John Jones student wins with Steam Plant video


By Donna Thornton/News Editor

Should John Jones fourth-grader McKenna Hodge ever choose to go into the news business, she’s got a head start on her resume.

McKenna won first place in an Alabama Power-sponsored contest that called on students to offer a presentation about the Gadsden Steam Plant as part of the company’s recognition of the 100 anniversary of the plant’s opening.

McKenna produced a news report, interviewing her grandparents, and recording her own presentation about the steam plant, delivered on location.

For her hard work, McKenna earned a pizza party for her entire class – Donna Holderfield’s fourth-grade students.

And Holderfield received a $1,500 grant for the class from Alabama Power Company.

Alabama Power supplied each fourth grader in the Gadsden City, Etowah County, Attalla City and private schools with a copy of The Gadsden Centennial, a retro-designed newspaper filled with information about the history of the steam plant, Renew our Rivers, and other activities; and a reporter’s package including a notebook, press badge and pencil.

Two winners were selected from Gadsden City Schools, Etowah County Schools, and from Attalla City and private schools.

Representatives of Alabama Power attended the party to screen McKenna’s video and recognize her, and to award that grant to Holderfield.

Steve Hilderbrand, of Alabama Power’s Gadsden office, expressed his appreciation for the video, and for the good research McKenna did in presenting her information.

Hilderbrand reminded the students that the Gadsden Steam Plant is important as the first coal burning plant, providing electricity in support of Alabama Power’s hydroelectric production.

In addition to McKenna’s class, her parents, Todd and Nica Hodge and her sister McKenzie were in attendance, as was Etowah County Schools Superintendent Dr. Alan Cosby.

McKenna’s teacher was thankful for the grant that accompanied McKenna’s honor. She said she hopes to buy three iPads for the students to use.

The contest was open to fourth-grade students in all the school systems in Etowah County. Alabama Power will be announcing winners and hosting pizza parties at other winning schools in the coming weeks.

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