May 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!

Girls Inc. Supports House of Ruth During Women’s History Month

Our Girls Inc. girls made masks, hand sanitizer, pillows, and snack bags for the ladies at

The House of Ruth. During Women’s History Month we allowed our girls to have a self-care day which included getting their nails painted. They dressed up as their favorite influential woman and even gave back to the community through House of Ruth.

3 Hillcrest Students Win Poster Contest

The Coffee County Water and Soil Conservation District sponsored a poster contest. The theme was Healthy Forests=Healthy Communities.  Students in Dr. Granger’s 3rd grade class earned prizes for their entries.  Alex Gomez Perez received 1st place and $50, Andrew Kelley got 2nd place and $25, and Aubrey Shacklee placed 3rd and got a $15 prize check. Congratulations!!

Highlands 6th Graders Place in State Science Fair

We are so very proud of these two 6th graders. They have placed in the State Science Fair and are heading to Nationals.

Jeffrey Torrence– 1st Place in the State Science Fair

Ariel Lumbatis– 3rd Place in the State Science Fair

Good luck!

Northside Methodist Seniors Give Back to School

While lower grades were doing standardized testing, seniors participated in a Senior Service Week. This year, the seniors were giving back to the school. 7th-10th grades played games after standardized testing.

Murph & Reeves Named Mr. & Miss Lakeside

We announced our Mr. and Miss Lakeside! Sarah Murph & Peyton Reeves. They have both attended Lakeside since two year old preschool!

Lakeside School Recognizes Top Students

This year’s Valedictorian is Sealy Smith and our Salutatorian is Betsy Bennett.

Rucker Boulevard 6th Graders Place at Model UN

A group of 6th grade students at Rucker Boulevard Elementary School participated in the Southeast Alabama Model United Nations March 4-5, 2021. This event was sponsored by Wiregrass Writing Project & Southeast Alabama Regional Inservice Center at Troy University (Troy Campus).

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Students chose a nation of their choice, conducted research, gave a welcome in their native language, wrote a resolution, designed a flag, and dressed in their nation native attire.


These students received special recognition in the following categories:

Western Bloc

Winner Netherlands

2nd Alternate Japan


Overall Best Native Dress

Winner Netherlands


Outstanding Resolution

3rd Alternate Japan


Best Boy Delegate

3rd Alternate A.J. Pearson – Japan


Outstanding Girl Delegate

3rd Alternate Nevaeh Spaid – Japan


Advisor/Teacher: Dr. Shavonne Burrows

Principal: Mr. Jon Steed

Presentation of Awards: Dr. Robin Bynum – Troy University  (Troy Campus) Director of SEARIC

Enterprise High Show Choir Wins Big at Auburn Showdown

Congratulations to our show choirs for an amazing day at the Auburn High School Show Choir Showdown!!

Esprit competed in the Single Gender Division and received First Runner Up with Best Musicianship Award. Freshman Emily Williams received best solo within a show.

Encores competed in the Large Mixed Division and received Grand Champion, with the Best Musicianship and Best Band Awards. Senior Emily Hobbs won the Best Female Performer in the Large Mixed Division!

What an awesome way to end their competitive season! We are so proud of the performers, band, and crew! Congratulations!

Houston Academy Runner Breaks Multiple Records at Troy Meet

Holley Hart broke the Troy Invitational Meet Record and HA school record! Hart finished the 3200m race in 11:30, taking first place. Hart also won the 800m race.

Maya Swope and Claire Roberson took second and third in the 800m, respectively. In the 1600m, Virginia Peacock finished second. Mary Mac Flanagan and Macauley Flanagan took first and second places in the 100m dash. Mary Mac Flanagan also took first place in the 200m dash. The relay teams of Katie Langford, Maya Brown, Mary Max Flanagan, and Macauley Flanagan (4×100), and Maya Swope, Claire Roberson, Kate Rane, and Virginia Peacock (4×400) each took second place. And JT Eberhart finished third in the boys discus.

The girls team took second place overall.

ASMS Opens New Makerspace on West Campus

The ASMS Remote Learning Center and Makerspace is officially OPEN! A facility that began as a school storage building was renovated to become a Remote Learning Center and Makerspace – one of the only innovation spaces on a school campus in the state of Alabama. The project was funded through a $350,000 appropriation from the state CARES Act as well as funding from the Daniel Foundation, J.L. Bedsole Foundation, Ben May Charitable Trust, and individual donors to ASMS. The school held a ribbon cutting ceremony on their West Campus with students, families, and stakeholders present to celebrate the occasion. They look forward to seeing what students learn, innovate, create, build, and discover in this space.

Ozark Boys & Girls Club Names Youth of the Year

Our 2021 Youth of the Year, Paul Swanson, is a former “shy guy” who has blossomed at the Boys & Girls Club.  He’s a friend to all, a peacemaker and negotiator, and an all-around level-headed teenager!

Paul is an Ozark native and a lover of the great outdoors!  He has one younger brother and a large extended family scattered across the Southeastern U.S.  Paul spends many of his weekends with one or another of his grandparents pursuing outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, kayaking, swimming, riding dirt bikes, and playing paintball, or learning his way around woodworking power tools!  He also enjoys flying remote-controlled aircraft and is a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics and the Northwest Florida Modelers, Inc. and shared his passion for model flight with our Club Kids during the summer program.

Paul is an Advanced Placement student at Carroll High School and a member of the JROTC Rifle Team.  After school he manages our Kidz Café concessions and is a STEM Mentor, facilitating exploration and learning in Science, Technology, and Math for his fellow Club-members.  When he’s not busy with those pursuits, Paul is always happy to help out wherever he’s needed around the Club.

In the future, Paul hopes to train in small engine repair, either in a degree program or an accredited Trade School, and someday run his own business.

The newly named Youth of the Year, Paul Swanson, will next compete against other Boys & Girls Clubs members across Alabama for the Alabama Youth of the Year and a scholarship on April 22nd! The State Youth of the Year move to vie for the distinction of becoming one of five regional representatives across the country, and ultimately contend for the title of National Youth of the Year.

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Dauphin Jr. High Students Win Robotics Contest

Congratulations to Annabelle and Talia de Hoyos for winning the Intra- school Robotics competition!

Houston Academy Softball Wins Area Title

Area Champs!!

Congratulations, Ladies!!

From Coach Cherry: “We clinched the area title tonight (4/6/2021). We had a 9 run deficit. The score was 10 to 1 and the girls battled back to win 16 to 11. What a night!!”

Enterprise High Recognizes NTHS Inductees

Congratulations, new inductees of the National Technical Honor Society! NTHS recognizes and empowers students succeeding in Career Tech programs. These accomplished students applied and met all NTHS eligibility requirements. Wow!!!

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Beverlye Students "Kick Off" Testing Week

What better way to prepare for testing than to play a little game of kickball with your principal and teachers!

ASMS Receives STEM Certification

The Alabama School of Mathematics and Science (ASMS) is now one of the only STEM-certified high schools in Alabama. ASMS has been preparing for Cognia STEM Certification since the fall of 2020, and in March a Cognia review team completed an official evaluation of the school. According to Cognia, STEM Certification facilitates “organizational improvement that results in future readiness for all learners” and is based on research and evidence-based practices. ASMS had to demonstrate their performance in 16 standards within separate Cognia frameworks. In the final feedback meeting with the school, Mr. Scott Davidson, the Cognia Director of STEM Services who oversees the national STEM Certification program, noted that he had reviewed 80+ schools throughout his career, and ASMS is a school that will always stand out in his mind as high performing with approaches that other schools or systems can incorporate to benefit their own educational objectives.

Blakely City Council Honors 2nd Grade Author

Early County’s youngest author Miss Briyonna Sealy was honored at the Blakely City Council Meeting where the Mayor declared April 6, 2021, as “Briyonna Sealy Day.” Briyonna is a 7-year-old second grader at Early County Elementary School. Yonna is a published author and songwriter and her mission is to help those in need. You make us proud, Yonna!

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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 May 2021

by Ashton Wright time to read: 12 min