“I have made many friends and learned many things,” said Tyler Gough in his Chapel Talk, delivered on February 13. Speaking about his fourteen years at Amelia Academy, he said that he has taken advantage of opportunities, such as attending the Precision Machinist program at John Tyler Community College while also taking core classes at the Academy.
The importance of friendships was the subject of his speech. He shared stories of antics with Wilbert Allen going back to Lower School. “It all started in first grade,” he said when he was assigned a seat beside Wilbert. He also paid a tribute to newer friends and classmates WillJay Steger and Jamal Grant for their influence on his life.
Tyler and his friends have always been able to end up laughing through the good times. “Some things in life are not really worth doing unless there is a friend there to enjoy the moment,” he said. He also emphasized the importance of having friends during difficult situations. “Your friends should be there for you when you’re going through hard times,” he said.
Family friendships have been a mainstay of Tyler’s life. “One of my best friends is my Dad,” he said. “A few things we like to do together are hunting, going to drag races, and working on cars.”
Another important friendship in his life was with his grandfather, Papa Thea, who passed away in 2010. “He was one of my best friends, and I miss him all the time,” said Tyler. He and Papa Thea spent time working in the garden, cutting grass, and fishing. They had a lot of fun together.
“He taught me a lot of life lessons,” Tyler said. From his Papa Thea, he learned “right from wrong, and how to be dependable and do for others.”
His Pape Thea’s passing made Tyler realize that friendships should never be taken for granted. He told his fellow students to appreciate their friends and “look out for them and help them if they need it.”
Based on his experience, he encouraged students to pursue hard work without becoming discouraged. “As soon as you get discouraged, you will not be able to accomplish what you are capable of doing,” he said.
As a student at the Academy, Tyler has been involved in a variety of programs. He is a member of the National Honor Society and has played sports, including varsity baseball.
Attending his Chapel Talk were his parents Robin and Daryl Gough, along with his sister Brett, a 2016 Academy graduate. Other family members present included his uncle, Clarke Gough, his aunt, Debbie Weaver, and cousins, Alan and Avery Gough.
On February 12, the Amelia Academy athletic department recognized three seniors for their contributions to the athletic program. Pictured is Mascot Cheerleader student coach, Hannah King, accompanied by her father, Nathan King, and grandmother, Gail Wilson; varsity basketball co-captain, Jamal Grant, accompanied by his mother, Monica Jackson, his girlfriend, Tamia Nunnally, and his father, Nathan Grant; and varsity basketball co-captain, Will Jay Steger, accompanied by his Amelia family, Coach Greg Harris Sr., Valarie Harris, and Greg Harris Jr., his mother, Ladonya Steger, his father, William Steger Sr., his grandmother, Mary Anne Brooks, his sister, Donyale Steger, his girlfriend, Kyra Benoit, and his grandfather, Melvin Brooks.
The Patriot Review is the Alumni Newsletter of Amelia Academy.
The transition to a new place ranks high on the list of most stressful life events. This process can be even more daunting for a rising junior in high school. That’s what Julia Huddleston faced last year when she transferred to Amelia Academy. However, the transition was made easier by three friends who helped her make the adjustment. Julia paid a tribute to friendship in her Chapel Talk, delivered on February 6.
In expressing what her “small circle of friends” have done for her, Julia said, “They have helped me work through difficult situations . . . they have taught me to be a better person.” Her friends also gave her the confidence to be herself. She has tried to do the same for them because, “that’s what friends do for each other,” she said.
Julia shared a few of the memories she will carry with her. She and her friend Ryan Anderson went to prom last year. He also surprised her with concert tickets on her eighteenth birthday. “Whenever I need someone to confide in or simply just need a laugh, Ryan has always been there,” Julia said.
She credited her friend Noah DeJesus with helping her become “a stronger and more humble person.” They have shared good and challenging times but have remained friends. “One of my favorite memories is Noah taking me to Logan’s to see the cows,” she said. This small act can turn around a bad day, she added.
Finally, Julia spoke about her friends Trey Capps, a 2017 Academy alumnus. “Trey is one of the funniest and most caring persons I know,” she said. “He has taught me that it is okay to be silly and always be myself.” Trey has been like an older brother, and Julia spoke about the fun times they have had.
All three young men helped her adjust to a new school, but their influence has extended far beyond the transition. Julia credited her three friends with creating fun memories and having a “giant impact” on her life. Pledging never to take them for granted, Julia hopes they will all remain close in the future.
As a student at the Academy, Julia has been a member of the varsity softball team. She and her siblings, Haylee and Macon, have also been active in various Academy programs over the past year.
Students in Mrs. Mary Rose Leader’s preschool class at Amelia Academy celebrated their one-hundred days of school on Thursday, January 31st. Pictured left to right (kneeling) is Caleb Peterson, Zayvion Jones, Jackson Jones, and Bronson Ashman. Pictured left to right (standing) is Carsyn Dunford, Levi Sutton, Levi Barrett, Brayden Wright, Hollis Reames, Jackson Jarck, and Jeb Keiter.
Amelia Academy preschool students, Carsyn Dunford and Caleb Peterson, dressed up as 100-year-old people in celebration of their one-hundred days of school. Carsyn and Caleb are students in Mrs. Mary Rose Leder’s class at Amelia Academy. (Preschool pictures by Lexi Easter and Sarah Pomphrey)