Student Leadership Trips
The following leadership experiences are fully funded trips that provide the opportunity for self-discovery in a challenging environment. While this year’s trips were altered or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the honor of being chosen is noteworthy.
David M. Abshire Civic Leadership Trip
Fourteen rising seniors were selected to travel to Washington, D.C., this summer on the David M. Abshire Civic Leadership trip for an intensive eight-day experiential course of study on national leadership, ethics, honor, and service. The group is hoping to enjoy a shortened version of the program in the fall if possible.
The program was created 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. Selected for this year’s award were Rosa Anderson-Barrera, Creighton Arrington, Orly Berke, Lydia Bohannon, Eli Bowen, Frances Brantley, Grant Burks, Ashleigh Huang, Alexa McCarren, Sophie Peirano, Janie Pippenger, Margaret Webb, Callie West, and Harrison Williams.
Joe Key Award
Twelve rising seniors were selected for the Joe Key Award, a July trip that involves seven days of sea-kayaking, hiking, and camping on the islands of Acadia National Park. The trip honors the late oe Key, who worked at Baylor from 1961 to 1988 as a military instructor and study hall supervisor and was affectionally known as “Sarge.” The trip recognizes students of admirable character whose selfless efforts might otherwise go unrecognized by the school or their peers. Selected for this year’s award were Rosa Anderson-Barrera, Creighton Arrington, Frances Brantley, Carson Chaplin, Sam Christiansen, Ellis Coffelt, Ava Echard, Starr Hinton, Ashleigh Huang, Jackson Powell, Steven Yao, and Lauren Yim.
Jamaica Servant Leadership Trip
Ten Baylor students were slated to travel to Jamaica for the 23rd annual Spring Break Jamaica Servant Leadership Trip, which was canceled in March. The group included seniors Taniya Barot, Ridley Browder, Julia Fisher, Julia Hartman, and Laura Kate May, and juniors Carson Chaplin, Ashleigh Huang, Harper Huckabay, Evelyn Ludwick, and Lauren Yim.
Twelve Students Chosen for International Exchange
Twelve Baylor students were selected to participate in exchange trips with schools in Australia, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, and Spain. The outgoing portion of the exchanges were canceled for this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Decisions about Baylor students hosting international students were pending when this issue of Baylor magazine was published. Pictured (front row, left to right) are sophomores Jack Smith and Olivia Hankins (Otto-Hahn Gymnasium, Germany), sophomores Ellie Smith (Durban Girls College, Durban, South Africa) and Maren Johnson (Dio, Hamilton, New Zealand), junior Ada Cruikshank (Saint-Denis, Loches, France), (back row) sophomores Caleb Nunes (San Fernando, Aviles, Spain), Ella Webb (Sacred Heart, Pamplona, Spain), Couriyah Stegall (St. Hilda’s, Gold Coast, Australia), Maddie Perry (Dio, Hamilton, New Zealand), and Nick McKenney (Clifton School, Durban, South Africa). Not available for the photo were sophomores May Bankston (Saint-Denis, Loches, France) and Sophie Steck (Herschel School, Cape Town, South Africa).
Students Selected for India Trip
Nine students were chosen to participate in the annual Walkabout trip to India; however, the trip was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Selected for the trip were seniors Caroline Barker, Max Berube, Connor Duffy, Anika Iqbal, Leah Kessler, Kate King, Caroline Moon, and Sophie Workinger, and junior Ava Echard.
Duffy and Sparkman Invited to Present at IEEE
Seniors Connor Duffy (left) and Ben Sparkman (right) were invited to present results of their research, conducted in Baylor’s engineering lab, to engineers and other scientists at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers SoutheastCon in Raleigh, N.C., scheduled for March 12-15 but canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization.
Their work centered on improving the communication between wireless sensors within a large network. “Usually these kinds of conferences have student tracks and technical tracks,” said Dr. Mary Loveless, who leads the engineering wing of the Baylor Research program. “This is pretty exciting for high school students to present to the technical session. I’m not sure they were recognized as high school students by their paper. Even submitting to these conferences is rare for high school students, but to be asked to give an oral presentation is really something.”
Katy Waddell Receives Morehead-Cain Scholarship
Senior Katy Waddell has been named a recipient of a Morehead-Cain Scholarship, the oldest merit scholarship in the U.S., covering all expenses for four years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Waddell, a four-year boarding student from Acworth, Ga., served as a dormitory prefect, a member of the Honor Council, and an editor of The Baylor Notes and Periaktoi. She was an All-Region lacrosse player and rowed for the varsity crew team, was chosen for a student exchange to New Zealand, and was a recipient of the Joe Key Award. A Harris-Stanford Honors student, Waddell was enrolled in Baylor’s Advanced Science and Engineering Research program for two years.
Waddell is the 51st Baylor student to receive the prestigious scholarship since UNC selected the first recipients in 1951. “I am ready to take full advantage of this incredible opportunity,” said Waddell. “I’m so thankful to my family, friends, mentors, teachers, and the Baylor community for the foundation they have provided, enabling me to achieve this success. I know that without Baylor and the amazing life lessons I’ve learned here, none of this would have been possible.”
Seven Awarded at Harvard Model Congress
Twenty Baylor students attended Harvard Model Congress in San Francisco in January with seven earning awards for their work. Pictured (front row, left to right) are sophomores Olivia Hankins and Maddie Kim, and freshmen Connie Ni and Sophia Baleeiro (Best Delegate – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee); (second row) sophomores Fatima Sohani and Gillian Radpour, junior Paige Ryan; (third row) junior Rhiannon von Klar, sophomores Ibi Esho and Caleb Nunes (Best Delegate – Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee), junior Julia Flack (Honorable Mention – Senate Environment and Public Works Committee); (fourth row) seniors Ridley Browder (Best Delegate – Presidential Cabinet, Secretary of State), Lucy Townsend, and Grace Hill; (top row) faculty members Judy Millener and Anne Stover, junior Klaus Li (Honorable Mention – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee), seniors Jade Liu and John Liu, sophomore Jenny Liu, and seniors Caroline Moon (Honorable Mention – House Foreign Affairs Committee) and Max Montague (Honorable Mention – Senate Environment and Public Works Committee).
Rutledge Leads Winners at International Science & Engineering Fair
Senior Sarah Rutledge (pictured at the 2019 Baylor Science and Engineering Symposium) took second place in the International Science and Engineering Fair
sweepstakes competition at the 2020 Chattanooga Regional Science and Engineering Fair, hosted by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on March 10-11. She was one of 1,800 high school students qualified to compete for nearly $5 million in awards at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) scheduled for May but canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Senior Nathan Webb was third in the ISEF competition, and seniors Katy Waddell and Will Tippett combined for fourth place.
In addition, senior Dakota Wagner was the winner of the Yale Science and Engineering Award, given to the student with the most outstanding exhibit in computer science, engineering, physics, or chemistry.
Seven Baylor students won first place divisional awards including Rutledge (Translational Medicine Science Division), freshman Michael Xing (Robotics and Intelligent Machines), Webb (Cellular and Molecular Biology), Waddell and Tippett (Biomedical Engineering), and sophomores Maddie Kim and Caleb Nunes (Biomedical Health Science). Second place divisional awards went to junior Julia Flack (Earth and Environmental Science); sophomore Aiden Shaw, and seniors Zoe Xie and Mary Ma (Cellular and Molecular Biology); and Wagner (Biomedical Engineering). A third place award in Environmental Engineering went to freshman Timothy George.
Ohm Raiders Take Awards in Two State Competitions
The Baylor Robotics team competed in two different state championships, Tennessee and Alabama, during February. Both events were part of the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) season, sponsored by For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST).
At the Tennessee competition, the Ohm Raiders earned a first place Design Award, which recognizes design elements of the robot that are both functional and aesthetic. The team also received third place in the quest for the Inspire Award, which goes to the team that best embodies the challenge of FTC. For their performance at the Alabama competition, the Ohm Raiders received a second place Think Award, given to the team that experienced the best journey throughout the design process and the build season.
Pictured (left to right) are juniors Leo Xu, Ethan Thomas, Dake Peng, Karina Quinn, senior Jade Liu, junior Sophie Covert, sophomore Michael Curcio, senior Kenny Zheng, freshman Katelyn Evans, sophomore Dan Pham, juniors Chloe Crooks and Catherine Bryant, and freshmen Sergio Sergiyenko and Mimi Masson. Team members not pictured are senior Garrett Shaffer, freshman Kaan Volkan, and junior Rhiannon von Klar.
English Department Crowns Winners
Molly Stanfield finished first, Rosa Anderson Barrera was second, and Holland Moss was third in the junior class Poetry Out Loud competition this winter. Eleven juniors took part in the competition. Pictured (front row, left to right) are Hope Fowler, Mary Alex Bachus, Ava Echard, Anderson-Barrera, Stanfield, Will Cromie; (back row) Christopher Young, Moss, Aidan Sims, Carson Steele, and Erin Kanavos.
The senior class held its annual Shakespeare Contest with Grant Johnson taking first, Leah Kessler coming in second, and Abbie Holloway third.
The top three in the freshman “This I Believe” contest were Penelope Kwun, Sidney Kiner, and Kevin Yu.
Alisha Chandra is Baylor's Bee Queen
Seventh grader Alisha Chandra was the winner at the regional level of the Scripps National Spelling Bee and had qualified for the national bee that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chandra qualified for the regional bee by winning the Baylor competition and the zone level bee. Other Baylor qualifiers for the zone bee were seventh grader Julia Gardner and sixth grader William Hubbard, second and third respectively at the Baylor bee.
Chandra was also a semifinalist in the 2020 National Geographic GeoBee state competition, which was also canceled. This year, an estimated 2.4 million students, grades 4-8, competed in the GeoBee, with 8,661 students becoming school champions. School champions took an online qualifying test to earn spots in the state GeoBee.
Life Imitates Art in Baylor Class
Inspired by a social media meme, art instructor Heath Montgomery ’99 gave his painting and digital design students the challenge of finding a famous painting and recreating it as closely as possible in a photograph. Pictured above (clockwise from top left) are the works of freshman Asher Skyles (American Gothic by Grant Wood), sophomore Hannah Lane Ford (The Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci), senior Mary Lee Schaerer (The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer), and senior Lake Watson (Maid Sweeping Under the Carpet Mural by Banksy). For more examples of Life Imitates Art, click here.
Vervé Presents Annual Program
Baylor’s dance troupe, Vervé, presented its 28th annual performance in January. The show featured 28 Upper School dancers and 14 Middle School dancers performing works by choreographers including junior Mary Alex Bachus, seniors Zoe Ubamadu and Maxime Werk, dance instructors Margaret Harman ’14 and Elizabeth Roemer ’05, and guest artists Dani Clark, Louie Marin-Howard, and Morgan Forster.
Harman and Roemer teamed up this fall as the new instructors for the after-school dance program at Baylor, replacing Karen Smith, who recently retired. Roemer is the company director of Vervé, along with teaching Upper School dance electives, and Harman is the artistic director for Vervé and teaches dance in the Middle School.
Winter Players Perform
The Winter Players, Baylor’s traveling drama troupe, performed for the scholars at Carver and Westside community service sites and for the wider Baylor community. The performances of the children’s programs at Baylor on January 26 were accompanied by cookies and hot chocolate, courtesy of the Baylor Backers. The troupe presented three short plays – Nathan the Nervous, Charming Princes, and a reading of an original play, To the Moon, written by Baylor junior Zoe Xu. The Winter Players are directed by fine arts instructor Beth Gumnick.
Baylor Students Selected for All-East and All-State Orchestras
Baylor students were chosen to play in the Tennessee All-East Orchestra. Of those six, two qualified for the All-State Orchestra. In addition, two others were named alternates for the All-East Orchestra. These students joined other top musicians from East Tennessee and a guest conductor at the All-East performance in February. The Baylor orchestra is conducted by fine arts instructors Tom Schow and Christine Lau ’14.
Pictured (left to right) are sophomores Katherine Chen (All-East, violin) and Ibi Esho (All-East, viola), junior Elisabeth Lau (All-East, All-State, viola), sophomore Jenny Liu (All-East, viola), juniors Barry Yang (All-East alternate, violin), Alyssa Kim (All-East, violin), Zoë Hardnett (All-East alternate, cello), and senior Gracen Ford (All-East, All-State, violin).
Baylor Concert Choir Garners Awards
The Baylor Concert Choir received marks of “1/Superior” from all judges in the performance and sight-reading categories at the J.B. Lyle regional adjudication choral festival at First Baptist Church in Chattanooga in March. The Concert Choir is directed by fine arts department chair Vic Oakes.
Middle School Students Present Macbeth Adapation
The Middle School Players presented Macbeth: A Kid’s Cautionary Tale Concerning Greed, Power, Mayhem, and other Current Events in Roddy Theater in January. A dramatic adaptation written by Nancy Linehan Charles, the play retells Shakespeare’s Scottish tragedy with comedic commentary in a lively and humorous setting complete with witches, sword fights, and audience participation. The Middle School Players are directed by Middle School instructors Allison Lamb and Carlene West.