Mission & History

Mission

The West Montgomery Educational Foundation is dedicated to the development of academic excellence, exemplary character, and self-discovery through experience. We believe in core values of respect, responsibility, honesty, fairness, and compassion. Through active participation in a diverse school community, students prepare to contribute meaningfully to their local, national, and global communities.  Talented and caring faculty and staff cultivate in each student the joy of learning, self-confidence, well-being, and the individual gifts that each possesses.  By living and learning in an atmosphere of integrity and trust, students come to expect the best of themselves and others.



Philosophy

The philosophy of the West Montgomery Educational Foundation (Hooper Academy) is that it is necessary to provide a well-balanced complete educational opportunity for its students by maintaining an atmosphere of discipline, safety, spiritual awareness and educational excellence.


History

In December 1969, a group of families met in Snowdoun, Alabama to discuss opening a splinter school for Lowndes Academy. In February of 1970, that request was denied. On February 10, 1970, it was decided that a new private school was going to be built. In March of 1970, a number of committees were formed to take on different tasks in completing the school. The land was purchased from ALFA formerly known as Farm Bureau. One hundred and twelve families wanted to start a private school, so the board set a number of one hundred and fifty families needed to enroll to start the school. Frank Hawthorne was the lawyer for the school and made many accomplishments for the school's success. On July 11, 1970, Mr. Fred Hooper agreed to allow the school to be named after him. Glenn Lassiter started to work on the football field in July of 1970. The school started on September 14, 1970, with two hundred and seventeen students enrolled. The headmaster was Herman Keeney and there were eight graduating seniors that year. Hooper started with first through twelfth grades and kindergarten was added later. The editor of the Cavalcade was Patsy Davis. The Green Scene was the school's newspaper and was later renamed Hoof Prints. In June, the colors were decided to be green and white and orange was added later. Mrs. Olene Williams promoted the colt mascot and a competition was held in August of 1970. As a result of that competition the new mascot was the Hooper Colt.


Mr. Fred William Hooper
On December 6, 1897, Fred William Hooper was born in a small rural town in Cleveland, Georgia. In his early years he worked on the family farm. He attended one semester in high school in Clermont. Woodlawn, a nearby school, was in desperate need of a teacher. Mr. Hooper passed the State Teachers' Test and became that teacher.


With an adventuresome spirit and a realization of the world, he bought a herd of wild horses and trained them. This was only one of the many things in which he was successful. He went through many phases of work - working as a barber, carpenter, concrete form builder, a boxer, a contractor and as a steel mill laborer - to mention only a few.


Realizing that he must draw the line somewhere, in 1937 Mr. Hooper bought 5,000 acres of farmland near Montgomery and stocked it with purebred Hereford cattle. The Circle H Farm, as it became known, produced a number of champion bulls and prize-winning livestock.


Mr. Hooper bought a racehorse, Royal Prince, who won forty nine out of fifty starts. This prompted him to buy a horse in 1943 - Hoop Jr.. A dream became a reality in 1945 when Hoop Jr. won the Kentucky Derby. Susan's Girl, another of Mr. Hooper's famous horses, became the leading money winning mare in American racing history and was three times an Eclipse winner.


In keeping with his interests - livestock and construction - Fred Hooper built Hooper Stockyards in Montgomery. He moved his racing stables to Ocala, Florida, where he and his wife, Wanda, resided until his death on August 4, 2000.


We give our thanks to Mr. Fred William Hooper for founding our great school, Hooper Academy!