March 19, 2015 â€¢ Volume: 2014-15, Issue 6
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Message from the Alumni Board

Alumni Service Award Nominations Due March 31

The 2015 Alumni Service Award will be presented at commencement to one outstanding alumnus/a who has made significant contributions to his/her community. This is your opportunity to help us recognize a deserving member of our distinguished alumni. All NCS alumni are invited to make nominations to the Alumni Association Board. The 2015 award will be presented at Commencement on Saturday, May 30, 2015.
Nominees should meet the following criteria:
  1. The candidate must have graduated from or attended North Cross School and must continue to demonstrate a strong commitment to the school and its ideals. 
  2. The candidate must be someone other than an alumnus currently serving on the North Cross School Alumni Association Board. 
  3. The candidate should be a responsible citizen who generously contributes time and/or resources and who continues to be involved with North Cross School and/or with his/her community.
Two Ways to Submit a Nomination
  1. Fill out the form online: Click here to fill out and submit the 2015 Alumni Service Award
  2. Print out a pdf and submit by fax or mail: Click here to download the 2015 Alumni Service Award Nomination Form
Nominations must be received by March 31 and should be submitted online, emailed to Jennifer Burtch at, mailed to her at 4254 Colonial Avenue, Roanoke, VA, 24018, or faxed to Jennifer at 540-989-7299.

Spring Alumni Happy Hour—May 15

Please save the date for our annual Spring Alumni Happy Hour. The event is open to all alumni ages 21 and up. The event will take place on Friday, May 15 from 5:30-7 p.m. at Wall Street Tavern. Wall Street Tavern is a new restaurant scheduled to open in the Market Building in downtown Roanoke in April. Look for more information next month. 

Campus Update

Headmaster Message: Chinese Delegation Visit

by Chris Proctor

For the past three years, North Cross School has seen a growing relationship with China. We continue to host a number of Chinese students in our upper school as well as welcoming increasing numbers of Chinese students to our summer programs. Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting a delegation of visiting educators from China, this visit coming on the heels of another delegation of Chinese visitors last October.  Throw in my trip to China in December, and it becomes apparent that our relationship is becoming more involved.

Last week, I spoke to the Parents’ Association about our expanding relationship with China and the possibilities of further programming. Specifically, our visiting Chinese delegations have come to the United States to continue our conversations about the role North Cross could play in the development of English language education of Chinese students on the grounds of private schools in China.

Click here to read the rest of the message.

Bringing the Uptown Funk

On February 10, all three divisions gathered to celebrate our winter athletic teams at the Winter Pep Rally. One of the highlights was a special appearance by the “Uptown Funk Dancers.” Comprised of faculty members and students, the group performed a choreographed routine to the Bruno Mars hit “Uptown Funk.” Click here, or the video image, to watch the video.

“Bridge Builders” Updated

We want to thank the many alums who joined the Bridge Builders by making your gift or pledge to the Annual Fund. There are many Ways to Give—any gift of any size at any time helps and supports every current student at North Cross School, just as you were supported by our generous community when you were here.

Click here to view the updated “Bridge Builders”

Black History Month

On February 24, the middle and upper schools came together for a special assembly to recognize Black History Month. The North Cross community welcomed Roanoke City Councilman Sherman Lea and Roanoke City Police Officers A. Pennino and J. Smith. In addition to our special guests, North Cross students Isaiah Harris ’15Sterling Moskal ’15, and Meagan Pruitt ’16 joined in on the panel discussion led by Dr. Proctor. The group discussed issues such as race, diversity, how far we have come in the past 60 years, where we still need to make improvements, and whether or not there is still a need to recognize Black History Month in America. Although there were varying opinions, one thing they all agreed on was that our diverse community feels comfortable among each other. The North Cross Chorale also performed a traditional African-American Spiritual called Witness, arranged by Jack Halloran, for the event.

Click here, or the video image, to watch a 6 minute montage from the assembly.

Academic Update

Symposium Brings New Subjects to Students 

Keynote speaker Anna Maria Barry-Jester kicked off Symposium on February 20 in Fishburn Auditorium. She discussed her work with www.fivethirtyeight.comthe data-driven journalism website founded by Nate Silver and owned by ESPN, and her work on projects relating to public health, food, and culture. Anna spoke about her role in the well-known “Burrito Bracket” that attempted to quantify “America’s Best Burrito.”  

During the sessions, students had a chance to take yoga classes, contribute ideas to the re-design of Tanglewood Mall, learn about psychological profiling, discover advances in orthopedics, make patterned “Zentangles” drawings, take a self-defense class, and discover many more topics. The Symposium program is organized by upper school faculty members Jennifer Landry and Emma Greenwell.

Math Team Places 5th in Region

Ten math students, 7th and 8th graders, from North Cross traveled to Virginia Tech on Saturday, February 14, to compete in the regional MathCounts competition. The team, coached by middle school math teacher Mr. Jared Hanson, took 5th place.

About 20 students took part in practices when the team started training after the Thanksgiving holiday. Students met with Mr. Hanson once each week during lunch and twice a week after school or during 7th period. Ten students—the maximum allowed for each team—were selected by Mr. Hanson for the regional competition against schools from the Roanoke Valley, Mountain Empire, and the New River Valley. 

Teacher Features

Click the images below to read the Teacher Feature for Chris Pollock (left) and Heather Slaughter (right). 

Art Update


Creative Writer Wins Award

Sophia Kelley ’19 earned a Regional Award in The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2015. Sophia received an Honorable Mention for her short story titled “Fly Mask.” Over 300,000 works were submitted nationwide for the 2015 competition with only the top 40% receiving recognition.

Sophia’s teacher, Mrs. Robin Garrett, requires each of her Creative Writing students to enter writing competitions. Mrs. Garrett is pleased with the progress Sophia is making this year. “Sophia is a very talented writer, and she is just beginning to realize her strengths as a creative writer,” Robin said. â€œI have been encouraging her a lot this year. I am delighted that a nationally-recognized contest also acknowledges the tremendous gift she has.”

Fishwick Earns All-Virginia Honor

In February, Jack Fishwick ’16 attended the District VI All-District Choir at Salem High School with Choral Director Mr. Andrew Miller. At that event, Jack auditioned for the 2015 All Virginia State Chorus and was selected as one of the only two singers in his voice part. The All-Virginia Chorus will perform in Tyson's Corner, VA on April 23-25.  Concert details will be announced at a later date. 

This is the third year in a row that North Cross School has had a student make the All-Virginia Chorus. Nicole Chaney ’14 earned spots in 2013 and 2014.

Athletic Update

Swimming State Results

The Raiders brought 11 swimmers to the State Championships on Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14. The fastest 16 swimmers (or relay teams) from each event qualified for the finals.

The Girls’ Varsity team finished 6th in Division II and 20th overall and the Boys’ Varsity team finished 8th in Division II and 23rd overall.

Coach Greg Lake was pleased with the results of his young team. “This was an outstanding job, and we look forward to moving up and having even more success in the upcoming years.”

Raiders Drop Quarterfinal Game

Despite entering the tournament as the #3 seed in the VISAA Division II tournament, the Boys’ Varsity Basketball team lost to visiting Williamsburg Christian 60-55 on Wednesday, February 25. The game marked the end of the Raider careers of Bennett Holley ’15Keith Oddo ’15 (in photo) and Kennedy Nwabia ’15. The three finished their North Cross stint with a combined total of 2,999 points.

After the loss, Dr. Proctor took time to reflect on the impact the seniors, especially Keith and Bennett who played all four seasons for North Cross, had on the program. “Over their four seasons playing for North Cross, Keith and Bennett have displayed a level of commitment and leadership that is rarely seen in high school athletics. We are extremely proud of their accomplishments during their time here.”

Class News & Notes

Please send your updates for Class Notes to Whitney Aldridge at If you wish to include a photo, please attach it to your email.

David Fink ’75, Founder and CEO of Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, has opened several successful restaurants and hotels in Northern California. In addition, he started the Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest, a food and wine extravaganza which showcases a prestigious lineup of world renowned chefs and wineries. On March 6, fellow NCS alums, Chris Moore ’71, Jon Fink ’72, Chris Teeter ’74, and Jeff Fink ’70, traveled to Carmel-by-the-Sea to attend the 2015 Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest. 

From left: Chris Moore ’71, David Fink ’75, Jon Fink ’72, Chris Teeter ’74, and Jeff Fink ’70

Celebrating 70 Years

Tennis—Fifty Years Ago

The 2015 season will mark the 50th anniversary of the tennis program at NorthCross School. The sport arrived on campus in 1965 when three new courts were constructed on campus as part of the initial expansion of athletic offerings on campus. The early teams were coached by English teacher Mr. George Bell (boys’) and Physical Education teacher Mrs. Pat Gaskins (girls’).

In 1966, the teams were in their second season of competition. The girls’ team featured (from left in front row) Lee Trout ’67Sallie Carter ’67Sarah Crockett ’68Katherine Watts ’67Nancy Trout ’69, and Mary Frances Oakey ’67. The boys’ team (from left in back row) had players Jerry Sexton ’67,Jon Henley ’66Mac Garrett ’67, and Gordon Carmichael ’66.

The courts were completely renovated in 2013 and were renamed the “Fishwick Tennis Center” in honor of the Fishwick family and their continued commitment to the sport of tennis at North Cross School.

Let it mow, let it mow, let it mow!

Prior to the 1970s, the furnace room of the upper school (now Eaton Hall) was used to hang athletic clothing and to store maintenance equipment—including a tractor. During their inspections, the fire chief made it clear to the maintenance manager, James O’Brien (right in photo, with William Jernigan from the 1966 yearbook), that he did not approve of parking a tractor in the furnace room. Unfortunately there was no place to put the tractor as the maintenance shed had not yet been built. One sympathetic firefighter, however, was nice enough to let the school know when the next “surprise” inspection was scheduled. This gave Mr. O’Brien the chance to get the tractor out of the furnace room. His trick was to send Kenneth Penn out to “mow the grass” on the visit days. One day, after six inches of snow hit the campus, the chief dropped in for a visit. It just so happened that Kenneth, and the tractor, was out doing his job. Kenneth waved to the fire chief and kept “mowing the grass,” snow and all.
Copyright © 2015 NORTH CROSS SCHOOL, All rights reserved.

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