“If we have the courage and tenacity of our forebears, who stood firmly like a rock against the lash of slavery, we shall find a way to do for our day what they did for theirs” - Mary McLeod Bethune An enormous United States Flag flew over a rest stop in South Carolina. So big, that as a group we all stopped in our steps to stare and watch the win whip it back and forth. The flag was capable of embracing and engulfing the fifteen of us multiple times. We looked up at the flag in comfort and honor, but the flag’s shadow did not foreshadow for us how small that flag reached around our ancestors. Our ancestors that had no rights; cast as outsiders with no other option but to stand up in the red, white, and blue to make the land of the free, free for me.
Mrs. Brooke Hummel, Assistant Head of School and Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid
“James Tyler has a big brain!”
This is possibly the earliest recorded quote regarding the one and only, Mr. James Tyler. Noted by fellow classmate Colin Sharp when they were just two years old in the same day care classroom, James has demonstrated he has the capacity to solve problems beyond what many of us might imagine possible.
Mr. Brian T. Walker '95, Director of Marketing and Publications
A strong, confident young woman walks across the stage at Graduation to accept honor and praise for her work and accomplishments. But while many may be focusing on that single moment in time and applauding a job well done, senior Morgan Jones, and those closest to her, reflect on the how one single decision back in 2015 would change her life for years to come.
Mrs. Leigh Anne Clay, Middle School English and Upper School Journalism Teacher
Over the past five years, many people in the CHC community have witnessed the impressive evolution of Stock Watson – from uncertain and introspective to confident and well-rounded. His Biology teacher, Mr. Chris Souther, shared his thoughts of how Stock changed during 9th grade and beyond, “Stock started slow and was unsure of his place in the Upper School. Over time, he became more confident and by the end of his freshman year, he was one of my top students. It is so wonderful to see how far he has come, in both his maturity and his confidence since those early days in Biology.”
Brett Dudley is a petite young woman. But do not let her size fool you. She is fierce! She came to Cape Henry in middle school and made the most of the opportunities presented to her. As an upper school student, she was a member of the volleyball team and the Women’s Chorus as well as a Peer Leader.
Mrs. Brooke Hummel, Assistant Head of School and Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid
Sitting across from a six-year old Colin Sharp, I shared this iconic line. As his first grade teacher at Saint Patrick Catholic School, I was trying to appeal to his superhero loving self and help him to understand his ability to influence.
Colin and I had just had a conversation about Pokemon cards and that they were only permitted during recess or after school. I issued my final warning. “If I see them again during reading groups, they will belong to me until June.”
Have you ever had one of those moments where something strikes you a certain way, and it offers you a peek into the future? One of those moments where you get a glimpse of what might be, or better yet, what will be?
For me, one of those moments was the Saturday that Grace Fluharty auditioned for Cape Henry Collegiate’s production of “Shrek: The Musical.” Up until that point, I had primarily known Grace from my work with her as a Global Scholar, and as the daughter of two of my very good friends. I knew she was a kind person, a stellar student, and that she was very interested in theater.
I first met Cameron “Cam” Ciolfi on the maiden voyage of Little Nexus back in June of 2012. He was one of two boys on the trip and was such a gentleman. I remember as Mrs. Julie Scherrer made fabulous meals, Cam was always around offering to help clean- up and talk with the adults. While only a rising 6th grader, he offered to help carry everything and made Mrs. Hayes and I excited to have him as a Middle Schooler in the Fall. Our greatest memory of him on this trip was his quest for knowledge and ability to share information. Whether going to the Turtle Hospital or the Dolphin Research Center or Snorkeling at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park , Cam read everything, listened and shared his knowledge with us all. He loved learning about the animals and how we are trying to protect them.
Four years ago, Catherine Chen walked into my Honors Chemistry class as a freshman and a newly arrived international student – a little bit timid but with a big smile on her face, eager to get her new adventure underway. After four years of seeing her smiling face around campus, she is leaving us to take off on her next big adventure – attending Barnard College in New York City.
Ethan Jones is one of those kids you would call Best All Around. He’s a dedicated student, determined athlete and loyal friend.
I first met Jones at one of our morning track practices in March. It was 6 a.m., blistering cold and the sun had yet to rise over the turf field, but Jones arrived smiling and full of energy nonetheless. He bounded onto the field ready to tackle the morning’s workouts and drills and hyped up the remainder of our two-sport athletes along the way. I initially chalked Jones up to a morning person, but as track season continued and our hallway run-ins became more frequent, I realized he simply radiates happiness all day long.
Kind, polite, hardworking, empathetic, mature, chivalrous, determined, respectful, positive and genuine. Did I mention kind, polite and hard working? Because his teachers certainly did, again and again! JMU is extremely fortunate to be welcoming the fine young gentleman that is Jared Gordon to their campus this upcoming Fall.
When Carolyn was in the 9th and 10th grade, she carried herself with such poise and maturity that I would often jokingly ask her how her process of world conquest was going. She would smile and say "fine." Her sense of self and strong work ethic never wavered in her time here, and her ambition to accomplish great things fueled her effort and focus. Her selection of sweatshirts from small, elite New England colleges seemed to represent a compass of sorts for where she was heading and what was driving her.
With a quirky sense of humor, a crooked smile and a mop of unruly hair, Jack Zhao sat down with me recently to discuss his time at Cape Henry and his recent admission to his top college choice, the University of California at Berkeley. After a trip to California two years ago, Jack has known for a while that Berkeley was his top choice but also has been aware of its highly competitive admission standards, especially for international students.
Emily Ryan can best be described as humble, hungry, and the hardest worker in the room. She came to Cape Henry Collegiate as a 9th grader following in her father and sister’s footsteps; she is the third CHC graduate in the family. However, when it came to her college decision, she decided to attend James Madison University rather than Virginia Tech, which is not only both her mother and father's alma mater but where her older sister Ashley, Class of ‘16 currently attends college. Emily described JMU's beautiful campus and digital cadaver lab as solidifying her choice. While this might sound strange to some, Emily's career path has been heavily influenced by her own injuries. Emily recounted how her back "snapped like a paperclip" when she was in 8th Grade. The physical therapy process she endured has left such a meaningful impact on her that she would one day like to pursue a similar profession in the health and medicine field. She specifically wants to work with young people, noting her volunteer work teaching Sunday School to 3-year olds as one of her favorite activities outside of school. Most people don't find physical therapy enjoyable, yet Emily isn't most people. In speaking about her own PT, she exclaimed, "She was so cool and nice. I would always ask her questions because I was so curious about how everything moved. I found it so interesting how you can strengthen one part of your body for something else to get stronger, which I think is just so cool". It's no surprise that her favorite class at Cape Henry has been her Anatomy class where they visited a real life cadaver lab.
In true Emily fashion, this quote by Sarah Addison Allen exemplifies how she finds purpose and strength from difficult times. "She understood that at the hardest times in life to go through were when you were transitioning from one version of yourself to another." While senior year comes with celebration, there is also great angst. Emily's advice about senior year and the college application process is simple: "Don't get too stressed out with it, and it is a very stressful process. When you're writing your essays be true to yourself. Don't worry too much because whatever college you get into, it will be the right fit for you." Emily leaves Cape Henry with no regrets. "Well maybe one… I would have liked to have tried indoor track, but I was committed to basketball." Right now Emily is crossing the ocean, on her way to Morocco for the Nexus Global Studies program senior trip. She doesn't know what to expect but is excited about the adventure. “I’m hoping to see the desert and try some new foods.” Knowing Emily, we fully expect that she will embrace this once in a lifetime experience.
The first time I laid eyes on Merry, as far as I remember, was on the Cape Henry Collegiate softball field in the Spring of 2016, her 9th grade year. She wasn’t on the field, but in the catcher’s box, catching some balls and missing most. It was probably an actual game because I remember giving my daughter, Merry’s teammate, a pep talk that night about how things would get better and sure enough, they did. Things improved for the team and things definitely improved for Merry, in this case it was softball. Coach Souther put Merry where he needed her. “He had a plan”, she said. From catcher to first base to third, her bruises got fewer and fewer and the team better and better. Merry says that struggling through losing seasons, different positions and different coaches over her high school years, helped make her who she is today. Those experiences helped Merry come out of her shell. Merry “found her family” in coaches like Souther, motivation to play from Jeanne Short and more importantly, her sisterhood in her teammates.
Little did I know that 2015-2016 year was Merry’s first year at Cape Henry. She felt shy and out of place but to those around her, she seemed to have been at CHC a lifetime. Her parents are first generation immigrants from China and wanted a better life (you know the story, she says), so they came to the states where they met in New York, settled in Maine for a bit and then to Virginia Beach. “They worked their butts off so that my brother, Kevin, and I could get the best education. They are my biggest shout out and I can’t imagine life without them.”
Asking Merry about how she ended up at Cape Henry, she said at first she didn’t want to go after Middle School. She knew her parents had a plan for her and her brother and that the smaller class sizes, more individualized instruction and a place where everyone knows them would ultimately benefit them both. Sounds great, right? She gave in. When Merry received her first English essay back and had a horrible grade on it, she wasn’t so sure. English is her second language after all. After meeting with her teacher multiple times about how to improve her English essay writing and her English grade, it did and her faith in her school choice was renewed. Not because she had a better grade, but because she saw first-hand that she’d get the individualized help she came for and the support to allow her to thrive.
Merry once again, “found family” and excelled. She says her biggest mentor at CHC was Deanna Thompson. Deanna met Merry in the 9th grade and checked on her all of the time. “Mrs. Thompson is like my mom at school. She gives hugs when I need them and always makes me feel better when I am down. I can go to her with anything. I will be forever grateful that our families are connected.”
It was similar with other teachers. Coach Chris Souther wasn’t just a coach, but her first science teacher at Cape Henry. He encouraged her to take as many science classes as she could.
“Having Tracey Pinkin was awesome. I have never seen someone so full of humor. She definitely helped bring me out of my shell. I am also part of the Sports Medicine Honor Society because of her.”
“Mrs. Moore,”... hmmmm, Merry pauses here and then tells me all about AP Bio and Global Health and how Mrs. Moore changed her life as well. Again, Finding Family.
I had the pleasure of traveling with the Global Health students in the summer of 2018 to Grenada, and Merry herself. The quiet, and self-proclaimed “scared-to-do-something-different-girl” wasn’t the girl I chaperoned at all. Her zest for life was infectious. She was talkative, fun and appreciative of the opportunities around her. She was humorous. We spoke about opportunity a lot on that trip, especially in regards to whether or not she was going snorkeling near an underwater statue sanctuary. Just when I had decided I couldn’t talk her into it, in the water she went and came out smiling and thrilled that she had taken advantage of the opportunity to do that with her new-found friends and other CHC classmates. Finding Family.
Her advice to others is not to be scared to take risks. She said she would have never felt that way in the 9th grade, but traveling with Nexus over the years and signing up to be a Peer Leader with Kim Johnson are two things that pushed her out of her comfort zone. “ I never felt this way about myself until Senior Year”, she says. Merry has met amazing friends like Madisen Patrick (“best sister I could ever have”) and Ashley Wendt. She’s part of prestigious academic groups such as the National Honor Society, the French Honor Society, the Sports Medicine Honor Society and the Math Honor Society.
Because of Merry’s high achievements academically and involvement in many things in and out of school (she is also a competitive pianist), she had the pick of where she wanted to attend college. Merry’s choices were The University of Delaware, The University of Maryland, Seton Hall, George Mason Honors College, American and George Washington University. Merry came out of her comfort zone again and chose George Washington University- what she says was her reach school. “With both Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon, it’s the best of both worlds. I loved it and toured three times!”
Asking Merry what she will miss the most as she ventures off to George Washington, without a doubt she mentions her brother, Kevin, also a Cape Henry Collegiate student. She says they haven’t ever been separated. He is her best friend. She tells him everything. “I have had the support of the most amazing family- my parents and my brother. I’m not sure what I will do without my brother everyday to lean on, but I know I will meet new people and find my way.”
Merry, these next steps may cause a few bruises but just like softball, there will be fewer and fewer. Cape Henry Collegiate is proud of you and I am proud to have had the chance to get to know you and I know you will Find Family.
The fabric of Cape Henry is woven through Nick Capria and has been a part of his artistic design from a very early age. Nick has walked the halls of Cape Henry since Pre-K and has touched the lives of many at the Cape. Who is Nick Capria? Here is how some have described him.
Nick is a fine fellow---fun to work with. Certainly not a carbon copy of prior Caprias we have taught. He is Nick, and he is a nice guy to have around---and that is important. –Mr. Kerbin
“Do what you are passionate about, do what you want to do, and make an impact on your society.” This is quite a mature quote from a high school student, but Kay Wu is not any high school student. Kay arrived to Cape Henry Collegiate four years ago from China as one of our international students. From my observations, it appears that Kay has lived up to his words of wisdom.
Mamma mia, here we go again….saying goodbye to another amazing CHC graduate, Elena Duncan.
Elena and I first met 7 years ago when her family arrived to Virginia Beach from California. A spirited young lady with an engaging personality and a contagious smile, Elena instantly found a group of friends among her 6th grade peers and quickly came to call CHC her home. Now, as she looks back on her experiences through Middle and Upper School, Elena says that she has come to find comfort, community, and family in her years at CHC.
Amberly Butler….Athlete/Dedicated/Curious….descriptives by her Senior Yearbook Photo. All who know her would certainly agree with all of these adjectives, and so much more. Her 3 years in the Upper School made our athletic teams better, and our community better. She is the Multi-Sport Senior Captain you want leading and mentoring our youngest team members. It is her confident, caring smile, and a swagger of healthy competition she brings to every roster. Amberly brings a competitive will to any team, but she also brings a healthy perspective, regardless of a game’s result. A standout 3-sport Varsity Athlete, in every sense of the word. An All-Conference Softball recipient, and arguably one of CHC’s all-time best softball athletes, no question. Aside from her abilities at every position on the field, it is her willingness to pitch, catch, anchor the infield; whatever is best for the team, that makes her invaluable to any program. Not a grimace of frustration, or a display of selfishness ever from this polished student athlete.
I met Daniel “Danny” Banister, Jr. one afternoon in August as he was completing enrollment for his freshman year at Cape Henry Collegiate. Having watched him grow up in television commercials selling cars with his family, I must admit that I was slightly star struck. As I prepared to leave the meeting, there was one thought that I could not get out of my head. This was my chance. What did I have to lose? “Hey Danny...swap keys?” The look he gave me in response said, “Do you know how many times I’ve heard that line?”
Graduation. It’s always bittersweet—leaving what is known and casting a line out in new water, finding a fresh way to define the future. For Ellen Apotheker, these concepts are nothing new and, in fact, offer a way of returning rather than departing.
"The sand and the sea is all I need," Marshall Joyce.
The ocean, where Marshall recalls his first memories. The ocean, where Marshall relishes his most cherished activities. And the ocean, where Marshall will pursue his calling. Marshall Joyce's journey began 200 steps from the warm sand in Virginia Beach, examining the various ships entering and leaving the vast Atlantic Ocean. For a brief period, his journey took him to the cold north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he described, "the most difficult time of his life." However, it was in Pittsburgh where Marshall ultimately realized his passion, wanting nothing more than to be connected to the ocean and to always find the positives in life.
Wladimir Gassant, affectionately known as “Wlad”, leaves an indelible mark at Cape Henry Collegiate. Small in stature, enormous in grit, will, and determination. Wlad leaves the Dolphin Soccer Program, as a two time TCIS & State Champion, and Conference Player of the Year distinction. The win/loss record during his tenure is impressive, the class and intensity on the pitch, even more impressive.
One of my favorite Team Captains Meeting was sitting down with the Varsity Soccer Captains at the onset of the Fall Season. Wlad Gassant, John Ermini, and George Selemaj, with this trio, the program seemed ultimately deemed for a title. I asked them about big games, their goals, and their perception of how the season would play out. Wlad looked me right in the eye, and simply said, “one game at a time”. One of those goosebump moments for me, no question, it was obvious he not only knew what it would take, but was also poised and prepared to deliver. This team did exactly that, one game at a time, finishing 18-3, undefeated in Conference play; and a state championship run for the history books. Somehow, this was the way it should finish for Wlad.
Wlad speaks of the last five years at CHC with incredible appreciation and pride. He enjoyed the academic challenges he found in the classroom, specifically Physics, AP Comparative Government, and English. Those subjects and others have him prepared for the upcoming schedule as a college student athlete. Wlad recently committed to play Mens Soccer at VCU, after considering Va Tech, CNU, and JMU. Ultimately for Wlad, he immediately felt at home at VCU and connected to the community, much like his experience at CHC. He is very much looking forward to the new college challenges in the classroom and on the soccer field.
The Dolphin Boys Soccer Coaching Staff has nothing but adoration for Wlad. Brian Facemire, Assistant Varsity Coach remarks, “Wlad was our leader, on and off the field. His physical talents and technical ability speak for themselves. He leads often by silent example. Needless to say, he was an integral piece of our back-to-back championship run”
Head Coach, David Brun, speaks of Wlad’s story, with an enormous sense of pride; and, honestly feels lucky to have crossed paths with such a special young man. “Uprooting from the country of Haiti overnight at the age of 8 in the midst of crisis, heading for the unknown is the backdrop of a unique journey for Wlad. Since then, he has been on a quest to prove he belongs. He’s still the guy on the pitch, regardless of his size, that beats you with a header goal, a well timed tackle on the ball, and the the bigger the game gets, the bigger he gets. His resilient nature and determined spirit to prove any doubter wrong will serve him well at VCU. The label natural Futbolr, is Wlad. Balanced and subtleties that off balance opponents. The pride he has shown in leading our team to a second state title will always be with me. I could not be more proud of the person he continues to be, and I know we have the kind of bond that will continue for years. He’s one of the really special people to have come into my life through the vehicle of coaching, and I am grateful to have been a part of his story along the way.” Wlad feels the same, Coach Brun! When Wlad enunciates the word, “Coach”, it is clear just how deep the appreciates runs for this lifelong connection the two have formed.
Tracey Pinkin, CHC Athletic Trainer, respects the work Wlad dedicated to flexibility and strengthening after his freshman year. He bought into a proactive approach when it came to the demands of elite soccer, and this approach kept him on the field, and effective from start to finish. Wlad also appreciates the plan laid out from Ms. Pinkin, and will take this with him as he prepares for Rams Soccer @VCU.
Wlad has been an active member in Operation Smile, the Spirit Squad, the SPCA, and the Va Altruist Club. Giving back seems to come easy for him, and it shows in his leadership style on the field and in the hallways. Not an attention seeker, but an attention getter.
Advice for underclassmen, as he soon will be moving to Richmond, with aspirations of studying Law & Business. “Enjoy your time at Cape Henry, because this school offers a lot of experience and opportunity, and many people looking out for your best interest.” All the best to you, Wlad. We look forward to keeping up with your exceptional ability to excel, and your determined spirit, at VCU.
At Cape Henry, we honor our Legends with a walk through the hall where everyone in the school can see the students who had the fortitude and luck to spend the entirety of their educational careers at CHC. Having joined our community as a Junior, Briggs Standing will never get the chance to earn that honor, and that is something he is completely at peace with. He attended the school west of Cape Henry through Middle School and then that’s when the great theme of Brigg’s life kicked in: Curiosity.
One of my favorite artists, Andy Warhol, once said, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
Well, that explains why Haicheng “Tina” Zou, an International student from China, is always in the middle of things at Cape Henry. She has always been a proactive force in our community, and her zest for learning and answers comes from a view of the world that is grounded in both the local and global communities she lives in.
Anthony "Logan" Tucker, also known as LT by his friends and teammates, is a young man of few words but has demonstrated time and time again that his actions speak louder. Brian Facemire shared, "On the field, Logan led by example and was an integral piece of our back-to-back championships." In the classroom, Greg Angilly comments, "Having the opportunity to teach and learn from Logan has been one of my favorite experiences of this school year. When he speaks, you should listen as he's a man of substance and class. I will miss his kind presence on this campus quite a bit next year!". Friend George Selemaj describes Logan as "one of the most genuine people I have ever met."
Elaine is originally from Beijing, China and joined Cape Henry Collegiate in ninth grade in the Fall of 2015. When asked about why she picked Cape Henry for her high school experience, Elaine stated that “I visited several other independent schools in the Hampton Roads area, and loved the environment and culture the most at Cape Henry during my tour. So I decided to come to the U.S. to stay with my aunt, who also lives in the area, and study at Cape Henry.”
Mrs. Kathleen Sharp, Middle School English Teacher
Cape Henry Collegiate's focus on the core values of scholarship, opportunity, community and integrity permeate all aspects of student life and experience. No student is more aware of and thankful for these values than Class of 2019's Lauren Matacunas. A Dolphin since 7th grade, Lauren can't help but reference and appreciate these values as she shares her thoughts about her time at CHC.
Fans of the lacrosse team at CHC will have a different experience next spring as they look out onto the field. It will be missing Ryan Mancoll as Elon University, in North Carolina, welcomes a new phoenix.
After being accepted to several big-name institutions like George Mason, Virginia Tech, and NC State Honors College, Ajay has decided to attend the University of Maryland. Ajay earned membership to UMD’s Scholars Program and was awarded the prestigious President’s Scholarship. Lots of reasons besides the scholarship lead Ajay to UMD. First, they have one of the top Computer Science programs in the country. Second, he knows the location well and is comfortable with the area. Third, family and friends live nearby. UMD seems like a perfect fit for this driven young man.
Four years ago, Ruidi “Serena” Hong moved to the United States to begin her life living in a Material World. This is perfect if you want to be a Fashion Designer or work in the Fashion Merchandising Industry, as is her ambition. However, she would be the first to admit that was not her goal from the start. Learning English and navigating the halls of Cape Henry Collegiate were way more important at the time, but she found her way and made it work. I first met her as her Freshman Biology teacher and Softball coach. I remember her dedication and willingness to learn, especially at a game she had never seen before. She once ran the wrong way around the bases, which made her teammates chuckle with laughter. But they also remarked that she was fastest player to run those bases regardless of the direction. She learned the game quickly and was always playing with a smile and joy in her heart.
Mrs. Becky Schnekser, Lower School Science Teacher
Articulate. Dependable. Determined. Responsible.
These are just some of the words that come to mind when you hear the name, Charlotte Brown. With these descriptors, it comes as no surprise that Charlotte will call the University of Michigan her home after Cape Henry Collegiate. “Michigan just feels like home,” explained Charlotte, whose grandfather is an alumnus. Between her family having spent countless family trips in the state, the school itself having an array of options and highly ranked programs, coupled with a world class education, Charlotte knew that it was where she wanted to be as a young adult.
Skylar Herrle is considered a student legend here at Cape Henry, as she has walked the halls for a total of 13 years. She first stepped into a Cape Henry classroom as a student in Ms. Buchardt and Mrs.Bouch’s transition class. Ever since then, she has been respected and loved by so many within the community and has developed relationships with many people around her. Some of her fondest memories at Cape Henry are from her early days on campus with her friends. Skylar loves to reflect back on one memory in particular. “I remember getting so excited for my first field day and getting to play with the older students. It was a great time for all of us to have fun and bond. Go purple starfish!”
Katie began her legacy status at Cape Henry as a kindergartner.
She was a delightful first grader.
Katie is from a family of Cape Henry students and graduates – her dad, her stepmom, her aunt, her brother, her sister and others. Katie’s grandparents came to Grandparents' Day for many years, cheered at games and were involved in many other activities.
Mr. Joe Thompson, Middle School History Teacher and Varsity Boys Lacrosse Head Coach
Ethan Wolff stands 6’5” and is hard to miss walking around the Cape Henry hallways. His deep voice can seem intimidating, but this gentle giant has a very kind and loving heart. Funny, polite, kind hearted, altruistic; these are some of the words his classmates and teachers use to describe him. After getting to know him this past year, I would agree with all of those adjectives and as his lacrosse coach, I would merely add that he is a great teammate as well.
Who is that fitness guru singing her way through Legally Blonde? No wait, isn’t she the brunette who was wowing the audience in Mamma Mia? Hold on! I think that’s the same girl who was a part of the sister duo I saw at Cabaret!
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with Nick in both Life Science, during his 7th grade year, and then again in APES during his recent senior year. This perspective has allowed me to see the tremendous growth and development of maturity that Nick has undergone since I have known him. Nick and I recently sat down to chat about his time here at CHC, some of his most memorable classes and people, as well as his plans for the future.
Mr. Jim Lancaster, Middle School Faculty and Varsity Cross Country and Track and Field Head Coach
The two runners continued to gobble up track, pulling away from the field. Orange, grey. It was hot, and you could see it on the faces of both runners as they labored with each stride. Orange, grey. Near the finish line, one coach of the grey runner’s mind wandered, considering if his runner had enough to overtake the leader. On the far side of the track, the grey runner’s other coach considered how if there was going to be a move, the time was now. The runners entered the penultimate lap of the mile. Orange, grey. Then a scream, a surge, a new leader. Grey, orange. Enter Owen Richards, State Mile Champion.
One of the gifts of working in a PK-12 school is the opportunity to see growth over a longer period of time than just the four years we get with kids in the Upper School. I first met Reed Truxell when I was coaching middle school lacrosse in his 6th grade year. The young man he is today is a testament to the growth that can occur in a supportive environment where kids are given opportunities to be themselves and try different things. You may be wondering... Who is he today? Today, Reed is a confident, strong, smart gentleman who is a friend to peers, a wonderful son to a loving mother, a tough as nails wrestler, a scholar, and an ethical person of character. He has developed a sense of self and independence that didn't exist when I met him as a nervous little boy on the lacrosse field.
Caroline will attend the University of Virginia next year and I couldn’t be more proud than if she was my own kid. She plans to follow her mother into education. Caroline has a passion for working with kids and specifically plans to help kids who struggle with speech impediments.
Quiet confidence, focus, insight. These are words that first come to mind when first meeting Valerie Chen. She is a young lady who is thoughtful about others and is grateful for those who have made a positive impact on her. She is reserved, but you can see her enthusiasm as she shares her thoughts on her future and reflects on her time here at Cape Henry Collegiate. During her time at CHC, Valerie has taken many AP level courses and participated in Robotics and Debate Club.
I walked across the hallway the other day and asked my esteemed colleague Sherry Davis an important questions - “If I just refuse to write Caroline’s Senior Spotlight, does that mean she has to come back for another year at CHC?” Now obviously I said this in gest - but the sentiment rings true to all on this campus - We just don’t know how to say goodbye to Ms. Cashion.
Mrs. Becky Schnekser, Lower School Science Teacher
When you think of the heart, soul, and muscle of the crew team, one name comes to mind immediately, Malia Macleod. As a seasoned veteran and captain this year, Malia lead the crew team to their second place TCIS finish this season. Crew has been a home, place of comfort, and true niche for this Cape Henry Legend.
Witty, reliable, and positive. These are just some of the words teachers use to describe Genevieve Reynolds.
Upper School Sciences Teacher, Tracey Pinkin says, “There’s never a dull moment when Genevieve is around”. Sammie Logan, Director of Choruses, adds that “Genevieve has been one of the most dedicated and reliable students in the ensemble” and according to Dr. Corrine Perkins, Upper School Mathematics Teacher, “the ideas she has, and the questions that come to her mind are brilliant…” Although Genevieve does not command a tremendous amount of fanfare for herself, Mr. Logan shared that she has maintained “a very necessary presence” in the chorus.
Mr. Jim Lancaster, Middle School History Teacher and Varsity Cross Country and Track and Field Head Coach
As the race unfolded, the first three legs had done their job. Each leg had run their best to put the anchor, Claire Bingham, in position to win the TCIS Championship. As Claire received the baton, the lead of 30 meters held by the Norfolk Academy runner looked insurmountable. With each stride, the gap diminished. Halfway through the race, the lead had evaporated and Claire pulled away. As she drove down the home straight away on the track, it was clear she had helped her team pull off what at once was considered a challenging, if not impossible task.
Mr. David Willis, World Languages Department Chair
During his seven years as a member of the Cape Henry community, Kai Hendrix has worked to develop his exceptional artistic talents with quiet focus and determination, impressing his peers and teachers alike. Head of the Art Department Jeff Warden describes Kai as “very intelligent, mature, gifted, motivated, knowledgeable, inquisitive, and persistent.” Mr. Warden shares that having Kai in class has been “like having a skilled teaching assistant whenever needed,” adding that it has been “a privilege to watch his creative growth as a very gifted artist.”
Kellen Marshall did not want to come to Cape Henry.
“I have to be honest. I had been in small private schools and as I was getting close to high school. I wanted big. I thought I wanted to go somewhere that I could be less noticed and maybe not have to work too hard,” Kellen admitted with a sheepish smile.
When you ask his fellow classmates about Paul Sawyer, they will tell you that he is a chill, positive, and overall likable guy. In fact, his personality earned him the “Most Laid Back” senior superlative for Cape Henry’s Class of 2019. Paul will attend Flagler College in the fall, where he plans on joining the surf team. Flagler is located in Saint Augustine, Florida and is just a couple of blocks down from the beach. This location complements Paul’s love for surfing perfectly and is a big reason for why Paul chose to go to Flagler.
Lexia is one of those kids you wish you could clone. She brings a certain je ne sais quoi to any room she enters. Her presence is felt rather than simply noticed. She is admired greatly by her peers and commands respect from them. Lexia plans to attend Appalachian State University in the fall and major in nursing while simultaneously joining the ROTC as a path to becoming an Army nurse.
Certain people come into your life and leave an indelible mark. MaryGrace Fowler is one of those people. Her calm and quiet demeanor can often be mistaken for a lack of passion or motivation, but that could not be further from the truth. MaryGrace is a fierce competitor, a wonderful student and a thoughtful friend to many.
Twin problems are a real thing. There are countless internet memes and an entire website dedicated to the subject with hundreds of real issues that you must be a twin to understand. Imagine sharing nearly every single experience of your life with another human being. It’s your birthday! Guess what? It is his, too.
The Urban Dictionary defines a Lily as such: "If you don't have a “Lily” in your life, you should probably pray you did. Lilys tend to be a little scary at times, but it's only when they are rightfully defending you. You can tell a Lily anything that's on your mind, they won't judge. A Lily will always deny compliments that are obviously true, they don’t realize their own beauty. Overall, a Lily always does things in their own special way, and they always see all the good things they know are in your personality”. (Paraphrased: Urban Dictionary, 2019).
And, I am proud to say Cape Henry Collegiate has had a “Lily” for the past 13 years!
Parker Tanner-Vigil - you will be missed! You will be missed in the hallways, the classrooms, the lacrosse field, the wrestling room, the stands of basketball games, the senior lounge….you will be missed! I thought it best to start with the overwhelming sentiment so many of us feel when thinking about this young man and his tenure at Cape Henry Collegiate.
Jerry Garcia said it best - What a long, strange trip it’s been! Jason - We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve shared moments of happiness, mourned the loss of individuals together, traveled to far away places and you’ve even driven me to get some sushi when I was a man without a car. I truly can’t imagine being at Cape Henry Collegiate without you in the halls!
According to Urban Dictionary, “Passion” is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is possible.
“You got to live and learn and make mistakes to be a man.” ~ Future
If you have ever researched Sewanee- The University of the South, they say their students’ experiences stretch further & reach higher than their boundaries can contain.
This has always been the case with Grant Shephard. His boundaries are limitless and he has experienced as much life as people twice his age. I have heard him touted by his peers as one of the smartest kids they know or even better, unmotivated genius. As I mentioned this to him, in perfect Grant form, he responded humbly. Nah.
Genuine. Passionate. Determined. Resilient. Special. When asked what word comes to mind when they think of Gabrielle Short, this is how her teachers describe her. Scott McGraw, her AP Government teacher said “the one word that comes to my mind when I think of her character is trustworthy. If she says, she will be there, she will. If she says she read the book, she read it. I have never heard her say a bad word about anyone, nor have I ever heard anyone say a bad word about her. She is the kind of person who, quietly, makes her community a better place by acting as a role model for her peers.”
Wouter is known around our campus as being a friendly, kind student. He is always willing to help, even joining in to assist with the Writing Center when that was needed, although English is his second language. It seems like he has been a valued part of our community for much longer than he has!
“Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.” - Al Capone
The late Al Capone was known for many things and outside of this quote, none of them would remind you of Charlotte Purkey. However, when it comes to both kindness and strength, Charlotte possesses both of those attributes in spades.
Mr. Kevin Shain, Director of Technology and Security Systems
In the fall, Martin Salzberg will be enrolling at the University of Virginia. Martin said that attending UVA seemed like a natural decision for him. This is due to the fact that both of his parents attended UVA and he has lived there for a few weeks at a time. UVA just seemed like the right fit for him. In addition to UVA, Martin applied to a total of 8 schools and visited 6 of those campuses. Some of the other schools he considered were Virginia Tech, George Mason, William and Mary, and Cal Poly.
Mrs. Deanna Stepanovich, Upper School Spanish Teacher
I had the pleasure of working with Chloe Lee last year in Spanish IV. I found Chloe to be intriguing and as the year progressed, I discovered more and more details about her that make her special and unique. She’s the kind of person to whom I find myself responding “No way!” I am fascinated by her life “behind the scenes” or shall we say, outside of the classroom.
Mrs. Vanessa Clinton, Lower School Curriculum Specialist
When asked about his time spent here at Cape Henry, Martin genuinely stated, “I love this community. It’s really warm. I belong here.” When comparing the Cape Henry Collegiate learning community with that of a traditional high school in China, Martin feels strongly that his personality fits in more here than it would back home, citing more opportunities and choice as a couple of the qualities that drew him into Cape Henry’s community. Martin first began thinking of going to boarding school as a middle school student in China. When the opportunity presented itself with Cape Henry, he was reluctant at first, but quickly warmed up to life and learning in America after just a couple of months.
Entering the hallways of Cape Henry Collegiate for the first time in seventh grade, a tall, lean Alex Gianascoli wore a big smile. It is clear “Geno,” as he is affectionately referred, has cherished the past six years and the bonds he has formed throughout his time in Red, White, and Grey. While he will continue to don a Red, White, and Grey uniform in the cold mountains of Lynchburg, Virginia, he will miss the opportunities which Virginia Beach provided him. As he prepares for his final weeks in the Cape Henry Collegiate hallways, he begins his preparation as a collegiate student-athlete for the University of Lynchburg. Leaving as he arrived, with a smile.
Do not underestimate Jillian Ehrenzeller. She might seem quiet and reserved on CHC’s campus, but she is a powerhouse in the classroom and is an incredible, accomplished equestrian.
Jillian has been such a warm and welcoming presence at CHC. She began her Dolphin journey in Kindergarten and speaks fondly of Mrs. Armstrong, Jillian’s former teacher. “Mrs. Armstrong has a hug for me every time I see her.” She smiles big as she fondly recalls her Lower School days.
Tucker Bruner will be headed home next year - to the great state of Colorado where he will be the 18th member of his family to attend Colorado State University! Born in the Rockies, Tucker is excited to be the first CHC student to attend CSU and he will leave behind a tradition of excellence when he leaves us this June.
As a three time varsity soccer letterman, three time TCIS champion, and two-time Division 1 state champion, George Selamaj has been a huge asset to the Cape Henry soccer program for the last three years. But when asked to describe George as a player, Cape Henry coach Dave Brun did not describe him as the best athlete on the field. Instead he said this: “Too often in sports, we get fixated on the biggest, fastest, strongest, when the truth is, some people are just better at playing the game than everyone else is. George is one of those people.”
Jackson Kassir is well-known around the halls of Cape Henry Collegiate. He is positive, always smiling, saying “hi”, and surrounded by friends. He is one of those guys that has “Dolphin” written all over him.
Destinie . . . what a great name to have as you look toward your future university experience! And where will that be? After campus visits to James Madison University and William & Mary, Elon University won! “This was the last college I visited, and I liked the environment. It has a lot of opportunities and is very big on global studies; I like to travel, so that attracted me. It’s also a nice campus, of medium size.” Although Destinie will miss being with family, she is looking forward to “meeting new people and starting a new chapter in life.”
At the high school level, Nicole Rychagov is a student who questions inside and outside of class what matters to her and how she will contribute to our society. Nicole’s passion for education, commitment to excellence and dedication to research and science were the reasons why she chose to attend Harvard University.
In the game of Lacrosse, there are many times when frantic play is intermingled with clarity, calm and strategic passing. Success is often measured by those who can manage these wild swings in tempo and play. This is a good analogy of how Jack Praver has spent his 4 last years at Cape Henry Collegiate.
Know, Value, and Challenge...not only are these words the first line of the CHC Mission Statement, but they have also been the core of Jamie Friedman’s experience as a Dolphin. If you know Jamie, you know that she leads with enthusiasm, spirit, and a genuine curiosity for the world around her. However, as she plans to leave the nest in just a few short months, Jamie said that her biggest fear is leaving the friends, faculty, and family who know her so well, value who she is, and challenge her to be her best self. She is most nervous about developing new relationships and knows she will have to be patient as she learns to function in a new environment that is different from Cape Henry, where both she and her twin sister, Hallie, have attended since Grade 1.
In the game of golf, they say the next shot is the most important. For Caleb Choe, he approaches every shot, test, assignment, and challenge as if it is the most important. According to Varsity Golf Coach, Jon Corliss, “Caleb is the consummate leader. He speaks up when necessary, but leads by example every single day. “
“.......and, your Captain…. the Big Man….#32....Dajour Rucker!!”
Hearing this young man’s name announced pre-game always gave Dolphin fans a feeling of excitement, assurance, and pride. His presence on the hard court has been nothing short of phenomenal. An All-State, All-Tidewater, and Conference Player of Year Recipient for multiple seasons gave the Varsity Boys Basketball Team the foundation to have success year after year. Two Team Conference Championships, a State Semi-Finalist appearance, and the tradition and reputation of a quality basketball program leaves Dajour Rucker’s mark on the Dolphin Basketball Team as one of our all-time best. As his game progressed to both an inside and outside presence, most opponents found him as one of the most challenging players in the state to defend. As his game progressed, as did his leadership skills. His teammates and Coaches have an unspeakable respect for all he brings to a team. The absolute ability to take over a game, and have the result decided by his undeniable will. Aside from the individual accolades and team accomplishments, his BIG personality, in the athletic arena, and through our hallways will simply be irreplaceable.
Oddly enough, Summer Programs share quite a few similarities to lunch and dinner buffets across the world. However, Summer Camp’s most important parallels include ample opportunity to explore new activities without a long-term commitment while providing a twist of fun and excitement to the daily routine.
John Ermini is ______________________. Ask his friends and they will tell you, hardworking, a role model, and a leader. Ask his teachers and they would add, intelligent, insightful, and diligent. His long time soccer coach Mr. Dave Brun says, “He has a massive heart; it beats for his friends, his teammates, and all things Cape Henry. He is fiercely loyal, and shows up everyday.”
Mrs. Kathleen Sharp, Middle School English Teacher
Three words shared as advice to students who follow in his footsteps here at Cape Henry Collegiate. But what do these words even mean? How can someone find and be his or her true self in the halls of Cape Henry Collegiate? A closer look at Class of 2019 superstar Aedan Somers gives each of us just a bit of insight into how to be that "true, authentic self."
Mrs. Kristen Dodzik, Middle School World Languages Teacher
Remember the movie, High School Musical? You know, the vibrant and jazzy “tweenage” Disney coming-of-age musical that cast heartthrob Zac Efron as the lead character?! If not, the story revolves around a talented and academically gifted student athlete whose defiance of social expectations encourages his fellow classmates to embrace their talents and live their most authentic lives. Why is this relevant, you may be wondering? Well, Cape Henry Collegiate happens to have its own “Troy Bolton” of sorts, and his name is KONRAD KEENAN! It’s true. Konrad is our resident “Troy” and since I happen to know that Konrad is a fan of movies, I am hoping that he will forgive me for making the parallel analogy. There is no shame in being compared to a protagonist whose heroism comes from uplifting and supporting the people around him. Both Konrad and Troy lead by confident but humble example. Ask anyone about Konrad, and you’ll see the parallel as well.
Mr. Dashiell Quasebarth, Middle School History Teacher and Varsity Cross Country, Track/Field Coach
The starter’s pistol went off, and Taisho Miller started his final race as a member of a team at Cape Henry Collegiate. With a smile on his face, he used his first lap of the mile to think back on the memories of his time at Cape Henry and how his time here has prepared him to head to Hampden-Sydney in the fall.
“The first step to receiving an answer is being brave enough to ask the question.” - Unknown
For Cape Henry Legend, Hallie Friedman, bravery is at the core of her character. Never one to shy away from asking a question, Hallie has challenged her teachers and friends to consider things that we might otherwise accept without evaluating, probing, and dissecting.
“Some people might find Hallie’s questions overwhelming, but I was happy to see someone with so much inquisitiveness and drive, especially in science. Hallie has always been that way and her continued success at college will be based on a yearning for clarity and purpose,” shared Mr. Chris Souther.
Senior Field Hockey Captain, Alexandra “Zan” Land, recently closed the chapter as arguably one of Cape Henry Collegiate’s finest athletes, male or female, in any and all sports. A two-time State Champion, two-time TCIS Champion, D II State Player of the Year in 2017 & 2018, a 3-year Captain, an All-Tidewater Selection, and CHC’s all-time leading Field Hockey Scorer. All of this is nothing short of remarkable, and there’s just not enough incredible adjectives to explain just how special her career has been in a Dolphin Uniform, #2. She is respected among her teammates, opponents, Coaches across the State, and the nation in the Field Hockey Club Circuit. Her presence on the field is humble, unassuming, but driven and competitive. As she surpassed the scoring of CHC Legends, Erin Scherrer ‘15 (Duke), and Madison Land ‘15 (Louisville), ironically, Alexandra’s older sister; it was even more apparent of the complete admiration and respect of those who played before her. She does not boast about these accomplishments, but respects the program she has whole-heartedly bought into from the onset.
Michael Allen joined our Cape Henry Collegiate community in his sixth grade year, when I had the pleasure of meeting him through English class. He has been a quiet, dependable force on campus ever since; but now it is almost time for him to move on. And where will he take his next steps educationally? He is looking forward to joining the student body at Washington and Lee University, set in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, where he applied early. Having only considered two colleges, why did he feel this is the best fit?
She knew Cape Henry was the right school for her when she sat in on Willy Fluharty’s International Relations class as an eighth grader. Even then, she knew she wanted a school that would allow her to be herself, and she realized Cape Henry was the one when she participated in the wide-ranging discussion of current events that took place in Mr. Fluharty’s classroom that day. The class reminded her of her experience at The Williams School because it was small and informal and because the conversation was dominated by the students, not the teacher. As she put it, “[i]nstead of the school making me fit into its program, Cape Henry was willing to let the program fit me.”
Eva Dickie has a spirit for adventure. As many of her classmates are narrowing down their college decisions to destinations that will keep them closer”ish” to home, she has taken a slightly different path.
“I’m nervous but excited, too. I can remember being in Middle School and telling my teachers that I was going to move to Florida. I guess I sort of just knew,” expressed Eva.
Eva’s sense of adventure and “going with your gut” instinct is one that she saw modeled by her parents. Eva began her preschool education at Saint Patrick Catholic School in its inaugural year of operation. When her parents signed on to send their first born off to school, Saint Patrick’s was more of a concept rather than a reality. Fast forward 10 years and as Eva was making the decision about where to attend high school, she took a similar leap of faith.
Aiden Kuhle stands at nearly 6’5” and is 230 lbs. He can hurl a 85+ mph fastball and blast a baseball well over 300 feet. Those stats alone make for an intimidating presence. However, if you were to ask faculty, classmates, and teammates for words to describe Aiden you would hear kind, thoughtful, polite, and inclusive. While Aiden is positioned to stand atop the CHC mound this spring, he already stands atop a list of impressive accomplishments.