School news for Jan. 25

Earning chairs in ensembles

Last week nine RCHS Band students recorded and submitted All-District XIV Band Auditions after the physical auditions were snowed out twice; first the original date in December and then the snow date in January.

Four of the auditioning students earned a spot in the performing ensembles that will perform on February 3 at Millbrook High School. Two performing ensembles are constructed from the auditions, a Symphonic Band and an elite Wind Ensemble.

By Holly Jenkins

Senior Jackson Norris earned the second chair in the Symphonic Band on tenor trombone. Senior Skye Kirchman earned the first chair in the Symphonic Band on tenor saxophone. Sophomore Sophia Hernandez earned in fourth chair flute in the Wind Ensemble. Sophomore Ninon Kirchman earned the first chair in the Wind Ensemble on trumpet. Ninon and Sophia are eligible to audition for the All-Virginia Band and Orchestras on February 24 in Harrisonburg.

Only students who earn the top seats in the wind ensemble are eligible to audition for the all-state band.

— Holly Jenkins

Geography bee

WCDS Geography Bee champion William Eborn with Mrs. Lindstrom, Head of School. Sixth-grader Eborn is competing against thousands of students in grades 4-8 across the United States for a chance to become the 2018 National Geographic Bee Champion. By Lisa Ramey

“A crater lake formed on Mount Pinatubo after a massive eruption in 1991. This volcano is located near Quezon City in what country?”

That was one of the many questions posed to geography bee participants on January 12 in Wakefield Country Day School’s pursuit to send an Owl to the annual National Geographic Bee Championship. In the competition, fifth-grade teacher Mrs. Perry, the organizer of the event, read aloud questions challenging each participant’s knowledge of U.S. and world geography. Students were also required to read a map and answer associated questions.

Finn MacPherson was the runner-up in the competition, and sixth-grader William Eborn won the WCDS championship round. What’s the next step for William? He will take an online state qualifying test to advance to the Virginia Bee.

Congratulations to all of WCDS students who competed: CJ Foreman, Noel Heffron, Vinnie Hendricks, Arielle Shepard, William Eborn, Finn MacPherson, DJ Cate, Connor Lummis, Scott Scoville, and Lincoln Day.

— Lisa Ramey

Sports shorts

RCHS Varsity Wrestling Coaches Paul Paratore and Kreighton Long took their grapplers to an invitational tournament in Culpeper last Saturday and several of their young charges made the most of the opportunity.

Christian Poffenberger took top honors, going undefeated on the day and adding five wins to his burgeoning total. Right next to him was Jeasean Yates, or L’il Scrappy to his teammates, who also added 5 Ws to his record and went 5-1 on the day. Senior Johnny Beard added three wins to his season total and first year wrestler Dalton Renner tallied one in the victory column.

Coach Colton Ball’s Junior Panther Boys Basketball team showed their mettle by coming through with two more wins in two incredibly exciting close contests. Last Tuesday at Page the team trailed most of the game but stayed with the “other” Panthers and surged to a lead late in the game to take the victory. Mason Ramey led scorers with 14. Later in the week the team claimed another close win, this time before the home fans, with a thrilling one point victory over Signal Knob Middle. That win put the team at 10 and 0 on the season.

Coach Mylene Whorton’s Junior Panther Girls’ team had a split week, dropping their contest at Page but getting back on the winning track at home versus Signal Knob. Defensive efforts of players Heather Williams, Savannah Loving, and Abby Atkins held the visitors to just 3 points in the first half.

Coach Mike Atkins’ Varsity Boys squad dropped games to Madison and Strasburg last week. Still struggling to find the W, the boys’ team played very well against Strasburg, being within single digit reach all night but just unable to tip the point total in the Panthers’ favor.

Our J.V. and Varsity Girls’ teams dropped contests to Strasburg last week, with JV losing a one point heartbreaker in a game that featured Tori Atkins scoring 13 points and Jordan Welch 12. On the varsity side, the team ran out of steam in the fourth to the Rams on their home court. Carrington Wayland led the scoring with 12 points, all coming from three point land.

Coach Dave Naser’s Varsity Scholastic Bowl team hosted their lone home event of the season this past Wednesday, serving as the tournament site for the Bull Run District Scholastic Bowl Championship. Playing for district bragging rights in this last warm-up before this weekend’s Regional Tournament in Danville, Rapp ended the night with a third place finish, sandwiching wins over Strasburg and Central between two losses to Clarke.

Last but not least, congratulations to Rapp Athletic Director Brandon Burley, recently featured on the “spotlight” section of the Virginia High School League’s website. A.D. Burley was nominated for Spotlight recognition by RCHS Principal Karen Ellis. His picture, alongside 2017 Group 1A Girls Cross Country State Champion Rachel Weghorst, and a brief write up of his nomination can be found at

RCHS Athletic Director Brandon Burley alongside 2017 VHSL Girls 1A Cross Country state champ Rachel Weghorst. Courtesy photo

— Jimmy Swindler

Slopes and trails

Students of Belle Meade Montessori School in Sperryville are hitting the slopes and trails besides the books. Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

Belle Meade Montessori School has had a busy — and outdoors challenging — few weeks since returning from winter break.

“We have started our winter sports program — skiing and snowboarding at Massanutten — continue to go on trail rides when the weather is good, and are preparing for a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) workshop that we are hosting in February,” relays the Sperryville school’s Alexandra Campbell-Forte, who teaches English, Spanish, humanities, and equestrian studies.

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