(ROCKWALL/HEATH, TX – June 2, 2015) The Fulton School of Heath celebrated the graduation of its eleven senior class members on May 29. This year’s valedictorian was Zachary Johnson, and due to the proximity of their final GPAs, Lauren Johnson and Meredith Pollock were both salutatorians this year.
“They are wonderful young people, and they have been as close in GPA as I have ever seen,” Fulton Headmistress Dr. Letha Hopkins said. “We did end up naming two salutatorians because it was too close to call it. We are very proud of them. ”
Zachary is in his fifth year at the private college preparatory school, which comprises about 180 students spanning preschool through 12th grade. During his time atFulton, Zach has earned the school’s most prestigious honor – the Dr. Bernard Fulton Award, as well as the Sons of the American Revolution Award. Zach received the honor of the TAPPS 1A Fine Arts Student of the Year for 2015. He has served as the captain of the football team, debate team and robotics president. He was accepted to 11 different universities, and has chosen to attendHowardUniversity in the fall.
Lauren and Meredith are both in their second years at Fulton.
While at Fulton, Lauren served as Vice President of the National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society, Co-President of Student Council, all while volunteering at the Rockwall County Library. Lauren received the Harold Byrd Jr. Scholarship award. She was accepted to five different universities, and will attend Austin College in the fall.
During Meredith’s time at Fulton, she received the Eloise Cullum Scholarship and the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Award. Meredith served as the President of the National Honor Society, Co-President of the Student Council, and is a member of the National Art Honor Society. She was accepted to seven different universities and she will attendSouthwesternUniversityin the fall.
Hopkins said the altogether the 11 members of the graduating class were accepted to 35 different colleges and universities and received over $1.5 million in scholarship offers. The three students who have attended Fultonfrom 9th through 12th grade all have full ride scholarships to prestigious universities.
On the day that the valedictorians and salutatorians were announced to the student body,Hopkinssaid the entire senior class showed up to hear the announcement and congratulate their classmates, even though they were not required to come to school that day.
“Fulton staff, parents and students are a family,” Hopkins said. “Sometimes we squabble within, but they are always proud of each other and their accomplishments. I think it was a testimony to that mindset that all of the seniors came in to hear the announcement. They were here to support their classmates and I wasn’t the least bit surprised.”
Hopkins said this was her first year as headmistress of Fulton after a lifetime of teaching in public schools. She said she has enjoyed the unique opportunities Fulton provides its students.
“I left to retire from public school in 2009 and had been doing consulting in the public school area since then,”Hopkins said. “When I had the chance to do this, it was like a whole new world. This is what I went into education for; this is how it is supposed to work.”
The Fulton School was founded in 1987 by Suzanne Nash and Norma Morris, who selected Dr. Bernard Fulton (1910-2009) as the school’s namesake. Dr. Fulton’s work in Dallas began in the late 1930s at Texas Country Day School, now St. Marks, where he served as Assistant Headmaster, Military Commandant, teacher and coach. In 1950, he and his wife and fellow educators founded Greenhill School, now one of the preeminent independent college preparatory schools in the United States. Dr. Fulton served as Headmaster of Greenhill, then as Headmaster of Lakehill Prepatory School, and later as a ‘site visitor’ for the U.S. Department of Education’s Exemplary School program – created to find and acknowledge the best schools in the nation.
Hopkins said that Dr. Fulton’s philosophy improves the learning experience for students and a low student-to-teacher ratio encourages a more flexible and individualized learning style.
“Dr. Fulton was a big believer in independent co-ed education,” Hopkins said. “I had lived by Dr. Fulton’s motto ‘do what’s best for the child’ my whole career, not really knowing who to attribute that quote to.”
The Fulton School is currently offering a wide variety of summer programs, including academic courses and tutoring to strengthen a student’s foundation in a particular subject; enrichment classes; sports camps; and day camps for younger children. To learn more, visit thefultonschool.org.
By Julie Anne White, Blue Ribbon News reporter.
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