Faculty & Student News

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Faculty & Student News

National Merit Scholars Recognized

The National Merit Scholarship Program has recognized 21 Baylor seniors as either semifinalists or commended students in the 2022 national merit competition. Pictured are (front row, left to right) commended students Brett Cooper, Adelle Pritchard, Maya Wiisanen, Fatima Sohani, Connie Ni, Katherine Chen, Ibilola Esho, Lily Fridl, Olivia Hankin(back row) semifinalists Nick McKenney, Owen Eastman, and Tina Zheng, commended student Gunnar Garriques, semifinalists Rowe Cooper, Trey McDonald, Maddie Kim, Jack Smith, and Sanjit Pamidi. Not pictured are semifinalist Caleb Nuñes, and commended students Maddie Perry and Aidan Shaw.

Students Selected to 80th Round Table

The sixteen seniors selected for the Baylor’s 80th Round Table literary discussion group are (front row, left to right) Hannah Lane Ford, Aidan Shaw, Kate Rogers, Maddie Kim (vice-president), Fatima Sohani (secretary), Tina Zheng (president), and Maddie Perry; (second row) Nick Bajestani, Ibi Esho, Couriyah Stegall, Caleb Nuñes, and Patrick Russell, (back row) Kye Hamilton, Hannah Barber, Lindsay Smith, and Owen Eastman. English instructor Heather Ott serves as the faculty adviser. Founded in 1942, the prestigious literary discussion group emphasizes independent thought and lively debate. Selection to Round Table is among Baylor’s highest honors.

Honor Council Elected

Honor Council members elected by the student body for the 2021-22 school year include (front row, left to right) freshmen Caroline Stickley and Johnny Sutter, sophomores Thomas Tipps, Emery Carico, Ella Marks, and Carter Garrett; (second row) juniors Zachary Ubamadu, Mallory Alling, and Jeb Martin;  and (back row) seniors Nick McKenney (vice chair), Spratt Allison (clerk), Brett Cooper (chair), Apple Zhou, and Maren Johnson (secretary). Baylor’s Honor Code was adopted by the student body in May of 1916 and is a cornerstone of the school’s mission and values.

Student Leadership Board Elected

Congratulations to Upper School students who have been elected to the 2021-22 Student Leadership Board. Pictured are (front row, left to right) freshmen Aly Sohani and Addi Greene; sophomores Julia McCracken, Mae Mae Powe, Annie Marks, Parker Tipps; (second row) juniors Helen Webb, AC Arnold, Porter Stinson, Odin Phillips; (back row) seniors Caleb Nuñes, Sara Grace Snead, Caroline Renegar, Couriyah Stegall, and Georgia Wilson. Not pictured are senior Melissa Armstrong, juniors Lee Dozier and KD Hill, and sophomore Sydney Harris.

Baylor Players Present Anne of Green Gables

The Baylor Players presented Anne of Green Gables in Roddy Theater in October. The cast and crew included Olivia Hankins (stage manager), Abagail Bailey, May Bankston, Mary Margaret Bender, Finley Burnette, Amanda Chen, Aidan Clementson, Lane Cooper, Benjamin Daniel, Bryce Davis, Izzy Ellis, Claire Ellish, Kye Hamilton, Natalie Hankins, Colby Hawk, Gavin Jordan, Talia Joels, Harper Kelly, Jack Smith, Kara Anne Smith, Adelle Pritchard, and Maddi Yother. The play was directed by Beth Gumnick, with set design by Garrett Walsh, and costume design was by Laura Smith.

Pictured above from left to right are senior Baylor Players May Bankston, Jack Smith, Colby Hawk, Kara Anne Smith, Gavin Jordan, Kye Hamilton, Olivia Hankins, Adelle Pritchard, and Maddi Yother.

Abshire Fellows Visit Washington, D.C.

Ten seniors were selected for the annual David M. Abshire Civic Leadership trip Oct. 31 - Nov. 4. Pictured above outside of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center are (front row, left to right) faculty member Natalee Oldham Hindman ’10, Adelle Pritchard, Ellie Smith, Emily Dotson, Maddie Kim, Fatima Sohani, and faculty member Jaime Jedrychowski Melton ’94; (back row) faculty member Gary Partrick, Maren Johnson, Nick McKenney, Head of School Chris Angel ’89, Brett Cooper, Spratt Allison, and Caleb Nuñes. The trip was created in 2009 in partnership with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and the late Dr. David Abshire ’44, who served as president and CEO of that organization. Washington, D.C. alumni involved in the visit were Lt. Col. Jeremy Bowling ’94, senior defense fellow at Georgetown University; Cam Henderson ’96, former Chief of Protocol for the United States; Capt. Nate Rawlings ’00, external affairs officer at Rock Point; Bharet Malhotra ’93, senior vice president of sales at Cvent; Sam Lupas ’14, legislative correspondent for North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis; and Brian Northcutt ’91, special agent in charge, U.S. Secret Service. 

Dance Program Hosts Visiting Artists

The Baylor Dance program hosted Sarah Long ’14 (pictured above with juniors Ally Creswell, Lacy Creswell, and Maggie Smith; senior Loren Floyd; freshman Maggie Tansor; and sophomore Cecilia Yuan) as a visiting artist October 25-29. During her time on campus, Long set a piece on the Upper School dancers and taught a jazz master class for the Middle School dancers.

The dance program also hosted Jenison Owens in October, who taught a master class to the Upper School dancers. Jenison is currently the Outreach and Education Director and a company member of The Pop-Up Project. She has also worked with Ballet Tennessee, Weave Dance Company, and the Creative Arts Guild.

Dancers Perform in Emerging Choreographer’s Showcase 

Freshmen Laura Kathryn Anderson and Maggie Tansor, sophomore Cecilia Yuan, and juniors Ally Creswell, Lacy Creswell, Cate Fisher, and Maggie Smith performed original pieces in the annual Emerging Choreographers’ Showcase in October. Joining them were eighth grader Riley Mauldin and seventh graders Hollyn Blair, Julia Hoff, and Ashley Yim. Upper School pieces are choreographed by students and the Middle School piece was choreographed by dance instructor Elizabeth Cox Roemer ’05.

Annual Turkey Drive Benefits Food Bank

Baylor’s Middle School donated enough turkeys to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank Special to provide 2,238 meals to families. The annual Turkey Drive event, which has been a tradition for 20 years, took place on Nov. 9 and was organized by the Baylor Middle School Advisory Council. Pictured (front row, left to right) are eighth graders Alex Bailey, Henry Wang, and William Hubbard; seventh graders Molly Donovan, Mae Mae Garrett, and Mia Kinney; eighth grader Petra Lund, and seventh grader Riley Swinford; (back row) seventh grader Matilda Joels; sixth graders Logan Smith, Battle Holliday, Anton Pruenster, Rhodes Kelly, Calvin Garrison, Gracey Weekley, Nina Lail, and Caroline Young; seventh grader Carlos Baleeiro; eighth graders James McCorkle, Braylee Newell, and Wesley Chi, and seventh grader Nancy Charline Farrell.

Baylor Defends Green Prix

Baylor students defended their championship at the annual Green Prix electric car race Nov. 19-20, competing against more than 45 local schools. This enterprising group, led by science instructor Erin Woodrow, spent their spare time building the latest version of an electric “soap box derby” type car for the competition. Team members are juniors Michael Xing and Kaan Volkan; sophomores Jack Champion, Talia Joels, Oliver Nimon, Mary Evelyn Pearce, Peyton Smith, and Flynn Watson-Brown; and eighth graders Brandon Oakes, J.D. Martin, and Wyatt McDaniel. The Chattanooga Green Prix was organized in 2017 by green|spaces challenging eight local elementary, middle, and high school students to construct GreenPower USA electric power race cars. Baylor’s Middle School team won the championship in 2019 and are now gearing up to defend their title after a hiatus in 2020 due to Covid-19.

Middle School Advisory Council Elected

Congratulations to the 2021-22 Middle School Advisory Council representatives who were elected by their peers in the fall. Students include sixth graders Kennedy Elkins, Calvin Garrison, Battle Holliday, Audrey Huddleston, Rhodes Kelly, Nina Lail, Anton Pruenster, Logan Smith, Gracey Weekley, and Caroline Young; seventh graders Molly Donovan, Mae Mae Garrett, Oliver Hartmann, Matilda Joels, Carlos Keates-Baleeiro, Mia Kinney, Hank Long, Ansh Patel, and Riley Swinford; and eighth graders Alexander Bailey, Hunt Bennett, Wesley Chi, William Hubbard, Petra Lund, James McCorkle, Braylee Newell, David Sabou, Ella Claire Stalvey, and Henry Wang.

Baylor Welcomes New Faculty

Joining the Baylor family this year are (front row, left to right) Philly Williams (Upper School math), Chris DeBien (Upper School athletics; residential life), Greta Mountain (Middle School fine arts, athletics), Tara Tucker (Upper School science), Chris Angel ’89 (President and Head of School), Mary Beth Browne Hopping (Upper School Learning Center, humanities; residential life), Simone Harris (Middle School math), Keelah Jackson (Middle School Learning Center, humanities; community service), Natalia Ferrari (teacher's aide; residential life); (second row) Charlie Weeks ’17 (Upper School science; Middle School athletics and Walkabout; residential life), Carlos Serrano (Middle School world languages), Elizabeth Fogo Robinson ’05 (advancement assistant), Melissa Love Snyder ’90 (director of alumni engagement), Alex Gallimore (chaplain), Ben Sposet (Middle School and Upper School fine arts), Payton Ritchey (Upper School English), Ellie Kincaid (Upper School English, athletics), Kelsie Sharp (Middle School world languages), Laura Smith (Upper School science; residential life), Kali Rosenberger (Upper School world languages), Spencer Ferrari-Wood (admission counselor; residential life; Upper School athletics); (back row) Lee Howick (Middle School and Upper School librarian), Ben Holt (Upper School science, athletics); Jack Studer ’01 (Middle School math), Mike Perrin (Middle School world languages, athletics), Andrew Phipps (Upper School science), Tony Easley (Upper School athletics), Kyle Di Tieri (Upper School science), Amelia Moore ’16 (Middle School Learning Center, humanities; Upper School athletics), Dave Fionda (Upper School math), Antonio Herrera (Upper School science), Nick Boehm ’98 (Middle School science), and Matt Irvin (Upper School science). Not pictured is Anna Hall (advancement officer).

Keelah Jackson Art Selected for Exhibits

Faculty member Keelah Jackson, co-owner, and curator of Keeody Gallery curated the Visuals for the Voiceless art exhibit as part of the city-wide Ed Johnson Memorial dedication in September. Jackson’s art was also featured in the exhibit. She was also one of nine artists who were selected to create panels for a 12' x 17' mural titled The Soul of MLK — How Artists Visualize the Heartbeat and Soul of MLK in Arts, Music and Culture. Her mural is titled Dr. King’s 9th Street Reverie (above). Jackson was an artist-in-residence at Baylor in 2020-21, and now serves as a community service assistant and Middle School Learning Center instructor.

Fine Arts Faculty Kudos

Heath Montgomery ’99, studio art instructor, was one of ten local artists featured in an art exhibit at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport called “Into the Blue: Abstraction in the Airport.”

Margaret Harman ’14, dance instructor, was selected as a company member of The Pop-Up Project’s performance of Romeo y Julieta in September.

Allison Lamb, theater director, served as assistant director for a production of Rock of Ages this past summer for the Actor's Theater of Charlotte.

Mary Lynn Portera, studio arts instructor, had pieces featured throughout September at Wanderlinger Brewing Company, which provides a space for local artists to share their work. More of Portera’s work can be found at the River Gallery in the Bluff View Art District.

Vincent Oakes, choir director and fine arts department chair, authored a chapter on working with the adolescent singing voice in the forthcoming textbook Class Voice: Fundamental Skills for Lifelong Singing by Brenda Smith and Ron Burrichter (Plural Publishing 2022). In 2021-2022, he will conduct honor and festival choirs in Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Baylor Business Office Announcements

Margaret Wallace (left), accounts payable associate, announced her retirement in December after 14 years at Baylor. “Anyone who knows Margaret knows what a diligent and faithful employee and friend she is. Her attention to details and her organizational skills are unmatched. She will be sorely missed in the business office and campus-wide," said Jennifer Cookston, controller. Margaret and her husband, Johnny, are looking forward to more time traveling and visiting their grandchildren.

Brandye Polisky (right) has been named billing and payables associate. Brandye has worked for the past three years in student billing. Prior to Baylor, she worked in the business office at Chattanooga State Community College.


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Volume 34
Issue 1