Brookwood welcomes new faculty for the upcoming school year

Thomasville Times-Enterprise
THOMASVILLE - ​The 2020-2021 school year brings several new faculty members to Brookwood School, as well as new roles for some returning faculty.

Brookwood’s Lower School welcomes a number of new team members. Mrs. Francine Wright returns to Brookwood to be the Interim Lower School Director after 11 years working at schools in Savannah, Ga., and Mobile, Ala. Mrs. Katie Thompson will teach fourth grade, and Mrs. Brittany Moore will manage the after-school program, Warriors After School.

“Returning to Brookwood School is surely to be exciting as I rejoin faculty and staff members who demonstrated consistent professionalism,” Wright stated. “Memories of caring and goal-oriented students and families have remained with me for 11 years. I look forward to renewing friendships and developing new ones.”

Faculty shifting roles include Mrs. Heather Powers, Mrs. Lisa Yestrumsky, Mrs. Kendra Burrus, and Mrs. Kathryn Green. Powers will shift from the role of Teaching Assistant to Kindergarten Teacher. Yestrumsky will be a Teaching Assistant and Curriculum Mapping Coordinator. Burrus has taken on the role of Director of Continuous Learning. Green, in addition to being the Librarian, will also be a Media Specialist.

“I am excited about taking on this role because it gives me a bird's eye view of the students' application of their technology skills,” Burrus shared. “We have a plan in place so students can continue their education even if they cannot be here physically.”

In the Middle and Upper Schools, Mrs. Dana Oebel, Mrs. Jace Bates, and Mr. Adam Slaton will begin their time at Brookwood, while Mrs. Nadia Watts will rejoin the faculty. Oebel will be a History teacher and work in the Academic Resource Center. Bates will manage the Middle School after-school program, After Class Enrichment. Slaton will be an Upper School Science teacher. Watts, after taking time to produce Brookwood’s 50th Anniversary Book, ​Roots and Wings: A Celebration of Brookwood School’s First Fifty Years, will return to teach Upper School English.

“I have spent the last two years teaching introductory biology courses at Valdosta State University,” Slaton explained. “While I enjoyed this time, I look forward to getting to know my students in a way that cannot be done in a single-semester college class. My hope is to use my knowledge to introduce students to new biological topics they may not have considered previously, as well as use my experience with biological research to teach students how to read and understand scientific literature. I also intend to use my experience teaching at the university to help prepare students for college success.”

Faculty shifting roles includes Mr. Keith Massey, who will assume the role of Upper School Dean of Students, in addition to being the Registrar and a Math teacher.

The school also welcomes Ms. Katie Owens and Mr. Bruce Hunter. Owens will be the School Nurse after several years working in the Emergency Department at Archbold Memorial Hospital. Hunter, who has been working as a consultant for the past few years, will be the Interim Director of College Counseling.

"I am thrilled about the talented new group of educators who are joining the Brookwood Family this year,” said Headmaster Dr. Randy Watts. “We have some people who are newer to teaching and some with many, many years of experience. The common denominator is that they are all outstanding professionals.”

In the athletic department, Mr. Will Dettor and Mr. Mario Mathis join Brookwood and will serve in various capacities, while Mrs. Robyn Duncan will take on an additional role. Dettor will be the Defensive Coordinator for Varsity Football, the Strength and Conditioning Coach, and an Assistant Athletic Director. He will also be the Driver’s Education Instructor. Mathis, who assisted the Girls Basketball and Soccer teams last year, steps into a full-time role at the school as a Physical Education instructor. He will be the Outside Linebackers Coach for Varsity Football and Defensive Coordinator for Middle School Football. He will continue to assist the Girls Basketball and
Soccer teams. Duncan, in addition to being a Kindergarten Teaching Assistant, will now assist Mrs. Brooke Crocker with the Cheerleading team.

“I know that our faculty will prevail in the classroom and elsewhere on campus regardless of the challenges of this year," stated Watts.
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.