Monthly Archives: March 2012

Sixth Grade Constellations: To Infinity…and Beyond!

Contributed by Ms. Heather Lecuyer

The sixth grade just finished a unit on space, in which they learned about the planets in our solar system and the stars and galaxies around the universe!  The unit culminated in a project on the constellations, including research into the mythology of 22 different constellations.  The sixth grade students built shoebox planetariums to share what their constellations look like in the night sky.  “To infinity…and BEYOND!”


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St. Joseph’s Altar: A New Oakcrest Tradition

On Thursday, March 22, the 7th grade hosted the St. Joseph’s Altar ceremony in Oakcrest Lobby.  The Culinary Arts class baked special food in preparation for the altar, and all seventh graders were invited to bring baked goods to place on the altar to share with the Oakcrest community.  Assistant Chaplain Fr. Diego blessed the St. Joseph Altar during the ceremony, and everyone was welcome to bring their petitions and to share in the food on the altar.  St. Joseph prayer cards were given to all who attended.

The 7th Grade hosted the St. Joseph's Altar.

St. Joseph is regarded as the protector of the family.  We celebrate his solemnity on March 19.  The tradition of the St. Joseph Altar or Table began in Sicily several centuries ago when the people there suffered a great famine.  They prayed to St. Joseph for his intercession and protection.  When the rains came and the famine ended, the Sicilians set up a St. Joseph Altar laden with food to thank St. Joseph for his help.  The custom of the St. Joseph Altar is still celebrated in March in many parts of the world.

The purpose of the St. Joseph Altar is thanksgiving and petition.  Those who honor St. Joseph set up an altar to thank him for his intercession and to ask his help.  The altar is also a symbol of sharing with those less fortunate.  The traditional altar is set up in three tiers in honor of the Holy Trinity.  A statue or picture of St. Joseph has a place of honor on the table.  The table is filled with fruit, meatless dishes, and baked goods–often made in the shape of Christian symbols.  A priest traditionally blesses the altar, and all are invited to share in the food.  Visitors can leave their petitions to St. Joseph in a basket on the altar.

It was a special celebration to honor St. Joseph and invoke his protection and intercession for the Oakcrest community!  Special thanks to Mrs. Laura Bell, Mrs. Dorrie Gleason and the 7th grade for starting this Oakcrest tradition!

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“Seussical” is a Smashing Success!

On Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, the Upper School put on a spectacular performance of “Seussical, the Musical”!  With only six minutes that are not set to music, the show was quite an undertaking for the cast, crew, Music Director Anne Miller, and Show Director Jessica Carey.

From Ms. Carey: “March 2, 2012, our opening night, would have been Dr. Seuss’ 98th birthday. It is also “National Read Across America Day” in celebration of his life and the impact he had on many generations of children. I hope that our performance will inspire you to share these stories with the young people in your life and share the love of learning and the value of kindness with a new generation.”

Reviewed by The Washington Post and ShowBiz Radio by the Cappies Group, the musical was a smash hit!

Sixty-three Cappies from local area high schools such as Madiera, George Mason High School and Bishop Ireton attended last weekend’s Saturday performance of “Seussical, the Musical.”  The Cappies is a National Critics and Awards Program which trains high school theater and journalism students as critics.  These students attend and write reviews of local high school theatre productions which are then selected by a panel of judges to be published in local newspapers and national online news sites.  After each show, attending Cappies select actors and production staff to receive “critic’s choice” distinctions.   At the end of the season, nominees are selected from the critic’s choices and a winner is chosen based on votes at a formal Cappies Gala in June.  Top award honorees from around the U.S. and Canada are invited to participate in the Cappies International Theater, which performs shows at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  The Oakcrest Cappies are Carolyn L., Bonnie N., Angel M., Amanda C., Kat O., Madeleine L., Emilie K., Maria K., and Laura C.

At the Saturday performance at Oakcrest, the visiting Cappies were greeted in a special reception room by an Oakcrest School Cappie Ambassador.  Elaborate Dr. Seuss-themed refreshments, such as “poodles eating noodles” and “Green Eggs and Ham” quiche prepared by parent volunteers, gave the visiting critics a taste of Oakcrest’s creativity and hospitality. Thank you to all the families involved, especially Mr. and Mrs. Courtney, Mrs. Lucas (Cappies Ambassador), Mrs. Cermak and Mrs. and Mr. Knudsen.

Check out the five reviews on the Cappies website HERE.


Horton the Elephant, played by Sophie B.


Cat in the Hat, played by Dale D.


Jojo, played by Madeleine L., Mr. Mayor, played by Jamie R., and Mrs. Mayor, played by Madie K.


Gertrude McFuzz, played by Carolyn L.


Mayzie La Bird, played by Gianna R.


Sour Kangaroo, played by Angel M.


Bird Girls, played by Kathryn B., Andrea M., and Cathryn T.


Wickersham Brothers, played by Alexandra D., Roselyne M., and Kat O.

General Genghis Khan Schmitz, played by Ali G.

The Grinch, played by Helen C.

Vlad Vladikoff, played by Angélica-María M.

Yertle the Turtle, played by Maddie N.

Bonnie N. and Sophie F., playing Thing One and Thing Two.

Ensemble: Mary Beth B., Anna B., Laura C., Amanda C., Mary D., Andy E., Paula K., Emilie K., Carolina L., Catherine W.

To view and purchase professional photos, click HERE (password: chargers).

Photos by Brian Searby Photography.

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Washington Post Publishes Cappies Review of “Seussical, the Musical”!


The Washington Post, 3/15/2012


This is a tale of the planet of Who,

An elephant, birds, Thing One and Thing Two.

With the Cat in the Hat, oh the thinks you can think,

You’ll see everything but the kitchen sink!

What is this adventure in the Jungle of Nool?

Why, a production of Seussical at the Oakcrest School!

Oakcrest’s ensemble cast did an excellent job creating dynamic characters to inhabit the vibrant world of Seussical. Everyone, from the leads to the chorus, was incredibly engaged and looked truly excited to be on the stage. They demonstrated impressive stamina, with many ensemble members playing multiple roles, and chameleon-like ability to transform into a diverse array of characters.

As Horton the Elephant, Sophie Buono was the heart of the show. Her strong character choices contributed to moments of honest emotion within the play that were legitimately heart-warming. Despite singing a traditionally male role, Buono was able to imbue her songs with a real tenderness and depth of feeling that was genuinely touching.

Other standout members of the cast brought sheer joy to the show with their audacious characterization and vivid performances. Danielle Dar Juan was utterly captivating as the Cat in the Hat. Her vaudevillian interpretation was filled with a magnetic charm that mesmerized the audience, and her dancing was infused with a fluid, easy grace that was a pleasure to watch. With the help of Thing One and Thing Two (Bonnie Newton and Sophie Frelk), she frequently stole scenes with just a twitch of her cane and a feline grin. Another crowd favorite was Gertrude McFuzz, played by Carolyn Lucas. Her portrayal of the bird with the one-feather tail was the definition of adorable. Her physicality was impeccable; she was not afraid to completely throw herself into character with child-like enthusiasm, flailing her arms and stomping her feet in the cutest possible manner. Songs such as “All for You” showed off Lucas’s lovely singing voice, and like Horton, she was able to use her melodies to display her acting prowess, demonstrating Gertrude’s underlying insecurity and desperate love for her next-door neighbor effectively.


Brimming with music and dancing and fun,

Oakcrest’s performance was second to none.

An utter delight for its whole duration,

This production of Seussical deserves a standing ovation!


To read the Cappies review that was published in ShowBiz Radio, click HERE.  (“Have you lost a tall, striped, red and white hat? There was one left on the stage at Oakcrest School. Underneath the hat sat an unusual cat. This cat is a think and just in a blink, he had the stage swirling and twirling with fun. This was Oakcrest School’s production of Seussical the Musical.”)

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“Acting on Faith”: Student Article Published in Catholic Herald

Acting on Faith: Student-led fundraising puts Catholic values in action

By Alexandra Desanctis | Oakcrest Student Correspondent
Arlington Catholic Herald 3/7/12

Oakcrest School in McLean works to uphold Catholic values by encouraging students to participate in charitable causes throughout the year. Each year the student body selects a charity to put their student-led fundraising efforts toward. For the 2011-12 school year, Centro Tepeyac Silver Spring Women’s Center in Maryland was chosen.

Tepeyac particularly reflects the mission of Oakcrest’s Respect Life Club, which strives to bring awareness to life issues, especially those concerning the unborn.

The months of the school year are divided between the grades, and each grade plans various events that will raise funds for both their class fund and the school charity.

A freshmen-sponsored jeans day, Christmas “candy grams” sold by the senior class and the junior-sponsored Thanksgiving lunch are examples of this year’s fundraisers. Half of the proceeds from each event are donated to Tepeyac.


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Oakcrest Announces Recipients of Prestigious 2012-13 Veritas Award


 McLEAN, VA (March 9, 2012) – Oakcrest School is pleased to announce Juliana Dauchess of Reston and Ruth Talbott of Alexandria as the recipients of the 2012-2013, Class of 2016 Veritas Award.  Dauchess, a current eighth grader at Oakcrest, and Talbott, an eighth grader at St. Rita’s, were chosen from a competitive applicant pool of 28 eighth-grade students.


Veritas Award candidates enjoyed being together at the Veritas Reception on February 13, 2012.

“Veritas Award applicants must demonstrate high academic achievement, leadership and character through a rigorous application process,” said Ellen Cavanagh, Head of School.  “These are the best qualities of successful Oakcrest students.”  In addition to completing applications for admission to Oakcrest School and consideration for the Veritas Award, an original student project, a letter of recommendation from a non-family member, and a parent statement must be submitted.  The prestigious award is a $7,500 tuition remission scholarship to Oakcrest School, which is renewed annually through graduation, as long as the recipient continues to meet award expectations.  Veritas recipients also organize a school-wide service project during their junior year.

Oakcrest alumnae Alyssa Briggs, '03 (far left) and Rebecca Fahy '98 (far right) served as alumnae interviewers for the Veritas Award. Alumnae Julie Mitchell, Esq., '90 (center) was the keynote speaker during the Veritas Reception.

Oakcrest alumnae are involved in the Veritas application process as candidate interviewers and speakers during the Veritas Reception.  This year’s keynote speaker, Julie Mitchell, Esq., class of 1990, spoke to the candidates and their parents about the growth of Oakcrest since her time as a student, and the enduring mission of the school to educate women of faith and integrity.  “At Oakcrest, we were always reminded to look at what we called the ‘BP’ – the Big Picture,” Mitchell said.  Seeking the truth and holding fast your principles were life lessons that Oakcrest taught her and her classmates, Mitchell emphasized.

Oakcrest alumnae (left to right) Sharon Humphries '97, Gabrielle Carrington '92, and Maggie Watts '00 served as Veritas Award candidate interviewers.

Oakcrest School is an independent school for girls in grades 6-12, guided by the teachings of the Catholic Church.

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Oakcrest Cappie Publishes Show Review in The Washington Post

The Washington Post

Friday, March 2, 2012

Big hair, big dreams, big splash as Madeira girls nail ‘Hairspray’!

Bonnie Newton, a student at Oakcrest School, reviews ‘Hairspray’ performed by The Madeira School as part of The Cappies Critics and Awards Program.

Sky high hair, catchy pop music, and big ideas can only mean one thing “Welcome to the 60’s!” The Madeira  School’s recent production of “Hairspray” was a blast from the past that had the audience tapping their toes all afternoon. This feel-good musical tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a girl with big hair and even bigger dreams of dancing on the Corny Collins show. However, once Tracy defies all odds and lands a role on the show, she realizes that there are others who aren’t given their much-deserved time to shine. So, propelled by her new found fame she launches a campaign to integrate the Corny Collins show. This timeless musical is always a crowd favorite with seven years on Broadway, eight Tony awards, several national tours, and the 2007 film starring John Travolta it’s no wonder Hairspray has twisted and shouted its way into our hearts.

To read the rest of the article, click HERE. 

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