St. Andrew's celebrated its annual Parents Weekend this past Friday through Sunday, October 18-20, and welcomed parents and families of current students to campus for a beautiful fall weekend of Saints athletics, arts performances, and meals and gatherings. The weekend also offered parents a chance to meet in one-on-one conferences with teachers, and to get a sense of what their child's everyday life is like at our all-residential boarding school.
The weekend began on Friday, October 18, when St. Andrew's boys and girls cross-country teams traveled to Bellevue State Park for the Joe O’Neill Invitational. The boys, placing 11th overall (out of 35 teams) with 322 points, were led by Blake Hundley ’20. Hundley, crossing the finish line in 16:05, placed 6th overall, and set a St. Andrew’s school record for the Bellevue course. JT Meyer ’21 continued his impressive junior campaign, placing 25th overall with a time of 17:02. The girls finished 15th overall (out of 27 teams) with a total of 401 points. Josie Pitt ’23, Charlotte Gehrs ’20 and Lily Murphy ’23 finished 73rd, 74th and 75th overall, respectively.
On Friday evening, the School's Orchestra performed four works and were led at the podium by instrumental music teacher Fred Geiersbach. Students performed works by Kabalevsky, Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Tchaikovsky, and the concert included a beautiful piano solo by Steven Ding ’20. You can watch or listen to the Orchestra concert on our Livestream channel. Following the Orchestra concert, the St. Andrew's Theatre Program put on their production of The Curious Savage by John Patrick, featuring Mia Nguyen ’20 in the lead role—and in some dramatic aging makeup. You can view photos of the production on our website.
On Saturday, we hosted a wide variety of athletics events across campus, and competed against conference rival Tower Hill in almost all sports. Saints varsity field hockey blanked the Hillers and won 2-0. Claudina Buccini ’21 and Alani Davila ’22 scored for the Saints while Nicole Saridakis ’20 and Nonie Bocock ’21 handed out assists. Lunsford led the defense, posting her third shutout in as many games. Varsity football, now 4-3 on the year, fell to Tower Hill 41-7, with Adrian Watts ’20 connecting with Brandon Graves ’22 in the fourth quarter for the Saints’ lone touchdown. Boys varsity soccer also fell to Tower Hill by a final score of 3-1, bringing their season record to 9-3-1. Finally, the always-fighting Saints varsity volleyball rallied and defeated the Warriors of Sanford School on Saturday afternoon in an intense five set match. Louise Stillwell ’20 and Emily Paton ’20 each recorded 14 kills while Sophie Xu ’23 added nine of her own. Bwembya Tembo ’20 was all over the court, handing out 29 dimes.
Elsewhere on campus that day, parents and teachers met for conferences; Head of School Tad Roach spoke with parents in Engelhard Hall about his recent announcement that he would be leaving St. Andrew’s, with Dean of Teaching & Learning Elizabeth Roach, in June 2021; and we also welcomed alumni back to campus for Homecoming. Families and alums gathered on the lawn in front of the pool to enjoy lunch provided by food trucks, plus games of cornhole and Frisbee. On Saturday evening, the School's Jazz Ensemble, also directed by Fred Geiersbach, took over the Engelhard stage for an evening performance, which you can watch on our Livestream channel.
We concluded the weekend with an equally full day on Sunday, which began with a Chapel service and a homily delivered by Charlene Li P’20 on parenting her son Eddie from 2,000 miles away. You can read the text of her talk here, or listen to it on the Podcasts page of our website. After Chapel, the community packed Engelhard Hall for a morning of choral and dance performances by students, all of which you can watch on our Livestream channel.
Tad sent parents a note of thanks after the weekend had concluded. “Whether you had the opportunity to attend the 2019 Parents Weekend or not,” he wrote, “I want you all to know how inspired we are at St. Andrew's by the momentum of this school year. We are focused on teaching and learning; we are cultivating leadership, integrity, courage, and kindness in our students; we are working hard to contribute to the needs and concerns of our town, country, and world; we are exploring what happens when we reject the certainty and arrogance of all our perspectives, beliefs, and experiences and embrace what Zadie Smith beautifully describes as "the fascination of presumption": the habit of considering the world and our relation to it through empathetic and compassionate eyes. We return to work today inspired by our parents' faith in St. Andrew's and partnership in making the world a better place.”
Photo credit: Fleming Lunsford P’20,’22