Middle Messenger

Updated May 16, 2019

Notes from Notestine

What matters most is not whether we deserve what we have, but what we do with it! … The longest title ever for my notes

The theme for the 2018-2019 school year at the Academy and at the Middle School has been gratitude.  We all know the definition of gratitude--the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Research has shown the benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless.  “People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they are thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.”

This year, the 2019 graduation speaker was Malachi Robinson, who will be attending Harvard.  He entered Woodward Academy in the 9th grade, so I do not know him as well as I wish I did.  His message to the audience was awesome.  Below is part of his message that I think is so insightful and the challenge he gave to his fellow classmates. In the final two weeks of school, I will share parts of his message to challenge our Middle School kids.  I hope you will have a family discussion using this message so we can all remember how blessed we are and how grateful we should all be.  Enjoy the message and the ride.

However, in the midst of our cheers and confetti, we must not forget how fortunate we are, and the great responsibility that comes with what we have been given. While at Woodward I have learned, perhaps more than anything else, just how privileged I and everyone else around me truly is. 

We all are exceptionally lucky. 

As I learned in Biology, the genetic and chemical backdrop of life occurs at a scale so rapid, so immense, and so complex that every second we are alive borders on miraculous. 

But even more than the serendipity of life alone, we have been offered the immense privilege, by virtue of our birth, of citizenship in the richest and most powerful nation on earth, homes in a world where 1.6 billion people lack adequate housing, and food in a world where 815 million people are undernourished. Look around. This school itself is a manifestation of your blessings. 

When faced with the humbling and brutal reality of this privilege we have been given, we usually do one of two things. The first is to ignore it, and fall back into the slumber of ignorance. The second is to painfully interrogate our entitlement. 

Though forcefully awakened by stories and statistics, I’ve been processing the second most of my high school career. I’ve thought a great deal, even more so in the wake of college acceptances, about why and if I deserve the privileges I have been given. I, like everyone else, am far from intellectually or morally perfect, and yet I have been given great advantages and opportunities pursued by yet denied to many others, several of whom are qualified to receive them. After getting into Harvard, I wondered whether who my parents are and my zip code provided me an unfair advantage, placing me in a privileged position that was unearned and undeserved. 

In response to these common and difficult doubts, I offer a simple maxim: what matters most is not whether we deserve what we have, but what we do with it. 

Our lives are winning lottery tickets. But the question we must answer is this: will we cash them in? Will we strive to maximize our potential and positive influence in the world? If we are to secure a better future for ourselves and the hopeful generations to come, we must vigorously respond in the affirmative. 

So even as we celebrate our accomplishments and our institution this day, we mustn't neglect the challenges of our time. 

We must learn to be a bit more grateful for the privileges we have been given, more humble, more receptive to the struggles of others, and more willing to fight for what is right. To realize that even as we revere and honor our histories, not every legacy of our forefathers is worthy of celebration. 

We must daringly act against deprivation even when it is uncomfortable or challenging. As Ralph Ellison implored us all through the timeless voice of his Invisible Man’s grandfather, we must learn to “live [our lives] with [our heads] in the lion’s mouth,” and have faith that, as the biblical Daniel did, we will emerge from the struggle for justice unscathed. Even in the midst of uncertainty and darkness, we must proceed, must recognize and act with what Dr. King called “The fierce urgency of now.” We must convict our blissful innocence and always subject ourselves to what Robert Penn Warren termed “the awful responsibility of Time.” Because our world though filled with so much beauty and prosperity, is in peril of destruction by the undefeated demons of the past and the falling angels of the present. 

Yet we are the generation that must choose grace with Maya Angelou and say “Very simply/With hope/Good morning.” We are the generation that must carry the heavy burden left by centuries of languid progression. We are the generation obliged to redefine American race relations. We are the generation that must tackle climate change, decrease the prevalence of war and violence, build social tolerance, and combat inequality in all its forms. And though the task ahead is daunting and the empirics aren’t pretty, by learning to accept our history, having faith in ourselves, and believing in the fortuity of the future, we can change the world.


We want to remind you the exam process is the same as first semester.  May 10 is the last day of regular tests and projects. Exam preparation and review begins May 13-16 with normal school hours.  Friday, May 17 is the first exam. 

Please refer to the following Exam Schedule.

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!  

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

Counselor Corner

Exam review packets will be distributed to students by Friday, May 10 and exam review days will begin on May 15. For some strategies and skills to discuss with your student about how to find success on exams, please check out next week’s WAM lesson plan below.

Our exam schedule will be as follows:

Friday 5/17 – Social Studies
Monday 5/20 Science
Tuesday 5/21 English
Wednesday 5/22 Literature/World Language
Thursday 5/23 Math

Meredith Draper, 8th Grade Counselor

Naima Williams, 7th Grade Counselor

What’s WAM?

We wanted to help our students as much as possible and begin to consider how they will manage their time and resources as they get ready to finish their courses for the year.  Check out some of the strategies we discussed in last week’s WAM meeting: Parent WAM Information: Exam Prep

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.

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

Horizons Volunteers for Summer Camp

Rising 9th graders are invited to apply to be a volunteer for Horizons at Woodward Academy this summer. Horizons is a summer program that serves students from our local public schools. We help them strengthen their reading and math skills, work on STEM projects, provide daily swimming lessons, and go on weekly field trips. Rising 9th graders would have the opportunity to work with students in grades kindergarten through 4th in the classrooms and the pool. Volunteers can earn all 20 service hours for their upcoming freshman year. The application contains more information such as dates and policies and is on the Service Learning page for Woodward Academy.

Summer Camps

Woodward Football is offering its seventh annual Quarterback/Skill Players Camp the first week of June! June 3-7 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Please visit the WA Summer Camp page to register or email Coach Hyder for more information. This camp is for all quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, or tight ends.  You do not have to be a Woodward student to join so invite any players you know!

Woodward Volleyball: For anyone who missed the informational meeting on April 3 please see the attached document for more information or contact Coach Sahara.

Woodward Basketball is excited to launch its Summer '19 basketball program.  This summer we are excited to offer two full length camps designed to improve skill development, promote teamwork, and most importantly have a great time!

Attached is more information regarding our summer plans including a sneak peek at what to expect.  Please note, you do not have to be a member of a Woodward basketball team to participate!

Woodward War Eagle Fundamental Camp
Monday, June 24 - Friday, June 28
Full Day: Grades 4-9

Woodward War Eagle Elite Skills Camp
Monday, July 8 - Friday, July 12
Full Day: Grades 6-11

Please visit the Woodward Summer Camp page to register!

Middle School Clubs

MS clubs began meeting in early September. Download the full list of our many clubs and their descriptions HERE.

Eagle Club: Thank you to the many homerooms who turned in BIG money to support our sister school in Terranova. The Eagle Club appreciates your contributions to this worthy cause!     
Bandrowski: $45
Crawford: $5.00
Goodman: $76.00
Hildebrand:  $10.00
Hill: $17.69
Listenbee: $10.00
Makkers: $16.72
Marshall: $65.35
McNeill: $45.00
M. Mousadis: $15.00
Owens: $10.17
Parker: $20.00
Parsons: $20
Tatum: $75.00
Trotter: $15.00
Wade: $10.00
White: $70.00

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.

Transportation Services Info

As a growing number of our students use services such as Uber, Lyft, taxis, private car services, and other similar means of transportation, please note that these forms of transportation are not sanctioned by Woodward Academy, and as such, patronage is at parental discretion.

Share Your Child's Achievements

Woodward's Marketing & Communications office is looking for news and stories from around the Academy! If your child has received a special honor, award, or has recently achieved something noteworthy, please email the team at marcom@woodward.edu. You are encouraged to send photos to accompany your stories as well.

Stories are used to update Our Latest News, content for the Academy's blog Beyond the Gate, press releases for the media, and posts on Woodward's social media pages. And be sure to follow @WoodwardAcademy on Twitter and Instagram, too!

I Wonder...

Have you ever wondered about any of your child's Woodward Academy experiences? Have you had any ideas or comments you wanted to share but no idea where to send them? We've created an “I Wonder” form in the Parent Portal to provide you with an opportunity to stay engaged throughout the year, rather than just at parent meetings. We invite you to share thoughts, reflections, and questions. Input can be anonymous, or you can include your email address if you would like a reply.

This “I Wonder” form is intended for questions/comments about the Academy as a whole. Please continue to consult your child’s teacher if you have a question or comment about your child’s specific class.

MS Upcoming Events