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Board of Education May 2022 Recognitions

May 24, 2022 -- The Vestavia Hills Board of Education on Monday took time to recognize several students and community members for their recent achievements:


Steve Bendall, 2021-22 Board of Education President

The Vestavia Hills Board of Education would like to extend its gratitude to Steve Bendall, whose five-year term on the Board of Education ends this month. Bendall was appointed to the Board of Education by the Vestavia Hills City Council in 2017 and served as President of the Board during the 2021-22 school year. 


Karen Odle, Chamber of Commerce President and CEO 

The Vestavia Hills Board of Education would like to extend its gratitude to Karen Odle, who is retiring this month as the president and CEO of the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce. Odle is a longtime Vestavia Hills resident and a former Board of Education member from 2001-06. Odle started her position at the Chamber of Commerce in 2002 and led the creation of the Community Newsletter, a joint publication between the city, school system and Chamber of Commerce which is mailed monthly to all homes in Vestavia Hills. Odle was instrumental in the growth and development of the Partners in Education program, which connects local businesses and organizations with schools for financial and in-kind support.


VHHS Science Olympiad Team

The Vestavia Hills High School Science Olympiad team had an outstanding showing at the Science Olympiad State Tournament at Auburn University in March. The team placed fourth overall in the tournament, and eight team members won individual state championships in astronomy, experimental design, rocks and minerals, and trajectory. Several other team members finished among the top 3 in several categories of competition.


SkillsUSA State Competition winners

Four Vestavia Hills High School students earned first place medals in April at the SkillsUSA State Competition. Senior Erin Graffeo won first place in Architectural Drafting; senior Cole Lenhart took home first place in Technical Drafting and 3D Modeling; and juniors Emarie Price and Jonathan Gidley won first place in Additive Manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping. All first-place winners in the state competition will move on to the national SkillsUSA competition this summer in Atlanta.


FBLA State Conference Champions 

Two Vestavia Hills High School students recently won first place at the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) state conference in April in Mobile. VHHS senior Patrick Maluff won first place in the Securities and Investments category, while junior Amith Varambally won first place in the Economics category. Additionally, junior Rollins Waltchack placed second in the Securities and Investments category, and junior Vincent Lin placed second in the Business Calculations category.


VHHS Boys’ and Girls’ Tennis Teams – state champions 

The Vestavia Hills High School boys’ and girls’ tennis teams both won the 7A state championships in April in Mobile. This is the second time in VHHS history that both tennis teams swept the state championships, matching the 2013 season. In addition, the boys swept the doubles competitions, with the groups of Jake Anthony and Ryan Pearlman, John Michael Yanosky and Kade Nelson, and Drew Castleberry and Kyle Norris all taking home doubles titles. The Vestavia girls also dominated the competition, winning five of the six singles brackets and two of the three doubles titles. Ansley Cox, Kate Morros, Madison Standifer, Kenley Outzen, and Caroline Helms were all singles winners. The teams of Cox and Outzen and Morros and Nancy Chen won in doubles competition. 


VHHS Boys’ Golf Team – state champions

The Vestavia Hills High School boys’ golf team won their second straight 7A state championship earlier this month in Huntsville. The team defeated Auburn High School by five strokes at the Robert Trent Jones Hampton Cove golf course, finishing day one with a team score of 300 and 290 on Tuesday. VHHS junior Ward Harris was the top Vestavia Hills player, finishing third overall with a two-day total of 142. Three other VHHS players — juniors Jay Clemmer, Andrew Szymela, and Parker Moellinger — also finished in the top ten.


Vestavia Hills Elementary East – National School of Character, a national organization advocating for character education in schools, announced last week that Vestavia Hills Elementary East has been named a 2022 National School of Character. VHEE is one of just 50 schools in the U.S. to receive the National School of Character designation this year. Each of the National Schools of Character was chosen based on excellence in eleven different principles of character education and development. At VHEE, those principles were found in the school’s “E.A.G.L.E.” core values, which represent a commitment to empathy, acceptance, grit, love, and excellence. VHEE is the third Vestavia Hills school in as many years to be named a National School of Character, joining Vestavia Hills Elementary Cahaba Heights (2020) and Vestavia Hills Elementary West (2021).