Day 2- Homecoming 2016: Where Are They Now? An Alumni Update

Day 2- Homecoming 2016: Where Are They Now? An Alumni Update

This homecoming week we are delighted to bring you an alumni update each day since this is the week when we invite all our former students to COME HOME to the Academy.

Day 2 brings you updates from Rebels recently graduated and others from “way back.”


If you would like to send us an update, please email  Look for a post each day this week, and we hope to see you at Homecoming this Friday night, September 16, 2016 at 7 pm!


jeffJeff Dennis (’85)

From Jeff: At Class Day 1985, I was given the “I Dare You” Award. This was given to a student, who the teachers and faculty felt like if they applied themselves and were “dared,” would go on to be successful. I didn’t apply myself, I didn’t study, and I had no desire to go to college. Receiving that award gave me more confidence and more determination to prove them right. Six  months after graduating, I took a minimum wage job with a jewelry company polishing jewelry. I soon learned this trade, and I repaired jewelry for many years eventually working up to sales and management.  In 2000, I bought my first jewelry store. Thirty-one years after receiving that award, I am the owner of Jeff Dennis Jewelers in Gardendale, Alabama. I have a wife and 14 and 16 year old daughters.

The fact that my teachers believed in me and dared me to be successful was the catalyst for my life. That determination has helped me to go through personal and family sickness and trials.

One piece of advice I would give the current students. Live for Christ. Period. The peace you will have to walk through life with Christ in your heart is much greater than anything else. Apply yourself. Live a life that would please your parents and learn now that people who will ask you to compromise your beliefs and your integrity are not your friends. Nobody can ever take your good name away from you, you have to willingly give that away!

Don’t blink. In what will seem like a blink of an eye, you too will be asked to submit a quote about your school that you graduated from 30+ years ago. Make every day count, make wise choices and listen to your teachers! They really do have your best interest at heart!

theshawsSteve and Sabra (Gable) Shaw (’79)

From the webmaster: Sabra was a fixture around campus while her kids were students. Thank you so much for the hundreds (thousands?) of hours you spent helping. We miss you!

From Sabra: My sister, two sisters-in-law, and brother-in-law all graduated from BA. Both of my kids attended BA. Brittany graduated in 2004 and Pate in 2016.

I really loved my time as a student there. I was a member of the largest graduating class up to that point. I believe there were 79 of us.

treyTrey Farr (’11)

From Trey: I left to go start school in Pennsylvania at a private nursing school which was quite a challenge. I struggled with full time work, full time school, and tons of other stress. Eventually it was time for a change, and I came back home to Birmingham. I went to college here to finish up a degree, and through many unsure moments, I found a passion to work towards and am now in the process of starting 2 business while working part time in retail.

amyAmy (Clevenger) Smith (’90)

From Amy: I graduated in 1990 and returned to teach at Bessemer Academy after graduating from UAB in 1995. I absolutely love BA. It is home to me, and I love that my daughter Josie is here with me. I love that I have always gotten to be with her no matter what grade. That is a true gift that a lot of teachers don’t have.

abbyAbby Watson (’14)

Is engaged to Ethan Nicholas and is a new mommy to Kylan Anslee Nicholas.

Nate Hess (’15)

Is a business major at Montana State University.

codyCody Howell (’12)

Is married to Tessa and has a baby boy named Braxton. Cody is employed at Nucor Steel. His little sister Kalie is a sophomore at BA. We can’t wait to have Braxton as a K3 student in a few years!

tiffanyTiffany (Tidmore) Lacy (’01)

From Tiffany: I can’t believe that this year marks 15 years since I graduated from BA. I have such fond memories of being at BA.  We had the best teachers and principal. I hate to hear that my old principal Coach Lavorne passed away. He was such a great man.
Since graduating I am married and have 2 children who are 13 and 11. I’ve been married for 14 years, and I am a legal assistant at Norris Injury Lawyers.
Unfortunately, as of right now I am unable to work because in February 2014 I was diagnosed with leukemia. From February 2014 to February 2016 I have been waiting to find a perfect match donor so that I can have a life saving bone marrow transplant. And in February of this year I got my wish and was able to have my bone marrow transplant. I am in recovery right now and hope to be back to my normal self soon.

Since September is leukemia awareness month, I thought I would let you know what I have been doing to help and spread important information about this type of cancer.
Since 2011 my family and I have been holding car shows to help to spread awareness and to help with donations that all go to UAB Cancer Center. My brother in law passed away in October 2011 from leukemia. We had heard about leukemia but were not that familiar with it, so my family thought it would be good to start helping people to understand that yearly check ups were crucial with early detection with- not only leukemia but also with other diseases that can lay dormant in your body without you knowing it.
I am so glad that I was able to go to BA and have the best high school experience ever.

sarahSarah Brown (’12)

Graduated this summer from Jefferson State Community College and is a Licensed Veterinary Technician at McAdory Veterinary Clinic.