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Barton Academy Foundation

When the Mobile County Public School System moved its central offices from Barton Academy in 2007 without a plan for Barton’s future, the landmark was immediately threatened by vacancy and a lack of maintenance. Local preservation groups – including Mobile Historic Development Commission, Historic Mobile Preservation Society and Downtown Mobile Alliance – rallied support for preserving Barton and formed the Barton Academy Historic Preservation and Restoration Committee in 2009 to explore a new life for the historic complex.


Working with education specialists at the school system and the University of South Alabama, the group considered a variety of ideas before enthusiastically endorsing a plan to create a world studies school. Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies represents the best of all possible outcomes in any preservation effort: a major landmark is preserved and reborn in a way that enhances and benefits the community at large.  


The Barton committee evolved into a more permanent Barton Academy Foundation, incorporated in 2012 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The foundation’s mission is to assist the school system in raising awareness and funds to create Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies as an innovative educational institution and an engine for growing the area’s economy.


The Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies is a perfect match to Mobile’s past and future. Mobile has been a player in global commerce since its beginnings as an internationally diverse colonial port more than 300 years ago. Today, links to businesses all over the world are even more critical to the area’s growth.


In addition to providing a world-class education, the school will make Mobile a more attractive site for international investment and jobs. For students, Barton will pave the way for entrance to the finest universities worldwide and prepare them to succeed in a globally connected and interdependent world.

Barton Academy Foundation

Board of Directors



Elizabeth P. Stevens

   Downtown Mobile Alliance 


First Vice-President

John Schley Rutherford, Jr.

    Gulf & Atlantic Forest Products

Second Vice-President 

Stephen Carter

    Community Volunteer

Past President 

Jaime W. Betbeze

    Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C. 



R. Allan Gustin

    Dunn Building Company

Karen Outlaw Atchison

   Community Volunteer

Irvin Grodsky


Geri Moulton
     Community Volunteer


John D. Peebles

    City Management Company, LLC

Martha L. Peek

    Mobile County Public Schools


Dr. Carolyn Lee Taylor
    Mobile County Public Schools


Chresal D. Threadgill


    Mobile County Public Schools


Barton Academy Foundation board members, left to right: John D. Peebles, Schley Rutherford, Jr., Karen Outlaw Atchison, Geri Moulton, Jaime W. Betbeze, Elizabeth P. Stevens, Dr. Carolyn Lee Taylor, Stephen Carter, Martha L. Peek, Irvin Grodsky, Denise Browning, R. Allan Gustin. Not pictured: Raymond Bell, Nicholas H. Holmes, III and Chresal D. Threadgill.

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