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Gryphon Gazette

May 2013



Spring has sprung, and

summer is upon us! While most of us will say temporary goodbyes to our teachers and friends, others will walk across that hallowed stage to finally receive their longawaited diplomas. As we say farewell to our friends in the class of 2013, we look forward to their successors in the junior class, the incoming freshman, and the crossing over of the fifth graders from the Lower School. As exciting as it is to think of seeing our friends again in August, it is even more exciting to imagine our seniors beginning a new chapter in their lives outside of the St. George’s community. We at the Gryphon Gazette wish the best for our soon-to-be alumni, and a happy summer to all of our readers.

The Newspaper of St. George’s Independent School •

Memorable Moments: The Class of 2013 Says Goodbye

Seniors don their college shirts for Decision Day.

Dagny Vaughn ’14

which was enjoyed in class with a full supply of baked goods.” very year as the seniors prepare to Ms. Vasil also expressed sympathy scatter across the country, we begin to with seniors who have experienced realize just what a vital role they play unfortunate situations. “James Heard in the community of our school. With has the worst luck with standardized so many irreplaceable individuals, testing, though he seems to have perhow will life go on without the Class of fected the technique of staying dry in 2013? To focus on good memories in- a hammock, unlike Matthew O’Bar.” stead of the inevitable loss, faculty and She also expressed her fear of one day staff reflect on the many funny, senti- losing Reid Tinker to the space-time mental, and unforgettable experiences vortex he appears to fall into upon exthey have had with the senior class. iting a room mid-class. English teacher Ms. JenLike Ms. Vasil, Mr. Culnifer Vasil has many stoley has also taken the avis in a ries that capture the true blonde wig truly time to reflect upon a personality of the departfew noteworthy memoing class. “Kara Miller, is the face that ries about varying perMolly Schaefer, Alexa launched a sonalities in senior class. Roe, Angela Vanderslice, Whitehead used thousand ships…” “Caleb Emma Sisson, and Samer to grow moss in his bathIstanbouli sat on one side room sink,” he rememof the room in sixth period and were bers. “And Samer used to do flips in enamored with Disney princesses,” she the hallways during his first six weeks recalled. “That half of the room almost at SGIS. He is an accomplished gymdrove me insane. They convinced a nast.” Mr. Culley also seemed to recall substitute teacher that it was okay for several particular instances involving them to play Disney songs for an entire peculiar displays of sartorial splendor. class period.” “Heather Haase and the golden bloomThe film adaptations class, likewise, ers incident definitely sticks out in my offered a unique glimpse into the se- mind,” he said, “along with Harmony niors: “Hannah Murrey enjoys baked Riley’s tail.” goods and obscure movies from the When asked for stories about the se1950’s starring Sophia Loren. She man- nior class, Dr. Margaret Robertson reaged to purchase a bootlegged copy marked that she had one word: BRADfrom somewhere in Southeast Asia of STREET. She also fondly remembered a movie called “Boy on a Dolphin,” Davis Lenoir’s short-lived acting ca-



Stories Opinion

• Health and Education: A High Schooler’s Battle


• Seniors Spot Freshman Phenoms


• St. George’s Bids Farewell to the Culley Family

Student Life

• Seniors Make Their Wills

Volume XI, Issue VI


Ms. Trish Dianetti

reer as Helen of Troy in the class’s production of “Doctor Faustus.” “Davis in a blonde wig truly is the face that launched a thousand ships.” Along with Davis’s performance, she recalled Evan Darty as Blanche Dubois in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” a role that captures a fading southern belle who is trying to seduce a young paperboy. “Apparently we do a lot of crossdressing in my class,” she said, adding that she would also like to thank Ian John who kept her from almost poisoning the young actor with peanut butter cookies. “It would have been really awkward,” she admitted. As Dean of Students, Mr. Densford probably remembers more about the seniors than they would like. However, out of the plethora of memories he has about the class, he holds a few close to his heart. “I remember when Jack Babb and Brendan Horton put a mini-fridge in the Upper-School Lounge, complete with a lock to keep out unwanted visitors,” he said. “That was a really big deal at the time.” He also fondly remembers catching Patrick Clark and Tate Lowrance playing hide-and-seek instead of going to chapel. “I found them huddled together in a corner.” Mr. Densford would like to remind Austin Grisham that no indeed, teabags do not smell good when set on fire.

Cont. on Page 6



St. George’s Independent School

Senior Moments


Our seniors, bless their sweet, little, precious hearts, are in their final days of their St. George’s journey. True to their occasionally contrarian, sometimes stubborn, and always “unique” character, Lucky ‘13 is forging their own road to commencement, just as Marshal Tito did to Communism in Yugoslavia. We celebrate the Class of 2013 with a final snapshot of their time here as they validate the Mr. Taylor Theory of Senior Regression:

• The collective shift (male and female) toward prepping for prom night beauty and away from their academic obligations. • Adding tea bags to a list of flammable items banned by the TSA. • The request to allow streaming of the Masters during the academic day.

• Citing Google Images • One of them making a comment to Mrs. as a source on a paper Reilly (of Honor Coun• The arrival of Viola cil fame) that caused and the stir it has caused. some to simply think, “Really? you just said that?” • Prama

Need a

SHOUTOUT? If you need to advertise any clubs or make any announcements, please e-mail Regan at!

Newspaper Staff Editor-in-Chief

Nathalie Vacheron

Copy Editors

Regan Hewitt Virginia Whitsitt

Layout Editors

Samer Istanbouli Kayce Hyde

Photo Editors

Alexis Harshbarger Lindsey Cayce

Features Editors

Emily Dickey Dagny Vaughn

Opinion Editor

Ian John

Sports Editor

Jamie Roche

Student Life Editors

Meredith Gatlin Maggie Courtney

Entertainment Editor

Zoe Leake


Margaret Robertson


You Say Goodbye...

• The annual tempest in a teapot regarding college sign placement as May 1 looms

Nathalie Vacheron ’13 nail salon, feeling high and Regan, 2012-2013 newspaper mighty and glamorous, fully St. George’s commu- fulfilling the stereotype of your nity... quintessential teenage girl. And Well, I said hello — even as I twirled my keys in my hand though technically this is good- and I scanned the rack for that bye. “perf” shade of baby blue for my And now is the moment where nails, a woman said to me, “You I stop myself from wading into drive?” that horrible, horrible territory “Yes, ma’am, I do.” of sappy clichés and quoting of “No way! You can’t be driving! Andrea Bocelli’s “Time to Say I thought you were in the sevGoodbye” (not sure what the use enth grade.” of that would be anyway, seeing Cue the reddening of the face, as Andrea’s satiny voice sings stammering of “actually I’m a the melodic ballad in Italian, and senior”/”I was in seventh grade as far as I know, not too many of five years ago”/”Can I accompaus know Italian). ny you to the nearest physician But it is true. It’s my last edito- to get your eyes checked,” and rial. I should say something im- awkward small talk. portant and strong and memoAt the time, I didn’t consider rable and inspiring. So I suppose it the finest moment. However, I’ll try to muster up something looking back, that moment was along those lines. one of the most defining moI’ve been a fan of telling stories ments of my senior year. A revelathroughout the year, so I guess tion came over me and it all sunk it makes sense to continue the in. I was a senior in high school. tradition. Once I was once upon a time, I in seventh was a senior in grade, and high school. I regarddid all the fun, less of my senior-y things height and that seniors do child-like each year, like the Starry Nights essence, I am no longer in sevhay ride, the senior-parent din- enth grade. Time has passed ner, senior prom, and so on. with a surprising spryness that Then one day, I went to the nail we always talk about, but never salon, wearing some nice shades realize how fast it goes until it’s and some cute flip-flops, craving all gone. a relaxing pedicure, a Seventeen So, as much as I was trying to magazine, and Diet Coke. avoid clichés, it looks like that’s Basically, I strolled into that what this has wound down to.

staff, and all seventh graders out there: cherish each moment. This advice won’t change how much you want to graduate high school and move on with your life, but as you wish time away, at least acknowledge how precious your time is. It’s constant, yet intangible, and as fleeting as the moments when people think I’m actually the age that I am. Dr. Robertson, 2012-2013 newspaper staff, and last but not least, my senior class: I love you all dearly. Thank you for your time. Our time may be coming to an end, but I will never forget each and every one of you. Thank you for laughing with me, laughing at me, and of course, liking or pretending to like my editorials. Time to say goodbye, paesi che non ho mai, veduto e vissuto con te adesso sì li vivrò. Do I know what that means? No. Can we pretend that Andrea Bocelli, the lyrical genius himself, is singing about how much I’ve loved being your Gryphon Gazette Editor-in-Chief, and how much I appreciate the time I’ve spent on the staff? Yes. Yes, we can.

ninety-four new names, coming from a small school that did not even have ninety-four enrolled students. Imagine having to do homework for the first time in your entire life. I didn’t know hope to cope at all. I hated feeling new. Eventually, however, the weeks wore into months and the months pieced together into the first three years of my high school career. Personally, I think I’ve caught on. I’m not going to say that I necessarily embrace “new” experiences, but in retrospect, I agree that being new isn’t the worst. Everyone, at some point in their lives or another, is going to be new. So, learn to live with it as soon as possible. There’s a large portion of our school that will have to adapt to being new again quite soon. The seniors are saying goodbye. Many of them have known each other for a very, very long time and some will probably never

see each other again, which is sad but realistic. However, don’t look at this as a negative. Look at it as something new. Seniors, you get to be new again, a feeling many of you have not had to process in many years. So, my advice, as the lowly junior, would be to make the most of feeling new in your college environment, wherever it may be. Remember your high school friends but truly, relish being new. I don’t think there’s a day when you feel new that is boring; terrifying, perhaps, but not boring. While it feels strange to be saying hello while so many are saying good-bye, I’m looking forward to being the Gryphon Gazette 2013-2014 Editor-inChief. It’s another chance to feel new, and I couldn’t be happier about that opportunity.


Cherish every


Always, Nathalie Vacheron Your 2012-2013 Editor-in-Chief

...And I Say Hello.

Regan Hewitt ’14

Hi. Hello. Howdy, if you like.

Well, here I am. The new Editorin-Chief of the Gryphon Gazette. It still feels very strange for me to recognize that about myself. I feel like the new kid at a new school in a new town in a new... Well, you get the idea. I feel new. It’s a very strange sensation to have at seventeen (everything already feels so old, you know?). I haven’t felt so new in a while. The last time I felt “new” was my first day of school at St. George’s, as a freshman. It was awful. Confession Time: I’m a huge control freak. I like to know what’s going on all the time and when I don’t have a schedule, I panic. Basically, before the first day of high school was even over, it was already a disaster in my eyes because I knew nothing. I literally had to ask where the lunchroom was, even though it’s smack-dab in the middle of the school. It was mortifying for me. If that’s not enough of an example, try being a complete and total stranger to the vast majority of your grade. Try learning

Relish being


Yours sincerely, Regan Hewitt Editor-in-Chief


St. George’s Independent School


The opinions expressed in this section reflect the views of individual writers and are not necessarily those of the Gryphon Gazette or its staff.

Health and Education: A High Schooler’s Battle

Ian John ’13

It was often easier just to tell

myself that there was a reason for what I was doing, that there was a reason for dragging myself through those long days and longer nights in high school. But you see, in high school, being stressed and having long days is just a part of the game. Rushing out the door, missing breakfast, and arriving to your class barely on time, all the while trying to stay awake in your classes is the unfortunate truth we high school kids live by. At first, I thought this was unique to me. Maybe I was the only one who faced these seemingly insurmountable chal-

lenges that forced me to pull my hair out every evening. I knew something wasn’t right, but I also knew I wasn’t alone. The mere fact of the matter is, we students are overloaded. Contrary to popular belief, a high school student’s life is very demanding and high stress. Often it leads to unhealthy eating habits and overall degradation of our health. However, the real question is not if we have stress, but rather where it comes from. For some, it’s the self-pressure and determination of wanting to do well that drives us to go insane each night. For

others, it comes from home, coaches or even the teacher’s high expectations for us to perform well. But, for most, those sleepless nights and those dreadful mornings come from us compromising on essentials, like sleep and food, because we are stretched way too thin in other areas of our lives. As most gluttons do, we stack our plates mile high with extracurricular activities, leaving us with “bad stomachaches” called tears at the end of the day. So what is the solution to the madness? Do a little more of nothing. It has been shown that people who are able to relax more have a greater chance of living longer. In America, we are self-consumed by this false reality that work is the essence of life. This mentality is developed from an early age in grade school all the way to adulthood. If students actually relaxed more and stressed less then they will probably see improvements in their academic, social and extracurricular life. I understand the value of working hard, but most students, including myself, need to scrape off some of that extra stuff off their plate and just do nothing. Sometimes, doing less really is more.

values “what they can teach us about critical thinking, creativity, and ourselves as a culture.” However, the lack of commitment to the arts in the student body is evident in that fact that some students try to use these one-third credit arts courses as quick fixes to fulfill mandatory graduation requirements. The student body makes the decision to undermine art in their studies independently of the school’s influence. Though school’s use of onethird credits might appear to be a slackening in overall commitment to the arts, it can also be seen as an extra effort towards encouraging exploration in art and the humanities. “There are so many schools

that cut art first when finances are tight,” Mr. Danny Broadway said. “It’s nice to see that a school places such an emphasis on art.” According to the 21st-Century Skills Map, “Business leaders and visionary thinkers concerned about preparation of students for the future know that the ability to be creative — a key 21st Century Skill — is native to the arts and is one of the primary processes learned through arts education.” When taking this into consideration, although the one-thirds art credit does represent a push for student’s art engagement along with their more strenuous academic courses, it is my opinion that more arts should be required.

Alexis Harshbarger ‘13

Do We Have To? The Art Credit Debate

Zoe Leake ‘14

Math has never been my area

of expertise. Unless I have my “Wow, I get it!” moment upon being introduced to the topic, it is likely that the moment will never come. On the other hand, though, I find pottery to be both engaging and fascinating. The ability to explore both of these fields, math and pottery, are available here at St. George’s, but are the playing fields equal? As a lover of the arts and humanities, my inability to take pottery a full year but my requirement to take four full years of math strikes me as unfair. It should certainly be noted “that this school believes in the importance of the fine arts,” as Mr. Marques Brown points out and


On Endings

Dagny Vaughn ’14


n a cold winter night during December of my seventh-grade year, I was swept away by the magical excitement of finally being allowed to go to the Jingle Bell Ball. Though I can remember a series of small details, from the color of the dress I wore to the logo on my date’s tie, the dance itself is nothing more than a blurry memory clouded with anxiety. For instead of enjoying what would typically be an exciting night in the life of a middleschool girl, I spent the entire time fearing the inevitable moment the dance would end. Today, as a junior with a number of senior friends, I feel a similar growing panic as the end approaches. Going off to different schools in different cities, they will build new lives in distant corners of the world, figuring out what lies beyond high school and who they wish to be. And though I look at them with bittersweet happiness for their accomplishments, I cannot help but acknowledge the lingering reminder that their new lives will begin at the same time that my old one will continue — very far away and very much apart from it all. From the first day of the school year, when the newly crowned Prefects debuted their video of Peace Dove wisdom and push-ups, I have viewed this year with a dread for its ending. But perhaps through my attempts to preserve each and every “last” with these precious individuals, I forgot to fully experience the time I have left with them. Though it may be true that, “Things change and friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody,” as Stephen Chbosky writes in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” perhaps it is not a matter of stopping life from happening as it is keeping up as it continues. During these last few days that we have with our beloved seniors, it is important to maintain a focus not on the diminishing time, but on how that time can be spent. Nothing can be said to relieve the pain of watching friends move on after being a part of their lives, but we cannot let the fear of the inevitable distract us from fully experiencing the moments left. We must value and appreciate the years we have known the seniors, and remember that being afraid of their leaving is simply a reflection of their importance. Endings may be difficult, but they are necessary part of experience. After all, as Friedrich Nietzsche once stated, “The end of a melody is not its goal: but nonetheless, had the melody not reached its end it would not have reached its goal either.”

• St. George’s Independent School • Entertainment May A Peculiar Review: “Miss Peregrine’s” is Worth the Read Top 10 Rainy Day Movies


Meredith Gatlin ’14


t must be hard for authors to find their inspiration for their pieces of work. However, the author of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” Ransom Riggs, found his inspiration through a creation of photographs in flea markets across America. The pictures are of “peculiar children” with unique talents that could be found in circuses in the early 1900’s. He uses these

pictures to tell the tale of sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman. Jacob has a close relationship with his grandfather, whose past is full of secrets. When his grandfather is murdered in the beginning of the book, Jacob sets off for an island in Wales to uncover the truth of his grandfather’s past. Once arriving on the island, Jacob finds a time loop that takes him to the 1940’s. This is where he meets Miss. Peregrine and her home full of peculiar children. An example of these children would be Emma, who controls fire; Millard, who is invisible; and Bronwyn, who has incredible strength. The readers eventually discover that Jacob and the other children are being chased by “hollows,” the monsters that murdered Jacob’s grandfather. Jacob must do all he can to save Miss Peregrine and her “peculiar” children. This book is full of action, adventure, and quirks that make it really special. The book draws the reader into a world full of mystery and awe. The readers fall in love with all the children and wish they could have some of the children’s special talents. The book itself is very unique; personally, I have never heard of a book whose story is based off of photographs. I think this book is something that all ages of readers would enjoy. It is also one of those books that when you start reading you just can’t put it down. I recommend that everyone should read this book!

Alex King ’18

10. Sleepwalk With Me This is the true story of Mike Birbiglia, playing a character called Matt Pandamiglio, trying to juggle his love life, his sleepwalking disorder, and being a stand up comedian. I strongly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of stand up comedy, or just comedy in general. 9. Up This fun family film is about 78-year old Carl, who decides to fulfill his and his wife’s lifelong dream of living in Paradise Falls, but accidently brings along Russell, an eightyear old wilderness explorer. This is a great film for the family, and it is just plain fun. 8. Moonrise Kingdom Wes Anderson is at it again with this quirky film about two young lovers, Suzy and Sam, who run away together to find happiness. If you like good goofy humor, then you will love this movie. 7. Bernie Richard Linklater did a fantastic job directing this true story about a young mortician, Bernie Tiede (Jack Black), who strikes up an odd relationship with Marjorie Nugent (Shirley Maclaine). Any Jack Black fans would love this movie. 6. Lars and the Real Girl In this quirky comedy Lars (Ryan Gosling) finally finds a girlfriend and decides to bring her to meet his friends, but she is not the kind of girl they expected. Ryan Gosling was fantastic as this socially awkward young man.

5. Harold and Maude This is a 1971 movie about Harold, a death-obsessed teenager who strikes up an odd relationship with an older woman named Maude, the polar opposite of Harold. 4. Raising Arizona A couple that can’t have children decide to “steal” a child from a furniture storeowner, Nathan Arizona, (Nicholas Cage) in this hilarious Coen brothers film. For me, this is Nicolas Cage at his best. Also, if you are a fan of the Coen brothers, they did a fantastic job with this film. 3. The Goonies This is a heartwarming story about a group of kids who set out to find pirates’ treasure after discovering a treasure map in their attic. Anyone who is a fan of 80’s movies will especially love The Goonies. I recommend this to everyone, and this is a great family movie. 2. Monsieur Lazhar This is the story of an Algerian immigrant who is hired at a Montréal grade school after a tragedy that will bring the students and the new teacher, Monsieur Lazhar, together. This story will bring tears to your eyes and I guarantee this will be a film that you will not soon forget. 1. The Dark Knight This action-thriller is about Batman (Christian Bale) who must protect Gotham from his worst enemy, the Joker. This movie is fantastic for action lovers and has some of my favorite action scenes ever.

Staying Safe at Summer Shows

Elijah Poston ’13


aybe you’re planning on taking a concert trip over the summer, or you plan on going to see a favorite band at the FedEx Forum or Snowden Grove. Perhaps you plan on going to Minglewood or the New Daisy for a local show, or you could be at the Smith7 house to see Wicker or the Star Killers. There are a few things to keep in mind when attending concerts, and as a frequent concert-goer, here are some of my secrets. Outdoor Concerts (Memphis in May, Bonnaroo, etc.): 1. There will be mud — don’t wear your favorite shoes. Frankly, don’t wear anything you don’t want dirty. 2. Don’t wear layers — it will get hot, and you will regret it.

3. Bring a poncho along (a fold up one in a small bag that you can carry) if you don’t like getting rained on. Otherwise, enjoy the rain and hope your favorite band keeps playing. Big Shows (Snowden, The Forum, etc.): 1. If there is a lawn, don’t be afraid of getting seats there. Bring a blanket or a towel and relax. There are no bad seats on the lawn. 2. Sometimes, the band you see won’t be incredible — watch out for getting your hopes up too much. 3. The sound quality will either be great in an arena or literally the worst thing ever. There really is no gray area — be prepared. Local Shows (1884 Lounge, Minglewood,

Tim Burton Producing New Addams Family Movie

7house, New Daisy, etc): 1. As annoying as they seem, earplugs are necessary (some bands are really loud, and others just stink). You’ll be the only one without ringing ears, and you’ll be happy about it. 2. Don’t be afraid to show up a little late if you want to see the last band. Unless you want a good spot, then you have to sit through the others, which could be torture. 3. If your friends are in a band or are performing, it means more to them than you know if you are at their show.

2. People will be under the influence at shows. Don’t be upset because they’re screaming their head off during your favorite song or are trying to talk to you during the show. Think of it as an interesting opportunity to people-watch, and then be thankful that you can actually enjoy the music. Sober. 3. If you hate crowds or get a little claustrophobic, do not get general admission seats. The expression should be “packed like kids on the edge of a circle pit” Sardines ain’t got nothin’ on concert crowds. Otherwise, squeeze your way to the front and enjoy the stranger sweat. Universal Rules: 1. Eat before or after the concert — unless 4. Have fun. The band is there for you and there are local food vendors (BSMF), the food you are there for the band, and if you’re at and drinks will be marked up like it’s the a really good show, you can tell when they apocalypse. care. It is the best feeling in the world.

Courtney Harshbarger ’15


im Burton is currently producing a new Addams Family movie that will be a 3D stop-motion film. Being the director of “Edward Scissorhands” and countless other amazing (not to mention, creepy) films, Burton should be the perfect director for this new movie. He will easily be able to bring a strange yet fittingly eerie vibe to the production. Burton chose for it to be stop-motion animation in order to exemplify the original Addams Family comics rather than the 90’s television show. The choppy look of stop-motion will allow for the film to seem more dated while also maintaining a state of originality that is rarely seen in movies these days. Though many fans are skeptical about the choice of not featuring live

actors, it was a wise decision not to do so. Real actors would make it seem too much like another sequel made by lazy directors who could not come up with a new plotline. By making a film version of the comics, the film should be refreshingly different from the majority of new movies coming out. Burton also stressed the fact that the movie will not be a sequel or a redo of the cartoons or the TV show. It will simply be additional and completely new stories about the same ensemble cast. This new film seems very promising and will hopefully turn out as perfectly as Burton’s other films have in the past. It seems as though fans of both Burton and the Addams family will not be disappointed and should certainly make plans to see it.

Regan Hewitt ‘14

The two-show run of “The Fantasticks” was a “fantastic” success. The musical, featuring actors from the senior, junior, and sophmore classes, was brilliantly directed by Mr. Whitehead and co-directed with Mr. Brown. The St. George’s community eagerly awaits the next musical.


St. George’s Independent School

Seen but Rarely Heard: Coach Walthall Heads Varsity Baseball Program Virginia Whitsitt ‘14

He’s a man with many talents and many titles. Mr. Buzz Walthall, better known as Coach Buzz, quietly makes a huge impact on the St. George’s students everyday. Aside from being the father of two sons, Mr. Walthall takes the titles of St. George’s Facility Manager, head coach of varsity baseball, and an assistant middle school football coach. As the Facility Manager, he prepares game fields, works on landscape, and is the all around go-to guy in the St. George’s sports community. This year, Mr. Walthall has transitioned from an assistant varsity baseball coach to the head of the program. Mr. Walthall remarked that, starting at the young age of eight years old, baseball has always been in his life. He continued to play varsity baseball in his high school years, then two years in college. Because he was a member of the Memphis Tigers community as a younger player, Mr. Walthall coached competitive baseball for the Memphis and Arlington Tigers pro-

grams for “so many years he stopped keeping count.” Entering his sixth year of coaching at St. George’s, it’s safe to say that he is more than qualified to take on this role. When asked about this year’s season, Mr. Walthall commented that the baseball program lost a lot of starting seniors last year, but continues to have a young, talented team. He continued in saying that his goal for the season was to, “develop the young guys for the future, knowing this year [they would] be a .500 team.” At the time this article was written, Mr. Walthall said that the baseball team was struggling with five starters out, but the team, in general, was passable. Looking forward, Mr. Walthall remarks that the “future’s looking bright.” He has focused on creating a “more aggressive mental game” with the players, and continuing to make them fundamentally sound. When asked about his style as compared to previous coaches, Mr. Walthall ironically remarked that he is “more vocal, but more laid back.”

The Girls’ lacrosse team spent a weekend in Atlanta for a tournament. While there they took a spontaneous jog through the woods.

Dan Patterson



Track Gets New Coaches, Sets New School Records

Alexis Harshbarger ‘13

Meredith Gatlin ’14


t’s out with the old and in with the new. This year’s track season started off with a new head coach, Tiffany Alden. She is also the girls’ long-distance coach, and her husband, Randy Alden, is the new boys’ long- distance coach. The other coaches are Coach Hayden and Coach Skip Miller. One of the track team’s recent endeavors was at the Houston track meet during April 12-13. It would be safe to say that this meet was a little overwhelming because there were over one thousand runners entered in the meet, and at least fifty runners in each event. No one from St. George’s came home with a blue ribbon, but many of the St. George’s runners made new school records. Sophomore Chazz Simmons set the new school record for the long jump, and Steven Joe, a junior, came in tenth place in the 3200. St. George’s has a very strong athletic department, but it’s sad to see that some of these sports are underappreciated, including track and field. All Gryphon athletes should be recognized, including the track team. Rumor has it that senior Kara Miller could qualify for the state meet in the 400 m run. She placed 4th in the regional meet last year. Sophomore Eric Reed deserves recognition as well. During the Houston meet, Reed was tripped in the first ten feet of the 1600 meet. He received a track burn and was covered in blood from being spiked, but he got up and ran all the way to finish line. Two-hour practices, hard workouts, and long meets are all things that a track runner deals with. The runners are brave to go onto the track and give it their all in events that bring out maximum effort in all participants. So let us all appreciate the hard work and effort given by the Gryphon track and field team by going out and supporting them on their run to State!

Seniors Spot Freshman Phenomenons

Compiled By: Lindsey Cayce ’14

As the senior class prepares to

leave us, one might wonder how our sports teams can continue down the path of greatness. Have no fear; the Class of 2016 is full of athletic stars that will soon try to fill the shoes of our graduating team leaders. Here are just a few of the freshman that the seniors are excited about.

Sport: Volleyball Source: Grace Taylor ’13 Freshman: “Sophia Quesada is a great volleyball player and such a fun teammate and has great leadership qualities. If she continues to improve, she will without a doubt maintain her super-star status in the program. “

Sport: Swimming Sport: Boys’ Lacrosse Source: Amanda Fitzpatrick ’13 Source: Michael Pigors ’13 Freshman: “William McBride is an excelFreshman: “Gray Hill has the speed we need and the hits that will make you sick. He lent swimmer, making state in two events as a freshman and competing on two relays. will do great things.“ Over the next three years, he will only improve and continue to be a strong influence Sport: Girls’ Basketball on the boys’ swim team.” Source: Libby Heflin ’13 Freshman: “Sope Adeleye will be a solid Sport: Football addition to the team. She has great skills and Source: Bailey Popeck ’13 is a supportive teammate. If she continues to Freshman: “Jacob Still is one of the hardest work hard, I know she will one day be able to working kids, and he was the only freshman fill my shoes. “

to start this past season. He has really great potential and just an all-around great player. He will do great things for the program. “ Sport: Boys’ Soccer Source: Dylan Young ’13 Freshman: “Carson Schelp really knows how to kick the soccer ball. He is the younger brother of one of the team’s strongest players, and will continue to improve and become a great leader of the team. “ Sport: Girls’ Soccer Source: Courtney Clark ’13 Freshman: “Olivia Rooney has what it takes to be the next star of the Lady Gryphon’s soccer program. As a freshman, she has already proved to be a huge contributor with her speed and quickness at the forward position.“



St. George’s Independent School

Memorable Moments of the Class of 2013 Continued from Page 1

Because of his love for the seniors, Mr. Densford decided to help them out a little, beginning with notoriously tardy Logan Young. “I picked him up in the morning and made him pancakes,” he remembers. “I’m pretty sure it was one of the only days he was here on time.” However, even Mr. Densford admits to sometimes being a little late himself, especially the time he left Ian John under the bleachers for three hours. “It was seventh-grade payback. He was cleaning up, and we completely forgot about him,” he admits with his deepest apologies. Fortunately, Ian was physically and emotionally unharmed when found. Besides his reputation of seeing all and hearing more, Mr. Densford has been ascribed the ability to appear out of thin air. Several seniors have experienced this even outside the space-time vortex of St. George’s. “Elizabeth DeGutis was visiting Millsaps College when I walked out of the bathroom. She had just been asked if she needed a note for school and then I appear. She freaked out,” he remarked. According to Mr. Densford, the same thing also happened to Matt and Andy Thompson while touring the University of North Carolina. College guidance counselor Beverly Brooks also had a couple stories to share about two memorable faces in the senior class. “Emma Sisson had to dress like a nerd for the Prefect video. After she was done, she went for lunch without changing (because she’s Emma). A complete stranger snapped a picture of her at Subway and posted it on Facebook, which later popped up on Libby Heflin’s news feed.” Ms. Brooks would like all to consider this as a cautionary tale of what happens when one dresses like a 1950’s asylum escapee.

Out of all the parts of being a college counselor, Ms. Brooks values the moment of an acceptance letter being opened the most. However, sometimes under different circumstances, this magical moment must be created. “For about a week, Samer’s mom had been threatening to open his decision letter from Goucher if he wasn’t home when it came. Not wanting to deprive him of this moment, I called in a favor to his admissions counselor and asked him to tell Samer his decision over the phone instead. The next day, I had Samer come to see me about something random … and then the counselor called. Samer was rendered completely speechless (imagine that), barley uttered the words ‘thank you’ while using the desk to hold himself up, and then dropped the phone without hanging up. He bolted out of my office and sprinted laps around the school while shrieking. I found him running circles outside while screaming in Arabic to his mother. Mr. Taylor told him that he was so proud of Samer’s accomplishment that he didn’t have to come to school the next day. It took Samer longer than it should have to realize it was a Friday.” Finally, the seniors take pride in the fact that they were the last “real” class to be taught by the legendary former St. George’s teacher, Mr. Cort Casey, making it vital to collect his memories from teaching the Class of 2013. “I had the privilege to coach Alec ‘The Animal’ Feinstone on the wrestling team for several years. At a tournament at Bolton High School one year, I was fortunate enough to be in Alec’s corner. As happens every so often, the referee saw blood on the mat and stopped the match. Alec

“I’ve seen

Virginia Cartwright lay an egg…”

walked over to me, blood trickling down his cheek, and said, “Coach, my tooth is loose. I need you to pull it.” Seeing the tooth hanging by a thread, I deftly yanked it from Alec’s gums. Alec crisply responded, ‘Thank you sir, may I have another.’ I was appropriately unnerved.” Occasionally, Mr. Casey questioned the true identities of several seniors. “You may know him as Robby Robbins,” he said, “But to me, he will always be Captain Normal.” Sometimes, he also believes students can become confused over their own names. “I vividly recall Albert Vacheron having his middle name legally changed from Balandier to Cougar Mellencamp. That’s right: Albert Cougar Mellencamp Vacheron. On a side note, Nathalie Vacheron legally added another ‘h’ to her name to become Hnathalie Vacheron. Guess which ‘h’ is silent. On yet another side note, Angela Vanderslice legally changed her name to Angela ‘Homeslice’.” Mr. Casey also suspects several of the seniors to possess supernatural abilities. “I’ve seen Virginia Cartwright lay an egg, and if you stare directly into Evan Darty’s Golden Dome, you can see into the future,” he believes. “Also, never reach into Pearson Robbin’s purse. There might be something alive in there!” he cautions. Above all magical powers, Mr. Casey regards Elijah Poston’s as the most advanced. “Remember the time he made me disappear midyear, only to reappear in the form of Mr. Wilson Taylor? That was classic.” Like every class before them, the Class of 2013 will be deeply missed upon graduating. They have shaped our school through simply being their unique selves. These stories are simply a mere glimpse into the mark they have left on the school, its faculty, and its students. Congratulations Class of 2013!


Senior Do’s and Don’ts Amanda Fitzpatrick ‘13 Annabelle Bright ‘13

1. Do finish your Senior Independent Study early. It is quite the struggle to write fifteen pages in one night. 2. Do NOT set things on fire in the lounge, even though it can be pretty tempting. 3. Do spend your life with Team College Guidance. They are more than college guidance counselors. 4. Do NOT apply to 25 colleges. It’s just not worth it. 5. Do keep your college options open. Always tour with an open mind. 6. Do NOT take five AP classes. That’s just plain dumb. 7. Do keep the senior lounge clean. You do not want to feel homeless in the hallways. 8. Do NOT make your own college sign; just don’t do it. 9. Do be a cliché. The cheesy stuff makes good memories. 10. Do NOT stress. Everything will work out in the end.

Shannon Lenoir Photography

Prom goers had the opportunity to have their photos taken with props at the Fire Museum of Memphis. This new addition to the prom experience was quite poplar, with nearly everyone taking time out of their night to grab a few pictures with friends.

11. Do enjoy yourself. Do the things you like while you still have time for them.


St. George’s Independent School •


Dr. Leung Takes Sweden by Storm


Lexie Moratta ‘15


Dr. Leung skates across a frozen lake in Sigtuna, Sweden. The temperature never rose above freezing during her trip.

Source: Dr. Leung

of you may have noticed the absence of a certain AP United States History teacher this past spring. This is because our very own Dr. Marianne Leung was selected to chaperone a Memphis in May student trip to Sweden. Memphis in May is a month-long celebration of another country, and this year the country was her home country of Sweden. Over sixty high school students from across Memphis applied for the trip that Dr. Leung chaperoned, but only ten were accepted. Dr. Leung applied to be a chaperone for the trip back in the fall of 2012, and early this year was informed that she was one of three finalists. This March, Dr. Leung embarked on an adventure with the students

who were chosen. Once there, the students stayed in dorms at an international school and roomed with Swedish students. A typical day in Sweden varied from sightseeing cities like Stockholm to classroom visits where they sat in on the lessons taught to the Swedish students at the school. They also had the opportunity to visit the US Embassy. And as for how she broke her leg? Slipping on ice! The temperature never got above freezing while Dr. Leung and her students were there. Even with the broken leg, Dr. Leung was thrilled to have been a part of the trip that was a life-changing experience for the students.

St. George’s Bids Farewell to the Culley Family her final year. Mr. Culley also holds the award of teaching one It’s been a good run. For over of, if not the hardest class in the a decade, Mr. and Mrs. JP Culley school: AP Chemistry. Clearly, have graced this fine school with Mr. and Mrs. Culley have given their intelligent, energetic and everything to St. George’s, and even frenetic personalities, mak- boy, do we appreciate it. But, ing me all the more thankful for hard as we try to prove the adthe calm, steady presence that is age wrong, all good things really Louie Culley. do have to come to an end. The bold charisma of Mr. CulAfter months of denial, we ley and the graceful sweetness of (meaning I) have finally reached Mrs. Culley have left their per- that point at which we must acmanent mark on the St. George’s cept that the Culleys are indeed culture, and their leaving Mempassion for teachphis in order to ing has impacted seek new adlearly, Mr. and the hundreds of ventures in Tulstudents pass- Mrs. Culley have sa. In order to ing through our given everything to fully grasp the halls. Mrs. Culreality of this ley built our St. George’s and boy, seeming tragSpanish program do we appreciate it. edy, I had the from the ground chance to spend up, and if I were a couple of ento list the various roles Mr. Culley joyable, if not slightly awkward, has held here, this article would hours with the Culley family. likely never end. After an intense interview in I know that every student re- which I not only matched, but spects and appreciates the dedi- nearly defeated the tireless wit cation and skill that both Mr. and of Mr. Culley (James Heard, it’s Mrs. Culley bring to the class- your turn next), I was able to see room, though perhaps people just how prepared and excited have finally backed off the chal- Mr. and Mrs. Culley are for the lenge of AP Spanish, leaving Mrs. next chapter of their lives. Culley with a two-person class for I have confidence in their

Emma Sisson ‘13

promise to keep in touch with the school community (mainly because most of us will continue to bug them with silly things like feelings and questions about chemistry problems and life), and I know that there are great things in store for all three

members of this precious family. Just as the Culleys have changed, molded, and greatly impacted the St. George’s community, they will take Tulsa by storm and continue doing great things.


The Culleys aren’t new to adventure! In 2003, they hiked in Yosemite, California.

Source: Mr. JP Culley



St. George’s Independent School

Student Life

A Look into the Future: Senior Wills The Class of 2023 Predicts Their Senior Year Compiled by: DeBriea Hopson: “I will have a new life because I will be able to drive with my driver’s license and go wherever I want!”

Lindsey CAyce ‘14

Lindsey Cayce ‘14


ver the past few weeks, I have had the privilege of going to both the Memphis and Germantown campuses to meet with the second-grade students. With all this graduation talk going on here at the Collierville campus, we thought it would be a great idea to ask the second grade how they felt about being the future leaders of the school and what they thought the world might be like when they are seniors. The second-grade students are ten years away from becoming the seniors and while that may seem like a long time, it will be here before we know it. All of the second graders had won-

derful things to say! Here are just a few of the thoughts from the Class of 2013: Jack Whitaker: “I think there will be a lot more electronics and cool weapons. I also think the world will get a lot dirtier but then someone nice will come and clean it all up.” Kiyana Fayne: “The work will definitely be much harder and we will have a lot more homework.” Helen Tarjan: “I think everyone will be nice to each other and bad things will not happen like what happened in Boston.”

First Annual Prom Awards Ms. Jennifer Vasil Dr. Margaret Robertson

Cutest Addition to a School Dance: Mustache and top hat photos

The Ginger Rogers Award for Joy in Dance: Mary Henley Green

Best Offering on the Snack Table: Cake pops!

Most Likely to Wield a Samurai Sword: Dani Cafferty

Most Popular Dress Color: Persimmon

Most Likely to Bruise Someone on the Dance Floor: Matthew O’Bar The Surprisingly Good Dancer Award: Blake Carruth

Most Likely to Make People Late for Prom: Cortona Restaurant Highest Shoes: Olivia Reckert

The John Travolta Hip-Action Award: Rollin Rosatti

Best Casual Footwear: Shelby Sims

Best Wobble: Mr. Timothy Gibson

Best Tux Styling: Ian John

The Hugh Stephens Award for “First On, Last Off”: James Heard and Taylor May Carpenter

Best Height Differential: Patrick Clark and Nathalie Vacheron The Fred Astaire Award for Joy in Dance: Reid Tinker

Least Likely to Respond to a DJ Shout-Out: Class of 2013

James Heard: The outdoor chapel

to Duncan Daniel.

Deacon Larson: “I think there will be a lot more video games.”

Emma Sisson: Mr. Morris’ couch to Caroline Cannon.

Hannah Grace Morrison: “There will be a lot less animal life because there will be more cities and more people.”

Taylor May Carpenter: The window seat by the library to John Hankes.

Anaya Hemphill: “I think there will be a lot more teachers as cool as Mrs. Whipple! There will also be a lot more walking because the schools will be a lot bigger.”

Some members of the class of 2023 talk about their future as seniors.

Caroline Cannon ‘15

Sage Lamier: “I think the world will be a lot more peaceful. There will not be any poor people and everyone will live in a happy home.” Dominique Beal: “There will be a lot more cars and a lot more traffic because more people will be driving.” Cannon Kelley: “I think they will create an iPhone16 and we will all have really cool technology.” Andrew Bell: “Life will be half fun/half hard. It will be half fun because we will learn new stuff but it will be half hard because the tests will be much harder with lots of homework. Reese Dlabach: “I think I will have a lot more school work and the world will be a very nice place to live.”

Tyler Durnaik: The fire alarm in the Senior Lounge to Caitlin Johnson. Elijah Poston: The DVD player in the Senior Lounge to Tyler Lourens. Kendall Shipp: My wardrobe to Darius Brooks. Kathryn Rooney: My incredible swimming abilities to the SG Thunder swimmers and William McBride. Chandler Head: Power over Snowbiwan Kenobi to Calla Michalak. Kara Miller: My synchronized swimming to Hannah Dietz. Gregory Hurley: The bear to Steven Joe. Adam Pugh: The Senior Lounge to the Junior Class.

Advice on Overcoming Sixth Grade

Kellen Young ‘14

Caitlin Johnson: “Do well! Study! Actually learn so you don’t have to relearn ning of a very new life in education. At our when you are a junior. Avoid Math. Make school, we designate the transition from a friend. Be social. Don’t be mean…” the Germantown or Memphis campuses Natalie Proctor: “Make sure you don’t to the Collierville Campus as a ceremony, lose your lunch card! Be sure to also put known as fifth grade Crossing. Many veta signature at the end of your emails. eran students remember it well, and some This is super cool and will enable you to have no memory whatsoever. Having been a St. George’s student since third grade, I express yourself within the St. George’s email community.” can remember the transition pretty well.

At St. George’s, sixth grade is the begin-

Basically, Crossing was the equivalent of an entire grade transferring schools, because every little quality of elementary school was changed or altered. Some students might be discouraged, but middle school is the next step in life. In order to decrease the stress of rising fifth graders, I would like to provide them with advice from students who have been in their position. From the rising senior class of 2014, we would like to extend a helping hand and some tips to the newest students at the Collierville Campus. Katie Scott Sellers: “When you first start out, the schedule will seem overwhelming and confusing but don’t stress because you get the hang of it really quickly!” Calla Michalak: “Make friends with Mama Michalak. She makes food.”

Madison Lathum: “My advice would be to use middle school as preparation for upper school, both academically and socially. Learn how you study best and what your work tendencies are, and also just have fun and enjoy everything, because it flies by really quickly!” In summary, sixth grade may not be the best time of your life, but it can be great. It’s important to learn how to manage your time, because it only gets more complicated in the following years and in high school. A great way to give yourself an advantage is to create friendships with both students and teachers, because St. George’s has a unique atmosphere that will benefit you by the time the school year ends.

Gryphon Gazette 2012-13, Issue 6