At the April 26th Honors Assembly, Brookwood School Headmaster Mike Notaro announced Justin Earnest Johnson as the 2012 valedictorian, the highest academic honor given each year at Brookwood.
Johnson had achieved the highest cumulative grade point average of his 35-member class for four years at Brookwood.
Sarah Rebecca Chason was named the class salutatorian, the student who has achieved the second highest cumulative GPA for four years at the college preparatory school.
The top two students will give the salutatory and valedictory addresses at Brookwood’s commencement on May 19 at 7 p.m. in the Thomasville Municipal Auditorium.
Johnson and Chason are among 15 Brookwood seniors graduating “summa cum laude,” with at least a 4.00 GPA — more “summa cum laude” graduates than any previous senior class in the college prep school’s 42-year history.
Chase Tenewitz, the son of James and Pam Tenewitz of Cairo, is among those “summa cum laude” grads and will attend the University of Georgia.
Johnson, the son of Chandra Johnson, will attend Yale University in the fall.
“My mom is always very supportive of me and tells me, ‘Do your best and God will take care of the rest,’”Justin Johnson said. “She is very excited about my accomplishment as valedictorian.”
Johnson began at Brookwood at the beginning of the 9th grade. A member of the National Honor Society, the Honor Council and Quill and Scroll, Johnson collected an impressive number of academic awards over the past three years, including 10 gold medals , two silver and four bronze medals for being either the first, second or third top student in his classes. He was Scholastic Leader with the highest average GPA in his sophomore year. At the recent Honors Assembly, he won the Vance Watt Science Scholarship.
A member of the Warriors football team for four years, Johnson plays wingback on offense and cornerback on defense. He won a 1,000-yards rushing award and was named an All-Region Player his senior year. Johnson also played varsity basketball his sophomore and senior years and serves on the leadership team of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
For three years he served on the student newspaper staff and was named news editor. As a freshman, Johnson won the regional Georgia Stock market Game. Last year, he was recognized as a Georgia Certificate of Merit Scholar.
Johnson is an active member of the St. Augustine Catholic Church in Thomasville and has performed volunteer work for Hands on Thomas County.
Salutatorian Sarah Chason is the daughter of Judge Kevin and Mary Chason of Cairo, Ga. Her brother Phillip is a Brookwood 10th grade student.
She will attend the University of Virginia.
She was the STAR Student of Brookwood and subsequently the STAR Student of the southwest region of Georgia this year.
A Brookwood student for 13 years, Chason was elected to the Homecoming Court, is a member of the National Honor Society, was awarded a Georgia Certificate of Merit and was named a National Merit Scholar Commended Student.
A member of Brookwood’s Cross Country team for the past two years, she served on the Debate Team for three years and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
She is active in Cairo’s First United Methodist Church youth group, serving as the Youth Council secretary, is a member of the vision team, and participated in a mission trip to Costa Rica last summer.