Kasey Barnett and Frances Fields have been named the Valedictorian and Salutatorian of the Class of 2020.
"This year's valedictorian and salutatorian epitomize the picture of a well-rounded student," said Matt Peer, director of Upper School. "In the classroom, they learned with passion each and every day. They found success on the playing fields, gave back to our community and understand the importance of service beyond self, and were leaders at our school. I know that they have left an indelible mark on this institution and will use the confidence and connections fostered here to give back for the greater good."
Barnett, a day student from Cedartown, Ga., has taken 19 Honors and AP classes during her four years at Darlington. Recognized as an AP Scholar with Distinction by The College Board, she is a member of the National Honor Society, Cum Laude Society, Mu Alpha Theta and Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica. She received the Class Scholarship Award in grades 9 and 11. Barnett is a Furman Scholar and has also earned the University of Georgia Certificate of Merit, the Sewanee Club Award, and several E.L. Wright Awards for having the highest grade in certain courses.
"Kasey is truly a joy to teach," said John Cox, Thatcher Chair of English. "She has a strong intellect and an inquisitive nature, a combination that every teacher hopes for in their students. In class, Kasey is always quick to participate and always livens up our discussions with her wit and insight. Kasey possesses an intellectual curiosity that drives her to find not only what the material is, but also what it means. This desire to understand rather than just to memorize bodes well for Kasey's continued academic success."
Barnett is student body president and also serves as editor-in-chief of The Darlingtonian and head student athletic trainer. She volunteers as a tutor in the Learning Center and the Writing Center. She also plays basketball and is a member of Darlington School Soccer Academy. This fall, Barnett will attend Belmont University. She is the daughter of Kim and Kerry Barnett.
"Kasey is a standout student academically, socially and behaviorally," said Kippi Ellison, learning specialist. "She has an amazing work ethic and focus to complete her assignments while being involved in numerous extracurricular activities. Along with her involvement in sports and academics, she is a leader to other students, both older and younger. Kasey leads by example, showing respect, maturity, and empathy towards adults and students."
Fields, a day student from Kingston, Ga., has been a Darlington student for the past nine years. She has taken 21 Honors and AP classes at the Upper School and was recognized as an AP Scholar with Distinction by The College Board. She is a member of the Cum Laude Society, Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica, Mu Alpha Theta, Tri M and the International Thespian Society. A Presbyterian Fellow, Fields has earned the University of Georgia Certificate of Merit, the Wellesley College Book Award, and several E.L. Wright Award for having the highest grade in certain courses.
"Frances is one of those rare students with an incredibly perceptive and analytical mind who can nearly instantly know and comprehend complex facts and concepts," said Phil TItus, former college advisor. "It is an uncommon gift and she uses this advantage wisely. A well-rounded student who excels in many academic realms, Frances is clearly ready for the college challenges ahead."
Fields is a four-year member of the Honor Council and serves as vice president of the Concert Choir. She is also a member of The Darlingtones female a cappella group and has been involved in several of the school's winter musicals. She runs cross country and track, and also finds time to serve as a tutor in the Writing Center. She is the daughter of Drs. Katy and Jayson Fields.
"Words that immediately come to mind when thinking of Frances are tenacity and diligence," said Ben McVety, Upper School choral director. "She is an extremely hard worker and is dedicated to doing the best she can in everything she is a part of. She will excel at anything she puts her mind to; she doesn't quit or let a challenge impede her from success."