May 18, 2016 â€¢ Volume: 2015-16, Issue 6
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Alumni Board Message

Update from the Chair of the Alumni Board

This year, your Alumni Association has been incredibly busy. Here is a re-cap of the 2015-16 year, and some upcoming events to look forward to.
  • The 2015 recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus/a Award was Will Dichtel ’96. We plan on having an event in the fall with Will Dichtel as the keynote speaker.
  • The Alumni Association helped put on the annual Alumni Soccer game and Oyster Roast this past fall with great participation. 
  • Please make plans to attend an evening at Soaring Ridge Brewery on Thursday June 9th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to taste some of Roanoke’s local beers and enjoy some fun and relaxation with your fellow alumni. First drink is on us.
  • At the end of March, the Board of Trustees approved the construction of the Cook Athletic Field. As of now, we have $399,491 in gifts and pledges, almost 90% of which came from our generous alumni and parents of alumni
  • Just a few weeks ago the Alumni Board voted on the next recipient of the Alumni Service Award. This year’s recipient is Sarah Boxley Beck ’98
  • The DeHart/Grayson Alumni Merit Scholarship was created last year and has raised $62,302. If you would like any further information on this scholarship or would like to donate toward this scholarship in honor of Gates DeHart and Margaret Grayson, please contact Amy Jackson at 
Please try to find time to make a trip back to campus to see all that has been accomplished by so many hard working individuals. In the meantime, keep up with the school through Facebook, Twitter, and Crossties. Please keep us updated with the milestones in your life: weddings, births, career changes, awards, etc. by sending this information to your class agent, a member of the Alumni Board, or Rebekah Bradley at . We all want to thank you for continuing to help North Cross develop and grow, and I look forward to another productive year in 2016-17!

Jack Hamlin '03
North Cross Alumni Board, Chairman
:: Read more on the Crossties Blog

Development: Cook Field Construction Begins

After two years—thanks to the generosity of trustees, alumni, parents of alumni, faculty, grandparents, and friends—construction of Cook Athletic Field is underway. The North Cross Board of Trustees voted to begin construction on Cook Athletic Field in late March so the field will be ready by the fall for our field hockey and soccer teams. We expect to see that beautiful Bermuda grass by July 1.

On Monday morning, (from left in photo) Chris Moore ’71, Eric Lawrence, James Brown, Richard CookClay Cook ’27Cate Cook ’24Ryan Cook ’93, and Dr. Proctor gathered at the site for a groundbreaking ceremony.

We are thrilled to be moving forward with this project, but approximately $10,000 is still needed to provide "finishing touches." We seek to build an athletic complex that exemplifies the quality our teams have earned and one that is reflective of the dedication Richard Cook has provided to our school.

If you have not yet given, it’s not too late. Over 90% of our donors are alumni, grandparents and or parents of alumni. To ensure your support for this project is recognized on our donor wall, please make sure we receive your gift or pledge before May 31, 2016. You can make an outright gift now or a pledge that can be paid any time up until December 31, 2016. Give now.

We invite you to join others from your North Cross family who have made this project possible and be with us on October 14-15 for Homecoming Weekend. At this time, all donors will be recognized in person or on the donor wall. All alumni are invited to attend the dedication on Saturday, October 15 and join us that evening for an alumni party at the Headmaster’s House.
Make your online gift to Cook Athletic Field

Headmaster Message

Prioritizing Character and Leadership

Last summer, at our annual Board retreat, I asked each of our Board members to choose an individual they felt best represented who they wanted a North Cross graduate to emulate.  This is always an interesting icebreaker as it tells you something about the interests of each Board member. Most importantly, though, for the purposes of our retreat, it provided us with a list of characteristics we felt should be valued at North Cross.

Interestingly enough, for a school that prides itself on college admissions, AP test scores, and academic rigor, the overwhelming majority of Board members chose individuals who demonstrated strong character and leadership skills.  Not to downplay the former, but issues of character seem to always dominate discussions as to “Why North Cross?”.
Continue reading on the Crossties Blog

Board of Trustees Message

Board Bio: Linda Frith

Hometown: Roanoke, Virginia for over 40 years
​Education: College of William and Mary, Bachelor of Business Administration: Washington and Lee School of Law, Juris Doctor
Board Committees: Served as Board Chair from 2012–2014 and Vice Chair from 2014–2016. Currently serves on China Subcomittee and Trustees Committee
​Year Appointed: 2010

What is your professional background?
​I have practiced law for over 30 years in Roanoke, specializing in employment law for employers. I am one of three founding members of Frith Anderson & Peake, P.C., a firm with 15 lawyers specializing in civil litigation defense.

In photo: The Frith family, and their dog Watson, last fall on top of McAfee’s Knob. From left: Bo ’06, Linda, Dan, and Davis ’09.
:: Continue Reading on the Crossties Blog

Campus Update

Big Wins in “Best of” Voting


North Cross wins 3 Platinum Awards, One Gold Award

The 2016 results for “Best of” voting in The Roanoker are in, and we are proud to announce that North Cross received Platinum Awards for Best Private School and Best Preschool, and our CrossWalk Program earned a Gold Award for Best Tutor/Supplemental Education Services.

We'd like to give a special congratulations to Victor Lamas, (above) Director of Global Studies and Upper School history teacher, for earning the Platinum Award for Most Inspiring Teacher.

Thank you to everyone who voted. Your encouragement and support tells the people of the Roanoke Valley that North Cross provides best educational experience in the area!

Big Crowds, Big Impact, Big Success

A big thank you to the Big Flea committee, led by Elise and Zack DeMoss, and thank you to the parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends of North Cross who volunteered, donated items, and all who shopped our 2016 Big Flea Sale. Through your combined efforts, the Big Flea Sale raised over $30,000 after expenses.  In addition to the $30,000 raised, we truly helped and served our community. Through items donated, Big Flea was able to donate over $2,500 to teachers' classrooms, to after prom, and to other school areas of need. From donations to the Flea we were also able to serve the greater community, donating another $2,500 in items to organizations such as Child Health Investment PartnershipTurning PointRonald McDonald House, and Goodwill. This year was record-setting for the crowds brought to campus.  Over 4,500 shoppers arrived as early as 5 a.m. and our cashiers recorded over 1,750 sales transactions.
:: Continue Reading on the Crossties Blog

Students Serve the Community

Last month, Eaton Hall students participated in the annual Middle School Community Service Day. The day started off with a gathering in the quad where students were encouraged to take their school spirit with them to their destinations, and to make sure to leave a great impression at the agencies they served. After a group cheer, we set out to serve at over 10 agencies in the Roanoke Valley.
:: Read more on the Crossties Blog

Finding Kind

Middle school and upper school girls recently joined Mrs. Leigh Ann Hamlin for a Kind Campaign Assembly in Fishburn Auditorium. Students watched the the documentary Finding Kind, which explores the lasting effects of how and how simple acts of kindness can create change. After the film girls were encouraged to write Kind Pledges and Kind Cards to promote positive actions. The ultimate purpose of the assembly was for girls to think before they speak, think about their actions, and continue to spread kindness to all. We don't all have to agree with each other, form to one another's ideas, or even like each other... but we all need to be kind. 
:: Read more on the Crossties Blog

Academic Update

Celebrating Old School in the Lower School

One of the hallmarks of third grade at North Cross is Colonial Day. Over the course of the year, students study colonial Virginia, and take field trips to Monticello and Natural Bridge. 

A few weeks ago, students in Ms. Martin and Mrs. Clark's classes dressed in colonial attire and got a real glimpse of what it was like to live in the 1600's as they made candles, wrote with quills, learned embroidery, and made hats and bonnets.

A photo gallery and video clips are posted on the Crossties Blog.
:: Continue Reading on the Crossties Blog

"I'll take Grammar for 200, Mrs. Hollandsworth."

CrossWalk students had the opportunity to "show what they know" during an exciting game of Language Jeopardy. The categories included “Syllable Types,” “Grammar,” “Spelling Rules,” “Syllable Division,” and “Blend or Digraph?” The format of the game allows students to reinforce concepts in a way that is fun and engaging.

The CrossWalk Program provides individualized instruction in language and math for bright students with dyslexia and similar language-based learning differences in grades ECP Level 3–Kindergarten through 8th grade. The goal of the program is to return students to a mainstream education fully prepared to realize their highest potential by ninth grade. Students in the program spend part of their school day in the classroom with their grade level peers.

Third Grade Trip to Monticello 

As part of their curriculum focus on Colonial Virginia, the third grade class visited Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello on April 27 with teachers Mrs. Kate Clark and Ms.Meade Martin. â€‹
:: Continue Reading on the Crossties Blog

iCAT Day at Virginia Tech 

North Cross School was one of the schools featured during iCAT Day at Virginia Tech on May 2. Deborah Jessee, Director of the Lower School, was on hand in Blacksburg for the event. Over 1,100 visitors and 350 exhibitors were in attendance. The SEAD Experience project, using the Rudyard Kipling poem “If” that lower school students participated in last March, was one of the featured projects at the event.
:: Continue Reading on the Crossties Blog

7th Graders Visit Catawba Sustainability Center

On Wednesday, May 4, the seventh-grade students accompanied Ms. Sandy Patterson and Mr. Ed Dickenson to Virginia Tech's Catawba Sustainability Center to participate in a watershed study program. The students spent the day identifying Best Management Practices for the local watershed, collecting macro-invertebrates from Catawba Creek, identifying non-native plants in the ecosystem, and chemically testing the creek to determine water quality. 
:: Continue Reading on the Crossties Blog

Teacher Features 

Mark Thompson

Patrice Sanders
Aileen Fleming
Jon Sirko

Art Update

Combined Honor Band

Earlier this month, 50 band students from North Cross and band members from area schools participated in an all-day workshop and final concert under the direction of Dr. Kathryn Voelker (in photo), the Associate Professor of Music Education at Liberty University. This was the 14th year for Combined Honor Band at North Cross School.

A video of the students performing four songs is available by clicking the link below.
:: Watch the Video on Youtube

Oklahoma! More than OK!

Visit the Crossties Blog for a gallery of photos and video clips from the student production of Oklahoma! in Fishburn Auditorium last month.

:: Read more on the Crossties Blog

Replicating Rockwell

Upper School art students visited American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell, the current major exhibition at the Taubman Museum of Art. They saw how Rockwell used expressions to capture personality and everyday life. They recreated some of Rockwell's paintings and experimented with their own expressive self portraits.  

Student Art Show in Logan Gallery

The 2016 North Cross School Student Art Show, currently on display in Logan Gallery, features works from middle and upper school art students. Projects from studio art and digital art classes are part of the show. The show will be on display until May 30.

Athletic Update

Raiders vs. Raiders for Baseball Semi-Finals

The Varsity Baseball team defeated Roanoke Catholic in the opening round of the VISAA Division III tournament on Monday afternoon. Justin Jensen ’16 was on the mound for the Raiders and turned in a two-hit shutout in the 8-0 victory. Josh Greenway ’17 had a two-run triple to open up a 3-0 lead in the third inning.

The team will travel to Colonial Heights tomorrow to play #1 seeded Raiders of Southampton Academy. The game begins at 4:30 p.m. at Shepherd Stadium. If the team advances to the championship game, the players will travel to Richmond on Friday. If you are in the Colonial Heights area, come out to support the Raiders tomorrow and cheer our team on to the state championship.

Photo from
:: Click to read the full story at

Boys’ Tennis Wins Conference

Last Saturday, the Boys’ Varsity Tennis team won the VIC championship by defeating 5-1. The team will move on to the state tournament with hopes of successfully defending their state title.

Lacrosse Advances to State Semi-Finals

The Varsity Lacrosse team will compete in the VISAA State Tournament tomorrow against Covenant School. The match will be at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland at 3 p.m. If the team wins, the players will advance to the final round of the tournament on Saturday. That game will also be played at Randolph-Macon. Wish the Raiders luck this weekend!

Class News and Notes

David Willis ’77 Passes Away

David D. H. Willis, Sr. ’77, (in photo from the 1977 yearbook) passed away Tuesday night after a battle with cancer. David was a member of the Board of Trustees for 16 years, Past President of the Alumni Association, and the recipient of the 2002 Alumni Service Award. David is the husband of Cydney Willis and the father of five sons, Denton ’04, Marshall ’06, James ’09, Keith ’15, and Blake ’17. His siblings are Elizabeth W. Revette ’74Keith ’76, and Mary Holman ’80. We offer our most heartfelt condolences to the Willis family. 

Reconnect with Alumni at Soaring Ridge

Come out to Soaring Ridge Brewery on Thursday, June 9 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. for our summer alumni social. This will be a great opportunity catch-up with old friends, and meet fellow alumni in the Roanoke Valley. We would love to see as many classes as possible represented at this event. First drink is on us!

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