Every month we compile a list of students doing great things across the River Region. We have so many talented students in our area. River Region Parents joins with their families and schools to celebrate their achievements!
ACS 5th and 6th Graders Attend CTE Summer Camp
The second annual CTE Summer Camp was a success, with rising fifth and sixth graders being introduced to several Career and Technical Education course options. Campers experienced Precision Machining with Instructor, Mike Brogan, Culinary Arts with Chef John Everson, and JROTC with LTC (Retired) Anthony Benitez and 1SG (Retired) John Audaine. Knowledgeable Auburn High School students were also on hand to assist campers while they learned that safety is first and foremost, whether in the machining shop or the kitchen.
With Mr. Brogan, they crafted raw materials into useful objects such as hammer handles. With Chef Everson, they discovered the right amount of ingredients to make the most delicious chocolate chip cookies before burning some energy off in a JROTC-sanctioned game of dodgeball. ACS is proud to have a learning environment and course offerings that foster a wide variety of interests.
Creekside Elementary Celebrates Summer Reading
Aubie made a surprise visit at Creekside Elementary School to celebrate the conclusion of the 2023 Summer Reading Camp for students in grades K-3. For the past month, this group of students has been working diligently to sharpen their reading skills while taking in elements of mathematics through engaging curriculum and hands-on activities. The last day was full of smiles and laughter as Aubie helped lead a dance party with Music Teacher Ginger Key! From freestyling their moves to flapping their wings during the chicken dance, this was a great way to cut loose and celebrate the hard work of both the students and adults involved. ACS thanks CES Assistant Principal Mr. Josh Harry, all the teachers, and support staff for dedicating their time to giving several students a jump start in preparation for the new school year.
Summer Library Day at Dean Road
Dean Road Elementary School students are wild about reading as they explore, play, and learn in the media center with Librarian, Jenny Galimore. During this Summer Library Day, parents, grandparents, and babysitters pursued the opportunity to take a break from outdoor summer activities to spend time with their children in a relaxed and fun setting. Activities included a jungle scavenger hunt, bristle block building, and animal-directed drawing while students read and checked out books from the school library. ACS loves seeing literacy in action as these K-2 students develop a love for reading.
AHS Football Attends Football Camp
Auburn High School Football dominated the 7-on-7 tournament at Samford University. With victories over Homewood and Hoover during the event, Team Auburn went on to win the Championship against Spain Park, with Team Tigers finishing in the top four. This tournament was a part of the Chris Hatcher Football Camp and an excellent way for young athletes to practice new techniques and become better football players. In addition, campers had the opportunity to meet and learn from assistant football coaches at Samford. Thank you to Head Coach Keith Etheredge, assistant coaches, and support staff for providing experiences like this for our student-athletes.
ACS Administrators Attend Alabama Schools Transportation Conference
Two Auburn City Schools Administrators were presenters at the 79th annual Alabama Schools Transportation Association Summer Conference in Mobile. Transportation Coordinator, Don Ingram, and Special Education Director, Jill Harling, provided their expertise for one of the Supervisor’s Breakout Sessions three times. The sessions covered the ACS process for special needs buses, including scheduling, training for drivers, and distribution of a student’s medical information to the driver as needed. While in attendance, Mr. Ingram and Mrs. Harling received additional information and further training on bus camera systems, EPA grants, and driver recruitment.
2024 Distinguished Young Woman of Lee County
Auburn High School’s Cate Herring has been named the 2024 Distinguished Young Woman (DYW) of Lee County. In addition to Herring being the overall winner, Auburn High School was well represented in the competition with Addison Wood finishing as first runner-up, and Brantley Clegg as second runner-up. ACS is proud of these young women and all of their accomplishments.
East Samford School Welcomes Rising 7th Graders
Rising seventh graders and their families attended “Tiger ESSentials” in preparation for the 2023-2024 school year at East Samford School. Students and families oriented themselves with the campus while practicing their locker combinations and meeting teachers before receiving an overview of the school from Dr. Duriel Barlow and the ESS staff.
Meet the 2nd Grade Teacher at The Oaks
Ashley Jeffares is our 2nd grade teacher at The Oaks. She is from Reeltown, AL, and graduated from Troy University with a Bachelor of Science, specializing in K-6 Elementary and Collaborative Education. Ashley then continued her education and earned a Master’s degree of Science, with a concentration in K-6 Elementary Education. She has taught for the past 16 years while being a devoted mother and wife. Her three children; Kelsi, Klaira, and Kendall also attend our wonderful school. Book a tour today to meet our amazing teachers and students!
SMCS Loves Their Neighbors
At the St. Michael Parish’s Catholic Kids Camp, our students learned about loving God and loving our neighbor. Earlier this summer, some of our students were caught loving their neighbor through a unique outreach opportunity. Together, with their classmates in American Heritage Girls and Trail Life, our students picked over 80 pounds of strawberries which were donated to some of our local community members experiencing food insecurity.
Pick Elementary School Hosts D.A.R.E. Camp
As a collaboration among the divisions of the Auburn Public Safety Department, this annual summertime program focuses on good character, team-building skills, and anti-bullying messaging for rising sixth graders. It also allows our School Resource Officers (S.R.O.s) to connect directly with students before they begin their educational journey through our secondary schools. Activities include various games throughout the day, such as wiffle ball, capture the flag, soccer, and tug of war. The Auburn Fire Department also has trucks on site to keep the water flowing for the inflatable slides! A special thank you to all the volunteers behind the scenes who make this camp happen every year, including Public Safety Academy graduates and retired Marines.
St. Michael Catholic School 3rd Graders Create Hearts
Want a fun activity to celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and Father’s Day? Mrs. Olney’s third grade class made the hearts of the Holy Family and reflected on how our hearts should also conform to theirs
Meet the 1st Grade Teacher at The Oaks
Lauren Dowdell is from Hatchechubbee, AL. She graduated from Lee-Scott Academy and then attended Auburn University where she received her B.S. in Elementary Education. She has since received additional training and development in the Science of Reading. She has taught kindergarten in Opelika City and first grade in Lee County. Lauren currently lives in Society Hill with her husband of 3 years, James, and she is a lifelong member of Society Hill Methodist Church. She enjoys reading, walking her dog, crafting, and spending time with friends and family. She is so excited to learn and grow with her students both academically and spiritually at The Oaks!
OCS Senior Awards Day
Congratulations to the OHS Class of 2023! Scholarships were awarded to OHS seniors at Awards Day. We are proud of these seniors and appreciate the support of the colleges, universities, local families, groups, and agencies that awarded scholarships to our students!
Angie Walkers Awarded Grant for Jeter Primary School
Congratulations to Angie Walters for being awarded a WhataTeacher grant from Whataburger during Teacher Appreciation Week!
OSC Tour Local Industry
Opelika parents and teachers from the Opelika City School System went on an industry tour. There were stops at Southern Union State Community College’s Center for Integrated Manufacturing and Cumberland Plastic Solutions. There are so many amazing opportunities available in our community. Thank you to Opelika Economic Development for their partnership in making this possible.
Meet the K5 Teacher at The Oaks
With a background in music and theatre, Miss Joanna brings our K5 classroom to life with music and song. Students learn weekly Bible verses through daily practice with music and hand motions. Miss Joanna is an incredible phonics teacher and is passionate about helping children learn to love reading. Joanna is also excellent with parent communication and connecting her families, so they can quickly build community and form relationships that will continue through their school journey. She has one son Elijah and lives in Opelika.
Auburn Early Education Center Welcomes New Principal
Glori Lammons was approved by the Board of Education on June 13th to be the Principal at Auburn Early Education Center. With more than 20 years of experience in public education, including as a classroom teacher at the K-2 level, Mrs. Lammons has served as the Assistant Principal of AEEC for the past three school years and is steadfast in her commitment to the students, families, teachers, and staff. Mrs. Lammons received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Auburn University, her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University, and a Specialist Degree in Instructional Leadership from The University of West Alabama. She is also a National Board-Certified Teacher and recently completed her Maintenance of Certification.
ACS Community Involvement
Dr. Ashley Powell, ACS Director of Child Nutrition, recently helped Girl Scouts from Auburn Troop #7063 earn their Bronze Award! Brennan Daniels, Emma Marshall (not pictured), Kiara Paxson, and Mia Sherman (not pictured) are working as a team to bring awareness to the benefits of school lunches. With Dr. Powell having a voice at the state and national level, serving as Regional Director for the School Nutrition Association, and being a Registered Dietician, she shared her expertise with the girls to assist with their research. ACS is proud of Dr. Powell for spending time with members of Troop #7063 and representing the Child Nutrition profession.
Opelika High School Senior Send Off
Opelika High School seniors had fun visiting our primary schools in their caps and gowns for an official “Senior Send Off”.
Professional Learning and Training for ACS
Gail Boushey, the co-author of The Daily 5, provided training to ACS elementary school teachers. The Daily 5, as a framework for instruction, scaffolds behaviors of independence and creates a classroom of highly engaged readers, writers, and learners. Thank you to all of the teachers who pursued this training and thank you to Curriculum Coordinator, Betty Weeden, for her leadership in making this event possible. ACS also thanks Gail Boushey for investing in ACS teachers.
OHS Awarded ProStart Grow Grant
Congratulations to the Opelika High School’s Culinary Program on being awarded a Rachael Ray Foundation ProStart Grow Grant. We are proud to share that we are one of 40 high schools across the country that have received the Rachael Ray Foundation ProStart Grow Grant. The $5,000 grants will help us improve our students’ ProStart experience and update our curriculum, classroom supplies, and educational opportunities for our culinary students. Congratulations to Chef Eldred!
Tigers in Training Camp Was a Hit
The 2023 Tigers in Training Baseball Camp was a success with more than 170 first through seventh graders in attendance. In the 31st year under the leadership of four-time State Champion Head Coach, Matt Cimo, this camp featured an insider’s look into the AHS Baseball program, with participants learning fielding drills, hitting drills, throwing mechanics, and more. Each camper walked away with sharper skills and knowledge they can use while practicing at home over the summer. Thank you to all our coaches and varsity athletes for mentoring the next generation of ball players.
ACS Summer Youth Cheer Clinic
The 2023 Auburn High School Youth Cheer Camp kicked off with approximately 300 girls in attendance, ranging from age four to seventh grade. With their hot pink spirit shirts on, campers learned timed rhythms, jumps, and stunts from the Varsity Cheerleaders. This camp is an excellent opportunity for young girls to build strength, sharpen hand-eye coordination, and create meaningful relationships with friends and mentors.
Lady Tigers Host Basketball Camp
The final buzzer has sounded on another successful Girls Basketball Camp at Auburn High School. Under the leadership of Head Coach Courtney Pritchett, the varsity Lady Tigers trained and mentored 36 girls, emphasizing all the fundamentals, from dribbling to executing a properly formed layup. The camp culminated in a hot-shot competition and full-court scrimmages. The athletic camps offered during the summer months at AHS are great opportunities for young students to find things they are passionate about, whether that is pursuing competitive sports or forming meaningful friendships with fellow campers.
Strengthening School Safety in Auburn
A group of School Resource Officers from Auburn City Schools attended the 24th Annual “Safe Schools” Training Conference. The Alabama Association of School Resource Officers (TAASRO) works with law enforcement officials from across the state to cultivate consistent collaboration and communication. As societal trends evolve, external cultural influences may seep into the hallways and classrooms of schools. The safety of the school environment depends on awareness, prevention, and proactive measures. This year, TAASRO covered cultural topics that can have a negative influence on the safe school environment– if left undetected, unaddressed, and unresolved. ACS thanks the PTO Council for their continued support of our SROs to sharpen their skills and stay up on the latest practices for keeping schools safe!
ACS Board Attends Conference
Hosted by the Alabama Association of School Boards, the 2023 Summer Conference is titled “Innovate, Imagine, Ignite,” with public school leaders from across the state in attendance. ACS School Board Members were actively engaged in sessions on school law, instructional leadership, teaching strategies, and state department updates. The Auburn City Board of Education attended the conference, in part to fulfill state training requirements, but more so for professional development, personal learning, and the goal of leading effectively.