A Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for girls, Grades 1-12, with a co-educational Early Childhood Program, infant through Kindergarten age.

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Good News from Uganda

For last year's Feast Wishes, the Stone Ridge Upper School girls donated funds to help subsidize a girls education at Sacred Heart Girls Primary School Kyamusansala in Uganda. Good news from the school arrived this week in the form of a letter and photo from a student who is so very grateful of the donation.

In her letter, student Piwini writes of her gratitude for the education she is receiving at the school, the positive environment there, the healthy food received and her joy of learning in all of her classes, especially mathematics and science.

She concludes her letter thanking all who have contributed to the school construction and student support and asking that the Lord bless us all.

#wearesacredheart

SR Announces National Merit Commended Scholars
Congratulations to the following Stone Ridge girls for achieving National Merit Commended Scholars recognition:
  • Beyer Bullard '19
  • Lauren Ferridge '19
  • Cecilia Hornyak '19
  • Madeleine Sateri '19
  • Nia Williams '19
Approximately 1.5 million high school students take the PSAT each year. Of those, 50,000 (3.3%) are Commended Scholars. Five Stone Ridge Girls received Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Although commended students do not continue in the competition for National Merit® Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for special scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.
 
Congratulations to our Stone Ridge girls!
 
SR Seniors attend Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Meeting

Our Stone Ridge girls are always doing great things! Last year, the girls' efforts to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) through their Gators Beat Blood Cancer campaign raised over $150,000. In continuing their support for LLS, 2018 Gators Beat Blood Cancer organizers Francesca Ciatto '19 and Inés Andrés '19 attended the LLS 2018 Research Meeting in Philadelphia on October 4. At the meeting, Francesca and Inés talked with researchers to hear about treatments, preventions, and advocacy in the fight against blood cancer.

The 2019 Gators Beat Blood Cancer campaign will begin in January 2019.

 #gatorsbeatbloodcancer #kilnerstrong #wearesacredheart

Stone Ridge foster respectful communities through No Place for Hate program

"For three years in a row, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart and Elizabeth Seton High School have participated in the Anti-Defamation League's No Place for Hate program, promoting diversity, inclusion and respect in their communities." Stone Ridge was the first school in the Washington region to formally adopt the No Place for Hate Program.

"Last year, Stone Ridge hosted a Peace Day in the fall and a Multicultural and Diversity Festival in the spring. In the Upper School, they regularly host brown bag lunches where the students get together at lunchtime to discuss difficult issues. After there were several hate crimes in the area following the 2016 election, the school decided to engage in a positive way by hosting an "artivism" day where students created projects in different mediums expressing their thoughts about various social justice issues."

Read the entire article from the Catholic Standard. Story by SR alum Kelly Seegers Sankowski '12.

SR XC Gators Place Second at Landon Invitational

The Stone Ridge Varsity Cross-Country team placed second overall at the Landon Invitational with a strong team score of 45 points, just behind St. John's 62 points. The varsity squad was led by Katherine Strong's 3rd place overall finish (21:08). The Gator Varsity squad was 2nd out of 13 teams and JV team was 4th out of 8 teams. "I was incredibly proud of them," said Head Coach Peter Rook. "They ran super tough. Our top seven were all freshman and sophomores, and for a few of them this was their first ever invitational...I was almost in tears at the finish line I was so proud of them."

Stone Ridge had terrific fan support at the event thanks to the new Swamp Shines initiative by the SR Boosters who encourage Gator fans to attend meets/games/matches. Head of School Catherine Ronan Karrels '86 came out to cheer on the Gators. According to Andrew Maguire, Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Training, "I don't think it would be a stretch to say we had the most support/spirit/best tent set up of the 10+ teams there!" Read more

Kati Jo Spisak Inducted into Texas A&M University Athletics Hall of Fame

Stone Ridge's Kati Jo Spisak was inducted into the Texas A&M Hall of Fame on September 14, 2018. Coach KJ, as she is known to all Gators, was one of the top goalkeepers in Aggie history. A four-time letter winner (2002, 03, 04, 05), she is still Texas A&M's career leader in wins (69), minutes played (8,559) and saves (291). Spisak was recognized as an All-American across the board in 2003 as a sophomore, earning first team status from Soccer America.
 
She earned All-Big 12 First Team recognition on three occasions (2002, 2003 and 2005). Spisak was also tabbed to the 2002 Big 12 All-Newcomer Team. She was named the MVP of the 2004 Big 12 Championship and earned All-Tournament recognition in 2004 and 2005. Spisak was tabbed as one of the best goalkeepers in the region in all four of her seasons, earning All-Central Region honors from Soccer Buzz and the NSCAA.
 
A winner on the field, Spisak led the Aggies to Big 12 regular-season titles in 2002, 2004 and 2005 and Big 12 Tournament crowns in 2004 and 2005. She also pushed Texas A&M to an Elite Eight appearance in the 2002 NCAA Championship, as well as Sweet 16 spots in 2003 and 2005.
 
Spisak played professionally for the Washington Freedom of the USL W-League from 2007-09 and later was a member of Saint Louis Athletica and the Boston Breakers in the WPS.

Congratulations, Coach KJ! #GatorStrong

Gator on the Water, Linnea Forsberg '21 Sails Against Top Competition

This past summer, Linnea Forsberg '21, was able to push her own boundaries and travel throughout the mid-Atlantic and northeastern parts of the country, sailing with the Annapolis Yacht Club Travel Race Team. As one of two girls on a co-ed team of 14 kids, she practiced in the Chesapeake Bay off Annapolis for two weeks prior to traveling to regattas in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The regattas ranged in size and ability, and were open to competitors both nationally and from throughout North America – notable competitions were Junior Olympics, Nationals, North Americans.

The competitions lasted up to four full days, and even included sailing overnight. A typical competition day began with waking up at 6:30 am, arriving at the boats at 7:30 am, and needing to be completely ready to be on the water by 9:00 am. Each boat would launch and sail out to the racecourse at 10:00 am and would not return until after 5:00 pm.

On her participation with the team this summer, Linnea reflects, "Being a girl in a male-dominated sport has taught me to be strong and confident, even when people tell you that you are not. Criticism and failure toughened me, and showed me how to learn from my mistakes, adapt, and overcome. Overall, I had the best summer ever and would do it all again in a heartbeat!"

Congratulations Linnea! #GatorStrong

Violin Success for Roxy Harding '27

Roxy Harding '27, who has been practicing the Suzuki Violin Method under the tutelage of Stone Ridge music teacher Elizabeth Cunha, had a very musical summer.

In June, Roxy participated in her fourth Greater Washington Suzuki Institute (GWSI) – a week of private master classes, group lessons, and an orchestra with fantastic teachers from around the United States. Roxy also participated in her first experience as part of a chamber ensemble, which she loved. It was her first time being one of a quartet and she found it both challenging and rewarding.

In July, Roxy broke her arm for the second time in six weeks. Her physical violin practice was put on hold for a month. However, she practiced sight-reading her music and scales each day. With only five days to prepare, Roxy was accepted into the National Philharmonic Institute! It was an inspiring experience working with a fantastic female conductor and many wonderful young musicians of all ages. Not only did Roxy learn and perform many pieces of complicated music, she built friendships.

Roxy was not done in July however. She auditioned for the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra (MCYO) at Strathmore in August. Roxy had less than two weeks to prepare for the demanding list of musical pieces, scales and sight-reading. Over 800 students auditioned for MCYO and Roxy was accepted into the orchestra!

Roxy has shown that hard work and practice coupled with the love of learning music pays off. Stone Ridge is very proud of Roxy.

Young Performing Arts Student Moves to Area and Selects Stone Ridge

If you're looking for a school with a strong performing arts program, then Stone Ridge is the place for you. Case in point, Florence Herderschee '26, who started at Stone Ridge this year after moving from Zimbabwe where she attended the Harare International School. An important reason the Herderschee family chose Stone Ridge, is due to their love of the performing arts.

A few days before Florence left Zimbabwe, she finished up a long season performing her role as Young Nala in The Lion King six times a week on the national stage at Reps Theater in Harare. It was a joy for Florence to work with so many talented actors, musicians, and behind-the-scenes tech crew and theater staff to put on a family musical that received rave reviews.

In addition to acting and singing, Florence plays the violin. Over the summer, Florence attended the London Suzuki Music Association summer camp at the Bryanston School in Dorset, England. The Suzuki approach to learning music requires a strong partnership between student, teacher and parents. Families from all over the world (Iceland, Spain, Zimbabwe, USA, France, the Netherlands, Ireland, Australia and more in addition to Britain), attended the camp in record numbers. Throughout the week the students and their parents attend master classes for individual students, groups or students and orchestras, in addition to other options such as Delcroze for younger students and jazz improv for older students. They host six junior orchestras that range from early Suzuki students in the most junior orchestra to advanced older students in the most advanced orchestra. Florence performed in section 2 of the third Junior orchestra after co-leading the second violin section of the second orchestra last summer. All orchestras bring together a broad range of student musicians (violinists, violists, bass players, percussionists, pianists and wind instruments).

The lovely music they create after only one week of practicing is astonishing. Although many of the students do not speak English, the universal language of music helps to overcome many linguistic and cultural barriers. Take a listen to a song performed by Florence's junior orchestra.

Grit and Goals for Swimmer Phoebe Bacon '20

Phoebe Bacon '20 returned to Stone Ridge for the start of the school year coming directly off the trip of a lifetime. She competed for Team USA in Fiji at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships. Upon return, Phoebe sat down with the Athletic Department at Stone Ridge to describe her experiences, what the trip meant to her, and what she will be able to bring back to the Stone Ridge community from the experience.

In total, Phoebe came home from the championship meet with an individual gold medal, two relay gold medals, three meet records, and achieving several personal best times throughout the meet – all while serving as one of the Team USA captains for the meet. The Stone Ridge community could not be more proud of her.

SR Athletics: You have had an amazing summer in the pool - most recently representing, captaining, and medalling for Team USA at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Fiji last week. Can you briefly explain what the process was for obtaining a spot on the USA Team?

Phoebe: In short, I made the team by my finish at the USA Swimming National Championship in early August as that was the official selection meet for several USA Team rosters... but it was actually a pretty hard process! My summer was a culmination of a lot of hard work over the last few years and included a lot of meets and all of the training throughout the summer I had to do. Going into this summer, my goal was to hopefully make the Jr. Pan Pac team. Throughout the summer, I was preparing for USA Swimming Nationals – which included a lot of early mornings in the pool, then workouts during the day, and then pool practices also at night – not much free time! Heading into Nationals, I was really nervous because the progress I had made over the last two years set me up for my first real shot to be selected for a USA Championship Team.

I was nervous! The 100 backstroke was the event that I had the best chance of placing high enough to be selected to a USA Team. The event was on the 3rd or 4th day of competition at Nationals – which was later than usual. However, I had to swim a few other events first, which built my confidence headed into the day of the 100 backstroke. In the preliminary heats in the morning, I tried not to focus on making a USA team and simply focused on trying to finish in the top 8 swimmers in the morning so that I would be swimming in the championship final at night. Based on the seeding, I would have to go a best time. During the preliminary heat, I was swimming against a former Olympian and another girl that would go on to set the world-junior record later that night – and I won the heat – in a best time! This helped to calm my nerves, but I knew that I would have another swim that night, which would be the deciding factor in selection to a USA Team.

The heat of 8 swimmers that night was comprised of two former Olympians, and I was seeded 2nd from my time in the preliminary heats. At the end of the race, I finished 4th in a time that was just off my best time from that morning. The top two finishers in the race were selected for the Pan Pacific Championship team to represent the USA in Tokyo, Japan and I was selected for the Junior Pan Pacific Championship as a top finished under the age of 18. Despite just missing the top USA team that was selected, I WAS SO EXCITED TO MAKE THE JR. PAN PAC TEAM AND ACCOMPLISH MY GOAL!

SR Athletics: Can you tell us more about the team you were selected for? How many girls were selected for the team?

Phoebe: The Jr. Pan Pac team was a team of 20 girls and 20 boys, all under 18, and then a whole bunch of coaches and other staff members. Being one of the 20 girls that went, which is a not a big group, was very cool. Since our numbers were not as big as many college, club, or high school teams, we were able to bond and become really close.

SR Athletics: What was it like to travel, compete, and be part of a team with girls from across the country?

Phoebe: I knew a bulk of the people that were selected to the USA Team from seeing them at other club team meets over the past few years in the US. I had also met a few of them at swim camps that I had been selected for in the past. There were also a lot of new faces that I was excited to meet and spend time with. Being able to be there with all these people that I am friends with and representing Team USA and our home country was a really awesome experience and a lot of fun.

SR Athletics: What was the international aspect of the competition like?

Phoebe: It was a really fun experience! You could see that Canada was there, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Fiji among a few others. The meet was open to all countries that border the Pacific Ocean. The venue had all of the flags of these countries flying, which was awesome to see. It was really fun to meet the Canadians and Australians. We hung out with them between sessions of the meet and at the meet. It was incredible to make these friendships with people all over the world that I don't think I will ever lose because of this shared experience. I am hoping we continue to see each other at meets in the future.

SR Athletics: What was most exciting part of the trip to Fiji, both in and out of the pool?

Phoebe: One of the best parts of the meet in competition was being selected to be on the mixed-medley relay, which was comprised of 2 boys and 2 girls, each doing 100 meters of one of the four different strokes. Mixed-medley relays are rarely an event a meets in the US and are mostly included as a fun and unique event in international competitions. Being able to swim with two of the fastest boys and another girl on the USA Team was such a unique experience I will never forget.

Out of swimming, we finally got to go to the beach on the last day! Being in Fiji - that is all I wanted to do! Before the trip I had looked up pictures and the beaches were so beautiful with white sand and crystal clear water. We went with the whole team and it was such a great way to end the trip.

SR Athletics: You have been fortunate to compete internationally on a few occasions. Are there any upcoming international meets that your Stone Ridge fans should mark on their calendars to follow and support you?

Phoebe: This past spring I went to Ireland to compete and I also got to go to Vancouver, Canada to compete as part of the USA Swimming National Junior Team, which I had been selected for last summer. From these experiences, I am hopeful that I will be selected for and have more opportunities to represent Team USA abroad in the future.

SR Athletics: What will you bring back to Stone Ridge from your experiences representing Team USA? Both to the school community and the swimming program.

Phoebe: I was elected as one of the team captains for the girls' team on this past trip to Fiji - it was a great honor. Being able to come back to Stone Ridge and show the underclassmen, or even the middle school and lower school girls that you can go somewhere and be a leader and act like a leader, without ever being on a trip or without ever doing something like that before or that you thought you could do. I was just myself!

This year I will be a junior on the Stone Ridge Swim team, I have learned how the season and everything goes, I am really excited to show the underclassmen how much fun it can be with all of the cheering and different meets we go to and how important it is to hang out and bond outside of just the swim practices and meets.

SR Athletics: Congratulations, Phoebe!