Middle Messenger

Updated May 23, 2019

Notes from Notestine

"How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." 
-Winnie the Pooh

The Peace Corps came up with this motto in 1962 —the toughest job you will ever love. This has definitely been my experience as a principal. I loved being the principal, but now it is time to return to my full-time passion — teaching.

I have so many people to thank for this 40-year ride at Woodward Academy.

First, Dr. Donovan, Dr. Jones, and Captain Brewster, who took a chance hiring a kid, a first-year teacher, from Indiana, a graduate from Milligan College, to teach science and coach here. I know if I were applying as a first-year teacher today, I would never get an interview or get hired. In fact, I wouldn't hire me!

I want to thank all the leaders at Woodward Academy who helped shape me and were mentors: Ted Hayes, Dave Chandler, Don Woolf, Ron McCollum, Tom Jackson, Dean Bell, Dean Kruger, Hank Payne, Pill Cobb, Nancy Boston, Lee Vincent, Bob Ballentine, Bill Lineberry, Johnny Stallings, Graham Hixon, and finally, Marcia and Stuart.

A few years ago, I met a bright-faced 7th grade young lady who boldly stepped up, introduced herself to me on her first day of MS, and said, "So you are Mrs. Notestine's husband." She is the best teacher I ever had. I have been proud to be Mrs. Notestine's husband now for almost 39 years! Debbie has supported me with everything I have ever done. She is the best. She took care of the kids and me while, for 8 years, I drove the early bus, taught five classes, coached, and drove the late bus. She put up with me coaching three sports for 25 years. She loved me even when I came home frustrated and grumpy after a hard day. Again, she is the BEST part of me.

Thankfully, all three of my kids graduated from WA as Vintage Eagles; what a blessed gift- the campus was their second home. All three got their first paying jobs here — Dana and Brian working Zoo Crew with George (where they learned many skills, including some new vocabuly) and Sara in the Campus Store for Cathy Weaver. Sara is currently teaching art at Woodward North, Dana has gone to the green side teaching science at Westminster, and Brian is a Gwinnett County police officer working accident investigations. My sister Eileen has worked with me for 30 years, but never has she called me her BOSS!

On my first day of school at the Academy in 1979, I met George Dietz, and we have been friends since. I have two sisters, but I never had a brother until that day. When Captain Brewster interviewed me, he asked me one question — "Why should we hire you?" and I think he ended the sentence with '"boy." I stammered out, "l will work hard, sir." Thank goodness I did not say I would be the hardest working guy on campus because that has always been George. Some of my favorite memories are when George and I were assistant principals in the Middle School. We loved messing with the kids and getting Dave, our boss, fired-up. HR would have fired both of us many times over today. For the past 18 years, George has worked hard at getting me fired up. If I had a nickel for every time George said, "We didn't have that problem when Dave was principal," I could retire today.

In addition to George, Millie Montgomery and Shannon Jackson have been great to work with as my assistant principals. Millie played a major part in planning and building our new Middle School, and all of you know how great Shannon is at everything. At times, I have felt sorry for Shannon because she had to put up with George and me.   I also want to thank Andy Phillips, who was my assistant principal at Busey, for all he did to make Busey a great place to be a kid. I know he continues to do great work as principal of the Lower School.

I owe much and could not have had as much success without the help of our Administrative Assistants — Ina Shaver, Beth Widener, and Kerry Scroggs. As everyone is aware, they are the ones who really run the school! Almost daily, I ask Beth and Kerry, "are we having fun yet?”  And they almost always answer, "Yes, of course!" I want to thank Kerry and Ina for all their editing on my Notes from Notestine each week. I also want to thank Mary Raine for taking care of me and the Middle School kids for all these years and thank Patty O for allowing Deb and I to see the world on the six Middle School spring break trips we took with her and the MS kids.

I am most proud of the teachers I have hired over the years. My philosophy has always been to hire the best people as teachers, give them what they need to be successful, and get out of their way and let them teach. The teachers I have hired are either like my brothers and sisters, or now as I have aged, like my kids. I really appreciate the passion of the young Middle School teachers. They keep me young and the future looks very bright with them teaching up our kids! As most of you know, I have always taught at least one class while serving as a principal. That is because I wanted the teachers to know I shared the same struggles as we implemented new curriculum and new technologies.

Finally, what I will miss most is the opportunity to be a positive influence for the kids in the Middle School. I love those kids.  In fact, my wife has said for years that I am just a big Middle School kid myself.  Parents, I want to thank you for trusting the Academy with your children and allowing me to be their MS Principal.   I want to thank all the parent club officers for what you have done to support our teachers and myself this year and in previous years.  I have enjoyed my forty-year ride in the Middle School.  It took me forty years to graduate to 9th grade but I have really enjoyed the ride.

Final Semester Grades Eagle Roll Ceremonies

Our goal is to have all grades calculated and report cards emailed by Friday evening. The final report card will contain first and second semester grade point averages which are used to create Eagle Roll.  Students with an overall 3.2 GPA to 3.79 will earn Silver Eagle and those with an overall 3.8 and above Gold Eagle.  The 8th grade honors ceremony will be held Tuesday, May 28 at 6:30 in Gresham Chapel.  The 7th grade ceremony will be Wednesday, May 29 at 6:30 in Gresham Chapel.  There will be light refreshments served after each ceremony.  Students attire is professional casual.  Please no shorts.  No reservations are required.  All friends and family are welcome.  If you are unable to attend, awards will be kept in the Middle School office.  You may come by during the summer to pick them up. 

Eagle Roll Lists

Congratulations to all!

7th Grade Gold

7th Grade Silver

8th Grade Gold

8th Grade Silver

Carlos Library Latest!

Jump into summer reading and take a peek at the new teacher collection, free audio books for teens, and get some new summer reading ideas!  


Nour Youssef has received an invitation for the 2nd year in a row from The USA Volleyball High-Performance National Program and the USA national team Coaches to join the skills program which will be held in Franklin, Tennessee this summer. Only 38 girls received this invitation from her age group nationwide. Training with USA Volleyball is an honor and it connects athletes to U.S. Olympic Teams and players. 

Rising 8th Parent Meeting

For those of you who missed the meetings on April 11, you may download the Middle School Rising 8th Grade Scheduling and Curriculum Guide

Rising 7th Parent Meeting

For those of you who missed the meeting on April 10, please view the following video link. You may also download the Middle School Rising 7th Grade Scheduling and Curriculum Guide

Chaplain's Corner

Greetings Woodward Academy Community,

I cannot believe this school year is already coming to a close! We have enjoyed a year filled with holiday assemblies, interfaith immersion trips, interfaith prayer services, cultural opportunities on campus, and beyond. I hope that May is a meaningful conclusion to the school year filled with joy for our students.

Throughout the month of May, students in our community will observe the following:

  • May 2 (Judaism) - Yom HaShoah is held in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
  • May 5 (Islam) - Ramadan begins at sundown as a time of fasting, self-examination, and religious devotion.
  • May 30 (Christianity) - Ascension is the anniversary of Jesus’ ascension into heaven, falling 40 days after Easter.

Please feel free to visit our Interfaith Initiatives page to see the times of all interfaith prayer opportunities or to share a prayer request.


Chaplain K
Rev. Katie O. Kilpatrick, Academy Chaplain
404-391-7589, chaplain@woodward.edu

New College Park Townhouse Community—Temple Square—With Walkable Access to Woodward Academy

Temple Square—a new 17-home townhouse community—is being constructed less than one mile from Woodward’s campus and will be completed later this year. Aligning with his work with the Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance to revitalize College Park and the surrounding Tri-Cities area, president Dr. Stuart Gulley participated in Temple Square’s recent groundbreaking event. 

As part of the City of College Park’s newly created Transit-Oriented Development District and the Aerotropolis, Temple Square will embody and advance the Aerotropolis’ concept of a thriving village destination. Its homes will feature high-quality amenities including Google technology, open-concept kitchens, and energy-efficient construction—not to mention an easy walk to MARTA and College Park’s historic district.

The townhomes offer Google-supported systems with seamless systems access:  effective security, deluxe entertainment options, and wi-fi connectivity from every room. Two-bedroom and three-bedroom units are available with all the Connected Lifestyle options Temple Square was designed to support.

To learn more about Temple Square’s Connected Lifestyle and walkable proximity to Woodward Academy, visit www.owntemplesquare.com.

Check out the Parent Community Website!

Whether you’re looking to volunteer or wondering when the next Parent Community event is, you can now find it all on the Parent Community website: www.woodward.edu/parentcommunity. Please be sure to check it regularly for details as we plan to update it weekly. You can also follow us on Facebook @WAParentCommunity. 


Use voucher code "WAlive1819" here to activate your account so you can watch live Woodward sporting events, performances, and more throughout the school year.

MS Upcoming Events