September 17th, 2007
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. "“ The inaugural class of The University of Alabama's new Parent Leadership Academy was introduced Thursday night at a kickoff ceremony at UA's Child Development Research Center.
Those present for the ceremony included Dr. Samory Pruitt, UA vice-president for community affairs; Dr. Sandra Ray, member of the Alabama State Board of Education; Dr. Joyce Levey, superintendent of the Tuscaloosa City Schools; and Dr. Frank Costanzo, superintendent for the Tuscaloosa County Schools.
The Parent Leadership Academy, a joint initiative of Tuscaloosa city and county public schools, the UA Center for Community-Based Partnerships, and faculty in UA's Colleges of Education and Human Environmental Sciences, is a year-long certificate program that aids in developing the leadership potential of parents in the West Alabama area.
2007-08 class members are: Amanda Bearden, Cottondale Elementary; Scottie L. Burden, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary; Jesse Dixon Jr., Woodland Forrest Elementary; Bryan K. Fair, Rock Quarry Elementary; Donnie Grill, Woodland Forrest; Felicia Gross, Arcadia Elementary; Ingrid Holemon, Arcadia; Robin Holmes, Taylorville Primary; Spike Howard Jr., Faucett-Vestavia Elementary; Roderick Johnson, Matthews Elementary; Elizabeth Lucious, Martin Luther King; Stacie Lunsford, Taylorville; Shanon Lyles, Crestmont Elementary; Dwight Monroe, Rock Quarry; Faye Perry, Oakdale Elementary; Tena Phifer, Crestmont; Juandalyn Smith-Swoope, Oakdale; Brandi Sturdivant, Cottondale; Robin Thornburg, Faucett-Vestavia; and Marie Washington, Matthews.
"These are parents who are active in the schools and represent the best of the best," said Pruitt. "Our hope is that they will continue to remain active in schools, will become more aware of the challenges facing other parents and schools, and will inspire and actively recruit other parents to become more involved."
Similar programs, Pruitt said, have begun across the country. The Tuscaloosa program is believed to be the first in Alabama.
"We see this as a wonderful opportunity to collaborate, educate, and expand the capacity of our school children's parents with support from The University of Alabama, their school system, and community members. Through respect, commitment, creativity, and safety, we see our families totally engaged in the lives of their children, networking with other parents, building a firm foundation for the success of our future…our children," said Levey.
"This Academy will prove to be an excellent resource to build parent leadership as we strive to improve the academic success for all students," said Costanzo.
For more information on the Parent Leadership Academy, contact Dr. Estelle Ryan Clavelli at 205/348-7367 or firstname.lastname@example.org.