Brookwood Announces New Board Members
Posted on: September 17, 2010
Three Brookwood parents chosen for Board of Directors
The Brookwood Board of Directors has selected three new members to join the school's policy-making group of 10 directors.
Julie McPherson, Thomas S. Simmons and Heeth Varnedoe IV already were active volunteers in school organizations and programs when they agreed to step into their new leadership roles.
McPherson was Julie Cheney when she graduated from Brookwood in 1978. Her brother Stephen was in the Class of 1976 and three of her nephews also attended Brookwood. She and her husband, Dr. Doug McPherson, are the parents of Anne McPherson, a Brookwood graduate of 2007, and Elise, a current Brookwood first grader.
Doug,a pulmonary and critical care physician, no longer practices medicine, but he's gaining a reputation as an excellent photographer and can be seen on the sidelines with his camera at many Brookwood games and other events.
"I feel that Brookwood has been and is a unique and important part of the exceptional educational institutions available in our area, and I'd like to see it remain that way," Julie Cheney said. "Hopefully, as a board member, I can help it both to continue and to become even better."
McPherson's interests include sports, math, theater and music. "And I believe in 'independence' and small," she said, implying that Brookwood has been an ideal fit for her and her family.
Back in the early 1970s, Simmons was a guard for the Oaks Academy basketball team when that independent school was located in Brinson, Ga., near Bainbridge, and was a Warriors opponent on the court.
"We never beat Brookwood," recalls Simmons. "Not even close."
Now the Thomasville resident serves as the president and CEO of Elberta Crate & Box Co., headquartered in Bainbridge. The company's domestic and international facilities manufacture packaging, primarily for fresh produce. Elberta employs 400 people and has been in business since 1905.
"I am humbled to serve on the Board of Directors and hope I can positively impact the continued success of our school, with the help of our school family," said Simmons, who has served on several Brookwood Board planning committees in the past. "Many, many fine people have devoted their best efforts to Brookwood in the past 40 years as volunteers, students, teachers and administrators, and I am honored to further their work by helping plan for the school's future."
Simmons' wife Laurie has served as a host of Teacher Appreciation Day for the Parent Council for eight years and has chaired "Child Maintenance" for the Brookwood musical production for five years. She also is a board member of the new Brookwood Ambassadors for the Arts. Their daughter Audrey is a 10th grader and Ella is in the 4th grade.
Varnedoe was in Brookwood's Class of 1985. His brother Howard and his sisters Elizabeth Malone and Dr. Jackie Morgan also are Brookwood alumni.
Heeth and Susan Varnedoe are the parents of Ann, 10th grade and Heeth, 8th grade. Their nephew Rand Malone is also a 10th grader.
"I agreed to serve, because I think at a school like Brookwood it is important for parents to volunteer," said Heeth Varnedoe IV about his appointment to the Board. "There are so many things that need to happen, and parent volunteers are critical to the entire process. I also love the school."
Varnedoe has been on the Booster Board for three years, serving as president last year and again this year. His father, also named Heeth Varnedoe, was president of the Booster Club when the current president played football and basketball at Brookwood.
"I was fortunate to be part of some very successful teams, and so I know firsthand what successful athletics can do to school spirit," said Varnedoe. "I love serving on the Booster
Board, because I believe that a strong athletic program is a vital part of the school.
Susan Varnedoe also serves on the Brookwood Booster Board and chaired the fall sports program committee. An active volunteer at Brookwood since their children were in Pre-K, she headed the annual Auction one year, served on the Auction Committee for many years and has been a room mother numerous times.
Varnedoe is president of B. Lloyd's, which he refers to as "a food company" in Thomasville. In actuality, B. Lloyd's is known across the United States for offering super-premium nuts and nut products, confections and corporate gifts. The celebrity cook Paula Deen is a company spokesperson.
The three new members join the seven others already serving on the Brookwood School Board of Directors: Dr. Philip C. Watt, chairman;, Charles Allen, vice-chairman; Julie Barrett, secretary; Bill Hodges, treasurer; Anne Avera, Charnie Beverly, and Mike Shea.