The class of 2020 has dedicated its yearbook to veteran English teacher Robert Brandwood, a beloved member of Blair’s faculty who not only made a lasting impression on this year’s senior class but on many students and colleagues throughout his 35-year tenure. ACTA co-editor June Dinias ’20 announced the dedication during virtual School Meeting on May 4, and yearbook advisor Erika Clavel promised to deliver the first copy of the annual keepsake—which is traditionally presented at the dedication’s announcement—to Mr. Brandwood as soon as the books arrive on campus.
A native of Manchester, England, Mr. Brandwood graduated from the University of Wales U.K., with a bachelor of arts degree and earned a postgraduate certificate in education from Leicester University, U.K., and a master’s in English from Middlebury College. Early in his career, he served with the British Council as a teacher in rural Botswana, where he met his wife, Blair history teacher Joanne Brandwood. Mr. Brandwood has taught English at every grade level during his Blair tenure, and he chaired the department for several years. Currently, he teaches freshman and senior English and shares his love of sports as coach of boys’ JV soccer and varsity swimming.
The theme of the 2020 ACTA is “beyond,” a concept chosen by co-editors June, Emma Abbott ’20 and Ally Kim ’20. “Lots of amazing things happen right outside Blair’s campus, and we wanted to recognize those who go above and beyond in more ways than one,” Emma said, noting that the yearbook includes special features highlighting students’ and teachers’ diverse talents and interests that may have otherwise gone unnoticed throughout the year.
Mrs. Clavel thanked the yearbook editors and staff members for their dedication and hard work. She awarded the senior co-editors the John Wyeth Yearbook Prize, which honors the work of students who take on the responsibility of creating the yearbook for the entire community to enjoy for years to come. “Thank you, girls, for your commitment to this project,” Mrs. Clavel said as she recognized their many contributions to the 2020 ACTA. “You did a great job!”