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The Magazine of Highland School | Spring 2018




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Board of Trustees Mr. Mark Van de Water* P’13,’15,’18 Chairman Mrs. Jody Warfield* P’20 Vice Chair Mrs. Lesley Soltys* P’19,’21,’25 Treasurer Mrs. Heather Iasso* P’15,’18 Secretary

Mr. Fred Blackburn* P’17,’17,’21 Ms. Darragh Davis ‘69 At Highland School, our mission is to provide a demanding academic and co-curricular program

Ms. Katherine Ellsworth P’18,’21,’24 Ms. Candice Hall ‘92

that develops the skills and character essential

Mr. John “Jeb” Hannum P’21,‘23,’25

for students to meet the challenges of college

Mr. David Hartley P’17

and leadership in the twenty-first century.

Mr. Thomas “Ty” Moore Lawson P’19 Mr. Jim Mitchell P’19,‘20

To carry out this mission, Highland School has assembled thoroughly modern facilities; a large, diverse, and highly qualified staff; a student body ready to meet the challenges; and an academic philosophy and strategy that make maximum use of these resources.

Mrs. Kathy Morehouse P’20,’22,’24 Mrs. Vaughan Myers* GP’17 Ms. Diana Norris* P’26,’28 Mrs. Katrine Pendleton* P’14,’17 Mrs. Elizabeth “Libby” Robinson P’14,’17 Mrs. Wendy Rodgers P’17,’19,’21 Dr. Beejal Taylor P’25,’27 Dr. Laura Tremblay P’19,’21,’25,’27 Mr. Dave Turner* P’19,’23

Our Founders Mrs. Dorothy Montgomery Rust P’67 Ms. Lavinia Hamilton Founders Award Honorees Mr. William A. Hazel P’70,’72,’74,’78,’82 GP ‘15,’17,’20 Mr. Jay Keyser P’06,’08

Dr. George E. Wallace P’16,’19 Mr. Henry D. Berg P’08,’11,’13 Head of School Mrs. Kathy Thornhill P’14,’16,’19,‘21 Parents Association President Mr. Marshall D. Doeller ‘67 P’97,’04, Trustee Emeritus Mr. Paul Rice P’04,’08, Trustee Emeritus

Mr. Lewis Pollard P’12,’13 Mr. Paul Rice P’04,’08

*Indicates member of the Executive Committee

Table of Contents

Spring 2018

FEATURES Genotyping: A Gateway to the Future


The Power of Morning Meeting


J-Term: Thinking Outside the Box


TTL: Through Their Lens


The Writing Center


Off the Beaten Path


In January and February, Leslie Ziegler’s AP Biology Class took field trips to Shenandoah University in Winchester to learn about genotyping from Dr. Robbie Kidd P’17,’19. In the Lower School, Responsive Classroom brings together academic and social-emotional skills to drive student successes. Our teachers develop a deep understanding of where each child is developmentally, and use that to guide their learning.


Images from #Enough National Walk Out page 14

Freshman Dean Ronnie Ross offers some background on the evolution of the inter-disciplinary project for freshmen that has become known as J-Term. Students in Laura DeBoer’s Digital Photography class take us through a day in the life of Highland School with photos of students across all three divisions. Phoebe Krumich ‘10 launched a Writing Center in the Upper School. She and four students share their early experiences.


Learn about changes to the Middle School academic schedule on page 20

Independent Studies in the Upper School are an opportunity for motivated students to get ‘off the beaten path’ and create their own electives for academic credit.


News from Around Campus

Students were on stage across all divisions. Check out photos on pages 32, 40, and 60.

Highland Voices


Highland Heroes


Second Grade Play


Sweeney Todd in The Rice Theater


Sixth Graders Present The Iliad in The Rice Theater


Alumni News & Notes


In Memoriam: Gina Farrar ‘57 and David Nelson


Note: Highland School does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, employment, or admission policies, its scholarship, athletic and other school-administered programs.

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Letter from our Head of School

We welcome you to this “snapshot” of a day in the life of Highland This issue of Highland Magazine takes you inside today’s school by highlighting key aspects of our students’ and teachers’ day-to-day educational experiences. Building on our historical grounding in a challenging, active, and balanced approach to schooling, Highland at 90 has advanced to provide a unique and relevant education for students in the 21st century. As we take time to celebrate 90 years of educational excellence, it is incumbent on us to always consider the skills our students will need going forward while ensuring that the Highland program evolves purposefully. Read about the development of responsive classroom in the Lower School, the eight-day schedule in the Middle School, and discover what freshmen do in January. “Hands-on” is more than a mantra at Highland, it is at the core of our special emphasis on experiential learning. The Upper School offers Certificate Programs in Leadership, Global Studies, Pre-Engineering, and now Social Entrepreneurship/Environmental Sustainability; the Middle School fosters the Growth Mindset; and the Lower School continues to develop the Project Based Learning approach. All of these programs share an emphasis on skillset and mindset over a narrow content focus. As examples, read the article written by Jenna Devanney ’18 about genotyping, and be inspired by our newly minted Writing Center student consultants.

Thank you for your continued support of our school. Sincerely,

Henry D. Berg Head of School

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Photo by Sophia Tammera ‘19

Our highly effective teaching methods utilize a planning process that includes: involving students in setting objectives; carrying out the activity; and reflecting on the success and failures to focus on what has been learned. The difference is profound. Students are more involved in their learning and the outcomes are skills and knowledge directly transferable to the next application.

Head of School Henry D. Berg Editor David Henrickson Writers and Contributors Sana Ahmed ‘18 Grace Barratt ‘18 Marc J. Belanger Caleb Beverstock ‘18 Cathy Campbell Julia Daum ‘19 Jenna Devanney ‘18 Betty Gookin ‘35 Dr. John Harmon

Diana Hewitt Phoebe Krumich ‘10 Marjorie Kuzminski Briar Leake Preston Miller Matt Ormiston Hope Porter ‘37 Jody Warfield Mark Van de Water

Photography Skyler Beach ‘21 Hailey Bulmer ‘20 Lucas Christman ‘19 Joe DeBardi ‘19 Laura DeBoer Mary Flynn ‘20 Matthew Heller ‘20

David Henrickson George Light ‘21 Isabella Martin ‘18 Jack Newell ‘18 Wendy Safren Adam Smedley ‘18 Sophia Tammera ‘19

Director of Advancement Marc J. Belanger Class Notes Coordinator Briar Leake Highland Magazine is produced by the Office of Advancement for alumni, parents and friends of Highland School. Letters and comments are welcome. Please send inquiries to: David Henrickson, Director of Communications, Highland School, 597 Broadview Avenue, Warrenton, VA 20186, email to, or call 540-878-2717.

SEE MORE ON PAGE 42 On the Cover Arts teacher Laura DeBoer took this photo of Mia Tremblay ‘19 throwing a pot in her ceramics class. Check out images from DeBoer’s Digital Photography students starting on page 42.

News from Around Campus


Dean Bailey ‘18, Grace Barratt ‘18, Jovante´ White ‘18, Mekhi Hendricks ‘18, Shayne Herrera ‘18, and Kenny Clark-Suggs ‘18 on stage in The Rice Theater.

Seniors Bring Attention to Black History Month In February, six seniors hosted assemblies in the Upper and Middle Schools to celebrate the achievements of African Americans and draw attention to their historic impacts In February, six seniors celebrated Black History month by hosting two assemblies honoring the accomplishments of African Americans. The students led one assembly in The Rice Theater for upper school students and faculty, and one in the Johnson Academic Media Center for middle school students and faculty.

time at Highland School. Grace Barratt ‘18 has been at Highland since pre-kindergarten–a lifer. Jovante´ White ‘18 came to Highland for her senior year. All felt it was important to take advantage of the opportunity to connect with their community beyond the classroom, stage, or athletic field.

“I’ve been at Highland my whole life and I’ve never experienced a Black History month presentation,” said Grace Barratt ‘18. “I think it’s important for kids like us to learn about Black history from people who understand. We really just wanted to educate our peers.”

“We were trying to help start a conversation–not teach a lesson,” said Dean Bailey ‘18. “We wanted it to be a student-to-student conversation that could help create an understanding of Black people as more than athletes and entertainers but also recognize them as heroes, as artists, as athletes, as musicians–a conversation that can be carried on in future years.”

The students who participated run the gamut of their

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News from Around Campus

Former NBA Player Chris Herren Speaks to Students on Addiction Substance abuse stripped him of a promising athletic career. Now, he brings a stark warning to not follow in his footsteps – by not starting In January, former NBA player Chris Herren brought a stark warning to upper school students and 8th graders about his personal battle with substance abuse and addiction. Herren, who played in the NBA from 1999-2006, described in vivid detail a battle that started at a young age with alcohol then progressed to cocaine, prescription painkillers including OxyContin and Vicodin, and heroin. After racking up seven drug-related felonies, Herren found his way into intensive recovery programs that have helped him be alcohol and drug-free since 2008.

Chris Herren came to campus as part of a PATH Foundation program.

In 2011, Herren launched ‘The Herren Project’ to share his story and increase awareness of the real dangers of substance abuse. Now, he travels to schools around the country to speak directly to students. “I do this to prevent one kid, one family, from going down the road I went down,” Herren said. In his sixty minute presentation, Herren sought to connect with students through his experiences at the highest levels of collegiate and professional athletics. But he always brought his insights back to the level of the students, who sat in rapt attention. “I remember what it was like sitting in those seats, listening to people present. I remember saying that I’ll never be like that guy.” Herren’s visit was funded by the PATH Foundation, which has brought him to speak at high schools in Fauquier, Rappahannock, and Culpeper Counties. “We were really blown away by the impact Chris had in his talks with the area high schools,” said Christy Connolly, PATH Foundation president and CEO. “His message is so important for them to hear, especially as we all too often learn of another family affected by addiction.” Herren will return to Fauquier County this spring to address middle school students. Highland students in grades six and seven will attend that event.

Highland’s Team RoboHawk Wins ‘Excellence in Engineering’ Award at Regional Event At the FIRST® Robotics Chesapeake District Northern Virginia competition, held Saturday, March 7 at Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Team RoboHawk earned the ‘Excellence in Engineering’ Award. The team was recognized for their innovative scissor lifting mechanism that allowed their competition robot to earn points for themselves and their alliance partners.

News from Around Campus

Abbey Wills ‘18 received her award at the US Youth Soccer Award Gala in Philadelphia.

Wills ‘18 Recognized as TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year by US Youth Soccer

Chosen from four finalists, senior recognized for her volunteer work with national organization that provides training for young athletes with disabilities

In January, Highland senior Abbey Wills ‘18 earned United States Youth Soccer (US Youth Soccer) TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year award. Abbey was recognized as the East Region’s award winner before being selected for the national prize at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala held on January 20 in Philadelphia. “When I found out that I was selected for this honor I was really surprised,” Wills said. “There are so many great volunteers in the whole organization that are integral to the program.” Abbey has been involved in TOPSoccer through Virginia Soccer Association (VSA) for the past five years. She is a Nationally Certified

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TOPSoccer coach, is an active fundraiser for the organization, and is involved with service organizations around Highland. She even got all her teammates on the varsity soccer team to volunteer with TOPSoccer as well! To top it all off, Abbey is a fantastic student and athlete. Her GPA is 4.5. She’s earned national medals in English, Latin, Spanish and Etymology. She is also captain of the varsity girls tennis team. “It is an honor to have been selected, but I am also proud of every volunteer we have in our program,” she stated. “TOPSoccer would not be possible without all our combined efforts.”

News from Around Campus

New Legacy Society Honors Bequests, Planned Gifts Inspired by Highland’s Long-Standing School Motto “Quae Vernant Crescent”

The new Quae Vernant Crescent Legacy Society recognizes individuals who include a bequest to Highland in their will or other estate plans, or name the school as the beneficiary of a planned gift. As an important source of future financial support for Highland students and faculty, these gifts truly embody the school motto which translates as “that which is growing yields increase.” “The lasting impact of bequests will shape Highland— and our world—for generations to come,” said Hank Berg, Head of School. “The true power of these gifts lies in the fact that they will empower Highland to educate the leaders of tomorrow.”

Record Group of Juniors and Seniors Inducted into National Honor Society On March 6, a record group of 27 juniors and seniors were inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS). The ceremony, held in The Rice Theater, was attended by students, faculty, and parents. The event was moderated by current NHS members, who introduced the new inductees with a personal statement that reflected on and recognized their accomplishments.

Planned Giving Committee Formed Trustee and alumna Ms. Candice Hall ’92 currently leads a special committee in revising Highland’s “Gift Acceptance Policy” to ensure proper stewardship of planned gifts for approval by the Board of Trustees. She is joined in this important effort by fellow alumna and trustee Ms. Darragh Davis ’69, who has drafted sample language for donors to use in making a bequest to Highland. Current parent and local CPA, Jonny Rosch P’32, is also sharing his expertise.

The National Honor Society recognizes outstanding high school students around the United States. The organization, which was founded in 1921, is broken into chapters. Highland’s chapter was founded in 1997.

“For many alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends of our school, a charitable bequest is the easiest and best way to make a gift to Highland,” said Marc Belanger, Director of Advancement. “Bequests cost donors nothing now, yet offer the satisfaction of knowing that their future gift will live on.”

Keep up with all the latest news and photos on Highland’s Facebook page!

Contact Us to Learn More Several alumni, parents, grandparents and friends have already joined the Society and shared a Confidential Information Form (C.I.F.) with Highland School. To learn more about bequests and planned giving options, please contact Marc Belanger at 540-878-2777 or send an email to

NHS recognizes students in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. For more information, please visit   Spring 2018  Highland Magazine   9

Spotlight on Athletics

The boys and girls varsity basketball teams celebrate their Delaney Athletic Conference (DAC) tournament titles.

Varsity Basketball Teams Win DAC Tourney Titles Together for First Time Since 2008

It has been ten years since both the boys and girls varsity basketball teams won Delaney Athletic Conference tournament titles in the same year Since the start of their respective seasons back in December, Highland’s boys and girls varsity basketball teams have had lofty goals. As wins stacked up for both teams against conference and non-conference opponents – including gritty wins over traditional rivals Wakefield School and Seton School – regular season titles and DAC tournament titles became milestones toward larger state tournament goals for both teams. However, the significance of the two team’s tournament and regular season successes wasn’t lost on long-time Athletic Director Gary Leake. “Both programs have been working hard to become two of the strongest teams in the DAC. It’s been a decade since both our boys and girls teams have had this kind of success at the same time and on the same floor,” said Leake. “To top it off, both teams have great young cores and strong coaching staffs that should allow them to build on their successes into next season and beyond. But we have

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to savor this moment. It doesn’t happen very often!” Teams Translate DAC Successes to VISAA D2 State Tournament Runs The boys varsity team earned a seventh seed in the VISAA Division 2 State tournament. The team hosted a first round game against Middleburg Academy before advancing to the state quarterfinals against 2016 champion Blue Ridge School in Saint George. The Hawks lost 77-56 to end their season. The girls earned the top seed in the VISAA Division 2 State tournament and earned a first round bye. They cruised to victory over Fredericksburg Christian to earn a semifinals rematch against rival Seton School in Richmond. The girls advanced to the finals with a convincing 53-39 victory before falling to Miller School 43-35 in the finals. Congratulations to both teams–both player and coaching staffs–on two great seasons!

Spotlight on Community

#GivingTuesday, $45K Match Drive Fundraising Successes

Alumni Double Participation, Anonymous Gift Nets $90K+ Support for Highland’s students and faculty came pouring in at the end of the calendar year, providing vital funding for key resources. The enduring generosity of the Highland Community continues to grow and strengthen, especially with new generations of alumni donors. “We are thrilled by this incredible investment in Highland,” said Katrine Pendleton P’14,’17, Advancement Committee Chair. “Every gift helps support our students as they grow and develop into the leaders of tomorrow.” Thanks to a winning effort by 110 alumni on #GivingTuesday, Highland earned $25,000 in challenge funds and almost doubled participation over last year in just one day. They were cheered on throughout the day by Facebook posts from Highland Athletic Director Gary Leake, and Highland legend Barbara Wilkes. “Alumni giving is essential to the long-term health of Highland,” said Rick and Leigh-Ann Groux P’15,’19. “We are proud that our $20,000 challenge inspired so many alumni, and grateful that Ms. Darragh Davis ’69 joined us with an additional $5,000.” End-of-Year Match Raises More Than $90,000 Special thanks also go to the anonymous Highland family who sent in the following offer on December 6: To the Highland Community, In the season of Thanksgiving, it is customary to reflect upon the things in our lives for which we are most grateful. For our family, that would undoubtedly include Highland School. We are so thankful for the supportive, nurturing environment provided by the faculty, administration, coaching staff and fellow parents that make our children feel safe and comfortable to pursue their passions, both academic and extracurricular. As the end of the calendar year fast approaches, we would like to mark Highland’s 90th Anniversary with a matching grant to help raise $90,000. For each dollar donated to the Highland Fund during the month of December, we will...match that gift up to a total of $45,000 for a grand total of $90K. Please reach out to Highland parents, grandparents, alumni, friends and faculty to help us attain this goal. Together, we can make Highland an even better place to be. In response, Highland launched the “Double Your Gift in December” minicampaign to earn every penny of this $45,000 in $1-for-$1 matching funds. When all the dust settled, the Highland Community gave a total of $55,682 in gifts, exceeding the goal by over $10K. The stage is now set for a record-breaking fundraising year. Please be sure to make your annual gift to The Highland Fund by June 30, 2018, using the enclosed envelope or online at

Alexis Conlin ‘22

8th Grade Science Fair Successes Eighth graders had a strong showing at the regional science fair on Saturday, March 17. “All of our students were well spoken and impressed the judges with their experimental design and analysis,” said Middle School Science teacher Erica Deane. Ten Highland students attended: Forrester Belanger ‘22 Jade Condrell ‘22 Alexis Conlin ‘22 Jasper Faulk ‘22 Ryan Gill ‘22 Meghan Krause ‘22 David Light ‘22 Abbey Mundell ‘22 Marley Oare ‘22 Nick Ruddle ‘22 Qualifying in the top ten projects were Alexis Conlin and David Light. They earned a chance to compete for a spot in the Broadcom Masters in Washington, DC next fall. Nick Ruddle ‘22 and Alexis Conlin ‘22 won awards from the Office of Naval Research, and Alexis also won an award from the United States Air Force.

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Spotlight on Community

Union Bank & Trust has more than 120 branches throughout Virginia including this office on Broadview Avenue in Warrenton.

Union Bank & Trust to Lead “Highland Heroes” New annual corporate sponsorship program offers year-round support for students, faculty

Highland School recently announced that Union Bank & Trust will lead its “Highland Heroes” annual corporate sponsorship program this year. As the premier Titanium Sponsor, Union’s support provides critical funding for students and teachers at the Piedmont’s leading independent Pre-K2 through 12 school.

also supporting the education of the next generation of business and civic leaders. Joining Union Bank & Trust in the Highland Heroes program this year are:

“We are proud to further Highland’s efforts to serve a broad range of our region’s exceptional students,” said Ray Knott, Senior Vice President, Market Executive at Union Bank & Trust. “We applaud Highland students and teachers for their excellence in academics, arts, athletics and service learning.”

Platinum Sponsor SimplyRFID

“Union Bank & Trust’s sponsorship is central to Highland School’s long-term strategic goal of providing ‘the best place to learn’,” said Head of School Hank Berg. “Union’s backing helps us continue to offer the innovative, experiential Pre-K2 through Grade 12 education our families demand.” The Highland Heroes annual corporate sponsorship program was launched in 2016. It offers businesses the opportunity to promote their services to the most active and engaged families in the Piedmont region. With five different levels of involvement, and a simple “one-anddone” annual commitment, Highland Heroes is the ideal vehicle for businesses to advance their message while

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Titanium Sponsor Union Bank & Trust

Silver Sponsors Griffin & Errera Orthodontics Lynx Investment Advisory Meridian Financial Partners Moser Funeral Home Superior Paving Corporation Bronze Sponsors American Automatic Sprinkler Atoka Properties-Rocky Westfall, Realtor Edward Jones Financial Advisor-Jeff Earnhardt The Fauquier Bank Fauquier Chamber of Commerce Howard, Clark & Howard Attorneys at Law PLC NVP Inc. Temp-Power, Inc. Warrenton Toyota Yount, Hyde & Barbour

Introducing Highland School’s

Quae Vernant Crescent Legacy Society

Highland’s Quae Vernant Crescent Legacy Society embodies our school motto, which translates as “that which is growing yields increase.“ The Society recognizes individuals who have made planned gifts or chosen to include Highland School in their estate plans. To learn more about planned giving and bequests, please contact Marc Belanger at or call 540-878-2777.   Spring 2018  Highland Magazine   13

Spotlight on Community

Students Participate in National School Walkout On March 14, 2018, one month after the deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Upper School students participated in the #Enough National School Walkout to raise awareness about the impact of gun violence. The nationwide march began at 10a.m. and lasted 17 minutes–one minute for every victim of the massacre–which took place on February 14, 2018. Photos by Wendy Safren

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Highland Voices Question: “What moment, memory or experience sums up what Highland School means to you or your family today?”

Marjorie Kuzminski Dean of Students

“Thank you, Mrs. K!”’ I have never ended a single class at Highland without hearing these words from nearly every student in the room – no matter if what had happened in the previous period was my most masterful lesson, my most arduous assessment, or if I just proctored a study hall. This expression of gratitude is not a phenomenon unique to my classroom, or to any particular grade level. It happens in every classroom in every wing of the school… not only every day, but every class period. Somehow, even though by now it has happened hundreds of times, I’m still a little bit surprised when it does. It’s not the courtesy and respect shown by teenagers that surprises me. Contrary to what tends to be conventional wisdom, this muchmaligned demographic has tremendous capacity for not merely civility but unaffected authenticity. I am surprised that they still do it – class after class, year after year. That little spark of surprise that I feel when I hear those few words – some louder than others, some with and some without eye contact – disrupts my status quo ever so slightly. It raises a mindfulness that helps me raise my voice: “Thank you, guys!” And saying that out loud creates a positive energy, a little wave that carries me on to whatever it may be that comes next. Some times I think how lucky I am to be doing what I love. Some times I think how lucky I am to have made it to the end of the class period!

settling as we ate, an Appalachian hush broken only by the gentle brook gurgling below our campsite and the intermittent banter of our field studies cohort. There was an unspoken appreciation of our new surroundings–as if we could finally relax after breaking away from our technological rhythms and weekly habits. We could own this now. We could begin to grow. When I think of an experience that typifies what Highland means to me, I start with this moment during Sophomore Field Studies, and spiral outwards–an exercise in context for this world history teacher. It was my first year at Highland, and I did not fully grasp the ideal that everyone could “be themselves” while striving towards academic excellence. But I soon discovered that there are so many arenas here–so many paths that students (and faculty) could blaze towards a common, institutional greatness. Opportunities that I did not have in high school. And you never know who is going to step up, and where. This was certainly the case during our two nights in Shenandoah. Students who might not have felt totally confident approaching a world history thesis sprang to life, taking charge of our experience. They arranged tarps, helped purify water, organized supplies, planned our hikes, and motivated others. In short, they brought their best selves to field studies–and our time out there reinforced the belief that by providing many routes to success, we could bring a school community closer together through a shared appreciation of each individual’s unique talents. This is what Highland means to me.

Preston Miller

Mark Van de Water P’13, ’15, ’18

As we gathered around the camp stove, tortillas in hand, the sunset cast pink hues over the Shenandoah ridgeline. Backcountry pizzas took shape, one by one, a process of trial and smoldering error. The last light carried a profound

Our family has enjoyed 35 years of Highland education. In each of these years our kids have been challenged, nurtured, and loved. Each year and each child has been different, but every year and every child has been a joy.

Upper School History Teacher

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Chair, Board of Trustees, Highland Parent

Dr. John Harmon (center top) brought all the seniors he taught as 7th graders to the Hazel Family Library and sat with them as they opened their ‘Dear Me’ letters five years after writing them.

Dr. John “Doc” Harmon P’20

Middle School English Teacher, Highland Parent I spend each year working with kids at a tough moment in their lives. Middle school in general, and seventh grade, in particular, is filled with joy, insecurity, anxiety, positive and negative peer interactions, emotional and physical maturity, goofiness and exuberance. As I help my students each year, I know that the future holds many bright and wonderful things for them. However, for kids who see only today and maybe next week, the seventh grade can be a series of tough hurdles to surmount. In seventh grade Language Arts, I have the students complete many reflective selections of writing. But there is one experience, that we complete every year, where I get to interact with the past and future of Highland School students. Every winter, the students write a letter to themselves as seniors in high school. They write about who they are at this moment in time, what they hope to accomplish in the near future [grades 8-12], where they want to go to college, and what they “want to be when they grow up.” I then safeguard these letters until I return them during their senior year. Just recently, the current seventh graders gave me their letters and I met with the seniors to return their letters. For kids, five years is a long time away; for adults, it’s a snap of your fingers. When I sit with the seniors, I don’t see seventeen and eighteen year olds, but twelve and thirteen year olds. The seniors reflect upon their accomplishments, but I get to see how my students have grown up literally and physically

before my eyes. What is most amazing is when kids say to me,”I wrote in seventh grade that someone is my best friend, and he/ she still is today”. Or when they remark, “I wrote that I want to go to UVA and I’m going there next year”. I also love to hear when kids say, “I wanted to be on the robotics team and work in engineering and I’ve accomplished those goals.” This is the moment when I know that I’m connected to the past and the future at Highland.

Hope (Wallach) Burrage Porter ’37 P’60, ’66, GP’89, ’94, ’01, ’03 Calvert School Alumna, Highland Parent, Grandparent 90th Anniversary Gala Auction Co-Chair There seems to be something funny going on. I think I graduated from Highland (actually from its predecessor, the Calvert School) 81 years ago, but I must be wrong, because today I received a homework assignment. I don’t remember ever having to do homework at the Calvert school–we were much too busy having fun. My homework assignment was to write about my connections with the Calvert/Highland School, so here goes. In my years at the Warrenton Branch of the Calvert School, we had two classes in one room, recitations on Fridays, to which parents never bothered to come, athletics were hop-scotch on Culpeper Street, Prisoner’s Base in front of the church and formation marching in the basement in inclement weather. School was out at one o’clock, with the admonition from the principal to: “go home, girls and get on your ponies.”

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Highland Voices Hope Porter ’37 (continued)

Some years after graduating from the Calvert School, I enrolled my daughter, Anne Douglas in the school which had moved from St. James Parrish Hall to a converted stable down Culpeper Street. The first day, when I was depositing her, the mother of the boy she would marry, informed me that I was parking in the wrong place. After Calvert moved to its present location and changed its name to “Highland,” I was part of a group that bought the school from Mrs Rust, the headmistress. We had seen two private schools perish when their principals retired and we wanted to ensure the survival of Highland. Another connection with Highland was through my sisterin-law, Erica Wallach, who taught French and Latin for many years. And then came Anne Douglas’ younger sister, Feroline, my nieces, Bibi and Liza Wallach and my nephews Richard and Bobby Wallach. In the next generation were my grandchildren, Hope and Lily Atherton and Henry and Theo Higginson. My connection with Highland School, spanning 82 years, has always been a happy part of my life, and I am very grateful that Dorothy Montgomery and Miss Binney Hamilton acquiesced to my mother’s insistence, that I be entered in the fourth grade with the five girls who would be my best friends all of their lives.

Diana Hewitt GP ’32

Kindergarten Teacher, Highland Grandparent When I graduated from college, I didn’t even think of teaching at a private school as an option. Public schools offered many more job openings than private schools did, and I had no experience with private schools, not even as a student. As a young married lady I was married to a man who was climbing the cooperate ladder which meant many days of traveling and time away from his family. I loved being a mom and wanted to find the right school fit for our daughter knowing with my husband traveling I wanted to be as close to her as possible. I never knew choosing Highland School for my daughter would lead to a career at Highland School for me. But thankfully it did.

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I still remember the day David Plank, prior Headmaster of Highland School, took me into his office and asked me to write a curriculum and teach Highland’s first PK 4 program. I was excited to have this unexpected opportunity and a chance to try something different and be part of something that I hoped would offer a leading preschool program for children in our area. For me it was a chance to try something different and an opportunity to make sure Highland was the right fit for my daughter. I decided to accept this challenge and a new career developing the curriculum and teaching at a Private School began. I might add the classroom was wall to wall chalk boards, every teacher’s dream. (Now we have Smart Boards and one to one devices!) Time presents the most interesting changes. My little family of three had no immediate family in the area; however, by joining Highland School we became part of the most caring community I have ever experienced. I was thrilled to have my daughter have a huge extended family and I was comforted that if I needed anything while the traveling engineer was away I would have helping hands around every corner. What I didn’t expect was the experience I encountered as a teacher. I had administrators who listened to my thoughts and actually put my thoughts into action. Soon, I saw this preschool vision come to life which I am proud to say now starts at the age of 2! Our once preschool of 19 four-year olds has numbers that will soon reach two divisions of PK 2, PK 3 and PK 4. What a magnificent opportunity I have had to develop the young minds of our future. I now teach Kindergarten…yes the opportunity to work with the most amazing co-worker, Robin Logan presented itself and I moved up to the wonderful, lively world of five year olds. Five year olds are nothing short of amazing! Developmentally (and yes, Highland School’s preschool foundation is based on the developmental timeline of these little people!) five-year olds are creative and enthusiastic problem solvers. They have more imagination and ideas for how to do a task, make something or solve longer-term challenges than most adults. What’s not to love about a job with people like that? There are so many memories that I hold dear that have happened on this campus. The first day of Highland’s Pre-K program, the opportunity to help design and watch the building of a new Lower School, the chance to work with the most talented individuals who like me love to nourish

Jody Warfield P’20

Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, Highland Parent One of the most important benefits of the Highland community is knowing that all adults involved – my fellow parents, the faculty and the staff – share the same values in regards to our children’s education. Among them, that developing good character is as important as learning facts and figures; that some of the most valuable learning occurs outside the classroom; that parents bear a responsibility equal to that of the faculty in teaching the values of hard work, personal responsibility, and empathy; and that respect for others is essential if you are to respect yourself.

Highland trustees Heather Iasso and Jody Warfield at this year’s robotics kick off event.

the minds of our children, molding them into future responsible adults. The opportunity to watch my daughter blossom year after year with an educational foundation which will serve her a life time. The teaching profession is often referred to as a “calling.” As a teacher with a passion for teaching, your desire might be able to impart knowledge to your students in the best way possible. Highland School has provided me with a very suitable environment to do so and at the same time have an extended family. I have witnessed my once preschoolers become scholars, doctors, lawyers, authors, engineers, business owners and most importantly good citizens. Nothing could hold more value to a teacher. But wait… there is more! The Hewitt family has come full circle… We now get to offer the best school experience to our granddaughter. Yes, the happy, moving two year old started in the most amazing PK 2 program in our area this year. I can rest assured she is learning, socializing and being well taken care of in the most nurturing, safe environment possible. So… Happy 90 years Highland School… I look forward to continuing to be part of your journey as the Hewitt family holds on tight for the terrific two’s special journey.

The opportunities Highland affords to parents to volunteer and be involved in the school give all of us the ability to see these values in action, as exhibited by our students every day. It is inspiring to walk through the halls, hear the students’ conversations, see them helping each other, and know that any time my own child is having a tough day, someone will be there to give him a hand.

Elizabeth “Betty” (Williams) Gookin ’35, GP’90, ’93

Calvert School Alumna, Highland Parent, Grandparent 90th Anniversary Gala Auction Co-Chair Having started my association with Highland (Calvert) School in a borrowed Sunday School room, I am continually awestruck when passing by the present day campus stretched out in all its glory. At night it is even more impressive with the lights marking its length and presence in the community. To me it is a wonderful miracle that has occurred during my lifetime. Today I know students are getting a first class education, some subjects seem to be on a college level. The success of my grandchildren today, I know, comes from the wonderful start they got at Highland. Most importantly I value the friendships that I have made among faculty and staff from the wonderful Bergs on down. We are so lucky in our community to have such a school that everyone can be proud of, so hats off to the ninety years before and here’s to another ninety and more.

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Spotlight on Academics

Middle School Adopts Eight Day Schedule New schedule offers more educational time, flexibility for teachers and students The Middle School schedule recently got an upgrade! Last summer, teachers Scott Pragoff and Erica Deane began the year-long process of researching, creating, and implementing a developmentally appropriate schedule that maximizes instructional time and keeps class times proportional due to closings and holidays. Input from Other Schools Sought In the process, they visited and had conversations with other schools across the East Coast, have surveyed faculty needs, and presented to the Academic Committee. The needs that emerged were: n Longer class periods to maximize the use of instructional time in all courses n I ncreased consistency among classes/sections so that the same classes are not always being missed for holidays and athletic events n L onger class periods to create opportunities for faculty to engage students in meaningful collaborative experiences due to extended class time n A n appropriate number of courses/day for Middle School students n A schedule that allows for cross-over between Middle and Upper School Mathematics

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Taking the research and needs into consideration, the Middle School has implemented an eight-day rotating schedule. This means that students will have their courses spread out over eight days instead of five, and will have 60-minute periods instead of 42-minute periods. This also means students have fewer classes per day which will ease the nightly homework burden on students. “The new schedule gives our faculty more time to individualize instruction based on the needs of their students and classes,” said Middle School Director Matt Ormiston. “Whether they need more instruction time or more practice time, our teachers now have the flexibility they need to best serve their students.” “When designing the new schedule, we also wanted to create dynamic blocks–called ‘flex periods’– that offer students opportunities to work collaboratively,” said Scott Pragoff, Social Science Department Chair and Middle School Social Science Teacher. “These flex periods, which come around every eight days, are great because we can get an entire class in one place at one time. We use that time for bigger projects, to run class meetings, or pull students who need one-on-one attention.” “The schedule allows us to engage students in deeper, more personalized, and more meaningful experiences,” Ormiston said. “Our goal is always to provide them with the highest quality education possible.” n

Highland’s 8th graders took advantage of the new Middle School schedule to deliver strong science fair project presentations.

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GENOTyP A gateway to the future:

, Senior Jenna Devanney ‘ 18 takes us on a field trip to Shenandoah University where her AP Biology classmates and science teacher Leslie

Ziegler learned about genotyping from Dr. Robbie Kidd, P‘17, ‘19, an expert in pharmacogenetics.

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, 18 ey ann By Jenna Dev In today’s society, the words ‘genetic research’ can often raise a red flag. We’re wary of cloning, we don’t want GMOs in our food, and we certainly don’t want them in our own bodies. However, this nebulous topic is not all confusing biochemical jargon and negative stereotypes. Now more than ever before, scientists are setting their sights on using breakthroughs in gene mapping to make fundamental improvements in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Over 100,000 people die each year in the U.S. due to adverse drug reactions, or prescription overdoses. The problem? These people are often taking the medication on standard doses they were prescribed by their doctors and pharmacists, rather than personalized for their unique genetic make-up.

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Dr. Robbie Kidd showed Upper School students how to test their body’s ability to process certain medicines.

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This is because in general, an “average” starter dose is prescribed to a wide variety of people, even though it is not always the dose they need. In the past, the science of prescribing drugs was a game of chance, one that involved a significant amount of guesswork and process of elimination to find something that worked well for the patient, while inducing the least amount of side effects. In the best case scenario, this could result in a period of discomfort for the patient while doctors honed their treatment. In the worst case scenario, manifestations of allergic reactions and build-ups of the medication in the body had the potential to cause severe illness, anaphylactic shock, and for some, death. But what if medical professionals could circumnavigate this risky business entirely, by figuring out how a patient’s body will process and react to a medication before it even enters their system? It sounds like wishful thinking, but in fact, over the last decade, these dreams have become a technological reality.

Dr. Kidd provided an in-depth lecture on genotyping, otherwise known as studying the genetic makeup of an individual, and how it can be used to benefit those in need of medical care. During the months of January and February, Mrs. Ziegler traveled with her AP Biology class to the Shenandoah University’s pharmaceutical research lab to speak with Dr. Robbie Kidd, an expert in Pharmacogenetics. Dr. Kidd provided an in-depth lecture on genotyping, otherwise known as studying the genetic makeup of an individual, and how it can be used to benefit those in need of medical care. Then, the class was invited to participate in an exercise to investigate a certain slice of their own genetic codes, specifically, using DNA samples to find their CYP2C9 and VKORC1 genotypes. These enzymes, when isolated, can be used to gauge how quickly someone will be able process medicines such as ibuprofin, and most importantly, the popular blood thinner, Warfarin, also known as Coumadin. Prescribing the correct dose of these types of medications, widely geared toward patients with heart problems, is imperative. Give too little, and the risk of catastrophic blood clots forming and causing deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, or stroke rises exponentially. Yet, give too much,

and something as small as a nick from a kitchen knife or a bruised knee could turn into a life-threatening injury, as bleeding becomes nearly impossible to stop. It can be a difficult puzzle for doctors, since each person metabolizes Warfarin differently. Some people, labelled as a CYP2C9 *1/*2 genotype and an VKORC1 G/G genotype tend to process medications quickly, meaning that they need more of it to achieve the desired effects. Patients with a CYP2C9 *3/*3 genotype, however, metabolize very slowly. The range of the dose could vary between 0.5 to 7 mg of the drug. When given an average dose, the medication can be inadvertently stored in the body, and has the potential to build up to levels capable of causing an overdose. In order to determine where they stood on the spectrum, the students would first need to take a sample of their own DNA, the chemical blueprints present within every cell in the human body, instructing them how to replicate. For this particular procedure, the students were not even required to take a blood sample—a quick, painless cheek swab contains all the genetic information needed—and the cells retrieved were placed into a machine, called a Qiagen QIAcube, which stimulated the cells to the point of lysing, in order to isolate the strands of genetic coding within. After this process was completed, students were able to measure and pipette their own DNA samples into trays, along with special fluorescent dyes made to specifically target the CYP2C9 and VKORC1 enzymes, and feed them into a PCR machine, which identified the genotype of each individual, then graphed and tallied the results for easy interpretation. Every single test subject received conclusive results, and the whole process took, for over twenty individuals, less than two weeks, but could be completed in about four hours. So, why don’t all health professionals use this test before prescribing a medication? Most large hospitals would be able to afford the equipment, and the risk of lawsuit due to adverse drug reactions would rocket downward. Unfortunately, although this is a fairly well-known technique, it is only used in large research hospitals, such as Mayo and Hopkins. Hopefully, with awareness raising, in the next few years a medical revolution could be seen, taking place in our very own hospitals. n Jenna Devanney ’18 is considering attending college in Ireland. At Highland, she is in the Global Studies program and has won numerous awards for her writing and art; recently, she was a flash fiction winner, and a National Scholastic Finalist for the second straight year.

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Highland Heroes Be a Part of Highland’s Annual Corporate Sponsorship Program Support Highland School and Your Business Goals Highland Heroes are businesses large and small who make an annual financial gift to Highland School. The benefits provided to Highland Heroes give your business maximum visibility among, and personal engagement with, a broad audience of the Piedmont region’s most involved families and community leaders. Year-Round Visibility From placements in our biannual magazine and other publications, to signage at the school, to tickets to our Auction Gala, golf tournament and other events, your investment as a Highland Hero puts your business front-andcenter with more than 1,800 parents and grandparents, alumni, current and former Trustees, and philanthropic supporters of Highland School – all with one annual, tax-deductible commitment.

Titanium Sponsor Union Bank & Trust Company Platinum Sponsor SimplyRFID Silver Sponsors Griffin & Errera Orthodontics Lynx Investment Advisory Meridian Financial Partners Moser Funeral Home Superior Paving Corporation Bronze Sponsors American Automatic Sprinkler Atoka Properties – Rocky Westfall, Realtor Edward Jones Financial Advisor –Jeff Earnhardt The Fauquier Bank Fauquier Chamber of Commerce Howard, Clark & Howard Attorneys at Law NVP Inc. Temp-Power, Inc. Warrenton Toyota Yount, Hyde & Barbour

Add Your Business to the List of Highland Heroes

To learn more about joining our Highland Heroes annual corporate sponsorship program please contact Marc Belanger at or call 540-878-2777.

26   Highland Magazine



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  Spring 2018  Highland Magazine   27

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Save these dates!















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as we tee off the next twenty five years! Questions? Please Contact

Briar Leake Email to or call 540-878-2794

18   Spring 2018  Highland Magazine   31

In the Spotlight

Second Graders Bring “Bremen Town Jam” to Arundel Gym

In February, second graders presented a new twist on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Featuring a jam-tastic band of displaced barnyard animals, a gang of hungry, shiftless, (and maybe gullible) robbers, and a little audience participation, ‘Bremen Town Jam’ brought the “barn” down. Super sets, cool costumes and expert choreography from Nurse Rosie rounded out a fantastic experience for this talented group!

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In the Spotlight

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morning 34   Highland Magazine

meeting   Spring 2018  Highland Magazine   35

Third grade teacher Charity Duncan (right) has embraced the Responsive Classroom approach with her students.

The Power of Morning Meeting

Inside the Responsive Classroom in Lower School by Cathy Campbell

In an age where parents are increasingly concerned about the harmful effects of excessive screen time on their children, including social isolation and increased anxiety, the Responsive Classroom approach used in Highland’s Lower School provides an early antidote.

What is a Responsive Classroom? Responsive Classroom is an evidence-based practice that places as much emphasis on social-emotional competencies as academic ones, asserting that great cognitive growth occurs through social interaction. In order to be successful academically and socially, students must learn to develop empathy, assertiveness (taking initiative), responsibility, self-control, and cooperation. The approach emphasizes the integration of academic and social-emotional skills as the best preparation for student success. Teachers have a deep understanding of where each child is developmentally, and see parents as partners in the learning process. How do teachers realize these objectives? The following core teaching practices comprise the Responsive Classroom approach:

Teacher Language | The intentional use of language to enable students to engage in their learning and develop the academic, social, and emotional skills they need to be successful in and out of school.

Logical Consequences | A non-punitive response to misbehavior that allows teachers to set clear limits and students to fix and learn from their mistakes while maintaining their dignity.

Interactive Learning Structures | Purposeful

activities that give students opportunities to engage with content in active (hands-on) and interactive (social) ways.

Interactive Modeling | An explicit practice

for teaching procedures and routines (such as those for entering and exiting the room), as well as academic and social skills (such as engaging with the text or giving and accepting feedback).

On any given day, one can observe these practices in action at Highland. At morning meeting in their classrooms, students gather to welcome one another, making eye contact with each classmate. They share ideas, practice their listening skills, and engage in a group activity that encourages cooperation. Morning meeting sets the tone for the day. Classroom rules are clear, positive, and generated collaboratively. Lessons are punctuated by group activities, and a guided discovery or project approach (link to magazine article on project approach) allows students to direct their learning around areas of interest.

In order to be successful academically and socially, students must learn to develop empathy, assertiveness, responsibility, self-control, and cooperation. “Chilton Chats” are conducted monthly by Lower School Director Lise Hicklin. Here, the entire division gathers to discuss character themes, reflect on a growth mindset, and make relevant links between subject material and real life. Third grade teacher Emily Dale ’08 sums up what she finds most valuable about Responsive Classroom: “It’s about building a really positive community. Teachers know their students and treat them with respect, as important participants in creating the social and academic climate. Since students help create the environment, they buy in and hold themselves accountable for maintaining it.” “Responsive Classroom creates a structure for being proactive about the community you want to create,” adds Hicklin. “The result is a joyful classroom.” n

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J Term Thinking Outside the Box By Ronnie Ross, Freshman Dean and English Chair

Begun four years ago as a joint project between freshman History and English teachers, January at Highland has become known to ninth graders as the “J-Term.” Today, the academic classes involved have increased from two to six: History, English, Science, Tech Essentials, Library, and Wellness now spearhead the month. The J-Term is a collaborative, interdisciplinary project that requires students to start developing many of the habits and practices they will use for the rest of their academic careers, and perhaps even for the rest of their lives. For instance, they work collaboratively in groups on this unit; they do significant, academic research; and they work in-between disciplines.

Tell the Story of A Scientific Discovery

The students’ basic task is this: to tell the story of a major “scientific” discovery, or an environmental event, and its legacy (“scientific” is in quotes because the term “science” does not arise until the 1700’s; before that was something different from our modern notion of science). Students tell the story by examining the context of the event, diving into the primary sources of the event itself, explicating the immediate effects of the event, and studying the event’s legacy. In sum, they practice an important historical thinking skill: CCOT (change and continuity over time). Additionally, students tell the story in different ways: via a primary source analysis, an oral presentation, a physical timeline, and a formal, academic research paper.

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WORK In-BEtween disciplines

Each academic class supports the project in a different manner. The question itself is grounded in history and science. English tackles the writing part and co-owns the research portion, along with the library. History helps on the writing side of things, but it also owns the historical thinking skills portion of the J-Term. Science models the CCOT process through an investigation of sanitation, and technology essentials, perhaps obviously, provides the tech and organizational support. Wellness class, taught by Megan Catalfamo, our Director of Character and Leadership, and Marjie Kuzminski, our Dean of Students, provides instruction in public speaking and support with the group dynamics of the project. They also lead reflection throughout the project, as well as post-project reflection and debrief.

Culminates in capstone

Ultimately, students have a capstone showcase during a specially scheduled evening at school. On this night, they enjoy dinner with their parents before a short introductory program. This is followed by a research fair where students demonstrate their knowledge to an authentic audience consisting of parents and teachers. A final survey shows that most students find J-Term challenging, and rewarding. “I learned that communication is the most important piece of a group project,” writes one. Another freshman comments, “Each of us has different qualities to bring to the group, and they are just as valuable as the next person’s.” “J-Term was really tough in what we were pushed to do,” concludes another student, “but it was in a good way.” n

Freshman Dean Ronnie Ross introduces the J-Term concept to parents at the capstone event

In the Spotlight

Highland Players bring “Sweeney Todd” to life in The Rice Theater

In March, the Highland Players presented Sweeney Todd in The Rice Theater. The macabre story, which dates back to the 1840’s, takes place in Victorian-era London. The tale was adapted for Broadway in 1979 by Steven Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler. Highland’s adaptation combined all the award-winning songs with a Walking Dead vibe to craft another memorable production from Highland Center for the Arts Director Michael Hughes, and assisted by Phoebe Krumich ‘10. Bravo!

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In the Spotlight

  Spring 2018  Highland Magazine   41

THROUGH THEIR LENS we asked Upper School students in Laura DeBoer's Digital Photography class TO take us through a day in the life of highland school. The students took photos in all three divisions and covered a variety of activities – including science and art classes, recess, and robotics. turn the page to see some of the images they captured for this issue OF THE magazine.

Photo by Sophia Tammera ‘19

Photo by Isabella Martin ‘18

Photo by Hailey Bulmer ‘20 44   Highland Magazine

Photo by Adam Smedley ‘18

Photo by Mary Flynn ‘20   Spring 2018  Highland Magazine   45

Photo by Laura DeBoer 46   Highland Magazine

Photo by Matthew Heller ‘20

Photo by Lucas Christman ‘19   Spring 2018  Highland Magazine   47

Photo by Ana Schlegel ‘18

Photo by Mary Flynn ‘20 48   Highland Magazine

Photo by Joe DeBardi ‘19   Spring 2018  Highland Magazine   49

Photos by Skyler Beach ‘21

Photo by George Light ‘21 50   Highland Magazine

Photo by Mary Flynn ‘20

Photo by Matthew Heller ‘20   Spring 2018  Highland Magazine   51

Photo by Jack Newell ‘18

Photo by Lucas Christman ‘19 52   Highland Magazine

Photo by Hailey Bulmer ‘20

Photo by Skyler Beach ‘21

Photo by Isabella Martin ‘18

Photo by Ana Schlegel ‘18

Photo by Joe DeBardi ‘19

  Spring 2018  Highland Magazine   53

THE WRITING CENTER Interview by Cathy Campbell and Phoebe Krumich ‘10

This year, Highland boasts an exciting new space—The Writing Center! Located in a bright room off the Hazel Library, here you can find student consultants working alongside other students, collaboratively engaged in the writing process.

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Earlier this year, Writing Center consultants met with 8th graders to introduce them to the services available in the Upper School.

The Writing Center is the brainchild of English teacher Phoebe Krumich ’10, who envisioned it not just as a place where students could work to improve their writing, but as means to positively impact the larger culture of writing and intellectual engagement in the upper school. With help from a faculty fellowship, she designed a program that even in year one has already had a tremendous impact. Below Krumich provides a view into her process and vision.

1. What motivated you to start a writing center at Highland? Who or what were your influences and inspirations? My experience as a writing consultant at the University of Richmond drew me to the teaching profession. I learned skills and ways of thinking about writing as a consultant that have been foundational for my philosophy and day to day practices as a teacher of writing. I was motivated to start a Writing Center at Highland because I know from experience that the academic culture of a school is strengthened by the kind of student ownership that a Writing Center necessitates. What I find most impactful and dynamic about Writing Centers is the space they make for students to define and discuss their writing processes for themselves. The Writing Center bridges the divide between teacher and student, providing a training ground for writers to experiment with their work, as well as for consultants to experiment with teaching practices. A physical space in which students think and talk about writing with each other shifts the focus of the writing from simply earning good grades or satisfying teachers’ requirements to understanding and employing strong writing practices. Our consultants are learning alongside the students they advise, gaining awareness of their own writing processes as well as the vocabulary and frame of mind to communicate advice to others, skills that will benefit them in any discipline and career.

2. What have been your greatest successes and challenges here in year one? It has been a thrill to witness the writing consultants’ investment in the concept and practical application of the Writing Center. From the philosophy of the program to the interior décor of the space,

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the consultants have had a hand in every element of the Center’s creation, and their enthusiastic ownership has been its greatest strength. The challenges we have encountered have been mostly related to student awareness and participation, but the consultants have been fantastic advocates for the program, encouraging students from every grade to make use of the Writing Center. They understand that we are in the midst of a campaign for the kind of academic culture we wish to inhabit, so their motivation to engage their peers has only increased throughout the semester. There have been dozens of appointments already this semester, which means that there have been dozens of conversations about writing between students that would not have occurred otherwise. I see those conversations as a positive shift in our school culture. Another challenge we have faced this year has been the perception of what the writing consultant’s role is. There is a concern among some students that writing consultants are going to take over their papers or judge them for their work, but the consultants have a strong understanding of their role as a blend of coach, tutor, and friend. Our motto is that the Writing Center doesn’t make better papers—it makes better writers. We say this because we are focused on the writing process rather than the product, and the consultants are extremely conscious of the potential as well as the limits for their role within the process.

3. What is your vision for the Writing Center moving forward? I hope to maintain the energy and effort that the founding group of writing consultants brought to the Writing Center’s creation and launch. This remarkable group immediately understood that their work could impact the culture around writing and intellectual engagement for the entire school, so I aim to build on their legacy to make the Writing Center an integral part of the culture at Highland. Though the consultants and I collaborate to make the Center effective and dynamic, its success depends upon the buy-in of the faculty and student body, so the support we have received from the faculty and administration have been crucial to our success thus far. The freshman English teachers have been especially helpful in getting students to enter the Writing Center.

“A physical space in which students think and talk about writing with each other shifts the focus of the writing from simply earning good grades or satisfying teachers’ requirements to understanding and employing strong writing practices.” Phoebe Krumich ‘10

Writing Center Advisor

Students interested in becoming writing consultants must complete an application and take Writing Theory and Pedagogy. Below, four writing consultants reflect on their roles and their work. Caleb Beverstock ‘18 Writing Theory and Pedagogy is a semester long course limited to Juniors and Seniors. In this class we learned how to be writing consultants and how to help a fellow student. We got used to the idea by participating in numerous scenarios where we each take turns playing the consultant and the writer. These activities acclimated us to being great writing consultants. We also made sure to brush up on grammar and our own writing to make sure we could not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. The class was so much fun because of the people in it. Everyone was there because they wanted to learn more about writing and become writing consultants. Overall, Writing Theory and Pedagogy was an amazing experience that I recommend to anyone who wants to improve not only their peers’ writing, but their own as well.

Sana Ahmed ‘18 Ms. Krumich asked the first day of class, “What do you hope to get out of this Writing Theory and Pedagogy class?” While I agreed with the others in the class about taking this class to learn how to become a better writer, even more than that I saw this as a class that could give me a little peek into my future. I want to study child psychology and education in college, and afterwards hope to become a teacher. This class taught me how to help others with their writing through learning different techniques and ways to connect with students, with the goal of becoming a Writing Center peer tutor in the second semester. We learned how to give constructive criticism, encourage, and teach. The Writing Center is giving me an incredible opportunity to get experience working with students in a “teacherlike” position before I head off to college. The “pedagogy,” part of this class captivated me and I felt that it was a first step towards my end goal of becoming a teacher.

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Julia Daum ‘19 When I heard there was an opportunity to not only improve my own writing, but other people’s writing at Highland, I knew that I wanted to take on the challenge. I have always loved writing, however my strengths resided with creative writing and not as much formal essay writing for school. Taking the Writing Theory and Pedagogy class helped me to balance my writing skills, because now, after taking the class and becoming a writing consultant, I feel that I have a firmer grasp on how to take on many different forms of writing. As for people that want to be a writing consultant, I would say that this position is not limited to people who live and breathe English class. There are so many different types of writing, from lab reports, to AP prompts, to resumes, to even emails. I think that if you want to be a writing consultant, it’s not about how talented you are or how interested you may be with writing. It’s more about a genuine desire to help others. It is so rewarding to hear that “Oh!” when a person realizes and learns something that you’ve taught them. When that happens, I feel as though I’ve made a difference for them, and being a writing consultant at Highland lets me have those experiences with people every day.

Grace Barratt ‘18 As a writing consultant, I work with students in all grades. Sometimes I even find myself working with my friends. I was afraid that it would be scary and I would be intimidated when consulting, but I find that my training prepared me for anything. We’ve had so much success. Since we’ve opened, most of the questions I’ve received have to do with crafting theses. A typical consultation is when someone comes with questions or concerns about their paper. It’s very beneficial to us when the client has specific questions so we can help them effectively. It’s a great process because it’s a lot of back and forth with ideas from both the consultant and the student. That’s why it’s so great.

Highland School Open to any student from Pre-K2 to Grade 12 Camps run from June 11-August 24, 2018 Outdoor Adventures • Athletics • Enrichment Driver’s Education • Academic Courses • Creative Arts Extended Care Available

Register online today at

In the Spotlight

Sixth Graders Write and Perform Homer’s “Iliad” in The Rice Theater The Iliad, an ancient Greek poem written by Homer, tells the story of the Trojan War and the ten-year siege of the city of Troy. Sixth graders wrote their own scripts, created their own props and costumes, and devised the staging. After weeks of rehearsal, the students presented their play for teachers, parents, and middle and upper School students in The Rice Theater. In the words of Middle School Director Matt Ormiston, “It was epic!”

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In the Spotlight

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Off the

Beaten Path Independent Study opportunities in the Upper School allow students to delve more deeply into a specific area of interest Article by Briar Leake

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ant more advanced knowledge of a certain subject? Can’t fit that one elective into your packed schedule? Highland doesn’t offer that subject but you really, really want to learn more about it? Then an Independent Study could be the answer. “Highland allows upperclassmen to pursue independent study opportunities when they want to delve more deeply into an area of interest not covered by the curriculum,” says Cassin Bertke, Assistant Head of School and Upper School Director. “Students may take an online or dual- enrollment class; alternatively, they may create an independent study with one of our teachers.”

Starts with a conversation

Students who opt for the latter start by having a conversation with the teacher and the Upper School Director to gain initial approval. Then the student creates his or her own syllabus for the “class” with input from the sponsoring teacher; the syllabus includes assignments, due dates, and grading categories. The independent study proposal gets approved by the Department Chair and Upper School Director the semester before it is scheduled to begin. Semester-long independent studies involve a collaborative intellectual exploration undertaken by the student and a knowledgeable faculty advisor with the goal of producing work worthy of academic credit. The student meets weekly with the faculty member, typically during a long period, for guidance and feedback.

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Junior Lauren Schulz ‘19 is doing an independent study about writing historical fiction.

Many ways to satisfy Academic requirements

Students may also propose to take an online course as part of an independent study. The course cannot be part of Highland’s offerings (unless Highland is unable to offer the course that year), and the teacher who is serving as the independent study sponsor must be able to demonstrate expertise in the subject matter. “Independent studies are valuable opportunities for students, but teachers find them equally exciting, since they, too, get to learn more about a subject they might not otherwise have focused on,” Bertke continued. “Plus, the weekly meeting between the student and teacher fosters a personal relationship and potentially a transformational experience for both parties.” Instead of relying on a teacher to present the material, students are able to set their

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own learning objectives before beginning, and then pursue knowledge through a variety of sources such as textbooks, online lectures, or mentorships. This can be an excellent college-preparatory experience for students. “I would say that independent studies allow you to work with a teacher on a more peer-like level exploring a topic that really interests you,” said Lauren Schulz ‘19, a junior in an independent study course this semester about writing historical fiction. “It also lets you delve further into the specific details that intrigue you and share the learning experience with a teacher who shares your passion.”

Athletics is included

At Highland, even sports can be part of the independent study process. “Student-athletes who pursue an extracurricular activity not offered at Highland are considered part of this

Senior Shayne Herrera ‘18 is taking an independent study on writing with Phoebe Krumich ‘10 as one of his faculty advisors.

process,” said Athletic Director Gary Leake. “We’ve had students participate in fencing, equestrian, wrestling, ice hockey, competitive dance and more.”

More than 20 students participate each year

This program has evolved over the years from just a few students who study independently to more recent years where 20 or so students take advantage of the opportunity, either by enrolling in an online class or by studying independently with one teacher. Current independent study topics include: the physics behind concussions; genetics; Cherokee language and literature; sociology; creative writing; and historical

fiction diary writing. Online coursework includes psychology, interior design, Korean language, Native music and humanities. “It is exciting to see independent study students take an active role in directing their own education,” said Bertke. “They learn the critical steps to think things through, complete the lesson or project or solve a problem. They learn to look deeper into the reasons behind things, fueled by their own passion for the subject at hand.”

Skills are fostered

According to Dean of Students and current independent study mentor Marjorie Kuzminski, students who participate in independent study work often exemplify continued on page 66

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continued from page 65 several special skills–skills that, once sharpened, can be effectively applied in classrooms and work environments in Highland and beyond.

1. Initiative

First is initiative. “There is nothing passive about undertaking an independent study or online work for elective credit. These students have turned interest into action. They have stepped off the beaten path of course selection and first, undertaken the necessary paperwork and preparation in order to get their project approved, and second, followed through with it week after week. These students haven’t been content to seize opportunities, they have created opportunities. They have designed their own courses, written their own syllabi, and determined their own grading systems,” she said.

2. Collaboration

The second skill is collaboration. The label “independent study” is a bit of a misnomer, because these students do not go it alone. An essential component of an independent study is the faculty sponsor. “I find this to be one of the most authentically “college prep” experiences possible at Highland – leaving the comfort and familiarity of the peer group to pursue an authentic, challenging, and on-going intellectual connection with an adult,” Kuzminski noted. “Above and beyond the faculty sponsor, some of these students have elected to collaborate with each other, which shows a level of trust and commitment that extends far beyond the average ‘group work’ relationship.”

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3. Engagement

The third skill she highlights is engagement. “These students practice sustained, ongoing interaction – with ideas, with their sponsor, with the specifics of their particular project. These students have to be engaged. They can’t hide behind the one who always has his hand up, ready to participate in class. They have to be that one,” she concluded.

students who participate in independent study work often exemplify several special skills – skills that, once sharpened, can be effectively applied in classrooms and work environments at Highland and beyond.

At the end of each semester, there is an assembly dedicated to showcasing independent studies. Students describe their topic and discuss the benefits and challenges that occurred so that underclassmen get a feel for the process. “Doing a semester-long independent study for an elective credit is a way to personalize your education, to dig more deeply into a specific area of interest, or to give a new area of interest a try,” said Kuzminski. “It’s a great way to build a schedule that gets attention from college admissions and an opportunity for you to set yourself apart as a student who takes initiative, works collaboratively with teachers, and is up for the challenge of not simply taking the road less traveled, but actually creating that road.” n

News and Notes from Alumni

ALUMNI NEWS & NOTES HELP US CELEBRATE 90 YEARS OF HIGHLAND SCHOOL! We need you! Highland is celebrating its 90th Anniversary this school year. Have a story to share with your classmates, friends, and faculty? Contact your class representative or Please note, all graduation years are listed as follows: pre-1998 are for 8th or 9th grade, from 1998 on they are for the 12th grade. Anyone who attended Highland School qualifies for alumni status, and is listed by the year they would have graduated 8th or 12th grade respectively.



Elizabeth “Betty” (Williams) Gookin ‘35, GP‘90,’93 and Hope (Wallach) Burrage Porter ‘37, P’60, ‘66 GP’89,’94,’01,’03 are serving as Honorary CoChairs of Highland’s 90th Anniversary Celebration.

A. Camden (Smith) Cassidy ‘55 sent in this terrific photo from her time at Calvert School. She also sends “love and kisses” to schoolmates John “Johnny” Ramey ‘50, P’84 and C. Hunton Tiffany ‘50.


John B. “Jay” Adams, Jr. ‘58 met with Head of School Hank Berg and toured around campus in January.

Send Us Your Stories! Have a story to share with the Highland community? Please send along it via email to

Arthur “Bunny” Nash ‘58, P’96,’99 came out to share his passion and support as a participant in the first annual Andrew Winfree ‘99 Sporting Clays Event in October.

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News and Notes from Alumni

Calvert School Class of 1957 (from left to right): Charlotte (Laws) Flohr, Page (Harrison) Pragoff, Anne (Foster) Hindman, Virginia “Gina” Farrar, and Ursula (Beverley) Baxley

Ursula (Beverley) Baxley ‘57 was moved by the passing of her classmate Virginia “Gina” Farrar ‘57 to bring in this original print of their graduation photo.

1960’s Anne-Douglas (Burrage) Atherton ‘60, P’89,’94 is helping consult on plans for the 90th Anniversary Celebration. Mr. & Mrs. E.C.A. “Ted” Wachtmeister ‘61, P’91,’94, GP’29,’31 are thrilled to see a third generation of their family attending Highland. Granddaughters Elina and Sylvie are enjoying First Grade and Pre-K respectively. Feroline (Burrage) Higginson ‘66,P’01,’03 organized a mini-reunion of her classmates at Claire’s in Warrenton last November including Ellen (Fox) Emerson ‘66 and Eileen Wilson ‘66.

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W. Montgomery “Monty” Rust ‘67 joined students and faculty on a recent school field trip to the Washington National Cathedral, and made special arrangements for them to meet Associate Dean The Rev. Andrew K. Barnett. Trustee Emeritus Marshall DeF. Doeller ‘67 P’97,’04 took part in the festivities on Homecoming with family and friends last October, connecting with schoolmates and admiring the classic cars on display. Catherine Adams ‘68 is excited to celebrate her 50th Highland Reunion this year. Darragh Davis ‘69 hosted an impromptu “alums and chums” gathering at her beautifully renovated barn on Homecoming Weekend last October. Joining her were classmates M. Stuart (Fletcher) Trope ‘69 and Ann-Charlotte Lindgren Robinson ‘69, and schoolmate David Norden ‘74.

News and Notes from Alumni

Sarah Wagner ‘69 came by to tour campus on Homecoming in October.

1970’s Tom Power ‘73 is living and working in D.C., where he serves as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for CTIA, representing the wireless communications industry and the mobile ecosystem. David Norden ‘74, P’17,’19 is helping design a beautiful new pergola to be installed over the Class of 2008 patio located behind the Highland Center for the Arts. Kate (Breeden) Hearsey ‘79, P’23,’28 is serving on the Parents Association (PA) Board at Highland, and looking forward to celebrating with classmates and schoolmates at the 90th Anniversary Reunion Gala in April.

1980’s Michele “Chele” (Matrick) Hipp ‘82 Kathryn (Sedam) Lamonia ‘88 William “Willie” Nelson, Jr. ‘82 turned out to cheer on the Varsity Boys Basketball team in their VISAA State Tournament game against Middleburg Academy on February 27.

Nathan Gilbert ‘91 made the finals of the putting contest at the 25th Annual Highland Classic last fall.

Nathan Gilbert ‘91 is a founding partner of Meridian Financial Partners in Warrenton, and his company is a member of the Highland Heroes Annual Corporate Sponsorship Program. Candice Hall ‘92 is a member of Highland’s Board of Trustees, serves on the Advancement Committee, and leads the Planned Giving Sub-Committee. She hosted a Leadership Donor Reception, along with her father Michael Hall P’92,’94, at the family’s Fawnborough estate.

Erin (Marsteller) Hawthornthwaite ‘85 spoke with Director of Advancement Marc Belanger about her memories of Highland, her family, life in San Francisco and her fascinating role as Director of Legal at Google/YouTube. Lindsey (Lawrence) Dengel ‘89, P’25,’27 spoke about her unique perspective on Highland as both alumna, teacher, and parent during the Winter All-School Assembly in January.

1990’s Clarissa (Fleming) Fischer ‘98 Strickland “Strick” Payne ‘99

Darragh Davis ‘69 and Candice Hall ‘92 at the Leadership Donor Event at Fawnborough.

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Henrys’ Alumni Art Show Inspires Reflection JON WILLIAM HENRY ‘08 Highland’s Center for the Arts is probably the school’s major gem and really helped me better understand the importance of creativity while in school. I doubt I would have been able to construct large scale installations like I did with the Metamorphic Box at any other school. I was also able to take a 3D AP Art Class, which is even more rare in schools. Through this direct support–just two students in the class–I developed a portfolio that allowed me to secure a Richmond Scholar Artist distinction at the University of Richmond; this scholarship fully covered my tuition for four years. As a postgrad I GREATLY appreciate the zero student debt load. It was more than just having the freedom to create, but also the support from faculty like Laura Deboer who supplied art history examples, demos, after school learning opportunities, and networking opportunities for other exhibitions like at Wake Forest’s Gallery. We went on numerous field trips to various DC museums like the Hirschhorn, Corcoran, and East Wing of the National Gallery. We didn’t have to do silly busy work on clip boards but instead walked about and actually engaged with the artwork; I believe we even went to a special DADA exhibition, which was really defining for my own outlook on art regarding its political and social potentials. As a college educator, I appreciate Highland’s liberal arts focus. It seems ever more rare to work with new students who have interdisciplinary skills or personal intellectual interests. Since graduating from Highland, I’ve gone on to complete BAs in International Studies & Studio Art from University

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of Richmond, an MA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Art & Public Policy, and recently finished my Masters of Fine Arts from James Madison University. It’s definitely a constant hustle to stay afloat as an artist to secure exhibitions, grants, and lecture gigs. When not in my studio, I am usually in the gardens working as I run a small farm stand in Warrenton. I will be opening up a new general store in New Market, Virginia, that will also feature a gallery. I guess my only regret at this stage in life is not having taken enough business classes! I think Warhol was right when he said: “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” SARAH HENRY ‘12 I didn’t realize when I was in it how much of a powerhouse the Highland art program was (and is) and how much it was benefiting me in every way in my life today. Between Alice Laimbeer, Karen Stinnett, and Laura DeBoer, I learned every fundamental and foundational skill I could possess that allowed me to start conceptualizing art, instead of fussing about the details. By the time I reached collegelevel classes, I enjoyed thinking about what to make and exploring the feelings inside of me when making art, instead of worrying about perspective, realism, and function. In college, I had the opportunity to attend the National Council on Educational for Ceramics Arts Conference (NCECA), where I saw a mind-shattering exhibit called “Lineage,” all about how those figures that we learn from

News and Notes from Alumni

1990’s (continued)

affect our work. It had, essentially, little family trees of potters, stretching back nearly a hundred years, showing the great impact that our teachers have on us as students and artists. I was so lucky to know these amazing women at such a young age and have them influence the person and artist I am today. At William & Mary, I learned even more how few individuals had ceramics programs like ours in their high school and how learning from Laura DeBoer gave me so much comfort on the wheel. Karen Stinnett, in her little corner room of the art center, helped me in too many ways to mention (getting into college, learning the AP Art process, art history and art culture, and the sheer amazing skills she is able to teach). Alice Laimbeer allowed me throughout elementary and middle school to investigate further and she always pushed me to create more complex work, to not give up, and to redefine the idea of “done.” I echo Jon’s sentiment about the sheer number of opportunities Highland allotted, from amazing field trips to DC art museums to local and national art competitions, and the opportunity to start really amazing mediums (ceramics) at such a young age. Without Highland’s art program, my skills would have not flourished in the way they had—and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to come back and show some of my work from them and now. I graduated from William & Mary with a B.A. in Psychology and Studio Art, with a concentration in ceramics. Currently, I’m finishing up my M.Ed in Counselor Education at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. I use artistic expression as a tool to work with students who are having a difficult time verbalizing feeling and goals. I spend time each week at City Clay in Charlottesville, keeping my hands muddy and my mind calm.

Lindsay Soyars Ward ‘97, P’32 and her husband Casey with daughter Catherine and newborn son Benjamin.

Lindsay (Soyars) Ward ‘97, P’32 and her husband Casey welcomed a baby boy Benjamin “Benji” Ward in October. He is already looking forward to joining his big sister Catherine at Highland in a couple of years. Strickland “Strick”Payne ‘99 came out to honor the memory of his friend and classmate as a participant in the first annual Andrew Winfree ‘99 Sporting Clays Event in October.

2000 John O’Bannon Reynolds Oare Tiffany (Beker) Broadbent Reynolds Oare ‘00, P’31 spoke about his experience as Highland alum, coach, teacher, and now parent during the Winter All-School Assembly in January. John O’Bannon ‘00 and his wife Brittany (Carlton) O’Bannon ‘04 brought their family to the festivities on Homecoming in October, connecting with schoolmates and enjoying the bouncy house inflatables.

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News and Notes from Alumni

2001 Mark Miller Dudley Payne Kate Roehr Theodora “Theo” (Higginson) Hanna ‘01 recently had a letter to the editor published in the New York Times in response to an Op-Ed piece entitled “America’s Real Digital Divide.” She serves a Co-Executive Director of Tech Goes Home.

Tyler Ross ‘02 invited Reynolds Oare ‘00 and players from the boys and girls varsity soccer teams to help with a holiday event at the Boys & Girls Club of Fauquier.

2002 Tyler Ross Tyler Ross ‘02 worked with Reynolds Oare ‘00, P’31 to arrange for students from the Highland Varsity Boys Soccer and Varsity Girls Soccer teams to volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club of Fauquier last December.

2003 Caleigh Megless Newlyweds Caleigh (Megless) Schmidt ‘03 and husband Phillipp are living in Paris where Caleigh is launching a cooking career. Check out her website at

2004 Blakely Miller loves her new little brother Landon, who was born on February 28, 2018.

Mark Miller ‘01 and his wife Blair welcomed their son Landon Benjamin on February 28. “He’s doing well and his sister, Blakely, who is 3, is loving on him.” Dudley Payne ‘01 is very interested in getting the Highland Network in gear, and will be helping to coordinate a happy hour business and career networking event in the Haymarket/Gainesville area in June 2018.

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Brooke Howard Jamie Gravett Brittany (Carlton) O’Bannon Brittany (Carlton) O’Bannon ‘04 and husband John O’Bannon ‘00 brought their family to the festivities on Homecoming in October, connecting with schoolmates and enjoying the bouncy house inflatables.

News and Notes from Alumni

McClain (Bell) Herman ‘06 started her first year of teaching at Annandale High School. “I am teaching English 11, English 12, and IB English Literature. I will also graduate in May with an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction and Secondary Education English from George Mason University.” Megan (Keyser) Jaskiewicz ‘06 married Ben Jaskiewicz on September 16, 2017 at Salamander Resort in Middleburg. (See their wedding photos on page 77). Amanda (Miller) Kita ‘06 and her husband Matt welcomed their daughter Louisa in October.

Jeremy Noel ‘04 and his wife Carlyle (Eden) Noel ‘06 welcomed their son Liam on October 2.

Jeremy Noel ‘04 and his wife Carlyle (Eden) Noel ‘06 welcomed their son Liam on October 2.

2005 Ainsley Dickens Rachel (Shutt) Gravett

2006 Paige (Statler) Wines McClain (Bell) Herman Chris Callaway ‘06 is working at T.A.C. Ceramic Tile Co. and is very interested in getting the Highland Network in gear, starting with a happy hour business and career networking event in the Haymarket/Gainesville area in June 2018.

Congratulations to Amanda (Miller) Kitt ‘06 and her husband Matt on the birth of their daughter Louisa.

2007 Courtney Brewer Alice Butler ‘07 visited from London, for the first time in 10 years, and enjoyed a tour of the school with Head of School Hank Berg.

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News and Notes from Alumni

2007 (continued)

Clay Hanback ‘07 and his wife Sarah welcomed their son William Henry “Hank” Hanback born January 7.

of Young Children (NAEYC). Members include early childhood educators, parents, and others interested in fostering the healthy development of young children. Lauren received her honor at a meeting of the greater Richmond area early childhood educators in October. Presenters, who were parents of the children under Lauren’s care, spoke at the event and had this to say “She is an out of the box thinker and a natural teacher who finds ways to reach all children...” Another said “Lauren is truly an outstanding, exceptional, rare and brilliant educator.” Lauren was humbled to hear these remarks. She recalled her Senior Internship at Head Start as a building block and felt her time at Highland instilled in her a determination to do her best despite the odds. After receiving an A.A. in Education at Lord Fairfax Community College she finished her undergraduate work earning a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Lauren entered the workforce in the nonprofit arena as a counselor for troubled children. Working first in a group home then moving to a position embedded in the Richmond City Schools. There she was a child therapy counselor in an elementary school until the contract ended. In 2015 Lauren began work in a preschool setting at The VCU Health System Child Care Center at Northside. At Northside Lauren was a preschool teacher in a class for 3yr olds. Lauren found her niche in this setting and her work there lead to her nomination for the award. She is currently working at Rainbow Station at Charter Colony in Midlothian, Virginia where she splits her time between classroom and administrative duties.

2008 Callie Broaddus Lauren Keyser Emily Dale ‘08 is enjoying her first year of teaching Third Grade in the Highland Lower School. She spoke about her experience at Highland alumna and teacher during the Winter All-School Assembly in January. Lauren D’Urso ’07 was selected by the Board of the Richmond Early Childhood Association (RECA) as the Educator of the year for 2017. RECA is the Richmond affiliate of the National Association for the Education

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Jon William Henry ‘08 and his sister Sarah Henry ‘12 recently hosted an art show in the gallery at the Highland Center for the Arts with her brother. For more from both, please read their pieces on page 70.

News and Notes from Alumni

Victoria Simon ‘10 graduated from University of Tampa in 2014 Cum Laude. She attended and graduated from Medical University of South Carolina with Doctor in Physical Therapy and is now living in Charleston, SC working in the hospital system.

2011 Class Representative Needed Interested? Contact

2012 Meagan Elfert and Hannah Safren ‘08 pose with the Oriole Bird after their wedding in Baltimore, Maryland.

Hannah Safren ‘08 tied the knot with Meagan Elfert at Mt. Washington Mill Dye House in Baltimore, Maryland on October 20, 2017. The two met during college at an Orioles game and shared their big day with the closest family and friends and the Oriole Bird!

2009 Molly Statler Evan Bell ‘09 started a new job as a Juvenile Probation Officer with the Virginia State Court System in Virginia Beach this past fall. Seth Rose ‘09 is working as Communications and Human Resources Manager at LEO Construction.

Sarah Henry Sarah Henry ‘12 recently hosted an art show in the gallery at the Highland Center for the Arts with her brother Jon William Henry ‘08. For more from both, please read their piece on page 70.

2013 Lauren Frye Simon Schwartz Jess Shaw



Gus Moshos

Phoebe Krumich

Mimi Robinson

Brendon McCann


Chris Hoerner ‘10 is working as an Analyst at Avenir Corporation in D.C. He is also consulting to Highland’s Finance Committee on the investment and management of the School’s endowment.

Olivia “Liv” Bell John Bounds

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News and Notes from Alumni

2015 (continued) Olivia Bell ‘15 has been interning for SelectUSA, which is an agency for the International Trade Administration, which is an agency for the Department of Commerce, this fall and spring.

2016 Bailey Babcox Rich Gerhardt Rich Gerhart ‘16 came to cheer on his sister Susanna Gerhardt ‘21 in the Highland Players production of Sweeney Todd. Gordon Wallace ‘16 showed up to support Team RoboHawk this year back in January during the reveal, as well as at their first competition at Battlefield on March 3.

2017 Thomas Boudreaux ‘15, now a junior at High Point University, had a research paper published in the Astrophysical Journal, a high-impact, peer-reviewed scientific journal of astronomy and astrophysics. Congratulations to Ann Collins ‘15 for being selected by the US Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate Program! What an incredible journey to have had the experience of being one of the first women to get underway on a fast-attack submarine and now recruiting future male and female Submarine Officers for sub duty. Wishing Ann the best of luck as she prepares to enter the “Silent Service.”

Annie Pendleton Manti Batistas Kyle Blackburn ‘17 was back on campus to watch his brother Gavin Blackburn ‘21 play on the Highland Varsity Tennis Team. He is also actively recruiting fellow alumni, as well as parents and local business leaders, to join the “Highland School Warrenton VA Career Connectors” group on LinkedIn (https://

Share Your Stories with Classmates and Friends Celebrating a special event? Want to reconnect with your classmates, friends, and faculty? Send stories to and we’ll include your update in an upcoming issue. go to go to and search for ‘Highland School Warrenton VA’ to join group

Connect with alumni and friends at

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News and Notes from Alumni

Highland alumnae at the wedding were (left to right) Paige (Statler) Wines ‘06, McClain (Bell) Herman ‘06, Olivia Bell ‘15, Megan (Keyser) Jaskiewicz ‘06, Jackie (Kidwell) Berens ‘06, Molly Statler ‘09, Lauren Keyser ‘08 and Kitson (Marr) Vaz ‘06.

Megan (Keyser) Jaskiewicz ‘06 married Ben Jaskiewicz at Salamander Resort in Middleburg.

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In Memoriam

IN MEMORIAM Lt. Col. David Alexander Nelson, USMC retired, age 61, a resident of Warrenton, VA, passed away on November 26, 2017 at Fauquier Hospital in Warrenton. David was born on April 18th, 1956 in Anchorage, Alaska. The son of Paul and Valeria (Flesher) Nelson, David lived in multiple states and countries growing up. As part of a military family, he never spent more than three years in one place. When Paul retired, the family moved back to the family farm in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, where David then graduated high school. After high school, David attended the United States Air Force Academy for three years. He completed college at Texas Christian University while he was serving in the Air Force in Texas. After he finished his service with the Air Force, he moved back to Minnesota to work on the family farm with his parents. Two years later, he rejoined the military, enlisting in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and receiving his commission soon after. David honorably served his country for over 23 years, retiring in 2008 as a Lt. Colonel in the USMC with many awards of distinction. David was most recently a teacher and a tutor at Highland School in Warrenton. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends. David is survived by his loving wife, Pamela Maria Nelson of Warrenton, VA; five children, Erik Alexander Nelson of Portsmouth, VA, Justin Paul Nelson and wife, Amanda of Chesapeake, VA, Samantha Louise Nelson of Marshall, VA, Cassandra Jeanne Nelson of Warrenton, VA and Zachary David Nelson of Warrenton, VA; two brothers, Steven Nelson and wife, Vera of Pelican Rapids, MN and Lloyd Nelson and wife, Donna of Pelican Rapids, MN; one grandson, Matthew Joseph Nelson of Chesapeake, VA, and numerous nieces and nephews. David is predeceased by his parents. A private family service was held at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and he was buried with USMC honors at Quantico National Cemetery, Triangle, VA.

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Virginia Howard ‘Gina’ Farrar, business leader and local activist, passed away on December 30, 2017 at her home, Chaputepec Farm, near Orlean. The daughter of Katherine Bowman Farrar Claflin and the noted sculptor, Charles Haylander Farrar, Gina was born in Washington, D.C. on September 22, 1943. After graduating from the Warrenton Branch of the Calvert School (now Highland School) and St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, she attended Garland Junior College in Boston, the International Institute of Design in Washington, D.C., and the University of Florence in Italy. Gina worked in interior design in New Orleans before returning to Warrenton, where she operated The Main Thing, a woman’s clothing store on Main Street, with Josine Hitchcock from 1972 to 1982. Later she owned Farrar’s, a men’s clothing store in Warrenton, which opened in 1986. Always committed to the advancement of Old Town Warrenton, in 1988 Gina was one of the founders of the Partnership for Warrenton, which in addition to its local efforts tapped into the resources of the Virginia Main Street Program and National Trust for Historic Preservation to find ways to invigorate the town’s commercial district. Deeply involved in the local community, Gina worked to integrate public establishments, to raise awareness of conservation needs, and to promote the preservation of our open spaces. She was a founding member of the Warrenton Planning Commission and the Piedmont Environmental Council. Her contributions to preserving our environment and nurturing young people to understand its importance were recognized nationally by the Garden Club of American; statewide by the Garden Club of Virginia; and locally by the John Marshall Soil and Water Conservation District. Gina was predeceased by her brother, Peter Francis Farrar ‘51. She is survived by her beloved husband of 39 years, James W. Timberlake V of Warrenton, and two sisters, Anna Katherine Farrar Taffs of Tucson, AZ and Jane Farrar of Santa Fe, NM as well as a host of friends too numerous to count.


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Give Local Piedmont on Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Help Highland School Reach the Top of the Leader Board!

On Tuesday, May 1, 2018, Highland will again be participating in Give Local Piedmont, a day of giving for regional non-profits run by the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation (NPCF). Each year, through the generous support of donors and sponsors, non-profits in the Piedmont region raise more than $750,000. Top fund raisers can earn matching funds and bonus prizes from NPCF and supporting organizations like the PATH Foundation. Help Highland reach the top of the leader board by making your generous gift on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. Gifts can be made online and you can watch the leader board at

2018 spring issue of highland magazine pages  

Digital version of the Spring 2018 issue of Highland Magazine. This is the second of three issues commemorating Highland's 90th anniversary

2018 spring issue of highland magazine pages  

Digital version of the Spring 2018 issue of Highland Magazine. This is the second of three issues commemorating Highland's 90th anniversary