We had a very early departure time to meet our ferry. We had a two-hour ferry ride from Belfast port to Cairnryan. After seeing some of the idyllic Scottish country, we toured the home of Robert Burns, considered the poet of Scotland. We then visited Glasgow on a very windy afternoon, saw some of the newest street murals painted by local art students and took in the architecture of the city center. The early wake-up call took its toll, so we settled in early to our hotel in Edinburgh.
You may recall that last year, Oak Hill Academy embarked on a European trip during Spring Break through the highly respected EF (Education First) Tours company. It was a tremendous success with our nearly dozen students coming away from Spain with a memorable cultural experience and friendships that will last a lifetime. One of our chaperones, Oak Hill Academy English teacher, Chris Tobin committed to make this trip an annual offering–but with a caveat: Let’s see another part of Europe – Ireland and Scotland!
This year’s trip will be chronicled here as updates and pictures come from Ms. Tobin and her group, comprised of 8 students. We hope you enjoy seeing their journey unfold as much as we do!
Post #1 3/14/18 Hello, from the land of rain… A trip to this part of the world wouldn’t be complete without some rain. And rain, and rain, and rain.
It was a very wet day, and we walked more than five miles around the city center (Dublin). We visited St. Patrick’s cathedral, saw the Book of Kells at Trinity College, did some shopping, and took in some art at the National Gallery.
We leave pretty early tomorrow, heading north to Belfast. The kids had no problem turning in early tonight!
The Principal’s Office recently announced that Jingyi Cai was awarded “Student of the Week” honors.
Jingyi (“Carritah”) is a senior from the Fujian province of China. This is Carritah’s fourth year at Oak Hill Academy. Her nominator for this award describes Carritah as a great student who gets along with everyone. She is always there with a smile and is willing to help anyone who needs it. She is very active on campus and has a great positive attitude! As an Honor Court judge, she is strong, but fair, and strives to help Honor Court defendants learn from their experiences and improve.
Students are regularly nominated and chosen by the faculty and staff for making notable contributions to Oak Hill Academy campus life.
Today’s guest blogger is Mr. Aaron Butt, Director of Student Affairs. He shares the lessons of February at a boarding school – the “in between days” are the stuff life is made of.
From the Director of Student Affairs:
February is a notoriously tough time at boarding school. Christmas Break is far in the rearview mirror and Spring Break seems achingly distant. We, like many other boarding school communities will understand, celebrate the completion of February. March has arrived at Oak Hill, and in typical March fashion, yesterday the daffodils were blooming and robins were chirping, and today we have snow. I call this time of year “Here, but not here.” We are just over a week away from Spring Break, and a few days into our last academic quarter. Basketball is winding down, and more students can be found on the tennis courts and soccer field. Spring is here, but not here. It is easy to wish away the days, to look down the road to vacations, warm weather, and graduation. Our encouragement to students right now is to live in the present.
Dr. Groves gave a devotion on Monday morning in which he referred to this time as the “in-between days,” and about the importance of living for today and not wishing the moment away. I was reminded of the movie “Click” with Adam Sandler, where he fast forwards his life through the dull moments, and realizes too late that life is made up of those small, seemingly insignificant events.
At this point in the year, students know what it takes to be successful at Oak Hill. We know the value of discipline, routines, structure. The hard part isn’t knowing what it takes, it’s doing what it takes – on a daily basis. It is no surprise to me that the students who have their bed made each morning and wear their shirt tucked in are the students who are on the honor roll; that the best athletes are the same ones who get up at 6:30am to go to the gym.
Oak Hill is a unique blend of accountability and individual responsibility. We ask students to abide by our structure, but also ask them to take ownership for their decisions, and be responsible. This is who we are, and who we will continue to be as a school. Our approach may occasionally change, but our mission will stay the same.
As we move into Spring Break, as spring weather actually does arrive and as the year winds down, my encouragement to students is that we are always “here.” We have already arrived. Take advantage of today, and as Dr. Groves says, “Grow where you are planted.”
Fresh off a “Pump Up Talk” from our partners at The Social Institute, Oak Hill Academy senior Abby Osho has responded with her own version of positive social media use. “When Ms. Tierney challenged us to step up and be leaders on campus in the area of positive social media use, I knew exactly what to do,” Abby says. Wanting to promote her family’s foundation, JNJ Foundation, she knew that she had a great opportunity with her peers here at Oak Hill. Our campus has a long tradition of supporting socially responsible causes. From Breast Cancer Awareness fundraisers to sponsoring children each year through World Vision, our students have historically been quick to respond to a worthy cause. Abby’s idea to take her family’s foundation to social media is an example of how Oak Hill Academy students can be positive users of social media, and it makes her presentation of a worthy cause even more beneficial. “I wanted to give a real life example of how we, as students at Oak Hill Academy, can use our social media access, even though it is limited, for good.”
Oak Hill Academy, a small coed, Baptist-affilitated, college prep boarding school in Virginia has a relatively strict set of boundaries governing cell phone and social media use for its approximately 150 students. Until recently, the school’s policies regarding technology have been admittedly focused on limitations and providing a buffer against the social media trends affecting teenagers–such as overuse, anxiety and distractions to academic performance. Beginning with its association with the Durham, NC-based Social Institute, the school plans to add positive social media use coaching to the campus lifestyle. “We felt that simply providing boundaries and limits during the week and then granting almost unfiltered use on weekends was missing the goal of teaching responsible use,” explains Dr. Michael D. Groves, Oak Hill Academy’s President. “By encouraging the kind of positive use that Abby is demonstrating with her social media campaign for her family’s foundation, we know we are going further in helping our students see the benefits of our weekend technology policies, not just the limitations of them.”
Abby plans to follow up her social media campaign with some on-campus awareness and fund-raising activities including a homeroom devotion and movie night. Here are some excerpts from her planned devotion:
Who We Are
My family foundation, founded in 2017, is run by my parents, Jamil and Nyanga Jaward. They started the foundation to give structure to their deep belief that “being a blessing to others is not only expected of us but required,” as we strive to be doers of Matthew 25:34-40. The Jamil and Nyanga Jaward Foundation is on Christ’s mission to assist impoverished children and widows, and help them rise above the challenges of poverty and rejection, through education and economic development.
The Jamil and Nyanga Jaward Foundation was established to advance education and relieve poverty, which we believe are interrelated. In poor nations, children do not have access to education because their parents cannot afford it and hence they end up in the same poverty cycle as their parents. The goal is to empower parents, especially widows, to start up small businesses that will give them the earning power to send their children to schools, in order to have a better chance of becoming economically independent.
Their scholarship programs help the less privileged get an education that will help them overcome poverty. Furthermore, constructing schools helps a wider community to have access to education where there is none, especially in Central African Republic. The foundation provides other assistance, such as school bags and supplies, lunchtime meals, all taken for granted in developed countries, and which are unavailable to so many students in impoverished nations.
Poverty relief is no longer consigned to third world countries. With the economic downturn, there are an increasing number of homeless people in England. Hence, the foundation works with churches in Kent to provide essential groceries and clothing for the homeless.
• Establish scholarship programs for the less privileged with high academic achievement in secondary schools in Africa, especially in Sierra Leone.
• Construct and donate school buildings for poor communities in Africa, especially in Central African Republic and Sierra Leone.
• Provide school meals and school supplies for the less privileged primary school students in Africa, especially in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
• Provide small business grants to widows in Africa, especially in Central African Republic and Sierra Leone.
• Provide parcels of food and other essential grocery items to homeless people in England, especially in Kent.
• Provide clothing to people who are homeless in England, especially in Kent.
In order for the foundation to gain wider public exposure, we need your help in disseminating information about the foundation by sharing our social media pages as they become available.
Spread the word!
The foundation is working to raise money to fund more projects that will help overcome the scourge of rampant poverty in Africa and beyond. The goal of the foundation is to gain partners who will fund specific projects of their choice, and to raise funds to support education initiatives and poverty relief. Please consider donating on our website using PayPal: https://jnjf.org/home
Oak Hill Red Team 3-Peats as NACA National Champions: A Full Season Recap
Mike Burns, Assistant Coach
The 2017-2018 Oak Hill Red Team Warriors had one thing in mind when the season began: embrace challenges and grow together. If those two things happened, the wins and losses would work themselves out. The story of the season played out over the course of three distinct chapters.
Early Season Chapter:
Oak Hill Red began the season 4-4, while experiencing the adversity of losing a prominent player to injury for the remainder of the fall semester. Before Christmas, the Red Team was scheduled to participate in the Millennium Financial Classic in Charlotte, North Carolina. In three games versus quality opponents that proved to be an early season test, the Red Team won all three games (69-46 vs. Charlotte Learning Academy; 54-53 vs. Elevation Prep; 49-40 vs. Victory Christian). The strong appearance in Charlotte, plus a few more victories before Christmas break, brought the Red Team record to 9-4.
Forming a Team Identity: Red Team on The Road Chapter:
After returning from Christmas break, the Red Team hit the road hard, travelling to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to play South Carolina State Runner Up, Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach, and another school with athletic tradition, Cheraw. Oak Hill Red won both of these games, 72-52 vs. CAMB and 65-52 vs. Cheraw. Exactly one week later Oak Hill Red Team would travel to Atlanta, Georgia, to face 2017 GICAA State Champions Dawson Christian, and 2018 GICAA State Champions Cumberland Christian. Once again Oak Hill Red came away with two huge victories, 91-87 vs. Dawson Christian and 54-43 vs. Cumberland Christian. These long road trips enabled the team to bond on and off the court and create a culture that is hard to find within most high school basketball teams. This culture and team chemistry allowed the Red Team to finish the regular season 16-9 and enter the National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA) National Tournament playing some of their best basketball.
Peaking at the Right Time: NACA National Tournament Chapter
The NACA National Tournament took place February 21st-23rd in Dayton, Tennessee. This tournament requires a team to win 4 games in 3 days in order to be champions, something the Oak Hill Red Team had achieved in back to back years, 2016 and 2017. This year’s NACA was an opportunity for the Oak Hill Red Team to win three consecutive national championships. To open the tournament, Oak Hill Red played Saints Academy from Florida and quickly announced their presence with a 64-31 victory. In the second round, Oak Hill faced a familiar NACA foe in Lighthouse Christian (TN)–a tough game in which Oak Hill Red came out victorious 51-48. On the same day, the Warriors had to face Covenant Christian (GA), a rematch of last year’s NACA Championship game, and the last team standing in the way of a chance at another tournament championship game. Oak Hill Red found the rhythm in the second half and pulled away from Covenant in the final minutes, winning 61-53.
Oak Hill Red had to beat Knoxville Christian (TN), whose coach is an Oak Hill alumnus, in order to raise another banner. To start the game, Oak Hill Red jumped out to an early 17-7 lead, but found itself in a battle with a 24-18 halftime score. In the second half the Warriors took over by attacking the basket and forcing Knoxville Christian to foul, ultimately winning 61-46 and claiming a third straight National Championship.
Pictured Below: Three Oak Hill players were named to the NACA All-Tournament Team: Christian McCray (second from left), Donovan Saine (middle) and Idrissa Sow (far right). McCray was named NACA Tournament MVP, averaging 19ppg and 6rpg for the tournament.
Box Scores for NACA National Tournament Games
Oak Hill Red: 64
McCray 13, Saine 13, Dornevil 11, Sow 10, Hall 9, Malleschitz 3, S. Eng 3, Anene 2.
Saints (Florida): 31
Walls 11, Hickey 6, Tae 4, McGrady 3, Purcell 3, Rick 2, Henry 2.
Oak Hill Red: 51
McCray 23, Saine 9, Dornevil 5, Malleschitz 5, Sow 4, Teal 3, Breaux 2.
Lighthouse Christian (TN): 48
Walker 11, Thomas 9, Liggins 9, Dillon 8, Hall 5, McMurray 4, Bates 2.
Oak Hill Red: 61
McCray 27, Saine 17, Dornevil 11, Sow 5, Teal 1.
Covenant Christian (GA): 53
Molinas 27, Abergut 12, Igbamu 7, Patino 5, Esimone 2.
Oak Hill Red: 61
Sow 23, McCray 13, Saine 8, S. Eng 5, Teal 4, Dornevil 3, Hall 3, Breaux 2.
Knoxville Christian (TN): 46
Jordan 13, Thomas Jr. 12, Freeman 7, Minor 6, Husam 4, Reeves 4.
The Spirit Days competitions continued today with the annual OHA Trivia Bowl. It was also “Wacky Dress” day, by the way, which accounts for some of the, shall we say “non-standard,” outfits seen here. The four teams have been in a see-saw battle for the overall lead, but today it was the 8th-and 9th-grade “Underclassmen” (our youngest and smallest team) who narrowly edged out the Seniors–by one point–for the 2018 Trivia Bowl crown. Way to go, Underclassmen! And thanks to Mr. Bunn for putting the quiz together.
Oak Hill Academy
2635 Oak Hill Rd.
Mouth of Wilson, Virginia 24363
Phone Number 276-579-2619
Administrative Office Fax Number 276-579-4722
Academic Office Fax Number 276-579-2618
Ms. Cyndie Richardson
Director of Student Affairs
Mr. Aaron Butt
Director of Girls’ Resident Life
Mrs. Katherine Crede
Director of Boys’ Resident Life
Mr. Gary Crede
Director of Financial Affairs
Mrs. Rhonda Bowen
Student Expense Accounts
Mrs. Paula Phelps
Student Tuition Accounts
Mrs. Laura Phipps
Mrs. Regina Cooper
Director of Counseling
Mrs. Joy Groves
Mrs. Betsy Anders
Mrs. Anita Perkins
For additional contact info., visit the Faculty & Staff Directory.