February 17, 2017 • Volume: 2016-17, Issue 25
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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.

Campus Update

Red = Happiness and Luck

Though a bit delayed due to many students being away for Model UNs, the Upper School finally had the chance to celebrate Chinese New Year, thanks to the efforts of our International Chinese students. Organized primarily by Arthur Qi ’18, the entire Upper School was divided into groups and sent on a rotation, visiting classrooms to learn a sample of Chinese calligraphy, food, the art of paper cutting, and to watch a video that surveyed traditions practiced in Asian countries during this widely celebrated holiday. 

Put Some Pep in your Step

It's a rare occasion when we get to have the entire school in one room, so Valentine's Day wasn't the only reason this Tuesday was special. It was also the date of our Winter Sports Pep Rally. This year, the SCA presented the theme as "the Academy Awards that never were," in which all three divisions participated. After Ryan Huddleston ’21 gave an Oscar-winning rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, the Lower School jump started the event with a game of Treasure Hunt against the Upper School's "Pirates of the Caribbean," and the scrappy young ones came out ahead. The Middle School brought back Star Wars for one great last battle, and the Upper School had a hard time finding N-E-M-O but did have a rousing game of Dodgeball. Afterwards, the Upper School basketball teams played against a faculty team and barely lost to the adult players. All in all, people left feeling pretty jazzed to be a Raider.

If you'd like to see a "highlight reel" from the festivities, watch the 5-minute video on our YouTube channel.

Who Knows Where the Time Goes?

Can you believe last Friday marked the 100th day since we started school? Our Lower Schoolers in ECP-2 and Kindergarten can. They counted their way to 100 days in English and Spanish, built a 100-day museum with items made of 100 items, learned to count by tens (to 100, of course), and had a special visit from LS Director Victor Lamas (we bet he stayed more than 100 seconds, though). Here's to a great rest of the year!

Academic Update

And You Thought our Weather Is Extreme!

Students in the fourth grade broadcasted some extreme weather reports today in conclusion of their unit on the topic. In groups, students wrote a script which included the breaking news, the definition of the weather type, and an interview with an "eyewitness." They also introduced props, maps and images to aid in their explanations. Topics included tsunamis, wildfires, tornadoes and earthquakes, to name a few. The groups presented their broadcast to the rest of their classmates. You can watch a sampling of the broadcasts by visiting the Featured Content Section of onCampus.

A Controversial Subject

This week, eighth graders in Mrs. Robin Garrett's English classes headed to the library to make use of its electronic databases while they researched a topic for their persuasive paper project. A step forward in North Cross' Writing Initiative, eighth-grade students are moving past the documentary and discussion aspect of essay writing and into the realm of persuasion in which they must discuss the pros and cons of a topic, in this case a controversial one, and ultimately make an effective argument for or against their chosen issue. 

DeHart Speeches this Week

It's been a busy week in Fishburn. We have had the pleasure of listening to three very different, yet all very thoughtful presentations from three seniors. The first, Zack H'Doubler ’17 (bottom left), made the convincing argument for e-gaming in the Olympics. Tuesday, Josh Greenway ’17 took a closer look between the proposed blame placed on fast-food chains for the rise in obesity rates in the U.S., and on Wednesday, Natalie List ’17, introduced by her sister Rosalie ’14 (seated) discussed the unethical use of animals for entertainment. You can listen to Josh and Natalie's talks, and see more photos of all three by visiting the Featured Content section of onCampus. (Zack's microphone was not on during his presentation so we were unable to record. Our sincerest apologies.)

Up next:

Yasmin Tejani - Feb 22
Justin Wright - Feb 27
Blake Willis - Feb 28
Chase Overton - March 1
Davis Call - March 3

All are welcome to attend. Speeches begin at 8:00am in the Fishburn Auditorium.

Staff Story: Ann Akers

Pictured: Ann and her husband Donnie Akers (also a cafeteria manager in our Dining Hall)

Position: Cafeteria Manager and Chef
Hometown: Virginia Beach

What’s your passion here? What motivates you to do what you do? My passion is really the kids. I love these like my own and I get pure enjoyment seeing them enjoy what I prepare.  The bond I have with these kids is just so special to me.

What was your favorite book you read in school? The Great Gatsby

Who were your mentors? My mentors were my grandparents. They taught me how to grow my own food, create dishes using spices and herbs and develop my own dishes.


Athletics Update

An Update from the Director

Reminder that Swimming is in Christiansburg today and tomorrow for the State Championships! See onCampus for times.

Next week is Conference Tournament Week for BRC/VIC Basketball!

Quarterfinals on Tuesday 2/21: Our girls will be traveling to either Miller or Carlisle, Boys will be hosting here on campus, time is TBD
Semifinals on Thursday 2/23 if the Raiders advance
Championships on Saturday 2/25 in the Roanoke College Bast Center; admission is $5.00 for all spectators (7 and up) at the college.

Spring Sports

Lastly, spring sports practices begin on Tuesday along with the spring sports Booster Potluck dinner and team meetings at 6:00pm. Please make sure you have emailed the coach to sign up if you plan to play a sport. Info can be found on the Athletics website on the spring sports opportunity sheets.

Please have your VHSL physical form turned in prior to the first practice our your student will not be able to participate in practice

Lapping the Competition to the Championship

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. 

Senior Day Can't Be Beat

It's one thing to have your family there to root for you at a game, it's another to have it be on your senior day, and it is yet another to score the winning basket at the end of the game; something Enkhee Dendev ’17 can tell you. Girls Varsity Basketball beat Westover Christian Academy 36-33 Monday night. Enkhee was joined at the celebration by her mother and sister Marla (above). Come to the CAC on Saturday at 2:20 to witness the Boys Basketball senior day at which we will honor Chase Overton ’17.


The most recent scores from our athletic contests are below. More scores from this week and past can always be found by visiting the Scoreboard feature of onCampus.

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