August 12, 2016 â€¢ Volume: 2016-17, Issue 1
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Head of School's Message

The start of a new year

It is hard to believe but the calendar just flipped over to August and with school opening three days earlier than usual, Convocation is right around the corner. The change in our start date and the three day Labor Day weekend are exercises in delayed gratification for us all, as the earlier than usual start of the year will be mitigated by the joy of having an entire week off for Thanksgiving! We also have a bonus day off on the Monday after New Year’s Day.

In traditional North Cross fashion, our admission office has been hard at work all summer and we estimate that we will open with between 480 and 490 students, a number consistent with enrollment for the past four years. David Lake has taken over for Amy Jackson as Director of Admission but Amy remains involved on the Tailored Tuition side of admission. We are happy to be full (or close to full) in grades 3,5,6,8,10,11, and 12 but I am sure David would still love to speak to your neighbor about the virtues of a North Cross education.

I am sure you have all enjoyed your summer break, but things at school have been very busy. Most noticeable is the slow but steady progress on Cook Field. We still anticipate being able to play on the surface this fall but the daily thunderstorms have really taken their toll. Also, behind the scenes, our IT Department has been working diligently to launch our new online community tool, onCampus, which will help connect families, students and the school, and aims to streamline many of the previously paper-intensive forms and registration processes for the school—surely a welcome addition to both parents and to our administration.

Some of you who have driven through the circle this summer will also have seen the construction along Ellis Hall. This will be a beautifully landscaped fountain in honor of the McKinnon boys. You will hear more on this later. Many of our new faculty and staff have been on campus this summer, either visiting or working in our summer programs. We have new faces in all three of our divisions. That does not include old faces in new places, so be sure to read about faculty and staff changes in this and upcoming editions of Crossties.

Enjoy your last vacation days of summer and I look forward to seeing everyone at Convocation on the 24th.


Christian J. Proctor, Ph.D.
Head of School

Campus Update

Cook Field Progresses Despite Rains

If you have been on campus recently, you know the field is not done. They have several legitimate reasons for the additional time required. The County took longer than anyone expected to give us the approval to proceed and our contractor, RSG, ran into delays getting trees and some rock removed. Since then we have had a lot of heavy rains and at inopportune times, for example, just last week the bank behind the field was hydro seeded and we had 3 inches of rain resulting in a complete erosion of that bank and ponding on the field. The drainage has not yet been installed. However, excitement for the project perseveres—and we're not the only ones! You can read the Roanoke Star's coverage of the project.

We have decided in conjunction with the generous cooperation of our contractor to sod the field instead of sprigging. This will allow us, if the weather cooperates, to be ready in October for games including our Homecoming Field Hockey and Soccer games October 14-15. Please make plans to join us for the dedication that weekend.

Summer Camp Comes to a Successful Close

Those of us on campus this summer welcomed the laughter and young faces that would peek through our windows. Our 2016 Summer Programs have been a huge success with enrichment camps seeing a 20% bump in enrollment. Director of Summer Programs Stephen Belderes, gives the credit to the excellent line up of field trips, staff, and facilities. “We have the best facilities in Roanoke; including a huge indoor pool. Our field trips compliment our uniquely themed weeks and this year included trips to the Taubman Museum, The Roanoke Skate Center, and other area attractions,” he added.

In addition to our traditional camps we saw over 170 Chinese students (some pictured above) participate in camps this summer—a new record!
Finally, Bricks 4 Kidz brought LEGO® fever to four of our camps this summer. All of them were wonderfully successful and we look forward to continuing our relationship with local companies to expand our offerings next summer. 

New Online Community Tool for Parents

Yesterday you received an e-mail from Head of School Dr. Proctor introducing our new secure online community application, onCampus. We strongly encourage parents to log into the system before the beginning of school in order to verify their information and choose what contact details they want shared with the North Cross community.

We have two tutorials that will hep you login for the first time and explore the many features of this virtual community program. Be sure to use the e-mail address you have on file with the school for communications. Should you have any questions during this process, you can contact your division's administrative assistant, or e-mail the onCampus Help Desk at

Special note to new students and new families: The onboarding process for you is slightly different than with current families and requires a data update that is currently underway. However, because of this data gap you may have trouble logging on for the first time or viewing your child's information (if you are a current parent with a new student). Be assured, the upload will be complete soon and we will reach out to you when it is, most likely sometime next week. In the meantime, you may try to log on sooner knowing that you may have problems and that the data will be complete shortly.

New Student/Family Orientation

On Monday, August 22, North Cross welcomes our new families to campus. New ECP families will be assigned to either an 8:30 or 10:00 a.m. session, and new families in grades 1-11 will gather in New Slack Hall's Lemon Dining Hall. At the time of your session, come to the Admission Office to receive your orientation packet, have your family's picture taken and head to the appropriate meeting area. New parents will receive additional information, including ECP Group assignments, soon. Contact Lauren Horner in Admission if you have any questions.

Kroger Cards: Time to Sign up or Re-Enroll!

Each year, those of you who generously link your Kroger Plus cards to North Cross so that we receive a portion of dollars spent must re-enroll in order for North Cross to continue receiving this benefit. If you have a Kroger card but have not yet linked it to North Cross, please do! It's a wonderful, simple way to support the school. Click here to find out how to sign up or re-enroll.

Academic Update

Welcome to Our New Faculty 

This fall, there will be many new faces on campus—and not just children's. We are pleased to announce the addition of several new faculty to all three of our divisions. 

Chris Brandon will be joining the World Language Department as our new French teacher. Mr. Brandon began his teaching career at Tulane and taught multiple levels of French at Fordham University and Lehman College.  He has been working on his dissertation to complete his Ph.D. in French Literature at City University of New York. He also has extensive experience in instructional technology.  Mr. Brandon will be teaching all of our French classes this year, and we are sure that the students will enjoy his enthusiasm for French language and modern culture.

Zachary Dresser, Ph.D. comes to North Cross from Virginia Tech, where he was Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion and Culture. He will be teaching upper school History and Government, and he will direct the Global Studies program. He received his B.A. from Emory and Henry College, his M.A. from Yale University, and his Ph.D. from Rice University.

Miranda Greear will join the Lower School as a second grade instructor. She holds a B.S. from Florida State University and her master's from Bank Street College of Education. Previously, Ms. Greear was a tutor in our Learning Center. 

Rachelle Phillips will be joining our World Language Department as a Spanish teacher in both Middle and Upper schools. She is a graduate of Randolph-Macon College and received her M.A. in Spanish Literature from the University of Virginia. For the last several years, she has been a teaching assistant at UVA while working on her Ph.D. in 16th-19th Century Spanish Literature.  She has studied abroad on several occasions and has taught multiple levels of introductory Spanish and advanced composition.

Lindsay Meyer will be joining our Fine Arts Department, in for Lee Kephart who is on leave this year. Ms. Meyer is a graduate of Virginia Tech and received her M.A. from Hollins University. She also studied Textile and Surface Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She has recently been teaching at Back Creek Elementary, and we were vastly impressed by both her personal portfolio and the work produced by her previous students.

Eva Wang will join the World Language Department and become our first instructor in Mandarin in the Upper School. Eva has a M.B.A. from the Universite de Poitiers and her B.A. in Economics from Shenyang University.

Athletics Update

Congratulations to All-Timesland Recipients

Several Raiders were recognized by the Roanoke Times for earning 2015-16 All-Timesland honors: 


Boys Soccer

Jaime Dooley '16 - 1st Team
Luke Carter '17 - 2nd Team
All-Timesland Boys Soccer

Boys Tennis

Joseph Cartledge '16 - 1st Team
Michael Fleming '16 - 1st Team
Jack Fishwick '16 - 2nd Team
All-Timesland Boys Tennis

Boys Lacrosse

Brandon Campbell '16 - Midfield- 1st Team
Adam Batzel '18 - Defense- 1st Team
Will Perry '16 - Goalie- 1st Team
Gray Pollock '18 - Attack- 2nd Team
Jack Irons '16 - Defense- 2nd Team
All-Timesland Lacrosse


Ty Olinger '16 - 1st Team
All-Timesland Golf 


Josh Greenway '17 - Outfield- 2nd Team
All-Timesland Baseball

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