WINDOWS SPRING 2011
W WESTMINSTER SCHOOLS OF AUGUS TA
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WESTMINSTER S C HO O L S O F AU G U S TA
WESTMINSTER S CHOOL S O F AU G U S TA
WESTMINSTER S C HO O L S O F AU G U S TA
Inside This Issue 2 A Word From The Headmaster
3 Prayer Abounds
4 A House for Everyone
6 In Their Own Words: Invention Convention
8 Class of 2001: Q&A with the Capital Club
10 Two Moms Walking
12 School News
15 Extra Credit
16 Alumni News
18 Snapshots of Westminster Life
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A Word From The Headmaster Dear Friends, Listening to a recent sermon, I heard a pastor reference a passage from Harvard College’s earliest Student Handbook (1643). Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, ( John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. Today, the mission of Harvard College is profoundly different as it “strives to create knowledge, to open the minds of students to that knowledge, and to enable students to take best advantage of their educational opportunities.” Not surprisingly, there’s no mention of eternal life, Jesus Christ or even God. The 18th century Enlightenment coupled with an early 19th century Unitarian takeover cast the fatal blows. Christ is no longer “the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.” My point isn’t to suggest that Christians shouldn’t attend Harvard. In fact, I’m proud of our graduates who have attended Harvard and will challenge more to do the same. Christians must have a presence throughout society, particularly in institutions of higher education. My point, rather, is that mission matters. Removing God (and Jesus Christ) from education renders it incomplete, placing responsibility on the Christian student to integrate the Creator (and His redemptive plan for humanity) back into His creation. The founders of Harvard College understood that. Reflecting on Harvard’s history and on the almost 40 years of Westminster’s history, I find myself deeply grateful for the preservation of Westminster’s mission since its founding.
In the 1972-73 Westminster Manual for Parents and Students, the front cover makes the school’s mission clear. Christ over all of Life and Learning. Today, our 20 word mission statement, although using different language, communicates the same reason for existence. Westminster seeks to glorify God by providing an excellent education that equips students to live extraordinary lives for Jesus Christ. May God grant that this same mission continue for years to come. Warm regards,
Westminster will soon celebrate our 40th anniversary.
We want your stories, memories and photos to be part of the celebration. Please send your favorite memories and photos with captions to email@example.com.
Prayer Abounds Prayer is an important part of the Westminster community. In fact, Headmaster Steve O'Neil was recently quoted in The Augusta Chronicle saying, "Our core values state that we will endeavor to place Jesus Christ at the center of everything we do; and prayer must be an integral part of that." See You at the Pole led by students, Moms in Touch led by parents, and faculty/staff prayer meetings are part of the Westminster culture. Each stage of life has its own challenges, burdens, responsibilities and opportunities. Students at Westminster are prayed for in each of these stages. A group of alumni parents recently joined together to extend this legacy of prayer to Westminster alumni as well. Members of the Westminster community know that the relationship to Westminster does not end with the graduation of your last child. Under the leadership of Edra Adams, Betty Hanks and Tricia Pollard, a twice-monthly prayer opportunity for parents of alumni and others who may wish to join is being held on campus. This time provides occasion to continue the regular prayers for those who were prayed for as students. Over the months, every alumnus and alumna will be prayed for, as each class is systematically prayed through. Scripture verses, provided at the meetings, give promises, provisions, petitions, thanksgiving and other rich portions of the Bible to pray for Westminster graduates. People may pray silently or aloud. Prayer meetings are held at 7:15 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month and at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month in the Academic Resource Center on campus. The varied time is in the hope to provide at least one meeting time per month that may work within everyone’s schedule. Please consider being part of this opportunity to pray for these special people who have been and continue to be a part of the Westminster family.
Westminster is held up in prayer through many venues: • Prayer requests are relayed to current families via the weekly school email. • A 30-day prayer booklet divides the names of all students, faculty, staff and board members so that each one is being prayed for throughout the month. The strategic plan is also systematically prayed for in this format. • Students and teachers take time daily to pray for each other during class prayer times. • Faculty members pray together daily. • Student led “See You at the Pole” prayer time was held on September 22, 2010. • The Moms in Touch prayer group meets every Thursday in the Academic Resource Center. • Moms in Touch also led the “Days of Prayer” on September 22 -24, 2010. Requests were taken from the faculty and staff and posted outside their respective areas so members of the community could pray for specific needs as they walked campus. A prayer guide was available in the offices at that time as well. • Board members pray regularly for members of the senior class by name.
• A group of alumni parents meet twice a month to pray for alumni. • In conjunction with our largest fundraiser, the Westminster Auction, a prayer calendar is developed to guide volunteers as they pray for the details of auction preparation.
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A House for Everyone
Fresh flowers and tablecloths highlight 18 round tables in a room flooded with light from various glass and stained glass windows. For three hours, a team of Westminster volunteers work to prepare food for lunch. More volunteers are trained in the process of how to serve guests. When the doors open, these Westminster volunteers serve around 150 guests. After lunch is served, students mingle with guests of all ages and many of them join the tables to engage in conversation. The volunteers, members of the Zwingli House, are eager to serve these guests at The Master’s Table, the soup kitchen operated by Golden Harvest Food Bank. This service project is one byproduct of the house system that was established for Westminster Upper School Students in the fall of 2009. The house system began as an idea from former Service and Student Life Prefects, McCamy Pruitt (’10) and Katelyn Rimer (’10). Those students, with the help of Miss Laura Bragdon and Miss Amanda Ebersole, modeled Westminster’s system after the tradition held at many British boarding schools, which enables every student to be part of a defined group. Each house contains students from grades nine through 12 who remain in their house for all four years of high school. The house members work together to earn points by participating in
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various aspects of student life including: attending games and dances, dressing up for spirit week, participating in extracurricular activities and serving the community. The goal of the house system is to promote fellowship between different grades, encourage school spirit and develop a heart for service. When a student enters ninth grade, he or she is assigned to one of the four houses: Cascada Grande, Zwingli, Lewis or Bonhoeffer. Head Prefect Natalie Walters devised a plan for service projects that allows for every house to work with Golden Harvest Food Bank this year. Though the project mentioned earlier speaks of the Zwingli House, each house has had a similar service day. On each service day, some members serve at The Master’s Table, while other students visit the ministry's food warehouse to help sort and organize food. Mrs. Heather Wiseman is the faculty member overseeing the projects. She says, "We hope that our efforts to reach out to others will help students see how easily we can be God’s hands and feet in a world that needs to feel His presence."
“I wish we could do this more often,” noted senior Nick Newsome. “One day a year is not enough for service.” Senior Laurel Grace Bouye had never participated in a project of this kind. “It feels good to help other people with such a basic need like food,” she said. Fostering relationships between the grade levels is another goal and result of the houses. The houses meet together about twice a month. They participate in team building exercises and plan for future activities.
“I honestly wouldn’t know any underclassmen if
we weren’t in a house together”, said senior T.K. Lee. “I’ve become a fan of the houses for that reason.” Underclassmen clearly feel the same way. Freshman Caleb Lively said, “I really like how the house system brings all of the high school together. It is a good time to interact with high schoolers that are not in your grade.” School spirit has also grown as evidenced by increased participation in various activities. Pep rallies now include competitions between houses, which has amplified enthusiasm at these events. Because students
receive house points for attendance at activities such as athletic games and fine arts performances, positive peer pressure encourages students to attend and support friends. Halftime competitions between the houses are another way that students can earn points for their respective houses.
Members of the House of the Month receive some sort of treat as an award. Past awards have included doughnuts or pizza. At the end of the year, the House Cup is awarded to the house with the most points. The Bonhoeffer House won the first house cup at the end of the 2009-10 school year and has retained those bragging rights all year. With all the benefits of the house system, the service component seems to be the one that is most noted and appreciated. The students have been deeply impacted by serving others, uniting for a common cause and trying new things.
House points are compiled throughout the year, with a “House of the Month” being named each month.
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Westminster Schools of Augusta has hosted the Invention Convention for more than 15 years. After learning about famous inventors, fourth-grade students research problems and determine one for which they'd like to develop a solution. They then work in class to create their inventions. Each invention must be tested by four adults outside of the immediate family before it may be submitted for judging. Students learn about marketing the invention as well. Judges consider the inventions, marketing and reviews as they ask each student to defend his or her product.
This year, parents had opportunities to come to class and assist with invention construction. All parents and the Westminster community were invited to the Pamplin Hall Gymnasium on Feb. 24 to see demonstrations of all the inventions. The process teaches the children to become lifelong problem- solvers. Read below to see what they had to say about the process, in their own words.
In Their Own Words:
Invention Convention David Almond – What I really liked was making posters and business cards in the library. Cole Bakeman – I loved to build my invention. It was very fun gluing and painting. Lee Baker – I got to use sharp scissors and cut my tarp out. I also got to put straps on my invention. It was hard work! God has blessed me by helping me make my invention. Sarah Banta - It took me five days to make it. Janna Barinowski – I liked talking with [the judge] telling her about my trial and error. Jack Berman– I called a store, and I asked them if they had my invention, the lady said, “Yes sir, we have everything!” I put down the phone and checked online but they didn’t have it. I started cracking up so hard. Joe Berman– When I finished it I was very proud of myself. Making my invention was the best.
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Breck Brigham – You had to try things and if it didn’t work you had to try it with something different. Caroline Campbell – When [my dad and I] were gathering the things I needed for my invention we had some funny times. Matthew Campbell – I liked [testing] because I got to see my old neighbors. They gave me a hug and a smile. Cassi Cleveland – One of my favorite parts was going and talking to people at the stores.
Nicholas DeLaney – I liked building it with my dad…I can’t wait to build something else. Allison Diamond – My favorite part was display. Displaying means to make a poster. Thomas Drake – Invention Convention is a fun and exciting process. Sarah Margaret Farr – I can’t wait to defend The Beach Companion in front of the judge. Truitt Forrester – I liked that we were on TV.
Aaron Clifton – We had to use a staple gun and nail and glue some things.
Sancken Hatch – I loved going to find supplies with my dad. We had to go to a lot of places to find what we needed.
Andrew Daniel – I had so much fun doing it I wish I could do it again.
Will Hitchcock – Coming up with the idea for the Burrito Bunk was the most fun.
Ashlyn Dawkins – When my dad and I went to Lowe’s we had some laughs together… I liked going shopping with my dad.
Kaitlin Johnson – I had fun picking out the fabric with my mom. I also liked picking out the decoration[s] with my little sister.
John Knox – I loved the testing part because all the testers said it was great!
Jane Scarborough – The thing that was most fun for me was building the invention with my dad. We talked some, but I was mostly singing.
Collin Landrum– It was fun seeing my classmates’ inventions too. Also, it was cool when people had to try it out.
Bronson Tharpe – Building my invention was a wonderful experience.
Anders McCallie –It was challenging because we had to brainstorm really hard to find the right idea. It was exciting when we had the right idea and started constructing it.
Ford Vaughters – Even though having to go to the store four times was tough, I was able to learn from my mistakes.
John McCraith – While I was spray painting the [nozzle turned] around and I sprayed myself.
Olivia Wahl – Developing and testing were fun because we got to make our inventions and let other people test it and give us comments about it.
Noah Jordan – I also liked seeing what people liked and disliked about my invention.
Hogan McCully – The best part of all was thinking of an idea because you can read the different problems [people have.] Emma McElmurray – I got to call my grandparents to see if they had any problems. I liked how they helped me. Dorothy McLeod – Miss Buurma was nice to me when I asked her a million times how I do something. John Mulliken – When I painted I had to be really careful because it was permanent paint. Tess Newton – I liked making it because I got to use clay.
Madelyn Wildes – We got to make our inventions at school. I liked this part because we got to have parents come help us. Isabel Willis – I liked that we could do it however we wanted. I am glad that God gave us hands to work and make inventions. Luke Yaird – It’s also fun when you see your invention work.
Tommy O’Neil – What I thought was fun was researching other inventors. We did it on the computer. Riley O’Rourke – I might try to sell my invention when I am done with Invention Convention. Mary Liz Page – Invention Convention is a very fun process. Savannah Peebles – I had fun putting all of the things on my invention to make it look good. Meaghan Rich – I love working with my dad a lot… My dad is very specific with his work so he had to explain everything to me. Drew Romer – I made my invention, but it wasn’t the way I thought it would be. So, I did it again and it was much better.
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Class of 2001: Q & A with The Capital Club By Christopher Mullins (’01)
Joey Boyd, Mary Beth Hutchins, Chandler Smith and Christopher Mullins
Washington, D.C. is a great city for anyone interested in government, law, public interests or public relations. It is steeped in history and tradition, yet at the forefront of political and social change. Because of its unique culture and one-of-a-kind opportunities, numerous members of the Westminster community either currently live in the D.C. area or have lived there at some point in their academic or professional careers. Since I moved to Washington in February 2009, it has been rewarding for me to reconnect with my classmates and other Westminster alumni. After I graduated from Westminster, I realized that attending the school was a unique experience – it is a place where students are challenged academically, athletically and spiritually. It has been wonderful to share memories with those who had the privilege to attend WSA as we continue to grow and tackle problems in our new home city. Additionally, many Westminster alumni in Washington are at a point in our careers where we have established strong professional connections. By meeting at alumni events, members of the WSA community who are studying, working and living in Washington have been able to stay connected. Four members of the Westminster Class of 2001 that currently live in the area share share our stories in the pages that follow.
Mary Beth Hutchins Secondary Education Information: University of Georgia – B.A., Political Science, 2005 Occupation: Account Executive at CRC Public Relations Describe an average day in your workplace: The fun thing about PR is that no two days are the same. We very much ebb and flow in response to the breaking news cycle. Generally speaking, my day is a mix of strategy meetings, drafting messaging for our clients, pitching our clients to media, and setting up interviews for them with radio, television, print, and online reporters. I think the best aspect of my job is that my itch for politics is scratched every day. How did your experience at Westminster impact your current career decision? I can safely say that AP Government with Mr. Johnson impacted several of us in my class; it definitely impacted me. As seniors during a Presidential election year, we had a great time exploring the political process. Mr. Johnson was also our class sponsor, and he learned what made us tick, or at the least, was comfortable enough to force us to use our brains. He cared enough to invest his energy in making sure we walked away with both analytical skills and an appreciation of the humor in politics. I can also see how some of my extracurricular activities - music, theater, student government
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- impacted the direction I took of coupling the creative with the political. What brought you to the D.C. area? After a couple of years of working after college, I felt that political communications was the realm in which I wanted to focus my career, and there’s no better place to do that than Washington, D.C. Plus my sister, Julianna Hutchins (’95) lives here, so that was a big pull. What is something that you learned at Westminster or a benefit of your time here? More than specific facts or subject matter, Westminster gave me a leg up on time management and quick thinking, which was especially beneficial in the transition to college, but has also proven useful in life in general. Being forced to prioritize at work or make decisions about how to balance my time between a hectic work schedule, friends and other interests can probably be traced back to juggling AP classes, sports and other aspects of life at Westminster. The greatest benefit of attending a Christian school like Westminster is that we were provided with a safe place to royally screw up. We were wrestling through the deep questions of life at a much younger age than a lot of our generation – and we were doing that in the classroom in addition to time together outside of school. Without even realizing it was happening at Westminster I was able to grow up
in a community that pushed my relationships to deeper levels than they likely would have gone at other schools. And the result has been that Christ has pulled me closer to himself; he has given me a deeper appreciation for those relationships I formed starting as far back as fourth grade at Westminster.
Christopher Mullins Secondary Education Information: Cornell University – B.S., Industrial and Labor Relations, 2004; Washington and Lee University School of Law – J.D., 2007 Occupation: Attorney, United States Postal Service, Office of General Counsel Describe an average day in your workplace: I work “in house” defending the United States Postal Service in complex labor and employment claims and national class actions. I primarily handle disability discrimination and wage and hour cases, but I’ve learned to expect just about anything from creative plaintiffs’ attorneys. I handle the cases “cradle-to-grave” so a typical day could include legal research, reviewing and drafting motions, meeting with clients, brainstorming with other Postal Service attorneys, conferencing with judges and class counsel, and negotiating and administering settlements. What do you enjoy about your current position? I enjoy working with my clients to tailor my litigation strategies and settlement solutions to best meet the Postal Service’s broader business goals. The Postal Service has given me a significant amount of autonomy over my work which significantly enhances my work experience and overall quality of life. How do you keep in touch with the other Westminster alumni in the area? We try to set up times to meet together, but it is sometimes difficult working around so many different schedules. Usually getting together after work during the week works best, but we’ve done weekend dinners, Christmas parties, and some football watching parties in the fall. What is something that you learned at Westminster that you are still using on a regular basis? My time at Westminster laid a strong foundation for the development of critical reasoning and problem-solving skills. These are important to me daily as I manage litigation and work with clients. Westminster also helped me develop superior written communication skills. I never realized that I was a good writer until I went to
college. Those skills serve me well day-to-day in drafting legal briefs, memoranda, or something as simple as emails to clients. What is a favorite memory or a memorable experience from your time at WSA? Several classes stand out as memorable for me – AP Chemistry with Mrs. Smith and AP Government with Mr. Johnson. I also will never forget being part of the WPS soccer team with Coach Freace that brought home the GISA championship in 2000.
Joey Boyd Secondary Education Information: Wofford College – B.A., Accounting 2005; University of Louisville - M.A., Accounting 2007 and M.B.A. 2007; CPA 2008 Occupation: Intelligence Analyst with the Department of Justice Tell us about your family: I’m married to Emily Sandifer Boyd, DMD, and we just welcomed our first child, Joseph Hendrix Boyd (Henry), on Feb. 18. What brought you to the D.C. area? My job with the Department of Justice What is something that you learned at Westminster that you are still using on a regular basis? I still use what I learned in Mrs. Susan Smith’s chemistry lessons on how true science and true religion complement each other perfectly. How did you benefit from the Christian education at Westminster? Westminster primarily benefitted me by providing a foundational knowledge of how to live a Christian life in an increasingly secular world and by showing the importance of Christian community. Daily life constantly challenges our love for Jesus, and Westminster provided great preparation to manage those attacks. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always realize success. But in the end, today, I feel strong to stand for what I believe and to lead my family. I give Westminster a lot of credit for that strength. What is a favorite memory or a memorable experience from your time at WSA? I am not condoning or confessing to traffic violations, but I remember running from class to our cars during lunch so we could get to a restaurant in Columbia County, eat, and get back on time.
Chandler Smith Secondary Education Information: Vanderbilt University – B.A., Political Science and Communications Studies, 2005 Occupation: Press Secretary, U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Republican Office (Ranking Member Sen. Richard Burr, North Carolina) Describe an average day in your workplace: Working in press, each day is a little different. After a daily morning meeting with the Chief of Staff, I spend the day brainstorming and developing plans to publicize specific legislation, responding to interview requests from reporters, writing press releases or opinion-editorials, attending relevant events or press conferences, preparing statements or talking points for upcoming hearings, meeting with reporters or outside organizations and setting up interviews. I also work throughout the day with the policy staff to make sure that I can adequately explain the Republican position on legislative issues to reporters. What do you enjoy most about your current position? I enjoy seeing positive stories appear in the media after I have been working with that specific reporter. Those clips are important for drumming up support for policies that can benefit veterans. Regarding the media relations field more generally, I love working with smart, dynamic individuals who are able to think creatively about ways to communicate with various audiences. How do you keep in touch with the other Westminster alumni in the area? While we all have busy schedules, we make time for one another, whether for meals, sports games, holiday parties or concerts. Sometimes, I’ll run into other alumni on the street or maybe even spot them in a pedicab! Mary Beth and I work in similar fields, so I enjoy that we are able to share and understand each other’s professional experiences as well as our personal ones. How did your experience at Westminster impact your current career decision? Mr. Johnson’s AP Government class initially sparked my interest in politics. The teachers at Westminster pushed us to think critically about the world we live in, which led to my curiosity about the news media and government. I also think that I was very wellprepared for college, which then allowed me to explore academically while at Vanderbilt. How did you benefit from the Christian education at Westminster? The spiritually-minded atmosphere at Westminster challenged me to think about what I believe at a very young age, which led to a deeper understanding of the role that my faith plays in academics, friendships and, eventually, my professional life. I’ve found that because Westminster gave me a solid Christian education, I am able to approach other peoples’ points of view with an open mind, understand them a little better and work to find common ground. When working in the political world, this is important.
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TWO MOMS WALKING
the making of the auction
all began with two Westminster moms walking and pushing strollers in their neighborhood.
“We like to think we came up with solutions for all the problems of the world while on those walks,” said Carrie Brigham. Among the many things discussed on these walks was the desire to create more community for the adults who were involved with Westminster Schools of Augusta. They talked of various options and decided they would like to have an event that was fun and in a different environment than the typical school gym celebration. Casual, relaxed and party were some of the words that came up. As the dreaming continued, these two moms thought that such an event could also be used to raise money for the school. They researched similar events held at other schools and the idea to reinvent the Westminster Auction was born. “Upon this Rock” was the first of these new auctions in 2008. Kimberly Knox soon volunteered the grounds of her home as the event venue. She and Carrie Brigham prayed about the possibilities and developed a detailed plan that they presented to
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the school. Much to their surprise, the proposal was immediately accepted. Mrs. Knox noted, “We thought ‘Oh, I guess we need to make this happen now!’ ”
The Westminster Auction is now an annual event, bringing back alumni, uniting parents and allowing faculty and staff to interact outside of the school hallways. Faculty and staff are even offered tickets at no charge. “It is such an encouraging night. It really feels like we’re being treated to a night out,” said Middle School Teacher Amanda Ebersole. The desire to bring people together for fun has been rewarded. A team of volunteers coordinates every aspect of the auction, from the venue and food, to the donations and art projects. Former event chair Jessica Blanchard, puts together the auction book each year. She spends countless hours developing descriptions for the various auction items. This year she also arranged the daily prayer calendar to guide volunteers as they lift up the details of the auction. From start to finish, each auction is covered in prayer. “One of the sweetest times each year is on setup day when all the volunteers stop and gather together for prayer,” said Mrs. Knox.
Past auction themes have brought in interactive props including a surf shack to meander through and a mechanical bull to ride. Steve O’Neil was even seen riding the mechanical bull at his first auction as headmaster. Nevertheless, the highlight of the evening is always the live auction. Just watching the auctioneer work the room is entertainment enough. Students donate their artistic skills to bring in high-dollar live auction items. Kelly Hitchcock has spearheaded this effort for the last few years with help from local artists such as Claire Freace and Vivian Hornsby. The artists paint the backgrounds and Lower School students add detail components to complete a class art project. Upper School students also donate pieces they complete in class.
High-dollar bids are not the only ones at the event. The solicitation team works hard to ensure there are items in the silent auction for any budget. Some minimum bids begin at the $5 mark. Not all attendees bid, but they all enjoy the camaraderie. “The best part of the event is the friendships that have been made in the process,” noted Mrs. Brigham. After three years of holding the auction in April on the grounds of Kimberly and Charlie
Knox’s home, the decision was made to move the auction to a slower time in the school year – February. Use of Sacred Heart Cultural Center for the event was donated, and a winter wonderland was created within the walls of this historic building. Moving the auction from a spring event to a winter one led to a new idea for the event theme: Auction Expedition. Susie Baker, who spent seven years living in Alaska with her husband Lee, was asked to chair the 2011 event. “When I prayed about the opportunity to chair this event with the new winter theme, I felt like it was a perfect fit with my love for the mountains,” said Mrs. Baker. “It has been a joy to see the Lord at work in this process. The other volunteers have been great to work with, and I’d recommend this job to anyone. The view is nice from this mountain top and I am thankful to have seen it." Under her leadership this year, the group of auction sponsors has grown to include several who were not previously affiliated with the school. “The Lord really exceeded our expectations in attendees and fundraising this year.” The Westminster Auction has grown to become one of the parties of the year and has brought in between $58,000 and $95,000 for the school each year. The strollers may be gone, but Westminster continues to receive the benefit of those walks five years ago.
WSA AUCTIONS AT-A-GLANCE 2008 Upon This Rock
Building Lives for the Kingdom Event Chairs: Carrie Brigham and Kimberly Knox Funds Raised: $58,000 Number Attended: Approximately 300 Notable Notes: First auction in several years.
2009 Boots and Bandanas Roping New Frontiers
Event Chairs: Carrie Brigham and Jessica Blanchard Funds Raised: $69,000 Number Attended: 310 Notable Notes: Carriages and stagecoaches were used to welcome guests to a “western town.” The headmaster was seen riding the mechanical bull.
2010 Surfin’ WSA!
Hang 10 in 2010 Event Chairs: Jessica Blanchard and Lisa Forrester Funds Raised: $66,000 Number Attended: Approximately 280 Notable Notes: Guests entered through a “surf shack” to enjoy a beach-themed evening.
2011 Auction Expedition Reach the Peak
Event Chair: Susie Baker Funds Raised: $95,000 Number Attended: Approximately 325 Notable Notes: The first use of Sacred Heart Cultural Center for the event. A year for record funds and attendance.
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School News Spring 2011 All-Area Accomplishment Thomas Mehrhof, Chandler Norris and Patrick Moseley were named to The Augusta Chronicle/ WRDW All-Area Football Team. These three members of our inaugural football team were honored in a special section of the newspaper and invited to attend an event with members of the media and New York Giants safety, Deon Grant.
School pancake eating contest was won by Bonhoeffer House’s Austin Wolfgram. The event was publicized in the Jan. 7 edition of The Augusta Chronicle.
Students who excel as ninth graders in our College-Preparatory Program may be recommended for another new course, Honors Algebra II/Geometry (10). The goals of this combined course are to reward excellent work in ninth grade, and provide students who receive departmental recommendation a means to move more quickly through the curriculum. These students will also have the opportunity to take the AP Statistics course as seniors. Mrs. Marsha Cantrell is the instructor for this new 10th grade course, and Mrs. Aimee Lynch is the AP Statistics instructor.
Pre-K & TK Have a Cow Authors in Focus Each month our Lower School students focus on a different author. Mrs. Susan McGahee, Media Specialist, reads students the books written and/or illustrated by that author and leads discussions on them. In December, the author focus was on a writer of over 30 children's books, Eric Metaxas. Some of the books Mr. Metaxas has written include "Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving," "God Made You Special," "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" and "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About God." He has also been a writer for VeggieTales and recently published a well-received biography on the Christian leader, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Mr. Metaxas will be the speaker at this year’s Commencement Ceremony.
Flipping for our Booster Club The Booster Club’s Pancake Flip at the basketball games on Jan. 8 was a big hit! Students from all grade levels were present. Halftime events included pancake flip contests for Lower and Middle School students and a pancake eating contest between the Upper School houses. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped to make it a success. After a tie-breaking “flip off ” between the fifth and first grades, the first grade emerged as the over-all Lower School pancake flip contest winner. The eighth grade class won the Middle School pancake flip contest and the Upper
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During the month of December, the Westminster Pre-K and TK classes participated in a Global Service Project that benefited the Dalits of South Asia through the organization of Gospel for Asia. After making and decorating their own banks, the preschool children took their banks home and began doing extra chores to raise money for the project. Each student was very excited that the money they raised would go toward buying stable animals for a needy family in the Dalit community. The children collected enough money to buy one pair of chickens ($11.00 a pair), two lambs ($130.00 a pair) and one cow ($375). Through the project, they learned about specific ways that each animal could aid a Dalit family’s food and income needs. Our prayer continues to be that these stable animals will demonstrate God’s love to some of these poverty stricken people of our world.
New Math Department Course Offerings The Upper School Math Department continues to improve its course offerings to challenge both the Honors and the College-Preparatory Students at Westminster. The Math Department recently added two courses to its program in order to provide more opportunities for students to be stretched mathematically. The recent addition of the senior-level Advanced Placement Calculus BC course provides a challenge for our top performers in the Honors Math Program. Mr. Matt Rich is the instructor for this course.
Celebrate 100 In January, many of our Lower School classes celebrated "100th Day." The snow days earlier this year altered the timing of the celebrations so various grades celebrated on different days. Second grade students brought in 100 items that they used in lessons throughout the day. The first grade classes had a full day of 100-themed activities. They dressed like 100-year-olds and learned about what 100 looks like in time, money, distance and more. Our TK and Pre-K classes sang songs and read books about 100, then counted out 100 snacks. The Kindergarten classes celebrated by eating a 100th Day cake while wearing funny 100 hats. This day of celebration includes various hands-on activities that allow students to “see” what 100 looks like. Check out the Westminster Flickr page to see more photos of 100th Day festivities.
Spelling Bee Winners
After placing first and second at Westminster, Alyssa Carrad and Jacob Criss competed in the Independent School Spelling Bee. Alyssa took first place at the event and advanced to 2011 Scripps Howard Regional Spelling Bee.
Congratulations to Westminster debaters who placed first and second at the Region Debate Tournament. Wesley Maddox and Hope Patterson took First Place, while Jaquavious Douglas and Arthur Rankin took second. Arthur also was awarded First Place Speaker Award and Hope Patterson received the Second Place Speaker Award.
The 2010 -11 Westminster Swim Team was comprised of 20 athletes with abilities ranging from brand new swimmers to year-round club swimmers.
The 2011 Scripps Howard Regional Spelling Bee took place on March 5 in The Augusta Chronicle’s Morris Auditorium. Alyssa came in fourth at the Regional Bee. Congratulations, Alyssa!
They were all GISA AAA State Semi-Finalists and Arthur Rankin was awarded Fifth Place Speaker Award at the State Tournament.
A Scholar and an Athlete Chandler Norris was awarded the WJBF Scholar Athlete Award in January. The segment aired on television in February and may be viewed on the 'WSA in the News' section of wsa. net. Congratulations to Chandler for excelling in athletics and academics.
Lower School Renaissance Our elementary artists are learning all about the Renaissance this semester. They are focusing on Leonardo Da Vinci's life as a painter, inventor, musician and architect. The students have examined his works, including “The Last Supper”, “Madonna of the Rocks” and “Mona Lisa”. Upcoming art topics for the Lower School will include clay sculpture art projects and a study on Michelangelo. Miss Mary Donnan Heppert wants to remind her pupils how much fun Michelangelo had while working on the Sistine Chapel ceiling for four years. To gain understanding, Westminster's young artists will draw on paper attached to the bottom of tables, while sitting on the floor underneath them.
Three Finalists Artwork from three Westminster students was among the 150 pieces from schools across the United States and Canada to be chosen as finalists for the 2011 Cray-Pas Wonderful, Colorful World Contest. Visit www.sakuraofamerica.com or www.facebook. com/CrayPas for 2011 contest updates. Congratulations to Mary Grace Apostol in second grade, Amelia Myers in third grade and Ellie Lynch in fifth grade!
Several Westminster students qualified for the GISA State meet at Georgia Tech on Feb. 5 and the team brought home many top 10 placements. For a more complete listing of results, visit wsa. net. Caroline Powell chose Philippians 3:14-15 as the team verse and prepared devotionals for bus trips to away meets. “With the coaching help of Ben Hastings and Team Manager Sarah Saxon, it was my joy to coach this team," said Coach Lynn Fulcher.
Lower School Food Drive The fifth grade classes led a canned food drive for their service learning project. A competition between classes was initiated to see which class could bring in the highest ratio of items per student and the highest total number of items. It was such a success that additional barrels had to be delivered to the school after only two weeks. All told, more than 3,100 items of nonperishable goods were collected for Golden Harvest Food Bank. Mrs. Julia Joiner’s third grade class won a pizza party with a total of 409 items donated. Though this is one of the smallest classes, they collected an average of 27 items per student! Mrs. Thornton’s Kindergarten class also won a pizza party for collecting the most cans overall. Mrs. Thornton shared on her wsa.net blog: “Because our theme for WSA this year is “Crazy Love,” we all decided that bringing in this many cans was definitely an act of “Crazy Love!” I was so proud of the kids and even told them that if we didn’t win the pizza party, we had already won because of all those people we would be helping.” Thank you to all of the families who made this a successful project.
Driving Up Westminster is offering Drivers Education on campus in June as part of Westminster Summer Programs. Russ Gladden, certified driving instructor and assistant soccer coach, will be teaching this course. This is the first year Westminster has provided this service to our parents. Sign up for this and other summer programs at wsa.net/summer.
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School News Spring 2011 continued Upper School Writing Collective Creative writing is an elective course, designed by Mr. Craig Gibbs, for proficient writers who wish to hone their craft and to explore alternate writing styles and purposes. Students have an opportunity to produce written work in fiction and poetry. The written work is not only reviewed by the instructor, but also by classroom peers during workshop sessions. “At the Tuesday class sessions, each student reads work aloud and then receives constructive comments, suggestions, criticism and praise, from the teacher and other students,” said Mr. Gibbs. The class meets twice a week during seventh period and includes students from ninth through 12th grades. When writing fiction, students will bring at least one page of work to class each week. For poetry studies, Mr. Gibbs will assign a certain number of lines to be written prior to the due date.
years. The school raises at least $8,000 each year and in 2011, the total was $9,392.25. “I love to teach the students about how to have a healthy heart, eating the right foods, talking about good nutrition and getting enough rest,” said P.E Teacher Mrs. Leisa Tebbs. The money raised also benefits our school because the AHA gives back gift certificates for Westminster to purchase equipment for PE classes with those funds.
Speese Signs with University of Florida Congratulations to Annie Speese! On National Signing Day, she signed her National Letter of Intent to play soccer with the University of Florida next year. The Augusta Chronicle, WRDW and WJBF came out to cover the event.
Middle & Upper School Art Update Several Westminster students were accepted into the Gertrude Herbert 2011 Agnes Markwalter Annual Competition and Exhibition. Students, parents, and teachers attended the opening reception held on Wednesday, March 2. Honored students in the Middle School were Susan Rankin and Edward Ruan. High School students in the exhibit were Grace Halverson, Ann Elizabeth Gore. Emily Harless, and Anne Both Middle and Upper School students created works of art to donate for this year’s Augusta Jewish Community Center Empty Bowl Luncheon that was held on March 6. This fundraiser is designed to help end hunger locally and our students exhibited "Crazy Love" by donating their works to the cause.
Thursday class sessions consist of writing time in the computer lab or instruction by Mr. Gibbs in the classroom. “I will periodically bring in stories, poems or excerpts to demonstrate effective writing strategies," he says. A unique aspect of this class is that the final project consists of a 15- to 20-page fiction manuscript or a collection of at least ten poems.
Open Houses in January 2011
Jump Rope For Heart Grades 1-5 in our Lower School enjoyed another great year of Jump Rope For Heart in support of the American Heart Association. Teachers and students wore red, white or pink as an extra reminder to improve healthy hearts, bodies, and minds. Westminster has been jump roping for the American Heart Association (AHA) for 16
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Open House events provide prospective parents with the with the ability to meet teachers, hear from current parents, tour the campus and learn about Westminster’s extraordinary Christian college preparatory Pre-K through twelfth grade curriculum. This year, the Lower School Open House was on Jan. 20 and the Middle and Upper School Open House was on Jan. 25. “We had a great turnout for both events,” reported Mrs. Aimee Lynch, Director of Admissions. “We actually had 10 more families participate in our 2011 Open House events than in 2010.”
Grandparents’ & Grandfriends’ Day The Lower School held a Grandparents’ and Grandfriends’ Day on Feb. 18 to honor these special people. Nearly 300 people joined the Lower School students for chapel service. Students recited scripture from memory and led songs of worship. After the chapel service, guests were visited the classrooms. Students were
dismissed early to spend some extra time with their visitors. We are thankful for the role that the Grandparents and the other friends play in the lives of our students.
Middle School Sock Hop On March 4, our Middle School students descended upon Pamplin Hall Gym in 50s attire for the Middle School Sock Hop event. Chad Hubbard instructed the students in line dances, the twist and other solo dances. “Chad has a lot of energy and is awesome at getting the kids involved,” said Andrea Newton, the parent event coordinator. In addition to the dances, students participated in a Elvis look-alike contest, a hoola loop contest, a bubble gum blowing contest, limbo and twister. They feasted on burgers, coke floats and popcorn.
Basketball Review Another season of Westminster Basketball has ended. The Varsity Lady Wildcats’ season
came to a close in the first round of the Region 4-AAA Tournament when they were bested by a lastsecond successful 18-foot jumper by Bulloch Academy. A season highlight included a thrilling double-overtime victory over Augusta Christian. Despite the lack of seniors on the team, the Boys Varsity Wildcats played hard and grew closer together as brothers in Christ. After a 15-12 season, the Wildcats earned the third seed at the GISA State Tournament. The Middle School Girls Basketball Team entered the CSRA Tournament at the end of the season as the fourth seed. Though they lost in the first round of the tournament, the coaches were impressed with how hard each girl worked and the improvement they witnessed by the end of the season. The Middle School boys "A" Basketball Team finished their season with a record of 8-6. Each team member demonstrated a great deal of dedication, sportsmanship, and character. The Middle
School boys “B” Team had fun building on the fundamentals during training sessions and implementing what they learned during the 10 scheduled games. More information regarding team awards is available at wsa.net.
Extra Credit with Accreditation Westminster recently went through the process to renew accreditation with the Southern Association of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SAIS-SACS). To earn accreditation, Westminster had to meet specific quality standards, be evaluated by an outside group of peer professionals and implement a school plan focused on strategic improvement and student performance. Though accreditation is voluntary and must be renewed each year, it is an important statement of the quality of a Westminster education. The visiting team spent three days on campus and reviewed copious notes and information about our school. In the end, they were pleased to recommend Westminster Schools of Augusta for renewed accreditation.
The visiting team commended: The entire WSA community for a culture of unconditional support for all (including students, faculty and staff ) integrated with a Christian world view. Of special note by all parents and students is the close relationship of faculty to their students.
The innovative approaches to differentiated learning being implemented and tested in the lower school in general and for the TK program in particular. The dynamic Prefect program enhancing student leadership and community. The excellence evident in several curricular areas including (a) the smooth and effective student transitions across divisions; (b) the quality of the fine arts offerings (c) the expansion of athletic opportunities and (d) extensive opportunities of student leadership development. The Head of School for uniting constituents behind an enthusiastic vision for the future. The school for implementing several initiatives to improve academic support of a wider range of students, including the creation of the Academic Resource Center, development of the Academic Support Team, increasing programs for summer academic support and beginning comprehensive and systematic training of teachers.
The time and thoroughness of the planning processes that have taken place in the past 18 months and that continue into implementation phases. Creating, communicating and realizing widespread enthusiasm and ownership over the strategic plan, Imagine 2020: The Road Before Us. Providing a significant number and variety of Advanced Placement and foreign language offerings, as well as finding ways to get more students taking and succeeding on the AP exams. Adding resources to, and emphasis on, professional development which has led to increased in-service days, effective curriculum mapping, more collaboration among faculty, and plans for improved differentiation of student learning through academic support initiatives.
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Alumni News Spring 2011 1988
Big brothers Tyler, Joshua and Samuel and parents Dan (’88) and Corrie Linsz welcomed Amos Christian on Dec. 30 at 2:07 p.m. He weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces and measured 20 inches long. Amos Christian Linsz
Chris Gensheer ('96) completed his Master of Divinity degree from Covenant Theological Seminary in May 2010. Prior to seminary, he worked in the fields of marketing and management for five years in Augusta. Chris and his wife, Maggie, have three children: Maya (6), Alex (4) and Jack (2). They live in Sante Fe, New Mexico where Chris is employed as a Pastoral Intern with Christ Church Santa Fe. His ministry focuses primarily on developing a leadership and small group culture within the church. He participates in regular teaching and preaching as well as generally assisting in the nurture of the health and growth of the church. He is also working toward being ordained in the PCA and serving as an Assistant Pastor at Christ Church Santa Fe.
After graduation from Harvard College, Daniel Lassiter (’00) completed his Master of Arts degree in Philosophy in New Zealand on a fellowship from the Frank Knox Foundation. He will earn his Ph.D. in linguistics from New York University this spring and was recently Kathryn (’99) offered a postdoctoral research and Emmett Turner position at Stanford University. with Mae Beginning this summer, he will work in a lab constructing and served as a groomsman in absentia as he testing computational models was deployed in Afghanistan at the time of of communication and social reasoning. the wedding. Sam is a 2006 graduate of the University of Georgia and a 2010 graduate of 2001 the University of Georgia School of Law. He Zach Pollard (’01) is involved in a program is serving as a second lieutenant in the United called Mission Year in Houston, Texas. This States Marines. Tammy is a registered nurse at one-year program emphasizes concepts of living Hilton Head Regional Hospital. The couple in community, simplicity and in underprivileged resides in Beaufort, S.C. neighborhoods for the purposes of loving God and loving people. He lives with five others in a house in the 1st Ward of Houston, Texas. They reach out to neighbors and to the homeless population. The ministry involves hospitality and between 30 and 40 hours of community service work throughout the week. Zach’s community service focuses on assisting homeless and poor musicians to pursue their musical talent through collaboration and recording . He also volunteers at Gano Mission Center with pre-teenage youth.
Sam Adams (’02) married Tammy Lynn Barfield on Sept. 25, 2010 at Christ Church Presbyterian in Evans. Other Westminster Alumni participating in the ceremony included Aaron Adams (’05), Jim Griffin(’03) and Austin Jackson (’01). Nathan Adams (’99)
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A photo of the recent riots in Egypt by David Degner (’02) was featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal in February 2011. David lives in Cairo, Egypt, where he works as a freelance photographer.
Kathryn (Tucciarone) Turner (’99) and Emmett Turner welcomed Caroline Mader Turner (Mae) on Aug. 5, 2010. The couple resides in Augusta where Kathryn is a pharmaceutical representative with Sanofi Aventis - Pasteur.
Cover photo by David Degner ('02)
Mr. and Mrs. John Cates
John Cates (’03) and Susan Kathryn Bohler were married on Oct. 23, 2010 at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta. Other Westminster graduates participating in the ceremony included Redding Cates ('00), Charles Cates ('10), Jim Griffin ('03) and Graham Roberts ('03). John graduated with a
Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of Georgia in 2007, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He is currently in his third year of the joint Juris Doctor and Masters of Business Administration degree programs at the University of Georgia School of Law and Terry College of Business.
Ashley Elizabeth Rogers (’05) married Nathan Phillip Packer on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010, at Grace United Methodist Church in North Augusta. Other Westminster alumni participating in the ceremony included Mary Charles Coleman (’05), Will Dent (’05) and Lucy Pollard (’05).
Kara Downey (’03) is in her second year of Stanford University's political science Ph.D. Ashley attended the University of Georgia program, studying political and economic for Pre-Nursing where she was a member of development in the former USSR, especially Gamma Phi Beta and is a 2010 graduate of the Central Asia. She spent the summer of 2010 Medical College of Georgia with a Bachelor of studying advanced Russian in Astrakhan, Science degree in Nursing. She is employed as a Russia, and registered nurse researching in the Emergency Kara Downey (’03) and team having tea the new Department with the Tatar family in Russia government in at Doctors Kyrgyzstan. Hospital in Kara was Augusta. Nathan recently is employed by awarded a Agrium, Inc. as Jacob K. Javits the Division Seed Graduate Manager for the Fellowship Georgia Division. from the U.S. Department 2008 of Education and hopes to spend this summer Neil Bitting (’08) and Tyler Vines (’08), both studying Persian in Tajikistan. members of the Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI), were recently elected president 2004 While completing her classics degree at Harvard of their respective chapters. Neil attends the University of Georgia College, Mary Ellen Stebbins (’04), was active and Tyler attends the College of in the college’s theater department. She recently Charleston. They met up at a Phi interned with the Broadway Tour of “Next Gamma Delta conference in St. Louis, to Normal” in Los Angeles. Additionally, she Missouri in January. was awarded the Barbizon Lighting Award for 2011 by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, Inc. (USITT), the membership association of design, production, and technology professionals in the performing arts and entertainment industry. Mary Ellen plans to complete her Master of Fine Arts degree in theatrical lighting design at Boston University in May 2011.
Savannah Carson (’08), a junior at Samford University, was recently named to the Dean’s List. She is pursuing a degree in Child Development Education and is active at The Church at Brook Hills, University Christian Fellowship and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. In the summer of 2010, Savannah visited the Ukraine to work with an orphan ministry called “(Un)Adopted!”.
Lighting design for “Susannah” by Mary Ellen Stebbins (’04)
Mr. and Mrs. Packer
The Alumni News published is submitted by alumni and friends of Westminster. Please send your Alumni News to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Alumni section of wsa.net and submit the Alumni News form.
Neil Bitting (’08) and Tyler Vines (’08)
Taylor Guido (’09) was highlighted in the Winter 2010 issue of The Legacy, a publication of the WastonBrown Foundation, Inc. She is a sophomore at the College of Charleston. Savannah Carson (’08) with a child in the Ukraine.
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Developing News be skipping a night out with the family for pizza so you can contribute to the Westminster Fund. Maybe it is even crazy enough to mean shortening a family vacation in order to contribute to capital improvements. We are so blessed by the generous hearts of so many of you and by the sacrifice of those who came before us. Please continue to support Westminster to meet our goal of providing an excellent education that equips students to live extraordinary lives for Jesus Christ. What better investment could your dollars make? I hope you enjoyed reading the article about the auction and how it has grown over the last four years. It has been amazing to see the hand of God provide in so many ways, especially this year with record-breaking attendance and more than $95,000 dollars raised. Thanks to all who helped us Reach the Peak! Though the funds generated from this event are important, the primary goal of the volunteer auction team (many of whom are pictured below) is to honor God in the work they do. After the evening, the volunteers received a meaningful email from someone outside our community who attended. This attendee wrote that they could feel the warmth of our community and could see that the Lord was the center of the night. That makes for one spectacular event! I am thankful that so many in our community have a Kingdom perspective when it comes to giving of time, talent and treasure -- whether it is for an auction, the Westminster Fund or a capital campaign. That perspective begins with the realization that nothing we have is ours to begin with. Everything belongs to the Lord; we are merely charged to be good stewards with what he gives us. Even in the secular world, we often hear, “you can’t take it with you.” In light of this reality, why do we hold on so tightly to the things that will pass away? What does this Kingdom perspective look like? It may mean missing a few hours of rest to stay up working on a fundraiser. It could
a publication of Westminster Schools of Augusta. Westminster Schools of Augusta 3067 Wheeler Road Augusta, Georgia 30909 706-731-5260
Steve O’Neil Headmaster
Craig Johnson Middle & Upper School Principal
Sue Ames Lower School Principal
I want to challenge each of you to make your gift to the Westminster Fund. It is important for everyone to participate in order to reach our goal of $300,000 by June 30. Each dollar counts and helps to bridge the 11 percent gap between the cost of tuition and the cost to educate. Because no one pays the full cost of a Westminster education, every student benefits from your gift. Return the enclosed envelope or make your gift online at www.wsa.net/ giving/westminster-fund. Every dollar makes a difference.
Many of you are in the process of preparing your taxes. In addition to your Westminster Fund gift, you can participate in the GOAL Program without any cash out of your pocket. If you are a Georgia state tax payer, you can redirect up to $2,500 of the money you would be giving to the government to Westminster through this program. Redirecting your tax dollars in this way helps us grow our school and financial aid resources. For more information, visit the giving tab on wsa.net or contact me or Maryanna Thornton at mthornton@ wsa.net.
Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our students! Gratefully,
Director of Finance and Operations
Carrie Brigham Director of Development
Mike Freace Athletic Director
Aimee Lynch Director of Admissions Director of Marketing and Communications Westminster Windows Editor
Sarah Childers Communications Coordinator
Trey Keenan Westminster Windows Design and Layout
Special thanks to the contributing photographers: Phil Ames, Carrie Brigham, Sarah Childers, Mary Donnan Heppert, Kelly Hitchcock,Vivian Hornsby, Erin Kirchhoff, Alex McCallie, Fred Merrill, Andy Moseley, Amy Owen, Sabrina Rush, and Lea Xenakis. Westminster Windows is published as a service to our alumni, families, and friends. Please submit questions, comments, or news items to email@example.com. Cover photo by Amy Owen.
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Published on Sep 16, 2013