|From left to right: Jane Marks, Judy Ammons and Mary Barley|
Judy Ammons, first lady of Florida A&M University (FAMU), will serve as chairperson of FAMU’s 11th Annual FAMU Grape Harvest Festival along with Jane Marks, first lady of Tallahassee, and Mary Barley, a wellness coach and author, as co-chairpersons for the Festival. FAMU will host its Annual Grape Harvest Festival Saturday, August 27, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s theme is A Vintage Year: Stomp, Rattle and Roll.
“We are pulling all plugs to provide an entertaining day of discovery and fun that helps to build stronger relationships between the university and the community as well as families and friends throughout Florida and beyond,” said Bobby Phills, Ph.D., festival coordinator.
A native of Winter Haven, Fla., Judy Ammons earned her bachelor's degree in early childhood and her master's degree in elementary education at FAMU.
“It is truly an honor to serve as the chairperson for the Annual Grape Harvest Festival,” said Ammons. “This festival is an opportunity to share with the community all of the wonderful things FAMU has to offer in the areas of agriculture and scientific research.”
Since fall 2007, she has served as a teacher at DeSota Trail Elementary School.
She began her teaching career at Riverside Elementary School in Orlando, Fla. and has also worked at Florida State University as an instructor and as a kindergarten and second grade teacher for its developmental research school. She has presented papers at several conferences on subjects ranging from “Using Computers in a Literature-Based Classroom” to “Motivating Students to Learn.”
She was Teacher of the Year at Hillandale Elementary School in Durham, North Carolina in 2004. She has supervised more than 13 elementary education interns. In 2008, she helped to collect more than 500 books for FAMU’s Developmental Research School.
Marks has been a practicing psychotherapist in the Tallahassee area for the past 40 years. She received her bachelor of science degree in psychology from Florida State University and a masters degree in counseling psychology from Chapman University. Marks is a bi-weekly consultant on the WTXL Channel 27 Morning News on teen mental health issues.
Marks has received many awards including “Family Therapist of the Year,” the NAACP Image Award and the Kids Incorporated Champion for Children award. Marks serves as a motivational speaker for young teens and lectures throughout the year to address comprehensive adolescent issues.
Barley has been in the fitness industry for 26 years as a gym owner, personal trainer, group fitness instructor, wellness coach, writer and speaker. She has held bodybuilding titles including Ms. Southern USA, Ms. Tallahassee and Ms. Daytona Classic. She is the author of “Getting Fit From the Inside Out: Seven Steps to Becoming Your Personal Best.”
Barley has written extensively for the Tallahassee Democrat with articles in Business Matters and in Style and Active Living. She writes for the Tallahassee Boomers and Seniors magazine and has also had a feature article in American Fitness magazine.
The Grape Harvest Festival is a community event being sponsored by FAMU and coordinated through its Center for Viticulture and Small Fruit Research and the USDA/ARS/CMAVE Center for Biological Control, which are components of the College of Agriculture.