Ever wonder what gets accomplished when you have Spanish every day? A lot! Below we pictorially guide you through some activities our estudiantes Españoles have been up to this week—thanks, in part, to a visiting Argentinian chaperone and our Mandarin instructor. Today our youngest students (from ECP1-second grade), were treated to a special (silly) dance from our Argentinian friends.
Middle School students auditioned for the All-District Band on Saturday at Glenvar Middle School. We had 11 students make it again this year! Band Director Jimmie Donnini noted: "These students scored – as a collective group – higher than we ever have before. We have 6 in the First band and 5 in the Second band." This is the first time having 6 in Symphonic! This is also the first time having a First Chair player in Symphonic and a First Chair player in Concert in the same year.
Last Friday, January 13, the Upper School SCA held the first annual Upper School Volleyball tournament under the direction of Varsity Volleyball Coach Terri Craig. The tournament was held right after the Varsity Boy's Basketball team defeated Covenant in the game gym. Students in all Upper School grades formed six person teams to compete. Each student on a team paid $5.00 to play. Upper School spectators payed $2.00 to watch. Six teams were formed from the Senior Squad called the Oscar Meyer Winners to the Freshmen team called Bump, Set, Psych. The tournament lasted two and a half hours until the final two teams with the most wins played for the entire money collected for the event. This year's Volleyball tournament winners were Davis Call, Jack Holley, Lucas Arnold, Blake Willis, Massey Semler and Luke Carter. Everyone had a great time and congratulations to our winners!
Ever think to yourself: 'Gah! I wish there was a way to email all of the parents in my kid's class without looking up each individual email or digging through old emails to piggy back on someone else's efforts!'? Well, good news! onCampus uses Community Groups which highlight news and information of interest to parents of certain grades, extracurricular activities, or parent groups.
Each group has a Roster through which you can message the entire group. So, if you want to email all the first grade parents, just go to their group, click "Roster" then, next to "Bulk Communication," choose "Members." A message window will appear in which (behind the scenes) all of the group's members will be contacted. Write your message and then send. The note will be sent to their onCampus Inbox, and if their notifications are on, they'll also receive an email alerting them to the new message. If you want to message one person, just click the blue "message bubble" icon next to their name in the Roster.
Be sure under your personal settings, you have messaging "Notifications" set to "on" so you can also receive notices from fellow parents. It's a secure and easy way to stay in touch with the North Cross Community. Download an illustrated tutorial here.
Monday is a holiday, the observation of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and school and administrative offices will be closed. In observance today, a special assembly for Middle and Upper School students was held where Director of Community Programs Alex Hash spoke about why he believed we celebrate Dr. King's accomplishments to this day: the unwavering kindness that he bestowed upon all people, not just those who agreed with him and his beliefs. Kindness is sometimes against human nature, Mr. Hash pointed out; when we see difference in others, often, our tendency is to separate ourselves from that difference. True kindness is the act of compassion in spite of difference and challenge; something we can all try to emulate and honor.
We invite you to watch this excerpt from Mr. Hash's speech and to consider a day of service on Monday, as a group of our Upper School students will be performing, in honor of Dr. King's contributions and philosophies.
One of the great joys of working at a school is the presents you receive before Christmas and at the end of the school year. Let me offer a huge thank you from all of us at North Cross School. The spirit in which they were given makes us proud to be a part of the North Cross family.
For me, my sweet tooth got a happy work out and I am good for a while at McDonalds and Starbucks. But I also received a calorie-free gift, several gift cards to Barnes and Noble. With these, I got to make my annual pilgrimage to the book store (yes, I still read paper books), and came away with some great holiday reading. I managed to read four very different books, two of which could make their way on to our Upper School Summer Reading List. I recommend them to you as good possibilities to read with your older children.
The first was Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J.D. Vance. Vance is first-generation removed from the hills of eastern Kentucky and he grew up in a failing industrial town in southwestern Ohio. The first in his family to attend college, Vance eventually graduated from Yale Law School and now is a successful businessman in Northern California. The story is an incredible look at the struggles of poor, working class white families dispossessed from their culture by the global economy and automation. Given the attention this demographic received in the most recent presidential election and the proximity of Roanoke to Appalachia, Vance’s family story provides real insight to the plight of a forgotten group of Americans. There is a little bit of salty language, but I think there is great information to stimulate discussion of major topics facing the next generation.
Current Position: ECP-2 Instructional Assistant, Head Coach Varsity Volleyball
Education: B.S., Ferrum College
Year Appointed: 2015
What is your hometown? Roanoke has been my hometown since age 1.
What’s something your students don’t know about you? That from the ages of 5-11, I competitively raced motorcycles and All-Terrain Vehicles (3 and 4 wheelers), but then someone put a volleyball in my hands and I fell in love.
Who most influenced your decision to teach? I worked at HoneyTree for 15 years and the children became the greatest inspiration for me to teach early childhood. I love kids and apparently they relate well to me as well.
The 100 Books Initiative, begun last year, formally recognizes our commitment to fine literature and developing lifelong learners beginning at the earliest levels. To be successful in this endeavor requires a collaboration between family, school, and student, as we all have a part to play in creating a shared literature experience among our Lower School students. Graduating from Ellis Hall will afford every student the opportunity to share in this experience, as well as to be recognized for the additional effort in pursuing these goals further.
NCS 5th Grade Students Reach Out to Friends in Zimbabwe
By Lindsay McKinnon
I just have to brag about how amazing our kiddos are. They did something really good.
When I approached Mr. Lamas and the 5th grade teachers about my idea for creating Pen Pal relationships between North Cross students and 5th graders on the other side of the ocean, they were all about it. I was on my way to Zimbabwe and looking forward to sharing my experience and building bridges between youth in both of these drastically different countries. The process of it all was quite amazing and continues to teach me - and our students and teachers - some of the biggest, most essential life lessons.
Thirty-three 5th graders from North Cross School worked diligently on their letters to peers they have never met, in a country they have never been to, nor did they know much about. This is no small task, yet we asked them, and they rose to the occasion. Reading these letters on the day long airplane ride warmed my soul. I fell in love with our students all over again.
“Dear Zimbabwean Student…”
“Dear Zimbabwean Student…”
“Dear Zimbabwean Student…”
The Crossties Blog provides timely updates about activities from the campus of North Cross School.