To commemorate its 50year anniversary, the Brookwood School is embarking on a book to encapsulate its history.
Nadia Watts, who wrote a book on the history of the Thomasville Entertainment Foundation, is penning the tome. Her husband Randy is the Brookwood headmaster “One quiet evening about a year ago, just after I had put the TEF book to bed,” Nadia said, “Randy handed me a full glass of wine and waited for me to take a sip or two. Then this: “‘You know, Nadia, Brookwood will be celebrating its 50th year in 2019. You up for doing a little writing for us?' “'How little is little?' “‘Well, maybe not so little. A book. A history,' he answered. “And so my own adventure began.”
To mark Brookwood School’s 50th year, there has been talk of a host of events. “Goodness. I’m not sure of everything they have up their sleeves, but I know the 2019-20 school year will be pretty special,” Nadia Watts said. “There’s been talk of a formal preview event, followed by more informal family events — a big 50th birthday party for all the kids, a book release, basketball games, a golf tournament for alumni. Many visitors from Brookwood’s past will be on campus — It’ll be an exciting time to be a part of the community!”
The process of writing the book, Watts said, has turned her home office into the very definition of organized chaos. She has “full-to-bursting” threering binders with transcriptions of interviews she’s conducted with the school’s founders and alumni, as well as with board members and faculty and administration, past and present.
“Each transcript is annotated and underlined, with themes, questions, and ideas scrawled in the margins,” she said. “A bookshelf behind my desk holds all the school’s annuals, as well as other publications from Brookwood’s history. And thank goodness for our Google Team Drive, which — with the right search terms and keystrokes — magically locates newspaper articles and photos that our archivist, Madeline Rollins, has scanned, labeled by date, and organized by year and subject. Most of them are Times- Enterprisepieces.” The interviews, she said, have been her favorite part of the research. “I’ve spoken at length with Brookwood parents who, as children, learned in the same classrooms as their kids do now — with many of the same teachers,” Nadia said.
“ I’ve interviewed athletes whose storied feats from years ago are still exchanged in the hallways. I’ve had the honor of talking to three of the school’s founders, who are just as passionate about the school today as they must have been at the time they fought to establish it.
Teachers who helped to build world-class programs. Alumni who chuckle, cringe, and beam as they recount their school days. “All of these kind folks are helping me identify the pieces of the puzzle that will, with hope, come together into a well-told, accurate, fun-to-read representation of Brookwood’s 50 years, as poignant and inspirational as I understand the story to be. It’s really an adventure, complete with colorful, valiant characters who faced all odds to