January 30, 2015 â€¢ Volume: 2014-15, Issue 22
View this email in your browser

Headmaster Message

State of the School Address

This year we distributed the “State of the School” address to the North Cross community by video. The address provides a brief update on the current state of our school, outlines a number of our recent successes, the impact of our lower school education, addresses some of the challenges we face, introduces new initiatives, and serves as the official announcement of tuition rates for the 2015-16 academic year.

Please click here, or the video image below, to watch the 12-minute address posted on YouTube.

Campus Update

“Education: 2025”

Approximately 100 members of the community gathered in Fishburn Auditorium for the “Education: 2025” forum on Thursday evening. Katherine Fulton ’73 (far right in photo) moderated the discussion with (from left in photo) Dr. Chris Howard, Dr. Bob Sandel, and Dr. Rita Bishop. The panel touched on a number of topics including the connection between technology and test scores, the changing state of financial assistance, the value of character education, the continued importance of books, arts as an equalizer in education, converting at-risk students into learners, and the need for schools to strike a balance between efficiency and effectiveness.

Re-enrollment Incentive

Re-enrolling by the February 10 deadline helps the school budget for the the upcoming year and it allows the Admission office to focus their attention on incoming families.

In case you missed the State of the School address video, there is a re-enrollment incentive being offered this year. All students re-enrolled (with contract and deposit submitted) by the deadline are entered in a drawing for one student’s tuition at last year’s rate.*

You should have received this week by mail a letter from Dr. Proctor inviting you to re-enroll for the 2015-16 school year.  Click here to visit the Re-Enrollment page on the school website. If you have questions regarding the re-enrollment contract, please contact Katherine Kelly, at kkelly@northcross.org or 540-989-6641, x245Amy Jackson, Interim Director of Admission and Financial Assistance is glad to help with other questions regarding re-enrollment, at ajackson@northcross.org or 540-989-6641, x257.

*The drawing will be held on Thursday, February 12, at the Parents' Association meeting. Children of faculty, staff, and board members are ineligible to participate. If the student decides at a later date not to enroll, the incentive is not transferrable to a sibling or another student. There is no monetary award; the drawing is for a one-time tuition discount. 

Founders’ Day Celebration

The school celebrated its 70th anniversary today with a special Founders’ Day assembly this morning in the CAC. Dr. Proctor conducted a trivia contest for students (in photo).

2015 Distinguished Almunus(a) Award

Sarah Boxley Beck ’98 presented the inaugural Distinguished Alumnus(a) Award to Katherine Fulton ’73 during the Founders’ Day celebration this morning. In her comments, Katherine asked the students to imagine the world ahead of them and hoped they would each carry forward the same lessons and love of learning that she received as a student at North Cross School. Katherine also shared a letter, written to her when she was born, from her great-grandfather, J.B. Fishburn—one of the men who helped build Roanoke. She shared the wish that Mr. Fishburn bestowed upon her—for a “long, happy and useful life”— and encouraged the students to make it truly their own.

Ms. Farley Wins 2015 Morris Award

During the Founders’ Day assembly this morning in the CAC, Dave Calvert presented Middle School English teacher Lee Ann Sigmon-Farley with the 2015 Morris Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Ms. Farley has been teaching at North Cross School for 20 years. Not only does she teach reading, writing, and grammar, but she also used to be in charge of the middle school plays, taught HORIZONS (a drug awareness and self-esteem class), and organized the school spelling bees. Not to mention her love of all things “Hobbit,” from homemade t-shirts about the book to private viewings of the movies, every middle school student has a fond place for this book in their heart because of Ms. Farley.

Mr. Calvert, retired faculty member and Ms. Farley’s colleague of 18 years, said, “In all my years in education, I have not met a better listener than Lee Ann.  Students and colleagues seek her out about any number of things.  Maybe they will talk about school, but just as likely they will talk about music, art, photography, basketball, their families and friends, or life’s problems in general.  It is indeed a special teacher who is entrusted with what can be very important personal information.  And you know what, you always feel better after talking with Mrs. Farley.”

Photo: Lee Ann Farley (left) with Erin Jones (right) and Lee Ann’s grandson Jakeob.

Gala Online Auction Ends Wednesday

There are only six more days until the Winter Gala Online Auction closes. You have until Wednesday, February 4, at 11:55 p.m. to bid on student art projects, teacher experiences, graduation seats (2 sets), sports tickets (UVA basketball, VT football, UVA football), signed memorabilia (Messi, Neymar, Nolan Ryan), and the many other items in the online auction.
Take a moment to look; and remember, the proceeds from every item purchased go directly to the educational experience of every child at North Cross. Happy bidding!

Slam Dunk Supper Tickets

Slam Dunk Supper was cancelled due to inclement weather last Friday evening. If you purchased tickets by check for the Slam Dunk Supper, please be aware that those checks have been destroyed and will not be returned to you. If you have any questions, please contact Blair Trail at btrail@northcross.org.

Academic Update

Makin' it Snow

On Tuesday during science, Melanie Harrison and Emily Brown’s kindergarten class made snow using shaving cream and baking soda. Thursday they had an indoor snowball fight—each student took five pieces of scrap paper that they made into snowballs. Using tables and desks as forts, they hunkered down to hide. As soon as the whistle blew they let the snowballs fly! During the snowball fight it began to snow outside!

SAT Requirement

College Counselor Julie Aavatsmark was interviewed by WDBJ7 on Thursday for a segment on the decision by some colleges and universities to eliminate the SAT requirement for some students. Click here, or the video image, to watch the segment at wdbj7.com.

Art Update

The Show Goes On

Despite the cancellation of the Friday evening’s performance of “The Importance of Being Earnest ” by Oscar Wilde, the Saturday performance played to a large crowd in Fishburn Auditorium. James Card ’16 (left) performed the role of Jack Worthing while Vincient Arnold ’16 (right) was cast as Algernon Moncrieff.

Athletic Update

Oddo Scores 1000th Point

Last night during the Boys’ Varsity Basketball team’s 59-39 win over Fishburne Military School, Keith Oddo ’15, (right in photo, with coach Ed Green) scored his 1000th point for the Raiders. Keith plans to play basketball at the University of Richmond next season.

Athletic Opportunities

Spring athletic opportunities are now available. Please download the appropriate form(s) and contact your coach by email to sign up for a team. Please sign up by Friday, February 6.

Practices are scheduled to begin on Monday, February 16. While school is not in session that day, some teams will have practice. Please contact your coach for practice schedule confirmation. 

Celebrating 70 Years

Basement Beginnings

May Butts believed in the value of education. Butts was a librarian, and her daughter Cynthia Butts Kelly was ready to read but did not have a school to attend. Cynthia’s birthday was October 16, but the cutoff date for public school enrollment was September 30. When May petitioned the board for an exemption, the board did not budge. So, she started a school in the basement (photo above) of her home in Langhorne Place in Salem.

May needed a teacher for the students, so she recruited Margaret Northcross (later Margaret Ellis) to teach first grade. Butts promised Margaret that she would name the school “Northcross” to honor her commitment. And, it also sounded a lot better than “Butts’ Basement.” The tuition in 1945 was $72 a year for kindergarten students and $90 a year for students in first and second grade.

The basement was soon determined to be inadequate to meet the needs of the students. In 1945, Mrs. Butts bought a home at 12 Union Street that served the students until the merger that created North Cross School in 1961. 

Copyright © 2015 NORTH CROSS SCHOOL, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences