The Boys Varsity Lacrosse team began their game against Roanoke Catholic (which they won 10-8) slightly differently yesterday on Thomas Field. The team took a few moments, along with Dr. Proctor, Coaches Pollock and Alexander and family members, to honor the five seniors who are playing their final season as a Raider. Blake Willis, Harrison Wells, Massey Semler, Jarion Jenkins-Saunders and Jack Holley were acknowledged. In his remarks, Dr. Proctor pointed out each student athlete and where they plan to go next year, as well as the individual's favorite memory from his time on the team. The families were honored with roses and stood with their child while each was honored. We'll miss their dedication, skill and spirit, but we are grateful for their energy and team mentorship during their time with North Cross.
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.
It has been a while since I have written a blog about our SAT scores and with the college admissions season winding down, it’s an opportune time to talk about how our senior classes perform. This reflection is definitely not the end all-be all of why we do what we do, but SAT’s are frequently used as an important measure, and as such, we must pay attention. For parents, SAT scores are a source of reassurance that they have made a good investment in their children’s education, as well as making for good sideline conversation.
This past year marked the end of the three-part SAT exam which measured ability in reading, mathematics, and writing. Each section was worth a potential 800 points making a perfect total of 2400 points. With the arrival of the new two-part exam and its significantly different question types, it will be more difficult to compare scores in the near future, so let me provide you with data from the last three years.
North Cross SAT Averages
Last Friday, Raiders came out to support a different type of red as they donated blood during the annual drive sponsored by the SCA and organized by senior Helen Schmetdje. Virginia Blood Services had 30 donors come, and 22 were able to donate a full unit of blood. Together, the school affected 70 people's lives!
On Saturday, while volunteers were busy using their braun to unload items for the Big Flea, a group of students used their brains to compete in the University of Virginia High School Programming Competition. Teachers Amy Bagliani and Jennifer Landry took 5 students (Nalin Jha ’19, Sean Auwater ’17, Ben Li ’18, Simon Chen ’17, and Triff H'Doubler ’19—the first female from North Cross to compete!). The competitors had 4 hours to complete 12 programs which become progressively complicated as they moved along in the competition. For each program solved, competitors received a colored balloon. While the students were competing, the teachers "spent the afternoon, talking with teachers and sharing ideas. There were two we took away as great ideas for the school," notes Mrs. Bagliani, which she says she'll share with Upper School Director Mark Thompson.
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.
Boys Varsity Basketball team captain Chase Overton ’17 celebrated his senior night at Muscaro Gymnasium this past Saturday in the best way possible: with his family by his side and with a team win that advanced the Raiders to the quarter finals. Since that game, the Raiders have made spectacular progress, beating Holy Cross 83-49 in last night's game. The team is ranked #2 in the latest VISAA state poll. Be sure to support the Raiders tomorrow night in Muscaro Gym at 6:00pm, as they take on rivals Roanoke Catholic for a shot at the finals.
Two of North Cross School's talented players from this year's 2016 Virginia Independent Conference Championship Boys Soccer team officially committed to play soccer next year with their respective colleges: Luke Carter - center midfield (Class of '17) committed to Roanoke College and Jack Holley - center back/outside back (Class of '17) committed to Virginia Military Institute.
Pictured above: Luke Carter, left at table, and Jack Holley, right at table, with their families, Coach Brown and the students' coach from Roanoke Star Soccer Club Andrew Murphy.
Boys Swimming finished their season with the runner-up title for the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) Championship in the Division II finals, and were 11th overall, regardless of division. The team competed this past Saturday at Blacksburg at Virginia Tech's Christiansburg Aquatic Center. Andrew Lorens ’19 was second in the 100-meter butterfly, and fifth in the Individual Medley. Daniel Byrnes ’21 placed 15th in the 200 freestyle and 8th in the 500 freestyle. Zack H'Doubler ’17 was 13th in the 100 meter breaststroke. The team placed 10th in the 200 medley relay and 13th in the 400 meter freestyle.
Introduced by NCS Alumna and sister, Rosalie, Natalie List ’17 took the stage this morning to speak of an issue close to her heart: the use of animals for entertainment purposes. In her talk she described the numerous instances in which animals have been abused, mistreated, and exploited for the benefit of people's enjoyment. National theme parks, zoos and circuses have been indicated in this abuse and Ms. List made a compelling argument as to why we should change our expectations when it comes to animal performance. She notes, "we wouldn't expect this of humans, why should we expect it of animals?" After supporting the thesis that animals in many ways are like humans, she made the important distinction that they are not human, and should not be expected to act as such. She promoted the use of animal sanctuaries instead of zoos where animals are not sold, are rescued from unfit circumstances, and are protected in an open environment, often closed off from public view. In the end, her speech served as a reminder of the Golden Rule: Do onto others as you'd have done to you—even in the case of animals.
You may listen to the talk in its entirety and see more photos in the Featured Content section of onCampus.
The Crossties Blog provides timely updates about activities from the campus of North Cross School.