July 9, 2013 

Summer is slowly rolling to a close and things are ramping up at Ed and in the schools.  In the August Edition of our newsletter, we will highlight some of the new programs you can look forward to in the 2013-2014 school year, the continuation of ongoing partnerships and meet a new friendly face in BCS.  Read on!

Area Partnerships

Birmingham Water Works Board and BCS launch Career Academies Job Shadowing Program

BWWB is partnering with the Birmingham City School System's Career Academies program to host a two-day job shadowing event Tuesday, October 8th and Wednesday, October 9th.  Each manager will have at least two students assigned to his or her department. 


"The Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) is proud to join the Birmingham City Schools Career Academies," says Sherry Lewis, board member, Birmingham Water Works Board.


"This program affords students an opportunity to interact and learn from specialized professionals throughout the BWWB organization," says Lewis.  The BWWB understands that they have a responsibility to help educate our students. 


"We realize that our students are not only a part of our service area, but they are also our customers. There is no better way to create a win-win situation than for BWWB to help educate our customers," says Lewis.


At Woodlawn, students in the Academy of Business and Finance make the golf course their classroom

Students Learn About Business Through Fundamentals of Golf 


Equipped with a set of golf clubs, pen and paper, students from Woodlawn High School's Business and Finance Academy participate in a special program that teaches students the essentials of golf, while exposing them to business practices. 


Directed by Chris Rigdon, students received a free set of golf clubs and meet five weeks during the summer to learn to play golf and discuss business.  This special program extends the business curriculum offered through Career Academies to the golf course. 


"Learning, just like business, can happen anywhere," says Chris Rigdon, Junior Golf Program Director, Trussville Country Club.  "It is an honor to be able to use my gift as a golfer to help advance the education of students," said Rigdon.


This is not just a summer program.  Students are allowed to play golf throughout the school year at Trussville Country Club, and receive private lessons.  In the spring, the students will form teams to compete against other student golfers in Alabama.


"Career Academies is envisioned as a way to develop the whole student," says Spencer Horn, Career Academies Coordinator, Birmingham City Schools. 


"Our approach has been to focus on the development of students' minds, while providing them exposure to real life experiences that will showcase the relevance of learning.  This special program fits nicely into that approach," says Horn.


Students agree with Horn.  Of the students participating, they all report feeling that their summer was spent learning and having fun.

Spotlight on Education with Dr. Becky Lee

For our first Spotlight on Education piece, we bring you a conversation with one of the newest faces of BCS: Dr. Becky Lee, Chief of Staff, Birmingham City Schools. 


Q: What are your responsibilities at Birmingham City Schools?

I serve as the coordinator of events and activities for the superintendent and the executive team; serve as a liaison between community groups; direct supervisors for the high schools in the district; evaluate leadership and staff and coordinate the district's communications plan-- including the website and press releases. 


Q: Why are you passionate about education?


I am a product of public education, as are my children and grandchildren.  I believe that lifelong learning is essential to success and happiness.  Our mission as educators is the most important work for our children's future.  I have a quote that describes how I feel about education, "We can accept what we have or we can create what we need."  I am passionate about creating what our students need for their success in life.


Q: Tell us a little about your professional experiences and education?


I have been a secondary teacher, principal, central office administrator, university professor and superintendent.  My background in education spans several states and districts, all of which contributed to making me a better educator.  I have five degrees from five different universities-- two of these are doctorates.  I received an Educational Doctorate in 1995 from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in 2012.  Having grown up in a small south Alabama town, I formed my set of core values (integrity, honesty, hard work) from my parents and my teachers.


Q: When you are not at Birmingham City Schools, what are some of the things you enjoy doing?


I enjoy traveling with my husband, playing golf and visiting grandchildren. 

Until next time...
Thanks for taking the time to browse our newsletter and learn about some of the happenings here at Ed. Please pass along the good news to your friends and neighbors and we look forward to talking to you again next time! 



As always, the mission of the Birmingham Education Foundation (BEF) is to bring the voice of the community to Birmingham City Schools' leadership and to work with that leadership to provide a range of support to allow the system to fulfill its mission and vision. We do this with a vision that the children of Birmingham will be fully prepared for success in the work and life. We believe unequivocally that current circumstances should not be a barrier to future success.
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