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Headmaster FPD Magazine First Presbyterian Day School 5671 Calvin Drive Macon, Georgia 31210 Phone: (478) 477-6505 Administration and Staff Gregg Thompson, Headmaster Dr. Barry E. Shealy, Assistant Headmaster Joseph Childs, High School Principal Molly Pearson ’87, Middle School Principal Wade Putnal, Elementary Principal Kris Cutright, Instructional Support Director Charles Parrish, Chief Financial Officer Chris Childers, Development Director Cheri Frame ’89, Enrollment Director Carol Sawyer, Alumni Director Greg Moore ’84, Athletic Director Brad Thompson, College Counselor Andrew Strickland, Fine Arts Director David Bass, Technology Director Cal Powell, Communications Director 2011-2012 Board of Trustees Mr. Rick H. Bonfim Mr. Paul Cable Mrs. Lara Carlton Mr. Rob Danner Jr. Mrs. Patti Martin Mrs. Saynor Foshee’86, Vice Chair The Rev. Chip Miller, Ex Officio Mr. Charles Scurry Mr. Dan Slagle Mr. Daniel L. Smith, Chairman Mr. Jay Strickland ’81 Mr. Gregg Thompson, Ex Officio Mr. Cole Tidwell ’88 Mr. Kevin Watson ’88 Design: Cal Powell Writing: Cal Powell, Christine Boddy, Jenni Seale Printer: Panaprint Photography: Cal Powell, Amy Kenney, Andrew Brooks FPD Magazine is published by the First Presbyterian Day School Development Office. Contents may be re-printed with permission of the school. For questions or comments, e-mail or

Dear FPD Family and Friends, Time flies when you’re having fun! It’s hard to believe this is my family’s 15th year at FPD and my 15th year as headmaster. In many ways it seems like we have to have miscounted. My family and I thank the FPD community for your gracious support and prayers. With your help a lot has happened. It’s a great privilege to be a part of this school family, its faculty and staff and the hundreds of lives connected to it. FPD is impacting lives for God’s glory lives of those who have come before us and built the foundation for what is happening now; lives of those here now; and Lord willing, it will continue impacting lives of students, families and faculty far into the future. I am thankful for the recognitions reflecting the quality, challenge and support of our instructional and extra-curricular programs. Strong test scores and college acceptances continue to reflect the hard work of our students, supportive parents and extraordinary teachers. Our prayer is that all we do honors our Lord Jesus and that a Christ-centered education at FPD continues to be uncompromising in its preparation of students, opening doors to the universities of choice as our graduates pursue God’s calling in their lives. We’re currently working on two major projects behind the scenes. Both involve capital improvements to our campus that will impact our students. These projects are focused on maximizing the learning experiences of our students and are detailed in the following pages. Please prayerfully consider how you might join those who’ve gone before us to provide our current classrooms and fields, to not only impact your sons and daughters now, but for generations to come. Our “business model,” with respect to expenditures, is built on the following sources. Tuition funds the day-to-day expenses - programs, staffing, maintenance and infrastructure to run a top quality school. The Annual Fund provides funding of enhancements to the basic needs, making a truly great educational experience possible. Capital Campaigns are the vehicle to raise money for major capital needs, typically new facilities or property improvements. Each requires a level of commitment and sacrifice and ultimately is a stewardship decision of FPD’s friends and families before God. As you consider your priorities and opportunities to steward your family’s financial resources, please keep the lives you impact through FPD in mind. To learn more or to make a gift to help close The Investing in Our Future Campaign, please contact me or designate your Annual Fund gift to the 1-to-1 Initiative. Each gift builds on the legacy of those who have made the campus and programs we enjoy at FPD. As we prayerfully conclude and embark on these major initiatives, your prayers and financial support are appreciated. Because He is faithful,

Gregg Thompson

WHAT’S INSIDE technology


4 FPD’s 1-to-1 initiative hopes to make every classroom a computer lab in the years ahead.

Investing in Our Future

8 Fundraising campaign seeks to dramatically improve facilities.

Homecoming 2011

14 We take a quick look back at the festivities that helped make last year’s homecoming a success.

faculty profiles

16 Bible teacher Bob Veazey and second grade teacher Carol Albright share a love for FPD.


on campus

19 National Merit Scholar Jonathan Easter named STAR Student for all of Bibb County.

alumni features

26 We profile three grads who are pursuing their dreams.

14 on the cover

FPDmagazine SPRING 2012


Second grader Lola Grace Wilson, daughter of FPD grads Chris ‘93 and Hope James ‘94 Wilson, takes a study break. Classmate Zachary Brown works on a class project in the background.




By Cal Powell

n February, a team of FPD faculty members took a trip to Ohio to observe Cincinnati Country Day School’s revolutionary technology initiative. CCDS is the nation’s first school to establish a “one-to-one” tablet PC program, meaning every student from grades 5-12 is equipped with a personal tablet PC. What the FPD group saw was amazing and inspiring. “At the end of the 1-to-1 seminar and school visitation, I was ready to come back to FPD with a tablet PC for everyone,” sixth grade English teacher Jan Atkinson said. “The presentation showed how powerful this resource can be for any school.” FPD is in the early stages of implementing a 1-to-1 initiative, a far-reaching, ambitious plan that will help prepare its graduates for the rigors of constantly evolving college courses.

Above, former FPD first grade teacher Martha Jones uses the blackboard during a spelling lesson in this photo from the 1982 yearbook. Below, elementary computer teacher Laurie Colter instructs a student in the elementary lab.

EQUIPPING THE 21ST CENTURY STUDENT “The big idea is (we’re) always looking for ways to engage students in their learning,” said Dr. Barry Shealy, assistant headmaster. “There are a lot of resources, multimedia, interactive resources, that kids can use to learn, so we’re looking at ways of getting kids access to those resources.” Initial plans call for a small-scale implementation of the 1-to-1 initative next year, with a larger rollout of the plan in the 2013-14 year. Until then, there’s a lot to be done. The classroom buildings need to be outfitted with wireless Internet capability; administrators need to determine which device would best suit the needs of the plan and teachers need to become acquainted with the technology and how best to implement it. While many questions are yet to be answered, one thing is certain: the technology available has the potential to dramatically re-shape future classrooms. “Five years from now, I would say that every student would have a common device that they’re using and the teachers are using with them,” Shealy


said. “And ideally, they’re doing their work and submitting it electronically, receiving feedback electronically. You essentially get to the environment where you have very few paper textbooks and you’re very close to a paperless environment across the board.” Several FPD teachers have expressed excitement about the possibilities since visiting campuses across the country where similar plans have been implemented. “We are on the horizon of something big,” elementary computer teacher Laurie Colter said. “If we take our time, do our homework and implement the plan properly, our already excellent faculty can use this technology to do what they do best, 21st century style.” Shealy agreed. “There’s not a lot that you have to learn to get started as a teacher to really do some powerful things with the students,” he said. “And then once you get started and you start finding there’s so much more you can learn about and do, it just opens up so many new possibilities for instruction.”

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benefits of 1-to-1 initiative


Allows for teachers to give real-time feedback, enhancing student engagement.


Every classroom becomes a computer lab with instant access to volumes of information.


With the explosion in the availability of digital material, the potential exists for a largely paperless campus in the years ahead.


When I heard about the 1-to-1 initiative I thought it would be really cool. After visiting Cincinnati Country Day School and seeing the implementation of the technology and how teachers used it in the classroom, I was sold. I truly believe that the effective implementation of 1-to-1 computing will be transformative to our students.

- Matt Kitchell, high school history teacher

Technology timeline As technology continues to evolve, from electronic typewriters to modern-day tablets, we take a look back at some of the “breakthroughs” in classroom technology, beginning with the original, the blackboard.

Electronic typewriter Overhead projector

Personal computer

Initiative helps us engage students

Dr. Barry Shealy is FPD’s Assistant Headmaster and oversees all curriculum and professional development initiatives.

During my teaching career, I have gone from coming home covered in chalk to overhead marker ink to dry erase marker ink. At least with SMARTBoards, my clothes stayed clean! In the 80s, I taught BASIC programming with a lab of Apple //e’s and I have seen the advent and growth of the graphing calculator. I now read books regularly on my Kindle. As a teacher, I have always looked for tools that help me engage my students and support my students in developing deeper understanding of content. Technological tools today are truly amazing and have great potential to extend and transform the classroom as we know it. Technological advances have also created a new set of skills that students need to develop to be successful in college and beyond. Top quality preparatory schools around the country use the tools that best support learning and develop “21st Century” skills. I believe FPD students should have this same opportunity. One area of growth is digital texts and media. The availability of digital content in support of the curriculum has exploded. Interactive and multimedia e-texts are rapidly gaining the potential to supplant printed text. These resources are not simply reducing the volume and weight of a student’s book bag, but providing embedded interactivity and multimedia that could never exist in a paper text. A wide array of digital resources literally places the world in front of teachers and students. Another area I have been impressed with as I visit other schools is the impact on the feedback cycle new technologies allow. For example, using folders shared by teachers and their students and software such as Microsoft OneNote allows teachers to easily deliver content like handouts, readings, and multimedia to their students. Students can submit work to teachers and receive feedback directly on the digital documents. Teachers can monitor student work and give real-time feedback. This innovation cuts the time between student work and teacher feedback, cuts down on paper usage, and helps students and teachers keep information organized. OneNote is like your old multi-subject binder with each subject having multiple sections and pages that can contain text or media in each section, but the information is easily searched, edited, and shared between students and teachers. The greatest power exists in a 1-to-1 environment. When every student has a laptop, every classroom becomes a computer lab. Educational software applications then become part of every teacher’s repertoire of teaching techniques without having to go through

the trouble of reserving an already in-demand lab. I have been particularly excited about the promise of digital ink. Having a high-resolution touch-screen device with a stylus (writing utensil) allows students to write on their screens as they would a notebook or pad. Then, teachers can give feedback to students by writing on or beside the student’s work. I have experimented with this application in my AP Calculus BC class this year. When I give a quiz, I give one student the option of writing the paper on a Windows 7 tablet PC we have for preview. Then, I grade it electronically, writing on the screen as I would on a paper quiz. If my student had a computer with a shared folder, he would have the quiz A wide array of and my feedback as soon as I digital resources had completed the grading. Several devices present literally places a range of possibilities and potential limitations for a 1-tothe world in front 1 environment. of teachers and E-readers can deliver traditional reading text like novels students. as long as the texts are not intense with illustrations. Few school texts are available in this format, however. Tablets such as the iPad have a wide range of educational applications available. Interactive and media intensive texts that are available on laptops and desktops with full operating systems are not currently available on iPads. The iPad will still primarily be a consumption and companion device and more limited as a productivity device. Providing students with full operating system devices, like laptops, could replace computer labs, freeing up classroom and workspace. The most versatile device at this point would be the convertible tablet PC like the Fujitsu LifeBook or Lenovo ThinkPad X-series (shown below). There is clearly great promise in a 1-to-1 educational environment and there are many successful models in place in schools around the country. We are exploring an appropriate time frame to train the faculty and provide necessary infrastructure to implement these 21st century engaging instructional tools. From chalkboards to SMARTBoards and now the power of interactive digital content and shared PCs, it is exciting as a teacher to see the tools available to support our students as they engage content and develop 21st Century knowledge and skills!

Language Lab SMARTBoard

Special section: Investing in Our Future campaign

Building a strong foundation


n the late 1960s, a handful of First Presbyterian Church members met to discuss plans for a Christian school in Macon. Founding board members believed in this vision so much that many of them were out in the mud laying sod on the rain-soaked campus the night before the first day of school with only illumination from car headlights. There were 35 students in the school’s first class of graduates in 1975. Four decades later, First Presbyterian Day School is a nationally recognized academic institution with more than 2,000 alumni. Members of the Class of 2011, 92 graduates strong, now attend such institutions as Vanderbilt University, the University of Virginia, Emory University, William & Mary and the

University of Georgia, among others. We are proud of the rigorous academic program that prepares our students for some of the finest universities in the country. Previous board members were visionaries, ensuring that the school would be vibrant and stable for future generations. With your help, FPD can take another step toward securing its future success. The Investing in Our Future Campaign continues to raise funds essential to the critical expansion of our programs in athletics and fine arts. The centerpiece of the campaign is a $2,600,000 addition to the Clark Fine Arts building that will include muchneeded space for our fine arts program as well as new offices for our Center for Student Success.

What is the Investing in Our Future Campaign?

“As a former student, and now a parent of two alumni and one teenager about to graduate, I know personally the lifechanging value of an FPD education. I will always give sacrificially to FPD so that others, including my grandchildren, will be able to experience the positive benefits of a Christ-centered, biblically based educational environment.” Allen Peake 1979 graduate


Investing in Our Future is a $4,000,000 capital campaign approved by the FPD Board of Trustees in 2010 to fund needed enhancements to campus facilities. A $500,000 challenge grant will be received after the campaign has been fully funded.

How to give

We need your help

Please consider a gift to the Investing in Our Future Campaign. Your gift will help us reach our goal and receive a $500,000 challenge grant from a “friend of FPD.”

Goal $4,000,000 Gifts and pledges $3,340,000

A giving envelope is included in this publication, or you can contact Headmaster Gregg Thompson (gregg. thompson@ or Development Director Chris Childers (chris. childers@fpdmacon. org) for additional information. Every gift puts us closer to our goal of providing our students with the finest Christcentered education.

Why give to the Investing in Our Future campaign? Your gift will support:

“Our family has benefitted greatly from FPD. We believe in its mission and want to do what we can to help advance that mission in our school and hopefully for others.� Lisa Saitow FPD Parent

- The first floor expansion of the Clark Fine Arts Center, providing much-needed space for the fine arts program and our chorus and elementary music programs. - The development of a second floor of the Clark Fine Arts Center to house the Center for Student Success, including student support services of Instructional Support, Counseling, and Community Service. - The development of 38 acres of property into three athletic fields (rendering at left courtesy of FPD AP Art student Megan Sparks).

Investing in Our Future Campaign The first floor expansion of the Clark Fine Arts Center will provide muchneeded space for the fine arts program. The expansion will be directly behind the stage of the existing auditorium. Currently, elementary music, chorus and middle school art are housed outside of the Clark Fine Arts Center in the former kindergarten building, the lecture hall and the middle school science lab, respectively. The use of these spaces limits accessibility of the lecture hall and science lab for their intended purposes. The second floor expansion will house the Center for Student Success, including student services of Instructional Support, Counseling and Community Service. Currently, Instructional Support serves approximately 80 students who receive specialized instruction. The current space is neither designed for this service, nor does it have the capacity to serve additional students. These facility constraints are placing restrictions on

serving existing needs as well as limiting the opportunity for our students to receive learning support services. The new space will provide a large common study area, individual and small group study rooms, and a small computer lab. The additional space for school counseling within the new facility will ensure confidentiality and comfort. The campaign also will enable the development of 38 acres of newlyacquired property into three athletic fields. The property, located contiguous to the school, south of Calvin Drive, will become practice diamonds for softball and baseball and will include a large, multi-purpose field. A 1,200-square-foot addition to the weight room (below) was completed in fall 2011, doubling the capacity of our strength and conditioning facility. The expanded space provides an additional locker room for the girls and a large equipment room for all sports teams.

Clark Fine Arts Addition

School honors Watson, Bateman Keith Watson from the class of 1986 was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award during Homecoming 2011 festivities. Watson is the Lead Pastor of New City Church downtown. With a love for downtown Macon and the Gospel, Keith and New City Church have made great investments in Macon, desiring to see lives made new by the gospel of Jesus Christ and eventually a city made new as well. In addition to planting New City Church downtown, Keith also has led the start of New City Churches in Milledgeville, Warner Robins and an upcoming church plant in Albany. Keith is also an Area Leader for Acts 29 Georgia and a member of The Acts 29 Church Planting Network. Keith created The 567 Center for Renewal and serves as President of the Board. The 567 is a downtown non-profit organization seeking the revitalization of downtown Macon. Keith and his wife Amy are parents to daughter Ivey and sons Robby and Elijah.

Oliver C. Bateman was the FPD Service Award recipient, given to an individual who has shown continued support for and service to the school. Mr. Bateman and his late wife Mary Jane were very active here at FPD in the late 1970s, 80s and 90s when their children were students. During these years, Bateman gave countless hours to help make FPD what it is today. Bateman served for a total of 10 years on the Board of Trustees, including three terms as Board Chairman. Highlights of his service to FPD include the construction of our library and John Clark Fine Arts Building, the building of the cafeteria and gymnasium, construction of the kindergarten building and acquiring land to build a new baseball and soccer field. Bateman also faithfully served our country as a member of the 14th Air Force “Flying Tigers� 118th Fighter Squadron and fought during WWII, flying the P-51 Mustang. He also volunteered for the Korean War. His children, Oliver Bateman III and Edna Bateman Galloway, accepted the award in his absence.

FPC pastor Chip Miller, original board member Harriet Comer, elementary school principal Wade Putnal, FPD Downtown aide Mandy Harris, headmaster Gregg Thompson, teacher Allison Lucas, director Jean O’Dillon and board member Saynor Foshee help students with the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the FPD Downtown campus in November.

Returning Home

New downtown campus opens at First Presbyterian Church. A dream several years in the making was realized when FPD’s new downtown campus opened its doors in August. Housed at First Presbyterian Church, whose leaders had the vision and laid the foundation for FPD in the late 1960s, the school welcomed seven pre-K students on Aug. 11, the first day of classes. FPD Downtown was created to serve students of parents who live or work near downtown Macon. Faculty member Jean O’Dillon serves as extended day director at FPD Downtown, while Allison Lucas is the 3K-4K teacher and Mandy Harris serves as Lucas’ aide. The school will add a grade each year through the fifth grade. Dozens of folks turned out for the ribbon cutting ceremony in November, including FPC pastor Chip Miller and several former and current board members. “It is amazing to see what has happened and to be a part of it,” said Harriet Comer, one of the school’s original board members. “I never dreamed that we would be the size that we are now, for us to have another part of the school back at the church.”

FPD Magazine Spring 2012


Faculty Spotlight The Rev. Bob Veazey, Bible teacher

B.A., Communication, University of Alabama; Master of Divinity, Columbia Theological Seminary Tell us how you came to work at FPD. It’s interesting how God works. Late in the summer of 2003, the high school had two Bible classes more than they had faculty to teach. I received a call to see if I would be interested in teaching these two classes. I prayed about it, talked with the Session of my congregation, went through the interview process and I have been here ever since. What makes FPD a special place to work? Without a doubt – the people. My colleagues, our principals and administration are some of the finest men and women I have ever known. Our students are incredible. They are engaging, witty, diverse in interest and opinions.

Bob Veazey

At FPD since 2003. Wife: Nora. Children: Foster (FPD Class of 2008), Weathers (2009). 16

FPD Magazine Spring 2012

What are some of the highlights of your job? The ability to pray with and be prayed for on this campus sustains many of us through difficult times. This is a blessing that God has greatly bestowed upon us who call FPD home. Being around teen-aged persons all day is never dull! When I began teaching here nine years ago, I could not have imagined the impact they would have had upon my life. It is a true privilege to see them mature, both in age and in faith. I love my students. I can compare it to the time when one becomes a parent for the first time - you think you know how it’s going to feel. Yet, once that boy or girl actually comes into your life, you realize that you had no clue how much you could love them. For some of us, the classroom is not where we are going to shine. I am profoundly dyslexic. The only thing I liked about school from kindergarten through undergraduate was the social life and sports. Every subject was so difficult for

me; the simplest assignments would take forever to complete. I had some pretty awful teachers who would berate me in front of my classmates because they thought I was lazy. I was blessed with wonderful parents, who advocated and fought for me, who got me in an innovative program at Vanderbilt University so I could eventually learn how to read. My own experience is why I utilize a variety of grading opportunities for every student to be successful in the classroom. I know what it’s like to struggle in the classroom. I seek to constantly encourage and remind my students that God has given us all gifts for success. I love seeing students’ gifts being unveiled through their class work. Your favorite subject to teach? I think it would have to be Christ and Culture. We tend to associate with people who have similar interests and beliefs and it is easy to insulate ourselves from the very diverse beliefs which our world seems to embrace. I love challenging my students to figure out what they believe, what principles they will cling to, to help them build a foundation for the challenges that they will face in the next seasons of their lives. It can be quite entertaining to see how completely freaked out they get when we examine other beliefs, such as Scientology. What are some little-known facts about you, maybe something your students might not know? What? I thought teenagers knew everything. They would probably split their sides if they knew I liked to dance, I can really bust a move with my Wii. I cannot stand to fly on airplanes and I have a son who will be a U.S. Marine Aviator. I once won an elephant race when I was a pastor in Mississippi.

Faculty Spotlight Carol Albright, second grade

B.S., Human Development and Family Studies, Colorado St. University; M.S., Education, Walden University What led you into teaching? Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to work with children. As a child, I loved school and the learning environment. I admired and respected many of my teachers. Their wisdom, patience, and their love for learning were an inspiration to me. A close family friend whom I babysat for was a teacher and she strongly encouraged me to explore teaching. Her encouragement was instrumental in leading me in this direction. My dad also encouraged me to be a lifelong learner and to choose a career that I would truly love to do each day where I could contribute positively to others. You always hear that elementary kids say some pretty funny things. Can you think of a few you’ve heard through the years? I find joy and humor every day in my classroom. My students are not only creative but also very insightful. Their perceptions are precious and innocent. There is never a dull moment in second grade and I guess that’s what makes it so enjoyable about being here every day. Recently, my class was learning a pledge about being a good example. The last line of the pledge reads: “In purity I will choose what is right.” One of my students raised his hand with a confused look on his face. He said, “This purity thing, isn’t that what happens to you when your voice changes and gets real deep?” When my students ask for something in class, they often call me “Mom.” At first they get embarrassed when this happens but then they usually say something like, “Well, you are kind of like my Mom away from home!” When I was telling one of my classes

about the time I took my son to college and how sad I was because I would not see him every day and I would miss him, one of my students said, “Oh, don’t worry, he is gone but now you have 18 other children. You have all of us!” What makes FPD a special place to work? There are several reasons. It’s great to be a part of a school that not only seeks to develop the mind of each individual student but also to mold character. FPD is special because our curriculum and instruction is taught from a Biblical world life view. Being allowed to speak of Jesus at any time makes FPD a special place. It’s a privilege to work with children who are excited about learning and to partner with such supportive parents. I don’t take these things for granted because I know it is not this way in every school. FPD is also a special place to work because of the wonderful faculty. It’s exciting to work in a place where a team environment exists and collaboration is encouraged. I love learning every day from the teachers and students I work with. A few little-known facts about you: Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin ... I am the seventh child out of eight. I have five brothers and two sisters ... I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Solomon Islands on the island of Guadalcanal in the South Pacific from 1983 to 1986 in the area of Community Education. I also authored a teaching booklet on Child Development in the local language which was used as an education tool in the island schools and with women’s interest groups.

Carol Albright

At FPD since 2001. Husband: Craig. Children: Emily (FPD Class of 2008), Ryan (2010) and Conner (2013). FPD Magazine Spring 132012


On Campus FPD International

James it Scholars National Mer than Easter & na Watwood, Jo s Katie Huggin

Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Award: Mary Helen Do uglas & Olivia Taylor with FPD Co mmunity Service Director Holly Scott .

Highest GPAs per grade (2010-11): Barret Ham (eighth grade), Olivia Taylor (9th), Bennett Humphries (10th), Katie . Huggins (11th) with principal Joe Childs

Junior Lily Garnett has been elected president of the Georgia Child ren of the American Revolution, foun ded to promote patriotism and love of country among young people.

Senior Pearce Groover, winner of the American Association of Teachers of French Outstanding Senior in French Award, with Brad Thompson, college counselor.

Emory LindMiddle schoolers Nicholas e, ron sey, Hanny Ma llison and Shealy, Briceson To eted mp co am ngh illi W Mac ce fair at in the state scien UGA in March.

State literary meet participants (left to right) Kayla Robinso n, Tesch Jerles and Lily Garnett (placed second in girls trio); boys soloist Michae l Money (fourth) and girls soloist Mary Margaret Smith (third ). Alex Newberry (inset ) was third in dramatic reading.

After a long time waiting, FPD has welcomed its first two international students from China. Nicholas Shao and Kimi Zeng arrived in January just in time to see our FPD students shine during the fun events of our annual Spirit Week. Nicholas and Kimi joined our junior class and quickly became part of the FPD family. Whether competing on our Math Team with Dr. Shealy, working on community service projects or painting props for the juniorsenior workshop, they have certainly embraced life as a Viking! Our students and faculty have welcomed these two young men as they have adjusted to not only a new school, but a new city and a new culture. It’s been an exciting time and a blessing for our school to see this come to fruition. If you are interested in becoming involved in our International Program or hosting a student in the fall, please contact our Admissions office at (478) 477-4774. - Cheri Frame

Rising STAR

Easter named Bibb County STAR Student Since his sixth grade year, senior Jonathan Easter has had a standing breakfast date with his mother. Two or three times a week, the two get together over biscuits and coffee to go over Easter’s schoolwork. “She helps me study,” Easter said of his mother, Dr. Linda Easter, a professor in the business school at Mercer University. “She’s very, very smart and she still knows a lot of stuff. I went home one day during lunch and she taught me everything for my physics test (later that day). She’s been a big part of my academic experience.” Easter’s dedication to his academics was rewarded when the senior was named the STAR Student for all of Bibb County in February. The distinction goes to the student who posts the highest score on the SAT at one sitting. Easter’s score of 2,300 was tops in the county. He chose his Latin teacher, Dr. Michael Carreker, as his STAR Teacher. Easter has had at least one class with Carreker every year since eighth grade, starting with Latin I and including AP English and a Bible course. “He’s got a way of teaching so you stay engaged and it’s not necessarily him talking to you,” Easter said of Carreker. “He also

has a way of talking with you so that you’re learning but you never feel like you’re smarter than him. He’s created that respect but there’s still the ability to talk with him and debate things.” Easter, who hopes to pursue a career in engineering, credited the FPD faculty for helping shape him as a student. “Lots of teachers over the years have had a great impact on me,” he said. “Every teacher seems to have something invested other than just a paycheck. It’s a wonderful school and very formative in all the areas.” - Cal Powell

“Why is Jonathan a star student? First of all, he has an extraordinary gift of memory and intellect. He follows and anticipates the argument; second, he has discipline. He is prepared for class. He does his work thoughtfully; and third, he has the courage to learn. He speaks up and answers questions, and suggests analyses. He is not afraid. And when he is wrong, he accepts his error with good humor. He enjoys the life of the mind and does not take himself too seriously.” Dr. Michael Carreker 2011-12 STAR Teacher Latin, English

FPD junior Leven Sears reads to a group of Vineville Academy students as part of a class service learning trip.

Building bridges

Community service program has made a visible impact on the lives of students and countless others in Macon.


FPD Magazine Spring 2012


By Holly Scott Community Service Director

ix thousand, three hundred and eighty. This is the number of hours the senior class alone accumulated over the last two years, serving others! If this is an average, our high school students, over the last two years since we’ve had a formal community service program, gave more than 25,000 hours in service to others. What an amazing number! However, the number that counts more than the above number is one: each individual person whose life changed because our students cared enough to go and serve. What a blessing and privilege it has been for me, over the last two years, to serve as the high school’s community service director. Why? Not just because of the amazing

numbers of hours our students have given, many above the required 30 per year/per student, but because of changed lives — both the students and the people served! I’d like to share some stories of changed lives, lives of students, faculty and people served in our community. Something that has impacted my life over the past two years has been serving at the Fountain on Sunday nights. The Fountain is an organization that feeds both the physical and spiritual needs of the homeless in Macon. The first time I went I was very apprehensive because I felt like my life was too different than those of the people I was going to serve. I didn’t know what to expect and, to be honest, I was scared. But after my first night serving, my eyes had been opened to humanity in a whole new way. Since that very first day I have built so many relationships with people who I would seemingly have nothing in common with, but the moment I sit down to talk to them, I find we are all the same. We all have the desire to love and be loved. We all long to be accepted and to relate to one another. Every single person has the goal of achieving happiness. - Kristin Fillingim, FPD junior Every Tuesday morning at 5:15 a.m., I go to help prepare breakfast for the homeless at Macon Outreach. I never expected to see any of our students there that early in the morning! One morning, however, several of our students came. One in particular, Joseph Watwood, particularly impressed me. He just goes to work — he doesn’t have to be told what to do — he cleans the tables sometimes, washes dishes if we need him to, cooks eggs and sausage but, most importantly, intently talks and listens to people who come to eat with us. One day we even asked him to pray before we started the meal. I will never forget how humbly but confidently he walked up and prayed the most beautiful prayer in front of 100 people waiting for breakfast! He has been a real blessing to me! - Barbara Henley, FPD faculty “Where are my friends today, Miss Holly? You know the ones who come from your school and help me and talk to me and are my friends? I miss them when I don’t see them!” - Ricky at Macon Outreach “I’m so glad you and your students were here tonight to pray with me and encourage me. I look forward to it every time I see them!” - Marcus at Come to the Fountain

“I love when your students come to Flint River (Memory Care)! They show so much compassion when they come! There is one girl who always seems tearful when she leaves, as if our residents get a piece of her heart each time she comes. For your students, it seems like it’s not just an assignment for school, but a mission from God.” - Tammy, Community Relations Director at Flint River Memory Care “I love that your students don’t only come to serve, but they get others involved in service. Greyson Bargeron is an example of someone who has not only served our organization, but has gotten others involved in serving with us. Your program is building tomorrow’s leaders.” - Debra Rollins, Executive Director at Rebuilding Macon “These past two years, being involved in community service, impacted me in many ways. I learned what it’s like to be in charge of community service projects as part of Project LEAD. I think that has strengthened my leadership skills. I also learned to enjoy helping others, not just because I need hours, but because I want to help people and make a difference in their lives.” - Hannah Little, Senior Project Lead student As you can see, serving as Director of Community Service at FPD is a great blessing because, every day, I hear stories and comments like the ones above. They tell what a blessing the students at FPD are in our community. I tell everyone that I have the best job at FPD because I see our students, daily, fulfilling our school’s mission. They are changing the world for God’s glory!

Fine Arts

Godspell More than 40 FPD students were part of bringing Godspell to life on the Clark Fine Arts Center stage in March. This musical uses a modern setting and the folk-inspired music of the early 1970s to bring the Gospel of Matthew to life. Godspell shows how a group of people come to Christ, how they learn from his teachings, and how they must return to the world to share the powerful news of Christ’s holy sacrifice. For the director, cast, band, and crew, Godspell became much more than a musical. Many saw elements of their own walk with Christ paralleled in the story. The musical became a powerful tool to not only share the many amazing talents of the students involved, but to also bring the message of Jesus Christ to audiences in a different, symbolic manner. - Andrew Strickland, Fine Arts Director

FPD trio named All-State Band members Barret Ham (clarinet), William Roddenberry (trombone) and Joshua Shealy (clarinet) have been named to the Georgia Music Educators Association All State Band. Ham, a freshman, also has been named to the All State Jazz Ensemble on the alto saxophone and the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra on clarinet. Roddenberry and Shealy are members of the Macon-Mercer Youth Orchestra.


FPD Magazine Spring 2012

Cookbooks are for sale in any of the FPD offices or at any of these stores:


Chichester’s, Creter’s, In Good Taste, Save the Date, Bodega, The Yellow House, and Henry’s of Bolingbroke


Bella’s Flowers Downtown, Colleen’s China & Collectibles and Freckled Frog


Fourth Street Interiors


Main St. Galleria

Warner Robins

Now we’re cookin’ FPD Cookbook now available across Southeast

Mix good food and a Penley painting, and you’ve got the ingredients for a pretty amazing cookbook. Two years ago, FPD mom Jan Barry came up with an idea to collect recipes from other FPD family members. Initially, it was to be a smallscale project, but then, the cookbook took on a life of its own. FPD grad Steve Penley agreed to contribute artwork for the cover and hundreds of FPD folks contributed recipes and volunteered for taste tests. Last fall, the beautiful, hardback book was unveiled to a warm, receptive audience. In October, a silent and live auction was held at the home of FPD parents Carlton

and Rhonda Sutton under a beautiful moonlit night with entertainment provided by the FPD Jazz Ensemble. Proceeds from the auction and cookbook sales will go toward the expansion of FPD’s Clark Fine Arts Center. Already, more than 2,000 cookbooks have been sold and retailers from all over Macon and the Southeast now carry the book, which is titled “By His Hands” and features inspirational Bible verses in addition to hundreds of recipes. The cookbooks are $25 and can be shipped for a small fee. Email or visit our website at for an order form or to ask for additional information.

The Lamb’s Well


Minick Interiors

Cordele Striplings

St. Simons Mimi’s

Cashiers, N.C. Francie Hargroves

Amelia Island, Fla.

Miss Twillies, and The Spa & Shops at Amelia Island Plantation

If you are a store owner and would like information about selling “By His Hands,” please contact Carol Sawyer at or (478) 477-6505, Ext. 138. FPD Magazine Spring 2012



Vikings fall, winter sports excel FOOTBALL Finished the regular season with a record of 8-2, including a huge victory over eventual state runner-up Landmark Christian. Lost in first round of GHSA Class A state playoffs. Senior linebacker Kalo Oglesby was named second team All-State. Junior quarterback Brooks Stroud was named Honorable Mention AllState. Captains were Ben DuBose, John Kerry Howell, Greyson Bargeron and Daniel Slagle. James Watwood received the Scholar-Athlete Award from the Macon Touchdown Club. GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY Finished third in the state and had six runners make the All-Region team. Junior Grace Tinkey won the state championship and senior Victoria Coppage signed with UGA in March. BOYS CROSS COUNTRY Finished second in the state in Class A. Five Vikings made the All-Region team and senior Gray Lindley became the first FPD athlete to run a sub-16-minute time. SOFTBALL The Vikings repeated as Region 9-A champions and earned another berth in the state playoffs. The team finished with a record of 19-8, including wins over Veterans High, Harlem and Parkview. Caitlin Collins (photo at left) hit over .400 and was named team MVP. Collins, Bekah Adams, Luci Allen, Jenna Byrd, Claire Crawford and Hannah Davis were all named first team All-Region. BOYS BASKETBALL The team went 9-17 in a brutal region.

“The guys really played hard and competed very well against some very tough competition,� coach Michael Brooker said. Seniors were Micah Moore, Austin Tillman, James Watwood and Matt McCommon. GIRLS BASKETBALL The girls posted a final record of 13-13, including a 7-4 mark in Region 9-A. Guard Savannah Phillips and post player Luci Allen were named Honorable Mention All-Region. SWIMMING Top finishers for the girls were Carolyn McDonald and Brenley Martinez. Gerald Johnson and RuYi Marone led the boys team. Alex Davis, Elizabeth Smith and Mary Helen Douglas were key members of the girls relay teams; James Collins, Thomas Strickland and Michael Money paced the boys relay teams. WRESTLING Finished second in the Bibb County Championships and an impressive fifth place at the state tournament. Senior Cole Wheeler (photo at left), who will attend the United States Military Academy at West Point in the fall, finished as state runner-up in the 145-pound classification. Connor Morris (third place), Joseph Brittain and Samuel Mullis (fourth) and Martin Wilson (fifth) also had standout finishes at state. COMPETITION CHEERLEADING The Vikings scored a major highlight of the season with a first-place finish at the Warhawk Battle of the Best Competition in Warner Robins in September. The team went on to qualify for state sectional competition.

All-Region Honorees

Honor Roll

Grace Tinkey earns Gatorade award Junior cross country and track standout Grace Tinkey has won her second consecutive Gatorade Georgia Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year Award. Gatorade announced the honor in January. The award recognizes athletic success as well as high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character. Tinkey has won the state cross country championship every year since her eighth grade year. She placed third at the ultra-competitive Foot Locker Regionals and finished sixth at Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego. She is a four-time winner of The Telegraph’s All-Middle Georgia Runner of the Year Award.

Ramirez competes for P.R. National team Football: Ben DuBose, Scott McCormick, Micah Moore, Kalo Oglesby, Brooks Stroud. Girls Cross Country: Victoria Coppage, Danielle Ferro, Katie O’Quinn, Savannah Phillips, Jessica Smith, Grace Tinkey. Boys Cross Country: Patrick Hague, Grant Hoffmann, Gray Lindley, Christopher Phillips, Kenneth Reeder. Softball: Bekah Adams, Luci Allen, Jenna Byrd, Sumner Carlton, Caitlin Collins, Claire Crawford, Hannah Davis, Courtney Lawrence, Mary Micah Lee. Girls Basketball: Luci Allen, Savannah Phillips. Boys Basketball: Caleb Dupree.

Junior girls soccer player Atalia Ramirez competed with the Puerto Rico U-19 Women’s National Team in January. Ramirez’s parents, Luis and Yolanda, are both natives of Puerto Rico. Ramirez contributed 25 goals, nine assists and 119 steals last year in helping lead the Vikings to the Class A state championship with a 3-2 win over Paideia.

FPD Magazine Spring 2012



denise clark


t’s impossible to predict where a person’s path will take her. Denise Clark’s journey began at First Presbyterian Day School. After graduation, she pursued a bachelor’s in theater, worked for several cosmetic companies from Estée Lauder to Burt’s Bees, and eventually became the Director of Training and Education at Sundial Creations in Amityville, N.Y. The company’s mission is to use organic ingredients to create natural, wholesome fragrances and personal care products. Denise’s mission is to tell the world. She teaches buyers and consumers how the skin functions at the cellular level and why natural ingredients are so essential to keeping it healthy. The benefit to the body goes hand-in-hand with the benefit to the environment, she said. Companies that use inorganic and synthetic materials in their products contaminate water supplies and harm aquatic environments, Clark said. “It’s our responsibility to take a look at our lives and make the most sustainable choices possible. People feel like, as individuals, they don’t count. But every action does matter,” she said. Sharing the information she has learned over the years has become her true passion. “I love speaking to a group of people about the impact and importance of natural products and seeing the light come on for them,” Clark added. 26

FPD Magazine Spring 2012


Clark began attending FPD in the fifth grade. One of her favorite memories of those years came in the form of a rare, golden opportunity. During a football game one night, the team manager pulled up to the stadium in the school truck and clambered out, foolishly leaving the keys in the ignition. Wordlessly, Denise and her friend commandeered the vehicle, took it for a short drive and returned it to the fuming manager. Laughing, Denise labeled the experience an “extra credit project” for Drivers’ Ed. “I liberated that truck!” she said, laughing. The members of FPD faculty, like Algebra teacher Ed Middlebrooks, were a critical step in Denise’s journey. “It was amazing how much attention we got from the faculty,” she said. “The teachers at FPD are so invested. It’s something the school was founded on.” Soon, Denise’s path will wind back through Macon again. She and her classmates are approaching their 25-year reunion. Although she’s excited to see all the ways the school has grown, there is one thing she’ll miss: the gravel parking lot. “If you were having a bad day, you could purposely fishtail on your way out, you know, throw some attitude as you left,” she said. “I might have to bring a bucket of gravel back to the school with me!”

- Story by Christine Boddy, FPD Class of 2010

’98 A

amy menefee payne

my Menefee Payne can’t really pinpoint the exact moment she decided a career in government policy analysis sounded appealing. One clue might have been her choice of reading material at the breakfast table as a young girl. “My dad read op-eds to me over breakfast when I was growing up,” she said. “He was reading things by Walter Williams and Cal Thomas and all these great writers.” Not exactly “Family Circus,” considering Williams and Thomas are two of the most well-known conservative writers working today who often deal with complex economic and social issues. For Payne, it proved to be foreshadowing. Now the web editor and writer for The Heritage Foundation, a think tank located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Payne spends her days promoting conservative policies to congressional staff and the public at large. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind tour of the D.C. area for Payne since her days as a journalism major at Samford University. A graduate degree in journalism from the University of Missouri followed, then jobs at the Media Research Center’s Business and Media Institute; the Galen Institute; Americans for Prosperity and CounterPoint

Strategies before taking her current job at Heritage in early 2011. Her work has appeared in newspapers across the country and has earned her spots on television, including the Fox News Channel, and radio. “I think I was just interested in doing something that was really going to matter,” Payne said. “When I came to D.C. that first time and interned at Heritage (in 2001), everybody always said you get bitten by the political bug. I really did.” Much of Payne’s work involves condensing complex bills and policy into language the average person can understand. “That’s the common thread of all the work I’ve done: working with people to try to translate what goes on in Washington to how it affects the individual,” she said. It was during a morning commute a few years ago, driving along a familiar road in Old Town Alexandria, when it occurred to Payne that she was living out a dream many years in the making. “I do have a memory of just thinking ‘I did it. I live here and I’m going to a job I really enjoy, doing very intellectually stimulating work,’ ” Payne said. “I remember thinking ‘Wow, I’m here and I’m doing this.’ ”

- Story by Cal Powell

FPD Magazine Spring 2012



dr. bill terrell


f you didn’t know any better, you might think Dr. Bill Terrell’s degree is in voodoo instead of orthopedics. After all, who has ever heard of bone lengthening? Terrell, FPD class of 1981, says he’s certainly heard his fair share of surprised responses, from “You do what?!” to “You’re kidding me!” to outright laughter. But if you ask any of the people whose pictures line his office wall in a mural of success stories, you’d see only the grateful smiles of people who’ve been given their lives back. Terrell’s official job title is “orthopedic surgeon with a focus in limb lengthening and deformity correction.” In the real world, Terrell sums up his job with the slogan, “Knock knees? Bow leg? Built-up shoe? We can help you!” Typically, Terrell said, he works with problems like severe fractures, infected bone, non-unions (bones that have not healed) and mal-unions (bones that have healed incorrectly). His patients range anywhere from people born with deformities to war veterans to motorcycle accident victims. Many times, these patients will have undergone multiple surgeries over a span of many years before trying bone lengthening.


‘‘ 28

I’m a self-actualized person. That means I’m someone who gets to do what they love. Yes, it’s a bizarre job, and it’s definitely a niche, but I’m fascinated by it.”

FPD Magazine Spring 2012


The bone lengthening process, which Terrell became interested in during his orthopedic training at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, is more scientific than waving a wand or sprinkling some pixie dust on the afflicted area. The method was developed accidentally by medical genius Gavrill A. Ilizarov in a Siberian kulak during the 1950s. Scientifically, distraction (pulling apart) and decompression of bone will stimulate bone growth, also known as osteogenesis, in the gap area. Bones can be safely lengthened anywhere from 15 to 100 percent of their original length. In the early 1990s, Terrell traveled to the hospital Ilizarov founded in Siberia to learn everything he could from the original sources: those Ilizarov had taught himself before his death. He tries to go back to Siberia as often as possible to learn any updates from the field. “If you want to get good at something, you train with as many talented people as you can to learn as much as you can,” he said. This self-motivated mentality has been a strong motif in Terrell’s life. In high school, he worked mopping floors as an emergency room attendant, and he went above his parents’ and teachers’ expectations to graduate with honors. He maintained the same academic standards at the University of Georgia. “I prayed every day that God would help me, but I also studied on Fridays and Saturdays - whatever it took. You have to stay up late, make the grades, knock on doors and make it happen,” Terrell said without a hint of regret. “I definitely spent a lot of time sweating and a lot of time on my knees.” When he was chosen for one of the three orthopedic spots at MCG, Terrell became the first medical professional in his family. He said he wouldn’t trade his job for anything in the world. “I’m a self-actualized person,” Terrell beamed. “That means I’m someone who gets to do what they love. Yes, it’s a bizarre job, and it’s definitely a niche, but I’m fascinated by it.” Terrell admitted that there are certainly sad aspects to his job, like having to tell someone that their best move is amputation. No matter what, he always seeks to be supportive of the patient. “I always tell them, ‘If you need to cry about it, I’ll cry with you. But then we’re going to get up and we’re going to do something about it’,” Terrell said. “The highs are really high, and the lows are really low.” But he says it’s those highs, those success stories, that get

him up in the morning. It’s the woman who still sends him a Christmas card even though her treatment ended seven years ago. It’s the 14-year-old girl who just set a personal record in her swim meet because her knees aren’t rotated anymore. It’s the father in recovery who brought in his newborn son to take a picture with Terrell, saying, “You told me I could do something with my life now, so I created one.” “That’s what it’s all about. It’ll make the hair stand up on your arms. And if that doesn’t get you up in the morning, I don’t know what will,” Terrell said, choking up at the memory. Terrell is quick to give credit to those who help him every day. “I always tell people, I have a lot of good people around me that make me look good. To work in this field, you have to have good hands, a good heart, and a big brain. Everyone on my team has all three,” Terrell said of the people in his practice at Pinnacle Orthopaedics in Marietta. But Terrell also never fails to give God credit for his success, claiming he is just a tool to help carry out God’s plan in his patients’ lives. At the end of all of Terrell’s PowerPoint presentations he gives at various conferences, he always closes with the following quote from Benjamin Franklin. It sums up in a few words his thoughts on this passion that became a livelihood: “God heals, and the physician takes the fee.”

- Story by Jenni Seale, FPD Class of 2010

FPD Magazine Spring 2012



Mixon, shown at left in this photo from the 1975 yearbook and at far left from 1982, was a member of FPD’s original faculty and taught second grade at the school until her retirement in 1988. A Wesleyan College graduate, she began her teaching career in 1956 at Macon’s Union Elementary School.

Marion “Toot” Mixon

Retired second grade teacher was with FPD from day one. I was named for my father. They called me Marion Louise. My little brother could not get all that out when he started talking and it just came out Toot. And I tried to get rid of it along the way in school but there was just always someone there, growing up in Macon and staying in Macon, that knew it was Toot. So I’ve never been able to get rid of it. (Headmaster Henry Middlebrooks’) first wife Jane was my distant cousin. I’d known him all along and my husband knew him. He just gave me a call and said he’d like to talk to me. I didn’t think I’d ever make it past the board. That first (FPD) faculty was amazing, the way we bonded. The school, the day before it opened, was still in the building stages. We picked up nails off the carpet and cleaned the bathrooms, ran the vacuum, what have you, the day before the school opened. There was a lot of work to do around here and we did a lot of it. 30

FPD Magazine Spring 2012

I loved it from the very beginning and Mr. Middlebrooks was wonderful to work for. I remember the first day of school it poured rain and the streets hadn’t been paved through here. He got a flatbed Ford and brought the children in from the street. I remember Mr. Floyd was my principal and he brought a nice young lady to my door to introduce me. He’d been interviewing for another second grade teacher (to add). It was Ginny Wall and she was yes ma’aming me and she was a nice cute young thing and I told her ‘Listen, we’re going to get along fine, but you don’t yes ma’am me.’ We’ve become very close friends. We had very special children. I’d drop homework off if a child was sick here, there and yonder on my way home. The parents had us in their homes for activities and the children all wanted us to come to their recitals and what have you. You got to know everybody. - As told to Cal Powell

Homecoming OCTOBER 5-6


We hope to see you at Homecoming 2012 this fall! The Vikings host Georgia Military Academy at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5. If you’d like to nominate someone for the Alumni Service Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award, please contact alumni director Carol Sawyer at carol. Homecoming week festivities continue on Saturday, Oct. 6, with a luncheon and campus tours for reunion classes of 1977, ’82, ’87 ’92, ’97, ’02 and ’07.

Community Survey

FPD continually seeks to improve and values the input of our families and students. We are also very interested in feedback from the Macon area on how FPD is meeting its vision and mission and serving the Middle Georgia community. If you are from the Macon area and do not or no longer have a direct connection to FPD, we would appreciate your thoughtful answers to the questions we have put together. If you are part of a current family, please consider passing this survey along to a friend in the community. You may complete the survey by entering the URL into a browser or scanning the QR code above with your smartphone.

Attention Alumni: Please send your Classnotes to Alumni Director Carol Sawyer ( We would love to hear from you. Classnotes will be included in the summer issue. Deadline is June 1.

Coming soon!

The 13th annual FPD Golf Tournament will be held April 30 at Idle Hour Country Club. If you’re interested in playing or putting a team together for this event, please contact Stephanie Gaither for details. (478) 477-6505, Ext. 179

FPD Online: Get connected! To see school videos For school publications

For photographs of campus events

Folllow our tweets

Social networking

“Like” First Presbyterian Day School and FPD Alumni pages

Homecoming 2011 Reunions


Reunion Organizers



Mary Claire Hemby Hill Class of 2001


5671 Calvin Drive Macon, Georgia 31210


Lauren Lane Hailey Hope Hahn Shields


1997 Organizers still needed for Classes of 2002 and 2007. Please email to volunteer.

David Spivey

John Michael Phillips

FPD Magazine, Spring 2012  

FPD's spring magazine, featuring classroom news, alumni profiles and more.