Friday, May 18, 2018

Graduation Award Winners 2018

Cougar Spirit Award
Russell Blanchard
Rachel Leary
Hallmark Award
Candice Keogh
L. Ashley Walters Memorial Award
Bryant Buell
Martha K. Heard Community Service Award
Sarah Beth Amos
Leadership Award
Josh Fernicola
Ruth Anne Hasty

Walter Meinzen
Isabella Pitts
McKenzie-Chappelle Award
Ella McGregor
Herndon Mathematics Award
Will Byrd
Rothschild English Award
Elim Lee
Passailaigue Language Awards
Spanish-Maylyn Hinson
French-Josie Yancey
Latin-Michael Smith
Kirven History Award
Ethan Martin
Hazouri Science Award
Uma Alappan
Dramatics Award
Abbey Crowley
Jordan Music Award
Marcus Webster
Sarah Smith Hart Art Award
Sophie Brown
Kennon Computer Science Award
Michael Smith
Robotics Award
Davis Gaunt
McConnell-Tucker Journalism Award
Sarah Beth Amos
Coaches Outstanding Athlete Award-Female
Kathrine Snavely
Coaches Outstanding Athlete Award-Male
Richard Hill

Charles J. Cumiskey Award
Russell Blanchard
Josie Yancey
Johnston-McKenzie Award
Will Yeiser
Salutatorian Award
Josie Yancey
James P. McCallie Valedictory Award
Uma Alappan
Doris and Tom Black Award
Molly Graham

Monday, April 9, 2018

2018 National Honor Society Inductees

On Tuesday, March the 20th, the following students were inducted into the National Honor Society.  Congratulations go out to all of these outstanding student leaders.

Princess  Ali
Jazlyn Arbelaez
Henry Barnes
Abigail Beaver           
Reed Bickerstaff
Evans Blanchard        
Lindsey Chen 
Carly Cline    
Wills Cottrell 
Deme Courtney         
Allie DeNamur          
Lucy DesPortes         
Sally Dismuke
Ryan Drew     
Mason Dudley
Emily Elliott  
Blake Foster  
Mason Gillespie        
Gracie Glass  
Emma Graham           
Sam Grier      
Matthew Hannay       
Carson Harris
Taylor Harris 
Mallory Hatchett       
Gracie Hemmings      
Ridley Hudson           
Ruth Hunter   
Haley Johnson
Briggs Kalish 
Meg Kenimer
Joseph Kim    
Lucy Laughbaum       
Jack Little      
Cameryn Lovett         
Hannah Mattson        
Rachel McQuinn       
Elisabeth Michelson  
Pepper Miller
Lee Mullin     
William Neal 
Antonia Nunley         
Caleb Pattillo 
Lillie Patton   
Zoe Paul         
Virginia Pearson        
Rohini Rewatkar        
Sammie Rice 
Christopher Shadburn
Sheel Shah     
Annabelle Sikes
Benjamin Sloan         
Noah Stenslie
Palvi Thakur  
Carter White  
Nathan Willett
Graham Wolff
Emma Yancey

Friday, March 16, 2018

2018 Literary Meet Results

Congratulations go out to all of these talented Upper Schoolers for placing first or second in their respective categories at this year's region literary meet.  All together, the Brookstone team placed first in region!  Way to go Cougars!

Rhetorical Essay:1st Place, Isabelle Darrah

Personal Essay: 1st Place, Carson Harris

Argumentative Essay: 2nd Place, Sophie Brown

Dramatic Performance: 1st Place, Elim Lee

Humorous Performance: 1st Place, Abbey Crowley

Duo Performance: 1st Place, Sean Meyers & Jackson Landreau

Extemporaneous Speaking (International): 2nd Place, Will Byrd

Girls Solo: 2nd Place, Uma Alappan

Boys Solo: 2nd Place, Ben Dickens

Trio: 1st Place, Uma Alappan, Elyse Sway, Mia Vongsavang

Quartet: 2nd Place, Ethan Martin, Marcus Webster, Drake Vitelli, Ayo Alomide

Friday, February 2, 2018

2018 Page One Nominees

Congratulations go out to our Page One nominees from the Class of 2018.

English Elim Lee

Math Will Byrd

Science Uma Alappan

Social Studies Molly Graham

Foreign Lang. Maylyn Hinson

Drama Abbey Crowley

Art Anna Parisi

Music Cydney Landreau

Technology Elyse Sway

Journalism Sarah Beth Amos

Athletics Russell Blanchard

Citizenship Candice Keogh

General Scholarship Josie Yancey

Teacher- Mr. Shawn Connors

Monday, December 11, 2017

Exam Studying Tips 2017

Here are some tips on how to study better.  These tips came from an advisory activity that took place on Tuesday, December 5, 2017.
  1. Unplug and limit phone time
  2. Use different study techniques and methods
  3. Manage your environment (limit distractions)
  4. Set goals and post those in your room
  5. Make a studying schedule
  6. Prioritize
  7. If you do a study group, no more than 3 people
  8. Do not wait until the last minute
  9. Eat a good breakfast that morning
  10. Pack your calculator
  11. Use Quizlet and other study tools
  12. Correct old tests and quizzes
  13. Take effective, intentional breaks 
  14. Get physical during your breaks
  15. Do not study on your bed
  16. Go to bed early
  17. Be the one!

Friday, August 25, 2017

2017-2018 Student Government Association and Honor Council

SGA Executives
President:  Josh Fernicola
Vice President:  Leo Beaudoin
Secretary:  Morgan McGrory
Treasurer:   Grace Lewis

Senior Executives
President:  Ethan Martin
Vice President:  Ruth Anne Hasty
Secretary:  Mackenzie Koon
Treasurer:  Mackie Amos

Junior Executives
President:  Ruth Hunter
Vice President:  Henry Barnes
Secretary:  Jackson Milliner
Treasurer:  Sam Grier

Sophomores Executives
President:  Charlie Gilliam
Vice President:  Charlie Beaudoin
Secretary:  Mackenzie Weir
Treasurer:  Lillie Norred

Freshman Executives
President:  Ayomide Oloyede
Vice President:  Laurie Clare Jones
Secretary:  Drew Albright
Treasurer:  John Kim

Honor Council
President:  Russell Blanchard
Vice-President:  Vivian Swift
Senior Reps:  Molly Graham, Catherine Sigman, Josie Yancey
Junior Reps:  Mason Gillespie, Lucy Laughbaum, Hannah Mattson, Graham Wolff
Sophomore Reps:  Abby Leary, Blake Schoonover, Saarib Zafar
Freshman Reps:  Alice Barngrover, Mary Margaret Saunders

Friday, May 26, 2017

Dr. John Harkey's 2017 Baccalaureate Address

Brookstone’s Class of 2017, I can’t help but begin my remarks this morning by pointing out that, after a whole year of having me push and prod you toward your Deliberate Life speeches and then grade those speeches, you gave me a chance to give a speech in front of you.  Well-played, you guys. Well-played. (I thought about passing out rubrics so each of you could grade my talk this morning.)
All joking aside, though, I want to say thank you, with all of my heart, for choosing me as your faculty speaker. I am nervous and excited and most of all, deeply honored to be standing here with you and for you on this beautiful, momentous day.
Over the past few weeks, as Spring turned toward Summer and graduation neared, I have found myself looking back—almost obsessively—over the past months and years, trying to make sense of the time. I’m guessing some of you have been doing this, too. The passage of time---or more specifically, the way our experiences get tangled up in time---is mysterious. When I began teaching here at Brookstone three years ago, you had only recently left behind your freshman year; now, after what seems “like no time at all,” you’re leaping out into the world in every direction. My oldest son turned six two days ago (his birthday party is later today), but somehow, before I know it, as we say, Silas will be where you are, all grown up and ready to begin pursuing his own way. Your parents and family members, who remember the six-year-old-you “like it was yesterday,” understand this strange, bittersweet zooming-by of time more than anyone else today, but to some degree, you have experienced it, too.
Where does all of the time go? To what do all of our experiences and memories add up? How can we keep track and make sense of everything we’ve been through?
One of the ways we mark time is through objects, things that we save or give as gifts, tangible stuff that becomes special because it is correlated to meaningful events or people or periods of life, and I’d like to spend a few minutes reminiscing about some things that I associate with you guys. Graduating students, you already know what I’m about to say all too well, but I need to explain, or rather confess, to the other folks in the room that I have a sort of “pack-rat” affliction. I save things with a vengeance. If for some reason you’d like confirmation of what I’ve just said, please ask my wife Erin, and then enjoy the groan or laugh that follows.
For that matter, some of you may be groaning or laughing yourselves, because you know that my classroom here at Brookstone is a testament to my habit: a rock from a creek in Tennessee, an abstract black-and-white misprint from the photocopier, a student’s random doodle, a strikingly blue-colored sheet of paper—these are only a few of my room’s many “furnishings.” There are more sentimental objects, too, like the “JOHN HARKEY” nameplate my late grandfather used to have on his desk at the Southern Bell Telephone Company, and several things specifically connected to those of you I taught in 10th grade: for example, this handwritten, collaborative timeline you made, and, this stack of letters about yourselves, which many of you wrote to me during your first week in my English class. The “Letter to Your Teacher” assignment was one of many that Mr. Lundy, who was teaching the other sections of Sophomore English, generously shared with me. I saved those letters, of course. The letters were and still are wonderful: sincere, detailed, funny, and thoughtful. I’ve been re-reading them over the past week. Thank you for writing those letters. I will always keep and treasure them.
Two of my favorite reasons to save things are to re-use them in some way or to give them away as gifts, and two students recently brought me a lot of joy by doing those very things: Daniel Amos retrieved this vivid abstract drawing that he had saved since 8th grade (!), because he realized that it would be perfect for his Dante’s Inferno book cover. And A.J. Harris, out of the blue, presented me with the very special gift of one of his own pairs of Jordan shoes, which I’m actually wearing right now.
            There’s one more saved object that I need to mention that ties these object-meditations together. It’s something all of you will recognize: my “ASSEMBLAGE” sign. For those who aren’t familiar, an assemblage is a sculptural artwork cobbled together from disparate materials, often fragments or scraps. And so this sign itself is also an assemblage. I pieced this sign-slash-artwork together about 21 years ago, during high school, at the prompting of my art teacher, Mrs. Gilkeson, who then hung it in her room. It stayed there for 16 years, at which point we crossed paths again, and she excitedly took it down and insisted I have it. Currently, it hangs right at the front of my classroom, not mainly as a relic from the old days, but because, when the sign was returned to me, I realized how central the assemblage concept had become to my thinking about human experience and human endeavors, from memory and emotion to writing and art to work habits and social dynamics.
            So the first good word I want to give to you, graduates—more a word of reassurance than of advice—is this: recognize that everything you see when each of you “looks back” over your time at Brookstone—all of the ideas, relationships, skills, habits, experiences, whether trivial-seeming or sentimental, and even actual things, that have accumulated around you, make up a kind of kinetic assemblage that you will take with you going forward, for the rest of your lives.
As I think back to the Fall of 2014, when my family and I moved to Columbus and I began teaching at Brookstone, a vast collection of memories and associations jumps to mind. I remember Frank Waldrep insisting that he wanted me to call him “Franklin.” I remember Corey playing the villain in the Homecoming video. I remember the nervous excitement of beginning to coach basketball, my favorite sport, and the sport my dad also played and coached. In particular, I’ll never forget the sharp feeling of pride and gratitude when some of you started directly addressing me as “coach” in the hallways. I remember the group of guys noticing, out the window, and being completely confused by the fact that my ancient two-door Honda had a trailer hitch on it (Rest in Power, little Civic). I remember Hugh Page’s game-winning three against Central. I remember your candid Catcher in the Rye journals and your fun, cool, wacky Devil in the White City projects. I remember traveling to my old high school, where I ran hurdles, to watch Wesley Tillman run hurdles at the Sectionals meet. And I remember countless other spots of time and flickering images from that year and from the two years since then.
The assemblage of moments from this year is extra vivid to me, and I’m sure it’s even more vivid for each of you. The vivid yet flickering quality of these moments makes me think of the day we had to pause poetry class because the sun was shooting through my classroom window, reflecting off of a pink spirit ribbon, and throwing a cosmic, colored reflection onto the whiteboard, a reflection that morphed and danced when we moved the ribbon.
When I think of the past three years I have spent with you, the strongest general memory is of the unbelievable support and love I have felt from the Brookstone community. You all, of course, were very much a part of that. You accepted me into your world; shared your lives with me; and continually showed me patience and understanding as I adjusted to my new role and environment. So I want to say thank you, Class of 2017, each and all, for your support then and over the next two years, too. I know each of you, also, has experienced the care and practical help of your Brookstone family in various ways. Don’t forget all of those moments and relationships.
            As a way of pivoting from looking back to looking forward, I want to point out a strange coincidence, something I’m sure none of you realized when you chose me to speak today: I graduated from high school exactly 20 years ago. Furthermore, I gave a speech at my graduation, a speech that could be boiled down to a pretentious, incorrect use of the word “bereft,” a rather clich├ęd plea for the Class of ‘97 to carpe the ol’ diem, and a mistaken reading of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” which ends with lines “I took the road less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference.” (Ask me to explain that mistaken reading later, if you’re interested.) Needless to say, having this opportunity to do a “Graduate Advice 2.0” 20 years later is an especially exciting thing.
Now, we’ve finally arrived at the point in this speech where I will really unleash the imperatives, but before I offer my own words of advice, I thought you guys might like to hear what my boys Silas (6) and Ephraim (4) had to say. I explained to them what graduation means, and then asked them what they thought I should tell you:
You should be prepared; it's a whole new level. You should take pictures of college to show your parents. You should get really nice friends. You should be tough. You should follow the rules. Make sure you bring all your pencils. Make sure you focus. Make sure you work good. Make sure you write good words.
“How about things they shouldn’t do?” I asked.
Don’t be mean. Don’t get into trouble. Don't forget all your things at home. And, finally: Don’t wear stinky socks.
OK, now that you’ve heard from my boys, I’ll chime in with my two cents, which in this case, happens to take the form of a small bundle of four intertwined Urgent Recommendations (I certainly don’t want to call them rules). Whatever I call them, they are aimed at combatting inertia, selfishness, confusion, and bitterness. These negative forces always haunt the paths ahead of us, but they seem to be so much more prevalent in the world we live in right now.
Recommendation one: BE CURIOUS. In other words, be open, attentive, observant. Look for nuances and complexities underneath surfaces. Being curious means being unsure. Curiosity leads to new interests and enthusiasms. It is the essence of true thoughtfulness, because it involves wonder, inquiry, and investigation. Furthermore, there’s an ethical dimension to true curiosity, because when eagerly listening and waiting, you are necessarily humble, accepting, knowing, that you don’t yet understand some given subject, some given reality, but wanting to understand. Ultimately, curiosity is an antidote to boredom, arrogance, and rigidity.
            Two: BE CREATIVE. This one naturally flows from the preceding value, because curiosity always leads you beyond mere productivity, mere efficiency and use-value. By creativity, I do not mean “artistic talent” or “artsiness.” Being creative just means building things. In this sense, creating is the opposite of consuming, which we all get far too caught up in, so I say to you, make stuff. Build birdhouses, essays, businesses, solutions, apps, families, movements, blanket forts, etc.
            Recommendation three: WORK HARD. Now I know you’ve heard this one all your life, but I want to give it a different spin today. Hard work should be good work, not frantic or fanatical but rather steadfast, exploratory, creative. As you create, work hard, and when you work hard, be creative. Do it yourself; tinker; improvise; find new ways to do things. Thoreau wrote “I would have each person be very careful to find out and pursue his (or her) own way,” and this carefulness—as opposed to carelessness or not caring—is what I mean by good, hard work. In whatever tasks or labors you encounter over the next few years, take care to do a good job.
And finally, my fourth Urgent Recommendation: BE KIND, which is the highest and most important of the four little rules I have to offer to you today, because it expressly concerns how you interact with people. Politeness is good, but really caring about the people you interact with is far better, for more vital. Kindness is simply behavior that demonstrates that you really care about someone. Unfortunately, kindness is terribly underrated today; it is considered “soft” or “weak,” when in fact it has direct, clear, powerful effects on anyone involved in its transactions. Kindness dislodges you from your ego, because you are looking to make someone else feel better. I can’t state the matter any better than Mr. Lundy did in last year’s Baccalaureate speech, where he said simply, “Put kindness and compassion for others above everything else that you do.” Thinking about the power of kindness brings to mind the moment in Carsen Storey’s Deliberate Life speech when she suddenly declared that true leadership comes from love. Kindness is also connected to respect, one of the Brookstone values, along with loyalty, that you chose as especially important to your class. True respect and loyalty, of course, which do not merely come from obedience and stubborn allegiance, are rooted in care and often take the form of kindness. (I happen to know that our next speaker has some incredibly insightful things to say about respect and loyalty, by the way, so I’m going to let him focus his attention there.)
The final word I want to offer you today is one that I think encapsulates the four values I just mentioned. In fact it is indeed a single word: “Heart,” as in “That kid has so much heart!” or “She’s all heart” or “Give it all your heart!” Someone who really has “heart” is likely to be curious, creative, hardworking, and kind. In effect, this quality parallels the concept of “ethos,” which I know all of you remember from discussions of rhetoric: both words refer to an overall sense of someone’s character, honor, and trustworthiness, a sense of real, deep care. I know you have encountered many, many people at Brookstone who are marked by these traits. I want to suggest to you that this quality of “heart” is not abstract and static, but rather that it is intensely dynamic. Students of the Class of 2017, you have so much heart already, and I hope you will continue to strive for and cultivate it. If you do, it will give you a compassionate, steadfast way of moving through time; it will give shape and force and clarity to your life.
Speaking of clarity, almost exactly two years ago, on a whim, I photocopied a small, haiku-like poem by Lorine Niedecker onto sheets of yellow paper, and then chopped those sheets into rectangular blocks. Some of you may remember me passing out these little bookmark mementos as you exited your final English exams sophomore year, and others will recall reading this yellow-sheet poem at the beginning of the Whitman and Dickinson seminar. The poem, in its entirety, reads:
            Fog-thick morning
            I see only
where I now walk. I carry
                        my clarity
            with me.

The more I have read and thought about this little text, the more it has become a touchstone in my mind for thinking about character: “I carry my clarity with me.” This simple, declarative sentence subtly transforms into a mystical motto. It is clear that she is not speaking of physical vision, and that “with me” really means “within me.” The “clarity” Niedecker claims is essentially what I would call ethos and heart and honor—an internal, calm, vital, working sense of who you are. The clarity she means is not exact, perfect knowledge but simply an ability to exist within and to navigate foggy days, and, my friends, we live in a noisy, foggy time.
Brookstone’s Class of 2017, you are and will forever be the first high school students that I taught, got to know as a whole grade, and watched graduate. In my mind, we have a lifetime bond. When I received my schedule three years ago, as a new teacher, it was mostly sophomore classes, and I heard a few comments like “whew, that class is a handful!” You know what, in certain ways they were right, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. From the reserved, steady, quieter ones among you to the hilarious, fun-loving, extroverted ones to  everyone in between, as a group you were and still are dynamic, diverse, and brimming with both expected and unexpected talents and accomplishments. It has been such a pleasure to get to know you over the past few years and to see you mature and arrive at this point today. Again, thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your lives. Please know that I care deeply about each one of you, that I will always be rooting for each of you, and that I can’t wait to hear about the complex, unpredictable, wonderful lives each one of you will lead. In the coming months and years, I hope you will carry and cherish your dynamic assemblage of memories from Brookstone and from all the other forces that have shaped your life so far. More importantly, I hope you will “carry your clarity with you.” Friends, as you go forth, take care and take heart, and that will make all the difference.