A Message from the Head of School
We are responsible for the world in which we find ourselves, if only because we are the only sentient beings which can change that
Sir Francis Bacon
Dear FA Families,
One of the more memorable first special events that I experienced early on in my tenure at FA was the formal dedication ceremony for the Ralston Fine Arts Center in the fall of 2020. That ceremony provided our community the opportunity to honor the memory of Ed Ralston, a longtime FA trustee and benefactor, who served and supported Frederica Academy for nearly two decades. It was a special privilege to host Mr. Ralston’s sons, Ward and Charles, as well as the dozens of donors who gave gifts in memory of Mr. Ralston in order to help fulfill his dream of elevating the school’s Fine Arts programs and facilities.
With the continued expertise of Laura Edenfield and the hiring of Drs. Tess Nielsen and Jordan Taylor to strengthen and expand our performing arts curriculum, many FA Middle and Upper School students have now participated in, and benefitted from, quality musical and dramatic experiences in the Ralston Fine Arts Center that they otherwise would not have enjoyed.
Another chapter of this ongoing arts story was written recently with the creation of the Ralston Fine Arts Center Endowment, made possible because of the Ralston family providing significant endowed funding to ensure the long-term upkeep and maintenance of that important facility. Their continued support certainly reflects Mr. Ralston’s and his family’s love for children and their fervent appreciation for arts education as a fundamental ingredient in a quality independent school experience.
What happened with the Ralston Arts Center is emblematic of how a school often grows and matures and, most importantly, how the student experience improves alongside that growth. Those key elements … inspiring facilities, relevant and important programming, competent and confident adult leadership to direct the programming, and a student culture that prizes participation and personal growth … all fortuitously intersect to make any unrealized potential come to life.
In the months ahead, FA will finalize a new Campus Master Plan that articulates the vison of a facilities proposal that will appropriately support both our growing enrollment and many of the curricular and co-curricular aspirations of the school. Beyond the need to construct classrooms to accommodate an expanding enrollment and the advent of new academic courses and electives at both the Middle and Upper School levels, tired and outdated facilities like the cafeteria, the gymnasium, and additional performing arts space are all in line for renovation or the creation of new structures. Over time, and in a thoughtfully prioritized manner, the school’s goal is to revisit every structure and space on campus and make sure that each is worthy of our students’ best efforts. Additionally, our plan will address all pedestrian and vehicular traffic patterns and the ancillary support facilities essential to operating the school.
Of course, the pace and ambition of these new construction projects and master planning efforts will be tied to the appetite and the capacity of the community to fund these initiatives. Families such as the Ralstons have set a high standard for philanthropy within our school community, and for years before them other generous donors helped finance the sundry facilities that we all enjoy on the FA campus today.
There is no mystery to how campus enhancements are realized, and in the months and years ahead you will begin to hear more about various elements of our Campus Master Plan and the companion Capital Campaign essential to realizing those elements. My hope is that you will be excited and energized by these upcoming initiatives and consider how you might be able to participate down the road.
Please contact John Pope, Associate Head of School and Chief Advancement Officer, or me should you want to learn more about these campus investment ideas and opportunities.

Scott L. Hutchinson
Head of School
This Week at FA


Monday + Tuesday
MS Director Candidate Visit


Monday @ 10:00 AM
US Virtual Assembly (Advisory)

Monday @ 11:00 AM
First Grade Program + Feast
Dunn Family River Cottage

Monday Afternoon
MS Soccer @ Home
vs. Camden
Boys @ 3:30 PM
Girls @ 4:30 PM

Monday @ 4:00 PM
Middle School Faculty Meeting
Shuman Conference Room

Tuesday @ 1:05 PM
Cultural Awareness Club Meeting
Dr. Oliver's Classroom

Tuesday Evening
Varsity Basketball @ Home
vs. Habersham
Girls @ 5:30 PM
Boys @ 7:00 PM

Tuesday @ 6:00 PM
MS + US Musical Performance
King & Prince Hotel

MS + US Exam Review Days

Wednesday @ 10:00 AM
US Advisory

Wednesday @ 3:20 PM
Chess Club
Nash Academic Center

Wednesday @ 4:00 PM
US Faculty Meeting
Hamilton Hall

Wednesday + Thursday
MS Soccer First-Round Playoffs
Girls - Wednesday; Boys - Thursday
Details Pending

FA Booster Club
Spirit Wear Christmas Sale
Gym Lobby
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Thursday @ 8:30 AM
Pre-K Christmas Program
Hamilton Hall

Thursday @ 10:00 AM
Third + Fourth Grade
"Christmas Carol"
Ritz Theatre (Downtown Brunswick)

Friday Morning
First Grade
Christmas @ Jekyll Island

Friday @ 8:10 AM
LS Morning Meeting

Friday @ 1:05 PM
Dinosaur Club
Mrs. Bradford's Classroom

Friday Evening
Varsity Basketball @ Home
vs. Brantley County High School
Girls @ 5:30 PM
Boys @ 7:00 PM

Saturday Morning
ACT Exam

Glynn County Swim Meet
MS + Varsity Teams
Golden Isles YMCA
Thank You, FA Family!
Knights Table Menu
Varsity Home Basketball Games
MS Home Soccer Games
A Royal Holiday Celebration
Middle and Upper School Musicians
King & Prince Hotel Performance
Tuesday, December 7
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Please join us for "A Royal Holiday Celebration," featuring the String Ensemble and the Knightingales Vocal Ensemble. Students will present Christmas Carols and holiday music on the grand staircase in the hotel lobby.

This event is free and open to the public.

Click here for more information about the King and Prince's parking and COVID policies or contact Dr. Tess Nielsen, Fine Arts Director.
Christmas Store Donations Deadline
MS Community Service Deadline
Middle School is excited to put its compassion into action by adopting students for Christmas from Safe Harbor. Safe Harbor is a long-term residential shelter, providing nurturing care, medical and dental services, academic support, and therapeutic counseling in a loving home-like environment. Each Advisory has adopted a child/teen to provide a few wish list items. Items need to be brought in, unwrapped but labeled with your Safe Harbor student’s name by December 8th. We will have a gift wrapping party on December 10th and deliver the gifts the following week. Please contact your student’s advisor of you have any questions! 
Christmas Spirit Wear Sale
LS Holiday Fun Days
MS + US Exam Schedule
Fifth Grade students do not have an exam on Wednesday, December 15; therefore, their last day of school is Tuesday, December 14

Click here for more information regarding Middle School Exams.
Lower School Early Dismissal
All Lower School students will dismiss at 11:00 a.m. on December 13, 14, and 15.

As in previous years, we will have our annual Giving Tree program on Wednesday, December 15. More information is forthcoming about the Giving Tree program once plans are finalized in order to adhere to our updated COVID protocols.

Lower School teachers will participate in an intensive professional development program on the afternoons of December 13-16, which necessitates the early dismissal on December 13-14.

To help accommodate parents who need childcare after the early dismissal, we will offer KiX on Monday, December 13, Tuesday, December 14, and Wednesday, December 15, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Because these hours differ from our normal operating times of our KiX program, there are limited spots for each grade level. If you would like your child to attend KiX any of these dates, you need to sign them up using the button below.
Please note THERE WILL BE NO DROP INS permitted as space is limited on these three days. Should your grade level be full, please email Heather Day or text her at 423-782-7716 to be placed on a waiting list. She will notify you no later than Friday, December 10, to inform you if there is space available.
Lower School Giving Tree
FA Family Photo Op with Santa
FA families interested in having their photo taken with Santa Claus can sign up for a complimentary photo session, which will take place in front of the beautiful Christmas Tree located in the courtyard between Halyards and Tramici on Wednesday, December 15, starting at 1:10 p.m.

The deadline to sign up is Monday, December 13. For more information, email Brad Hutcherson.
Humane Society Angel Trees
It’s Angel Tree time again! The Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia Teen Board is sponsoring a supply drive for our furry friends at the Humane Society. Please take an ornament from one of the many trees around school, and purchase the item(s) listed on the ornament. Trees can be found in the front office by Mrs. Meyer’s desk and in the Upper School office by Mrs. Lavallee’s desk. Thank you for supporting our furry friends!

Donations are due December 15th.

Click here to email Kate Walbridge for more information.
US Health + Wellness Club News
The FA Health and Wellness Club is adopting a family in need for Christmas.

This year has been especially difficult for families both financially and emotionally. The officers of the club decided to choose a family that has several children and reached out to a local elementary school counselor to help find a family.

The family that the club has adopted has six children ranging in age from one to ten. The club has been given a list of "needs" and "wishes." Anyone who would like to help with this project is encouraged to email Nurse Pope or Mr. Riggs!
Congratulations, Mrs. Howell '88
Congratulations to Melanie Howell '88 on her new book, which debuted as the #1 new release in daily activity books on Amazon last week. Mrs. Howell teaches Fifth and Sixth Grade English and has been a part of the FA family since the 1980's!

Will's Ride is available on Amazon, Smashwords, and IngramSpark.

Here is the Amazon description about the book:

Why is Saturday Will’s favorite day of the week? Because Will, who has cerebral palsy, spends every Saturday riding his adaptive bicycle with his dad. Will and his dad have fun waving to friends as Will pedals through town. Who will they see today?

With nearly thirty years of classroom teaching experience, Melanie Howell loves sharing children’s literature with her students. When looking for books to share with her son Will, Melanie sought a book that featured a happy child with cerebral palsy who enjoyed typical childhood activities despite his physical challenges. Melanie wrote Will's Ride when she was unable to find such a book. You can learn more about Melanie and her love of books on her YouTube channel, The Teacher’s Playbook.
Congrats, Spencer Sullivan!
Spencer Sullivan was honored as the Rotary Student of the Month at a luncheon at the Brunswick Country Club last week. Spencer selected Steve Jobe as his teacher honoree. They were joined by Spencer's parents, Dr. Nancy Denlea and Dr. Mike Sullivan. Congratulations, Spencer!
SAR Essay Contest Winners
Whitmarsh Tennant
Ryann Hankey
Gillian Sullivan
Congratulations to this year's winners of the George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest, which is sponsored by the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR).

  • 1st Place: Whitmarsh Tennant (wrote on Daniel Morgan)
  • 2nd Place: Ryann Hankey (Paul Revere)
  • 3rd Place: Gillian Sullivan (John Jay)

Participating students must submit an 800-1,200-word essay based on an event, person, philosophy, or ideal associated with the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the United States Constitution.
US Marine Biology Class
Mr. Willis '86 and his Marine Biology class visited the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island last week.
Eighth Grade 3D Printed Cars
Eighth Grade Math students worked with Dottie Barrow in the Makerspace to make a rubber band-powered car last week. They used the 3D modeling program Tinkercad to design the pieces and then printed them on the 3D printer. Students used an (x, y, z) coordinate system to create the parts. They then had an opportunity to use several different power tools (dremel, drill, sander) to make sure the car fit together properly.
Seventh Grade "Outsiders"
For the past month, Ashley Cook's Seventh Grade English class has been reading S.E. Hinton's coming-of-age novel, The Outsiders. Despite its age, The Outsiders remains a touchstone text for middle schools everywhere, partly due to most seventh graders feeling like outsiders themselves at the very middle of the middle. The classic Greasers vs. Socs divide feels timeless, and students relate to the internal struggle to fit into a particular social class that feels limiting. 

Last week, students celebrated finishing the novel by dressing up as their favorite Outsiders characters and watching the 1983 Ford Coppola movie adaptation in class. Movie adaptations of novels often do not truly do the book justice, but S.E. Hinton did not disappoint with this one. The author herself was on-set and a partner in the adaptation of the story, ensuring the message, characters, conflicts, and plot were as accurate to her original vision as possible. 

Students loved dressing up as characters from the '60s and struck all of the iconic poses. Although the movie has aged somewhat since the '80s (we all had some laughs at the special effects), the message stayed the same: "Stay gold, Ponyboy."
Second Grade Star Students
Last week's Second Grade Star Students were Rollins Watson and Wylkes WhitlowThey did a wonderful job presenting their decorated All About Me Star posters and interviewing each other.
Wylkes invited his Mom, Mrs. Sommer Whitlow, and his brother, Wylder Whitlow, who is a Fourth Grader at Frederica Academy.

Rollins invited her Aunt, Mrs. Jenny Thompson, to be her guest reader.

Wylkes and Rollins shined brightly this week as the Second Grade Stars!
Pre-K Mystery Reader
Winnie Hutcherson was excited and surprised to learn that her mother, Jennifer Hutcherson, was last week's Pre-K Mystery Reader. Mrs. Hutcherson read the holiday classic, "Pick Me, Pick Me."
December Events
December 13-15 @ 11:00 AM
LS Early Dismissal
(LS Faculty Professional Development)

December 13
MS + US Science Exams
Dismissal @ 11:00 AM

December 14
MS + US Math Exams
Dismissal @ 11:00 AM

December 15
MS + US World Language Exams
Dismissal @ 11:00 AM

December 15
Early Dismissal @ 11:00 AM

December 16
MS + US Make-Up Exam Day
Teacher Work Day

December 16 - January 4
Student Christmas Break

December 29
Semester 1 Grades Posted

January 3-4
Teacher Work Days

January 5
First Day of Second Semester
FA Fall Athletic Schedules
FA Social Media