Watch a video synopsis of the Festival on our YouTube Channel.
ECP through Fifth grade gathered in Muscaro Gymnasium today to share songs and dances with a Spanish theme. Though fun to watch (and participate in), a lot of work goes on beforehand to ready the students. Mrs. Boush and Sra. Hermosilla are very proud of this special Lower School Spanish Program event. This is the culmination of a year of hard work with vocabulary items, commands, and phrases students work with every time they do Spanish. By placing emphasis on the lyrics of songs students also learn new words that they can turn into sentences, and they add expressions and language that is specific to each song and each dance. When students learn a dance, they also learn about where the dance or song comes from and explore cultural components related to the song and dance. One other objective we have with the festival is to show students to feel comfortable and proud to display their own culture and other cultures on stage.
Watch a video synopsis of the Festival on our YouTube Channel.
This week the first-grade classes welcomed different cultures and many visitors to their classrooms for their International Week. Beginning with France then continuing to India, Italy, China and ending with their participation in the Spanish Festival, our young travelers learned about the different cultures through presentations and storybooks, then split into centers where they tasted foods from those countries (often provided by parents of students with ties to different regions), measured classroom objects with pasta, practiced the art of henna design, and wrote their names in Chinese calligraphy (thanks to Upper School Mandarin teacher Eva Wang and students), among other activities. Not a bad way to travel the world—no passport required! Thank you to all the visitors who came to our classes to help our students explore these cultures.
Today marks a preview of the Summer Reading Book Sale in Hancock Library, which will run from May 1 through 5th in the Library. Students will have a chance in the coming days to review and purchase the books they'll need for their summer reading requirements. "It's rare that the students get to see all the books on one table," remarks Amy Holley, director of the Library, "At a book store, you'd have to search for each one. This way, students can pick them up, look through them and make a choice easily." Students fill out "wish lists" which then come home to parents to approve.
For parents, it's a nice opportunity to see what options are available for their children, but they can also pick up some finds for themselves. In addition to the Summer Reading titles, faculty and staff have selected their recommendations to have on display as has the senior class.
This year, there's a special section …
Ever wonder if there's a snake that can bite you after it's dead? Or, how high a dolphin can jump? Or, if there's any animal that can eat a poisonous dart frog? The fourth graders did, and they answered all these questions and more with the grade's annual PowerPoint presentation. Led by science teacher Betsy Cook and assisted by librarian Amy Holley, the students worked for several weeks learning useful skills in researching their chosen animal, organizing their facts, choosing which information to present and using design and layout as visual aids. The culmination was a forty-minute presentation (total, not each!) in which each student stood on stage and led the audience through his or her research findings.
On Thursday, a panel of speakers came to discuss an alarming trend: the rise of addition to heroin and opioids in younger populations. Addressing the Middle and Upper School students, among the speakers was a mother of a son who recently died of an overdose. Janine Underwood describes her son as an amazing athlete and a good student, but after ACL surgery in college, he became addicted to the Oxycontin he was prescribed, then progressed to easily obtained heroin. Even after he had picked up the pieces, was out of jail, had a job and was moving forward, he fell back into addiction and died of an overdose. "These are kids from nice homes getting good grades, playing in sports, and it can happen to any of them," Underwood said in an interview.
Hometown: Parsippany, NJ
Education: B.A., Wellesley College; M.D. Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Profession: Physician, Board Certified Internal Medicine; currently staff physician at the VAMC Salem
On which board committee do you serve? Development
How did you first become connected with North Cross? I have 3 children at North Cross: Zack (class of '17), Triff (class of '19), and Julia (class of '21).
What is your favorite tradition at North Cross? I always get choked up at senior day for the different sports teams and for the spring band concert when Mrs. Donnini recognizes the seniors. I love hearing about all the different accomplishments of our North Cross students, as they approach graduation.
This morning, the Middle School gathered in front of Lemon Dining Hall at the beginning of the school day to hear about the day of work ahead of them. This time though, it wouldn't be in the classroom, but at a handful of service organizations across the Valley. Buses were loaded up, the students divided into groups and off they went, packed lunches in hand. Before leaving, Alex Hash, North Cross' Community Outreach Coordinator, reminded the students who and what they represent: "You are no longer an individual. You are part of a group—you are a representative of North Cross School… Because of what you're doing today, our community is a better place to live." Students gave hours of service to the Rescue Mission, South Roanoke Nursing Home, Hope Tree, the Roanoke Greenway, Healing Strides, the Roanoke SPCA, Apple Ridge Farm, and the Taubman and Science Museums. Tasks ranged from shoveling mulch and landscaping to decorating sandwich bags that will hold lunches for the Rescue Mission's homeless population. The work may not have always been exciting (ask the boys who cleaned every window at the SPCA—inside and out), but the difference was appreciated across the organizations who received our students' time.
This past weekend was the conclusion of many months of rehearsals and preparation as audiences came to enjoy the stunning visuals and sounds of Disney's Aida—School Edition. With a score by Elton John and Tim Rice, the music laid the foundation for a story of a forbidden romance set against the backdrop of Ancient Egypt. Victoria Riego de Dios ’19 as Aida and Margaret Lawrence ’17 as the Egyptian princess set to marry embodied the passion and conflicting lives of the two female leads while Jacob Wadstrom ’20 and Ryan Huddleston ’21 offered their powerful lead vocals for the two male principles. These strong and talented actors had an amazing group of dancers and singers who acted as the chorus in the musical, while Zack H'Doubler ’17 and Campbell Bloomfield ’18 rounded out the cast as the fathers for the two betrothed .
Musical Director Andrew Miller said this of the cast: "I was incredibly proud of the students involved in this production. They all truly impressed me with the characters they portrayed on stage. The energy and expression they brought to the performance captivated everyone who came to see the musical." Below is a slideshow of photographs taken during the student matinée this past Friday.
This Sunday, the Class of 2017 embarked on a group outing to Busch Gardens and Williamsburg to help charge them up for the final weeks of school—and to have some fun times as a group before heading off to their next adventures after graduation. It's a bitter-sweet trip; some of these students have been together since they were three! SCA Advisor Susan Wenk and PA President Susan Card accompanied the group along with Athletic and Wellness Director (and dad to senior Margaret) Eric Lawrence and Dean of Students Stephen Belderes. Julie Aavatsmark stopped by yesterday while at a conference in Williamsburg. In addition to their time at Busch Gardens, the group is driving go-karts and playing archery tag and laser tag, and perhaps will do a little shopping—a fun way to remember the kid of inside them before they enter the ‘grown-up’ world.
Summer Reading Book Fair is almost here! The Book Fair will be held in Hancock Library May 1-5. (Monday-Thursday 8:00-5:00 and Friday 8:00-3:00). Stop by to take a look at the wonderful titles that have been selected for this year's summer reading list. We will also have copies of the Senior Favorites from the Class of 2017, as well as the faculty & staff favorites.
Can't make it to the library that week? Our Barnes and Noble in-store book fair runs from May 1-15 at any Barnes and Noble and online at bn.com. Don’t forget that purchases at the café count, too! Our Barnes and Noble Book Fair ID: 12144507. A book fair voucher with this information can be found here. Use it when you purchase items at the store or online, and the school will receive credit for those purchases, too.
The Crossties Blog provides timely updates about activities from the campus of North Cross School.