2018 Spring Highlights and News at CHS

Zyahna Bryant; Photo credit Matt Eich.
Zyahna Bryant; Photo credit Matt Eich.

Junior Zyahna Bryant was selected as the winner of the 2018 Princeton Prize in Race Relations (DC Region) and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center’s 2018 Student Stowe Prize! PC: Matt Eich.

On February 13, CHS hosted a ribbon-cutting to celebrate a new partnership, the CHS/CFA Institute Finance Academy. The partnership supports financial education and cultivates interest and awareness of the investment profession. The  CHS/CFA Institute Finance Academy will impact three programs at CHS: the Student Investment Group (see next item!), the AVID program (including a business-style renovation of the AVID seniors’ classroom, and the economics and personal finance classes required of all CHS students.

CHS logo with portraits of the Student Investment Group members
Student Investment Group

For the second time in three years, the CHS Student Investment Group (SIG) is one of six American finalists in the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Global High School Investment Competition! The team will join others from the U.S., China, India, Brazil, Norway, Canada and the United Kingdom in Philadelphia at the Wharton Business School in May. Team members are Lucas Higgins, (SIG founder),  Cole Fairchild, Whit Rudder, Maya Block, and Hunter Randle. SIG receives support through our partnership with CFA Institute.

A number of Black Knights participated in Charlottesville’s first Next Gen Peacebuilders program, sponsored by the Charlottesville Rotary Club.

CHS debaters won state competition and will advance to nationals! To read more, click here.

CHS debaters won state competition and will advance to nationals!

  • Fré Halverson-Taylor & Owen Fernandez took first place in Public Forum (4-0) while Junior Dani Szabo went 4-0 and placed 2nd in the Lincoln-Douglas category. Overall, CHS won 3rd Place Sweeps. Altogether, we had 11 qualify for states and 9 participated. Congrats to all students for their amazing performances: Julianna Brown, Cole Fairchild, Ellie Detert, Lena Keesecker, John Emery,  Alyce Yang, Evelyn McKenney.
  • Just prior to  the VHSL Super-Regional Tournament, our qualifier, Cole Fairchild, had a family emergency. Alternate Dani Szabo stepped in the day before and came up with an upset win!  Since his speaker points were so high (a perfect in the final), CHS also took 2nd place sweeps, an almost impossible feat with a single debater.  At states, he was part of a  three-way tie for 2nd!

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Students at Jefferson School African American Heritage Center for Dialogue on Race
Students at Jefferson School African American Heritage Center for Dialogue on Race

A contingent of CHS students spent a day at the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center, working with the Cville Youth Council  to make meaningful change as part of the community’s “Dialogue on Race.” For more on this important conversation, click here.   The book "The Hate You Give."Other CHS news related to this topic includes area high schools’ “Big Read” of  The Hate U Give, which was read by CHS 9th-graders, who also participated in a group forum led by UVA professor and CHS parent Lisa Woolfork. In addition, throughout February, a series of community speakers offered opt-in presentations to students for Black History Month, which concluded with the school’s annual assembly. This year’s assembly speaker was Rashard Davis ’16, winner of a 2018 Super Bowl Ring with the Philadelphia Eagles!

The number of students enrolled in honors courses at Charlottesville High School is up 21 percent this year, with increasing diversity. This is in part due to greater use of “honors-optional” classes that allow students within a single class to elect assignments and readings that qualify for honors credit.  For Charlottesville Tomorrow’s reporting on this progress, click here.

Buford, Walker, and CHS parents and guardians are invited to take a survey about college-level classes sponsored by the CHS PTO and Counseling Department. The survey is part of a national conversation about college prep and high school stress.


CHS BACON: state and global qualifiers in Zero Robotics, FTC Robotics, Science Olympiad, and more. Click here for more.

CHS BACON: state and global qualifiers in Zero Robotics, FTC Robotics, Science Olympiad, and more:

  • #2 in VA at Jefferson Lab Science Bowl
    #2 in VA at Jefferson Lab Science Bowl

    After qualifying for the international finals of the elite programming competition Zero Robotics (again),  team leader Jonah Weissman received special recognition for developing a github interface for version control.

  • CHS BACON also qualified for state competition in FTC Robotics. (Again!)
  • As they prepped to send up their first satellite, the BACON ThinSat team toured labs at UVA today, including the Aerospace Engineering department.
  • Not only did CHS host the regional Science Olympiad tournament, but students also brought home (OK, they already were home) a team trophy. Jamie Nachbar and Clara  Stelow earned  3 medals each!
  • BACON came in 2nd place in Jefferson lab’s state Science Bowl competition, losing only to governor’s school and perennial champ, TJ High School for Science and Tech.
  • Seeing a need, students are creating an ID scanner to record when students come into the building. Their software is software ready for testing, and hardware in development. Look for the prototype!

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Fine arts acclaim in music, visual arts, creative writing, theatre! Click here for more.

CHS orchestra seniors with their Orlando trophies
Orchestra seniors with their Orlando trophies

State and local recognition and appreciation:

  • An ELEVENTH Blue Ribbon for all-around excellence in band, choir, and orchestra. High Schools ear blue ribbons from the Virginia Music Educators Association when all three of the schools’ top performing groups earn superior ratings (the highest possible).
  • Orlando Music Festival Excellence:  It was a clean sweep for the CHS orchestra, as they claimed first place  in the gold division for both 2A and 3A competition, PLUS the outstanding orchestra award, two adjudicators awards, and the instrumental sweepstakes award. Then at the airport heading home, the orchestra was invited to give a command performance — listen to the NPR story here.
  • State band and choir: Sharon Reitsma, Charlotte MacDonald, Clare Inlow, and Anna Bon-Harper performed with All-Virginia bands; and Adria Cafferrillo, Sarah Garretson, Victoria Kremer, Beau LeBlond, and Parker Nelson repped CHS at the all-state choir.
  • Art awards: Jane Ormsby won third place  in the 2018 VA School Boards Assoc. Regional Forum Art Contest; Tiara Strait and Aleena Haidari won awards in the Rumi Forum’s Annual Peace and Dialogue Art and Video Contest.
  • Creative Writing Winners:  Seven CHS students were winners in the Mirabella writing contest sponsored by Tupelo Press’s Teen Writing Center: Rachel Beling, Ryan Doherty, Sarah Hale, Fentress Lynch, Alice Owen, Elana West-Smith, and Gabe Yeargen. Their works will be published in an anthology.
  • Photo of CHS's 2018 "Rising Star" award-winners
    Rising Stars!

    Rising Star Awards: Congrats to the CHS winners of the  Arthur C. Greene Rising Star Awards: Rachel Beling (Poetry), Ashley Clark (Creative Writing), Kiki Dowell (Theatre), Parker Sullivan (Choir & Orchestra), and Deveny Watson (Visual Art).

  • After Theatre CHS’s stellar spring musical (South Pacific), the program goes quiet, right? WRONG: Next up? The Tempest on April 26-27, to be followed by a host of year-end performances such as Dessert Theatre. Plus, broadway performer Deon Ridley spent a day leading CHS theatre classes!
  • Congratulations to Margaret Lather, Ella Harrigan, and Florence Pinkston, who took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively, in the high school prose category for the UVA Fralin Museum of Art’s Writer’s Eye Contest!
  • Remember the beautiful and inspirational musical collaboration in August between students from CHS and Nashville? (If not, get a tissue and click here now.) CHS choir students recently visited Nashville to reconnnect and perform a new song, written by surviving students from Florida’s Parkland High.  Click here for more.

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Need a verbal hug? Visit the hallways of CHS and read the hundreds of encouraging post cards sent to Charlottesville students from people all over the world. Thanks to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Blue Ridge for your efforts to promote positivity through this #DearYoungPerson  campaign.

The CHS Model United Nations delegation met with a team of real-life ambassadors at the Nigerian Mission in New York while they attended the National High School Model United Nations, the world’s largest UN conference.

Model UN in New York
A large CHS Model UN contingent in New York
Spanish AP and 4 classes at UVA Architecture School
Spanish AP and 4 classes at UVA A School

Field Trips

How should we remember war? Students trekked to the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial to see the memorial in honor of the 28 local men who died in the Vietnam War.  One student reflected: “You figure out that not everything is a given.”

Spanish IV and AP students recently visited the UVA School of Architecture. Students toured the A School & heard from students who had studied abroad in Barcelona.

Traveling the globe with virtual reality…. CHS students took a trip with GoogleVR to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

AVID students visited CFA Institute to learn more about their work and careers in finance.

Art students visited Second Street Gallery  for a workshop.

Public Presentations and Pitches

Two students pitching ideas behind a microphone for Project SERVE
Pitching ideas for Project SERVE

CHS students in general — and AVID students in particular — have had a host of opportunities to pitch ideas and present research.

  • Biology classes participated in a student symposium co-hosted by the UVa Medical Center. CHS students’ research was guided by medical professionals.
  • AVID students pitched community solutions — and received $10,000 to support them! — at CFA Institute’s Project SERVE. This pitch event is one of many ways that the new CHS/CFA Institute Finance Academy is promoting real-world skills and financial literacy.
  • CHS students presented a wide range of ideas at the Tom Tom Founders Festival. Topics and presentations included BACON, AVID’s Project SERVE winners, City Schoolyard Garden, AP Psychology, and more.
  • Students pitching on stage for Project Serve
    Students pitching on stage for Project Serve

    Students from CHS’s Becoming a Global Citizen class pitched their customizable t-shirt business at the TomTomFest Youth Summit – and won!

  • AVID students also presented their Project SERVE ideas at the Public Education Foundation luncheon.
  • Lugo-McGinness Academy students shared their stories and student perspectives on alternative education experiences during a round-table event for representatives from Newport News Public Schools who came to learn about the success of the program.
CHS Diversity Assembly

CHS celebrated its students’ commonalities and differences with another beautiful Diversity Assembly this March.

CHS Urban Farming & Entrepreneurship class is preparing for the spring with a student-built chicken coop to host the newest and smallest CHS Black Knights!

The CHS Amnesty Club hosted a “Hunger Banquet” to raise food, money, and awareness of local and global hunger issues.

CATEC's "Technical Eats" Food Truck (made from school bus)
CATEC’s “Technical Eats” Food Bus

CATEC students debuted their school-bus-food-truck called “Technical Eats” during the  Tom Tom Founders Festival’s Makerville Expo, and CATEC student Alonda Clark placed 3rd in the Skills USA competition for Nurse Assisting.

CHS AVID students organized a “Food for Hoops ” community 5v5 basketball tournament at Tonsler Park. Jerry Harris, Kajesha Taylor, and Jaquan Wood put in the organizational work and even paid for the event’s catering!

CHS athletes have been winning in sports AND sportsmanship! For more sports news, click here.

CHS athletes have been winning in sports AND sportsmanship!

CHS received a sportsmanship award from VHSL after the winter season since the school has had no player or coach ejections in the first two sports seasons. Thanks for keeping it classy! And spring athletes, let’s keep it going!

Golfer A.J. Stouffer, P/C Andrew Shurtleff, Daily Progress
Golfer A.J. Stouffer, P/C Andrew Shurtleff, Daily Progress

Senior golfer AJ Stouffer was named the Newsplex’s athlete of the week in March. Among other district and regional honors, Stouffer won this year’s community-wide Charlottesville City Championship, the youngest champ in its history.

The CHS softball facility continues to see improvement. Last winter, new dugouts were erected, and this year a new infield is being installed along with a new sound system courtesy of Crutchfield. A special thank-you to the City of Charlottesville and Parks and Recreation for aiding us in this process. Similarly, CHS Baseball’s facilities have seen major upgrades over the last few years thanks to the school’s partnership with the Tom Sox of the Valley Baseball League.

Five football players made commitments to continue their athletic and academic careers: Trejon Bryant (Glenville State), Rakeem Davis (JMU), Larry Henderson (Glenville State), Sam Neale  (Washington & Lee), and Jake Poe (Hampden Sydney).

Kennedy Wardlaw at states
Kennedy Wardlaw at states

Winter sports highlights:

  • Ella Reed and Zoe DeGuzman both qualified AND PR’ed at the Class 4A VHSL State Swim Meet. Ella dropped more than a second off of the 100m breaststroke, and Zoe dropped nearly 5 seconds off of her 200 m free.
  • Girls and boys basketball both completed fine regular and post-season runs before ending in round 2 of regional play.
  • Senior track athlete Kennedy Wardlaw qualified for states after placing 3rd in regionals in the triple jump.
  • Senior Isaac Kenner was named to the All Central Virginia Wrestling team, the first Black Knight to be so named since Wade Kammauff four years ago.

Alumni sports highlights:

  • Football’s Rashard Davis ’12 earned a Super Bowl ring with the Eagles (and came back to serve as the speaker at the CHS Black History Month assembly).
  • Golf’s Emmy Timberlake ’16 won her first college golf tourney this spring.  She shot a 77 to earn medalist honors for Dennison U. in the rain at the Wooster Spring Invitational.
  • Field hockey’s Kendall Ballard ’16 (Ohio University) played on Team USA when they recently scrimmaged against UVa. Kendall scored the two final goals!

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CHS and WAHS cheerleaders marching together at Dogwood ParadeCHS counselors led a series of Stress-Less Week activities as the first semester wrapped up.

Walking under the banner, “United in spirit, united in cheer,” cheerleaders (and friends) from CHS and Western Albemarle appeared together in the Dogwood Parade.

And upcoming: consider coming out for CHS’s annual Band on the Run 5K on May 5, which benefits the band and cross country team.