Meet Our

Board of Trustees

man's headshot

Brian Sweeney, Chairman

Brian Sweeney offers leadership and strategic insight drawn from his extensive military background. Graduating from the Academy in 1983 and retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel from the US Army Special Forces in 2012, his commitment to military principles is unwavering. Additionally, his academic journey, encompassing degrees in political science, geography, defense analysis, and geographic information sciences from the University of Kentucky and Penn State, underscores his pursuit of knowledge.

Furthermore, Brian’s career trajectory, from military service to directing a Consulting Firm specializing in International Affairs and Foreign Policy, showcases his versatile skill set. His expertise in information technology, data analytics, and international security equips him to tackle complex challenges facing the Academy. With a track record of advising senior leaders and fostering innovation, Brian ensures the Academy remains agile and responsive to evolving educational needs and global trends, shaping its future towards excellence and distinction.

Amy Reese, Vice Chairwoman

Amy Reese grew up in Gulf Breeze, FL. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a BS in Secondary Education. Amy and her husband, Joseph, have lived in Birmingham since 1998. They have 2 sons, Joseph III and Davis. Joseph III graduated from Southern Prep in 2019.  Amy enjoys being involved with community projects, teaching adults pursuing their GED, and playing tennis.

Douglas Peebles, Treasurer

Mr. Peebles’ youngest son, Garrett, is a 2022 graduate of Southern Prep. As a former parent joining the Board of Trustees, Mr. Peebles brings a unique and valuable perspective to the leadership team. Mr. Peebles has built a successful career as a lawyer. His practice, Peebles Law Firm, is well respected. His legal expertise will greatly benefit Southern Prep, especially in regard to matters related to contracts, compliance, and policy development. 

Bryant Dromey

Bryant Dromey is a former cadet and graduate from the Academy, where he attended from 1989 to 1992, achieving the rank of Battalion Commander his senior year.  He later went on to pursue his college education from the University of Georgia, earning a B.A. in real estate in 1997. Post graduation, Bryant went on to pursue his career in commercial real estate brokerage in Atlanta. Today, he owns a thriving commercial real estate firm spanning the Southeastern United States. Recognized for his strategic vision and community involvement, Bryant stands as a respected entrepreneur and leader in his field.

harold grant

Harold Grant

Harold Grant grew up in Waverly, Alabama.  He graduated with the class of 1990. He is an active member of the Alumni Association and has served as Vice-President and President in the past years. He joined the Board of Trustees in 2018. He and his wife, Maggie, have a daughter, Madelyn, and live in Hoover, AL. He is a transportation software professional at McLeod Software where he has been employed since 1999.

COL Al Hovey

COL Al Hovey, a native of Lee County, AL, earned B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from Auburn University. He joined the Academy’s faculty as a young science instructor in 1966. He was appointed Academic Dean by former President COL Wesley P. Smith in 1972, vice president in 1984, and then president in 1989. A respected educator throughout the state of Alabama, COL Hovey was instrumental in the Academy’s securing its initial accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in 197. He has since served on SACS evaluation teams throughout the region. COL Hovey worked tirelessly to improve academic standards at the Academy, putting together a highly qualified faculty and staff and achieving the highest ACT scores in the school’s history under his watch. COL Hovey and his wife Ann, who live in Camp Hill, are the parents of a son and a daughter, as well as grandparents to six grandchildren. COL Hovey’s son, Paul, graduated from LWMA in the Class of ’85. COL Hovey has been very popular with faculty, staff, parents, and cadets, and is pleased to remain on as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Col (Ret.) Douglas DeMaio

Colonel (Retired) Douglas D. DeMaio dedicated over three decades to the US Air Force, serving from May 1991 to May 2023. His roles ranged from commanding the 55th Fighter Squadron at Shaw AFB to leading the NATO Deployable Air Operations Center in Italy. He commanded the 187th Fighter Wing at Dannelly Field, Alabama, overseeing 1,400 personnel and 22 F-16 aircraft. Col DeMaio logged over 2,800 flight hours in the F-16 and completed five combat deployments in Southwest Asia. His contributions to military doctrine include coauthoring Joint All-Domain Operations and Counterspace Doctrine. Col DeMaio received numerous awards, including the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Legion of Merit. He is married to his wife, Bobbie, and they have two children, Tori and David.

mario camara

Mario Camara

Mario A. Camara is a graduate of the class of 1993, where he was the Battalion Commander. He currently resides in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He earned a J.D. from the Iberoamerican University of Sta. Fe, México, a L.L.M. from the Panamerican University, Mexico City and an M.B.A. from London University. Mario currently works as the global head of legal and compliance at an electronic trading brokerage corporate group.

jose leon

Jose M. Leon

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Attended the academy for five consecutive years and graduated with the Class of 1982 as Salutatorian and Battalion Commander. He attended Inter American University in San Juan with a concentration in Marketing. Jose has been a Herff Jones sales rep since 1991 and has been with BSN Sports since 2014. Jose has owned Graduation Supplies Inc. since 2000.

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Thank you for your interest in Southern Preparatory Academy. Located in Camp Hill, AL, Southern Prep educates young men in grades 6-12.

Please complete the following form in order to receive our Admissions Packet via email. If you have a specific question or would like to arrange a campus tour, please call the Admissions Office at 256-790-9202 or 256-496-8864.