Student Leadership Trips
David M. Abshire Civic Leadership Trip
Eleven rising seniors were selected to travel to Washington, D.C., for the David M. Abshire Civic Leadership trip, an intensive, experiential course of study on national leadership, ethics, honor, and service. The program is 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. The trip, usually scheduled for June, has been rescheduled for November 2021. Students meet a variety of leaders and participate in a myriad of activities while also enjoying tours of federal buildings and national landmarks. They also participate in leadership seminars with government officials and Baylor alumni in the area.
Selected for the honor are (seated, left to right) Spratt Allison, Caleb Nuñes, Brett Cooper, Nick McKenney, (standing) Maddie Kim, Adelle Pritchard, Emily Dotson, Maren Johnson, Ellie Smith, Connie Ni, and Fatima Sohani.
Jamaica Servant Leadership Trip
For 24 years, being chosen for the Jamaica Servant Leadership Trip has been the highest honor for students in the Baylor community service program. It is awarded to those who demonstrate the utmost passion and commitment to serving others without regard for praise or notoriety. These students work together for an entire year to raise money for the Jamaica Education Fund before serving in Kingston, Jamaica, over Spring Break. Although this group was not able to travel to Jamaica due to COVID concerns, their sincere devotion to making the world a better place is admirable and worthy of thanks.
These 10 servant leaders, all members of the Class of ’21, are recognized by a donation in their honor to the Jamaica Education Fund. Pictured are (seated, left to right) Alexa McCarren, Lauren Yim, Julia Flack, Ashleigh Huang, (standing) Alyssa Kim, Steven Yao, Evelyn Ludwick, Harper Huckabay, Olivia Diamond, and (not pictured) Carson Chaplin.
Joe Key Award 2021
Twelve rising seniors have been selected for the Joe Key Award, a trip that recognizes selfless character and involves seven days of sea kayaking, hiking, and camping on the islands of Acadia National Park in Maine in July 2021.
Chosen for 2021 are (seated, left to right) are Nicholas Bajestani, Caleb Nuñes, Alex Coley, Spratt Allison, (standing) Tina Zheng, Ibiola Esho, Kara Anne Smith, Couriyah Stegall, Maren Johnson, Connie Ni, and (not pictured) Emily Dotson and Kate Rogers.
The trip honors the late Joe Key, who worked at Baylor from 1961 to 1988 as a military instructor and study hall supervisor and was affectionately known as “Sarge.” The trip is offered to students of admirable character whose selfless efforts might otherwise go unrecognized by the school or their peers.
Joe Key Award 2020
Twelve members of the Class of 2021 were named Joe Key Award recipients as rising seniors last spring. The group will travel to Maine this summer for the much-anticipated opportunity that was missed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pictured (front, left to right) are Ava Echard, Carson Chaplin, Starr Hinton, Frances Brantley, Lauren Yim, Ashleigh Huang, Rosa Anderson-Barrera, Ellis Coffelt, (back) Steven Yao, Jackson Powell, Creighton Arrington, and Sam Christensen.
Baylor Research Students Honored
Senior Rhiannon von Klar took overall first place for presentation and project titled, “3D Printing Microfluidic Devices” at the Fifth Annual Science and Engineering Symposium. The overall runner-up was sophomore Michael Xing for his research in “Variable Geometry Suspension with Active Toe Control.” Best presentation went to sophomore Kaan Volkan for “Porous Media Air Bearing for Cube Satellite Attitude Testing” and to junior Maddie Kim for “What are COVID-19 Variants and How Do They Affect Us?” Seniors Peyson Pearce and Ethan Thomas won first place in the high school division at the UTC Tech Symposium for their work in “Concussion Therapy with Virtual Reality.” The Baylor Robotics team, the Ohm Raiders, honored Sophie Covert and Leo Xu with MVP awards. Click here to view the 2021 symposium.
Kim, Zheng Win NCTE Awards
Baylor juniors Maddie Kim (left) and Tina Zheng (right) were two of the three Tennessee students who received Certificates of Superior Writing as part of the 2021 Achievement Awards in Writing program, sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The Certificate of Superior Writing is the highest designation in the awards program.
The awards program was created to encourage high school juniors to write and to publicly recognize the best student writing. Accredited schools in the United States, Canada, Virgin Islands and American Schools Abroad are eligible to nominate 11th grade students for the awards. This year, schools nominated 285 students to participate. Of those, 136 were selected to receive Certificates of Superior Writing, and 148 received Certificates of Nomination.
Yim Wins Citizen of the World Award
O.J. Morgan, head of Bright School, presented the school’s 2021 Citizen of the World award to Baylor senior Lauren Yim. The award recognizes young alumni from Bright who are fulfilling the school’s mission.
Shakespeare Contest Winners
Caroline Chapman (left) was the winner of the Baylor senior class annual Shakespeare recitation contest on February 23. Nick Skonberg (center) was second and Elisabeth Lau (right) was third.
Chandra Qualifies for National Bee for Second Year
After 27 rounds of spelling in the Middle School spelling bee on Jan. 20, Baylor eighth grader Alisha Chandra prevailed as champion for the third year in a row. Seventh grader Piper Ryan was runner-up, and sixth grader Jacob Tate was second runner-up. Sixth graders Eva O’Kelley and Frank Treadwell finished in fourth and fifth place respectively. Chandra went on to repeat as a qualifier for the Scripps National Spelling Bee by winning the regional bee, sponsored by the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Chandra qualified for the national competition last year, but the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She made it to the quarterfinals in this year’s competition.
Baylor Players Perform The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Baylor Players presented an outdoor spring production of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes May 1-2 (view video below).
Based on four Sherlock Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and adapted for the stage by Jon Jory, the cast included Elisabeth Lau ’21, Nick Skonberg ’21, Jack Smith ’22, and Molly Stanfield ’21 as Holmes; and Abagail Bailey ’23, May Bankston ’22, Rosa Anderson-Barrera ’21, and Will Cromie ’21 as Watson. Other cast members were Mary Margaret Bender ’24, Colby Hawk ’22, Melissa Perez ’21, Adelle Pritchard ’22, Patrick Russell ’22, Nathaniel Smart ’23, Kara Anne Smith ’22, and Hannah Winchester ’23. Crew members were Olivia Hankins ’22, stage manager; Natalie Hankins ’24, assistant stage manager; and Catherine Bryant ’21, Frankie Chamberlain ’21, Kye Hamilton ’22, Karina Quinn ’21, Carson Steele ’21, Ryne Williams ’21, Barry Yang ’21, and Meya Yangzhen ’23.
Beth Gumnick directed the play, Garrett Walsh provided set and technical direction, and Laura Smith was costume designer. Allison Lamb coordinated an additional crew of Middle School students who assisted with the set, costumes, and props. They included Russell Boyd ’27, Benjamin Daniel ’25, Parker Frierson ’25, Gabby Goldstein ’26, James Grantham ’26, Harper Kelly ’25, Ellie Lydon ’25, Braylee Newell ’26, Eva O’Kelley ’27, Katherine Pipes ’27, Nathan Plavich ’26, Adela Sewell ’27, and Jayla Simpkins ’25.
Film Version of Vervé Showcases Talent
Baylor dancers have showcased their talents at the annual Vervé production since 1992, and this year was no exception.
Although the live production was on pause due to COVID-19, the 23 students involved in the Middle School and Upper School dance program created two dance film projects that were shared on social media the week of Jan. 25, the date when Vervé was originally scheduled.
In April, the Upper School film was selected for the Idaho Screendance Festival in the “pre-professional category.” Titled “Within,” the film was choreographed, filmed, and edited by Elizabeth Roemer ’05, company director; and Margaret Harman ’14, artistic director.
“The shift in how we approached showcasing our dancers this year has allowed us to explore different ways one is able to perform. Creating a dance film is a completely different process than putting on a live performance, so it was a true silver lining that our dancers were able to experience and navigate this new avenue of dance-making,” explained Roemer.
Harman added that the project was a great learning experience for everyone involved. “The dancers had to learn and execute choreography in a much different manner than usual, and Elizabeth and I had to envision movement in a different way while learning
to direct and edit a film.”
A total of 142 films submitted from around the world were adjudicated by five professional filmmakers, and 54 were selected for a screening that took place May 12-14 at the Special Events Center Theater at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. The films were also featured in the 2021 virtual Chattanooga Dances! concert, which typically takes place in October and brings together many local school and non-profit dance organizations.
The Spring Dance Collective was held on April 27 and featured 12 Upper School and Middle School dancers. The performance took place in the quad and included dances choreographed by seniors Mary Alex Bachus and Frances Brantley, sophomore Lacy Creswell, and eighth grader Maggie Tansor, as well as faculty dance directors Elizabeth Roemer ’05 and Margaret Harman ’14. Other dancers included senior Megha Chanamolu; sophomores Caroline Dart, Cate Fisher, Mimi Masson, and Maggie Smith; seventh grader Madeline Claire Stefaniuk; and sixth graders Hollyn Blair and Mary Eliot Long.
Eleven Audition for All East Orchestra; Four Qualify for All-State
Even though the traditional All-East orchestra clinic was canceled due to the pandemic, students practiced advanced excerpts and scales, recorded themselves, and sent in their recordings to compete against other students from eastern Tennessee.
Students who auditioned for All-East and then qualified for All-State were seniors Alyssa Kim, violin; and Barry Yang, violin; and juniors Katherine Chen, violin; and Jenny Liu, viola. Other students who were selected for All-East were seniors Zoë Hardnett, cello; Alyssa Kim, violin; and Elisabeth Lau, viola; juniors Ibi Esho, viola; and Connie Ni, violin; and sophomore Georgia Johnson, viola. In addition, freshman Valerie Davis, violin, ranked near the top of the alternates for All-East.