The RCHS Band Boosters presented a Veteran’s Day program Monday (Nov. 11) in the RCHS gymnasium, where sixth- through 12th-graders, teachers, parents, school board members, veterans and guests gathered for the program featuring speaker Bill Gadino, retired Navy commander, choral soloist Tyler Shanks and performances by the RCHS Concert Band.
Gadino specialized in cryptology and signal processing in the Navy, and spoke to students about his time in the service, and how he got to where he is today. He told of pranks among his fellow soldiers as well as more enduring experiences of wartime. Due to political unrest and national disagreement over the U.S. presence in Vietnam during his time in the service, Gadino said, soldiers almost felt ashamed for serving their country; he said he was glad to see that clearly that is not the case any longer.
Senior Tyler Shanks, accompanied by choral director Rachel Siegfried, put on a spectacular performance of “Bring Him Home” from the Broadway musical “Les Miserables.” Tyler’s performance brought many in the audience to tears, as the lyrics begged to “Bring Him Home” safe from battle, a song chosen to honor our military heroes and those who hope and pray for their safe return.
The RCHS Concert Band performed several works honoring our veterans for their service, including a service song medley entitled, “Armed Forces: The Pride of America!” This presented a touching moment for veterans to stand and be thanked by those present. RCHS Senior Davis Sheffield concluded the ceremony with a beautiful performance of the bugle call “Taps,” as the colors were retired.
The Panthers Scholastic Bowl team is in full swing with Bull Run District competitions. With few returning players and many of them pursuing other fall sports, a new team is coming together around junior captain James MacLeod.
While practices began in early August, the season officially started on Oct. 21, with a loss to perennial Bull Run champion George Mason and a win over hosts William Monroe. Last week, the Panthers traveled to Strasburg and lost by 15 to Clarke County, 170-185, before defeating Strasburg 170-130.
This Monday (Nov. 11), Rapp was victorious over Central (Woodstock) by 255-85, despite a power failure at Warren County High School. Individual scoring was 135 points for MacLeod, 20 for Henry Mason, and 10 for Jane Purnell, a junior. The team also beat Warren County in the first match ever between the two, winning 230-90 (with 125 for MacLeod, 20 for Mason, and 20 for senior Daniel Schlosser), improving Panthers’ Bull Run record to 4-2.
On Saturday (Nov. 9), Rapp competed at the UVA/VCU Collaborative Competition at New Kent Court House, with Rapp A and B teams getting experience. The Rapp A team, captained by MacLeod, won six of 10 matches, including their last five, to finish 13th of 18 teams. MacLeod also was the sixth-highest individual scorer in the tournament with an impressive 58 points per match. Rapp B captained by Schlosser also won some games.
In the Strasburg match, Rapp took a narrow 10-point lead against the hosting team in Round 1 with five correct answers from MacLeod. The directed round was 50-40 for Rapp, adding to the Panthers’ narrow lead. While the match was a real nailbiter, Rapp prevailed in Round 3, for a total of 105 points for MacLeod, 10 for Mason and 10 for Schlosser on the night.
Team captain Mac Leod agreed that the night had its rough spots, but said “overall, the team performed well.” Many players “later said they knew or could recognize more questions than they had previously imagined,” he said, crediting Mason for studying up on the fine arts, music and literature.
MacLeod said that with cross country and volleyball in post-season play and theater and band competitions, it has been hard to get a full squad to compete at all the matches. But the new talent, including eighth- and ninth-graders, “is developing in poise and skill,” he said.
Rapp hosts two matches this season, the first of which is this Monday (Nov. 18) at 5 p.m. (the second is Dec. 16). At the end of the season, there will be no Bull Run tournament for the Panthers; instead, they travel to the District 43 tournament and compete against similarly sized schools. Both athletic director Jimmy Swindler and head coach David Naser feel that the realignment boosts Panther chances for post-season success, since the Bull Run District has usually been the toughest district in the Virginia High School League.
Last Saturday (Nov. 9), the RCHS theater troupe, under the direction of award-winning director Russell Paulette, participated in the Region 1A-East Theater Festival at West Point High School, after a preparatory public performance the day before at the RCHS auditorium.
Representing the Rappahannock River Conference, Rapp’s theater team competed against seven other schools in the VHSL-sponsored competition. Each school performed a one-act play of no more than 35 minutes and was scored by the same four-judge panel. This year marks the first year in which the new VHSL school groupings are in place, effectively limiting the schools against which Rappahannock competes to those with no more than 475 students.
The RCHS drama club took third place and an overall superior ranking. Jane Purnell won honorable mention actress honors and Justin Smith brought home the first-ever 1A East Regional Actor award!
The club presented “Kaleidoscope,” a play based on a Ray Bradbury story and similar in many ways to a movie in current release. Not your typical high school production, “Kaleidoscope” tells the story of astronauts marooned in space and simulates the effect with a near complete blackout, both on the stage and in the auditorium.
Dealing with many emotions, not the least of which are fear and loneliness, the actors in Rappahannock’s production delivered a powerful performance in what could be called minimalist fashion. No showy costumes, no elaborate props — just the individuals seemingly floating in space voicing their emotions to the “stars” of the audience.
More than 25 students were involved with the play’s production, in everything from speaking parts to flashlight operators. The cast had been hard at work rehearsing since the end of August. No doubt about it — theater is alive and well in the RCHS drama department!
Radford University inducted five Highlander student-athletes into its Athletics Hall of Fame during a dinner and ceremony last month — among them the Radford men’s lacrosse standout, and now Rappahannock County High School teacher and coach, Rich Hogan.
Credited with helping establish men’s lacrosse as a club sport while a student at Radford, Hogan emerged as one of the most prolific scorers in the program’s history once it transitioned from a club to a varsity sport in 1979. Hogan scored 70 goals over a two-year span and stood, at that time, as the program’s all-time leader in goals, assists and points. As a junior in the inaugural varsity season, he scored 43 goals in just eight games. The 1980 graduate followed that with an MVP senior season in which he tallied 27 goals, 11 assists and 38 points.
Amissville resident Hogan is a career and technical education teacher and coaches football, basketball and varsity girls’ soccer. He has served as the president of the Rappahannock County School Sports Association for seven years and the commissioner of the county’s soccer association for six years.
Come out and support the 4-H Leadership Club this weekend, when club members are hosting a bake sale at the Old Hollow Store, selling cakes, breads and cookies for a $1 each from 11 to 2 on Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 16-17). The club’s goal is $300, enough to support “adopting” a child with the Christmas Cherub program as well as paying for a club snow-tubing trip. Malinda Fisher, leader of the 4-H Leadership Club, is also manager of the Old Hollow Store and would like community members to stop by and see the new place. Bring your computer and enjoy free wifi as you sip your coffee and eat some delicious homemade baked goods while helping a good cause — a win-win for everyone.
Also, the 4-H Livestock Club (ages 9 to 18) meets 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. every third Monday at the Extension office; the next meeting is Nov. 18. Club members will learn how to raise, care for and show livestock animals at the Culpeper-Madison-Rappahannock Farm Show, and can earn money from their sales.
The Amissville Community Club (ages 5 to 18) meets 6 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month at Bethel Baptist Church; the next meeting is a week early — Nov. 21 — due to Thanksgiving being on the last Thursday of the month. Kids in this club may make a craft, try a new recipe or play games. Jennifer Gray has led this club for more than 20 years.
For more information about 4-H programs in Rappahannock County, please call the Extension office at 540-675-3619.
The Rappahannock County 4-H is also offering workshops beginning this winter, with more coming this spring. Workshops are age and subject specific, and each workshop will be held once or twice at Hearthstone School. (Buses from RCES are available.) To join a workshop, call the Extension office (540-675-3619) and complete the enrollment forms. If you have a skill that you would like to share with youth in Rappahannock County, consider leading a 4-H workshop! For more information, call the Extension office.
This year’s Photography Class (ages 9 to 12) is led by Hearthstone teacher Torry Keane. The workshop meets from 3:45 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 6. In this beginner photography class, students will be working with light and color. A digital or film camera is perfect for this workshop.
The Lantern Art workshop (K-2) is taught by Hearthstone teacher Sylvie Blank and former 4-H Cloverbud leader Rebekka Korte. It meets from 3:45 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 10 at the Extension office. This class will create lanterns with tissue paper that can be used as a decoration or nightlight. Participants are invited to bring their lanterns to Hearthstone’s annual “Lantern Walk” at 5 p.m. Dec. 19 in Washington.
The Dance/Movement/Drama/Cooperative Games (grades 1-3) workshop is led by Kitty Keller Keyser, Hearthstone School and Mountainside Dance teacher and meets from 3:45 to 5 p.m. Jan. 23 and 30. This class is structured to enhance learning abilities. Students should wear comfortable, loose comfortable clothing and bring a snack and water bottle.
Hearthstone teacher Samantha Whitesides leads the Music with Handbells workshop (grades 4-6) from 3:45 to 5:15 p.m. Feb. 21. Participants will learn the basics of using hand-bells, music notation, rhythm, dynamics and tempo. Other percussive instruments, singing and movement will also be incorporated.
George Hampton Massie, Jr., an eighth-grader at Highland School, was one of the top scoring participants of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) 2013 International Talent Search. His math scores placed him in the top three percent nationally (when compared to a general population sample of 12th graders), and qualified him to participate in CTY’s Intensive Studies Program.
The CTY program is designed for students who are ready for intense college-level course work and accelerated study in specific disciplines. The three-week courses engage students in the same amount of material that would normally be covered in a semester-long college course.
Massie is the son of Washington residents Katherine and George Massie.