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Hall of Pride 2017 Class announced


The Tallassee High School Alumni Association is inducting its third class of the Tallassee High School Hall of Pride.

The induction ceremony will be Thursday morning, March 2, at 9:30 a.m. in the auditorium at Tallassee High School.

This year, five inductees will be honored:  John L. Allbrittin, Class of 1981;  Samuel Oscar Dunn, Class of 1938;  Ernest Clayton Sonny Hornsby, Class of 1955; Jessee Willard (Bill) Pienezza, Class of 1934; and Marion Woodall Powell, Class of 1974.

Allbrittin graduated summa cum laude from Alabama State University in 1985, and earned his MBA from Wake Forest University while he was working for Proctor and Gamble. 

His career with Proctor and Gamble spanned 28 years, and during his time in Greensboro, North Carolina, he was a member of P&G’s Plan Leadership Team, helping reduce capital spending and saving the company almost $200,000.

Allbrittin’s last position with P&G was Associate Director in Cincinnati, Ohio, managing a staff of 116 people and a budget of $26 million.

He currently works as Director of Whiz Kids Church Partnership for City Gospel Mission in Cincinnati, overseeing about 90 Whiz Kids partner churches.  He also mentors a first generation college student and was recently selected to participate in the DeVos Urban Youth Leadership Initiative, which selects just ten influential leaders from five cities across the nation.

Samuel Oscar (Sam) Dunn was a gifted athlete, a U.S. Navy World War II veteran, a coach, and a city councilman for the city of Tallassee.

 Dunn played on legendary Coach J.E. “Hot” O’Brien’s first basketball team, in 1936-37.  That team was the District Co-Champ and went to the state tournament, only to lose in the first round.

He left his job with the textile mill in Tallassee and joined the Navy in May of 1944, serving until December of 1945.  During that time he was aboard the destroyer the USS Lampson DD367 as First Chief Petty Officer and torpedoman.

Dunn returned to Tallassee and continued to work in the Tallassee mills, retiring after 28 years.  Dunn was serving his first term on the Tallassee City Council when, in 1953, the Tallassee Courthouse, which housed City Hall and the jail, was constructed and dedicated.

But perhaps his greatest role was that of Scout leader.  A scoutmaster for Troop 38 at Tallassee First United Methodcist Church for 34 years, he taught and mentored to over one thousand young men in Tallassee.  Troop 38 was part of the Tukabatchee Area Council, and Dunn helped to finance and build the coy scout camp, Lake Talisi.  He served as National Jamboree Leader for the Tukabatchee Council, and as an Order of the Arrow adviser.  He received the highest honor a Scoutmaster can achieve, the Silver Beaver Award.

Ernest Clayton (Sonny) Hornsby is a 1955 graduate of  Tallassee High School and a 1959 graduate of Auburn University.  He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1960.

Hornsby was elected the twenty sixth chief justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama and served from 1989-1995.  During his tenure as chief justice, a new justice building was constructed for the State of Alabama.  Additionally, “adoption of new rules of criminal procedural and of evidence, trial and appellate court automation, and implementation of time standards” put the State of Alabama in the lead nationally in the timely disposition of cases on all levels.”
(Alabama Dept. of Archives & History).

Hornsby had a long career in Tallassee, owning a private practice from 1960-1988.  He served as assistant superintendent of the Alabama Department of Insurance (1960-62), represented Elmore and Tallapoosa counties as an Alabama state senator (1962-66), was the city attorney for the city of Carrville (1963-1982), was city judge for the city of Tallassee (1972-78), and was the city attorney for Tallassee (1984-88).

A member of the American Bar Association for 51 years, he also served as president of the Elmore County Bar Association (1968-69),  president of the Alabama Trial Lawyers Association (1972-73), and president of the Alabama State Bar (1977-78).

Hornsby’s three children and one grandchild are also attorneys.


Jessee Willard (Bill) Pienezza was the son of an Italian immigrant who came to Tallassee to work as an overseer on the construction of the east side mill (1897-98).  A 1934 graduate of Tallassee High School, he earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama in 1940.

Pienezza served his country in the Army Air Corps during World War II in the Pacific Theater of Operations in the Phillipines.  When he returned to Tallassee, he helped establish the Tallassee National Guard Armory and served as Commander of Guard units in Prattville, Selma, and Montgomery.  He was a proud member of the 31st Infantry Division, commonly known as the “Dixie Division.” 
He served active duty in Italy during the Korean conflict.

Pienezza practiced law in Tallassee from 140 until his death in 1990.  Over the years, he served as Assistant District Attorny, Elmore County solicitor, and was a member of the Alabama House of Representatives (195-54).  He also served the city of Tallassee as city attorney (1959-84).

A member of the Tallassee Rotary Club, he received the Paul Harris Fellow, the highest honor a Rotatian can receive,  the year before he died. 

Marion Woodall, Class of 1974, is in her 39th year as director and choreographer of The University of Alabama Crimsonettes and the Crimson Cabaret Dance Line.

Powell’s grandfather built the Woodall Hotel, now known as Hotel Talisi, and her mother, Annie Katherine Woodall, taught dance in Tallassee.  Powell studied under Jack and Shirley Devenney in Wetumpka and trained professionally with Joe Tremaine in New York and other cities.

She became the Crimsonette choreographer and coach in 1978 and the Crimson Cabaret Dance Line coordinator in 2004.

Powell has been a part of seven national championship football titles, 12 SEC championships, and 12 SEC Western Division championships.  She participated in two bowl games as a Crimsonette, was the feature twirler at the 1978 Sugar Bowl, and has been a part of 33 bowl/champsionship games as the coach.

Powell earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from The University of Alabama, and teaches finance classes on the high school and college levels.

Powell and her husband, Mark, along with their two sons, K.T. and Kasey, all UA graduates, have established the Annie Katherine Woodall Endowed Scholarship for young women in the Crimsonette or Crimson Cabaret programs.

The public is invited to attend the induction ceremony.  A reception will follow in the media center at THS.

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