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									Branches         The Oakland School Newsletter                                                                               Spring 2011

A Letter from Our Director
Dear Parents, Alumni, and Friends,

Sometimes it seems that in a blink of an eye, a whole year goes by!
In just the few short months since our fall edition of Branches, we        Another area of excitement for us is the expansion of our garden.
have seen tremendous gains in our students and happy changes for           Last year, we enjoyed fresh tomatoes in the Dining Room. This
some of our staff and families. Amanda Baber, Admissions Director,         year, we’re adding more vegetables and fruits. The strawberries and
gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Peyton. Donna Darden, Assistant       asparagus are already coming up! We’re looking into buying and
Director, welcomed grandson Eli. The Somers Family introduced              raising a few chickens, although various regulations will prevent us
their fourth child, Marlin. It has                                                                             from using our own eggs. And by
been a fantastic and blessed                                                                                    mid-summer, with the assistance
year for the Oakland Family.                                                                                    of the Adamy family, it looks
                                                                                                                like we’ll harvest our own
As the days get warmer and                                                                                      honey!
warmer, we know summer
camp can’t be far behind!                                                                                        The summers at Oakland are
We look forward to the                                                                                           full of life-long memories and
traditional activities and                                                                                       this summer will be no different.
events and are excited to                                                                                        However, this summer we will
re-introduce some activities                                                                                     be starting what may become
that haven’t been seen for                                                                                       a new tradition – an Oakland
awhile. This year, we’ll                                                                                         Reunion! The first ever Reunion
return to our “old-fashioned”                                                                                    will be held on June 11th, 2011.
4th of July festivities with                                                                                     All graduates are welcome.
a theme of patriotism and                                                                                        The day will feature a slide
citizenship throughout the day,                                                                                  show, a picnic lunch, tours,
a Plantation Dinner behind                             Carol and student, Elizabeth Preston                     remembrances, popsicle break,
the Big House, and an evening                                                                                 and more. Look for more details in
of races, relays, ice cream making and more. We’ll focus more on            this issue and also on the Oakland Reunion 2011 facebook page.
nature this summer and hope to have lots of campouts, cookouts, and
creek activities. There’s a new camp class being offered – Wilderness       Hoping to see many of you soon!

Skills. And, of course, there’ll be cedar sanding – we might even
make a few plaques for the Dining Room! (We still have vacancies in
the summer program, so tell your friends!)

                           Oakland School
     Helping Children with Learning Differences Succeed Since 1950
   Boyd Tavern • Keswick, VA 22947 • 434-293-9059 • •

Oakland School                                                      Branches                                                                Page 1
  2010 – 2011 STuDenT ASSembLieS
                                 O    akland student assemblies have covered a variety of topics from bees to bullying and the kids have
                                      learned a lot and truly enjoy each of them. In addition to these featured assemblies, the students have
                                 benefitted from assemblies on nutrition, black history and Thanksgiving.

                                 Our first assembly featured David Hannah from the organization Wild Virginia. Their mission is to protect
                                 the wild forest ecosystems in Virginia’s National Forests. The
                                 presentation was full of facts, specimens, beautiful pictures,
                                 and maps. The kids asked inquisitive and engaging questions
                                 that showed they were paying close attention and thinking
                                 outside the box.

  Oakland School and guests from Little Keswick School thoroughly enjoyed a fabulous
  performance of “Aladdin!” by the Hampstead Players of New Hampshire. Even some of
  the students and staff participated in the play. What a great treat!

                                                 A favorite assembly was on Apiology - the
                                                 study of bees, presented by current parent
                                                 Sean Adamy and his assistant, student Ryelee Adamy. The kids learned about different
                                                 types of bees and wasps, lifecycles, beekeeping, and the honey industry. The presentation
                                                 included a complete bee hive display, tools for making honey, and Ryelee in a white bee
                                                 suit! The students asked question after question and were very engaged in the topic. The
                                                 assembly ended with a blueberry honey stick for everyone to enjoy! The Adamy Family
                                                 has two of their bee hives on the back property of Oakland and plan to donate some of the
                                                 resulting honey to the school. Yum!!!

                                     branches newsletter is now online!

The big reAD!
W       hat was happening in the Oakland Room during February and March? Why were
        students and staff wearing fedoras and staring at a statuette of a bird? This year Oakland
School joined other schools and organizations across the country to participate in The Big Read,
a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum
and Library Services and Arts Midwest. Students met during lunch for a reading of Dashiell
Hammett’s novel, The Maltese Falcon. They discussed the characters, period, and plot of the
novel with staff members and viewed the Humphrey Bogart version of the film. Participants in
the program volunteered to attend every session. They even filmed a YouTube commercial for a
video contest associated with The Big Read. It was a great opportunity for staff and students to
meet outside of the classroom to participate in a nation-wide cultural event.

Oakland School                                                       Branches                                                               Page 2
gO buLLDOgS!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            CLASSrOOm/DOrm WiSh LiST
                                                                                                                                                deductible donation!
                                                                                                                                                Development office, 434-293-9059, ext. 223 or We will arrange for pick-up of your tax
                                                                                                                                                If you have any of the following items and wish to find a good home for them, please contact Leah Burger in the
                                                                                                              (fitness room)
                                                                                                              Free Weight workout bench
                                                                                                              Library books
                                                                                                              A new video projector
                                                                                                              Piano, guitar, keyboard
                                T    he Oakland sports program ran at full speed this year. The fall and
                                     spring soccer teams had a lot of talent with 20 kids executing passes,
                                shots and driving goals.

                                Nine students on the cross country team ran five races ranging from 1.5
                                miles to a 5K. Oakland hosted the last race of the season and outran six
                                other schools to win the race! A new trophy sits in the Big House!

                                 basketball, always popular, once again

                                                                                                              • Microwave

                                                                                                              • Patio furniture and umbrellas
                                                                                                              • Computer software
                                                                                                              • Gardening help
                                                                                                                for the pool
                                 had two teams, the younger kids in green
                                 and the older kids in gold. The green
team worked on their skills and did well in their games. They even had a
game against the RI’s and Hunter Smith and beat them hands down! The
                           staff guarantees victory next year! The gold
                             team demonstrated amazing skill and spirit
                             throughout the season. Oakland held its first
                             tournament in three years for the gold team
                             and lost a heart-breaker by a few points in
                             the semi-finals.

                                                                                                              • Color printers for World

                                                                                                              • TV/DVD players for
                                                                                                                History class and Mathematics

                             The road-racing team, 14 runners in all, competed in two 5K races. The
                             Pi Miler at UVA, which benefited cancer research, was the most fun and
                             exciting for the team and a few Oakland runners won their age group. Way to
                             go Bulldogs!

 ChiLDren, YOuTh AnD FAmiLY
 ServiCeS AWArD nOminATiOn
                                                                                                              • Medicine ball
                                                                                                              • Assembly funding
                                                                                                              • Golf Cart
                                                                                                                (for the fitness

                                              O     akland School and Director, Carol Williams,
                                                    were nominated for the Mitch Van Yahres
                                              Family-Friendly Employer Award. This award is
                                              given by Children, Youth and Family Services of
                                              Charlottesville to an employer whose practices instill
                                              a family-friendly work culture. Although another
                                              nominee won the award, the Oakland staff is proud to
                                              have Carol as our Director!

Oakland School                                                      Branches                                                                                                                                                                                          Page 3
                           virginiA FeSTivAL OF The bOOk

                                               T    he Virginia Festival of the Book is a five
                                                    day festival in Charlottesville that honors
                                               book culture and promotes reading and literacy.
                                               Oakland has been involved with this important
                                               event for many years. In March, many Oakland
                                               students submitted entries and three were chosen
                                               to receive recognition. These students were
                                               invited to read their works in front of a live
                                               audience at the Omni Hotel. Tristan Stenzel
                                               wrote and read a wonderful poem about love.
                                               Andrew Cantrell wrote and read an acrostic
                                               poem about skipping rocks. Leah Merone wrote
                                               and read a short story with a mythology theme.
                                               Congratulations to Oakland’s aspiring writers!

  meeT neW bOArD member,
  Dr. gerry Wallace
  G     erald Wallace is a professor emeritus from George Mason
        University (GMU) in Fairfax, Virginia where he served as
  the Director of the PhD Program in Education for 10 years. Prior to
                                                                          Dr. Wallace is the author of nine books and many journal articles
                                                                          concerned with learning disabilities. He is the co-author of the
                                                                          Comprehensive Expressive and Receptive Vocabulary Test (CREVT).
  his affiliation with GMU, Dr. Wallace served on the faculty of the      The first two editions of the CREVT have been administered to over
  University of Virginia for 20 years. He served in a variety of roles    4 million individuals throughout the United States. Standardization
  at UVa, including Director of Doctoral Studies in Special Education     data for the third edition is currently being collected in various states.
  and also as Associate Dean for Faculty Development and External         Oakland students were among those administered the new edition of
  Relations. He has been informally associated with Oakland School        the test.
  for over 40 years. Margaret Sheperd and Joanne and Pep Dondero
  were close personal friends of Dr. Wallace’s for many years. In fact,   Dr. Wallace currently resides in Virginia Beach. His son, Chris,
  he served as Mrs. Dondero’s advisor during her master’s degree work     is a sports publisher/writer for and a resident of
  at UVa. He has also served as a professor to a number of current        Charlottesville. His son, TJ, is a radiation oncologist in Richmond. He
  Oakland teachers and psychologists during his tenure at UVa.            is also the grandfather of three children.

                           AlwAys smiles At oAklAnd!

Oakland School                                                       Branches                                                                    Page 4
                                            hOrSe ShOW AnD SiLenT AuCTiOn:
                                                    A big SuCCeSS!
                                         The ats
                                                           W        hat a wonderful Parents’ Weekend! The Horse Show featured many of our
                                                                    students showcasing their trotting, cantering and jumping skills. It was a flawless
                                                           performance and we are so proud of our riders! Thank you to Sarah Bailey for her expert
                                          School           riding instruction, to Robin Durkin for judging the event, and to student Jack Rios-Brooks

                                         Auction           for his eloquent announcing of the show.

                                                           The Silent Auction was a successful and fun event, raising over $16,000 for the Annual
                                                           Fund. This is so important considering it will fund at least two partial scholarships for
                                                           students who truly need an Oakland education. Thank you to all who participated – our
 By: Oakland Student, Megan Kimpel

                                                           parents, staff, and friends who donated to the auction, our community partners who
                                                           sponsored the auction, and those who bid (at times, right down to the last second!) and
                                                           hopefully brought home some fabulous items.

                                                                                Thank you to everyone who has donated to the Annual Fund.
                                                                                Parents, alumni, alumni families, friends and 100% of the staff and
                                                                                Board of Directors have given generously to meet our $100,000
                                                                                goal. We are close! We’ve raised $78,000 with three months to
                                                                                go! If Oakland School has benefitted someone in your life, please
                                                                                consider making a gift to the Annual Fund. With your gift, we can
                                                                                provide scholarships and improve our educational programs to help
                                                                                our students succeed. every gift makes a difference!

                                                    Thank you to our auction sponsors
                                                   for their support of Oakland School:

                                                                                                                                        Bailey Printing

Oakland School                                                             Branches                                                                Page 5
A LeTTer FrOm breTT LeSLie
OAkLAnD ALumnuS 1993
Dear Oakland,                                                                  I made some great friends, awesome
                                                                               memories, and I still have some crazy
When I tell friends that I went to a boarding school they almost               stories to remember Oakland by today.
inevitably reply with the same question, “Did you like it?” I reply the        Oakland saved me from what would
same way every time, “I cried when my parents dropped me off, but I            have been a very frustrating life,
cried when I left too.”                                                        plagued with academic and personality
                                                                               challenges. After three summers and
I started in a public elementary school and went to a private school in the    two winters, graduation came and a
second grade, only to continue to fall further behind due to my dyslexia       return to public school followed.
and attention deficit disorder. By the summer of 1990, Oakland had a
long history of helping students but the rest of the world was just starting   After graduating from Russell
to learn about dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.                        High School, I received an athletic
                                                                               scholarship to Elon University in North Carolina. I graduated from Elon
As a ten year-old, I was told I was going to yet another summer                in four years while making the Dean’s List all eight semesters. Currently,
academic program, although this one was going to be six weeks long             I will graduate with my MBA from Middle Tennessee State University in
and 330 miles away from my home in Flatwoods, KY. Summer Parent’s              December.
Weekend came and went with a great visit that Saturday. The following
Monday my mother had a conversation with Mrs. Dondero but didn’t tell          I’ve worked as an EMT on an ambulance, for the Boy Scouts of America
me of their decision because they couldn’t stomach the idea of telling         and for the sports marketing firm IMG. I later went on to get my flight
me I would be staying for the winter. My parents’ decision was so hard         instructors and commercial pilot’s license and began flying for an
on them so instead of telling me, I was handed a letter written from           airline. In 2009 I married a beautiful wife and began working with the
my father explaining their decision. Needless to say, I was not a happy        Department of Veteran Affairs where I am today in Nashville, TN.
camper that night.
                                                                               I can’t say thank you enough to my parents, teachers and counselors who
I later learned one of mom’s biggest fears was that I would hate her           made Oakland a true success story.
for sending me away to boarding school at such a young age. Today, I
cannot thank her enough for making the right decision about what was           Thanks Oakland!
probably the hardest parenting decision she ever made.                         Brett Leslie, Class of 1993

                                           Do you have a car of minivan in working condition
                                      you’ve been wanting to get rid of? Consider donating it to
                                      Oakland School! it’s tax deductible and we can really use
                                       it for student transportation, town runs, and navigating
                                                    the 450 acres of Oakland Farm!

   neWS FrOm The kiTChen
   bY CheF mike iOAkimeDeS

  W      ho doesn’t love spring? All our senses are heightened with the
         color of green, the blossoms, the smell of fresh cut grass. The
  birds seem louder, insects start crawling and some of us start craving
                                                                               One of my favorite things
                                                                               about cooking and food,
                                                                               in general, is discovering,
  foods of spring like greens, peas and asparagus. Asparagus is one of         preparing or just plain eating
  the vegetables that you can buy year round now. It’s twice the price         something I’ve never had
  in the off season, but you can find it at most stores. In my haste to        or heard of before. We were
  serve and eat that particular vegetable, a favorite of mine, I recently      recently treated to a new dish
  purchased a case for school only to find out that it came from Peru.         by Youssef, our boarding
  This made me think about the “carbon footprint” of a product like            student from Egypt. It’s a dish called Koshary, which his mother
  that. From the men who had to get to the asparagus field in vehicles,        e-mailed a recipe for and we prepared it (with his help) for the
  to the loaded trucks that took it to the processing plant, to the crates     boarders last month. It’s a carb heavy, stick to your ribs sort of dish,
  (where did THAT come from?) used for transport, and then the                 but very tasty and satisfying. The students and staff loved it. Email me
  transportation around the world. You get the idea. Granted they were         at for the recipe. Until next time, enjoy the
  good, but at what cost? We decided to expand our garden and grow             activity in your kitchen and the human interactions that always follow.
  more vegetables on the Oakland Farm.

Oakland School                                                            Branches                                                                 Page 6
                                                                   ALumni neWS!
                                                                   SEND US YOUR UPDATES AND LET US KNOW WHAT’S
                                                                   NEW! DEVELOPMENT@OAKLANDSCHOOL.NET

                                                                   1978 michael S. Williams sent us a long letter about the
                                                                   impact Oakland had on his life. He praised the staff for
                                                                   turning his life around. He especially remembers Barbara
                                                                   Weaver, Mrs. Shepherd and Mrs. Dondero. He is now
                                                                   HVAC Supervisor at the Department of State for Emcor
                                                                   Government Services in Washington, DC.

                                                                   1979 mark C. Chapman lives in Maryland and has worked
                                                                   for Pitney Bowes for almost twenty years. His hobbies
                   CALLing ALL ALumni!
                                                                   include mountain biking and skiing. Mark plans to attend
           Join us for our first Oakland School Reunion
                            June 11, 2011                          the Oakland Reunion on June 11th and hopes to see many
                             10:00 – 3:30                          alumni back at the Farm! He said “it will be like a long lost
              Follow updates on our facebook page:                 family reunion.”
                  Oakland School Reunion 2011

    Please respond (and let us know # guests) by may 27th:         1998 Joe marx returned to Oakland for a visit in March and
            Email:                   briefly spoke to the students about his Oakland experience
                     Phone: 434-293-9059                           and encouraged them to stay focused and work hard. He
           facebook: click RSVP on the “events” tab                said his Oakland experience really helped him and he is now
            Tickets: $10 per Alumni (includes guests)              a corporate chef in Charlotte, North Carolina.
         Tickets can be purchased by mailing a check to:
                         Oakland School                            2001 emma reed is in her senior year at VCU in Art
                          Boyd Tavern                              History. She’ll graduate in December and then onto the most
                       Keswick, VA 22947
                                                                   adventurous job she can find!
           (We will mail your tickets prior to the event)
                                                                                                             Continued on page 8
     LOOking FOrWArD TO Seeing everYOne!

                 Oakland’s Director,
      Carol Williams, will be inducted                                   We’ve updated our website!
    into the DeLTA kAppA gAmmA                                        
   Society For key Woman educators                                      • You can now read Branches online.
                                                                        • We have a new Events page that
                        May, 2011                                         details upcoming activities.
            Congratulations, Carol!                                     • You can donate to Oakland online –
                                                                          it’s safe, quick and easy!

Oakland School                                               Branches                                                     Page 7
                                                                                                                    Non Profit Org.
                 Oakland School                                                                                      US Postage
             Boyd Tavern • Keswick, VA 22947                                                                           pA i D
                      434-293-905                                                                                    Mailed From
                                                                                                                      Zip 30304
                                                                                                                    Permit # 6849

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ALumni neWS! (Continued)

2005 molly harris is in the tenth grade at Grier School in          2006 raleigh knight graduated from Virginia Episcopal
Pennsylvania. She is doing very well academically and her           School in May, 2010 and is a freshman at Miami University
extra-curricular activities include modern dance, hip-hop,          in Oxford, Ohio.
chorus, and horseback riding. She is hoping to be on the
varsity riding team next year.                                      2007 katherine Sandor will be graduating from Grier
                                                                    School in May and will attend the prestigious Savannah
2006 richard pasztory continued his education at Miller             College of Art and Design in Georgia this fall.
School and is currently at the University of St. Andrews in
Scotland. St. Andrews is the alma mater of Prince William           2008 nora beard is a junior at Eagle Hill school in
of England.                                                         Hardwick, MA and is actively involved in the theater. She
                                                                    has been on the honor roll every year since leaving Oakland.
2006 bowen raetz will be a Residential Instructor at                She hopes to attend the Massachusetts College of Liberal
Oakland this summer.                                                Arts and minor in theater. Nora wants to eventually start her
                                                                    own non profit geared towards kids with dyslexia, autism,
                                                                    and children with speech impediments.

Oakland School                                                Branches                                                       Page 8

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