By Sophia Xiong
Dr. Holly Morgan, director of community education at the Center for Community-Based Partnerships (CCBP), welcomed attendees. “Thank you, graduates, for your dedication, your collaboration, and your willingness to form partnerships that ultimately build community,” she said.
In recognizing the 10-year anniversary of PTLA, Morgan said, “Based upon needs expressed, the academy was formed with the goal of promoting parental engagement within the local schools. To this day, current members of the advisory committee continue to meet to provide insight and guidance to the current and future academy.” Thirteen founders and 10-year graduating class members attended the ceremony.
PTLA is a unique leadership program in that it provides both research-based professional development to parents and teachers, as well as a structure for application of that new knowledge. “Our mission, ‘Building Community by Supporting Children and Families,’ is one that not only states our purpose but also echoes our values—values that are mirrored by our university’s strategic plan as a community-engaged institution,” Morgan said.
Throughout the school year, parents and teachers collaborated to create projects that are aligned with one of their school’s improvement goals. This year, 50 projects are to be implemented in either spring or fall 2018. More than 20 of the projects had been implemented by the time the ceremony occurred.
“I truly believe the project I participated in as a part of the PTLA program has helped me grow — not only as a parent for my own son, but also as a parent within my son’s school, and even as a teacher myself,” said Vance Elementary Pre-K parent Latasha Hubbard, who has also been a 6th-grade teacher at Brookwood Middle School since 2004. Their project is P.H.A.T. Tuesdays (Parents Helping Accelerate Texts), which intends to increase students’ reading of non-fiction text. “I am very grateful to have had this experience and look forward to working with the teachers and parents at my son’s school during the 2018–2019 school year to implement the project.”
This year’s PTLA is the first time to include parents and teachers from middle schools and to expand the number of school districts from four to six. Rochelle Tolliver, a teacher at Livingston Jr. High School, helped her school create STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) Star Night, which aims to increase the involvement of parents, teachers and students through monthly meetings. Students and teachers will highlight various activities, projects and expertise that correlate with Alabama STEAM standards.
“We had a paint night, and it was a success,” Tolliver said. “We had approximately 60 parents and students attend. We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with PTLA.”
“Ten years ago, I said I was proud of this program for three reasons: the people, its purpose, and the potential,” said Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president of UA’s Division of Community Affairs. “There were only 20 parents. We would have a way of planting trees that we may not be around to see the shade from, but we believed in what we were doing. And now there is a room of people that have passion about it. I think there is no doubt that the work of this group is going to impact a lot of children and their families.”
Members of the 2017–2018 graduating teacher class are:
Alabaster City Schools — Michelle Colburn, Rebecca Coulter, Rachael Gardner, Andrea Godsey, Holly D. Jackson, Suzanne Lee, Meagan Sharp, Elise Skelie, Sarah Turner and Katie Vanover.
Fayette County Schools — Natalyn Burkhalter, Jackie Dodd, Teri Killingsworth, Sarah Schuckert, Bailey Schultz and Heather Windle.
Lamar County Schools — Rachel Blaylock, Laura Bobbitt, Shelby Mann, Joanne Prater and Sandra Wheeler.
Sumter County Schools — Patricia Bohannon, Lawanda McVay, Nettie Robinson and Rochelle Tolliver.
Tuscaloosa City Schools — Shakera Blakley, Rachel Bryant, Khalia Burton, Nellie Christina, Amy Davis, Anna Ezell, Kelly Feith, Katrina Harris, Elizabeth Heath, Rebecca Henry, Rachel Hollingsworth, Kendra Hope, Ashley Jackson, Siedah Johnson, Calli Jones, Bryan Marchant, Patsy McGahey, Beth Murray, Hannah Moore, Linlee Morton, Benjamin Parish, LaTiffany Richardson, Nicholas Rose, Kimberly Shelton, Angela Taylor, Tiffany Taylor-Davis, Georgia Tidwell, Amy Vick, Angelia Washington-Nixon, Blake Wilson, Fran Wilson, Diane Winfree and Andrea Ziegler.
Tuscaloosa County Schools — Catherine Anderson, Kathryn Brandon, Tara Cobb, LaQuita Coleman, Joy Collins, Melissa Eastwood, Dana Fitzpatrick, Mishon Flanigan, Nina Graham, Morgan Grandolfo, Lindy Hamner, Shellye Hamner, Samantha Heath, Haley Herron, LaKida Hill, Olivia Hoffman, Holly Holloway, Kellie Hubbard, Timothy Junkins, Ronda Kimbrough, Mercedes Lawrence, Lacey Lee, Jennifer Manning, Beverly Parsons, Jeremy Perkins, Morgan Reeves, Ashley Rogers, Dana Roy, Chandria Shaw, Clay Shumate, Jordan Still, Shannon Thomas, Dominique Tortorice, Taylor Warren, Cayla Watts and Tracy Windle.
Members of the 2017–2018 graduating parent class are:
Alabaster City Schools — Cyndi Abercrombie, Amber Broadhead, Michel Coleman, Leigh Gofourth, Pati Gonzalez, Sonia Jones, Kourtney Lund, Taylor Nichols, Consuelo Rivera, Francie Ann Vono-Aldridge, Tracy Waldrip, Jenny Watts and Jamia Williams.
Fayette County Schools — Jennifer Baker, Donna Brown, Amanda Frost, Tracy Hollingsworth, Tori Scott and Jamie Thomas.
Lamar County Schools — Terri Berry and Tara Fields.
Sumter County Schools — Loretta Henderson, Clydesha Pearce and Alfreda Witherspoon.
Tuscaloosa City Schools — Katherine Andrews, Karla Avina, Yuping Bao, Tracie Bates, Kevin Besnoy, Missy Brazil, Tucker Brown, Quinetta Bryant, Lakeisha Clark, Sabrina Crummie, Marisa Davis, Cinthia Delgado-Rivera, Karmillia Eubanks, Matthew Gilbert, Crystal Grant, Amanda Grase, Elda Marleny Guatzin, Shamire Hatcher, Amparo Hernandez, Sarah Higgins, JaNet Hudson, Shan Jiang, Cathy Jones, Erika Jones, Tchalla Jones-Jerido, Brenda Jordan, Lakeedria Kennedy, Myesha Lanier, Juan Osorio, Laquetta Peoples, Linda Pontseele, Carolyn Roshell-Erby, Laura Skinner, Joy Spencer, Gwen Sudduth, Odis Waller, April Williams, Tracy Williams and Santita Word.
Tuscaloosa County Schools — Michael Bender, Lisa Bentley, Michelle Bentley, Ashley Binion, Molly Booth, Heather Cain, Federico Castillo, Violeta Castillo, Nikki Christian, Kristy Colo, Bridgett Cooper, Tiffine Daniels, Teshekia Dill, Catherine Durham, Alberta Erreguin, Shonetay Gardner, Caley Gill, Latasha Hubbard, Stephanie Kannas, Michelle Keasler, Angie Kowzan, Ashley Langley, Misty Lewis, Jennifer McDaniel, April McKinnis, Adrian Kasey Miller, Gwen Prewitt Mitchell, Nicole Mitchell, Keri Moon, Paula Mount, Vikki Norris, Martha Pettway, Misty Potter, Cristina Reyes, Tameka Ross, Bernice Sanders, Tameisha Springfield, Valentina Stakem, Janelle Strickland, Aleetha Sullivan, April Sullivan, Suzie Tingle, Deborah Trejo, Randy Tunnell, Maria Uruchurtu, William Vining and Shermita Whitfield.