June 3, 2016 â€¢ Volume: 2015-16, Issue 37
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Headmaster Message

Announcing the Director of the Lower School

Following the announcement of Deborah Jessee’s appointment as Assistant Head of School for Academics, the question that remained was who her replacement would be in the Lower School. After much thought and consideration, I have asked Mr. Victor Lamas to step in as Director of the Lower School. Mr. Lamas has accepted the position and will transition into his new role beginning July 1, 2016.

For those of you who are new to the North Cross community, you may only know Mr. Lamas as an Upper School teacher. However, prior to this year, he taught fourth and fifth grade for 17 years and also served as Assistant Director of the Lower School before moving to the Upper School in 2015-16. Mr. Lamas began his North Cross career in 1998.

Mr. Lamas has been recognized repeatedly for his ability to captivate the minds of his students. He earned platinum awards in 2013 and 2016 in The Roanoker magazine’s “Best of” polls for “Most Inspiring Teacher.” Additionally, he was presented with the Morris Award for Excellence in Teaching at North Cross School in 2014.

While this list of achievements is impressive, the strongest indicator of Mr. Lamas’ impact in the classroom is through anecdotal evidence from his students. If you attended the Fat Pencil Ceremony two weeks ago, you heard about Mr. Lamas and the famous Fifth Grade Battle from every single student speaker. By creating engaging and memorable classroom experiences, Mr. Lamas has inspired countless Raiders.

To all the rising sophomore parents, I know what you are thinking. Don’t worry, though, because Mr. Lamas will still be teaching AP World History in the Upper School.

Mr. Lamas has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and History from Washington and Lee University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Virginia. He will bring his trademarked energy and creativity to the Lower School, planning new initiatives and building on the programs introduced by Mrs. Jessee.  

“I look forward to working with Victor as he moves into his new role as Director of the Lower School. With his numerous years as a member of the NCS community, he will bring many ideas and great enthusiasm. He is a passionate educator, a valued colleague and beloved by students--Ellis Hall is in good hands!” said Mrs. Jessee.

Thank you for your support throughout this period of transition. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.


Christian J. Proctor, Ph.D.
Head of School

Click here to read Mr. Lamas’ Teacher Feature

Campus Update

Congrats, Class of 2016!

Our seniors graduated on Saturday, May 28 at a beautiful ceremony in New Slack Courtyard. Rev. R. Paul Henrickson delivered the keynote address, Jane Ward '16 spoke on behalf of the Global Studies Program, and Vincient Arnold '16 gave a moving valedictorian's speech. 

The Class of 2016 is an exceptional group of young adults, and we look forward to seeing their many accomplishments in years to come. Photos from commencement and quotes from Jane and Vincient's remarks are on the Crossties Blog. Senior families will be notified by Susan Baker when photos and videography are available from Lifetouch. 

Best wishes, Class of 2016!

:: Read more on the Crossties Blog

Buddy Bench Dedicated to McKinnons

The Buddy Bench was dedicated in memory of Logan and Patrick McKinnon at a special ceremony on Wednesday. DaRyan Horner and Amy Sullivan performed a song they wrote for the occasion, and after Deborah Jessee's remarks, Blake Shaner '24 released two balloons for the McKinnons.

The idea for the Buddy Bench was initiated through Blake Shaner '24, and it was funded through the sale of "North Cross Strong" t-shirts, designed by Robin Sells. Thank you to everyone who supported this project—it will serve as a visible mark on our campus that honors the memory of two special Raiders. 

WDBJ7 Covers International Operations 

WDBJ7 came out last week for a story on the growth in our international operations, following Dr. Proctor's announcement of North Cross American School in Wuxi, China.

A few days after their interview with Dr. Proctor, the news came back to interview students from our campus in Shanghai who are in Roanoke studying for the SAT. 

:: WDBJ7 Story on North Cross American School
:: WDBJ7 Story on Students Studying for the SAT

Landry and Patterson Receive Lawrence Award 

The North Cross School Grant for Faculty Enrichment, also known as the Lawrence Award, was given to Mrs. Jennifer Landry and Ms. Sandy Patterson to pursue professional development opportunities this summer.

Ms. Patterson will participate in an educators' workshop at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science (BIOS).  Participants will explore coral reefs, use Glider technology for ocean study, and focus on the human impact and restoration of sites such as Nonsuch Island. Teachers will also learn about future field study course opportunities for students at BIOS.

Mrs. Landry will be attending the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) 5th Annual STEM Forum and Expo in Denver, CO. The conference offers programming for all levels of STEM from early childhood programs through high school, administration, and community. 

We are excited for Mrs. Landry and Ms. Patterson to take part in these programs, and we look forward to seeing how they incorporate their experiences into the classroom next year.

Academic Update

Lower School Closing Ceremony

Ellis Hall commemorated its last day of the year at a special Closing Ceremony yesterday in Fishburn Auditorium. Awards were given for attendance, citizenship, scholarship, and various subjects in the Lower School. A full list of award recipients is on the Crossties Blog.

Mrs. Jessee presented Alex Hammond '23 with the Lower School Faculty Award, and Brayson Wilson '23 was named the Alice J. Moore Citizenship Award recipient. Afterward, Mrs. Jessee and Dr. Proctor presented fifth grade students with their diplomas and wished them well moving into Eaton Hall. 

:: Visit the Crossties Blog for photos

Middle School Closing Ceremony 

Students in the Class of 2020 have reached the final stages of their North Cross careers as they move up to Willis Hall. At today's Middle School Closing Ceremony, awards were given to students in all three grade levels, and diplomas were presented to the departing eighth grade class. Elyse Farrell '20, SCA President, spoke on behalf of her class, thanking her fellow students, faculty, administrators, and parents for a great Middle School experience.
:: View photos on the Crossties Blog

Exploring Our Nation's Capital

The eighth grade class spent two days this week in Washington, D.C., where they explored monuments, museums, and other sites in our nation's capital. The students even had an opportunity to tour the White House. Dr. Proctor was able to join the class on their field trip, and in his words, "nobody gets more out of Washington, D.C. in two days than North Cross School."

Lower School Spanish Ceremony 

Mrs. Mariana Hermosilla organized a special ceremony for her fifth grade Spanish students. Several of this year's fifth grade class have been in the Spanish program since it began four years ago. At the ceremony, Mrs. Hermosilla recognized those students, as well as the ones who will be joining the Middle School Spanish Society in the fall. 

Teacher Feature: DaRyan Horner

Hometown: Roanoke, VA
Education: Radford University—B.S.
Current Position: Director of Extended Day; Cafeteria
Year Appointed: 2008

What's one thing your students don't know about you?   
I have a twin brother.

What’s your teaching passion? What motivates you?
​Being a positive male role-model and being mindful that my good name is the most important thing I have.

In photo: The Horner family (from left): Lauren, Lydia ’24, DaRyan, and Justus '28. 

:: Read more on the Crossties Blog

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