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Welcome our New Faculty!
Laine Williams

We are excited to welcome the following new faculty members to the Altamont community!

Reid Watson is our new theatre director. He has a B.F.A. in musical theatre from Syracuse University and a M.F.A. in theatre-directing from The University of Alabama. He has directed and choreographed productions for universities, high schools and community theatre both locally and in New York City. He has also worked at Art Play at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center.

What excites you most about coming to Altamont?

As a Birmingham native, I have always respected Altamont's core values and rich history. I am also honored to follow the legacy of Martha Summey, a theatre practitioner and educator that I have looked up to for several years. I hope to make our world more inclusive, informed, and creative each and every day using the medium of theatre.

What are your hobbies?

I am always taking new classes, learning new tools, and listening to inspirational podcasts. I practice meditation, mindfulness, as well as yoga. I also enjoy teaching classes at UAB's ArtPlay, and directing shows for UAB Visual and Performing Arts.

Ann Trondson is our new photography teacher. She has a B.F.A. in photography from the University of Denver and a M.F.A. in studio art from the University of Southern California. She is the co-founder and co-director of Vinegar, a women-led, artist-run, non-profit art organization. Their gallery space, Vinegar Contemporary, is located in Forest Park. Her art practice is based in 16mm film, video, photography, sound, drawing, collage and performance.

What excites you most about coming to Altamont?

I am really excited to meet the students and other teachers. I love collaborating with others. Photography was my first true art love and has been the biggest influence in my life artistically. I can't wait to learn from the students and have fun talking about visual culture.

What are your hobbies?

I have taken up daily hikes and rock climbing over the last few years. I spend a lot of time reading magazines and books and I LOVE podcasts.

What is a fun fact about you?

I danced on stage with Prince at Paisley Park in 1997.

Archie Johnson is our new varsity girls basketball coach and PE teacher. Coach Johnson has a B.S. from UAB and he has teacher certifications in special education K-12 and physical education K-12. He is an internationally certified strength and conditioning specialist. He has previously worked at Altamont as athletic director and boys varsity basketball coach, taking the team to the Final Four in 2004.

What excites you most about returning to Altamont?

In my 26 years of working in education (6 years were spent at Altamont), I have never been more fulfilled and embraced than during my time spent at Altamont. The genuine love, support and passion for students and staff within the school community makes this a special place. Having the opportunity to finish my career here is truly a dream come true.

What are your hobbies?

I love riding my Harley, cycling, traveling, reading and spending time with family and friends.

What is a fun fact about you?

I've ridden my motorcycle from Austin, Texas, to Birmingham twice.

Jim Sydnor is our new debate coach. He has a B.A. in sociology from California State University and a M.A. from San Francisco State University. Most recently, he was a program manager at SpeakFirst, an organization that provides Birmingham's middle and high school students with the opportunity to compete in co-curricular competitive debate.

What excites you most about coming to Altamont?

The students! For the last few years, I've had the privilege of judging Altamont debaters at local debate tournaments and they are consistently exceptional. I'm excited to be on their team since they've always been the ones to beat! Also, I got a sneak peek at the cafeteria menu, and it looks next level.

What are your hobbies?

Does dining out around town count? The food scene in Birmingham is incredible, and I believe there's something magical about good company sharing an experience at the table.

What is a fun fact about you?

I love spending time with my (deceptively) sweet dog, Lucy. At home, she loves constant attention and lap-lounging. However, when we venture outside, she absolutely despises all other animals, cyclists and runners. And when we're watching television, she loses her mind over any creature (animated or real), humans moving too fast, dresses she decides are too poofy, and she holds an unparalleled hatred for the horses from Game of Thrones. But despite Lucy's noisy baggage, you can't help but love her!

Richard Ford is our new assistant athletics director. Coach Ford has coached several of our boys basketball teams since 2018. This past year, he was the JV boys basketball coach, 7th-8th grade boys basketball coach and varsity boys basketball assistant coach. He has 11 years experience playing basketball at the professional level in Mexico, Bolivia, El Salvador, Japan and Venezuela. He is working on becoming certified in strength, conditioning, nutrition and weight training.

What excites you most about returning to Altamont?

The opportunity to impact young lives in a positive manner.

What are your hobbies?

Gaming, training and competing in just about anything!

What is a fun fact about you?

My shoe size and age matched until I was 15 years old.

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