December 5, 2014 â€¢ Volume: 2014-15, Issue 16
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Campus Update

Remembering Ripken

Earlier this week we said “goodbye” to Ellie and Chris Proctor’s dog Ripken, a friend to everyone who stepped foot on our campus.

Ellie shared her thoughts and thanks to the entire community on her Facebook page. â€œThanks to everyone for all of your thoughts and concerns for our Rip. It has been a really tough week for the four of us. We will miss him so much but no one more than Chris who was rarely seen without him. Ripken hasn't missed a day of school since our arrival at North Cross and I can't thank the NCS community enough for loving him as much as we did! His greatest joy was walking to school in the mornings, wandering the halls visiting the kids in their classrooms and going to games…he even sat in the stands at basketball and volleyball games! Gotta love a dog friendly campus! Thanks to all of you for making his golden years so special.”

Thank you to Robert Robillard for providing this photo from his archives. The photo was taken on Ripken’s first day of school at North Cross in September 2011.

Tree Lighting and Holiday Bonfire Tonight

All North Cross families, grandparents, and alumni are invited to attend our 3rd Annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Bonfire tonight. The evening is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on Hooper Field and is hosted by the Parents’ Association. In the event of rain, we will send out an Instant Alert by 2 p.m. if the event is postponed or cancelled.

If you want to know why the field is named “Hooper Field,” please take a moment to read the story that appears later in this newsletter.

Holiday Gift Collection Through December 10

Please consider bringing an unwrapped gift or toy to the tree lighting tonight, or you can drop off items in the donation boxes located the lobby of Ellis Hall, Eaton Hall, and Willis Hall. Gifts will be collected through Wednesday, December 10 and will be distributed to Turning Point, CHIP (Child Health Investment Partnership), and the Salvation Army Angel Tree programs December 15 and 16 on behalf of all North Cross families.

Shop Online this Holiday Season, Support North Cross School

At, members can support North Cross School. The site features over 1,400 of the web’s best stores, including Nordstrom, Pottery Barn, Best Buy, Staples, GAP, PETCO and Expedia. Some retailers even offer iGive shoppers exclusive web discounts! Plus, you can earn more for North Cross when you use AmazonSmiles if you simply click through iGive to get to AmazonSmiles!

Click here to learn more about this simple way to support the school.

Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day

This event, which begins at 8:30 a.m. in New Slack Hall on Friday, December 19, will include refreshments, classroom visits, and pictures with your grandchild. Please make plans to attend this special day set aside to honor NCS students’ Grandparents and Special Friends.

Click here for a flyer with more information and a schedule for the event

Pack Marches in Holiday Parade

Eighteen Cub Scouts and their families from North Cross School’s Pack 23 marched in the Grandin Road Children’s Holiday Parade on Saturday, November 22. The scouts passed out candy to the crowds and took turns carrying the pack banner. Each scout also added a funny or festive hat to their standard uniform.

Holiday Hand Wreath

On Tuesday morning, students in the ECP classes presented the Director of the Lower School, Mrs. Deborah Jessee, a Christmas wreath made up of all of their hand prints! She plans to hang it on her door.

Academic Update

Academic Awards Next Thursday

Students in grades 6-12 who earned First and Second Honor Roll will be recognized at the Fall Academic Awards Assembly on Thursday, December 11, at 8:30 a.m. in Fishburn Auditorium. Parents are invited to attend the assembly.

Teacher Feature: Victor Lamas

We all know you are a history buff. Where did your love of history begin?

Both of my parents grew up in Spain, and I grew up going to Spain every summer to visit my family. The Spanish culture is so rich with history so I learned to love it by living it, but it also comes from a love of reading and storytelling. I always saw my parents with a book. History is a story and I always liked to escape into that world. Everyone thinks history is my favorite thing to teach, and it is, but secretly I am proud of teaching my students to love good books and to write and to diagram sentences as well. I get as much a kick out of seeing them identify a prepositional phrase or a dependent clause as I do anything. It is rewarding to see them succeed in anything.

Photos: Mr. Lamas at Commencement (left); and with his family after receiving the 2014 Morris Award for Excellence in Teaching, from left: daughter Juvissa (15), son Jimmy (18), wife Roxana, Victor, and son Joaquin ’27 (5). 

Click here to read the full feature.

Art Update

Holiday Choral Concert on Tuesday

The holiday choral concert is scheduled for Tuesday, December 9, at 7 p.m. in Fishburn Auditorium. The concert will feature students from grades 4-12 under the direction of Choir Director Andrew Miller. Three choirs will be performing: Lower School Chorus (4th-5th); Concert Choir (6th-7th); and Chorale (8th-12th). Stephen D. Wills will accompany the performers on piano.

Spring Musical Auditions

North Cross School’s Music and Drama Departments are holding auditions for their spring musical, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Auditions are December 15, 16, and 17 and are open to students in grades 4-12.

Anyone interested in auditioning is encouraged to attend a special Pre-Audition Workshop on Friday, December 12, at 3:30 p.m. in the Choir Room of New Slack Hall. Directors will explain the audition requirements and process as well as the rehearsal and performance commitment needed. Music will be played and audition materials will be available.

Click here to visit Mr. Andrew Miller’s spring musical website for more information.

“Tuesday Evening with Vera”

Logan Gallery is now displaying "Tuesday Evening with Vera," an exhibit of pantings by award-winning artist Vera Dickerson and her students at the Studio School. The group meets with Vera each Tuesday, encourages each other in their painting, and provides constructive criticism. They are united by their fondness for each other and their teacher, and their love of painting.

Click here to see a slideshow of artwork on display. The show will be on display until December 18, 2014.

Athletic Update

Fall Athletic Awards

At the Fall Athletic Awards on Thursday morning, three Raiders were recognized as “Players of the Year.” Field hockey player Avery Sturm ’15 (far left) was named BRC Player of the Year, soccer player Kennedy Nwabia ’15 (third from left) earned VISAA Division II Player of the Year, while quarterback Max Revercomb ’15 (second from right with coach Stephen Alexander) was named Offensive Player of the Year in the Old Dominion Football Conference. 

Katherine Kelly ’98 (second from left) was named Blue Ridge Conference Co-Coach of the Year for Field Hockey while James Brown (third from right) earned Coach of the Year for Boys’ Soccer in the Virginia Independent Conference.

A full list of team MVP and Coaches Awards for JV and Varsity teams are listed below:

Boys’ Varsity Soccer
MVP—Kennedy Nwabia ’15
Coaches Award—Bennett Holley ’15

Varsity Football
MVP—Max Revercomb ’15
Coaches Award—Zack H’Doubler ’16

Boys’ Varsity Cross Country
MVP—Walter Mann ’16
Coaches Award—Harrison Macher ’15

Girls’ Varsity Cross Country
MVP—Adrienne Spring ’16
Coaches Award—Akaela Feng ’19

Varsity Volleyball
MVP—Julie Abbott ’15
Coaches Award—Natalie List ’17

Varsity Field Hockey
MVP—Avery Sturm ’15
Coaches Award—Sarah Shaff ’15

JV Field Hockey
MVP—Julia Brown ’19

JV Volleyball
MVP—Elyse Farrell ’20

Celebrating 70 Years

Hooper Field

Today is an appropriate time to reflect on the name of the field where we plan to gather for the tree lighting and bonfire this evening. Grayson Banks Hooper ’96 (in photo from the 1996 yearbook) loved sports and the people around him. He played football for four years at North Cross and joined the wresting team as a senior to help the team fill an important weight class. Grayson died suddenly during wrestling practice on January 16, 1996, a few months before graduating from North Cross. Writing in the 1996 yearbook, his friend Bradley Densmore ’96 wrote that “people who knew him fairly well would always say that there is nobody nicer. This may be the most simple but perfect description of Grayson for most who knew him, but for me, he was my best friend.” Richard Cook lived near the Hooper family in Salem and remembers Grayson fondly. “Grayson was a great kid who smiled a lot and was loved by most everybody because he did not have a mean bone in his body,” he said.

Ed Dickenson was the wrestling coach in 1996 and remembers Grayson as one of the most agreeable athletes he has ever known. “Despite his lack of experience, he embraced the sport and made rapid progress.  He brought so much enthusiasm and energy to every practice, and he wanted to improve as quickly as possible to support his teammates and represent the team well.  He was one of those rare and wonderful individuals who never seemed to have a bad day and whose enthusiasm for life was utterly contagious.  After a period of illness, Grayson passed away during one of our afternoon practices. He did not feel well enough to participate but wanted to watch what we were covering in practice that day.  When I spoke to Mrs. Hooper later that week, she told me with great kindness that Grayson passed away surrounded by a group of his caring friends, and that is the way he would have wanted it to be.  I never forgot those words, and to this day, I feel lucky and blessed to have known him.”

Grayson’s parents, Bob and Bonnie Hooper, currently live in South Roanoke and remain close with many of Grayson's friends. His brother Charles Hooper ’99 is a real estate developer and restaurateur in Roanoke and is engaged to Leah Boardwine. “It was special to show her Hooper Field and express how important the North Cross community is to me and my family. We love North Cross and are still blown away by the grace and kindness of this amazing group of families,” he said.
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