January 23, 2015 â€¢ Volume: 2014-15, Issue 21
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Campus Update

Activities Canceled for Tonight

The Slam Dunk Supper, basketball games, and performance of The Importance of Being Earnest scheduled for tonight have been cancelled due to inclement weather. Please note that the Saturday performance of the theater production is still scheduled to take place in Fishburn Auditorium at 7 p.m. 

Delayed Opening on Monday

There will be a full faculty and staff meeting on Monday, January 26. Classes will not start until 9 a.m. Buses will run one hour late. Teachers will be available to greet students beginning at 8:45 a.m.

Re-enrollment Letters

Re-enrollment letters will begin arriving in mailboxes next week. Please note that the re-enrollment deadline is Tuesday, February 10, 2015 and must be completed online. The link to begin the re-enrollement process will be live on Wednesday evening after the release of the State of the School address by Dr. Proctor. Click here to visit the Re-Enrollment page on the school website.

Your re-enrollment letter from Dr. Proctor will contain your login and password information. In order to view the re-enrollment forms properly on the school website, you must use Google Chrome as your web browser. If you do not have Chrome, please click here to download the browser. If you have any questions or need assistance during the re-enrollment process, contact Katherine Kelly, at kkelly@northcross.org or (540) 989-6641, ext. 245.

“Education: 2025”

North Cross School is hosting a community forum on Thursday, January 29 at 5:30 p.m. to examine the future of education. A distinguished and uniquely qualified panel of local leaders in education—including Dr. Rita Bishop, Dr. Chris Howard, and Dr. Bob Sandel—will convene in Fishburn Auditorium to discuss the impact of technology on the classroom, the influence of globalization in our schools, and how these changes will impact a liberal arts education. The forum will be moderated by Katherine Fulton ’73. This event is free and open to the public. Please make plans to attend, invite your friends, neighbors, and anyone with an interest in the future of education to this event. Click here for more information.

Major Dates Announced

Click here for the complete list of major dates for the 2015-16 academic year. 

“Rio in Roanoke” Almost Sold Out

The decorations committee reports they may be able to fit another table or two if they have final reservations in by Monday morning. The final order for tables must be received by the supplier on Monday afternoon. As of today, there are 16 individual spots available. Before we declare the event "sold out," we wanted anyone who wishes to attend Gala to be able to reserve a spot. We will be glad to find a table for you. Please let us know by Monday if you’d like to come. To reserve your place, email Jennifer Burtch at jburtch@northcross.org by Monday morning.

Founders’ Day Schedule

Please join us on Friday, January 30 at 10 a.m. in the Carter Athletic Center as we celebrate Founders’ Day and the 70th anniversary of North Cross School.

The program will include the presentation of the 2015 Morris Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus(a) Award to Katherine Fulton ’73. A reception to honor the recipient of the Morris Award will be held immediately following the ceremony.

Big Stuff for Big Flea 

Big Flea will be here soon, and big stuff will make the fundraiser a big success. If you have smaller items to donate, please bring them to school and leave them in the cart at carpool. The cart is usually out on nice days and we'd be happy to take it even if it isn't there. For larger items like furniture and appliances, please contact Jenn Mitchell at 540-230-8584 or jmitchell@northcross.org to arrange pick up.

Academic Update

Singapore Math

Lower school parents who missed Kate Clark’s Singapore Math presentation on January 12 can click here to download a pdf of her PowerPoint. The workshop focused on the importance of fact fluency and bar modeling.

5th Grade Introduction to Middle School

Students currently attending fifth grade and their parents are invited to attend the 5th Grade Introduction to Middle School on Monday, January 26. Please meet in Fishburn Auditorium at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m.

8th Grade Introduction to Upper School

The 8th Grade Introduction to Upper School, which was cancelled earlier this week, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, January 28. Students in eighth grade, and their parents, are invited to meet in Fishburn Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Teacher Feature: Amy Holley

Did you always want to work in library services?  
No, actually in high school I wanted to go into engineering, if you can believe that! I was among the very first students to attend the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Science and Technology when it first opened, and I went there for two years. I’ve always loved books and always loved going to the library as a child, but I never really thought about being a librarian until much later! I do vividly remember going to the Franklin County library as a child. At the time it was located in an old house and the children’s section was upstairs. It was such a comfortable, cozy space and I loved spending time there. My parents were also always reading. My mom was a special education teacher and my dad was an electrician, and neither of them ever went anywhere without a book!

Click here to read the full article.

Photo: Amy with her daughter, Sarah Kate Holley ’12, and their dog, Jackson.

Art Update

Scholastic Art Awards

This week it was announced that five of Annette Pfaeffle’s art students were recognized in the regional judging of the 2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Since its founding in 1923, the program has recognized many accomplished and prolific artists including Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Maya Goldberg, Joyce Carol Oates, and Richard Avedon (who won for poetry). Students’ submissions are blindly judged by leaders in the visual and literary arts.

Rebecca Benson ’17 earned two Gold Key awards (“Pearls” and ”March of the Gummy Bears” in photo above, click to view a larger image), one Silver Key (“Squirrel!”), and four Honorable Mentions (“Carolina Sunrise,” “Nature’s Lace,” “Camp Days,” and “Rosin”). Her two Gold Key awards will be forwarded for national judging in February. The following students were also recognized:
  • James Card ’16—3  Silver Keys: “The American Vision,” “Le Cerf Solitaire,” “An-déla de Nous”
  • Grace Chen ’15—1 Honorable Mention: “Portrait of My Angel”
  • Katie Sayers ’15—1 Silver Key: “Colors of the Forest”
  • Jane Ward ’16—1 Honorable Mention: “Rooster”

Athletic Update

Varsity Swimming Records Improve

On Tuesday, the Girls’ Varsity swim team improved to 11-3 on the season while the Boys’ Varsity team raised their record to 5-8-1 after the meet with VES, Roanoke Catholic, and Carlisle School. Emma Cartledge ’18 earned a state qualifying time in the 200 yard IM of 5:39.
Girls’ Varsity

North Cross School: 91
Virginia Episcopal School: 73

North Cross School: 113
Roanoke Catholic: 48

North Cross School: 116
Carlisle School: 26
Boys’ Varsity

North Cross School: 82
Virginia Episcopal School: 74

Roanoke Catholic: 91
North Cross School: 74

North Cross School: 116
Carlisle School: 17

Celebrating 70 Years

The Impact of Gates DeHart

Even though he retired in 2009 after 39 years at North Cross, former English teacher and drama coach Gates DeHart still impacts the people on our campus. If you're not sure, just ask any of the seniors working on their DeHart Projects, the actors performing in The Importance of Being Earnest this weekend, or current English teachers Jennifer Sanders ’03 and Michael Schaefer

Almost every morning this time of the school year, a senior makes a DeHart Project presentation in Fishburn Auditorium—a project that requires a thesis, significant research, analytical writing, and a polished presentation to nearly 200 people. While Headmaster Emerson Johnson is credited with starting the tradition of a senior speech, under Gates’ stewardship the project was given room to grow, evolve, and become the balance of research, writing, and presentation we recognize today.

That transition, however, was not always smooth. â€œWhen I arrived in 1970, there was much more emphasis on the speech,” he recalled. â€œAt some point during that decade, there was more emphasis on the paper and there was a student who produced a sixty page paper which was excessive. Then, during the late 80s and early 90s the students got extremely creative and we had these extravaganzas on the stage—one act plays with costumes and sets, written and directed by the senior. They were impressive, but we had to pull back.”

Mr. DeHart found the right balance and is pleased with the quality of the work produced by the current students. He even took time to attend the presentation of Nicole Chaney ’14 last year. “Nicole and I have done theatre work together. I taught her father and her aunt, Ellen, and I was their advisor,” he said. “Her presentation was excellent, so I know the quality is still quite good,” he said.

As the theatre director, he was also in charge of two or three theatre performances every year. Before Fishburn Auditorium was completed in the 1980s, the early theatre performances took place in the Cartledge Multi-purpose room on a stage no bigger than an office. The stage may have been small, but the results were big. “For lighting, we used two pound coffee cans painted black with 150 watt bulbs on a dimmer switch.” On that small stage he directed a number of notable productions. “We did John Brown’s Body and Spoon River Anthology. In those days we used faculty and students in our productions. We had a cyclorama in the back, lighted from behind, to give the audience the feeling of depth. It was good work.”

Gates continues to influence our current set of stage actors. He took time to help out this week with the current production of The Importance of Being Earnest in Polly Jones’ absence. He helped with the final dress rehearsal on Wednesday, and he will give the curtain speech on Saturday night before the actors go on stage. 

Mr. DeHart came to North Cross in 1970 to teach English after stints at The Miller School and Virginia Episcopal School. During his 39 year career at North Cross, Gates taught a variety of courses, including Advanced English Grammar, Nineteenth Century American Literature, Greek Tragedy, Comedy, Literature of the 1920s in England and America, Drama Survey, Eighth Grade English, Ninth Grade English, Shakespeare (six major works), Black Studies, Short Story, and Crucible of Conscience. In 1983 the yearbook was dedicated to him, and in 2007 he received the Excellence in Teaching award. 

Gates continues to help guide two current English teachers. Michael Schaefer recalled how Gates came to observe his class last year. “As a teacher, he was incredibly supportive,” Michael recalled. â€œWe were doing a unit on The Great Gatsby. It was special to have someone so wise and gracious. He was so positive and offered a number of insights into one of my favorite books.” 

Jennifer Sanders ’03 remembers that when she arrived in the upper school as a student in the late 1990s, Gates was already considered an institution. “I was lucky enough to have him for several classes during my time here. Many of the books that I read in his class are still among my favorites. To this day, I even carry a copy of The Winter of Our Discontent in my purse. He was a wonderful teacher; intellectual and engaging in the classroom, but also interested in the lives and personalities of the young people he taught.”
But his influence on Jennifer extended beyond her years as a student. “As a student teacher at Patrick Henry, I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of being responsible for the education of one hundred and twenty students. Gates was kind enough to meet with me to provide counsel and encouragement even though I was no longer his student, at least, not officially. In my first year as a teacher at North Cross, and even today, I still feel like a student of Gates'. From Gates, I learned how to engage a classroom of teenagers, to enjoy teaching, and, most of all, to value the wonderful potential in every child.”

Photos: (top) In the classroom in 1983, (center) at a football game with Ed Dickenson in 1995, and (bottom) receiving the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007 from headmaster Paul Stellato.

Copyright © 2015 NORTH CROSS SCHOOL, All rights reserved.

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