School news for April 11

Ninon Kirchman proves her art

RCHS Junior Ninon Kirchman Courtesy photo

RCHS Junior Ninon Kirchman earned 7th chair Trumpet in the All-Virginia Symphonic Band and 10th chair in the state. Ninon traveled to Richmond April 4-6th for two days of rehearsals concluding in an incredible performance at the Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Ninon earned her spot in the all state ensemble by first earning 1st chair at the District level.

Students who earn the top seats at the district level are eligible to prepare and audition for the state ensemble. This audition process allows the creation of three premier ensembles the All- State Orchestra, Concert Band, and Symphonic Band. The magnificent Symphonic band performance featured some of the most well-known works in the wind band repertoire opening with Konigsmarsch composed by Richard Strauss for orchestra and arranged for band by Roger Barrett and concluding with Pictures at an Exhibition composed for orchestra by Modest Mussorgsky and arranged for band by Paul Lavender.

An All-State ensemble is not an entirely new experience for Ninon as this is her second time making it to the state level, having made 25th chair in the state last year as a Sophomore. Ninon is the first student to make an All Virginia Ensemble in the known history of RCHS. Ninon continues to prove her art, her discipline, and talent time and time again. The Panther Band and her Director could not be more proud of Ninon and her accomplishments, she has earned it!

— Jason T. Guira

RCHS National Honor Society

Fourteen students from RCHS were inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS) during the 2019 National Honor Society Induction Ceremony on April 1st. The 2019 inductees were selected based on areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. In a ceremony organized by the five NHS officers, the inductees were recognized for achieving candidacy and being selected as members. According to Bryce Jones, the current President of the RCHS Chapter of the National Honors Society, the newest members would be joining “the nation’s oldest, largest, and most prestigious student recognition program.”

The inductees include Madison Brantley, Bryce Fryant, Agustin Garcia, Alec Petty, Allie Phillips, Ryan Raiford, Jenna Robey, Olivia Scheulen, Evelyn Vandrey, Natalie Way, Camron Wayland, Rachel Weghorst, Jordan Welch, and Donavan Zook.

RCHS National Honor Society inductees are (left to right, front row): Camron Wayland, Bryce Fryant, Agustin Garcia, Alec Petty, Ryan Raiford, Donavan Zook. (Back row), Natalie Way, Madison Brantley, Evelyn Vandrey, Allie Phillips, Jenna Robey, Olivia Scheulen, Rachel Weghorst, Jordan Welch. By Emily Preston
RCHS National Honor Society officers are (left to right) Macy Montgomery, Amanda Puskar, Bryce Jones, Megan Dodson, Abigail Berry. By Emily Preston

In his opening statement, Principal Jimmy Swindler eloquently welcomed the NHS members, inductees and family members. Swindler explained how living by the four pillars of NHS members (scholarship, service, leadership, and character) involves the act of “giving away”. Swindler elaborated, “Giving away time in the pursuit of good grades gives you knowledge, giving away time and effort in the exercise of community service gives you accomplishment and a true sense of citizenship, giving up the spotlight so that those who follow you can excel gives you leadership and respect, and all of these things combined with a consistently high moral code give you unassailable good character. And what you will find, oddly enough, is that the more of yourself, the more of these things, that you give away, the better person you will become.”

Swindler continued, “So I urge you, those of you who are existing members and those who are about to join, to freely give away all that you can, knowing that with each gift you give, you become a better person, you become a true man or woman of honor.”

LTC Cooper Wright, former West Point graduate and decorated veteran, served as special guest speaker during the ceremony. His address to the attentive audience focused on duty and honor. The ceremony continued with a symbolic candle lighting ceremony, with each one representing the four pillars. The ceremony concluded with the new inductees reciting the pledge and signing the chapter registry.

Following the induction ceremony, Linda Petty, Advisor of the RCHS Chapter of the National Honor Society, was very excited for the future of the chapter. Petty said, “I am extremely proud of the twenty-three current NHS students and the work they have done this year.  They have volunteered their time in countless ways, accumulating over 700 service hours this school year.  I look forward to working with the fourteen new members of NHS and seeing how they choose to impact their school and their community through our organization.”

Dr. Grimsley, RCPS Superintendent, was both excited and proud for the newest members. Having served as a NHS President in another NHS chapter, she understands the responsibilities that accompany the honor of induction:

“I could not be more proud of those who were selected as inductees for the NHS. The amount of dedication, time above and beyond the standard curriculum expectations, and the overall pressure of serving as role models for the school community deserves the utmost respect and honor.”

— Holly Jenkins

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