My experience with the Blue Ridge School music program can only be described as dynamic. I came to BRS as a sophomore who already loved to sing, and I was in no way disappointed with what I encountered the first day I stepped in the door. I walked up to the music table (somewhat nervously, I might add) and was greeted by the then-choir director Jerry King, who immediately welcomed me with open arms without knowing if I was world-class or tone deaf.
Issac King’s (Class of 2013) address to the student body on April 6, 2017.
I came as a student in the fall of 2010 for my sophomore year and had three great years as a Baron. I remember coming for preseason soccer camp, living in Lower West, discovering my roommate was Yongbo Sam Song.
The Green Barons (the School’s Sustainability Committee) and Headmaster Trip Darrin challenged the student body to save energy this year in a number of ways. To encourage the student body to buy into these various challenges, classes such as art and Mandarin made posters about the importance of saving energy. The top prize for this poster contest was $50 plus pizza for the winner’s dorm hall.
In the fall, the boys were asked to save as much energy as possible. In fact, the hall that saved the most would win a pizza party! They were encouraged to turn off lights in their rooms and elsewhere when not in use and keep their rooms at moderate temperatures. They were also encouraged to take shorter showers and purchase LED bulbs for their desk lamps. They were reminded that even small acts such as unplugging chargers when not in use can make a difference. Since there was no clear winner to this challenge, the Headmaster threw out another.
In January, the boys were challenged to use only one plate or cup per meal in the Dining Hall and to use reusable cups since Styrofoam and paper cups were removed from all areas of campus. A number of faculty bought ceramic mugs from second-hand stores. These mugs are still being used by the boys throughout campus. In fact, Styrofoam and paper cups have been absent from the Dining Hall since January, and no one has missed them.
Technology isn’t just about the latest high-tech gadgets. Technology teacher Mike Burris believes that teaching boys woodworking skills hits on a lot of really important competencies like problem-solving and teamwork. “It also sets the boys up for possibly useful and better-paying summer jobs,” says Mike who adds that these are also skills that they can use throughout their life.
At first, Mike wasn’t sure what type of woodworking project the students would buy into but he soon found that they gravitated toward the creative aspect of making something that’s useable. Using discarded wooden pallets as an inexpensive building material, the class has already made a couple of benches, bookcases and two tables. Mike says he has also found discarded pieces of lumber and other materials the class has incorporated into their builds. Continue reading “Teaching Woodworking”
The education I received at Blue Ridge School, if we count the information taught, learned and remembered, was less important to me than how it was taught, who was doing the teaching and the skills I learned. Teaching was done in such a way as to make my educational experience meaningful and interesting.
Four years ago, Conrad Bruton’s growing family moved into one of the larger homes on campus and he decided he’d like to raise some type of animal in his backyard. Conrad was nine at the time. He decided after doing a little research that chickens would be the most feasible and thus began Conrad’s thriving egg business.