Outstanding grads honored today

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 11, 2015

Four alumni will be recognized at a luncheon today with the Andalusia High School Outstanding Graduate award.

The award was established in 2007 by the Class of 1948 Foundation, and is designed to honor those graduates of Andalusia High School, Woodson High School and Ralph Bunche High School whose personal lives, professional accomplishments and community service exemplify the ideals of Andalusia High School.

This year’s honorees are Kimberly Hutcherson, Jim Purdy, John Vick and Mike Wells.

Dr. Kimberly Hutcherson

Class of 1984

Dr. Kimberly Hutcherson is the medical director of Breast Imaging and Intervention at Gwinnett Breast Center in Lawrenceville, Ga., and an associate with North Metropolitan Radiology Associates, LLP.

Her civic involvement includes service ion the board of Picture of Health Foundation, which educates and empowers people to change unhealthy lifestyles and short-term medical relief to impoverished communities. She is also a graduate of Leadership Gwinnett. She is a frequent conference presenter, as well as a media guest for promoting breast health.

A 1984 graduate of Andalusia High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Birmingham-Southern College, and an M.D. from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. She completed a diagnostic radiology residency at the University of South Alabama, and a women’s imaging fellowship at Magee Women’s Hospital, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

She makes her home in Atlanta, and enjoys frequent travel with her family.


Dr. Jim Purdy

Class of 1965

Dr. Jim Purdy spent his career helping others at the most critical times in their lives – in the emergency room.

He was a founding member of Northside Emergency Room Associates in Atlanta, with which he was associated for more than 25 years. He also served as director of ER Medicine at Northside Hospital, where he was recognized with the Outstanding Physician Award from a pool of 800 of his peers.

He established a nursing scholarship for Andalusia High School and Covington County graduates in honor of his parents, Wayne and Mallie Purdy, to assist students pursuing nursing careers at LBW Community College and/or Auburn University’s School of Nursing.

A 1965 graduate of Andalusia High School, he earned his undergraduate degree at Auburn; his M.D. at the University of Alabama at Birmingham; and completed a surgical internship at the Medical University of South Carolina. He earned board certification in emergency medicine in 1983.

He and his wife, Susan, make their home in Atlanta.


John Vick

Class of 1958

John Vick could best be described as a champion of others.

He spent his career in the timber industry, but has worked tirelessly in civic projects.

His name is synonymous with the Andalusia Lions Club, which has a focus on sight. Through this group, he has supported numerous sight-related projects. He established the Andalusia Tennis Association and organizes an annual summer tennis camp for young people.

While his daughters were students, he was instrumental in forming the Auburn Parents Association. He also has served on Auburn’s University’s National Alumni Association board.

He is active in First United Methodist Church, and has served there in many roles. He has been a director of CCB Community Bank for more than 40 years, and currently serves as chairman of the board of Southern National Corp., the holding company for four CCB banks.

A 1958 graduate of Andalusia High School, he earned a four-year Naval ROTC scholarship. He earned a mechanical engineering degree from Auburn in 1962, and entered the U.S. Navy. He was a U.S. Navy aviator and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant (O-3) before leaving active duty in 1966.

He and his wife, Faye, have three adult daughters.


Dr. Mike Wells

Class of 1968

Dr. Mike Wells returned to Andalusia in 1987 to open Covington Obstetrics and Gynecology, where he continues to practice medicine.

His civic contributions include an eight-year tenure on the Andalusia Board of Education. He is active in First United Methodist Church, and has volunteered his time as a Scoutmaster, a board member of the Chamber of Commerce, and to the Andalusia Bulldog Boosters. He also has served on the board of directors of two local banks.

Dr. Wells, a 1968 graduate of AHS, earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama and a doctor of medicine from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He completed a family practice residency at the University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences, and an obstetrics and gynecology residency at the University of South Alabama.

He and his wife, Maria, have four adult children.

 The AHS Outstanding Graduate Committee is chaired by Earl Johnson. Other committee members are Suan Riley Salter, Harvey (Pete) Donaldson, Richard Anthony, Sheila Williams, John Thompson, Daniel Shakespeare, Linda Whitman, Ted Watson and Michele Gerlach.

Nominations are accepted each February, and selections are made in April.