Pride of Obion County to address UCHS’ top seniors
Posted: Monday, May 9, 2011 9:06 pm
By GLENDA CAUDLE
Special Features Editor
It is with special “Pride” that Union City High School announces the school’s annual Top Ten Academic Banquet Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. at the school’s commons area. The speaker for the prestigious event will be the 2011 Obion County CornFest Pride of Obion County, Al Creswell of Union City. A 1972 graduate of UCHS and the salutatorian of his class, Creswell is the chief manager and tax partner for Alexander Thompson Arnold PLLC and works from the firm’s office on East Reelfoot Avenue in Union City.
The 10 academic leaders of each class for this year will be recognized at the banquet in their honor and their families will be special guests at the event. The students include:
• Class of 2011 — Chase Bowling, Britton Bugg, Taylor Edwards, Shenisha Huff, Hannah Jackson, Matthew Keathley, Trey Maddox, Russell Smith, Erica Sturkie and Brady Tidwell
• Class of 2012 — Blair Beachum, Breanna Brown, Hailey Cash, Ashlyn Chism, John Kirkland, Anna Moore, Nancy Sanchez, Morgan Stone, Andrew Warner and Kaitlyn Wheeles
• Class of 2013 — Ellen Bearden, Abram Carroll, Tara Elam, Sadie Hollis, Aubree Guess, Drake Parker, Garrett Ransom, Grant Ransom, Luke Searcy and Chloe Smithson
• Class of 2014 — Rachel Fowler, Lanzer Harris, Jonathan Hurtado, Molly Maclin, Brittany Parker, Alexis Ryan, Cody Robertson, Jason Stone, Julian Viall and John Alex Warner.
Sponsors for the event will be Commercial Bank, First Citizens National Bank, First State Bank, Reelfoot Bank, Russell and Donna Caldwell, Mrs. Mike Dickerson, Mrs. John W. Drerup, Janice Sloan Faulk, Gary and Marsha Houston, Bob and Beverly Hunt, David and Teresa Johnson, Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation, Bill and Carol Latimer, Midwest CBK, Reynolds Brothers Oil Co., Terry Petty Chevrolet, Tyson Foods Inc., Union City Insurance Agency Inc., Virgin’s Nursery and Warner Law Firm PLC.
“I was truly honored when Mr. Houston — Union City Director of Schools — asked me to speak at this year’s Top Ten Banquet, as I am aware of the accomplishments of many of the previous speakers. I hope to share with this year’s Top Ten students some guidance that will help them to achieve further success, as they have already shown their ability to excel,” Creswell said.
Creswell was born here in 1954, the son of the late Dr. Alfred and Jean Creswell. He has spent his life in this area and, as was noted in an earlier Messenger story about his selection as the Pride of Obion County, has devoted his accountant’s skill with numbers to making Obion County an outstanding place to call home.
He is married to the former Michelle Heaslet, also a UCHS alumna and a retired kindergarten teacher in the system. Their son, Phillip Creswell, followed in his parents’ academic footsteps and now works with his father in the accounting firm. He and his wife, Katie, are the parents of the newest member of the Creswell family, Preston Creswell.
This year’s Top Ten speaker built on his academic success at UCHS and graduated with highest honors from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1976 with a bachelor of science degree in business administration and a major in accounting. He is currently serving his second three-year term as a member of the Tennessee State Board of Accountancy and a member of the licensing committee and law and rules committee.
Creswell is a member of Union City Rotary Club, where he serves as treasurer and president-elect, as well as program chairman. He has been named a Paul Harris Fellow — the organization’s highest honor — and has been the financial advisor for the Rotary Club Scholarship Committee. His club commitment also includes an active participation in the annual UCHS Rotary Relays.
He is a current member and past president of the UCHS Booster Club and has served as treasurer for 15 years. He was also committee chairman for the $800,000-plus capital campaign program and related construction of the UCHS indoor athletic training facility and for various other improvements. His face is familiar to UCHS football fans who have observed his faithful service as a member of the UCHS football “chain gang” for 28 years.
He is a past board member and treasurer of the Union City Schools Foundation and a past member of the Union City School System Improvements Task Force.
His interest in sports has been evident through such activities as coaching and/or managing T-ball, Minor League, Little League and Babe Ruth teams. His expertise contributed to the success of the $300,000-plus capital campaign program and related construction and improvements to Elam Stadium, the home field for the UCHS baseball team.
As a member of the committee that developed a comprehensive design for a proposed Graham Park Expansion Project, he was also involved in the project design and projected funding parameters that were developed over more than two years of committee meetings.
With an eye on children and youth in the community, he has volunteered his time and expertise to supervise and help conduct annual fundraising raffles for Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee and has served as the treasurer for the annual Celebrity Waiters fund-raising highlight of the year.
He is a current board member and the corporate secretary for the multi-million dollar project known as Discovery Park of America and is a current member and corporate treasurer for the Obion County Distinguished Speakers Foundation.
His ongoing interest in his college alma mater is played out in the time he has devoted to UTM, where he is a past member of the UTM Development Committee and a current member of the UTM Athletics Board. He was instrumental in fund raising for the $2 million Bob Carroll athletic building on the UTM campus.
Creswell claimed the Outstanding Alumnus Award for Alpha Tau Omega at UTM in 2003 and has been chairman of the Intrafraternal Alumni Advisory Council. He is a “Life Loyal Tau” and a current member of the board of trustees. He also chaired the fraternity’s $200,000-plus capital improvements campaign and is a current member and vice chairman of the ATO board of trustees at UTM.
As a member of Union City First United Methodist Church, he has served as chairman of the finance committee and the FUMC Foundation.
A member of the Shrine Club and the Union City Masonic Lodge, he is a current member of Poplar Meadows Country Club and a past member of the board of directors. He has also been a member of the board of directors of Union City Civic Auditorium Committee and the Union City Jaycees, where he took an active role in the Chimes for Charity Christmas basket delivery program, and has been treasurer of Boy Scout Pack 252.
UCHS principal Wes Kennedy will welcome guests to the banquet and Miss Stone will provide the invocation. Houston will introduce special guests and the speaker and the students will have their Top Ten awards presented by Houston, Kennedy, UCHS assistant principal Jacob Cross and UCHS teacher Joanna Wisener.
Vicki Wilkinson, classroom/curriculum coordinator for the school system, will make a special presentation.
“The Top Ten banquet is one of the highlights of the year for our students at UCHS. We are indeed fortunate to have the support of the businesses, individuals and families who make this event possible and we are delighted to welcome as our speaker an outstanding alumnus who continues to make a wonderful contribution to this community and consistently shows his support for our school system,” Houston said.
Published in The Messenger 5.9.11