Banks High School First Year Graduating Class – 1961 – Sixty Plus Years Later
Landmark Legacies in Alabama Education/Sports History
From its very infancy (1957) 65 years ago, L. Frazier Banks High School was one of the most unique and unprecedented visions/projects within the entire annuals of Alabama educational history. It was novel, in many ways experimental, from both an educational and social perspective; all accomplished “literally from scratch”– there existed no models except to create something exceedingly special, and ambitious.
Almost instantly this school would achieve first ever landmark accolades and templates that would continue for years, legacies that remain to this very day!
Adding to the potential outcomes was what would become the creation of another grand sports, powerhouse within Alabama – carving out for this new high school the entire (East Lake, Roebuck, and Huffman) eastern athletic breeding grounds (primary feeder schools, parts of Barrett, Robinson and Huffman Elementary Schools) of Woodlawn High School (one of state’s perennial athletic champions).
Picking some of the most experienced/talented/forwarded looking teachers and athletic coaches to build, structure, administer, and provide the necessary “hands on” guidance, Banks would self construct its own internal governance, systems, procedures, and programs for every conceivable endeavor, all creatively matched to this bold, visionary experiment.
It was a time of unbridled passions, over the top school spirit and camaraderie at every level. Having a built in, often tumultuous, passionate rivalry respecting everything with Woodlawn High School (the reigning state power house) simply fueled a fire and commitment for excellence, accomplishments, and new elevations for achievement.
Banks would in due course set records within every genre led by its first year graduating class in 1961 which literally created the template and role models from which all would seek to thereafter emulate and surpass – athletically (“perhaps the most productive athletic class in Birmingham City schools’ history”, Birmingham News, 09/20/2006). That record that still stands 65 years later –
Banks High School was the only Birmingham high school to ever capture “City Crowns/Championships” in football, basketball, and track/field within a single academic year!
Banks would set innumerable records in virtually all of categories (e.g., one of the first advanced college preparatory course structures, two years of Latin standard, champion caliber school band, majorettes, cheerleaders, etc.).
So how did that first ever bold experiment in education turn out?
One will find “real world” individual successes and accomplishments of every type and description eclipsing the original architects’ most imaginative hopes and dream – bringing honor, prestige, and accolades not only to Birmingham, but the entire State of Alabama.
One would hard pressed to find any graduating class anywhere in America to match the unbelievable achievements of this “first year class” from a “start up high school” (especially given the multitude of challenges faced those first 2 years) – that’s real history – that represents a real and highly laudable “role model” that needs to be shared to every corner of this country (respectfully, the state of education currently in this country is deplorable and downright laughable (see, e.g., https://www.discovery.org/education/2022/04/05/the-deterioration-of-k-12-education-in-america/; https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2022/02/16/youth-mental-health-crisis-schools/6803515001/;https://www.edweek.org/leadership/how-bad-could-it-get-state-and-district-leaders-work-to-combat-teacher-shortages/2022/03; (video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTw1q0FXhfc
That role model story is in fact part and parcel of the education chapters within my Book, “Killing of America – Murder or Suicide – Crimes in Progress” which by the way is absolutely FREE for download for this month of July 2022 only https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/784948. Please do examine for yourselves.
That is the real Banks story that needs to be told and remembered!
Each and every member of that 1961 first graduating class at Banks High School has their own perspectives, memories, stories, and experiences that should be openly shared and encouraged. It is their stories that should be eagerly sought and formalized. Why?
The buildings have now been demolished as well the entity no longer in existence. However the dynamic legacies by its students, their supportive parents, administration, coaches, and teachers continue to shine brightly and enduringly – quite literally a shock wave across every single important and meaningful genre of Alabama high school education/academic/sports categories.
“When placed into its grand perspective, it has been my personal observation (hind sight is always being 20/20) that Banks was one of the most unique and unprecedented experiences anywhere, any time. It was novel, in many ways experimental from both an educational and social perspective – all without other models – completely “from scratch”! In the process we would make history – landmark achievements within the annuals of Alabama educational/sports history). As in every making of great outcomes “it will always take a village”. In this case, any and all stakeholders not only came together, but did so with resounding dedication and enthusiasm – parents, students, administration, teachers, coaches – in fact the entire local community).
We set records in virtually everything which all speak for themselves (see, e.g., https://www.ahsfhs.org/teams2/allstate.asp?Team=Banks; every single member of that 1961 starting five basketball team made “All City”(how many times has that occurred – ever?;most productive athletic class in Birmingham City schools’ history”, Birmingham News, 09/20/2006).
Certainly from my personal perspective, the Banks experience had immense impacts upon my evolving journeys, some I would not even identify or appreciate until many years after the fact. Clearly at the very top of the list would be the enduring influence during my life for the commanding presence of Coach Albert Morton (indeed the entire cadre of our coaches – including Coach Ivey).
As I noted in an interview with Ron Ingram, The Birmingham News back in 2006 (later printed in a Birmingham News article dated 09/20/2006):
“There’s nothing in this life I have accomplished that didn’t come from what I learned from Coach Morton and the other coaches (as well of course my Mom, at almost 101 years young (recently deceased)). It was these Banks high school coaches – all old school versions, perhaps outwardly hard as nails, demanding, but always with a warm spot for those who dug in, performed, and developed under their coaching philosophies that helped to mold the Banks legacies.
Coach Albert Morton was my first real dominant male role model figure in my life. Whatever awards, accomplishments I would garner in life, the contributions of Coach Morton became invaluable – deserving of my highest praise and admiration.
He (as well all of our coaches) were role models for creating champions in life (profiles that need to be shared given the dismal state of ethics, behavioral standards currently existing in our nation’s high school).
Morton was a disciplinarian on the court with an equally caring and warm attachment to both me personally and all of his boys. He instilled the essential concepts of basics, basics, and basics. He creatively engineered a path that focused on attitude and heart. Whatever the challenge, we were taught to take it on directly and to be the very best as the only option. He would accept no substitute for self control, respect for others, and sportsmanship.
Banks as well became (at least for me) the grandest incubator for attempting to find myself as a naïve, teenager/aspiring young adult amid some very trying times personally. However clumsily or in artfully I may have performed/acted, I was privileged to have socially developed within a forgiving atmosphere of some very dynamic and wonderful teachers, coaches, classmates, and their parents, not to mention many understanding female peers (fortunately far more mature than myself). ”
If one takes at close at our first class of graduates (each and every one) and their achievements in real life they all set a standard that would be hard to equal or surpass anywhere in Alabama (perhaps even nationally). That role model was a class or team achievement – every individual/classmate played a vital part.
That first graduating class would set the standards, the templates for all classes that would follow exemplifying rising excellence in all categories –
all taken to new heights –
those were the “real pioneers” –
those were the ones that dared “to venture into the unknown”!
If one looks closely those “Contrails” are still visible !!
Mere Small Sample of Banks High School Graduate Achievers – Class of 1961
Please do take a walk down a “Then and Now” (65 years later) pathway to peruse just a mere small sampling of those who boldly went forth into the real world based on all of those originally established Banks traditions – leaving lasting “contrails” across the entire skies of Alabama.
It needs to be emphasized that the following is a mere sample – nothing more!
Each and every one within our 1961 class has a unique and compelling story that combines and inter connects to have created the Banks role model experience.
It is the proverbial “tip of the iceberg”.
Quite literally, “all” of the members of this 1961 achieved superbly in life in their individual pursuits, met every conceivable challenge/obstacle, and persevered admirably in whole or in part all due to the outstanding Banks educational foundations.
Every single one of those 1961 class members has experiences and stories that need to be shared.
In all achievements of worth or merit it will “always take a village”.
The real story is with each and every member of this 1961 class – “our village”.
Van McCollough (Class President) Deceased
(Football and Track ) (City Champions)
Career Naval Officer/Aviator- Vietnam Veteran – Birmingham Southern (2 yrs); U.S. Naval Academy , BS Aeronautical Engineering; concurrent Naval War College/Salva Regina College, two MA Degrees (National Defense and Security Affairs / International Relations) – Five US Squadron tours (VT-28, VP-1, VP-31, VP-8, VP-44 [XO/CO tour]), Four Command Staff tours, Three Executive level schools, Ship Services (USS Eisenhower CVN- 69) – 30 years total naval service – last assignment, Naval War College, Deputy Director of the Strategy and Campaign Department – retired in 1993 as Captain (0-6), 4,400+ flight hours in P-3, S-2, C-1, T-28 aircraft. ) – Awards: Legion of Merit (2) – Meritorious Service Medal (2), Air Medal (2), various Unit, Service, and Campaign medals/ribbons
Woodrow (Woody) Wollesen (Class Vice President) (Basketball (All City) and Track (City Champions)
B.A. Washington & Jefferson College, J.D. University of Pittsburgh – Veteran
Unprecedented designation (2010) within all Alabama/national amateur sports genres by the nation’s singular authority for national, international, and Olympic teams (USA Taekwondo) – “Extraordinary Role Model Champion” – Master of Taekwondo (4th degree) (started as a pure beginner at age 53 years) – Two time U.S. Champion Taekwondo (full contact fighting) (over 50, heavyweight) – National Record Holder – five consecutive years of national competition/medals (2 gold, 2 silvers & 1 bronze) – National medals – Fixed Forms – five consecutive years (1 silver, 4 bronze) – Maryland State Champion (fighting, forms, board breaking) (five consecutive years) (holder of all Maryland TKD records for over age fifty) (over 30 gold medals)
Classic Olympic Field Events – Discus, Shot Put, Javelin 2003-2005 – Maryland State Champion – discus and shot put; silver medalist in javelin – 2005 United States Senior Olympics, Track & Field Championships, Pittsburgh, PA (representing Maryland in all three disciplines) – Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Birmingham, Ala. (Nomination entered 05/2009) – US Army Veteran, former co-head of a national law firm, distinguished trial and appellate counsel practicing before the highest tribunals within the state/federal/regulatory systems/courts to include the Supreme Court of the United States, entrepreneur, educator, teacher, author, graduate level professor, and nationally recognized expert regarding the entire realm of small–medium sized business financing/operations – 2006 US Small Business Administration, “Financial Services Champion” – 2006 Maryland Special Commendation Award for Financing by then Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. – National Women’s Business Center / NWBC 2005 “Man of the Year” (first man in the nation to receive such an award from national women’s business organization) – Phi Kappa Psi Hall of Fame (2007 as a national collegiate role model and inclusion into their into national list of “Notables” (national role models which includes US presidents, members of Congress, NBA and NFL Halls of Fame, etc.) – Presidential (William Clinton) and Speaker of the House (Newt Gingrich) Commendations for Regional Business Financing Forum.
Janelle Kirtley Godfrey – Deceased – (Majorette) (Water Ski National Champion)
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame – Overall champion 38 times and was 12 times a runner up in both the girls and women’s division. In 1961 she won the Women’s Overall National Championship and later that year she won the Gold Medal in Slalom at the World Championship. She also claimed the Women’s Slalom Title in the World Tournament in ’61 and the Tricks and Slalom Titles in ’63. She won 70 event titles and placed in the overall competition in all 45 tournaments in which she competed in from 1956 to 1963. She was an alternate on the US Team at the World Championship in 1959 at the age of 15. In 2001 she was one of four who received the Award of Distinction from the Water Ski Hall of Fame.
Jimmy Sidle – Deceased (Football (All City, All District), Basketball (All City), Track (City and State Champion)) – Alabama Sports Hall of Fame – Played collegiately at Auburn University- Consensus All-American quarterback in 1963 – Named to AP first team and Look Magazine All-Americans – Named first team All-SEC. Only quarterback to ever lead the nation in rushing (1,006) in 1963. Also led the SEC in both rushing and total offense. Selected Player of the Year in the SEC and also most Valuable Back. Led the SEC in average per carry as a sophomore (6.5). Engineered all but two scoring drives during the ’63 season. Played in the 1964 Orange Bowl. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in the fall of ’64. He was the first string halfback with the Dallas Cowboys in 1965 before being injured. Also played with the Atlanta Falcons, then played two years in the Canadian Football League for British Columbia
Wife (Bank’s First Graduating Class 1961) – Mary Ann Goff Sidle (Deceased)– along with their daughter, Kim, founding and guidance for the “The Chris Sidle Foundation” http://www.thechrissidlefoundation.org/volunteers/
John David Weeks (Scholar/Scientist/Tennis Team)
BA Harvard College physics; Ph. D University of Chicago chemical physics; postdoctoral research University of California, San Diego and Cambridge University, Cambridge England; Member of technical staff, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ (20 years); currently Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, College Park (19 years to date) – Fellow, American Physical Society, 1984 -Distinguished Member of Technical Staff Award, Bell Laboratories, 1985 – Joel Henry Hildebrand Award, American Chemical Society, (1990)
Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland (1995) – Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2000) – Member, National Academy of Sciences (2009) –
Anita Townes Fowler
BS, University of Alabama (Chemistry) – Senior Research Chemist, Southern Research Institute in Birmingham, (1965-present) (Organic Chemistry Department/Drug Discovery) – Work as a synthetic organic chemist resulted in numerous publications, patents, and two FDA approved cancer chemotherapy drugs, Fludarabine (1991) and Clofarabine ( 2004) – travel and world wide research collaborations including special projects sponsored by Eli Lilly, Schering-Plough/Merck, and several government agencies.
David Eugene (Pete) Stuckey (Football, Basketball (All City), Track (City Champions)
BS University of Alabama(Marketing), and Cornell University (Food Management) – U.S. Marine Corps (served in Viet Nam theater of operations) – Senior Executive, Vice President, (all domestic retail sales – nationwide) Sales, Trade Marketing and Industry Affairs, General Mills Corporation, Inc. (35 years) – Retired 2005 –
George Morris (Co Captain – Football) (All City/All District) (Played Collegiate at Georgia Tech) (Basketball) (All City/All District) (Track) (City Champions in all) –
BA, Georgia Tech; Founder/Partner, PPA Associates (successful professional financial advisors/management consultants, Atlanta, GA); (2005-2006) Lead Coordinator for Banks Athletes Group with Birmingham Athletic Partnership (see, http://www.bapteam.org/ – Lead Coordinator since 2007 for providing athletic equipment, supplies for students from what was the original Banks Middle School, and later the Ossie Ware Mitchell Elementary School.
Wife – Carol Anders ( Banks 1961) (Head Cheerleader) (Married to George Morris – high school sweethearts) – BA, Auburn University – Former Miss Auburn, high school teacher (2 1/2 years), home engineer.
Ruth Noble Groom (Ruth Walker) (Cheerleader)
Goucher College, Baltimore, MD/ BA, University of Alabama – Teacher, Brandon Hall School in Dunwoody, GA; Writer-Special Voters, Republican National Committee, Washington, DC; Scheduler, Winton Blount for Senate, Montgomery, AL; Congressional Liaison, Action Agency, Washington, DC; Entrepreneur/International Business Woman – Founder, Noble Trading Company,(1977) – one of the First Women to enter and establish direct business relationships within Mainland China (antique jewelry – nationwide boutiques), Noble Transoceanic Corp., Washington DC (international cotton trader – eastern Europe) – Former wife of Winston Groom, Alabama raised former Washington Post reporter/writer, non-fiction writer, best known for his book, Forrest Gump, which was adapted into a film in 1994 – widowed (Dan Wallace, father of Daniel Wallace, Birmingham born, writer/author, best known for his 1998 novel Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions, the basis for the Tim Burton 2003 film Big Fish. ), Residences in Washington, DC and Claiborne, MD (Mineral Springs Farm – see http://www.washingtonlife.com/issues/2003-09/easternshore/groom.html
Daytona Beach Junior College ( 2 years); BA, Florida State University; continuing education at SMU Graduate School of Banking; University of Oklahoma (Commercial Banking School); University of Colorado ( Consumer Banking School) – US Army (2 years) – Army Commendation Medal (1968) – District Sales, Ford Motor Co. ( New Orleans); Ford Credit (Houston, Kansas city) – Senior Vice President, Commerce Bank of Kansas City; President. Wells Fargo Texas, Senior VP and Regional Managing Director for Private Banking, Trust and Brokerage, Member of the Board of Directors (Houston) – retired
Bob Richwine Deceased (Tennis, Band Drum Major)
BS Aerospace Engineering, University of Alabama; Apollo program (10 years) –
“Apollo Achievement Award” – Southern Company (reliability engineering of power generating plants) – private consultant in this field as well for developing countries throughout the world.
Bill Rawls Deceased (Basketball (All City, All District, All State) & Track (City Champions) – Snead Junior College (Boaz, Ala.); College of William and Mary (Norfolk VA); University of Miami – (Veteran) US Coast Guard Reserve (Active duty 2.5 years- Reserves- 27.5 Years) Qualified Under Sea Diver (an unbelievable accomplishment given height)– Retired Captain (Viet Nam service) – Information technology
Professional – Senior Vice President (Georgia Firm)
Gail Lock White (Editor of the Contrails – Banks Annual 1961)
BA Elementary Education, Birmingham Southern – MA in Counseling, University of Alabama – Many years teaching first grade through seventh grade (mostly 4th and 5th); high school counselor at Butler & Grissom High Schools in Huntsville;. Private Episcopal school, and rural public school in Kiln, Missouri (taught Brett Favre’s sister in third grade when he was in high school in the same complex) and inner city schools in Mobile, Ala. – Selected at the Outstanding Elementary School Teacher for Mobile County Public Schools in 1994 / retired
Married Joel White – Banks 1962 (Football) (Part of 1961 City Championship – also Named Birmingham News 1st team All City, Honorable Mention All State, Birmingham Psot-Herald Lineman of the week and All Big Six 1st team, Radio Station WYDE Player of the Week – also on the wrestling team (3rd in the State) (heavyweight class), weight man on the Banks track team – All Football game -University of Alabama (football – first Banks player recruited and acquired by Coach Bear Bryant) – Professionally – long and outstanding careers –early information technology, then space program before the shuttle exploded, then he moved to the manufacturing side of business applications – last – Vice President and CIO of Birmingham Steel.
Richard (Rick) Kelley Deceased
BS, Jacksonville State University (Mathematics/Physics (Minor –Engineering)) – Military Service, Alabama Air National Guard (1962-1968) – Vice President/General Manager (industrial instrumentation, air pollution and air quality systems) , Brownlee-Morrow – Sales/Project Management, Honeywell, Inc. (integrated environmental, fire/life safety and security systems w/customer base including GE, Boeing, 3M, Army Corp of Engineers, etc.) – Director of Sales and Operations (environmental and security systems) for the Bellsouth and Southern Bell – Bellsouth TeleSensor (projects included physical security the 1990 Goodwill Games, Seattle, Washington, & other high profile security related projects – Building Facilities Management System that provided a nine state networked physical security for Bellsouth and Southern Bell facilities – Vice President Sales & Operations, American Magnetics (US airports as well as many Fortune 100 customers – key role in security products design and product direction for physical security global markets) – Vice President Sales/Marketing, Cardkey Systems Vice (worldwide sales/management – largest security manufacturer and the only security company that maintained several direct field offices that provided turnkey security services worldwide) – Principal Founder, Security Access Design LLC (commercial/governmental security services) – Past Honors: Vice Chairman and Chairman of National Security Industry Standards Council (SISC); Vice Chairman and Chairman of National Security Industry Standards Committee (SIA)
Minette Thompson Cranford
BA, Auburn University; MA, University of West Florida (Elementary Education), – Research partner with Florida State University, implementing Project CHILD into the classroom (curriculum maximizes computers utilization in the classroom) – Florida Associate Master Teacher – Teacher of the Year at her Florida school – relocated to Colorado Springs, (elementary teacher/reading specialist) – Teacher of the Year (1988)
District finalist for Teacher of the Year (1994) – Curriculum coordinator for Adult and Family Literacy Center – a Parent Educator, with Parents As Teachers, and served teen mothers – tutoring an African immigrant mother & grandmother in English – church sponsored this extended family, whose husband and grandfather were murdered by warring tribes in the Congo.
Jane Dudley Gillespie
Birmingham Southern College (Elementary Education), Masters, University of Memphis, (Curriculum & Instruction); Sea Scholar Certificate (for science teachers) U.S. Naval Oceanographic scientist/naval survey vessel/Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico – teaching in
public and private elementary schools Birmingham, Knoxville, and Memphis (35 years)- Honors – Kappa Delta Pi (professional educators), The Memphis Republican Women, and the Catholic School of the Memphis Diocese – Recording Secretary, Daughters of the American Revolution – Chairperson, America Heritage local chapter.
Ruth Moses Lovell (Majorette)
BS, Auburn University Post; Graduate studies (Math) Penn State University – Computer programmer/specialist, United States Internal Revenue; Department of the Army – Federal Agent (armed) – after my retirement, designer/creator gold jewelry (nationwide sales
Patricia Livingston McGinnis
Auburn University (2 years); BA, University of South Carolina (Early Childhood Education); Masters, University of South Carolina – Co-Founded/directed a preschool in Chapin, SC; taught Preschool Handicapped students and Learning Disabled students in kindergarten through 5th grade in Lexington District 5 in Irmo, SC – one year as a Master Teacher for the State Department of Education traveling to districts throughout the state in need of state department intervention – retired – last 25 years – real estate broker currently with Best Properties in Columbia, SC.
John Massey Deceased
Bachelor of Fine (Arts/Visual Design) Auburn University – Master of Fine Arts (Painting and Printmaking) Auburn University – Post-Graduate Research, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa – As Proto-Registrar of the Birmingham Museum of Art initiated the restoration of the print and drawing collections and mounted the following (a selected listing): Ansel Adams Retrospective (1975); Andy Warhol Exhibition (1976)The Brandywine Tradition of Art, Selections from the Coe-Kerr Gallery (19760;Birmingham Collects: The American Bicentennial Exhibition (1976); Watercolor Society of Alabama (1975-1976), etc. – Gallery Director of the Greater Birmingham Arts Alliance mounted the following exhibitions: GBAA Juried Photography Competition (1977- 1979)GBAA Juried Fine Art Competition (1977-1979), Society of Canadian Artists, a Festival of Arts Exhibition (1978), etc. – 15 years as a graphic designer/illustrator with avionics (Pemco Aeroplex, Inc.), aluminum signage (Leeds Architectural Letters, Inc), electrical engineering (Southern Company Services, Inc.), and periodicals (Vulcan Publications, Inc.) – Professor – graphic artist/art instructor Auburn University; adjunct professor, (painting/drawing) Brewer State Community College, Tuscaloosa, AL – Professor (painting)Birmingham Museum Art Education Council (1976) and at the Greater Birmingham Arts Alliance (1976-1978) – (Honors) Head/selection committee/ Birmingham Art Association’s Art Auction, The Bid Event, Birmingham Museum of Art’s (Spring 1985) – Author – “American Adonis: Tony Sansone, the First Male Physique Icon”, Universe Publishing, Rizzoli International Publications (2003) (in 80 college, university, art institute libraries throughout America, Canada, Europe, and Australia, including Yale, Columbia, New York University, Fordham, Boston Public Library, University of Alabama as well special collections of the British Library, Yorkshire, England, and Die Beyerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich, Germany, one of the oldest libraries in Europe).
BS – Mechanical Engineering, University of Alabama – Director of Aerospace Engineering, Harris Corp
Jackie Ryan McDuff (Head Majorette)
Birmingham Southern (1961-1963) – Carraway Methodist Hospital School of Nursing (1964) – Samford University (1979-1980) Nursing background: CMH, Auburn University Student Health – Jefferson County Department of Health, Brookwood Medical Center (25 years) – Head Nurse PACU (Postoperative care is the management of a patient after surgery, including specialized care during immediate postoperative period, both in the operating room and postanesthesia care unit – Retired
Billy Pullen – Deceased – (Baseball / Contrails Staff)
Samford School of Pharmacy, Retail pharmacist (11 years), Wyeth Laboratories (11 years), Business Owner/Franchisee – Midas Muffler & Brakes Shops (3 locations) (30 years), Founder/Owner – Creative Marketing Owner (8 years) – retired part time 2003.
Residence: Birmingham, Ala.
Married: Cecilia Burgess Pullen (also Banks 1961)
Pictured on the Banks Jet – Birmingham News /Fall 1960 – Billy proposed to Cecilia under the Banks Jet
Shirley Fomby Dickerson
Auburn University (2-1/2 years), BS, Samford University; IBM – Professional Administrative Officer – (CPS (Certified Professional Secretary) and CAP (Certified Administrative Professional) are professional certifications offered through IAAP that you earn by taking and passing a four-part exam consisting of Finance & Business Law (economics, accounting, business law), Office Systems & Administration (office technology, office administration, business communication), Management (behavioral science in business, human resources management, organizational management), and Organizational Planning (team skills, strategic planning, advanced administration – Five IBM Means Service Awards (24 years) – Southern Company Generation, Earth Science & Environmental Engineering – Administrative Officer (28 engineers, geologists, environmental specialists, and geo-techs)
Sunny Harris – Deceased – (Cheerleader, Yearbook “Favorite”, Glee Club, newspaper staff)
Rollins College- world traveler, entrepreneur, businesswoman, former resident Aspen, Colorado, later Palm Beach, Florida, expert in women’s fashion, international buyer, high fashion stores in Trump Towers, NYC and Palm Beach, Florida, member of the Sailfish Club, Palm Beach Yacht Club, Club Colette, The Society of the Four Arts, Daughters of the American Revolution and Colonial Dames of America, Chapter VII- Sunny was passionate about playing bridge and was a Life Master Bridge Player in the American Contract Bridge League.
Tim Carroll – Deceased
Auburn (entomology), UAB (nursing), veteran (US Air Force) – entomologist with the State of Alabama, later as a consultant, registered nurse at UAB, Medical Center East and Carraway Methodist Hospital, member Emmaus and Kairos Prison Ministry programs. He also studied at Chabad of Birmingham and Temple Emanu El. He was a talented artist in oil paintings and spent time as a Methodist Lay Minister – professionally and privately a world traveler (France, Hong Kong, African Safari and the Caribbean Islands).
The Coaching Staff at Banks High School (1961)
The Banks coaching staff built, nurtured, and led one of the most amazing athletic powerhouses in Alabama sports – in no less than three years culminating with the record setting teams with its first graduating of 1961 (the template for many years thereafter). See, “Banks High School ReUnion – Ex Jets Recall Success”, by Ron Ingram, news staff writer, Birmingham News, Sports, September 20, 2006.
Coach James H. Ivy (Deceased) (Head Football Coach 1957-1958)
Coach Ivy was the first football coach at Banks, building a solid reservoir of athletic talent for his successor, Coach James Tarrant. Afflicted early in life with an incapacitating illness, he would later succumb to its effects and pass away soon thereafter.
Coach James Tarrant (Deceased) (Head Football / Tennis Coach)
He was a veteran of WW II, and played pro football for a brief time with the Miami Seahawks – former football coach at Phillips High School, then leading Banks High School’s first graduating class to a City Championship in 1961 – He would later become a Principal at several Birmingham Schools including Huffman High School where he spent the remainder of his career. He had an extraordinary positive impact on many people over a long career in the Birmingham Public School System, especially at Banks High School.
Coach Shorty White Deceased (Football Coach)
From 1961-1974, when he was head football coach at Banks High in Birmingham, he won three state titles, racked up a still-record 35 games without a loss and coached 88 players to Division 1 scholarships – in his 14 years as head coach at Banks High School his football teams compiled a 100-37-5 record and went unbeaten in 1965, 1972 and 1973 with a 35-game winning streak over two straight state championship seasons (1972, 1973) and into 1974. His 1974 team defeated Woodlawn 19-6 at Legion Field before a state-record crowd of 42,000-plus. With the Banks program rated one of the best nationally, many of White’s players went on to college and even professional stardom, including Johnny Musso, Larry Willingham, Jimmy Sidle, Bobby Johns, Mike Neel, Rick Neel, Ronnie Roddam, David Cutcliffe, Paige Cutcliffe, Billy Strickland, Jeff Rutledge and Gary Rutledge. Many of his former players and assistants went on to coach at the major college level, including Cutcliffe, Johns, Jeff Rutledge and Bill Burgess. After joining the Alabama staff for seven years, White returned to the prep ranks at American Christian Academy and Pleasant Grove before retiring. He earned All-State honors at Phillips High School in 1950 as a co-captain of the school’s only unbeaten team. He played in the 1951 North-South All-Star Game and later coached in the1968 classic. He was named National Coach of the Year in 1973. Alabama Athletic Association Hall of Fame, March 2009.
Dewell Crumpton (Deceased) (Track/Field/Football) (1961)
He attended Ramsey High, won several state high school track records earning a scholarship as an athlete with the University of Alabama. He went on to teach, coach and serve in the U.S. Army as a Ranger, Paratrooper, and Ranger Instructor – coaching track & field and football at Banks High School – life long educator, coaching youth, and mentoring past and future national champions.
Coach Albert Morton (Head Basketball Coach/Football/Baseball) (1961)
Coach of the Banks High School basketball program taking that first graduating class in 1961 to the Birmingham City Championship (unbeaten), the State Basketball Finals, finishing as Runner Up State Champions. He would dominate City basketball with numerous city/state titles thereafter for Banks. He would later become principal at Huffman Middle School for 28 years. Morton was the District 45 (Jefferson) state representative for 16 years (Ranking Minority Member, Education, Jefferson County Legislation, Judiciary) and worked in education for more than 37 years, receiving many honors and accolades before retiring. (Eastern Area Citizen of the Year (1989); East Precinct Block Watch Association, Citizen of the Year (1990), Founder of a nationally honored School Anti-Drug Program, etc.)
Woodrow Wollesen ‘61