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Dedication of Jake Clarkson Memorial Patio Honors the Life of a Remarkable Student

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

On the first anniversary of his passing, we honored a Highlander who was taken from us much too soon with the dedication of the Jake Clarkson Memorial Patio on August 25, 2020. While the Heathwood community continues to mourn Jake's loss, we are also grateful to be able to celebrate his life and honor his memory through the creation of a beautiful new outdoor space for our students.

Located next to the Robinson Center for Math and Science, the Jake Clarkson Memorial Patio was made possible by generous donations from many who loved Jake, and by tremendous gifts of time and talent from his family. At a dedication ceremony on the morning of August 25, 2020, Head of School Chris Hinchey, Head of Upper School George Scouten, Student Body president AJ Kuse, and Jake's brother, Lane Clarkson, '19 all shared memories of Jake and of the impact he had on the Heathwood community. While dozens of Jake's family members, classmates, teachers, and friends looked on, the Clarkson family cut the ribbon officially opening the patio so that it can be enjoyed by all the Heathwood students who remember Jake's friendly spirit, joy for life, and love of the outdoors.

The Clarkson family, Chip, Glenda, Lane, and Jake, joined the Heathwood community in 2006, when Lane became a kindergartener. Jake followed in 2008. He was a gifted athlete who played JV football, JV and varsity soccer, varsity wrestling, and sporting clays. He was, in the words of Heathwood history teacher Gigi Dawson, "a silent leader among his peers. He didn't have to be the center of attention but he was the glue who held everyone together. He loved his friends and he loved Heathwood. He was a great Highlander."