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MontgomeryAdvertiser
A Gannett Company

Column by Deborah Hayes Moore

Conrad Jackson was disappointed he couldn't do James Brown's slide move appropriately when "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" was played last Saturday night at the RSA Activity Center. Wearing rubber-soled shoes, he did the best he could as he hit the dance floor with his former classmates for the big hometown celebration that closed-out the festivities of their 50-year class reunion.

When he and the more than 700 seniors graduated from Sidney Lanier High School in 1964, they weren't looking ahead to what their lives would be like five decades from that euphoric day. Reeling in excitement, they were focused on the impending summer months of '60s-era fun that preceded college and military life, and marriage for some.

It was that same excitement they experienced last Friday and Saturday nights, when many of them reunited to enjoy all the events that had been enthusiastically planned several months ago to observe the milestone in their lives.

Reunion Chairman Conrad Jackson and his wife, Brenda, take a break during all the festivities of the weekend at the 50th reunion of the Lanier class of 1964, hosted at the RSA Activity Center. (Photo: Contributed)

Class of 1964

Phillip Suitts, 12:13 a.m. CDT July 20, 2014

The Seattle Seahawks were up 43-8 with less than four minutes to play in this year's Super Bowl when former Alabama State quarterback Tarvaris Jackson ran onto the field to replace Russell Wilson.

Jackson's late-game appearance — he was on the field for two plays — didn't make headlines. But far away, in downtown Montgomery, his former coach, decked out in Seahawks gear and surrounded other Tarvaris Jackson supporters, watched with pride.

Jackson attended Sidney Lanier High School and played at ASU for three years. On Saturday, more than 280 kids attended his second annual free youth football camp, which was held at ASU's Hornet Stadium. Standing among old coaches and teammates, Jackson reflected on his Super Bowl appearance.

Seattle Seahawks player and former Alabama State standout Tarvaris Jackson works with youth at his Football Camp at Hornet Stadium on Saturday. (Photo: Mickey Welsh/Advertiser)

Class of 2000

Josh MoonWritten by Josh Moon

When interposition teams from the Alabama State Department of Education entered some Montgomery schools in November to conduct instructional audits, one of the first things they noticed was a peculiar power structure within the district.

Instead of each school being operated as a unique, semi-independent entity that sought approval from the Montgomery Public Schools’ central office only for broad decisions and goals, MPS schools were micromanaged from afar. Decisions on faculty, staff, support programs and professional development were all made at the central office, usually by an administrator who never spoke to anyone at the schools, or in some cases, disregarded the requests from school principals altogether.

State Superintendent Tommy Bice attends the Alabama State Department of Education interposition orientation at Montgomery Public Schools Professional Services last October. / Amanda Sowards/Advertiser file
State Superintendent Tommy Bice attends the Alabama State Department of Education interposition orientation at Montgomery Public Schools Professional Services last October. / Amanda Sowards/Advertiser file

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