Innovation involves more than science—the arts are critical disciplines for prompting originality when creating a product. To provide a creative outlet for students with a variety of skillsets, The Steward School hosted its first Arts and Technology Hackathon in the Cramer Center on Saturday, November 5.
Improvements to mathematics education are greatly needed in the United States. According to research posted by youcubed, a Stanford University center that provides free math education resources, a high percentage of students in grades K-12 and college are struggling in math classes. In addition, less than two percent of college graduates are earning math degrees. These statistics seem overwhelming, but for Stanford Professor of Mathematics Education Jo Boaler, these numbers serve as inspiration for change.
Monday, October 17 was an incredible day for Steward Athletics. 80 golfers and 33 sponsors participated in the annual Ray Tate Spartan Golf Classic at Hermitage Country Club. The event raised a net amount of more than $37,000 for the Spartan Club to benefit Steward’s athletic programs, matching last year’s record. In addition, Steward parent Steve Thomas hit a hole in one! He and his wife, Donna, are the new owners of a 2016 Toyota Tundra Courtesy of McGeorge Toyota!
Rumors can be deadly. The Steward School’s fall production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, which runs Thursday, October 20 through Saturday, October 22 at 7 p.m., will show audiences just how toxic hearsay can become for a community.
On Friday, October 14, Upper School Dean of Student Support Livia McCoy was honored with the 2016 Sally K. Boese Distinguished Service Award by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) at its annual conference at the Hilton Richmond Hotel. The annual award is given in honor of Dr. Sally K. Boese, who served as executive director of VAIS for 24 years.
Robyn D’Onofrio has been selected as the new varsity girls basketball coach. Coach D’Onofrio is an experienced player who competed for four years during her undergraduate years at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. She became a basketball official/referee last year.
Lexus of Richmond, in collaboration with iHeartMedia, 1140 WRVA, Sports Radio 910, and FOX TV Richmond, has announced that Steward senior Summer Owens has qualified for the 22nd Annual Pursuit of Perfection Leadership Award, which recognizes “RVA’s most talented scholar-athletes.” As week three’s qualifying award winner, Summer will receive a plaque, will be interviewed live on WRVA (8:22 a.m.) and Fox Sports 910 (8:35 a.m.) on Wednesday, October 12, and will be featured in a Fox 35 News segment.
Shawn Morrison has been selected to lead our Development Office. As the director of development, he will lead the school’s fundraising efforts, serve on Steward’s executive leadership team, and work with the Board of Trustees on philanthropy.
Samantha Collins has been selected as the new varsity girls field hockey coach. Coach Collins is an experienced player who started coaching in 2009 with a JV team at Midlothian High School. She competed regionally and nationally for five years as a coach for travel league Allied Fusion and coaches U-12 to U-19 teams with the Richmond Strikers Field Hockey program.
During the month of May, seniors Chaise Johnson, Theron Powell, and Ashley McCreary signed letters of intent to participate in collegiate-level athletic programs in fall 2016. They were preceded by the signings of seniors Kam Smith and BK Stancil, which occurred in November and April respectively.
Update (6-10-16): Since the publication of this article, the VISAA named Class of 2016 alumnus Owen Carter the Division 2 State Player of the Year and varsity golf coach Catesby Jones the Division 2 Coach of the Year. In addition, Class of 2016 alumnus Andrew Farlow was named second team All State. Congratulations to all of you!
During the 2015-16 school year, top local publications honored The Steward School with several awards, recognizing our academic and extracurricular programming as well as our status as a top workplace.
At a time when the world population is growing but available farmland is shrinking, food innovation and agricultural production are more important than ever, according to Todd Haymore, Virginia secretary of agriculture and forestry under Governor Terry McAuliffe.
Following the final performance of this year’s spring musical, Pippin, on Saturday, April 16, Upper School Theatre teacher and Pippin Director Craig Smith and Middle School Theatre teacher Susan Sanford announced the play season for the 2016-17 school year to a gathering of Steward students, families, and other play attendees. The season will include a current Broadway hit, a play presented for the first time in Richmond, and a musical featuring students from K-12.
On April 1, senior Bryan “BK” Stancil signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Averett University in Danville, Va. Surrounded by a large group of family, friends, Steward supporters, and teammates, the second baseman committed to playing for the Cougars when he begins college in fall 2016.
While many children in Richmond were still sleeping, the Bryan Innovation Lab played host to nearly 40 students who would rather spend their Saturday morning writing code.
Art students in grades JK-12 are using the power of the brush to benefit Richmond’s furry community.
UPDATE 11.2.2016: Athletic Turf and Field Manager Mark Roberts has passed an exam to become a Certified Sports Field Manager (CSFM), a certification held by only 207 people in the nation and four people in the state of Virginia. Click here to read more about the CSFM program.
At the annual Board, Faculty, and Staff Dinner on Thursday, February 18, several awards were presented to members of the Steward family. The ninth annual Paul R. Cramer Award, given in memory of the former Steward headmaster to a faculty member who best embraces the characteristics of “balance, perspective, and humor,” was given to Middle School Coordinator, history teacher, and golf coach Catesby Jones.
Jim Tyler has been selected as the new boys varsity lacrosse coach. Mr. Tyler is an experienced player and coach who has coached students for the last five years as director of the Southside for Geronimo Lacrosse.
On Thursday, January 14, five members of the Steward community joined the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame at the second annual induction ceremony and reception. Alumni, former and current faculty and staff members, and other community members attended the celebration.
Upper School science teacher Laura Akesson was honored with the 2015 Virginia Association of Science Teacher’s Recognition in Science Education Award for Physics on November 20.
Grade 11 students in Laura Akesson’s Biomedical Design class take the concept of hands-on learning literally. This past fall, students were challenged to build and successfully operate prosthetic arms with only rudimentary materials, including wood, springs, nails, hinges, rubber bands, and strings.
On November 16, senior Kamron Smith signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Northern Illinois University with an athletic scholarship. Surrounded by a large group of family, friends, Steward supporters, and teammates, the shortstop committed to playing for the Huskies when he begins college in fall 2016.
We are proud to announce a Steward milestone: 27 Steward students and alumni were recently named AP Scholars—including one National AP Scholar—by the College Board, and two current seniors have been named Commended Scholars by the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Nine Steward seniors were inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS) on October 21: Kara Bright, Baker Dewey, Zoe Dwelle, Laura Hamilton, Julie Iuorno, Taylor Leahy, Rachel Ragan, Anna Woodfin, and Aubrey Woods. There will be another ceremony in the spring for new junior and senior members.
Senior Owen Carter has big golf aspirations, and he may be one step closer to his dream after placing thirteenth out of 71 at the IZOD American Junior Golf Association championship this past August.
Binders, backpacks, notebooks, colored pencils, crayons, and more fill the Vantre family’s garage. Drew Vantre, a fourth-grade student at The Steward School, and his three siblings collected bins of art and school supplies over the course of the summer. It’s all part of a community project the Vantre kids created called Just Drew It.
Lee Kallman '91, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, became involved in planning the event in 2011. Mr. Kallman was profiled in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of Crossroads, The Steward School magazine—to view the issue, click here.
Associate Head of School Lisa Dwelle was named a finalist for a 2015 Virginia CFO Award by Virginia Business magazine at a ceremony on June 23 at the Jefferson Hotel. Mrs. Dwelle was one of five finalists in the large nonprofit organization category; the award was presented to Steven G. McAllister from Washington and Lee University. Mrs. Dwelle was chosen as a finalist from an overall field of 45 nominees, and she was the only finalist in the category from the greater Richmond area.
During the past week, The Steward School has celebrated the accomplishments of all students for the 2014-15 school year, especially the classes of 2022, 2019, and 2015. Thirty-nine fifth graders were recognized at the Lower School Recognition Assembly on Thursday, May 28. During the ceremony, Grace Compton and Ethan Reed presented the fifth-grade gift—a donation to the Lower School classroom libraries—to Head of School Dan Frank. In addition to musical selections (the Class of 2022 sang “This is My Time” with a solo by Zoe Macgill and “Helping Me Grow” with solos by Lauren Currin and Jonah Barzel) and a fun slideshow complete with baby photos that celebrated each student, awards for punctuality, subject excellence, and overall academic achievement were presented along with The Lower School Award—given each year to the member of the Lower School who, in the opinion of the faculty, best exemplifies extraordinary effort, cooperation, and school spirit—presented to Alaina Jefferson.
Senior Nic Enright achieved a major milestone today, as he was named the Gatorade Virginia Baseball Player of the Year. Nic is the first Steward School athlete to achieve this honor, and he joins other baseball greats such as Derek Jeter and Chipper Jones, who were named their respective states’ Gatorade Players of the Year. Nic has committed to playing baseball for the Virginia Tech Hokies in the fall, however, it is widely anticipated that he could be drafted by a Major League Baseball team in June.
Steward's baseball program reached another milestone on Friday, May 22, when senior Ryan Doggett signed with North Carolina A&T. Surrounded by family, friends, Steward supporters, and teammates, Ryan signed his name to play for the Aggies. The first baseman is the fifth member of the 2014 State Championship team to commit to a college baseball program.
Lower School teacher Lyn Lunsford was named one of Henrico County’s top 20 teachers in Henrico Citizen (click here for the article). Mrs. Lunsford currently teaches second grade, but she has also taught first grade at Steward, and she pioneered the junior kindergarten program in 2010. Mrs. Lunsford graduated from St. Catherine’s School and the College of William & Mary. She taught at Collegiate for several years before moving to Boston, then later taught in Los Angeles and Ridgewood, New Jersey. While living in New Jersey, she participated in the Reading and Writing Project at Columbia Teacher’s College in New York. Her family returned to Richmond in 2003, when Mrs. Lunsford joined the Steward faculty, and her daughters became Spartans.
Managing Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to announce that The Steward School, in Richmond, Virginia is among the 2015 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees.
The Steward School was nominated by Virginia Department of Education with three pillars of supporting information:
- Pillar I: Reduce environmental impact and costs
- Pillar II: Improve the health and wellness of students and staff
- Pillar III: Provide effective environmental and sustainability education
The application included details about how the pillars are incorporated: “Our curriculum is oriented to help students understand world issues through knowledge in three specific areas: the natural and built environment, health and wellness, and energy and resources. These areas of context studied together give students an opportunity to view themselves and the applied topics from the perspective of a world systems approach. As we apply real-world challenges to the curriculum, we are also focused on developing the skills sets for our students to become problem solvers, innovators, and leaders in solving environmental and resource issues. The school’s green initiative movement has produced a reduction in GHG emissions of 12.4 percent.”
Head of School Dan Frank said, “We are thrilled and honored to be included in this Green Ribbon group. We see sustainability and concern for the wider community, both locally and regionally, as integral to our school’s mission, and as imperative to the students’ program of learning and service.”
In total, across the country, 58 schools and 14 districts were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways. In addition, 9 colleges and universities were honored for the Postsecondary Sustainability Award. Duncan and Goldfuss made the announcement at the U.S. Department of Education, in Washington, DC.
“These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments,” Duncan said. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement. We also are thrilled to add institutions of higher education to the list of honorees this year for the first time in the award’s history.”
The schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 30 state education agencies, with honorees selected from 28 jurisdictions. The list of 81 total selectees includes 52 public schools and six private schools. The public schools include two charter and three magnet schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 35 elementary, 19 middle and 17 high schools are among them, with several schools having various K-12 configurations, from 28 of the nominating authorities. Forty-seven percent of the 2015 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body, 22 percent are rural, and one-third of the postsecondary institutions are community colleges. The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 81 honorees can be found here.
On April 15, the focus was on health, nutrition, and entrepreneurship at The Steward School. Health Warrior, the locally-founded company with chia seeds and the #1-selling Chia Bar at its core, spearheaded a day of health-related information on campus.
At the first annual Pancakes for a Purpose event on March 21, the two inaugural recipients of the Debbie Robson Merit Scholarship were announced. Congratulations to Morgan King and Aayush Lalwaney! Both students will be ninth graders at Steward in the fall of 2015 and will receive four years of full tuition in the Upper School.
It was announced last week that reading-and-writing expert Nancie Atwell, founder of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) in Edgecomb, Maine, was awarded the Global Teacher Prize from the Varkey Foundation. For one week in February 2013, fifth-grade teacher Becky Groves, fourth-grade teacher Chris Tickle, former teacher Lisa Moore, and Director of Curriculum JK-12 Nancy Negus served as interns at Ms. Atwell’s small school of 80 students and have been incorporating her ideas into Steward’s language arts curriculum ever since.
The Steward School chapter of the National Honor Society tapped 23 new members and welcomed one transfer student from another chapter on Wednesday, February 25. According to chapter sponsor Leslie Kovach, 36 students were asked to apply, which is the largest number in Steward’s history. The Faculty Council, consisting of Upper School teachers John Alley, Amy Cooper, Todd Serr, Terri Shelton, Elizabeth Simpson, and Mrs. Kovach, uses a very careful and deliberate process to select the inductees.
At the annual Board, Faculty, and Staff Dinner on Monday, February 23, several special awards were presented to members of the Steward family. The eighth annual Paul R. Cramer Award, given in memory of the former Steward headmaster to the faculty member who best embraces the characteristics of “balance, perspective, and humor” he celebrated, was given to music teacher Bonnie Anderson.
Sarah Severn, recently retired director of stakeholder mobilization at Nike, Inc., visited The Steward School on Wednesday, February 11 to promote the idea of corporate care for the environment. Ms. Severn worked at Nike for 21 years and spearheaded the company’s efforts to make itself sustainable. At Steward, she met with student groups of all ages throughout the day and spoke to attendees from the community in the evening.
The students on Chris Lundberg’s FIRST Tech Robotics Team—known as the “Spartabots”—participated in the FIRST Tech Challenge Northern Regional Competition at Orange County High School on Saturday, January 31. The team placed twelfth out of 26 teams, winning three out of five matches. The Spartabots were competitive (ranked in the top five teams) for the first three rounds of the event; however, a broken axle on the robot during round four eventually knocked them out of the elimination round. The team included 15 Steward students: team captain Matt Gelber and his fellow seniors Henry Harrell and Adam Mickle; juniors Mary Madison Andrews, Kara Bright, Abigail Herring, and Cameron Simpson; sophomores Alex Lee and Davis Mohar; freshmen Xzavier Caldwell, Peter Clevenger, Chris Dellosso, and Randolph Reazin; eighth-grader Jessica Shedden; and seventh-grader Nik Bright.
The Steward School’s baseball program reached another milestone on Friday, January 23, when senior player Jay Charity signed with Roanoke College. Surrounded by family, friends, and teammates, Jay happily signed his name on the dotted line to play for the Maroons. He is the fourth member of the 2014 State Championship team to commit to a college baseball program.
Junior Chaise Johnson was honored by fellow students on Friday, January 16, for reaching the 1,000 career point milestone. Entering the game against The Covenant School of Charlottesville in late December, Johnson needed only a handful of points to reach 1,000. His 1,000th point came on a three-pointer with an assist from teammate Jack Trepp.
Johnson, playing his third year of varsity basketball, is proud to have reached a goal that many basketball players strive to achieve. “I couldn’t have reached this goal without the help of my teammates. The confidence they have instilled in me made it a lot easier…that and a lot of hard work,” said Johnson.
Johnson achieved this accomplishment through hard work and dedication, two things his mentor and former UVA standout and NBA player Cory Alexander stresses for him. “I think of Cory’s advice when I work with Coach [Jamiel] Allen at my 5 a.m. workouts,” Johnson said.” I also work out after school with the team. I’ve put a lot of hours in to work on my game.”
When asked what advice he’d give to a younger athlete, Johnson responded, “I have a great amount of respect for [NBA player] Kevin Durant. He says that ‘hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.’ I think that applies to all aspects of life, and hard work is one of the values my mother has instilled in me.” He also advises younger players to make sure they have fun while playing. “The game gets more serious, but it is important to have fun. Use the game; don’t let the game use you,” said Johnson.
Johnson joins an elite group of Steward athletes who have accomplished this goal. Jennifer Keller ’88 and Cheryl Mayers Hinton ’95 accomplished the feat during their time at Steward. Mike Edwards ’03 was the first boys varsity player to reach the 1,000-point mark; Pat Branin ’11 and Adjehi Baru ’11 reached the goal as seniors in 2011.
Johnson was also honored at the school’s Lower School Jamboree on January 9, when he was given a ball marked with his accomplishment. Immediately after receiving the ceremonial ball, Johnson walked over and gave the prize to his mother. “She has always encouraged me, and I wanted to share the moment with her,” he said.
Johnson, the team’s leading scorer, has all of next year to add to his career point total. Director of Athletics Bob Stratton said, “The Steward School is proud of Chaise’s accomplishments, and we are looking forward to the many great things in Chaise’s future.”
The Richmond Times-Dispatch posted an article about Chaise’s accomplishment on January 21.
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the Steward community put its best foot forward to make a difference in Richmond. The Children’s Hospital of Richmond, the Hospital Hospitality House, and Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School are the main recipients of our efforts this year, and all of the students, faculty, and staff pitched in to help others during our annual “day on” to continue Dr. King’s legacy.
The Steward School’s athletic program took a giant leap forward—with a look backward—on January 15 when it inaugurated the Hall of Fame. At a special dedication ceremony, five honorees were inducted in the first class. In his remarks, Director of Athletics Bob Stratton said, “After one-and-a-half years of thought and preparation, it is exciting to finally recognize The Steward School Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2015. A school’s Athletic Hall of Fame is a chance to recognize the best of the best, as contributors, student-athletes, or coaches. I am honored and humbled to be a part of the process and only hope this will become a major milestone in the deep and rich heritage and history of The Steward School.”
We asked the Steward community, "How do you know when it's the holidays?" Everyone wrote their answers on a flag and planted them on the Wilton Hall lawn, spelling out a festive message for the 2016 holiday season.
We live in a world surrounded by technology, and we know that whatever career fields our students choose to enter as adults, their abilities to succeed will increasingly hinge on understanding how technology works. With that thought in mind, during Computer Science Education Week (December 8-14), The Steward School joined the largest learning event in history—the Hour of Code. This worldwide event has involved more than 78 million students so far.
Steward welcomed a renowned speaker to the Middle and Upper School assembly on Wednesday, December 10—Special Olympics athlete and global messenger Frank Stephens. Mr. Stephens spoke at Steward in 2012 at the suggestion of junior Meg Trepp, who is an active volunteer with the organization. He gained international recognition during the 2012 presidential campaign, following an exchange with commentator Ann Coulter, who used the word “retard” and drew feedback from the Special Olympics.
On Wednesday, November 12, senior baseball player Nic Enright signed with the Hokies of Virginia Tech today before a crowd of family, friends, and Steward supporters. In a Virginia Tech tie and baseball cap, Nic beamed as he signed the scholarship agreement. “I’m excited and can’t thank my parents and coaches enough,” Nic said. “It’s 17 years of hard work put in for the next stage of my career.”
Visiting Innovator Paul Andersen, the 2011 Montana Teacher of the Year and a YouTube EDUGuru with 25 million views and 125 million subscribers, shared his wisdom about learning through the lens of video games with the Middle and Upper School students on Wednesday, November 5. He taught the audience a technique called Memory Palace to help them remember the “five Fs” of learning: fail, focus, flow, fight, and friends.
A team of Steward teachers was awarded a Partners in the Arts grant from the University of Richmond this past March, which provided the opportunity to host Steve Tanimoto as the first visiting innovator of the school year. The faculty members and several of their classes worked with Dr. Tanimoto for two days this week—Laura Akesson (AP Physics and Biomedical Design), John Alley (Photography), Jennifer Maitland (Algebra I and Algebra II), Rugene Paulette (Upper School Art), and Cary Jamieson (Director of the Bryan Innovation Lab).
Lower School students showed off their crazy socks, jerseys, college and Steward t-shirts, while grades 6-12 dressed for Character Day, Baby or Boomer Day, and Decade Day with major style. On Friday, everyone caught blue-and-gold fever, and each Upper School grade decorated a hallway in a different decade’s theme. It was a fantastic trip back in time!
The Spartan Club proudly presented the Ray Tate Student-Athlete Scholarship to two senior athletes during Upper School assembly on October 6. Zachary Beigel and Emily Parris received this award for their outstanding contributions to Steward athletics and school life during their time here.