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Students See “The Other Side of Immigration”



Ron Smith’s “Its Ghostly Workshop”


Pine Needle

Volume XCIV

February 2013

Richmond, Virginia

Number 4

Knowles Featured in 2013 “Fields of Excellence” Calendar is better than winning the lottery.” You may remember seeing the the pink It was the second day back from spring break ribbons beside the yard line numbers and the last year when most fields were still recovering painted confetti explosion in the end zone out of last “i” in “Saintennial.” “Personally, I’ve never from winter, Ontario’s Hill Academy lacrosse team came to St. Christopher’s just after steam- seen color like we had that season,” said Assistant Maintenance Head Zac Cressin. rolling Collegiate on astroturf. Lest we forget the grass so green it looks fake. Head Coach Brodie Merrill and the CanadiAccomplishments such as those won the ans were at first unhappy thinking they were award. playing on turf for a second day. Out of thousands of applicants, Knowles Field “Damn, we have to play on artificial again,” said Merrill, according to Field Manager Bernie was honored one of 90 “Fields of Excellence.” That’s for any sport, high school and college, as Whitlow. But they were mistaken. Thanks to Whitlow well as parks and recreation. On top of the honor, Knowles was featured and company, Knowles Field is all-natural. in the 2013 Pioneer Athletics calendar for the “This is by far the best field I’ve seen,” said Merrill, also a professional lacrosse player, often month of January, only the second field in Virginia to make it in the calendar. The first was considered the best in the world. “To us,” said Whitlow, “a compliment like that By Alex Beale Editor-in-Chief

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Saints Unite for Connor’s Heroes FEATURED: Spring Sports Previews, A7 By Morgan McCown Senior Contributor

We’re all connected in ways seen and unseen. Take our recent outreach project with Connor’s Heroes, a nonprofit that collects items for children with cancer. Anne Mauck, a nurse practitioner who is mother of eighth grader Graham Mauck, took care of Connor when he battled leukemia as a toddler. “All the kids I work with are special, but Connor in particular was always happy, upbeat and had a good attitude towards things,” she said.

Still a nurse in the oncology wing of Children’s Hospital she sees firsthand the difference Connor’s Heroes makes. After months of planning and hard work, St. Christopher’s schoolwide effort collected toys, books and other miscellaneous items to fill backpacks for children hospitalized with cancer. Connor’s Heroes has grown tremendously since its inception. Started in 2006 by Connor’s parents Steve and Lisa Goodwin, it has reached out to many organizations for support and is sponsored by companies

such as Anthem, Virginia Business Systems and Lite 98. “We do this to give back and to help those who maybe are without support groups,” said Connor, who is now 11. “The feeling that you get from helping others is just amazing.” Dr. Sarah Mansfield, assistant head for curriculum and leadership programming, spearheaded the schoolwide program similar to the Hero Boxes event held last year where we assembled and mailed care packages to deployed American service members. Connor’s Heroes seemed like a perfect match. “The best way to show leadership is through service,” said Dr. Mansfield. “Connor’s Heroes provided something a little more local that could impact kids in the community.” Choosing Connor’s Heroes was just the first

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The Flags in Chapel By Nicholas Horsley Assistant Editor

Every time I walk into the St. Christopher’s Upper School chapel, I am reminded of the Saturday Night Live skit: “Flags of the World!” There is an abundance of them sticking from every rafter, precariously perched above the heads of the students. The obvious suspects are there: the U.S. flag, Episcopal flag, school flag, and Virginia state flag. Along with these, however, are some so obscure that the average student could not begin to name them correctly. This leads many to the question: “what do these flags have to do with Chapel?” Mr. Joe Knox, retired chairman of the St. Christopher’s language department, explained, “It all started when Mr. Elmer converted what was then a gym into the chapel…” Back in the early 1960s, the school was expanding, and had outgrown its basketball gym. Not wanting to tear down the facility, Mr. Elmer, the chaplain at the time, decided

it would be a good idea to convert the gym/lunchroom into a chapel. “The chapel was consecrated on All Saints 1965 and thus the transformation began,” said Mrs. Hollerith, current Upper School chaplain. “The room has always been a simple one,” said Mr. Knox, “and once the basketball goals had been removed, a cross was hung, some simple curtains were put up, and an organ installed.” The room was still felt pretty spartan after these alterations, and Mr. Elmer—having written his thesis on the Scottish influence in Virginia, as well as being a large proponent of St. Christopher’s “global outlook” -- decided it would be a good idea to put in the flags. “They added color to the room, and helped fill out the sparseness,” Mr. Knox said. “Mr. Elmer had a strong feeling about the global education at St. Christopher’s, he even helped establish the Wilkinson fund.” This fund allowed students and teachers from other countries to

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The Pine Needle A2 [ ] February 2013

Saints Unite for Connor’s Heroes Continued from Page A1 step. Planning began back in the late fall as to what could actually be accomplished to not only help out this organization, but to bring together the school as a whole. “I feel like my job is to work with all the divisions, whether that be the business office, Lower School or athletic office,” said Dr. Mansfield. “I want to really look at everything we do and see how we can provide positive experiences for all.” Many hours went into creating lists assigning people what to bring, where to go and what to talk about in the assigned classrooms. However, that didn’t bother Dr. Mansfield one bit. “I don’t think about the time,” she said. “I just enjoy it.

It didn’t really seem like work to me, because this was such a worthy cause and I genuinely had fun putting it together.” The numbers speak for themselves with $1,700 in gift cards collected as well as $1,100 in donations. In addition, 90 backpacks were stuffed with toys, tissues, books, games and various other things that accommodated the specified age of the child to receive the gift. For Connor’s Heroes, the fundraising at St. Christopher’s was one of the biggest events they have held yet. “I think it probably came out to be the best if possible could’ve been,” Connor said. “It helps us out in our goal of helping others.

“I think that the St. Chris students did an amazing job and went over the moon and back in their efforts.” Dr. Mansfield said that the most challenging and the most rewarding part was having everyone in the whole school together. “It’s always difficult when you have that many people involved and together at the same time,” she said. “We just didn’t know what to expect. “My favorite part of it all was standing in the Lower School admissions office and watching everyone pour in. As usual, St. Chris boys stepped up and made a positive impact in the lives of others. That’s the definition of leadership.”

Faculty Reactions “I thought the entire idea was a big hit. My favorite part of the activity was when ninth grader Sam Cain began reading. The room was full of energy and talking before he started. But as soon as he sat down and opened the book, all of the boys (even the 6th and 9th graders) became totally silent and gave their full attention to Sam. It was pretty cool to see.” -- Peter Cross, Middle School math teacher “I was so impressed with the way the boys from all three divisions worked together during the backpacking activities. The Upper School boys were so attentive to the Lower School boys as were their Middle School buddies. It was very touching to see the gentle, compassionate part of the boys come to the forefront. Sue Varner, Lisa Snider, and I barely had to assist at all -- the boys worked together so well.” -- Kathleen Fitch, Middle School science teacher

“I thought the Connor’s Heroes event was a great way to get the Upper School, Middle School, and Lower School students together for a great cause. The book was a huge hit with the Lower School kids who were in awe of the Middle School and Upper School students. I know we made a big impact on the organization, but equally as impressive was watching all the students from different levels interact with one another. Listening to the emotion in Connor’s mom’s voice when she saw what we had done, was enough to make anyone proud.” -- Ren O’Ferrall, assistant athletic director “It gave my little guys the opportunity to see how a whole school community can each bring a little to the table to make a big difference to those enduring difficult circumstances.” -- Dr. Dorothy Suskind, first grade teacher

The Pine Needle Staff Junior Contributor Alec Ball

Guest Faculty Contributor Asha Bandal

Editor-in-Chief Alex Beale Assistant Editors Peyton McElroy, Nicholas Horsley Faculty Advisor Mrs. Kathleen Thomas

Senior Contributors Morgan McCown Andrew Gilmore Marshall Hollerith Taylor Head Ben Jessee Wesley Owens

The Pine Needle

Asha Bandal Reflects on Diversity Conference

By Asha Bandal Guest Faculty Contributor

I have been asked if I am Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, and pretty much anything else you can think of. People most often assume that I am Hispanic because I teach Spanish. I have even been complimented on how well I speak English. I would hope so considering I was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. I try not to take offense when people ask me, “What are you?” It’s a question that I have become very accustomed to answering.

Nonetheless, it was really reaffirming to be in a room full of people who all had similar backgrounds to mine at the People of Color Conference in Houston, TX this past December. They also understood my frustrations with having to check a box about my ethnicity and not always having an option with which I can fully identify. I traveled to the conference with three other adults and six Upper School students from St. Christopher’s. My father was born in India where he lived until he was 18. I sadly do not know all that much about his native country. I have visited only once, approximately six years ago. It’s difficult for me to completely identify with my Indian

heritage considering my limited exposure. Almost all of my dad’s relatives live in India, so I wasn’t able to spend time with them growing up. My mom has blond hair and blue eyes. She is German and French, but more than anything, her identifier is Minnesotan. As would be expected, the People of Color Conference makes individuals reflect on how they feel about issues of race, sexual identity, inclusion and other topics. All conference participants are separated into “affinity” groups based on how they identify themselves. There is a Caucasian group, an Asian group, a Hispanic group, and many others. In some ways this seems counterintuitive being that it is a conference that is supposed to support and encourage inclusion. After attending my own group multiracial sessions, I understood better why the conference occasionally separates by affinity. People are able to speak honestly about what it’s like to be blank in their independent schools. This allows for open conversation that can be very powerful. Before attending the conference, I didn’t know freshman Zeb Gordon at all. After meeting him, I have to admit that I just assumed that he was black. I didn’t even consider other possibilities. I was able to have a couple interesting conversations

February 2013

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with him, and we realized that we were both in the multiracial affinity group. Zeb is Caucasian, Native American, and black. He sometimes identifies himself as Native American over black, but usually he just goes with multiracial. My conversations with him made me realize that I was guilty of doing the same thing others have so often done to me. I thought I could put him in a box just by looking at him. I’m the first to admit that even though I am an adult, I still have a lot to learn. Zeb taught me a valuable lesson in Houston. As time goes on, my thoughts on these topics will surely continue to evolve, and I was grateful to have time to process my views, feelings, and beliefs. We all, both teachers and students, lead incredibly busy lives. It was nice to have some time set aside to allow for reflection at the People of Color Conference. Each of us brings some sort of diversity to this community, no matter how big or small. I am Midwestern, multiracial, Caucasian, Indian and am a teacher, coach, and synchronized swimmer. Of all of my identifiers, it is the last one that probably brings up the most questions. Whatever it is that makes you different, own it. Be proud of it. Talk about it. Imagine how boring life would be if we were all exactly the same.

Upper Schoolers See “The Other Side of Immigration” By Alec Ball Junior Contributor

Fourteen years ago, if somebody had told Dr. Roy Germano that he would follow the footsteps of millions of people through the Arizona Desert, a pursuit known as a trek through hell, he wouldn’t have believed you. It all began when Dr. Germano got a summer job in a restaurant waiting tables. To communicate with the cooks, many illegal aliens, he had to learn multiple Spanish phrases to work effectively. “This brought the language to life,” he said. After graduating from Indiana University, Germano attended graduate school at the University of Chicago and wrote his dissertation at the University of Texas. Armed with a camera in a small town in Mexico, he began filming residents, many of whom had relatives working illegally in the United States. “I wanted to make a documentary. I thought it would be a good experience. There were so many challenging things about it but I filmed the interviews and they were so good because of the people, I felt the responsibility to find a way to make the documentary happen.” After publishing his documentary, “The Other Side of Immigration,” Dr. Germano toured the

United States the last four years showing the Mexican side of immigration. “I don’t consider myself a filmmaker,” he said. “I feel like I wrote a dissertation and then made a film as a way to best understand the situation going on in Mexico.” On Jan. 17, the Upper School at both St. Catherine’s and St. Christopher’s watched his documentary. Dr. Germano then answered questions and lectured in various Spanish classes throughout the day. “This is one of the most valuable activities to connect, not just with a Spanish speaker, but with somebody who has experience with migration,” said Mrs. Sue Varner after taking her AP Spanish class to the presentation. “It opens up minds, and that’s the mission of St. Christopher’s. This one visit offered every student

in the room the opportunity to think about an issue from the other side.” Spanish teacher Christian Cousins, a former classmate of Germano’s, contacted him to set up the screening on our campus. “He and I were friends in grad school,” Mr. Cousins said. “Over the course of last year I got to see several different special programs and speakers and the value it added to our education. Seeing that, it dawned on me that I knew somebody I could call on to bring something of that caliber to campus.” The documentary has sparked conversations across both campuses. “Immigration is a very complex issue, but this experience has definitely opened my eyes to the human side of things,” said Nicholas Horsley ’13.

[ A4 ] The Pine Needle February 2013

Ron Smith's "Its Ghostly Workshop" to Debut in March By Peyton McElroy Assistant Editor

On March 11, The Louisiana State University Press will release Mr. Ron Smith’s new book, “Its Ghostly Workshop.” This book of 45 poems will be his third after “Running Again in Hollywood Cemetery” (1988) and “Moon Road” (2007). Five years have passed since the publication of “Moon Road.” “Most people are going to see the book and say, ‘He did the book in five years,’ ” he said. “Some of those poems I have been working on for 30 years.” However, the majority of the poems are recent and almost all have been previously published in a variety of literary jour -nals, online magazines and anthologies. One of the greatest challenges in compiling a book of poetry is creating one unified and cohesive text out of disparate works. “I try to create a book that can be read from front to back properly. It’s not just a big pile of poems where you can skip around. You can do that if you want to, but you won’t get the full meaning and effect. I want you to start at the beginning and work your way through the end.” One of

the ways Mr. Smith accomplished this task is by assembling his poems in distinct sections. “Each poem stands alone,” he said. “Each poem is itself. But when you put it in a group and a sequence it takes on a different flavor.” The first group of poems, a section titled “The Stinkdark,” is filled with poems about writers, such as Ezra Pound, Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Penn Warren, who along with many other writers have influenced Mr. Smith. “Everyone I have ever read is in there somewhere.” The second group “Created, Uncreated“ consists of poems about Rome. “Italy is to me the most interesting place on the planet. When I am anywhere in Italy, I feel more alive.” Unfortunately, Mr. Smith is one in a 2,000-year-old list of poets to become enamored of the city, and he faced the Herculean task of creating original

The Flags in Chapel come and study at St. Christopher’s for about a month at a time. This was how the idea of the flags was created. “There used to be one for every exchange that we did,” said Mr. Knox. “We had a Scottish flag, a Union Jack, a Canadian flag, Confederate flag, even a 13 starred American flag. And each one has a story.” As for the ones hanging in there now, many are new because, according to Mr. Knox, someone broke into the chapel and stole the flags during the late ’80s. “It was as if it was done as a challenge to try and leap up and grab the flags,” he said. “Nothing else was desecrated. There seemed to be no animosity towards the flags in there, just some foolish-

work. “You’re afraid that every single thing you write about Rome has already been said.” Mr. Smith’s love of sports also shines through in the final group, made up primarily of sports poems, called “A Different World.” “I have been writing sports poems all my life but I never thought I would put them in a book with other kinds of poems,” he said. “I like the way they fit, though.” Four poems stand alone for emphasis. Each of the four is a section in and of itself – one at the beginning, one about a third of the way through, one two-thirds of the way through and one at the very end. The closing poem, “Its Ghostly Workshop,” gives the book its title. He started many of his poems in traditional rhyming forms such as the sonnet. Some keep their traditional form. “Usually, though, the more I work on them the more they change, and pretty soon they become free-verse poems, but in the background there is this kind of sonnet echo that I started with.” His goal in creating poetry is to write something both meaningful and memorable “Ultimately the poems are about what it means to be a human being. What is it like to worry about your friend? What is it like to get lost in a crowd? What is it like to travel in a country where you don’t really know the language? Actual experiences. I want to get as many different experiences and different characters into a book as I can.”

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ness, but it was still very disappointing.” The flags that hang in there now include the aforementioned “obvious suspects” as well as flags from Australia, Spain, Ukraine, Russia, France, and the most recent addition from Singapore. So, how are all these countries related to a small, private, collegepreparatory school in the West End of Richmond? Simple: at one point in time, we had an exchange program or hosted a student from that country. Every flag in that room represents at least one person, one student who traveled from a foreign country, throwing caution to the wind to expand their mind and experience St. Christopher’s.

Its Ghostly Workshop

advice to my grandson

Remember the memorable and let the rest go. Of course, some part of everything is memorable. Savor the detail and the barbarous language it insists on speaking. Befriend all words. Never fail to eavesdrop on the exotic or the eternal. Force conversation with the transient. Son, you can always spare a dime. Every now and then empty what we are pleased to call your mind. Let a cool wind blow through, seal it with solitude, open it to featureless horizons. Yes, a Roman cistern or flat ocean where no one, not even you, exists. A long walk on an abandoned railroad track can do the trick. It goes without saying you must keep your mouth shut and always go alone. Call it meditation, if you like. Entertainment? Never mindless entertainment, a form of desperation, highly addictive. Let all your entertainment be mindful. Monitor cumulus crossing the blue, now Australia to Iceland, now Rushmore to Matterhorn. Study the sky a little each day. And, yes, often at night, but ignoring constellations, if you can, making your own and sweeping them away like sand painting. Better star and stark nothing than centaurs and lyres. Never take the image of a thing for the thing, photo for face, landscape for the land. Remember always that perception is more than half creation, the mind’s no projection screen, transforms what it receives, shuffles what’s transformed, makes of sunlight and synapse what the eye has no rod, no cone to encounter. That plain vision is visionary. “Too much time on your hands” is the mantra of the miserable. Shun such judges. Kill clichés in their cradles. They grow to monsters. Let others think outside the box they have hammered for themselves. Build no box to begin with. Know what everyone knows is not knowledge but preference of belief, no more the truth than the shade is the shade tree. Observe how abstractions self-assemble to frame and shingle what the frightened head thinks it needs for shelter. Have faith in the truth and its hermitage, its ghostly workshop. Close your mind like a hand on the handle of each handy fact, but never forget an occupied hand can’t grasp the new. Don’t wield too long nor grip too hard what you take for truth. Be always prepared to let it go. Let it go. for Russell Byrd Whistle Chad Smith

[from “Its Ghostly Workshop,” Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2013. First published in Blackbird, Fall 2007.]

The Pine Needle February 2013

Limburg Ordained a Priest By Marshall Hollerith Senior Contributor

On a Saturday morning in December, Lower School Chaplain and Counselor Megan Limburg was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church. The irony? Everyone already thinks of Dr. Limburg as a minister. From the moment she blessed my dog Boo and preached a chapel talk on Bear, her dog, she was a minister to me. However, although a minister, chaplain, counselor and teacher, Dr. Limburg wasn’t ordained. Her call up until this point had been as a lay minister. After much prayer and thought, Dr. Limburg looked


to further her ministry by becoming ordained. This is a journey she has been on for many years, as she discerned whether her work was one that needed to be ordained and whether others saw her in this role. Her ordination day was the culmination of many years of study and work, and in this new role Dr. Limburg is able to expand her ministry. Already, she holds four degrees -- a bachelor’s in speech communication from the University of Virginia, a master’s in counseling from U.V.A., and a master’s in Christian Education from Union Presbyterian Seminary as well as a Ph.D. in ministry with

a focus on pastoral counseling from Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond. Now with the ordination, her official title is: The Rev. Dr. Megan Limburg, but most of us call her Dr. Limburg. As is evidenced by her degrees, Mrs. Limburg is someone who is constantly seeking to learn and grow. Her journey to the priesthood began four years ago and by the end she had passed her exams in seven areas of study: Holy Scripture, Church History, Liturgy and Music, Christian Ethics and Moral Theology, Christian Theology and Missiology, Theory and Practice of Ministry, and Contemporary Society. If that wasn’t enough, keep in mind that she was also working full time at St. Christopher’s while she pursued her ordination. Her hours varied depending on the course of work. However, when it was time to take her ordination exams, she did take a short sabbatical from St. Christopher’s to prepare and study. In addition to these duties, she was

reviewed and examined by several diocesan committees and served as a summer intern at St. James’s Episcopal Church. The ordination allows her to officiate at weddings and funerals. “But most of all, I am humbled that many members of the community, both adults and boys, were moved by my ordination and viewed it as completing and expanding my role in their lives as chaplain and counselor,” she said. Her fifth grade boys, who journeyed with her during these four years, presented her with a special stole they made for her ordination. “I think the fact that Dr. Limburg became ordained as a priest really validates and completes for her a role she’s already been fulfilling in the Lower School for many

Ampersand’s Winter One Acts

This one act, featuring St. Catherine’s students Fraser Mayberry ’14 and Lily Constine ’14, rounded out the One Acts. Constine’s quieter tone of voice helped her capture her role as a subservient girlfriend looking for empowerment. Mayberry’s boisterous voice set the tone.


This one act, written and directed by sophomore Alex Shedd ’15, starring Harrison Wells ’13 and Catherine Carson ’15, is a emotional roller coaster reflecting the emotional aftermath of a tragic suicide. Carson’s ability to get into character tugged on the heartstrings of many in the audience.

“Red Carnations”

“Rising of the Moon”

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years,” said Lower School Head Dave Menges. “It’s also been inspiring to watch Megan go through this grueling process. I’ve admired her determination, her work ethic and the self-reflective qualities she’s needed to complete the process. Throughout the journey, she’s been a great role model not only for the Lower School boys, but also for the parents and teachers in the community as well.” Knowing Dr. Limburg, there are many more chapters and degrees for her to reach. She is a wonderful example of what it means to be a life-long learner. She is an avid gardener and played a role in helping the Lower School develop their garden. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if she earned a degree in this area as well.

“15 Minutes”

In this dramatic monologue, Hazel King ’13 wholly embraced her role. Her natural movement and smooth delivery made for an exceptional performance.

“Conversation Symphionetta”

With Saunders Ruffin ’14, Nate Smith ’16 and Lexi Godfrey ’14, this one act is chock full of chuckles. Ruffin and Smith’s banter brought new energy to the stage. Smith’s delivery is impeccable, and Godfrey’s performance was beautiful in this quick dramatization of a blind date.

Starring Sasha Svenko ’16, Harrison Wells ’13, and Nate Smith ’16, this one act stood out for its attention to details of setting and costume for a historically accurate portrayal of Ireland in the early 1900s. Svenko’s stage presence and Wells’ ability to wield a billy club were two striking elements.

Recaps by Alec Ball ’14 / Photographs by Nicholas Horsley ’13

Featuring actors Adam Vath, ’15, Madison Guare ’15, Frida Clark ’13, and Sally Ellet ’16, this wonderfully chaotic work allowed each actor to express his or her individualism in the tone and pitch of their lines. In the words of the actors -- “That’s all.”

[ A6 ] The Pine Needle February 2013

The Right Man for the Right Time Remembering Mr. Cal Boyd

By Nicholas Horsley Assistant Editor

Everyone knows Mr. Jim Boyd, senior math faculty member of the Upper School. But not many here still remember when there were two. Most of today’s students are not fortunate enough to have known Mr. Cal Boyd, but stories of the beloved math teacher, long-time driver’s ed instructor, cofounder of the cross country and outdoor soccer programs and head track coach live on. With more than 1,000 career wins, there is good reason the outdoor track is named in his honor. “He was a first-class individual in every way,” said Mr. Robert Johns, Upper School math teacher. “He was involved with everything for the good of the school. He wasn’t doing it because he had great visions of himself.”

After winning the Penn Relays in 1954 in the high jump, he left Indiana University and came to St. Christopher’s in the ’60s to teach math and coach track. In short, he made the track program into what it is today. “The amount of time he put into the program is practically mind boggling... before every outdoor meet, he would go outside and paint the lines onto the ash track,” said Head Track Coach Marshall Ware. Assistant Athletic Director Ren O’Ferrall recalled that Mr. Boyd would turn on the heaters in the old double-wide tin-box fieldhouse to warm it up, usually to little avail. “He was the right coach for the right time,” said Strength and Conditioning Coach Bob Blanton. “He let the coaches under him do what they do best, that is what made him great.”

Mr. Rich Hudepohl remembers his doing problems on the board and then looking down at the textbook for answers, only to find a different answer upon occasion. Then they would spend the rest of the class trying to figure out where they’d gone wrong on the board. English teacher John Burke told the same story. He let his students know that even math teachers sometimes make mistakes. Mrs. Melissa Hollerith remembers eating with Mr. Boyd and his wife Jan often in the school dining hall. “And he did fill his tray full -- only to run it all off the next day at track, which amazed me -- but more than that, he was a gentleman,” Mrs. Hollerith said. “He usually carried my tray for me every night, especially when I was pregnant with Marshall. He was a good man, a happy man who gave his

life to the education of young men.” Mr. Boyd’s son John ’81 and grandsons Jay ’12 graduated from here and his grandson William is a sophomore. The general consensus from all who knew Mr. Boyd is that he was the epitome of a first class citizen who was constantly upbeat and positive. Always willing to give up his free time and devote himself fully to St. Christopher’s, Mr. Boyd is a perfect example of what makes St. Christopher’s special. The only thing more impressive than

being able to say that St. Christopher’s has had such an amazing teacher as Mr. Cal Boyd is that they’re many more like him. Everyone who has learned from him feels that they owe a debt of gratitude to him and those teachers just like him; without them and their selfless ways, this school would not be what it is today.

Cal Boyd presents a diploma to his grandson, Jay Boyd ’12, at last year’s graduation.

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At St. Christopher’s we are spoiled. No one has what we have. I played high school football on a field that college players can only dream about-- Knowles Field. It didn’t matter if the weather had been hot and dry the week before a game or rainy and cold. By the time we took the field, it was as if the weather had been perfect all week. The credit for our lush green field goes to Bernie Whitlow and his outstanding crew. Some people are horse whisperers and others are math geniuses. Bernie knows soil and seed. He knows how much to aerate, how much to seed, how much to water -- a talent that is rare today in the world of artificial turf. It is truly a lost art form. I doubt when I play football in college that I will ever step onto a field as beautiful as ours. There is something magical about playing football on grass. You stand up after a series of plays and you are wearing the field- it is in your face mask and on your jersey -- and you love it. I have Knowles field permanently on my jersey, and for that, I am grateful. -- Marshall Hollerith ’13

Virginia Tech. “That was just icing on the cake,” said Cressin. “We’re very conscientious,” Whitlow said. “We don’t do things halfway. All our lines are straight. All our lines are pretty. “The little details make a huge difference.” The crew is also focused on being green. In recent years, they have started using a VOC-free field marking paint as well as organic fertilizer and compost. “We’re trying to stay ahead of the curve if we can,” Cressin said. For years, the field crew has been commended for the job they do, not only from visiting coaches, but also from Charlie Connor, the representative from Pioneer Athletics. Connor begged Whitlow to enter the contest, and with the Saintennial field looking sharp, Cressin and he snapped some photos and wrote a short essay to find out months later their hard work had paid off. “There aren’t a lot of awards for field maintenance workers, so winning was truly spectacular,” said Whitlow smiling.

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The Pine Needle

Channing Poole ’09: The Voice of UVA Baseball By Andrew Gilmore Senior Contributor

Channing Poole ’09 came out of St. Christopher’s with a clear career path in mind. “I knew I wanted to do something in sports, and I basically went into UVA knowing what I wanted to do. I really feel like it’s about finding someone who

wants to give you an opportunity,” Poole got an opportunity after sending Dave Koehn, Director of Broadcasting at UVA, an email regarding his interest. However, Poole says he owes the whole opportunity to Upper School Head Tony Syzmendera, who reached out to the

University of Virginia athletics department while he was still a senior here. He got him in touch with the sports information director in charge of the UVA baseball program who got him in touch with Koehn. “If [Dave] had not responded to my very first email I ever sent out, I might have never been able to do what I’m doing.” Poole initially started out working as a volunteer. In addition to his other academic commitments, he had to dedicate time to becoming an understudy in broadcast journalism. “The more you put into it, the more you show up and keep showing up, the more work

February 2013 people are going to give you,” Poole said. “The responsibility becomes greater when people realize you have some talent.” Generally working anywhere between 25 to 50 hours a week, Poole’s workload depends on the time of year. Juggling mid-season basketball and preparing for baseball season is the craziest of all, said Poole. Poole believes the key to success is passion and dedication. “I can’t emphasize enough that you have to be willing to put in a lot of hours, and you really have to love what you do,” Poole said. He finds that the most difficult thing to do is to say no to other people when they approach him with a task. Moving up the corporate ladder, sports broadcasting is now his full-time job with only a few months left in school. Poole is the studio host for both football and basketball and the voice of UVA Baseball. During football and basketball season,

Spring Sports Previews Golf

“Key gains are a fresh group of aspiring underclassmen looking to perform well and help the team,” said Captain Austin Fockler ’14 of the 2013 golf team. The team will work hard in practice to fill the shoes of last year’s notable losses, including Adam Ball and the four seniors who were low scorers in most matches. The end of last season was anticlimactic. The team was ranked No. 1 going into Preps, and, unfortunately, no one performed as well as they hoped at States, causing the team to fall short of first, earning a thirdplace finish. “This year, the team aims to never give up on a round,” and to have the best possible composure and sportsmanship,” Fockler said. “Our team needs to understand that every other team is practicing just as hard as we are, and the only way we can beat them out is if we put in the extra time and work to make sure we can be successful.”


For a second straight year, the Varsity tennis team aims to win the Prep League. A predominantly young team, the squad inherits the difficult task of succeeding with a lot of inexperience. The squad will count on freshmen Matthew Fernandez and Steven McCray to add depth. New junior Baxter Carter is expected to be a pivotal addition. Key losses from last years’ team include graduating senior captains Harris Blair, Holt Walker and Andrew Gnapp. Succeeding last year’s captains will be seniors Trevor Hall and Nat Rogers. Hall isn’t worried saying, “Everybody has gotten a lot better.”


The power of three. Leading this season’s team is a triumvirate of captains who have played on Varsity together since freshman year. Porter Reinhart, Jack English and Charlie Yorgen

look to improve upon a 15-9 record last season. All three captains will continue their athletic careers at Division I colleges. Reinhart will play at William and Mary, Yorgen at East Carolina University, and English will play


In the last two seasons, the Varsity lacrosse team made a statement by advancing to the State finals and semis in consecutive years. To the rest of the Prep League’s chagrin, the Saints’ recent resurgence on the field is starting to prove they’re a force to be reckoned with. Seniors Cole Carns, Harrison McVey and Ben Foley captain a team that Head Coach John Burke believes has a lot of talent. For this season to be a success, Burke needs his players to play to their potential. Burke said, “If we don’t play to our potential, we’ll

football at the University of Virginia. Head Coach Tony Szymendera agrees that the Saints will be big-time contenders in the Prep League and in the state. Szymendera said that the team has a lot of returning players from last year’s squad who are expected to step up and contribute to the season’s success. Strong teams in the Prep League this year are expected to be Trinity Episcopal School, Christchurch School, and Collegiate School -- all teams which made the state tournament last season. With the loss of several key players last season, the

] A7 [

Poole does the pre-game, half-time and post-game interviews. He started broadcasting baseball games in the middle of his sophomore year and took over full time this year. Poole broadcasts every home and away game during the season, including the postseason games. He is also the executive producer for all broadcast which Poole describes as “glorified button pushing.” Among these tasks, he has also guest-hosted talk shows and interviewed opposing schools’ coaches, players and even commentators. In the short term, Poole plans to stay at UVA and continue broadcasting. In the future however, he has much bigger endeavors in mind. “The plan right now is since I have my job in Charlottesville, to stay here in the short term. But long term -- it sounds cheesy -- is to broadcast Major League Baseball someday.”

squad has a lot of young talent expecting to make a big impact. Last year’s standouts Tyler Yeatts, Jansen Fraser and Worth Osgood are tough losses, but the team believes that younger players will step up and fill their roles. “Guys like Cody Valenzuela ’15 need to step up and give innings on the mound,” Coach Szymendera said. “Caleb Setliff ’15 and Sam Partee ’15 need to bring offense and not only be catchers. Wolf Sarhan ’14 could potentially give innings and be another good bat in the lineup.” -- Andrew Gilmore ’13

Outdoor Track

have trouble. We have a lot of talented lacrosse players, and we should be able to be competitive every game we play.” Aside from a strong group of seniors, the sophomore class has many gifted lacrosse players that Burke believes will contribute to this season and those to come. New junior Bailey White ’14, a Douglas S. Freeman High School transfer and brother of stellar lacrosse player Henry White ’12, is anticipated to make a significant impact on the team’s offense. -- Andrew Gilmore ’13

Look for winter’s indoor track athletes to improve on their marks. Notable underclassmen making their debut to Varsity outdoor track are freshman Brandon Thomas and sophomore Garret Taylor. Thomas posted a 35.94 time in the 300-meter race, while Taylor triple jumped an impressive 40 feet 6 inches. It’s athletes such as these who will fill the shoes of key losses Doug James and Cameron Barlow for the sprinters and jumpers. Other big losses include long distance runners Aoky Sarhan and

Eddie Whitlock, who runs for High Point University. As for they goals of this year’s team, they hope to win Preps and/or States. Said Andrew Carleton, “In order to succeed we need to practice hard every day, work hard in the weight room, and maintain focus on team goals throughout the season.” -- Alex Beale ’13

[ A8 ] The Pine Needle February 2013

Top 10 X-Term Cohorts You May Not Have Heard Of 1. Bear Baiting with Mr. Boyd

7. Chariot Racing like Ben-Hur with Mr.

2. Breaking Bad with Mrs. Hurt


3. Frat 101 with Mr. Hawthorne

8. Lincoln Logs with Dr. Smith

4. Hunting the White Whale with

9. What’s Wrong with the NFL? with Mr. Carlson

Mr. randolph 5. Man vs. Wild vs. Mr. Green

10.Paradise Found With Mr. Wood

6. Fire Safety 101 with Mr. McGuire

Back Page by: alec ball ’14 and Peyton Mcelroy ’14




You are cordially invited to the:

St. Christopher’s Ducks Unlimited First Annual Dinner Auction, Raffle, and Conservation Event When:

Thursday, April 4th, 2013


St. Christopher’s Ryan Dining Hall 711 St. Christopher’s Rd. 23226, Richmond, VA


6:30 start: raffles, dinner and auctions…


$35.00 (includes 2013 Ducks Unlimited membership) Children: $25.00 (includes 2013 Greenwing membership) After first paying child, second is free! Adults:

There will be a number of exciting hunting and fishing trips, boats, guns, dinners, framed duck prints, carved decoys, and many other items which will be auctioned and raffled at this event. There will be plenty of food, drink, fellowship and good times. Purchase Tickets Online at Or pay by regular mail to: St. Christopher’s Ducks Unlimited 711 St. Christopher’s Road Richmond, VA 23226 For questions please contact: David E. Ballowe Jr. Marketing Executive 804-971-6542

The Pine Needle | February 2013  
The Pine Needle | February 2013  

The Pine Needle February 2013