New year brings new faces to the Brookwood family

Submitted photoNew faculty and staff at Brookwood School for the 2019-20 school year are, front row, left to right: Mrs. Mona Lewis, Mrs. Felicia Baggett, Mrs. Amanda Hanke, Mrs. Sharon Simmons, Mrs. Lauren Ezell, and Mrs. Robyn Duncan; second row: Mr. Lucas Ogden-Davis, Mrs. Kristen McCarthy, Mrs. Julia Taylor, Ms. Danyelle Copeland, and Mr. Terry Howell. Not pictured: Mrs. Jill Richardson.

THOMASVILLE — The 2019-2020 school year brings several new faculty members to Brookwood, as well as new roles for some returning faculty. 

Several new faces will join the Lower School team at Brookwood. Mrs. Julia Taylor comes to Brookwood as a third-grade teacher after spending a decade teaching in Leon County. Mrs. Felicia Baggett, formerly of Harper Elementary, has been hired as a teacher’s assistant for kindergarten; Mrs. Robyn Duncan and Mrs. Lauren Ezell are new teacher’s assistants for first grade; and Mrs. Kristen McCarthy will be the new teacher’s assistant for the third grade class. Ms. Lily Vann-Womack will also join the faculty as an assistant with the Warriors After School program. 

“I am especially looking forward to having the freedom and flexibility to really make learning fun for (my students),” Taylor says of her new role. “I’m excited to be able to bring in all sorts of resources to enhance their learning.” 

Faculty shifting roles in the Lower School include Mrs. Jill Richardson and Mrs. Sharon Simmons, who both are moving from a substitute role to a full-time teacher’s assistant; and Mrs. Rachelle Hester, who is taking charge of Brookwood’s after-school programs in addition to her administrative role. Ms. Danyelle Copeland is also moving from a teacher’s assistant role into a position as a lead kindergarten teacher. 

“I am excited to help the students learn and grow in their everyday learning environment,” Copeland says. “I love inspiring the joy of learning. I can’t wait for the smiles and eager brains!” 

In the Middle and Upper Schools, Mr. Terry Howell and Mrs. Mona Lewis are both former Brookwood faculty who are returning to the school after stints teaching elsewhere. Howell will teach Middle and Upper School math, and Lewis will teach ninth grade English, tenth grade Writing Lab and the Journalism class responsible for the production of the annual yearbook. 

“At Brookwood, we have a mixture of teachers who have spent the balance of their careers teaching at Brookwood, as well as those who are newer to our school community,” remarked Headmaster Dr. Randy Watts. “We also have several teachers who have risen to the challenge of new positions this year. Finally, it has been heartening to have a few teachers — Mrs. Lewis and Mr. Howell — return to Brookwood after a period of time elsewhere. This is a great place to teach and learn, and I believe that this is one example of that. I have joked with them that the gravitational pull of Brookwood School is really strong!” 

Two faculty changes come as part of Brookwood’s commitment to strengthening the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) curriculum. New faculty member Mr. Lucas Ogden-Davis will teach Upper School computer science, which is a new course at Brookwood, and Mrs. Amanda Hanke, who has been a teaching assistant at Brookwood for two years, will now be the lead Middle School STEAM teacher. 

“I am very excited to be implementing even more hands-on lab experiences for the students,” Hanke says. “In addition to that, I will get to work with all divisions to bring STEAM into classrooms across the curriculum.” 

In the athletic department, Mrs. Kacey Oliver joins Brookwood as the assistant cheerleading coach, and Mrs. Brooke Crocker, a Junior Kindergarten teacher, will step into the role of head cheerleading coach. 

Brookwood’s Director of College Counseling, Ms. Kim Lord, is also taking on new volunteer roles with state and regional organizations for college counseling. She serves as the communications liaison for the state of Georgia for the Southern Association for College Admissions Counseling and is a content editor for the communications committee for Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools. 

“We are excited to have these talented educational leaders join our strong and seasoned faculty,” stated Watts. 

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