School news for Jan. 18

Rappahannock ‘Brain Stars’

Commit to Be Fit has officially opened the door of the Action Based Learning Lab — as in brain research — for Rappahannock County Elementary School students.

The lab is based on current brain research showing a strong link between movement and learning.

According to Jackie Tederick, RCPS Teacher and Commit to Be Fit Coordinator, “the brain science supporting the lab is fascinating. Movement helps the brain create new pathways for enhanced learning. We are excited to see how this lab will help the students in areas such as memory retrieval and test preparation.”

RCPS students are experiencing the health benefits between movement and learning — and how they benefit the brain. By Holly Jenkins

The lab is structured in a series of ten stations. Each station focuses on a specific movement patterns, or foundations, that have been shown to benefit the brain. These foundations include vestibular development, proprioception, cross lateralization, balance, gross motor, fine motor, visual tracking, rhythm and beat, strength and endurance, and cardio.

Students start with basic movements such as spinning and balance walking and progress to move difficult movement patterns. Once movement patterns are mastered, the lab will integrate current classroom curriculum to further develop key learning concepts.

According to Commit to Be Fit’s Wellness Integration Specialist, Holly Jenkins, “Our lab’s theme is Brain Stars. We recently created an online database for teachers to access various activities that they can do in their own classrooms to further promote these important movement foundations. We named this database Brain STAR (Strengthening through Action Repetition). We love the name because it inspires kids to be a star in the lab and in the classrooms. We all want to be Brain Stars, right?”

Tederick added, “We are grateful to the PATH Foundation for providing the grant that made this all possible. In addition we are thankful to the school administrators that embraced this concept and put it into the regular exploratory rotation. This support allows all primary students to receive the benefits of the lab on a regular basis.”

While the lab is very structured in specific movement patterns and based in current research, the students think it is fun and enjoy the extra physical activity provided by the lab. According to one student, “This is my new favorite classroom.” Another student enthusiastically added, “This makes me want to come to school.”

For additional information on the action based learning lab or Commit to Be Fit, visit

Logo winner

Congratulations to RCHS 9th grade student Eve Vandrey for winning the logo contest for the “Rapp Tomorrow, Read Today” brochure.

By Holly Jenkins

Seen here, RCPS Superintendent Shannon Grimsley and Kevin Brandriff, executive director of the Headwaters Foundation, present Eve with a certificate of recognition during Tuesday’s school board meeting.

— Holly Jenkins

Rapp sports

Rapp Athletes had a busy week in winter sports, with wins aplenty and solid signs of yet more to come.

Boys basketball leads the news this week, with Coach Colton Ball’s Junior Panther team getting first mention on the strength of their 8 and oh record. The team added two more W’s to their total last week with victories over Peter Muhlenburg and Luray Middle Schools. Mason Ramey led the scoring in both games, with ten points apiece, followed closely by Grant Lillard who had 9 and 8 points respectively. Matthew Pullen also tallied 8 points in the Luray game, a contest which saw 8 Rapp players get on the board with points.

The team returns to the home court today, Thursday Jan. 18 at 5:45 and again next Tuesday Jan. 23, at 5:45.

Our Varsity Boys are still looking for the W, having dropped contests last week at home and on the road. Despite the losses there have been highlights and bright spots, not the least of which being Junior Chad Ellis’ amazing half court plus 10 feet basket at the close of the first half in last week’s game against Stonewall Jackson. Next Wednesday they will host the Patriots of George Mason High School, tip off at 7:30 p.m.

Girls’ basketball has produced both wins and sure signs of improvement in their games over the past week. Coach Burley’s Varsity squad dropped two close games last week, at Stonewall and then at home versus Clarke. The Clarke game featured Rapp jumping out to an early lead and then getting into a 19-27 hole at the end of the third but clawing their way back in the fourth but falling just short, ending the game down by only four. Olivia Atkins was leading scorer in both games, with 10 and 16 points respectively, including going 12 of 14 from the foul line in the Clarke game while also tallying four steals. Carrington Wayland put up 9 points in each game, with four steals of her own, and Hannah East pulled down 16 rebounds in the two games. Hannah was joined by Kayla Compton and MacKenzie Clarke in the “we own the paint” club in the Clarke game with 7 rebounds each of their own.

Coach Jeff Atkins’ Junior Varsity squad tallied two wins in the past week, at Stonewall and then at home over the Eagles of Clarke County. Miranda Jenkins was leading scorer in both games with 14 and 12 respectively. Tori Atkins added 8 against the Generals while Jordan Welch had 11, Olivia Schulen 8 and Tori 6 against the Eagles. And Coach also noted Sara Beth Ellis’ ball handling skills in the Clarke game where she effortlessly and continuously was able to break through Clarke’s pressure defense.

Both Varsity and JV girls’ teams return to the home court Feb. 1 when they host the Rams of Strasburg, JV tipoff at 6.

Wrestling Coaches Paul Paratore and Kreighton Long took their grapplers to a tournament at John Handley High School last weekend, bringing home some wins against much bigger schools and solidifying their resolve to get back to the state meet next month. Friday night of the tournament was a JV jamboree event and Rapp Wrestlers Ethan Leake and Billy Taplin fared very well, Ethan winning 3 matches and finishing 2nd place in his weight class while Billy notched 2 JV wins.

In Saturday’s varsity meets, five Rapp wrestlers found victory on the mat: Jeasean Yates, Billy Taplin, Johnny Beard, Dalton Renner, and Christian Poffenbarger, who had the best showing of the day, taking second place in his weight division with four wins, two of them being pins.

The wrestlers will be close to home this Saturday, Jan. 20, participating in an Invitational Tournament at Culpeper County High School.

Scholastic Bowl

Coach Dave Naser has been prepping his Scholastic Bowl team for their upcoming Bull Run District Championship Tournament, to be held at RCHS on Monday Jan. 22. The first match will begin at 5 p.m. and the public is invited to come and see if they are smarter than a high schooler, with the likely result being that the public will realize just how smart our high schoolers really are!

A.D. Burley and his talented cast of coaches and players hope to see the Rapp faithful at upcoming games and hope you will join the cheerleaders in urging the teams to win one for the home team!

— Jimmy Swindler

Inaugural marchers

The Marching Royal Dukes of James Madison University were invited to march in the inaugural parade of newly sworn Virginia Governor Ralph Northam this past Saturday in Richmond. Which meant Rappahannock County was represented in the parade.

Three Rappahannock residents who are members of the Marching Royal Dukes and marched in the inaugural parade include Kelsey Parker of Amissville, of the Saxophone-Alto section, Benjamin Mills of Amissville of the Trombone section, and Daniel Schlosser of Huntly, who is a member of the Saxophone-Tenor section.

Congrats Julia!

Julia Wood of Woodville has been named to the Dean’s List at the College of William & Mary for her academic accomplishments during the fall 2017 semester.

In order to achieve Dean’s List status at William & Mary, the second oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, a full-time degree seeking undergraduate student must take at least 12 credit hours and earn a 3.6 Quality Point Average during the semester.

Roller motor

Wakefield Country Day School Pre-K student Anya Heinzelman and her classmates develop motor skills —and courage — in a roller skating session designed especially for young children in Mrs. Fairhurst’s P.E. class. Courtesy photo


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