October 31, 2016 • Volume: 2016-17, Issue 2
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Alumni Board Message

Distinguished Alumnus(a) Award 

Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination for the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus(a) Award. The Alumni Board was presented with a slate of candidates who not only met the criteria for the award, but far exceeded them. 

After thoughtful consideration, the Board voted on the 2017 award winner. The Awards Committee will notify the candidate and secure plans for the award presentation in the coming weeks. Afterward, an announcement of the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus(a) will be made in the November issue of Alumni Crossties.

Co-ed Alumni Soccer Game Set for Thanksgiving Weekend 

Co-ed Alumni Soccer Game vs. North Cross Varsity Soccer
Friday, November 25 at 2 p.m. on Cook Field

We did not have the all alumni soccer game over Homecoming despite the large showing for the Cook Field dedication. There were just too many events going on, and the varsity team could not play that weekend with all the games it had scheduled.

The boys varsity soccer team has continued it’s domination and is ranked # 1 in the VIC conference and #1 in D II rankings. This may be the team to end the alumni’s winning streak over the last few years.

James Brown will be coaching the varsity and Mr Cook says he’ll be here to lead the alumni. This event is being organized and hosted by your North Cross School Alumni Association, and as such will not be hosted by the School this year (we had a pretty big day over Homecoming for those who were able to attend).

There will be an informal gathering following the game with food and drink for all attendees. Please email Rebekah Bradley at rbradley@northcross.org if you are planning on playing.

Homecoming Recap

We were excited to see the hundreds of alumni who made it back for the dedication of the Nancy and Richard Cook Athletic Field on October 15. It was an exciting homecoming celebration, and we cannot thank you enough for being part of such a special tribute to Mr. Cook. For those of you who were unable to be there, you can read Mr. Cook's remarks here

After the daytime events, several classes held gatherings before going to the headmaster's house for an all-alumni party. We loved seeing so many classmates come together for reunions, sharing stories from their times at North Cross, and getting to know fellow Raiders from other classes. 
:: View photos of Cook Field Dedication
:: View photos of the Alumni Party

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 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

Head of School Messages

Being part of something bigger than one

This past weekend brought another reminder that our students are part of something bigger than themselves. We had an unbelievable opening of the Nancy and Richard Cook Field, complete with hundreds of alumni that returned to North Cross. (Click to download Richard Cook's Remarks.) That night, there were numerous class parties around town, and a large gathering of alumni at our house. This party is always my favorite because it reminds me that I am the eighth headmaster at North Cross School and as such, a part of a living North Cross history. Meeting alumni from as far back as the Class of ’66 and as recently as the Class of ’12, and watching them all connect with each other reminds me of the special bond that North Cross graduates feel for each other. 
:: Continue reading: Being Part of Something Bigger Than One
:: Head of School Message: Accreditation
:: Head of School Message: More Does Happen Here

Campus Update

CrossCurrents Speaker and Dialogue Series: Read Montague, Behavioral Neuroscientist

The Upper School and community members were invited to attend the inaugural presentation of CrossCurrents, the annual speaker and dialogue series at North Cross. Read Montague, PhD, a parent and a professor/researcher in the Department of Physics and at VTCRI, Virginia Tech, presented a talk entitled: Reading the Mind in the New World of Neuroscience. Dr. Montague is also a professor at The Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Institute of Neurology, University College London. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Montague delivered a TEDGlobal talk on computational psychiatry in 2012. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions after the presentation, and Global Studies and interested students attended a lunch with Dr. Montague in the dining hall immediately following. Missed it? You can listen to his talk on YouTube at https://youtu.be/mQankQnA6Aw.
:: Read more on the Crossties Blog

A Lunch with a Legacy

At our annual legacy picnic, parents who are alumni joined their kids who now hold the Raider torch for a fun family meal and the continuation of a heartwarming North Cross tradition. We love keeping our alumni close to campus whenever possible, and if we need to use their kids to get them here, then so be it! 
As part of our September Service Drive, Upper School students heard from five community groups about volunteer opportunities to fulfill their community service requirement. Representatives from the Rescue Mission, Feeding America, Healing Strides, South Roanoke Retirement Home and the SPCA gave brief introductions and met with students afterwards in the Dining Hall. More Service Jamborees will be held as the school year gets underway.

MacArthur Fellow and Distinguished Alumnus shares his big strides with tiny polymers

On October 6, the 2016 MacArthur Fellow and North Cross alumnus, Dr. William R. Dichtel ’96, visited campus to accept the Distinguished Alumni Award and share some of his team's research with the Middle and Upper School students through lectures and his visit to Jennifer Landry's Upper School chemistry class.

Dr. Dichtel made a last-minute change to his presentation to the class as he had just learned some wonderful news: his past professor and now colleague at Northwestern, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry that morning along with Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Bernard L. Feringa for their work in creating "molecular machines." Dichtel was a postdoctoral student of Fraser Stoddart's when he was a student at UCLA and played a part in the research celebrated today. In honor of Stoddart's recognition, he shared more about his groundbreaking work with the class.
:: Read more on the Crossties Blog

Academic Update

We do more before noon...

Even though it was a half day for students due to VAIS accreditation meetings, we still managed to fit in quite a bit on September 23. Click the gallery link below to see more of what happened in and outside of the classroom before students headed out for the weekend.
:: See the gallery on the Crossties Blog

AP Scholars Announced

Fourteen seniors were recently honored for their outstanding achievement on the AP exams they took in May:
  • Three students were named AP Scholars (those who received a score of 3 out of a possible 5 or higher on three or more exams)
  • Six were named AP Scholars with Honor (an average of 3.25 or more on all AP exams taken and 3 or higher on 4 or more of these exams)
  • Five seniors achieved AP Scholar with Distinction by earning at least a 3.5 on all exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.
Members of the class of 2016 were added to the recognition, giving North Cross a total of 35 AP Scholars for the May exams. Given that these tests are for college-level courses, we are very impressed that the then-juniors were able to achieve such heights. We can't see how well they'll do this May!

Teacher Features and Staff Stories

Teacher Features


Annie Robertson
Rebecca Sharkey
Lisa Cone

Staff Stories

Karen List
David Lake
Alex Hash

Art Update

How bright does your star shine?

It's going to be a Starry, Starry Night at the Coffeehouse on Nov. 4. Sponsorship levels and tickets are available on the website, just click the button below. The funds directly benefit the fine arts at North Cross this year so you can see your dollars go creatively right to work.
:: Ticket and sponsorship information

To RYSO, She's Music to their Ears

After recent auditions, Helen Schmedtje '17 was named the Principal Flutist for the Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra (RYSO). From the organization's website: "The RYSO is comprised of 80 student musicians, ages 12-18, who rehearse weekly and perform symphonic repertoire in public concerts throughout the school year."

Athletic Update

A Big Win for Volleyball and Breast Cancer Prevention

Volleyball not only enjoyed their win over Parkway Christian Academy on September 30, but they also celebrated their rallying effect on the community, raising over $1,000 to donate to Carilion's Every Woman's Life program which provides breast and cervical cancer screenings to under- or un-insured area women. Natalie List ’17 and Katherine Lake ’18 presented the donation at that night's Pack the Gym in Pink game. The team went on to shut out Parkway 3 games to 0.
:: Read more about the community service project

Cross Country Rises Among Thousands

The Knights Crossing race is the largest cross country invitational in SW Virginia and always provides a high level of competition with nearly 2,000 runners taking part in the event. Despite the absence of some varsity runners, our Boys Varsity team finished 10th overall (out of 18 schools), with Chester Pruitt leading our team in 18:52 for 22nd place overall. We finished ahead of all of the other private schools in the boys' race and a number of the local public schools. Daniel Byrnes was our first finisher in 12:54 in our boys' Middle School 3K race with Tyler Thompson coming in 45 seconds later. Nearly 500 runners competed in the Middle School races, which is pretty amazing.

Although our Girls Varsity team did not have a full squad, Rebecca Benson put in an inspired performance going through the 1st mile in 11th place and finishing in 27th.  Our Girls Middle School team also put in a fine performance finishing in 15th out of 24 teams with Grace Graham finishing in 47th place overall out of 224 runners.

Class News and Notes

A 'Touching' Gift from the Class of 2016

Last year's senior gift was installed by Thomas Field: a touchstone for student athletes to tap for good luck on their way into competition. The class gift was entirely conceived of and funded by money raised by the class of 2016 with the design and guidance of Jeff Kennard and John Turner and with the generosity of Martin Pruitt who handled the construction. Parent Laura Arnold, who helped the students navigate the fundraising process, remarked that the students' intentions were "to start a new tradition for the school," leaving a legacy for the future. Thank you to the Class of 2016 for this special addition to our campus.

Nwabia '15 Leading the Flyers to Victory

Kennedy Nwabia '15 was featured after scoring both goals for the University of Dayton Men's Soccer 2-1 win over Fordham on October 5.

Photo credit: daytonflyers.com

Steele '05 to Return to John Hopkins Soccer Field

"North Cross product Molly Steele ('05) was named to the 25th anniversary women’s soccer team at Johns Hopkins University, where she was a three-time All-Centennial Conference selection as a forward (2006-08). Steele had 145 goals in 84 games at North Cross." The Roanoke Times

Photo credit: hopkinssports.com

Congratulations, Mrs. Justice

Catherine Grainger Justice '05 married Jay Justice on August 27 at the Upper Brandon Plantation outside of Richmond. As a special way to give back on their big day, the couple asked for donations to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in lieu of gifts. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Justice!

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