Article from Julianne Foster, Director of Communications with Carrollton City Schools
CARROLLTON, GA – The two Carrollton Junior High School students didn’t know each other when they were both invited to attend the Dec. 4 Carrollton City Council meeting to be honored for similar accomplishments. But during preparation for this story, the two discovered they have similar goals and the same drive and determination that will take them far in life – whether it be on the silver screen or the board room.
Eighth grader Allie Stack and seventh grader Caleb Thomas are CJHS’s two movie stars – both have been featured in recent big-screen productions in addition to television opportunities sprinkled here and there. Caleb’s latest project was “A Question of Faith,” a major film released earlier this fall that is being prepped for the DVD market and Allie played a role in “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life,” a popular movie from last year that is now available on Netflix and Amazon.
Caleb currently is working on a TV show for the CW network called “Black Lightning” about an African American superhero. He is plays the youngest character on the show. Allie has regular appearances on shows on the Cartoon Network, most recently “Your Pretty Face,” a production that is a video/cartoon mix.
And just a couple of weeks ago, Allie found out she was granted the lead role in a series called “Mixed Emotions,” which covers an Afro-Latina and her struggles. She is the younger version of the lead character, according to her mother, Arthia Nixon.
“It starts in a few days and the meeting with the director and producer will happen in the coming week and shooting takes place in Atlanta and Chicago,” said Nixon. “This is important to Allie as she is also a mixed race kid with black Caribbean and Spanish European heritage.”
Speaking of mothers, both Allie and Caleb say they purposefully try to keep their acting careers under the radar, primarily because of the assumptions by their peers – and others for that matter – that their parents are pushing them, living vicariously through their success.
“People think my mom is behind everything,” said Allie. “But it’s actually me.”
Caleb concurred. “People think it is weird that kids can have ambition, too,” he said. Caleb definitely is focused – he has wanted to be an actor since he was 4 years old and finally convinced his parents to let him take acting lessons at 7 so he could be competitive in the audition process.
Allie said she had not told anyone about “Middle School Years” at school. But the word got out when CJHS Assistant Principal Luke Young saw the movie and noticed a cast member who looked just like her.
“He said, ‘Was that you I saw in that movie?’ I had to say yes,” said Allie.
Caleb said he is uncomfortable sharing his success, no matter how cool it may seem.
“I don’t want it to appear that I’m bragging,” he said. But he does draw the line at one question he gets asked – how much money he makes. “I just tell them it is not up for discussion.”
While both actors are still young, they both are mature and pragmatic about their futures. Allie and Caleb are good students who have plans to go to college. Caleb wants to study computer engineering and Allie journalism – just like her mom. In fact, she even has her own magazine that is listed as a top seller on Amazon – quite a feat for such a young publisher.
“One day I got really bored at my mom’s work,” said Allie. “My phone died and I didn’t have my charger. I started looking at magazines and asked my mom why there weren’t any articles about kids in them. She said, ‘If you want to see it happen you have to do it yourself.’” So she did – with great success. Learn about her magazine at kidnewsmaker.com.
Allie and Caleb do have time for other interests, but their budding careers take up a lot of their time. Caleb enjoys boxing and Allie competitive cheerleading. She is also the president of the Youth Council of the local NAACP.
“Alejandra and Caleb embody everything that we stand for at Carrollton Junior High School,” said Travis Thomaston, principal. “Not only are they excellent students, they also possess infectious personalities others gravitate toward. It amazes me to be around such talented kids with unique skills who remain so humble in spite of their accomplishments. I have known them both for several years as an assistant principal at Carrollton Middle School and now as their principal at CJHS, and I have developed a personal relationship with each of them. Alejandra and I refer to each other as ‘best friends,’ and Caleb is a member of our BROTHER mentor group. I look forward to seeing the amazing things they will do in the future. It has been a blessing to know them.”