Five Students Attend Governor's Foreign Language Academies

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Five Students Attend Governor's Foreign Language Academies Powered By Docstoc                                                                                                           Fall 2007

                 Five Students Attend Governor’s Foreign Language Academies
                                                       By Anant Shukla, Class of 2008

                                                                         The top students of Maggie Walker‘s Foreign Language De-
                                                                         partment spent their first three weeks of summer without cell
                                                                         phone, computer access, and communication with the outside
                                                                         world at the Virginia Governor‘s Foreign Language Acad-
                                                                         emies. After a grueling application process, all five students
                                                                         nominated were selected for their respective academies. There
                                                                         are six language academies, with Japanese, Latin, and Russian
                                                                         being partial immersion programs, and French, German, and
                                                                         Spanish being total immersion. Juniors Will Shimer and Caro-
                                                                         line Martin attended the Latin and Russian Academies and
                                                                         Seniors Anna Mohan and Steven Bailey attended the Spanish
                                                                         and German Academies. I attended the French Academy.

                                                                            I was a bit hesitant after being accepted, as were my friends
                                                                            Anna and Steven, about what exactly I was going to experi-
                                                                            ence. It was three weeks, which seemed like a rather long time
                                                                            with no outside contact, and being total immersion academies,
Left to right: Anant Shukla, Steven Bailey, and Anna Mohan                  we thought it would be difficult to totally transition into an-
                                                                            other language. Upon the conclusion of the opening ceremo-
nies, we had to take an oath promising to only speak in the target language of our programs. As students at the program, we were
expected to stay in our own little worlds and we were not even allowed to associate with other academies. For the total immersion
students, our director described it as ―speaking, thinking, and dreaming‖ in the target language, and anything else was prohibited.
Though difficult at first, after just the first day, we had eased into our languages and even started to really enjoy the moment.

 There were two events that brought the entire Global Village together. The second week, Olympic games were held between all the
 academies in the heart of VCU‘s campus, the location of this year‘s program. More than three hundred students were seen parading
 through the streets of Richmond, dancing in front of the Landmark Theater, and
 engaging in competitive sports in their respective uniforms. It aroused the patri-
 otic spirit in all of us that we had nurtured during the first week, yet it was all fun INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
 and it allowed for multi-cultural understanding between all of us. Though the             Letter from the Director               2
 Spanish received the silverware, we were all winners that day. The next week, an
 International Fair was held where all the foods and crafts of the six cultures were       PTSA News                              2
 exhibited for the general enjoyment of all. The only rule that night was that no          Media Center Update                    3
 English could be spoken, but aside from this, we were free to bargain and haggle          Scouting Honors                        3
 in whichever language we found was most effective.
                                                                                            Booster News                             4-5
 Though it may seem intense and hard-core, and not the way you would want to                Student Profiles                        5, 10
 spend your summer, we can all agree that we were privileged to enjoy a truly life-         Summer Snippets                          6-9
 changing experience. From learning Italian, Japanese, and Lingala, to beating the
                                                                                            Club News                              10, 11
 other academies in soccer games, we all learned much more in those three weeks
 than most can ever achieve during regular classroom instruction. We made friend-           Faculty News                               11
 ships that will last a lifetime, and as Steven put it, ―Es war ein gutes Erleb-            Fall Festival Highlights                   12
 nis!” (It was a good experience.)
 Connections                                                            2                                                         Fall 2007

Welcome to the 2007-2008 School Year                                          Letter from the Director
By Debbie Sawyer, PTSA President
                                                                              Dear Parents and Students –
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the start of a suc-
cessful school year. With 700 students from 11 different areas,               Thank you for all you did to help us open the new school
this is a huge accomplishment. Parents have already supported                 year. Your enthusiasm, cooperation, and adhering to dead-
PTSA by activities such as filling out the volunteer & directory              lines and time schedules, helped us get off to a great start.
forms, participating in the membership drive & annual campaign,               Some highlights so far are the following:
through Virginia Diner Peanut sales, subscribing to Smoke and                     School started and 690 of our 700 students had paid
Scales, purchasing Scrip, hosting a teacher appreciation luncheon,                all their fees!!
working at the community service fair, providing freshman donuts,                 Two days of freshman orientation were held with 189
attending back to school night, buying new and exciting school                    excited students.
spirit wear, and attending school coffees.                                        Back-to-school night drew an overflowed auditorium,
Thanks to the leadership of Joan Yates and the hard work of her                   the biggest crowd in the 6 years I have been here.
committee of volunteers, Fall Festival was a huge success - thank                 Our new faculty members have brought new and ex-
you to the parents, teachers, students, and clubs that participated.              citing ideas to our school.
                                                                                  Our incumbent faculty and staff have picked up where
The student directory should be available the first week of Novem-                they left off and are working hard to provide your
ber. These will come home through your student. Extra copies                      child with the best possible education.
will be available in November for purchase in the school book                     Our parents are involved in supporting all phases of
store.                                                                            school life.
Parent coffees will be held throughout the school year to enable
                                                                              For these reasons and many more, Maggie Walker pro-
parents to stop by, chat, and get to know someone new. Dates are
                                                                              vides all of us a public high school that we can be proud
on the school calendar and will be advertised in Smoke and Scales.
                                                                              of. As our school has grown to 700 students, it is more
Scrip gift card sales are off to a great start. If you have not pur-          important than ever to have everyone working together.
chased scrip, I would encourage you to place a small order and see            We recognize how fortunate we are to have your support
how it works. The school receives a percentage of the cost of the             daily, as well as, throughout the school year and hope this
gift cards from the merchants, and there is no extra charge to you.           year is the best year yet for you and your family.
The order dates (Mondays) and pick up dates (usually one week
                                                                              The fall is full of opportunities for your family to show
later) are on the school calendar under SCRIP. Any questions con-
                                                                              support of your child and our school. Activities such as
tact Anne Ritko or Margie Swart.
                                                                              Fall Festival, Homecoming, Parent-Teacher Conferences,
The Silent Auction on February 9, 2008, will be here before you               Fall Drama production, athletic contests, and our Open-
know it. Start thinking now about what you can donate to the si-              House and recruiting efforts, provide all with a chance to
lent auction (no item is too small) as there are a wide variety of            ―do your part‖ to join the Dragon Family. Hope to see you
items auctioned off. Craft items, vacation homes, dinners, des-               are some of these activities.
serts, baskets of assorted items, airline tickets, jewelry, pottery,
theatre tickets, and restaurants vouchers are just a few of the items         Sincerely,
featured. An invitation will come home with a response card                   Douglas Hunt, Director
sometime in January. This event usually sells out so reserve your
tickets early for this fantastic event.
Check the PTSA website at and look on the
right hand side under PTSA for any information you may need.                             Pre-paid Lunch Cards
Do not hesitate to call anyone on the board, or committee chairs to                      Save Time and Money
volunteer and or ask questions. Watch for information in Smoke
and Scales, the weekly email newsletter. With 700 students, all the         Students may now buy pre-paid lunch cards for faster service
parents, and the wonderful faculty and administration, how can this         and better value in the cafeteria line at school. A card costing
not be the best year for Maggie Walker Governor‘s School?                   $20 is worth $21 toward purchases from the cafeteria line – a
                                                                            20 percent bonus value. In addition, there will be expedited
                                                                            service for people using cards instead of cash.
                 2007-2008 PTSA Officers
   President:                                                               Students may purchase cards using cash or check made out to
   Debbie Sawyer 360-2128                           ―Cake Sculptures by Michael.‖ Cards can be purchased or
   Vice President, Membership:                                              have additional value added to them daily in the cafeteria of-
   Belle Bronner 364-0325                                   fice between 8:15-10:15 a.m. and 12:30-1:30 p.m.
   Vice President, Programs:                                                Cards are valid in the lunch line only – they do not work in
   Alice Condro, 594-0204
                                                                            snack or drink machines. If lost they cannot be replaced, so
                                                                            students are encouraged to write their names on cards and
   Anne Randall 364-2688
   Recording Secretary:
                                                                            keep them safe, as they would cash.
   Jana Rairden 355-4244
Connections                                                         3                                                     Fall 2007

                Our School’s Governing Board
                                 By Patty Nicholas
   Because ours is a regional school that is not part of any individual local school
system, MLWGS has its own school board, called the Regional Board. The Re-
                                                                                               Scouting Honors
gional Board consists of one school board member from each locality that sends                 Kelsey Sawyer (‘09) earned her
students to the school. The board sets policy and approves budget, hiring and con-       Gold Award from coordinating her ef-
tract matters.                                                                           forts with Hospital Hospitality House
    Parents are welcome to attend its monthly meetings, which are usually held on        between February and September. She
the third Thursday of each month at 9 a.m. in the board room on the second floor of      offered services and activities which
the school. Check the online daily calendar at to confirm            provided an outlet and happy distraction
individual dates and times.                                                              for families and patients who reside
    The current chair of the board is John Axselle from the Hanover County school        there during a medical crisis. Kelsey
board, and the vice chair is Ivan Mattox from Goochland.                                 held craft workshops, movie nights,
Consider Our School When You Vote                                                        food drives, bingo nights, dinners,
    Remember when considering candidates for your local school board that its            lunches and a final dinner that featured a
members play an important role in MLWGS as well as your local schools.                   Hawaiian Luau.
Whether serving on our Regional Board or participating in the local school board‘s             Meredith Ritko (‘09) completed the
decisions about sending students to MLWGS or about supporting the school in              requirements for her Girl Scout Gold
other ways, those local school board members make a difference to our school.            Award in summer 2007. She helped set
Two Other Panels Help Govern                                                             up the library and assisted in the open
    Supporting the Regional Board in its work is the Steering Committee. It is made      house at Colonial Trail, a new elemen-
up of the superintendents of schools from each of the localities with students at the    tary school that opened this fall in Hen-
school. Those superintendents review and develop policies for consideration by the       rico County.
Regional Board in addition to providing information and practical support to the               Rae Kennedy (‘08) earned the Girl
board.                                                                                   Scout Gold Award in May 2007 for her
    Also at work in governing MLWGS is the Planning Committee, which consists            work in developing a board game for
of one administrator from each school system, in many cases the coordinator of           autistic children which she donated to
gifted education. The Planning Committee develops and oversees the admissions            two area elementary schools' special
process and also assists the school director in carrying out the mission of the          education classes.
school.                                                                                        Ben Rollin (‘08) earned his Eagle
   The PTSA would like to thank the members of all of these boards for their ongo-       Rank this summer. He built a sixteen
ing work for the benefit of our school.                                                  foot bridge in Rockwood Park in Ches-
                                                                                         terfield County.
                                                                                               Harrison Gebs (‘08) earned his
                                                                                         Eagle Scout Award. His project was
                                                                                         building an amphitheater at Spring Run
                Check Out New Web Site for the                                           Elementary School.
                    Library Media Center                                                       Matthew Gizzi (‘09) Eagle Rank
      Ms. Sellors (library media specialist for MLWGS) is soliciting feedback about      project was done to benefit Lamb's Bas-
the new library web site currently in development:        ket, a local food bank and a smaller op-
      You‘ll find familiar features here, such as a link to the online library catalog   eration than Central Va. Food Bank. He
and to the valuable online resources (like JSTOR) to which the library subscribes        conducted food drives at both Maggie
(see the Articles page). You‘ll also discover new features, such as a Tools page         Walker and Deep Run High School,
highlighting free, web-based tools for organizing, sharing, and documenting re-          collecting 590 pounds of food and then
search, and a News page with quick access to popular publications and links to           delivered it and put the food away for
world news, including news in other languages. Access to most sources linked to          Lamb's Basket. Then, he supervised the
from the Articles and News pages require a user name and/or password. Encourage          building of a counter along one wall of
your student(s) to stop by the library to pick up this information.                      their warehouse, so when churches and
      One of the goals of the new site is to facilitate interaction and collaboration.   individuals brought food donations,
The site integrates the use of, a bookmark management tool that supports     there was a place to check the food in.
collaborative creation, annotation, and sharing of online resources selected by fac-           Michael Armstrong (‘09) earned
ulty and students. It is also in a blog format which will allow Ms. Sellors to add       the rank of Eagle Scout in 2006 with the
brief posts about books, research tips, and other observations to the site each week.    construction of four benches in the front
These posts may be browsed by topic tag or date, or located with the site‘s search       of Maggie Walker.
      Please review the site and feel free to share your feedback with Ms. Sellors.
Her goal is for the new site to become the ―official‖ media center link from the
school‘s home page no later than the end of October.
 Connections                                                                   4                                                           Fall 2007

               Athletic Boosters News                                                    SAVE THE DATE—MAY 19, 2008 11:00 AM
         By Yvonne Mullins, President, Athletic Boosters                           The Athletic Booster Club is sponsoring a golf tournament at the
      Great news . . . As of September 19, we have 101 families                    prestigious Dominion Club to benefit the athletes of Maggie L.
who joined our boosters with donations over $24,000. It is only                    Walker Governor‘s School. The cost will be $150 for an individ-
with the support and membership of our Dragon families that we                     ual or $600 for a team of four. Golfers will receive a gift bag, a
are able to help our athletic department to the high degree that we                box lunch, beverages and dinner at the Dominion Club afterwards.
do. We encourage all families to support our boosters pro-                         To register for the tournament, to donate gifts for the golfers, or to
gram. Our goal is 100% participation for each sport. If your                       suggest an avenue of sponsorship we may not yet have considered,
child is an athlete at the school, the athletic department deserves                contact Tournament Co-Director Karl Dydak 804 543-6826 or
your support. Annually we give $36,000 directly back to the ath-                   Cathy Thibeault 804 240-8097.
letic department to help with the coaches' needs in every
sport. (What the coaches ask for, they usually get!) We invite
you to go to our website and download a membership form                                        MLWGS Academic Teams:
there. (                                                   Did You Know...?
aboosters.html) Your checks can be made payable to MLWGS
                                                                                                   By Liz Mebane, Academic Boosters
Athletic Boosters Club and mailed to 1000 N. Lombardy Street,
Richmond, VA 23220.                                                                      Did you know that the MLWGS BOB Squad team is cur-
      Our scoreboard project has been delayed, we anticipate a                     rently #1 in the nation? Did you know that the seniors on our
late fall installation. We apologize to those to whom we promised                  BOB Squad team missed their Senior Night last year because they
a scoreboard in place in the spring, but that's life!                              had to drive to a competition in Michigan? Did you know that the
      The athletic boosters have proposed a "season pass" to the                   MLWGS Robotics team has an annual budget of over $20,000?
athletic department. You can buy a pass for $25 which will allow                   Did you know that the total budget of the MLWGS academic
you to view 6 sporting events (any season, any time). Since most                   teams exceeds $80,000 per year?
events cost $5, buying a pass will get you one free game per                             The Academic Boosters Club provides much needed reve-
card. What a deal. You must see Paige Hawkins to buy your                          nue for academic team travel and activities, plus much deserved
season pass. The season pass is good only for MLWGS home                           recognition for their many national and state awards. The acco-
events that charge admission and is not valid at any district, re-                 lades earned by these teams benefit every student in the school by
gional, or state event.                                                            bringing national attention to our school and making college ad-
      We are pleased to have new freshman families joining us for                  mission officers and other officials aware of the excellent educa-
our monthly board meetings. We always are looking for "fresh                       tion available at MLWGS. The club represents the following
blood" to help with the auction, golf tournament, and general fund                 teams: BOB Squad, Chess, Debate, Destination Imagination,
-raising. Do you have an idea, an issue, want to help raise money                  Forensics, Lifesmarts, Model Congress, Model UN, Pugwash,
for our athletes, or are looking for a group to plug in to? All ath-               Robotics, and Technology Student Association.
letic booster members are welcome to come to our meetings held                           The Academic Boosters Club parent volunteers raise funds
the third Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in room 105. Please                       for the academic teams during an annual membership drive, at
contact Yvonne Mullins at if you have                        Fall Festival and at the auction. Thanks to generous donations
any questions on the Athletic Boosters' program.                                   last year, Academic Boosters Club was able to award four teams
      The Athletic Boosters officers for 2007-2008 are President                   $2250 each to help with travel and other team activities. How-
Yvonne Mullins, Vice-President Mark Askin, Secretary Judy Wil-                     ever, that was only a fraction of the funds needed. Parents of
kinson, and Co-Treasurers Rebecca McGuire and Mathis Powel-                        team participants still must provide a significant portion of their
son.                                                                               student‘s expenses.
                                                                                         The Academic Boosters Club also sponsors the team banners
                                                                                   hanging in the Student Commons. Again, thanks to generous
  Connections is published three times per year—Fall, Winter & Spring. It is
  the paper newsletter of the MLWGS PTSA. Our news comes from our read-
                                                                                   donations, we were able to have a banner made for every aca-
  ers – let us know about team competitions, student and faculty awards, as        demic team. However, they must be updated each year. Parent
  well as other interesting activities that show the spectrum of life at the       volunteers are needed for this important task.
  school.                                                                                The current active members of the Academic Boosters Club
                                                                                   all have seniors this year. New volunteers are needed to ensure
  Send submissions and story ideas to
  Lisa Byles, Editor,                                        that the club survives. All parents are welcome, whether your
                                                                                   student participates on an academic team or not. We are a low-
  Connections Staff                                                                key group. You can do as little or as much as you would like.
  Writers: Patty Nicholas,
                                                                                   Specifically, the club needs volunteers to assist with fundraising
  Layout: Karen Akens,
  Mailing: Cathy Hermes,                                   during the membership drive, Fall Festival, and the auction, and
                                                                                   to assist in updating the team banners in the Commons. Also, the
   The PTSA also publishes a weekly Smoke and Scales which is delivered            club would like a parent or student to represent each academic
  by e-mail. This e-newsletter provides news and notices of interest to the
                                                                                   team to improve communication between the academic teams and
  MLWGS community. Please send articles and subscription inquiries to:                                                             the booster club.
                                                                                         Interested? Watch Smoke & Scales for future meeting dates
  Both Connections and Smoke & Scales are available on the school website.         and times. For further information, contact Liz Mebane (379-
                                                                                   2320; or Lucretia McCulley (272-6675;
 Connections                                                          5                                                        Fall 2007

    Exciting Developments in MLWGS                                         Turn Your Radio On…. to Zoe Golden
             Drama Program                                                                       By Patty Nicholas
                 By Cindy Hendren, Drama Boosters
    Don‘t miss the excitement promised this year by MLWGS‘                    What started for
Drama program and students. If you‘ve seen past shows, you                Zoe Golden (‘09) as
already know that MLWGS DRAMA has arrived!                                a quest for interest-
    Grant Mudge is in his third year as head of a very dynamic            ing community ser-
Drama program. Productions last year included Shakespeare‘s               vice has developed
The Winter’s Tale, a staged reading of The House of Bernarda              into a many-faceted
Alba, in English and in Spanish, student selected and directed            passion. Zoe has
One-Acts and Our Town. Elizabethan Rout rounded out the year.             combined her inter-
    MLWGS is unique among North American high schools in                  ests in music and
that it stages a Shakespeare production every year. This coming           journalism by volun-
year, the fall play will be Hamlet in mid November. Production            teering at commu-
of this play will involve a cast of forty students. Add to this the       nity radio station
costumers, technicians, set construction crew, and ushers, before         WRIR, Richmond Indy Radio, beginning last school year.
opening night more than one hundred people will have labored on               She began as a member of the News and Talk Department,
Hamlet to make it come alive. Because the students‘ gifts and             acting as sound board operator for the news programs on Fri-
talents are so strong, Mr. Mudge is able to attempt complex tex-          day afternoons – a job she continues to do. From there, her role
tual productions like last year‘s The Winter’s Tale and this year‘s       at the station has grown: Zoe, her sister and her mother host a
Hamlet.                                                                   music program, the Tuesday morning ―Breakfast Blend‖ from
    Due to the success of last year‘s staged reading, another is          6-8 a.m. on WRIR. Tune in to 97.3 FM before school to hear
planned in conjunction with the foreign language department.              their musical selections, which Zoe describes as ―under giant
Student directed One-Acts can be seen in February and don‘t miss          umbrella of rock but a big range of music.‖ Also on Saturdays
the main stage production of the spring musical (TBA) or Elizabe-         from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Zoe hosts the music program, ―We're a
than Rout.                                                                Happy Family,‖ on WDCE, the University of Richmond radio
    Look for a change in the Black Box. A big thank you to                station.
Stephen Gizzi and his Scout Troop (and parents!) who are build-              In addition, Zoe and her sister started the WRIR Community
ing a new lumber storage unit for the Drama Department. Please            Calendar, which they write, voice and produce, and which airs
stop by the Black Box and see the improvements for yourself.              twice daily weekdays. The Community Calendar has now be-
The Props Room will receive a makeover too.                               come a vehicle for Zoe and the team to train other youth in
    MLWGS‘ Drama program is so successful due to the great                radio production.
amount of support, from faculty, staff and parents. Drama Boost-             To share what she has learned in her work, Zoe led a jour-
ers provide valuable assistance throughout the year; raising funds,       nalism workshop for other young people at the Richmond
providing dinners during rehearsals, assisting with sewing, assist-       Peace Education Center Youth Peace Summit in May. This
ing in the box office, to name just a few volunteer opportunities.        summer, she attended the Urban Journalism Workshop at
      Our students will be benefit this year from visits from guest       VCU, sponsored by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Dow
speakers and performers such as the Ivory Coast dancers who               Jones Newspaper Fund and VCU.
visited MLWGS on October 12. On November 1 we will enjoy a                   Looking to the future, Zoe is not sure where her radio work
presentation by Russian students who perform Shakespeare in               will lead, except that she would like to attend a college with a
English. Adding to the excitement of the year, there are plans            radio station where she can continue to pursue her passions for
underway for a possible trip to New York during Spring Break.             music and broadcast journalism. Already she has a wealth of
      Be sure to attend the productions this year and don‘t miss          knowledge and experience to offer.

                                                         Music Notes
        The Music Boosters provide financial and volunteer support to all of the music programs at MLWGS. It‘s not too late to
  join the Music Boosters—dues are $25 per year and go directly towards supporting music activities. Please contact Karen Akens
  ( for more information. Joining the boosters also gives you the opportunity to be part of our yahoo e-mail
  group which is a great way to stay up to date on the happenings in the Music programs.
        The Music Boosters are pleased to welcome the three new faculty members this year who lead the music programs: Karl
  von Klein—Jazz Bands, Regine Barrau—Orchestra, and Selina Heslep—Chorus. We look forward to working with them and to
  the wonderful things they have planned for each of our musical groups.
        Four orchestra students were recently selected to the SRO—congratulations to Benjamin Swartz (Principal cello), Emily
  Zhang (cello), Hunter Dyson (violin) and Moghe Kiram (viola).
                                      Mark your calendars now for upcoming concert dates:
                                        Winter Concert—December 13, 2007 @ 7:00 p.m.
                                            Spring Concert—April 3, 2008 @ 7:00 p.m.
Connections                                                             6                                                             Fall 2007

   Sampling of Summer Student Activities                                 Brown's home and swam at one of the local lakes. He drove down
                                                                         to Colorado Springs where he went to the Seven Falls, the Garden of
                As submitted by students and parents
                                                                         the Gods and Pikes Peak. From there he went to Boulder, CO where
Editor’s Note: Be careful of what you wish for – when a request
                                                                         he played in the Boulder River looking for gold, took a trip up to the
was sent out by email asking for parents and students to tell us
                                                                         Nederlands near Boulder and dined at an authentic German restau-
about ―How I Spent My Summer Vacation‖ we were over-
                                                                         rant and experienced Sauerbraten for the first time, which he thor-
whelmed with responses. As you will see, we have essays, para-
                                                                         oughly enjoyed.
graphs, and short but sweet blurbs describing an incredible va-
riety of experiences. Our students travel far and wide for edu-          Chris Rowekamp (‘08) went on a mission trip with his youth group
cation, community service, and fun! They also participate in             to Oradea, Romania. They worked through the host church and
many wonderful activities right here at home. We had to edit             helped with construction projects, visited at a children's hospital,
some for length, but we tried our best to maintain the integrity         and participated in evangelistic events. They also spent a day tour-
of what was submitted. Thank you for all who wrote. LHB                  ing a couple of castles including "Dracula's Castle". Contrasting
                                                                         this with the extreme poverty that they saw as they traveled was eye
Aileen Jane Dollete (‘09) worked for four weeks this summer as a
                                                                         -opening for Chris.
chemistry laboratory teaching assistant for Dr. C. Taylor at Virginia
State University. "The experience has given me an idea of what a         David Sawchak (‗07) spent the better part of a week in Yosemite
college lab course setting is like which is very valuable to me be-      National Park last July, climbing rocks and taking photo-
cause I plan to major in chemistry."                                     graphs. Bridal Falls and Sentinel Dome, along with Half Dome in
                                                                         moonlight, were favorite targets at the park. He also took some
Ana Martinez de Andino (‘09) traveled to Spain this summer. She
                                                                         photos of the Hearst mansion in San Simeon (famous from its depic-
spent two weeks with her family as they visited several locations
                                                                         tion in Orson Wells‘ film ―Citizen Kane‖). He spent the remainder
including Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia.
                                                                         of July acting in Richmond Shakespeare‘s ―Henry IV, Part 1‖, play-
Andrew Goodfellow (‘08) attended the Junior Statesmen Summer             ing the sheriff, tavern keeper, a messenger and a soldier. The play
School at Georgetown University, taking an Honors Constitutional         was performed at Agecroft Hall.
Law course. His class visited the Saudi Arabian and Israeli embas-
                                                                         Dahlia Mignouna (‘08) I stayed for a month in Belgium and France
sies, the State Department, and the Agriculture Department. An-
                                                                         with family before heading south to Kenya for 6 weeks. It was an
drew heard many notable speakers, including Karl Rove, Richard
                                                                         amazing trip. In addition to taking lessons to improve my French
Armey, Jim Clyburn, and Dennis Kucinich. The highlight of his
                                                                         writing, I went from taking pictures of Paris from the Eiffel Tower
class was seeing all nine Supreme Court Justices as they read three
                                                                         one day to spending an entire afternoon with my godmother in a tiny
decisions near the end of the term.
                                                                         Belgian village renowned for its small bookstores (I think nearly all
Andrew Fallen (‗10) flew solo to Italy this summer to visit family       the buildings in the village were bookstores). While I was in
friends who live in Lake Como.                                           Kenya, I visited all the different parts of Nairobi (the capital city):
Benjamin Eichler (‘09) is spending his junior year in Germany on a from the areas where many international organizations including the
youth exchange scholarship. He will live with a German family in         United Nations have offices, to one of the biggest slums in Africa
Enger for the school year, returning to Richmond in June 2008 to         where I volunteered with an organization which has a school for
complete his senior year at Maggie Walker.                               hearing-impaired students in the slums. It was unforgettable sum-
Ben Kenzer (‘10) spent one month in England, Scotland, & Wales
and traveled to Philadelphia to see the King Tut and the Golden Age David Reed (‗09) spent about a month in Erlangen, Germany as part
of the Pharaohs Exhibition. He also traveled to Boston.                  of a German American Partnership Program exchange. The heart of
                                                                         the exchange is the integration of students into the everyday life of
Ben Rollin (‘08) participated in the Japan exchange program.             their host families and into the classroom activities of their host
Ben Swartz (‘08) continued his summer cello studies with six weeks schools. During his time in Germany, David went to school at the
at Encore, a strings camp held near Cleveland, Ohio, sponsored by        Albert Schweitzer Gymnasium. He also toured Regensburg, Mu-
the Cleveland Institute of Music.                                        nich, Berlin, and Nuremberg (among other sights). One highlight of
                                                                         his visit included seeing an outdoor performance of ―Tosca‖ in Aus-
Besan Abu-Joudeh (‘08) represented the state of Virginia at the          tria.
GIRLS‘ Nation program in Washington, DC. In order to attend this Clemens Bonse, son of David‘s German host, traveled to the US in
unique "hands on" Federal Government training session, one must          mid-August and stayed through September 9. This was his third
first have attended a Girls State session and been selected by that      stay with the Reed family, and he was able to attend the first week
state to represent them at Girls Nation. The Girls Nation "senators" of classes with David at Maggie Walker. He really enjoyed the
are divided into two political "parties". The parties do not reflect the classes that he attended, and Clemens sends his heartfelt thanks to
two major political parties in today's system, but allow citizens to     the teachers and students who gave him such a warm welcome.
gain a special knowledge of how the system works. (from the Girls
Nation website)                                                          Danny Yates (‗09) traveled to France for a home stay with a French
                                                                         family. He stayed in the small town of Pierrevert in Provence.
Charles Capuano (‘09) and one of his friends visited his grandpar-
ents in the Catskill mountains in New York. They spent a week and Devon Ericksen (‘08) This summer I started my senior mentorship
a half swimming and hiking. He built a "pond" in the stream behind with the Richmond Times Dispatch Photography Department. I was
the house, camped with his friend across the stream and built a bet- able to accompany photographers on assignments and take pictures,
ter camp site. Later in the summer he flew to Phoenix,                   which I really enjoyed. I learned the methods that the photogra-
AZ. and went to one of the Vortexes in Sedona, saw the Painted           phers use to edit the digital photos and about the ethical responsibili-
Desert, went to Sliding Rock; which is a natural water park in the       ties of a photojournalist. Occasionally I sat in on the meetings of the
Beaver River, and he visited the Grand Canyon. While in Denver           head newspaper editors as they put the next day's newspaper to-
he went to the Money Museum, passed the Unsinkable Molly                 gether. I have also been lucky enough to get some of my photos
                                                                         published in the newspaper.
Connections                                                             7                                                          Fall 2007

Doc McConnell (‘08) completed an internship this year. He worked        Jack Scher (‘10) and his family went to Costa Rica for a month this
with staff at the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of          summer. They did a Spanish immersion program for 4 weeks and
Hearing, traveling around the state to help interpret in a variety of   traveled a little on the weekends.
situations, including going to court. He was able to attend a 3-day
                                                                        Jackie Tissiere (‘11) traveled to Greece and Italy on a trip spon-
convention in Williamsburg, and significantly improved both his         sored by teachers at Moody Middle School. Her trip began in Ath-
interpreting skills and his knowledge of the deaf community and         ens, Greece and eight days later ended in Rome, Italy. In between
culture in Virginia.                                                    she visited Delphi, Greece – home of the famous Oracle; Olympia,
Ellen Nicholas (‘09)                                                    Greece – where the first Olympic Games were held (Jackie and the
had an exchange student                                                 other students got to race on the first Olympic Stadium track); Pom-
from France this sum-                                                   peii, Italy – an ancient city destroyed by the still active volcano
mer. It wasn't an offi-                                                 Mount Vesuvius; and the Isle of Capri – playground for the rich and
cial exchange program -                                                 famous. They also explored the ancient ruins of the Acropolis in
- she came to us through                                                Greece and the Coliseum in Rome.
a friend of a friend --                                                 James Billard (‘10) traveled to Salamanca, Spain with his sister
but it was a wonderful
                                                                        Christine and his friend Austin Moore. He studied at Letra His-
cross-cultural experi-                                                  panica for four weeks this summer. While in Spain he saw the run-
ence and the student                                                    ning of the bulls in Pamplona and the Roman Aqueducts in Sego-
was delightful. We had
a lot of fun with her,
and some of the most fun was talking and joking about American          J.H. Vivadelli (‘09) went with the high school youth of his church,
words and phrases that we use all of the time and don't notice, but     Third Presbyterian Church, to Baja, Mexico for 10 days. They flew
which jumped out at her ("a lotta," "right now," "amazing,"             into San Diego, stayed overnight at Point Loma University, then
"actually," "gotta," .... ).                                            took buses into Baja where they set up tents and worked along side
                                                                        Armor Ministries building homes for two families in that commu-
Emily Qiu ('10) and her brother Allen Qiu('11) spent the summer in      nity. J.H. said it was an incredible experience and he would do
China and Africa along with their family. In China they spent a         again without hesitation.
great deal of time visiting relatives and traveling in Southwestern
China. They returned to the US for two days and then departed           Jonathan Kim (‘11) ―I went on a mission trip with my Youth
to South Africa where they explored Johannesburg and the Kruger         Group, then I went to Slovakia to teach English (I taught an arts and
National Park. They flew up North and spent two days in Nai-            craft class there). This was my second trip to Slovakia, where I
robi. They went on safaris in the Ngorongoron Crater Conservation       consider my second home to be, to teach English. I learned a lot
Area in Tanzania as well as in South Africa. They had a wonderful       about European culture and made new international friends."
time learning about the different cultures of the Ma'sai and other       Jordan Pridgen (‗08) went on the three week Italy trip with teach-
native people as well as spending time in the cosmopolitan cities        ers Steven Ross and Susan Hefty. Despite 8 students spending
and visiting the diamond mines.                                          most of the trip without luggage, everyone had a fabulous time.
                                    Emlyn Crenshaw (‘11) spent days Jordan said the trip was "More fun than I ever thought an educa-
                                    and nights in the professional       tional trip could be! Mr. Ross knows EVERYTHING about Italy
                                    regional theatre premiere of Dis- and his lectures and information made the trip fascinating.‖
                                    ney‘s High School Musical, pro- Kaitlan Lawrence
                                    duced by Barksdale Theatre and       (‘09) ―I wanted to
                                    The Steward School. With over        do a summer mis-
                                    250 people auditioning, Emlyn        sion trip, but my
                                    ended up being the youngest in a church wasn't
                                    cast of 36 that featured musical     sponsoring one
                                    theatre ―All-Stars‖ from 22 dif-     until next summer.
                                    ferent high schools all across       So, I decided to fly
                                    Central Virginia. The production by myself to meet
                                    ran for 3 weeks at The Cramer        a group from the
                                    Center for the Arts, selling out all Virginia Baptist
                                    16 shows.                            Mission Board for
Ese Shaw (‘10) traveled to Japan. Here is a quote from him:              a construction project in Grenada. I raised all of the money myself
"Japan, the land of the rising sun, was a place full of very friendly    by writing letters asking for sponsorship from my friends and fam-
people, crowded streets and delicious food. The cities were              ily and taking donations in lieu of gifts at my Sweet Sixteen this
squeaky clean, as well as the subways, packed with people busy on past December.‖
their cell phones, probably discussing the delicious food. The cars      Karen Brown (‘08) was a counselor at the YMCA Camp Seafarer in
were boxlike and very cool looking, the toilet seats were heated         Arapahoe, N.C. She achieved enough experience in motor boating
and more technologically advanced, overall it was an amazing ex-         the year before as a counselor in leadership training to be on the
perience and I loved the delicious food."                                motor boating staff. She took care of the campers as well and her
Harrison Gebs (‗08) went to Boys State at Liberty University, went cabin staff won counselors of the week during their time there. For
to the Summer Seminar at the Air Force Academy in Colorado, and the first session of camp, her cabin won "honor cabin" for the ses-
went to the Summer Seminar at the Naval Academy in Maryland.             sion.
 Connections                                                               8                                                           Fall 2007

Kasia Clarke (‘09) Our family went to Spain this summer for six                                               last week she lived with a French
weeks. My brother, mother, and I lived in a dorm at the University of                                         family in Angers, which is lo-
Santiago and took Spanish classes. In Santander, we lived in                                                  cated in the Loire Valley in
an apartment with our house mother Mercedes, two boys                                                         Northern France. Before that,
from England, and a French woman. My dad and younger brother                                                  she spent two weeks studying in
joined us for the last two weeks as we explored Barcelona and the                                             St. Malo, where she experienced
Costa Brava. Here is a list I compiled about the good things about                                            her first French Independence
Spain:                                                                                                        Day, the fourteenth of July. You
     Crosswalks. There are crosswalks at almost every corner, and                                             can see pictures from Linnea's
cars actually stop! They are required, by law, to stop if they see a                                          trip at
person waiting to cross. It‘s amazing.                                     web/french/abroad/ and click on Highlights 2007.
     People walk everywhere here. If they can‘t walk, that‘s okay,         Madelaine Spangler (‘09) Her mother wrote ―Our family went to
because there‘s a good public transportation system.                       Africa this summer, we spent the first week in South Africa on safari
                                                                           (photo safari, that is) at a game reserve called Zulu Nyala. Then we
     Churches are open so that you can go in to sit and think quietly.
                                                                           flew down to the very bottom of the continent to Cape Town and The
There is always some place to go if you need space to facilitate con-      Cape of Good Hope for 4 days, and then spent 3 days in the wine
necting with your God.                                                     country. Of particular interest may be the day we spent with a guide
    Seista. I like having a rest time for two hours a day after lunch.     learning about Apartheid first hand, including a tour of where blacks
     Ice cream is quite popular here. Heladerias have homemade ice         and "coloreds" were banished and how people are trying to rebuild
cream that is very good.                                                   their lives. It was very humbling.‖
Europe has a lot of parks, and Spain is no exception. There are lots of
                                                                    Marie Bertonneau (‗08) spent
grassy areas with benches. Couples tend to occupy most of benches   more than 100 volunteer hours
talking and kissing. There are empty benches if I feel like sitting,this summer researching, de-
though.                                                             signing and painting a beautiful
Our trip was featured in the October issue of Budget Travel maga-   mural of a rain forest for the
zine.    Oak Grove Elementary School
                                                                    cafeteria. In addition to provid-
Kelsey Sawyer (‘09) traveled to Vienna, Austria for 10 days to play ing a lushly colorful backdrop
soccer with the People to People Sports Ambassador Program. They for student dining, the mural
had an opening ceremony and closing ceremony similar to the Olym- displays the biological diversity
pics games. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet other teens from of a rain forest.
the U.S.A. and compete against other countries over in Austria.
                                                                           Meredith Ritko (‘09) went to the National Young Leaders Conference
Kyle Herman (‘10) I traveled to Oregon to visit my paternal grand-         in D.C. for 10 days. The high school students that attended were from
mother, then headed to Taiwan to visit my maternal grandmother.            all over the country and had to have at least a 3.5 GPA to be in-
The heat and humidity in Taiwan was nearly unbearable. For the first       vited. The students got a great ―behind the scenes‖ look at the
two weeks of my stay, no one in my family ceased to sweat and a            branches of Federal government: meeting with Congressional mem-
cold shower was a welcome privilege. Another thing that caught my          bers and aides, allowed onto the floor of the House of Representa-
eye was the multitude of food. It was amazing how food was such an         tives, spent time at the Supreme Court, attended a White House Press
integral and most certainly delicious part of their culture. Upon my       Corp breakfast meeting, were addressed by numerous speakers on
return to Richmond, it was initially hard to switch from Mandarin          varied political topics, including one of President Bush‘s speech writ-
Chinese to English, and I would occasionally mix languages which           ers and staffers, attended the Congressional baseball game, and toured
would only befuddle whoever was listening. Talk about tongue twist-        D.C. monuments, the Smithsonian, and the Mall (and malls). They
ing. All in all, this trip has given me a new outlook on the world.        also had their own Model Congress, for which they prepared through-
Libby Schneider (‘10) loves musical theatre. She auditioned and was        out the conference, to address current events and debate policy ques-
accepted to a musical theatre intensive workshop in NYC this sum-          tions.
mer. During the workshop there were sessions on acting, singing, and       Michael Armstrong (‘09) spent a week in Mexico with Amor minis-
lots of dance. Many of the instructors left the workshop at 5pm to go      tries building homes from the ground up for impoverished people.
on stage at night in shows like Legally Blonde, Wicked, and Phantom
of the Opera. The most exciting part was when the director of the          Norris Guncheon (‗10) spent a week in Wilson, North Carolina, with
workshop, Mr. Rafter, a well-known musical director, asked 3-4 kids        a work group, rehabbing homes with other teens and adults. He at-
in Libby‘s age group (including Libby) to audition for the casting         tended a four-day Young Scholars leadership conference in Balti-
director from the Tony award winning show Spring Awakening. Al-            more, sponsored by Johns Hopkins University. He was at Harvard
though nothing will come of it (and at this point we don‘t want any-       for a 3-week course in Digital Filmmaking sponsored by the New
thing to come of it), it was quite a big deal for her to have her ―first   York Film Academy. There were teens were from all over the world
Broadway audition‖.                                                        at this course. He made friends from Germany, Dubai, Korea and
                                                                           even Texas! The goal of this intensive class was to produce two short
Linnea Pittman (‘10) spent a month in France this past summer in a         films, one to demonstrate his mastery of ―continuity.‖ The other, a
Concordia Language Villages French Credit Abroad program. After            longer film, was up to each filmmaker to write, film, edit, add music
having attended Concordia Language Villages French Camp pro-               and show to the other teens at the end of the 3 weeks. You can find
grams in Savannah, Georgia for the prior four years, this sum-             his two films on ―Continuity Film‖ - http://
mer Linnea flew to Paris for a month of immersion not only in the and ―The Next Day‖ - http://
French language but in French culture as well. She tried such delica-
cies as frog legs, escargot, French wines and regional cheeses. In her
Connections                                                             9                                                         Fall 2007

Michael Tucker (‗10) spent several days this summer on a canoe trip       Rena Hamzey (‘10) and brother Rami (MW graduate) visited Talesin
through the Florida Everglades, the highlight of the trip being close     West, a residence and school built by Frank Lloyd Wright seventy
encounters with the alligators!                                           years ago in a remote section of a barely existent Phoenix, Arizona.
                                                                          Rami, a former student of Mr. Ed Slipek, whose class visited Falling
Niklas Philipsen (‘10) went to France and Germany this summer with
his family. He had a great time, especially when he visited friends in Water, remarked ―It's amazing to see how the differences between the
Berlin and was able to tour the city on his own for a few days, navi-     environments of the Northeast and Southwest resulted in two distinct
gating the metro system and exploring the many fascinating parts of       designs that, at the same time, present overarching design theory that
                                                                          connects the Wright structures.‖ Rena also traveled to the Grand Can-
one of his favorite places.
                                                                          yon and Texas, with highlights of the River Walk in San Antonio, a
Paul Ream (‘08) ―For two weeks in June, I traveled to New York City day trip to Mexico to a small city where every second shop was a den-
and the Presbyterian United Nations Office (PUNO) as part of the self tist, and a trip to the LBJ library in Austin.
-driven senior mentorship curriculum at MWGS. I gained a wealth of
knowledge and experience dealing with the United Nations, nongov-         Sam Conners (‘10) hiked over 100 miles through northern New Mex-
                                                                          ico in ten days. He had a blast!
ernmental organizations (NGOs), their structures and functions. As a
church-based organization, PUNO both advocates the church's poli-         Sarah Abdelnaby (‘09) went to Japan with Mrs. Schuler on the foreign
cies within the UN and educates the members of the church on current exchange program and loved it....made many friends and visited many
issues on the UN agenda. Much of my time was spent educating my- areas.
self, in order to educate others. I attended numerous meetings, both at Steven Gizzi (‘11) traveled to China this summer with the People to
the Church Center for the UN and across the street at the UN head-
                                                                          People Student Ambassadors. They spent three weeks touring and
quarters. A highlight of my mentorship was attending a meeting of
                                                                          meeting with students. They visited Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong
the UN Security Council, the most powerful and controversial body in
the UN system.‖
                                                                          Will Pierce (‘08) worked in the University of Richmond Bookstore for
Scott Clark (‘09) went with his church youth group to Juneau, Alaska. four weeks before school started. He got some insight into the magni-
They had raised money for two years for their 8 day stay. They biked tude of books needed at the university level and saw some of the inner
around, hiked on trails to mountains & glaciers, fished on the inlet to   workings of college life - including book rush!
catch salmon & halibut, and tethered down a zip line over a ravine.
Each one had a chance to help clean & cook their catch as well as
                                                                          William Farmer („0?) traveled to Europe with People to People Stu-
enjoy the rest of the naturally prepared western cuisine. They had time
                                                                          dent Ambassadors. Over a three week period, the group traveled to
in Juneau to explore the capital and discover efforts to preserve the
                                                                          France, Spain, and Portugal. Prior to the trip, they met once a month
Alaskan wilderness. Scott and his family visited his grandfather in the
                                                                          to learned about the three countries, People to People protocol, and
Northwest, heading down the coast from Seattle to the mouth of the
                                                                          (most importantly) how to live out of one small suitcase for three
Columbia River. From there they visited Fort Clatsop, where Lewis
                                                                          weeks. William came home a different teenager. He had hundreds of
& Clark wintered in 1805-1806 with the Corps of Discovery. Travel-
                                                                          wonderful photos, stories, and memories. ~ Janet Farmer (William‘s
ing down the coast of the northwest was spectacular. There are many
                                                                          mom) William describes his trip: ―With a loud thud, I jumped off
vistas and the Pacific Ocean shoreline is always interesting and wildly
                                                                          the huge, pink charter bus. There were hundreds of strange looking
beautiful. Scott's grandfather lives on the coast, his home is on spit of
                                                                          people everywhere standing in a never ending, twisted line. Dozens
land with the bay on one side and the wild Pacific on the other. You
                                                                          of huge, golden statues stared down upon me. Tough military men,
can see the Pacific Ocean for miles looking north and south. There is a
                                                                          who I knew could not speak English, paced back and forth with their
danger of a tsunami wave wiping the whole spit out to sea. There are
                                                                          guns strapped over their shoulder. Despite all this going on, I was
warning signs and horns for alerts. The wave action is always 6 - 12
                                                                          paying little attention. My focus was on the 300 meter tower that had
feet and the water too cold to survive. At the end of the spit a pack of
                                                                          just welcomed me to France with a magnificent, ―Bonjour.‖
200 or so seals sun themselves in between their feedings.
                                                                          The Eiffel tower was only the beginning of my travels. I learned so
Tim Swartz (‘11) is a Boy Scout and spent two weeks at Philmont, a        much as I passed through France, Spain, and Portugal. The French
Boy Scout ranch in New Mexico, the ―ultimate‖ Scouting experi-            had the most magnificent pieces of art work; most of which, I got lost
ence. Tim and the other members of his local crew camped and hiked in. I visited Versailles, Notre Dame, as well as many, many other
over 100 miles over mountain terrain, with full backpack, up to more wonderful places. We traveled to what is now my second favorite
than 12,000 feet in altitude, and experienced, among other things,        country in the world, Spain. The people in Spain were the nicest I
black bear sightings, a freak hailstorm, and a snowball fight in          have ever met. I saw luxurious museums, and beautiful parks….
July. What a blast!                                                       which made me wonder if I really needed a home because I could
Tom Fisher (‗08) and two friends served a brief internship with a na-     have stayed there the rest of my life. The food was astonishing. On
tional hotel management firm, Apple REIT, headquartered here in           top of all that, the highlight of Spain was my three day stay with a
Richmond. They were given the oppor-                                      Spanish family. They had five daughters and one son and the mother
tunity to analyze results from several                                    could not speak a word of English. Talk about the time of your life. I
corporate assets and present their find-                                  thought nothing could make the trip better but after Spain, we traveled
ings to corporate executives. In recogni-                                 to Portugal. Although it is a small country, the culture is just as im-
tion for the depth of their analysis, and                                 mense as Spain.
the quality of their presentation, the                                    Throughout my trip, I visited so many cathedrals, and wonderful scen-
three students were flown on the corpo-                                   ery that I thought my camera would explode (not to mention my wal-
rate jet to visit some of the properties                                  let). I could not believe it was only three weeks. As a Student Ambas-
studied, and meet with the local manag-                                   sador for the USA, I was able to see and experience so much, make
ers. This experience provided an excel-                                   many new friends, have fun, and learn about the world far away from
lent opportunity to view the operational                                  my home. I still have to keep reminding myself that it really hap-
side of business management.                                              pened.
 Connections                                                           10                                                      Fall 2007

 Mathematical Precision: Palmer Mebane Reached                                         A Summery Summary: My Trip to
          the Top Tier in the National Math                                                       Greece
  Olympiad; Topped a State Competition with Six Per-                                      By Libby Germer, Global Studies Teacher
                    fect Scores                                                            I had the opportunity and privilege to study at
                                By Patti Nicholas                                    the American School of Classical Studies in Ath-
                                                                                     ens, Greece for six weeks this summer. Four other
    Palmer Mebane (‘08) begins his senior year already having topped any             teachers and I were granted Fulbright Scholarships
 student in the history of the school in two major mathematics competitions.         to do so, and we were joined by classicists and grad
 Last school year, he was the only student to earn perfect scores on each of the     students of classical archaeology who came to
 six tests in the Virginia Math League competition. He also placed in the top        study on the field. In all honesty, I didn‘t really
 tier of the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad, sponsored by            know what I was getting into and certainly didn‘t
 the Mathematical Association of America.                                            expect so few other school teachers to attend the
     The road to be able to compete in the Math Olympiad was a series of im-         Summer Session! This meant that the learning
 pressive successes. First in February, about 200,000 high school math stu-          curve was steep … but it was well worth the hike.
 dents throughout the country take the American Mathematics Competition                    We traveled outside of steamy Athens three
 (AMC) test. Of those, the top 8,000 proceed to the next level, and take the         times to visit other sites from classical Greece,
 American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME). Of those, the top             namely in the Peloponnese region, northern Greece
 500 nationwide take the USA Math Olympiad test, a nine-hour test given              (Ancient Macedonia), and the Island of Crete. A
 over the course of two days.                                                        highlight for me was the day we reached the sum-
    After taking that test this past spring, Palmer placed in the top 24 in the      mit of a mountain peak on Crete where Mycenaean
 nation, the highest level of recognition for that test. Placing in that top tier    pottery shards had been found and we could see as
 qualified him to attend the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program at the             far as the Libyan Sea. From there, we felt a strong
 University of Nebraska, an intensive three-week mathematics camp, where             and much-needed breeze on that 119-degree day
 students spent half of the day in classes and then another half day in intensive    and took in the view with a Canadian professor
 problem solving.                                                                    who has spent her summers in the area since the
     Later in the summer, Palmer attended the Canada/USA Mathcamp in                 late 1980s. She shared about her commitment to
 Maine for five weeks, which also included math classes and problem solving,         her work and the enjoyment she receives from do-
 but in addition had outdoor activities, field trips and more time for relaxation.   ing it. She was taking a break from her new site to
 Students must apply and be accepted to attend that camp.                            show us around which was an honor for us, as the
     In addition to competing again this year, Palmer is using his math talents      Greek government only grants foreign teams six-
 in other ways. He is researching the possibility of patenting a logic game he       week digging permits per year. I learned that day
 invented called ―Connections‖ that students at Maggie Walker have tried and         that archaeology is every bit as dusty as the movies
 enjoyed. Palmer is also working with a new math club that is meeting at             make it out to be, and sadly, it seems to still be
 lunchtime at school.                                                                relatively thankless work.
                                                                                           The lesson I took home with me above many
                                                                                     others is that human history is actively being dis-
            Green Dragons Go Even Greener!                                           covered but there is much that remains un-
                              By Hannah Cockrell                                     known. In fact, archaeologists in Greece who are
                                                                                     experts in their field, who live on and manage sites,
      Saving the Earth through Conservation, Sustain-                                often commented to us that even after generations
ability and Environmental Education (SECSEE) was                                     of exploring and lifetimes of digging there is still
founded this fall by senior Ben Han and junior Kevin                                 much more unknown than there is known about
Xiao in response to widespread student demand to make                                ancient cultures. Sometimes, when I was tired,
the Maggie Walker campus green. The club's first un-                                 overheated, and overwhelmed by the rigor of our
dertaking will be to establish a functioning recycling                               Summer Session, I would try to wrap my mind
system, which is currently lacking, and to thereby pro-                              around the vast scope of history and appreciate my
mote awareness of the amount of generated waste that is recyclable. Future           tiny slice of it … it usually helped me keep per-
initiatives are additional awareness campaigns to encourage the consumption of       spective!
low-impact foods and water conservation, as well as community-based semi-                  It was humbling to be reminded of the great
nars on eco-friendly design, and service projects to clean up and maintain local     as well as the not-so-great traditions of Ancient
parks through cooperation with the James River Park Service.                         Greece and to realize how relatively little has
      SECSEE hosted an eco-fashion show at Fall Festival, and is selling t-          changed in human behavior … and it strengthened
shirts made from organic cotton with logos promoting environmental conserva-         my resolve to teach students that every generation
tion (e.g., Nurture Nature). Proceeds will go towards the purchase of recepta-       has the potential to learn from the past and to im-
cles for school-generated recycling. The club also hosted a scientist from the       prove upon it. The only question my journey left
NASA-Goddard Space Center, Mr. Shewman, who spoke at Fall Festival about             unanswered is: what will future archaeological ex-
global warming and its effects on Arctic ice.                                        cavations reveal about us, in 2007?
      For more information about SECSEE and its goals, please visit our web-         Libby is new to MLWGS. She holds a Masters degree
                                                                                     from The College of New Jersey and has taught the last
site,                                                                three years in the Humanities Department for East
                                                                                     Brunswick High School in New Jersey where she was
                                                                                     awarded the “Favorite Female Teacher of the Year”
Connections                                                         11                                                         Fall 2007

                                                   Faculty News & Notes
Spanish teacher, Ivette Santiago-Childs was invited once again to      Flippo Gallery on March 2, 2008. Grant Mudge (Drama I-IV and
serve as a reader (grader) of the AP Spanish Language Examina-         English) is being recognized as co-founder of Richmond Shake-
tion in San Antonio in June 2007. This honor is one that few           speare Theatre. Since 1997, this company has grown by producing
teachers receive. Congratulations, Señora!                             a "wide variety of Shakespeare in a number of Richmond loca-
                                                                       tions. Their annual seasons have been critically acclaimed and
Dr. Brenda Ericson was selected to participate in the 2007 Sum-        have provided excellent training and employment opportunities in
mer Institute, entitled "Political and Constitutional Theory for Citi- classical theater for talent throughout Central Virginia and be-
zens," sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities          yond." Richard II, the next production of Richmond Shakespeare
and offered by the Center for Civic Education. The three-week          Theatre, is scheduled to run October 11 through November 4 at
Institute was held at Loyola Marymount University in Los Ange-         Second Presbyterian Church in Richmond.
les, California. The institute provided twenty-five educators the
opportunity to engage in serious study and seminar-style discus-       Lynn Foshee Reed, Mathematics Department, participated in a
sion of basic issues of political theory and the values and princi-    Mathematical Association of America‘s workshop in Washington,
ples of American constitutional democracy.                             D.C. The workshop, ―Mathematics from Asia‘s Past‖, fit very
                                                                       well into Mrs. Reed‘s strong interest in the history of mathematics
English teacher Cynthia Losen, is winning many honors with her         as well as the international studies focus of MLWGS. These
artwork. She won first place in an August juried show. To date,        workshops serve faculty in the mathematical sciences from all
she has earned four first place awards, a second place award, and      types of institutions, at all stages in their careers, and enable fac-
three pieces won honorable mention in July at Art Works and one ulty to reach beyond their own educational experiences. Mrs.
piece won honorable mention in June at the Petersburg Regional         Reed reports that although the week was extremely busy with lec-
Art Center.                                                            tures and discussion group, she felt energized by the enthusiasm of
Dan Brown, Global Studies teacher, attended the National Endow- all the participants. She hopes to share some of what she learned
ment for the Humanities Workshop on Landmarks of the Civil             at a local Greater Richmond Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Rights Movement in Atlanta (1890-Present). Aside from daily            conference as well as with her students and colleagues at Maggie
lectures, discussions, and readings relating to the history of the     Walker.
movement in Atlanta, his group visited a new site each day. At         Michele Surat, English teacher, though she neither plays an instru-
each site, there were usually leaders of the movement in Atlanta to ment or reads music, Ms. Surat decided to attend Song Camp this
speak to us - including Lonnie King and Gwendolyn Harris               summer. Organized by musician/ songwriter Paul Reisler and his
(leaders of the student sit-ins in Atlanta).                           wife, dramatist Julie Portman, the intergenerational camp involved
Two MLWGS faculty members are recipients of the 2007 Theresa composing and singing original songs. Held at Blue Ridge School
Pollak Prize for Excellence in the Arts. Arguably, the Pollak          in Orange County, the week-long course culminated in two per-
awards constitute Richmond's highest honor for the arts. For a         formances. Ms. Surat was accompanied on the guitar by Nashville
school to have two such winners is quite amazing! Georgianne           singer/songwriter Diona Devin. A few weeks later, Ms. Surat was
Stinnett (Photography 1 and 2 and Commercial Photography) is           given a scholarship to New Song Academy in West Virginia, a
being recognized for the important impact she has made on Rich- more intensive workshop with another group of professional singer
mond's cultural community "not only through her museum-quality - songwriters. Inspired by these experiences, Ms. Surat promises
works, but also as a volunteer and member of the faculties of the      to create ―song camps‖ in the American literature classes. After
Governor's School, VCU and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.‖ all, Walt Whitman encourages each American to ―contribute a
A new exhibit of her work will open at Randolph-Macon College's verse‖ to the great lyric poem that this country has become.

                                        MLWGS Model United Nations Club
                                                       By Dahlia Mignouna (‟08)
         For several years, the Model United Nations Club‘s members have trained for and attended Model United Nations Confer-
   ences hosted by colleges, including the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, William and Mary, and the Univer-
   sity of Virginia, where we role-play and represent different countries and dignitaries. At these conferences, our members simulta-
   neously learn about international policy while having a great time trying to solve the world‘s problems with other high school
   students from around the country (and even from abroad). This year, in addition to attending Model UN Conferences (at UVA
   from Nov.16th-18th, and Georgetown from Feb15th-18th), our club has many new and exciting projects that we are working on…
         Going along with our regional focus on Africa this year, the club has formed a Committee on Darfur, which will work
   throughout the year to not only raise aid money to help the humanitarian situation in the region, but also to raise awareness in our
   community about the genocide in Darfur, which, according to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is ―one of the true humanitar-
   ian disasters that we face in international politics today.‖
         In addition to attending conferences, The Model UN Club will be hosting its own 11th annual Governor‘s School Model UN
   Conference on April 4th-5th. Any students interested in joining the club and helping to plan and take part in our many projects can
   attend Model UN meetings, which are held every Tuesday at lunch in the Forum. New members are always welcome, and we
   have an excellent delegate training program to prepare our members for conferences. Also, check out the bulletin board (outside
   the Forum) for key dates, forms and information about club events. We are all really looking forward to a great year!
         Contact Dahlia Mignouna ( or Yu-Sung Huang (, Co-Presidents, if
   you have any questions.
CONNECTIONS                                Non-Profit Org.
Newsletter of the                         U.S. Postage Paid
Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School PTSA     Richmond, VA
1000 North Lombardy Street                 Permit No. 1411
Richmond, VA 23220

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