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National Honor Society inducts new members

by Tobi Salami ’20, 21st Century Journalism class

Energy and anticipation were high on Thursday, April 18th, as the Oak Hill Academy chapter of the National Honor Society inducted its newest members. Students who have shown leadership, academic excellence, service and character were chosen unanimously by a faculty committee.

This year’s inductees were: Molly Williams’ 19; Candice Zhang ’19; Christen Reeves ’20; Tobi Salami ’20; Lauren Oberman ’20; Delaney Heard ’20; Dillon Phipps ’20; Dylan Cardwell ’20; Susheel Vishwa ’20; and Erin Bunn ’21. There was a candlelighting ceremony that represented the passing of the torch of excellence from last year’s inductees to this year’s inductees. The new members repeated after Dr. Groves the pledge of the National Honor Society, and with that, the students were sworn in.

Proud families and friends were in attendance to support their loved ones. Christen Reeves, one of the inductees, was “not expecting my family at all” and felt “really glad” that his family surprised him.

A-Team Takes the Lead in Saturday Socials

by Lauren Oberman ’20, 21st Century Journalism class

On Saturday, March 30, the Saturday evening social was sponsored by the “A-Team.” This select group of leadership students focuses on character growth and the Oak Hill community. Kyra Souliere ’19 and Lauren Oberman ’20 served ice cream to the student body who then went around the table topping the ice cream with cookie crumbles, cherries, marshmallows, sprinkles, caramelized pecans and chocolate sauce.

At the same time, Mr. Conn and Mr. Meagher held a dodgeball game in the gym. When the whistle blew, students ran to the gym’s center line to grab the dodgeballs and throw them at their opponents on the other side of the gym. If a player couldn’t “dodge” the ball and was hit, that player was out. If a player caught the ball, the thrower was out. The game turned out to be a huge hit! A-Team member Tobi Salami ’20 exclaimed, “It was really fun. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and no one was just sitting around.”

The A-team will sponsor various activities at socials for the remainder of the school year. The group is led by Mr. Aaron Butt and Mrs. Joy Groves.

Oak Hill Academy’s Praise Band: Music to Our Ears

by Tobi Salami ’20, 21st Century Journalism class

The Oak Hill Academy Praise Band is a group of musically inclined students who perform contemporary praise and worship songs during church services at Young’s Chapel Baptist Church as well as during Vespers services. The band consists of nine students who can sing or play a string or percussion instrument.

“Praise Band gives students a way to explore talents they never had and maybe develop new ones,” stated CiCi Wang ’19. The group’s next performance will be at the May 5th Senior Sunday service in which the school and church community come together to celebrate the graduating class.

They are currently coming up with a stellar performance that captures the day’s essence.

The faculty sponsor, Mr. Taylor Conn, hopes that more students will join next year and help to expand the band’s repertoire.


Congratulations to OHA’s new Student of the Week!

The Principal’s Office recently announced that Stephanie H. has been awarded “Student of the Week” honors. Stephanie is a freshman from North Carolina, in her first year at Oak Hill Academy. In nominating her for this award, a staff member described Stephanie as “a quiet, yet powerful, leader–always willing to help. She is funny and kind to her peers, and is a wonderful person to everyone in our campus community.”

Students are regularly nominated and chosen by the faculty and staff for making notable contributions to Oak Hill Academy campus life.

OHA Red Team Basketball assists Sheriff’s Office in Special Olympics fundraiser

The “Battle of the Badges” is a basketball tournament fundraiser for Carroll County (VA) Special Olympics. Held at Carroll Co. Middle School in Hillsville, Virginia, on March 30th, this year’s event included several members of the Oak Hill Academy Red Team. They were called upon by Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan to help his department’s team.

OHA participants this year included Owen Chen, Markus Malleschitz, Susheel Vishwa, Lioul Woldemariam, Brandon Dornevil, Delaney Heard, Lotanna Anene and Coach Michael Burns.

Gold Team to participate in national tournament

The Oak Hill Academy Gold Basketball Team again has been invited to participate in the national tournament in New York City sponsored by Geico.

From the tournament site: “The nation’s top-ranked high school basketball teams will return to New York City for a dynamic, season-ending tournament April 4-6, 2019.”

The tournament begins on Thursday, April 4th, with quarterfinal games on ESPNU; continues Friday, April 5th, with semifinals on ESPN2; and concludes Saturday, April 6th, with the championship game on ESPN. All games will be played at Christ the King High School in New York City.

In the quarterfinal round, the Warriors will face Wasatch Academy (UT) on Thursday, April 4th, at 6 pm. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Oak Hill Academy won the national championship tournament in 2016. Go, Warriors!

Astronomy Club shoots for the stars at Triad Starfest 2019

by Mr. Gary Duranko, OHA Math & Science Teacher

The Oak Hill Academy Astronomy Club attended *Tri*Star* (Triad Starfest) 2019 at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, NC, on March 2. It was an all-day event centered on speakers, astronomy-related displays, an astrophotography competition, prize drawings, daytime and nighttime observing sessions, and a swap meet where amateurs could buy and sell equipment.

Artist’s rendering of Proxima Centauri superflare. (Image: © Roberto Molar Candanosa/Carnegie Institution for Science, NASA/SDO, NASA/JPL)

Our group attended the day’s first presentation, given by high school student Mike Puzio, about the NASA probe OSIRIS-REx and its arrival at asteroid Bennu. Some years ago, Puzio won a contest to name the asteroid, and as a result has become the “ambassador” for this probe, which will rendezvous with Bennu next year and return a sample to be analyzed in 2020.

Next we attended a talk about superflares occurring on Proxima Centauri (the star closest to the sun), and their effect on the exoplanet Proxima b, which orbits Proxima Centauri. When a star “superflares,” explosions send very powerful winds of hot plasma at all the planets in its solar system. This wind can destroy atmospheres and ultimately affect the possibility of life on these planets. We learned that chances are good that Proxima b’s atmosphere will be destroyed, which unfortunately means that probably no life exists on this planet.

OHA Astronomy Club members Delaney, Evan, Tyler, Stephanie and Lauren

After lunch at a local restaurant, we inquired about taking a tour of the Cline Observatory on campus, and were lucky to be shown around by Aaron Martin, the professor that founded the observatory and served as its director before his retirement from GTCC. He gave a wonderful private talk to our group. He also turned the dome and opened the shutter, much to our delight!

Finally, we attended a talk by Dr. Stella Kafka, the director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO). This organization oversees the collection of data submitted by amateurs about the brightness of variable stars. OHA intends to contribute to this organization’s data using our new observatory!

OHA participant Delaney Heard ’20 remarked that “this trip was a great experience for me. I was able to hear from another student similar to my age talk about an asteroid that he actually named, and I learned about Proxima b not being inhabitable because of superflares. I also enjoyed the tour of the observatory on the GTCC campus and learning from its founder.”

For information about what Mr. Duranko’s classes are up to, visit his Observatory Blog.

Contact Information

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

Dean of Girls
Mrs. Shaquera Clawson

Dean of Boys
Mr. Gary Crede

Director of Financial Affairs
Mrs. Rhonda Bowen

Student Expense Accounts
Mrs. Paula Phelps

Student Tuition Accounts
Mrs. Laura Phipps

Transportation Coordinator
Mrs. Regina Cooper

Director of Counseling
Mrs. Joy Groves, MA, LPC, NCC

Academy Nurse
Ms. Betsy Anderson
Mrs. Anita Perkins

For additional contact info., visit the Faculty & Staff Directory.