SCHS valedictorians award teachers

Published 2:38 pm Monday, May 21, 2012

Shelby County High School valedictorians award Golden Apple Awards to mentors. From left are Rachel Cole, Anne Stansell, Harrison Adams, Jim Adams, Jared Seale, Connie Wheeler, Stevey Beardin, J.P. Gravitt and Tom Grigsby. Not pictured is Chris Baker.

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

Each year, the valedictorians at Shelby County High School give an award called the Golden Apple at Senior Night to the person who has made a significant difference in their life.

Jared Seale, Summa Cum Laude valedictorian, awarded his apple to math teacher Mrs. Connie Wheeler who had a huge influence on his life and college choice. Seale will attend the Honors College at Auburn University on the President’s Scholarship with a technology stipend. He was awarded the Evan K. Major Jr. Award and the Academic Boosters Club Scholarship. Seale is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club and marching band.

Harrison Adams awarded his apple to history teacher and father Jim Adams who did not tell him how to live but rather showed him by his example. Adams will attend the University of Alabama with the Presidential Scholarship, Engineering Leadership Scholarship, Marine Scholarship Excellence Award, Academic Boosters Club Scholarship and the first Myra Stinson Vickery Scholarship Award. Adams played football and track, is a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club.

Stevey Beardin selected English teacher Chris Baker as her Golden Apple. Baker challenged her to think as an adult, raised the bar and expected her to reach it. Beardin will attend Jacksonville State University with the Faculty Scholarship and Edwin Rush Academic Scholarship. She is Beta Club president, National Honor Society vice president, Future Teachers of Alabama treasurer, color guard captain, SCHS show choir and nominee for the Jacksonville Show Choir.

Rachel Cole awarded her Golden Apple to English teacher Anne Stansell whose door was always open and taught her to stand up for what she believed in. Cole will attend the University of North Alabama. She was awarded the Academic Scholarship, Novella Club Scholarship and the Coach Davis Phillips Memorial Scholarship. Cole is the National Honor Society president, Beta Club vice president, SGA chaplain and SCHS marching band section leader.

J. P. Gravitt chose band teacher Tom Grigsby as his Golden Apple, who encouraged him in his music. Gravitt will attend the University of Alabama, where he has been accepted into the Million Dollar Band. Gravitt was awarded the Dean’s Engineering Excellence Scholarship, Collegiate Scholarship, Academic Boosters Club Scholarship and Kiwanis Club Key Club Scholarship. Gravitt played trumpet with SCHS marching band where he was the drum major. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club Treasurer, Beta Club, Eagle Scout with Troup 560, Academic Elite, Youth Leadership Shelby County and Boy’s State.

Phoebe Donald Robinson can be reached by email at

About Phoebe Donald Robinson

I am President of Donald Real Estate and Ins. Co., Inc., a company that my grandfather , Charles J. Donald, founded in 1925. I am the third generation owner of the business. I am also the Columbiana Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.

email author More by Phoebe Donald