Boaz High School held its Wall of Fame luncheon at Pirate Gym, on Friday, and inducted eight new members into its elite company.
The 2017 Boaz Wall of Fame class includes Bill Amberson, class of 1941; Dee Anne Ashley, class of 1969; Phillip Bagwell, class of 1973; the Rev. Keith Dodd, class of 1948; Dr. Misti Wilson May, class of 1997; Dr. Paul Mozley, class of 1947; Huan Nguyen, class of 1980; and Randy Ross, class of 1971.
After each inductee took time to speak with the student body in the school’s auditorium, the group of inductees went to the gym for lunch prepared by the Boaz Culinary team before each person was recognized with a plaque.
The 2017 class is the third class to be inducted to the Wall of Fame since its inception nearly five years ago, according to Assistant Principal and Wall of Fame Committee Chair Patrick Williams.
Along with plaques, each inductee received tickets to the Pirate’s football game Friday night against Etowah where they would be honored as well.
Zadie Amberson accepted the honor on of her late husband, calling it “the greatest honor of Bill’s life.”
Mr. Amberson was born in Spring Garden on Oct. 17, 1922, but his family later moved to Sand Mountain where his father, Frank, would open Amberson’s in Boaz in 1939. Amberson spent many hours working in the family business.
He graduated as a three-sport athlete from Boaz High School, but before graduation, he served in the military during WWII. Amberson later assumed ownership of his father’s store in 1952 and grew the business into a thriving retail establishment for Boaz. On Feb. 23, 2017, Amberson died at the age of 94.
Dee Anne Ashley
Ashley’s daughter, Leah Milam accepted on her behalf. Ashley was born on October 3, 1950, in Georgia, but later moved to Boaz.
As a graduate of Boaz High School, Ashley was recognized as an Alabama High School Athletic Association All-Star Cheerleader. She later became an educator and championship cheer coach for Boaz for 18 years before retiring in 2004.
Bagwell was born on July 12, 1955, in Albertville and in 1965, his family moved to Boaz. Bagwell was a member of the band, JROTC and athletic teams during his time at Boaz High School. After graduating in 1973, he enrolled at Auburn University on a full Navy ROTC scholarship and played in the school’s marching band.
After college, he was commissioned into the U.S. Navy as an ensign. After serving in the military, he became a pilot for Northwest Airlines in Minnesota and later was promoted to captain. Bagwell has had a 33-year commercial aviation career having flown safely on 14 different aircraft, over 20,000 flight hours, and hundreds of millions of air miles.
Dodd was born on March 31, 1930, in Walnut Grove. When Dodd was four, the family moved to a farm in the Mt. Hebron community. Unfortunately, after a fire destroyed their home, Dodd’s family moved back to his father’s farm near Boaz.
After graduating from Boaz High School in 1948, rather than facing an uncertain future on a small cotton farm, Keith enlisted in the United States Air Force where later responded to the call to the gospel ministry of Jesus Christ. After attending New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Dodd was called to Midway Baptist Church in Bullock County. He served there two years before applying for a commission in the United States Army as a chaplain. Keith retired in 1978 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Dodd currently lives on the same family farm where he grew up. Though he is retired from the active pastorate, he still continues to teach God’s Word. He has a weekly Bible class at the Boaz Senior Center.
Dr. Misiti Wilson May
May was born on November 28, 1978, in Sylacauga. When she was one, her family moved to Boaz. May attended Boaz schools from kindergarten through high school. While a student at Boaz High School, she was a member of the Boaz Swim Team, was a junior varsity cheerleader, and was on the danceline in the marching band.
After graduation in 1997, May attended Jacksonville State University where she was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority and was in the Marching Ballerinas in the award-winning Jacksonville State band, the Marching Southerners.May later went to medical school at the University of South Alabama in 2002.
Today, May is a breast surgical oncologist at Virginia Breast Center in Richmond, Virginia. She is an active member in the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncologists, and the Richmond Academy of Medicine. Dr. May was recently chosen as one of Richmond’s Top Docs.
Dr. Paul Mozley
Current Wall of Fame member Ollin Hayes accepted on Mozley’s behalf. Mozley was born on October 27, 1928, in Decatur. His family later moved to Boaz 1935.
After graduating from Boaz High School in 1947, Mozley attended Snead State Community College and then transferred to the University of Alabama. There he studied parasitology and abnormal psychology and earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Alabama in 1955. He went on to serve in the U.S. Navy and work in the medical field for almost 50 years before retiring in 1999.
Nguyen was born in Saigon, South Vietnam in May 1962. Nguyen spent his early childhood in Saigon and attended the top French-speaking school, La San Taberd. Shortly thereafter, his father, Colonel Suu Nguyen accepted a military attaché position at the South Vietnam embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. The family remained in Bangkok for two years until the fall of South Vietnam in 1975.
While the rest of the family was in Bangkok, Nguyen’s sister attended Snead State Community College. An English professor there, Rosalie Hunt, advised Huan’s sister and helped their family immigrate to the U.S. Shortly after, the family moved to Boaz with the aide of Hunt and area churches.
During his time at Boaz High School, Nguyen was a member many clubs and participated in many activities, and also helped Boaz win its first Marshall County Tennis Championship in 1980. After graduation, he attended Snead State Community College, then transferred to Auburn University and majored in mechanical engineering.
Now, Nguyen works with Google as its global supply chain manager. Before he worked with General Dynamics in Fort Worth, Texas; and Delphi Electronics, the world’s largest automotive electronics company, as operations manager bringing in new manufacturing facilities from Mexico to Texas.
Ross was born on October 6, 1953, in Boaz. From a very young age, Ross was an avid sports fan, playing in Boaz Dixie Youth leagues at eight years old.
In high school, he was three-sport athlete. After graduating in 1971, decided to attend Snead State Community College where he played baseball. After two years, he went to play baseball at Saint Bernard College in Cullman. He then earned a degree in education and immediately began his teaching and coaching career.
He went on to coach high school football and baseball until in 1987, when he started his collegiate coaching career at Vanderbilt University as a volunteer football coach. In 1990, he was hired by the University of Alabama and was part of the 1992 staff that won a national championship.
After 17 years, he became the Director of Football Operations at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas where he is currently in his 11th season.