BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
The Alabama Independent School Association (AISA) recently announced Fort Dale Academy was a recipient of 2021-2022 AISA Blue Ribbon School Award.
The award program is sponsored by the AISA to recognize member schools with outstanding educational programs.
In order to be considered for the AISA Blue Ribbon Award, a school must complete a rigorous application process and exemplify excellence in scholastic achievement, professional learning, student involvement and community interaction.
These schools have demonstrated a high level of excellence in their academic and student programs and are very worthy recipients of the AISA Blue Ribbon Award.
David Sikes, who took over as FDA’s head of school in 2020, said, “Awards are based on a rubric set forth by AISA and has to do with the average SAT (FDA’s is 22.2), amount of scholarships (FDA had approximately $1.6 million offered), percent of students accepted to college, extra-curricular activities, professional development/teacher of year, and is also based on a national competition. You have to score over 1,050 points and we did that.”
He added, “We are very extremely proud of our student and teacher accomplishments. Greta Whiddon has done a remarkable job as assistant principal and student counselor. The award is a measurement of yourself. You are competing against yourself to be better and every year we want to be in the top of schools.”
FDA now has four Blue Ribbon Awards. They are for school years 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2016-2017, and 2021-2022.
Sikes has his own accolade to tout. He was recently named President of the Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP).
The AASSP is a statewide organization and represents both public and private schools with grades 7-12.
He was first elected by his peers as vice-president in 2020, then served as president-elect in 2021, and is currently serving as president for 2022.
He noted AASSP is great way to network, gain professional education and learn new ideas from schools across the state and stated AASSP is also active in legislative actions.
Sikes said, “I am really humbled, because it says a lot about what your peers think of you. I feel like it is a blessing from God. I have learned a lot about how different things work in the state from an educational point of view.”
His early career years were spent coaching on both the high school and collegiate levels.
He was the Greenville High School head softball coach from 1995-97, and also taught physical education courses at Greenville Middle School and served as counselor for W.O. Parmer Elementary School for the 1996-97 school year.
Sikes has spent the last 20 years in an administrative role, primarily as a principal or assistant principal.