Springwood School Alumni Link Summer 2012

Springwood School Alumni Link
Business Name
Summer 2012
Dear Springwood School Alumni,
On behalf of the Chattahoochee Valley Educational
Foundation Board of Trustees, it is our privilege to
announce the appointment of Mr. Rick Johnson as the
new Head of School at Springwood. In June, Mr. Johnson
joined Springwood, after serving for 10 years as Headmaster at Trinity Christian School in Dublin, GA. We
believe our candidate search has brought us the finest
of leaders. Rick Johnson is a man of strong character
with a deep passion for the education of children. Rick
and his wife, Lynda, will be a great addition, to not only
the Springwood family, but also to our community.
in the states of Minnesota,
Tennessee, and North Carolina.
Mr. Johnson holds a bachelor of science degree in
education from Maranatha
Baptist Bible College in
Watertown, Wisconsin, a
master’s degree in management from the United
States Sports Academy in
Daphne, Alabama, and has
Trinity Christian School’s growth and accomplishments done further study in
were remarkable under Rick Johnson’s leadership. He educational leadership at
Georgia Southern Universiled the School through the dual accreditation process
with the Southern Association of Independent Schools ty. He also holds superintendent certification with the
Association of Christian Schools International.
(SAIS) and Southern Association of Colleges and
Schools (SACS). Academic programs were developed,
Mr. Johnson has been married for 29 years to his wife
additional fine arts and athletic opportunities were
Lynda, an accomplished soloist and musician, and they
implemented, and enrollment reached unprecedented
have three adult children. He has served on the Board
levels of over 500 students in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 of Directors for the Dublin Laurens County Chamber of
academic years. Graduates of the school have attended
Commerce, and has been consistently involved in
over 80 post-secondary institutions.
other community activities as well as local church
Under his guidance, Trinity was named the Region Top ministries.
School Award eight different years. Additionally, 23
Please join with current Springwood students, parents,
Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) state
and faculty in welcoming Mr. Rick Johnson to Springchampionships (in ten different sports) and over 35
wood School. His email address at Springwood is
region titles were won in athletic and literary [email protected]
tion during the decade of Johnson’s leadership. The
School also won the GISA State Athletic Achievement
Award four consecutive years. He fostered a relationEllen L. Collins ‘77
ship with the International Experience organization
which enabled students from abroad to study at Trinity CVEF Board President
in a foreign exchange format and enabled Trinity students to study abroad as well.
Mr. Johnson oversaw several improvements to their
52-acre campus. Major construction projects totaling
several million dollars included a media center with
state-of-the-art computer labs, a fully equipped
administrative building, a six-classroom early childhood facility, and a five-field baseball/softball/soccer
Prior to his years in Dublin at Trinity Christian, Rick
Johnson had 22 years of administrative, teaching,
and coaching experience with 4 different private
educational institutions (3 colleges and 1 high school)
“It is a great honor for Lynda and me to become
part of the Springwood Family, We believe the Lord
has directed us to live a life of faith, and we’re convinced that this unique opportunity is another step in
our journey. Springwood School has earned much
respect in the greater Chattahoochee Valley and independent education circles. It will be our goal to see
Springwood continue to uphold the reputation it has
while we seek to implement initiatives that will further
enhance this fine institution.”
Rick Johnson
Head of School
Springwood School
Congratulations Springwood Class of 2012
Front (seated l-r): Hannah Wilkerson, Olivia Williams, Georgia Andrews (Benjy’80), Katie Langley (Mitchell’81), Nicole Carter, Anna Key, Christina
Augustin, Sarah Stodghill, Rachel Coleman (Christy Mullins’86). Middle (l-r): Will Gregory, Gates Rodimon, Peter Mitchell, Dylan Harper (Ellen Smith’79),
Mitchell Smallwood, Monte Booker, Cole Watkins, Ralph Groover, Blake Glaze, Ryan Roughton, Grayson Solt, Drew Ferguson (Drew IV’85). Back (l-r):
Wesley Willis, Mitchell Jennings, Keon Brown, Parker Huckaby, Aaron Weiss, Cole Cleveland. Top left: Trevor McCullough, right: Rhys Bendell.
66% of this senior class was offered scholarships for further studies totaling over $1,000,000.
The Class of 2012 was accepted to the following schools: University of Alabama, Appalachian State University,
Auburn University, AUM, Birmingham Southern College, Columbus State University, Faulkner University, University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia College and State University, Huntingdon College, Jacksonville State University, Jefferson State, LaGrange College, Maryville College, Malone University, Middle Tennessee State University, Milligan, MIT, Norwalk Community College, Point Loma Nazareene University, Point University, Rhodes College, Savannah College of Art and Design, Sewanee, Shorter College, Southern Union, Trevecca Nazareene University, Toccoa Falls College, UAB, University of the Cumberlands, University of Mississippi, University of Mobile,
University of South Carolina, University of West Alabama, West Georgia Tech, and Yale University.
Rhys Bendell, a 2012 National Merit Finalist and the Top Academic
Student in the AISA plans to attend MIT in the fall. He was named
AISA Best Actor in 2012 and SHS Best All-Around Thespian in 2011.
He was a Violin Soloist and Concert Master with the LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra in 2012 and the SHS Concert Band Concert
Master from 2008 until 2012. Rhys was the Springwood Soccer
Team Captain in 2010 and 2011. Upon graduation, he received the
following scholarships: AISA Academic Excellence Award, AISA
Headmasters Scholarship, National Merit , Hatton-Lovejoy, Excellence in Science Award, Fine Arts Band and Drama Scholarships,
West Point Rotary, and Cambridge College Program.
Rhys Bendell was the 2012 Springwood School Valedictorian.
He is the son of Dr. and Mrs. James Bendell. Rachel Coleman
was the Salutatorian of her class. She is the daughter of Mr.
and Mrs. Bret Coleman (Christy Mullins’86).
Rachel Coleman, voted Most Likely to Succeed and Most Athletic
by her class, plans to attend Auburn University. She received the
Spirit of Auburn Scholarship, the Excellence in Math Award, and
the Springwood Alumni Association Scholarship. Rachel was the
Vice President of the National Honor Society, Senior Class
Treasurer, MVP of the Lady Wildcats Basketball team and Spanish
Club Treasurer. She was a member of the Honors Chorus, Annual
Staff, Softball team, Triad Society, STARS, and was the Alabama
Girls State Delegate.
Michael O. Hulsey
Class of 1989
School Supplies for
Kabul, Afghanistan
Springwood 2nd Grade and SGA students collected enough
supplies to fill 10 large boxes to assist Hulsey and his crew
Lieutenant Col. Michael Hulsey, Springwood
Class of 1989, was deployed for Ft. Hood, Texas
on 12/11/11 and from there to Camp Phoenix,
Kabul, Afghanistan on 1/16/2012. He is the
Director of Community Affairs for the 648th
Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and his team
is in charge of infrastructure development and
providing security for several girl’s schools in
Kabul. Because they desperately need school
supplies for all age groups, Springwood teacher, Mrs. Patti Slade, organized a way to help
Michael Husley, her nephew, and the children Second Grade Classroom in Girls School in Kabul
Lt. Col. Michael Hulsey in the background
in Kabul. Second-grade students, along with
members of the school's Student Government
Association, collected enough supplies to fill
ten large boxes to assist Michael Hulsey and
his crew with their project. Members of the
school's SGA helped raise funds for mailing and
On June 6, members of Michael Hulsey’s task
force traveled to the Pol-e Charki region of
eastern Kabul to meet with village elders,
Afghan National Army Soldiers and school
administrators, to reassess a school renovation
project and give out the donated school
supplies from Springwood. Hundreds of
elementary school children have been attending classes in a decrepit German-built theater
Children waited for the boxes of school supplies sent from
without desks or chairs. These students were
Springwood School to be opened and distributed
eager for the arrival of the visitors and a girls
choir even sang for them. Each child was
handed a Ziploc bag of supplies as they
progressed through an assembly line of Soldiers and Elders who were there to assist with
the donations. Every child present was able to
receive new school supplies.
Michael is married to Carrie Hyatt Hulsey and
they have two children, Hampton (12) and
Mary (8). The Hulseys live in Sharpsburg, GA
and Michael is a Medical Logistics Officer for
the Georgia Army National Guard. He will leave
Afghanistan mid—September to come home.
Michael can be reached at
[email protected]
2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award – Maria Elena Perez – Class of 1996
Maria shown receiving the “2012 Distinguished
Alumni Award” from Ann Hixon at Honors Day
Maria Elena Perez, Springwood Class of 1996, is the recipient
of the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award. In the 16 years
since Maria graduated from Springwood, she has attained
many outstanding accomplishments and a distinguished career as a professional songwriter, vocalist and recording artist.
Maria graduated as Valedictorian of her Class in 1996. While
at Springwood, she participated in various activities including
chorus, drama, cheerleading, basketball, math team, scholars
bowl, annual staff, and served on SGA. She also performed
the National Anthem at Springwood high school football
games. Maria went on to attend the University of Notre
Dame. Throughout college, she was heavily involved in musical activities and toured extensively as a soprano with the
University of Notre Dame Folk Choir. Maria, ranking 13th in
her class, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Notre Dame in
2000 with degrees in Literature and Cultural Anthropology.
After graduation, Maria worked for The Coca-Cola Company
as a public relations spokesperson for the next five years.
While with Coca-Cola, she also served as a singer for company
events and performed before honored guests including former U.S. Air Force Captain Scott O’Grady and former President George H. W. Bush.
Maria’s professional career as a solo vocal artist began in
2003 in Atlanta where she began writing, recording and performing her own songs with a seven-piece ensemble, fusing
soulful vocals with percussive Latin jazz, elements of electronica and inspiring and uplifting lyrics. Born to a Cuban
father and German-American mother, Maria writes and sings
original compositions in both English and Spanish. Her first
internationally released single, “Free To Fly” in 2004, introduced her multilingual vocals to the global music scene,
leading to future work for record labels in New York, Berlin,
and Zurich. Upon the success of this single, Maria established
her own record label, Cubanita Groove Records, with the
mission of releasing music created by women of diverse
backgrounds. She self-released her first full-length album,
also entitled “Free To Fly,” and began to solidify genre-defying
inspirational music as her path and purpose.
Maria pictured with her former Drama and
Speech Coach, Mr. Dale Freeman
Maria left Coca-Cola in 2005 and went to work on her second
studio album, “Stars,” which was released and distributed
internationally in 2006. A special version of the album was
licensed to Japan, and songs from the album were picked up
by various outlets, including EMI Music, Starbucks and Banana
Republic. In 2007, Maria was invited to perform at the Versace Mansion in Miami Beach and also completed her first
series of solo performances overseas. In 2009, she was awarded a working artist Visa to live and work as a recording artist
in Berlin, Germany on the merit of her discography.
To date, Maria has performed in cities throughout the U.S., as
well as in Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Greece, Macedonia
and Portugal, and her recordings are sold in music stores
throughout the U.S., Europe, and Japan. She has been featured in Billboard Magazine, Latina Magazine, and New York
Daily News for her creative and entrepreneurial endeavors.
Maria is currently in Atlanta, GA working on her third studio
album, entitled “Offering,” which will be released this fall.
The album will soon be available for pre-order via
www.malenaperez.com. (“Malena” is a Spanish nickname
for her full name, Maria Elena.) Join the fan page at http://
www.facebook.com/malenaperezmusic for free song downloads and to listen to music.
In addition to music, Maria is also a massage therapist and
health & wellness coach, and is working toward becoming a
certified yoga instructor.
Maria was present to receive the award at Springwood
School’s Honors Day ceremony on May 24, 2012. She stated,
“I am very grateful for the education and overall experience
that Springwood provided during my formative years. I feel it
gave me a firm foundation from which to venture out into the
academic, professional, entrepreneurial and artistic worlds,
and I hope to be able to someday provide that caliber of educational and all-around life training for my own children!”
The Springwood Alumni Association is very proud to
recognize Maria as the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus.
KARO Retires from Springwood School after 27 Years
The person who drew the loudest ovation at
Springwood School’s annual Honors Day
program was Karo (Kerry McCullars) who is
retiring next month after 27 years at the
school. A “jack-of-all trades” for the school,
Karo knows the 45-acre school campus like
no other person. “He knows it like the palm
of his hand,” stated Board President, Ellen
Collins, in presenting him a certificate at the
ceremony. “Karo is the one person who
knows the location of every receptacle in
every building ” Mrs. Collins said that Karo is
a legacy at Springwood and he is loved by all
faculty, students, and former students alike,
and that he will always be welcome at
Springwood. Karo replied that he was only a
phone call away if Springwood ever needed
Upon his retirement,
Springwood presented Karo
with a rocking chair
2012 Service to the School Award - Kevin and Traci Gregory
In 1999, the Springwood Alumni
Association created the “Service to the
School Award” to acknowledge some of
the people who have invested countless
hours in Springwood. This year we
recognize Kevin and Traci Gregory as
recipients of the “2012 Service to the
School Award”. The Gregorys became
involved in Springwood 20 years ago,
when their daughter Calli started K4.
Now with their son Will graduating, we
thank Traci and Kevin for their years of
dedication. The Gregorys’ involvement
in Springwood Athletics is especially
worthy of recognition.
Traci has been Springwood’s cheerleading coach for the past 5 years. She has
organized countless pep rallies, cheer
practices and performances, athletic
program ad sales, and other fundraisers.
She has planned and decorated for Back
to School Extravaganzas, Homecoming
pep rallies, senior recognition nights,
Christmas parades, and sports banquets.
Prior to Traci being cheerleading sponsor, she volunteered her time while her
daughter was a Springwood cheerleader
from 2001 to 2006. Also during those
years, Traci, along with Marie Ward,
helped start and coach the JV dance
team. Through the years, Traci and Kevin
have sacrificed time and expenses to
drive cheerleaders and dance team
members to out-of-town games.
volunteers. The Gregorys have been
willing to help out the Athletic Club in
any capacity needed. They have prepared meals and hosted countless team
get-togethers at their home. Since 1994,
the Gregorys have helped cook and
assemble plates for the Springwood
Athletic Club Chicken Q's. Another
Springwood athletic volunteer, Jeff
Jennings, had this to say: “Kevin and I
shared many all-nighters...cooking chicken. At every Chicken-Q, Kevin was there,
cooking until the job was done – he is a
man with little need to sleep. And when
it comes to sports, in practice Kevin
taught the kids the rules of the games,
Parent coaches have been vital to
the positions they played, and came up
Springwood through the years and Kevin with a winning game plan; but when it
has been one of our best. Beginning in
came to game time, he was a coach of
2000, Kevin ran the clock for the JV and few words - because the kids already
Varsity Football games, and he did this
knew what to do. Kevin would comment
for the next 7 seasons. In 2005, when
that if you prepare the kids for the game,
Will was in the 6th grade, Kevin began
they will do their job.” Jeff continued,
coaching the Springwood Pee Wee team “The Gregorys have been faithful Wildand continued this for a couple of years. cat supporters and Laurin and I are
In 2008, Kevin coached JV Football and
honored to call them our friends.”
began assisting with the Varsity team.
The Springwood Alumni Association
The following year, he took on the rehonors Traci and Kevin with this award
sponsibility of hauling the equipment
because of their leadership and continutrailer to away games. This past year,
ous dedication to Springwood and its
Kevin helped on the football chain gang.
Athletic Program. The Gregorys have
In addition to their time coaching and
been eager to step up, get involved, and
supporting Springwood athletes, Traci
take charge and Springwood is grateful
and Kevin have been loyal Athletic Club for their service.
News from Springwood Alumni
Class of 1977
Jeff and Julie Lane live in Chesnee, SC. Jeff is a Sr. Vice President for Teijin Holdings USA and is responsible for HR/Risk/
Compliance and Mergers/Acquisitions for 14 Teijin companies in the U.S. Office located in New York City. Jeff and Julie
have 3 daughters and 1 son.
Class of 1978
Dr. Anthony deGuzman and his family live in Paintsville, KY
and he and his wife, Fredilily, have 3 children. Tony is a
graduate of the University of Alabama and the University
of Miami Medical School. He is a Primary Care Physician.
Class of 1995
Thomas and Laura Lanier Davison have a new baby boy, born
Feb. 17, 2012. He weighed 8 lb. 3 oz. and was 21 inches long.
His name is Emmett James and his big brother is Henry. The
Davisons live in Manasas, VA. Pictured below are the Davison
children with their grandparents, Eddie and Anita Lanier.
Anita is a former Springwood Elementary teacher and Eddie
was our long-time Football Stadium announcer. In the picture also is the Laniers other grandchild, Anna Slade, daughter of Stefan ’02 and Katie Lanier ’00 Slade.
Jake and Tally Sanders had their second child last year on
Feb. 2, 2011. Her name is Scottie Grace Sanders and she
weighed 6 lbs. 7ozs. Her big brother, Truss, will be three in
Class of 2004
On May 5, 2012, Michael Hill graduated from Washington
and Lee School of Law with a degree of Juris Doctor. Michael
earned the Honor of Magna Cum Laude with a GPA of 3.753
and the Order of the Coif for being ranked within the top
10% of his class. He also received the American Bankruptcy
Institute Metal for excellence in the study of bankruptcy law.
After sitting for the Georgia Bar exam on July 27th, Michael
will begin clerking for Judge Homer Drake, a Federal Bankruptcy judge in Newnan, GA starting in September of 2012.
Michael is engaged to marry Meghan Hobbs from Colorado
Springs, CO on Dec. 28, 2012. Meghan also graduated at
Washington and Lee School of Law, Magna Cum Laude and
Order of the Coif.
Class of 2005
Alex Edmondson married Samuel Elliott Johnson on October
8, 2011. Alex graduated from Auburn University in 2010 with
degrees in radio, television, film, and English.
Brittany Hughes is a Neurosurgical and Epilepsy Nurse at
Emory University Hospital. She is starting graduate school at
the University of Alabama in June 2013 to receive her MSN/
EdD degree.
Maria Troche graduated from Samford University with a B.S.
in Nursing and from Vanderbilt University with an M.S. in
Nursing/Acute Care. She is employed at Vanderbilt Medical
Center in Nashville, TN as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.
Class of 2006
Slade and Katie (Oliver) Ponder were married on May 26,
2012 on the Samford Hall
lawn at Auburn University.
Katie and Slade were the
winners of the first ever
Brad and Katrina Huguley have a new baby daughter,
“War Eagle Wedding.” Katie
Kathryn (Kate) Joyce, born on April 6, 2012. Their older child, is the daughter of Mr. and
Frank, turns three this month.
Mrs. Bill Oliver ‘78 and Slade
Class of 1997
is the son of Mr. and Mrs.
Ashley Lanier Jennings and her husband, Whitney, welcomed Frankie Ponder ‘76.
a baby boy to their family last summer on June 22, 2011. His Class of 2007
name is Howard Whitney Jennings, Jr. (Ward) His big sister,
Carson Hill finished his
Sydney, is now 3 years old.
undergraduate Accounting
Class or 2000
degree in May 2011 with a
Thomas and Ashlee Hill
3.76 GPA and earned the Honor of Magna Cum Laude from
have three children,
the University of Georgia. On May 12, 2012, he graduated
Thomas Jr. (7), Tristan (2),
from the University of Georgia with his Masters of Accountand Tanner (7 mo).
ancy degree where he maintained a 3.85 GPA and Magna
Thomas teaches 7th Grade
Cum Laude. Carson has currently completed two of the four
Civics and Geography and
parts of the Certified Public Accounting exam and plans to
8th Grade World History
finish the final two parts in the upcoming months. After comat Springwood. He is the
pleting an internship in the spring of 2011 with Porter, KeaVarsity Asst. Head Football
dle, Moore, LLC in Atlanta, he was offered a fulltime position
Coach and the Head Boys
in their auditing department, beginning in September 2012.
JV Basketball Coach.
News from Springwood Alumni
Class of 2008
Michael Fagan and Tatum McCullough were married on May 26, 2012. The couple is living and working in Murfreesburg, TN. (pictured left) Below is an update on some the members of the Class of
2008 who were present at Michael and Tatum Fagan’s wedding (left to right). Corey Spivey is a senior
in the School of Business at Auburn University. Katie Lyons just completed her first year of Pharmacy
School at the Harrison School of Pharmacy at Auburn. Jacob Wadkins is a senior in Biosystems Engineering at Auburn University. Molly Andrews
graduated from Auburn with a B.S. in Nutrition
Science (Pre-Med). She will begin medical
school at the University of South Alabama this
fall. Carrie Matthews is a senior in Pre-Physical
Therapy at North Georgia College. Ben Hixon completed the PrePharmacy program at Auburn University and will begin pharmacy school
at McWhorter School of Pharmacy at Samford University in August.
Hannah Smith lives and works in the Valley. Michael Fagan graduated
from Middle Tennessee State in May with a degree in Athletic Training.
He is continuing classes at Middle Tennessee and working at Belle Aire
Baptist Church in Murfreesboro.
Civil War Encampment—Murphy Wood—Class of 1983
In April, Springwood students had a chance to see what it was like for the Civil War soldier when Springwood High School
history teacher, Murphy Wood, Springwood Class of 1983, had an encampment on the school campus.
The formal instruction lasted about 45 minutes and the topics covered were the weapons, tactics, and personal
equipment of the Civil War soldier. The food and camp life of the soldier were reviewed. Mr. Wood’s Civil War
encampment was a great way to introduce students to the sights, sounds, and smells of the Civil War.
Above , Mr. Wood demonstrates how the Civil War era rifled percussion musket operated. It was a much more deadly
weapon than what soldiers used in previous wars, and played a big part in the Civil War having such high casualty figures.
Murphy Wood is in his first year of teaching at Springwood and has previously taught in Virginia for nine years. He has
studied the Civil War throughout his adult life and has read hundreds of books on the subject ranging from military
campaigns and personal biographies to prison camps and period medical techniques. He’s written a regimental history of
the 26th Georgia and has read extensively on the use of slaves by both the Confederate and Union armies and the
forming of African-American units such as the 54th Massachusetts and the 2nd South Carolina. Murphy Wood has been
a Civil War re-enactor, been in the movie Gods and Generals, given numerous battlefield tours and lectures about
various Civil War topics to school groups, the public, and the U.S. military.
Murphy Wood teaches Government and Advanced Placement History to Springwood students in the 10th—12th grades.
Springwood Homecoming—Save the Date—September 28, 2012
2012 Springwood School Football Schedule
Time (EST)
Aug. 17
Aug. 23 (TH)
East Memorial
Aug. 31
Sept. 7
Sept. 13 (TH)
Sept. 21
Hope Hull
Sept. 28 (Homecoming) South Montgomery
Oct. 5
Oct. 12
Coosa Valley
Oct. 19
Oct. 26
Support your Springwood School Alumni Association:
Membership in the Springwood Alumni Association runs July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.
The $20.00 annual dues are the major source of income for the Association and are used
to help fund Alumni events and the annual Alumni Scholarship for a graduating senior.
You can support the Association by mailing your check to the Springwood Alumni
Association, P.O. Box 1030, Lanett, AL 36863. If you would like to make a financial
contribution in honor of or in memory of someone, please do so. The Alumni Director
will notify the person or the family.
Visit the Alumni Section of the Springwood School website—
Update your personal information and submit your news to us.
Nominate individuals for the Athletic Hall of Fame and other Alumni Awards.
If you missed the Retirement Ceremony of Adam Sanders’ football jersey last year at
homecoming, you can read about it under News and Events.
For questions or comments contact:
Ann Merritt Hixon ‘77
Director of Admissions, Development, and Alumni
Alumni Link Editor
[email protected]