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You never know who you'll see at Grassroots on Saturday Morning...

Dr. Randy Watts
The common denominator is that Brookwood came into being and survived because the community came together with a common purpose to make this a great school.
You never know who you'll see at Grassroots on Saturday Morning...

This past Saturday morning, my wife, Nadia, and I decided to go for an early walk with the dogs — our boys were not interested in getting out of bed at that hour — and have a cup of coffee at Grassroots.

As we sat outside, a man on a motorcycle putted up. He waved, but it was not until he removed his helmet that we realized that the motorcyclist was Gene Strickland, Brookwood Class of 1981.

Gene, Nadia, and I have spoken on several occasions about Brookwood. As a rising second grader before the school’s doors opened in 1970, he vividly recalls being involved in helping to remove grass from Boxhall Plantation to sod the campus of the new school. He remembers, as a child, working with other volunteers — young and adult — to assemble the desks that he and other students would use in just a short period of time. He mentioned that much of the first football stadium was created in his parents’ shop in Cairo. Gene said he got goosebumps telling these stories; a smile remained firmly fixed on his face as we chatted.

As a school, we have been in the process of delving into stories such as these in preparation for Brookwood’s 50th anniversary next year. There are many stories of passion, teamwork, and inspiration from these early days: members of the school’s first Board of Directors wading through mud before the sod was planted. A parent learning to run a bulldozer to clear debris. Children painting and washing windows.

The common denominator is that Brookwood came into being and survived because the community came together with a common purpose to make this a great school.

Almost 50 years later, the same spirit — and need — in our community remains. Brookwood has thrived for nearly half of a century due to the passion, dedication, sweat, and support of the Brookwood Family. As we move forward, I encourage each of us to tap back into that pioneer spirit of the early days.

It is true that we now have a very impressive campus, outstanding faculty, well-developed programs, and many of the other trappings of success. However, what sustains us is the same spirit that Gene Strickland shared — a desire to work together for the common good of the school.


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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.