Students Take $5,000 Plunge at the Oceanfront

It was a balmy, 35 degrees Friday, Feb. 2, the perfect temperature for a few brrr-ave upper school students to take the dive and participate in this year’s Cool School Challenge®.


For their senior project, Hunter Flora ’18 and Gabby Grinnan ’18 organized their classmates to raise over $5,000 (their original goal was $3,000) for the Polar Plunge®, an initiative that provides aid locally to Special Olympics Virginia. Donations give competitors year-round sports training, competition, leadership opportunities and health services to more than 21,000 athletes of all abilities.


For local schools, The Cool School Challenge® provides teachers and students from grades 3-12 to run into the Atlantic Ocean with 600 of their peers the day before the Polar Plunge.


Students weren’t the only ones to participate. Headmaster Scott Kennedy had a blast plunging with his students and was with them every step of the way.


“It was shocking and magnificent,” school student Sarah Beck ’18 said. “The anticipation was the most intense part. I was one of the first ones in the water, and it was really exciting. The only downside? I ended up throwing away my socks!”


Sarah’s classmate Emma Stephenson ’18 agreed it’s something everyone should do “at least once.”


Don’t feel like you missed the boat; there’s still time to donate! If you’d like to contribute to Gabby or Hunter’s campaign, you can click here.


As of early February, Hunter is the top fundraiser and had the most donors in the challenge. Collegiate is fourth in donations as a school.


Since 2011, Virginia students have helped the Special Olympics raise more than $390,000 for Virginia athletes. To read more about the challenge, visit


To watch our Oaks taking the plunge, please click here.


Thank you to the following students for participating and taking the plunge!


Hunter Flora '18

Gabby Grinnan '18

Emma Stephenson '18

Miles Edmond '18

Melody Williford '19

Jackson Burke '18

Hailey Hux '20

Antonio Gao '20

Jacob Roth '19

Josh Hutson '18

Audrey Smith '18

Tim Spooner '18

Parker Banks '18

Elena Adams '18

Brooke Walthall '18

Ken Hargrove '18

Ashley Obermeyer '18

CC Kelly '18

Nolwen Andre '20

Nicholas Howlett '20

Bobby Howlett '19

Sarah Smith '18

Maxwell Vooss '19

Carson McMonagle '18

Elizabeth Jones '18

Emma Smith '20

Caely Kloc '20

Sarah Beck '18

Anna Winn '19

Molly Beegle '19

Frances Pierce '19

Madalina Silliano '20