March 20, 2015 â€¢ Volume: 2014-15, Issue 28
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Campus Update

Liz Holt to Retire

After 28 years at North Cross School, including 27 years as the Director of the Lower School, Liz Holt announced earlier this week that she would be retiring at the end of the school year. With a career approaching 40 years working with children, it seems only natural that Liz (pictured with students in 2001) will continue to work with children in retirement as she plans to begin a second career in child social services.

Her legacy at North Cross is long and impressive. Liz has been an integral part of our school for nearly 30 years. Aside from her duties as Director of the Lower School, she also created the Fat Pencil ceremony, organized a leadership speaker series, hired and mentored many incredible teachers, brought history alive for her students in the classroom, and had an impact on every student and family who entered through the doors of the lower school. There will be a number of opportunities this spring for the school community to recognize Liz. We look forward to celebrating with her and hope that everyone will take the opportunity to express their thanks for all she has done.

SCA Sponsoring Blood Drive

In conjunction with Virginia Blood Services—the sole provider of blood to Carilion Clinic and VA hospitals in the state of Virginia—the North Cross SCA will be hosting a blood drive on Friday, April 17 from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. in the Carter Athletic Center. Donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 with signed parental consent) and may schedule an appointment at All donors will receive a free t-shirt.

Click here, or on the image, to download a flyer with more information.

Big Flea in Eight Days

Big Flea is almost here. There are two ways you can help with the sale on Saturday, March 28. 

1. Volunteer. You can help sort and display items in the CAC. If you volunteer six hours or more, you can participate in the pre-sale on Friday, March 27 from noon–1 p.m. Contact Kathy Callis at or (540) 521-8213. Click here for a complete list of volunteer opportunities.

2. Donate Items. Bring your donations to the CAC where volunteers will be helping sort and price items. If you have larger items or wish to make other arrangements to donate, please contact Jenn Mitchell at or (540) 230-8584.

Academic Update

Winter Academic Awards March 26

Next Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m., students in grades 6–12 who earned First and Second Honor Roll will be recognized at the Winter Academic Awards Assembly in Fishburn Auditorium. Please note that March 26 is a formal dress day for all students in the middle and upper schools.

Students Selected for Leadership Conference

Founders’ Scholar Nolan Wages ’16 (left photo) and Phillip Schueler ’16 (right photo) will be spending part of their summer in the American Youth Leadership Program—Cypress. The program offers leadership training and is an exchange program for U.S. high school students and adult mentors.

Nolan and Phillip—who applied as a team—are two of only 18 students selected from across the United States for the program. Participants will explore why sustainable management of resources is imperative, learn about careers in science, technology and environmental resource management, and work cooperatively with Cypriot peers to promote environmental stewardship. US participants will travel to Washington D.C. and to Cyprus. After they return, participants will create presentations and action projects engaging the school in community service and educational projects.

Reading Group

In January, the lower school continued a program they started last year called "The Reading Group."  The purpose is to pair older students—5th through 12th graders— with kindergarten and first graders to "buddy read." Younger students gain confidence when reading, build relationships with older students, and the program makes reading fun for everyone. The group is organized by ECP—Kindergarten teacher Emily Brown. The group meets in Hancock Library every Monday and Wednesday afternoon. 

Click here, or on the photo, to view images on our Facebook post.

Pages Return from Richmond

Ann Ashley Daniel ’19 (left in photo) and Emmy Graham ’19 (right in photo) gave a short presentation this morning about their experiences as Pages in the General Assembly in Richmond this winter. Ann Ashley was a House page for Delegate Poindexter, and Emmy was a Senate Page for Senator Edwards. Pages deliver documents throughout the Capitol complex, and perform errands for members and staff during each day's floor session and at committee meetings. They said they worked long days, but had fun as well, and they were paid. Both benefitted from the program by developing lifelong friendships, gaining a deeper understanding of the legislative process, and developing connections that will serve them well as they apply to colleges or jobs.

Surviving College Admission Madness

Last Sunday, the New York Times published an op-ed titled “How to Survive the College Admissions Madness” by Frank Bruni that has generated a lot of commentary on the process of college admissions. The columnist helps provide perspective for parents and students about to receive college admission news.

Our Director of College Counseling, Julie Aavatsmark (in photo), offers the following preface for those interested in the article.

“Over the next few weeks, there will be a lot of college-related news. The national media will go wild with information on college decisions, personal stories, and even perhaps condemnations of colleges that have acceptance rates hovering around 5%. Here at North Cross, the Class of 2015 will receive the last of their college acceptances, denials, and invitations to wait-lists by April 1.

For these students, the next few weeks are a wonderful and a difficult time. Wonderful if the student is admitted to the college or colleges they want to attend, and difficult when they're admitted to too many places and have to decide in 30 days, or if they are not admitted to the place they wanted the most. It is my hope that our seniors get the message from home and school that the colleges they are admitted to, and the one they ultimately decide to attend, do not define them and all they have done up to this time. The colleges that don't admit them don't define them either. Their parents will be proud of them no matter what, everyone at school will celebrate them no matter what, and they will leave North Cross with the skills they need to succeed where ever they go. In essence, our students are all set to bloom where they are planted.”

Click here to read the article.

College Night Rescheduled for Next Wednesday

The College Night program that was cancelled due to snow has been rescheduled for Wednesday, March 25 from 7-8 p.m. in Lemon Dining Hall. Unfortunately the speaker originally scheduled will not be able to attend, Director of College Counseling, Julie Aavatsmark, will run the program. This event is for 9th, 10th, and 11th graders, but families with younger students are always welcome to attend.

Teacher Feature: Blair Trail


When did your relationship with North Cross begin?
Since before I can remember. I started school here in kindergarten. At the time, my dad (Dave Calvert) was the Director of the Lower School, and my sister (Michelle Calvert ’85) was in high school. I remember coming to her athletic games before I even started school. Basically I had a relationship with North Cross from the moment I was born.

Click here to read the full feature.

Photo: Three generations of North Cross - Blair Calvert Trail ’95, Landon Trail ’23, and Dave Calvert (faculty 1973-2012).

Art Update

Sayers Wins in SPCA Show

An acrylic painting by Katie Sayers ’15, titled “The Hunt,” (shown in photo) was selected as “Best in Show” for the 14-18 year old student category at the SPCA Art Show last month. Her piece, selected from more than 300 entries, will be included in the 2016 calendar. The painting was one of several pieces entered by students as a requirement in Annette Pfaeffle’s studio art classes. Amy Eggleston ’16 had one of her entries purchased at the show.

Athletic Update

All-State Recognition for Holley

Boys’ Varsity Basketball player Bennett Holley ’15 was named VISAA First-Team All-State earlier this week.

Raiders Scoreboard

Thurs. March 19  

Girls’ Middle School Soccer
Stonewall Jackson MS 4
North Cross School 3
Lilly Kemper scored two goals, Riley Hoff scored once

Tues. March 17

Varsity Golf
Timberlake Christian 191
North Cross School 221
Ty Olinger was medalist with a 38 (par 35)

Girls’ Middle School Soccer
North Cross School 2
Roanoke Valley Christian 1
Emily Allara and Lilly Kemper scored for the Raiders. Julia H'Doubler and Becky Kess played well in goal.

Varsity Baseball
Eastern Mennonite 1
North Cross School 11

Middle School Baseball
North Cross School 5
Breckenridge Middle School 6

Mon. March 16

Girls’ Varsity Tennis
North Cross School 0
The Covenant School 9

Girls’ Varsity Soccer
North Cross School 1
The Covenant School 0
Sarah Maurer had the lone goal with an assist from Shaida Campbell. Katie Sayers had five saves in goal.

Middle School Baseball
North Cross School 5
Woodrow Wilson Middle School 7

Fri. March 13

Varsity Baseball
North Cross School 12
Holy Cross 1
Tanner Smith was the winning pitcher

Middle School Baseball
Roanoke Catholic 3
North Cross School 9

Celebrating 70 Years

A Better Ballpark

For the first eight seasons Eric Lawrence coached baseball at North Cross, he had to drive his players to Penn Forest Elementary School in order to practice each afternoon. This also meant that they had to travel in order to play their opponents. Fortunately, two things happened. First, the Capital Campaign deemed that a baseball field be developed on campus. Second, Bittle Porterfield III, loved baseball and wanted to help make the dream of a home field advantage a reality. Bittle served on the North Cross Board of Trustees for 24 years, including serving as Chairman of the Board.

The Porterfield family made a gift to build Porterfield Ballpark to honor Bittle Wilson Porterfield Jr., father of Bittle Porterfield III and his wife Charlotte, grandfather of Forrest ’94Wilson ’91, and Holly ’92 (Wilson’s wife). Bittle’s father had a passion for baseball. He grew up in Giles County and was a pitcher to be reckoned with. In fact, Bittle’s cousin, Bob Porterfield, another Giles County native, went on to play 12 seasons in the major leagues for the Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, and Pittsburgh Pirates. Bittle fondly recalled going to Senators games with his family. Baseball was a passion for the Porterfield family.

During the fall of 2001, the field was constructed and it seemed at times that Coach Lawrence was building the field with his own two hands—digging, raking, and sowing grass nearly every day. By March, 2002 the grass was in and the field was ready. The inaugural season (click photo above to view a larger image) featured (back row) Assistant Coach John Duckworth, Adam Stephenson ’02, Assistant Coach Kevin Yeager, David Mason ’03, Josh Fleisher ’04, Tim Flanigan ’02, Cody Scott ’02, Patrick Arbo â€™02, Assistant Coach Bill Andrews, and Coach Eric Lawrence, (front row) Brandon Kirtley â€™03, Scott Stephenson â€™04, Alex Duckworth â€™05, Long Nguyen â€™03, Jonathan Edwards â€™05, Thomas Wright â€™05, Chase Morrison â€™05, and Wes Dickerson â€™05. Bat boys that season were Eric’s son, Sam Lawrence ’12, and Connor Walters ’12
Copyright © 2015 NORTH CROSS SCHOOL, All rights reserved.

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