March 13, 2017 • Volume: 2016-17, Issue 5
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Alumni Association News

The Alumni Association invites you to a Spring Happy Hour at Wall Street Tavern on March 23 from 5:30—7.

Alumni Service Award Nominations

We are now accepting nominations for the Alumni Service Award. The Alumni Service Award is presented annually to one outstanding alumnus/a who has made significant contributions to his/her community. All North Cross School alumni are invited to make nominations to the Alumni Association Board before March 31, 2017. The award will be presented at commencement on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Click here to submit a nomination.

Development Update

Give Where You Live

The Foundation for Roanoke Valley will host its second annual #RoanokeValleyGivesDay on March 15, 2017—an opportunity for us to come together to show support for area nonprofits and the constituents they serve.

North Cross is pleased to join these organizations in this campaign. We ask that you consider a gift in support of North Cross during this community driven event. Click here to schedule your gift in advance.

Big Flea—A Day of Bargains

Join us on April 1 from 7 am—1 pm for our annual Big Flea sale. The Big Flea is a major fundraiser for North Cross School and a community event for individuals throughout the Roanoke Valley, bringing over 4,000 shoppers to campus for bargain-priced goods. 

You can help this year by donating items, volunteering before and/or during the event, and helping spread the word. Contact Rebekah Gunn at to get involved!

Donations are tax-deductible and proceeds from the sale benefit North Cross School and the Parents’ Association. Carilion Sports Medicine is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2017 Big Flea.

Head of School Message

The Truth Is Out There

A recent Stanford Graduate School of Education study had subjects from middle school through the university level look at social media posts and websites and then decipher if the content was accurate and trustworthy. In one of their middle school assessments, out of the 203 middle school students who viewed a homepage, 80% believed the "sponsored content" ad was a real news story. How do young people navigate this digital landscape successfully when searching for factual information?

Having a library equipped with credible resources and guidance is key. Students can access trusted databases and research tools from the North Cross website and our library on campus. Though the Upper School uses the physical library less than the lower and middle schools, Mrs. Holley still aids teachers and students in planning projects and shares useful advancements and resources to help in the classroom.

Though the walls of Hancock Library may be aging, the innovative teaching inside of them keeps pace with our ever-changing world. Our job as educators is to make sure that this world is met with a discerning eye.
:: Read the full message on the Crossties Blog

A Message from Deborah Jessee

Assistant Head of School for Academics

Great teachers help create great students. In fact, research shows that an inspiring and informed teacher is the most important school-related factor influencing student achievement. Professional development opportunities keep teachers up-to-date on new research, emerging technology, curriculum resources and best practices. “Even experienced teachers confront great challenges each year, including changes in subject content, new instructional methods, advances in technology, changed laws and procedures, and student learning needs.” (Mizell, 2010)

The support of professional development for faculty and staff by the wider NCS community helps create a culture of learning throughout the School. The recent unprecedented success of “Paddles Up For Professional Development” at the annual Gala was undeniable proof of your commitment to ensure focused, effective teaching and learning at North Cross. This is a goal shared by the faculty and staff as well as any parents, past parents, alums and friends who made a donation toward this effort.
:: Continue reading on the Crossties Blog

Campus Update

"Black History is our History"

At a special Black History Month assembly, North Cross honored Mr. Peter Lewis for his contributions to education and the advancement of less fortunate youth through his Apple Ridge Farm summer program. Also honored was Mrs. Annette Lewis, Director of TAP in Roanoke, for her continued and outstanding contributions to the Roanoke Valley community. 

Afterwards, the Upper and Middle schools, faculty, staff and guests were, in a word, inspired by Dr. Terrell Strayhorn's presentation. Dr. Strayhorn is a professor and researcher at The Ohio State University where he is also the director of the Center for Higher Education Enterprise there.
:: Read more and view photos on the Crossties Blog

Students in the Lower School raised over $10,000 in support of the American Heart Association through Jump Rope For Heart! 

Academic Update

Symposium: Show Your Work

Students in the Middle and Upper schools had a rare opportunity to sample a variety of "lessons" from area business leaders in this year's Symposium. From designing with succulents to unearthing the mysteries of meteorites; personal coaching to cupcake decorating; our students had a day filled with opportunity and ideas from our generous local organizations and professionals. We thank them for their time and insights.

Teacher Features, Staff Stories, and Board Bios

Teacher Features & Staff Stories


Ann Akers
Kit Prillaman

Board Bios

Ian McDade '91
Sarah Tune Doherty '91

Art Update

A Thrilling Debut

Lainey Auwarter ’19 (shown left in her role in this year's production of Henry V) was one of only four (from a pool of sixteen) film scripts that will be produced by the Grandin Theatre Foundation's Film Lab as a feature film. The Grandin Film Lab introduces high school students to cinema and the behind-the-scenes workings of film making. Run by Ian Fortier and Tyler Lyon, the program will help transform these four scripts of different genres into short films. The students will join together and take on the different roles required to produce a film such as producer, director of photography, editor, and sound mixer. 

Athletic Update

Lapping the Competition

Friday night was a big win for both the Boys and Girls swim teams. Both teams came away as conference champions. The teams led the competition from start to finish, beginning with the Boys' 200 medley relay which produced its best time of the season by more than five seconds.

​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. What a way to finish a great season!

Luke Carter '17 and Jack Holley '17 committed to the soccer programs at Roanoke College and Virginia Military Institute, respectively. We look forward to seeing their athletic careers advance to the next level!

Boys Basketball Makes it to State Semi-Finals

In a tight match-up against our Roanoke Catholic rivals, the varsity boys basketball team overtook the Celtics for the fourth time this season to advance to the VISAA State semi-finals. 

The Raiders lost to Williamsburg Christian Academy in the semi-finals on March 3. We congratulate the team on great season!

Satterwhite to be inducted in VAIS Hall of Fame

"The Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association announced it will create a hall of fame to acknowledge administrators and coaches who have made significant contributions to the association.The inaugural class will be inducted May 8." - Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS)

Former Director or Athletics Donna Satterwhite is one of only seven individuals to be included in the VAIS Hall of Fame's inaugural class. What a well-deserved honor for Coach Satterwhite!

Class News and Notes

Support for Patrick Karnwie '08

Patrick Karnwie '08 has been severely injured from gunshot wounds, and miraculously, is progressing toward a full recovery. As NCS alumni, let's rally around Patrick and his family to help support his medical bills and rehab.

Click here to visit Patrick's GoFundMe page.

Recently Shariq Hashmi '13 gathered several NCS alumni in his Lawn room at UVA to make s'mores over the fireplace. Looks like they had a great time!

Class of '91 Board Bios

The Class of 1991 is well-represented on the North Cross Board of Trustees. Allen Whittle, Sarah Tune Doherty, and Ian McDade currently serve on our Board. Be sure to check out recent Crossties features for Sarah and Ian, and be on the lookout for Allen's bio in upcoming weeks. 

:: Sarah Tune Doherty Board Bio
:: Ian McDade Board Bio

Roanoke Named Top City for New Grads

GoodCall names Roanoke the best city for new grads. To our college-aged alumni, we're sure your parents have already not-so-subtly sent you this article. Don't forget about the place you call home as you consider your opportunities post graduation. 

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