Distinguished Young Alumnus of the Year
Battle Ground Academy inducted six new members into its Hall of Fame and honored a Distinguished Young Alumnus of the Year on Sept. 30 at a ceremony at the Marriott Cool Springs.
“This year’s group of inductees represent the best pieces of the BGA experience – excellence in one’s endeavors, great relationships with others and a high level of character and selfless leadership,” said Will Kesler, BGA head of school. “We are honored to induct such a distinguished collection of alumni and look forward to celebrating publicly their many achievements.”
Hall of Fame members are nominated and selected by BGA’s Alumni Board and represent three categories: Alumni, Faculty and Sports. The 2017 honorees are:
Alumni Hall of Fame:
Britt Knox, Class of 1957 – After graduating from BGA, Knox enrolled at The Citadel where he played football and earned his degree in civil engineering. He then served six years of active duty in the Army serving 18 months as a platoon leader in the 117th Assault Helicopter Company in Vietnam. During this time, he flew more than 1,500 combat missions and was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart and 35 Air Medals. Knox is married to Faye Northcutt Knox and has four children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Anna-Gene Chalfant O’Neal, Class of 1984 – O’Neal attended Vanderbilt School of Nursing after graduating from BGA where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s of science. She began her career as a nurse in the Vanderbilt Emergency Department, where she was selected as Vanderbilt Staff Nurse of the Year in 1989 before going on to serve as vice president of Essent Healthcare as well as senior vice president of Cogent Healthcare. She currently is the president and CEO of Alive Hospice in Nashville. She and her husband, Scott, have two children, Ayla and Bates.
John Wyatt (deceased), Class of 1964 – Wyatt received his BS from MIT after graduating from BGA. He then went on to earn an MS from Princeton and eventually his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He spent much of his career researching and developing retinal implants and cofounded the Boston Retinal Implant Project and Bionic Eye Technologies with Massachusetts Eye and Era Infirmary’s Director of Neuro-ophthalmology Dr. Joseph Rizzo. Wyatt passed away Feb. 3, 2016, and is survived by his wife, Christie Baxter; daughter, Julia Wyatt; and stepson, Andrew Cook.
Faculty Hall of Fame:
Glenda Marshall – Marshall began working in the business office at BGA in 1983 at the original campus and eventually moved into the role of business office human resources manager. She was a model employee during the years she served the school. She was always available to help in any way she could and truly left her mark on the school in her years at BGA. Marshall currently works for High Hopes Development Center, which serves children from birth to kindergarten. She lives in Franklin with her husband, Jerry Marshall. Their late son, Scott Marshall, graduated from BGA in 1986.
Sports Hall of Fame:Debow Casey, Class of 1957 – Casey played basketball, tennis and golf in his years at BGA. He was captain of the basketball team his senior year and led the team to a district championship. That season he was named to the All-Midstate, All-District and All-District Tournament teams and eventually was voted as BGA’s Player of the Decade for the 1950s. After graduation, Casey attended the University of Tennessee where he played on the freshman football team. Casey lives in Nashville with his partner, Jean Rue Flippen. He has five children, Debow ’82, Bronson, Compton ’84, Christian ’90 and Laurine, three of whom also attended BGA. Casey also has nine grandchildren.
Susie Hall Pratt, Class of 1989 – Pratt played soccer, basketball, track and softball while at BGA. She earned many accolades on the soccer field and currently holds the school record for most career goals with 98. She was named captain and MVP of her soccer team senior year as well as Most Athletic by her graduating class. Pratt also was named to the All-State, All-Midstate and All-Region soccer teams as well as to the All-County basketball team before graduating and accepting a soccer scholarship to Lees-McRae College. Outside of BGA, Pratt played for the much-acclaimed Lady Express team from 1977 to 1988. She is married to Kenneth Pratt and they have three children, Ashley, Taylor and Gavin.
In addition to the Hall of Fame inductees, BGA annually recognizes a Distinguished Young Alumnus/Alumna of the Year. For 2017, Kunu Kaushal, Class of 2002, is being honored for his success in the business world as founder, partner and CEO at Senior Solutions Home Care. He lives in Franklin with his wife, Jill, and their three daughters, Amiya, Eila and Lily.
Established in 1889, Battle Ground Academy is a co-educational, college preparatory school for grades kindergarten through 12th grade. More information on the school can be found at www.battlegroundacademy.org.