Spain Park celebrates first decade

Spain Park staff members listen to a speaker during the school's 10 years celebration. (Reporter photo/Amy Jones)

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

HOOVER — Spain Park teachers and administrators gathered April 1 to celebrate the school’s first 10 years of existence.

The school opened in 2001. There are 25 staff members who were there the first day and still work at Spain Park today, said Principal Chris Shaw.

Shaw, who grew up in Homewood, said he can remember when workers were building Spain Park.

“News travels fast,” he said. “Spain Park was impressive, and it is impressive to this day.”

Current Hoover Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Ron Dodson, who was formerly an assistant principal at Spain Park, said he felt Spain Park has succeeded because of an attitude open to learning and open to making mistakes.

“We’re not afraid to take risks,” he said. “We’re not afraid to take those opportunities.”

Current Homewood City Schools Superintendent Dr. Bill Cleveland, who was an assistant principal at Spain Park from 2001-2004, shared some humorous experiences from his days at the school and talked about why Spain Park has been so successful.

“The greatest thing is the commitment everybody had. When tough times came up, everybody just responded together,” he said. “There was an enormous amount of pride, and I think that still exists today.”

The 25 staff members who have been at Spain Park since its inception were honored with plaques. Those staff members are: Joe Carter, Jackie Davis, Susan Dorough, Gwen Dunn, Howard Furnas, Jan Harris, Stephen Hobbs, Priscilla Humphrey, Darrin Johnson, Susan King, Amber Lewis, Glenda Lott, Sally Mathias, Brian Moon, Kelly Parnell, James Reinsch, Angela Spain, Robert Starr, Rebecca Suarez, Gwendolyn Taylor, Jesse Tilton, Renee Vance, Trudy Whitehead, Kerry Williams and Stevie Yanko.