlywithmasterseducationUWAin2020.ForpastthreeshehastheLowerartatTAhasnowtheasthegradeart teacher.

Bethany Holcomb Sexton 2008 Bethany and her husband Chris welcomed a baby girl, Hudson Lynn, on June 6, 2020.


Jay Davis 2007 Jay and Karie Davis welcomed a daughter, Isla Quinn Davis on May 22, 2020. Big brother Wyatt will be two years old in September. Jay began working at Novent Health in Charlotte, NC as a Financial Analyst serving the Greater Charlotte Market Ambulatory Surgery Center as their operational liason/ advisor in the fall of 2019. He also graduated with a Masters of Public Health from the George Washington University Milken Institute of Public Health in Washington, D.C. in January 2020.

Michael Crawford 2004 Michael and his family have moved to Trussville, AL.

Thomas Patrick McCarroll 2005 Married Miss Lindsey Ghee on March 9, 2019 in Anniston, AL. They live in Birmingham, AL with their three Labrador Retreivers.

Clifton Lewis 2006 He and wife Christy welcomed twins, Elouise Crawford and Thomas King Lewis on January 31, 2020.

Carter Crutchfield 2007 Moving to Chicago, IL as his wife, Caitlin, completes her MBA at Kellogg.

Meredith Hocutt Wright

2004 Meredith and her husband, Jody, moved to Township of Washington, NJ. Jody is a Defensive Assistant for the New York Giants. They have two children, Thomas (4) and Wellesley (2). Matthew Crawford 2005 is now working as a graphic designer at Phifer Incorporated in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Brant Waddell 2007 Brant and his wife, Kate, welcomed a son, William Harris Waddell, in December 2019.

2008 Tyler currently lives in NYC working for the NFL League Office as part of the NFL Foundation. This Spring, the NFL Foundation raised over 100 Million during the NFL Draft for COVID19 relief efforts.

Jessie Hocutt 2008 Jessie

Ashton Standeffer Taylor 2011 Ashton married Charlie Taylor on September 14, 2019. She is an attorney at Maynard, Cooper and Gale in Birmingham, AL.

Hillary Strickland 2009 Is in her third year as a Program Manager in GOOGLE Research. Based in NYC, her work involves partnering with Research Scientists across the globe to build solutions to critical issues. Her focus is in Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Vision.

42 2019-2020 TA ALUMNI

Randa Simpson Hovator 2012 Randa was named North Alabama’s Young Professional of the Year. She graduated from the Southeast Toursim Society’s Marketing College with a Tourism Marketing Professional certification and received a Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communication in December. Cora McKenzie 2012 Graduated from the Maryland Institue College of Art in Baltimore, MD, with a Master of Fine Art in graphic design.

Ms. Strickland recently became engaged to Mr. Warren Van Heyst of Princeton, NJ, who is a Vice President of Capital Markets at Antares Capital, a Financial Investment firm, also in NYC. The couple met while attending Emory University and now reside in Manhatten. Their wedding will take place during Spring 2021 at Church of Bethesda on the Island of Palm Beach.

Kailie Melchior 2012 Graduated from Penn State Law in May 2019. Currently, she works in Philadelphia, PA as an attorney with Reilly, McDevitt & Henrich.

Thank you to each alumni who contributed to this year’s magazine. We love hearing the great things that our alumni are accomplishing professionally and Youpersonally.canreach us by alumni@tuscaloosaacademy.org.emailing

Gillian Jacobi 2014 Currently works for the San Jose Sharks in California in ticket operations.

Alston Poellnitz 2010 Alston is currently working at DCH Regional Medical Center as a clinical pharmacist specializing in critical care in the medical ICU. He recently got engaged to Callan Sherrod of Birmingham, AL and they are planning a wedding for 2021.

Lindsey Atkins Chambers 2011 Lindsey married Tyler Chambers on October 16, 2019 at Bowing Oaks Plantation in Jacksonville, FL. She is currently a Physical Therapist at Preferred Physical Therapy. She and Tyler live in Jacsksonville, FL.

Harriet Poellnitz 2012 Harriet is currently working in New York City, NY as an interior designer at Studio Sofield, an AD100 architecture and design firm, concentrating in high-end residential design. She is also a member of the New York Junior League.

432019-2020 As always, our TA Family continues to amaze me! As we begin the Annual Fund Campaign each year, the amount of enthusiasm and support for our efforts grows! It is so exciting to look around campus and see in person what your participation and generosity allows us to do. We are fortunate to have a Board of Trustees and Administration who see the needs of our campus and a community who understands what it takes to make it better. Without you, our goals and accomplishments would not be So,achievable.hatsoff to everyone, for once again making our Annual Fund so successful! Here is just a small glimpse at what your participation and generosity have provided! Thank you, Paige Lancaster •2017-2018Upper school science labs and classroom renovations • New Upper School roof • Athletic field renovation (new turf, irrigation and subsurface drainage) • Drainage ditch stabilization along entrance road • Wheelchair lift for access to Upper School area and Drama room •2018-2019NewUpper School Technology Lab • New Upper School Science Labs & Classrooms • New Athletic Bleachers • Front Office Renovation • New Preschool classrooms and Lower School commons • Lower and Middle School iLab • Automatic front gate - on hold until supplies arrive • New baseball fence including new logo windscreen • Refinish the basketball court • Exterior painting • New weight room floor - on hold until supplies arrive • New school storage room • New phone system TA ANNUAL FUND ANNUAL FUND report


In honor of Sarah Verzino Knights ($1,000 +) Patrick & Laura Beth Agee

John & Rhonda Marshall Quinton & Amy Matthews

Chris & Adrienne McGee

Ronald Booth

In honor of Annmarie, Issac & Ethan Henderson

In honor of Kathryn Grace, Mary Harmon, & Amelia Mentel Alan & Jennifer Miller Andy & Jill Oswalt Bobby & Blair Plott Cliff & Allison Rayburn In honor of Taylor, Conner & Ross Rayburn Randy & Brenda Ross In honor of Taylor, Conner & Ross Rayburn Scott & Heather (‘89) Sanders Walt & Julie Smith Bud (‘82) & Susan Standeffer Curtis & Amber Stell Scott (‘89) & Kristie Taylor Greg & Amy Thompson In honor of Haven & Nate Thompson Michael & Kara Warr Zane & Kathy Winfield Nick & Jennifer (‘03)




Robert & Lynda Kuhn

Matthew & Ben Winfield Bill & Valerie Wright Wes York In

Dr. Kimberly Skelding & Mr. Kollin Harmon Sally Helms

Rodney & Madeleine Bayless

Gerald &


Colin Wanda In honor of Scott, Jr. Jack Kemp Brooks Moore (‘95)

Olivia Bradford Jim

Mary George Howell

& Judy Bonhaus Jonathan & Karen Bonner In


James (‘87) and Missy Brazil Dolling honor of Thorre & Tjark Cevahir

Nina Schroeter & Daniel Henderson

Booth Septic Tank

David & Lisa Koontz

Scott & Jennifer Farnham

Mike & Danielle McInerney

Jack Standeffer Manthuy & Choi Chiem Tran Jason & Amy Williams Blue & Gold ($5-$249) LenaHeikeJ.LauraAlanTammyAnnNickCharlieSuzanneAnonymousAnonymousAnonymousAnonymousAnonymousAnonymousAnonymousAbernathy&PrestonAdair&KellyArcherArnoldAtkinsBarrBass&LeahBattBeckBedri

Jason & Lynette Coker Radu & Ana Constantine

& Suzanne Martin Larry &

Emerson York Sword & Shield

Dr. & Mrs. Salem David Richard & Shelley Ellis

In honor of Karen Kneer

44 2019-2020 TA ANNUAL FUND Legacy ($100,000 +) Anonymous


Leroy McAbee, Sr. In honor of Dakota, Jordan & Leroy McAbee III

George & Michelle McKee Charles & Jamie Mentel Wright & Munter Wyatt In honor of Walker McKee Squires & Abston & Missy Atkins In honor of & & Barnette In honor of & & Kyle Bassett & Carolyn Boone Breeland - & In honor of Jaci & & Brooks & Claytor & Corder Madge Crawford & Maria Denney & Talantis


Drew & Ashley Wade Gerry Wade In

In honor of Teachers of TA Brian & Leigh Hollyhand Brad & Krista Johnson

of Wyatt Bonner

Elliott &


The Durham Family

Paula Mount

Willie & TeKeisha Lang Petra

Matt & Hollie Glover

Mr. & Mrs. Price McGiffert


Kevin & Adrienne Thompson


Fred & Deborah Andrus

In honor of Campbell Hamner Jimmy (‘78) & Favor Hinton Hinton (‘92) & Tara Howell Charles & Debra Sealy Excalibur ($5,000 +) Reese (‘92) & Mary Louise Brooks

Lisa ChaseEdwards&Michelle Shelley (‘93) Thetford honor of honor of honor of ($250

Josh & Lindsey Johnson


Goodbread Wes & Leesa Hollowell Karri Holley & Richard Kim Wolfgang & Karen Kneer Robert & Gretchen Langkawel Patsy Lowery Ted & Claire Major Wilson Moore Amy EnriqueMullin&Kim Pereyda In honor of Harry & Judy McCollum In memory of Marce & Amelia Pereyda Hal & Holly Piper Jerry & Pat Plott In memory of Terria Plott Al & Charlotte Porter In honor of Cooper Andrew Warbington Scott & Michelle Richmond Jim & Mary Roberts Jason & Maggie Sgarlata Steve & Lucy Sikes David & Sharon Smith Dan & Allyson Sutter John &


Preston & Dawn Jolly Martin & Anke Kolbmann

In honor of Carson

In honor of Sally, honor of




Alex & Carol Gatewood

Brother & Whitt Poole Ben & Holley Ramey Adrian & Jill Rowley Sebastian & Christiane Schmidt Micheal & Margaret Schwaeble Mark & Gina Simpson Luke (‘85) & Teia Standeffer Jungi CharlieCandaceSunSutton&Ashton (‘11) Taylor In



Tyler & Leigh Davis

In honor of Mary Ellen & Morgan Agee

University of Alabama In honor of the Theatre Department Round Table ($2,500 +) Brandon & Jennifer Agee

($500 +) Anne-MarieAnonymousAnonymousAnonymousAnonymous Abney Byron

Murphree Christie Ozment Allie Plott Bill & Niccole Poole


Jimmy & Suzie Duncan David & Kim Hudson Grant (‘86) & Laura McAllister

The Ball Family Ray & Johanna Cole

Thetford William

+) BillAnonymous&Charlye Adams

Sparky & Jamey Duffy

Micky Kovar Mark & Paige Lancaster

of Noor Bakr Cammie Behel Tara Bloom (‘82) Ralf & Ines Boese


Tom honor

Mr. & Mrs. Mike Harper Lee & Leigh Henderson




In honor

Will Wade Marilyn HowardWhitmanWinfield In


Carl & Christie Bielstein William (‘03) & Kristen Blakeney Frank & Michele Buffington


Doug & Coley Hanley

Wesley & Ansley Gilpin Jason & Kelly Greene


The Bilgic Family honor of Can Bilgic & Beth Bonhaus

Jason & Elizabeth (‘92) Bearden



Richard Stephanie

Josh & Emily (‘96) Norris Bryan & Beth Oliver

Robert & Noel Amason

Founder’s Circle ($25,000 +) Mercedes Benz US, Inc. Platinum ($10,000 +) Libby & Jimmy Hamner

Mr. & Mrs. Scott Holmes


In honor of William Buffington Spencer (‘78) & Beth Burchfield

In honor of Bryan & Beth Oliver Will Hobson & Jamie Archer Clay (‘98) & Angela Hudson

In honor of Michael Constantine Steven & Mary Coppock

Bennett Atkins Chris


In honor of Benjamin Andrus & Elizabeth Beeker


Plott James

Reagan Barnette Tim

In honor of Luke Gatewood Mark (‘81) & Suzy (‘82) Gatewood

David & Kelly Verzino

Scott & Melissa Goldsmith

Evelyn Neunzig

Cece Qian Ma Ahmed


In honor of Macon & Hill Warr

Sarah WhitneyKimJackieMatthewNewtonNoatchOliverOuderkirk&Cheryl Pat NicholasLisaPattonPawloski&Allison Payne Terence & Jillian Pernell Brooke Peterson

Linda HollyTheRebeccaHarrisHendersonHennigFamilyHillard(‘93)

Shanglin & Qian Ma Li Victorie

In honor of Jack & Olivia Phillips


In honor of Tammu Scheiring Lohr Maseher McCorquodale & Mary Helen McCoy (‘97) McGiffert , Jr. (‘15) McLey Rene McNeal

Windy Nelson

In honor of Annette Freeman Olivia Gibson (‘08) Rick & Linda Gibson

Ryn BarryRogers&Jenny (‘93) Sanderson Haley MaryTammiSansingScheiringAnnSchroeter

Joann K. Sims

Daniel & Elizabeth Fleet

Jerome & Elizabeth Ramey In honor of Mae Mae & Cate Ramey Beth Pilgrim Ransom (‘92) Abbie Reed In honor of classes (‘79, ‘04, ‘07, ‘09, ‘15) The Reinmuth Family

In honor of Cooper Warbington (‘28)


Marsha McDonald Kellen MeganMcGeeMcGiffert

& Adam Lang Charles & Jamie Lao Jack & Emily Leigh

Zachary & Lorianna Montz Gober Harris & Kendall (‘05) Hagood Jennifer Hamner

Hannah Sullivan

Debbie Dunkling Noor Elsayed Vicki Park Fannin Carole Faucett (‘82) Damon Ferguson (‘93) In memory of Mark Wheeler (‘93) Yvonne Fischer

In memory of Adam R. Sims (‘93) Cita PhilipSmith&Kay Speir

Matthew VanEssen & Tiffiny Guidry Will & Berkely Wagner

In honor of Ian & Mia Whitman

Contact Paige Lancaster, Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations plancaster@tuscaloosaacademy.org Or you can give online at www.tuscaloosaacademy.org

Jaclyn Foster Josh & Meagan Fryer Scott & Kathy Fulgham Louise Gambrell

Jeff & Noelle Mercurio

Patricia Muscolino

In honor of Aiden & Lawson Kelley Scott & Laurie Kemp In honor of Scott, Jr. & Jack Kemp

In honor of Landon, Libbi Cate, Peyton & Patrick Stell Dr. & Mrs. Carl Stephenson

Janice Reynolds

In honor of Mia & Moritz Kurz & Meg Lancaster In honor of Phillip & Preston

Greg ClarenceJasonSwannThatcher&Alana Turner

Steven Merrill Joe & Stacey Messina Mr. & Mrs. Gene Mims In honor of Sally, Brother & Whitt Poole Guy & Anne Moman Benjamin & Christa Moore

In honor of Mae Mae & Cate Ramey Jaclyn Cook Philip Cooper ‘(86)

Kim Koenemann Ward Whimsey Cookie Co. In honor of Spirit Night Alan & Charlotte Whitman

John & Whitney Hodge In honor of Aubrey Hodge Hannah Holcomb In honor of Allie Tootle Brooklyn Hudson Carolyn Hughes Lauren Harless Hurd (‘00) In memory of Tandy Nicholson, Jr. (‘00) Alina MichealHutson&Laurie Johns Tim AnnaJohnsClaire Johnson Gina Johnson In honor of Jane Hollowell Maddie Grace Johnson Loventrices Jones

In honor of Anna Cobern & Kaia Moore

Cameron & Holly Shipley

John MyraAdamLillyNickMelissaCopelandCopeland&KacyCraneCrane&KarlyDownsDowns


In honor of Annmarie, Isaac & Ethan Henderson

If you need assistance in making a donation:

Jan & Andrea Koch Lingyan & Libo Tan Kong Oliver & Julia Kurz

Caroline Boone (‘06) Silvio & Anja Borrman Todd & Laura Bradford Delaina KaneAngelicaBrockBrown&krissyBunn

Terri MikeBeckyJonesKarnes&ReaKelley

Robert & Mary Farley Poellnitz Kenneth Ponder (‘82) Johnny & Alecia Price In honor of Emma Price Lesley Price Henry & Elizabeth (‘82) Pruett Mary Ruth Pruitt

In honor of Reynolds & Russell Cole David Robertson (‘95) Johannes & Adel Rodina Ashley Roe In honor of Mary Alice & Sarah Davis Roe

Chris & Liz Phillips

Ben & Haley McMichael Kareem &

Deborah Stewart


Melissa Wimberly Jill JonWoods&Stacy Woods

Jeremy ChrisHeatherlyHamptonHardin&PamHarding

In memory of Bo Hillard Jessie Hocutt (‘08) In memory of Allison Harbin


In honor of Harper Downs

Joe & Amy Shirley Mr. & Mrs. David Sims

Anna HaroldCobern&Martha Cole

We are grateful to the donors above for their participation and generosity in helping us reach our goals for the 2019-2020 Annual Fund Campaign. The report period is October 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and completeness of this list. We sincerely regret if we have made an error and ask that you contact Paige Lancaster at 205-758-4462 or by email at plancaster@tuscaloosaacademy.org to report any corrections.

In honor of Kailey & Brinley Bunn Osiah Burton Janet Chambers

In honor of Phillip & Preston Lancaster

Stefan & Bianka Wuensche

In honor of Anna Katelyn Kuhn Mike & Sidonnie Stell


Lee Anne Ford Michael & Caroline Ford

In honor of Reynolds & Russell Cole Lynda Collins



In honor of Konstantin & Elizabeth Wuensche Xiang MarcoZhang&Cindy Zwick


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