Alumni Spotlight
Lea (Babcock) Wallace ('10) Fights for Educational Equity through Teach for America
Categories: General, Alumni
Posted: 7/17/2017

Lea (Babcock) Wallace (’10) finds fulfilment in the day-to-day business of education as a recruitment associate for Teach for America in the Athens/Atlanta region.

Upon graduation from the University of Georgia in 2014, Lea made the decision to take on a teaching placement at Glencliff High School in Nashville through Teach for America. Not certain if it was the right decision, she reached out to former teachers at Whitefield. Coach Johnson, Mr. Hellier, and Ms. Bonnem all encouraged her to “go for it.” Their support was one of the underlying motivations that gave her confidence to head into the unknown.

Teach for America enlists the country’s most promising future leaders in the movement to eliminate educational inequity. Working alongside team members, Lea develops and executes strategies to build movements for educational equity on college campuses and in communities across the country, recruiting a diverse group of members across a portfolio of colleges and universities and professional sectors.

Glencliff, where Lea taught, is one of the most diverse high schools in Nashville, where their motto is “Our diversity is our strength.” Lea had 230 students, most of which were 12th-grade boys. In the student population at Glencliff, Lea experienced 142 nationalities and 26 different languages. Most of her students came to her with a third-grade reading level. She had her work cut out for her.

"While at Glencliff, I got to be a part of the team that brought Young Lives (for teen moms) to the community," said Lea. "I assisted in several of my students’ deliveries and mentored 40+ of my teen moms at Glencliff on how to care for their babies. I am SO PROUD of my students and their willingness to care for their children, finish high school, and go on to college."

When asked how she managed with such a diverse group, her answer was, “I truly couldn’t have survived teaching without the incredible love and support of my students and the community. They welcomed me in like family and made me one of their own. I was in no way a 'savior' to my kids or the South Nashville community. My students are the backbone of their families, and they are ushering in so much opportunity through their willingness to work hard in school, hold 40+ hour/week jobs, and take care of their own siblings and sometimes children. It was with their help, I succeeded.”

While in Nashville, Lea received her master’s degree from Lipscomb University in secondary education and instruction. She also met her husband, Jarryd Wallace, who is a Team USA paralympic sprinter.

Lea has made a difference in the lives of her students, helping to secure some 25 scholarships at David Lipscomb College and other local colleges. While she has been instrumental in helping them to maneuver the pathway to college, she also enjoys maintaining contact with her former students.

“I always appreciate the opportunity to talk about the students and the work that I love!”

Lynlee (Howell) Bradley ('05) Takes the Cake as a Chef
Categories: General, Alumni
Posted: 6/26/2017

Lynlee (Howell) Bradley (’05) is the present owner and chef instructor of Young Chefs Academy in Atlanta and owner of Lynlee Cakes, a specialty cake business. She attended Birmingham Southern College and is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.

Just what is Young Chef’s Academy? Founded in 2003, Young Chefs Academy is one part culinary adventure, one part culinary education, and it’s all for children. They learn invaluable life lessons through a cooking curriculum that evokes curiosity, which provides them with a pathway to personal discovery and creativity, all in a warm, welcoming, and inspiring movement.

Lynlee participated in Whitefield Academy’s 2017 Upper School Arts Day, where she helped to broaden the variety of art and techniques brought to the school for the day of art experience. After the event, Lynlee shared her thoughts on returning to Whitefield.

First of all, Lynlee was amazed at the new Upper School! She and her cake decorating class met in the main student lounge, positioned at the end of the hallway overlooking the Whitefield pond. Floor-to-ceiling windows and high boy tables and stools created a very “with-it” environment, according to her.

She was a bit surprised at the interest in baking – or maybe the students were just hungry for cupcakes! They were engaged and interested in the process of baking, asking great questions as they practiced their frosting techniques.

“I looked at these students and I thought, ‘Wow, this is where I was once. They seem so young and have so much more in life to experience,’" said Lynlee. "But after spending the day with them, I became impressed that several of them had already picked out a college and had huge plans for their lives.”

Lynlee has a great passion for teaching in the culinary field. She says her joy of teaching grows every day because she is teaching children what she loves. She equates that to the teachers at Whitefield. By getting to do what they love, they have more of an impact on their students.

“I look forward to bringing my son, Dallas, to Whitefield one day and showing him around," she said. "Seeing all the growth at Whitefield makes me very happy!”

Olivia Powell ('10) Pursues Her Gifting in the Medical Field
Categories: General, Alumni
Posted: 6/19/2017

Olivia Powell is learning to be on her own as a nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit. Hired in February 2017 by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for the night shift, she is training for her job by working alternate day and night shifts.

“It’s a good way to learn how to be independent," said Olivia. "Working the day shift gives me more interaction with colleagues as well as visiting parents of infants. I can practice my newly-learned nursing skills with the support of experienced staff who are close by to support me as I become more skilled in my job.”

Olivia graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in public health. She continued her education at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and has her master’s degree in clinical nurse leadership.

While at UGA, Olivia was uncertain about her career path and said she really prayed about the direction in which God would have her go. God eventually revealed to her, “Olivia, it’s ok. I have a plan for you.” She thought maybe she was to work in the emergency room, but then her high grades rewarded her a 400-hour practicum in the pediatric ICU. That experience showed her that pediatrics was where God wanted her to be.

Voted by her senior class at Whitefield as “most likely to host her own talk show,” Olivia says now she has the opportunity to engage deeply in conversation with parents and doctors. She is learning to be comfortable talking to strangers about life-threatening medical issues. Compassion, tone of voice, and genuine love for her patients have given her tough conversation assignments. She is learning to practice “dashboard therapy” when she leaves her shift, often shedding a tear or two in her car.

Olivia traveled to Peru in October 2016 with a medical mission team focused on women’s health. She had to brush up on her Spanish in order to be a team leader and looks forward to returning one day, possibly for a longer period of time.

When asked how Whitefield prepared her for college and her career, she said she learned how to study, how to listen, take notes, and ask questions—all of which have helped her excel in the medical profession. She is grateful for the morals and values instilled during her tenure at Whitefield, which has helped her to stay the course throughout college.

“Doc Liv,” as her friends called her at Whitefield, is getting to live out her gift of communication, offering compassionate support and guidance through her skills gained in the medical profession. Who knows, maybe one day she will have her own talk show.

Fuller ('17) Drafted by Los Angeles Angels
Categories: General, Athletics, Alumni
Posted: 6/14/2017

Congratulations to Sam Fuller ('17) for being drafted in the MLB's 14th round by the Los Angeles Angels! He is only the second player to ever be drafted directly after graduating Whitefield and the highest player ever selected from Whitefield.

A right-handed pitcher, Sam has played baseball since he was five, beginning with Smyrna Little League and progressing onward through East Cobb Baseball, 6-4-3 travel team baseball, The Arsenal, a travel team based out of New Jersey, Whitefield’s middle school team, and, finally, the varsity team throughout high school. He had originally committed to play baseball for the NCAA Division I West Virginia Mountaineers but will now begin training at the Angels’ practice facility in Arizona this summer and will enroll in college classes during the off season. 

Whitefield Athletic Director Danny Ryan said, “Sam Fuller is a tremendous baseball player, extremely hard worker, and has overcome a lot to get to this point. It is apparent that the Angels saw that same thing in Sam. They are getting not only a great baseball player, but an outstanding young man who loves the game and is passionate about the sport. I am excited to see the tremendous ways God will use Sam in the Angels’ organization.”

Whitefield Alumnus Parachutes Into Texas Rangers Game
Categories: General, Alumni
Posted: 4/10/2017

Everett Joiner (’13), a senior at the United States Air Force Academy, along with his teammates on the Wings of Blue jumped into the Texas Rangers home-opening baseball game on April 3 which was televised on ESPN. Everett and the Wings of Blue also jumped into the Maxwell Air Force Base Air Show April 8-9 in Montgomery, Alabama.

Caroline Pattillo ('05) Returns Home to Whitefield
Categories: General, Alumni
Posted: 12/7/2016

Caroline (far left) with the WolfPack varsity girls cross-country team
Caroline Pattillo ('05) graduated from Whitefield in 2005 and returned in 2016 as advancement office manager. She graduated from the University of Georgia and gained management experience while working at West Stride Running Store and as a neurodevelopmental teacher at Jacob’s Ladder, a school for students with special needs.

Caroline started her career at Whitefield as a student in the original UFO building.

“Whitefield gave me a firm foundation spiritually, academically, and emotionally and has shaped me into the woman I am today,” she said. “I am so grateful to all of the teachers who invested in me. I have always wanted to work for a Christian organization and am excited to be able to now give back to the Whitefield family.”

When Caroline is not running the advancement office, you can find her running the track or cross-country trails. Since coming back to Whitefield, she has supported the efforts of the cross-country team and brings her years of expertise to the runners. She is an accomplished marathon runner and Ironman tri-athlete, most recently running the Silver Comet Marathon. To get her going in the morning hours, she swims most days at Westminster with Masters Swim Team, a nationwide organization.

Caroline worships at Mt. Paran Church of God. She owns her own home in Smyrna, and Lilly and Brooks, her two dogs, keep her company.