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Pine Needle

Volume XCIV

Richmond, Virginia

September 2012

Number 1

Brown ’13 Remembers 9/11 Climbs 110 Stories to Honor Fallen Fireman By Charles Moore Junior Contributor

Exhausted and resting between floors hauling 50 pounds of gear, Baylis Brown did not think he could complete the 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb. He then remembered Peter J. Langone, a firefighter from Squad 252 who along with his brother, a New York City cop, passed away the day the towers fell. Brown was assigned to honor Langone, who on that fateful day had just gotten off his shift, heard the news and rushed back to his fire department to help out. To honor those who died, a growing national tradition calls for firefighters all over the country to climb 110 flights of steps, the same


RAPS & TAPS MYTERY SOLVED! A4 STC to Host International Conference By Peyton McElroy Junior Contributor

It has traveled the globe stopping in Toronto, London, Johannesburg, London, Melbourne and is on its way to Richmond. The 20th Annual International Boys School Coalition conference will take place at St. Christopher’s . From June 30 to July 3, 2013, between 500 and 600 delegates will swarm the campus. The organization of such a large conference, a Herculean task, began last winter. Lower School Head Dave Menges and Lower School Librarian Brenda Snead are co-chairs of the planning committee, composed of approximately 10 other faculty members. “We have an interesting array of speakers who are coming,” Mr. Menges said, “and a great line up of workshops that are going to inspire attendees... We are trying to be creative with how we deliver the conference format. Our hope is to get people actively engaged.” Founded in the early 1990s, this organization of almost 250 boys schools collaborates and offers support through regional and global workshops and conferences.

St. Christopher’s has participated since its inception. During the summer, Mr. Charley Stillwell, Dr. Kim Hudson, Mrs. Laura Sabo and Mr. John Green traveled to the conference in Melbourne. On the way, Mr. Stillwell stopped at Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney where he spent time visiting schools similar to St. Chris. The conference featured several keynote speakers and multiple hands-on workshops and seminars. “The theme of the conference in Melbourne was on how to think differently about creativity,” Mr. Stillwell said. “If you are really trying to help boys be effective with creative thinking and creative problem solving, what are things you can do in the classroom that work really well.” At the IBSC conferences, the delegates forge strong relationships and continue to communicate long after the meetings are over. “I have great friends now that I can call up and talk with from all these terrific schools around the world,” Mr. Stillwell said. Dr. Hudson’s favorite part was “spending several days with individuals who teach boys and are passionate about teaching boys.” The Richmond conference will involve several major keynote speakers

and smaller workshops, some of which will be led by STC faculty. Topics will include mentoring and leadership, local and global service, social and emotional learning and character. The delegates and their spouses will tour Richmond and nearby sites. The agenda also includes a large dinner at The Civil War Center at Tredegar Iron Works, and a speech about the war by University of Richmond President Ed Ayers. One novel component will be added next summer: a small student conference. A group of about 40 boys from IBSC member schools will be invited to Richmond to bring a fresh perspective to the IBSC, that of the pupil. Next summer will not be the first time St. Chris has hosted an IBSC event; a few years ago the school held a regional seminar for teachers new to boys schools. Moreover, several members of the faculty have been involved with IBSC sponsored research. The coalition creates small international “Action Research” teams that investigate different instructing styles and their effects on learning. For example, two years ago Lower School librarians Lucinda Whitehurst and Mrs. Snead, explored the role male mentors play in stimulating a love for reading in boys. As a result, they started a program called “Dads Read.”

number that formerly existed in the World Trade Center. To accomplish this the 343 participating firefighters climbed the downtown Suntrust building five times. Brown arrived at the SunTrust building that Sunday morning with four fellow Goochland volunteers. In the opening ceremony participants marched down 9th Street with bagpipes playing. Brown conveyed the emotions of that moment. “When I heard the bagpipes I got chills,” he said. After the march the Virginia Commonwealth University band played the national anthem which was followed by a prayer. The firefighters were told they could rest on the first, tenth and twentieth floors. Brown and his fellow Goochland firefighters kept a fast pace going up the first time and

See 911, Page A2

Who is Dr. Mansfield? A3 Ron Smith Lectures at the



Eberheim ’13 Continues to Reach for

MARS A5 Shedd ’15 Reflects on Connections Conference A2

Fall Sports Overview A5


The Pine Needle

Lifson ’15: Filmmaker in the Making

By Alex Beale Editor-in-Chief

Sophomore Connor Lifson wants to be a filmmaker. Connor Lifson has a plan. “I’m just trying to learn the whole [filmmaking] process,” he said. “I’m trying to gain experience in every part of the field.” Back in the August of 2011, local filmmaker Rex Teese gave Lifson the chance to apprentice in an editing room equipped with huge dual monitors as well as a professional soundboard system. Lifson got his hands on a iMac Pro boosted with several huge hard drives, and even a special keyboard to go with the editing program Avid.

More recently though, in July, Lifson traveled across the country to Stanford University to attend a threeweek camp specializing in screenplays and screenwriting. “I just wanted to say that I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to go out to the wonderful campus and learn so much more about what I love to do,” said Lifson. Stanford lecturer Adam Tobin, who wrote for “The Muppets,” led the group of 14 students in the program. Their intensive schedule featured a two and a half-hour lecture to start the day, followed by three hours of writing. The class hosted guest speakers, including Victoria Strouse, who has been hired to pen the screenplay for the upcoming sequel to “Finding Nemo.” From loglines to scene structure, they did it all. Lifson managed to produce

more than 75 pages of writing, his works ranging from single sentences to a SEAL Team Six inspired short film of 35 pages entitled “Hell Week.” “What was cool about it,” he said, “is that there is no limit to what you can write.” The script chronicles the struggles of an aspiring SEAL in the five-day training session. Running on no sleep, the participants have to battle the elements and, at the same time, each other. “I wasn’t planning to do anything with it,” he said. “But I’m open to anything I guess.” As for the future, Lifson will continue to write. He plans to enter a Venture Richmond-sponsored contest for a 30-second tourism commercial for our city. “I just love movies,” he said. “They are such a cool way to tell a story… I’d love to be a filmmaker.”

Karo’s Quest

Freshman Organizes Walk, Helps Raise $112,000 By Edward Millman Freshman Contributor

One day this past summer Andrew Karo was watching TV with his mom and saw an intriguing commercial for Little did he know it would lead him to raise more than $100,000. He thought it might be a scam for personal computers but checked it out online and found that the “PC” actually stands for pancreatic cancer and that the organization helps raise money for research. That was when he decided to create an event of his own, in honor of his classmate and friend’s father, Mr. Brad Tazewell who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that spring. Karo said his lacrosse team taped the initials “BT” on their helmets and started wearing wristbands also with those initials. “It stands for Mr. Tazewell and the power of prayer,” Karo said in a TV interview on “Virginia This Morning.” “It’s been a faithbased deal. When something so negative can happen

you want to make it very positive. You want to make something good out of something bad.” Consequently Karo decided to start a pancreatic cancer walk in Richmond. He contacted CurePC which is funded by the Lustgarten Foundation and made plans for a Sept. 15 walk at St. Christopher’s. Because of Lustgarten’s support, all event proceeds, which totaled more than $112,000, went directly to pancreatic cancer research. Mrs. Branch, a family friend of the Karo’s, was impressed with Karo’s efforts to help this cause. This summer she saw that he was putting out flyers, raising awareness via Social Media and sending out postcards to help raise awareness. She used her business contacts from her work in

Photo by Mrs. Martha Branch

marketing and media to help Karo get an interview on WTVR 6’s “Virginia This Morning.” He followed that up later in September with another TV interview on WTVR 6 and appeared on radio station 88.9 WCVE. “He had the poise and confidence and he was a better guest than most media trained adults,” Mrs. Branch said. She added that Andrew wasn’t boastful, and he just had a passion for what he was doing. Andrew stressed in this interview that this was a community effort and that he had created a group of more than 20 people ages 14-21 for this cause.


September 2012


911 continued from A1

then rode the elevator down. The pace slowed as they began to get tired. The second time climbing the steps, Brown overheated and was forced to take off his jacket and helmet. “By the third time I was going up, I would have to stop every tenth floor,” he said, and it only got more difficult. After completing the fourth climb he took the elevator down to start his last leg. He was momentarily overcome by cramps,

but he did not let that stop him. As he climbed up the last few remaining flights he could hear people cheering for him. When he finished he read out the name Peter J. Langone and then rang a bell. Lukas Geissbuehler ’12, who also volunteers for Manakin Station 1 and now attends Drexel University, said, “It was a really moving service and it was great that Baylis did that.”

Reporter’s Notebook: Shedd ’15 Reflects on Connections Experience By Alex Shedd Sophomore Contributor

This past summer, I was one of five St. Christopher’s delegates to the Harold M. Marsh, Sr. Connections Institute leadership conference. Connections is an annual five-day summer camp sponsored by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities that focuses on issues of diversity and awareness for race, gender, sexual orientation, body type, religion, culture and ability status (mental and physical disabilities). Delegates from many different schools came to the camp, bringing the total number of people to somewhere around 40. The camp itself was held in the beautiful rural Jamestown area, which, of course, meant there was spotty cell phone service and no internet. When we first got off the bus, the general feeling was that we didn’t want to be there. It was the end of

summer break, the counselors were over-excited and goofy, and we all knew we were there to learn about diversity, something that is often drilled into our heads at school. Most of us were chosen or volunteered based on our potentially already positive stance on diversity, so most of us were not looking forward to learning more about topics we believed we already knew. Although it may have taken a couple of hours to get used to being there, we soon learned how wrong we were about the program. Over the intense five-day course, we learned about so many things that are often taken for granted by everybody, ourselves included, and we were inspired to advocate and raise awareness for diversity and equality of all kinds not just at school, but everywhere. At Connections I made friends that I will keep forever. And I learned a lot about society, and myself. Connections was an invaluable experience that everyone should have the chance to go through.


September 2012


The Pine Needle


Introducing Dr. Mansfield By Marshall Hollerith Senior Contributor

In January of this year, St. Christopher’s began a national search for a new position, the assistant head for curriculum and leadership programming. The responsibilities for this position include carrying out the execution of the second century vision and directing programs connected with the Luck Leadership Center. Mr. Stillwell said (in a letter sent to faculty and staff), “As I narrowed down the field to a smaller number of especially interesting individuals, one candidate from the Richmond area jumped out from the pack.” That candidate was Dr. Sarah Mansfield. In July, she moved into the office down the hall from Mr. Jump and Mr. Mayer in the Luck Leadership Center, and Dr. Mansfield hit the ground running. Now, imagine coming to work for your first day at your new job. You’re entering a new community as the second in command, a position that prior to this year didn’t even exist. Add to that you’re working with almost 1,200 boys and faculty members. A daunting prospect for some perhaps, but one that Dr. Mansfield is well prepared to tackle. Dr. Mansfield began her work by reaching out to faculty and staff to hold meetings where she could get to know more about our school community. She also began leading curriculum workshops where faculty learn

how to map their curriculum with specific lesson plans that target identified second century leadership skills. Mr. Stillwell describes Dr. Mansfield as “a gifted teacher and energetic, innovative, and supportive administrator.” For the past decade Dr. Mansfield served as the founding director of the Center for Leadership and International Relations at James River High School. As the director, Dr. Mansfield worked with teachers across disciplines to develop curricular and program initiatives for 200 students in the four-year program. Prior to founding the center, Dr. Mansfield was a teacher. She did her undergraduate and graduate work at VCU where she majored in English and did her doctoral work in educational leadership also at VCU. Dr. Mansfield now has to learn about five times the number of names she did while at James River High School. Serving as an advisor to freshmen this year will give her a great head start, but there are lots of names to learn. There is no doubt she will probably have to employ some of the second century creative thinking skills to remember them all. Drop by her office, introduce yourself and make Dr. Mansfield feel welcome. She and her husband Percy have three children, Aaron, in the first grade here at St. Christopher’s, and Claire and Kelly in kindergarten and fourth grades, respectively, at St. Catherine’s.

Photo by Mrs. Turner

How would you define your primary responsibility at St. Chris?

I am looking forward to working with teachers, students and the community in looking at leadership opportunities for all boys...JK-12. Additionally, I’ll be working with the faculty to dive more deeply into the essential skills that St. Christopher’s has identified as focus areas to continuously improve the experiences the boys have. This year, for example, we will be looking at how teachers at all levels get St. Chris boys to think more creatively and work on their problem solving skills. We’ll also focus on getting students to become more technologically savvy.

What are you most looking forward to with your work?

This community excites me. Everyone I’ve met so far is genuine and hard working, and I love working beside people who want to make a difference.

Do you see a significant difference between your work at James River and STC?

I’ll be interested in answering this question once I’ve been around the students and teachers more. Until then, the biggest difference I see between the two roles is that I will get to work with students and teachers from JK-12, not just 9-12. The experiences I’ll be working on at St. Christopher’s will be for all students, not just the 200 (out of 2,000) who applied for The Leadership Center at James River.

Faculty Members Broaden Responsibilties Three Named Directors of Curriculum and Instruction By Morgan McCown Senior Contributor

Mrs. Karen Wray has had to change her daily routine around to focus more on her new job while continuing to teach French. She no longer teaches religion, and participates in weekly meetings about curriculum with teachers Mrs. Wray in the Upper School and across divisions. Mrs. Wray is one of three teachers who has been tapped to take on administrative duties. Others who have stepped up are Mrs. Lisa Vogt in the Lower School and Mrs. Keena Fitch in the Middle School. All these teachers now assume the title director of curriculum and instruction in addition to their other responsibilities. They are working closely with Dr. Mansfield who was recently hired as

the assistant head of school for leadership and curriculum development. The purpose of these new positions is to serve as a liaison between the faculty and administration and impart leadership values into the daily curriculum. The creation of these new positions is just one part of a bigger idea. “As a part of the Centennial celebration, the school put together a second century vision document that will be published in the next few months,” said Upper School Head Tony Szymendera. “The vision is really a strategic plan for the next five to seven years… The idea is to identify areas of growth so the school can remain competitive in all aspects— from admissions to fund raising to educating boys.” With the new Luck Leadership Center, the ImpactMakers Speaker Series and the Developing Leaders from the Inside Out Symposium, St. Christopher’s is doing its part in

trying to get the point across. The school has developed its own definition of leadership: “St. Christopher’s believes that leadership is using one’s character, wisdom, and life skills to make a positive difference in the lives of others.” “Character, wisdom and life skills are three headings or groupings for a set of skills the faculty has identified as being important to the development of leadership,” Mr. Szymendera said. “Those skills are traits that we believe can be developed through the curriculum and program of the school.” These ideas and skills will be integrated and brought into the daily routine of the school with the help of Dr. Mansfield. The newly tapped faculty members will collaborate and also will work with the teachers and administration. Mrs. Wray had a lot of work this past summer relating to the new job and had many meetings about what

her new assignment would entail. Overall, the new job has its stresses, she said, but it also has its benefits. “I get to work with a lot of different people Mrs. Vogt throughout the school,” said Mrs. Wray. The other faculty members that have this new job are also in the same situation. Mrs. Fitch and Mrs. Vogt both teach fewer classes and have meetings about how they can integrate leadership and other qualities into the daily curriculum. Said Mrs. Fitch, “I am looking forward to the challenge and the great opportunity it provides to work closer with an already incredible talented group of teachers in the Middle Mrs. Fitch School.”


The Pine Needle

Technology in the Classroom Teachers Attend Laptop Institute Conference By Nicholas Horsley

Mrs. Carey Pohanka. The sessions range from the general, such as how to use iPads, to the St. Christopher’s recent adoption very specific, such as teaching “To of the 1:1 model will soon be passé Kill Mockingbird.” as schools look to a future of 2:1 “The conference was an energetic or 3:1 with phones and iPads soon and highly informative look at how expected to be commonplace in the technolclassroom. “In short, the conference was ogy is That’s one of awesome.” -- Sherman Horner changing and intenumergrating with the educational landous tidbits packed into the annual scape,” said Mr. Horner. “The fact Lausanne Laptop Institute, a twothat we are entering a technological day summer conference in Memphis age in which our smart phones can attended by 11 St. Christopher’s pick up air tags that will immediatefaculty members. ly transfer information to our smart “[The conference] presented over phones is truly unbelievable.” 180 different breakout sessions on Mr. Horner’s favorite part about how to use laptops in classrooms and the conference was that he learned 21st century skills,” said Mr. Tune. “There are “The 1:1 laptop program may more about tons of new already be out of date, but it ways to ideas and programs will continue to grow and get improve his classfor use in room using better because of what we schools. In fact learn at these conferences.” technology, espethey overcially in -- Greg Tune load you collaboraso much tive methods in which students and that it’s just best to pick one or two teachers interact on a daily basis. things to take away.” While the conference only lasted At the conference, teachers pack into classrooms to learn how to effec- for two rigorous days, many notes and techniques are still buzzing tively use technology in the classaround the teachers heads, and as room from other teachers. “Somethey return to St. Christopher’s, times there are 40 to 50 people they hope to unleash this newfound packed into a classroom, standing room only, and other times there are know-how on their unsuspecting students this fall. only about seven or eight. You just never know what can happen,” said Senior Contributor


September 2012



dent school Historian Alice Flowers, at once. “I’ll call you right back,” said Mrs. When the newest edition of the Flowers, who was on the phone and yearbook lands in our laps every slammed it down, practically jumpspring, it seems someone always ing from her seat to seize the book. asks, “Why is it called the ‘Raps and Amazingly, she had been looking for Taps’?” the meaning behind the name ever How could we have forgotsince she began work on the Sainten such an important part of our tennial commemorative book three school’s history? Who would know years prior. the answer to this question? “We called everywhere looking for Well, sometimes great things are the name, the oldest alums still alive discovered by accident (at least acthat we could think of,” Mrs. Flowcording to my mom). ers said. “I even called Yale looking With the usual lackadaisicalness for information on Mr. MacBryde, that comes after a full day of school, but they wouldn’t even tell me if he I often spend my time looking was still living. They all had guessthrough old yearbooks searching for es, but nobody knew.” ideas and laughing at failures. It just so happened that I came upon the first STC yearbook. Year 1926. Flipping through the pages, and laughing at the antiquity and quaintness of the hand-drawn dividers, I came upon an interesting factoid. It read: “The name ‘Raps & Taps’ was given by David C MacBryde, a member of the faculty. It came from Dr. Chamberlayne’s habit of rapping on the desk to gain quiet.” Student publications supervisor, Mrs. Kathleen Thomas, was ecstatic. She demanded I run and deliver the news to resiBy Nicholas Horsley Senior Contributor

Photo by Alec Ball

Ruffin ’14 Treks Through the Pacific Northwest By Joe Goode Sophomore Contributor

On the morning of his attempt at the summit of Mount St. Helen’s, Saunders Ruffin awoke at 2 a.m. The whistling wind battered his tent and the cold stung his face. He strapped on his crampons, threw his 60-pound backpack over his shoulder and started his moonlit trek to the top. This summer Ruffin took part in a four-week wilderness expedition in the Pacific Northwest. He and 10 other teenagers attempted to summit four mountains. As the trip continued, the mountains they climbed became progressively more physically and mentally demanding. In their 60-pound packs, climbers carried gloves, over-mitts, gaiters, a raincoat, down jacket, overcoat, socks and thick plastic boots. The group’s diet consisted of Nutella, bagels and peanut butter. All food was kept in large plastic barrels to prevent attracting bears. Through these experiences, Ruffin gained a new perspective. He said, “Being completely separated from everything I’m used to gave me a greater appreciation for the natural world.” The first mountain that the group attempted to summit was Mount St. Helen’s, which is 8,365 feet tall at its highest point. Unfortunately, the group did not get to the top due to extreme weather conditions. “While we were climbing the weather got progressively worse,” Ruffin said. “You could not see 10 feet in front of you.”

From there, the looming presence of the 12,277-foot tall Mt. Adams forced the group to learn several new climbing techniques involving ice axes and crampons, traction devices that are attached to the boots of a climber. For steeper parts, the climbers used a switchback technique to reduce the grade. When they reached the top, however, the strenuous climb paid off. “It was like a blanket of clouds across the horizon,” Ruffin said.

After several days of climbing, Ruffin and his group took a shortcut down Mt. Adams. They used a sliding technique called glissading to hurtle 2,500 feet down the mountain.“We were flying,” Ruffin said. For Ruffin, the most difficult climb was Mount Olympus. To get to the base of the mountain, the group had to hike 20 miles through Olympus National Park. “It was so grueling,” he said. While climbing, the group practiced self-arresting, where the ice axe is jammed into the ground to prevent a fall into a deadly crevasse. The last mountain was Mount Baker, “the last and best” according to Ruffin. Ruffin was not the only St. Christopher’s student who had an adventure in the wilderness this summer though. Richard Hamrick and Wilson Bedell, two sophomores, went on similar expeditions. Hamrick went white water rafting and backpacking for 17 days near Jackson Hole, Wyo. Both Bedell and Hamrick stressed that the experience helped them grow both physically and mentally. “I was kind of hesitant at first,” Ruffin said. However, through the challenges he overcame and the new friendships formed, Ruffin said, “It was the most amazing thing I have ever done.”


September 2012


The Pine Needle



Compiled By Sam Griffin / Photos by Nicholas Horsley

Football Last Year We got a smashing win against Collegiate at U of R and received runner up in the state finals losing to Liberty Christian Academy, finishing with a blockbuster record of 9 wins and 3 losses.

Key Losses Cameron Barlow, Blair Farinholt, manager Jay Boyd, Jordan Chalkley, Miles Jackson and Jim Partee

Key Players Captains Jack English, Marshall Hollerith and Sam O’Ferrall. Also stand out quarterback Giles Thompson, star cornerback Garrett Taylor and running back Ganon Hingst

“We are a team with a solid core of returning guys mixed with some younger guys stepping up. We should be improving a lot as the year goes on. I think we’ll be a completely different team come November. We should be able to make another good run and get back to the state playoffs.” -- Jack English

Cross Country


Last Year

Last Year Although finishing with a disappointing 2011 record (8-92) Varsity soccer had two bigs wins over rival Collegiate and powerhouse Woodberry Forest.

The highlights of the season are receiving 4th in the Prep League meet and 7th in VISSA meet.

Key Losses All-metro 1st team Eddie Whitlock will be a hard man to replace this year

Key Losses Captains Marshall Mayhew and Aoky Sarhan

Key Players

Key Players Second team all-state Porter Reinhart, Ned Ende, Ned Ukrop, Will Abbott and Trey Romig are the star players this year. “Our team goal is to get to the quarter finals of states and win the prep league.” -- Trey Romig

With a younger core group of runners this years studs Liam Boland, Mitchell Phillips and Will Bruner look to lead the team. “I think that this year’s team is a young one, but with lots of depth and upcoming talent. We may not be a powerhouse when it comes to ‘wins’, but the future is looking bright for the team.” -- Mitchell Phillips

Brown ’15 and Fitch ’17 Train in Greece By William Maddock Sophomore Contributor

This past summer Myles Brown ’15 and Simon Fitch ’17 traveled to Europe with the Arsenal Training Pro-

gram to compete in an international soccer tournament. Their trip to Greece for the tournament took them first through London, where they toured the Arsenal FC training grounds and practiced on the same fields as do the Arsenal players. They also toured the players’ locker room. “There were probably 12 fields (at the Arsenal training facility). They were perfect,” Brown said. “There were people doing stuff to the grass at all times.” After two nights in London, including a visit from Arsenal midfielder Jack

Wilshire, the team moved on to Itea, Greece for the tournament. The team, which includes players from ages 11-15, went 2-2 in tournament play, beating the Greek Arsenal Residential Academy, who went on to win, and finishing in 4th place overall. Fitch also played on that team and with the younger group. The tournament included teams from the United States, Greece, Romania and Croatia. “It was a competitive atmosphere, but everyone seemed like a good sport,” said Brown. He estimated that a crowd of 200 to 300 people watched each game. The trip offered both players a new perspective on their games. Fitch, whose goal is to play soccer for the University of Virginia, now wants to train harder.

Brown also was inspired. “In other countries, the pace of the game is much faster, and the players are more technical than most in the United States,” said Brown. “I had to raise my level in order to do well.” The trip also gave both players a new perspective on life. “I feel that it showed me what other countries are like and how we are so lucky to be where we are,” said

Fitch. “It definitely makes you want to work harder seeing how good the other players are.”


The Pine Needle


September 2012


Eberheim ’13 Spends Week at NASA, Plans Mission to Mars By Alex Beale Editor-in-Chief

“It was a week of just pure nerd awesomeness,” said senior Rich Eberheim of his time at NASA. It seems like this whiz-kid, engineer-to-be lives in the Gottwald Science Center. He is known for his fish tank supervision, his NASA chapel talk, and most notably, his participation in the World Tournament of Robotics. Needless to say, Eberheim is on the road to major success in the world of science. Most recently, however, Eberheim spent a week at the NASA Langley Research Center planning a mission to Mars. The Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars program started out last year as an interactive online course with modules posted every other week. Eberheim logged hours a day, by his estimate about 15 hours every two weeks. “I did really well in the course,” said Eberheim who, finishing with a B+ average, earned his spot for the summer program as one of 150 selectees out of 450 hopefuls. The goal: to develop a rough sketch of mission architecture for a manned mission to Mars, a mission that would last 18 months, operate on a budget of about $100 billion, and return the astronauts safely, all

by the year 2035. The group was split into four teams: one for the well-being of the space travelers and supply, one for the organization of the Mars base and construction, another for the overseeing and filling in when needed, and finally, Eberheim’s team, a group with the challenge of laying out the fuel and systems needed during the inter-planetary trek. “My big part involved power systems in the transit,” said Eberheim. The focus of his week was on anything that needed electrical power in the transit. A highlight of the week was a tour of the Research Center. Eberheim was like a kid in a candy shop. “It’s crazy the stuff they have in there,” he said. He was able to see the plans for a crane to be built on the moon, a crane with the ability to bury inflatable buildings under 20 feet of lunar soil to protect from space radiation hazards. The participants slaved from 7 a.m. to

midnight each day. In a scramble to finish the project before the deadline, they stayed up almost all night perfecting it, with 20-minute power naps taken in shifts. “It was very realistic,” said Eberheim. “There were times where you’d forget it wasn’t real. The program ended with a presentation to a panel of judges, con-

sisting of NASA Langley Research Center director and other industry professionals. “It was a week of hell,” said Eberheim, who sighed looking back at the “extremely overwhelming” experience, before cracking a smile. “But it was the greatest week of my life.”

Ron Smith Speaks at the VMFA By Wesley Owens Senior Contributor

For many writers, a crisis can be both tragic and inspirational, an opportunity to develop their artistic talents while offering a tribute to those who have fallen. For Walt Whitman and Herman Melville in particular, the Civil War was a catalyst for great poetry that continues to move and inspire today’s poets and readers. This August, our very own teacher and Writer-inResidence, Mr. Ron Smith had the opportunity to honor the legacies of these writers during his lecture on Poetry of the Civil War at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. His presentation ran in conjunction with a recent art exhibition at the museum entitled, “Bold, Cautious, True: American Art of the Civil War Era,” which included a number of paintings that highlighted central themes of the war with vibrant scenery and provocative images.

Over the course of the lecture, Mr. Smith focused on two poetry collections that he believes are the premier examples of Civil War writing at its finest, Walt Whitman’s “Drum-Taps” and Herman Melville’s “Battle-Pieces.” Mr. Smith has come to appreciate the stylistic differences that set Melville and Whitman apart. “Whitman is definitely the great poet of compassion,” said Mr. Smith, whereas, “Melville is highly skeptical and intellectual. Both are trying to turn their accounts into symbols of the human experience.” Although pleased with the large, responsive audience, Mr. Smith said that the aspect of his presentation that he enjoyed the most was the research and the truths that he uncovered. “It was great to relearn much of what I had forgotten about the Civil War,” he said. “And I was surprised at how deeply sympathetic both Melville and Whitman were to

the South.” Mr. Smith said that as an unpaid hospital aid who witnessed the terrible carnage firsthand, “Whitman gives a picture of the war that few others cannot give. In a way, he understood the war better than the generals. Neither Lee nor Grant probably spent much time in a field hospital.” Moving forward, Mr. Smith hopes to add to his own collection of poetry with newfound inspiration. “I would like to write poems inside the head of Walt Whitman,” he said. His own reflections on Civil War literature will likely be a source of vision for many works in the future.

Pictured: Paintings featured in the Civil War exhibit. Above: “Arcadian Landscape” by Robert S. Duncanson, oil on canvas. Right: “Trooper Meditating Beside a Grave” by Winslow Homer, oil on canvas.

Millman ’19 Hits the Stage By Alec Ball Junior Contributor

Appearing in five different theater productions and a short film, David Millman ’19 already has a stronger résumé than some adult actors. The STC sixth grader has participated in performances with three different acting companies: Richmond Shakespeare, Henley Street Theatre and Sycamore Rouge. With appearances in such productions as t film entitled “The Salesman” to portraying Prince Arthur in William Shakespeare’s “King John,” he has established himself as a prominent child actor in the Richmond area. “The best thing about it is just acting”, said Millman, “it’s fun to be on stage. I re-

ally enjoy the language.” However, being an actor is not all fun and games. David attends rehearsals six nights a week, which last for hours. On Sundays, he rehearses for eight hours, from 2 to 10 p.m. “It’s really taught me how to structure my time, I do my homework as fast as I can before rehearsal or after.” “King John” will be performed by Richmond Shakespeare in St. Catherine’s McVey Theater, opening on Sept. 20. Millman will also appear in “The Children’s Christmas in Wales”, to open in St. Christopher’s new black box theater in the Luck Leadership Center. To find tickets for “The Children’s Christmas in Wales,” go to


September 2012


The Pine Needle


The Pine Needle Staff Editor-In-Chief

Alex Beale

Assistant Editors Peyton McElroy, Alec Ball, Nicholas Horsley Junior Contributors Charles Moore Peyton McElroy Henry Fauls Alec Ball

Senior Contributors Marshall Hollerith Wesley Owens Morgan McCown Sophomore Contributors Alex Shedd Joe Goode Sam Griffin John Fergusson William Maddock

J.D. Jump

J.D. Jump has followed two different, unusually combined paths of interest: technology and ministry. “I didn’t think they had to be mutually exclusive.” As an M.O. for Jump, he has continuously integratFaculty Advisor ed the two fields. He always has had Mrs. Kathleen Thomas a great passion for both, his father, our college counselor, Mr. Jim Jump, shared. When he was “no more than about 3,” J.D. Jump, in the back of The Episcopal Church has always Mr. Thompson worked as a teachhis grandparents’ car, took apart influenced Mr. Andy Thompson’s ing assistant, and he filled in as a some mechanical contraptions just life, but it wasn’t until he met his substitute at St. Catherine’s last to look at them and see how they wife, an Episcoyear. He loves Richmond so far. “Be- worked. And later Jump held the pal priest at St. ing back in the south feels a lot more hands of and consoled many older Stephen’s, that like home,” he said. relatives as they grieved their loss. he really became Mr. Thompson joins the St. His father, even then, could see the interested in reliChristopher’s faculty as a religion compassion he exuded. gion. teacher taking over Mrs. Wray’s two Jump wanted to go into the minMr. Thompson sections of Biblical Studies. He is istry as early as middle school; his grew up in West especially interested in religion as hopes were realized. Virginia and mait relates to ethics. “What interests After graduating from St. Chrisjored in the music me is the way that people do use the topher’s in ’05, he received a Bailey at Duquesne University before Bible and their beliefs in general to Pre-Ministerial Scholarship from attending graduate school at Yale shape the decisions that they make Randolph-Macon College. After comUniversity. He plays the saxophone in life,” he said. pleting four years there, per requireas well as the guitar and enjoys all As far as his future, Mr. Thompment of the scholarship (and also types of music, especially jazz. son is open to possibilities. “I’m tryhis obvious desire), he continued to Mr. Thompson is currently working to get a feel for teaching and see divinity school at Duke University. ing on a degree in religious ethics if it’s something I might be called There he received his first legitimate from Yale University, needing only to,” he said. experience and job as an AV technito finish his dissertation to complete cian for Duke Technical Services. his degree. -- William Maddock ’15 Before that, Jump learned techAs a graduate student at Yale, nology knowledge on the fly as a

Freshman Contributor Edward Millman

Andy Thompson

Andrew Lawrence Andrew Lawrence, a member of the class of 2007, is teaching English and history this year and coaching throughout the STC athletic program. Coach Lawrence graduated from Boston College last May with a B.A. in English, and played on the baseball team there. I caught up with Coach Lawrence and asked him a few questions about his baseball experience at Boston College and about returning to his alma mater as a teacher and coach: What was the most challenging part of playing D I baseball? “By far it was the time commitment. It really is like having a full time job, 5:30 a.m. workouts every day until Christmas break, practices pushing four hours long, and all the while having a full course load. On the field though, the most challenging part of playing D I baseball was

the overall talent of every team you play. Whereas every high school team might have one or two players with college potential, every player on a college team is ‘that’ player.” What did you enjoy most about the experience? “I most enjoyed the friendships I formed with my teammates. I went to Boston College not knowing anyone and I left with teammates who became friends for life. I keep in touch with about every one of them and talk daily with a few of them.” Lastly Coach, what are you most looking forward to about being back here at STC? “The aspect of being an intern I am most looking forward to is just being back at St. Christopher’s. Having graduated in ’07, I have been anxious to come back to school in some capacity. I am really excited to have been given the opportunity to come back and teach and coach.”

-- Marshall Hollerith ’13

Photo by Henry Fauls

perennial member of Ampersand. He was a natural assisting with the technical side of theatre, given his affinity and aptitude for technology. Graduating just two months before his job started in July, Jump, with his tie knots thick and his beard cleanly trimmed, now focuses on the “academic” side of technology, where he works alongside Mr. Hiram Cuevas and Ms. Carey Pohanka. Most of his time is spent in the new Luck Leadership Center, helping to work through quirks in the system. Jump describes Luck’s technical systems saying, “It’s pretty good.” His interests extend outside the school as he seeks ordination in the Methodist Church to become a deacon. His ultimate goal is to establish a position with the Virginia Conference, the organizing group for the United Methodist Church, where he would consult with churches about technology, a new undefined field. At school, you might see him with sporting his big fleur-de-lis belt buckle while participating in student activities. He heads the shop for Ampersand and hopes to perhaps teach religion in the near future. He said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if you see me singing with the choir.”

-- Henry Fauls ’14

Amanda Meyer Ms. Amanda Meyer, the new digital photography and photoshop teacher, isn’t just about taking pictures. Ms. Meyer wants to help students make art through digital photography and photoshop, rather than “just taking snap shots,” as she puts it. “Everyone has a digital camera,” says Ms. Meyer, “but most people don’t know how to use it.” The 2008 VCU graduate of photography is confident that these skills could also help students in business later on, and might even give them an edge in a job interview. Aside from teaching at St. Christopher’s, Ms. Meyer is an independent photographer, who even has her own business, A Meyer Photography, which focuses on weddings and portraits. “It is growing and going well,” says Ms. Meyer about the business. Ms. Meyer has a few other pas-

sions that she thoroughly enjoys. “Number one, I love sewing,” says Ms. Meyer, who enjoys working with any kind of textile. She also adores cooking; “Even if I have a really long day, I love to come home and cook.” Ms. Meyer is not the only one enthusiastic about the new digital photography and photoshop program at St. Christopher’s. Upper School Head Tony Szymendera is also very excited about the opportunity to add more arts opportunities to the St. Christopher’s curriculum. “Traditionally there have been more arts at St. Catherine’s,” said Mr. Szymendera, “so when we saw the opportunity to do more things digitally where we can do anything like digital photography and photoshop, we did.” Mr. Szymendera emphasized that part of the vision of the Luck Leadership Center was to add more arts opportunities to the curriculum, and that we want to use everything it has to offer.

-- John Fergusson


The Back Page


September 2012


Where in the World is Richard Towell? The Legend Lives On...

After watching the movie “Braveheart,” Towell immediately grabbed his kilt and sword and hurried to Scotland to join the cause. Upon arrival, he was dismayed to discover that he had missed the battle by a thousand years.

After years of bench press and dumbell rows (steriods?), Towell finally accomplished his lifelong dream of shot putting for the Latvian National Team.

After he ‘simply walked’ into Mordor, Towell met a couple of midgets and helped them throw a piece of jewelry into a volcano.he ring by providing his advanced mathematical knowledge.

Towell went rogue and commandeered a pirate ship, terrorizing the Lower James.

Agent T has donned on the black suit and Ray-Bans and partnered with Will Smith on a mission that never happened for an organization that doesn’t exist...

After killing the Good and the Bad, only the Ugly remains.

After Towell’s white Camry broke down 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle, he braved severe winds and freezing temperatures. Large gray wolves proved no match for Towell as he easily dispatched them with his superior intellect. Towell was last seen near Vorkuta, Russia, toting several wolf pelts.

Back Page created by Peyton McElroy, Nicholas Horsley and Alec Ball

The Pine Needle | September 2012  
The Pine Needle | September 2012  

St. Christopher's School Newspaper