List of 20 news stories.

  • Alumnae Afsaneh

    Alumnae Speak to Students about Using Their Voices for Change

    On Jan. 13, 2023, the upper school welcomed alumnae Dr. Taraneh Azar '85 and Afsaneh "Affie" Azar Ambrose ’88. The sisters emigrated to the United States from Iran following the Iranian Revolution and spoke to students about using their voices to change the world.

    “We reached out to open up a topic of understanding,” said Head of School Scott Kennedy in his opening remarks. “One of the key parts of the school’s philosophy is to make sure you have an understanding of global events. Having an understanding and appreciation of the complexity of what happens around the world makes you better global citizens, which is something that we strive to do.”

    The program came to life after Ava M. ’26, an upper school student, saw images of Iranian women and the men supporting them being mistreated for voicing their opposition to the Iranian government’s oppression. The student approached David Buckingham, interim upper school dean, and asked if there was something that she could do at the school. They joined forces with Dr. Nefertiti Makeda, Collegiate’s director of diversity and inclusion, and together, they were able to bring Dr. Azar and Ms. Ambrose to campus.
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  • Norfolk Collegiate pre-Kindergarten students enjoy new recess equipment in Jan. 2023. The equipment was part of a student-driven initiative to provide more recess options.

    Student Council Association Purchases New Recess Equipment

    Shoutout to our lower school Student Council Association! They recently purchased several new pieces of equipment for our lower school students to enjoy during their daily recess. The new pieces include pop-up soccer goals and new soccer balls, portable cornhole boards and a bean bag game similar to Skee-Ball®.
     
    The new equipment was a student-driven initiative following SCA campaign speeches and ideas from the representatives. The funds came from the SCA’s account, which is funded by initiatives such as the Lower School Birthday Program.
     
    We love that our students saw an opportunity to impact their fellow Oaks in such a fun and positive way and acted on it so responsibly. Way to go, Oaks!
     
  • Norfolk Collegiate Middle School Spelling Bee Coordinator and English Teacher Chrisy Cooper honors the 2023 Spelling Bee top honors. Left to right are Grace O. ’29, Black C. '29 and William V. ’28. 

    Blake C. '29 Takes Top Honors in Middle School Spelling Bee

    This year’s middle school spelling bee saw 34 students face off for the first-place honors, competing in 10 rounds and spelling 187 words. In the end, it was the word “urchins” that stumped all but Blake C. ’29, who took home the title of spelling bee champion.

    Third place was awarded to Grace O. ’29 and second place went to William V. ’28. 

     
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  • The artwork of 16 middle school students is on display at Norfolk International Artwork this month for travelers and you to see and we could not be prouder of their pieces. The students were recognized in a middle school meeting in Jan. 2023.

    Student Artwork on Display at Norfolk International Airport

    The artwork of 16 middle school students is on display at Norfolk International Artwork this month for travelers and you to see and we could not be prouder of their pieces.

    “Each month, a local school is invited to feature artwork to display at the Norfolk International Airport. Norfolk Collegiate middle school was asked to display student artwork for the month of January,” said Emily Pope, middle and upper school art teacher.  

    Pieces include scratchboard sugar skulls, Huichol yarn paintings, color theory mandalas and more. The artwork was chosen based on craftsmanship, creativity and the use of the elements of art. 
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  • AP Literature students ventured to the Big Apple with Mrs. Babkov and Mr. Owens to experience “The Piano Lesson” on Broadway on Jan. 7, 2023.

    AP Literature Students See "The Piano Lesson" on Broadway

    AP Literature students ventured to the Big Apple with Mrs. Babkov and Mr. Owens to experience “The Piano Lesson” on Broadway this weekend.

    “The Piano Lesson” is the fourth play in playwright August Wilson’s century cycle and part of the AP Literature curriculum. Students recently concluded their August Wilson author study which explores “The Piano Lesson.” After reading and discussing the original text, students watched a Hallmark version of the film and then took to the city to view it on Broadway to see the different adaptations of Wilson’s work. The current Broadway adaptation stars Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington and Danielle Brooks. 

    “This was an opportunity to see one of his works on the stage, which doesn't happen often,” said Sarah Babkov, AP Literature teacher. “Wilson is known for his gritty realism." His project was “to depict the African-American experience and he focuses on each decade of the 20th century," of which “The Piano Lesson” examines a family in the 1930s that is haunted—literally and metaphorically—by their family history.

    Babkov hopes this opportunity not only provides a unique experience for students but also gives them a review for their upcoming AP Literature exam in which students may opt to highlight “The Piano Lesson.”

    In addition to seeing the revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, students also took in some of the sights and sounds of the city.
  • Norfolk Collegiate students compete in the First LEGO League regional tournament, which was hosted at Norfolk Collegiate in November 2022.

    Students Gear Up for First LEGO League Robotics State Competition

    Two weeks ago, Norfolk Collegiate hosted the regional FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition. Robotic enthusiasts from area schools and homeschools packed Collegiate to hopefully earn their place in the state competition. However, it was Collegiate’s team who took home first-place honors in Robot Design and earned a seat at this weekend’s state competition.

    Students Jonas E. ’28, Cleveland J., Bea D. ’29, Sam S. ’27, Zack H. ’29, Jeremie L. ’28 and Toby W. ’29  are competing in the FLL state competition this weekend at James Madison University. If they win, they advance to national FLL competitions, and the students are hoping that their hard work over the last few months will secure their place in the national competition.
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  • Norfolk Collegiate student-athletes were honored for their work at the Middle and Upper School Fall Athletic Awards Program on Nov. 10, 2022.

    Fall Athletes Recognized in Award Program

    The fall athletic season saw 205 upper and middle school students representing Norfolk Collegiate in blue and white through six sports and 18 teams.

    Recipients were awarded plaques describing their role on their respective teams, including the OAK Award, which honors the impressive attributes in the student to which it’s awarded. “O” stands for overachiever, “A” stands for attitude and “K” stands for knowledge. Awards were also given for Most Valuable Players and Most Improved Players on each team.

    This year also saw the addition of the Outstanding Teammate Award which is “given to the athlete who displays inspiring dedication and commitment to their team embodying sportsmanship, character and spirit,” said Director of Athletics Jon Hall.
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  • Middle school students recently volunteered to assemble 1,000 kits for Hospitality for the Homeless, a local organization that serves as a national re-distribution agency for travel-size toiletries to those in need.

    Middle School Students Assemble Kits for Homeless

    Middle school students recently volunteered to assemble 1,000 kits for Hospitality for the Homeless, a local organization that serves as a national re-distribution agency for travel-size toiletries to those in need. The school has partnered with Hospitality for the Homeless for many years and is proud to carry on the partnership.

    Before volunteering, students heard from Brian Friedman from Hospitality for the Homeless and an alumni parent. Mr. Friedman spoke to middle school students about the program to kick off making care kits for the organization.
  • Norfolk Collegiate student measures the pH of the Chesapeake Bay during a field trip.

    Students explore Chesapeake Bay biomes, diversity

    AP Environmental Science classes recently collected scientific data aboard the Jenny S., a 40-foot research vessel, with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). The class was studying aquatic biomes and biodiversity and was able to put their classroom knowledge on display in the field. 

    According to the Chesapeake Bay with the Education Coordinator at CBF, Collegiate students observed the most species he had seen, breaking the previous record of 40! The students recorded over 50 species of marine organisms, including the lookdown, spider crab, Atlantic bottlenose dolphin and the black-cheeked tonguefish. They also examined the Chesapeake Bay in terms of geography, tides and ecology. 

    The afternoon portion of the experience included students taking water quality measurements, including dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature, turbidity and pH. They used these in a classroom-style discussion of the health of the bay and talked about what they can do to help. They concluded the trip by looking at fisheries and sustainability, with all students getting hands-on by retrieving crab pots in Broad Bay and looking at the organisms inside.

    For more information, please contact Dr. Frank Thomson.
  • Gordon England speaks to Norfolk Collegiate middle and upper school students during the 2022 Middle & Upper School Veterans Day Program on Nov. 10, 2022.

    Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England Speaks at Veterans Day Program

    Middle and upper school students and Norfolk Collegiate faculty, staff and families came together for the annual Middle and Upper School Veterans Day Program on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. The student-run program, hosted by the Future Military Leaders Club, welcomed former Deputy Secretary of Defense the Honorable Mr. Gordon England as the event’s keynote speaker. England, also grandfather to Allison W. ’23, also served as the Secretary of the Navy and the first Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. 

    “Today, we recognize the contribution and service of those in our community who have served our nation in uniform…We recognize the very unique role that the Armed Services play here in the Hampton Roads community,” said Head of School Scott Kennedy during his opening remarks. “We are all connected to the men and women who serve here…Understanding the purpose of this commemoration binds us together, as a school, a community and as a nation. At Collegiate, we are deeply committed to the military community.”
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  • Students Present "The Alibis" in Fall Theatrical Production

    Norfolk Collegiate upper school is bringing the Hackney Theater stage to life in its first production of the school year with “The Alibis” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 5, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6.

    Join us and see what happens when a clueless detective tries to track down the alibis of those suspected of murdering eccentric billionaire J. Leslie Arlington. But what happens when the suspects are all reluctant to admit their alibis—because they were all committing other ridiculous crimes?!
     
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  • Constitution Day Returns; Challenges Students' Historical Knowledge

    Our seniors brought elements of our nation’s journey to the Constitution to life for their fifth grade buddies during Constitution Day. Seniors were given 6 specific areas of history that played a role in the making of the Constitution and were challenged with creating games, skits and other activities to quiz their fifth grade friends on. Those included:

    1 | Zenger Trial
    2 | Madison and the Iroquois
    3 | Creation of the District of Columbia
    4 | Constitutional Amendment winners and losers
    5 | Rome and the Constitution
    6 | The Three-Fifths Clause
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  • Members of the 2022-23 lower school Student Council Association pose for a photo following their installation ceremony on Sept. 16, 2022.

    SCA Officers, Representatives Installed in Ceremony

    On Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, our lower school Student Council Association installed the 2022-23 officers and members in a ceremony in the lower school auditorium. Officers will serve a yearlong term while representatives from Kindergarten through Grade 5 will serve trimester terms.

    Congratulations to the following Oaks on being voted to the SCA:

    Kindergarten
    • Tyler W., Maddie S., Caroline M., Charlie R., Olivia D. and Bo G.
    Grade 1
    • Jillian T., Anna M., Luca B., Zoe N., Amelia A. and Harrison B.
    Grade 2
    • Ethan M., Essie H. and Hayden M.
    Grade 3
    • Cameron B., Grace H., Mark K., Jeevan W., Carrington J. and Chloe B.
    Grade 4
    • Austin R., Paige M., Molly M., Ryan A., Alex O. and Jack V.
    Grade 5
    • Lucy B., Marion C., Dylan K., Virginia M, Carter R. and Graham S.
     
  • Norfolk Collegiate Marine Biology students sort bottle caps from a bottle cap challenge. The challenge was part of a  year-long, cross-disciplinary project led by their Teacher Dr. Frank Thomson.

    Upper School Bottle Cap Challenge Yields 12,000 Caps

    Do you ever wonder what happens to the trash that gets in our waterways? Or where the missing bottle cap you can never seem to find goes?

    Norfolk Collegiate’s Marine Biology students can tell you just where items like that go, thanks to a year-long, cross-disciplinary project led by their Teacher Dr. Frank Thomson. 

    The journey began this fall when Thomson took the students on a field trip to the “Washed Ashore” exhibit at the Norfolk Botanical Garden. The exhibit featured 11 larger-than-life sculptures made from plastics pulled from our oceans. It also was the perfect opportunity for students to learn about ocean wildlife. Students worked in pairs and each pair presented an organism to the class using the exhibit’s sculptures as examples. They discussed the adaptations, habitat, behavior, ecology and other aspects of marine biology of the organism. 
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  • The sixth grade math students created models of an indoor preschool play area using 3D figures such as rectangular prisms, triangular prisms, square and triangular pyramids.

    Black lights, neon paints bring new life to math

    The middle school Explore Room was transformed into a blacklight math haven and students couldn’t get enough of it. While their upper school classmates participated in Learning to Evaluate Action Program’s (LEAP) LEAP Term, sixth, seventh and eighth grade students took their project-based lessons to a new level, thanks to their teachers Mrs. Sutelan and Ms. Alt.

    Over two days, students worked in the Explore Room using "dark light." The space was blacked out and black lights were added to create a festive environment for students to bring their creations to life.
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  • Norfolk Collegiate upper school students—Maggie C. ’22, Abby S. ’22, Graham F. ’22, Logan R. ’23 and Jessa R. ’23—earned second place honors in the 25th annual Blue Crab Bowl.

    Students Take Second Place at 25th Annual Blue Crab Bowl

    Upper school students—Maggie C. ’22, Abby S. ’22, Graham F. ’22, Logan R. ’23 and Jessa R. ’23—earned second place honors in the 25th annual Blue Crab Bowl. The bowl, which was held virtually again this year, is Virginia’s regional competition of the National Ocean Science Bowl©, an annual competition that tests their knowledge of our oceans.
     
    The two-day competition was hosted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS).

    This also marked the second year for the team. They advanced to the playoff round and following 6 hours of grueling competition, was announced as the No. 2 team in the state of Virginia, joining the first-place Chesapeake Bay Governor's School for Marine Science as the only teams to score over 300 points in the competition!
     
    “Our team worked really hard practicing and preparing,” said advisor Dr. Frank Thompson of the competition, which featured 70 high school students from 13 teams across Virginia.
  • Students compare the control EcoBottle with the impact EcoBottle during a recent lab showing the affects of humans on their ecosystem when pollution is involved.

    Students Testing Human Impact on their Ecosystem in Lab

    Middle school students are seeing firsthand how people can impact their ecosystems through things such as road salting for inclement weather, trash, pollution, acid rain and more. 

    Students designed their own labs, picked an impact to the ecosystem, such as acid rain, trash, pollution, road salt during inclement weather and more. They then created an EcoBottle, which simulated their ecosystem, and created a controlled system and one in which humans made their impact. Students used local pond water, soil and grass seed to create their EcoBottles. 

    Over the next two weeks, students looked at the microorganisms in the pond water, observed the water health, grass health by measuring the height of the grass and overall amount of grass growth. 

    Once completed, they had to come up with a proposal on how to help our local environment. 
  • Students Sarah '22 and Stanley '23 work on their robot for an upcoming FIRST Tech Challenge regional competition. The program is offered to Norfolk Collegiate upper school students.

    Oaks compete in their inaugural FIRST Tech Challenge

    Good luck, Marah G. '22, Stanley S. '22, Sarah M. '23, Parker H. '25, Vincent M. '25 and Maddie M. '25! These Oaks are participating in the FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics regional qualifier on Saturday.

    Named the O.A.K.S. for Outstanding Automated Kinetic System, the students will compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC).
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  • Gabby '22 won the schoolwide Poetry Out Loud competition and will advance to the regional competition in February 2022. She selected “Requiem” by Camille T. Dungy and “On Liberty and Slavery” by George Moses Horton.

    Gabby '22 Advances in Poetry Out Loud Competition

    This year’s Poetry Out Loud competition saw a mixture of veteran and novice performers take to the stage in hopes of advancing to the regional event. In the end, it was veteran performer Gabby G. ’22 who clinched the honors.

    Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition that encourages students to learn about and memorize great poetry. 

    The goal of the competition is to help students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about literary history while exploring contemporary life.

     
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  • David S. '26 competes in the Middle School Spelling Bee. David won the bee with the word

    Middle School Spelling Bee Goes 11 Rounds

    This year’s middle school spelling bee saw 19 students face off for the first-place honor, competing in 11 rounds. Words such as invigorating, wattles, Juneteenth, granules and contraption came before contestants in the annual event. In the end, it was the word “contorted” that stumped all but David S. ’26, the reigning Spelling Bee champion.

     
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  • Photo of Sara Steil

    Sara Steil 

    Director of Communications and Marketing
    Virginia Wesleyan University
We're always looking to highlight the amazing things that are Oaks, past and present, are doing.
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