School and sports news for Oct. 4

One win, one tough week for Lady Panthers

The Lady Panthers ended a tough week with three consecutive matches and posted two losses and a win. At home last Tuesday (Sept. 25), the ladies fell to George Mason, 3-0. “The girls started out strong,” said coach Courtney Atkins, “but somewhere along the way, our communication dwindled and that led to our defeat.”

On the heels of disappointment, a resurrected Rappahannock traveled to Manassas Park (Sept. 26) for a solid victory, 3-0. “We finally got a great win that we really needed,” said junior Kaitlyn Jenkins. “Every player played strong. We talked and communicated a lot more than we usually do. Even though we were slightly slower in our first game, we realized we could really have it. So, we stepped it up in the second game, and that’s how we beat them. Maddie [Kopjanski] had a lot of great blocks, and Amber [Dodson] was working hard in the back row. Peyton [Bailey], Shelby [Burnett] and I had a lot of kills. We played like we actually know how to!”

“We dominated the Cougars and ended the match with 16 kills,” said Atkins. “I always tell the girls that our game starts with a good pass, which leads to a good set, which ultimately leads to a strong attack. This game proved that wins happen when we communicate and nail our basic skills.”

Thursday night (Sept. 27), the Panthers traveled to Clarke and took their second defeat of the week. “Some really great plays happened during our match,” Atkins said. “The ladies really fought a good battle in the second set. Unfortunately, we were ultimately defeated when we couldn’t overcome a few service runs and big middle hits. These girls are resilient and will work hard in our upcoming practices to turn things around.”

Freshman Wood first in Single A group

In this year’s Stonewall Jackson Invitational (Sept. 29), Rappahannock pounded the New Market Battlefield course among 24 schools representing Single A, Double A and Triple A competitors. The triumph of the day came from freshman Julia Wood, who took third overall and earned first place for Single A schools.

“It was a very crowded start,” coach James Sharpe said, “but Julia pushed her way through and got up to the front. She ran a really smart race, especially between second, third and fourth place runners. That grouping went back and forth, but she kept a good pace. Finally, coming down the last stretch, Julia put herself in position to be ahead of the girl from Strasburg. She gave herself a 10-second lead in the last quarter-mile. The other girls ran great races, too – passing some other runners, running hard all the way to the finish.”

The iPads have it

Recently at Rappahannock County High School, iPad tablets found their way into the hands of every eighth-grade student and eighth-grade teacher.

Over the summer, curriculum development gave teachers resources to effectively use the new technology in instruction. Selected educators discovered apps and online sites to correlate with the Virginia Standards of Learning, while developing plans to incorporate more 21st-century learning skills into instruction. In hopes of making the iPad opportunity more meaningful, students were given a separate training in September, and are now actively using their new devices.

The iPad is “a tool to enhance instruction in the classroom and at home for the students,” said educational technology coordinator Robin Bolt.

“While I haven’t yet explored the deeper depths of the iPad,” said English teacher Alex Coffroth, “they have already been useful with vocabulary and the dictionary apps. Students are using them to learn challenging words. I am looking forward to future units involving entire projects on the iPad.”

Soldiers demonstrate camp life for students

The Rappahannock County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee hosted the inaugural Rappahannock County Civil War Heritage Days near the county Visitors Center last Saturday (Sept. 29). The day before the official event, the committee extended a special invitation to area schools and opened the reenactor encampment to teachers and students.

Reenactors portraying both Union and Confederate soldiers helped students understand the common soldier and his life in camp. Students from Rappahannock County Elementary School and Hearthstone School were among the attendees Friday morning (Sept. 28), where the groups learned the function of many items in a soldier’s haversack, on the uniforms and inside the camp itself. From bayonets to the tin cup, elementary students went home with a new knowledge of the War Between the States.

New assessment for pre-AP English

Students in the Pre-AP English 10 semester course participated in a multi-faceted form of assessment designed by the College Board, the organization that directs the national Advanced Placement programs.

Kayla McGhee shows off her sophomore pre-AP project, a depiction, with Play-Doh characters, of elements of her personal culture and her life. Photo by Melissa Delcour.
Kayla McGhee shows off her sophomore pre-AP project, a depiction, with Play-Doh characters, of elements of her personal culture and her life. Photo by Melissa Delcour.

In the assessment, students created a three-dimensional display of items that represented their personal culture. After the design, development, and completion stages, each individual crafted an oral presentation for their peers, submitted a written component, and took part in the gallery walk at the end of the two-day experience.

Beyond the skills of writing, presenting, and interpreting, the students discovered the complexities of themselves and their peers. In the final written reflection, consensus was: “We like this type of assessment.”