Crenshaw schools honor student achievements

Published 1:37 pm Monday, May 27, 2024

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

The Crenshaw County Board of Education’s regular meeting on May 13 was a showcase of student talent and achievements, with the spotlight on the Career Academy, DECA and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) state winners, as well as the Brantley High School (BHS) track team.

The meeting highlighted the outstanding accomplishments of students, emphasizing the district’s dedication to nurturing all forms of talent and offering diverse pathways to success.

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Kendal Nichols, a standout BHS athlete and recent graduate, set a personal record at the May 3-4 state track and field meet, winning the girls’ 1A state championship in javelin with a throw of 109-feet-8 inches, over eight feet further than her previous best. Nichols has qualified for state in javelin every year since ninth grade, reaching the finals each time, but this year marked her first podium finish.

Track coach Cody Nichols expressed pride in Nichols’ and the entire teams’ performances, noting their consistent success since 2019. 

“This is my fourth season as coach,” said Nichols. “When I started in 2021, it was more about giving kids the opportunity to participate, but we’ve (coaches and players) learned a lot together, and we’ve brought home multiple state titles and medals every year.” 

Nichols’ victory marks the fourth state title win for the BHS track team since its inception in 2019 and makes her the first female athlete from BHS to win a track and field state title.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to represent my school and excited to make school history,” said Kendal Nichols. “I may be the first female track and field athlete at Brantley to win a state title, but I hope I’ve inspired others and that I won’t be the last. The support I received from people everywhere and especially the support from my track coaches means the world to me. I am proud of myself for achieving my goal since Freshman year. I will forever be grateful for Brantley High School and I can’t wait to see who wins the next state title!”

August Ford also excelled at the state meet, qualifying in the 100-meter dash, 300-meter hurdles and 400-meter run. Ford earned second place in the 400-meter run and third place in the 300-meter hurdles, setting a new personal best in the 100-meter dash. 

Romeo Pressley placed third in shot put, narrowly missing second by just two inches. Jatavius McMean, despite a stellar performance and setting a new personal record in the 200-meter dash, did not advance to the finals.

During the 5:30 p.m. board meeting the successes of the Crenshaw County FBLA were also acknowledged. 

Guided by advisor Cody Nichols, Rylee Odom and Kendal Nichols secured first place in the American Enterprise Project contest during the recent FBLA state contest held in Mobile.  Nichols also earned the titles of Future Business Educator and Who’s Who in FBLA for Alabama. Additionally, AJ Kilpatrick achieved third place in Business Law. Although Odom and Nichols have been invited to the National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida, they will be unable to attend due to a prior commitment; both will be attending basic training.

Additionally, the DECA chapter from Crenshaw County Career Academy was honored for their notable achievements at the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Anaheim, California. Highland Home recent graduates Avery Williams and Madeline Jane Crowe, along with Nichols competed in the late-April event after earning top placements at the state level.

Crenshaw County DECA bound for Anaheim

Health Science Foundations teacher Michell Crowe accompanied the students to Anaheim and emphasized the way attending the event impacted student-leaders. 

“Even without making it to finals, it was a wonderful experience,” said Crowe. “Our Career Tech program offers incredible opportunities, and students gain invaluable skills beyond the classroom.”