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The O’Neal Quarterly •

Through nomination of its members, the Sandhills Branch of the English Speaking Union awarded O’Neal Upper School English Teacher Henry Hamilton a scholarship to participate in the ESU’s Teachers Learning Abroad program this summer. He used this scholarship to study literature at the University of Edinburgh. The two week long course he took was called “Text and Context: Modernism” in which he got the chance to read and study modernist novels, stories, and poems from authors such as T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and Ford Madox Ford. Middle School English Teacher Matt McMurray spent two weeks at Columbia University Teachers College Reading and Writing Program. There he worked with other teachers from all across the USA, exploring a workshop method of teaching both reading and writing. He will be using his training in his classroom and will also be a part of the team implementing Writer’s Workshop from K-8.

Middle School math teachers participated in an online course from Stanford University and are implementing what they learned about mathematical mindset in their classrooms. Lower School teachers attended a writing workshop to learn a new writing curriculum, subsequently called “Writer’s Workshop” as well as a one day conference on the new “Bridges in Math” Program also being used this year.

O’Neal Summer Fun ended with its highest number of registrations to record at 521 filled by 250 different campers.

The first day of school was Tuesday, August 15th with 462 students filling the desks.

O’Neal welcomes a tremendous 121 new students this year.

A second PreK3 class has been added.

SUMMER 2017 •

Assistants have been placed in all four PreK classrooms.

Mini assemblies, including the Lower School song, announcements, and the Pledge of Allegiance are held in the Lower School every morning for students in grades 1-5, before they go to class.

The Upper School has redesigned its advisory program where the students’ advisor covers social guidance, communication, emotional intelligence, academic success and inclusiveness by way of reviewing the eight keys to success, current events, student-led discussions/activities and surveys.

F.A.L.C.O.N. Leadership Academ

Forging Athletic Leadership into the Culture at O


by Upper School English Teacher and Coach Lulu Brase

eadership – in today’s society leadership is a highly valued commodity, but yet time and time again if today’s generation is asked whether they believe they are leaders, the majority of the hands in the room stay down. Why is this? O’Neal coaches set out last fall to tackle this question. The result—the FALCON leadership academy, created on the mission of building confident, resilient individuals into integral members of unified teams in order to develop a supportive O’Neal culture of excellence. After much planning, O’Neal parent and Board member Major John Samples, Athletic Director James Franklin, and a group of O’Neal coaches set the plan into action. 32 student-athletes were invited to participate in a five-night leadership camp, just prior to school starting. Each night, Major Samples, student-athletes and coaches, gathered to learn, grow, and embrace the notion of leadership. “We have gifted young men and women at O’Neal. We want to develop their skill sets of confidence, resilience, communication, trust, and goal setting in order to turn exceptional individuals into extraordinary teams,” says Major John Samples, who spearheaded the creation of the Falcon leadership academy. Similarly, Athletic Director James Franklin shared, “Great leaders move us with passion and energy. Our leadership academy will provide our student- athlete leaders the tools to ignite better performances from their teammates. This type of an emotional intelligence growth opportunity is very unique. Proving O’Neal is a trailblazer in leadership development.” Each night of the camp focused on different topics, providing student-athletes an in-depth view of the various components of leadership. On the camp’s opening night, students heard from First Lieutenant Sarah Toyoda, who shared her story of confidence and resilience in the face of adversity. Toyoda battled from behind to win the consolation bracket of the All-Forces Combatives tournament in 2014. The topics of teambuilding, trust, and communication came into play on Tuesday evening as student-athletes worked in groups to navigate the team building challenge created by the coaches. Overcoming challenges, both mental and physical, as a unit brought everyone closer together.

Thursday offered student-athletes the unique chance to ask their own coaches questions on their definition of leadership, roles of a captain, and overall thoughts on their athletic experiences. The coaches panel provided an in-depth view of expectations for student leaders on O’Neal teams. Reflecting on the panel, Senior Elizabeth Moore shared, “it was special to have a chance to be advised by such a dedicated group of coaches, who allowed us to talk about leadership in our lives and their own through a forum we wouldn’t otherwise have.” Lastly, Friday night’s culminating event brought together student-athletes, coaches, and parents for a memorable graduation night where each student-athlete presented their commitment as a leader. Students stood in front of the room, the conviction and determination in their voice illustrated the growth each individual had made throughout the week. Similarly, the group presented their mission as leaders at O’Neal, expressing their determination to re-establish the student Union, O’Neal’s fan section, to have a presence at each sporting event, ultimately, renewing the idea of ONE O’Neal within the student body. To conclude the week’s events, all in attendance convened to listen to the story of US Army MSG John Masson and his heroic battle to overcome a tragic combat injury. His message of resilience and pride in something bigger than self, capped off a stellar week. As student-athletes and coaches walked away on Friday evening, the buzz in the air was rampant. Leadership might have seemed out of reach for many earlier in the summer, but as students left the Hannah Center on Friday, energy was high and new leaders had been formed. Junior Stefan Woolley shared, “It was motivating to complete this course with my classmates. More so, after seeing how well we can work together after a week, I’m excited to see what we can accomplish in a year!” As our fall seasons begin, we look forward to witnessing how our individuals and teams grow thanks to our budding student leaders. These leadership lessons will range far beyond just the athletic fields, as Major John Samples shares: “those skills they learn in order to be successful on the courts, diamond, and fields will also be applicable in the hallways and classroom. Our goal is that our student-athletes will be leaders in and out of uniform, helping improve our overall O’Neal community - all boats will rise with the tide.”

Wednesday night, Coach Matt Hickman of the NC State Football Strength and Conditioning program preached on the importance of setting goals and working towards them with the motto ‘getting it done.’ Leadership Academy student-athletes with Coach Matt Hickman.



The Great Eclipse 2017

and faculty of The O’Neal Middle School had About the Speakers Students the opportunity of a lifetime to travel down to Camp Sarah Toyoda - First Lieutenant in the US Army stationed at Fort Bragg. Alongside her service for our country, Toyoda also competes in the All-Forces Combatives tournament. In 2014, Toyoda was the only female to make it past the first round of the tournament. In a display of resilience and perseverance, Toyoda advanced to win the consolation bracket in the Flyweights (125lbs.) division. After the fight, she praised her Jiu Jitsu training for providing her not only the skills, but also the patience and composure to continue to fight when the odds were stacked against her. Toyoda earned Fight of the Night honors. Matt HickmanCurrently serving as the NC State Assistant Strength and Conditioning coach, Coach Hickman works directly with the Wolfpack football team. He is a 2008 graduate of Cumberland (Tenn.) University with a B.S. degree in fitness and wellness, with a minor in strength and conditioning. He also played football, lettering three seasons and earning all- conference honors. John Masson - US Army MSG John Masson served our country in numerous deployments. During his final deployment with the Special Forces Unit as a medic, he was conducting a village stability operation and stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). He lost both his legs and his dominant left arm. Masson has continued to serve despite his injuries, and now shares his message of perseverance, selfless service, and faith. He also serves as a Gary Sinise Foundation Ambassador. He and his family currently live in Southern Pines, NC.

Bob Cooper in Summerton, SC to have a first-hand glimpse at the Solar Eclipse 2017 in the path of totality.

More than 100 Falcons left on charter buses early Monday morning to arrive at Camp Bob Cooper for a great lunch and to observe the eclipse within the 70 mile wide zone of totality. Their GPS position allowed the students 2 minutes and 23 seconds of totality (out of the maximum of Middle School Students in Summerton, SC 2 minutes and 39 seconds). O’Neal provided each student with their own ISO approved solar viewing glasses. O’Neal’s first day of school was Tuesday, August 15th allowing Middle School students in their science classes to study how eclipses occur, their frequency and the many unusual effects that could occur during a total eclipse. They also studied the mythology surrounding eclipses, and the mathematics that allows eclipses to be possible. During the eclipse, students participated in a citizen science activity where they took temperature Middle School teacher Sam Amato measurements which were used to track temperature helps to explain the viewing glasses. changes across the US during the eclipse. The next day they recorded their data for their lab report. “During this particular eclipse, insects, specifically dragonflies, began to swarm at totality,” observed Middle School Science Teacher Boyd Grayson. “My 4-year-old lab, Madison, laid down and became unusually calm. Deer appeared in the distance, thinking it was time to forage. And most significantly, the ambient temperature dropped 9-10 degrees.” Meanwhile on campus, the Upper School students joined the Lower School students for Sun Chips, Moon Pies and SunnyD to view the eclipse via live stream from NASA. Lower School students were asked to fill out a form about their experience. All of the forms will be placed in a time capsule to be opened at the time of the next solar eclipse in 2024.

First grade student Nevaeh Gray in Lindsey Shelton’s class enjoys a Moon Pie in celebration of the solar eclipse.

Classroom Happenings~ “In the lead up to the eclipse, I went to both 3rd grade classrooms. We modeled both a solar and a lunar eclipse using golf balls, tennis balls, and flashlights.” Middle School Science Teacher Jessica Gaughan

“We watched a video in class about the eclipse and what to expect. Then we related it back to our readers/ writers workshop by looking for “treasures” (details) and discussed what we noticed and then went back to watch it again and really pull out “treasures”. The kids really enjoyed learning the 5 stages of the eclipse and while we were watching and working on our time capsule project they stopped and named the 5 stages! I was so impressed with what they had learned!!! “ Second Grade Teacher Amanda Duffy

The Honor Code Where do you see school hallways of lockers without locks and smart phones charging in outlets unattended? Where do you experience writing just a few simple words on your school work to symbolize the responsibility given to you to be honest and truthful? O’Neal governs its students by the tenets of an honor code. As students progress from division to division, a new layer to the meaning of “Honor” is added. As part of character education, Lower School students are introduced to its fundamental meaning. Middle and Upper School divisions begin each school year with education on what it means to abide by an Honor Code followed by making the individual commitment by verbally pledging and signing the code. The Upper School has an Honor Council of students elected by their peers as well as select faculty members. The Honor Council handles infractions to the Honor Code as necessary throughout the school year.

The goal of O’Neal’s Honor Code includes five tenets 1. To support, in individual students, the further development of integrity, responsibility, and accountability in both academic and personal matters 2. To instill a loyalty to The O’Neal School in the student body as a whole 3. To assist in maintaining a high ethical climate in the Middle and Upper Schools 4. To ensure that a student’s work be his or her own and not that of another person 5. To instill in students a constant awareness of the ramifications of their actions and the need not to place themselves in questionable situations or in circumstances which connote dishonest or unlawful acts. Students are requested to abide by the following pledge as a personal commitment to the honor, integrity and high standards of the School:

The O’Neal Quarterly P.O. Box 290 Southern Pines, NC 28388

1. I shall be honest in all matters regarding the life of the School. My word may always be trusted. 2. The work that I present will always be my own. 3. I shall not seek unfair advantage over my fellow students by cheating or by plagiarizing. The School’s honor code provides for a safe environment where lockers remain without locks. Students write “On my honor” on their tests, and quizzes indicating that the work is their own. Education on the definition of plagiarism is very strong and highly monitored. As Honor Council Advisor Michael Norman cited from St. Exupery’s The Little Prince - “The most important things are invisible to the eye.” Senior and Honor Council member Joseph Tozzi

Profile for Kathy Taylor

The O'Neal Quarterly Summer 2017  

A quarterly issue featuring highlights at The O'Neal School.

The O'Neal Quarterly Summer 2017  

A quarterly issue featuring highlights at The O'Neal School.