Welcome from the Head of School
Hello and welcome to The Montgomery Academy. I appreciate your taking the time to get to know us online.
One key phrase of the school’s mission statement captures best what we are about: the pursuit of excellence. Our students pursue excellence in academics, the arts, athletics, and other areas of their lives.
For the 2017-2018 school year we are continuing with our Math in Focus (Singapore Math) and Writer’s Workshop programs in the Lower and Middle Schools. In the Upper School, we are offering 22 Advanced Placement (AP) courses, with plans to consider adding additional courses the following year. In the 2017-2018 school year, our 250 MA graduates from the past four years will be attending 51 colleges and universities in 21 states, the District of Columbia, and Scotland. These include some of the most selective and highly regarded educational institutions in the country, including Emory University; New York University; Princeton University; Stanford University; The United States Air Force Academy; The University of California, Berkeley; The University of California, Los Angeles; The University of Notre Dame; and The University of Virginia. Our students are well prepared for success at these and other colleges and universities both near and far.
Our Speech and Debate program is ranked #1 in the state of Alabama by the National Speech and Debate Association. At this year’s national tournament in Birmingham, coach Jay Rye was inducted into the National Speech and Debate Hall of Fame. He also earned his fifth diamond award, a coaching award that recognizes exceptional performance (as determined by the performance of the students) for more than 25 years. These honors came after his induction earlier this year into the Alabama Speech and Debate Hall of Fame as well. Our very own Drama teacher, Scott Bowman, an active professional actor himself, performed in the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s production of “Sherlock Holmes” this year. Several of our students also acted in ASF performances, as is frequently the case. Our Upper School Chorus traveled to New York for the Heritage National Competition, in which they took first place. Our six AP Studio Art students exhibited their works at the Stonehenge Gallery, and the work of one student, Emily Ernest, was chosen for inclusion on the College Board website. Finally, in 2017, we launched an instrumental music program with two levels of orchestra: beginner and advanced. We hope this program will grow and flourish in the coming years as the rest of our arts programs have.
On the athletic front, our Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Middle School teams made up for our smaller size with intensity of competition, defeating River Region schools by a margin of 149-66, with 6 ties. We added two state championships, Girls Tennis and Girls Soccer, to what was already the largest tally in the River Region, now at 67 state championships in under 60 years of existence. We also honored long-time Coach John Tatum with a beautiful arch in his memory leading to our football field. Finally, Coach David Bethea joined Coach Tatum and two other MA coaches in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame this year. With four coaches, we have the largest number of inductees of any school of any size in the River Region.
There is a great deal for us to celebrate as we look to build on our strong foundation moving forward into an exciting future. Please come see us!
Jay Spencer is the eighth Head of School at The Montgomery Academy.
Prior to joining the Academy, Mr. Spencer was the Director of Studies at The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1984. He received his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics at Vanderbilt University, magna cum laude in 1989. He received his master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt in the same year. Jay served for the next 20 years in the U.S. Navy as a submarine officer. His final tour was in command of the operational arm of the Navy's submarine rescue forces as Commanding Officer of Deep Submergence Unit in San Diego, CA.
Mr. Spencer met his wife, Dr. Kristin Spencer, while at Vanderbilt. They are the parents of four children, Jackie, Colin, Matt and David '23.