This Monday, seventh-graders presented their completed family history projects to history teacher Heather Slaughter. The binders, filled with family photos, interviews, an autobiography and historical timeline, were the culmination of a month-long research project in which students used online databases and personal interviews to discover their roots and to find some surprising discoveries. Joelle Juneau ’22 mentioned that she found out her paternal grandfather came from Cuba when he found out he could do better as a physician if he trained in the U.S. Another student, Shayla Kyle ’22, discovered a great aunt she hadn't known about during her search on Ancestry.com in the library. The students remarked that they enjoyed creating this family history and know that it will be something they hold onto for a long time; "Except the baby pictures," added Joelle, "My mom wants those back."
This Tuesday, 3/14, the Math Department celebrated Pi Day (3.1415926...) with a number of academic and not-so-academic exercises. The Lower School read the story of Sir Cumference and calculated area, diameter and cicumference of circular objects, while in the Upper School, a presentation included several student-created film biographies on famous mathematicians (featuring the students as actors for such characters as Ada Lovelace, her estranged husband Lord Byron, and Archimedes), a student slide presentation on Ada Lovelace, a rap on Descartes, a Pi memorized recitation, and finally, a quiz contest for the different features of Pi and circles in our every-day lives were all part of the festivities.
Perhaps the most enjoyed part of the day was during lunch when the Upper School had a pie-eating contest (Tiger Xu ’18 took the prize—a T-shirt that said "Come to the Math Side, We Have Pi") and a raffle for students to "pie" a teacher in the face. The brave faculty included Stephen Belderes, Josh Kier, Dan Dudek and a very lucky Wesley Clagett whose student decided he just couldn't pie his teacher in the face (he got to pie a student volunteer instead). The day's festivities were coordinated by Upper School math teacher Amy Bagliani and Lower School math teacher Audrey Osborne.
Our annual Big Flea sale, coming soon on Saturday, April 1, is a community event, as well as a fundraiser for our school and the Parents’ Association. The Parents’ Association uses proceeds from Big Flea to help students "experience more" at North Cross, such as amazing field trips, classroom equipment, support of Homecoming festivities and Prom, and our family bonfires each season, to name just a few of the events we sponsor. The Big Flea is the Parents’ Association’s main source of funds. Without the money earned from Big Flea, many of the events above, and our donations throughout the year, would not be possible.
With that being said, we need volunteers to help us help all of our children! A LOT OF VOLUNTEERS!
I am excited to announce a partnership that will increase North Cross’ ability to attract high-caliber students beyond the Roanoke Valley. As you may know, establishing a boarding presence is one of the goals established by our strategic plan, which continues to lead our Board and Administration as we seek to improve our school. The impetus to create a boarding program is not unique to North Cross as St.Anne’s-Belfield School, Hampton Roads Academy, and Carlisle School have all added boarding components to their predominantly day schools.
To that end, North Cross recently signed a residential contract with the newly formed dormitory program provider Wilson International LLC. Rooms will be available beginning this fall in the newly renovated historic Boxley Building on Jefferson Street in downtown Roanoke, a project being completed by Hist:Re Partners LLC of Roanoke. With room and board available for 24 full-time students, North Cross School will be able to house current—and attract new—boarding students in grades 9-12; international students with F-1 visas and regional high school students wishing to attend and graduate from North Cross School. Below is my best attempt to anticipate any questions you might have but please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions.
Why does North Cross need a dorm? North Cross School offers an unmatched educational experience to our students in the Roanoke Valley and to those international students we accept into our rigorous program of study. In order to attract a wider range of students, both regional and international, the Board and I felt it necessary to develop a standardized residential program that will offer its regional and international boarders the same integrated experience outside the classroom as we do inside of it. Our partner, Wilson International LLC, has identified Roanoke as a prime candidate for a metropolitan boarding program and our school, with its exceptional academic reputation, was a natural fit.
Hometown: Roanoke, Virginia
Position: Maintenance and Transportation Manager
Education: Continuing Education in Carpentry; Class A Contractor
Year Appointed: 2013
What’s your passion here? What motivates you to do what you do? I've always been a "hands on" person. Being able to keep the campus running, not always like clockwork ;), keeps me going. I guess I've always had a servant's heart. To be able to do repairs and upgrades around campus is rewarding.
What was your favorite book you read in school? I wasn't an avid reader during school. In later years, I borrowed some Louis L'Amour novels from a friend. Then, I started reading Colt (Chief of Scouts series) by Don Bendell. I loved the Old West and his detailed eye to the imagery and landscape of the heart of America. Probably my favorite from Bendell would have to be Eagle.
This morning, the middle and upper school students, family and teachers came together to honor the outstanding work achieved by our honor-roll students this past semester.
North Cross School has two honor rolls: First and Second. Second Honor Roll students must hold a B average during their entire semester, and have no grade lower than a B-, while First Honor Roll students maintain an A average over the semester, with no grade lower than an A-. Twenty-nine Middle Schoolers and 40 Upper Schoolers made first honors while 53 Middle School students and 73 Upper Schoolers made second honors.
Congratulations to the students (and the families and teachers who support them) on this accomplishment! Below is a list of this past term's awardees, organized by grade.
The research project, the final one for Fifth Grade this year, began in the library two weeks ago as students researched an Egyptian god or goddess. Each fifth grader investigated a god or goddess's symbol, purpose, and history, and then read a story in which the god or goddess is the main character. The culminating project, a poster, was presented by each student today. The students have enjoyed studying the mysteries and achievements of the Ancient Egyptians!
Dr. Zach Dresser and four members of the Class of 2017 (from left to right): Jarion Jenkins-Saunders, Helen Schmedtje, Ashtyn Gerhart, and Caroline McGimsey arrived in Shanghai today after two days of travel. Robert Robillard picked them up at the airport and warned them to get plenty of rest each night as each day will be packed with activities. They will be seeing all the highlights of Shanghai, including its famous gardens, fabric markets, dumpling houses, museums, and even the symphony house—and that is just the first full day. They will take day trips to Hangzhou and Suzhou, which are smaller cities with UNESCO-certified heritage. During the weekdays, they will take classes each morning, including Chinese. After lunch, they will become tourists. Some of the students will be hosted by Xinhe students, who are excited to meet their classmates from the other side of the world.
The Lower School celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday with a flurry of activities to delight our youngest readers. Students in ECP-1 through Kindergarten rotated among classrooms to take part in some colorful breakfast options, Seussical crafts, green-egg races, songs, and of course, stories. Even a tornado warning couldn't keep that Cat away.
You know spring is in the air when the first-graders take the stage in Fishburn Auditorium to present their annual "Dinosaur Program." Parents and friends gathered on Thursday afternoon to watch and learn from our young paleontologists about different dinosaurs and their unique features. For the event, students researched and then memorized their part in the presentation and decorated T-shirts for their costumes. Programs like this one help our youngest students become comfortable speaking in public—a skill they'll hone as they progress through the divisions and ultimately present a DeHart Project in twelfth grade; but let's just stick with the Dinosaur Cha-Cha-Cha for now.
The Crossties Blog provides timely updates about activities from the campus of North Cross School.