Saints in Action, Fall/Winter 2022-2023
SAINTS IN ACTION
AMY ARGETSINGER ‘86 SHARES HER JOURNEY
In October, Amy Argetsinger ’86 visited the Upper School to talk about her career in journalism, her new book, and her experiences as a student at St. Agnes. In addition to addressing the community, Amy spoke to a smaller group of student-writers and the student Women’s Affinity Group.
Amy was introduced by her St. Agnes English teacher, Dr. Roberta Klein, who shared that Amy was one of two students who signed up for the very first Creative Writing class that she taught at St. Agnes. “It’s challenging to teach a course with only two students,” Dr. Klein said. “Each day I would have the two students exchange papers so that they could critique each other’s work. Amy always got the same critique from the other course member: ‘Gee, Amy, this is so good!’”
Amy was a good writer. She was an Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia, where she majored in political and social thought and also edited one of the college’s weekly newspapers.
After graduating from UVA, Amy started her journalism career in Illinois. In 1995 she joined The Washington Post, covering the Marilyn suburbs, higher education, and the West Coast. In 2005 she was appointed with Roxanne Roberts to write the Style section column, “The Reliable Source.” Today, Amy is the editor of the Style section.
One year ago Amy published her first book, “There She Was,” a history of the Miss America Pageant.
THIRD GRADE SINGS AT MAESA
In October third grade Saints represented SSSAS at the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal School Association’s (MAESA) annual Celebration Service at Washington National Cathedral. More than 500 students, faculty, and staff from 11 area Episcopal schools participated in the service. Students processed with school banners, offered readings and choral performances, and joined in prayer for our fellow MAESA schools. Our Saints were thrilled to celebrate the commitment and culture of Episcopal schools at this event!
CREATING AR HABITATS
First grade scientists used the AR Makr and Keynote apps to design augmented reality habitats. AR Makr is a creative toolbox for augmented reality that allows the user to sketch, scan, and transform their creations from 2D to 3D virtual objects. In November they showcased what they learned through drawing habitat elements and transforming them.
A CHERISHED TRADITION
On October 6 SSSAS held a Blessing of the Animals in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi at the Lower School amphitheater for our entire school community. Dogs, cats, rabbits, lizards, and more were in attendance. The pups enjoyed some lip-smacking treats!
LESSONS & CAROLS
The Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools celebrated Christmas with Lessons & Carols services including readings, musical performances, and of course, Christmas carols. The Lower School service includes a special concert orchestrated by Lower School Music Teachers Rebecca and Matt Gehlhoff. Each grade performs a song between the lessons.
THE 2022 MIDDLE SCHOOL DIVERSITY CONFERENCE
SSSAS was thrilled to host our annual Middle School Diversity Conference on November 11. Twenty-six student facilitators engaged with more than 120 students from all over the Mid-Atlantic region, as they explored what it means to go from well-meaning to well-doing.
Three Upper School students, Danielle Pascale ’23, Gigi Smigel ’23, and Kalli Dinos ’24, presented their work creating and launching Danielle’s program, Reach for the Stars.
Inspired by a book she read in fifth grade, “Runaway,” Danielle has long been concerned about children in the community facing financial and housing instability. After learning about the social entrepreneurship process with the LearnServe program and getting hands-on volunteer experience with the Mother of Light Center, Danielle decided to start her own program to lessen the mental and physical impacts of child poverty and homelessness. With the support of Mother of Light, $230 of startup costs, and a cohort of 15 students, Danielle launched Reach for the Stars on July 12, 2021.
Parents reported the program helped their children relax, have fun, and gain useful skills for the upcoming school year. The program also allowed the parents, who can’t afford childcare, to work and run errands. After the successful debut, Danielle reached out to Lower School Librarian Julie Esanu, to enhance the program’s quality of reading instruction for this year.
A PERFORMING ARTS WEEKEND IN NEW YORK
In October, 47 Upper School Performing Arts students and five faculty members headed to New York City for an amazing weekend of Broadway plays, concerts, Q&As, and workshops with a variety of professionals.
Everyone saw “Into the Woods” and “Beetlejuice.” Theatre students had an additional opportunity to chose between “Funny Girl,” “The Kite Runner,” or “MJ the Musical,” while instrumentalists saw a concert and vocal students saw “A Strange Loop.”
The trip also included a panel discussion with four performing arts professionals, an oboist, an actor from “Beetlejuice,” a stage manager, and the vocal coach for Broadway’s “Harry Potter and the cursed Child.” The panel discussion was followed by a hands-on workshop with the vocal coach in vocal work and accent training. The students also attended a demo and Q&A given by a professional teleprompter operator and independent filmmaker, who spoke about working on programs like “Last Week Tonight” and “The Daily Show,” as well as the process of writing her own films, getting them produced, and touring the film festival circuit.
This trip is a highlight each year for the performing arts students and a beloved Saints tradition!
TOP SECRET FUN
Fifth grade and kindergarten scientists had fun learning about acids and bases writing and sending secret cranberry messages! How does the invisible ink work? The cranberry juice is an acid, and also contains a special substance called anthocyanin. The invisible ink, the base, is a mixture of baking soda and hot water. Students wrote their secret messages with the base mixture, let that dry, and then wrote over it with the cranberry juice to make the invisible message appear.
Seventh graders worked in teams to create “Mason Jar Ecosystems.” The teams had to consider which biotic and abiotic factors would best replicate the local ecosystem in their mini models. Students then monitored the changes in their self-contained ecosystems as part of the ongoing ecology lessons.
THE NORMANDY FRENCH EXCHANGE RESUMES
In its 31st year, the Normandy French Exchange resumed with a visit for the French students in November, after a two-year Covid hiatus. The students joined some classes, toured D.C. landmarks, learned the basics of football, watched the fall play, and bonded with their Saints counterparts. Our Saints will head to France during spring break, spending two nights in Paris and a week in Bayeux, Normandy.
CELEBRATING VETERANS DAY WITH JOHN MUSTIN ‘85
On November 10, our Lower School welcomed nearly 40 service members—current Saints parents, grandparents, alumni, colleagues, and relatives of colleagues—for a special chapel honoring Veterans. The service included a magical homily delivered by Lower School parent retired Col. Christie Walton, participation from SSSAS Girl and Boy Scouts, and music. After the chapel, all members of the Lower School and their guests proceeded outside for a flag raising ceremony and recitation of a Veterans Day poem.
Vice Admiral John Mustin ’85 was also in attendance and spoke to the fifth grade about leadership before leaving to address the Upper School, speaking about his service and the importance of the holiday. He also met with three seniors who plan to attend the US Naval Academy next year and had lunch with the Saints for Veterans Club.
John’s parents Hank Mustin ’50 and Lucy Holcomb Mustin ’55 were both Saints, as well as his three siblings: Kay Mustin Miller ’79, Tom ’78, and Lloyd ’77. After graduating from St. Stephen’s, John attended the U.S. Naval Academy, where he earned a bachelor of science in weapons and systems engineering and was commissioned in 1990. He also holds a master of science in operations research from the Naval Postgraduate School and a master of business administration in finance and management from Babson College.
Affiliating with the Naval Reserve (NR) in 2001, John has served in multiple staff and command positions, including as the NR Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans, and Strategy and as the inaugural Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Navy Reserve Enterprise Director responsible for the reserve manning, training, and equipping of the 1000-billet LCS surface reserve force, and vice commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
John currently serves as the 15th Chief of Navy Reserve, leading approximately 59,000 Reserve Component personnel who support the Navy, Marine Corps, and joint forces.
His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Battle Efficiency ‘E’, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and various service, expeditionary, unit and campaign awards.
DETERMINING THE UNKNOWN
Honors Chemistry students worked to identify an unknown metal through measuring various trials of mass and volume to calculate the density and observe its physical and chemical properties. After the lab, they spent time doing research to identify what the metal was and write a lab report to justify their choice.
“LOVE AND INFORMATION”
This fall Upper School Stage One, in collaboration with the smART team, presented Caryl Churchill’s “Love and Information” under the direction of Upper School English Teacher and Theater Director Valerie Carlson. This play—with a cast of 25 playing 100 parts and a crew of nearly 20 running the lights, sound, sets, props, and costumes backstage—is a wildly inventive exploration of the complexities of contemporary life; how we navigate our relationships with each other and try to make sense of what we feel and know.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
IAC Championship Meet Finish: 5th
VISAA State Championship Meet Finish: 16th
Max Dague ’23 and Dillon Dreibelbis ’26 were named All-City for their top 20 performances in the Alexandria City Championship Meet.
Final Record: 4-4
Final IAC Standing: 3rd
Final VISAA Standing: 6th
Game winning 43-yard field goal by Carter Stimson ’25 with .03 seconds left on the clock to beat Landon on Senior Day.
Alexandria Sportsman’s Club Athlete of the Month: Carter Stimson ’25
ALL-IAC First Team: Colin Cross ’24, Danny Garvin ’23, Luke Pascal ’24, Justin Stewart ’23
ALL-IAC 2nd Team: Xavier Southall ’24, Carter Stimson ’25, Harrison Thaptao ’23
VISAA Division I All-State 2nd Team: Carter Stimson ’25, Danny Garvin ’23, Harrison Thaptao ’23, Luke Pascal ’24, Justin Stewart ’23
VISAA Division I All-State Honorable Mention: Colin Cross ’24, Justin Hill ’23, Willie Jacobs ’23, Xavier Southall ’24
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
ISL Championship Meet Finish: 4th
VISAA State Championship Meet Results: 4th
Alexandria City Championship: Hannah Floyd ’25 won the Championship.
Whitney Bruch ’26, Karina Constandy ’25, Hannah Floyd ’25, and Emmie Vajda ’23 were all named All-City for their top 20 performances.
Milestat Invitational: Hannah Floyd ’25 broke the school record with a time of 19:14.
Alexandria Sportsman’s Club Athlete of the Month: Hannah Floyd ’25
ALL-ISL: Whitney Bruch ’26, Karina Constandy ’25, Hannah Floyd ’25
VISAA Division I All-State: Whitney Bruch ’26, Karina Constandy ’25, Hannah Floyd ’25
Final Record: 4-13-1
Final IAC Standing: 5th
Final VISAA State Ranking: 10th
Two 1-0 wins over league and state opponent Episcopal, as well as a hard fought game against Georgetown Prep in the IAC Tournament that the team lost in PK’s.
Alexandria Sportsman’s Club Athlete of the Month: Rafiki Mwethuku ’23
ALL-IAC: Matthew Bezuneh ’23, Xavier Johnston ’23, Jack Murphy ’23
VISAA All-State First Team: Jack Murphy ’23
Final Record: 3-13
Final ISL A Standing: 6th
Huge 3-1 victory over league opponent Sidwell Friends on senior night!
Final Record: 3-15-1
Final ISL Standing: 10th
#10 Saints upset #7 Holton-Arms in the first round of the ISL tournament with a score of 1-0.
ALL-ISL: Devon Fogg ’23
ALL-ISL Honorable Mention: Abby Musser ’24
Final Record: 7-6-2
Final ISL AA Standing: 5th
Selected as the #3 seed in the NoVA Girls Soccer Invitational Tournament for the second year in a row.
ALL-ISL AA: Ali Barrow ’23, Julia Duvall ’23, Campbell Wolff ’23
ISL A Division Regular Season and Tournament Champions—undefeated in the A Division!
Final Record: 11-5
Final ISL A Standing: 1st
Final VISAA State Ranking: 5th
Alexandria Sportsman’s Club Athlete of the Month: Margaux DeVaul ’26
ALL-ISL A: Mikki Taye ’23, Margaux DeVaul ’26
VISAA Division I Player of the Year: Margaux DeVaul ’26
VISAA Division I All-State First Team: Mikki Taye ’23