There are few opportunities where we, as an entire school community, can come together as a whole for the benefit of something bigger than ourselves. One of my favorites—and perhaps this is partly fueled by my desire for a good deal—is the Big Flea. Though the physical manifestation of the Big Flea has changed over the years from a field day and white elephant sale to its current ‘day of bargains,’ it remains one of those few occasions when parents, teachers, alumni, grandparents, and yes, even students, can contribute in such a tangible way to their community here at North Cross. The sale has also become a fan-favorite in and around Roanoke. I’m told that the Facebook event alone has over 1,000 people who were ‘interested’ or already planning to attend the sale next Saturday.
I like to think Spring is around the corner, especially on a day like today where the blustery wind brought us some warmer temperatures (for however short a time, don’t look at Tuesday’s forecast). There’s a certain energy to the season, which is probably why “spring cleaning” has maintained its popularity in our lexicon. Brooms emerge from dark closets. Windows get a fresh polish. Ill-fitting clothes find their way to a donation box or a grateful new owner.
So, what’s my point? As Head of School, I would love to see you, dear reader, take this energy of the season and put it to work with our dedicated volunteers who have already committed their time and resources towards making the Big Flea another success. Led by the able and dedicated Alex Hash, we’ve had a number of families, students, faculty and yes, even alumni, commit to the staging of this year’s sale. Either through donations or elbow grease, this event is only possible because of our community’s generosity of time and goods. Perhaps, that’s why it’s one of my favorites. It is an event that is entirely created from the kindness of others. Donated items put up for sale at a reasonable price to benefit a new owner, friendly faces checking patrons out, Virginia Varsity Transfer bringing those surprisingly heavy desks to their new homes. You can even wave to me as I don a yellow vest and help you find a parking space next Saturday. There really is no downside to it, other than perhaps missing a game or two of March Madness while you load a pick-up truck of donated items headed towards the CAC tomorrow. But it’s still early in the tournament, so don’t fret.
If my plea has convinced you and your family to offer up some time for the Big Flea, it’s just a click away to find a slot of time that works for you. Plus, if the good karma is not enough, when you give 6 hours of your time (which isn’t much when you spread it out over a couple of afternoons), you get to shop early—my favorite part—the day before.
Helping North Cross and our community is a great way to start off your spring cleaning, not just for your house but for your soul.
Christian J. Proctor, PhD
Dr. Proctor, the ninth head of school at North Cross since 2011, has more than 26 years of experience in education, 15 of which have been at the head of school level. He has served as headmaster at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, South Carolina, St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Metairie, Louisiana, Grace Episcopal School in Monroe, Louisiana, and as Interim Headmaster at Wesley Academy in Houston, Texas. In each location, Dr. Proctor’s tenure was marked by creativity, innovation, and school growth.