Sirote & Permutt's dedication to education
Sirote & Permutt recognizes the value and importance of a quality education. It is one of the fundamental commitments of our Sirote Supports initiative, which provides support to programs that strengthen the community and positively impact the areas of health, education and the arts. Our own Liz Hutchins said it best in a previous article, “There is much more to education than the classes, tests and grade point averages – education has the ability to empower and strengthen a generation.” We believe that Liz’s statement sums up well why we value so highly the importance of investing in educational organizations in our communities, and we applaud the nonprofits and organizations in our communities that work to instill wisdom and confidence and provide opportunities through quality education.
We have a long history of investing our resources in education. One of Sirote’s founders, James “Jimmy” Permutt, demonstrated the importance of our educational systems through 28 years of service on the Mountain Brook School Board (10 of those years as chairman). Jimmy was instrumental in helping make the Mountain Brook School System one of the nation’s finest. Brad Sklar continues that tradition today as a current member of the same school board and will become chair in the summer of 2015. Jimmy’s commitment to quality and the firm’s commitment to education inspired me to serve on the Vestavia Hills Board of Education for five years and most recently to serve on the boards of Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School and John Carroll Catholic High School.
Many Sirote attorneys are personally invested in education, and several have taught or currently teach courses at various colleges and law schools in the area, some of whom have taught a quarter of a century or more: Harold Apolinsky (Cumberland School of Law – 25 years), J. Mason Davis, Jr. (University of Alabama School of Law – 25 years), David Wooldridge (University of Alabama School of Accounting and School of Law — 28 years), and John Cooper (University of Alabama School of Law – 28 years).
Additionally, Craig Stephens previously served and James Williams currently serves as adjunct professor at Cumberland Law School. Peter Wright taught at University of Alabama School of Law for 12 years from 1999 – 2010 and has been teaching again for the past two years. Brad Sklar taught for seven years at the Birmingham School of Law, and Cynthia Ransburg-Brown is currently in her 13th year of teaching at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Eddie Friend also worked at UAB as a faculty member in the School of Business.
Todd Carlisle currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC), and previously served for four years on the Board of Briarwood Christian School (2 years as chairman). Don Wright is a member of the Alumni Advisory Council of the University of Tennessee College of Law and J. Mason Davis, Jr. was Chairman of the Talladega College Board of Trustees from 1981-88. Lenora Pate is on the Judson College Board of Trustees, and Liz Hutchins is the National Alumnae Association President at Judson College – she was also recently involved with the institution’s 175th anniversary celebration.
In addition to collegiate involvement, several attorneys also serve on the Boards of local schools and organizations supporting local school systems. Enslen Crowe is a new board member of Homewood City School Foundation, a supporting foundation formed by David Wooldridge, who served as its first president and member of its board of directors. Peter Wright has also been involved with Homewood Schools for the last four years as the liason on behalf of the Homewood City Council. Eddie Friend serves on the Birmingham Education Foundation’s Board of Directors. Marcus Maples recently received a gubernatorial appointment to serve on the University of North Alabama Board of Trustees, and Rod Steakley is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Samford University. Joe Ritch served on the University of Alabama Board of Trustees from 2005-11. General Edward Friend, one of the firm’s founding partners, was the President of the University of Alabama Law School Foundation for many years and served as Chairman of the University of Alabama President’s Cabinet.
Another Sirote attorney, Shirley Justice, serves on the Board of Directors for Distinguished Young Women (DYW), a national nonprofit organization founded in Mobile that has provided more than $92 million in scholarships to young women through local, state and national competitions.
I continue to be committed to education. Recently, I was honored to accept an invitation to serve on the board of directors of the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund, one of the scholarship granting organizations formed under the recently enacted Alabama Accountability Act.
Of all of the community efforts we focus on here at Sirote & Permutt, we take our commitment to education as one of the most important. I am proud to work with such a fine group of attorneys who actively contribute to making a better future for our children through quality education. We are also privileged to serve as legal counsel to many of these institutions.
Sirote Supports, a Sirote & Permutt initiative, provides support to programs that strengthen the community and positively impact the areas of health, education and the arts. To learn more about Sirote & Permutt, please visit us at www.sirote.com.
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