For many years, the students in Mrs. Faeth’s English classes have created paper stars on the first day of school. On the back of the star, students write their dreams, and the decorated stars are displayed in the classroom all year. In the opening of her Chapel Talk, senior Madison Barnard referenced her star. “I wrote, ‘To be living a life I chose, not one that I settled for,’” she said.
Her life thus far has been filled with opportunities and great experiences, andfun. Her “close-knit family” has been partly responsible. “When we’re all together, it’s anything but boring,” she said. Time spent with her family “shelling beans on the porch or hanging around a campground every weekend” have been more than just fun. She has learned many life lessons along the way.
“They’ve taught me the values of honesty and hard work . . . to be bold in everything . . . and tough,” she said. She expressed her appreciation for their support, particularly her Dad’s “front porch” talks, during which he emphasized a strong work ethic and pride in a job well done. “He would talk about work,” she said, “and [tell us], ‘making money ain’t always fun, but it’s hard to have fun without some money.”
Her family has shown her the importance of ambition and having fun but also the value of contentment. This lesson came from her PawPaw, who passed away last year. She saw a Facebook post about him that read, in part, “I never saw him when he didn’t have a smile . . . he was satisfied with the things he had in life and never seemed to long for fancy things . . . good, plain, friendly, country folk like you are getting harder to find and even harder to replace.”
Following his example, Madison said that she has learned to know the value of watching the sunset or spending time with friends.
Seeking out new experiences represents another facet of Madison’s life. The opportunities at the Academy have been wide-ranging. She has served in several positions as an officer of the Student Government Organization (SGO). “[This school] has also given me the opportunity to spend part of my school day on a horse, and I’ve been able to help win several volleyball and basketball championships.” she said.
Other valued experiences in her life have involved time spent on the water during weekends at Buggs Island Lake. “When I was four years old, I got behind a boat on my first set of trainer skis,” she said. She went on to achieve a 360 degree turn on a kneeboard and learned wakeboarding and slalom skiing, her favorite. There were scrapes and bumps along the way, including “face-planting the water at over thirty miles an hour,” she said. Most of all, she values the fun she has had, along with meeting “some of the most important people in my life.”
Her days are busy, to say the least. Madison moves seamlessly from school to sports practice, a job, and everything in between. Rather than feeling overwhelmed, she wants to experience everything she can. “God gave me legs that work, and you can bet that I’m going to use them,” she said. She wants her life to be filled with adventure and never dull. “I don’t want to go through the motions . . . and I want stories to tell,” she said.
After college, she imagines many different options for her life. She doesn’t know where she will be going, but she promised her audience that it will not be boring.
Madison has served in a variety of leadership positions as a student at the Academy. She is currently serving her second year as SGO president and also was secretary and reporter in previous years. As SGO president, she has organized the annual 9/11 Never Forget program, as well as Spirit Week and other school events.
She has earned academic recognition through her membership in the National Honor Society and the Beta Club..
As a student-athlete and leader, she has been captain of the varsity volleyball and softball teams and also played varsity basketball. Madison has been named All-Conference and All-Academic for volleyball in the VCC (Virginia Colonial Conference) as well as tournament Most Valuable Player. Last fall, she was named the VCC Player of the Year for volleyball.
Attending her Chapel Talk were her parents, Sharon and Gregory Barnard, along with her sister Macy, an Academy seventh-grader. Other special guests included her grandparents Grace Ann Easter and Carroll and Mary Barnard, and friend Corbett Bowman.
Amelia Academy Senior Brent Carwile Delivers Chapel Talk
Each member of the class of 2020 will present a Chapel Talk to the Amelia Academy community of students, faculty, family, and friends. In its twelfth year, the Chapel Talk marks a milestone in each senior’s year and is a requirement for graduation. Brent Carwile opened this year’s series with his Chapel Talk, presented on Jan. 15 in the Academy gymnasium.
Having attended the Academy since pre-kindergarten, Brent expressed appreciation to his parents for “giving me this opportunity and for everything they and my grandparents have done for me.” Having such a small class has meant spending time with many of the same friends through the years. Brent considers this a positive aspect of education in a small school.
“I believe this school has made me into a better person,” he said.
Brent paid tribute to the Academy’s teachers, especially his teachers Leah Ray and Jennifer Hayghe, “who have stayed after school with me for countless hours to help me with math.” He considers many of his teachers to be friends. In particular, he said that the teachers want to make sure Academy students succeed and are willing to help. “They all leave impressions on us, whether it be a different way of thinking, inspiring us, or maybe even showing us the right way we should live,” he said.
Throughout his years at the Academy, Brent said he has been taught the value of showing respect and helping others. “Because the teachers know us on a personal level,” he said, “they care for us and make sure we stay on the right track,” he said. When teachers have different viewpoints, Brent has observed that they still respect each other. In addition, he and his fellow students know they can get advice and encouragement from their teachers.
Having grown up with many of his classmates, Brent said they have become like an extended family. They have been a source of support and given him advice when he needed it. He and his friends have studied together and played on the same teams. Together, they’ve gone hunting and fishing outside of school. “They have helped me through some pretty tough times and a lot of good times,” Brent said.
As he prepares to move on to college and beyond, Brent said that he will never forget the Academy’s impact on his life. The lessons learned, in and out of the classroom, will be valued throughout his life, he said. As for his friends, he joked that “we are all family and will probably still be annoying each other as long as we live.”
In his years as an Academy student, Brent has received academic recognition with memberships in the National Honor Society and the Beta Club. He has also competed on the Academy’s Scholastic Bowl team. Brent is the senior class president, a position he has held in previous years. As a student-athlete, he has played varsity basketball and baseball and cross country.
Brent will attend Hampden-Sydney College in the fall, where he plans to pursue business management studies.
Guests attending the Chapel Talk program included Brent’s parents, Teresa and Mike Carwile, and his sister Amanda, also an Academy student. His grandparents Norma and Doug Featherston and Mavis Carwile were present, along with family friends, Stephanie and Mark Borum and Paula Langford.
On Tuesday night the Amelia Academy junior varsity basketball team hosted Banner Christian. Pictured are John-Colin Palmer and Quinton Dagner preparing to play defense. The Patriots lost 38 – 52.
Amelia Academy eighth grader Kyle Anderson takes a three point shot during the JV Patriots 38 – 52 loss to Banner Christian on Tuesday night.
Cameron Morris advances the ball for the Amelia Academy junior varsity team during Tuesday’s game. The Patriots lost 38 – 52.
Freshman Troy Hill looks for the open man when the Patriots hosted Banner Christian on Tuesday, January 7th. The Patriots lost this contest.
The Amelia Academy Varsity Patriots hosted Banner Christian on Tuesday, January 7th. Senior D’monte’ Moseley brings the ball down the court. The Patriots won 83 – 66.
Jalen Booker goes in for a basket for the Amelia Academy Patriots when Amelia hosted Banner Christien on Tuesday. Booker contributed 10 points in the Patriots 83 – 66 victory.
Senior Emanuel Megnangio scores 2 of his 25 points during the Patriots 83 – 66 win over Banner Christian on Tuesday night.
AMELIA ACADEMY HONOR ROLL 2NDQUARTER AND 1STSEMESTER
The following students were named to the Honor Roll for the second quarter at Amelia Academy. The asterisk indicates students who earned an A in each class.
Molly Keye McMillian
The following students were named to the Honor Roll for the second semester. The asterisk indicates students who earned an A for each class.
Molly Keye McMillian