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TFS celebrates middle school award winners, eighth-grade graduates


Year-end traditions at Tallulah Falls School looked a bit different but the celebratory sentiment remained the same. Instead of an in-person gathering to honor the accomplishments from the 2019-20 academic year at the TFS middle school, teachers and administrators appeared in a digital version of Awards Day

The school released the video presentation on May 20, uploaded to three platforms to ensure audiences around the world could view the program. To commemorate the eighth-grade graduates, another video tribute was released on May 22. 

President and Head of School Larry A. Peevy and Middle School Academic Dean David Chester provided remarks for both presentations. 

“Despite the circumstances, this is a milestone for our middle school students and families,” Peevy said. “With great fortitude and character, our students and teachers worked hard to complete another successful year. I am proud of our middle school students, and am especially proud of our eighth-grade graduates, for their hard work this year as they have prepared for their first year in upper school.

“One of the most difficult aspects of having students and faculty working at home is the lack of connection that develops,” Chester said. “It was encouraging to see both groups take initiative and go above and beyond to work through the challenges of online learning. The end of year Awards Day and 8th Grade Celebration videos were a great way to reconnect and to bring a little closure to such an unprecedented year.”

Honors and awards were presented as follows:

Daughters of the American Revolution, Tomochichi Chapter Citizenship Awards – Megan Prince, fifth grade; Walker Wright, sixth grade; Zachary Carringer, seventh grade; Jenna Chesser, eighth grade, presented by Nancy Almoyan. 



Duke TIP qualifiers – Allison Bailey, Emma Barron, Taylor Cox, Raegan Duncan, Nicholas Edenfield, Chloe Erwin, Zachary Freeman, Ava Hamon, Mia Hamon, Jacenta Ibemere, Haygen James, Madeline Martin, Caroline Smith, Keeley Sorrells, Chesney Tanksley, Jedd Thomas, Victoria VerBerkmoes, Elizabeth Wanner, Jackson Wiese, Zachary Woodworth, presented by Elizabeth Kyle. 
Duke TIP state recognition – Jack Wiese, presented by Elizabeth Kyle.



Scholar-Athlete – Chesney Tanksley, Eli Damron, presented by Tim Corbett.

TFS Great Character Athlete –  Molly Mitchell, Austin Ball, presented by Tim Corbett.


Indians of the Year – Julianne Shirley and Clay Kafsky, presented by Tim Corbett.


Above and Beyond Award – Xiaoyang Hu, presented by Jimmy Franklin.

Physical Education Student of the Year – Julianne Shirley, presented by Cyndy Campbell.

Sixth Grade Statewide Honors Chorus – Tate Turpin, Charlie Harris, Sarah Wilkinson, Allison York, presented by Rachel LeGrand.

All-State Chorus – Caroline Smith and Jake Owensby, presented by Rachel LeGrand.


Music Student of the Year – Lily Desta, presented by Rachel LeGrand.


Art Student of the Year – Anna Reese Akers, presented by Cat Schappach.

Drama Student of the Year – Lilly Kate Farrar, presented by Carrie Layer. 

Broadcasting Student of the Year – Claire Kelly, presented by Brandi Wood. 


Photography Student of the Year – Eli Damron, presented by Brandi Wood. 

Outstanding Fifth Grade Student – Elijah Hornsby, presented by Chrissy Van Hooser. 

Outstanding Sixth Grade Student – Kaylin Pickett, presented by Annette Shirley. 

Outstanding Seventh Grade Student – Caroline Smith, presented by Nancy Almoyan. 


Outstanding Eighth Grade Student – Dani Prince, presented by Hannah Gibson. 


House of the Year – Ravens, presented by Jonathan Roberts. 

Additionally, Assistant Academic Dean Dustin Rogers shared the names of students earning Presidential Scholar academic status for both the fall and spring semesters. A student earns a position on the Presidential Scholar List by maintaining a 4.0-grade point average, having no major discipline issues and by accruing fewer than 15 demerits for each semester and fewer than 30 demerits for the academic year.

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