Yearbook 2019 Dedicated to Grounds and Maintenance Staff

It is a longstanding tradition that the student editors of Horizons, Norfolk Academy’s yearbook, dedicate the volume to someone--often a beloved member of the faculty. The dedication spotlight, as well as the creative cover design for each edition, are tightly held secrets, lending an air of anticipation to the Upper School assembly with a Big Reveal.
This year’s dedication was extraordinary: The editors dedicated the 2019 Horizons to the Grounds and Maintenance staff, featuring pictures of all nine team members on the dedication page. The thoughtful tribute reflected the student body’s appreciation of the beautiful environment that contributes to their sense of community. “Our Grounds and Maintenance team is what makes Norfolk Academy a well-oiled machine,” the editors wrote. “From the meticulous fields to the spotless classrooms and building facilities, our campus enjoys a beauty unmatched in Hampton Roads.”
One of the photos on the dedication page was a particularly poignant and powerful reminder of a loss in the Bulldog family: Stewart Howard, Norfolk Academy’s Director of Building and Grounds, passed away in February. The staff also dedicated an additional page in the yearbook to Mr. Howard, and the students included several photos and a statement that touched on his tremendous impact. It mentioned the many construction projects he supervised, including most recently the James B. Massey Jr. Leadership Center and the new Lower School: “Literally, his hands have touched every corner of each building at Norfolk Academy.” The tribute noted another signature talent—cooking: “His love of cooking surfaced with his Pig Roasts and assistance with the Chesapeake Bay Fellows Oyster Roasts.”
Kenneth Alexander II ’19, who served as Editor-in-Chief of the Yearbook, read aloud the Letter from the Editor, which reflected on the school’s Year of Friendship. “Here at Norfolk Academy, we focus on friendship to unify our community and to emphasize the importance of appreciating one another,” he said. “We hope that promoting friendship on the local level first will lead to more unity on a national level later.” The letter also reflected on a core value in the school’s Philosophy: “The administration, faculty, and students share a common belief: selflessness leads to a productive and happy society. As students, it is our job to embrace the values taught to us at Norfolk Academy long after we graduate from this fine institution.”
Virginia Darden ’19 and Lily Golpira ’19, both of whom served in roles as Assistant Editor-in Chief, read the dedications to the Grounds and Maintenance staff and Stewart Howard. The Upper School gave a rousing standing ovation to those honored; Mrs. Darlene Howard attended the ceremony to accept the yearbook.