School Notes: May 2017

Meghan Hundley and Nora Wood pose with their art. (Photo: Lisa Martin)

Show and Tell

Henley Middle School showcased student learning and skill with their annual EXPO and Talent Show last month. Thirty-three classrooms were open for visitors to browse and engage with projects ranging from the artistic to the scientific. Sixth-graders Meghan Hundley and Nora Wood (who happen to be cousins) showed off their Impressionist artwork, done in bright acrylics, while seventh-grader Kieran Garrod demonstrated a messaging and fire detection device he designed and built.

Seventh-grader Lilly Clark’s pyramid and the items it contained were constructed entirely from reused materials, as her classroom featured transformation and repurposing projects. “The Repurposing Project allowed students to investigate surface area and volume of 3-dimensional shapes through a project that challenged them to reduce their ecological footprint by repurposing an everyday item,” said teacher Christine Martin.

Llly Clark shows off her repurposing project. (Photo: Lisa Martin)

Onward and Upward 

Fifth grade classes from Murray Elementary combined with those from Brownsville Elementary to visit Henley Middle School in April for a half-day of activities designed to introduce them to their next school environment. “Henley always does a nice job of making our fifth-graders feel comfortable transitioning to sixth grade and middle school,” said Murray teacher Courtney Dillard. “On our orientation visit, Murray students especially enjoy touring the school, seeing old schoolmates, meeting their future teachers, and seeing the Henley Hornet mascot.”

Murray student Jonah Ratan enjoyed the preview. “Seeing some of my friends’ brothers was fun,” he said, and he noted several differences such as the hall lockers and bell schedule. Though Henley is huge compared to Murray, Ratan is not worried. “I’m going to make myself a map, so I always know where to go.” Fifth-graders from Meriwether Lewis Elementary and Crozet Elementary received their orientation the following day, and the total from all four elementary schools will be 267 students joining the Henley community in the fall.

Jonah Ratan, rising 6th grader. (Photo: Lisa Martin)

Get Smart

Three quick-witted and detail-oriented teachers at WAHS comprised the “Best Western” entry in this year’s WordPlay competition, a live game show event held annually at the Paramount Theater. The event raises funds for Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle, a nonprofit agency that combats local illiteracy. Lani Hoza, Jill Williams, and Dan Bledsoe competed April 27 against 47 teams from area schools and businesses, and finished in fourth place after hitting the same high mark last year.

The trio’s knowledge base spans a little bit of everything, from geography to sports to anatomy to literature, and team captain Hoza said they have fun with the game show format. “To practice, we entered local ‘Trivia Night’ competitions sponsored by groups like District Trivia and Geeks Who Drink,” she said. “We were actually the World of Beer regional champions.” Students take note: This is one instance where being a know-it-all serves a good cause. For more info about WordPlay or to support the organization, go online to

Daniel Bledsoe, Jill Williams, and Lani Hoza of team Best Western. (Photo: Lisa Martin)


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