Brookwood celebrates honor grads

Thomasville Times-Enterprise

As we near the end of the school year, Brookwood School celebrated Upper School students who have achieved the highest levels of academic success in Brookwood’s annual honors ceremony.

Though families gathered around their computers to watch instead of being seated in Hines-Watt Hall, it was a time to reflect on the successes of the class of 2020. Headmaster Dr. Randy Watts opened the ceremony by stating, “Despite or perhaps in light of the unusual circumstances around us, it is all the more important that we share in the special recognition of our outstanding students.” The Brookwood class of 2020 will attend 19 colleges in nine states, and one student will be taking a gap year in Argentina. Students earned 127 acceptances to 52 colleges, and 95% were accepted into their first or second choice college.

“Collectively, this class of seniors is so accomplished,” says Ms. Kim Lord, Director of College Counseling. “Their achievements in and outside of the classroom have served as a tremendous example for the rest of the Upper School. It was so gratifying to watch the honors ceremony and know that we were recognizing an extremely deserving group of students who have worked hard to earn end of high school accolades. Clearly, the level of intrinsic motivation and drive represented in this class will set them up for success in their future college careers.”

In an already unprecedented year due to COVID-19, campus closure, and Continuous Learning, Brookwood had another first - co-valedictorians and co-salutatorians. In Brookwood’s history, there have been three graduating classes with co-valedictorians and two with co-salutatorians, but never have both happened in the same graduating class.

Lilly Jackson and Holland Walker are the co-valedictorians for the class of 2020, having earned the highest cumulative grade point averages of their classmates in their four years of high school at Brookwood. They will both give the final speech in Brookwood’s graduation ceremony.

“Lilly is a very curious and very assertive learner,” said David Grooms, the Upper School Director. “She excelled in the arts, both art competitions and on the stage as an actor. Science is an area of special academic interest for Lilly, and she has pursued many topics outside of class.”

He also spoke of Walker’s academic as well as athletic prowess: “Holland Walker has excelled in both the classroom and on the athletic field. She is a very motivated and curious learner. Her eyes light up when she learns something new, especially in

The co-salutatorians for the class of 2020 are Thompson Miles and Mollie Vick. Both students achieved the second-highest cumulative GPA among their classmates. Miles and Vick will open the graduation ceremony by addressing their classmates, in keeping with Brookwood tradition.

Grooms praised Miles for her drive and motivation: “Thompson excels in leadership and is very involved in organizations outside of school. She is a highly motivated learner who strives for mastery of understanding.”

Of Vick, Grooms shared, “Mollie has excelled on the athletic fields while sustaining strong performance in the classroom. Mollie was active in class discussions, according to her teachers.”

In addition to the valedictorians and salutatorians of this year’s class, Brookwood honors a number of other students who also had outstanding academic performance during their high school years.

Summa Cum Laude graduates are students who have maintained at least a 4.0 grade point average for four years at Brookwood. Honorees in this year’s class include Madison Butler, Caroline Elkins, Madeline Gordon, Brett Heath, Lilly Jackson, Thompson Miles, Vivian Newman, Mollie Vick, and Holland Walker.

Magna Cum Laude graduates have maintained a grade point average of at least 3.67. The honorees for the class of 2020 are Rich Beverly, Mac Brandon, Amelia Clark, Bradley Cohen, Andrew Cooper, Isabella Grayson, Jacob Hilson, Lexi Kirkham, Riley Pollock, Kate Porter, Lauren Ryan, and Anna Vick.

Cum Laude graduates are students who have maintained a minimum of a 3.33 grade point average. This year’s honorees are Mathew Ambrose, Sam Barrett, J.P. Chapman, Aidan Crawford, Emily Deese, Lydia Knox, Cole Ostrom, Harrison Owens, and Kelley Richardson.

“We are very proud of the success of each of our students. Through a combination of talent and hard work, they have been able to achieve at a high level. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the teachers at Brookwood for their hard work, passion, and dedication to student success,” states Headmaster Dr. Randy Watts.

Brookwood’s graduation ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 30 in the Beverly Athletic Center. It will be a private ceremony where only graduates, their parents, and a small staff of Brookwood employees will be in attendance in order to adhere to current health safety guidelines. Additionally, the event will be broadcasted on Livestream for those unable to attend.
Located in Thomasville, GA, Brookwood School is a private school for grades JK-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.