THOMASVILLE -- As the school year resumed in January and entered a new decade, Brookwood School recognized one of its administrators who has been an educator for many years. Sam Caudill, Brookwood’s Middle School Director, has educational experience that now spans seven decades.
The Tennessee native moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1968 and began his career in education teaching Language Arts and Social Studies at Cochran Junior High School. Outside the classroom, he devoted time to sports, taking on the role of Supervisor of Intramural Officials at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and
officiating high school and college basketball games.
“My interest in becoming a teacher came from two of my high school English teachers who encouraged me and others to take steps beyond our comfort zone,” Caudill said. “They taught me to be a reader, enjoy books, and see a bigger world. It was their commitment to encourage hard work and be consistent in the search for knowledge.”
Through the years, he continued teaching at schools in the Charlotte area. Broadening his experience working with young people, he became a counselor at Camp Starlight in Pennsylvania.
In the 1980s, he landed at Providence Day School, where he worked for 28 years. His roles included Middle School History teacher, Dean of Students, Head of the Middle School, and serving on various committees. He held the position of Head of the Middle School until 2016, when he retired. Under his leadership, enrollment grew from 150 to 420 students. The school introduced “Legacy Houses” named in honor of Middle School faculty who have left
lasting impressions on the school, and one was named after Caudill. Additionally, the Middle School office was deemed the “Sam Caudill Office.”
Carol Johnson, Caudill’s former assistant at Providence, reminisced on his time at the school, mentioning how he went the extra mile in several ways including writing birthday cards for his teachers, making sure no child went hungry, and always wearing a tie. His wife Susan remarked that he has stayed in touch with many of his students
throughout the years.
“Throughout my career, it has been a joy watching Middle School students become more independent, gain self confidence, and learn from their mistakes. To see their success in Upper School, college, and in their chosen careers certainly gives the satisfaction of being a teacher and hopefully seeing how our impact and guidance have helped
develop the adult leaders in our communities,” Caudill shared.
In 2017, he became the Interim Middle School Director at Brookwood, and ultimately took the position permanently in 2018.
“Brookwood was very much like my previous school - well organized, an incredible faculty, outstanding programs, and a great commitment to preparing students for excellence,” stated Caudill.
Since being at Brookwood, Caudill has made several improvements in the Middle School, including establishing a Middle School Advisory system and Honor Council, and fostering communication with parents through a newsletter and grade level coffee meetings. Also, there has been enrollment growth at every grade level with low attrition.
"Mr. Caudill is an exceptional educator and administrator,” said Brookwood Headmaster Randy Watts. “His life-long dedication to middle school students is truly inspiring. His years on the job have yielded great experience and wisdom; at the same time, he is full of energy and is still excited to come to school each day. I expect that he will be as strong in the 2020s as he has been in the previous six decades!"
Caudill shares his time between his two homes - Charlotte, NC and Thomasville, GA.