Spain Park student, teacher recognized with Finley Awards

HOOVER – Will McCrite was honored as Spain Park High School’s Finley Award winner on Monday, Feb. 24, in an assembly with his senior classmates.

Thirty-two SPHS seniors were nominated for the award, and McCrite was the surprise winner of the character award.

“Thanks to everyone who has been there for me—all the teachers who have molded me and all my friends who have been there for me,” McCrite said.

McCrite’s nomination included comments about him being “a natural community builder,” “one of my favorite humans on the planet,” “there is something effortless about the way he makes other people feel,” “he has an ability to put others at ease and makes them feel comfortable around him,” and “he values and knows the importance of encouraging others as well as building and supporting his community.”

“What sets this student apart is his ability to show truth, grace and empathy towards others,” read the nomination. “This student realizes that everyone makes mistakes and has stumbled in their life but also knows that it is how you pick yourself up and move forward that makes you who you are.”

Among the dignitaries at the presentation in the SPHS theater were Diane Finley, wife of the late Bob Finley, for whom the awards were named, and Hoover City Schools Superintendent Kathy Murphy.

Murphy noted that character is “what you do when no one else is looking” but also more.

“It’s how we treat each other every day,” she said. “It’s how we hold ourselves accountable.”

Also recognized at the assembly was world languages teacher Chrissy Roe, who was named the top Finley Awards employee recipient across the entire school system.

SPHS Principal Larry Giangrosso said Roe’s nomination included comments including “cares about students and their futures,” “shows passion and love,” “very engaged in students’ lives,” “connects with students in the classroom but also through work with school activities,” “creates an uplifting and encouraging environment for students,” and “a true educator, leader, mentor in our school, in our community, state, country and throughout the world.”

Roe said she has been at Spain Park since it opened and will “probably be here until I retire.”

“It’s a challenge working for Hoover, but it’s a blessing as well,” she said.

Giangrosso noted earlier that Spain Park’s 32 student nominees were the most ever from one school.

“It’s a great day for Spain Park and Hoover City Schools,” Giangrosso said. “Once again, this great class of 2020 has done wonderful things.”

Below is a list of all the student nominees from Spain Park:

  • Riley Ashford
  • Charlotte Brown
  • Nick Gagliano
  • Tsubasa Kodama
  • Canon Shaw
  • J.P. Aufdemorte
  • Mackenzie Culpepper
  • Melony Harris
  • Kennedy Holloway
  • Bennett Meredith
  • Megan Amrine
  • Madison Beaubien
  • Anna Kate Morris
  • Rodney Scott
  • Hannah Warren
  • Sarah Ashlee Barker
  • Josie Bonamy
  • Nick Brown
  • Rebecca Copeland
  • Hannah Beth Gosnell
  • Katherine Hall
  • Trey Helms
  • Jake Horton
  • Maddy Jackson
  • Kaddyjatou Jallow
  • Jacob Jenkins
  • Morgan Kern
  • Will Landers
  • William McCrite
  • Rachel Morris
  • Richard Moses
  • Marcus Mudano
  • Madison Oakman
  • Nicolas Obregon
  • Lindsay Parker
  • Katie Petitt
  • Bella Plaia
  • Natalie Plourde
  • Jack Poist
  • Janna Ren
  • Creel Richardson
  • Andrew Ritchey
  • Kayla Smoot
  • Abby Strohmeier
  • Will Tidwell
  • Sarah Voorhees
  • Erin Warren