Under beautiful skies, members of the Willis family, faculty, staff, students and alumni, gathered before the start of the Homecoming Football game against Roanoke Catholic to take a moment and dedicate the newly renovated field to Cydney and David Willis. David D.H. Willis ’77 passed away after a battle with cancer. David was a member of the Board of Trustees for 16 years, Past President of the Alumni Association, and the recipient of the 2002 Alumni Service Award. He was also parent to five boys who were all graduates of North Cross. Dr. Proctor's remarks from the ceremony can be accessed by clicking the "Read More" link below.
Members of the Cave Spring Fire Department came to speak to our most impressionable students to help allay the fear of "the masked fire fighter" and to explain how a first responder can help a family out of a dangerous situation. Two large fire trucks were parked in front of Ellis Hall. Students explored, asked questions, and listened to the volunteers as they described what they do and what tools they use for their job.
On Wednesday, Dr. Devorah Heitner, founder of Raising Digital Natives, a website geared towards families navigating the difficult choices facing kids today with social technology, came to speak to our students and our community. Dr. Heitner first had lunch with representatives from the Middle School SCA where she mostly asked questions and listened to how our students make use of technology and how they've learned to strategize to make the most of what's available while also making time to focus on the things that matter. Later that afternoon, Middle and Upper School students gathered in Fishburn for a frank talk on how best to respect each other when using social media, and the things of which to be aware when using a public space.
That evening, she held a special session for parents. During that time she spoke about ways families can begin conversations to help mentor children instead of monitor them, giving them the guidance they crave in an ever-changing digital landscape. Afterwards, Dr. Heitner held a question and answer session and book signing. Thursday morning, area counseling and school professionals were invited to North Cross for a special breakfast conversation with Dr. Heitner. The effort was spearheaded by Director of Counseling Leigh Ann Hamlin, Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs and a partnership with Carilion Children's. We thank Dr. Heitner for her time and wisdom. For a brief review of her presentation to parents, visit our YouTube channel.
Friday, September 29, 2017, families gathered under beautiful blue skies with the smell of crispy fried chicken and fresh biscuits in the air, to celebrate a unique quality afforded to only a small group of current North Cross students: being a Legacy student. Legacy students, as the name implies, have at least one immediate family member who has attended North Cross. This year we had the unique instance of having a third-generation legacy student in our midst, Grace Hamlin ’32, whose father Jack Hamlin ’03 and grandmother Colleen Hamlin ’78 also walked these halls. As people were finishing their lunch, two seniors took the microphone after being introduced by Dr. Proctor. Katherine Lake ’18 and Ansleigh Graeff ’18 spoke of what makes being a Legacy student so special. The shared experiences (and in some cases teachers!) at the school and the lifelong bond to this institution. Thank you to the families who joined us today. To see the speeches and view a recap of the day's festivities, visit our YouTube Channel.
This past Saturday night, the SCA visited the NCS dorm students downtown. The Upper School group brought pizza and the students played "Minute to Win It" games and everyone had a super time. A big THANK YOU to Ms. Williams and Coach Alexander, Mr. Brandon and Dr. Owen for joining in the fun!
The Senior Class awaited patiently on Thursday while ECP-2 students made the long trek from Ellis Hall to Willis Field to meet their senior buddy for the first time. Slowly but surely, students were matched with each other, and some lucky ECP'ers got more than one student to be their buddies. This tradition is one of the best loved ones in the North Cross experience. During the year, the seniors will meet with their buddies for special events, like the Halloween Parade and the Egg hunt, but perhaps the most special day is when an ECP-2 student presents a fat pencil (like the ones we teach penmanship with) to his or her senior buddy who has been at the school for twelve years or more. The ceremony, which happens just before Commencement, is cherished by both sides of these relationships which grow closer (and sweeter) as the year goes on. Visit our YouTube channel to watch a special video scrapbook of their initial meeting.
This past Sunday and Monday, the ninth grade class went to Wilderness Adventures to take part in some good old fashioned bonding and character building. The compound's motto is "Challenge by Choice." Working in groups, students took on the challenges of the compound's high and low ropes courses, overcoming obstacles and thinking critically to successfully complete tasks as a team. The students had the chance to connect as a class as they transition to their first year in the Upper School. Dean of Students Stephen Belderes said "It is amazing watching students cheer each other on as they climb a 50-foot rope or jump from a 20-foot tree." Mr. Belderes and other faculty members were on hand to chaperone. Taking the time to bring students together outside of the classroom helps them to connect as friends, support one another, and begin the year on a positive note.
After receiving feedback from our community we've decided to revamp Crossties to become an interactive look at the North Cross experience. We're going on camera to show you the 'More' that happens here every week.
If you miss one, you can always binge watch on our YouTube channel. Other important news and bulletins will be posted in onCampus (in the Featured Content section), on our social media sites (links in the footer), and on our Crossties Blog. Division-specific notices will come to you directly from your Division Assistant.
This week's videos:
As the school year comes to a close, we say goodbye to our beloved seniors, but this year, we also bid farewell to two dedicated and long-time teachers, Mr. Richard Cook, and Ms. LeeAnn Sigmon-Farley. We have compiled some reflections, including testimonials from colleagues and students, past and present. Click "Read More" to download.
On Thursday, the Upper School held a special assembly in the commons to recognize Richard Cook's upcoming retirement. Everett Ward ’18 spoke of his experiences with Mr. Cook as a history teacher and golf coach. Afterward, Mr. Thompson presented him with a framed print that included signatures from every student in the Upper School. To further honor the legacy that Mr. Cook created for himself, the Upper School presented him with a box of Hershey's bars and Lays potato chips (Mr. Cook's daily snack). To make the deal even sweeter, Mr. Cook will get unlimited chips and chocolate bars from the Snack Shack on days that he subs.
When we visited Mrs. Farley and her students, they were knee-deep in fabric markers, designing their Hobbit T-shirts (below), a favorite tradition among many of her students. Adding these extra layers of creativity and dedication to a subject is what makes her so special to her students and as Ms. Sandy Patterson put it in her remarks, "Another teacher might step into her job, but LeeAnn will never be replaced."
The Crossties Blog provides timely updates about activities from the campus of North Cross School.