Alumni Profile

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Tara Golson ('02)

Overcoming drastic circumstances and making an unplanned life-changing career move places ACA graduate Tara Golson (2002) above most.  Tara was bitten by the acting bug early in life, as we at ACA are aware, and she followed her dreams to Hollywood after graduating with honors from Troy University with a B.A. in Theater.  Tara performed at Walt Disney World and various other theaters across the country before moving to Los Angeles, California, where she quickly scored roles in such hit shows as Without a Trace and Grey's Anatomy.  However, everything changed in 2009, when Tara was hit by a drunk driver, while crossing the street, and suffered life threatening injuries.  After extensive physical therapy and being wheelchair bound for six months, Tara was able to walk again but had to hang up her professional acting shoes.  Today, she is using her acting skills in a different stage, the courtroom.  Tara earned a Masters in Advanced Forensic Science from Syracuse University and is currently a law student at the University of Maine School of Law.  She will be working this summer as a law clerk in San Francisco at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.  Her goal is to be an intellectual property and patent litigator, which would incorporate her acting, scientific, and legal background.  No doubt, she will achieve her new dream.  We wish her good health and much success. 

Cody Bell and Laura Jean Plunkett Bell ('10)

Little did ACA alumni Cody Bell (2010) and Laura Jean Plunkett Bell (2010) know what lay in store for them when they graduated from high school.  Laura went on her merry way to college in Tennessee, with big dreams of college life, and Cody stayed in Montgomery to attend college and play baseball at Faulkner University.  Due to a change of circumstances for Laura’s family, she came home after her first semester and registered at Faulkner also, where she determined to make friends and keep busy on campus, immediately joining a club and mixing where she could.  The two opposite personalities were in love by the time they graduated from Faulkner and married soon after, in May 2014.  Laura earned her degree in English Literature, and Cody received a degree in Business Administration.  They obtained employment, as most do when they graduate.  Cody now works as head of auditing and renewals at Alabama Retail Associates, and Laura works as the Assistant to the Executive Director of Common Ground full time, hands on inner city ministry and much more.  She uses her creative skills to run their social media, to write their blog, and to help plan the incredibly lucrative events that support this non-profit organization.  But, this is just a portion of their story. In the summer of 2012, Laura and Cody were made aware of the horrible practice of human trafficking occurring right under our noses in Alabama and could not stop learning more about it, talking to each other about it, and praying that they could find a way to help this cause that had become near to their hearts. Following graduation and with their own employment in place, they came up with an idea to take something they love, coffee, and established a non-profit business in which the proceeds go to two organizations that they researched and that have been working for the human trafficking cause in this state.  Their success was quick and amazing. They have been blessed while sacrificing much and living frugally.  Laura and Cody recently purchased a home in the Cloverdale area of Montgomery, which they have renovated.  Reading the article attached will reveal the entire saga of their wild journey and the personal aspect of it all because it was written by Laura.  Wow! The stories of ACA alumni and their pursuits, service, and love for the Lord and others continue to encourage and humble us. What is true success?  The answer becomes clear as you read their story. 

http://www.readjourneymagazine.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=...

Jeremy Reid ('07)

Jeremy Reid (Class of 2007), was a positive influence while attending high school at ACA and continues to be a supporter of the school however and whenever he can.  He continued his education successfully at Huntingdon College, from which he obtained a B.A. in Communication Studies and where he was active on campus, holding leadership positions in campus ministries, student government and as a part of the student ambassador group.  He then moved to Tuscaloosa and earned an M.A. as well in Communication Studies from the U of Alabama. He served again in student government and was a graduate teaching assistant, receiving numerous awards for excellence in teaching and community service.  Jeremy also was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa.  The University recognized Jeremy’s impressive performance academically and his participation in worthy activities both on campus and in the community, and employed him.  He now works as Coordinator of Special Programs in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Scholarships, while pursuing his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration. He avows that he enjoys living in Tuscaloosa and is happily affiliated with the U of Alabama.  His duties as Coordinator of Special Programs include managing an admission program, growing and developing freshmen students, and teaching academic success courses.  He has taught courses for the College of Human Environmental Sciences, the College of Communication and Information Sciences, the College of Education, and the Office of Human Resources.  Prior to this, Jeremy designed campus-wide education initiatives, assisted with a philanthropic giving society, and provided support for the University’s student ambassador group.  Jeremy is a member and serves on the administrative board of the First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa.  He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Huntingdon College Alumni Association.  He participates in other charitable organizations in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Montgomery.  Obviously, Jeremy desires to serve and to give back to the community.  ACA is fortunate to be among the institutions and organizations to which Jeremy devotes his time and his moral and financial support.  We look forward to a long and superb relationship with him, and we appreciate all that he does with the school in mind.  Jeremy expresses the following sentiment about ACA. 

 “When I reflect upon my time at ACA, I think about all of the special relationships and what they continue to mean to me.  My teachers, administrators, coaches, classmates and other staff had a tremendous, lasting impact on me.  I am forever grateful for my experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom.  Having attended from kindergarten to senior graduation, ACA has and always will be home to me.” 

EMILY JOHNSTON ('12)

Isaiah 6:8b “…Here I am.  Send me.”  From the time she was 16, ACA alumnus Emily Johnston has been a volunteer for the Lord’s work.  She has prepared diligently for traveling throughout the world to teach and care for orphans, refugees and other underprivileged individuals.  At age 22, Emily has already worked through churches and church-related organizations in Africa, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Haiti, and Turkey.  She spent 6 summers serving orphans in Malawi, an effort that will always remain dear to her heart.  In the 4 years since graduating from ACA, Emily also completed a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work with a Minor in Religion and Missions at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, an education with her life’s ambition in mind.  While earning her degree, Emily was in the Honors Program and wrote her Honors Thesis on the topic of orphan care in Malawi.  In June of 2016, Emily will be leaving to spend a year in Antalya, Turkey.  Antalya is the spot of the Biblical city of Perga and its beautiful ruins on the Mediterranean Sea.  She will be working with one of the many communities of Syrian refugees there, which is church sponsored.  Hopefully, eventually, she will take over some of the responsibility of coordinating work in this camp.  Emily’s attitude continues to be a positive one of hope and eagerness to serve, with an ultimate desire to concentrate her career on aiding orphans in most needed areas around the globe.  If you would like to communicate with Emily and ask questions, encourage her, or learn more about what will take place during her year in Antalya, her email is emilybarrett93@gmail.com.  The link to donate for her trip and expenses is www.surrenderedfeet.blogspot.com.  Most importantly, pray for Emily’s efforts and for her safe travels.  Watch for posts throughout her year on Alumni Community News and the ACA Alumni Facebook page.  We are humbled by her dedication and by her accomplishments for the Lord in her young life.   

KATELYN CREEL PARRISH ('07)

After graduating from ACA in 2007, Katelyn Creel Parrish overcame heartbreaking odds to achieve her dream of becoming a Pharmacist. With determination and hard work, she received her B.S. in Biology in 2011, and her Doctor of Pharmacy in 2015, from Auburn University. Currently, Katelyn works as a Pharmacy Practice Resident at East Alabama Medical Center. She married Christopher Parrish in May 2011, and he will complete his Doctorate of Mathematics Education this summer (2016). Katelyn and Christopher love their life in Auburn, Alabama, where they reside with their Chiweenie dog Eddie. They attend Church of the Highlands and happily, actively serve there. The little free time they have outside work and school is mostly spent supporting the Auburn Tigers, especially during football season, and spending time with their family and friends, which they cherish. Katelyn and Christopher feel blessed as they follow their dreams together. An alumnus like Katelyn makes us proud at ACA because of all that she has accomplished in spite of obstacles in her way. Good Work!

HUNTER ROBINSON ('09)

ACA alumnus Hunter Robinson (’09) married Whitney Elizabeth Summerlin on January 16, 2016. Hunter graduated from Troy University in December 2013 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. He interned at WSFA 12 News while obtaining his degree. He was hired as a part time employee at WSFA before graduating and, then, promoted to full time Digital Content Producer in the spring of 2014, three months after graduating. Hunter handles online news articles and sports articles for the WSFA website. He also controls the social media accounts. Hunter and Whitney reside in Montgomery. We wish them much happiness and continued success.

MEGHAN STRINGER ('03)

Before Meghan Stringer graduated from ACA in 2003, she had known for a while that she wanted a career in politics and public policy. While earning a B.A. in Political Science from The University of Alabama, Meghan stayed active on campus as a Blackburn Institute Fellow; Chairwoman of the College Republicans; Student Government Senator; and officer in her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII). She was selected a member of Phi Beta Kappa; The XXXI Senior Woman’s Honorary; Anderson Society; and Mortar Board. Also, she was named one of AOII’s six Collegiate Women of Leadership while in attendance at The U of A. Meghan worked as Communications Director on Alabama Representative Martha Roby’s successful 2010 campaign for Congress and moved to Washington as a staff member in Roby’s congressional office. She later joined North Carolina Representative Virginia Foxx’s staff as a Legislative Assistant. In this capacity, Meghan researches legislation under consideration in the House and advises the Congresswoman on issues of concern. Meghan’s portfolio includes health care, foreign affairs, homeland security, and pro-life issues. She lives on Capitol Hill and loves to be a tour guide for visiting friends and family. She is an active member of the Arlington Church of Christ. Meghan also serves as an alumna advisor to George Mason University’s AOII chapter. Meghan’s determination to be what she always wanted should encourage others to go after their dreams.

DR. BROOKE BONDLY WILLIAMS ('97)

Dr. Brooke Bondly Williams, ACA class of 1997 valedictorian, has accrued an impressive list of accomplishments, her proudest achievement being her son, Reid Sullivan Williams, born on February 9, 2012. Following ACA, Brooke earned a degree in Biomedical Sciences from Auburn University in 2001, graduating Magna Cum Laude. While at Auburn, she served as a COSAM (host of College of Science & Mathematics), Auburn Student Recruiter, member/secretary of Chi Omega sorority, and member of the Aubie Committee. Before obtaining her medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 2005, Brooke married Ron Williams of Norcross, GA, in 2003. Ron is now Vice President of National Accounts for Southwire Company. Brooke served her residency in Children’s Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Alabama and distinguished herself as 2006 Intern of the Year. After her residency ended in 2008, Brooke took a position as General Pediatrician at The Pediatric Clinic LLC in the Auburn/Opelika area, where she continues her practice and where she loves taking care of the children of several of her ACA classmates. Her concern for the welfare of children led to her participation in the Dancing Stars of East Alabama competition in 2013, which raised money for local children’s charities. Yes, Brooke actually danced, but she did not mention anything about placing or winning. Hmmmm!!!!! ACA is proud of her anyway!

STEVE BRANNAN ('64)

From Montgomery Bible High School (MBHS) to Alabama Christian High School (ACHS) to Alabama Christian Academy (ACA), Steve Brannan’s and his family’s history spans the 74 years of this school’s existence. Steve’s parents met in 1943, shortly after the establishment of Montgomery Bible High School, and graduated together in 1945 on its original Ann Street campus. His father, Dr. E.R. Brannan, a preacher, teacher, administrator, and the President of Alabama Christian College/Faulkner University from 1973 until 1981, is revered for his vision and humility in leadership during a period of transition for the school. In 2014, as an ACHS alumnus, Steve celebrated his 50th reunion with classmates from 1964. After earning his B.S. degree in Chemistry from David Lipscomb College (now University) in Nashville, TN, Steve began a journey to places he never imagined. In 1968, he joined the U.S. Navy amid the turbulence of the Vietnam War and served in that ravaged country. His life continued a path of intriguing government service when he left the navy in 1972 to become a Special Agent for the FBI, a position which he continued for the next 26 years, until his retirement in 1998. Steve and his wife Brenda, a 1972 graduate of Alabama Christian College (now Faulkner University), live in Birmingham, where he works as a Compliance Officer for Healthcare Providers and has been as Elder at the Homewood Church of Christ since 1997. Steve and Brenda have two daughters, Brittney and Leigh, and three grandchildren. Steve’s exemplary life of service is inspirational. In the spring of this year, he will share his incredible experiences with government and history students at ACA. We are looking forward to his visit!