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 dance last Friday night was sponsored by the Upper School SCA for 9th - 12th graders in the Lemon Dining Hall (though thanks to the magic of StageSound you never would have known it). The theme this year was the underground. Aaron Jones provided the music and Maurice Garrison ’18 was the talented DJ. We would like to thank the Upper School students for their incredible spirit and unstoppable dance moves!! Everyone had an amazing time!
Though a bit delayed due to many students being away for Model UNs, the Upper School finally had the chance to celebrate Chinese New Year, thanks to the efforts of our International Chinese students. Organized primarily by Arthur Qi ’18, the entire Upper School was divided into groups and sent on a rotation, visiting classrooms to learn a sample of Chinese calligraphy, food, the art of paper cutting, and to watch a video that surveyed traditions practiced in Asian countries during this widely celebrated holiday. Ninth grade students were brought to the auditorium first to watch an introduction to the celebration that others witnessed last year. It certainly was a more hands-on celebration this year, giving students the chance to experience some of the customs themselves. The dominance of the color red throughout the festival has to do with its meaning in Chinese culture. Red represents good fortune and happiness as represented in the character to the right.
With the theme of the Academy Awards that never were, students took to Muscaro Gym Tuesday afternoon for the Winter Pep Rally, hosted by the School's SCA groups. First off: Pirates of the Caribbean and a match between Lower and Upper Schools in a game of Treasure Hunt. The scrappy Lower Schoolers were too quick for the Upper School pirates and were able to steal enough treasure to earn their own eye patches. Next, Middle Schoolers took us to a galaxy far, far away (well, center court), with their re-enactment of the many battles and characters in the Star Wars series. The Light Side won, and Yoda was victorious. Then, the Average Joe's easily defeated the Purple Cobras in a energetic game of Dodgeball. Poor Caroline McGimsey ’17 was the last Cobra standing... but not for long. Finally, after the Lower School was dismissed, the Middle and Upper schoolers cheered on the Girls and Boys Varsity Basketball teams as they took on a motley crew of faculty members, including Dean of Students Stephen Belderes, Field Hockey Coach Lilly Judge, Physical Education Instructor and Coach Mary Semler, and Middle School Basketball Coach Jason Jones, Soccer Coach James Brown, and even alum Kennedy Nwabia ’15, just to name a few. Faculty squeaked out a win in the last minutes of the game, giving them a third win in a row.
by David Lake, Director of Admission
This year's $1,000 winners:
Heath Long (LS)
Rex Owen (LS)
Nathan Carey (MS)
Lanaya Cephas (MS)
Lennon Kuehl (MS)
What a pleasure it was to call people and tell them their child's name was drawn and that they would receive the $1,000 credit for next year's tuition. It was very special as Director of Admission to be able to make that call, hear their reactions, and receive their thank you's.
Among disco lights, red carpet and psychedelic outfits, the Carter Athletic Center lived a new life as the 70s iconic NYC disco club Studio 54(0). This year's gala was particularly successful in bringing our community closer. Several parents told us how much they enjoyed getting to know other parents in such a fun environment. We also had a strong contingent of alumni, board members, faculty and staff, and friends of the school—and have you seen the Celebration video, which provided a cameo appearance from much of our school. Our goal as a Development team is to keep all the constituencies of our community engaged and active with the school, and gala is a key part in fulfilling that mission.
Above and beyond the fun atmosphere of the gala, our community was extraordinarily generous, allowing us to meet our financial goals. After all, that's why we host the gala each year—to provide more funding for student programs, teacher resources, and operational needs of the school.
We'd like to thank our auctioneers, Will Farmer and Jim Woltz, for bringing such strong enthusiasm to our live auction and raise the paddle fundraiser to raise professional development funds. Our live, silent, and online auctions exceeded expectations, and professional development donations reached an all-time record of over $18,000. The impact this will have on the advancement of our teachers' skills, and in turn our students' learning experiences, is remarkable. Professional development is one of the most important things we can provide our teachers to help students learn. Thank you to everyone who made a donation to this important fund. We look forward to sharing how the dollars are used throughout the year.
Due to an amazing effort by many volunteers, staff and vendors, we had the grooviest time at our Winter Gala and Auction: Studio540. The music was a hit, dance floor was full, the food was delicious, and the donors were generous! If you couldn't make it, or if you just want to relive the great times, take a look at the photos below and catch the disco fever all over again. Thank you to our sponsors, parents, attendees, staff and Gala committees for making this such a fun and successful event—and to the Boosters for helping with the cleanup the day after!
The North Cross Chess Team competed in the Roanoke City Championships this past weekend against many of the schools in the Roanoke area—and won first place overall as a team. Comprised on and off of roughly 10 members, the team this past weekend consisted of (from left to right): Andy Benson, Aiden Erwin, Nalin Jha, Ben Li, Davis Alcorn, and Zack Sommer (not pictured). Individually, Nalin won all of his games and tied for first, earning the second place trophy as a result of the tiebreak system. Congratulations!
On Friday night, January 6th, the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs were cheered on by more than 160 North Cross fans! Our fantastic choir, under the direction of Mr. Miller, sang the National Anthem while our Cub Scout Troop #23, lead by NCS parent Declan Daly, were the flag bearers and color guard. Students and parents alike enjoyed the evening, even though the Dawgs lost to the Fayetteville FireAntz 5-2. For each ticket sold, the Parent's Association is donating $5 to FOTA to purchase an item needed for the Art Department.
A note from David Lake, parent and Director of Admission
In my recent interactions with families visiting our school, I’m pleased to hear about all the things they notice. They remark on the orderly demeanor in our classrooms, they hear and see our faculty engaged with our students, they are impressed with our lower students’ cursive handwriting and comfort with Spanish, they appreciate Ms. Hamlin talking about getting along with others, and they notice the smiles on the faces of our students. They comment on the diversity of our student body and our safe campus feel. Because of a robust website, each comes to our school with an appreciation of the many things that happen here and each has walked away with a favorable impression of what they have experienced. It’s fun showing people around and sharing why we think this place is so very special.
The Crossties Blog provides timely updates about activities from the campus of North Cross School.