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Student Spotlights January 2023

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Every month we compile a list of students and schools doing great things across our community.  We have so many talented students in our area.  Greater Pensacola Parents joins with these families and schools to celebrate their achievements!

Little Flower Box of Joy Project

Little Flower families always show their generosity when it comes to those less fortunate, especially when asked to help children at Christmas time. Students have filled special Box of Joy boxes with school supplies, toys, clothes and hygiene items to be sent to children in developing countries. We are so happy to make a child’s Christmas just a little bit better.

Phillips Preparatory’s IB Learners for November

Phillips Preparatory’s IB Learners for November demonstrated the learner profile for “Caring.” A Caring IB Learner shows empathy, compassion, and respect to others. They have a commitment to service and act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and the world around us.
From Left to right: Amelia Moore, Ethan Nguyen, and TyKeria Beckham.

Acton Academy Mobile Visits Mobile Environmental Studies Center

Acton Academy Mobile Eagles took learning outside the classroom and went on a visit to the Mobile Environmental Studies Center. Students were led on a trail through the woods to observe plants and animals local to our area.

Satsuma High School Students Visit Washington, D.C.

Students from Satsuma High School had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. in early November to learn about the government process and interact with students from all over the nation. Led by teachers Joy Crisler and Kevin Rawls, the students visited multiple national landmarks, participated in debates, met with members of Congress, and even got to watch election night coverage at the National Press Club.

ASMS Student, Instructor, and Parent Present at Esteemed Physics Conference

While you might not expect to see a high school make a strong showing at a college-level research conference, the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science (ASMS) did just that at the 89th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society. Commonly referred to as SESAPS, this prestigious conference highlights physics-related research from undergraduate students, graduate students, and college professors. Hosted on the Ole Miss campus this year, it also featured research from several ASMS community members: a student, a teacher, and a parent.

Tuyako Khristoforova, currently a senior at ASMS, presented a poster on using machine learning technology to identify superhard compound materials that could potentially replace diamonds in industrial applications. Working with her mentor, Dr. Cheng-Chien Chen from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Tuyako used computer algorithms to sort through thousands of possible compounds, eventually determining the best method for doing the sorting. Tuyako’s work builds on that of her mentor, whom she met after completing a project in an ASMS course. She says, “I was able to get this opportunity because of an assignment from Intro to Research Methods where we had to cold-email five local university professors. Dr. Chen already completed this research, but he wanted me to use a different machine learning method and compare my results with his.”

Dr. Durga Paudel, a professor in the ASMS Physics Department, delivered a presentation on a substance that could be useful in the production of computer memory devices, LCD displays, solar panels, copy machines, and more. He used a computational method called small-angle X-ray scattering to study bonding disorders of hydrogen present in amorphous silicon materials. The goal of this particular research is to identify ways to make the creation of electronic devices more efficient and cost-effective. Dr. Paudel notes, “There are still possibilities to cut down the price of devices using the eco-friendlier, cheaper, and more easily available amorphous material.” Despite being a full-time high school physics teacher of such classes as Principles of Biophysics and Quantum and Relativity, Dr. Paudel remains committed to conducting cutting-edge nanomaterial research.

Having a student and a teacher present separate research projects at the conference would be impressive enough, but a third SESAPS participant rounded out the ASMS research family. Dr. Albert Gapud, a member of the University of South Alabama’s Physics Department and parent of a current ASMS senior, collaborated with researchers from the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory on nuclear magnetic resonance studies of vanadium silicide’s transition to superconductivity. He explains, “Although superconductors have already found many applications (like the magnet of an MRI machine), we won’t really be able to explore their full potential without a better understanding of how they become superconducting in the first place.” Four of Dr. Gapud’s children have attended ASMS, with his oldest completing the ASMS Research Fellows Program just last year.

ASMS is proud to be represented by these three brilliant individuals, whose work underscores the excellent efforts of our research community, an interconnected group of scholars that often resembles a family. This is representative of why for 30 years ASMS has been leading the way in offering advanced STEM-based education to Alabama’s high school students and playing a key role in developing Alabama’s STEM and industry leaders!

St. Luke's 5th Grade Honors Veterans

To honor our veterans, St. Luke’s 5th grade students had a special program of patriotic music following a reception for the veterans and their families. Both campuses created a Wall of Honor to show appreciation for both past, present, and future veterans while also displaying beautiful Veterans Day artwork made by our students.

Barton Academy Artists Selected to Represent Alabama at “America Celebrates” National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Barton Academy student artists were selected to represent the state of Alabama at the “America Celebrates” National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The students decorated their ornaments with images that represented the beauty and uniqueness of Alabama. 18 ornaments were selected from the Barton artwork, and these are the artists whose ornaments were selected. Each state has a tree, and our Alabama tree is proudly on display with Alabama-themed ornaments drawn solely by our amazing Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies artists! A big congratulations to our Barton artists and their art teacher, Mrs. Christy LeGros!

St. Luke’s Biomedical Sciences Program’s Trauma Week 2022

Day 1: The scenario began with St. Luke’s students gathered in the stands near the athletic field to observe a football play that resulted in a player being injured. St. Luke’s Athletic Trainer, David Bentley, responded as he normally would in that situation. He immediately called for the two physicians who were on the sidelines. Next, the Mobile Fire Rescue Department EMS crew was summoned and the player’s injured leg was splinted and stabilized on the field. He was then transported to the Emergency Department. Students heard from each participant as they explained what their role was in caring for a patient with this type of injury. The EMS team gave a report to the ER staff, and various types of splints and traction were discussed, along with diagnostic images and pain management medications and techniques. The patient was diagnosed with an open tibia/fibula fracture of the left leg.

Day 2: Dr. Slauterbeck, Chair of Orthopedic Surgery at USA Health, spoke of different types of open fractures and discussed surgical options and various methods of stabilization to help the patient begin the recovery process. It was determined that he would apply an external fixator. The patient was prepped and taken to the OR for the procedure.

Day 3: Dr. Rippey, Director of Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship and Associate Professor of Family Medicine for USA, saw the patient for post-op follow-up care and also determined that he sustained a concussion.

Day 4: The patient had a physical therapy consultation with Elizabeth Boone, PT, DPT, MTC from Infirmary Health. The students observed a full assessment and how to measure joint mobility using a goniometer. It was discovered that the patient may have also torn his ACL.

Day 5: Dr. James Slauterbeck, Chair of Orthopedic Surgery at USA Health, returned Friday to conduct another post-op visit with our patient. He confirmed the suspected ACL tear that was undiagnosed until the tibia/fibula fracture had healed. The students learned about the causes and risks of ACL tears in both male and female athletes.

Trauma Week 2022 was a fantastic learning experience for St. Luke’s Biomedical Science students. These professionals have inspired many of our students to learn more about the fields of sports medicine, emergency medical services, trauma nursing, imaging, concussion management, physical therapy, and orthopedics. We sincerely thank each and every one of our guests.

Acton Academy Mobile Expands Outdoor Learning Environment

The outdoor learning environment at Acton Academy Mobile got a new addition! Students learn, explore, investigate and discover using their new sand station outside.

Phillips Prep 8th Grader and Murphy High Swimmer, State Runner-Up

Phillips Preparatory 8th grader, Peyton Williams (left) swims on Murphy High School’s swim team. Peyton competed for Murphy High School in the AHSAA State Championship Swim Meet. She won State Runner-Up in both the 200 Individual Medley and the 100 Breaststroke in the 6/7A high school division! Way to go, Peyton, we are so proud of you!

St. Dominic 8th Graders Create Jesse Trees

A Jesse Tree is a decorative tree used during the Season of Advent to recount stories of the Bible. Our Grade 8 students are honored to participate in creating a Jesse Tree each year in this long standing St. Dominic Catholic School tradition. Pictured, Elliot Adams.

St. Dominic Catholic School Pioneer Project

As part of their studies in Alabama History, students in Grade 4 at St. Dominic Catholic School completed a Pioneer Project. Each student also shared information on their project with the class. They all did excellent work! Pictured: Dax Freesmeier.

St. Luke's Middle School Lunchtime Fun!

Once a week, St. Luke’s middle school students have the option of eating lunch while playing chess in the library. Students of all skill levels are invited to challenge each other and meet new friends while learning new strategies and tactics.

53 Phillips Preparatory Band Students Make the Middle School Honor Band

53 Phillips Preparatory Band students made the Mobile County Middle School Honor Band! For the 17th year in a row, Phillips Preparatory has had the most students make Honor Band! Look at all the FIRST CHAIRS! Big Congratulations to our band director, Ms. Galemore and her students!

St. Dominic Catholic School Spelling Bee Winner!

Congratulations to Drake Mallard for winning our St. Dominic Catholic School Spelling Bee! He will represent us at the Archdiocesan Spelling Bee. Our runner up was Liam Goff. Congratulations to all of our participants.
5th grade – Colton Taylor and Drake Mallard
6th grade – Beck Connell and Conyer Smith
7th grade – Liam Goff and Lucas Tran
8th grade – Addison Gates, Audrey Godwin, Caleb Wilson and Genevieve Mayeux