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.
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.
Hometown: Arlington Heights, IL (a suburb of Chicago)
Education: University of Chicago--B.A.; University of California, Berkeley—Ph.D.
Current Position: Upper School Physics Teacher
Year Appointed: 2015
What's one thing your students don't know about you? I took introductory Spanish three times.
Who most influenced your decision to teach? I have had many excellent and inspiring teachers. My high school orchestra conductor, Mr. Hageman, was one of the best.
Students, Grades 8 - 12 (Parents Welcome)
Thursday, April 27, 1:45–3:10pm
Thursday, May 4, 6:30pm
Fishburn Auditorium, Old Slack Hall
A panel of experts will discuss the rise of opioid abuse within the Roanoke Valley, how to help prevent young people from becoming addicted, and ways of helping those affected.
Former U.S. Attorney John Fishwick
Roanoke County Prevention Council Nancy Hans
Special Agent: Virginia State Police Joe Crowder
American Addiction Center Terrence Engles
Special Guest Janine Underwood, parent of son lost to overdose
Upper School Art teacher Amy Jackson informed her students of an upcoming art competition sponsored by Roanoke's Sister Cities International affiliation. A piece entered by Ben Li ’18 received an honorable mention and is advancing to the next level of competition. The prize for his winning entry was $25.
Sister Cities International aims to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time. This year’s Young Artists theme, “We’re Going Places,” showcases the importance of travel and exchange in achieving peace. The competition's guidelines stated: "Students are encouraged to draw inspiration from their experience with travel, exchange, international friendships, and their goals to present their vision of where the future will lead."
The Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition (RAYSAC) is again sponsoring their After Prom Grand Finale—a drawing for area students who stay until the end of their school's after-prom party. North Cross' prom is this Saturday at the Jefferson Center, and afterwards students can attend a free after-party until midnight at Thunder Valley. As RAYSAC's website points out, "In the past 28 years of After Prom Grand Finale, none of the participating schools has experienced the tragedy of a drunk-driving accident on the night of their prom."
As March comes to a close so does the observance of Women's History Month, which traces its roots back to the first International Woman's Day held on March 8, 1911. Though our curriculum makes an effort to keep a balanced perspective of many social factors all of the time, adding a special focus to a historically neglected group helps our students understand how our concept of what is important enough to be deemed "historical" has changed over the years, and continues to do so.
On Friday, March 25, a group of students led by Community Outreach Coordinator Alex Hash and Upper School History teacher Joe Harris traveled to Virginia Tech for this year's Uplifting Black Men conference hosted by the Virginia Tech BMEN (Black Male Excellence Network). This year’s conference focused on empowering black men through stories of persistence from several Virginia Tech alumni.
The keynote speaker at this year's event was Virginia Tech's first African-American student, Irving Peddrew III, who entered the all-white school in 1953 and in May 2016 was also awarded one of only nine honorary degrees given in the university's history. “I was raised to be independent and be strong,” he said during his address. “I never felt I was an inferior person or second class citizen. I was taught you don’t let anyone define who you are. You are who you want to be.”
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.
This Tuesday, 3/14, the Math Department celebrated Pi Day (3.1415926...) with a number of academic and not-so-academic exercises. The Lower School read the story of Sir Cumference and calculated area, diameter and cicumference of circular objects, while in the Upper School, a presentation included several student-created film biographies on famous mathematicians (featuring the students as actors for such characters as Ada Lovelace, her estranged husband Lord Byron, and Archimedes), a student slide presentation on Ada Lovelace, a rap on Descartes, a Pi memorized recitation, and finally, a quiz contest for the different features of Pi and circles in our every-day lives were all part of the festivities.
Perhaps the most enjoyed part of the day was during lunch when the Upper School had a pie-eating contest (Tiger Xu ’18 took the prize—a T-shirt that said "Come to the Math Side, We Have Pi") and a raffle for students to "pie" a teacher in the face. The brave faculty included Stephen Belderes, Josh Kier, Dan Dudek and a very lucky Wesley Clagett whose student decided he just couldn't pie his teacher in the face (he got to pie a student volunteer instead). The day's festivities were coordinated by Upper School math teacher Amy Bagliani and Lower School math teacher Audrey Osborne.
The Crossties Blog provides timely updates about activities from the campus of North Cross School.