School news for March 23

Can’t wait for college

While most high school students strive towards the eventual goal of a high school diploma, some aim a little higher, striving to earn a diploma AND get a head start on their college credits. Thanks to the increased offering of dual enrollment and advanced placement classes at Rappahannock County High School, along with the ability to take classes at local community colleges, in person or online, those individuals who have the desire to earn college credits in high school now have the opportunity.

Recently three RCHS students were recognized for realizing just such an opportunity, with all three of them earning 33 college credit hours concurrent with their high school classwork. All three receives Governor’s Scholars Certificates; Julia Estes and Joshua Racer were honored with a Governor’s Medallion while Kayla Robey was honored with a Pre-Allied Health Pin. The awards were given in recognition of the college credit hours earned by all three Rapp Students while simultaneously completing their high school curriculum.

RCHS Principal Michael Tupper, Senior Kayla Robey, Senior Josh Racer, Senior Julia Estes. Photo by Janet Robey

Lord Fairfax Community College will hold a student recognition ceremony for all Governor’s Medallion and Pre-Allied Heath pin recipients on Sunday, April 2 at 2 PM. The RCHS students who earned these honors were honored locally in a brief cap and gown ceremony last week, attended by their parents, school administrators, and an LFCC representative.

Under the direction of Principal Michael Tupper, Guidance Counselors Michelle Papa and Dani Pond, and Central Office Director of Curriculum Shannon Grimsley, RCHS has been working diligently to increase its offerings leading to college credit. Currently RCHS offers Dual Enrollment Classes (classes taken in high school that earn college credit) in both English and History, with Math expected to be added to the mix in the 2017-18 academic year. Additionally RCHS currently offers four Advanced Placement courses in the subject areas of English, History and Government, courses also taken on site at RCHS. And RCHS students have access to a plethora of AP courses not taught in the division but available in house via the Virtual Virginia online distance learning program.

While students do have the flexibility to take LFCC college credit courses while still in high school, the goal is to offer most if not all of these credit bearing courses on school grounds, keeping our students here in Rappahannock County as long as we can. Plans are also underway to expand the certificate program career and technical education (CTE) courses currently offered primarily at LFCC campuses. The aim is to ease the scheduling conflicts inherent in taking classes at two different locations and the hope is to gradually increase the number of certificate bearing CTE classes offered on site at Rapp or locally in the community.

Getting a head start on a college diploma or a career plan is certainly a viable option for RCHS students, as Julia, Josh, Kayla and others before them have proven. As the programs improve and increase, including CTE programs, many more Rapp students look to follow those leads as they too strive to get the most out of their high school experience.

— Jimmy Swindler

RCHS spring sports

The first day of the flowering season saw spring sports action at Rapp, with Varsity Boys and Girls Soccer along with Varsity Baseball all getting in games.

Varsity Softball takes the lead story this week on the strength of their season opening win last Saturday at home over George Mason. Bolstered by the no-hit pitching of freshman Aby McClary. the Panthers showed some offensive prowess en route to an 11–1 victory over the 3A Mustangs. McClary finished the day with ten strikeouts (Ks in the parlance of the game) with just one walk to keep the Mustangs corralled while the Panther prowled the base paths all the way to the win. Softball has struggled at Rapp in the past few years but the program’s fortunes may be looking up and hopes are high that last Saturday’s victory is but the first sign of a Rapp resurgence.

Over on the baseball diamond the hardballers also took on George Mason last Saturday but the results were not quite so thrilling. The Panthers did put up three runs in the outing but gave up far more to drop their home opener against the Mustangs. Coach Mike Atkins has the largest team in recent years and, while he is still searching for the winning combination, fans are unlikely to be disappointed by the hustle and grit that our baseball Panthers will be showing.

Over on the pitch both boys and girls varsity soccer scratched out 3-3 draws with local opponent Luray High School in their only pre-season scrimmage.

On Wednesday Coach Cecil Beeler’s boys’ squad took on conference opponent Northumberland, results again too late for this article, and they travel to William Monroe on Tuesday March 28 and then to Madison on Friday March 31.

Coach Rich Hogan’s Varsity Girls’ Squad return to the home pitch next Tuesday March 28 to take on the Dragons of William Monroe and then follow that with another home match on Friday March 31 when they take on Madison County’s Mountaineers. JV Girls’ Coach Cindy White, returning to the Panther’s coaching fold after an absence of a few years, will be assisting Coach Hogan with varsity duties and leading her own team in a schedule that matches varsity.

On the Junior Panther pitch Coach Seth Wyatt returns for his fourth year and has his teams’ sights set on another Valley Middle School Conference trophy.

Varsity Track, led by Head Coach Scott Stephens and assisted by Coaches Kenny Burt and James Sharpe, has Invitationals coming up Saturday April 1 at Strasburg and then Saturday April 8 at Page County, where players will have the chance to post district, conference, region, or even state qualifying performances. Coach Stephens has another large and talented team this year and looks to continue his fifteen plus year streak of qualifying Rapp Track Athletes for the State Championship Meet.

As always, all game and practice schedules can be found on the Rapp Athletic Website at, where all the latest scores and schedules are updated as soon as possible by Athletic Director Brandon Burley and his coaches. Go Rapp!!!

Scholarship to WCDS senior

Wakefield Country Day School senior Tanner Perry, who has attended WCDS since preschool, will receive a John C. Youngblood Memorial Scholarship from the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators (VIAAA).

The Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (VIAAA) Scholarship Committee selected Wakefield Country Day School senior Tanner Perry of Rileyville to receive a John C. Youngblood Scholarship in the amount of $1,500. John C. Youngblood was the founding father of the VIAAA and NIAAA. The VIAAA awards four $1,500 scholarships annually to deserving high school seniors from all over the state. Perry was selected out of a competitive pool of independent school applicants evaluated on their athletic participation, character, leadership, and service.

He and other scholarship winners will be recognized at an awards luncheon at the annual VIAAA conference in Roanoke on March 31st.

“Tanner is very deserving of this scholarship,” said WCDS athletic director Mike Costello. “The committee was impressed not only by his academic and athletic accomplishments but also by his commitment to community service, the environment, and the sciences.”

Perry plans to pursue his passion for the sciences at Virginia Tech next fall. “We are certainly proud of Tanner for how he has represented WCDS in our classrooms, on the fields, and in the community,” added Costello. Perry joins five other past winners from WCDS in this significant recognition: Christine Pankow, Rachel DuMez, Michael O’Heir, Maeve Dale, and Shane O’Heir.

Much success at UVA Classics Day

On Saturday, March 18, Wakefield Country Day School students attended UVA Classics Day, hosted by the UVA Classics Club. Eleven WCDS students made the trip to Charlottesville where teams of Latin students from around the state gathered for a day of competition and education in the Classics. Students enjoyed competing in the Certamen (Quiz Bowl) event as well as hearing lectures and taking part in Classics themed activities.

WCDS Latin students Alex Diehl, Lincoln Day, Anika Pruntel, and Lia Feit won first place in Level I competition at UVA Classics Day on Saturday, March 18.

The Level I team, Alex Diehl, Lincoln Day, Anika Pruntel, and Lia Feit, came in 1st place in a tightly-contested finals round. The Level I Advanced team (for students in their second year of a two-part Latin I course), Peter McMahon and Eric Schuster, placed 3rd. An additional team of Beatrice Youngquist, Beverly Eborn, and Liza Dareing had a strong showing in the preliminary rounds but did not advance to finals.

The next event of the year will take place in Boyce on April 1.

Lisa Ramey

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