List of Alumni Featured in 2017-18

Whitney Cowart Culpepper

 Whitney Cowart Culpepper

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Graduated Fort Payne High School 2006 Colleges Attended: Samford University and graduated from McWhorter School of Pharmacy with a PharmD (Doctorate of Pharmacy) in 2012. Completed an Executive Residency with the National Community Pharmacists Association.

Whitney Cowart Culpepper

 Interview Responses 

What is your current occupation?

In 2016, I fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning my own independent pharmacy and opened Hoover Hometown Pharmacy. 

How has something you learned at FPHS helped you in your career or life journey? 

I was involved in Student Council throughout my high school career as our Class President. Taking on this leadership role helped me become more confident in myself and realize that I could be a leader and achieve anything I set my mind to doing. I learned how to interact with many different school employees, students and others through these extracurriculars and those skills have helped me network and meet people in my current career. 

Another important lesson is to be kind to everyone. High school can be tough, and I learned quickly how important it is to treat every classmate, no matter your differences, with kindness. If you learn this in high school early on, it will serve you well throughout the rest of your life!

What was your favorite high school class at FPHS?

Anatomy....Mr Guice was the best!

Who was your favorite teacher at FPHS and why?

I would have to say Sharon Totten and Christy Brandon. They were the Student Council advisors. Both of them were so influential in helping me develop into a strong and independent leader, not only in school, but in life. I also would have to say Jeannie Woods...she was never technically my teacher, but she has become a great friend and mentor for me to this day!

What is your favorite memory from high school?

Pep rallies and poster parties are some of my favorite memories, but our Junior Year stands out. We worked so hard on our homecoming float and other activities, and we won that year!

What advice would you give to current high school students about education and pursuing their future careers?

Don't let someone else tell you what you should be interested in doing. Find the class or activity that you really enjoy and pursue that. Get out and get some real world experience in certain fields and see if it's what you really enjoy doing. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't be intimidated by people who are already there. They want to help you succeed so just ask! And most importantly as I said earlier, be kind to everyone you meet. You never know what someone is going through or who may be your boss one day!

Noel Hernandez

 Noel Hernandez

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Business owner: Noel’s Tire and Service

Noel Hernandez

Name: Noel Hernandez

Year Graduated from FPHS: 2006

Interview Responses

What is your current occupation?

Business owner: Noel’s Tire and Service 

How has something you learned at FPHS helped you in your career or life journey?

I learned to get along with all people. I was able to participate in many sport activities that taught me to be open minded and to be able to engage in conversations with just about anything with anyone. I liked everybody and tried to see people as friends rather than the opposite. This has come in very useful in my job, because it has allowed me to build trust and relationships with my customers and with the people around me. 

What was your favorite high school class at FPHS?

All my teachers were very supportive and helpful. It's hard to pick one that was my favorite.

Who was your favorite teacher at FPHS and why?

All

What is your favorite memory from high school? Or a special story you would like to share?

Science was not on my strongest subject, but one time in Coach Ellis's class, we were working on a lab activity. Coach Ellis stopped to get everyone 's attention to praise my work. It felt really good. 

What advice would you give to current high school students about education and pursuing their future careers?   

Don't ever give up. Pay attention to teachers, family and elders. Their teachings and advice will come in handy in the real world. 

Meagan Johnson

 Meagan Johnson

Phone: Office: (256) 544-3559

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Colleges (s) attended: Northeast Alabama Community College (Dual Enrollment classes taken at FPHS) University of Alabama in Huntsville Graduated from: University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2012 Degree: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with an Aerospace Concentration

Meagan Johnson

 

Name: Meagan Johnson

Year Graduated from FPHS: 2008

 Meagan N. Johnson

Aerospace Engineer, ET20

Bldg. 4619 Rm. 106

NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center

 


INTERVIEW RESPONSES

What is your current occupation? 

I work for NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in Huntsville, AL at MSFC (Marshall Space Flight Center) as an Aerospace Engineer. In my current position I am one of the Engineers managing our Thermal Vacuum Chambers in the Environmental Test Facility, where we conduct tests on various types of hardware to simulate the space environment. I also contribute my skills as a Mechanical Designer to the Wind Tunnel team when drawings are needed for parts to be machined or 3D printed for testing.

My background includes working as a contractor for Jacobs with NASA as my customer. As a contractor, I worked as a Mechanical Design Engineer developing special test equipment for the Liquid Oxygen (LOX) Core Stage Test for the Space Launch System (SLS) program. This hardware includes my first design, a 200,000lb piece of hardware called a Lower Spider that acts as the base to the LOX Test Stand Assembly reacting and imparting loads on the LOX Core Stage Tank in preparation for flight.

How has something you learned at FPHS helped you in your career or life journey?

To be ambitious in the pursuit of your goals and to not focus too heavily on a single subject. I gained skills and abilities from more than just my school work, including team building and leadership skills from Volleyball and National Honor Society.

What was your favorite high school class at FPHS?

Any of the science classes. I always enjoyed labs the most and getting to be hands on with experiments. I also enjoyed Art. Surprisingly, art has had a great influence on my career because creativity is absolutely necessary when designing hardware that has never been built before.

Who was your favorite teacher at FPHS and why? 

Mrs. Crum and Mrs. Mitchell (Brandt now) were my favorite teachers because they believed in their students and invested time in them. I gained a great deal of confidence in my abilities from their math classes. They prepared me to jump straight into higher level math courses in college and I am grateful for their leadership and influence.

What is your favorite memory from high school? Or a special story you would like to share?

There are many memories with friends and teammates, but one memory that comes to mind involves just me. I had an elective class my last semester as a senior in the library and it was my favorite place at FPHS. Most of my time would be spent doing homework, but occasionally I would get the chance to take a book and go sit in a back corner of the library and read. My love for reading has taught me a great deal and fostered much of the creativity and ambition I put into my work today. There is something magical about a quiet sanctuary in the middle of a noisy high school full of activity.

What advice would you give to current high school students about education and pursuing their future careers? 

First off, don’t listen to anyone but yourself. If you are passionate about a subject, pursue it. There are no limits and don’t let anyone tell you that you are not capable, because hard work towards a goal you have passion for will get you farther than you ever imagined. Challenge yourself to be the best you can be and take the difficult courses you are afraid of.

Capriee Tucker

Miss Capriee Tucker

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

FPHS Graduate 2008 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - graduated Spring 2012 Alabama A&M University - graduated Fall 2018 Degree: Bachelors of Science in Psychology Masters in Education Social Sciences

Miss Capriee Tucker

Name: Capriee Tucker

Year Graduated from FPHS: 2008


Colleges (s) attended:

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - graduated Spring 2012

Alabama A&M University - graduated Fall 2018

Degree:

Bachelors of Science in Psychology

Masters in Education Social Sciences


Interview Responses: 

 

What is your current occupation? 

World History Teacher and Assistant Girls Basketball Coach at Hazel Green High School.

 

Accomplishments:

-McDonald's All American Nominee

-Four year member of the women's basketball team at UTC

-This is my first year teaching and my fifth year coaching basketball.

-In my five seasons as a coach I have been to 1 state championship game, 2 final fours, 3 regional championship games and have won 5 area championships.  

 Basketball

How has something you learned at FPHS helped you in your career or life journey?

I think educators have the best job in the world. The importance of an education is irrefutable and that can never be taken from you.

Capriee

What was your favorite high school class at FPHS? Who was your favorite teacher at FPHS and why?

I have been blessed enough to have been taught by some really wonderful individuals in my life and I know that I would have never found my calling in teaching and coaching without them.

I really enjoyed all of my history classes, student council, and my French classes. 

I cannot choose just one teacher to be my favorite as I had several teachers and coaches who helped shape and mold me. To name a few, Valerie Barnes, Christy Brandon, Jane Crum, Jackie Jennings, and Will Copeland. My coaches Jeffery Boatwright and Steve Sparks may have been my greatest teachers as I still use the lessons they taught me on the court in my everyday life. Each one of those teachers made me feel like they would do whatever it took to help me succeed. 

 

What is your favorite memory from high school?

My favorite memory at FPHS would have to be opening my time capsule box at senior night. I still have the box and contents to this day :)

 

What advice would you give to current high school students about education and pursuing their future careers? 

If I could give any advice to current high school students it would be to live in the moment and surround yourself with people who are constantly pushing you to be your best. Do not take the easy route, as the obstacles you encounter will not define you but they will show you just what you are made of. Do not be afraid of failure as it is inevitable, but fear complacency. Take advantage of all of the wonderful resources and faculty and staff, because believe it or not, right now, you are surrounded by some of the greatest people this world has to offer. Be kind and be courteous, for those are two things that people will never forget long after you leave FPHS.  Push yourself and strive for excellence as the habit you began to form now will set the course of the rest of your life. Last but not least, cherish these precious moments because before you know it, the memories you have forged for four years will be distant memories. I am extremely proud to call myself an alumnus of Fort Payne High School.

Brittany Godwin Baker

Mrs. Brittany Godwin Baker

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

College Attendance History: Northeast Community College 2006-2007 Auburn University 2007-2010 (Graduated May 2010) Degree: Bachelors of Art in Political Science

Mrs. Brittany Godwin Baker

Name: Brittany Godwin Baker

     FPHS Graduation Year: 2006

 


INTERVIEW RESPONSES...

 

What is your current occupation?

Associate to Governor Haley Barbour, Founding Partner

BGR Group (Lobbying Firm) (I work in the swamp…)

 

How has something you learned at FPHS helped you in your career or life journey?

DC is a city known for its power and often described as a place for succeeding based on not what you know, but who you know. That said, one of the first lessons I learned upon graduating from college was to be nice to everyone, the least of the reasons being: you never know who your next boss will be. That’s a pretty standard rule and something that is just as important in your first job as it is in high school. But it’s also a quality that you begin to cultivate in your teenage years when your bodies and minds are changing and you begin to face stress, acquire responsibility, and learn that your actions have harsher consequences than you once realized. Golden rule: be kind to everyone, including your teachers.

Another thing for me that stands out is being prepared. And what better place than high school for that wake up call. I was once asked in a job interview, “If you could teach me something, anything, what would it be?” The person interviewing me had served in various senior level positions for former presidents, not to mention had served as President Bush’s Press Secretary. The thought of me teaching this person anything left me speechless, and I froze. I was afraid that anything I said, they would know how to do better than me. One of the lessons learned from this is to be prepared for everything, always. Another lesson from this is that if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either. For what it’s worth, I followed up the same day with a handwritten note, thanking the person for taking time to sit down with me and explaining in great detail what I would teach them if I had the chance. I didn’t get the job, but I didn’t lose the lesson.

Major takeaway: Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

 

What was your favorite high school class at FPHS?

Coach Boatwright’s Government class and Mrs. Shugart’s English classes. These were the classes I enjoyed the most and performed the best in. I have often used Mrs. Shugart’s advice of “getting it right, comes from getting it down.” Especially during my time as a Speechwriter in the U.S. Senate. Also, creating the time capsule during freshman year, that you open on class night of your senior year, was an incredible project and really transformational to see how you have grown the last four years. For the economics side of Coach Boatwright’s class, I remember learning vividly that potatoes is not a good stock investment and apparently neither is oil and gas, so maybe I should look into retaking his class.

 

Who was your favorite teacher at FPHS and why?

Shugart and Godwin posing

Anna Shugart. Like no one else—that's what Anna Shugart’s like. She has a unique audacity that surprises and challenges her students in everything and every way she teaches. This style can only be explained as out-of-the-box. Her sense of humor and ability to tell a story that transports you to a place out of the classroom is daring and the way in which she invests in her students is unparalleled. Mrs. Shugart is wonderful in all she is and all she does, and she will continue to challenge the status quo of teachers everywhere. Thank you for being so inspiring and for making me rewrite my entire journal after it was stolen from my locker. To whoever took it, I’d still really like it back!

  

What is your favorite memory from high school?

I have a lot of good memories, from winning state in soccer my freshman year, to cheering at the homecoming bonfire my senior year. But, I think the memories that stand out the most are the ones where I learned a hard lesson or failed at something. We sometimes don’t put enough emphasis on those kind, but I’m grateful to look back and know that when I did mess up or lose at something, I didn’t lose the lesson. If you don’t learn from them, then you’re destined to spend the rest of your life repeating them, and where’s the fun in that? Disclaimer: This is also something you’ll continue to learn at every stage in life.

 Cheerleaders

What advice would you give to current high school students about education and pursuing their future careers?

Pay attention to the things that make you come alive, the classes you are the most passionate about, and even the things that you are criticized the most for, because those things generally don’t emerge by accident. I think it’s rare to fully know what career you want to pursue when you’re in high school, because honestly you’re not supposed to and if you do, then that’s great!

When I was an underclassman at FPHS, I participated in a job-shadowing program where you were able to shadow a professional of your choice for a full day. At the time I wanted to be a lawyer and talked the city’s defense attorney into letting me follow him around all day until we were both a little anxious for the day to end. Two years later it led to a summer job with him, that led to an internship in college, that led to my first job out of college. So my advice is: sign up, work hard, and the rest will come.

Anything else you want to share with our community?

I’ve always loved A.W. Tozer’s Rules for Self Discovery and try and live a life that makes me proud and not ashamed of my answers.

 

Rules for Self Discovery
1:    What we want most
2:    What we think about most
3:    How we use our money
4:    What we do with our leisure time
5:    The company we enjoy
6:    Who and what we admire
7:    What we laugh at

Brittany Baker is currently an Associate at BGR Group, a state, federal, and international government affairs and communications firm, where she works directly for Founding Partner Governor Haley Barbour. Her previous work includes political consulting; managing a nonprofit; and working on Capitol Hill, where she spent five years in the Senate, first to former Senator Jeff Sessions as a legislative correspondent and an analyst on the Senate Budget Committee; and later to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn as a speechwriter.

During Brittany's time in politics, she discovered her passion for writing and storytelling, and has published an article in Darling Magazine that discusses her experience on Capitol Hill and the state of women in politics.

Brittany currently serves as a voice and vision sector lead for Urban Avenues, a Birmingham-based nonprofit; and an adviser to Because Baseball, a U.S.- Egypt baseball initiative. She and her husband, Coalter, live in DC and attend the Falls Church Anglican in Falls Church, VA.

 

Mr. Kyle Payne

Mr. Kyle Payne

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

FPHS Graduation Year: 2001 College Attendance History: University of Tennessee 2005 Degree: Journalism

Mr. Kyle Payne

Interview Responses:

 

What is your current occupation? 

I am the Senior Producer of Original Content at Fox Sports South in Atlanta, GA. We are the largest regional sports network in the United States, reaching more than 13 million homes across seven states. I lead a group of producers, video editors and cinematographers who create all of the original video features that we use to enhance our broadcasts. We are the TV home for the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Memphis Grizzlies, Nashville Predators, Carolina Hurricanes, Atlanta United FC and the Atlanta Dream. We also cover a lot of college sports, including SEC and ACC football during my time at the network.

 

How has something you learned at FPHS helped you in your career or life journey?

Looking back, I wasn’t the most confident or outgoing person when I was freshman or sophomore in high school. I found that personal confidence and comfort in my last couple of years at FPHS, and that has benefited me in both my professional and personal life. I had a great group of friends and a few teachers like Sharon Totten, Katherine Ables, Paul Crawford and Brad Fricks that helped me find that confidence.

 

What was your favorite high school class at FPHS?

I took two different science classes taught by Tommy Guice that were tough, but I enjoyed them. They helped prepare me the most for college courses.

 

Who was your favorite teacher at FPHS and why?

While I have fond memories of many teachers, this one is an easy answer. Sharon Totten is my favorite teacher because she challenged me to get out of my comfort zone to take part in our senior play in 2001. I’m glad I did it, because it changed my life forever. We did a version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow that she and Paul Crawford worked on together. I thought I was going to have a small “comedic relief” role. I ended up as the lead character, Ichabod Crane. I got thrown through a window, fell off a building and put through any number of other things that I think were just Mrs. Totten’s way of getting back at me for disrupting our 11th grade math class so often. Our story also featured a love interest for ol’ Ichabod, played by Ashley Manning. Ashley and I spent a lot of time together in those couple of months at the end of our senior year, and we started dating. 16 years later, Ashley and I have been together ever since, married for 10 years now with 2 kids, Ella and Luke. It wouldn’t have happened had it not been for that play and Mrs. Totten.

 

What clubs or activities did you participate in at FPHS?

Played basketball for 3 years, helped with our senior video and was in our senior play.

 

What is your favorite memory from high school?

 I think Ashley would get upset if I said anything other than our senior play, so I’ll stick with that.

 

What advice would you give to current high school students about education and pursuing the future careers?

I’d encourage them to bring passion and pride to everything they do. You don’t have to excel in every class or participate in the most extra curricular activities. When you’re in that class, have enough personal pride to push yourself to do your best. If you’re on that practice field or in a game, have enough passion to bring your best effort every day. If you are in that club at school, understand that you have personal responsibility to the other teachers and students that are giving their time, don’t be the person that let the others down. Those are the traits that you’ll need if you want to succeed in life after high school.

 

 

Mr. Maurice Parrom

Mr. Maurice Parrom

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

FPHS Graduate 2002 Attended University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL Bachelor of Science Healthcare Management Graduated 2006 Belmont University Nashville, TN Doctorate of Pharmacy (PharmD) Graduated 2012

Mr. Maurice Parrom

FPHS Graduation Year: 2002

Interview Responses:

What is your current occupation? 

Pharmacist

How has something you learned at FPHS helped you in your career or life journey?

I learned if you challenge yourself and put in the work you will accomplish your goals. 

What was your favorite high school class at FPHS?

Calculus

Who was your favorite teacher at FPHS and why? 

There were several teachers at FPHS who had a positive impact on me. Gwen Mitchell was my favorite teacher because she was passionate about teaching Math. Mrs. Mitchell made learning Math fun and I enjoyed her class.

What is your favorite memory from high school?

Playing football under the Friday night lights.

What advice would you give to current high school students about education and pursuing their future careers? 

If you follow your dreams and work hard you will be successful. There will be challenges along the way but never give up. Knowledge is power and it will open up many doors in your career path. Dream big, work hard, and good things will happen!