May 1, 2015 â€¢ Volume: 2014-15, Issue 34
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Campus Update

Middle School Community Service

Students in Eaton Hall contributed to the Roanoke Valley community on Wednesday. The primary goals for the middle school students are to learn how to work as a group and for students to learn about and help a community organization. Students spent the day volunteering their time for local non-profit organizations including the Rescue Mission near downtown Roanoke, Gladetown Trail in Vinton, Hope Tree Academy in Salem, and at the Science Museum of Western Virginia. Click here to view photos on our Facebook page.

Summer Reading Book Fair Next Week

Summer Reading Book Fair begins Monday! Stop by Hancock Library May 4-8. (Monday-Thursday 8:00-5:00 and Friday 8:00-3:00) to take a look at the wonderful titles that have been selected for our summer reading list.  We will also have copies of the Senior Favorites from the Class of 2015, as well as the faculty & staff favorites. Click here to download the complete 2015 Summer Reading list.
Barnes and Noble is our Summer Reading Book Fair vendor again this year. They are providing copies of our books for for our on campus fair, as well as hosting an in-store Book Fair for us at the Tanglewood location of Barnes and Noble. We will have a Hancock Library "wish list" table at Barnes and Noble beginning on Monday, May 4. If you would like to purchase a book for donation to Hancock Library, stop by the store and take a look—there will be a number of great new titles! 
Click here to download a book fair voucher with our book fair ID number. If you use it when you purchase items at the store or online, we will receive credit for those purchases, too.  Our Barnes and Noble in-store Book Fair runs from May 4-18, so there is plenty of time to stop in, browse, and perhaps make a purchase that will benefit our library. Don’t forget that purchases at the café count, too! Our Barnes and Noble Book Fair ID # is 11603453.    
We hope you will join us here in the library May 4-8, as well as at Barnes and Noble May 4-18, as we enjoy two Book Fairs at once!  If you have any questions, or if you would be able to volunteer during our Book Fair, please contact Amy Holley at or 989-6641, ext. 307.

Field Day Schedule

The schedule for the Field Day on Friday, May 8 is as follows:

12:30–2 p.m.: Lower School and Middle School Red & White Field Day games 

2 p.m.: Spring Athletic Pep Rally for the entire school on Thomas Field

6–9 p.m.: Bonfire on Hooper Field. Hot dogs and BBQ will be provided. Deb’s Lemonade will be available for purchase. Event will feature face painting, volleyball, corn hole, and more! Freddy Mac from K92 will DJ this fun family event!

Girls’ Night Out

Tickets are still available for “Girls’ Night Out” on May 14, 2015, from 6:30–8:30 p.m., at the home of Jeanne Fishwick.

Join “Jeanne’s Pool Boys” for an evening of food, fun, and flip flops. Tickets are $50 per person. Click here for an updated list of scheduled attendees.

Email Jennifer Burtch at to reserve your space at this fun event to support the school.

Thank You!!

Over $26,000 and counting, you helped us exceed our goal.
We made our goal of $15,000! We are excited to report that over $41,000 was given to support our students' during the April challenge. A special thank you to the seven families who provided the matching funds and inspired this campaign.
This is great news. Our 2014-15 Annual Fund goal is $340,000 and the school still needs $30,000 to balance the budget by June 30. We are confident that our very generous community will continue to support all the great things that happen here.

Dyslexia Event Rescheduled

The Crosswalk Program originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 5 has been rescheduled for Tuesday, May 12 Lisa Teegarden Cabay, Ph.d. will make a presentation titled “Stick to It!” The importance of Perseverance and Goal setting for students with Dyslexia. The presentation starts at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Space is limited, so please contact Kit Prillaman at (540) 989-6641 or to reserve a spot.

In addition to parent events, the Crosswalk Program has been busy hosting professional development events for our faculty as well. Thank you to Dr. Joseph Iskandar for his presentation on Tuesday for our teachers.  Dr. Iskandar is Board Certified in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry.  Over twenty teachers attended to learn more about ADHD and low working memory and how they impact classroom performance. 

Share More

On Monday, May 11, the school will host Admission Events for ECP through grade 11. While tours continue through the summer, this is the last scheduled day of the school year for prospective families to see the program in action and for prospective students to shadow a current student!

Please share these events with families who might be interested in learning more about North Cross School. Interested families should contact Amy Jackson at 540-989-6641 or for more information or to reserve a space.

Early Childhood Program Tour
Monday, May 11, 2015
8:30–9:30 a.m.
: Prospective parents are invited to learn more about the NCS Early Childhood Program while observing our child-centered and academically rich environment in action.

Visit Days for Prospective Students
Monday, May 11, 2015
10 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
: Prospective students in grades 1–11 are invited to shadow a current student, visit several classes, and eat lunch.

Academic Update

Adding Creativity to the Curriculum

Mark Thompson, Director of the Upper School, met with parents on March 31 to discuss a number of additions to the upper school academic offerings starting next year. The new programs will provide the opportunity for students to engage in more creative and interdisciplinary thinking, study the mechanics behind animal movement, and provide a platform for students to improve their computer science skills. 

Science teacher Jennifer Landry will be teaching a class called “Science, Technology, Art and Design” next fall. The full-year course, open to all upper school students, will require students to research a problem area, identify a need, and develop a technology-based solution that would be viable in the marketplace. This class is a natural expansion of the previous middle school STEM after-school program offered last year and the STEM class offered in the fall term this year.

The goal is to prepare students for a robust STEM program. â€œThe philosophy is that these courses will have our students highly engaged in identifying problems and finding solutions,” Mr. Thompson said. “Students will need to use what they have learned in other classes and apply those skills creatively to find solutions,” he said. 

Also being offered next year is a “Biomechanics” class that will provide students a fundamental understanding of the principles of animal locomotion. For example, students will study how animals walk, run, hop, jump, climb, crawl, swim, and burrow.

Advanced Computer Science will be offered for students who took the Introduction to Computer Science class this year. The hope is that next year the upper school be able to offer AP Computer Science for students wishing to learn more about this highly marketable skill.

Graphic design teacher Becky Sharkey will be expanding the digital design curriculum by teaching an Advanced Graphic Design class that will focus on design in our society, advanced typographic techniques, corporate branding, and magazine layout.

Summer Global Studies Opportunities

Summer provides the opportunity for students to continue learning and engaging with the world around them. The following two trips are being offered as part of the Global Studies program. Contact Robert Robillard at for more information about these opportunities.
  • Leadership Summit in Davos, Switzerland: Before the trip, we will begin exploring the multiple ways in which we and others have been educated. We will bring that information to Barcelona for six nights, where we will collect more data about how ideas and technology can transform education. We will travel to Nice and take a half-day of French, which will expose us to the cutting-edge techniques of language instructors. We will pass through Monaco before stopping in Bergamo, Italy at the Montessori Foundation to learn how revolutionary those methods have been. Finally, we get to the summit in Davos, where all of our students will be placed on different teams. Fifteen-hundred students will be there with the task of designing an idea that might transform education in the 21st century. The keynote address will be delivered by Sir Kenneth Robinson.
  • WWII and the Western Front: We will start in London and study the British response to German aggressions. After crossing the English Channel, we will explore the Normandy beaches where Allied troops landed on D-Day. After two nights in Paris, we go through the Bastogne forest where the Battle of the Bulge was fought. We drive through Cologne and stop in Berlin for a couple of nights. North Cross will have the final three days without other students as we go through Nuremburg, Dachau, Munich, Salzburg and travel to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. 
Students are also scheduled to be part of the following leadership, goodwill, and immersion opportunities.
  • The Service trip to Cyprus: Philip Schueler ’16 and Nolan Wages ’16 will be junior ambassadors in Cyprus for almost three weeks in July. They will go through training in D.C. before the depart to do service projects and explore the unique dual-state mandate on the Mediterranean isle. 
  • Goodwill trip to Wonju, Korea: Nathalie List ’17 and Olivia Hanson ’16 will accompany science teacher Sandy Patterson on a goodwill trip to Roanoke's sister city in Korea, Wonju. They will stay with host families as they explore the culture and cuisine of Korea.
  • Four students will travel to Senora Mariana Hermosilla's hometown for two weeks in Corrientes, Argentina. They will be immersed in student culture, attending classes at our sister school, learning Spanish, and staying with host families for two weeks. The group will also see a bit of Buenos Aires in late July and early August.

Teacher Feature: Julie Aavatsmark

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I like having conversations with students and their parents about colleges and their goals for the future. I love when I can help students find a school that fits their personality, and it’s awesome when a student gets to go to the school of their dreams. Of course, that doesn’t always happen. It is a very sensitive time for our students and their families. My goal is to make it as easy as possible for our graduates. I also love keeping in touch with them throughout their college careers. I tell them that I run a full-service operation and will do anything I can for them throughout college. 

Click here to read the full feature.

Art Update

Student Art Show Opens Monday

Logan Gallery will be hosting the 2015 Student Art Show, featuring works from middle and upper school art students. The show will kick off with a 6 p.m reception in Logan Gallery on Monday, May 4, for the entire school community. Projects from studio art and digital art classes will be part of the show.

Mrs. Annette Pfaeffle is happy to see the improvement in her upper school studio art students. “I am pleased with their growth, talent, and hard work that they have demonstrated throughout each term. The show will have a compilation of several levels and medias explored from intro first year courses to the more individually driven and complex AP and 2-D design courses,” she said.

The middle school art classes, taught by Mrs. Lee Kephart, will submit a variety of projects including human figure plaster sculptures, 3D architectural letters, animal portraits rendered in acrylic, oil and pastel works, and prints made using the ink block printing method. Rebecca Sharkey is having her graphic design students submit self-portraits completed using typography, a Photoshop project where students merged visual ideas that would not normally be combined, and a project inspired by the work of Andy Warhol. 

The show will be on display until May 29 in Logan Gallery.

Athletic Update

Athletic Physicals for 2015-16

The athletic department is offering sports physicals on Wednesday, May 20. Check in will begin in the CAC at 4:30 p.m. and end at 5:30 p.m. Physicals should be complete by 6:15 p.m.. Student athletes need to bring $20 (cash or check) and a copy of the VHSL physical form. Please fill out all the information ahead of time (except for the physician's portion), and have it signed by a parent or guardian. It must be signed and completed to participate. This physical and consent form will be valid for students participating in VHSL athletics through June 30, 2016.

Click here to download the current form. 

Holley and Dent Sign

Congratulations to Bennett Holley ’15 and Ryan Dent ’15. On Thursday, Bennett signed to play basketball at Appalachian State University next year while Ryan signed to play football at Shepherd University. Click here to view photos posted on our Facebook page.


Tennis Players Featured in Roanoke Times

Robert Anderson at the Roanoke Times wrote a fantastic article about Cartledge siblings (Emma ’18 and Joseph ’16) and their prowess on the tennis court and in the classroom. Click here to read the article at


Spring Senior Days

At halftime of their game against Covenant School yesterday, the Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse team, coaches, and families recognized seniors Ryan Dent ’15Isaiah Harris ’15, Holden Johnsen ’15, Max Revercomb ’15, Hart Semler ’15, Sterling Moskal ’15, and Keith Willis ’15 at halftime of their final regular season home game. The Raiders lost 8-2, but played well against the top team in the state. Click photo to view a larger image.
Remaining Senior Days as follows:
  • May 1—Girls’ Varsity Soccer vs New Covenant, approximate time of ceremony is at halftime 5:15 p.m. 
  • May 1—Boys’ Varsity Tennis vs Miller School, approximate time of ceremony 4:15 p.m. 
  • May 6—Boys’ Varsity Golf vs Holy Cross, approximate time of ceremony 4:15 p.m.
  • May 9—Boys’ Varsity Baseball vs William Fleming, approximate time of ceremony 11:50 a.m.

    Girls’ Varsity Tennis does not have any seniors on the roster this year.

Raiders Scoreboard

Click here to view the scoreboard for this week.

Celebrating 70 Years

Fifty-two Years of Field Day

When Dorothy Saunders and Mary Thornhill agreed to chair the first Field Day in 1962, they likely didn't know the tradition would become among the most cherished for students, teachers, and the school community. Click here to see a full view image of the three plaques with the names of those who donated their time to chair the Field Day event.

Field Day started out as a fun day for students—a break from the rigors of the classroom and a chance to socialize with friends and compete in fun games. Each class would have a money-raising project and there were chances for student to take part in a tug-of-war, relay races on Thomas Field, a cake walk, and the ever-popular teacher dunk tank.

Dawn Hollandsworth recalls her time as a student and participating in the maypole dance (bottom photo). “It was always the first event to kick off the day. Billie Ellis loved music and dance. We practiced with Josephine Fagg and dressed in costume. I vividly remember wearing a cummerbund as part of my costume,” she recalled.  The focus was not on funds and the hope was to raise a little money to support the school. 

The event expanded in the 1970s (in photos) when a White Elephant sale, which eventually morphed into the Big Flea, was added to the event. “I started teaching here in 1979 and remember students were asked to bring in eight to ten items from a list to donate to the sale. If all of the students brought in all of the items, the class got Friday off from school. Of corse that gave everyone the day off to help set up for the sale,” Dawn remembered. Over time, the Field Day portion of the event was dominated by vendors that provided fun games for students and the children of Big Flea shoppers. 

This year, the decision was made by the school to separate Big Flea from Field Day to allow the event to return to the fun-filled day of revelry, good natured competition, and school spirit.

Copyright © 2015 NORTH CROSS SCHOOL, All rights reserved.

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