Members of the Roanoke Ballet Theatre Company came to educate the Lower School on what it takes to be a professional ballet dancer. They also demonstrated a typical warm-up routine, a few samples of choreographed dances and then invited a few lucky volunteers on stage to practice a first-position jump. Mr. Lamas was one of the lucky individuals! NCS would like to thank the Company for coming to North Cross and sharing their talents with our young students.
After working since before the beginning of the school year, Anna McLaughlin and her team of dedicated parents and helpers, brought to life the story of a toymaker whose only wish is to have a well-behaved son, or so he thought. My Son Pinocchio, Jr. is brought to life by a cast of third- through fifth-graders in a musical that is both delightful and poignant, encouraging all parents to embrace the individuality in their children and cherish their unique qualities. The wonderful music, costumes and sets bring us along on this colorful journey. Come and see for yourself: Friday, November 10, at 7 and Saturday, November 11, at 7, in Fishburn Auditorium. The performances are free and open to the public.
A Message from the Head of School
Years ago, my ninth-grade daughter learned that she would not be able to play both tennis and volleyball, because they occurred during the same season. Not content to let my daughter lounge around watching One Tree Hill reruns, my wife required my daughter to try out for our spring musical, Bye Bye Birdie. While initially reluctant, my daughter wound up participating in musicals all four years of high school and to this day has a deep appreciation for the theater.
I tell this story on the heels of watching our Lower School musical, My Son Pinocchio, Jr. and marveling at the large cast, fabulous costuming, and professional staging. Jacob Juneau as Geppetto and Anna Ciccozi as the Blue Fairy were particularly outstanding, but Tyler Bloomfield was a definite showstopper as Professore Buonragazzo, the mad scientist. The show is short, only an hour or so, but it is well worth watching and supporting our youngest thespians.
This morning, the Lower School grades one through five assembled in Muscaro Gymnasium for the second annual Sportsmanship Code signing. The captains from all of the fall athletics teams came to talk to the students about what it looks like to play fair, to give it one's all, and to always be kind and encouraging—on and off the field. Afterwards, representatives from each grade came to sign the Code with the Upper School students. During P.E. periods, all students will have a chance to sign this year's sheet. The Upper Schoolers will also return during Lower School P.E. periods (when they have a break) to play with these impressionable young athletes and demonstrate how to put their words in action!
Before this year's Homecoming Pep Rally, the Parents' Association outdid themselves with an amazing Adventure Walk for the entire school — no small feat when you have almost 500 students and 60+ faculty to corral. The school was broken into groups and then led throughout the buildings to see special decorations and get to know each other along the way. Many piggy backs were given, hands held, and friendships formed. Thank you to all of our parents who made this journey come together!
After the Walk, students enjoyed popsicles and a petting zoo. The theme for this year's Homecoming surrounds the movie Footloose, whose final scene takes place in a barn. So farm animals were a natural match. Spring Valley Farm in Moneta, VA, brought the adorable farm animals to the pep rally. Among the spirited competitions was a dance-off between Hip-Hop and Country Line dancing, lassoing a "mustang" and an old-fashioned hoedown complete with a face-off between a rival sheriff. The students had a blast, and we would also like to thank Susan Wenk, Susan Card, and the Upper and Middle School SCA's for putting this spirit-lifting event together.
Both events are truly what memories are made of. To see video and more photos, visit our Instagram page and Facebook page which has footage of the "dance off."
The rain held out just long enough for the last potato chip to be crunched and the last game of tag to find a winner. Families on both ends of the buddy line, seniors and ECP-2 students, came out to picnic blankets and hamburgers for this annual tradition. Though the skies were overcast, the smiles were bright. Parents of seniors got to meet their child's little buddies, while the ECP-2 parents got to meet what will be their counterparts in about 13 years. Good thing about almost-rainy weather? No ants.
In my last Crossties submission, I was a bit heavy in my discussion on class, privilege, and empathy. I have not left that discussion behind, and I want to let you know that I just received Jonathan Sacks’ The Home We Build Together, the book referred to in the John Allman letter I mentioned previously. Let me get through that and I will report back to you. It may be a while however, as I just returned from a rainy weekend at the beach where I found two rollicking novels of maritime adventure and a compendium of four novels by Trevanian in an antique store in Georgetown, SC—all good stuff even if they do smell a bit like mildew.
So, where am I going with this? We are in the middle of college admissions season and students are wondering what they can do to find that extra 20-30 points on their verbal scores. It is a bit tough at this point, so we resort to a bit of trickeration, essentially teaching kids to take the test. A more effective strategy is to encourage/coerce/bribe your children into reading for pleasure. The earlier you start, the more effective you will find encouragement. A study by the National Reading Foundation found that students learn 15 new words each school day and that a majority of these words come not from intensive instruction but instead from independent reading. It is amazing how reading, and the increased vocabulary it produces, can have a dramatic impact on standardized test scores.
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.
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.
The Crossties Blog provides timely updates about activities from the campus of North Cross School.