Saints in Action, Spring 2024

Saints in Action, Spring 2024



The Saints Life sent a reporter to get an exclusive interview with our new school mascots, Steve and Aggie! They certainly have a lot to bark about. 

What do you hope to add to our Saints events?
Steve: We’re thrilled to be the newest members of the Saints community, and we’re hoping to bring some pawsitivity and yipping great fun to our school (not to be confused with nipping)!

What inspired you to become a mascot?
Aggie: Well, you see, ever since we were pups, we’ve had a nose for adventure and a love for making people smile. When we heard the school was looking for a new mascot, we just knew we had to throw our hats… or should we say, our collars… into the ring!

That’s pawsome! So, what’s been the most exciting part of your new job so far?
Steve: Oh, where do I start? Probably the moment when I got to burst into the Lower School gym for the first time during the Homecoming pep rally. The kid’s cheers were like music to my floppy ears! Plus, all the belly rubs from fans afterward weren’t too shabby.
Aggie: I love when the kids start chanting my name. “Aggie, Aggie, Aggie.” Don’t be jealous, Steve.

Do you know if there have been any other mascots during the school’s nearly 100-year history (that’s right, it’s almost time to celebrate the Centennial!)?
Aggie: The St. Agnes school mascot was a lamb, but I don’t think they had any grazing on the athletic field—I would have loved to chase…oh, I mean play…with some lambs. Saint Agnes was often pictured with a lamb, symbolizing her innocence, purity, and gentleness. Also, the Latin word for lamb, “Agnus” became associated with her name, Agnes. There were lots of lamb drawings and stuffed animals around, and one of the newspapers was called “Shearings,” and the name of the yearbook was the “Lambs Tail.”
Steve: I’m not sure if St. Stephen’s had any mascots. We should ask our alumni that question! For a while in the mid-2000s, St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes had a knightly Saint who came to games…until he graduated, but there has never been an official mascot like us…until this year! 

We’ve heard rumors about some of your escapades around the school. Care to share any funny stories with us?
Aggie: Oh, you’ve heard about those, huh? Well, there was the time Steve double dog dared me to try and bury my squeaky toy in the head of school’s office plant. Let’s just say, the look on Mrs. Adam’s face was priceless!

Hmmm, sounds like a shaggy dog story to me. Now, tell us, do you have any special tricks or talents that you like to show off?
Steve: Well, I’m not just a pretty face, you know! I’ve been practicing my tail-wagging technique, perfecting my high-fives, and I even have a signature move I like to call the “sloppy kiss surprise” for unsuspecting fans. It’s all about keeping them on their toes. 
Aggie: Learning new tricks is lots of fun. My favorite treats are the Saints cookies with the school logos on them. Sometimes I eat so many I get sick as a dog.

What’s your biggest challenge as a mascot?
Steve: Well, since you asked, I will admit that after all this cheering, jumping around, and adulation, I’m pretty dog tired. Dogs need lots of sleep to maintain their good looks.

If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring mascots out there, what would it be?
Aggie: Woof, that’s a tough one! It can be a dog-eat-dog world out there. I guess I’d say, always remember to stay true to yourself and never be afraid to let your inner goofball shine. Oh, and never underestimate the power of a well-timed belly flop!

Great words of wisdom from you both. Thank you so much for sharing your tail-wagging tales with us today. 
Steve: Thanks for barking with us! Remember folks, we don’t care if it’s raining cats and dogs, it’s always a great day to be a Saint!


April was an exciting month for our Upper School’s novice FIRST Robotics Competition team, Starstuff Robotics. Following the success of their first tournament in Blacksburg, Starstuff competed at the Falls Church district event. There they achieved an impressive 9th place out of 34 teams following the qualification rounds and went on to captain the 6th-seed alliance in the playoffs. Their dedication was rewarded with the Rookie Inspiration Award, and earned them an invitation to the District Championship in Petersburg, Va. Moreover, MacPhearson Strassberg ’25 was nominated as a “Dean’s List” candidate, poised to compete for further honors at the District Championship.

The momentum continued at the District Championship, where Starstuff Robotics clinched the Rookie All-Star Award, which granted them an automatic invitation to the World Championship in Houston, held April 17-20. Despite competing against teams with over 25 years of experience, they managed a commendable 32nd place out of 54 teams. Additionally, they were honored with the “Alumni Choice” award, which allowed FIRST Chesapeake alumni to vote for their favorite team at the event.

The trip to Houston for the World Championship was an invaluable experience for Starstuff Robotics. Competing among the top 600 teams from around the globe, Starstuff not only challenged themselves on an international stage, but also gained immense knowledge and skills. This opportunity allowed them to witness firsthand the highest levels of competitive robotics, offering insights into advanced strategies and engineering solutions. The experience was not just about competition; it was a significant learning journey that will undoubtedly influence their future projects and aspirations in robotics. Follow the team’s adventures on Instagram @starstuff9403.

In March five Upper School students received recognition in this year’s NCWIT (National Center for Women in Information Technology) Aspirations in Computing Award. Sandhya Augustine ’25 achieved Virginia Affiliate Winner status, recognizing her as one of the top applicants statewide! Amanda Klock ’24, Ryiee Michael ’26, Suri Wang ’25, and Nabeera Yasir ’26 received well-deserved Honorable Mentions. All five winners are members of the SSSAS Robotics Team and Girls Who Code Club.

Earlier in the year, the Middle School robotics teams also did extremely well in their competitions. In the first qualifier in Charlottesville, Va., Terabyte Triceratops went to the championship round as an alliance team member achieving a 2nd Place finish overall, and  the Techno Rexs won the 3rd Place – Think Award, removing engineering obstacles through creative thinking. 

At the second qualifier in Harrisonburg, Va., both teams had an amazing tournament, making it to the Final Championship Round on opposing sides! The Techno Rexs entered the championship as a Captain team, enabling them to go to Regionals with a best 2 of 3 win, but Terabyte Triceratops won the second and third games to advance to the Regional Championship. This season there were more than 440 teams in the region and less than 10% were able to move forward to the Regional Championship. As most of the competitors were high school teams, advancing was a very special accomplishment! Terabye Triceratops also earned 1st Place Team – Alliance Partner and the 2nd Place Think Award (given to the team that best reflects the journey the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season). Techno Rex achieved the Overall 2nd Place Finish – Captain Team. 

In February, Terabyte Triceratops made an impressive showing at the Tri State Regional Chesapeake Robotic FTC Championship. The only middle school team in attendance, they won their first two matches decisively placing them in 7th position. Unfortunately, their robot experienced issues during the next two matches, but they placed 19th overall within their bracket of 27 teams ending an incredible season of learning and teamwork.


In April we were honored with a special two-day visit from the 14th Bishop of the Episcopal Dioceses of Virginia, The Rt. Rev. E. Mark Stevenson. He participated in chapels on all three campuses, sharing his wisdom and thoughtful insights and engaging with students, faculty, staff, and parents. At the Upper School, he confirmed 11 students and two members of the faculty.


Our entire school gathered at the Upper School campus to celebrate our partnership with St. Paul’s School in Montrouis, Haiti, and immerse ourselves in Haitian culture! Students from all campuses participated in interactive sessions on Haitian storytelling, jazz, metal art, and more. The event concluded with an all-school chapel. It was a day of learning, connection, and making new friendships as we united in our mission


In April Cate Nickson ’25 was honored with the Alexandria Historical Society Award. Every year one outstanding history student from each of Alexandria’s four high schools is selected for academic achievement and scholarship in American history, high motivation and sustained interest in American history, awareness of the role of history and the historian in contemporary society, and demonstrated citizenship and student leadership.


Nine Saints received top honors for their artistic and literary skills in local and regional contests and exhibitions.

Lily Adams ’24

“For I Am Learning”
Palette Award
Alexandria All-City High School

Ariya Harrington ’26

“American Dream Girl”
Gold Key
Regional Scholastic Award

Claire Helmreich  ’24

“Weight of Life”
Silver Key
Regional Scholastic Award

National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition
In addition to being juried into the NCECA, Claire received further distinction and was awarded the Bailey Pottery Equipment Award for this ceramic piece.

August Moon ’24

Gold Key
Regional Scholastic Award

Jack Rutter ’26

Panda Mosaic”
Honorable Mention
Regional Scholastic Award

Ella Joshi ’25

“Natural Light”
Silver Key
Regional Scholastic Award

August Moon ’24

Palette Award
Alexandria All-City High School

August Moon ’24: 

“Transformation Masks”
Gold Key
Regional Scholastic Award

Gold Key Portfolio Award
In addition to receiving a Gold Key for his portfolio, August was selected to receive the Ju Ju Art Gallery Scholarship. Several local arts organizations give monetary scholarships to Scholastic Gold Key Portfolio award winners each year. The Ju Ju Art Gallery Scholarship is given annually by a Fairfax-based artist, gallery, and art school director who blindly reviewed all of the Gold Key portfolios and selected August’s portfolio.

Tyler Troy ’25

“Perfect Harmony”
Honorable Mention
Regional Scholastic Award

Angus Artgetsinger ’26

“At Night in Fog”
Silver Key
Regional Scholastic Award


Congratulations to all the artists who exhibited their work at the All-City Exhibition:

Lily Adams ’24
Caeli Boris ’27
Tae Casagrande ’24
Gavin Goldstein ’26
Evan Ingraham ’25
Makayla Jones ’25
Brooke Lai ’24
Cole Lieberthal ’27
August Moon ’24
Georgia Neaderland ’26
Jonathan O’Bryant-Graves ’24
Layla Stewart ’24
David Rhind-Tutt ’24
Sydney Worsham ’24


Dava Boyce ’26 won a Regional Scholastic Award Gold Key in Science and Fiction for her piece, “Ashen Pages.”


In March Upper School Stage One proudly presented four magical performances of  “The Sound of Music,” by Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics). The performances showcased the talent, hard work, and enthusiasm of our 86 actors, musicians, and crew members.