HIES Torchbearer Summer 2021

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HEAD OF SCHOOL Paul A. Barton BOARD OF TRUSTEES Dr. Michael B. Stewart, Chairman of the Board Mr. Pickens M. Lindsay, Vice Chairman Mrs. Jolie Maxwell, Secretary Mr. Neil L. Pruitt Jr., Treasurer Mr. Paul A. Barton, Head of School Mrs. Allison Bittel Mr. Kevin L. Brown Mr. David Calhoun Mr. Ryan Cameron Mr. Rakesh Chauhan Mr. Richard Courts Mr. Robert L. Cullens Jr. Mrs. Helen Donahue Mr. James Gates Mrs. Heather Henn Mrs. Leigh S. Jackson Mr. David Love Mr. Peter J. Mace Mr. Ian A. Marshall Mr. Mike C. McMillen Mrs. Lorin Middelthon Mr. Mark Miles The Rev. Dr. William S. Murray IV Mrs. Kristin W. Roch Mr. F. Neal Sumter III The Rev. C. John Thompson-Quartey Mrs. Donna T. Toledo B


ALUMNI ADVISORY BOARD Jackson Davis ‘09, President Laura Phillips Green ’04, President Elect Jessica Bailey ‘10 Christine Dial Buckler ‘10 Sean Butkus ‘07 Michael Griffin ‘00 Julie Walker Grigsby ‘91 Kelly Voyles Kardian ‘91 John Mitchell ‘09 Lily Rolader Baucom ‘11 Cara Puckett Roxland ‘01 Andy Stroman ‘08 O’Neal Wanliss ‘11

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EDITOR Andrew Payne




DIRECTOR OF INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT Michele Duncan michele.duncan@hies.org


CONTRIBUTORS Whitney Meadows design Dunn Neugebauer writer


Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School develops in students a love of learning, respect for self and others, faith in God, and a sense of service to the world community.

Shanon Bell photography Holli Wilkins photography Tim Williams illustration


TA B L E O F Over the course of the 2020-2021 school year, the new Upper School Humanities building has risen from clay to nearly complete.

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Q & A WITH DR. MICHAEL STEWART After 30 years of service to HIES, our outgoing chair of the Board of Trustees takes time to reflect.

RETIRING TEACHERS We bid farewell to longtime teachers and staff with a combined 130 years of service to HIES.

NURSE HEROES The role of school nurse took a dramatic turn this year with COVID-19, contact tracing and new protocols.


Dr. Jamie Fleming’s ’ 96 enduring spirit shines through in her many pursuits.

3 State of the School // 4 Our Time Capital Campaign // 5 Distinguished Service Award 14 Class of 2021 // 19 Alumni Notes // 26 The Final Word 1


PAUL BARTON HEAD OF SCHOOL On a perfect Saturday morning May 15, families gathered excitedly on Baker Field, soon-to-be graduates nervously huddled in the gym, including my own son, Sam, with the new Humanities building behind us, awaiting completion this summer and opening this fall. Reaching this point during a normal year is always a wonderful accomplishment but achieving this milestone during a year of COVID-19 protocols, as well as numerous changes and adjustments, makes me even more proud. In times of such uncertainty, it is good to remember the simple and profound wisdom of one of America’s greatest educators, Mister Rogers. He once said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Never has such sage advice been more true than this past year. There were plenty of scary things in the news and in social media. And yet we didn’t have to look far to find our helpers. Despite the many obstacles and challenges that were thrown in our path, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School delivered on its mission, served its students, and had one of the most successful and productive years in the history of our school – thanks to the many extraordinary “helpers” in our community. From the moment our school was founded 62 years ago with 70 primary school students, our faculty and staff have always been the heart and soul of our school. They execute the mission and live out our Episcopal 2


ethos of honoring the worth and dignity of every human being. While I have always been humbled and honored to be part of such a group of extraordinary professionals, this year was truly something special. They enabled us to provide in-person instruction and remote instruction to 1,350 students ... day after day, week after week, month after month, for an entire school year during a global pandemic. Athletics competed and completed one of our most successful years ever. Fine Arts never missed a beat practicing and performing outside and creating a new pop-up amphitheater in our Middle School turnaround. I cannot fully describe the magnitude of this accomplishment, nor can I adequately thank all the people it took to accomplish it. The level of commitment, courage and resilience cannot be overstated. The only way I can begin to explain it is to say that our faculty and staff view what they do more as a vocation than a job. These “helpers” recognized what our kids needed and made sure our kids (whether on campus or at home) continued to grow academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually. A global pandemic could not derail our plans to build an even brighter future for Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. Many institutions that were in the middle of capital campaigns simply shut down fundraising and paused all projects. But the vision of our board of trustees, the commitment of our volunteers and the incredible generosity of our donors would not be deterred. We moved ahead with the Our Time Capital Campaign

and the construction of the new Humanities building. To date we have raised almost $31 million, will cut the ribbon on a stunning new Upper School building and will promptly begin construction of our new Lower School. It takes a very special group of “helpers” to see past a pandemic, to proceed to raise more money than our school has ever raised, and to add over 100,000 square feet of state-ofthe-art academic space. It takes a special community to meet the extraordinary needs of our students and families in the present while at the same time building for a future that will serve the needs of many generations to come.

Mister Rogers went on to say that when we stay focused on the “helpers” during trying times we remain forever hopeful that better days lie ahead. Scripture reminds us that in the end, it is faith, hope and love that will remain. And the greatest of these is love. Thank you for the many, many “helpers” who kept the faith, inspired hope and never stopped loving the Holy Innocents’ community. Thanks to the efforts of all of us we didn’t just survive this past year, but we truly thrived. We grew in empathy, compassion, and gratitude. #805Pride It’s a beautiful day in the Golden Bear Nation neighborhood! Thank you for being our neighbor and neighbor to one another. Go Bears!



State of the school

n the annual State of the School address held virtually on April 14, 2021, Head of School Paul Barton and Dr. Michael Stewart, chair of the Board of Trustees, reported on the current school year.

Faculty modified their teaching for both in-person and online delivery. Fine Arts faculty re-crafted practices and performances. Sports teams altered their practices and games.

Following an opening prayer by the Rev. David Wagner, Middle School chaplain, Dr. Stewart opened by saying, “Were we celebrating this event as we have in years past, we would be serving lemonade because life handed us bushels of lemons in 2020.”

“This community has answered the call, risen to the challenge and delivered on our mission in a way none of us will forget and all of us are incredibly grateful for,” he said. “Thank you for keeping the faith and finishing the race.”

He praised the school faculty for their focus and creativity over the past year. “Through all the adversity we have found opportunity. Our students were able to thrive,” he said. Mr. Barton extended thanks to school leaders, faculty, students and parents for their hard work, patience and support that allowed school to open and remain open this year. School nurses and counselors saw their roles change in critical ways.

Many issues arose this year with cancellations, changes, contact tracing, quarantines and adjustments. “Each time we got back up, dusted ourselves off, focused on the mission that unites us and the values that define us and kept moving forward,” Mr. Barton said. With multiple accomplishments in academics, athletics and the arts, and with school events and celebrations taking place almost as usual, the completion of the year is a victory for all.

And with the end of the 2020-2021 year comes the completion of the Senior Class of 2021’s academic journey with HIES as well. These 136 seniors earned acceptances at 170 colleges across the country and will attend 64 different colleges and universities, amongst the broadest range in HIES history. Eighteen graduates will participate in NCAA athletics and seven graduates intend to study the visual and performing arts. “While we are so excited for the places they will venture off to, we are most proud of the kind of human beings they are and we are grateful for all these Golden Bears have contributed to our community over the years,” Mr. Barton said. “This school year will no doubt go down in HI history as one of our proudest moments, a year when our community came together like never before to deliver our mission against all odds.”




Our Time Capital Campaign Reaches next phase Over the course of this school year – a unique one in itself – the HIES community has witnessed the construction of the new Upper School Humanities Building. The finishing touches will be completed this summer and the new building will open as scheduled in August 2021. This 60,000 SF, light-filled building will welcome the largest Upper School enrollment in HIES history and will provide outstanding instructional spaces, new offices for the Upper School and College Counseling departments, and a new Campus Shop. This summer will bring demolition of the existing Lower School building and the shift of Lower School classrooms to the Riley and Groesbeck buildings. Construction of the new 42,000 SF Lower School will take place during the 20212022 school year and will welcome students in the fall of 2022. Over 60 percent of HIES families have committed to the Our Time campaign, raising more than $31 million despite the challenges and uncertainty faced due to the pandemic. But the campaign goal has not yet been reached; the opportunity to participate in our school’s largest campaign in history is open to all. Pledges can be completed over three years and every gift will impact HIES students for decades to come. On behalf of HIES students, faculty and community, thank you for your belief and support! Visit ourtimecampaign.com to make your gift or pledge or contact Michele Duncan at (404) 847-1153 or michele.duncan@hies.org with any questions. 4


Tom Bell 2021 DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD Tom Bell has been called “a force for good” for Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. Using his position in the community, Mr. Bell helped the school make connections for the school, recruited new additions to the Board of Trustees and Board of Advisors, and enhanced its overall standing. At the time of the One School Campaign, Mr. Bell helped to garner donations from area foundations as well as individuals. As Chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Metro Chamber and many other organizations, his stature in the community helped HIES make connections in the larger Atlanta area. As a helpful voice on the Board, Mr. Bell chaired the Finance Committee for six years and was instrumental in finding financial support for HI families who struggled during the 2008 recession. He was a great counselor during the leadership transition that ultimately brought Paul Barton to the headship of HIES. As the parent of Kevin ’11 and Hannah ’13, his interest in HIES was, and is, personal. Mr. Bell and his wife Jennifer are lifetime donors to HIES and continue to support the school. Tom Bell became Chairman of Mesa Capital Partners in May 2011. Prior to Mesa Capital Partners, Bell served as Chairman and CEO of Cousins Properties, an Atlanta-based REIT that developed and owned commercial and residential properties throughout the Sun Belt. He was named Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Cousins Properties in January 2001, President and CEO in January 2002, and Chairman of the Board in December 2006. Tom retired as Chairman and CEO in July 2009. Prior to his years at Cousins Properties, Tom spent 10 years at Young & Rubicam, a global advertising and marketing communications firm, retiring as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer when it merged with WPP. Before becoming Chairman of Young & Rubicam

Inc., he served as Chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Advertising and as CEO of BursonMarsteller and Young & Rubicam’s Diversified Communications Group. During his career, Tom has served as a member of the Board of Directors of 14 NYSE companies. He presently serves on the boards of Southern Company Gas, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Emory University, and Skyland Trail. During the Reagan administration, Mr. Bell chaired the Committee on the Next Agenda, which focused on prioritizing issues for President Reagan’s second term. He also chaired the Workforce 2000 Advisory Committee for the U.S. Secretary of Labor. Early in his career, Tom served as Chief of Staff for former U.S. Senator William Brock (R-Tenn). Throughout his 50-year career, Mr. Bell has held other senior positions in business and government, including Vice Chairman of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Executive Vice President of Ball Corporation, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hudson Institute, the 2010-2011 Chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Chairman of the Board for the Center for Naval Analysis. He received an undergraduate degree from St. John’s University. Mr. Bell was introduced by Jim Hannan, HIES parent, honorary chair of the Our Time campaign and member of the Board of Advisors. In accepting the Distinguished Service Award, Mr. Bell reflected on his history with the school and the hard work of many to build upon the great foundation of the school. “Holy Innocents’ focuses on searching out the strength of each student,” he said. “It is a great honor to be recognized by this fine institution.”




On April 29, an event was held for Dr. Michael Stewart to recognize him for his years of service to HIES. Dr. Stewart has served on the HIES Board of Trustees for seven years, five of those as Board Chair. He and his wife Dr. Melisa RathburnStewar are the parents of two proud alumni, Tyler ’05 and Alexis ’12. He has been involved with Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School and Church for more than 30 years. It is impossible to summarize his countless contributions to our community. During his tenure as chair, we have launched and completed the largest and most transformational campaign in the school’s history resulting in more than 100,000 square feet of new academic space and almost 2 acres of additional green space. He played an invaluable role in helping the school and the church come together and revise our bylaws, effectively strengthening both institutions. Under his leadership, we passed the school’s five-year strategic plan, providing a clear vision and concrete steps to more deeply live out our mission and identity. Holy Innocents’ has never had a stronger champion and a more enthusiastic cheerleader! Dr. Stewart recently spoke with the Torchbearer about his tenure. Q: It seems that the Stewart-Rathburn family has been around Holy Innocents’ for many years. Can you provide us a timeline?

this period of the global economic collapse that Alumni Hall was acquired and renovated and the plans were set for the STEM Building under Michele Duncan’s leadership.

A: As with much of my life, there is a story to tell. I joined HIEC and was confirmed in 1988 and became familiar with the school when I met Meg Frederick, then head of the Preschool, in our practice at about the same time. In 1990, when Tyler was four years old, Missy and I made the decision that this was the type of environment and Meg and her team were the type of people we wanted to educate and nurture our son. Alexis was enrolled seven years later after a stellar interview.

Alexis graduated in 2012. There were tearful hugs, good-byes and “we’re going to miss you’s.” It was in October, as empty-nesters, that we realized that we missed HIES too. We went back as “parents of alumni” and made a gift to the One School Campaign as an expression of gratitude for what the school had done for our children.

Both children, although unique in their own ways, thrived at HIES. During Middle School, John Harman, a Middle School Principal, took an interest in Tyler and began to “coach him up” in life skills. He learned that if you wanted something, you had to work for it and if you needed help, there was a proper way to ask. Our somewhat shy adolescent developed into a leader in his class and in the Upper School. Alexis quickly broke out of Tyler’s shadow and became a scholar and leader as well. Each eventually enrolled at the University of Virginia. Tyler majored in History and Religious Studies and Alexis received a degree in Systems Engineering. Thanks to HIES, both were extremely well prepared for their academic careers. During Alexis’s high school years, Missy served on the Board and also chaired the Development Committee. It was during 6


A year later, I was invited to join the board and served on the Facilities Committee as the STEM building was coming out of the ground. It was exciting to see what our community could achieve as it came together with generosity aided by a recovering economy. Not long into my board tenure, I was invited to dinner with Paul Barton and Bruce Ford, then Chair of the Board. As I left home, Missy warned me, “they’re going to ask you to chair a committee, that’s how these things work.” I returned how a few hours later to see her in the same chair. “Well, was I right?” I nodded affirmatively. “Which one?”, she asked. Still numb from the invitation I responded, “all of them!” And so it began. Bruce became my mentor and friend. I served for a year as Vice Chair. Early on, he admitted that when he became Chairman, “I had no idea what I was doing.” From that point, I knew I could duplicate his service.

Seriously, I owe Bruce and Paul a huge debt of gratitude. With their encouragement and mentoring, my service on the board added a depth of purpose to my life that I otherwise would not have experienced. Q: Seven years on the board is a long tenure. What do you feel are the most meaningful changes at the school in that time? A: It’s not hard to find bright spots. First of all, Paul Barton arrived as I joined the board. His vision, energy and leadership have been transformational. I have often said, “we are not today what we were ten years ago and we’ll not be in ten years what we are today.” There have been many improvements to the leadership team, faculty and business practices that put us in the strongest position in the history of the school. The collaborative leadership between the Rev. Dr. Bill Murray of the church, Paul and the board have given us new bylaws which allowed us the assemble our strongest board ever. Thoughtful leaders from the church and school crafted the document which will benefit both institutions for decades. You can’t look back without acknowledging the shadow of the pandemic. Only a year into Our Time, in-person learning was shut down and the campaign was forced to pause, but our vision was not lost. We had already received generous support from many supporters of the school and had achieved momentum supporting the construction of the Humanities Building. Led by the strong urging of Neil Pruitt, treasurer, and persistent optimism of Mike McMillen, trustee, the board voted to move ahead with construction when much of the world stood still. This was the best decision we could have made. The building will be finished this summer and the Lower School will be built in the next year. Both projects are critical to fulfilling the mission of providing world-class facilities for our learners and teachers.

Dr. Michael Stewart with his children Alexis and Tyler and wife Dr. Melisa Rathburn-Stewart.

The Rt. Rev Rob Wright, Bishop of Atlanta, Paul Barton and Dr. Stewart.

Q: Thanks for the look-back, now let’s pivot to the future. What do you see on the horizon for HI as the construction dust settles? A: It’s always more difficult to predict the future than analyze the past. None of us knows what opportunities or challenges lie ahead, but I am confident that HI will still be here and will be stronger in 30 years because of what we have done today. Remaining true to our Episcopal identity and holding fast to those values will allow us to make decisions (some difficult, no doubt) to continue to serve our community. Missy and I will continue to have a stake in HIES. Our granddaughter, Charlotte, has been assured an interview for admission to the primary school in the fall of 2024. We look forward to remaining active at the school and providing an “institutional memory” when helpful. 

Jolie Maxwell, Dr. Stewart and Neal Sumter. TORCHBEARER | THE HIES ALUMNI MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2021




farewells by Dunn Neugebauer




An outstanding 30-year journey is coming to an end, as Gera-Lu Crumpler has announced her retirement following the 2020-2021 school year.

The Primary School will be missing an angel next school year, as Toni Fowler is stepping down after 28 years.

She has been involved in our HIES family in many capacities – she began as a parent and a volunteer, which led to the last 23 years as an employee. Her major responsibilities over the years included Calendar Coordinator and the Director of Community Affairs.  “It has been a profound privilege to be a part of this caring community, and it is my sincere hope that HIES will continue to honor its past, celebrate its present and embrace its future,” Ms. Crumpler said. “I will continue to follow, with great interest and affection, this place that has been such a part of my life and that of my family.”

Looking back, her thoughts on the Holy Innocents’ family are perhaps best summed by her favorite quote by Helen Keller, which says, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt in the heart.”

She successfully juggled being an asset to HIES while raising a family. Gralyn and Raine (1996) and Alex (2002) all went through the Golden Bear chain and were integral cogs in the HIES wheel while here.

When asked of her favorite memories, she was at a loss for words, but not because there weren’t any, but instead quite the opposite. “Once one of our students was playing school and was asked who the teacher was going to be. The girl said, ‘Mrs. Fowler,’ and pointed to a Wonder Woman doll.”

Through it all, she is remembered here for not only her above work, but her smile and embracing disposition as she graced our hallways. Colleague and friend Kay Wright put it this way:

“All in all, I have made great friends here – ones that were there when we laughed, but also, during the sad times I always knew I had special angels that were helping me,” she said.

“Gera-Lu is a woman of her word. When she says ‘no,’ she means ‘no.’ However, when she has the opportunity to help, she will be your greatest supporter. I have worked with her for 15 years and it is her dry sense of humor that stands out. When she calls to ask me a question about an event, I have to take a minute to determine if she is joking. After I do this and stop laughing, we move on and have a serious conversation. She has been a great coworker and I will miss her wit and friendship.”

This worked both ways, as helping people – kids, friends and co-workers alike – were just some of the things Ms. Fowler did during her successful tenure.

As for Ms. Crumpler, she looks back with a smile, and in doing so quotes one of her lifetime favorites – Winnie the Pooh – when doing so. “How lucky I am to have something makes saying goodbye so hard.” The sadness is mutual, though the times were good ones! 8

During her long but fruitful years with HIES, she has been a jack of all trades, as she has been a 3-year-old teacher and a Pre-K teacher, and served in the bookstore. If this wasn’t enough, she also had involvement in the testing for the new students.


“I truly love this school,” she said. “I will miss the children who bring joy to my heart every day, and on some days more than others. Even after I’ve left here, though, I will always be a part of the Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School family, as it’s been such a major part of my life.” It is the mutual love that kept a steady bounce to Ms. Fowler’s step as she graced our campus. And though she has aged in years, it was and is her working with the kids that has kept her young at heart and young in spirit.   “I was young when I started working here and now, I am old. Still, I will never grow up!” she said.



We bid our fondest goodbyes to Anne Jackson after 34 years at Holy Innocents’.

Debby McCarty, after 10 years at Holy Innocents’, is riding off into the sunset after a great career with HIES. Debby leaves with, not only a great resume in education, but an equally as impressive one as an elected official.

Anne completed 41 years total in teaching – she taught in the Atlanta Public Schools and founded the French program for MacClay in Tallahassee, Fla., before coming to HIES and founding the French program in 1975. She retired a couple of times to raise her family, but fortunately she returned again and again to our family. “Alice Malcolm hired me three times,” Ms. Jackson said with a laugh. She also worked under Heads of School Del Coggins, Sue Groesbeck, Kirk Duncan, Gene Bratek and now Paul Barton. While serving under Mrs. Malcolm, Ms. Jackson was president of the Parents’ Association, which helped raise funds to establish the Upper School. If this wasn’t enough, she and her husband volunteered with the Development Department and traveled to homes for potential donations. “Alice once said to me, ‘Fundraising should also be friend making.’” Ms. Jackson currently serves as 8th grade Dean as well as 8th grade French teacher. “I have so many wonderful memories,” she said. “I taught my son, James, for two years when I was the only Middle School French teacher at the time. It was a great experience which led to many funny stories. One student asked me in class what I would do if James misbehaved or made a bad grade. “Are you going to have a conference with yourself ?” “Pretty much,” I replied. She also worked in Admissions in 1982 where she did interviews and served on the Admissions Committee for many years. “I treasure those many visits with the prospective students,” she said. She was also honored to be asked to serve on the Search Committee for the new Head of School, where she and Meg Frederick and were the first teachers to serve in that capacity. “And we were fortunate to find Paul Barton,” she said. “Also, serving as 8th grade Dean and teacher has been a gift for me. The students and my faculty friends and principals have taught me so much over the years. I have worn many hats and have loved every minute. I will truly miss this community.”

At HI, she taught mostly 7th grade American History, but also Service Learning and World Geography. “My goal has always been to inspire the next generation of leadership in public service,” Ms. McCarty said. Before she came to HIES, she served for 16 years as an elected official; she was with the Atlanta City Council, was the Commissioner of Parks, Recreations & Cultural Affairs for five years – also in this capacity at the City of Atlanta; spent six years as Executive Director of Research Atlanta, seven as an Adjunct at the Candler School of Theology at Emory and served for 29 years as an attorney. If all this didn’t keep her busy enough, she is a devoted wife to John Myer for 30 years and, as for “her most important career,” she is a mother to four sons; three of them are Eagle Scouts and there will soon be a fourth.  Her memories are far and wide, but one that stands out was “teaching a decade of 7th graders to spell the right to bear arms – as in ‘B-E-A-R’ – like Higby), rather than “B-A-R-E.” Middle School Principal Dr. Nigel Traylor expressed his appreciation for Ms. McCarty and her years here. “Ms. McCarty has served our HIES Middle School in the history department for a number of successful years,” he said. “She has truly made an impact on her students, and we are very happy to celebrate her retirement. The Middle School is very grateful for her time with us here at Holy Innocents’.” As for Ms. McCarty, she viewed her days with our Holy Innocents’ family with nothing but fondness when looking back. “Working with you all, I have learned so many things,” she said. “Thanks for sharing your knowledge; I will take it with me in my future adventures and I’ll still be seeing you often.” Congratulations and come visit anytime!



EILEEN THURMOND After 30 years at HIES, Eileen Thurmond has announced her retirement.  Her career has been diverse as she has worked under five heads of school and five principals, which included four buildings, six classrooms, three cafeterias and even outdoors. She started in 1991 as an assistant in the 4th and 5th grade, working under 10 teachers in the Lower School.  “Dorothy Sullivan asked me to teach 5th grade the following year, and although my experience was as a high school English teacher, I accepted the position and continued to teach 5th grade until 2005,” Ms. Thurmond said.

20 21 G old en Bea r u n - Ga l a HOLY INNOCENTS' PARENTS ASSOCIATION

Our Parents' Association organized the Golden Bear unGala, Turning the Page on March 20, 2021, raising more than $220,000 for the school in a virtual production with a live auction and online bidding. Auction items included vacations, sports events, jewelry, class baskets, artwork and much more. The school extends heartfelt gratitude to Jen Woods and Kim Busby, unGala Co-Chairs, and their hard-working and dedicated committee members Leslie Ritten, Leslie Causey, Sherry Fitch, Lisa Stivers, Kris Hroncich, Laura Peters, Stephanie Langford, Brook Wardner, Tiffany Tabler, Aimee McMillen, Heather Preston and Kerri Levitt.

One of many great memories was the traditional class trip, where they traveled five hours to Turtle Island in North Carolina. “After surviving that, we sought another experience and began the years of Nature’s Classroom in Mentone, Ala., each fall,” she said.  She was a large part of a team of 5th grade teachers performing skits and songs at camp and was also highly instrumental in the students writing and publishing The HI Bear Nation, which held membership in the National Elementary Schools Press Association. Later, they published their own literary magazine – Paw Prints.  Another highlight was working with Susie Ross on a document that earned the Lower School as a National Blue Ribbon School, which resulted in a trip to Washington, D.C. There, she attended a luncheon where President Bill Clinton spoke and Dorothy Sullivan accepted the award.




She moved to Middle School in 2005, where she went back to her roots in teaching 8th grade English, while also sponsoring student publications. “Starting out in the Riley Building and moving to the Rowan Middle School, I have seen countless middle schoolers grow and flourish here. People ask how I can teach Middle School kids and the answer is easy – I love them!”

On Monday, April 12, 2021, 124 men and women gathered on gorgeous greens at Capital City Club Brookhaven to play in the annual Holy Innocents’ Golf Tournament. The event hosted by the Holy Innocents’ Crimson and Gold Booster Club and chaired by Harris Anderson was moved to spring due to the global pandemic. Crimson and Gold raises $30,000-$40,000 each year from the generosity of families, athletic teams and corporate sponsorships.

Through it all, Ms. Thurmond has seen students and educators come and go, buildings razed and new ones built in their place, and she has witnessed every type of game, meet, pep rally, assembly, parade, play and more. Her thoughts after all this?

Crimson and Gold allocates the funds to support ALL organized team sports and many programs and initiatives, including new uniforms for cheer, football, wrestling, soccer and lacrosse, volleyball pole system, softball helmets, tennis practice courts, baseball and softball batting cages, refinishing the gym floor, teacher and coach appreciation, spirit supplies and much more.

“Holy Innocents’ is not just a place. It is and always will be a part of me,” she said.

Save the date for the next tournament on Monday, April 11, 2022 at Capital City Club Brookhaven.


MIKE THORNTON IN MEMORIAM The Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School community lost a great man, educator and coach on June 6, 2021 when Mike Thornton lost his battle to cancer. Fittingly, he was with loved ones when he passed, and his legacy will remain with us. He leaves behind one son, former HI teacher and coach Eamon Thornton, and two grandchildren.

Coach Mike grew up with a father in the Air Force; he moved a good deal to places such as California, Kansas and Baghdad before settling in his parent’s hometown of Huntington, W. Va. He played football at Washington & Lee, where he was a threeyear letterman from his center position, earning All-Conference as a senior. He also attended law school at W&L and stayed there as the offensive line coach for four years. Afterward, he accepted a head coaching position at Virginia Episcopal School. From there, he took a law position in Atlanta where he was a partner in the firm Dennis, Corey, Porter, and Thornton. He later struck out on his own and started his own practice. It was in 2004 when he returned to the educational/coaching field, as he served as a community coach at Lovett School before joining HIES a year later.

Coming to HIES in 2005 to coach spring football, it didn’t take him long to make an impact, as he became the offensive line coach for the next 12 years and was the JV head coach until 2017. His wisdom and dedication have been a major reason for our gridiron successes over the years. In 2006, he started coaching lacrosse as a community coach at HI – that fall he was hired to teach history in the Middle School and was also named associate head coach of lacrosse at the same time. In 2008, he took over as head lacrosse coach, a position he served up until this year. Over this span, the Bears had a

record of 136-92 going into the 2021 season and have produced three high school All-Americans in Davis Lukens, Darius Bowling and E.J. Thurmond. His teams have also advanced to postseason many times and remain competitive year after year.

“Mike was a friend and mentor,” former HIES girls’ lacrosse and current collegiate coach Forrest Stillwell said. “He showed me and many others what it was to be a true professional in the classroom and on the field. I know I wouldn’t be where I am as a coach without his guidance, as he was a model of dedication for his students. I’ll miss him, but I’m so grateful for our time together.” Kinsley Thurber ’ 19 said, “I’m so thankful for Mr. Thornton; I couldn’t have gone through Holy Innocents’ without him.”

His impact remains everywhere and, perhaps fittingly, Mike’s final year on the lacrosse sideline this past spring ended as the best in HIES history, as his Bears blew through regular season racking up the most wins ever, while also having the furthest postseason advancement (Elite 8). Athletic Director Tony Watkins expressed the value Coach Mike had and still has among our community.

“Mike Thornton was one of the best teachers and coaches in the history of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School,” he said. “He embodied the mission of who we are and developed our kids to reach their potential in the classroom and on the field for 17 years. Personally, Mike was a mentor, colleague and friend. There will be no replacing him.” Retired educator Cindy Harder was another who spent quality time around him. “Mike was a coach his fellow colleagues held in high regard. His dedication to building teams of great spiritual and physical strength resulted in strong young men who will make the world a better place. That legacy will endure and inspire for generations,” she said.

Looking at the total picture, Coach Mike left more than a lasting legacy wherever he went, including in the classrooms, athletic fields and around the campus. Our prayers continue to go out to not only his family and our school community, but to all who had the opportunity to know him.  TORCHBEARER | THE HIES ALUMNI MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2021




Kaki Scroggins, Primary School Nurse

Anne-Brown Adams, Lower School Nurse

by Dunn Neugebauer,

Hannah Bell, Middle School Nurse

Carolyn Rankin, Upper School Nurse


It’s not necessarily that nurses emerged as heroes during the COVID pandemic, but more the world has realized they always have been to begin with. At Holy Innocents’, this is no exception, as our four nurses – Carolyn Rankin, RN (Upper School), Hannah Bell, BSN (Middle), Anne-Brown Adams, RN, MSN (Lower) and Kaki Scroggins, RN, BSN (Primary) – have more than stepped up when our community needed it during the last year and beyond. During “normal” times, if we can remember how that was, our nurses took care of the bumps and bruises, fevers and aches, while keeping up with the meds and the health needs of our 1,300-plus students – not to mention the faculty and staff. That’s plenty in itself, but enter March of 2020 – the pandemic, the introduction of COVID-19 to our country and our world. The game changed, to say the least, and our foursome changed with it and helped us adapt for the better in the process. “Perhaps the biggest change is that a lot of ailments can no longer be treated as simple ailments,” Ms. Rankin said. “Now, with a headache, it’s always possible it could be COVID. Everything must be looked at differently. We sometimes now have to send kids home that wouldn’t have normally been sent home.” “The traditional nursing thoughts have left the building,” Ms. Scroggins added. “You now have to think of COVID for so many things. What we used to consider allergies or a simple cold or a headache – these are all COVID symptoms 12


and must be ruled out before we recommend Claritin or vitamin C. What was once suggested a good night’s rest now requires a swab to the sinuses and 48 hours of missed school.” While all are in agreement about the changed mindset and procedures, all also agree how the HIES community has stepped up as well. “Our school has done a great job, with strong leadership from Paul Barton and a lot of long hours and hard work from our faculty and staff,” Ms. Adams said. “We have all worked diligently to follow the CDC and DPH guidelines, and overall, we have been very successful at maintaining a safe and effective learning environment and keeping our community healthy while we’re all at school.”

but for the most part, they’re good about wearing their masks, and it’s good to see them back.” “Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned is the importance of human connection, both how much we take for granted and how significantly mental, emotional, and even physical health are impacted when meaningful human connection is compromised,” Ms. Adams added.


The freshest set of HIES eyes comes from Nurse Bell, who joined the HIES family in November 2020 after previously working at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“Considering this has been my first time being a school nurse and the first time the Middle School has had their own dedicated nurse, there has been a steep learning curve for navigating the unique challenges that appear during such a transition in the middle of a pandemic. “However, even from the very beginning, I have had an overwhelming amount of support from the other HIES nurses, the other members of the school contact tracing team, all the faculty and the administration. There have been plenty of late nights and weekends spent contact tracing, but I’m grateful to be a part of helping our community stay safe while slowing the spread of this virus,” she said. It's days, it’s nights, it’s weekends, it’s holidays. Even the paperwork has grown exponentially larger. Still, as we plow through all this together, it’s still nice to hope and think there’s a rainbow at the end of all this. “I’m glad we came back to school,” Ms. Rankin said. “The kids need to be kids. Sure, it’s a challenge trying to keep them socially distant,

This was noticed at a high point last August when our students returned, full on for the first time since walking out the doors on March 12 of last year. There were smiles, warm greetings and easy chit chat, while maintaining social distancing the best ways a teenager can.

“It’s been a learning process for all of us; we’ve all worked together to try and do what’s best for the greater good,” Ms. Scroggins said. “In my humble opinion, we’ve been successful and done better than we ever expected.” The evidence is in our hallways, on the athletic fields, on the drama stages and in the chorus rooms. The evidence is in the cafeteria and in the quads, inside the classrooms and watching the students changing classes. The evidence is our leadership, our family – from the Head of School to the earliest of learners. And the evidence is, in large part, been successfully aided, monitored and healed by our four nurses. Another mark of success came when the school’s human resources department was able to secure vaccines for all employees. The Pfizer vaccine was administered on campus to those initially eligible in February and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was administered to all employees on March 13 after all Georgia educators became eligible. As said earlier, there are people in our world who have always been heroes. Maybe a positive of this pandemic is now everyone can get to see them and appreciate them for who they are and for what they do and have done.  TORCHBEARER | THE HIES ALUMNI MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2021



class of 2021

On Saturday, May 15, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School graduated 136 seniors in a commencement ceremony held on Baker Field. Madeline Poch was valedictorian and Ella Vail was salutatorian. Amie LaPorte-Lewis, 12th grade dean, was the Tassel Turner. The graduates will attend 64 different colleges and universities across 22 states. Seven will study the visual and performing arts while 18 will participate in NCAA athletics. Congratulations, Class of 2021!









by Christina Mimms,


hen Jamie Fleming ’96 started seventh grade at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, she had no inkling about what lay ahead in her future. She would complete her academic journey at HIES as valedictorian and go on to Duke University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and competed in swimming. She would enroll at the University of Georgia and earn her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and meet her future husband, Tyler Klose. And she would end up moving to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a different location from most HIES alumni. Much happened before all of that occurred and before she became Dr. Jamie Fleming, however. Academically, Dr. Fleming was a standout student at HIES. She was on Honor Roll all four years and as a senior she earned the Academic Award for having the highest GPA in almost every course. That led to her being named valedictorian. “There were so many smart, creative and unique individuals in my class and so many people I looked up to,” she said. “Being valedictorian was amazing considering all the brilliant brains


around me. It was a shock and an honor for sure. My siblings kept me humble.” Her class of 1996 became the second graduating class of HIES’ then-new Upper School program. Teachers and school leaders worked hard to provide the high school experience that families expected and that students would enjoy. “We got a great education and our teachers were phenomenal,” Dr. Fleming said. Sports were available as part of the Upper School program and Dr. Fleming chose swimming. She was a part of the 200-meter relay team that finished fourth in GHSA state competition in 1996. She was the school’s first Academic All-American. She knew she wanted to pursue work in science and was thrilled to earn acceptance to Duke University, where she continued swimming as a member of four women’s record-setting medley relay teams and was named captain of the women’s swim team her senior year. She was a member of the ACC Honor Roll all four years of college; she won the Coaches Award in 1997 and the MVP Award in 2000. “I have great fondness for Duke, and between Holy Innocents’ and Duke, my education set me up for all the success in the world,” Dr. Fleming said.



She graduated cum laude from Duke in 2000 with the plan to work with animals. Knowing the emotions involved with treating animals and working with pet owners, she decided to take a position at a veterinary clinic for a year to test the experience. “I’m a pretty soft soul and I wanted to be sure I could handle the work,” Dr. Fleming explained. She then decided to apply to veterinary school at the University of Georgia, the alma mater of her sister Morgan Fleming Klaus ’98. Living in Wisconsin, Dr. Fleming sometimes has to field questions from confused sports fans as the UGA “G” is almost identical to the Green Bay Packers “G.” “People ask me why my Packers sticker is red and black,” she laughed. Dr. Fleming met her husband Tyler Klose in the UGA veterinary residency program. Both decided to specialize in internal medicine and relocated to Wisconsin after completing their DVMs. Both have worked for the past 10 years for Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists, a 24-hour emergency and specialty care center with three facilities outside Milwaukee in Glendale, Oak Creek and Port Washington. Dr. Fleming’s parents grew up in Wisconsin and the family often spent summers there. Her parents moved back for work but often winter in Georgia, however. Her sister Morgan also relocated there so they are able to enjoy a great deal of family time together. Dr. Fleming and her husband have two children:



Hazel, 4, and Nate, 2. Dr. Fleming works three 9-to-10-hour days at the clinic each week, where her practice focuses on internal medicine and advanced diagnostics with animals. The other two days each week she is at home but often spends time catching up on paperwork. “The balancing act is real,” she said. During COVIDrelated quarantine, the veterinary clinics never closed and continue to permit only curbside drop-offs of animals and consultations with families either virtually or outdoors. With an increase of pet adoptions during quarantine days, the practice has remained extremely busy. Unlike other states, Wisconsin did not include veterinarians in the initial wave of vaccinations for first responders or medical professionals. They were eligible along with other residents in early April. “We will all look back and be more resilient and stronger from all of this,” Dr. Fleming said. She has not been able to visit Atlanta as often as she would like; Dr. Fleming was inducted into the HIES Athletic Wall of Fame for swimming in 2016 but was unable to attend the ceremony in person as she was expecting daughter Hazel about a week after the event. Her sister Morgan, a UGA athlete who was also inducted into the Wall of Fame for swimming in 2016, was able to accept the recognition on her behalf. She hopes to visit campus soon. “It’s beautiful to see all the growth at HIES,” she said. 

ALUMNI N Reid Hailey ’09 is the co-founder and CEO of Doing Things Media, which owns more than 20 social media brands with more than 60 million followers. His company has been featured in Forbes magazine. Reid and his wife Caroline are currently living in Costa Rica. They were married in October 2019. Addie Ponder ’13 is engaged to Justin Session ’13. The couple will be married on May 28, 2022, in California at the Yosemite Valley Chapel in a small intimate ceremony. The couple will reside in Atlanta. Hanna Been Durbin ’15 and her husband, Andrew, welcomed their second child, Reid Heisey Durbin, on April 26, 2021. Reid joins big brother, William Andrew. The family resides in Pratville, Ala.

Chelsea Zoller ’16 became 4th all time at Georgia in the 400-meter hurdles this spring, blistering the track with a 58.99. Chelsea won four state titles here – three in the 400-meter and one in the 300-hurdles. Caroline McClatchey ’17 graduated with Distinction in December 2020 from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in Media and Journalism and a Minor in Art History. She will be attending the Georgia Institute of Technology’s 3.5 year Master’s Degree in Architecture starting in June of 2021. This spring, Caroline visited Judie Jacobs' 3D Art class to discuss architecture. Sydney Green ’17 double majored in Political Science and Sociology with a minor in Education and specialization in American Politics. She graduated from The Ohio State University with Magna Cum Laude Latin honors. Sydney received the 2020-2021 Sociology Outstanding Senior Award. This award is given to two graduating seniors in the Sociology Department for their scholarship, leadership, outreach and

TES engagement at the university. In her time at Ohio State, she conducted research to better understand Executive Functions and Emotion Recognition in preschool students. She has advocated for educational equity and other social justice issues as a Morrill Scholar. She plans to continue her education at Ohio State in their Educational Studies Master’s Program with a specialization in Education Policy. Reilly McClain ’17 received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Georgetown University in May and will start graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania to earn a master’s degree in clinical psychology. She was awarded with a merit scholarship and one of only 20 coveted places in the program. She will likely pursue certification as a licensed professional counselor (LPC), a two-year program. She is considering working in trauma therapy for children and adolescents. At Georgetown she worked in a school research lab, was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and served on the founding board of a charity dance marathon team to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Easter Eggstravaganza cookie decorating 2021 About 40 alumni and faculty children and their parents participated in Easter cookie decorating fun on Saturday, March 27, via Zoom. The cookie decorating class was led by Baker Nicole Silva, owner of Crumbles by Nicole in Locust Grove, Ga. Ms. Silva also taught our Holiday Cookie Decorating Class in December. In 2017, Ms. Silva competed and won Food Network’s “Christmas Cookie Challenge.” She has since appeared on “Haunted Gingerbread Showdown” on Food Network and is currently the host of the local show “Kids Baking Battle” on ATL CW69, which is filmed in her studio. The children also received Easter baskets from the HIES Alumni Office as a special treat. We look forward to more in-person and Zoom events in the summer and fall.



A lu m n i p r o f i l e > > >

Anna Pa r ks Muecke

From an early age, Anna Parks Muecke '15 wanted to attend University of Georgia. Both her father and aunt are graduates and she was thrilled to earn acceptance into the UGA Honors College.

Influenced by her grandmother, a retired attorney with a successful career as a civil litigator in Savannah, Ga., Anna Parks also had her eye on law school for the future, another factor in selecting UGA.

As an Alpha-Omega graduate from Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, transitioning to a large university was “very different,” Anna Parks said. With her experience as a student ambassador, peer counselor and varsity cheer captain, she knew that the best way to get comfortable was to get involved. She pledged Chi Omega and those activities along with honors classes quickly filled her schedule. She graduated from University of Georgia with honors with a B.A. in political science and government and a minor in Spanish. By applying to the law school through the UGA Scholars Program, she was not required to take the LSAT. She entered law school in 2019 and will graduate in 2022.

She attends a mix of online classes and in-person classes with limited numbers. Her exams were online; some were timed and for others, students were given 24 hours to complete an exam.

Anna Parks is president of the Federalist Society at the law school and a member of the Student Bar Association, the Business Law Society and a moot court team. She serves on the editorial board for the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law; the note that she recently wrote entitled “International Construction Law: The Development of the Business and Human Rights Treaty and its Implications on Migrant Workers” has been selected for the publication’s upcoming issue.

She is working as a judicial extern for District Judge William Ray, whom she met through the Federalist Society, which regularly hosts federal judges as guest speakers, organizes networking events and holds debates on a variety of topics. “We look at judicial philosophy and get some interesting debates going,” she said. Anna Parks was also able to attend a Federalist Society conference in Amelia Island in summer 2020. Working with Judge Ray’s team, she has been able to observe as well as write orders for different areas of law, giving her a sampling of possible future areas of specialty. She is interested in human rights, international business and construction but is open to other areas with the exception of criminal law. She hopes to practice in Atlanta and has attended some online interviews with local firms.This summer she is working in an associate position with Smith, Gambrell & Russell in their Atlanta office. “It’s so important to be part of the community and I’m excited to see how things turn out,” she said.

— Christina Mimms



Natalie Scales ’17 graduated from Emory University School of Nursing and was awarded 100 Honorary, Emory’s top undergraduate seniors – those who will strengthen the Emory Alumni community. She was also awarded the Boifeuillet Jones Medal for outstanding citizenship, leadership and service to Emory and the community, academic performance and the potential to become a “change agent” in their chosen profession and society at large. Natalie was a speaker at the May 15 graduation. Natalie will start her residency in nursing in the emergency room at Emory University Hospital immediately following graduation. She is looking to advance her education after an one year residency in emergency trauma as a Nurse Practitioner. Reed Stewart ’17 is graduating summa cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Social Work with a bachelor’s degree in social work. She has been accepted to Columbia University to obtain her graduate degree in social work. Reed plans to take a year off to work but will move to New York in the summer of 2022. Anna Crumpler ’17 graduated from Wake Forest University with a double major in English and Religious Studies and a minor in Counseling. She has accepted a position as the Associate Director of Middle School Ministries at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas starting in June 2021. Anna is thankful for everyone who has supported her and she cannot wait to see how God uses her in this next phase. Olivia Freides ’18, a Statistics major at American University, is working at NASA this summer in their Glenn Research Center. She will be researching Applied Mathematics for Space Communication and Navigation.

At i a Williams After Atia Williams ’15 graduated from Atlanta Youth Academy and started ninth grade at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, she felt at home from the beginning. She played softball and cheered all four years and made great friends. “Mr. White made it easy to transition from AYA,” she said. “I definitely enjoyed my time at HIES.”

In determining her future after HIES, Ms. Williams participated in two programs that influenced her choices. As part of a career shadowing program at Grady Hospital, she decided that she wanted to pursue work in medicine. She also was able to spend time in Spelman College’s Spellbound program, which allowed her to visit the campus, meet students and faculty, and immerse herself in the college experience. “I loved the atmosphere and I

A lu m n i p r o f i l e > > > didn’t want to leave home,” she said. “I was well prepared from HIES, especially with time management skills.” After earning acceptance to Spelman, Ms. Williams enrolled as a biology major and joined the cheer squad. She served as captain her junior and senior years and graduated in May 2019. She is now enrolled at University of AlabamaBirmingham to earn her Master’s degree in biomedical science and neuroscience and is applying to schools to become a physician assistant (PA), possibly in obstetrics and gynecology. She is a certified personal trainer and works as a patient care technician in the orthopedic patient trauma center at Wellstar.

Working in medicine over the past year came with obvious challenges. Due to COVID rules, patients may not be able to

Shannon Donahue ’18 was recently appointed Battalion Commander in the Auburn University Army ROTC program of 200 cadets. Shannon is majoring in aerospace engineering on a four-year Army ROTC scholarship. Upon graduating in 2022, she will earn a commission of 2nd Lieutenant and serve a fiveyear service commitment to the Army. She hopes to branch Aviation and to work for NASA eventually. This summer, she is attending Advanced Camp at Fort Knox in June and then has an engineering internship with the Army in Mobile, Ala., in July. While at Auburn, she has participated in the Army’s Ranger Challenge competition, a two-day event comprised of mental and physical challenges in navigation, orienteering, marksmanship, M-16 disassembly/reassembly and more.

have a family member stay with them or may be limited to brief visits with family. That can take a toll on them mentally.

“The staff have to become the support system for patients who have to be on their own,” Ms. Williams said. “PAs are very knowledgeable and can have more of that bedside relationship. I also like the flexibility of being a PA and the schedule is not as intense as being a doctor.”

PA programs typically offer rolling admissions and Ms. Williams hopes to enter a program in spring or summer in 2022. The program would require two to three years of study. She is excited for her future career. “I’m very passionate about health, fitness and medicine,” she said. “I love helping people get better and feel confident.”

— Christina Mimms

Cheyne Thompson-Quartey ’18, a member of Howard University’s Flashy Flag Squad, part of the university’s Showtime Marching Band, participated in the presidential inauguration parade on January 20, 2021. Howard is the alma mater of Vice President Kamala Harris. Cheyne carried the banner that led the Howard drum line in the inaugural parade. Garrett Johns ’19 has been named All-ACC Second Team for his outstanding play for the Duke University tennis team. Garrett – after suffering only one loss in his HIES career, has played No. 1 singles for the Blue Devils this year and is currently ranked No. 74 nationally. If you would like to submit class notes for the Fall issue of Torchbearer, please contact Tamika Weaver at tamika@hies.org or (404) 303-2150, ext 181. TORCHBEARER | THE HIES ALUMNI MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2021



CLASS Representatives

’95 ’96 ’97 ’98 ’99 ‘00 ’01 ’02 ’03 ’04 ’05 ’06 ’07 ’08 ’09 ’10 ’11 22

A lu m n i p r o f i l e > > >

Jill Herndon Littlefield – jilllittlefield@hotmail.com Audra Mullen Thompson – audra.thompson@hies.org Raine Crumpler Hyde – raine.hyde@gmail.com

Matt Little – mlittle@mcgriff.com Ashton Thurmond Ragone – ashtonragone@gmail.com Kristin Wolford Tiliakos – kristinjwolford@aol.com Aida Mahmutovic Mayhew – aida.mayhew@stemcell.com Elizabeth Dunham Thompson – elizabethdunhamthompson@yahoo.com Rich Braund – braundr@gmail.com

Stephanie Brown – brown.stephaniekay@gmail.com Shelarese Ruffin – ssruffin@gmail.com Allender Laflamme Durden – allenderl@gmail.com Cara Puckett Roxland – cara.roxland17@gmail.com Rebecca Brown Rivera – rebecca.rivera@hies.org Missy Evans Gardner – missylauren@gmail.com Jennie Strassner Wilson – jennielwilson@gmail.com Emily Weprich Campanella – emily.weprich@yahoo.com James Jackson – j.jackson@hies.org Liz Young Hayes – lizhayesuk@gmail.com John Cook – jmcook42@gmail.com Amy Fore Kane – kaneamyf@gmail.com Susan Karimiha – susan.karimiha@gmail.com Tyler Rathburn – tprathburn@gmail.com Rachel Shunnarah – rshunnarah@gmail.com Allyson Young Barganier – allysonbarganier@gmail.com Kyle Evans Smith – kyevans1@gmail.com Maryanne Stumb McWhirter – mcwhirtermaryanne@gmail.com Ben Cornwell – ben.cornwell@gmail.com Kelly Garrison Johnson – askseekknock3@gmail.com Jackson Davis – jacksondavis5470@gmail.com John Mitchell – johnsmitchell@gmail.com Halle Addison – haddison34@att.net Annie Hollett – anniehollett@gmail.com Delaney McMullen – delaneymcm@gmail.com Andrew Parrish – m.andrewparrish@gmail.com Callan Phillips – callan.phillips@yahoo.com

Ja s o n Grimes

For Holy Innocents’ graduate Jason Grimes ’13, any wrestling obstacle placed before him has always been met with a pin under his broad shoulders. Winning state titles, earning All-American honors, and trips to the NCAA still aren't the end of the road for our star alum, but instead is being met with success beyond his undergraduate glory years.

Jason has now become the first Georgian to ever be a head coach at the Division I level, as he has been named Interim Head at his alma mater – American University in Washington, D.C. This announcement came after four years also on the mat at the collegiate level, and the respect of his coaches, peers and teammates when doing so. “Obviously, I’m excited for the opportunity; I am looking forward to the experience and to be a role model for the wrestlers,” Mr. Grimes said. “I have some mixed feelings, as the coach who left was my coach when I competed here. Still, I'm very excited and I know it will be a big responsibility – as I'm finding out already.” Looking back, he was more than just a one-sport man at HI, but instead was an All-Region and All-State football player as a defensive back while starring on both sides of the ball. In track, he also took third in state in the pole vault as a junior and second in the same event as a senior. His HIES wrestling resume while a Golden Bear could serve as a blueprint for aspiring grapplers, as he was a state-placer all four years which included third in state as a freshman, second as a sophomore, both followed by consecutive state titles his junior and senior years. He was also a key reason for the Bears’ State Dual championship in 2012, where he wrestled under Coach Jeff Walrich and then assistant Stacey Davis, who is now the head coach. While at American, he finished his four-year career with 13 pins – good for 10th all time in Eagles history – while also earning an All-EIWA honor (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) and a bid in the NCAA's his senior year. He spent the years after graduation (2017) working at American – his current role was as the Business Operations Assistant in the athletic department before his recent appointment. When asked of his future plans, Mr. Grimes kept things in good perspective. “I love wrestling; I always want to be around it as much as possible. As for now, I want to see how much I enjoy this new role. My ultimate goal is to become an athletic director at a Division I university, and this could be a stepping stone for that. Still – as of now – I’m kind of in a ‘we’ll see’ mode as to how this goes.” Regardless of how the crystal ball does shake out, American University or any other will be lucky to have him, whether as coach or AD. After all, he is usually the one left standing when the dust has cleared; the one who usually walks away with his arm raised in victory. — Dunn Neugebauer

(cont’d) class Representatives

’12 ’13 ’14 ’15

Missing Bears We are missing contact information for the alumni listed below. If you are in contact with any of the above HIES graduates, please encourage them to get in touch with the HIES alumni office at tamika@hies.org or (404) 303-2150, ext. 181. You can also log on to the website at www.hies.org. Click on alumni. If you have never logged onto the site before: Your username is firstnamelastnamegraduationyear (i.e. TamikaWeaver97). Your password is your date of birth (i.e. MM/DD/YYYY) — this includes the slashes. Name

Christopher L. Lardner Kimberly A. Roberts Katherine L. Schultz William P. Thomas Kimberly A. Campuzano Christopher B. Chappell Kathryn N. Wegman Keith A. Cooper Mary M. Kyle George M. McCord Katie D. McKoy Laura H. Bond Lauren D. Friedrichs Melanie L. Fudge Christopher A. Porter Katharine M. Duke Jasmine Nadja M. Grape Andrew J. Maxfield Anthony J. Seichrist Dickson J. Vaughan Ruth E. Brown Jason V. Dee Noah K. Hauber Panagioti Balomenos Taylor C. Berman

Maiden Name






1996 1996 1996 1996 1997 1997 1997 1998 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999 1999 1999 2000 2000 2000 2001 2001 2001 2002 2002 2002 2003


Rebecca T. Canby Lawrence E. Gill Scott L. Hutchinson Margaret K. Patrick Rachel M. Small Mary V. Coleman Mary C. Alexander Bradley F. Taylor William E. Capps Hillery G. Champagne Melissa D. Couch Paul M. Duke Matthew B. Hodgson Claire P. Sellers Lauren E. Webb Thomas C. Dickinson Chae A. Evans Andrew C. McMullen Samantha L. Weiss Tucker J. Lansing Caroline W. Lee Darius L. Bowling Elisabeth Johnson Erin R. Peck Nicole D. Hansen Preston B. Hester Nichole H. Murdock Kyle J. Murdock

M a i de n N a m e


Taylor Sprague Bubes

Cl ass

2003 2003 2003 2003 2003 2004 2005 2005 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2007 2007 2007 2007 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 2015 2015

’16 ’17 ’18

Katie Keith – katiekeith12@gmail.com Brittany Ketchup Hall – brittanyketchup@yahoo.com Greg Sullivan – gregsullivan12@gmail.com Shannon O’Hanlon – sohanlon12@gmail.com Victoria Hovancik – victoria.hovancik@gmail.com Kendall Jackson – kendallrjackson@bellsouth.net Lindsey Klopfenstein – Lindsey.klopfenstein@gmail.com Bailey Lyles – blyles14@gmail.com Anne-Claire Pittman Lewis – acpittman15@gmail.com Mary Hollis Schmidt – mhschmidt12@gmail.com Matt Gates – mattgates95@gmail.com Rebecca Maitski – rebecca.maitski15@gmail.com Savannah Smith – smith.savannah15@gmail.com Peyton Hayes – pehayes@icloud.com Emma Rolader – roladerem@gmail.com Cade Anderson – cade.anderson1999@gmail.com Amanda Gibson – gibsonam17@gmail.com Kendall Jabaley – kjabaley@gmail.com Carson Staples – carsonstaples@gmail.com Bryn Foster – ebrynfoster@gmail.com Blake Morain – blake.morain@gmail.com

CLASS OF 2019 — We need class representatives for this class. If you are interested in serving in this role, please contact Heather Hahn.


Lucy Brumbaugh – brumbaughlucy@gmail.com Kate Moore – kate.moore2020@gmail.com MaryCamille Quigley – mcquigley20@gmail.com

If you would like to submit class notes for the Fall issue of Torchbearer, please contact Tamika Weaver at tamika@hies.org or (404) 303-2150, ext. 181. If you are interested in serving as a class representative, please contact Heather Hahn ’91 at heather.hahn@hies.org.



A lu m n i p r o f i l e > > >

John Crumpler

Going to medical school was long planned for John Crumpler ’16. He took the MCAT exam in spring of 2019, applied to medical schools that summer, participated in interviews in September and earned his acceptance to Emory University in October. He received the good news on the same day that he was overseeing a major service project with his fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha at Wake Forest University. “It was an overwhelming day,” he said. Earning that acceptance allowed John to exhale a bit during his remaining college days. He completed his term as fraternity president in December 2019 and with a lighter class schedule for the spring 2020 semester, John was enjoying a spring break trip in Denver when he learned that Wake Forest was closing campus due to the pandemic. He returned to his parents’ home in Bethlehem, Pa., where they moved after John graduated from HIES. The university produced a graduation video and mailed diplomas. John received a B.S. in Biology and Economics. “It was a sad, rapid de-escalation of the college experience,” John said. “But I had time with my parents that I will never have again.” A few months later, his family, including aunt Audra Thompson ’95, HIES 1st grade teacher, and grandmother Pam Mullen, HIES Primary School co-teacher, held a small gathering to celebrate John’s graduation and two cousins who graduated from high school. In fall 2020 he moved to an apartment near the Emory campus and began medical school. His lecture classes are held on Zoom but he attends classes on patient care in person and works in a cadaver lab twice per week. “I had not dissected anything since we did fetal pigs in AP Biology!” he said. That was among his favorite classes at HIES, along with Global Studies and English. John played football in middle school and was on the wrestling teams from sixth through tenth grades. He was captain of the cross country team his senior year and launched the Outdoors Club with Reese Foster ’16. He maintains a group chat with about 10 friends from HIES. Wake Forest was always a contender for college; both his mother and paternal grandfather are graduates. “I grew up wanting to go to Wake. It’s a great size and has sports, a community and a picturesque college campus,” John said. He intended to study medicine but after reading a biography of Alexander Hamilton and taking an economics class his freshman year, he decided to pursue a double major. “There are a lot of numbers in medicine, plus my economics classes balanced out the stress of medicine,” John explained. He secured a position as a teaching assistant in the economics department which provided funds to help with college expenses in addition to his academic scholarship. He joined Lambda Chi Alpha his freshman year, which proved to be a great way to plug into campus happenings. Classes at Emory have left John with little free time these days but he is enjoying the work and is optimistic about developments in medicine and public health. Medical students attend briefings about COVID-19 protocols and have been vaccinated. Professors frequently discuss the virus in classes as well. “It’s a crazy time to be in medical school but it’s very interesting to study the virus as it’s still evolving,” John said. “I love everything I’m learning and the people at Emory are remarkable.” — Christina Mimms















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The Class of 2015 held a reunion gathering at Monday Night Garage on Saturday, May 22, 2021.




The Final Word by Tisha Lanier Avouris ̓00


As I walked across the stage in the “new” gym on May 20, 2000, to receive my diploma from Holy Innocents’, I felt the twinge of nostalgia that many seniors feel on graduation day. I glanced out at my 87 classmates, many of whom were Alpha Omegas like myself. We had spent our entire childhoods together, and though we were not all best friends, we shared a bond that would last well into adulthood.

Social media was still in its infancy when we all went our separate ways, but I was confident that I would stay in touch with several of my classmates. I expected that I would return to campus every few years for Homecoming, and that I would hear reports through the grapevine and from holiday cards.

I remembered getting far too competitive behind the MAC gym as Coaches A, B and Harder yelled “go!” at the Turtle Race in Lower School. I remembered dramatically fleeing the gym after my cheerleading squad and I dropped a stunt in the middle of the Homecoming pep rally in high school. But it was my memories 26


of middle school that would arguably make the most significant impact ... and would eventually guide me to my life’s purpose.

It was May of 1994. It had taken me an hour to tame my hair into an acceptable low side ponytail, and I had carefully chosen the perfect flowered romper to wear to my first middle school dance. There wasn’t much I could do about my enormous glasses, but certainly the bright pink lipstick my mom let me wear would offset the glare from my lenses. My best friend and I arrived as soon as the doors opened — we didn’t yet understand the concept of fashionably late — and our nervous excitement immediately shifted to selfconscious trepidation. We clung to the wall of what later was named Porter Dining Hall, staring in awe as the cooler kids confidently strutted in to the beat of “Whoomp! There It Is!” We nibbled on dry cookies as Ace of Base sang “The Sign” and we giggled awkwardly as we watched our classmates sway to Mariah Carey’s “Hero.”

About 45 minutes in, my side ponytail had frizzed to three times its original size, my romper was wrinkled and damp from where I had been clutching at it anxiously, and my glasses were fogged from the heat of the cafeteria teeming with pre-teens. We had thought tonight would be the transformative moment when we would be “grown up,” and we’d fit in with the rest of the class. Somehow it had backfired, and we felt more like outsiders than ever. With every song that played, and every sideways stare we received, my friend and I realized we weren’t ready for this.

We fled. I don’t know which chaperone was supposed to be watching the 300 hallway. I don’t know which teacher forgot to lock her door. All I know is that on that night in 1994, my best friend and I snuck into a classroom, sat under the teacher’s desk, cried our eyes out for 15 minutes and made a memory that would resurface more times than we ever could have imagined. Almost 20 years later, I texted the same friend to tell her I was headed back to middle school. Not only was I going to teach sixth grade at Holy Innocents’, but I was willingly going to return to the scene of the crime. As a Middle School Student Council advisor, I had agreed to chaperone every single Middle School dance.

It’s infuriatingly easy for adults to tell these stories in hindsight, and to tell our kids today that “it will all get better.” That night in 1994, I couldn’t see past the fog in the lenses of my absurdly massive glasses. I couldn’t see through my tears, much less try to find a deeper perspective. But a seed was planted that night. That memory planted itself so firmly in my psyche that it refused to budge, even as I graduated and pursued my first career in a different field. The memory of the dance was just one of many that fueled my desire to return to HIES in a teaching and coaching capacity, and to be there for the moments that will shape our current middle schoolers into who they will become. From the outside, Holy Innocents’ looks vastly different from when I was there as a student. Laptops and smartboards have replaced notebooks and chalk in the classroom, and athletes wear dry-fit instead of 100% polyester to run 5Ks in the Georgia heat.

Since I graduated in 2000, HIES has gained football and lacrosse teams, state-of-the-art new buildings, and a tech platform to rival that of universities. But the experience of middle school doesn’t fully hinge on current technology. When I think back on my time as a student at HIES, I see people, not textbooks. I hear the encouragement in the voices of my teachers and coaches, even if the words themselves have blurred over time. Our students have the world at their fingertips, and they have more opportunities than ever. But those opportunities and challenges are nothing without the love, inspiration and accountability from the important adults in their lives. Several of those important adults who helped shape my future have now become my colleagues, and as I conclude my ninth year as a teacher, I am finally able to call almost all of them by their first names. It’s a dream come true to align my ideas with those of “the greats,” as I brainstorm lessons with my former English teachers Eileen Thurmond, Niki Simpson and Chris Swann. I never thought I would see the day that I would chaperone a Middle School dance, much less alongside my former teachers Anne Jackson and Theresa Jespersen! And words cannot describe the joy and sense of accomplishment as I cheer for the cross-country team next to my former coach who has now become one of my closest friends, Coach A.

The HIES Class of 2000 had to delay our 20-year reunion due to COVID, and we will celebrate in October. Many of the same crew from that fateful night in 1994 will be there, including my sixth grade best friend, who has remained one of my favorite people in the world to this day. We are excited to reminisce and toast to our classmates and teachers, who made our memories of HIES so dear. I can only hope that my current students (class of 2027) are making the same priceless memories that my teachers gifted to me, and that my colleagues and I might get a fond shout-out during their 20-year reunion in 2047! Perhaps the most popular song we continue to sing in chapel is “Draw the Circle Wide.” My experience at HIES has come full circle, and I am grateful that the circle continues to grow, strengthening with each generation of Golden Bears that passes through these memory-laden halls. 







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