January 9, 2015 â€¢ Volume: 2014-15, Issue 19
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Headmaster Message

Check on Tech

Can you imagine what it would be like to have an entire updated Encyclopedia Britannica, Roget’s Thesaurus, National Geographic Atlas, and Webster’s Dictionary in your backpack when you walked to school? Add to that all of your textbooks and notebooks, a typewriter, video camera, and a line of direct communication with your teacher. What if your math tutor was always standing beside you? Sick at home? No problem, as your backpack now holds access to your classroom. You can see why educators see such promise in laptops, iPads, and other tablets.

Click here to read the full message.

Campus Update

Yale Alley Cats Perform in Fishburn

On Wednesday morning the Yale Alley Cats, the all-male a cappella group from the prestigious ivy league university, performed for students in Fishburn Auditorium. The Alley Cats have been a Yale tradition for over 70 years and perform traditional and original songs from the university as well as cover popular songs from artists such as the Temptations, Justin Timberlake, and even Taylor Swift. The group performed their standard opening number “Muskrat Ramble” and also performed cover versions of “Penny Lane” by the Beatles and “My Girl” by the Temptations. This event was made possible by the NCS Parents' Association.

Click here or the video image above to watch the Alley Cats perform “Muskrat Ramble” and “My Girl.”

CAC Winter Health Fair Tomorrow

Get your health and well being on track for the New Year! Meet a variety of vendors who can help with all of your health needs, plus enjoy exercise class demonstrations, listen to guest speakers, and participate in health screenings. Admission is free, and the event is open to the public. All ages are welcome. Click here for more information at the CAC website. 

Earlier this week WDBJ7 was on campus to produce a segment on the Winter Health Fair. Click here or the video image above to watch at wdbj7.com.

Pickleball Clinic from 8–10 a.m.
Before the Health Fair, the CAC will offer a special  two-hour “Pickleball” clinic. Pickleball is similar to ping pong and tennis, yet played on a smaller court with special rackets and balls. The CAC will be starting up a Pickleball program, and this clinic is a great opportunity to learn how to play. Cost for the Pickelball clinic is $25 per person. Space is limited to 30 participants. You must call the CAC at 540-989-7284 to sign up in advance.

Holiday Performance

On the last day of school before winter break, students in the lower school performed with jazz musician and composer Bradley Sowash. The students spent two days practicing with Mr. Sowash and learned how spirituals were instrumental in the creation of American jazz music. The students performed five songs arranged by Mr. Sowash. Click here or the video image above to watch a three minute montage from the event.

Slam Dunk Supper

The NCS Boosters are hosting the annual Slam Dunk Supper on Friday, January 23 from 5-8 p.m. in the Carter Athletic Center. Also enjoy the three basketball games or the theatrical production scheduled for that evening. Supper ticket includes spaghetti, lemonade, water, garlic bread, salad, and cookies.

Pre-order tickets are $7 for children and faculty/staff, $10 for adults. Pre-order forms are due to your division assistant by Friday, January 16. Click here to download the form. Tickets at door are $10 for children and faculty/staff, $12 for adults. 

*Please note that this event will replace the Founders' Dinner, originally scheduled for January 30, on the printed school calendar. 

Show Your Support!

“Best of” voting is in full swing for the annual awards in The Roanoker and Virginia Living magazines.

For the last four years, NCS has earned the Platinum Award for “Best Private School” in The Roanoker. This year, the voting for schools is separated into three categories and North Cross is eligible in the following categories: Private Elementary School; Private Middle School; and Private High School. Please click here to cast your vote for North Cross School and your “Most Inspiring Teacher”  in the “Events, Places, and Faces” section. Voting for The Roanoker closes at midnight on February 1. 

Virginia Living magazine is conducting its voting from now until Friday, January 23. Voting is done by region, and North Cross School would like to represent the Southwest region. Click here to cast your vote today.

Academic Update

Pinecone Bird Feeders

Kindergarten students in Melanie Harrison and Emily Brown’s class spent their Tuesday science class discussing ways to help animals and birds find food in the wintertime. The class sprinkled birdseed on pine cones that were covered in peanut butter and hung the bird feeders on trees around campus.

Singapore Math Parent Workshop on Monday

Parents of students in ECP Level 3-Kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to a Singapore Math Parent Workshop on Monday, January 12, at 5:30 p.m. in the Cartledge Multipurpose Room. Kate Clark, the Singapore Math Liaison in the lower school, will be presenting. The session will focus on the importance of fact fluency and bar modeling. Childcare will be provided. If you have any questions, contact Jenna Alcorn at jalcorn@northcross.org.

Teacher Feature: Jimmie Donnini

When did you know you wanted to be a band director?
I knew going into college that was what I wanted to do. In order to graduate on time you have to start the curriculum as a freshman. I went to Bridgewater College where I played the flute and studied K-12 Instrumental Music with emphasis in piano and flute. After graduation I got a job with Rockbridge County schools.

Click here to read the full feature.

Photo from left: Abigail, Robert, and Jimmie

Art Update

All-District Band

Four of Jimmie Donnini’s band students were recognized at the high school All-District band competition this year. These students will represent North Cross School at the All-District Weekend February 6-7 at Christiansburg High School. The auditions involve a significant amount of preparation and are extremely competitive. Students perform major scales, chromatic scales, a prepared piece, and sight-read a piece of music.
  • Helen Schmedtje ’17 (flute, far right) earned 3rd chair All-District Symphonic Band. Helen is now eligible to audition for the All-Virginia Band on February 28 at James Madison University.
  • Nolan Wages ’16 (trumpet, second from right) was named 9th chair All-District Concert Band.
  • Kevin Bao ’18 (contra–alto clarinet, second from left) made 2nd chair All-District Concert Band.
  • Caroline McGimsey ’17 (clarinet, far left) was named 2nd alternate All-District Concert Band. She increased her score by 30 points from last year and has a good chance of being called up for a spot.
Tomorrow at William Byrd Middle School, 11 North Cross students will audition for Middle School All District Band.

Athletic Update

Raiders Defeat Celtics

On Wednesday evening, the Boys’ Varsity Basketball team defeated Roanoke Catholic 70-34. Click here or the video image to watch the wrap up from wdbj7.com.

The team travels to Charlottesville today to take on Covenant School at 6:30 p.m.

Celebrating 70 Years

Going the Second Mile 

“If you want to know what is going on in the school, talk with students and faculty. But if you really want to know what is going on, talk to William Jernigan.” That was Dottie Hammond’s sage advice to Headmaster John Tucker when he came to North Cross in 1970. 

The new headmaster took Dottie’s advice and soon discovered that William was a fount of wisdom and good advice. Mr. Tucker later recalled, â€œHe was a man to follow—a natural leader.”

William Jernigan came to North Cross School when the campus was opened in 1961. His official title was “Property Manager,” but his 1974 obituary in The World News said that those who knew William considered him “an unofficial guidance counselor, cheerleader, peacemaker, alumni secretary, and parent for just about every kid in the school.” Jack Ross ’75 remembered Mr. Jernigan was never in a bad mood, “except when he had to straighten someone out, and he always showed up at practices, football games, basketball games—anything that involved the school.”

Dottie Hammond also recalled that William was always available to help anyone at any time. “Every year setting up the book fair took many hours and everyone worked into the night. William was always the last person to leave campus. He tested doors to see that they were locked properly, and assured everyone that he would be at home and ready to return if we should need him for anything at all.” William and his wife Rowena even helped out at the junior and senior proms.

There are two framed portraits in Slack Hall. The first is of Thomas A. Slack, whose name graces two buildings on campus, and one of the most important figures in the history of our school. Mr. Slack’s portrait hangs in the lobby near Logan Gallery. The second portrait is of William Jernigan (photo above), which hangs in the hallway just outside the headmaster’s office. William died suddenly of a heart attack on January 5, 1974, 41 years ago this week. His death left the students and faculty in a state of numbness. In his comments to the school, John Tucker remembered that William always went the second mile. “Often we are asked to go the one mile because it is required of us, but that is as far as we go. William went with every task in the spirit of the second mile, concerned not with how small it was but with how big he could make it. It was not a task, but an opportunity.”

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