Saints In Action, Fall/Winter 2021-2022
SAINTS IN ACTION
BONDING AT SHRINEMONT
The Class of 2022 and members of the Upper School faculty spent two days bonding as a class during a favorite September tradition at Shrine Mont, an Episcopal Diocese of Virginia conference center in Orkney Springs, Va. Through games, social activities, and teamwork exercises, the retreat gives students the opportunity to grow as leaders and to build relationships with teachers and administrators in a fun and relaxed environment.
A COMMUNITY CREATION
In the first Middle School project involving all three grades, visual art students explored the art of typography, using graffiti-style lettering to create bold, unique name designs.
FUN FOR A GREAT CAUSE!
Fourth grade Saints set up an amazing arcade with games they made from reusable materials called the Crenshaw Arcade—inspired by the book “Crenshaw,” which includes themes about hunger and homelessness. To play, students and teachers donated canned goods and non-perishable foods for tickets. The donations—all 2,229 pounds— were donated to the local non-profit ALIVE.
PARENTS OF ALUMNI EVENT
The school is very grateful to the 30+ parents of alumni who gathered together in the Wills Library and made 100 care packages for our youngest alumni in college.
THE SAFETY PATROL
Say hello to the Lower School Safety Patrol students. More than 40 students stepped up to serve! Each day these fifth graders help with morning carpool, opening doors, greeting families, and walking our youngest Saints to class. They are learning valuable skills and providing leadership as responsible citizens.
Upper School students were able to learn all about it and even go inside a two-person underwater craft built by engineer Alec Smyth. Trevor Smyth ’23, a student leader in the Science Club, invited his dad to bring the submarine on campus. Alec answered questions from students and shared details about what it’s like to travel in the submarine. Trevor said, “Discussing new and interesting topics allows our Science Club members to learn more about topics they do not cover in class. Learning is essential to broaden our horizons.”
CARING FOR THE EARTH
The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Club (CBW) and the Branching Out Club (below) started the year with a clean up project in Dyke Marsh along the Potomac in Alexandria, and a tree planting at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Clagett Farm in Maryland. CBW is led by Matthew Mantey ’23 and Branching Out is led by SaraClaire Chiaramonte ’24. Other Upper School clubs focusing on the environment are the Pollination & Environmental Restoration and the Eco Justice Clubs.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
AP Art History class visited the Museum of African Art in September— the first field trip for some in two years! Here they are enjoying the sun in front of a sculpture by Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare, one of the artists they recently studied in class.
SAINTS PETS ABOUND
In remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi, SSSAS held the beloved annual Blessing of the Animals at the Lower School amphitheater for our entire school community. Dogs, cats, rabbits, lizards, and more were in attendance!
IT’S NOT ALL WORK
Sometimes students (and their teachers) just need to have fun, and Halloween provides lots of opportunities. Students on all three campuses dressed for the occasion. At the Lower School they had their annual Halloween parade, and each year the Middle School has a spirited pumpkin carving party. All the pumpkins are bought from the Immanuel Church-on-the Hill to support their local charity partnerships.
ALL ABOUT THE BRAIN
Middle School scientists learned all about the brain! The unit culminated in an artistic, one-page summary project representing everything they learned. Students gave peer feedback on sticky notes and then continued to make edits to their work based on the feedback they received.
Our entire community was invited to gather at the Upper School and participate in the annual Saintsgiving tradition—a morning of service the day before Thanksgiving. The event kicked off on Draper track, where a Community Walk was held to raise money for the school’s programs that partner with Mother of Light Center. Families also made care packages for the children and adults in need in our community.
DEBATING D.C. STATEHOOD
Middle and Upper School students have been discussing D.C. Statehood.
In their first project of the year, Upper School students in AP Seminar debated D.C. statehood. This project eases students into argumentation, research, writing, and understanding lenses and perspectives, which are essential to their work in this course. It also helps them practice collaborative group work. Faculty and staff served as judges and gave feedback to the students both on the argumentation/presentation aspect of the debate, as well as on their research and accuracy.
At the Middle School, eighth grade history classes also have been deliberating and debating some current event issues. In addition to D.C. statehood, they have talked about the electoral college and supreme court terms for life. The students work in groups to consider each topic and have thoughtful discussions in order to decide where they stand on the issue and debate successfully.
NEW MOVIE TRADITION
A tradition that started during the pandemic, each Middle School grade level has a movie night for outdoor fun in the beginning of the year. The eighth grade was first and enjoyed the 2001 crime/comedy “Ocean’s Eleven” on Moss Field at the Upper School.
The Upper School Wetlands Biology class went off campus to collect Tulip Poplar, River Birch, Paw Paw, American Beech, and Hornbeam leaves for their collections and add entries to their nature journals. Through the observation and identification processes, students in this course learn about the characteristic flora and fauna and their interrelationships in the various wetland communities found between the Atlantic Ocean and the Virginia Piedmont.
The fifth graders love spending time with their kindergarten buddies, a special longtime tradition at the Lower School that builds leadership skills as well as creating social bonds that Saints alumni hold dear. Sometimes they read to them or visit their classrooms, or best of all, have a playdate on the “big kid” playground. The fifth graders helped their buddies onto the monkey bars, climb the ropes, and ride the zip line. A joyful bonding experience was had by all!
SCHUYLER BAILAR SPEAKS AT UPPER SCHOOL
SSSAS welcomed back Schuyler Bailar to the Upper School in October. Schuyler is the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team and graduate of Harvard University. He shared his inspirational story and how he has come to be a well-known and respected advocate for the LGBTQIA+ communities.
THANK YOU PARENTS
SSSAS parents made the inaugural Fall Parent Participation Challenge a huge success! The 510 families who participated with a gift of any amount helped the Advancement Office to raise $600,000 for SSSAS!
Eighth graders explored some of the major memorials and historic sites Washington, D.C. The field trip extended conversations from their history classes, including which events are remembered, which are forgotten, and how we create collective national memory. The students visited sites honoring wars, veterans, and presidents before designing their own memorial for an event or person of their choice.
BACK TO 5TH CENTURY BCE
Is Confucianism a religion or philosophy? The sixth grade students studying global religions discovered that the answer depends on who you ask and how you define religion. They explored the teachings of Confucius, or as he is better known in China, Master Kong, and the enduring impact his ideas on Chinese culture.
SSSAS WINS THE 2021 SEMINARY HILL CUP
The Seminary Hill Cup (SHC) is an annual, spirited competition between SSSAS and Episcopal High School girls’ varsity and junior varsity teams. After a day of thrilling competition on October 23, Saints won the Cup with a score of 5-4! The competition was tied 4-4 and hinged on the outcome of the girls varsity soccer game, which the Saints won 1-0.
The schools compete for a total of 10 possible points throughout a total of 10 different contests (1 point is awarded to the winner of each individual team contests, 0.5 points awarded for a tie). If point totals are tied at the end of the overall competition, the Cup is awarded to the school that has recorded the most varsity wins (up to five possible) in the competition. The Seminary Hill Cup’s host school alternates each year between the SSSAS and EHS campuses.
Final Record: 9-7
Final ISL Standing: 3rd (ISL A Division)
Notable: Advanced to the ISL A Division Tournament finals and the VISAA State Tournament.
ALL-ISL (A Division): Mikki Taye ’23
VISAA All-State First Team: Mikki Taye ’23
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
IAC Championship Meet Finish: 3rd
VISAA State Championship Meet Finish: 9th
Alexandria City Championship Winner: Noah Cummings ’22
ALL-IAC: Noah Cummings ’22
VISAA All-State: Noah Cummings ’22
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
ISL Championship Meet Finish: 4th
VISAA State Championship Meet Results: 4th
Alexandria City Championship Winner: Morgan Lewis ’22
Notable: The girls had their highest ever ISL Championship meet finish.
Alexandria Sportsman’s Club Athlete of the Month: Morgan Lewis ’22
ALL-ISL: Morgan Lewis ’22, Emmie Vajda ’23, Hannah Floyd ’25
VISAA All-State: Morgan Lewis ’22, Hannah Floyd ’25
Final Record: 8-12-1
Final IAC Standing: 5th
Final VISAA State Ranking: 6th
Notable: Beat the defending state champions and #1 ranked St. Christopher’s 1-0.
ALL-IAC: Finn Jensen ’22, Liam Matney ’22, Jack Murphy ’23
VISAA All-State Second Team: Finn Jensen ’22, Liam Matney ’22, Jack Murphy ’23
Final Record: 6-8
Final ISL Standing: 5th (ISL AA Division)
Notable: Selected as the #3 seed in the NoVA Girls Soccer Invitational Tournament.
ALL-ISL (AA Division): Lexie Jordan ’22, Tahirah Turnage ’22, Ali Barrow ’23
Final Record: 12-8-1
Final ISL Standing: 4th
Notable: Defeated Stone Ridge in four overtimes to advance to the ISL Tournament Final.
Alexandria Sportsman’s Club Athlete of the Month: Spencer Ferry ’23
ALL-ISL: Amelia Duncan ’22, Emmy Pascal ’22, Devon Fogg ’23
VISAA All-State Second Team: Ella Webb ’22
Final Record: 8-6
Final ISL Standing: 4th (ISL A Division)
ISL A Division Tournament Champions
Notable: Upset Bullis in the ISL A Tournament semifinal and defeated Georgetown Visitation to claim our first league tournament title since 2006.
ALL-ISL (A Division): CC Jacobs ’23
Final Record: 7-4
Final IAC Standing: 2nd
Notable: Received a #2 seed in the VISAA State-Playoffs. Best record in recent history.
IAC Offensive Player of the Year: Ewan Clarke ’22
ALL-IAC: Nyrique Butler ’22, Danny Garvin ’23, Blake Hiligh ’22, Willie Jacobs ’23, Jack Kolton ’22, Grayson Schmidt ’22, Justin Stewart ’23, Michael Vaughn ’22
VISAA All-State First Team: Ewan Clarke ’22, Willie Jacobs ’22, Grayson Schmidt ’22, Michael Vaughn ’22
VISAA All-State Second Team: Garrett Brennan ’22, Nyrique Butler ’22, Blake Hiligh ’22, Justin Hill ’23, Jack Kolton ’22, Justin Stewart ’23
All-Met Second Team: Ewan Clarke ’22