A Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for girls, Grades 1-12, with a co-educational Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten.

stone Ridge News

The Upper School dedicated today to a special on-campus Social Action day. The theme was Solidarity and Sacred HeART. Workshops included Poetry for Social Justice, Social Media for Social Good, Four Dreams: Who Inspires Pope Francis?, Global Social Justice, Social Justice Performance Art, Building an Advocacy Toolbox. There was also time for Artivism and reflection. #SacredHeART

The 3D Printed Christmas Ornament Contest was a huge success this year! We had many submissions and Mrs. Karrels had a challenging time picking a winner because each ornament was unique and special!

The 2016 Winners:

Rachel Nokku '22
Leila McKim '24
Lauren Duvall '22


The Jesse tree helps our Grade 4 students in Lower School connect the custom of decorating Christmas trees to the events leading to Jesus' birth. Jesse was the father of King David. We adorn a Jesse tree with illustrated ornaments that represent the people, prophecies, and events leading up to the birth of Jesus. The ornaments of the Jesse tree tell the story of God in the Old Testament, connecting the Advent season with the faithfulness of God across four thousand years of history.


The SRPA Community Service Committee organized a social action event on December 10-11, at A Wider Circle--this organization's efforts focus on the provision of basic need items, education, and long-term support. A total of 60 Stone Ridge volunteers (students, siblings, and parents), representing 23 families, volunteered during the two days. The volunteers moved donated furniture, sorted goods, folded and arranged linens, and wrapped presents for families who had selected gifts at "The North Pole" section. Our Sacred Heart community service event focused on Goals III, IV, and I.

Mass was also celebrated at A Wider Circle after Saturday's volunteer day by Fr. Richard DeLillio, OSFS. Thank you to  Elaine Vining, Chair of the SRPA Community Service Committee.

Despite the cold, the SR Equestrian Team had another great competition this December!
Charlotte MacBride '20 won 3rd and 4th place in her flat classes and 1st in her jumping class in the Varsity Intermediate Division. Casey White '21 won a 6th in her flat class and 3rd in her jumping class in a HUGE class at the JV Novice Division. 
Congratulations to all the SR riders. #goSRgators #SRtogether #GatorStrong

Meaghan Kilner ’20, competed in the IDTANA Southern Region Oireachtas (Irish Dance Competition) on December 3-4 in Baltimore, MD. She competed in three rounds as a solo dancer against 136 other girls in the U15 category, performing both hard and soft shoe dances including a Treble Reel, a Slip Jig, and a Contemporary Set piece. Meaghan placed 31st, making her a North American Irish Dance National Championship (Nationals) qualifier. She will compete at Nationals in New Orleans in July of 2017 with the goal of qualifying to compete in the 2018 World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. She also competed on a 4-Hand Figures team that medaled, placing 11th of out 70 teams. Meaghan dances with The Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance and began dancing when she was five years old.

Ten Stone Ridge Upper School students participated in the Maryland Science Olympiad Invitational Event at the National Cathedral School on Saturday, December 3. The students completed a variety of teamwork oriented science challenges. Tournament events are balanced between life science, Earth and space science, chemistry, physics, technology, and inquiry. Congratulations to Abby Weimer '17, Gabi Chambers ’18, Bella Vazirani ’18, Camille Toner ’18, Katie Long ’18, Grace Fischler ’18, Beth Ann Mayer ’18, Annie Warburton ’18, Rachel Ruffin ’18, and Nanako Sugimoto ’20. And thank you to our science faculty, Ms. Torbert, Ms. Caudle, and Mrs. Flood.

Stone Ridge hosted the first Independent School Juried Exhibition for artists from Stone Ridge, Georgetown Prep, and Gonzaga. Over 100 students submitted art work. The judge was Alfredo Franco, Director of Education from the Delaware Art Museum and Rutgers Creative Writing Professor. Congratulations to all the artists!

The Winners:
1st Prize - Aleksandra Wellisz (Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart) “Self-portrait”
1st Prize - Helena Torres-Siclait (Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart) “Havana Life II”
2nd Prize - Hsien-Tung Liao (Georgetown Preparatory School) “Untitled”
3rd Prize – Caroline Barry (Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart) “Broken”

Honorable Mentions:
Genevieve DiBari  “Jumping off the Page” (Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart)
Cullen Crowley (Gonzaga College High School) “Smile”
William McCann (Gonzaga College High School) “Gonzaga”
Tom Dolan “Pride Rock” (Georgetown Preparatory School)
Abby Ginter “Gaze” (Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart)
Kara Posniewski “Rich on the Rocks” (Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart)
Kiwi Crowley “ Seeing Eye to Eye” (Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart)

Michelle Vaca ’17, is the recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation's award for outstanding Youth Latino leaders in the classroom, community, and workforce. This award was established by the White House in 1987, and it honors high school seniors who excel in the classroom and in their community. The Youth Awardees receive grants for their education or to fund a community project.

Michelle was awarded the Gold Medallion for the Engineering Category in the Washington, DC region. She will compete for the National Youth Award as well.

She received the following message from the organization: "Congratulations on receiving a Hispanic Heritage Youth Award! You are now among a selected few that have achieved this award, which recognizes your outstanding achievement in the classroom, and in your community. We received close to 20,000 applications this year, and after a rigorous selection process, you were chosen as the Gold Medallion recipient of the Engineering Category, which is graciously sponsored by ExxonMobil. You are also in the running for the National Youth Awards."

Congratulations, Michelle!

Mr. Vaca, Michelle, Mrs. Vaca and sister Katherine ’20
Congratulations to the SR Model of American States team for participating in the 35th Annual Model Organization of American States Conference. Held in the international Headquarters in Washington, DC, from November 30 - December 2, the MOAS is supported and administered by the Staff of the OAS General Secretariat. This year the debate forum expanded to included 11 schools from South America and the Caribbean.

The co-ed team from Stone Ridge and Georgetown Prep represented the delegations for the United States and Dominica. The students prepared by researching and writing resolutions that dealt with topics such as cyberterrorism, natural disaster prevention, and sustainable development. Following a briefing by the U.S. State Department, the Hoyas and Gators distinguished themselves by winning several awards. Grace Christenson ’18 was awarded a Distinguished Vice Chairperson.

The hard working team included the following SR girls:
Alex Pitts
Amanda Heckler
Arianne Hennis
Briana Thompson
Cristina Cuervo
Ele Grenfell
Genevieve DiBari
Genevieve Klein
Grace Christensen
Grace Heming
Helen Carter
Helena Torres-Siçlait
Isabella Martinez
Katherine Shin
Kathryn Paravano
Laura-Sofia Mehta
Maddie Rogers
Maya Young
Meghana Pai
Nadine Daboub
Sofie Araya
Sophia Ciatto
Talia Scott

The Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) announced the 2016-2017 finalists for the Triple-Impact Competitor Scholarship Program. In total, PCA received more than 3200 applications and more than 6600 references. Stone Ridge had three finalists, the most of any school in the country. Representing SR was Kathryn Maloney '17, Kathryn Paravano '17, and Katie Brewer '17. Only 72 out of more than 3200 nationwide were chosen for this extremely competitive award. Katie Brewer was one of the 4 in the Mid-Atlantic/DC Region to be selected. 

Athletic Director Jason McGhee said, "When I arrived to Stone Ridge over two years ago, Katie was one of the first student athletes I met. She was eager to share an idea for "captains" practices. She wanted to improve individually, and yet she wanted her team to improve more. Katie showed exceptional leadership and reflected the triple impact competitor model of how to make yourself better, how to make your team better, and how to make the game better. This leadership made a positive impression on me, and Katie has continued to impress me ever since."

Congratulations to Katie Brewer for winning the PCA scholarship and to our other SR finalists! #goSRgators #GatorStrong

The Stone Ridge Equestrian Team has had a great month! In fact, the program has been experiencing a terrific year after officially joining the Inter-School Horse Show Series (ISHS). SR riders are led by Upper School Science Teacher Ms. Heidi Johnson. According to Athletic Director Jason McGhee, "Ms. Johnson is a tremendous asset to SR on so many fronts, most notably in her positivity and passion in teaching AP Environmental Science and in leading our riders at the stables. This energy transfers to the students. She is an incredible role model, always reflecting the five Goals of Sacred Heart education."
The vision for the program is to develop a fun yet competitive program, offering both varsity and JV opportunities consistently to our students. Currently, the program is offered to Grades 5-12 students.
On October 9, in the Varsity Advanced Division, Riley King '20 received two 2nd place ribbons in her flat classes and a 6th place in her jumping class, as well as a 6th place in the Medal jumping class. 
More recently, on October 23, the Gators had another great outing. In her first time showing with SR, Charlotte MacBride '20 rode in the Varsity Intermediate Division and received 1st and 2nd place ribbons in her flat classes and a 2nd place in her jumping class. Ella Nascone '22 was Reserve Champion in the JV Future Intermediate Division, receiving 1st and 2nd place in the flat and a 3rd place in the jumping. Caroline Hwang '21 rode one of the most challenging horses of the day in the JV Novice class and received a 3rd place in the flat and a 4th place in the jumping. Finally, Casey White '21 had her first time showing with SR, earning two 3rd place finishes in her Novice flat classes.
Excellent work and congratulations, Gators! #goSRgators #GatorStrong
History teacher, Dr. Katharina Matro, wins the 2016 Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize. Dr Matro’s was awarded this significant national award by the German Historical Institute for the best PhD dissertation on German history! Her work was titled, "Postwar in No Man’s Land: Germans, Poles, and Soviets in the Rural Communities of Poland’s New Territories.” Dr. Matro’s earned her PhD from Stanford University.

Dr. Matro will present her paper at the upcoming Annual Symposium of the Friends of the German Historical Institute on November 11, 2014, 11:00 am in Washington, DC.

Since 1997, the Friends of the German Historical Institute awards the Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize for the best doctoral dissertations on German history written at North American universities. Dissertations on all periods of German history, on German-American relations, and on the history of Germans in North America were eligible. Congratulations, Dr. Matro.

One of the greatest, most memorable parts of being a Stone Ridge Girl is participating on the Blue or Gold team. While family legacy can determine a team assignment, all new students are placed on a team for which they will forever cheer!

Blue-Gold 2016 was officially launched during an all-school Blue-Gold Induction Ceremony-- the first one in Stone Ridge history--on Thursday, September 8. More than 100 students new to Stone Ridge gathered in the gym to learn what their new favorite color will be for the rest of their lives!

The ceremony is just the beginning of the larger Blue-Gold rivalry where teams pick up points at events throughout the year, such as PE class, attendance for Gator Game Days, and Father-Daughter Field Day, to name a few. The time-honored SR tradition of Father-Daughter Field Day is the conclusion of the yearly competitions. At the end of Field Day the winning team is announced to the wild cheers of one team. The winning team then raises their respective flag at Gator Field for the upcoming the school year. Gold Team currently holds the flag!! #TrueBlue #BoldGold

Five SR girls and two teachers volunteered with the Appalachia Service Project. The student participants were Grace Fischler '18, Alison Manca '19, Madeleine Sateri '19, Hannah Sweeney '18 (student leader); Kristen Turner '18 (student leader), and the adult volunteers were Carly Authement, Administrative Assistant to the College Office and Holly Zindulis, Upper School English Teacher.

From June 12-18, the volunteers went to Nicholas County, West Virginia, as part of Appalachia Service Project, Stone Ridge's second annual ASP service trip. The team built a new porch and stairs for a local family. 

Hannah and Kris reflected, “The ASP is an exciting opportunity that allows Stone Ridge's young women to explore the world of construction/engineering in a supportive environment that fosters personal growth as well as group bonding. We have gained valuable experience such as learning how to best manage time and resources as well as flexibility in the face of complications. The lessons we've learned during our time at ASP have given us a better understanding of poverty through service.”

Coach Spisak Looks to Model her Motto, "Champions Work!"

Whether it's in her role as Middle School physical education teacher, Stone Ridge varsity soccer coach, Bethesda Soccer Club's Director of Goalkeeping, Washington Spirit Reserve team head coach, or the Washington Spirit Pro Team Assistant Coach, KJ Spisak works hard. Many of the creeds she lives by such as "champions work," or "champions adjust" reflect her commitment and pursuit to excellence. 

Last season the Washington Spirit Reserves played the Colorado Pride in the finals in Quebec, Canada, and became the W-League Champions for the first time in franchise history under the leadership of Coach KJ. According to Stone Ridge Director of Athletics Jason McGhee, "KJ's playing and coaching experiences at the highest levels of high school, college, and professional are hard to match in the ISL or anywhere, and she is a true role model for our students. Further, she represents to our SR students that they can dream big and make it happen with hard work."

Spisak began coaching after an extensive and successful playing career. She attended Texas A&M University where she was a three-year team captain and All-American player. After college, she was a member of the U.S. Women's National Team from 2004-2007.  

For Stone Ridge, the varsity program is coming off one of its highest finishes in recent years and looks to carry momentum into the 2016-2017 season and beyond. You can catch Coach KJ and the Reserve team playing this summer on the Stone Ridge campus June 29 (5:00 pm), July 2 (12:00 noon), July 15 (5:00 pm), or July 17 (12:00 noon). For more information about the Washington Spirit Reserve Team please click here. Additionally, if you are interested in becoming a ball kid for one of the final remaining games, please email reserves@washingtonspirit.com


Fifth grader Codi Johnson was among 5 girls chosen by ivivva, from different schools in the area, to be a community service mentor. Ivivva is athletic wear made for active girls and created by lululemon. Codi was asked to choose a service organization that benefits a cause she is passionate about. Codi believes reading helps children develop their vocabulary, comprehension skills, and expand your imagination. She said “since I love reading and language arts, I chose the organization Reach Out and Read.”

Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. Reach Out and Read serves nearly 4.5 million children and their families annually.

Codi hosted a book drive at Stone Ridge and with her lacrosse team. Codi collected a total of 375 books and donated them to Walter Reed Medical Center on May 31. Codi is a great example of living out Goal III, a social awareness which impels to action.

Christina Papagjika ’98 has produced several theater productions and films which include the 2013 blockbuster Lee Daniels’ The Butler and her acclaimed new feature The Family Fang, starring Jason Bateman, Nicole Kidman, and Christopher Walken (in theaters, May 2016).

Christina’s Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots continues to delight audiences on Broadway and beyond. She is excited to bring the U.S. touring company home to DC this summer where the show will play from June 14 to July 10. For tickets: www.kennedy-center.org.

To see the creative team, visit http://kinkybootsthemusical.com/creative.php

Four students represented Stone Ridge at the 5th Annual Archdiocese of Washington Student Academic Symposium on March 9, 2016. The students presenters, Catherine Cook ’17, Maya Moore ’16, Julianna Long ’16, and Alice Felker ’16, did a wonderful job with their varying topics.

Catherine Cook ’17
An English paper on William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury is entitled: The “Sweet Emptiness” (89) of “Human Experience” (50): Quentin Compson is Dead…Wait Who?

The purpose of the project was to track a single word throughout the novel and see how it applies to the novel as a whole. I choose the word "swirl" and related it to the character of Quentin Compson, who finds that he will never achieve his goal and ends up taking his own life because of it. Quentin is stuck in the past; a past of southern chivalry that carries little weight in the early 1900s. Since the end of the Civil War, the South underwent a lot of upgrading, including a Second Industrial Revolution which pushed away that flighty atmosphere of Gone With the Wind and began transforming the South so that it mirrored the North in many ways. This stark change is what brings on Quentin's downfall; he is too stubborn to change so he becomes a force against nature and against progress. My paper details this downfall and argues that he is an unnatural existence.

Alice Felker ’16
A research paper on Xu Bing's Book from the Sky: Face to Face with the Incomprehensible."

Xu Bing's controversial work, Book from the Sky, simultaneously highlights the power of language and its vulnerability.  He creates a beautiful landscape comprised of illegible Chinese characters and traditional scrolls. The complex conflict displayed in his work alludes to the rich history of language manipulation present in past genocides. Xu's massive display of nonsensical language also calls attention to our society's focus on mere quantity of knowledge over the quality and focus with which we devote to intellectual endeavors.

Julianna Long ’16

This paper is titled ARDUORS. That is an acronym which stands for Augmented Reality Display for Updating Operator on Robotic Status. This paper is about using Google Glass to help NASA engineers drive robots that fix satellites.

Maya Moore ’16
A Turbulent Flight: The Tuskegee Airmen's Struggle for Racial Equality in America

The Stone Ridge Oral History Project is a hallmark of the U.S. History course. It is a year-long process that entails interviewing, transcribing, and analyzing to understand history from an nuanced perspective. This extensive project does not go without award, however, as students bring learning outside the classroom and really understand the importance of oral history. Last Spring, I had the pleasure of interviewing Colonel Charles McGee--World War II, Vietnam War, and Cold War veteran living here in Bethesda, Maryland. While Colonel McGee certainly made many immeasurable contributions in serving our country, my interview highlighted his achievements as a Tuskegee Airman during World War II. The Tuskegee Airmen were the very first African American military aviators in World War II. Their remarkable achievements paved the way for racial equality in America by proving that ability is not defined by race. In our hour-long interview, not only did I uncover the impact of the many "biases and generalizations" he faced, but I engaged in meaningful conversation with a token of history himself.

Alice Felker ’16 was chosen by Bethesda Magazine as one of its "Extraordinary Teens" in the March/April issue. Bethesda Magazine selects a student who excels academically, in extracurricular activities, and is talented, creative, well-rounded, passionate, and compassionate.

Alice says that the forced departure from playing field hockey (from repeated concussions) steered her toward her true passion: advocating for the inclusion of students with disabilities Read the article about this extraordinary Stone Ridge girl. Congratulations Alice!

Maddie Kearns in a 2005 Stone Ridge game
Credit: The Gazette, Racheal Golden

SR Athletic Director Jason McGhee is excited to announce Assistant Athletic Director Madeline Kearns Keegan '05 as the new Head Varsity Lacrosse Coach. Mrs. Keegan was a standout lacrosse player for both Stone Ridge from 2002 to 2005, and as a Division I student-athlete at Colgate University. While at Colgate, Maddie stood out in the classroom and on the competition field garnering numerous academic honors as well as first team All-Patriot League, Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, National and Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week, and finally Patriot League All-Tournament teams in 2008 and 2009. In addition to her academic and playing credentials, Mrs. Keegan is a current US Lacrosse member and holds certifications as a US Lacrosse Level 2 Coach and Positive Coaching Alliance Double-Goal Coach.

Mrs. Keegan also brings a wealth of experience having served as the varsity assistant coach for six years at Stone Ridge, in the Middle School as head coach for the last five years, and the Assistant Director of Athletics for the past four years.

Varsity Assistant Coaches:

Ruthie Beckler Gaiser '01: Coach Gaiser returns for her second season as a varsity assistant. Coach Gaiser was a multi-sport athlete while attending SR playing both field hockey and lacrosse. This past fall Ruthie joined the varsity field hockey staff as a varsity assistant while also serving as a Middle School field hockey head coach.

Kathryn Lamade: This will be Coach Lamade's first year in the Swamp and she will be bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge. Coach Lamade was a four-year varsity letter winner playing with nationally-ranked Duke women's lacrosse program. She served as team captain her senior season while the team won the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) regular season and post season championships. Additionally, Katie's team made the final four as a national semifinalist. Most recently, Coach Lamade served as the Director of Athletics and the Head Varsity Lacrosse Coach at the Madeira School.

Lexi Crusha: This will be Coach Crusha's first year in the Swamp and she will be bring more than 18 years of playing experience in addition to numerous years of coaching experience from the interscholastic, club, and collegiate level. Coach Crusha currently serves as a Head Coach with Rebels Lacrosse Club. Coah Crusha was a standout junior college athlete at Monroe Community College garnering All-American status both years on her way to becoming the schools all-time scorer and winning a national championship. Next, Coach Crusha moved on to be a standout player at Division II Lindenwood Unversity where she led the team in scoring her junior and senior year. Additionally, during her senior season, she was named Lindenwood University Player of the Year as well as being named both her team and conference Offensive Player of the Year. Coach Crusha will also serve as the Assistant Head Coach for the JV.

JV Coaches:

Noelle Dribben: This will be Coach Dribben's first year in the Swamp. Noelle was a two time all state player at Windsor High School in Connecticut as well as a standout club player. Mrs. Dribben walked onto the Virginia Tech women's lacrosse program and earned a roster spot. She stated coaching in 2003 through various recreational and club programs. More recently Mrs. Dribben has served as a head coach with Cardinal Lacrosse since 2010. Finally, Noelle is familiar with the ISL having served as a varsity assistant at both Flint Hill and Sidwell in recent years.

Lexi Crusha: See biography above. Ms. Crusha will also serve as the Assistant Head Coach for JV.

Kati Jo Spisak: Coach Spisak is no stranger to the Swamp having led the Stone Ridge varsity and Middle School soccer programs for the past four years. Coach Spisak also oversees the Middle School physical education program. Finally, Ms. Spisak is an assistant coach with the Washington Spirit, one of nine women's professional soccer teams in the country. She will provide veteran coaching experience to the lacrosse program this season.

Upper School teacher Katharina Matro took her Economics class to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and to visit Congressman Chris Van Hollen's office on Capitol Hill. At the SEC, they met with Stephen Luparello, Director of Trading and Markets, SR alumna Jessica Kane '97, Director of the Office of Municipal Securities, and Gina Talamona, the SEC's Communications Director and mother of McKinley Polla ’16. The class learned how the SEC regulates financial markets and implements policy decisions by Congress. The SR girls visited the Market Watch Room where SEC employees monitor stock market activity across the world, and they met the SEC Chair Mary Jo White. On the Hill, the students met with a staffer on the Budget Committee to learn about how the Federal Government Budget comes together and they had the opportunity to meet and talk to Congressman Van Hollen. Now, that’s an SR class learning on the job!

On Saturday, January 20, 15 students from the Habitat for Humanity Club at SR, led by Caroline Conlan '16 and Lexi Catalano '16, partnered with Rebuilding Together Montgomery to help move and renovate the Interfaith Works Clothing Center. Interfaith is one of SR's long-time Social Action partner sites--it was special that the SR girls could be a part of helping them renovate. A special thank you to Mr. Conlan's contracting company for helping with this project too.

You can see some SR girls in this Interfaith video.

Piper Suk ’20 has played at Carnegie Hall four times this school year. Piper has been playing the cello since fourth grade and was thrilled to play at Carnegie Hall with her quartet three times and once solo. On December 20 she played Allemande from Bach Cello Suite No. 1 and on January 9 she played first movement of the Beethoven String Quartet No. 1 in F. Congratulations Piper.

Stone Ridge is excited to host an exchange student from Australia. Laura attends Stuartholme School, a Sacred Heart school in Brisbane. She is attending classes at SR for two weeks and enjoys her SR host family. Welcome Laura!.

9101 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20814

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