Senior Profile: Caleb LaFollette

When attempting to describe Caleb, two words come to mind—Southern gentleman. He loves the outdoors; goes hunting on a regular basis; addresses people as “Ma’am” or “Sir”; is a God-fearing Christian; and often completes his school uniform with a bowtie.

Caleb came to Sacred Heart as a PK student, and with the exception of a couple years at another school, has been a Cardinal ever since. Sacred Heart, he says, has “made me a better Christian and a better man.” The school provided him opportunities to live out his faith, develop his character, and grow as a student. Caleb’s favorite subject is history, particularly 18th and 19th century American history. He also has a deep appreciation for military history, especially the American Revolution and the Civil War. Part of his appreciation comes from the fact that several of his family members served in the Civil War, including a distant grandfather who was present at the surrender of the Confederate Army at the Appomattox Courthouse.

Caleb is also very involved in his community and the school. He is a member of a Boy Scouts troop; participates in a local hunting club; is a lifeguard at Camp Lee; and is an active member of his church youth group. He has volunteered at the Salvation Army, organizing clothing to distribute to the needy; served in the “Meals on Wheels” program through Interfaith Ministries; worked at Camp Lee; and has taken various mission trips through his church. At Sacred Heart, he is a SGA ambassador and a member of the varsity basketball team. As a matter of fact, his most memorable moment here was being part of the basketball team’s first 1A state championship. “No one in my family has every achieved that level of accomplishment in athletics,” he said, “and being a huge sports fan, it meant a lot to me.” Caleb said that he looks forward to the day when he can bring back his own family and show them the banner with his name on it.

After graduating in May, which he said will be a close second to winning his first state championship as far as experiences go, Caleb plans on majoring in Forestry Management at Mississippi State University, which according to him is the number one program in the Southeast. Caleb has always loved the outdoors, but he ultimately decided on this major after job shadowing with the Alabama Land Trust, an organization that helps protect land from overdevelopment. After graduating college, he wants to work with the U.S. Forestry Service or a non-profit organization that protects woodlands. “Land is becoming a scarce commodity,” he said, “we need to protect our woodlands and hunting lands from overdevelopment.”

Good luck Caleb as you begin your next adventure! Whatever it will be, we are sure it will be outdoors.

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson -

Senior Profile: Megan Lott

In May, Megan Lott will join a very exclusive club, namely those who went to Sacred Heart from Pre-K through 12th grade. Though the elementary school has been in the Anniston area since 1953, the high school just graduated its first senior class in 2003.

Megan is a vital part of our Sacred Heart community. She is an active member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and its youth group. She is also greatly involved in the school. She is president of Beta Club; a member of Mu Alpha Theta (a mathematics club), the liturgy committee, and Sacred Heart choir; captain of the volleyball team; cheerleading captain; and goalie for the soccer team. In short, if Sacred Heart has it, more than likely Megan is involved.

There is no doubt that her involvement in the school is driven by her faith. “Being born and raised Catholic, Sacred Heart was not as unusual as it might be for non-Catholics,” Megan said. “The school allowed me to practice my faith freely, much more than I would have been able to at a public school. I would have been a totally different person had I went to public school.”

After graduating Sacred Heart, Megan wants to pursue a career in nursing. She always knew she wanted to be in the medical field in some capacity. Originally, she thought she wanted to be a pediatrician but has since changed her mind. A nursing career will allow her to express her faith by serving those in need. Megan already has some first-hand experience through her participation in RMC’s “Volunteens Program,” where she served in the labor and delivery unit. “The delivery process was intense,” she said. “It was amazing to be able to hold newborns in the nursery.”

Her most memorable moment at Sacred Heart was being runner up in the Class 1A area volleyball tournament. This is somewhat surprising given that she did not play in the tournament due to a broken finger, but for her, it was not about playing but about the opportunity to be part of a team that placed well in the area and moved on to regionals. “I have been part of a lot of teams that have played well but never advanced deep into tournament play,” she said. “I have always wanted to be a part of a team that went to regionals or even state.” Her goal can be explained in part due to the athletic success of her older brother. “He has his name on a banner in the gym,” Megan said, “and growing up I was always proud of him. I want him to be proud of me too.”

We have no doubt that your brother is proud of you for all you have accomplished, and we are too!

Senior Profile: Jarece Tillery

When asked about her time at Sacred Heart, Jarece said that the school had an environment that allowed her thrive and just be herself. She first enrolled at Sacred Heart in 2010 as a sixth grader, and during her six years here, it is clear that she has thrived.

She characterizes her life as “busy.” That is quite the understatement. She is Vice President of the SGA, a member of Beta club, the Spanish Club, Mu Alpa Theta (a mathematics club), and a vital member of the Varsity volleyball team. As a matter of fact, the Anniston Star recently did a one-on-one interview with Jarece, discussing her success as a student-athlete. Last year, she was named honorable mention for the All Calhoun County team. Besides her involvement in Sacred Heart, she is also active in the Anniston community. She has been a volunteer for the City of Anniston’s Good Choices Program, the Community Action Agency (a local social services organization), and summer day camps that help mentor kids in need.

Oh, and by the way, she is also a student and a good one at that. During her time at Sacred Heart, she has developed a love for English and history, in particular American history. As for English, she enjoys writing, especially argumentative writing. Given her interest in the art of argumentation, you might be able to guess her career plans. After graduating from college and law school, she wants to practice law. Last year, she was able to shadow the city’s District Attorney and was fascinated by the entire judicial process. She said that the experience opened her eyes to the legal system. She was amazed at the ability of both the prosecution and defense to present arguments on both sides.

Though she has yet to decide on where she wants to go to college (or law school for that matter), she has been actively recruited by some colleges and universities and has gone on several campus tours. Some of her schools of interest are Samford, Auburn, the University of Georgia, Birmingham-Southern, and the University of Alabama. At this time, she wants to major in journalism in order to pursue her interest in writing and minor in political science. After this, it is on to law school.

When asked what it is about Sacred Heart that helped her thrive, she said that, first and foremost, the school encourages the “public expression of faith.” Coming from a public school environment, she said, teachers and students had to keep their faith private, even though many people are Christian. The ability to pray and express my beliefs, she said, deepened her faith in God. Another important element of Sacred Heart she mentioned is the strong sense of community. The school’s small setting helps build “a sense of comradery between the teachers and students,” she said, “The teachers genuinely care and love the students.”

Jarece, we are proud of the well-rounded woman you have become! We know you will succeed at anything you put your mind to.

Senior Profile: Kevion Nolan

We are highlighting our senior class this year by providing student profiles on every senior. Since we recently shared amazing news about Kevion Nolan, he will be our first. There will be new profiles every other week, so check back soon for more.

Kevion came to Sacred Heart in 2011 as a 7th grader and has thrived as an athlete, a student, and an individual. After watching Kevion on the basketball court, it is hard not to think of him first and foremost as a talented athlete. He has accomplished much as a Cardinal. He was named to a number of all-county, all-area, and all-state teams. He made significant contributions to Sacred Heart, winning a county tournament, three straight area tournaments, and back-to-back 1A state titles. Kevion cites winning our first state championship in 2015 as his most memorable moment at Sacred Heart. “We had been working for that goal since I first got here in 7th grade,” he said. “Not everyone gets that experience, so it felt great to achieve something we worked that hard to accomplish.” There is still one more year to add to his impressive list of accomplishments.

No doubt he is athletically talented, but Kevion is much more than that. He enjoys academics as well. His favorite subject in school is science, especially biology and anatomy. However, he wants to major in sports administration, when he begins his studies at Samford University next summer. He also is interested in business management, which he hopes to use as a CEO, after finishing a career as a professional athlete and college coach. Kevion is also involved in other extracurricular activities besides basketball. He is a part of both Beta and Spanish clubs. He has also served our community by volunteering at the Center of Concern, a service of Catholic Social Services, and a couple Anniston recreation centers.

Kevion credits Sacred Heart for the person he has become. “Sacred Heart has molded me into a great person,” he said. “The diversity of our school has helped me learn how to interact with people who are different from me. It has also deepened my faith in God.”

We are proud of you, Kevion! We look forward to what you will accomplish in your senior year and beyond.

Senior Profile: Abby Hall

Abby is one of three seniors who will graduate as a Sacred Heart “lifer.” She first enrolled in our pre-K program fourteen years ago and has been at Sacred Heart ever since. You might imagine she has made countless memories here. As a matter of fact, when asked where she wanted her senior profile picture taken, she immediately answered—a tree near the playground. “I can remember sitting around that tree during recess and chatting with friends all throughout elementary school,” she said. “It is a special place.”

Abby’s most memorable moment, however, happened last year. She, along with her fellow juniors, were responsible for creating the prom theme, as well as designing and setting up prom decorations. She said she thoroughly enjoyed the process, especially because she was able to interact creatively with her fellow students and express herself artistically.

There is no doubt Sacred Heart has played a significant role in her life. “I practically grew up here,” she said, “The school definitely has had an impact on my personality.” Perhaps, the most impact is in regards to accepting people different from herself. At Sacred Heart, there is a great deal of diversity, and she said, you really get an opportunity to know other types of people, people from all walks of life. This experience has made her more open-minded.

As a student, she has always enjoyed science and in particular chemistry, but besides science, she has come to really appreciate English, even though, to put it mildly, she used to dislike it. She is a member of both the Beta and Spanish clubs.

Having been at Sacred Heart so long, Abby is ready to move on to higher education, and she has a clear path for her future. Upon graduation, she plans to enroll in Samford University’s pharmacy school and ultimately become a pharmacist. No doubt, her love of chemistry influenced this decision, but her mom perhaps played the most vital role. “My mom is a nurse, so I grew up around the medical field,” she said. When asked why she did not want to pursue nursing, she responded that she was more interested in the pharmaceutical aspect of the field than patient care, and she wanted decent working hours. Somewhat jokingly, she said, “I grew up with my mom working night shifts, and I knew I did not want those hours.”

Abby has already had some experience in the medical field. She has volunteered at NHC HealthCare and Amedisys Home Health in Anniston. We wish you all the best as you pursue pharmaceutical studies. We know you will make your Sacred Heart family proud!

Senior Profile: Haley Shaw

According to Haley, she has learned as much about how to be successful in life as she has about how to be successful in higher education. One of the most valuable lessons she has learned is the ability to live in a diverse community. Haley came to Sacred Heart in the 8th grade and immediately was struck by the contrast in culture between her new school and the other Anniston private school from which she transferred. “I remember my first day at Sacred Heart,” she said. “I was immediately struck by how diverse it was in comparison to my old school.” She insists that the school has helped her appreciate all different types of people, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or economic class. The administrators, teachers, staff, and students are very accepting and supportive of each other. It has a very family-like atmosphere.

An aspect of that diversity is religious identity. One of the most rewarding experiences during her time at Sacred Heart has been learning about Catholicism. “Growing up, I didn’t know anything about Catholicism and never met a Catholic,” she said. “I have really loved learning about the religion and am amazed as its history and tradition.” She was surprised to find out that many of the students here were not Catholic and that the school was very accepting of them.

Haley also believes that Sacred Heart has taught her there is more to life than just getting into the best schools and working to make the most money; life is about being happy. “The teachers definitely want us to succeed,” she said, “but they know that success is much more than perfect grades. It is about pursuing what you love.” Haley said that faith is another component of a happy life that Sacred Heart has helped her develop. She is very active in her youth group at Church and was recently a part of a mission trip to Birmingham to help repair low-income housing.

We have no doubt that Haley will be successful at life, but we also are confident that she will be successful at college. She is involved in several extracurricular activities at Sacred Heart, including the Spanish Club, the Beta Club, and Varsity Volleyball. If you spend any time with Haley, you immediately notice a contrast in her presence on and off the volleyball court. On the court, she is intense, has a dominating presence, and is arguably the hardest hitter on the team. Off the court, she is easy going and has a rather laid-back personality. Besides these extracurriculars, she has developed a love for English and Mathematics and is actually considering pursuing an undergraduate degree in teaching high school math. Of course, that path is not set in stone. She is also considering other alternatives, such as nursing.

No matter what you decide, Haley, you will be successful!

Senior Profile: D.J. Heath

Dontavious (DJ) Heath found his home at Sacred Heart Catholic School. DJ transferred here in the 7th grade from Anniston Middle School. At first, he said, he was unsure about the move. He couldn’t figure out why everyone was so nice and welcoming. “I didn’t understand why faculty and students were walking down the hallway with a smile on their face,” he said. “In my experience, there wasn’t much of anything to smile about.” At first, he remained quiet in his new surroundings, sitting in the back of classes and minding his own business. He even says that he told his mom he may have made a mistake in transferring. Yet after some time, the genuineness and caring nature of the faculty and staff overwhelmed him, and he found his own smile.

It is worth noting that DJ has played a vital role in the increased success of our athletics, specifically basketball. “When I first came to Sacred Heart," he said, "Mr. Maniscalco told us to have low expectations." The Sacred Heart basketball program, though in its infancy, was not accustomed to winning, but he helped change all that. DJ is an exceptional talent. He has been named multiple times to the All-County and All-State Basketball teams. He also has been named MVP of both County and Regional tournaments. His first year playing, the team went 22-8 and made it to the first round of the state playoffs. Since then, the team has won a county championship, three straight regional championships, and back-to-back state 1A championships. Needless to say, Sacred Heart fans have altered their expectations. As a matter of fact, one of DJ’s most memorable moments at Sacred Heart was seeing the fans turnout at the state tournament in Birmingham. “When I walked out on the court and saw a sea of Cardinal fans, I was amazed at the support,” he said.

Sacred Heart, however, has not only given DJ a home to develop as a basketball player; it also has molded him as a young man. “Sacred Heart has had a tremendous impact on my life,” he said. “It has made me a better person, and I have grown in my faith.” DJ mentioned Fr. Bryan, Principal Maniscalco, and Coach Ralph as particular influences on him, but he said that the entire faculty and staff have helped him throughout his career at the school. Everyone is so welcoming, and they try to support you in everything you do, he said. DJ has tried to share that same care for others by volunteering at the Carver Community Center through the “Good Choices Program” and our own “Heartbball Academy.”

In the classroom, DJ has developed an appreciation for the study of politics and math. Math, in particular, appeals to him, he says, because it is the most challenging. No doubt, the drive to overcome difficulty, which he developed in life and on the basketball court, translates to his attitude in the classroom. DJ plans to go to college, where he can play basketball and major in Business Management. After college, he eventually wants to run his own business. The business world appeals to DJ in part because he sees it as a way to help others.

No matter where you attend college and no matter what challenges come your way, we know you will succeed, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors!

Senior Profile: Brooklyn Holden

A student’s senior year is one of the most important years in a teenager’s life. There’s prom, graduation, and making college plans. These can make the year exciting as well as stressful. Imagine transferring to a new school that final year. That’s exactly what Brooklyn did. She was a student at Pleasant Valley until she became a Cardinal this year.

Sacred Heart was not completely new to Brooklyn. Her mom, Mrs. Holden, is the middle school math teacher, so she was used to hearing about the school and even went to some of our athletic events. But she was still nervous about the transition. “It was a tough decision. In some ways, I didn’t want to leave [Pleasant Valley],” she said, “but it was the right decision.” She struggled with leaving her friends and the environment with which she was familiar.

It didn’t take Brooklyn long to feel like a Cardinal. Thanks in part to what she describes as a “supportive family” type atmosphere, she felt instantly welcomed, has made friends, and has become an integrated part of her senior class. “My [senior] class is great,” she said. “They are very nice, and it has been easy to build friendships with them.” She has become very involved in our fine arts program, singing in the choir and participating in drama. “I love choir. Mrs. Russell is a great music teacher. She lets us have some say in the music we sing and the plays we perform.” This spring, the high school drama members will perform High School Musical, and Brooklyn is helping with stage design.

Perhaps the most challenging part of the transition was in regards to academics. “The curriculum here at Sacred Heart was more difficult than I was used to,” she said. Yet Brooklyn has thrived and believes that our school has better prepared her for college. She credits that success to the teachers. In a private school setting, teachers can offer more support and more one-on-one attention. Her favorite subject has been science, in particular anatomy class. Her interest in anatomy can be explained in part by her desire to become a nurse.

After graduating Sacred Heart, Brooklyn wants to pursue a nursing degree and ultimately become a traveling nurse, who is hired at one location for a limited time and then moves around where needed. “Since I was six years old, I wanted to be a nurse,” said Brooklyn. “I have always wanted to help people in their time of need.” Being a travelling nurse will allow her to experience other parts of the nation and possibly the world.

Last, but not least, Sacred Heart has had a profound impact on her faith. “This year, I have certainly grown in Christ,” she said. “Being in religion class every day, studying the faith, and going to Mass every week has definitely helped me in my faith.” Though Brooklyn is not Catholic, she said she has learned a great deal about Catholicism and realized that she had some misconceptions about the religion. “I thought Catholics worshiped Mary, but I quickly learned that was not true.”

Brooklyn, though you’ve only been at Sacred Heart this year, you are an important part of our family. We wish you all the best and know you will do great things!

Senior Profile: Ryan Street

Ryan is evidence that a positive learning environment and a supportive faculty can change a student’s life for the better. Ryan transferred to Sacred Heart in the 5th grade from another private school in the area, and with the encouragement of a few faculty, he found his niche. “I realized that I wasn’t the person I was supposed to be,” he said, “but some teachers provided me with great opportunities here, and I transformed completely.”

One episode, in particular, stands out to Ryan. In 9th grade, the computer science teacher at the time really challenged him and pushed him academically. The teacher said that she would give him an old computer if he would get a decent grade on the upcoming exam. “The computer wasn’t being used and no one wanted it, but I wanted to take her up on her challenge. I studied hard and made an A on the exam,” Ryan said. The teacher gave him the computer as promised, and Ryan fixed it up and got it working again.

This challenge was the original catalyst that got him interested in computers. He has been able to pursue this passion at Sacred Heart with additional computer science classes and the newly formed Robotics Club. This year, students designed, built, and programmed a robot, which they submitted to the area BEST Robotics Competition. Ryan was the lead programmer for the team. He was responsible for programming the “brains” of the robot and ensuring that the robot functioned properly during the competition. After graduation, he plans on pursuing computer science at the collegiate level.

There is no doubt that Ryan is fascinated by how things work. This is in part why he loves computers. When explaining that he wants to become a computer programmer one day, he said, “I love figuring out how things work, and programming allows me to create something that is completely my own.” He has already had some experience in this regard. One of his assignments in his computer science class was working in HTML and creating his own website. His fascination for how things work is not limited to computer science, but as he explains, can be found in a lot of different subjects, even literature as a study of human psychology.

Ryan, we are proud of you and wish you luck as you begin your collegiate career! We know you will do great things!

Senior Profile: Rha Spaulding

Sometimes who we want to be is determined at a very young age. This was the case with Rha. Upon graduating from Sacred Heart this spring, he plans on enrolling at Tuskegee University and majoring in Aerospace Engineering. Ultimately, he wants to be a rocket scientist with NASA. This dream began when he picked up an astronomy book in elementary school. The book contained basic information about our solar system and images of various celestial bodies. He loved reading it, he said, and it kindled a love for astronomy within him. Now, he says there isn’t a day that passes by when he doesn’t look at the stars. Often, he uses his telescope, but he also uses a couple apps on an electronic device to navigate.

Sacred Heart provided an environment where Rha could pursue this love and even explore other areas of interest as well. “I am who I am now because of Sacred Heart,” he said. “I can’t put into words what the school means to me.” He transferred here in the 6th grade from a local public elementary school. According to him, unlike public school, which he says does not provide individualized student attention, Sacred Heart offered him one-on-one instruction. Teachers here take your individual interests and needs into consideration. They take time to listen and address any questions you have, he said. “It truly is a family atmosphere.” While here, he has explored his interest in engineering. Besides our science curriculum, Rha built his first robot in middle school through Junior Beta. He entered his robot in the convention, and even though he did not win, it afforded him an initial hands-on engineering project. This year, he was a vital member of Sacred Heart’s Robotics Club and was even named lead engineer on designing the robot, which the team entered in a regional competition. He also interned with two engineers at local companies through our job shadowing program for juniors and seniors.

But beyond exploring engineering, Sacred Heart has provided Rha other opportunities. Besides the Robotics Club, he is a member of the Spanish Club; plays varsity soccer, a sport he has played since he was four years old; and is a member of Sacred Heart Theatre. His two most notable roles are LeFou, Gaston’s sidekick in Disney’s Beauty & the Beast, and the notorious Jafar in Aladdin. If you know Rha, you know that he is a bit shy, a characteristic to which he fully admits. As a matter of fact, during our Who’s Who Awards, he was given the “Quietest Award” last year by his peers. “Acting definitely puts me out of my comfort zone,” he said. But no one denies that he excels at it. To fulfill our service hour requirement, he has volunteered in several organizations around our area that help the less fortunate. For instance, he has served at Second Chance and the Center of Concern. “These have all been eye opening experiences for me,” he said.

Rha, we wish you all the best in your future endeavors, and if the reader will permit a little cheesiness, the sky’s the limits!

Senior Profile: Dixie Spicer

After writing these profiles over the course of this year, I have come to one conclusion—the welcoming, family-type atmosphere of our school leaves an indelible mark on our students. Dixie, who has been a student here since she transferred several years ago from public school, is one more of our beloved students who was struck by this fact. “My first day here I was shocked at how open and welcoming everyone was,” she said. “At the school I transferred from, I felt that I couldn’t be that open or be myself. I was always afraid that I would be made fun of, but at Sacred Heart, we accept everyone for who they are.”

Dixie certainly took advantage of her time at Sacred Heart. Academically, she developed several interests. Perhaps her favorite subject is English. She loves reading classic English literature. “It is fascinating to see how English culture has changed from Shakespeare to the Hunger Games,” she said. “It is really interesting to see the role of women portrayed in 19th century literature and think about how much that role has changed.” Dixie has also developed an appreciation for history. She praised Mr. Hill’s teaching style and said with a big smile on her face that “he has the ability to make the most boring topics interesting.”

She has also been involved in the school through the Spanish Club and as a cheerleader her sophomore and junior years. One of her most memorable moments at Sacred Heart was cheering our boy’s varsity basketball team to our school’s first ever Alabama State 1-A Championship. “I have never been around a sports team that was so successful. It was great to see them win, when everyone was doubting that a school this small could accomplish something so big,” she said.

Sacred Heart has also had a huge impact on her religious journey. “One of the things that I love about our school is that we can pray openly,” she said. “I am thankful for being a part of a religious school and having a religious education. Many of my friends in public schools have become less religious and even agnostic about their faith. If I hadn’t attended Sacred Heart, I might be more like them.” She has expressed her faith by volunteering several times at the Anniston Soup Bowl and a local mental health non-profit organization.

After graduation, Dixie plans to pursue a degree either in nursing or criminal justice. Her interest in nursing arose after job shadowing in the RMC Emergency Room. The idea of working in a job that focuses on helping people in need really appeals to her. Next week, she is job shadowing again at RMC—this time, in labor and delivery. She also might pursue criminal justice. “It blows my mind that someone could simply go missing, or a case go completely cold,” she said. “If I major in criminal justice, I would pursue a career in search and rescue or missing persons.”

Whatever you decide Dixie, we know that you will be successful and that you will be a great reflection of the values and mission of our school. Good luck!

Senior Profile: Breezy Mauter

In her graduating class, Breezy is one of our three Sacred Heart “lifers.” She became a Cardinal when she was just four years old as a Pre-K student. Fourteen years later, she will graduate Sacred Heart as a well-rounded young adult, ready to begin the next chapter of her life. If it sounds as though we are losing a member of our family, we are. As every profiled student has said, Sacred Heart is a family, and when you have been at our school for as long as Breezy, it is especially true.

Just to illustrate how much of an impact that our family atmosphere has had on Breezy, when I asked her about her most memorable moment, she mentioned something that wasn’t even directly related to her. She talked about our boys varsity basketball team winning their first county tournament in 2015. Of the countless memories she could have chosen, including playing on the varsity volleyball team when they beat Donoho to win the area championship, she chose an event she only observed. I asked her why this event was the most memorable. She said that being in the stands that day was amazing. “Everyone was so excited and cheering so loud, even people who did not attend Sacred Heart,” she said. “I feel like on that day everyone came together to support our school. On that day, we showed that we were somebody.” Only someone who believes that she is part of something bigger than herself would have said that.

No doubt our school has had an impact on her life. “Sacred Heart has really shown me the importance of family, and that’s what we are—one big family,” Breezy said. “It has also taught me the value of being very involved in the local community.” And being involved she has. She has volunteered at the Center of Concerns , the Randolph County Animal Shelter, and Anniston’s “Tot-n-Top” Soccer program, working with special needs children. She is also very active in the school. She is the president of the Student Government Association, Secretary of the Spanish and Beta Clubs, and a center midfielder for varsity soccer.

Upon graduation, Breezy will attend the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) and major in nursing. As a matter of fact, she has already been admitted into the pre-nursing program, typically something students apply for late in their sophomore year of college. Ultimately, she wants to be a nurse practitioner, which she described as “like a doctor but you get paid a little less.” Being a nurse is something that she has wanted to do for some time. “When I was young, I constantly had kidney and bladder infections, and I remember the care that the nurses at Children’s Hospital gave me, even though I was being a little terror,” she said. “The care they provided just stuck with me. It made me want to be a nurse." She has already had some job experience through our job shadowing program for juniors and seniors. Last year, she worked on the labor and delivery floor at RMC; this year, she was in the ER.

Breezy, we wish you all the best and know that great things lie ahead for you!

Senior Profile: Andy Cooley

Students often do not know what they want to major in, let alone do as a career, until they are well along in their undergraduate studies. This is not the case with Andy. Ever since 2009, when his family took him to see the inaugural Blue Angels air show in Tuscaloosa, he wanted to pilot a plane. The only question left to be answered was what type of plane. After considering the options, he settled on a crop duster. When asked why, he replied, “most other forms of aviation rely heavily on auto-pilot after you take off, but in crop dusting, you are in control of the plane the entire time, and you use visual navigation instead of relying on instruments.” In talking with Andy about aviation, his passion for it was contagious. I could have listened to him talk about it for quite some time, and I am sure he would have had enough material.

Andy arrived at Sacred Heart just one year or so after that initial experience in Tuscaloosa, and he has tried since then to prepare for his future as best he can. He frequently volunteers at the local Anniston airport, especially during busy periods such as the Talladega race weekend. He helps direct flights for landing, takeoff, and even parking. Related to his future as a crop duster, he volunteers at an area farm, which is solely ran by a single mother. She grows crops to sell at local farmer’s markets throughout the area, and she often relies on international volunteers through WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farms). However, Andy helps when she is unable to get a ‘WWOOFer.’

Besides these extracurricular activities, Andy has had a successful high school experience too. He is a beloved manager for the boy’s varsity basketball team and has been since the ninth grade. One of his most memorable moments at Sacred Heart was our team winning their first state championship. Though Andy never played, he feels like a core member of the team and views the players as his brothers. He also plays on the varsity soccer team. Playing his senior year on a home soccer field was another memorable moment for Andy. Previously, the team used the city’s fields at Fort McClellan, but the school recently transformed the old baseball field into a soccer facility.

In terms of academics, Mr. Hill, our high school history and government teacher, positively impacted Andy. “My favorite classes at Sacred Heart were taught by Mr. Hill,” he said. “If you ask him anything, he gives you his honest opinion. I really like my current Government and Economics course. It has given me some great background for what’s going on in politics today.”

But according to Andy, perhaps the biggest impact of our school has been regarding his faith. “I have changed a lot,” he said. “I have learned a great deal about the Catholic faith, and it has provided answers to questions that I couldn’t find elsewhere.” Andy also conveyed that the school has helped him spiritually and strengthened his relationship with God.

Andy, we wish you all the best as you pursue your future career!

Senior Profile: Lauren Lemmons

At the core of any Catholic school is Christ. Sacred Heart is no exception. Certainly, our mission includes a commitment to academic and athletic excellence but underlying this commitment is our faith. Lauren Lemmons embodies this religious foundation perhaps as much as any student in this year’s senior class. As a matter of fact, she transferred to Sacred Heart from an area public school to “grow in her faith as a Catholic.”

While at Sacred Heart, Lauren has done just that. “This school has helped me grow closer to God,” she said. The daily religion classes and weekly school-wide Mass are a couple of things Lauren mentioned that especially helped her grow. When asked what aspect of the faith she found most interesting in her classes, Lauren said church history. As a matter of fact, we carried on a brief conversation about the period of the Crusades. History has always been a part of her life. Her dad is a professor of history at Jacksonville State, and he participates in an annual study-abroad trip to Italy through the history department. Lauren, one year before transferring to Sacred Heart, went on one of these trips with her family to Rome. The beautiful Catholic churches and ruins of the ancient city had a tremendous impact on her and fostered a love of history in her.

Besides learning about the faith, Lauren has lived it out. I cannot count the times I have seen her come out of the chapel, either from praying or spending time in adoration. She is a member of the Sacred Heart Liturgy Committee, which helps prepare for weekly Mass, and she serves as a Eucharistic minister. Lauren also was a member of the Lifeguards Club, a pro-life organization. She has volunteered through the Catholic HEART Work Camp, an organization that provides youth mission trip opportunities. She has also served at the Anniston Center of Concern, a ministry of Catholic Social Services.

It should come as no surprise that, upon graduation, Lauren will attend Belmont Abbey, a Benedictine Catholic College in North Carolina. “My transition to college will be easy,” she said. The family-like atmosphere, commitment to the faith, and dedication to service is a shared bond between Catholic high schools and Catholic colleges. “Not only will it be an easy transition,” she said, “but I want to go to college to grow in my faith, not lose it. Many people go off to college and lose their faith, but I want to go to a place that will continue what I had at Sacred Heart.”

At this point, Lauren is undecided about a college major and future career. She is leaning toward majoring in history, which is a natural fit given her background, but at this point, she said she could imagine herself being a historian, a nurse, or even a veterinarian. When asked about becoming a teacher, she smiled and said, “both my parents are teachers, and I know all about what that’s like.”

Regardless of your future career plans, Lauren, we know that your faith will guide you, and we wish you all the best!