Autumn Views Summer 2023

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Head of School Newsletter, Summer 2023

From the Desk Of Dr. Autumn A. Graves

The following is an excerpt from the Commencement address to the Class of 2023 on June 2, 2023

Seniors, take the time to explore ideas, meet people, and try new things yourself. You are a unique structure of molecules that experience a situation differently from anyone else. Even someone from your own friend group or family. Give yourself a chance to be your own person.

For my comments today, I plugged in a few prompts to ChatGPT to see what it would produce. I hoped that the outcomes would be unique and inspirational.

Honestly, I wasn’t inspired. The large language model spit out a generic and predictable response full of cliches — all far from unique:

• Congratulate the students for making it to this moment.

• Encourage students to remember they are resilient.

• Make the most out of college.

• Pursue a passion or find your purpose in life.

• Embrace diversity and seek people with different perspectives to be in your friend group.

• Prioritize your physical, mental, and emotional health.

• Be a lifelong learner.

• And, celebrate your achievements - which really takes us back to the first point - congratulations

As I said, all the chatbot did was regurgitate uninspired words. Quite literally, they are not new words or ideas. After all, that’s how ChatGPT works. It just curates words and ideas that have already been shared. Nothing worthy of this original class. After last week’s Class Night, I saw my inspiration in front of me. I watched the reactions of the seniors when different class members won an award. And I would like to call out some of the

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audience members who inspired me and serve as role models for all of us here. Being resilient is not easy, especially when your dreams for senior year are not realized. You can continue to feel sorry for yourself and wallow in disappointment, or you can feel your feelings and then decide to use your newfound time as an asset and make your year one of making new friends and creating unexpected memories as Jackson Coppock did this year as a new senior.

If you need a role model for someone who has made the most out of high school by trying new things and challenging herself to push beyond her comfort zone, all you have to do is remember Sophie Waller’s rendition of “Don’t Stop Believing” at the Senior Variety Show.

Take James Carter’s strong recommendation to say “yes” to new experiences, people, and places to become the best version of yourself and create an emotionally and mentally healthy life.

Michael Procino’s study of Samba music exemplifies a person who embraces curiosity by learning about diverse cultures, history, geography, and art. Even with a face covering, I could see Kate Rieger smiling with her eyes and then later with her full face. It’s that warmth that turns an eclectic group of

diverse individuals into her friend group. And, I could not find another person who genuinely celebrates and congratulates her friends and classmates with sheer joy and exuberance like Maddie Rice. I didn’t need ChatGPT to inspire my words of wisdom. Instead, I just needed to look into the eyes and hearts of this

senior class for examples of the kind of young adults the world needs. Each and every college campus where all 94 of you will matriculate will be blessed and you will make those campuses more lovely and joyful communities.

May God bless you and keep you, Amen.

Editorial Contributors

Dr. Autumn A. Graves, Lisa Keeler, Beth Miller,

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Contributors Publisher St. Anne’s-Belfield School Editor Lisa Ha Art Direction Taylor Morris ’19
Digital Minerva, KMS Photography,
Rachael LeMasters, Marie Reed Senior Administrative Leadership Team (SALT) Dr. Autumn A. Graves, Head of School; Beth Miller, Head of the Upper School; Marie Reed, Head of the Middle School; Lisa Keeler, Head of the Lower School; Seth Kushkin, Director of Athletics; Randie Benedict, Assistant Head of School for Enrollment Management; Lisa Ha, Chief Communications Officer; Pam Winthrop, Chief Advancement Officer; Sally Woods, Chief Operating and Financial Officer (COFO)
Saints Sow Seeds of Success at the Maroon and White Party ....... 4 Inspire Us to Our Best ....................................................................... 6 Powerhouse Parents and Guardians.................................................. 7 Commencement in Photos................................................................ 8 Class of 2023 College Acceptance and Matriculation ................... 10 Leadership Changes: Fond Farewells and Warm Welcomes ........... 12 Faculty and Staff Service Award Winners ........................................ 14 Athletic Highlights ............................................................................. 15
In This Issue

Saints Sow Seeds of Success at the Maroon and White Party

May 19 fundraiser nets $245,000+ to support students and faculty, with $1.26M+ in total raised 2022-23 for the Fund for St. Anne’s-Belfield.

THANK YOU! Maroon and White Party results:

• 20 Maroon and White Party Committee members

• 60 sponsors and 275 donors

• 300+ attendees at the Friday evening party

• 170+ auction items

• 313 raffle tickets and 174 sign-up party tickets

• 72 Community Tree leaves

• $245,000+ in proceeds supporting our 900+ students and 220+ faculty and staff

Nearly 1050 alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends have made a gift in the 2022-23 fiscal year to support the Fund for St. Anne’s-Belfield. Donations of more than $1.26M in unrestricted gifts will directly support our students, teachers, and programming. Thank you! Please consider making a gift to the Fund today to kick off the 2023-24 school year. All gifts of all sizes matter. Let’s be ALL IN FOR ALL SAINTS!

Donate online at

St. Anne’s-Belfield School 4
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Inspire Us to Our Best


the school


Remarks to Grade 4 from Lisa Keeler, P. ’15 & ’16, Head of the Lower School

“I want to challenge each of you to do these things: to cherish what has been and to hold space for what will be. To honor all that you’ve accomplished and to remain curious about your next steps. To feel sadness for friends who may be moving away and to make plans for how you will nurture those connections in new ways. Today each of you will receive a gift from the Lower School: a small journal and a pen. I hope you will use it to write about your endings and your beginnings. And off you go to your next beginning!”

Remarks to Grade 8 from Marie Reed, P. ’27 & ’30, Head of the Middle School

“A common criticism of school life is that it isn’t like the real world. And while I agree with this criticism in some aspects, when it comes to living life in a community with one another, there is nothing more real than the time we have spent together this year. This year, we have leaned on each other, celebrated one another, made mistakes, and forgiven one another. Indeed our lives have become intertwined. And so for me, the ending of a school year is always bittersweet, for Moving Up Chapel marks the close of this school community and the beginning of a new one. As Ms. Foster described in last week’s Chapel, ‘Every new beginning requires an ending of some sort.’ Each year, at this moment, I am filled with deep gratitude for the time we have had together.”

Remarks to Grade 12 from Beth Miller, P. ’22 & ’25, Head of the Upper School

“As this year’s seniors emerged from imposed restrictions, they acted like a fire had been lit beneath them. They summoned energy they didn’t know they had, they said ‘yes’ to almost anything, and they showed up in August ready to sing, dance, and shine…In moments of sadness and in joy, these kids came together, connected through their shared experience of St. Anne’s-Belfield School. Class of 2023, you made an impact — on your peers, your teachers, your school, and your community. From beginning to end, you’ve embraced your surroundings and your friends. May images of the sunrise over Room 400, the Learning Village, or your favorite spot in Charlottesville decorate your walls and sit in frames on your bookcases to forever remind you of the beauty of your time together.”

a line from song, “Raise Our Voices,” division heads and student speakers gave poignant advice during Moving Up Chapels to “inspire us to our best.” View photos from the year on SmugMug

Powerhouse Parents and Guardians

A Recap of the Dynamic School Year with the Parents’ Association

With heartfelt appreciation, the Parents’ Association (PA) recognizes the remarkable efforts of all the volunteers and donors who helped make the 2022-23 school year at St. Anne’s-Belfield an outstanding success. Their commitment truly made our school an even more enriching environment for every student and teacher. Take a look at the incredible impact achieved through family involvement within the PA this year:

Arts Boosters

• Provided refreshments for the Lower School Music & Movement Folk Dance, Middle School concert, the Lower School Moon Party, All-School Art Show, and International Thespian Society inductions

• Organized and sold concessions at the Middle and Upper School theater productions

• Organized an art activities station at Fall Family Festival

• Underwrote the purchase of frames to professionally hang and display student artwork around the School

• Sponsored visiting artists, Yevgeny Kutik and Anna Polonsky, at performances and workshops with Grades 6 – 12 students

• Supported costume design for the US Winter Musical, “High School Musical”

• Held the annual April Plant Sale

Saints Athletics Club

• Hosted and provided activities for the Fall Family Festival including a raffle

• Executed the lettermen jacket sale

• Organized and staffed the concessions stand for home football games, plus other occasions

• Hosted a vintage sports uniform sale

• Presented athletics educational programming for parents and guardians

• Created social media content for the Saints Athletics Club Instagram page

• Partnered with the Upper School Student Life Committee

• Hosted a coaches and athletics staff appreciation event

• Underwrote the CCC lobby pictures, equipment in the weight room for Coach P’s programming, speed machine, hi-res camera for Athletics Department, the athletics team uniform storage buildout, and a part of the forthcoming speaker system on the Frank G. Addonizio Field football and boys’ lacrosse turf.

Parents’ Association

• Personally welcomed 134 new families to the St. Anne’s community last summer

• Shared 340 cups of coffee at parent and caregiver coffees throughout the year

• Provided $4,000 in funding for Wednesday Wellness programs

• Chaperoned field trips so our kids could connect their classroom learning to the wider world

• Contributed 172 volunteer hours reshelving books in the library

• Showed our appreciation for our 220+ faculty and staff all year long with pies, potluck lunches, breakroom snacks, flowers, and messages of thanks

• Welcomed more than 400 grandparents and special friends to visit Pre-School and Lower School classrooms

• Delivered love to families with over 30 baby onesies, meals, flowers, and stuffed Saintys through the Saints Cares committee

• Sold 1,755 uniform pieces at the Saints’ Closet, raising funds to further the PA’s mission of bringing families together and supporting our faculty and staff. Thank you!

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Commencement in Photos

View more at

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Congratulations, Class of 2023!

2023 College Acceptance and Matriculation

It is with pride and admiration for our seniors that we share the list of colleges and universities that accepted members of the Class of 2023. Colleges in bold are where students plan to enroll (matriculate) in the fall.

Allegheny College

American University

Appalachian State University

Arizona State University (Main Campus)

Auburn University

Augusta University

Bard College

Belmont University

Boston College

Boston University

Brandeis University

Bryn Mawr College

Carnegie Mellon University

Case Western Reserve University

Catawba Valley Community College

Chapman University

Christopher Newport University

Clemson University

Coastal Carolina University

Colby College

Colgate University

College of Charleston

Colorado College

Davidson College

Denison University

Dickinson College

Drexel University

East Carolina University

Eckerd College

Elon University

Emerson College

Emory University

Fairmont State University

Fashion Institute of Technology

Fordham University

George Mason University

George Washington University

Georgetown University

Georgia State University

Gettysburg College

Harvard University

Howard University

Indiana University (Bloomington)

James Madison University

Johns Hopkins University

Kenyon College

Liberty University

Mary Baldwin University

Maryland Institute College of Art

Marymount Manhattan College

McGill University

Miami University (Oxford)

Michigan State University

Montclair State University

Morgan State University

Mount Holyoke College

New York University

Norfolk State University

North Carolina A & T State University

North Carolina Central University

North Carolina State University

Northeastern University

Northwestern University

Oberlin College

Old Dominion University

Pace University (New York City)

Penn State University (University Park)

Point Park University

Princeton University

Purdue University (Main Campus)

Radford University

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rhodes College

Roanoke College

Roger Williams University

Rollins College

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Saint Michael’s College

San Diego State University

Sarah Lawrence College

Scripps College

Sewanee: The University of the South

Siena College

Smith College

Southern Methodist University

St. John’s College (Annapolis)

SUNY at Purchase College

Syracuse University

The Boston Conservatory at Berklee

The College of William and Mary

The College of Wooster

The Ohio State University

The University of Alabama

The University of Tennessee (Knoxville)

Tufts University

Union College

University of Arizona

University of California (Davis)

University of California (Irvine)

University of California (Los Angeles)

University of California (Riverside)

University of California (San Diego)

University of California (Santa Barbara)

University of California (Santa Cruz)

University of Chicago

University of Colorado Boulder

University of Connecticut

University of Denver

University of Florida

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University of Georgia

University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign

University of Iowa

University of Kentucky

University of Louisville

University of Mary Washington

University of Maryland (College Park)

University of Massachusetts (Amherst)

University of Massachusetts (Lowell)

University of Miami

University of Michigan

University of Minnesota (Twin Cities)

University of Mississippi

University of Missouri (Columbia)

University of New Brunswick

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

University of North Carolina Wilmington

University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh)

University of Rhode Island

University of Richmond

University of Rochester

University of San Diego

University of South Carolina

University of Southern California

University of St Andrews

University of Toronto

University of Vermont

University of Virginia (Main Campus)

University of Washington (Seattle Campus)

Class of 2023 by the Numbers

30 Average ACT 52% will enroll in a very selective (<25%) colleges

Vanderbilt University

Vassar College

Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Wake Forest University

Washington and Lee University

Washington University in St. Louis

Wellesley College

Wesleyan University

Williams College

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Yale University

Admission Rate

639 Applications submitted

Early Decision 54%


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71% UVA
4.06 Average GPA Our UVA in-state admission rate 72% vs. 27% UVA in-state admission rate Our UVA out-ofstate admission rate 58% 12% UVA out-of-state admission rate vs.
1304 Average SAT Avg. 6.9 applications per student
Decision 44%
52% Overall Admission Rate
Early Action

Leadership Changes

Fond Farewells

Warren B. Buford, P. ’23 & ’25 Associate Head of School for Advancement

Fundraiser. Fun raiser. Friend raiser. Warren has been the ultimate utility player for the entire St. Anne’s-Belfield community for the last decade — for alumni, families, Charlottesville leaders, teachers, staff, and, most importantly, our students. After 10 years as a leader at the School, Warren Buford was tapped to become the executive director of development for the UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science and head of the UVA Engineering Foundation, effective early July. While we will miss him dearly, we are thrilled for Warren to be selected for this significant position. Thankfully, Warren will remain a steadfast member of our community as an alum parent to Max ’23 and parent of Grade 11 student, James ’23. His wife, Ashley Buford, will continue to serve our Kindergarten students and families as a homeroom teacher.

Changdong “East” He ’12 Board of Trustees Member, 2015 – 2023

East He has been a tremendous board member since 2015 and has been an extremely active alum of our school. As one of our younger trustees as well as a graduate of the boarding program, he has provided invaluable perspective and guidance in so many areas — often without garnering the attention given his quiet leadership style. He has been much more than an important link to our residential life program but a real leader in engaging international alumni through the Asia Pacific Innovation Program (APIC), which he started with another alum. He is always known to be a thoughtful sounding board and has been an amazing supporter of the school. East will be missed as a trustee, but we know he will continue to be active with the school as an alum.

Lauren Hagans Board of Trustees Member, 2022 – 2023

While a student at UVA, Lauren Hagans was a homework helper and mentor for students, computer lab supervisor, and assistant girls’ basketball coach. In 2017, Lauren rejoined this community with her husband, Marques, and their two sons, Christopher and Jack, who entered Kindergarten and the Pre-School Program. In her time as a volunteer, Lauren co-chaired the athletics taskforce, co-chaired the inclusive excellence strategic planning committee, and served on the civic engagement working group before joining the board of trustees in 2021. An incredible advocate for our School, Lauren has talked to countless families and encouraged them to “just go see the school” and meet the folks who work there. Often those families find themselves applying and enrolling. We will deeply miss her as the Hagans family moves on to their next adventure in Pennsylvania.

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Warm Welcomes

Anniken “Anni” Quinn ’12, M.A. Director of Alumni Engagement

We are excited to announce that Anni Quinn ’12 will become the new Director of Alumni and Family Engagement beginning in July. As a fourth-generation alumna, member of the School’s Development Committee, former intern in the Advancement office, Alumni Class Ambassador, and a highly committed and enthusiastic alumna, Anni brings a deep connection to and love for the St. Anne’s-Belfield. Anni also brings her substantive professional experience to this important community-building role at the school, having led alumni relations and stewardship for numerous years at Columbian College, George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Please join us in welcoming Anni back home and into this new role!

Pamela “Pam” Winthrop Chief Advancement Officer

Pam Winthrop joins us as the School’s inaugural Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) starting July 17, 2023. A seasoned fundraiser with 27 years of experience working in independent schools in the United States and Denmark, Pam’s expertise ranges from capital campaign strategy and management, major gifts, annual giving, alumni relations, and fundraising events. Pam most recently served as the director of institutional advancement at Chinese American International School (CAIS) in San Francisco, where she increased parent giving by 135% in two years and oversaw the first capital campaign in the school’s 33-

year history, surpassing the goal by 25%. Previously, Pam held significant leadership positions in advancement at the University of Chicago Laboratory schools, Copenhagen International School, St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH, and National Cathedral School in Washington, DC. Additionally, Pam has been an associate with Graham-Pelton Consulting, is a regular volunteer for CASE-NAIS, and serves on the board of ALDEA Guatemala. Pam graduated from Mount Holyoke College. An enthusiastic welcome to Pam!

Team “Slack Attack” blew away the competition at the 2023 National KidWind Challenge held in Boulder, Colorado in May. Congratulations to Andy K. ’30, Bo G. ’30, Dean R. ’30, and their coaches, Jeff Schwalm and Robbie Munsey!

Read the full story at

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Photo credit: Robbie Munsey

Celebrating Our Fabulous Faculty & Staff

2022-23 Service Award Winners

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Lexie Krebs Lower School Teaching Award Chad Sopata, P. ’25, ’28, ’33, & ’35 April Waylett Teaching Award Michael Remchuk Lossie N. Wilkinson Award Andrea Beardsley, P. ’23 & ’25 Elizabeth Copeland Norfleet Award Matilda Ferguson Michael E. Waylett Service Award Brooke Canova, P. ’31 Diana Edwards Smith Teaching Mastership Meg Van Liew, P. ’17 Malone Prize

Athletic Highlights

Conference players of the year: Mo Johnson ’23 Chance Mallory ’25

Carter Lang ’23

Addi Foster ’23

3 Conference champions and state runners up Girls’ lacrosse Girls’ basketball

8 State-ranked teams Field hockey Girls’ tennis Boys’ basketball Girls’ basketball

Boys’ basketball Girls’ lacrosse Boys’ lacrosse Baseball Girls’ soccer

Mo Johnson ’23: McDonald’s All American

Conference or regional coaches of the year: Carrington King Phil Stinnie Damin Altizer

All American

2x Gatorade State Player of the Year

22 School records broken: swim (11), track & field (11)

36 First team all conference studentathletes

14 Signed Class of 2023

18 First team all state student-athletes

State swimming champion: Phil Stinnie Will Browne ’25

100 and 200 Free State coach of the year:

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