Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School celebrated the Class of 2026 on Thursday, May 26 during the Middle School Moving Up Ceremony in the Rearden Theater. The event marked the transition to Upper School for the class of 50 eighth-graders.
Allen Arbitter of Clayton, GA, Abigail Brenner of Franklin, NC, and Lucy Vogelbacher of Rabun Gap, GA, were chosen by their classmates to speak during the ceremony. Head of Middle School Mr. Weston Willard presented the Spirit of Rabun Gap awards to two students in each grade who exemplify the best of Rabun Gap at the Middle School. The Spirit of Rabun Gap award honorees were sixth-graders Bailey Demmler and Joe Kennett, both of Rabun Gap, GA; seventh-graders Sloan Mattis of Highlands, NC and Gus Williams of Demorest, GA; and eighth-graders Abigail Brenner and Santi Robles, both of Franklin, NC.
Students in the Rabun Gap Class of 2026 from Macon County include Makenna Bilbery of Otto, Coby Bloedow of Highlands, Abigail Brenner of Franklin, Brody Fon of Franklin, Dillon Kirkland of Franklin, Charlie McSwain of Franklin, Davis Miller of Franklin, James Moore of Highlands, Santi Robles of Franklin, and Ryan Rogers of Franklin.
The Niles Bolton Middle School awarded students for year-long academic success in a separate ceremony on Thursday, May 19. Award winners from Macon County were:
8th Grade English — Zoe Killian of Franklin, NC 8th Grade History — Charlie McSwain of Franklin, NC7th Grade History — Ledger Culpepper of Franklin, NC
Spanish 1A — Callie Parker of Franklin, NC
8th Grade Singers — Abigail Brenner of Franklin, NC
8th Grade Showstoppers — MaKenna Bilbrey of Otto, NC
8th Grade PE — Brody Fon of Franklin, NC
7th Grade Singers — Owen Murphy of Franklin, NC
7th Grade Visual Arts — Leela Chrestman of Highlands, NC
6th Grade Showstoppers — Porter Mulholland of Franklin, NC
6th Grade Visual Arts — Haley Manshack of Franklin, NC
6th Grade PE — Macie Bennett of Franklin, NC