September 14, 2016 • Volume: 2016-17, Issue 1
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Alumni Board Message

Update from the Alumni Board

Fellow Alumni:

North Cross School rang in its 72nd year on August 24, and the school is pleased to report that enrollment has increased and has met its growth goal for the year. I am beginning my 6th year on the Alumni Board, and I am happy to be serving as your returning Alumni Board President. The Alumni Board has a big year ahead with several exciting plans to keep Alumni involved with their alma mater.   
  • A big thank you to­­­­­­­­­­­­ King Tower '86, Betsy Freund '72, Quinn Graeff '88, Bobby Mountcastle '02, and Linda Steele '68. These five individuals have completed their service on the Alumni Board. Each of them has contributed a great deal of their time to the school, and we are extremely appreciative!
  • Your Alumni Board is growing! Five new members have recently joined the board for a 3-year term. Please help me extend a warm welcome to Holt Bibee ’09, Carrie Knopf ’05, Joey Curran ’08, Carter Lee ’97, and Cary Kelly ’91
  • On October 6, North Cross will award the annual Distinguished Alumnus/a Award to Will Dichtel ’96. Will was named a MacArthur Fellow last year as a result of his innovative studies in synthetic and supramolecular chemistry. While on campus, he will give a public presentation at noon and spend time talking with students about his field of study.
  • Homecoming on October 14-15 is going to be a special weekend for all alumni this year. We will dedicate the new Nancy and Richard Cook Athletic Field on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The Cook Athletic Field was made possible primarily through donations from alumni, so we thank you for your support. There will also be a co-ed Alumni Soccer Game and an All Alumni Party that same day. Please RSVP if you plan to attend one or more of these events, and we hope to see you there. A full homecoming schedule is listed below.

This is going to an event-filled and exciting year at North Cross School. I encourage you to visit the campus to see all that has been accomplished recently. In the meantime keep up with the School through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Crossties. Please keep us updated with the milestones in your life: weddings, births, career changes, awards, etc. by sending this information to your class agent, a member of the Alumni Board, or Rebekah Bradley at We all want to thank you for continuing to help North Cross develop and grow.

Jack Hamlin '03
North Cross Alumni Board, Chairman

Cook Athletic Field and Homecoming Update

Cook Field construction is progressing, and we have been assured by Athletic Director Eric Lawrence that soccer and field hockey teams will be able to compete on it for the first time over Homecoming Weekend. Sod went down this week, and bleachers are scheduled to go up next. We are excited to dedicate the field to Richard Cook on October 15, and we hope you can join us for this special event.  A full schedule of homecoming and alumni activities for October 14-16 is listed below. 

Friday, October 14
4:00 p.m. - Boys Varsity Football vs. Hampton Roads Academy
5:00 p.m. - Girls Varsity Volleyball vs. Timberlake Christian Academy
Saturday, October 15
*Lunch available for purchase  
12:00 p.m. - Girls Varsity Field Hockey vs. EC Glass High School 
1:30 p.m. - Cook Field Dedication (Immediately following the conclusion of Field Hockey Game) 
2:15 p.m. - Boys Varsity Soccer vs. New Covenant School
4:30 p.m. - Alumni Co-Ed Soccer Game (interest allowing)          
7:00 p.m. - Alumni Party at Head of School Dr. Chris Proctor’s home

Click here to RSVP for one or more of the following events: 
  • Cook Field Dedication                                                                   
  • Alumni Party Saturday Night (Casual Dress)                                                   
  • Interest in playing in the Co-ed Alumni Soccer Game   
You may contact Development Coordinator Jennifer Burtch at 540-989-6641 ext. 284 or if you have any questions or need additional information. 

Distinguished Alumnus(a) Award Nominations

The Distinguished Alumnus(a) Award recognizes an alumnus or alumna who has made distinguished and outstanding contributions to his or her profession or field of interest and has brought benefit to the community or humanity and honor to North Cross while embodying the values and spirit of the school. 

All North Cross School alumni are invited to make nominations to the Alumni Association Board. Nominations are due by September 30, 2016. 

Nominees should meet the following criteria:
  1. The candidate must have graduated from or attended North Cross School. 
  2. The candidate must be someone other than an alumnus/a currently serving on the North Cross School Alumni Association Board or Board of Trustees. 
  3. The candidate should be a responsible citizen who has distinguished themselves in their profession or field of influence and who has brought benefit to the community or humanity and honor to North Cross while embodying the values and spirit of the school.
For more information, please contact Alumni Association President Jack Hamlin ’03, President, at
:: Distinguished Alumnus(a) Award Nomination Form

Headmaster Message

The Start of a New Year

I am sure you have all enjoyed your summer break, but things at school have been very busy. Most noticeable is the slow but steady progress on Cook Field. We still anticipate being able to play on the surface this fall but the daily thunderstorms have really taken their toll. Also, behind the scenes, our IT Department has been working diligently to launch our new online community tool, onCampus, which will help connect families, students and the school and aims to streamline many of the previously paper-intensive forms and registration processes for the school—surely a welcome addition to both parents and to our administration.
Continue reading on the Crossties Blog

North Cross School—We are the Greatest

We are off and running, and it is gratifying to see that we have grown to over 490 students—our biggest opening-day enrollment since I have been here. It appears to be a great start of the year and I hope everyone will watch our student created video that started our year off. It got me pumped up.
View the video

Update on North Cross—Xinhe School

Things at North Cross-Xinhe are going very well as we have grown from three North Cross associated faculty members to eight, and we have seen our enrollment grow from 50 students to 130. In addition, our Chinese partners spent more than $1 million in renovations to the school building, renovations that include a new computer library, chemistry lab, and substantial improvements to the building's façade.
Read the full update and view photos

A Note from the Assistant Head of School for Academics

As our first full week of school came to a close, I was struck by how alive the campus felt. The school sounds permeate every corner: bouncing red rubber balls on the playground, instruments being tuned in Slack, applause during morning announcements in Fishburn. I've enjoyed visits to classrooms in every division, joined PE warmup exercises and spent time with faculty and staff as we continue to fine tune every aspect of the North Cross experience for students and families. It is a great time to be at North Cross and I am thrilled to join each of you as we embrace the start of a new year and anticipate our bright future. 

Deborah Jessee
Assistant Head of School for Academics

Campus Update

Raising Awareness, and Money, for Flood Victims

Upper School students had the opportunity to pay $1 earlier this month to dress down and purchase Bojangles biscuits as a fundraiser for schools in Louisiana effected by the recent devastating flooding. Middle School students also contributed to the effort through their biscuit purchases. All told, the pop-up fundraiser brought in a net $466.55 to send to South Highlands Elementary Magnet School, whose Parents' Association is coordinating an effort to send supplies and resources to three Baton Rouge schools ravaged by floods. Teachers in Baton Rouge were already trying to salvage what they could (see photo) from the damage. The effort was coordinated by Student Life. We thank them for noticing the need and taking quick action to help others.

Link your Kroger Card to Support North Cross

Each year, those of you who generously link your Kroger Plus cards to North Cross so that we receive a portion of dollars spent must re-enroll in order for North Cross to continue receiving this benefit. If you have a Kroger card but have not yet linked it to North Cross, please do! It's a wonderful, simple way to support the school. Click here to find out how to sign up or re-enroll.

Academic Update

Teacher Features and Staff Stories

Teacher Features


DaRyan Horner

Staff Stories

Chris Moore

Art Update

Creating for a Cure

On October 1, the American Cancer Society will host the Cure by Design Gala. Last spring, Upper School art students contributed their interpretations of angel wings, 8" x 8" works shown tiled above, which are among the 47 paintings being sold to raise money for cancer research, educational support programs, and patient services. Check out all of the paintings here:

Athletic Update

Roanoke Catholic v. North Cross—Football Rivalry Renewed

Last month's football game against Roanoke Catholic marked the renewal of a historic rivalry between the two schools—one that hasn't taken place in seven years. However, in an exhibit of true sportsmanship, both teams placed their competition aside and came together before the big game to volunteer their time cleaning up the historic Gainsboro neighborhood in Roanoke.

The match-up brought record numbers of North Cross football fans out, but someone was in both teams' corners: Mayor Sherman Lea. At halftime, the Mayor presented a decree and complimented the teams' leaders' "exemplary leadership and relentless commitment in helping these young men become outstanding citizens in their communities." The Raiders went on to win the game 34-14.
:: Read more about the community service project

Record Setting Volleyball

Varsity volleyball is off to an outstanding start with a 11-0 record. Their success has a lot to do with Head Coach Terri Craig’s seasoned coaching methods, but also the dedicated and skilled players themselves. Coach Craig's recipe for success takes the four returning Raider players, adds in a splash of spice with a transferring junior and sprinkles the top with two very energetic eighth graders, creating what will now be known as the “Super Seven.” The addition of the new players into a team of veterans is the key to this year’s strong domination.

Student athlete Natalie List ’17 stopped almost everything at last month's game against Craig County (a 4-0 win for the team)—but couldn't stop herself from breaking the NCS record for most blocks when she reached her 80th one. Way to go, Natalie! 

Class News and Notes

The Newest Alumni Association Members

The Class of 2016 walked the stage this past spring on May 28, and has since then dispersed across the country to different colleges and universities. Last year's seniors certainly set the bar high for future classes with an impressive college and university acceptance portfolio. Over half of them were admitted to schools ranked in the top 35 nationwide! Take a closer look at their stats on the Crossties Blog, and join us in welcoming them to the North Cross School Alumni Association!
:: Learn more about the Class of 2016

Garbee '90 Featured in National Commercial

Former North Cross Drama Club member, Kevin Garbee '90, starring in a national Dairy Queen commercial. Click here to view the commercial.

Olinger '16 VGSA Junior Match Play Title

Ty Olinger '16 won the VGSA Junior Match Play Championship this past June. "Olinger, a recent North Cross graduate, joins an elite list of Timesland players who have won the crown," writes Randy King, Roanoke Times. 

Ty played golf throughout his years at North Cross, and he is continuing his career on the West Virginia University golf team. 

Photo Credit: Chris Lang, VSGA

Welcoming Carson Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton '99 and his wife, Saralyn, welcomed their second child, Carson, into the family on June 17. Charlotte loves being a big sister!

Lowery '16 Off to a Great Start at W&M

After breaking several records and earning numerous accolades on the North Cross football team, Jordan Lowery '16 took his football talents to the next level by joining the William and Mary team. View Jordan's profile here. Wish him luck this season!

Two North Cross Grads Engaged

We are excited to share that Ryan Cook and Sang Kanithanon were engaged on August 5, 2016. The couple will marry in Roanoke on the anniversary of their engagement - August 5, 2017. Both were members of the Class of 1993, and Ryan is currently a middle school history teacher and soccer coach at North Cross. Congrats, you two!

McNamaras Welcome Baby Jack

Elizabeth "Bette" Kaufman McNamara, M.D. '97 and husband, Robert Stanley McNamara, PhD, welcomed a baby boy into their family on July 18, 2016.

Robert John McNamara, "Jack", is the nephew of William S. Kaufman (NCS 2002) and the little brother of Belle.

Join us in congratulating the McNamara family on their wonderful new addition!

A Second Ashton Boy

Little Kyle is excited to be a big brother! Tom Ashton '98 and his wife welcomed their second son, Bo Woodard Ashton, on May 26 at the Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. Congrats to the Ashton family!

In Memory of Charlie Crockett '71

We are deeply saddened by the loss of Charlie Crockett '71, who passed away last month. As evidenced by the photo above (taken from the 1970 yearbook), Charlie was a vibrant member of the North Cross community, and he will be missed. We extend our most sincere condolences to the Crockett family.

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