Saints in Action, Spring 2023

Saints in Action, Spring 2023



At the Upper School Academic Convocation in February, the school recognized 19 seniors, including eight Commended Merit Scholars and one Finalist in the National Merit Scholarship competition. Over 1.5 million students from about 22,000 high schools entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Students scoring in the top 5 percent nationally qualify as commended scholars and students placing in the top 1 percent are finalists. Nine students were also recognized as National African-American Recognition Award recipients, and one received the National Hispanic Recognition Award. 

Finalist Merit Scholar: 

Carter Harris ’23

Commended Merit Scholars: 

Seniors Alethea Callahan, Marina Gallozzi, Finn Hartman, 

Lily Hunsicker, Abigail Lowe, Abhay Mathur, Lauren Minor, 

and Manav Sabharwal

National African-American Recognition Award Recipients: 

Annette Dunn ’24, CJ Tillman ’23, Charles Bounds ’23, 

Chris Shorter ’24, Matthew Bezuneh ’23, Nya Mason ’23, 

Raei Legesse ’24, Rafiki Mwethuku ’23, and 

Taylor Grace Peterson ’23

National Hispanic Recognition Award: 

Isabella Garcia-Ippolito ’23

learning and bonding: The animal olympics

Some Middle School zoologists led the kindergartners through eight stations for a morning of Animal Olympics! Through games at each stop, the kindergartners learned interesting facts about animals. At the Polar Bear Plunge (where Aggie was a special guest), they waded through cold water with bare feet to better understand the importance of the thick layer of blubber polar bears have to keep them warm. At the Trunk Tug their challenge was to drag a heavy load a short distance with one arm to recognize how amazing it is that the African elephant can pick up a one-ton weight with only its trunk. Other stations included Monkey Markers, Gorilla Grasp, Beaver Build, Wing “Wave,” Long Distance Leap, and Cheetah Chase. The event concluded with kindergartners and their new friends having a picnic lunch outside. 


Our Middle School musicians had the opportunity to hear live music at the highest level! They had a private concert and workshop featuring award-winning violinist Lun Li, accompanied by his pianist. Students were able to hear him perform and ask questions about the music. Lun Li is a native of Shanghai, China and holds degrees from Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. He is currently pursuing an Artistic Diploma at The Juilliard School where he serves as teaching assistant to Catherine Cho. Lun Li is sponsored by the Young Concert Artists. 


The sixth grade Saints Skills class created boards on the different classes they took this year and presented them to the current fifth graders. The Saints Skills include: Service, Academic, Innovation, Neuro, Tech and Teamwork, and Social. This project gave the sixth graders an opportunity to reflect on the year, work in groups, and practice their presentation skills.


Award-winning writer Noah Gallagher Shannon spoke to the Upper School about the climate crisis. Noah talked about his 2021 trip to Uruguay to find out how the country has transitioned from oil-dependency to a grid powered by 98% renewable energy in just 15 years. His New York Times Magazine article, “What Does Sustainable Living Look Like? Maybe Like Uruguay” focuses on sustainability, courageous political leadership, and the changing global household. He also visited with our journalism students and Green Saints Leaders.


Honors Biology students used biotechnology equipment to investigate the inheritance patterns of a gene that codes for a taste receptor protein responsible for sensing bitter substances. They loaded, ran, and analyzed six DNA samples in a gel electrophoresis chamber to determine the genetic variation of each.


Cheryl Van Coverden’s junior kindergarten class wrote and performed “Team Adventure,” a play inspired by a science lesson on shadows, a library lesson on sequencing, and the book “Rocket Writes a Story” by Tad Hills.


The Upper School Women’s Affinity Group hosted a professional women’s career panel in celebration of Women’s History Month. Four members of the Saints community talked about obstacles and successes connected to their career journeys as professional women. The panel featured: Head of School Kirsten Adams, Dr. Saadia Eltayeb (chemist and principal at ChemReg Compliance Solutions), Theresa H. Peterson (senior executive for GE Global Research), and Hilary Strickland (chief of staff at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition).


The Middle and Upper Schools welcomed Dudley Edmondson, an established photographer, author, filmmaker, and presenter, to campus during Environmental Awareness Week. Dudley spoke about his work and took a nature photography walk with a group of Middle School art students. Dudley’s photography has been featured in galleries and nearly 100 publications around the world. He was one of the first photographers to highlight the involvement of African Americans in the public lands system. He has also been immersed in the effort to help the conservation sector become more inclusive.

At the Lower School alumnus Nat Gillespie ’92 talked about his work with the U.S. Forest Service as their assistant fish program leader. With a focus on freshwater fish, Nat provides leadership in coordination with the National Fisheries Program in developing and implementing fisheries related strategies, providing guidance, coordination, and direction among a large, geographically dispersed staff of nine regional office fisheries programs.


For 20 years our Lower School students have spent a whole day celebrating the arts through a variety of interactive workshops. This year’s Artstravaganza included more than 26 regional, national, and international artists, dancers, musicians, storytellers, and puppeteers, who hosted 45-minute sessions. 

Students were able to explore instruments in a hands-on workshop with some of our Upper School student musicians. They tried playing the steel drums with the Tobago Bay Calypso Band, learned to play the ukulele, partnered up for some flamenco dancing, practiced the art of Japanese calligraphy, joined Esperanto Bean for Hip Hop lessons, and enjoyed a magic show with resident magician, Associate Head of School Bob Weiman. 

In addition to hands-on demonstrations and activities, students also had a chance to talk with the artists about their lives, learning how they discovered their passions, the paths they took to becoming professionals, and the dedication that goes along with mastering their crafts.

Lower School Music Teachers Rebecca and Matt Gehlhoff want to give the students a global arts experience, as well as helping the Lower School arts team to make strong connections with the local artists—and they have succeeded! The day culminated with an outdoor concert by the go-go band Strickly Bizness.

Winning Artists and Writers!

Middle and Upper School Saints entered and placed in several regional and local art and writing contests. Eleven Upper School students received awards in the 2023 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, in association with the nonprofit organization Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. In regional competitions, Saints were recognized in three categories: Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention, for their photography, painting, drawing, digital design, poetry, critical essay, dramatic script, and personal essay. Three Upper School Saints were recognized at the Alexandria All City High School Exhibition for 2D and 3D art and 13 Saints were recognized for their prose, poetry, photography and 2D art in the Alexandria Library Teen Winter Creativity Contest.

Isaiah Faden ’24, “Face Jug” 

National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition 

Honorable Mention

Isaiah’s piece was one of 152 pieces selected out of 1,317 entries for the NCECA exhibition.

Zoe Coval ’23, “Walking With Yourself” 

Digital Art, Scholastic Silver Key

Calysta Lee ’23, “Strength And Confidence In Artistry”

Photography, Scholastic Honorable Mention

Addie Youree ’26, “Bird Stained Glass” 

Ceramics & Glass, Scholastic Honorable Mention

Codie Campbell ’23, “A Day at the Beach” 

All-City Palette Award

Reese Lai ’26, “ At the Water” 

Photography, Alexandria Library Honorable Mention

Abigail Taylor ’26, “False Duplicity” 

2D Art, Alexandria Library Honorable Mention

Sophie Atkinsson ‘23, “Daylight Reflections”

Painting, Scholastic Silver Key

Elliot Desautels, “UFO Ceramic Clock”

Ceramics & Glass, Scholastic Honorable Mention

Charlotte McNamara ’24, “Can You See Me?” 

Mixed Media, Scholastic Gold Key

Ellie Minor ’23, “Stillness”

Painting, Scholastic Honorable Mention

Lily Adams ’24, “Matter of Time” 

All-City Palette Award

Ariya Harrington ’26, “Parts of a Whole” 

2D Art, Alexandria Library Silver

Evelyn Stackhouse ’26, “ Disco Fish” 

Photography, Alexandria Library Bronze

Codie Campbell ’23, “Soul Crushing” 

Mixed Media, Scholastic Honorable Mention

Hannah Floyd ’25, “Candace” 

Ceramics & Glass, Honorable Mention

August Moon ’24, “Baphomet” 

Sculpture, Scholastic Honorable Mention

Justin Hill ’23, “The Twist Out” 

All-City Palette Award

Olivia Nealon ’27, “ Swimming Through the Night” 

2D Art, Alexandria Library Gold

Theo Weiman ’24, “ Unmasked” 

2D Art, Alexandria Library Gold


Marnie Nichols ’23, Scholastic Gold Key, Critical Essay, “Which Yet Survive, Stamped on These Lifeless Things.” 

Alexandria Library Teen Winter Creativity Contest:
Ella Schneider ’27, Gold, Short Story, “Paranoia” 
Claire Poersch ’28, Bronze, Poem, “If I Could Just Fly”
Janney Cooper ’26, Gold, Poem, “Breathe”
Theo Weiman ’24, Silver, Poem, “The Sweater With Yellow Mustard”  
Ariya Harrington ’26, Silver, Short Story, “From the Young Wife”


This spring Upper School Stage One presented the musical “Mamma Mia!” Director Valerie Carlson worked with a company of 60 thespians in the spotlight. To open a photo gallery, click on the photo below.



Final Record: 15-13
Final IAC Standing: 2nd (Tied)
Final VISAA Standing: 8th
Advanced to the Sleepy Thompson championship game and lost a close game to nationally ranked Sidwell Friends. Big win on senior night against IAC rival Episcopal.
ALL-IAC: Aiden Argabright ’25,
Riley Jacobs ’25
VISAA Division I All-State First Team:
Bryson Wilson ’23


Final Record: 4-8
IAC Tournament Finish: 3rd
VISAA State Tournament Finish: 11th
The Saints Wrestling program had four state placers and also had three individual wrestlers qualify for the National Prep Tournament, James Blackman ’24, Giorgio Corica ’23, and Aidan Koch ’24.
Alexandria Sportsman’s Club Athlete of the Month: Giorgio Corica ’23
ALL-IAC: Giorgio Corica ’23
VISAA All-State: Josh Bauer ’26, James Blackman ’24, Giorgio Corica ’23, Aidan Koch ’24
Washington Post All-Met Honorable Mention: James Blackman ’24, Giorgio Corica ’23


Final Record: 13-9
Final ISL A Division Standing: 2nd
Final VISAA Standing: 12th
Won the 27th Saints Invitational Girls Basketball tournament championship over St. John Paul the Great and finished second in the A Division of the ISL.
ALL-ISL A Division: Belle Akeredolu ’24, Nya Mason ’23


Final Record: 10-10-2
Final IAC Standing: 5th
Final MAPHL A Division Standing: 2nd
The Saints advanced to the MAPHL A Division Championship game against Gonzaga and played a great game, narrowly losing 3-4 in the final minute of the game.
ALL-IAC: Trey Knott ’24
MAPHL A Division Player of the Year: Trey Knott ’24
MAPHL A Division First Team: Jonathan MacIntosh ’24, Will Woodruff ’23
MAPHL A Division Coach of the Year: Brian Fleury
Washington Post All-Met Honorable Mention: Trey Knott ’24


Boys IAC Championship Meet Finish: 5th
Boys WMPSSDL Championship Meet Finish: 13th
Boys VISAA Championship Meet Finish: 19th
Evan Ingraham ’25 broke the school record in the 200 IM and the 500 Free.
Alexandria Sportsman’s Club Athlete of the Month: Evan Ingraham ’25
VISAA All-State: Evan Ingraham ’25 (500 Free)

Girls ISL Championship Meet Finish: 10th
Girls WMPSSDL Championship Meet Finish: 9th
Girls VISAA Championship Meet Finish: 12th
Three school records were broken this season:
Haley Lehman ’25 broke the school record in the 200 free and the 500 free.
The relay team of Lucy Perkins ’26, CC Jacobs ’23, Elisabeth Carroll ’25, and Haley Lehman ’25 broke the school record in the 200 freestyle relay.
Alexandria Sportsman’s Club Athlete of the Month: Haley Lehman ’25
VISAA All-State: Haley Lehman ’25 (200 Free & 500 Free)
Washington Post All-Met Honorable Mention: Haley Lehman ’25


Boys VISAA Championship Meet Finish: 12th
Girls VISAA Championship Meet Finish: 20th
Justin Hill ’23 set a new school record in the shot put. At the VISAA Indoor State Championship meet, juniors Chris Shorter and Bradley Cruthirds placed 4th and 7th respectively in the 55m hurdles. Chris Shorter ’24 also placed 4th in the triple jump.