UM College of Education honors outstanding alumni

Published 2:42 pm Thursday, March 2, 2017

From Staff Reports

The College of Education at the University of Montevallo recently honored a number of alumni at a dinner held in conjunction with homecoming activities. At the annual dinner, the College of Education recognizes one alumnus in each area of study. The following professionals have distinguished themselves in their fields.

The Outstanding Alumna Award in Elementary Education was awarded to Donna Perry of Brierfield, Alabama. Perry has taught kindergarten for approximately 30 years at Randolph Elementary in Bibb County. She plans to retire in June.

Catherine DeWitt is the recipient of the Outstanding Alumna Award in Elementary Collaborative Education. DeWitt has served as a special education teacher at Montevallo Elementary School since 2014. Her teaching practices are strongly influenced by her continued passion for the arts, as she encourages her students to build confidence and healthy self-expression through creativity.

Montevallo native Jordan Pritchett Brantley was honored with the Outstanding Alumna Award in Secondary Education for her seven years of teaching at Montevallo High School. Brantley earned her bachelor’s degree, master of education and education specialist degree from the University of Montevallo.

Mark Gray was recognized as the Outstanding Alumnus for the Traditional Education program. As an educator for 31 years, Gray has taught elementary students throughout Alabama. He serves as the Coordinator for Elementary Education for Alabaster City Schools in Shelby County.

The Outstanding Alumna Award for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education was presented to Renee Wily Payne of Lincoln. She earned her master’s degree in deaf education at UM in 2014. Payne is employed as a high school social studies teacher at the Alabama School for the Deaf where in 2015 she received the AIDB Merit Scholarship.

Marissa Holland, who earned her master’s in counseling at UM in 2013, was awarded the Outstanding Alumna Award in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. For the last three years, Holland has been working as a therapist with at risk youth who have sexual trauma histories at Hill Crest Behavioral Health Services in Birmingham, Alabama.

Ellery Berryhill was honored with the Outstanding Alumna Award in Couples and Family Counseling. She earned her master’s degree at UM in 2009. In 2013, she opened Berryhill Wellness & Counseling, LLC, a private practice in Hoover, Alabama that sees individuals, couples and families for mental health and relationship issues.

Cheryl Allen is the recipient of the Outstanding Alumna Award in School Counseling. Allen first earned a Bachelor of Science in art education at UM in 1999, before returning to complete her master of education in school counseling in 2006. She has also completed her certification in instructional leadership at UM. And in 2011, she obtained her education specialist degree in counselor education from the University of Alabama. She is currently the school counselor at Montevallo High School in Shelby County and was named 2016 High School Counselor of the Year.

Christine Formby Logan was recognized as the Outstanding Alumna in Family and Consumer Sciences. Logan earned her bachelor’s degree in 1993 from UM. After graduation, Logan taught at Calera High School before joining Wood Fruitticher Grocery Company as a commodity specialist and customer service representative. She continues to work with Wood Fruitticher where she coordinates the receiving and delivery of USDA commodity products and purchased food to schools in the state of Alabama.

Kimberly Allen was honored as the Outstanding Alumna in Kinesiology. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UM in 2014. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. She is now at the University of Southern Mississippi as a Doctoral Student, working towards her Ph.D. in Kinesiology. Allen has continued research in the area of cardiovascular health in abled bodies and spinal cord injury patients.

The Outstanding Alumna Award for Teacher Leadership was awarded to Kara Bullard Forbus, principal of Central Elementary School in Coosa County, Alabama. She earned her Ed.S. in Teacher Leadership at UM in 2012. She credits this program with helping her learn how to navigate the many challenges of being a school principal. Andi Wilson, superintendent of Coosa County Schools said, “Mrs. Forbus wears many hats as the administrator of her school yet diligently keeps school improvement on the forefront.”

Don Hulin is the recipient of the Outstanding Alumnus Award in Instructional Leadership. He earned his Ed.S. at UM in 2005. He has 30 total years of experience as a teacher, coach and administrator with 14 years of his experience in Louisiana and now 16 in Alabama. Hulin is currently in his ninth year as principal of Hoover High School.

Adrianne McKinney was honored with the Outstanding Alumna Award in Instructional Technology. She received her master’s and educational specialist degree from UM. McKinney was selected for her passion in incorporating technology into curriculum. She serves as a special education teacher at Forest Oaks Elementary School in Chelsea, Alabama.

The top honor, the Lifetime Commitment to Teaching Award, was presented to Randy Fuller, superintendent of Shelby County Schools. Fuller obtained his M.Ed. and Ed.S. in Education from the University of Montevallo. This award recognizes Fuller’s service as an educator in the state of Alabama for 39 years. Throughout his career, he has served in many capacities including teacher, coach, administrative assistant, assistant principal and principal.