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                                                                                                            2014 Crozet Spirit Walk

The Field School of Charlottesville convenes its annual Crozet Spirit Walk on October 17-18, 2014.

“Ghosts of the Past, Present, and Untruthful” historical haunts return once more to Crozet Avenue on October 17th and 18th when the Field School of Charlottesville convenes its sixth annual Spirit Walk to celebrate the history of Crozet and Western Albemarle. The Spirit Walk gathers the Crozet community — the past, present and the untruthful.  This family friendly evening offers visits with the likes of Claudius Crozet, Lady Astor, Paul Goodloe McIntire, Crozet Gators Boys, Confederate Soldiers and other famous figures around town, plus a couple of untruthful scenes that add a few surprises,

The Spirit Walk begins at the Field School where guests are greeted by a delightfully ghostly guide who shares tales of old Crozet on the short bus ride down to The Square where they then disembark to begin the short return walk up Crozet Avenue to the Field School. Along the way the guests are introduced to our famous friends who share their history of our community.  The tour ends at the Field School where hot apple cider, donuts, baked goods, and the Field School’s famous home-made apple butter are available for purchase.

“We at the Field School take great pride in being a part of the Crozet community and are passionate about preserving and celebrating our community’s history. The Spirit Walk is a fun way to connect with our past and learn from those who shaped it,” said Todd Barnett, Head of School.

Tickets for the Spirit Walk are $10 for adults and all children under 14 are free. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Green House Coffee in Crozet or at the event. The Field School of Charlottesville is located at 1408 Crozet Avenue, Crozet, VA.

The Field School of Charlottesville is a middle school for boys with the mission to develop well-rounded boys of character and accomplishment.

FISL season debuts with 41 players

Our soccer season has begun again, both at the varsity level and at our house league--FISL.  We started the league in 2011 and played for two years with four teams.  Last year, we expanded to 6 teams, adding White and Black to Silver, Blue, Orange and Stripes.  Silver won the first two years' tournaments, and then Black was the first team to go undefeated all season last year (with Silver finishing second).  Silver again will be tough, and has so far won twice, only narrowly defeating Blue last week in sudden death overtime.  Meanwhile, our varsity had its first game against Stuart Hall on Friday, and looks forward to an excellent season.


Charlottesville's Most Distinguished Living Soldier Chubby Proffit Visits Field School

Our opening day speaker this year was a special treat--a visit from Carl D. "Chubby" Proffit of Charlottesville.  He is perhaps Charlottesville's only remaining survivor of D-Day, and a very distinguished one at that.  As a member of K Company of the 29th Infantry, he was among the first soldiers on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, and survived the experience with all those in his company.  Proffit was honored with the Distinguished Service Cross (the second highest award in the US military) for his actions two days later while fighting among the hedgerows.  For his bravery during this time, he was also awarded the French Legion of Honor.  Proffit answered our questions about his experiences in the war and as a player on the Plymouth Yankees, a service baseball team that went undefeated and won the European Theater Operations World Series in 1943 in England.  When asked if he had any advice for the boys on the advent of another year of middle school, his advice was simple, "listen to your parents and do what they tell you."

Chubby Proffit

Joel Salatin "Healthy Boys" Event

On Saturday, May 17th at 10:30 a.m., Field School is sponsoring a speaking event and discussion by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms at the Paramount Theater. Our goal is to share ideas on cultivating healthy boys, through nutrition, school lunch, exercise, and thoughtful decision making. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students and available at the A lunch by Patrick Critzer will be served after the event at noon for all visitors. The event is co-sponsored by Field Camp, Blue Ridge Swim Club, Mudhouse Coffee, Ashthanga Yoga Charlottesville, Mudhouse Coffee and the Local Food Hub.

Salatin Poster

Author Lex Hrabe Visits

Lex HrabeLex Hrabe, who is one-half of the writing team Lex Thomas, visited Field School on Friday as part of the Festival of the Book.  Many thanks to Lex for his wonderful presentation on the structure of stories, a valuable lesson to our many budding authors.

Distinguished Writers Recognized


Over the past month, four Field School boys have been recognized for their achievements in writing.  Arlo Bloom ('15) won 2nd place in the 7/8 division of the Writers' Eye competition sponsored by UVa's Fralin Art Museum while Noah Hochrein ('17) won Honorable Mention among 5th and 6th Graders.  This is an extraordinary accomplishment for them as the contest receives thousands of entries each year.  Also, three FS boys, Arlo Bloom, Andy Volenick ('16) and Henry Sackett ('16), were honored to be chosen to read stories at the Festival of the Book this year.  Arlo Bloom deserves particular recognition as he has placed in the Writers' Eye competition all of the last three years and has now added the Festival of the Book honor as well.  Congratulations to all our winners and their English teachers, Jen Wilson and Leo Connally.

2013 Crozet Spirit Walk

The Field School of Charlottesville convenes its annual Crozet Spirit Walk on October 18-19, 2013.

“Ghosts of the Past, Present and Untruthful”Historical haunts return once more to Crozet

Avenue on October 18th and 19th when the Field School of Charlottesville convenes its fifth annual Spirit Walk to celebrate the history of Crozet and Western Albemarle. The Spirit Walk gathers the Crozet community — the past, present and this year a new added twist, the untruthful.  This family friendly evening offers visits with the likes of Claudius Crozet, Lady Astor, Paul Goodloe McIntire, Crozet Gators Boys, Confederate Soldiers and other famous figures around town, plus a couple of untruthful scenes that add a few surprises,

The Spirit Walk begins at the Field School where guests are greeted by a delightfully ghostly guide who shares tales of old Crozet on the short bus ride down to The Square where they then disembark to begin the short return walk up Crozet Avenue to the Field School. Along the way the guests are introduced to our famous friends who share their history of our community.  The tour ends at the Field School where hot apple cider, donuts, baked goods, and the Field School’s famous home-made apple butter are available for purchase.

“We at the Field School take great pride in being a part of the Crozet community and are passionate about preserving and celebrating our community’s history. The Spirit Walk is a fun way to connect with our past and learn from those who shaped it,” said Todd Barnett, Head of School.

Tickets for the Spirit Walk are $10 for adults and all children under 16 are free. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Green House Coffee in Crozet or at the event. The Field School of Charlottesville is located at 1408 Crozet Avenue, Crozet, VA.

The Field School of Charlottesville is a middle school for boys with the mission to develop well-rounded boys of character and accomplishment.


Congratulations Class of 2013

Field School Ad

New Teachers for 2013-2014

We are proud to have three new teachers join us this year.  Ken Miller comes to us from St. Christopher's School in Richmond, Virginia where he taught for eleven years and served as Assistant Head of the Middle School.  Ken has also taught at Saint Anne's-Belfield, Gilman School, and Boys' Latin in Baltimore over a 32-year career.  He has also been a boys' residential camp director (Camp Virginia) and chaperoned mission trips to Africa and Central America.  He is teaching math at Field School and coaching cross country.  Tom Marshall has joined us as a history teacher.  Tom comes to us from the Journeys School in Jackson, Wyoming where he taught history and directed the middle school.  Tom has also taught at the Hyde School in Bath, Maine, and when not at Field School, you might see him around Charlottesville playing the guitar or banjo as he is an accomplished bluegrass musician.  Our other new part-time math teacher isGreg Remaly, a UNC graduate and former professional triathlete who coached the Crozet Gators this past summer to their first-ever JSL swimming championship.  Greg has had a tutoring business over the past three years, and he is joining us in his first classroom position.  He is also coaching for us year-round, and we expect he will add a great deal of experience to our endurance sports program (cross-country, swimming and mountain biking).   We are very excited to welcome these three excellent and talented teachers and coaches to our community this year.

Good News for 2013

We have good news on our 2013 administration of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. We take this test every spring. We do nothing to prepare for it, and we have never modified our curriculum in any way to prep for it. However, we have made steady progress in improving our work each year, as is being revealed by the test.

All 4 classes' composite scores, as a classroom, were in the 99th percentile. In the past, we had ranged between 88th and 99th (we've had a 99th percentile class in each of the last three years), but all four achieving this distinction is, I think, pretty remarkable. Great job to everyone on this. I felt like spraying everyone with champagne when I realized this. Make that sparkling cider.

The progress per child at Field School (an indicator we can determine if a boy has taken at least two of these tests here) averaged out to 3 percentile points. That had been, over the past 3 years, 6, 6 and .5. So that was a little better than last year, but of course the closer you get to the 99th percentile, the less room there is for average growth per child.

I also looked at the progress over three years (from end of 5th to end of 8th) for the kids we had for four years. Their composite scores were 95th percentile, 93rd, 93rd, 97th, 96th, 85th and 95th. Over three years, they had grown by 11, 31, 3, 7, 6, 22, and 9 points respectively. That's an average of 12 percentile points per kid over 3 years. Add in our fifth grade year, where there's likely more growth than in any other, and we probably have growth of at least 16 points per kid over four years (probably 20), with their final average at the 94th percentile. It is worth noting that some of those boys' scores went down at some point (as learning rarely goes in a straight line), but the trend over four years was invariably upward.

Congratulations are in order for everyone in the Field School community--students, faculty, and parents. Having spent many a morning meeting telling the boys that our goal was to be the very best school we could be and that their daily efforts were vital to our success, I plan to make them fully aware of our accomplishment this fall, and to remind them regularly that only with that same perseverance will we continue to work to establish an excellent all-around school for boys.

More on Michael Thompson

A note from our friend Howard Miller:

I decided to send these links to a wide list because after hearing Michael Thompson speak at the Field School of Charlottesville a few days ago, I kept thinking of friends and family who might enjoy Michael's perspective on kids growing up, and particularly boys.

The links are listed in the order I discovered them -- but the ones with asterisks are where I would start.  But don't miss the others!

It's a Boy (4 min.) -- interesting statistics about boys and girls.

Raising Cain -- part 1 (41 min.) (About the book, but you also can buy the PBS specialat

*A Parent's Guide to Boys and Girls -- Dr. Thompson comes on around minute 35 of this  wonderful hour and a halfseminar at Rockefeller University -- don't miss this!

Address to Parents at the Branson School (8 min. -- audio is bad because it was recorded from the audience)

And three sections of a lecture he presented a couple of months ago on the pressured child:

The Pressured Child

*Excerpts (5 min.)  Check out the excerpts and I think you'll want to watch the full three parts that follow.

Part 1 of 3 (12 min.)
Part 2 of 3 (11 min.)
*Part 3 of 3 (10 min.)

Eight Things Parents Cannot Do for Their Children (But Wish They Could) (44 min.) -- Just listened to this and it is excellent, especially his observations that self esteem is a by-product of mastery of something.

Michael Thompson at Field School

A crowd of about 100 turned out Tuesday night to hear Dr. Michael Thompson talk about the education of boys. He is an excellent author of a variety of books on child development and parenting, with several of those focusing on the lives of boys. He also happens to be a very engaging speaker, and it seemed that everyone in attendance appreciated his thoughts on Tuesday evening. He made a strong case that modern schools are not giving much thought to how to engage boys, an idea reinforced by abysmal school performance data for boys relative to girls. He argued that girls have made tremendous strides in the past 50 years in all disciplines at all grade levels, both in the U.S. and all other developed countries. But boys have been on a flat line ever since, with little meaningful attention to how schools might categorically change their ways in order to make a difference for half the population. It was certainly a reaffirming experience for all of us at Field School, where we indeed have a program suited very much to the needs of boys at a critical time in their educational development. We appreciated his visit and all those who came out to join us on Tuesday.

FS Now Fielding Swimming and Biking Teams

During the course of this year, Field School has been adding two more sports to its program: swimming and mountain biking. The pioneer behind both programs has been Lee Connally, our English and Latin teacher. The swim team was made possible in large part by the addition of the bubble over the Crozet Park/YMCA Pool. Our team went there three times per week this winter in the middle of the day, and competed in three events in Richmond and Charlottesville. The best was surely the last, an intramural meet involving our house blue and silver teams against one another. Ours is one of three area middle schools offering swimming, and the only one to do so in 5th and 6th Grades. It was our first little step in developing a great long-run winter swimming program available to all our boys.

We then thought that it would be great if we could have a year-round endurance program by adding mountain biking in the spring. Our school has just happened to have a crowd of parent and boy bikers, and many were eager to get a program off the ground. Lee Connally again took charge and has made this dream also come true. Our boys have been practicing at Field School, but plan to make outings to other area courses for practices on upcoming Friday afternoons. We are aware of no other nearby middle school fielding a team, so we are competing in area meets for now and hoping that others join in. Many thanks also go to Willie Drake for his help with the program.

With the addition of these sports, we now have (in addition to a wide variety of intramural offerings) 15 teams in 6 competitive sports spanning Grades 5-8 that work out during our daily sports period (soccer and cross country in the fall, basketball and swimming in the winter, lacrosse and mountain biking in the spring), and 100% of our boys have played on at least one of these teams during the year.

FS Alum is a Robotics Champ!

Among those on the Defying Gravity team that won the recent state title was our Alex Bowen (FS '11), as well as another Field Camp counselor friend Eric Hahn. Both are students in the MESA program at Albemarle High School, and their group is raising money to make a trip to St. Louis to compete for the world title. Congratulations to the team and good luck in St. Louis!

Read the article on


Where Our Students Go to High School

We are often asked where our students go after Field School. Our experience has been that they are flourishing in a variety of schools, and that hard work and excellent preparation here leads to open doors and opportunities at the next level. With the conclusion of this year, we will have had 47 students graduate from Field School, and they have gone from here to the practically every local public and independent high school, as well as a few international schools. About 3/4 of our students come to us from public schools and about the same number continue to public schools, including the following: Charlottesville HS (10), Monticello HS (9), Western Albemarle HS (6), Albermarle HS (4), MESA at AHS (2), Murray HS, and Fluvanna County HS. Some have continued in local independent schools, including Miller (5), Tandem (2), Saint Anne's, Covenant, Woodberry Forest. A handful are away at boarding schools, including Episcopal HS in Alexandria, the Think Global School based in Boston, and two others in public schools Denver and San Jose, Costa Rica.

Michael Thompson Speaking at Field School

"Field School's Sixth Annual Distinguished Speaker Series features Michael Thompson on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 at 7 p.m. in the Field School Auditorium. Thompson, a school psychologist at Belmont Hill School in Boston, is the author of a dozen books focusing on child development with a particular focus on boys. Perhaps most famous as the author of Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Lives of Boys, Thompson is an excellent speaker whom Field School first hosted for a lecture in 2007. His topic for April 23rd will be the "Nature of Boys." For more information on Thompson, Tickets are available at Green House Coffee in Crozet or through the link below.


Alumni Day

Field School had its first Alumni Day today. We had an excellent turnout, and a fun day of catching up and making some plans to start a regular alumni group. The graduates did a good job of telling our 7th and 8th Grade classes about their experiences in practically all the area high schools, both public and private. One of our grads even made a trip from Colorado to join us. The highlight for them was pummeling our undefeated Varsity basketball team, its roster padded with two teachers. Thanks to all of them for joining us and helping to start another school tradition.

Alumni Panel
Alumni Hoops

4th Annual Fall Fest

Please join us Friday, October 26th and Saturday, October 27th for our 4th Annual Fall Fest. On Friday, you can watch while we make 60 gallons of apple butter in a copper kettle over an outdoor fire. We peel 20 bushels of apples that we get from Henley's just down the road and cook them for 14 to 16 hours before canning the apple butter. On Friday and Saturday evening, our school community stages its annual Spirit Walk, a history play along the streets of Crozet featuring characters from the area's past. This year's characters include Reverend Neve, the Cookie Lady, young Meriwether Lewis, Billy Vest, and many more. Tickets (available at Green House Coffee or at the door) are $10 for adults and $5 for kids or students. Tours start every fifteen minutes from 6:30 to 8:30 in the evening. We hope you can join us for a fun weekend of activities at Field School.

Field School Starts its Sixth Year

This marks the beginning of our Sixth Year at Field School, and we have grown to 70 students, with 2 additional full time teachers this year. The first is Lee Connally, a graduate of VCU with a BA and Masters in Teaching, who comes to us after teaching 4th Grade for the past four years at St. Anne’s. He will be teaching English 7 and 8 and Latin I in 6th Grade. Our other new full-time teacher is Kate Keith, a graduate of U.Va. with a Master’s Degree from the University of South Carolina who has taught at St. Stephen’s St. Agnes and Darlington School, and most recently at Germantown Academy. She will be teaching History. We also have one new part-time instructor in Math. Mimi Pohl will be teaching 8th Grade Geometry. Mimi is a University of Florida graduate, Peace Corps veteran, and former killer whale trainer -- just the kind of background we're looking for to teach middle school boys! Mimi has long been a big supporter of the school. She has three young girls and so she’s only here part-time for now, but it’s great to have her with us.

2012 All School Photo

Thanks Bama Works!

For the fourth time in our five years, the Bama Works Fund at the Charlottesville Albemarle Community Foundation has provided us with a substantial grant for scholarship awards. This year, they gave $6,000 to support our efforts. This foundation is the charitable arm of the Dave Matthews Band, and we don't think that most people are aware of their extraordinary generosity to nonprofits in this area. They give about a half million per year to many area good causes, and we are very grateful to be one of them.

2012 Silent Auction/Music Event

We've got lots of great things this year,

  • DMB tickets and signed memborabilia
  • Nashville Rising poster signed by Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Julie Roberts…
  • Massanutten Waterpark tickets
  • Party of 8 at the King Family Vineyards Pink Polo Classic
  • Blue Ridge Swim Club membership
  • Digital Camera

it's too much to mention, so come on out on Friday, May 18 from 6 to 9 pm and see for yourself!

2012 Auction Music Event

Field School at the Festival of the Book

Congratulations to Jesse Higgins who participated on behalf of Field School at the recent Festival of the Book readings for Middle School poetry and prose. He is pictured here with our English teacher, Jen Wilson.

Jesse Higgins and Jen Wilson

Author Kennedy Visits Field School

We enjoyed a visit this afternoon from James Kennedy, author of The Order of Odd-Fish. When an author visits to read his work, one probably imagines a stoic, somewhat stale presentation, with teachers reminding students to sit up and "pay attention!" This, however, was not the case with James Kennedy, who read from his work while literally running around the room, shouting and gesticulating (maybe even spitting). He shared a scene in which two characters ritualistically badmouthed one another before dueling, and the middle school crowd ate up the insults. He showed us art about his work that has been sent to him, as well as photos of folks dressed up as his characters. It was an excellent presentation, and one that demonstrated one likely way to get the attention of a market of young people for your book. Thanks to our English teacher Jen Wilson for setting up the talk, and Shelby Bowen and the 5th Graders at Crozet Elementary for joining us for the presentation.

The Field School on NPR

Sandy Hausman of WVTF filed this story on April 6th featuring our science teacher Todd Culver and the release of brook trout as part of the Trout in the Classroom project. Check it out at this link:

Field School Food Drive a Success

Fifth Grade Class with collected Food5th Grader Cleve Packer organized a food drive this winter at Field School, and he and his classmates collected 1200+ items for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. Great job!

Since 2003, the Outdoor Leadership School has been taking our interested 13- to 16-year old campers into the wilderness over a two-week program on a backpacking adventure.  Our trips have gone to many destinations, although we are now focusing primarily on Dolly Sods and the Cranberry Wilderness, both in wild eastern West Virginia.  The school's director is Todd Culver.

2014 Sessions:

Session I Dolly Sods / Cheat River June 16-27

Session II Otter Creek / Cheat River July 21-Aug 1


Application Forms

Registration Form | Medical Release Form


Leadership School, 2005

Tim O'Brien Plays Two Shows at Field School

We had a great show with Tim O'Brien for our Distinguished Artist Series last week. A Grammy-Award winning folk and bluegrass musician and singer, O'Brien played two shows, a small one for Field School families followed by a full-house evening show. Field School music teacher Pete Vigour and his band Uncle Henry's Favorites opened the evening playing old time songs, after which O'Brien played and played, with songs on the guitar, bazooka, mandolin, and fiddle. We enjoyed having the opportunity to hear his music and spread the word about our arts and music program at Field School. We look forward to seeing him again soon.

Tim OBrien plays for Field School Families

The Daily Progress on Outdoor Education

A freelance reporter called me this week to ask if I would contribute to a story on outdoors education. Another area school had published a press release to get some attention for a new high school outdoors program, and she wanted to get some other schools' thoughts on the issue. She said she'd asked around and heard our name several times. Since another school mentioned that they used to do a trip to Costa Rica, I was upset that I forgot to mention to her that we do an annual trip to Costa Rica with middle schoolers. I was also a little disappointed that my clever quote about how we are so eager to go outside was cut. I said that we had borrowed this Danish school maxim: "there is no bad weather, only bad clothes." All in all, however, I liked the article's emphasis on the outdoors and I appreciate Eileen Abbott including Field School. The article is linked below.


Writer's Eye Winner

Congratulations to Arlo Bloom, a Fifth Grader at Field School, who won Second Place Prose (Grades 3-5) in the 25th Annual Writer's Eye Competition Sponsored by the University of Virginia Art Museum. Our English teacher, Jen Wilson, has arranged our annual field trip to the contest and deserves much credit in working with Arlo and helping him to craft the winning submission. His winning work follows:

Honey Hawk

Many years ago in a small village there was a ten year old boy without a name. He was born in the village, but no one knew who his parents were or where he came from. He was taken care of by the keepers of the temple. The boy felt different from the other children, and so he was lonely. He often heard some kind of whispering sound in his head, but he could not make out the words or understand what it meant, so he never told anyone. He tried to fit in, but it was especially difficult because he was also blind. The boy had another disturbing difference as well. He had a strange, golden yellow, honey-like aura in rings around his eyes.

The village had been in drought for many years, and because the world had not completely been discovered yet, the people only knew of one river, which was almost dry. The boy knew that the people needed water and he wanted to help, but did not know how. He went to the keepers of the temple and asked how he could help. They spoke of an old, wise gnome that lived somewhere deep in the forest. They had heard stories that this ancient one knew of a sacred honey that could turn to water. The boy was afraid to go out alone, but decided to try to find it.

He set out on his quest, and walked for many months and miles. He began to feel that he was only chasing a false myth and grew very tired. Until one dark, frosty night when he was

shivering and hungry, he felt a tiny tapping on his shoe. He knelt down to try to feel what was tapping him and felt the tip of something pointy.

Suddenly, he heard, “Hey! That’s my hat!” The boy, who had not heard a voice in months, jumped back. “Don’t fear me my young lad, I was just trying to get your attention.” said the voice.

Startled, the boy said, “Who are you?” What the boy could not see was a tiny gnome with a pointy, red hat, curly toed shoes, and a long white beard.

“Well, now, let me introduce myself. I am none other than Grandpa Snowbeard, Mayor of Gnomeland. I happened to be camping tonight when I came across you my mountainous fellow.”

The gnome saw that the boy was cold, and asked him to sit by his campfire. He was so big though, the fire did not warm him. So Grandpa found an acorn and took its cap. He filled it with the broth brewing on the campfire and told the boy to drink.

Slowly, the boy felt his shirt growing bigger and bigger and bigger! Then, his pants did the same. Soon, he was under a pile of his own clothes. He poked his head out to breath. The Mayor was holding a blanket of woven pine needles to wrap around the boy.

Grandpa stared in amazement. It was his eyes! The golden aura around the eyes stunned the gnome. This was the boy he had been waiting for. The boy sensed the gnome’s surprise and asked him, “Who am I?”

Snowbeard stood and said with great focus, “Come with me.” The boy took his hand, and they walked to Gnomeland as the Mayor told him the secret of the honey. “Gnomeland is shared by the bees which keep the sacred honey. I grew up riding the bees through the meadows and learned how special the honey was. The power is that it can turn into water and the person who can unleash this unique transformation is you.”

The boy found this hard to believe, but he wanted to. He had no family. He had no name. He wanted these things so much, but what he wanted most of all was a purpose. So he listened. If this was true, maybe he could help his village.

Soon they reached the hive as the boy sensed a warm, glowing light. Suddenly, he and the Mayor were surrounded by gentle bees. The bees knew him. They began to whisper a familiar sound. It was the sound he had always heard and loved, but did not understand. Strangely, the boy was not scared as they swarmed around him, tying satchels strung along rope woven of wild, cattails. The

pouches were filled with sacred honey, which the boy understood by its wonderful scent.

When the whispering stopped, the boy found himself alone. He was dressed and was his own size again. He began to feel that it must have been a dream, and he decided to return to his village defeated. But as he began to walk he felt a great weight and he reached to feel his chest. His whole body was covered with honey pouches strung from ropes. So it was real!

The boy did not know that as he walked, the sacred honey trickled from sacks. As soon as it touched dry earth, it turned to water. Soon, the world was covered with flowing oceans, rivers, and streams. The boy sensed the water and knew he was ending the drought and creating new life.

The day he arrived home, the villagers ran to greet him. Snowbeard had arrived there days before to tell them the story. They hugged and thanked the boy and said, “We are all your family and this is your home.” Then they asked him what he wanted to be called. A name! He thought back to the whispering voice and all of a sudden he understood the word it formed. It had been there with him all along.

The boy replied, “It is not what I want to be called. It is what I am called. My name is Honey Hawk. That is why we have oceans and rivers and streams today. Honey Hawk brought life to us all.

First Annual Field School Cross Country Meet

Field School hosted its first home Cross Country Meet at Old Trail on Wednesday, November 16th! We had a total of 23 runners from Field School, Peabody, and Oakland. Field School had three runners place in the top 5. Jay Drake finished first for Field School with a time of 11:50 on the 1.7 mile course. Darren Klein came in second with a time of 12:17, and Teddy Barger finished in fourth with a time of 12:25. We would like to congratulate all other Field School runners who competed in the race: Cleve Packer, Bryce Ainslie, Clay Bright, Ian Clickner, Andrew Myers, Ryland Davis, Gus Myers, Ben Christopher, Ben Carswell, Emmett Barger, and Forest Veerhoff. The meet would not have been such a success without the help of many parent volunteers, and we appreciate their efforts. Field School looks forward to hosting more meets in the future!

Field School Cross Country

Field Trip to visit USS Eisenhower CVN 69

Field School Boys had the great fortune to make a trip to Virginia Beach to visit the Military Aviation Museum and then to Naval Station Norfolk to tour USS Eisenhower CVN 69. We began our trip in chartered buses, never have we known such luxury for a school field trip! The Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach has three or four hangars full of planes, and had a wide array of historic aircraft, many of which our boys had written about in their WWII research papers back in the spring. One of the prizes there was one of 12 remaining operable B-17s which was purchased in the spring. Though not as well stocked as the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport, it was more informal and less crowded, and our boys felt they had the run of the place. They had their hands all over everything, and the volunteer ex-pilot guides seemed to know every question about every plane. Besides planes, there were other gems--a WWII German .88 mm cannon, an amphibious car, an airplane used in "The King's Speech" and another beauty that belonged to his flying brother King Edward, a Messerschmidt car (after the war, the Allies told him he could not build planes any more) that looked a lot like Oliver Kuttner's car, and a V-1 Rocket.

Group PhotoWe ate lunch on the short trip over to the base, and drove out along the row of perhaps 25 ships at the piers at Naval Station Norfolk. We saw a submarine, amphibious assault ships, cruisers and destroyers, all with that dull gray paint and big white numbers. We made our way down the row and some of the boys called out "there it is" at various ships well before we saw the two gigantic aircraft carriers docked at the end. When we finally saw them, however, they were dramatically larger, and we thought, "oh, of course, those are the aircraft carriers. The first of the two was USS Enterprise CVN 65. This, the oldest carrier on duty, was exciting to see as Ben Christopher had made a model from the Paper Captain book of the ship and we had it with us. We could also look over at it and see roughly a mirror image of the ship we were on, and get a better perspective on where we were. USS Eisenhower was built in Newport News and commissioned in 1977. Having returned recently from a tour, it was on a break at the docks, and relatively few of its crew were aboard. It has participated in operations in the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and in Gulf Storm. It carries 90 aircraft (though none were aboard today--they are always flown off before pulling into port), with 3200 sailors in its company and an additional 2400 in its airwing company. It is thus a floating city, and we saw multiple functions of the ship--the mess hall, the hangar, the flight deck, the navigation bridge and the air bridge. We were probably as close to a nuclear reactor as we will ever be (the ship uses two as a power source that can take it on a virtually unlimited tour), and I was happy that they kept us well away from it.

Perhaps the best thing about these trips is that they are shared experiences for us, and we teachers end up spending a lot of time talking about what we all saw--and we saw so much!

Field School's Distinguished Artist Series

Please join us on Wednesday, February 15th at 7 to enjoy the music of bluegrass virtuoso and Grammy-Award winning folk musician Tim O'Brien, appearing with White Hall's Uncle Henry's Favorites as part of Field School's Distinguished Artist Series. O'Brien is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who draws on a deep reservoir of traditional and his own tunes in his performances. He came to prominence as a member of the bluegrass group Hot Rize, the IBMA entertainers of the year for 1990. He is a bluegrass musician's musician, and has appeared with practically everyone in the industry, usually singing and playing the mandolin, fiddle, bazouki, banjo or guitar. He will be appearing with the Charlottesville area's finest traditional bluegrass band--Pete Vigour's Uncle Henry's Favorite's which won recently won the Prairie Home Companion small town band contest. Tickets are available for purchase at Greenhouse Coffee in Crozet or through

Crozet’s Past Comes Alive on Crozet Avenue

Historical haunts return once more to Crozet Avenue on October 21st and 22nd when the Field School of Charlottesville convenes its third annual Spirit Walk to celebrate the history of Crozet and Western Albemarle. The Spirit Walk gathers the Crozet community — the very past, past, and present — for a family friendly evening of visits with the likes of Samuel Miller, Paul McIntire, Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and other famous figures.

The Spirit Walk begins at the Field School where guests are greeted by a delightfully ghostly guide who shares tales of old Crozet on the short bus ride down to The Square where they then disembark to begin the short return walk up Crozet Avenue to the Field School. Along the way the guests are introduced to our famous friends who share their history of our community. The tour ends at the Field School where hot apple cider, donuts, baked goods, and the Field School’s famous home-made apple butter are available for purchase.

“We at the Field School take great pride in being a part of the Crozet community and are passionate about preserving and celebrating our community’s history. The Spirit Walk is a fun way to connect with our past and learn from those who shaped it,” said Todd Barnett, Head of School.

Tickets for the Spirit Walk are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Green House Coffee in Crozet and Greenberry's Coffee and Tea in the Barracks Road Shopping, or at the event. The Field School of Charlottesville is located at 1408 Crozet Avenue, Crozet, VA.

New School Year

We take a group photo every year at the start of the year, as close to the first day as possible and when everyone is here. This year, due to Hurricane Irene, it took a few days for some folks to get back to Charlottesville. We have 63 boys this year, and all the same faces back on the faculty and staff with one addition. Tracy Kunkel has joined us, joining Lady Keller as a tag team carrying out the administrative parts of our day. Tracy works mornings and Lady has the afternoons. As this is the fifth year for our 5th through 8th School, we are now starting with an almost entirely new set of students from those with which we began in 2007 (only one who started with us as a Fourth Grader remains). In a way, we feel like we're starting all over, and we are very happy, of course, to now have four years of experience under our belts. Thanks for all your support, and we look forward to another excellent year.

The 2011 School Picture

New Soccer Season

Today marked the start of our 2011 Soccer Season with three games. The first two were played simultaneously as part of our new Field Intramural Soccer League. We divided our underclassmen into four equal teams and play 4-on-4 matches on 40 yard fields. Today, Orange knocked off Silver by a score of 13 to 9 while Black and Blue played to a 9-9 tie in a fittingly rough-and-tumble match. It could not have been more exciting. Afterwards, we all drove over to Crozet Park to watch the Varsity team beat Stuart Hall 4-2 in their first match. Thanks to Patrick Critzer, Jay Fennell, Todd Culver, Scott Rubinow, Bill and Becca Covert, Marcy Rampini, and Tracy Kunkel for all their work helping to organize the new season.

The Varsity and FISL Teams


IOWA Tests Results

We do a schoolwide diagnostic test at the end of each year--the IOWAs. They are given in one class over the course of two weeks and test students in language arts, reading comprehension, math, social studies and science. We do nothing to specifically prepare for the test, but we find it useful to administer it in order to evaluate our students' individual progress and our work as a school. Reading the results, we are most proud of the substantial improvements our boys are making year by year. For the second straight year, our students have made improvement by 6 percentile points on average (that is, a student who tested last year at the 81st percentile overall would finish in the 87th percentile this year and continue that progress over four years). Meanwhile, our rising 8th grade class finished in the 95th percentile, the rising 7th grade in the 97th percentile, and the rising 6th grade in the 99th percentile. We are very proud of the hard work our faculty, students, and parents have done over the past few years in all phases of our program, and it sure is nice to see that these things that we can measure bear out our sense of our boys' progress.

Bama Works Again Donates to Scholarship Fund

We are proud to announce that Field School has again been recognized by the Bama Works Foundation of the Dave Matthews Band at the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation with a contribution to our scholarship fund in the amount of $6,500. Bama Works is an unusually generous local foundation which annually gives about a half million dollars in grants to local non-profits. This marks the third time in five years that our school has been a fortunate recipient of their generosity, and we count it is a big honor and as an endorsement of the work we are doing. Thanks so much, Bama Works, the Dave Matthews Band, and the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation.

Class of 2011

Field School Class of 2011

We had our 2nd graduation on June 4th with the Field School Class of 2011 ceremony. It was our first class to be with us for four years, and so it was an emotional experience for all of us, students and adults. Nine of the 14 are pioneer students, with us from the first day to this, their last. A.J. HarperZac Colomes and Riley Covert spoke on behalf of the class, and all the faculty provided their thoughts and wisdom. Like the Class of 2010, all of us at Field School appreciate the excellent start that these boys and their families have given us in our ongoing work in creating an excellent boys' middle school in Charlottesville.

2011 Lacrosse Season

Falcon Moms
Falcons win two for their Moms on Mothers' Day.

I wanted to write to congratulate our coaches, Todd Culver and Jay Fennell, on what is turning out to be an excellent season. We started playing lacrosse informally during our first year, and then fielded our first team in the 5th/6th division in our second year in the local Boys Middle School Lacrosse League. If we won a game, I don't remember it. Last year we fielded two teams, one in the 5th/6th league and another in the 7th/8th league. Though our older team could not register a regular season win, our younger guys had an excellent season with a record of 7-2. Through all of it, however, we insisted on team play, sportsmanship and perseverance. On those scores, our boys prevailed week in and week out. Meanwhile, we knew the wins would come. This year has been our most successful yet. Our younger team lost its first four games and has since won three straight. Our older team, meanwhile is 9-2 with one game left. We spend a great deal of time with sports at Field School, an hour a day at the end of every day not to mention the games. It thus figures that we get pretty good over time, especially since we play together for three seasons. But we do it with kids who often do not come to us as athletes, ones who probably would not be playing if they were elsewhere. Of our 60 boys, more than 2/3 are playing lacrosse, about the same as had been the case during basketball and soccer. In the 5/6 division, Field School is the only local independent school fielding its own team. So the wins are particularly satisfying, since practically everyone and shares in the ups and downs of the team. The number of kids we have playing and their success is testament to our two teacher-coaches: Todd Culver and Jay Fennell. In addition to teaching science and foreign languages respectively during the day, they are the lax coaches in the afternoon. Congratulations on the excellent season and the consistently sportsmanlike play. Go Falcons!

2nd Annual Eighth Grade Spring Break Trip to Costa Rica

We had a great time on our second trip down to Costa Rica in early April. It was particularly special this year as Pablo Badilla, Field Class of '10, is now living there with his family. We visited Pablo's school and played his indoor soccer team. Pablo and his family were welcoming and gracious to us and we are very grateful for his family's hospitality (despite the final score of that soccer game). The journey is a culminating experience for our students with particular attention to learning language, culture, economics, and government. We want to thank Jen Wilson, Patrick Critzer, Jay Fennell, Lady Keller, and Carlo and Olga Badilla for their contributions to the adventure this year.

Costa Rica Soccer Teams

Falcons Around the Globe

Willem Brikkenaar Van Dijk, Field School Class of '10, is now a student at Think Global School, a unique program that gives students the opportunity to study in 3 different international cities for each of the 4 years of their high school career. Willem, who received a full scholarship to attend the school, is in their pioneer class just as he was at Field School four years ago. Jen Wilson, our English teacher, sent Willem packing with a Field School representative, "Jeffrey" the peregrine falcon. Willem promised to photograph Jeffrey on his world travels. Guess where he is now.

Admissions Open House

On, Saturday, March 26th, Field School will be holding an Admissions Open House from 9 to 11 a.m.. If you are interested in our work in developing well-rounded boys of character and accomplishment for your son, this is a good time to come and meet faculty, parents and students. We hope to see you there.

Scientific Illustration

Val Kells just finished teaching her 6-week Scientific Illustration class for all our boys. She is a very accomplished illustrator with work in zoos, aquariums an museums nationwide. She also gave us perhaps the first copy (I didn't hear whether it was genuiunely hot to the touch) of her A Field Guide to Costal Fishes from to Texas (with Kent Carpenter), published by John Hopkins University Press. She taught our guys about famous scientific illustrators and had them create three pieces. Their work is displayed at It was all fine work, both in her teaching effort and in the boys' accomplishments.

Oliver Kuttner at Field School

We are are grateful to Oliver Kuttner for participating in our speakers series Friday night. Kuttner drove to Field School straight from the office in Lynchburg where he and his Edison2 team have been building a new generation automobile. In the Fall, the team won the coveted Progressive Insurance Automotive XPrize along with a check for $5 million.

He could not bring a car, since they are currently in a little more high-profile places: the Detroit Auto Show and the Henry Ford Museum. He did bring models, however, as well as a boxful of show-and-tell style "very light" parts that, when lifted, made clear that the advantage of his cars is in their weight.

The crowd was made up of Field School boys and families as well as lots of community folks including a fair number of serious car and airplane enthusiasts. The Q&A part of the talk suggested both that there was a lot of car knowledge in the room and that almost everyone was eager to get their own Edison2 car. Kuttner seemed uninterested in building an assembly line himself, though he encouraged us to friend him on Facebook or write GM to tell them about our interest.

This is an annual event that has featured Michael Thompson, Joe Ehrmann, Michael "Nick" Nichols, and Claudia and Joe Allen over the past five years. We appreciate the support of the Hook, Field Camp, and Blue Ridge Swim Club in sponsoring this event.

Book Fair at Barnes and Noble

The picture below shows a sight I thought I would never see. When Trisha Stevenson suggested that having our drummers play at Barnes and Noble would bring out a crowd to our book fair there over the weekend, I thought the staff was in for a shock. I grew up in a different time, however, when large, well-dressed women with bifocals stood sentry over me and my fellows shushing our every word as we whiled away the afternoon study hall in the library. There were no coffee shops in bookstores back then. So perhaps I should not have been surprised when Darrell Rose and the Field School Drummers began to bang away beside the New Age shelf on Saturday. It was quite a show and not a bad fundraiser for our school library. Thanks to Jen Wilson and all the Field School parents for making it happen and for their support for the library and reading at our school.

Drumming at Barnes and Noble

Newseum Field Trip

We took the whole school to Washington, DC on Friday to see the Newseum. We are studying a Media unit at the moment, and it seemed like a perfect fit to our work and a good excuse to break up the routine at school. The forecast was calling for light snow, but we woke up to sunny skies and headed north. It's a fantastic museum, with excellent exhibits on the whole history of news and media. The pictures below feature our Sixth Graders, at the Berlin Wall and out on the roof with the Capitol in the background. Thanks to Robin Bethke, Don Ainslie, Rob McNamara, David Mick, and D.J. Bickers for their help as chaperones.

Special Olympics Tennis Tourney Service

We would like to thank Val Reinford and Kelly Johnston of Special Olympics Virginia and Boar's Head for giving us the opportunity to volunteer at their Special Olympics Xperience Tennis Invitational this weekend. Thirty of our boys, along with girls from Village School, were ball boys at the event, which featured some great tennis from 36 national athletes.

Upcoming Admissions Open House

We are currently accepting applications for 5th and 6th Grades for the Fall of 2011. If you are considering applying to Field School, parents and potential students are welcome to visit to learn more about our program.

We will be holding our School Day Open House on Tuesday, January 18th from 9 to 11 a.m.. You can tour the school, meet faculty, students and parents from Field School, and see and hear about our program. Please feel free to join us.

Kuttner to Speak at Field School

Field School is proud to announce that its 5th Annual Speakers Series on Friday, January 28th will feature Oliver Kuttner, CEO of Edison2. A Charlottesville resident and a commercial real estate developer, Kuttner recently turned his full attention to his lifelong passion with automobiles and founded Edison2. The team won the $5 million dollar prize in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize in September with its Very Light Car. Kuttner was also honored recently by The Hook as their Person of the Year. The talk will start at 7 p.m.. Tickets ($20 adults, $10/kids) are available at Maupin's Video in Crozet or at Greenberry's Barracks Road.


BIFF Games/Falcon Mascot

It was quite an exciting and historic Friday when the first-ever BIFF games commenced. After packing up their books and cleaning the building, the crowd gathered in the gym to meet the teams. The first match pitted the F-16s against the Red Falcons, and the latter game was between the Fords and the Rockets. All played well, and for the record, the F16s and the Fords emerged victorious on the first afternoon of admittedly sloppy play. We have our work cut out for us.

The most memorable moment from the day, however, might have been during the halftime of the second game, when, out of nowhere appeared a blue falcon. He swooped into the gym and sped around the perimeter of the court at about 200 m.p.h., perhaps eyeing his prey. Fifth graders were seen fleeing for their lives, when the blue falcon began to high-five the spectators, and then, unpredictably, he began to dance. Then, we noticed him forming himself into the shape of an "F," and so we yelled out an "efff." After he'd spelled out "F-A-L-C-O-N-S," away he flew, into the office. Only this one grainy photo from our surveillance camera captured the surprising event. Everyone loved the appearance of the rare blue falcon. Everyone but Toby, who missed him because he had to go to the bathroom.

Falcon Mascot


For basketball season, this year, we are running our own in-house IM league for our 5th through 7th Graders. Basketball Intramurals for Field (BIFF) will start this coming Friday at 2 in the Field School gym, with a game between the F-16 Falcons and the Red Falcon Superheroes, followed at 3 by a contest pitting the Ford Falcons against the White Falcon Rockets (do you note a name theme here)? Photos of the fun and mayhem will follow soon.

Wild Car Games

We ended our first trimester, as we often do, with a series of games. In this case, they were the Wild Car Games, and they featured a wildlife-oriented game of charades, math word problems involving cars (ouch!), memorizing the lyrics to the Beach Boys' "I Get Around," a long-distance archery challenge, a photo recreation challenge involving mostly cars pictures, a wildlife taste test in the kitchen, and an identify-that-car game. We fielded eight teams, each named after taxonomy designations (Kingdom, Domain, etc.). We appreciate all the effort that went into the games, a great way to end the trimester before Thanksgiving.

Soccer Season a Success

Our soccer seasons are winding down at Field School--it has been a good one for us. This year, we fielded four teams, one for each grade (you can see the photos of the 5, 6 and 7 teams on the homepage scroll). The 7th and 8th Grade teams played local middle schools that field teams, with the 7s playing the less competitive half of the schedule. The 5s and 6s played in an area recreational league. The school's overall record for the year is 7 wins, 14 losses, and 8 draws (with 6 or 8 games left to go). We're still on the losing side of .500, but our records have gotten a little better every year, as has our play. The stat I am most proud of, however, involves our participation rate--53 of our 60 boys are on one of our teams, making for an 88% participation rate. Between these teams and the others we field (cross country, basketball, and lacrosse), we expect to again meet our goal of having 100% of our boys participate in a school sport for the fourth straight year.

Crozet Pharmacy 1905

If you missed the Spirit Walk, you didn't get to see our photo re-creation. Over the past few years, we have done a bunch of these at Field School, re-enacting Civil War and Latin American historic photos in hastily arranged contests. We decided to do the same for the Spirit Walk this year when we came across a 1905 photo taken at the Crozet Pharmacy. Though it now sits on the east end of a row of historic buildings in the Square, the pharmacy used to be a little further west, in a now gone clapboard building where the alley now runs beside Crozet Hardware. Posing in front of the building are Ellis Harris, Wiley Hughes, John Moomaw, W.F. Carter and Russell Bargamin. The photo also includes a donkey and dog wearing a hat. We tried to re-enact it in an improvised play that ended each time with a photographer snapping the photo and the actors freezing while the walkers compared our pose to that in the picture. Then I photoshopped our photo to look old timey. The actors are McKellar Cox, Zac Colomes, Deedee, Todd Barnett, Trish Amy Cox, Tupelo Honey Barnett, and Trish Stevenson. The actor playing the usually French photographer was Mary Farsetta.

Original Pharmacy Photo

Re-Created Photo

Open House

Please join us on Tuesday, November 2nd (Election Day) for an Admissions Open House from 9 to 11 a.m.. School will be in session for us and both parents and students are invited to attend. Interested students will join current students and observe classes while parents have the opportunity to meet Head of School Todd Barnett, and faculty and parents to discuss the opportunities available at Field School. If you cannot attend on Tuesday but you would like to visit, please call and we can arrange a time to meet.

Falcon Apple Butter is Here

Many thanks to so many of you for your support for the Fall Fest. The Spirit Walk, featuring 27 actors and 3 animals, hosted about 180 people this year, with a nearly full crowd tonight (we wouldn't have wanted many more). Todd Culver was driving the shuttle bus almost constantly this evening. Meanwhile, Mary Thompson oversaw the apple butter project on which we spent about 26 hours, starting Friday morning at 10 and finishing up at about noon on Saturday. We peeled 23 bushels of Roma apples and cooked them in the 60-gallon kettle for about 16 hours, adding 50 lbs. of sugar, an ounce of clove oil, and an ounce of cinnamon oil in the last hour. (The 8th Graders did the dreaded overnight shift with Bill Covert volunteering for the dreaded 3-7 a.m. oversight shift). That made 420 pints of apple butter (plus a couple more pints that we put in the fridge) which is, by all accounts, delicious. We sold a hundred or so this evening. If you want one or two or twelve, stop by school at some point soon, before we're out. They make excellent gifts, so consider buying a case of 12.

Falcon Apple Butter image


Fall Fest October 22-23

Join us for our 2nd Annual Fall Fest at Field School this coming weekend. On Friday and Saturday, we will be staging the Spirit Walk, with actors portraying characters from the history of the area through the streets of Crozet. You can buy your tickets ($10 adults and $5 kids/students) at Maupin's Video in Crozet or at Greenberry's Barracks Road. On Friday night, we will also start to cook 60 gallons of apple butter, to be bottled early Saturday morning. Stop by to get yours either Saturday morning or Saturday night at the Spirit Walk.

Visit from a Race Car Driver

Today we had a visit from Lawson Aschenbach, the driver of the car shown in the photo below (by Curtis Creager) and co-winner with David Thilenius of the 2010 Grand Am Sports Car Series. Lawson was previously a student at Landon School when Todd Barnett taught there and he was kind enough to make a drive down from Maryland during some down time after the end of his season. He made an excellent presentation, describing how he got into the sport, and the dedication required to succeed. He told the boys that he was proof that middle school age boys can pursue and realize their dreams, and in his case and probably theirs, not without a lot of hard work and sacrifices, staying focused, and succeeding in school. He answered all our burning questions ("have you ever wrecked?" "can you put Gatorade in your helmet hydration system?" "what if you have to go to the bathroom during a race?"), and provided some information that was surprising to the racing neophytes in the crowd. For example, race cars are very hot, regularly reaching temperatures above 100 degrees, which means that drivers have to stay in top shape in order to endure long hours behind the wheel. I had no idea. Many thanks to Lawson for his visit and his generous presentation.

race car image

Spirit Walk

Please mark your calendars now for our upcoming Fall Fest at Field School, to be held on October 22nd and 23rd. It has two features: the Spirit Walk and Apple Butter Making. The Spirit Walk starts at Field School with a ride over into Crozet. Participants are then lead on a tour from town to school along Crozet Avenue, coming across 10 or 15 presentations on the history of the area. Among the historical figures we intend to portray are Meriwether Lewis, Samuel Miller, Lady Astor, Mrs. Claudius Crozet, Civil War soldiers, apple pickers, and workers on the Blue Ridge Tunnel. Our first Walk in 2009 was very well received in the area and we are expecting many of them to come back with friends. You can get tickets at Field School, at Maupin’s Video in Crozet, or at Greenberry’s Barracks Road. We are hoping that this will become a regular feature of the Halloween season in Crozet with our distinctive lanterns and characters acting out their mini-plays all over our little town. Meanwhile, we will also be making apple butter. Last year, we peeled 25 bushels of roma apples and made 480 pints of delicious apple butter. Almost everyone in our community—students, parents, and teachers—helped out in one way or another. Todd Culver stayed at school in his retro trailer, and rolled out at 4 a.m. to start the fire in the 60-gallon kettle. Twelve hours and many buckets of apples later, we began to ladle the apple butter into pint jars. You can come out and see us working over the weekend and help to either peel the apples or stir. The tentative plan is to have hot jars of apple butter ready for customers Saturday evening at 5 p.m.

Fall Soccer at Field School

We finished our first week of soccer on Saturday with four games in the past week. We have a team for each grade--5, 6, 7 and 8--and 88% of our boys play on one of the four teams. Our goal for the year is to have all the boys play on at least one of the 11 school teams we field (soccer, basketball, cross country, and lacrosse) as was the case in the last year.

A Visit from the Falconer

Last Friday, Richard Markey, a Crozet falconer, visited to show us his Harris Hawk, Taca. The hawk, which weighed in at about 2 pounds eyed the 60 boys of Field School without expression while Richard explained the sport and the behavior of the big bird. He is a beautiful predator with shiny brown and black feathers and talons and beak a bright yellowish orange, almost as bright as a school bus. It was fun to see him close up and we appreciate Richard sharing him with us.

First Day of School

Today marked our first day of school for 2010-2011. We are grateful to Rob McNamara for being our Opening Day speaker. We have begun this year with 60 boys, another year of growth for our now 4-year-old school. We also welcomed a new teacher into our group. Doug Reid is joining us after a long career teaching in Albemarle County, most recently at Meriwether Lewis Elementary School. He will be teaching two sections of Algebra in 7th and 8th Grade. Our first unit of this year is "Cars," and Ari Daniels is teaching car mechanics during our art classes for the next six weeks.

Work Week a Success!

We want to thank all the parents and supporters who came out during this past week to help us get the school ready for opening day. The old Crozet High School has never looked better. Thanks again to Anne Weems for all her work in managing the projects and the volunteers during the week.

Bama Fund Thank You

We want to thank the Bama Fund of the Dave Matthews Band for their contribution of $6100 to Field School's Scholarship Fund. Their generosity to a variety of local non-profits and schools is really extraordinary and we are very grateful to continue to receive their support.

Class of 2010

Congratulations to the nine graduates in the Class of 2010. We had a nice ceremony Saturday night attended by friends, family, and other Field School students. We are all looking forward to all of them being excellent ambassadors for their alma mater in high school. They will be attending Albemarle High School (1), Western Albemarle High School (2), Miller School (2), Monticello High School (2), and Tandem Friends School (1). Good luck to all of you and we will see you in August. The first day of school is August 30th.

Mother-Son Photos

To see this year's Mother-Son photos, go to

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