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Local businesswoman honored

Roni Long, an adult education instructor at Alabama Southern Community College and the principal of West Alabama Christian School, was chosen to represent the professional and business community in Demopolis in the Biltmore Who’s Who Among Executives and Professional Women 2008 honors edition.

Long has lived in Demopolis for 16 years, having taught for 10 of those years in the Perry County School System at Uniontown Elementary as well as at Demopolis Academy and Southern Academy.

Long earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1993, and her master’s degree in elementary education, certified in educational administration for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Long has been at ASCC for four years, teaching General Education Degree (GED) day and night classes, and is an adjunct developmental instructor.

“This fall, beginning in August, was probably our biggest enrollment (in adult education),” she said. “We had about 30 students enroll this fall. We’ll have about 10 that came through in August get their GED next week, and we’re pretty proud of that.”

Long is West Alabama Christian’s first principal, as the school is in its first year of existence. She added that West Alabama Christian is not affiliated with the former Demopolis Academy or West Alabama Prep; it just occupies the building that school occupied before.

“There are those parents who are looking for something along the Christian aspect,” she said. “That’s what they want their children to have, and that was a ministry that the church felt they could provide, because we do have a lot of teachers. I was able to come on board as the administrator. It is a ministry of Fairhaven Baptist Church, but it is not another private school. We just assumed the buildings; we are not assuming the school.

“It’s a totally brand-new school. We are not AISA (Alabama Independent Schools Association); we are within the Alabama Christian Education Association. We will be SACS-accredited (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools).

“We have a extremely strong public school system,” she said. “My children go to Demopolis City Schools, and I’m pleased with what they have. This is another option for those parents who want a Christian-based education. It’s not for everybody, but I’m excited for what we have.”

Long is married to Marlon Long, a native of Grove Hill, and they have two children, Caitlin, 15, and Noah, 13.