Amelia Academy senior Mikayla Stables throws another pitch when the Patriots hosted Brunswick Academy on Thursday, April 25th. The Patriots lost this contest.
The Amelia Academy Lady Patriots hosted Brunswick Academy on Thursday. Pictured is senior short stop Ellie Taylor preparing for the batter.
Senior Laura Smith awaits her turn at bat during the Patriots loss to Brunswick on Thursday.
The Amelia Academy varsity baseball team hosted Brunswick Academy on Thursday, April 25th. Pictured is senior Will Jay Steger waiting for his pitch during the Patriots loss.
Tyler Gough makes the throw to first during Amelia Academy’s home loss to Brunswick on Thursday.
Junior Ryan Anderson throws another strike for the Amelia Academy Patriots during Thursday’s loss to Brunswick Academy.
Softball and baseball pictures by Mrs. Angela Anderson
The Amelia Academy Horse Show was held on April 27 at Joe Paulette Memorial Park. The Show featured English and Western events. Proceeds from the show support the Academy’s Equestrian Program. Riders in a Western Pleasure class await the ribbon awards, and Emily King, a student in the Academy’s program, rode in the morning’s Hunter and Equitation classes.
“A change of scenery helps you grow,” said WillJay Steger in the opening of his Chapel Talk, delivered on April 9. And, WillJay shared what was a big change for him, beginning last year. The experience of coming to Amelia Academy changed his perspective, to say the least.
Even though he loves his hometown of Norfolk, WillJay said that he was glad he came to Amelia. He found out about the Academy from an AAU teammate, Kameron Harris, a 2018 AA graduate. After his junior year, he realized that he needed a change. “I wasn’t focused at all,” he said. “And, it showed everywhere—at home, school, and on the basketball court.” A change of scenery was needed, and he decided to re-consider the Academy.
The culture shock was immediate. “My parents and I pulled up into the middle of nowhere to a small school in between a cut of woods,” he said. “I told them we must be at the wrong place, but that was where the GPS brought us.”
Even though the experience of moving to live with the Harris family and changing schools seemed daunting, WillJay persevered. “When I left home, my mom and girlfriend cried, which made me sad, but I knew I would always have them by my side,” he said. WillJay also knew how much he would miss his dad, whom he described as “my favorite person.”
He credited his dad with being a positive role model. “He’s taught me how to work and be responsible, to never depend on anyone, and to work harder than everyone else for what I want,” he said.
WillJay also found it difficult to leave his girlfriend, Kyra, who he described as his best friend and “a great person.”
Arriving in Amelia to live with the Harris family, WillJay was apprehensive about living with another family. However, he said the experience has been “amazing.” “They treat me as if I were their own child,” he said, “even if that meant getting the look from Ms. Val if I got a bad quiz grade.” The Harris family has become more than a host family; they are his family, WillJay said.
Arriving at Amelia Academy provided an opportunity for WillJay to change his viewpoint. Joining a student body different from what he was accustomed to felt nearly impossible. “I am not going to like these hillbillies,” he thought when he first arrived. “However, I was wrong.”
He quickly made friends with Tyler Gough and Brent Carwile, despite their differences. He also met Jamal Grant, who has become “like a brother to me.”
WillJay said the friendships he made at the Academy have been “life-changing.” He also credited teachers with “helping us become better people and more responsible.”
As he looks toward graduation next month and the future, WillJay reflected on his life journey that brought him to Amelia. “Sometimes God puts people in your life, and you have no idea why. But, you shouldn’t question it because everything He does is for the best.”
As a student at the Academy, WillJay has played basketball and was captain of the team this past season. WillJay was named All-State this year. He was named Player of the Year for the Virginia Colonial Conference (VCC). WillJay also received All-Conference and All-Tournament recognition.
Attending his Chapel Talk were his parents, LaDonya and William Steger, and his girlfriend Kyra. Also present were Valerie and Gregory Harris and their son Greg, an Academy sophomore.
The Amelia Academy Senior class attended the prom on Friday, April 5th. The theme was “Moonlight and Magnolias”. Pictured left to right (top) Catarina Stanley, Amari Hicks, Kelly Flippin, Hannah King, Julia Huddleston, (bottom) Wilbert Allen, Ellie Taylor, Mikayla Stables, Laura Smith, Sam Breuscher, Elena Easter, Tyler Gough, and Mitchell Carey.
This year’s junior class at Amelia Academy hosted the 2019 Junior Senior Prom. This year’s theme was “Moonlight and Magnolias”. Pictured are junior class members and their dates. Left to right – Junior Madison Barnard and her date Corbett Bowman , Freshman Madison Borum escorted by junior Brent Carwile, junior Lexi Easter escorted by Joseph Borum, junior Sarah Pomfrey escorted by junior Chase Landry, and freshman Emma Allen escorted by junior Ryan Anderson.
A second home is how Paul Berry described Amelia Academy in his Chapel Talk, delivered on April 3. This is partly because his mother is the Academy’s librarian and siblings attended the Academy. However, Paul said that the Academy is also where he “developed a strong work ethic and learned how humor is important in school and life.”
The teachers have also made the Academy feel like a second home for Paul. His teachers know him well; many have known him since he was young. “I don’t feel uncomfortable when I ask a question,” he said. “The teachers listen to my opinion.”
Paul began learning the value of hard work at home watching his parents work. He also had chores to complete at home and a job for his neighbor. These experiences led to a summer job at the Academy last year. “I worked hard helping Mr. Williams (the Academy’s custodian) clean the school from top to bottom.”
Paul said that he was glad to have a job and earn money. However, by the end of the summer, he said, “I realized it was not about the money. It was about working hard to make the school look good for next year.”
Beginning at a young age, Paul recognized the value of laughter throughout his life. As a five-year-old, he enjoyed making people laugh by repeating the jokes from shows such as “I Love Lucy,” and “The Andy Griffith Show.” This led to reading joke books and sharing laughter with his family and friends.
More recently, Paul has become known for his in-depth knowledge of movies and film-making. He enjoys comedies, of course, but also watches other genres, including action and thriller movies. “I like to watch the behind-the-scenes programs because the actors talk about the stunts they did and other experiences,” Paul said.
He has also learned that acting is very hard work with multi-faceted requirements of the actors, such as practicing stunts, learning the script, and working well with the director and actors. “I think for the actors this hard work is about entertaining people more than making money,” he said.
As a student at the Academy, Paul has been a member of the audio-visual club and participated in the Association of Virginia Academies (AVA) Forensics competition. He also was a drummer with the Academy’s Pipe and Drum Corp. In his introductory remarks, Rodney L. Taylor, Head of School, described the young man known at the Academy for his helpful and generous attitude. “He is a student that faculty and staff can count on when something needs to be done. He will always volunteer to help with projects and does them well.”
Attending his Chapel Talk were Paul’s parents, Karen and Chip Berry. Mrs. Berry has been a member of the faculty and the librarian for 21 years.