Garden celebration for WCDS Class of 2019
On the first Saturday evening in June, upper school students, faculty, families and friends of Wakefield Country Day School gathered for commencement services in the school’s senior garden to honor the Class of 2019.
Senior Rachel Cieplak of Culpeper earned the distinction of Valedictorian, and Anna Schuster of Haymarket was the class Salutatorian. WCDS alumna Dr. Maureen Dale delivered the farewell speech to the graduating class. Dale currently is Assistant Clinical Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and opened her speech to the graduating class with a nod to her transition from one level of schooling to another.
“Even though I graduated from Wakefield sixteen years ago, the path into medicine is a long one, and it is only three years ago that I finished my training and started on faculty at UNC. I’m still one of the new kids!” the doctor shared.
By reflecting on the many years of classical education she gained at WCDS, Dale illustrated to the graduates how important those years were to her career in medicine.
“Wakefield gave you a love for the humanities . . . that I hope you never lose, and that you learn to call on when you need it. I am now fully immersed in a world of science and medicine, but interestingly, there have been recent movements in medical training to bring in more humanities teaching — studies have shown that it helps teach empathy and hone critical thinking while promoting wellness and reducing burnout.
“You may be healthier because of all those books you’ve read!” Dale continued. “At UNC this year, the internal medicine residents have incorporated a monthly conference where they discuss poetry and art, and I have to say, it always reminds me of Wakefield,” she said fondly.
Other highlights of the graduation celebration included a special presentation of awards by faculty to upper school students who excelled in particular areas of the school: Athletic Awards, Lucy Clark and Martin O’Heir; Drama Award, Rachel Cieplak; History Award, Jefferson Day; Molly Frasier French Award, Gwynn Major; Laura Virginia Hale US History Award, Peter McMahon; Science Award, Anna Schuster; Courtesy Award, Jefferson Day; Latin Award, Gwynn Major; Writing Award, KuanTing Lee; Yearbook Award, Gwynn Major; Citizenship Award, Peter McMahon; All-Around Boy Award, Jiahua He; All-Around Girl Award, Chi-Erh-Chiu; Pamela Lynn Leadership Award, Mari Tisera; William E. Lynn Senior Award for Academic Excellence, Peter McMahon; William E. Lynn Jr. Award, Yuanzhan Gao; DAR Good Citizen Award presented by Mary Ann Cowherd to Rachel Cieplak, and the Head of School Award, Michael Marciano.
The Head of School Award was created by the WCDS Board of Directors in 2012 to honor Kathleen Grove and her eight years of leadership to the school. Grove personally delivered the award and scholarship to the winner whom she has known since he was in preschool.
Before Head of School Jessica Lindstrom presented the diplomas, Kirsten Youngquist, a middle and upper school teacher who taught all of the students, read special remarks for each senior, and College Advisor Marsha Dowell announced the honors earned and each senior’s college selection.
The WCDS faculty and staff extend sincere congratulations to the Class of 2019:
Avigayil Aaronson (Honors College at NOVA Southeastern University), Weiyin Chen (Indiana University), Chi-Erh Chiu (University of California at Davis), Rachel Cieplak (Honors Program at University of Connecticut), Lucy Clark (Honors Program at University of Mary Washington), Porter Gilliam (James Madison University), Jiahua He (Villanova University Early Decision), Xiaoqi Hou (Kelley School of Business at Indiana University), KuanTing Lee (Syracuse University), and Anna Schuster (Marquette University).
— Lisa Ramey
JMU’s Class of ‘19
James Madison University in Harrisonburg is pleased to announce the following Rappahannock County students who graduated during the May 2019 commencement exercises — among 3,700 students who received degrees during the ceremonies:
Megan Elliot of Amissville graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisc Liberal Studies. Zachary Harris of Amissville graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy & Admin. Jennifer Lloyd of Washington graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Noah Mason of Sperryville graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Foreign Lang. Michael Mederos of Amissville graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Alton Peters of Amissville graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Music. Daniel Schlosser of Huntly graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History. Cayleigh Verhaalen of Amissville graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.
Sanborn now Executive Assistant to Principal
The RCPS School Board approved the nomination of Karen Sanborn to serve as the Executive Assistant to the Principal at Rappahannock County High School for the 2019-2020 school year. Sanborn, an RCHS alumni and veteran teacher, has taught in the RCPS science department for the past nineteen years.
This new position was created following an initiative leadership model that was implemented during the 2018-2019 school year and incorporated the use of multiple administrative assistants.
RCHS Principal Swindler stated, “I have been fortunate, as principal, to have had the experience of working with multiple staff members in multiple ways over the past year, as we worked to find the best leadership model for RCHS. After trying several iterations, all of which were successful due to the outstanding efforts of the staff members involved, I believe that this model will best serve our needs for a multitude of reasons.
“We are indeed fortunate to have staff who can step up to these leadership roles and, more importantly, fulfill them in exemplary fashion. We are equally fortunate to have many staff members who contribute vast amounts of time and energy to help us determine the ideal leadership parameters and then further help us in the selection process for that position.”
Swindler added, “Related to that, I am looking forward to working with Karen Sanborn in her new administrative capacity and am completely confident she will be yet another example of the tremendous benefits of growing our own school leaders in-house. We, Karen and I, are already working and planning together to ensure yet another successful year for RCHS.”
The position of executive assistant will have administrative duties similar to that of an assistant principal. In addition to serving in the new role, Sanborn will continue to teach one class each semester.
Sanborn, who earned a master’s degree in administration through Shenandoah University, is excited to serve in this new role.
“We try to instill in our students to be lifelong learners and this is my opportunity to lead through example,” she said. “I’m looking forward to learning about how to better serve our students, community, teachers and staff.”
— Holly Jenkins
RCHS Softball 2nd best in state
RCHS Varsity Softball ended the season with the 2nd place trophy in the Virginia High School League Class 1 State Championship Game this past Friday, June 14th.
A win over Northwood in the semifinal round on Thursday earned the team a spot in the state championship game, where they took the field against the Auburn Eagles at Radford University the following day. Whereas the game was tied 1-1 midway through the 4th inning, Auburn went on to win 18-1.
Join us in congratulating the RCHS Varsity Softball team on this impressive accomplishment.