The Oakcrest Middle School theatre production of Newsies, Jr was enjoyed by two sold-out audiences February 24 and 25 at the Ernst Theatre in Annandale. The well-loved Disney musical was spectacularly performed by a Middle School cast and supported by an Upper School crew totaling nearly 60 Oakcrest students.
Ticket sales have opened for Oakcrest School’s Middle School theatre production of Disney’s Newsies, Jr.. Performances will take place on Friday, February 24 and Saturday, February 25 at 7:00 pm at Ernst Theater, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, Virginia 22003.
Lucy R. ’24 was recognized by the Scottish Harp Society of America for her composition entry in the group’s 40th anniversary tune writing competition. Her piece, Equinox, placed first among many entries from around the world.
In the ninth grade, Oakcrest students explore the theme of “Life as a Heroic Journey” through the lens of the virtues of self-knowledge, sporting spirit, and fortitude. As they discover these themes in their classes, particularly by studying the Greeks in history and through the reading of The Illiad and The Odyssey in their English course, they competed in their own Greek Olympics throughout the first and second quarters.
Oakcrest School is pleased to announce its Middle School Theatre production of the Disney musical, Newsies, Jr. The show is inspired by the true story of newsboys in New York City at the turn of the century when newsboys went on strike against publishers raising the distribution prices of newspapers. With music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, the show is sure to be a hit for the family.
Oakcrest School had a major impact on the WETA Classical Countdown this year. The local radio station hosts their annual Classical Countdown on Thanksgiving day. The Countdown includes the top 100 classical music pieces of listeners in the Washington, D.C. area. In early November, listeners vote on their favorite classical piece and the top 100 are played during Thanksgiving week. On Thanksgiving night at 8:00 pm, the top-voted piece is crowned victorious and is played.
The Oakcrest Upper School theatre production of The Sound of Music performed the show to two sold-out audiences in early November. The beloved classic musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein was enjoyed by all in attendance, and the months of hard work by the cast, crew, and faculty brought the musical classic to life.
For Middle School Athletic Director Margaret Sweatman, sports and athletics have played a large and important role throughout her life, from growing up in a large family to competing professionally in adulthood to her new role at Oakcrest. Mother of Grace ’25, Ryan ’26, and Kate ’29, Mrs. Sweatman brings a passion for women’s sports and a love of the game to the Oakcrest athletic department.
In the 10th grade at Oakcrest, the curriculum and Grade Level Experiences seek to form the students as “lovers of beauty and goodness.” The Creating Beauty Project is designed to encourage students to spend their time well by challenging them to take up a hobby that allows them to create something beautiful and learn something new.
In the sixth grade at Oakcrest, one of the first books the students read in English is the beloved novel Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. As the students finish the book, they enjoy a beautiful tea hosted by sixth grade English teachers Mrs. Stephanie Passero and Ms. Anna Cipollone ’17.
The Class of 2024 was honored in a special Junior Ring Ceremony on October 18. A longstanding Oakcrest tradition, the Junior Ring Ceremony seeks to bring the class together as they reflect on how their Oakcrest experience has shaped them thus far, and how they will soon be entrusted with the leadership of the school once the Seniors graduate.
Oakcrest is pleased to announce the Upper School Fall Theatre Production, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. The musical is based on the story of the Von Trapp Family in Austria in the wake of World War II. Performances will take place on November 4 and November 5 at 7:00 pm at Richard J. Ernst Theater in Annandale.
In front of her family, peers, and faculty at Oakcrest School, Gabby Byrne ’22 signed to play lacrosse at Christopher Newport University. Gabby will join the CNU Lacrosse team this coming year as a defense/midfield player.
“The way English classes taught me to write, not just how to use the right words, but how to create a strong structure and argument, has served me incredibly well. Oakcrest also taught me how to think critically, ask good questions, and have meaningful discussions--not just about literature or science, but everything,” she said. “Oakcrest helped me to learn more about myself and grow into the person I am today. This self knowledge has helped me develop and cultivate my personal aesthetic throughout design school into one that is truly representative of my whole self.”
Mrs. Lisa Kenna first fell in love with the Great Books program while studying for her bachelor’s degree at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Her experience there shaped her life and formed her in the classics, eventually leading her to Oakcrest and establishing the tradition of the Senior Thesis.
“My senior thesis changed my view of myself,” she explains. “When I wrote and presented my thesis, it gave me confidence, and I thought that it would help our girls so much. This is a way for them to share what they’ve done not just in English class, but throughout their classes. The Senior Thesis solidifies what they’ve learned at Oakcrest. It is a culmination of what they have thought about over the years. After their presentations, they have the confidence that they can do anything. They do more than they thought they could do.”
When Zoe B. '23 thinks about her favorite parts of a typical Oakcrest School day, three things come to mind: seeing the smiling faces of Head of School Dr. Mary T. Ortiz and Dean of Students Meghan Hadley ‘06 at the beginning of the day, getting to stop in the Chapel throughout the day, and ending it all by laughing with her classmates in the senior loft.
“Having a basis of going to an all-girls school where you see female role models who are educated and accomplished, intelligent and well-spoken women in these fields of math and science, gave me a lot of confidence. That was something that having a female environment gave me the confidence to thrive in college, and I want to pass that along to my students. We have to learn to build each other up, not sell ourselves short. You don’t need to apologize for answering a question. You’re contributing, and that’s a good thing.”
“The liberal arts education I received at Oakcrest introduced me to many of the best thinkers and writers who have shaped the world over the past three thousand years,” she says. “That exposure taught me how to think critically, and how to reckon with the most fundamental questions we face—why we’re here, what we’re meant to do, and where we’re going.”
After seven years at Oakcrest, Sophia M. ’23 prepares to graduate this spring as an Acorn. Looking back at her formative years spent at Oakcrest from sixth grade to senior year, she says that the most meaningful aspect of the school has been the community.
“The teachers are some of the most dedicated, intelligent, and kind women I've ever met, and they genuinely care for the well-being of each and every student,” Sophia explains. “The girls here are so incredibly supportive, always looking out for one another. My friends are my sisters, whether I've known them since sixth grade or just from junior year. The community of Oakcrest is so important to me because it makes going to school enjoyable. Even when I have bad or busy days, I walk through the doors smiling because I know it's another day I get to spend with some of the most amazing women and friends.”
For Visual Arts teacher Ms. Victoria Bigliano, an Oakcrest education is beneficial for students because it is deeply rooted in a classical education providing opportunities for both teachers and students to move in the same direction.
“In the classes that I teach, discussion and interpretation is key, but it is under the auspices of the classical approach,” she explains. “I cover a lot of contemporary ideas which is helpful alongside an understanding of where contemporary ideas come from, so we develop that thinking process with the students. I think the education here is really valuable because it is not in a vacuum, it really does take into account the decades and centuries of learning, and for the visual arts, expression."
One Oakcrest characteristic that Maddy really believes stands out is the dedication of each of the teachers.
“The years that I have been at Oakcrest, many of my teachers have been willing to meet with me outside of class to help me if I am struggling in a class, or to form friendships with you apart from teaching you. In addition, this year especially, the mentoring program has been really important to me, and my mentor has really helped me in many different ways,” Maddy said.
As Maria (Kilner ’99) Sousa looks back at her years at Oakcrest, she sees the ways that her liberal arts education shaped her college experience and beyond.
“The liberal arts education I received at Oakcrest really set me up for success in college - to be a thinker and to ask questions,” she says. “My education at Oakcrest helped me become the problem-solver and leader that I am today.”
In the midst of her junior year, Monica ’24, looks back on her formative years spent at Oakcrest School with gratitude for the opportunity to learn fully what it means to be herself.
“Oakcrest provides an environment where we can learn who we are and learn to live that well,” she said. “Especially this year in 11th grade, as we take on more challenging content and workloads in our classes, we have started to really learn more about ourselves. Through our academic, social, and personal challenges, Oakcrest has given us the means to grow from that. Oakcrest has provided myself, and the whole school, with the perfect environment to explore what it means to be ourselves. Oakcrest has given me the tools I need to understand what is truly good for me and to actually execute the good for myself and others, whether this be through the sacraments, our classes, sports, or extracurriculars. All of these have given me the formation I need to be the kind of person the world needs right now.”