James Spann to deliver keynote address at Thompson graduation

Published 1:32 pm Sunday, April 3, 2022

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ALABASTER – As graduation dates near, Thompson High School has announced a special keynote speaker for the class of 2022 commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 24.

Before graduating inside the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Bartow Arena in downtown Birmingham, this year’s senior class and all guests will here local weather meteorologist James Spann deliver the keynote address.

Spann has served as the Chief Meteorologist for ABC 33/40 in the Birmingham area for the past 24 years and has been a television weather anchor for 43 years, becoming one of the most decorated members of the media in that time.

He has received the two highest awards in the nation for a broadcast meteorologist, including national “Broadcaster of the Year” by the National Weather Association and the AMS (American Meteorological Society) “Award for Broadcast Meteorology.”

Both awards were given for his passionate dedication to serving the central Alabama area with critical weather information and tireless efforts to advance public awareness and engagement of meteorology.

Spann has also earned multiple Emmv awards over the years, eventually being elected to the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle, representing outstanding achievement spanning at least 25 years in the broadcast industry with a proven record of mentoring and community involvement.

He was one of the first weather anchors in the nation to earn “Certified Broadcast Meteorologist” status from the American Meteorological Society.

To earn the CBM, loadmasters must hold a degree in meteorology or equivalent at an accredited college or university, pass a rigorous written examination and have their on-air work reviewed to assess technical competence, informational value, explanatory value and communication skills.

He also has been awarded the Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association and holds a certificate in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University.

The University of West Alabama conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree to Spann in 2013.

He has also been inducted into the Theta Tau professional engineering fraternity Alumni Hall of Fame and the College of Communication and Information Sciences Hall of Fame at the University of Alabama.

Spann is the Chairman of the Board of Grandview Medical Center, and is a member of the University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences Board of Visitors.

He and his wife Karen have been married for 40 years and have two sons. He leads Children’s Worship every Sunday at Double Oak Community Church in Mt Laurel.

Graduation will begin at 6 p.m. on May 24.