Student Life

At Altamont, academics, athletics, the arts, and extracurricular activities are intertwined, creating a seamless fabric of programs and activities designed to stimulate personal growth, learning and sense of community. Students are encouraged to take advantage of many and diverse opportunities to discover more about themselves and their world.

Events and Traditions

Altamont Solo Competition

The Altamont Solo Competition, held annually in the fall, is open to instrumentalists and vocalists in grades 5-12. Student auditions are judged by a professional guest musician. Winners perform for the student body at an X-period assembly.

Chupa Chups

Every year at the beginning of February, Altamont's Spanish Club sells tags that students can purchase for friends, teachers, advisors, etc. On Valentine's Day, students receive the tags, and each tag has a Spanish lollipop, or Chupa Chup, attached to it.

Dress Up Days

Each year several assemblies are designated as formal assemblies. On such occasions, all students, faculty and staff "dress up." Boys wear dress slacks and shirt, coat and tie. Girls wear a dress, skirt or nice slacks.

Gold and White Teams

Every student at Altamont is a member of the Gold or White team. Students are assigned to a team by the school. Gold and White team captains and co-captains are voted on by students in the fall. Throughout the year, Gold and White teams collect points through many events, including P.E. games, math week, Gold and White Games, and scholars bowl. A prize is awarded every spring to the team with the most points.

2019-20 Gold & White Team Leaders:

Gold Team:
Ahad Bashir (captain)
Zoya Bashir (co-captain)

White Team:
Tatianna Sanders (captain)
Thomas Hitt (co-captain)


Altamont has a popular, school-wide Halloween costume contest, sponsored by the SGA, with prizes going to winners in several categories.


Homecoming is celebrated during basketball season. It features a spirit week of fun dress up days, leading up to a Friday afternoon of games and booths sponsored by our many clubs, a Scholar's Bowl competition, and class games.

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is an annual event sponsored by the French Club. There is a cupcake competition and bake sale, with proceeds going to charity. A costume contest is held for 5th and 6th graders, and a musical parade (complete with thrown beads) winds its way through the school. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

May Day

On the first day of May (or as close to May 1 as possible), students and teachers are given the afternoon off to enjoy one last “hurrah” before exams. During May Day, clubs set up booths and sell items and treats, There are games, a talent show, a teacher dunk dank, and a huge, amazing barbecue meal prepared by the Diner staff. It is truly one of the highlights of the Altamont school year.

Poetry Competition

Every student participates in Altamont's longest running tradition, the poetry competition. In English class, students select a poem and write an introduction that describes the poem and why the student feels connected to it. Students then read both the introduction and the poem to the class. Winners of the class-level portion of the competition advance to perform their poem at a school-wide assembly and in front of independent judges who select first, second and third place. There is a middle school competition and an upper school competition.


Roundtable is a meal and talent show hosted by the senior class. Each year, the seniors decorate the gym the week leading to Roundtable. This theme is kept a secret from the rest of the school and is revealed on the night of Roundtable. Previous themes have included Shrek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Clubs and Organizations

The Acta Diurna

Altamont's student newspaper, The Acta Diurna, is published quarterly and features opinion pieces, surveys, school news, reflections on current events, cartoons, and much more!

Sponsor: Niko Tsivourakis, ntsivourakis@altamontschool.org

Addiction Prevention Coalition

Addiction Prevention Coalition (APC) is a student group that meets twice a month with a counselor from the Birmingham chapter of APC to discuss healthy habits and lifestyle.

Sponsor: JP Hemingway, jhemingway@altamontschool.org

Altamont Ambassadors

Altamont Ambassadors assist with Open Houses, Grandparents Day, Graduation, Parents Night, and other events at the school. Students apply in the fall to be an Ambassador and must be in 10th-12th grade and have attended the school for at least two years.

Sponsor: Kimber Williams, kwilliams@altamontschool.org

Altamont Book Club

Every month students select a new, fun book to read and then meet off-campus at different, cool locations to discuss. Food is usually involved. If you love to read, this is the club for you!

Sponsor: Caitlin Rogers, crogers@altamontschool.org

Altamont eSports

Learn team building and life skills while competing in fun video game challenges to win cool prizes, help charities, and potentially earn scholarship money. This club is open to all students.

Sponsor: Katherine Berdy, kberdy@altamontschool.org

Altamont Fencing Club

All students are welcome to join this club, no experience is needed. The Fencing Club promotes the sport both at the school and in the wider community.

Laura Ottaviani-Chacon, lottaviani-chacon@altamontschool.org

Altamont Gaming Club

Board game enthusiasts, unite! Whether its a quick game of Scrabble during activities or longer strategy games like Risk that evolve over days, the Altamont Gaming Club has something for every interest and schedule. For the upcoming school year, the club is working with Mrs. Rogers to build a gaming collection in the library and to supply our popular Game Nights with fun games.

Sponsor: Dr. Josh Barnard, jbarnard@altamontschool.org

Altamont Musicians Society

The Altamont Musicians Society is a student-run record label begun in 2005. The club has become an integral part of student-organized concerts and musical activities. The goals of AMS are to:

+ Release and promote the work of recording and performing musicians

+ Organize several student concerts throughout the school year
+ Foster musicianship through activities that bring musicians together
+ Educate students in various aspects of music and the music scene in Birmingham
+ Attend local concerts as a group
+ Involve Fine Arts students in musical productions
+ Make Birmingham more aware of the creative capacity of Altamont

Sponsor: Landon Rogan, lrogan@altamontschool.org


The mission of Altapreneurs is to offer students at Altamont a way to channel their creativeness and produce innovative ideas that can be brought to life. The club, which is open to the upper school, will give students exposure into the world of business through speakers, workshops, and creating a unique business plan.

Katherine Berdy, kberdy@altamontschool.org

Amazing Shake

This club meets after school and is open to middle school students interested in fun activities that teach professional conduct, social skills, discipline and respect.

Dan Carsen, dcarsen@altamontschool.org
Katherine Berdy, kberdy@altamontschool.org

Asian Culture Club

The Asian Culture Club’s mission is to provide students from middle to upper school with exposure to Asian cultures and traditions, including Chinese New Year and Holi Festival. The club will highlight annual Asian cultural events for the school’s global education mission in an entertaining and enjoyable way.

Sponsor: Larry McCain, lmccain@altamontschool.org

Basil M. Parks National Honor Society

Altamont's chapter of the National Honor Society promotes and encourages enthusiasm for superior scholarship, exemplary qualities of character, trustworthy leadership, and a willingness to serve. Members are chosen by a faculty council based on outstanding scholarship, character, leadership, and service.
Faculty Advisor: Chris Thomas, cthomas@altamontschool.org

Bracelets for Kids (BFK)

This upper school club will meet to make friendship bracelets to give to children at The Ronald McDonald House.

JP Hemingway, jhemingway@altamontschool.org

The C. Kyser Miree Ethical Leadership Program

The four pillars of the C. Kyser Miree Ethical Leadership Program are Service Corp, Heritage Panel, Global Initiatives, and Miree Leadership. Please visit our leadership page for more information.

C. Kyser Miree Ethical Leadership Center Director: Katherine Berdy, kberdy@altamontschool.org
Global Initiatives Director:
Niko Tsivourakis, ntsivourakis@altamontschool.org

Carpentry Club

This group is open to upper school students who want to learn the lifelong skill of how to properly use hand and power tools to build small and large projects.

Sponsor: Landon Rogan, lrogan@altamontschool.org

Chess Club

Whether you are an expert or new to the game, the chess club welcomes you. We will discuss openings, strategies, and just have fun playing the game.

Sponsor: Dr. Josh Barnard, jbarnard@altamontschool.org

Computing for Everyone (C4E)

C4E is a club with something for everyone--whether you are interested in coding, 3D printing, cybersecurity, designing apps and websites, AI, or augmented reality. Plus, we have a lot of fun!

Sponsor: Ryan James, rjames@altamontschool.org

D23 Club

The D23 Club is a "magical" new club at Altamont, and it celebrates all things Disney! Students can talk about Disney, watch Disney movies, participate in Disney Lip-sync competitions and dream about trips to Disneyland/World.

Sponsor: Lauren Borst, lborst@altamontschool.org

Debate Team

Altamont's debate teams compete at the local, state and national level. In 2019, two of our varsity public forum teams placed 2nd and 3rd in state and advanced to the national tournament. Our junior varsity public forum teams placed 1st and 2nd in state. Both teams advanced to nationals and one team placed in the top 16 in the nation in middle school public forum.

Coach: Lee Quinn, lquinn@altamontschool.org

Desi Culture Club

This new student group celebrates Desi culture by observing religious/national holidays and traditions, and by serving authentic food at festive gatherings.

Sponsor: Pattie Bank, pbank@altamontschool.org


This club is open to all students and has as its mission to decrease the school's carbon footprint and make Altamont an even more eco-friendly community.

Mary Williams, mawiliams@altamontschool.org

Elizabeth Brooke National Junior Honor Society

The Elizabeth Brooke Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society began in 1977. Eighth and 9th grade students with an average of 90 or higher who have attended Altamont for a full academic year are eligible. Service to school and community, character, and leadership are also important qualities in Honor Society members.

Faculty Advisor: Chris Thomas, cthomas@altamontschool.org

French Club

The French Club broadens appreciation of French culture through entertaining (and often tasty) events. Annual activities include dramatic competitions at the French Convention, Mardi Gras, and the Eric Vincent concert!

Sponsors: Peter Rosborough, prosborough@altamontschool.org
Allison Ramey, aramey@altamontschool.org

Friends of the World

Friends of the World is a middle school club that strives to serve anywhere in the global community in which service is needed. This may mean service work or sponsoring an awareness activity that points to a larger global issue. Recently, we have served Stop Hunger Now, St. Martin's in the Pines, Juvenile Diabetes, and the Lily Memorial Soccer Tournament.

We value service as one of the highest virtues, we delight in any opportunity to help, and actively seek out new opportunities to share our energy.

Sponsor: Niko Tsivourakis, ntsivourakis@altamontschool.org

Gender Sexuality Alliance

This club is open to all students in grades 7-12 who are interested in supporting love and acceptance. Through meetings and fun events the GSA seeks to involve all people in the life of the Altamont community.

Sponsor: Dr. Mary Williams, mawilliams@altamontschool.org

Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code is an after-school club for 5th and 6th grade girls to explore coding in a fun and friendly environment.

Faculty Sponsor: Ryan James, rjames@altamontschool.org


GirlSpring is a national non-profit located in Birmingham, Alabama, whose mission is to empower girls by providing them with accurate information, inspiring events, and positive female role models. GirlSpring has an online community for girls, Springboarders teen leaders, and public programs.

Sponsor: JP Hemingway, jhemingway@altamontschool.org

Honors Reading Seminar

The Honors Reading Seminar began in 1969 as a joint venture between Birmingham University School and Brooke Hill to honor our best readers. Over the years the seminar has encouraged our students to read some of the world’s finest books as select students meet with a different teacher each month to discuss a great work. It is one of our proudest traditions. Students in grades 10-12 apply at the beginning of the school year to participate.

Juggling Club

The goal of the juggling club is to teach the Altamont student body an impressive and useful skill that improves coordination, ability to work with both hands, and mental focus. The club is open to all students and meets after school and during activities.

Josh Barnard, jbarnard@altamontschool.org

Knightly Chefs

Middle school students in Knightly Chefs enjoy learning simple techniques for fun snacks and sponsor seasonal events, including bake sales and an annual French Market soup sale.

Sponsor: Jennifer Grissom, jgrissom@altamontschool.org

Knight's Table

This new student club offers a deeper dive into the culinary world. Students seriously interested in food meet to talk about nutrition, plan new menu items for the Diner and taste test.

Sponsor: Jennifer Grissom, jgrissom@altamontschool.org

Latin Club

The Latin Club seeks to broaden Altamont's understanding and appreciation of ancient Rome and Greek civilizations and cultures. Latin Club students attend an awesome annual convention (in togas) and host fun events during the year.

Sponsors: Buck Crowe, bcrowe@altamontschool.org and Jamie Rediker, jrediker@altamontschool.org

Mu Alpha Theta

Mu Alpha Theta is a national high school mathematics society. The requirements for membership at Altamont include a high honors grade in two consecutive or concurrent courses of high school mathematics and successful completion of Algebra I and Geometry.

Sponsors: Josh Barnard, jbarnard@altamontschool.org and Maha Awad, mawad@altamontschool.org

National Art Honor Society

NAHS gives upper school visual art and photography students an opportunity to participate in a national organization that inspires and recognizes students who have demonstrated passion and dedication to their art and community service. Students have leadership growth opportunities, help with college and career preparation, and chances to give back to the community both within our school and our local community. This program highlights the hard work and dedication of Altamont’s creative, artistic students.

Sponsor: Casey Gillespie, cgillespie@altamontschool.org

Outdoor Club

Outdoor Club plans hikes and other other adventures that encourage students to explore nature and the world surrounding them. Will Denniston, a member of the club, has prepared a trail guide to some of the best hikes in Birmingham.

Sponsor: Pattie Bank, pbank@altamontschool.org

Pep Band

Altamont's pep band brings school spirit and funky tunes to home volleyball and basketball games. Members of orchestra and other music classes are automatically members of pep band; others musicians wishing to join the band attend after school practices.

Sponsor: Landon Rogan, lrogan@altamontschool.org

Positivity Pals

Positivity Pals is a student group focused on spreading good cheer throughout the school by hosting events such as Positividay, Funky Sock Friday, and finals week stress relievers, and putting up encouraging messages around the school.

Sponsor: Lauren Patterson Garrett, lpatterson@altamontschool.org

Scholars Bowl Team

Altamont’s varsity scholars bowl team won the 2019 Alabama Scholastic Challenge State Private/Magnet School Championship. Altamont’s junior varsity scholars bowl team placed second in state.

Coach: Robby Ballard, rballard@altamontschool.org

Spanish Club

This club seeks to broaden Altamont's understanding and appreciation of Hispanic culture. Activities throughout the year include Chupa-Chup Day, Spanish Holiday activities, and Spanish Club dinners.

Sponsor: Eva Arellano, earellano@altamontschool.org

Spirit Club/Lettermen

Spirit Club and the Lettermen support Altamont athletics by planning Spirit Week and pep rallies, making fun signs, cheering during games, and much more! Go Knights!

Sponsor: Kimber Williams, kwilliams@altamontschool.org

Student Government Association

Student opinion and participation are valuable and integral parts of any good academic institution. The Student Government Association includes the elected Officers of the School, grade representatives from the upper school, and faculty advisors.

Altamont SGA Executive Officers 2019-20
President: Caroline Lee
Vice President: Thomas Hitt
Secretary: Tyler Walley
Treasurer: Ahad Bashir

Sponsors: Pattie Bank, pbank@altamontschool.org and Larry McCain, lmccain@altamontschool.org

Young Conversatives

Young Conservatives is open to all students and aims to improve political discourse and encourage openmindedness.

Sponsor: Eddy Dunn, edunn@altamontschool.org

Young Democrats

Young Democrats welcomes all students interested in politics. The club works to raise awareness around a variety of social and political issues.

Sponsor: Lisa Daniels, ldaniels@altamontschool.org