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  • Alumni News
Mike Connors

Haley Bauser '12 has earned an inaugural award recognizing research that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Ms. Bauser, a fifth-year graduate student at the California Institute of Technology in the Department of Applied Physics, earned the Kavli Nanoscience Institute Catalyst Award, which honors scientists for their outstanding commitment to community outreach, diversity, equity and inclusion at Caltech.

Among her many engagements, Ms. Bauser is co-founder of Caltech for Black Lives, which has hosted several meetings and events focusing on racial justice issues this school year. She also has volunteered as a tutor, working one-on-one with young students. 

Ms. Bauser attended the College of William & Mary on a full academic scholarship.

Please read more about Ms. Bauser and her award.

  • Alumni
  • Diversity
Yearbook Editors
Esther Diskin

The cover of Horizons, the Norfolk Academy Yearbook, captures the essence of the year through a striking photo montage: Black and white photos of students are arranged in scrapbook style across front and back, with bold orange and blue masks superimposed on the faces.

In a year when many schools across the country had to throw in the towel on producing a yearbook, the Horizons team produced the Covid Edition, a full color, 260-page presentation of the school's 2020-21 academic year, focusing on challenges conquered to accomplish some sense of normalcy.

The “Letter from the Editors" complements the cover art, offering a verbal portrait of the school's transition to distance learning as the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020: “The Year of Courage. A year that no one saw coming. One that placed students in bedroom classrooms, launched teachers into digital curricula, and disrupted everyone's everyday definition of normal. Even so, the students, administration, faculty, staff, and supporters of Norfolk Academy's community have demonstrated profound resilience through it all."

The letter, signed by co-Editors-in-Chief Ella Davis '21 and Charlotte Golpira '21, and Senior Editor Anna Melley '21, closes with a salute to the community's can-do spirit: “As the coronavirus continues to affect us all, we will demonstrate 'strength in the face of pain or grief.' Because, though we couldn't embrace one another on the first day of school, shake Mr. Manning's hand, or gather together in Burroughs Gymnasium, we smiled with our eyes, offered encouraging words to our peers, and built a new legacy of love, unity, perseverance, and courage for Norfolk Academy."

A longstanding Horizons tradition is the dedication of the volume to a faculty or staff member; the written dedication is read aloud at the chapel and a copy is presented to the honoree. This year, the staff dedicated the yearbook to “the student body," saluting the efforts of each individual in contributing to the collective effort to keep the community safe and carry on with optimism.

“The overwhelming positivity exhibited by our students uplifted the spirits of all within our community," the dedication noted. “It inspired everyone to adapt to these new changes and to make the best out of the circumstances. As students, we continued to demonstrate what it means to be a bulldog, evidenced by our empathy and respect for our peers and teachers during one of the most divisive presidential elections in our country's history. The continued level of understanding displayed by the students at Norfolk Academy is inspiring and provides hope for the future unity of our country."

Congratulations to the entire Horizons staff!

Co-Editors-in-Chief: Ella Davis '21, Charlotte Golpira '21

Senior Editor: Anna Melley '21

Staff (alphabetical order by last name): David Alexander; Emma Clark; Henry Clifford; Jordan Epps; Jill Ghormely; Sophia Mirovski; Caleb Peck; Brooke Thornton; Cate Ware

Faculty Sponsor: Ms. Mary Todd Glascock


Fine Arts Awards, Dance
Esther Diskin

The Fine Arts Department announced the annual awards for outstanding achievement in many aspects of the fine arts. The following students received recognition:

BAND AWARD to Jens Islev-Petersen '21: Given to the instrumentalist who has shown outstanding dedication and ability in the upper school band program.

ORCHESTRA AWARD to Alex Barton '23: Given to students who have, throughout their upper school career, demonstrated consistent professionalism in their approach to working and performing in a large musical ensemble.

VISUAL ARTS AWARD to Annalee Marling '23, Jack Tignor '22, and Claire Vu '22: Given to the students who, inside and outside of class, strive to improve their natural creativity, do projects of their own design, and encourage others by their focused example.

FILM STUDIES AWARD to Jackson Weis '21, Sophie Patch '23, and Robert Lucas '21: Given to students who have demonstrated outstanding knowledge, ability, and disciplinary achievement in the field of film studies and media scholarship.

DANCE AWARD to Madalyn Mejia '22: Given in recognition of leadership, loyalty, integrity, and diligence.

MOST IMPROVED DANCE TEAM MEMBER to Phoebe Montagna '21: Given to the dancer or dancers who have worked consistently to improve their skills and technique through an exceptional work ethic.

THE ACADEMY PLAYERS AWARD to Caroline Godwin '21, Christopher Asuncion '21, Blake Brown '21, and Finley Lemma '21: Presented to Senior Students for their commitment, creative growth, and approach to working and performing within an ensemble in the Fall Play.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES AWARD to Hannah Marks '21 and Elizabeth Taddeo '21: Given to a student or students who have shown outstanding support of the many technical, visual, or scenic elements that go into creating a production.

MUSICAL THEATER AWARD to Ella Davis '21, Erin Clayton '21, and Virginia Ames Tillar '21: Given to senior students in recognition of creative accomplishments, originality, and diligence in the pursuit of excellence in the genre of musical theater.

Fine Arts Director Jeff Danielson's presentation of the Fine Arts Association Award reflected the unique challenges of delivering performances and visual arts during a pandemic year, when audiences could not visit the school's theaters or art gallery. The award is given to faculty or staff “in recognition of their support, leadership, and contribution to the Academy’s Performing and Visual Arts Program." Throughout the months when live shows couldn't be done, the school has released abundant music, dance, drama, and gallery shows via social media and the website, in partnership with the Communications Office. Saluting that teamwork, Mr. Danielson gave the award to the “highly competent and understanding Communications Team" --  Esther Diskin, Kim Yager, and Mike Connors.

For its part, the Communications team is profoundly grateful to be able to share the uplifting work of such skilled and creative actors, musicians, dancers, and artists, who are guided in their many accomplishments by dedicated and talented faculty. Students, take a bow! Bravissimo!

Watch this year's Academy Dancers and drama productions!


Esther Diskin

Norfolk Academy had an outstanding showing in the annual Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Math, and Science (TEAMS) competition, which was conducted virtually this year. In Virginia, Norfolk Academy had the top two spots in the 1th/12th grade category and the top three spots in the 9th/10th grade category. Top finishers usually will go on to compete at the national level, but this year, the organization is not running a national competition, due to the challenges of the pandemic.

Not surprisingly, this year's multiple choice scenarios reflected the current context, “Engineering Solutions in a Pandemic," with topics like engineering drones for no-contact delivery, modeling the spread of disease, and vaccine distribution.

“The TEAMS competition has traditionally relied heavily on face-to-face collaboration, I am impressed that our students were able to adapt so well to a virtual competition that hampered their ability to interact with each other," said Dr. Robert Call, Upper School Physics Teacher and advisor for TEAMS.  “We are sad to see our seniors go, they have had a lot of success in the TEAMS competition.  Our younger students are, remarkably, on a path to be even more successful."

 The top two 11th/12th grade teams were as follows:

Team C (First in the state): Gavin Goss, Toria Kauffman, David Smythe, James Thompson

Team B (Second): Blake Brown, Olivia Danielson, Sidney Jordan, Harrison Summers 

The top three 9th/10th teams were as follows:

Team A (First in the State): Micah Baum, Quinn Carroll, Lee McElligott, Jen Yuan 

Team B (Second): Vignesh Akkina, Bella Burr, Noah Howell, Mitchell Moore 

Team C (Third): Sam Bibeau, Bree Faulkner, Gretchen Scott, Marin Soderberg 

Bravo and congratulations, Bulldogs!



NAMAC sold shirts as part of Bulldogs Care Campaign: Spring into Giving
Esther Diskin

The Upper School launched the Bulldogs Care Campaign: Spring Into Giving during the final week of April with an array of fun activities and fundraisers to support regional and national charities.

The week culminated with an array of outdoor games during the activity bell on Thursday.

A quick rundown of the club-sponsored activities throughout the week:

  • Global Grace and Reach Interact Clubs held a raffle for prizes sponsored by faculty, from a round of golf to restaurant luncheons and baked goods.
  • Outdoor Club led a "comfy clothes" day and campus-wide clean-up on Tuesday. Funds raised from the $1 donations for the dress-down day were donated to the Environmental Defense Fund.
  • One Love Club sponsored educational sessions for seniors about understanding the signs of a potentially abusive relationships; these sessions have been held annually as part of Norfolk Academy's involvement in supporting the One Love Foundation. The club also sponsored a competition for speed of throwing a lacrosse ball with separate categories for lacrosse players and non-players.
  • Fiscal Affairs Club sponsored a video game competition, charging $3 to compete and $1 to watch and cheer on the competitors with funds raised for Operation Hope.
  • Norfolk Academy Military Appreciation Club (NAMAC) sponsored a Spikeball tournament for faculty and students and sold shirts for a dress-down day on Thursday. All proceeds benefited Wounded Warriors Project.
  • The Special Olympics Club held a contest to make paper airplanes and throw for the longest distance.
  • The Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters (CHKD) Club organized a run/walk around the track.

The outreach to support nonprofits marked a new approach to Field Day, which is unable to be held this year due to the pandemic, although the virtual Art Sale and Golf Tournament have been a success. Nonetheless, the traditional Field Day spirit has animated the school this spring, and all students will be wearing Field Day t-shirts on Friday to bring out the Bulldog spirit.