The 2016 - 2017 school year was the fifth year for Vestavia Hills Elementary West to host a JDRF Kids Walk, and they raised over $10,500. In total, they’ve raised $41,420.67 for type 1 diabetes (T1D) research!
Sharman Martin, head P.E. coach, serves as the school coordinator. The work she does is personal, because her nephew was diagnosed with T1D when he was in third grade. They are really close and every year she leads the Walk in honor of her nephew and all the students with T1D whom she has taught over the years.
Every day in P.E. for the two weeks that the students are fundraising, Sharman plays music to build excitement and displays the students’ JDRF paper sneakers in the gym to remind them to keep fundraising. Vestavia West also helps promote fundraising by putting up the Kids Walk on their Facebook page—and by celebrating “Put a Cap on Diabetes” day where the students can pay $1 to wear a hat.
Sharman says, “We are a big school so, to me, it is amazing to see how our whole community chooses to come together like family for JDRF. When I see the kids out walking, they may not fully understand why they are raising money and walking, but they are learning compassion.”
There is one face at Vestavia West that really makes the Kids Walk personal. Third-grader Caden James was diagnosed two days after his second birthday. Once the overwhelming reality of this disease settled in, his family jumped head first into the JDRF world. His mom Stacy says, “I think the Kids Walk is a phenomenal resource for Caden James and the school to better understand T1D. With him being an athlete and spending five days in school, it gives them a better idea of what he deals with on a daily basis.”
A special thanks to Sharman Martin, Ford McGuffey and Dyan Staub for working determinedly to make JDRF Kids Walk an event loved by everyone involved!
In October 2017, three ELA 7 teachers from Pizitz Middle School presented at the AMLE annual conference in Austin, Texas. AMLE is the Association for Middle Educators, and their annual conference is described as the most valuable and comprehensive professional development opportunity in the world for any person working with students ages 10–15.
There are 467 seniors. (205 of the seniors will graduate with the Advanced Academic with Honors Endorsement on their diplomas)
-15 of 21 teams qualified for state playoffs
-1 Team State Championship (Wrestling- Duals and Traditional State Champs)
-3 State Runner-ups (Boys Bowling, Boys Golf, Girls Soccer)
-5 Individual State Champions (Seniors listed below)
This is just a sample of many more activities related to community service that occur throughout Vestavia Hills High School.
Congratulations to Pizitz Middle School for earning The Bob Barthel All Sports Trophy for the Metro South Conference for 2016-17. The award is given to the middle school or junior high school that has earned the highest number of points based on their teams’ placements in athletic events throughout the year. This is the second time in Pizitz history that the Pirates have won the All Sports Trophy (2007-08). In addition, three Pizitz coaches received Metro South Coach of the Year honors: Bill Mann was named Coach of the Year for softball, Jason Williams was named Coach of the Year for Track, and David McKenzie was named Coach of the Year for 7th grade girls’ basketball.
Congratulations to Vestavia Hills High School senior Riley Holmes, winner of the Fall InvestWrite essay contest with the Alabama Council on Economic Education. The InvestWrite essay contest challenges students to address real-world financial issues and situations by answering a question about long-term saving and investing. Students in grades 4-12 are asked to analyze an investment scenario and recommend portfolio allocations that target short and long term financial goals. The competition is a culminating activity for the 600,000 students who compete nationwide in the Stock Market Game program each year.
The Vestavia Hills High School We the People team once again had an outstanding year that included a top 10 national finish. This year's team was the smallest ever with only 15 students. This meant that three of our students had to "double-up" and compete with 2 units instead of just one. The team finished in first place at their district and state competitions. At national competition in April, the team competed against 56 other teams from across the country. After two strong competition rounds on day one and day two, they made it into the top ten and thus got to compete on day three. The third day of competition took place in a congressional hearing room in the Cannon building. When final scores were tallied, the team finished in 8th place nationally.
Vestavia Hills High School awarded the Seal of Biliteracy to 42 students during the 2016-2017 academic year. Congratulations to these students who have successfully shown proficiency in English and at least one other language. The Seal of Biliteracy was awarded in the four languages taught at VHHS French. German, Latin and Spanish in addition to Chinese. The award is not only given in languages taught at VHHS but also to native and heritage speakers of languages other than English. Students may earn this Seal by showing proficiency in reading, writing and speaking in at least one other language in addition to English. Two students, Wenyun Jiang and Edward Huang earned the Seal in English, Spanish and Chinese.
To celebrate Mother’s Day, the Vestavia Voice reached out to Vestavia Hills elementary schools to find out what students love about their mothers. Students from Vestavia Hills Elementary Cahaba Heights and Vestavia Hills Elementary Liberty Park submitted their artwork and the thing they love most about their mom.