November 30, 2016 • Volume: 2016-17, Issue 3
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Alumni Board Message

Distinguished Alumnus(a) Award Recipient

The North Cross Alumni Board is pleased to announce that Harry I. Johnson III '86 has been selected as the recipient of this year's Distinguished Alumnus(a) Award. This is the third consecutive year that the award has been given, with the two prior recipients being Katherine Fulton '73 and Will Dichtel '96.  The award is intended to recognize alumni who have distinguished themselves in their chosen field, and in doing so, have brought distinction and honor to North Cross.

Following his graduation from North Cross, Harry earned a BA in International Studies from John Hopkins University and then a Masters of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University. He then earned his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1994.

While pursuing a successful career practicing labor law in California, Harry received the considerable honor of being appointed to the National Labor Relations Board in 2013.  Following the expiration of his two-year term, he returned to private practice with the prestigious law firm Morgan Lewis in Santa Monica, California, where he currently practices management-side defense law.

We are delighted that Harry will be able to return to North Cross on Founders' Day on February 3, 2017 where he will accept the award and participate in other events that will be open to the North Cross community. We will make additional announcements regarding specific events as the award ceremony approaches. In the meantime, please join us in congratulating Harry for his achievemen.

Leigh Huff '76
Awards Committee, Chairman

Head of School Messages

The Concept of Family 

Let me begin with an expression of thanks for all of the cards and pictures you have sent me after Gracie’s passing. Specifically, let me thank folks for the pork tenderloin dinner, complete with a bottle of wine, and a really great hand-drawn picture of Gracie from a new kindergartner. Trust me when I tell you that your kind words and actions have meant a great deal to me. Gracie was obviously a big part of our school.
In my office, I have a picture painted by Olivia Bloch ’19 when she was a fifth grader. The picture represents Ripken’s first great escape from campus when he was found begging for food at Elderberry's. There are many of you who do not remember Ripken, but, like Gracie, he was an important part of the North Cross family. And the concept of family is what I want to talk about.
We use the analogy of school as family in so many of our advertisements and in our conversations. Maybe it is time to think about what it really means. Obviously, it does not mean that we are as close as your real family, nor that we are as like-minded as they, nor that we will remain as close after graduation as a family. I think the metaphor works because, in comparison to your usual school experience, North Cross is more like a family.
:: Continue reading: The Concept of Family
:: Head of School Message: Giving Thanks
:: Assistant Head of School for Academics Message: The Gift of Failure

Campus Update

CrossCurrents Speakers: Henley and Leepson

North Cross was pleased to host two very different but highly informative speakers to our campus recently. We welcomed Dr. Anthony Henley, PsyD, who spoke on ways in which families can support children with ADHD. CrossWalk sponsored the event at which there was a reception before the talk and a chance for the audience to ask questions afterwards.

The Upper School students and faculty learned about the author of the Star-Spangled Banner, Francis Scott Key, from writer and historian Marc Leepson (shown above with an image of the original Star-Spangled Banner manuscript in the background) whose recently published book "What So Proudly We Hailed" illustrates the interesting life of the man who penned our national anthem. Afterwards, students and faculty talked with the author at a book signing.

Students Deliver Thanksgiving Meal Baskets

Last Friday, bright and early, student volunteers led by Alex Hash, our Community Outreach Coordinator, loaded turkeys (with a little help from Dr. Proctor) and laundry baskets, each filled with essential ingredients to make a complete Thanksgiving meal for a family of 5. Twenty-three North Cross volunteers then delivered them to Central Baptist Church in Roanoke and stayed to assist in the giveaway.

For the past four years, we have partnered with Central Baptist Church, and this year, Save-A-Lot grocery store joined the organizational efforts. As a result of this extended partnership, we were able to deliver 75 meals this holiday. 

Academic Update

Over a seven-week period, second graders crafted narrative stories using the writing process. They spent time planning and drafting their experiences then moved into revision by adding more details. The students edited their own work independently as well as collaborating with their peers. The second grade held a "Publishing Party" to showcase their finished works.

Harvesting Some New Tastes

Last week, students enjoyed a Thanksgiving harvest all their own as they tasted items from our Lower School garden prepared deliciously by Betsy Cook. Included on the menu was Bok Choy (prepared with some teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds), kale chips (both curly and Russian Red), and a green salad. We're happy to report that many kids tried things they had never eaten before. Bok Choy was the surprising favorite, along with the kale.

Teacher Features and Staff Stories

Teacher Features


Emily Votta

Staff Stories

Reed McGinn
Tracy Schaefer
Dr. Proctor

Art Update

How Do You Get to Wonderland?

Audiences were delighted by their trips down the rabbit hole this past weekend during the two performances of the Lower School Musical Alice in Wonderland, Jr. If you were unable to make it, or just would like to go back to Wonderland, visit the photo gallery on the Crossties Blog.

Athletic Update

Raider Recap

Athletic teams had an impressive end to their fall season. Raiders brought home 4 Conference Championships, with a 2nd and 3rd place finish added to the mix. Football, tennis and volleyball competed at the state level, with the girls varsity tennis team earning a state title. See a slideshow here.

Congratulations to our teams on an exciting season and for all the great efforts of our teams, coaches, and athletic department staff.

From the Director: Creating a Positive Athletic Culture

At North Cross School we have an honor code and speak regularly on what it means to be an honorable person. When the word "honor" is mentioned, the discussion usually turns to being a "person of integrity" or having "good character." So, what does this look like in an athletic department? What does it mean to show strong character as a student-athlete or fan at North Cross School? The following examples give the North Cross community concrete ways to intentionally create a positive athletic culture when preparing, cheering, and competing to win.
  • Show up every day with a mindset of helping your teammates or peers improve their game
  • Competitive situations reveal true character. Prepare in advance how you are going to respond when things get "a little heated out there"
  • Always find a way to compliment teammates and even our opponents
  • Cheer intensely for our Raiders and never single out opposing players, fans, or officials in an effort to distract or correct 
  • Maintain perspective. Every game has a winner and a loser. Be thankful when we win and gracious when don't.
These are simple ways to begin our discussion and direct us as we focus our efforts on creating a positive culture around our athletic community.

— M. Eric LawrenceDirector of Athletics and Wellness

Sturm '17 Commits to Miami University

Surrounded by family, friends, coaches, and teachers, Morgan Sturm ’17 formally announced her college intentions and signed her National Letter of Intent to play Division I field hockey for Miami University (OH). At the table with her is the representative from the University, coach Lilly Judge (standing), mother Kathy Sturm, and brother Leyton ’25. This fall, she will join her older sister Avery Sturm '15, who is already a sophomore on the Red Hawks women's field hockey team.
:: Continue reading on the Crossties Blog

Class News and Notes

Alumni Soccer Game

The day after Thanksgiving, past soccer players and other alumni gathered on campus for the Annual Co-ed Alumni Soccer Game. The alumni continued their domination of the varsity in a very close contest, winning 5-4. John Logan ’93 was selected as the alumni team MVP. Beyond the game, it was a great time to catch up with old friends while everyone was home for the holiday. A special thank you to the North Cross Alumni Board for coordinating the event and to Ethan Cook ’89 for refereeing.

Salmons '81 Publishes Ovid: The Amores

This past September, Cathy Salmons '81 published her first book: A translation, from the Latin, of the complete "Amores" (lyric love poems) of the Roman poet Ovid.  The book is a limited collectors' edition, published by Pennyroyal Press; it also features 10 original engravings by the acclaimed artist/illustrator Barry Moser.

Cathy kindly thanked North Cross for setting her on this path, particularly through her early Latin studies with Margaret Grayson

Congratulations on this incredible achievement, Cathy! 

Class of 1981 Reunion

The Class of '81 organized a full weekend of 35 year reunion activities over homecoming. Photos from the weekend were collected and compiled into a OneDrive folder. What a fun time creating new memories with old friends. Click here to view the album.

Welcoming Baby Johnson

Trent Johnson '98 and his wife, Jessica, welcomed a beautiful baby boy, Carter Henry Johnson, into the world on September 9. It looks like he enjoyed his first Halloween!

Class of 1976 Reunion

The Class of '76 gathered for their 40 year reunion at the “Little House,” the site of many fond memories and some unmentionables ones! 

Photo courtesy of Leigh Huff '76

As Mr. Cook would say, B.A.N.

In honor of the Cook Field dedication ceremony, we had special t-shirts made that triggered a bit of nostalgia for Coach Cook's former players. We have limited quantities remaining, so let as know as soon as possible if you would like to purchase a B.A.N. t-shirt.

The shirts are $20 each, and that price includes shipping fees. You may call Jennifer Burtch at 540-989-6641 ext. 284 to pay by credit card or you can mail a check made payable to NCS Boosters to 4254 Colonial Avenue, Roanoke, VA, 24016.

Sizes available:
Medium: 1
Large: 9
XL: 10
XXL: 4
Please include the following information in your order:
Shipping Address
Email Address

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