Valedictorian and Salutatorian Announced At Amelia Academy
Valedictorian at Amelia Academy for the class of 2020 is Sarah Raye Pomfrey. As a student at Amelia Academy, Sarah is known for her dedication to the highest academic standard and her involvement in student-led programs. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club. As a student-athlete, Sarah has played volleyball, cross country, and was a cheerleader. Last fall, she received Virginia Colonial Conference (VCC) all-academic recognition for cross country. Sarah has served as a class officer for four years and treasurer of the Student Government Organization (SGO) this year. She has been a member of the science and Bible clubs. In addition, she has been a member of the scholastic bowl team and participated in the annual forensics competition of Association of Virginia Academies (AVA).
Sarah is the daughter of Lynn and Chris Pomfrey. She will attend Longwood University in the fall.
Salutatorian for the class of 2020 is Madison Paige Barnard. As a student at the Academy, Madison has achieved a stellar academic record and served the Academy with great distinction as a student-leader. For the past two years, she has served as president of the SGO and, in previous years, as reporter and secretary. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club. Madison has also been a member of the environmental club and participated in the Academy’s equestrian program for three years.
As student-athlete, Madison has earned recognition for her outstanding contributions to the volleyball, basketball, and softball teams. She served as captain of the varsity volleyball and softball teams for three seasons. For volleyball, she was named most valuable player for the VCC during her junior year. She also was named VCC all-conference and all-academic for volleyball over the past two years.
Madison is the daughter of Sharon and Gregory Barnard. She will attend Virginia Tech in the fall.
Other honor graduates are: Brent Michael Carwile and Elise Cooper Jones.
On Friday, March 6ththe Amelia Academy elementary school held a Science Fair. Students in kindergarten through the fifth grade created projects illustrating their ideas about science. Some projects consisted of erupting volcanoes, aerodynamics with paper airplanes and the effects of soda on objects. First place winners were announced for students in first through fifth grade. Pictured is third grader Noah Folliard showing off his project on the effects of soda on your teeth.
Amelia Academy high school science teacher Mr. Mont Linkenauger was the judge for the Science Fair. Mr. Linkenauger observes third grader Jackson Reames as he explains his project. Pictured with Jackson are classmates Grace Mimms, Alaina Chambers, Harmonie Coward and Willow Meredith.
Amelia Academy kindergarten students Carsyn Dunford, Levi Sutton, Hollis Reames, Holden Summers, Bronson Ashman, Lillian Quesenberry and McKenzie Haas proudly display their ribbons for participating in the science fair held on Friday, March 6th.
Building good character and attaining knowledge require the support of the people in our lives. Many of them -- both family and teachers -- sat before Ryan Anderson as he presented his Chapel Talk on March 4. The character of a person may be revealed in a first impression, he said. “My parents have always taught me to be kind and treat others the way I want to be treated, no matter what.”
Ryan said that his parents were his first teachers. “They instilled in me the importance of always doing what is right, no matter what,” he said. They helped him learn the value of building mutual trust in his relationships. His parents also provided a spiritual foundation for Ryan’s life. He knows that God has a plan for him.
His mom has helped him stay on the “straight and narrow” path, and Ryan said his dad set an example of “hard work and dedication.” He also learned the importance of supporting the school and community. He said his brother Kyle is his best friend. And, Ryan expressed gratitude to his grandparents for their love and support. In the good times spent with them, Ryan said he has learned “the importance of family, hard work, and doing my best.”
Learning these values does not always come easily, said Ryan. Education is a process, he added. “A good student is someone who is willing to learn anything . . . to further themselves mentally, physically, and spiritually inside or outside of a classroom.” He encouraged his fellow students to appreciate the lessons they are learning from their teachers. Quoting motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, he said, “If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”
Ryan has watched his mother’s dedication in planning lessons for her courses at the Academy. He knows that his teachers “want to make sure we have the skills and knowledge we need to succeed in life.” As he approaches graduation and reflects on his education, Ryan gave credit to his Academy teachers, especially the late Walter Duncan, his third-grade teacher and Rodney Taylor, Head of School.
“Mr. Duncan was a very influential teacher and friend,” Ryan said. He remembers that Mr. Duncan believed in him and “made me feel like a person who had a bright future.” Wanting to help his students succeed, Mr. Duncan also taught the value of friendship and gratitude for time well spent.
Ryan paid tribute to Mr. Taylor’s influential role in his life, from his morning greeting to his advice and guidance through the years. “I know I can depend on Mr. Taylor,” Ryan said, “and I hope he knows he can depend on me.”
In recognition of the support from his family and school, Ryan said that he will “help others the way you have helped me.” By trusting in God, Ryan said that he will find the purpose and direction he needs.
Encouraging his fellow students to never stop learning, Ryan reminded them that their character reflects who they are. In this way, they will be led “to value life and help others when you can along the way.”
As a student at the Academy since pre-school, Ryan has followed the example of his father and extended family who have supported Amelia Academy since its founding. He has volunteered for numerous Academy events and programs. In addition, Ryan has spent many hours helping ensure that athletic fields are prepared for competition. As an athlete, he has played basketball and baseball at both the junior varsity and varsity levels. He was also a member of the cross country team.
Attending Ryan’s Chapel Talk were his parents, Angela and Kelly Anderson, along with his brother Kyle. His grandmother, Christine Anderson, and grandparents, Calvin and Mary Anne Smith, were also present. Other guests included his aunt, Mary Catherine Piland, and cousin, Alex Piland, and his aunts, Lori Anderson and Shane Dowdy.
The Virginia Colonial Conference recognized several Amelia Academy Athletes at the conclusion of this years’ tournament. Junior Jalen Booker was selected as the second team all-conference, Senior Emmanuel Megrangio was first team all conference, Junior Gregory Harris was selected to the first team all Conference, Senior Brent Carwile was all academic, Coach Greg Harris was the “Coach of the Year”, and Senior Kevin Hodonou was selected as the “Player of the Year”.
Even though he comes from another country, Emmanuel Megnanglo said that he is not very different from his fellow students at Amelia Academy. “Each of you is in my heart,” he told his fellow students, faculty, and guests at his Chapel Talk, delivered on Feb. 26. Emmanuel spoke about the difficulties of the transition to a new culture that have been made easier by his Academy family and friends.
Growing up in Benin, Emmanuel went to school and played basketball. He has two younger siblings, ages fourteen and five. His father is the manager of a mechanical manufacturing company and a consultant on agricultural technology. His mother, an accountant, is the finance and contract manager for CARE International in Benin and Togo.
After attending the NBA Academy basketball camp in 2019, Emmanuel considered various options to further his education and play basketball. “The good faith of my coach and American dad, Coach Harris and his family allowed me to be with you today,” he said of the decision he made to attend Amelia Academy.
“My first weeks here were both very informative and very entertaining,” Emmanuel said, whose native language is French. At first, he was afraid of speaking and understanding English and adapting to new ways. However, Emmanuel said that he learned and also “benefited from the generosity of many people.” He expressed gratitude to his brother, Greg, for the support that made everything easier. Emmanuel also paid a tribute to his American Dad for taking good care of him and his American Mom. “Thank you to my Mom. . . You are attentive, gentle, and considerate.” A fellow student from Benin, Kevin Hodonou, who also lives with the Harris family this year, has made the transition much easier.
Emmanuel noted that joining a new basketball team was not easy. “We must find the common base between each player and a reason to unite our strength for the good of the team,” he said. Team members must also become like family, he added.
The adaptation to a new school also has been challenging. His friends have helped him “to improve myself day by day,” he said. Emmanuel said his teachers have helped him keep from falling behind, including Jason Morris, his Bible teacher, “who is ready to listen and help me be always better, wherever I am.”
Emmanuel said that “we should never refuse to help others if we have the opportunity and the means, despite what we feel, what someone has told us, or done in the past.” By working to get along with others, we “leave a good image of ourselves,” he said. Another important aspect of positive self-image is staying true to our values and believing in ourselves. “In the greatest difficulties, that is all that will remain for you,” Emmanuel said.
Having been inspired by many people at the Academy, Emmanuel said, “You are a part of my story, and I am a part of yours. I look forward to the rest of the year, because our story is not over.”
During this year’s season, Emmanuel made significant contributions to the Varsity Boys Basketball team and helped the team win the regular season Virginia Colonial Conference championship in post-season competition. In recognition of his achievements, Emmanuel was named to the All-Conference and All-Tournament teams.
Attending the Chapel Talk program were his American parents, Valerie and Greg Harris, and his brothers, Greg and Kevin. Other guests included Veronica Meza, mother of his teammate, Jalen Booker.