Mountain Brook Leadership Class Honors Suzan Doidge with Bench and Paint

Suzan Doidge, executive director of the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce, announced this spring that she will be retiring at the end of September.

“After 14 years, it’s time,” Doidge told Village Living in March.

And students at Mountain Brook High School in the 2021-22 Mountain Brook Leadership Class — co-sponsored by the chamber, city, and Mountain Brook Schools — felt it was time for them to honor Doidge.

After all, Doidge has been crucial to LMB’s success in the 14 years since the class began, said Margaret Denton, who teaches the LMB class and other business courses at MBHS.

Doidge is not only committed to LMB, but also “goes above and beyond to ensure that students have a wonderful experience and can truly grow as individuals while in this class,” Denton said.

LMB students honored Doidge for the first time at a meeting of Mountain Brook City Council on May 9.

“I was completely taken aback by that,” Doidge said. “The leadership class was finishing up their presentations to the board, and the next thing I hear is my name.”

On May 10, they held a ceremony on the lawn near the Crestline Village chamber offices in which they dedicated a bench named after Doidge and presented him with an original watercolor painting by artist Porter Rivers.

“That was the second part of the surprise, being recognized with a bench in my honor and receiving a watercolor from the bench will be something I will cherish forever,” Doidge said.

Denton said his students wanted to honor Doidge.

“Since the start of this school year, this class has truly loved, respected and admired Suzan,” Denton told Village Living in June.

“They also know how much Suzan helped me transition into the role of LMB teacher and make this school year a success,” said Denton, an MBHS graduate who just completed her first year of college. teaching there.

The students brainstormed and sent some ideas to City Manager Sam Gaston for input.

“I think a bench was one of the original ideas, but the students wanted to… make it as spectacular as [Doidge] is,” Denton said.

The students raised funds to fund the project with the help of Assistant City Manager Janet Forbes.

“We got together and compiled a list of chamber members, city hall employees, Junior Chamber board members, and past board chairs, and the students helped me to write an email to send out to collect donations,” Denton said. “Students also went door-to-door with village merchants to raise funds. Of course, with someone as beloved as Suzan, the response has been overwhelming.

The watercolor painting, which has the names of the project’s donors on the back, is a rendering of what the area near the bench will look like after some additional landscaping is complete, Denton said.

« Janet [Forbes] and I was trying to think of a creative way to let Suzan know about everyone who donated to her pew without just writing their name on a card – something commemorative that she could keep,” she said. declared.

“There’s no better person to work with than Suzan Doidge,” Denton said.

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