PHS starts a heartwarming tradition



A new practice at Pelham High School is bringing students and teachers together in a special way. Coach Tom Causey has started a tradition, brought with him from his days at Demopolis. He has players choose teachers who made a big difference in their lives. Those teachers are presented with a jersey and a letter from these former students.

Four teachers at Riverchase Middle were recently honored, and touched, by these young men who at one time passed through their classrooms. Coach Causey visited the school on a Thursday morning, walking the halls to deliver a jersey and a letter to each of four teachers remembered with fondness by a former student.

Shawn Wesley, a sixth grade social studies teacher, was surprised by the special delivery. She remembers Rodney, the young man she taught during the 2011-12 school year, as being polite, studious, and funny. “I’ve seen him… while working the middle school football games. After the high school football team finished practicing, he would come over and talk to me and give me a big hug.”

Hannah Rodgers, a recent WAIT grant recipient, also received a jersey. She now teaches the younger sister of Edwin, an 11th grader she taught when he was in 8th grade. The letter he wrote really touched her.

“Coach Causey came to my room last week – I thought he needed to see a student – but he said he was here to deliver a jersey to me! Never in a million years did I expect such an honor,” says eighth grade teacher Kathleen Brotherton, “Jersey #11 belongs to John Michael, and while wearing his jersey was special enough, he also wrote me the most lovely letter. His kind words were so touching, and I could barely finish reading as my tears were falling on the page. I am truly humbled, and will treasure this letter for a lifetime.” She wore the #11 jersey with pride to school on Friday, and also to the game on Friday night.

Frank Price received a jersey as well, from Ladre who is now a 10th grader. He not only taught him but also coached him in track and football for two years.

Coach Causey came with high praise from his former superintendent. “He has definitely been a positive influence to, not only the young men he has coached, but every student who has crossed his path at the high school,” Demopolis City Schools Superintendent Al Griffin said last year. Pelham is already seeing his influence on students and teachers alike.

Author: Angie Bell

Angie Bell is a freelance writer, photographer and substitute teacher. You can read her blog at, follow her on Twitter @Bella5804, or contact her at

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