Marco Benedetto is well known around the halls of Cape Henry Collegiate. He is constantly surrounded by friends, some of whom you might see laughing because Marco just told a joke! His upbeat and friendly personality makes people want to be near him.
What is it about Clemson University that Nick Hubbard finds attractive? Although due to the current situation he was unable to take a personal tour, the virtual tour via Zoom was impressive. He is drawn to the size of 20,000+ in the student body as well as the location in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Nick is considering the Business major program which is offered there. And don’t forget the sports! Go Tigers!
by Mr. David Willis, World Languages Department Chair
Not long after meeting Ava Mager in her 9th grade year, I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “she is going to be valedictorian.” Since that moment, I have had the distinct privilege to be her teacher for three courses: Spanish II Honors, Spanish IV Honors, and finally AP Spanish Language & Culture. Brilliant, mature, focused, intellectually curious, and organized are but a few of the superlative descriptors that come to mind when thinking about Ava’s qualities as a student. She is the kind of learner whose ability to draw insightful interdisciplinary connections or refer to humorous inside jokes in her second language brightens up a class discussion. She has an agile mind that can participate in a 30 minute Zoom interview all in Spanish for this article, reflecting on her past accomplishments and future goals, without missing a beat.
by Mrs. Kathleen Sharp, Middle School English Teacher
There have been many times in the past 10 weeks when I have thought, "I wish I had..." when I think back to my final days on campus back in March. I wish I had cleaned out the coffee cup that surely still sits (half-empty/half-molded) on my desk. I wish I had brought home with me my favorite journal to continue my writing. And, most heartfelt of all, I wish I had spent more time in the presence of Trevor Kidd before leaving campus on March 13.
That's the thing about Trevor. If you know him, you want to spend time with him. His unmatched dry humor, his love and appreciation for all things Star Wars, his strategically hidden intelligence -- there is so much to Trevor that I knew a face-to-face interview would be best for this Senior Feature piece. But, alas, March 13th came and went and we have yet to come together again in the halls of Cape Henry. So, in true modern-day fashion, we connected over email, and, in true Trevor fashion, he let himself shine through.
Trevor arrived in the halls of Cape Henry Collegiate in the 6th grade after spending his elementary years at John B. Dey Elementary School on Great Neck Road. When I asked him to reflect on what he remembers from his first days and weeks at CHC, he responded with detail: "It was immediately a huge difference (for me). I remember the first day of school we had mac and cheese, and I was just sitting at the table eating it with my hands. Mrs. Christianson came up to me and told me to use a fork. In elementary school, no one used a fork at my table, so I was shocked to find everyone using one here. Now, I realize how disgusting that was and I'm glad I was informed." There were other memories from Middle School that stand out to Trevor including his time in Mrs. Fluharty's drama class. "I never thought I would ever do any sort of play in front of so many people, so that was definitely something special. My advisors throughout middle and upper school definitely stood out throughout my time: The Kerbins, Ms. Frasher, Mrs. Christianson, Mrs. Stello, and Ms. Baytops. I also really appreciate Mrs. Fluharty and Mrs. Whitney, but to be honest I can’t think of a teacher that I disliked."
Another teacher who made an impact on Trevor was Upper School Math teacher Mr. Rudolph. "Mr. Rudolph taught my sister in high school at Cox and she never stopped talking about how awesome he was, so he had tome big shoes to fill. He filled those shoes and more, making my BC Calculus class one of the coolest classes I’ve ever taken. Mr. Rodgers pushed me as if I was already a college student, which is something I really do appreciate. He respects and thinks highly of all of his students."
While Trevor can name a number of teachers who have influenced him, made an impact on him, and whom he will miss dearly as he moves on to Virginia Tech this fall, Trevor expresses with genuine sincerity his praise for his favorite -- the incredible Upper School History teacher - Mr. Steve Palmer. "If I was to choose a favorite teacher, it would be Mr. Palmer. Every time I see Mr. Palmer in the hallways, I always strike up a conversation, because he is just so cool. He is one of the only teachers that I seem to miss being with every day every time I see him." This isn't surprising to me as I have often heard from students about their connection to and respect for Mr. Palmer. I had to know more - and Trevor was willing to share. "I think everyone sees the same thing in Mr. Palmer's class: his love for his students. Palmer is the nicest guy you'll ever meet. Through my conversations with him, I have noticed that his first question is always "How are you today?" And although everyone says it, he MEANS it. He genuinely cares about all of his students and he wants the best for each of them. Although the class is a struggle, you come to really appreciate it in the end. I can't really point my finger on what it is, but he's just so likable. He can give you a 60 on an essay and you'll still feel happy that Steve Palmer took the time to write on your paper."
Trevor Kidd is an academic powerhouse. Not many know that about him as he doesn't flaunt it or show off his intellectual prowess (too) often. When I asked the 9th grader who Trevor tutored (as part of his National Honor Society responsibilities) to tell me about Trevor, Nolan Sharp said simply, "He's the best. He just helped me without making it a big deal, without making it hard, and without making it boring. We'd talk about school stuff and sports - but he always showed me how to get myself organized and how to get my work done."
“Persistent, thorough, cordial, and highly intelligent”; these are some of the words used to describe Jack from his advisor, Mrs. Leanne Self. Jack was quiet and didn’t speak much when he first joined Cape Henry Collegiate in his ninth grade in the Fall of 2016 from China. Mrs. Self, who was also Jack’s English 11 teacher, states that “he became comfortable articulating his opinion in the public speaking unit and argued intelligently in his persuasive research paper”. After spending four years at Cape Henry, he has transformed to someone who doesn’t have any problem voicing his opinion as well as maintaining an “A” in a very demanding English class.
by Mr. Brian Facemire, Upper School History Teacher
When Jack is interested, Jack is as engaged and focused as a young man can be. He will need this characteristic at the Virginia Military Institute in the fall where he will continue his education and play collegiate soccer. Soccer has been a part of Jack’s life since I met him in seventh grade on the JV soccer team. I kind of had an idea he was special, but I didn’t know how special. Competition and a deep commitment to team run deep in Jack and his family.
by Mrs. Kathleen Sharp, Middle School English Teacher
Senior Brandon Midgette arrived at Cape Henry Collegiate in the 6th grade. Since that time, he has taken every opportunity to soak up all that CHC has to offer. While academically, he feels the most impactful classes have been his history ones, he believes he truly found himself when he became part of the Cape Henry running program.
“He is a true mathematician!” Jad Shaheen has earned the utmost respect from his teachers at Cape Henry Collegiate. When asked about their impression of Jad, multiple members of the faculty confirmed that he has a great work ethic and attitude. He is the first to volunteer help, is smart, kind, and very social. His understanding of math made him the go-to person when the toughest questions were asked and his abilities pushed his classmates to further understanding of mathematical concepts. His growth even through senior year proves that Jad will do amazing things in life. When he takes on a new challenge he does so with enthusiasm and achieves great success! Personally, I have not had the pleasure of teaching Jad, but I sure wish I had based on this feedback and my limited interactions with him! What a legacy he leaves behind!
Abbey Trinidad is a legend at Cape Henry Collegiate--in many ways, especially for her kindness. But she also holds that title because she entered our community in her kindergarten year; we feel so fortunate to have had her company all the way through her senior year! And the feeling is mutual, as Abbey reflects, “It’s really crazy to think I’ve been here my whole life. I’m very lucky; I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”
As we speak via Zoom, Barrett (Bear) is wearing an American flag bandana to hold back his long quarantine-chic hair. He tells me that on his desk there are three books - The Koran, The Book of Mormon, and The Art of War. These books, he explains, are a good window into the person he has become through his seven year tenure at Cape Henry Collegiate.