One of the busiest places in Gadsden is the front office of Gadsden City High School, and at the center of the action, always with a smile, is Kelly Swafford.
Originally from Florida, Kelly was a cheerleader at Troy University when she met her husband, Andy. Andy was a standout wide receiver and kick returner at Gadsden High School and Troy. Fortunately for Gadsden City fans, they decided to make their home here, because the next generation of Swafford athletes have been key to many big Titan wins. Alex Swafford is a sophomore football and baseball player. Holly is a senior volleyball and soccer player, and Haley, now at the University of Alabama, was also a standout Gadsden City soccer player.
If you know the Deramus family, it’s hard not to brag. Sure, they were all leaders in high school, and despite their young age, have already established incredibly successful careers. But if someone introduces you, they will likely start the introduction with the Deramuses’ impressive collegiate credentials: “You know about the siblings, right? Ahmad was the quarterback at Tuskegee University. Kamaria went to Wellesley College, and Raven has degrees from Princeton and Columbia.”
Raven, along with her husband, C.J. Byers, has been instrumental in establishing the Gadsden City High School Alumni Association. With Ahmad now teaching and coaching at GCHS, the Deramuses continue to impact Gadsden in a meaningful way.
Besides the obvious size of this big Titan Family, their Gadsden City roots run deep. Katie, Brant, Cynthia, and Mark all attended Gadsden City Schools. If you don’t already know the Hill & Haynie families as friends or patients, you’ll be interested to learn that Katie is an orthodontist. Brant is a dentist. Cynthia is a pediatrician, and Mark is an ophthalmologist.
Today, you can find the 7 members of the next generation in Gadsden City classrooms, on the football fields, and on playgrounds. Will they be tennis stars or quiz bowl champs? A future danceline captain or soccer goalie? Only time will tell!
If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a beautiful new softball field on the campus of Gadsden City High School. This amazing facility is what Coach Lindsey Tomlinson-Rich and the Titan softball family call their happy place. It is on this field where, like any good family, the team supports each other when times are tough and celebrates success when hard work pays off.
“Coach T,” as her players refer to her, is a 2016 graduate of GCHS. After college, she got the opportunity to come home to Gadsden City – this time as a science teacher and head softball coach. Her players say they’ve learned a thing or two from their coach about loyalty, commitment, and discipline. Coach T says she loves Gadsden City softball, and every time she walks out on that field, she’s proud to be a part of Our Titan Family.
Ife, Ade & Tobi Akisanya are perfect examples of how relationships from Gadsden City Schools remain an important part of alumni’s lives. Ife is in her last year of medical school at the University of South Alabama in Mobile where she is specializing in emergency medicine. Ade, a college sophomore, is studying economics and philosophy at Columbia University in New York City. Tobi, a junior, is studying human and organizational development and theater at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. She will soon be leaving for a semester to study abroad in Dublin, Ireland.
Where they’ll land after completing their education is anyone’s guess. But one thing that they say is for sure, they will take their dearest Gadsden City friendships with them wherever they go.
Gadsden City Spanish teacher, Angela Jones, counts herself fortunate to have her personal family as well as her extended Gadsden City Hispanic family. Angela’s son, Andrew, graduated from Gadsden City and is now a sophomore studying accounting at Auburn University. Sarah, a current Gadsden City High School freshman, is a member of the Titan volleyball team.
While Angela, her husband Timothy, Andrew, and Sarah are a tight-knit family, Angela spends much of her time serving Gadsden’s English as a second language student body. Thanks to her and other Spanish teachers’ work, Hispanic students have more representation in Gadsden City clubs than ever before. The Hispanic Heritage Month Festival has grown to be one of the system’s most well-attended events.
The Hispanic community is an integral part of our big, diverse Gadsden City Titan Family.
Twin brothers Carter and Bailey Womack are similar in a lot of ways besides appearance, but they definitely have their differences. The GCHS juniors are both athletes. Carter is captain of the GCHS wrestling team and recently joined the tennis team. Bailey plays leftfield on the varsity baseball team. Both boys have taken AP classes. Both have also pursued their unique interests by taking advantage of the wide range of coursework offered at Gadsden City.
Carter and Bailey have different plans for their futures too, but there are a couple of things you can count on when it comes to these Titan twins. One, their Gadsden City educations will have them ready for wherever their paths after high school take them. And two, Bailey will never miss an opportunity to point out that he’s the oldest – by three whole minutes.