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Although only in its fourth year, the Paul W. Bryant High School Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (MCJROTC) program is making a name for itself.

The program has been designated as a Naval Honor School by the Marine Corps Reserve Association. The honor means Bryant’s MCJROTC program ranks in the top 20 percent in the country, and is one of the top 10 programs in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and the Carolinas.

By Courtney Corbridge

When Erica Thompson, AP and honors biology teacher at Paul W. Bryant High School, went to college, her goal was med school. As a little girl she loved being outside and pulling apart flowers to look at their various parts, so biology became her natural choice for a pre-med degree. However, by the end of a swift three years at the University of Alabama, Thompson decided that medical school wasn’t actually what she wanted: For starters, she didn’t want to be in school that long, but she also knew that she eventually wanted to start a family—and she wanted to be as involved in her kids’ lives as her mother had been in hers. Medical school, it seemed, would get in the way of that.

Each year theater students from across the state come together for The Walter Trumbauer Secondary Theatre Festival, where they perform their best acts to be judged by qualified theater practitioners and teachers. This year students from Paul W. Bryant High School took away six superior ratings at their district 2 festival, which was held at Corner High School on Nov. 7.  Keri Cook, Desiree Applewhite, Kimberlyn Beale, Courtney Holye, Erin Murphy and Olivia Melton were each awarded with superior ratings, in categories ranging from costume design to comedic monologue, but the students also won the prestigious Best in Show award for the piece they presented for Studio Theatre. Their successes have qualified them for the state competition, which will be held Dec. 4 at Troy University.

Congratulations to these students, and a special thank you to their teacher Melissa Bailey.


Lake Tuscaloosa Living (LTL) is the premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.


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