Monthly Archives: June 2012

Life is a Song: Congratulations to the Class of 2012!

On Saturday, June 2, Oakcrest graduated 28 young women in the G. Lloyd Bunting, Sr. Theatre.  The 2011-12 Oakcrest Crescens yearbook name is “Life is a Song.”  The Senior Class wrote the following in the yearbook dedication: “As we think back to this year of Oakcrest, we should see it as a giant song – one that has us singing along to the words.  It’s a song that is innate in each student; we find it in our school work, our activities, and friendships.  It is a song that encourages us to live to the fullest and embrace every opportunity that Oakcrest has given us.  Live each day with the motto “kia kaha,” forever strong.  Oakcrest is just a verse of the song that we all live.  It is a joy to carry out what we have learned here at school and bring it to the rest of our lives.  Carry a song in your heart, and spread happiness wherever you go.  2011-2012 is a year to cherish, a year to sing out and celebrate.  Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.”  Congratulations, Class of 2012…we are so proud of you, and we will miss you next year!

The Sun Gazette covered the graduation in its article, “Oakcrest Grads Encouraged to Stay True to Principles, Explore the World Around Them.” Click here to read the full article.

Here are excerpts from the Sun Gazette article:

“Oakcrest “has instilled in me to love learning. I’ve learned how to learn,” said [Co-Valedictorian Alex] Gadiano, who is heading to Colgate University and plans to study chemistry and Spanish on a softball scholarship.

“Our class has always been a class of adventurers,” said Mary Zischkau, the Class of 2012’s other valedictorian. “Our thirst was the thirst for knowledge and truth….We should be forever strong in our principles,” she told classmates. “Let us face [the future] with confidence and fortitude.”

“You’ve been given an education that has given you a sense of your own self, [and] a sense of purpose beyond your own selves,” [Ellen Cavanagh] told the graduating seniors. “Nothing happens by chance. This is not an accident….It’s a gift that’s been given to you…but it’s only the foundations.  Invest in your intellectual growth. Your relationship with God, invest in that.”

“Life is a song,” Zischkau told her classmates. “May our lives be songs of true happiness.”


Leave a comment

Filed under Academics, Alumnae, Character, Green & White, Liberal Arts, Parent Partnership, SATs, School Traditions, Special Events, Student Life

Washington Chancellor Encourages Oakcrest Students to Defend Religious Liberty

Photo by Katie Bahr

On May 7, Jane Belford, Esq. spoke to Oakcrest students, faculty, staff and parents on the HHS mandate and the bishops’ views on religious liberty in the G. Lloyd Bunting, Sr. Theater.  Jane Belford is the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Washington, the highest ecclesiastical or decision-making office a lay person can hold in the Church. Mrs. Belford is the first woman and first layperson to hold this position in the history of the Archdiocese of Washington. She was appointed Chancellor by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2001 and was reappointed by Cardinal Donald Wuerl in 2006.  She received her undergraduate degree from Manhattanville College and her law degree with honors from Georgetown University. She practiced law for many years in Washington, D.C. and was formerly a partner with Foley & Lardner, a large national firm.

Photo by Rafael Crisostomo

Belford’s lecture and quotes from Oakcrest students were featured in the Catholic Standard article, “Chancellor encourages Catholic students to join effort to defend religious freedom.”  To read the full article, click here.  Excerpts:

“Amid growing threats to religious freedom in the United States, Catholics should stand united in defending the “first freedom,” said Jane Belford, the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Washington, in a May 7 talk at Oakcrest School in McLean. She addressed about 120 students from the upper school of the all-girls’ Catholic school that is sponsored by the prelature of Opus Dei.”

“After Belford’s talk, Theresa Babendreier, a member of Oakcrest’s class of 2012 and a parishioner of St. Mary in Rockville, said that the chancellor “made me realize there are many misconceptions surrounding this issue. We have to know the facts before we are able to talk about it with others. Most importantly, we cannot take our religious freedom for granted.”

Photo by Rafael Crisostomo

The Catholic Herald also published on the event in its article, “Washington Chancellor Talks Liberty: Students are encouraged to defend their beliefs through prayer, education and action.”  To read the article, click here.  Excerpts from the Herald article:

“The upper school students at Oakcrest School in McLean welcomed a prestigious visitor Monday afternoon, when Jane Belford, chancellor of the Washington Archdiocese, gave a brief presentation about religious liberty.”

“The presentation impressed several Oakcrest students, including ninth-grader Madeleine Lucas, a parishioner of St. Louis Parish in Alexandria.

“Hearing the facts from a legal perspective was interesting and will give me confidence to reach out to my friends and others who may have misconceptions about what this issue is all about,” she said. “They need to know this is about religious freedom.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Character, Faith, Parent Partnership, Special Events, Student Life

Oakcrest Thanks 2011-2012 Parent Volunteers!

On May 18, Oakcrest thanked its loyal and beloved parent volunteers at the annual OPA Appreciation Coffee.  During the coffee, the 6th grade sang a song for the parents in the G. Lloyd Bunting, Sr. Theatre, followed by words of thanks from Head of School, Ellen Cavanagh.  The parents enjoyed being together and celebrated with cake and pastries.  A list of parent volunteers was displayed in the lobby.  This list will be included in the 2011-12 Annual Report, which will be published in the fall.  (To view the list, click the link: VOLUNTEERS 2012.FINAL)

We are so grateful for the volunteers who have helped make so much possible at Oakcrest this year…thank you for building the Oakcrest community!

Leave a comment

Filed under Character, Faith, Parent Partnership, School Traditions, Special Events

First Annual Leadership Donor Appreciation Reception

In April, Oakcrest hosted its First Annual Leadership Donor Appreciation Reception at Washington Golf and Country Club.  In attendance were major donors who donated to Oakcrest through the Annual Fund, Gala, and Friends of the Fine Arts; this included parents, alums, friends, Board members and Trustees.

During the reception, Ellen Cavanagh, Head of School, personally thanked the school’s leadership donors and played a video that shows the impact of charitable gifts to Oakcrest.  To watch the video, click here.

Oakcrest is so grateful to all of our generous donors.  Their generosity has made and continues to make a difference in the financial strength of the school.  Thank you!

PHOTO GALLERY: To enlarge, click photo.

Leave a comment

Filed under Character, Parent Partnership, School Traditions, Special Events

A Time to Reflect, Celebrate: Traditions Help Students Mark the End of the School Year

Arlington Catholic Herald 5/23/12
Oakcrest Student Correspondent, Madison Conrad

To read the article on the Arlington Catholic Herald website, click here.

With the days becoming longer and the weather getting warmer, summer is almost here. That also means that another school year at Oakcrest School in McLean is wrapping up. Every year, many events celebrate the achievements of Oakcrest students. The traditions allow students to reflect on the past school year, celebrate accomplishments and look forward to what the next year holds.

Eighth-graders are promoted to the upper school, and the upper school seniors venture into the world of college. Traditions such as the annual awards ceremony, “step-up day” and the senior class gift are examples of how Oakcrest celebrates the present while looking forward to the future.

the end of the last quarter, students in the middle and upper schools who excelled in a particular subject or sport are acknowledged during an all-school awards ceremony. Teachers choose a student who showed the greatest achievement in a particular class throughout the year and recognize her for her efforts.

“The awards ceremony allows the whole student body to support and celebrate each other’s accomplishments,” said junior Lesleigh Martin. Students who show outstanding leadership also are candidates for awards.

During “step-up day” students are encouraged to wear the next year’s class color. For example, the senior class color is red, so on the last day of school, the outgoing juniors can wear red to show they have moved up a grade.

“I like our tradition of wearing next year’s class color, it allows us to look forward to the fun that will happen next year,” said Maggie Himpler, class of 2013.

Every year, the graduating senior class presents Oakcrest with a gift to show their gratitude for the experience and education they received. The gifts usually are an item that beautifies the facilities and/or exemplifies the Oakcrest spirit. Past gifts include a large, personalized welcome mat, decorations for the lobby of the school and a commissioned portrait of the statue of Our Lady of Oakcrest, which rests in the school chapel.

Sophomore Emily Dao likes the senior gift tradition because “it reminds us of our friends and schoolmates after they have graduated,” she said.

The traditions encourage students to appreciate the efforts made by all throughout the year. Not only are students able to acknowledge their own achievements and progress, but they also celebrate and applaud the accomplishments of their fellow “Oakies,” creating unity and pride in each other and the school.

Leave a comment

Filed under Academics, Character, Green & White, School Traditions, Student Life

Love & Virtue in Jane Austen

On May 23, Miss Hadley’s and Mrs. Kenna’s 9th grade English Classes  held a High Tea to discuss Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”  Mrs. Watts recently visited Bath, a city in England where Jane Austen set two of her novels, and which Austen would refer to in many of her books.  Mrs. Watts shared her experience and photos of visiting Jane Austen’s residence in Bath, as well as the ancient Roman Baths.  Best of all, she told the girls about her experience having high tea in the Pump Room in Bath, where Jane Austen herself had a reserved table.  The girls enjoyed tea, tea sandwiches, strawberry shortcakes, scones, and cookies.  Mrs. Watts ended by leading a discussion on love and virtue in Jane Austen’s novels.  Topics included character sketches of Jane Austen characters (heroines and villains alike) such as Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, Lydia Bennet, Elizabeth Bennet and Charlotte Lucas.  Mrs. Watts recently met Elizabeth Kantor, the author of “The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After,” and she discussed the themes of the book with the students.

Leave a comment

Filed under Academics, Advising, Character, Liberal Arts, Special Events, Student Life

Spring Concert 2012

The annual Spring Concert took place on April 25, during Fine Arts Week at Oakcrest.  Music Director Anne Miller directed each class in their class song, as well as the Concert Chorus and combined choirs.  The students worked very hard to perfect the melodies and harmonies for their songs, to the delight of the audience, which included students, faculty, staff, parents, families and friends.  Bravo!  Encore!

Combined Choirs

Craig Hella Johnson    Will There Really be a Morning?

Eighth Grade Guitar

Irish Folk Song, arr. Aaron Stang   For the Beauty of the Earth

Aaron Stang    Blues Changes

Sixth Grade

Eric H. Thiman  Path to the Moon

Lyn Williams   Ferry Me Across the Water

Allan E. Naplan  Hine ma tov

arr. Greg Gilpin   Catch a Falling Star

Seventh Grade

Arr. Amily Crocker    Across the Western Ocean

Korean Folk Song, arr. Brad Printz   Ahrirang

Amy F. Bernon   She Sings

Eighth Grade

John Rutter   For the Beauty of the Earth

Davil L. Brunner    Yo le Canto Todo el Dia

Concert Chorus

English Folk Song, arr. Michael Neaum The Water of Tyne

Christine McVie, arr. Ed Lojeski  Songbird

Bobby Troup, arr. Roger Emerson  Route 66

Bill Henderson, arr. David J. Elliott   When I Sing


Scottish Carol, arr. Mairi Campbell and David Francis   Auld Lang Syne

Kathyrn Bell, Danielle Dar Juan, Alex Gadiano,

Amanda Hernandez, Carolyn Lucas,

Angel Maimone, Madeline Manaker, Jamie Rule

Combined Choirs

Bob Chilcott    I Lift My Eyes

Concert Chorus Members:  Giorgina Agostini ’15, Alex Aguilar ’14, Carolyn Babendreier ’15,

Kathryn Bell ’1*2, Anna Berman ’14, Kathleen Brown ’13, Sophia Buono ’14,

Amanda Courtney ’13, Alex Gadiano ’12*, Amanda Hernandez ’12*, Jacqueline Hojilla ’14,

Maria Kehrli ’15, Samantha Kenis ’15, Carolyn Lucas ‘12*, Angel Maimone ’12*,

Madeline Manaker ’12*, Maddie Navin’14,Anne Parkinson ’13, Gianna Ridout ’14,

Monica Rudy ’13, Jamie Rule ’12*, Krista Thomas ’15, Marissa Migliore ’13,

Roselyne Marete ’14, Cathryn Treco ’14             


 Music Director: Ms. Anne Marie Miller

Accompanist: Mr. Neil Weston

Leave a comment

Filed under Fine Arts, Green & White, Liberal Arts, School Traditions, Special Events