April 2022

Student Spotlights & Schoolbits!

Every month we compile a list of students doing great things across the Wiregrass.  We have so many talented students in our area.  Wiregrass Parents joins with their families and schools to celebrate their achievements!

Carroll High Names 2023 Reps


Their BIG eagle, LITTLE eagle reveal was today and they are ready for their senior year!

Class of 2023 Eagle Reps pictured from left to right:

Back row- Dwight Flores, Colton Rebren, Kai Johnson, Stinson Draper, Jalen Plott, Jaelon Cohen

Front row: Jade Byars, Coila Buchanan, Laney Gresco, Emily Ganey, Tori Davidson

Not Pictured: Gracie Jordan

Dothan Prep Donates $5k to Relay for Life

Dothan Preparatory Academy donated $5,000 to the Houston County Chapter of Relay for Life. The students raised the funds by hosting a Student vs. SRO Basketball Game and a Valentine’s Day Dance! The check was presented by DPA’s SGA and Relay for Life Team Captain Mrs. Candance Wilson. Also present for the presentation were Principal James Williams, Superintendent Dr. Dennis Coe, and District 6 School Board Member Mrs. Aurie Jenkins.

Enterprise Expressions Impress at Competition

Congratulations to the Enterprise Expressions! They won Best Visuals (choreography), Best Soloist – Ashley Owens, 2nd Place overall in their division, and People’s Choice Award at the Peach State Show Choir Invitational 2022 competition in Tift County Georgia. They have won Best Soloist in each of their four competitions of the season with three different student winners. Awesome job!

Highlands Elementary Archery Teams Win Big

Congratulations to our Archery Team! We are so proud of all of you! Our 4th & 5th grade team finished in 2nd place. Our 6th grade team set a school record of 2,796 points. They competed against teams of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students and were only 4 points shy of winning the Pike County Regional Tournament.

Marley Norton won 1st place in the Girl’s Elementary division. Yates Tucker placed 5th in the Boy’s Elementary division. Erin McKinley placed 3rd in the Girl’s Middle School division. Jacob Champlin and Hunter House tied for 1st place in the Boy’s Middle School division. Jacob won the tie breaker with 7 bulls-eyes, compared to Hunter’s 6.

Girard Intermediate Students Lead Pledge at School Board Meeting

At February’s Dothan City Board of Education meeting, we had the pleasure of having Zaniya D. and Talijah H. from Girard Intermediate School present the Pledge of Allegiance. We are so proud to have students in our district like Zaniya and Talijah and look forward to involving our students in future Board of Education meetings.

Carroll HOSA Students Do Well at State Conference

Carroll High School Students attended the HOSA State Leadership Conference the first weekend in March. Jillian Owen tested locally and qualified top 20 in the whole state, to compete at SLC. Laney Gresco and Julie Ann Nugyen were our Voting Delegates who attended the Business session and voted for the State HOSA officers. Way to go, Eagles! HOSA students got to attend a session “Stop the Bleed” where they learned trauma situational life saving techniques, ans earned a certificate from UAB Emergency response Healthcare professionals.

D.A. Smith Student Advancing to State Science Fair

Our D.A. Smith students did an amazing job of representing Ozark City Schools at GEARSEF (Greater East Alabama Science and Engineering Fair) at Auburn University Ava Biretz won 3rd place in the category of Earth and Environmental Sciences and she is advancing to the state science fair. Ivan Ibarra won the Auburn University Talent in Mathematics and Statistics Award.

Kindness Rocks at Highlands Elementary

Highlands Elementary School’s Peer Helpers kicked off a kindness campaign at the beginning of February. They greeted students with signs related to kindness and drew kind sayings with sidewalk chalk for students to view as they came and left the school. They are currently working on creating a book about kindness that will be published and read to each class as well as helping Mrs. Harris with a “Kindness Rocks” garden.

Coppinville Jr. Beta Club Advancing to State

Congratulations to our BETA Club members who won awards at the Alabama BETA State Convention in Birmingham.

Front row: Isaiah Banister, Lucy Lamar, Kendall Gates, and Reagan Minks.

Row 2: Konnor Hutto, Annabella Willard, Abbie Lower, and Gianna Roca.

Row 3: Sophie Wesolek, Shaniyah Green, Emeri Gerstner, Jianne Holcombe, and Alaina Harkness.

Not pictured: Ayden Perkins, Abby Joreski, and A.J. Rendon as well as several committee members for Portfolio and team members for the Campaign Skit.

These students will be competing again in June at the National BETA Convention in Nashville.

Dothan High Under New Leadership

Dothan High School has a new principal. The Dothan City Board of Education approved the hiring of Dr. Keith Bland on March 14, 2022.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to be a part of a dynamic team that will continue to keep students at the center of every decision we make,” Bland says.

Dr. Bland comes from Bay High School where he was an administrator and head football coach. He’s the former principal and assistant principal of J.R. Arnold High School in Panama City, Florida, as well as a former site supervisor for Grand Canyon University, Instructional Leader for Florida Virtual School, and Athletic Director for Apalachicola High School. He also taught special education and physical education at elementary and secondary levels for more than 15 years.

Enterprise JROTC Take Second in Competition

Enterprise High School JROTC Wildcat Battalion represented EHS and the City of Enterprise in an outstanding manner at the Sidney Lanier Invitational Academic, Drill and PT Competition on Saturday, 26 February 2022. The Wildcat Battalion finished 2nd Overall with team and individual results listed below:

Academic Team Commanded by Alisa Mason 2nd Place. PT Team 1 Commanded by Lauren Rodgers 1st Place. PT Team 2 Commanded by Braden Parkinson 2nd Place.

Individual PT Awards – Jacob Tillery 1st Overall with a score of 364, Lauren Rodgers 2nd Overall with a score of 353, and Emma McCrea with a score of 350.

Blue Knights Drill Team Commanded by Brett Tessay placed 1st in Armed Inspection and Armed Platoon Exhibition. Blue Knights placed 2nd in Armed Platoon Regulation. Jacob Upchurch commanded the Armed Squad Exhibition and placed 1st. Blue Knights Color Guard Commanded by Carson Brillhart placed 2nd in Armed Color Guard. Belles of the Blue Knights Commanded by Faith Mason placed 1st in Unarmed Inspection, Unarmed Exhibition and Unarmed Platoon Regulation. Brianna LeBlanc commanded Squad Unarmed Exhibition and placed 1st. Jacob Upchurch placed 1st in Armed Individual Exhibition. Jacob Upchurch and Joshua Foor placed 1st in Armed Dual Exhibition. Aurielle Harvey and Alondra Santillan placed 1st in Unarmed Dual Exhibition.

Houston Academy Model UN Teams Perform Well at Competition

Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and/or academic competition in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. MUN involves and teaches research, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities.

The MS Model United Nations teams recently competed and performed exceptionally well! 

The Botswana team received 1st Alternate for Outstanding Delegation, 1st Alternate for Overall Best Native Dress, and 3rd Alternate for Outstanding Resolution. Michael Elliott received 3rd Alternate Outstanding Boy Delegate. Megan Hartman was the top Winner for Outstanding Girl Delegate.

The team representing the Central African Republic was the Winner for Flag Presentation, 1st Alternate for Outstanding Resolution, 3rd Alternate for Outstanding Delegation, and 3rd Alternate for Native Dress in the African Bloc.

Team members for Botswana are Michael Elliott, Megan Hartman, Aidan Phillips, Eva Sturridge, Reina Sturridge, and Anna Watkins. Team members for the Central African Republic are Ganesh Avula, Elle Barron, Julia Batts, Maddy Greenwalt, Caroline Heersink, Amulya Reddy, and Merrill Scarbrough.

Congratulations to all of the team members for their hard work and success!

Providence Recognizes Science Fair Winners

Congratulations to our winners of the Providence science fair.

Overall Winner- Carter King (pictured)

6th grade winners

1st place – Carolina Hoffman

2nd place- Ella Barefield

3rd place- Elise Shipman

5th grade winners

1st place- Jack Wilkins

2nd place- Jack Galloway

3rd place- Hadley Wade

Honorable mentions:

6th – Andrew Nicholls

5th- Tyler Gallardo, Ava Johnson, and Eli Jones

Carroll JROTC Shoots Straight in Competition

Congrats to our JROTC Rifle Team! They brought home two 1st place medals from Anniston!


Travis Robinson – 1st Place, 60-Shot Prone

Paul Swanson – 1st Place,  60-Shot Standing

Duffy Wins Dothan High Resume Contest

Congratulations to Megan Duffy for winning the Dothan High School Senior Resume Contest. The contest was sponsored by MidSouth Bank and judged by the Alabama Career Center. Megan received a $100 prize. The next stages of the competition will be a Houston County contest and a Regional contest sponsored by PowerSouth and Southeast AlabamaWorks scholarships will be awarded to the winners at these stages.

Pictured (L-R) Mr. Joey Meigs, Interim Principal Dothan High School, Miss Megan Duffy, Senior Dothan High School, Mr. Josh Haisten, Houston County Market President MidSouth Bank and Mrs. Jessica Barefield, Community Relations Coordinator for MidSouth Bank.

Carver School Research Garden Gets Nearly $15k

Southeast Gas recently announced its 2022 Give Back to School Contributions of $148,000 to 20 public school systems in Alabama. Dothan City Schools was the recipient of $14,566. A portion of the funds will be used towards The Research Garden at The Carver School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology.

The Give Back to Schools initiative was established by Southeast Gas and its Board of Directors in 2010, and provides dollars to public schools based solely on their natural gas usage for the previous year. So, the more natural gas a school system uses, the more dollars that the system will receive. Board members work alongside superintendents in each school system to determine the best way to allocate funds.

24 Dothan City Students Advance to State Science Fair

Dothan City Schools “showed up” and “showed out” at the Greater East Alabama Regional Science Fair in Auburn! Our students walked away with so many special awards, in addition to the 24 students who advanced to the state fair (ASEF) in April!

Special Award Recognitions

  • AU 100 Women Strong Achievement Award – Abigail B. & Ella B. (Highlands Elementary School)
  • AU Biological Sciences Awards for Outstanding Poster in Animal and Plant Sciences – Devin F. (Jerry Lee Faine Elementary School)
  • AU Biological Sciences Awards for Outstanding Poster in Medicine and Health Sciences – Drake R. (The Carver School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology)
  • AU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Award – Joseph H. (Dothan Preparatory Academy)
  • AU Department of Geosciences Award – Ella S. & Rowynn S. (Highlands Elementary School)
  • AU Physics Award for Ingenuity and Inventiveness – Alexander V. (The Carver School for Math, Science and Technology)
  • AU Samuel Ginn College of Engineering Award – Delroy W., Matthew F., & Peyton D. (Selma Street Elementary)
  • AU Spirit of Excellence – Maurice R. (Heard Elementary School)
  • AU Future Scientist Award – Maurice R. (Heard Elementary School)
  • Lemelson Early Inventor Prize – Evan N. (Morris Slingluff Elementary School)
  • Naval Science Award – Evan N. (Morris Slingluff Elementary School)
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Young Innovator Award – Devin F. (Jerry Lee Faine Elementary School)
  • Broadcom MASTERS Award (certificate) – Maurice R. (Heard Elementary School); Braylin C., Nautica K., Anna Lee S., Erin M. (Highlands Elementary School); Carter B., Sterling L., Kaelyn P. (The Carver School for Math, Science and Technology); Peyton D., Matthew F., Delroy W. (Selma Street Elementary School); Joseph H., Mary Kate G. (Dothan Preparatory Academy)

GEARSEF Winners Advancing to ASEF: 

  • Animal, Plant, Computational & Bioinformatics ScienceMaurice R., Mary Kate G., Devin F.
  • Behavioral & Social ScienceNautica K., Erin M., Anna Lee S.
  • ChemistryDrinda C., Joseph H., Logan B., Jacob C., Marshall C.
  • Engineering Mechanics Sterling L., Delroy W., Matthew F., Peyton D., Evan N.
  • Energy: Sustainable Materials and DesignBarron C., Houston F., Zeke S.
  • Medicine, Health, & Translational Medicine ScienceEvan D., Ethan P.
  • Physics, Astronomy, Mathematics & Materials Science Carter B., Braylin C.
  • Bio-Engineering Kaelyn P.

A SPECIAL THANK YOU to our phenomenal Science Fair Leads: Jenny Barkley, (Girard Intermediate School), Karen Milner (Kelly Springs ES), Nicole Davis (Kelly Springs ES), Ginny Dion (Beverlye Intermediate), Lori Lucien (Beverlye Intermediate), Joseph Suarez (Beverlye Intermediate), Aubrie McClenney (Carver MST), Alvin Wiggins (Faine ES), Merissa Thornton (Heard ES), Erin Woodham (Highlands ES), LaTonja Pride (Selma Street ES), Amy Jackson (Morris Slingluff ES), Beth Mustin (Dothan Preparatory Academy), Lisa Peacock (Carver 9 Academy),  Chris Manasco (Dothan City Virtual School) and Keely Brewer (Dothan High School) for their support.

Houston Academy Archers Place in Troy Tournament

The HA Archery Club recently competed in the ALA NASP Regional tournament in Troy on Friday, March 4. Congratulations to Bruno Ciccarelli who earned 2nd place in the High School boys division and Mia Telesco who earned 3rd place in the High School girls division.

Carver 6th Graders Raising Chicks

Chirp, peep! We are excited to announce our baby chicks have hatched! Our sixth-grade students have been learning about a chicken’s life cycle with help from Houston County Alabama Extension Office. We have tracked the chicks’ development from the embryonic stage until last Friday when the chicks began to hatch! We will continue to care for our fuzzy, feathery friends in our science lab!

Dothan Prep Students Learn About Banking

In Ms. White’s Career Prep classes, students completed a project on Banks. Students learned the differences between a savings account, CD account and money market account. Students examined the different interest rates each bank offered, differentiated between minimum balance requirements and penalties for each bank. Students also had to make a selection of the best bank based upon their research and personal needs. Overall, students enjoyed learning about financial institutions in the Dothan area.

Highlands SGA Designs Egg for DABG

Highlands Elementary SGA participated in Dothan Botanical Gardens Egg Quest. Be sure to visit the Botanical Gardens during March 14-April 17 to see all the decorated eggs!

Dothan Varsity Soccer Teams Up with Carver Club

What a great afternoon for our Varsity boys team sharing their time and skills with the Soccer Club at the Carver School!  Inspiring the future of DHS Wolves soccer!!! Thank you Principal Chris Payne for allowing them to come!

Superior Performance by Carroll Symphonic Band

The Symphonic Band earned straight Superior Ratings at the District VIII MPA. Thank you to everyone that helped us get here today. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Highlands Takes 3rd in Science Contest

Highlands Elementary placed third in the Science Olympiad on Saturday, February 26th. Congratulations to all the team members!

Dothan Prep Model UN Team Brings Home 9 Awards

Ten Dothan Preparatory Academy students representing Haiti and Morocco participated with their middle school peers from 10 different area schools at Troy University for the Southeast Alabama Model United Nations Assembly (SAMUN) on March 3-4.

Our Dothan Preparatory Academy students came back with many accolades, awards and recognitions!

Dothan Preparatory Academy took home the following awards:

-Best Outstanding Dress (Africa Block): Morocco

-Best Outstanding Dress (Developing Block): Haiti

-Overall Outstanding Dress: Morocco

-Outstanding Flag Presentation: 2nd Alternate – Haiti, 1st Alternate – Morocco

-Outstanding Resolution: 3rd Alternate – Haiti (tie with Houston Academy – Botswana), Overall – Morocco

-Outstanding Delegation: 2nd Alternate – Haiti, Overall – Morocco

-Outstanding Boy Delegate: James D. of Morocco

-Outstanding Girl Delegate: 3rd Alternate – Izabella E. of Haiti, 2nd Alternate – Gabrielle J. of Morocco, and 1st Alternate – Leia B. of Morocco

In addition to the ten students from Dothan Preparatory Academy. Dothan City Schools was also represented by three SAMUN Officers from Carver 9th Grade Academy: Dawson B., Colby G. and Jaylan H.

Ashton Wright
Author: Ashton Wright

Ashton is the publisher of Wiregrass Parents magazine. A lifelong resident of the Wiregrass, she grew up in Blakely, Ga. Her love of journalism began on her high school newspaper and continued at Troy University where she received her print journalism degree. After graduating, she worked with WTVY-TV for nearly a decade. She and her husband, Chris, have been married since 2012. They have one daughter, Alexis, as well as a dog, Jackson, and a cat, Cooper.

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Student Spotlights April 2022

by Ashton Wright time to read: 19 min