2014 Joshua Gooding Award

Last month, during Moving Up ceremonies at Academy Schools, two students were honored for their perseverance during the 2013-2014 academic year and presented with the Joshua Gooding Award by his mother, Trueda Gooding.

To fully understand the importance of this award, one really needs to know more about Joshua. In 2003, Joshua joined Academy Schools’ staff as part-time math teacher and tutor while completing his Doctoral Degree in Mathematical Languages. In 2005 he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Such a diagnosis would be devastating for anyone, resulting in the immediate launch of a bucket list or fulfilling a dream. However, Josh was different. He was that rare individual who only wished to make a difference in the life of others. Throughout his too-short life, Josh was living testimony to goodness, patience and kindness. He possessed a vibrant, never give up spirit combined with an absolute joy of life and learning. And, he had the extraordinary ability to explain simple or complex mathematical concepts in a way that young students could grasp and apply; they loved him for it.

Joshua Gooding

Joshua Gooding

“Josh was known not only for his brilliance, modesty, and humor, but for constantly seeking new ways to make a difference in a world. He worked ceaselessly until his death; never a complaint, never any bad or after thoughts, just what he could do for others before he died. Josh was the only truly selfless person I ever met. “ ~ Janelle Neil

During the five years of his illness, Josh continued to influence the lives of all students he touched: in clinical settings, on university campuses, and here at Academy Schools. In honor of Josh’s spirit of high expectations, hard work and zeal for excellence regardless of the challenge, Academy Schools instituted the Joshua Gooding Award, given in recognition of the profound accomplishments of two students, as voted by the faculty and staff.

Caroline received this year’s award as the Lower School student who best exemplified the spirit and tenacity that would have made Josh proud.

Caroline S.

Caroline S.

In Upper School, Jason was the award recipient by showing growth, not just academically, but as one who perseveres and never gives up.

Jason H. with Mrs. Neil

Jason H. with Mrs. Neil

When this award first became part of the school’s annual Moving Up ceremonies, Joshua participated in the celebrations. While Joshua no longer walks among us, he continues to provide inspiration to never give up, even during our darkest days. And, not just for our students, but also for Academy Schools’ faculty, staff, friends and family.

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