Thomas L. Head Elementary School

Star Gaze 2000

On December 5, Jack McDaniel, Mark Brown, Joe Champion, Russell Whigham, and Tom McGowan returned at the invitation of principal, Susan Mallett for our annual star party for the students, faculty, and parents.  In an unexpected gesture of appreciation, Ms. Mallett wrote a letter (see below) to each of our volunteers along with individual photographs of us at the telescopes, Head School ballpoint pens,  and thank you notes and drawings by the kids.


TELEPHONE: (334) 260-1025
FACSIMILE: (334) 260-1054


December 6, 2000

Dear "Star Gazing Team" from the Auburn Astronomical Society:

From all of us here at Head School, to each one of you, THANK YOU 
from the bottom of our hearts!  We enjoyed last night's "Star Gazing 
Party" so 
very much! The comments heard throughout the evening, and this morning 
upon our arrival back at school, were all most complimentary.  Everyone 
stated how much fun they had, and how much they found out that they didn't 
know about the "night skies." They all hoped that we could plan another evening 
like this during the school year.  So, if ya'll need a place to "set up" and gaze 
with an audience, please let us know.  I think that we can plan activities around 
this to ensure good attendance.

I hope you enjoy the students' pictures and words of thanks to you. Those involved in last night's event were so excited to be able to draw you their impressions of the evening's activities. Also, please use the photos in any way you want to -- they are yours to keep.

Again, thank you for the time and effort involved from each of you. I really appreciated this, and I know that it was most worthwhile for the attendees.  We would love for any of you to visit the school at any time, if you would like, to share your avocation with the students. They would eagerly tune in, as they seem to love the night skies!


Susan Mallett



Head School Sky Show 1999


"At the star gazing party, I got to see Jupiter, 
Saturn, and the Moon.  You could see Jupiter's 
moons and Saturns rings, and the craters on 
the Moon.  It was very good."

At the request of Susan Mallett, principal of Head Elementary School, in Montgomery, members of the Auburn Astronomical Society acted as tour guides to the stars for close to 300 students, parents, and teachers, as part of the school's emphasis on "Space Week". On Tuesday, December 14, 2000, Jack McDaniel with his 4.5-inch reflector, Rick Fanning with his 8-inch Meade  LX-200, Tom McGowan with his 8-inch Dobsonian, and Russell Whigham with the C-11, set up their telescopes on the school's ball field and were rewarded by the sheer awe of many first time observers as they looked at Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon through "real telescopes". We heard repeated variations on the theme: "Is that REAL?" "Hey Mom, you've gotta see this!" The local ABC affiliate, WNCF Channel 32, was there with a camera crew and taped the kids queued at the telescopes and peering into the eyepieces. The tape was aired on the 10:00 news.


The drawings that you see here were done by the students at Head and forwarded to us by Ms. Mallett