Oak Hall School

K-1 Chess Team Earns State Title

Coach Tim Tusing describes the success as, "simply amazing."
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David Jackson Named Head of Middle and Upper School

His role will expand to include Head of Middle School.
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Jordyn Cox Headed to East Carolina University

Cox will play lacrosse for the Pirates.

Jordyn CoxSenior Jordyn Cox will participate in lacrosse at East Carolina University starting in the fall of 2017. Cox will celebrate her commitment during a ceremony in the Oxborough Gymnasium on March 10, 2017 at 11:34 a.m.


Cox is a five year letter winner for the Eagles playing lacrosse since her 8th grade year. A three sport star, she has also lettered in volleyball for two seasons and basketball for three.  As a senior, she is serving as one of the team’s captains this season.  Throughout her career, she has been a contributor to five district championships and five city championships.  Originally committed to Mercer University, Cox committed to ECU’s inaugural lacrosse class in December.


“I am excited to be signing to play D1 lacrosse at East Carolina University. I am grateful for the opportunity and would like to thank everyone who has helped me achieve this goal. Go Pirates!” said Cox.

David Richardson Announces Retirement

He has decided to retire from his position at the end of this academic year.
David RichardsonAfter ten years as Oak Hall School’s Head of Middle School, David Richardson has decided to retire from his position at the end of this academic year.
"On behalf of the entire Oak Hall community I want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Richardson for his total dedication to our students and the school," said Richard Gehman, Head of School.
His accomplishments have been many, particularly in the area of building a healthy Middle School culture. Larger community-building events like Battle of the Classes bear his unique signature. Mr. Richardson also led in the development of outstanding experiential learning opportunities such as the 7th grade trip to Driftwood Island, and the 8th grade trip to Atlanta and Chattanooga.
David Richardson is a special, caring person who possesses a deep well of love and appreciation for young adolescents. He feels the same way about his faculty and has supported them over the years with his signature compassion.
All of us will miss his daily presence and personality on our campus, although he will remain in Gainesville so we do expect to see him at ball games and other events. We wish him well in his future endeavors!

Youth In Government Students Achieve at the State Assembly

Twenty-one Upper School students joined over 600 students from across the state.
Youth in Government
Twenty-one Upper School students joined over 600 students from across the state at the Youth In Government (YIG) State Assembly in Tallahassee on Feb. 22-24. Below are some of their achievements:
Jackson Gaines was elected as the State Attorney General, and Camden Foote was elected as the Sullivan Speaker of the House.
Legislation – During the State Assembly, only nine bills passed both the House and Senate and reached the Governor. Three bills were ours, and all three were signed into law.   
  • Williams Senate – Adam Shugar’s bill became law, and Richard German's bill was voted the best bill in the Senate. 
  • Sullivan House – Both Camden Foote and Jackson Gaines’ bills passed in both houses and were signed into law by the Governor. Jackson also received the runner-up for best bill.
  • Esha Patel’s bill passed in the House, but lacked time to be considered in the Senate. 
Outstanding Statesmen:  
  • Adam Shugar was chosen as Best Statesman in the Williams Senate.
  • Collin Kane was chosen as Best Statesman in the Sullivan House.
  • Esha Patel was chosen as Best Statesman in the Bowen House.
In every Senate and House but one, an Oak Hall student was a member and they were also voted as Best Statesman. 
Charlie DePlato argued in District court for the defendant in Herdsman vs. Archipelago. The case was decided in his favor 6-1. 
Approximately 50 students from the state are chosen to attend the Conference on National Affairs (CONA). Last year we had one person, an alternate. This year the primary selectees included Collin Kane and Jackson Gaines. Charles DePlato and Nick Springer have been chosen as alternates. 
Y Corps Leadership: This exclusive program takes selected delegates throughout Florida to work with communities. This year Nick Springer was selected, and Graham Hardcastle is an alternate.  
Finally, in recognition of our achievements, Richard German was one of two delegates chosen for the Sine Die ceremony that ended the State session.
"I am very grateful to the students and for the assistance of David Jackson, Isabell Springer, Angela Foote, and Ketna Patel who provided adult leadership during this assembly," said Michael Martinez, YIG sponsor.

Rob Nelson Named Dean of Students and Assistant Head of Upper School

We are excited to welcome Mr. Nelson to the administrative team!
Rob NelsonMr. Robert Kent Nelson has been appointed Dean of Students and Assistant Head of Upper School, effective July 1, 2017. In addition to his new responsibilities, Mr. Nelson will teach two sections of AP US History.

Speech & Debate Team Wins the “Three-peat!"

Oak Hall amassed the most top finishes during this year’s competitive local season.
Speech and Debate Wins Three-peat
For the third straight year, the Oak Hall Speech & Debate Team has won the Saint Augustine Catholic Forensic League’s (SACFL) Overall Points Sweepstakes Championship! (14-15, 15-16, and 16-17) To win the award, Oak Hall amassed the most top finishes during this year’s competitive local season from October through February, winning four out of five competitions outright. Oak Hall finished in front of second place, Santa Fe High, third place P. K. Yonge, and 4th place, Fleming Island High.
The winning Eagles received a first place trophy, and retained possession of the coveted Galloping Gavel, a traveling award which spends the next academic year with the league champions.
Results of this event, held at P. K. Yonge were:
1st place Duo Interpretation, Ian Burns '20 and Esha Patel '20
Best Speaker-Policy Debate, Magnolia Stuart '18
2nd Speaker-Policy Debate, Jackson Gaines '19
Best Speaker-Lincoln Douglas Debate, Kumail Zaidi '20
1st Place Extemporaneous Speaking, Esha Patel
1st place Oratorical Declamation, and 2nd place Oral Interpretation of Literature Angela Xie '19
1st place Lincoln Douglas Debate, Kumail Zaidi
3rd place and Lincoln Douglas Debate, Rohan Parimoo '20
According to Oak Hall’s Director of Forensics, Mr. Marna Weston, the ‘three-peat’ was a very special and particularly memorable outcome for our program.
"This sort of multi-year success ties together the work of students who have now graduated, with some who started with the program as middle schoolers, and this year’s current participants. I am really proud of our team and the legacy of positive finishes year after year,” said Mr. Weston. 
Several students also qualified to attend the Grand National Championship in Louisville, Kentucky during the 2017 Memorial Day weekend. National qualifiers are the Policy Debate teams of Amanda Perry '18, Magnolia Stuart, Emily Liu '19, and Jackson Gaines, in Extemporaneous Speaking, Esha Patel, in Lincoln Douglas Debate, Kumail Zaidi, and in Oral Interpretation of Literature, Angela Xie.

Uruguayan Student Exchange

We welcomed 12 students and two of their teachers into our school community.
Uruguayan Student ExchangeAs part of our on-going commitment to global education, Oak Hall School just completed a two-week exchange with Colegio Paulo Freire High School from Montevideo, Uruguay. Our connection to this school began several years ago when Señora Karow went to Uruguay as a Fulbright exchange teacher. Since then we have hosted six visiting teachers and administrators from various schools throughout Uruguay. This student exchange begins a relationship which will hope will bring our schools and our students closer together in the future.
On Jan. 26, we welcomed 12 students and two of their teachers into our school community and into our homes. Their students shadowed host students in the upper school, attending classes and extracurricular activities with them. They were able to experience the daily routine of an American high school student, from toaster waffles in the morning to lacrosse practice after school and homework at night.
“I was expecting them to be very different, but Maggie was just like we are. It was so much fun,” said Lorissa Gotsch '20, one of our host students. Her brother, Wesley '20 agreed, “It was a lot of fun, but I also learned a lot about another culture. I really want to go there next year.” 
Saiyara Noor '19, said it was a little bit of a culture shock. “Their houses and their lives are so different. They are so close to each other and they act like brothers and sisters – like kissing when they meet. I wish we were more like that.”
Oak Hall is grateful to all of our host students and their families for the tremendous effort they put forth to welcome the visitors and to make their experience such a positive one. We would like to thank the Gotsch family, Amiel family, Olcese family, DePlato family, Lipori family, Stevenson family, and the Noor family for their participation in this exchange.
“This experience created lifelong friends that we will never forget,” said Emma Lipori '19.
Dozens of Oak Hall students are now in contact with students from Montevideo through snap chat and other social media and both visitors and hosts believe that they will continue this relationship. Colegio Paulo Freire has invited us to send 12 students to Montevideo for Spring Break 2018 to experience life in Uruguay and see the sights including Punta del Este, the hot springs in Salto, the capitol city of Montevideo, and Colonia – the original Portuguese settlement.

Katie Ringdahl ’15, Named to the 2017 Allstate Good Works Team

This award shines a light on 20 young men and women for the things they accomplish off the court.
Katie Ringdahl '15Oak Hall Alumna and Ave Maria University women's basketball player Katie Ringdahl was named to the 2017 Allstate National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) & Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Good Works Teams. This award shines a light on 20 young men and women for the things they accomplish off the court.
Katie has served as a leader at the Christian-based nonprofit Young Life, collected sneakers for ReRun Sneakers a nonprofit organization that gives sneakers to less fortunate children and adults, and volunteered at Collier County public schools.
The Allstate WBCA Good Works Team is composed of college women’s basketball student-athletes who make outstanding contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement. These individuals embody the true spirit of “teamwork” and “giving back” through commendable acts of kindness.
This is the fifth year that Allstate has partnered with the NABC and the WBCA to recognize a select group of young men and women for their remarkable community service achievements.
Congratulations, Katie!

Jordan Thorp Selected as a Finalist in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

She was recognized for her impressive community service activities.
Senior Jordan ThorpSenior Jordan Thorp was selected as one of eight Distinguished Finalists in the State of Florida by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
Jordan was recognized for her impressive community service activities and will receive an engraved bronze medallion.
She has worked since she was 8 years old to help children around the world who, like her little cousin, were born with clefts, starting a nonprofit and raising more than $100,000 for hospitals, comfort teddy bears and the cleft lip and palate charity Smile Train. Since learning that children treated for clefts were often bullied, Jordan has also given presentations at schools across the state to discourage bullying by promoting self-esteem.
Congratulatons, Jordan!

WORLD FACES: The international photographs of Jerry Vass

Join us for a reception honoring the artist on Friday, Feb. 17 from 7-9 p.m.

World Faces by Jerry Vass

Jerry Vass attended the Art Center School on scholarship and studied photojournalism.
As an advertising photographer with a photojournalists eye, he owned a studio for 10 years and completed 8,000 photo assignments; at one point he published in 50 national magazines a month. He has been a photographer for 60 years, and sees the world through a storyteller’s lens.
His approach to his profession is one of realism, picture stories about the people he meets in world travels. His subjects must be human -- living persons with real faces, real souls, their humanity to be captured in a single storytelling image.
Throughout his career he has traveled the world, including 70 countries in 25 years! This exhibition will feature more than 30 samples of his work.
Join us for a public reception honoring the artist on Friday, Feb. 17 from 7-9 p.m.

Senior Ailey Tebbett Headed to the University of Florida

Tebbett to Play Soccer for the Gators.
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