The Finley Committee last month named its 2022 Finley Character Awards winners, recognizing Dr. Alice Turney, principal of Riverchase Elementary school, as the faculty winner; Rotimi Kukoyi as the senior winner from Hoover High; and Audrey Rothman as the senior winner from Spain Park High.
In nomination letters, Turney’s colleagues said her “superpower” was her commitment to making time for her students and parents. If there is a student in need, Turney ensures the student and their family have access to the resources that will address their needs, a nominee said.
Turney is praised in one nomination letter for ensuring her students had the materials they need, in school and at home, to be successful.
The awards were established as a tribute to the character of the late coach Bob Finley and as a way to recognize outstanding character from among the Hoover schools family.
Finley Committee members, Hoover City Schools leaders, Turney’s family and dozens of Riverchase students surprised Turney with the announcement Feb. 24.
“I’m completely overwhelmed and truly honored to be selected,” Turney said. “This is something that I was not expecting. I just hope to be a little part of the legacy of coach Finley and to help his legacy live on.
“There are so many others who deserve the Finley Award and who embody those characteristics of coach Finley, and they inspire me to be a better person every day. I’m thankful to be surrounded by such great people not just here at Riverchase Elementary School but in the entire Hoover community.”
Kukoyi of Hoover High
Kukoyi is ranked 11th in his class academically, scored a 36 on the ACT, and is known for volunteering his time to assist his peers in a variety of classroom activities.
In letters nominating him for a senior award from his school, Kukoyi is described as an ambassador of goodwill, academic excellence and integrity. Kukoyi’s teachers said his leadership traits come to life through his role as a senior representative in the Student Government Association.
He also has been named a youth ambassador for the Alabama Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, or PanCan, because of his passion for bringing awareness to and fighting pancreatic cancer.
“Since I’ve been a student with Hoover City Schools, coach Finley is a name that was always brought up or mentioned,” Rotimi said. “I always heard about him being a man with amazing character and leadership skills and a lot of people looked up to him. His legacy lives through the Finley Awards, and I’m grateful and blessed to have been recognized as someone who honors his legacy and hope to continue that not only for myself but to inspire others to do the same.”
Rothman of Spain Park High
Senior winner Rothman is the most decorated volleyball player in Spain Park High School’s history, a two-time All-American and the 2021 Gatorade Player of the Year. She excels academically with a 4.28 GPA and a 31 ACT score.
Rothman is described as an outstanding young lady who possesses strong moral character and a desire to succeed academically and athletically.
“In her nomination letters, Rothman is described as an outstanding young lady who possesses strong moral character and a desire to succeed academically and athletically,” a statement from the Hoover schools state. “She has a quiet leadership and those leadership abilities shine through her role of captain of the Spain Park High girls’ volleyball team and she created a culture in the locker room and gym that is unbelievable. Rothman is considered a school ambassador and demonstrates great moral and ethical decisions in all that she does.”
Rothman spends time outside of school volunteering with several organizations, including the YMCA, King’s Home, the Church of the Highlands Serve Team and Habitat for Humanity.