July 2021

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!

Leadership Dothan Raises $32k for Girls Inc.

Over the past few months Leadership Dothan Class 39 worked hard raising money for our organization. We are so thankful for each person in this class and for everyone who supported their fundraisers to make them successful.


They raised $32,432.85 for our organization!!! This donation will go towards making sure girls in the Wiregrass area have a safe place to go and remain STRONG, SMART and BOLD!

Selma St. Junior Beta Club Volunteers with Community Garden

Awesome work Jr. Betas and GREAT way to end the year IN SERVICE! Your Aunt Katie’s Community Garden Service Project ended BEAUTIFULLY!  Can’t wait to see how the garden fence is enhanced by your Beta donations. Thank you, Sponsors and Ms. Campbell for your support!

3 Lakeside Students Crowned Eufaula Queens

Congratulations to all the 2021 Miss Eufaula Queens! Especially our three Chiefs!

Teen Miss Eufaula Ella Grace Bradley

Petite Miss Eufaula Caylee Horne

Tiny Miss Eufaula Merritt Herring

Houston Academy Student Wins People’s Choice in Talent Quest

Congratulations Elizabeth Anne Liddon, the 2021 Wiregrass Talent Quest Jr’s PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD WINNER. The winner of this award gets to give a percentage of the total revenue in the People’s Choice category back to their school, and they get to use their voice to determine where the money will be used in the school’s various art programs. Elizabeth Anne is shown here with her Headmaster, Dr. Scott Phillipps from Houston Academy, where she has determined that her gift will be used in acquiring top notch sound and lights for HA’s new Fine Arts Building when it is completed in Spring 2022. Hats off to Elizabeth Anne for using her voice for MUSICAL THEATER!! So Proud of YOU!

Early Co. 4-H Archery, Shotgun Teams Place at State

May 1st  at the State Archery Match and May 8th at the State Shotgun Match, Early County 4-H was represented greatly by some outstanding 4-Hers. Cloverleaf Archery got 3rd in team and Chessa Clark got 3rd in individual. Every archery and shotgun participant did a great job! Thank you to all the volunteers, certified coaches, and parents!


Pictured: Cloverleaf Archery Team (Chessa, Mattie, and Emanuel), Senior and Junior Archery Team with coaches (Justin Turner, Payne Murphree, Jason Ebersole, Coach Jeremy, and Coach Kenneth), and Shotgun Team with coaches (Coach Allred, Jennings Allred, Matthew King, Weston Lee, Coach Warr, Mrs. Moseley, and Tyler Williams )

Youth Council Members Awarded Elks Lodge Scholarships

Mary Catherine Howell and Petra Ozbun, both seniors and members of the Youth Council at (334) Prevention Project have been named recipients of the 2020-2021 Elks Lodge Scholarship awarded by the Dothan Elks Lodge #1887. This year the Dothan Elks Lodge was proud to award two scholarships to these deserving students who were each awarded $2,000 towards the school of their choice.


Mary Catherine was also awarded the Jeffery Biggs Memorial Scholarship that is presented by (334) Prevention Project to one deserving Youth Council member. This $1,000 scholarship is awarded in memory of Jeffery Biggs who worked at the (334) Prevention Project and started their signature event, Dancing with the Stars-Dothan Style.

Dothan Seniors Win $1k for Community Projects

Four Dothan High School Seniors were recently awarded Citizen Promise Grants:

– Christopher David Bradley

– Eristen Forsythe

– Sarah Gamble

– Jariah Janay Williams


Thanks to a partnership between local organizations, Dothan High School students participated in The Citizen Promise Program presented by the Liberty Learning Foundation. The program is public-private collaboration that provides students with real-life experience to complement academics and prepare them to be life, career, and citizen-ready.


The students make a “Citizen Promise” to help impact the community. And that “promise” goes both ways: As an added incentive for meaningful program participation, $1,000 grants are awarded to selected seniors each year. These non-academic grants are sponsored by the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce and are chosen from applicants based on their character and the community actions they document and submit to be considered for the grants.


The organization announced last week that four Dothan seniors were chosen from more than 500 seniors to receive this year’s grants.


Congratulations to these students!

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Highlands 5th Graders Choose Hometown Hero

Our 5th graders recognized Mr. Summerford as their Hometown Hero. Mr. Summerford has worked throughout the year with our 5th graders teaching them about agriculture and has helped with growing vegetables in our Learning Garden. Thank you, Mr. Summerford!!

Enterprise City Schools Welcomes Thomas as Superintendent

Enterprise City Schools would like to welcome Dr. Zel Thomas as its new Superintendent.  Dr. Thomas has been with the school system for over two decades and will do an outstanding job leading our district.  We are extremely excited about the days ahead and we look forward to a great start under Dr. Thomas’ leadership.

Lakeside Admins Attend Leadership Conference

The Lakeside School administrative team attended the annual Alabama Independent School Association Leadership Conference in Panama City Beach. There they were able to connect with leaders from across the Southeast. Our team came back feeling rejuvenated and excited for the upcoming school year.


Pictured (L-R): Head of School Dr. John Mehaffey, PhD; Director of Admissions, Ms. Callie Strickland; and Dean of Students, Mr. Caleb Smith

Houston Academy 7th Graders ‘Play Possum’

All the 7th grade classes had a hands-on experience with Jasper the Possum! Jasper’s human rescued him from drowning, rehabilitated him, and could not release him back into the wild. Students learned fun facts about North America’s favorite and only marsupial, including how they are impervious to snake venom, eradicate ticks and can not get rabies. Jasper has shown many people just how docile and affectionate they can be!

Rucker Boulevard Elementary Rewards Buddy Readers

On May 24 we celebrated the tremendous work of our Junior Betas and fifth graders who served as Buddy Readers to our little ones this school year. These scholars have faithfully come to school early, each day, to read with our students in first through third grades.


A special shout-out goes to Ms. Taylor and Principal Steed for making this moment possible.

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Hawk-Houston Youth Brighten Mothers’ Days

Celebrating Mother’s Day at Hawk-Houston YEC was a labor of love. Our youth community service project consisted of 26 mother’s day gift bags filled with truffles candy, facemasks, peanuts, nail polish,  dove hand  cream, hand sanitizer,  tissues, bowl of candy, carnation in a vase, and hand made mother’s day cards.


At the last minute, David Clark suggested we deliver the bags on our van… and we did. That was really an exciting outing for Tiyana and Zidarius. It brought delight to the recipients that we hand-delivered gifts.


The service project’s aim was to brighten the day and put a smile on the faces of mothers whether they had children or not. We really wanted to fill just a small hole in the hearts of those mothers that have lost a child to an illness, violence or who may be forgotten by family. We pray the project was received as it was intended.


Many thanks to those that contributed to the project: attorney LaDray Gilbert, Harts &  Flowers, Mahogany Storm/Samantha Boswell,  Alabama Peanut Association, Hawk-Houston youth and staff. Teaching our youth it’s imperative to give back and give a hand up.

Dothan City School Students to Receive Free School Supplies for 2021-22 School Year

Through funding provided through ESSER II, federal COVID-19 relief funding, Dothan City Schools will provide all students Grades K-12 with school supplies during the 2021-2022 school year to relieve families of the financial burden that school supplies can bring. Funding will cover the necessary school supplies for the entire school year.


“Dothan City Schools are committed to providing excellent services to our customers…our students,” says Dr. Dennis Coe, Superintendent of Dothan City Schools. “Our commitment includes utilizing the extra federal funds to provide both an educational benefit for our students and a financial benefit for our families.”


School supplies will be provided to all DCS students within their base school at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. Organizations looking to donate school supplies for the upcoming school year are encouraged to donate book bags, classroom cleaning supplies, and other needed supplies not covered by ESSER funding. Funding does not cover school supplies for Pre-Kindergarten programs at Head Start and Dothan City Early Education Center.

Lakeside Coaches Already Working for 2021-22 Seasons

The coaching staff at The Lakeside School attended the annual AISA coaches conference in Panama City Beach, Fla. Our coaches were able to collaborate with their colleagues from across the state. We look forward to an exciting year in Lakeside athletics.


Pictured (L-R): Allison Coates, Volleyball & PE; Caleb Smith, JV girls basketball; Tom Clements, Athletic Director, Football, and Girls Basketball; and Ryan Langford, Boys Basketball.

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Carroll Recognizes Seniors Headed to UA with Scholarships

CONGRATS to all of our students from Carroll that received scholarships from the Dale County Bama Club to the University of Alabama!

Lakeside Junior Makes All Star Team

The Lakeside School 11th grader, Mackenzie Eriksen, (daughter of Paul & Heather) made AISA Softball All Stars!

Faine Elementary Add Fish to Outdoor Classroom

It was an exciting day in our Outdoor Classroom as tilapia fish were delivered for our aquaponics lab! Did you know that these fish will help our crops to grow and thrive? This is so exciting!

Youth Council Raises Nearly $2k for Drug Prevention

The (334) Prevention Project Youth Council hosted the first Strike Out Drugs Charity Softball Tournament, which had First Responders battling it out on the field for the title of the “Best Badge.” This event was held on May 15th as the final project for the Chick-fil-a Leadership Academy, a program that teaches students how to be strong leaders and to give back to their community. The Youth Council members were tasked with brainstorming a community project and putting that plan into motion. They decided to host a softball tournament with all proceeds raised to benefit Celebrate Recovery, whose mission is to help others by offering free support and guidance to people when they are going through a hard time in their lives.


The event kicked off at 9:00 with six teams in the tournament: Dothan Police Department Blue Team, Dothan Fire Department, Dothan Police Department Silver Team, Pilcher’s, Dothan Police Department Black Team, and the Houston County Sheriff’s Department. The event was a fun-filled day of baseball, music, Dothan Ice Cream, and food trucks all culminating with a win by Dothan Police Department Black Team. The Youth Council was able to raise $1,900.00 for Celebrate Recovery with this amazing event!

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Distinguished Young Women of Houston County Recognizes Crim, Talmadge

Congratulations to these DYW award recipients. Congratulations also to Grace Crim being named Valedictorian and Helen Talmadge the Distinguished Providence Christian School graduate.  Houston County DYW is very proud of you all.

Morris-Slingluff Students Experience Parenthood

Our 3rd Grade Classes got to experience what it might have felt like to take care of themselves as a newborn! Mrs. Paramore and Ms. Fenner’s classes created rice babies by putting rice that matched their birth weight into stockings. Students also got to decorate their babies and brought blankets to wrap them up. They look like proud parents!

Northside Methodist 3rd Graders Pen Book

Students in Mrs. Gilley’s 3rd grade class at Northside Methodist Academy researched three rainforest animals. Each student then wrote and illustrated his/her own rainforest book.

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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 July 2021

by Ashton Wright time to read: 15 min