Miller School of Albemarle

Archive for June 2012

MSA Endurance Team Competes at Junior Road National Championships

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This past week, members of the MSA Endurance Team as well as the Summer Team competed in the Junior Road National Championships in Augusta, Georgia. Over five days the athletes compete in three separate events: the grueling test of endurance road race; fast and technical criterium; and “race of truth” individual time trial.  The championship events take place each summer and are the largest stage upon which the Team competes all season.

Rising sophomore Ashlyn Woods was the first MSA rider to compete in the Women 15-16 road race. Seasonal hot and humid temperatures were exacerbated by a venue that offered virtually no shade and very little breeze. As her race got underway, Ashlyn was always seen sitting comfortably near the front of the peloton, but after the half way point, the heat began to take its toll. Despite losing contact with the group on the fourth lap, Ashyn showed her tenacity and bridged back up to the group solo and regained contact with just under a lap to go. Despite being gapped off slightly on the run to the finish line, Ashlyn still managed a very respectable 19th place.

In the time trials, MSA students Chris Keeling and Jake King started the day with impressive finishes. Fortunate to have early start times before the temperatures climbed high, Chris and Jake finished 21st and 44th, respectively, in the incredibly talented 120 ride-strong Men 17-18 field.

Next up was Ashlyn Woods, who flew around the course and for a short time was in the “hot seat” with the fastest time in her category! As more and more riders finished, several managed to beat her time, but by mere seconds. When everyone had finished, Ashlyn had finished 6th, just four seconds off the podium!

In the Men 15-16 time trial, Sam James, new Team member Spencer Virtue, and Summer Team rider Parker Brookfield were all flying the teal and green. Spencer was the first off and shot out of the start house like a rocket. Sam and Parker started several minutes later, both looking for a high placing. Spencer placed 71st with a time that was much stronger than the result suggests, while Parker was able to shave over two minutes over his previous year’s time to finish 57th . Sam had a very solid ride to finish 49th, a result which showcased his continued improvement in the discipline.

The criteriums were all fast-paced and full of action. Ashlyn looked comfortable in the group all day and even launched an attack with two laps to go. Despite being brought right back, she still finished safely in the group in 21st place.

The Men 15-16 saw a huge field of motivated riders take the start. Unfortunately, mechanical issues forced Spencer from the race early, but left him all the more motivated for the upcoming road race. Sam surfed comfortably in the field until a late-race crash opened a gap in front of him, but he still finished a respectable 40th. Parker stayed near the front of the peloton all race, and entered the final lap in second wheel. Despite being shuffled back slightly on the back straight, he was still able to launch a great sprint from the last turn and finished an impressive 17th place!

Both Jake and Chris suffered mechanical issues during the Men 17-18 race, and while Chris was able to jump back in and hang on to finish 34th, Jake was forced to abandon due to an ill-fitting neutral bike.

The week ended with the Men 15-16 and 17-18 Road Races. Temperatures remained high and fatigue from the previous days of racing made every mile seem daunting. Parker again rode well, and after covering several attacks, was able to hang in the main group and finish an excellent 38th. Sam held tough despite not feeling great, and only came off the peloton on the last lap to roll in a still respectable 49th. Spencer was caught up in an untimely crash early in the race, but despite the setback, showed his class and perseverance by putting his head down and finishing the race strong in 64th place.

Chris and Jake were feeling great and on track for great finishes, but, as seems to happen far too often in cycling, both were held up and forced off the road by a late crash. Chris still managed a solid 35th, while Jake rolled in just moments later in 63rd.

All in all it was a successful week for the Team and a tremendous learning experience for every rider. Motivation couldn’t be higher as training continues for the remaining races of 2012 and next year’s National Championships!

Written by Miller School of Albemarle

June 28, 2012 at 12:06 PM

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MSA Teacher Selected For Annual AP Reading

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Michael Dalton, Foreign Language teacher at MSA, was selected to participate in the College Board’s Annual AP Reading in Cincinnati, Ohio. Each June, AP teachers and college faculty members from around the world gather in the United States to evaluate and score the free-response sections of the AP Exams.

AP Readers are high school and college educators who represent many of the finest academic institutions in the world. The AP Reading is a unique forum in which an academic dialogue between high school and college educators is both fostered and encouraged. “The Reading draws upon the talents of some of the finest teachers and professors that the world has to offer,” said Trevor Packer, Senior Vice President, AP and College Readiness at the College Board. “It fosters professionalism, allows for the exchange of ideas, and strengthens the commitment to students and to teaching. We are very grateful for the contributions of talented educators like Michael Dalton.”

The Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies – with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both – while still in high school. Through AP courses in 34 subjects, each culminating in a rigorous exam, students learn to think critically, construct solid arguments, and see many sides of an issue – skills that prepare them for college and beyond. Research indicates that students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree than non-AP students.

In 2011, more than 11,000 AP Readers evaluated more than 3.4 million AP Exams.

Written by Miller School of Albemarle

June 21, 2012 at 9:49 PM

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Class of 2012 Valedictorian Yiwen ‘Jennie’ Wang Speech

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Good morning!

Thank you for coming to the graduation of the Class of 2012!

In two days, I will be back at home with my parents in China, just like every previous summer. But this time, I am not excited at all because I do not want to leave my home in the United States, the Miller School.

For the past three years, I have eagerly anticipated going to college; but for the past three weeks, all I wished was that time could slow down because there is so much about Miller that I am not ready to let go.

I still want to take a look at every beautiful scene of the landscape that surrounds us; I still want to watch another intense and exciting basketball match or another funny and fantastic drama production; I still want to talk with my friends and teachers like we are still going to see each other every day.

I haven’t heard enough of Mr. France’s insightful speeches; I would still like to have a chance to convince Mr. Spivey that just because my backpack has a drawing of a cat next to the word “hello” does not mean that it is a knockoff “Hello Kitty” backpack; I still want to argue with Mr. Gottlob about his theory that the best way to a girl’s heart is through her stomach; even though I know this theory works perfectly well on me.

But today, I have to say goodbye to all of these memories. We, as a whole class, have to say goodbye to this wonderful place that helped us live, learn, and flourish.

Graduation is a bittersweet moment. But we shall graduate with pride and smiles because the Class of 2012 is a special class as worthy of celebration and remembrance as any class that has come before. Of course, our class is special not because a rare earthquake took place at Miller at the beginning of this year, not because we survived in the year that had been rumored to be the end of the world, but because Miller School and the Class of 2012 grew up together like brothers and sisters.

As a welcoming and warm community, Miller has not only helped us grow from shy and scared underclassmen to confident and mature young adults, but also influenced each one of us to learn to respect, trust, and care for others. In the accepting but competitive field of Miller, we have gained recognition for our great talents and hard work through amazing performances, intense sports games, and meaningful service.

I believe that for the Class of 2012, Miller School has been a family where we can truly be ourselves, a friend who always supports and encourages us, and a mentor who points out the right path and lights up our future. Miller has not only prepared us to deal with any challenges that lie ahead of us, but also helped us build upon Miller characteristics of caring and respect that will influence others we come across in college.

Just as Miller witnessed every little transformation of the Class of 2012, we witnessed every significant change about Miller School. We welcomed many more cute new babies to our faculty community. We were fortunate to enjoy the improvement of the dining system and Alumni Gym that provide us with better access to health. A variety of new sports such as Badminton, Endurance Team and Dance Fitness and new community service groups such as Morningside Eldercare increased our value of being part of Miller.

The loss of our beloved faculty member, Mr. Joe Spivey, made each one of us fall apart individually, but also made our community much closer and stronger.

Miller and the Class of 2012 both went through many significant transformations for the past four years. No matter how much we have changed and will change, our love and gratitude for Miller will only increase and our wonderful memories will never fade away.

After all the happy and sad moments, the successes and failures, our memory of Miller now is more than just a photo, a video, or a yearbook. What we have experienced at Miller has indeed, become part of our souls.

Written by Miller School of Albemarle

June 7, 2012 at 9:57 AM

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Class of 2012 Salutatorian Chase Cannon Speech

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Life is Like a Box of Chocolates: You Never Know What You’re Going to Get

Good morning,

Many of you in the audience today have probably seen the movie “Forest Gump”.  If so, you most certainly remember this expression:  “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” Indeed, a box of chocolates is hardly ever the same, and so it is a surprise each and every indulgent experience. These words of Gump’s precisely describes my experience here at Miller.

Coming into my junior year, I was only expecting to focus on my primary goal, basketball. I knew there were a bunch of international kids, some strange kids, and some crazy baseball guys and I told myself I would just ignore them, and focus on my goal. However, Miller has allowed me to evolve into an entirely different person than I had expected to.

I soon discovered the international kids were awesome.  Characters like Ian Kim, Bo Yoo, and Yiming made me laugh more than anyone, were amazingly smart, yet were just like me in so many ways. My roommate from Korea, Theodore Kim, even became one of my closest friends. As for the strange kids, I had one of those as my roommate this year too, and his name was Aaron.

But in all seriousness, Aaron became one of my closest friends as well, and I learned to accept people of all different backgrounds and interests because you never know how spectacular someone may be unless you truly get to know them. Oh, and the baseball guys, I still kind of avoid them because they are just too wild for me.

However, the students were not the only surprises for me. The faculty was caring, intelligent, and welcoming like no other place I had ever been. I began cultivating relationships with teachers and coaches that were both on an intellectual and familiar level. They helped me with my college essays, my schoolwork, and life in general because they genuinely cared about me, as they do with everyone in this school.

These changes in perspective serve as a prelude to my message for the class of 2012. Life is full of unexpected surprises. I’m sure most of us never expected to have a Korean roommate become a best friend, to fist bump your senior English teacher because he is a yoga zen master lax bro and is that cool, to have Cooper pants you while you’re trying to lift the golf cart for the senior prank, or love a school that you dreaded before and only wanted to come to because of basketball.

In our future, there will be new experiences, adventures, and people and my message to all of you is this: embrace the diversity of life’s offerings and enjoy them! We will never be able to plan for everything or predict everything; and things will hardly ever go exactly how we expect them to and will most likely happen the opposite of how we think they will. But, there is nothing wrong with this at all. When we go off to college, be willing to accept these new ideas and be willing to try different things. Whether you hang out with a new group of people, try a new sport, or try a new class just go for it and do not be hesitant because it is different.

I regret that I did not have this mindset before I came to Miller, because I wasted time not enjoying the experience as much as I could have and should have in the beginning months.  I think you’ll agree, this school has helped all of us grow.

In the end, we never know what we will get, but we do know that we have the ability to make the best out of what we do get. I love you guys from the class of 2012. Thank you for making this one of the most memorable and fantastic experiences of my life. I will always love this school because of what we have shared here, and I hope you will too.


Written by Miller School of Albemarle

June 7, 2012 at 9:53 AM

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