March 13, 2015 â€¢ Volume: 2014-15, Issue 27
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Message from the Headmaster

Chinese Delegation Visit

For the past three years, North Cross School has seen a growing relationship with China. We continue to host a number of Chinese students in our upper school as well as welcoming increasing numbers of Chinese students to our summer programs. Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting a delegation of visiting educators from China, this visit coming on the heels of another delegation of Chinese visitors last October.  Throw in my trip to China in December, and it becomes apparent that our relationship is becoming more involved.

This week, I spoke to the Parents’ Association about our expanding relationship with China and the possibilities of further programming. Specifically, our visiting Chinese delegations have come to the United States to continue our conversations about the role North Cross could play in the development of English language education of Chinese students on the grounds of private schools in China.

Click here to read the rest of the message.

Campus Update

Willis Hall Ping Pong Champs

On the Friday before spring break, Campbell Bloomfield ’18 and Jordan Hooker ’18 won the 2015 Willis Hall Ping Pong Tournament in Fishburn Auditorium. Special thanks to Liz Holt and the Upper School SCA for organizing the fun!

Lower School Evening Open House

Next Thursday, March 19, parents are invited to drop in to the lower school anytime between 5 and 7 p.m. to meet with their children’s teachers for next year, visit classrooms, and check out class materials.  This event replaces the “moving up” nights that were held previously. Childcare for current students will be available in the Cartledge Multipurpose Room during the open house.

Please contact Deborah Jessee at or 540-989-7287 if you have any questions about this event.

Big Flea in Two Weeks

In her New York Times bestseller, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” Marie Kondo urges readers to ask “Does it spark joy?” when deciding what to keep and what to give away. If you spent part of your spring break removing some of the clutter from your home, consider donating the items that no longer bring you joy to the Big Flea Sale. Your clutter could bring happiness to one of the expected 3,000 shoppers at our sale in two weeks.

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 starting Saturday, March 21. 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.
  2. Donate Items. â€œDrop Off @ Drop Off” will remain in effect next week. After March 21, last minute items can be brought 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

A Good Day for Pi

During break this morning, students in the upper school gathered for a special “Pi Quiz Bowl” organized by math teacher Amy Bagliani and hosted by Vincient Arnold ’16. Two teams were quizzed (bottom photo) on a variety of Pi related questions including “How many 3’s are there in the first one million digits of pi?” (100,230), “Who recited 42,195 digits of pi on Feb. 18, 1995?” (Hiroyuki Goto of Tokyo, Japan), and “What famous theoretical physicist was born on pi day?” (Albert Einstein)The winning team, of course, enjoyed a bit of pie on stage after the quiz. 

Before the quiz, two students did their best to match Hiroyuki Goto. Spencer Thompson ’25 (top left photo) recited the first 50 digits of pi while Sam Sawyer ’16 (top right photo) recited the first 80 numbers in the legendary mathematical constant.

Later in the day, Mrs. Bagliani’s classes did hot dog throws to calculate pi, measured cookies to find area and circumference, and calculated the amount of air in a tennis ball can, minus the tennis balls. Her students also hung a pi chain up in the lower school.

Pi Day will have special significance this year. On 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 a.m. and p.m., the date and time will represent the first 10 digits of pi, making tomorrow â€œUltimate Pi Day.”

Teacher Feature: Chris Pollock

What do you enjoy most about teaching and coaching?
Well, personally speaking, it really brings our family closer. Gay also played lacrosse growing up, so she and I both have a love for sports and now even more so that our children are so involved in athletics. All four of our kids play lacrosse and soccer, not only at North Cross but also on travel teams, not to mention individually they participate in other school sports as well. It is a huge time commitment for each of them, and coaching allows me to spend more time with them. I also love seeing not only my kids but all the kids I coach excel on the field and in the classroom. 

Click here for the complete feature.

Photo: Coach Pollock with his family at Geist's graduation from NCS lower school. From left: Chris, Christopher ’14, Geist ’21, Hope ’15, Gray ’18, and Gay. 

Art Update

Creative Writer Wins Award

Sophia Kelley ’19 earned a Regional Award in The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2015. Sophia received an Honorable Mention for her short story titled “Fly Mask.” Over 300,000 works were submitted nationwide for the 2015 competition with only the top 40% receiving recognition.

Sophia’s teacher, Robin Garrett, requires each of her Creative Writing students to enter writing competitions. Mrs. Garrett is pleased with the progress Sophia is making this year. “Sophia is a very talented writer, and she is just beginning to realize her strengths as a creative writer,” Robin said. â€œI have been encouraging her a lot this year. I am delighted that a nationally-recognized contest also acknowledges the tremendous gift she has.”

SPCA Art Show

Lee Kephart’s 7th & 8th grade studio art students participated in the annual SPCA "Best in Show" Art Show this year. Each student submitted a piece for the competition. The event, featuring work by professional and amateur artists, took place February 27th at the Taubman Museum of Art. Many of the pieces on display were for sale with proceeds going to help fund the Roanoke Valley SPCA. Two paintings by North Cross 8th grade students' were sold at the event. In the photo, artists Riley Hoff ’20 (left) and Meredith McGimsey ’19 (right) enjoyed displaying their work at the show.

Studio School Show and Reception in Logan Gallery

The 25th Annual Studio School Art Show is currently on display in Logan Gallery through April 27, 2015. View the paintings of experienced and up-and-coming artists in this always engaging and entertaining exhibition featuring over 40 works including â€œReflections of Vancouver” by Rina Lucas (in photo). The Studio School was founded in 1990 as a non-profit art school with the vision to offer art classes to everyone who has the desire to create. A wide range of studies, beginner to advanced, are offered to students from five to 95 including drawing, watercolor, acrylic, oils, jewelry-making, and a wide variety of mixed media.

The entire community is also invited to an opening reception on Sunday, March 22 from 2–4 p.m. in Logan Gallery. Meet the artists and Studio School instructors while enjoying light refreshments. 

Athletic Update

Winter Athletic Awards

Winter athletic teams were recognized at the Winter Athletic Awards on Thursday morning in Fishburn Auditorium. Each participant was recognized with a certificate. 

While middle school teams do not issue individual awards, the JV and Varsity teams handed out the following awards for Most Valuable Player:
  • Girls’ JV Basketball: Serena Lytton ’19
  • Boys’ JV Basketball (White): Jared La Trell ’19
  • Boys’ JV Basketball (Red): Tyler Slash ’18
  • Boys’ Varsity Basketball: Keith Oddo ’15
  • Girls’ Varsity Swimming: Margo Winn ’18
  • Boys’ Varsity Swimming: Joseph Cartledge ’16
Coaches Awards were also presented by Coach Greg Lake to varsity swimmers Helen Schmedtje ’17 and Zack H’Doubler ’16. Coach Ed Green presented Kennedy Nwabia ’15 with the Coaches Award for Boys’ Varsity Basketball.

Click here, or on the photo, for an album of photos posted on our Facebook page.

Celebrating 70 Years

Tennis—Fifty Years Ago

The 2015 season will mark the 50th anniversary of the tennis program at North Cross School. The sport arrived on campus in 1965 when three new courts were constructed on campus as part of the initial expansion of athletic offerings on campus. The early teams were coached by English teacher Mr. George Bell (boys’) and Physical Education teacher Mrs. Pat Gaskins (girls’).

In 1966, the teams were in their second season of competition. The girls’ team featured (from left in front row) Lee Trout ’67, Sallie Carter ’67, Sarah Crockett ’68, Katherine Watts ’67, Nancy Trout ’69, and Mary Frances Oakey ’67. The boys’ team (from left in back row) had players Jerry Sexton ’67, Jon Henley ’66, Mac Garrett ’67, and Gordon Carmichael ’66.

The courts were completely renovated in 2013 and were renamed the “Fishwick Tennis Center” in honor of the Fishwick family and their continued commitment to the sport of tennis at North Cross School.
Copyright © 2015 NORTH CROSS SCHOOL, All rights reserved.

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