While the warm weather may not make it feel like October, fall traditions are unfolding as usual, including Washington and Lee High School’s Homecoming week festivities.
Monday kicked off with the first of the week’s spirit days, Jersey/College-shirt day. On Tuesday students dressed up as their favorite teacher, Wednesday as nerds, Thursday as super heroes or villains, and on Friday students showed their school spirit by dressing in blue and gold.
Tuesday’s dress like a teacher day was not only a special Spirit Day, but also an especially flattering day for teacher Wes James. P.E. teacher Kelsey Farmer had sent out an e-mail encouraging fellow teachers to dress like James for Tuesday’s Spirit Day. She said he is a teacher who deserves recognition, and judging from the number of teachers who dressed up in James’s usual white shirt, khaki pants or shorts and tie, she is not the only one who feels this way.
First year teachers at the high school are encouraged to observe teachers, and James has clearly become a teacher to watch and admire. French teacher and homecoming coordinator, Meghan Smith described James as inspiring, while Spanish teacher, Lauren Sanderson spoke highly of his interaction with students and his ability to earn their respect. Simply put, Sanderson said, “He’s a role model.”
This is James’s 37th year teaching at Washington & Lee High School. He is a former teacher of the year and a recipient of the 2010 Distinguished High School Chemistry Teacher Award.
Along with the Spirit Day festivities, students also voted for their 2013 homecoming court. On this year’s homecoming court was Freshman Princess Shyra Jett, escorted by Freshman Prince Mekhi Lee.
Jett is the daughter of Todd Jett and Cynthia Campbell. She is a freshman on the varsity cheerleading team, and she plays softball. Jett is also a James Farmer Scholar and plans to travel abroad in 2014 with the ambassador program. Jett has started to plan where she will attend college. Her main goals are to stay focused on her academics and continue to participate in school activities.
Lee is the son of Cheryl and Herman Lee. He has two brothers, Herman and Dmitri. He is a member of the JV football team, and he likes playing basketball. In the future, Lee plans to attend either Virginia Tech or Georgetown for sports medicine.
This year’s Sophomore Princess was Lashara Tate escorted by Sophomore Prince Jarret Sumiel. Tate is the daughter of Tasha Tate and Jamey Turner. She is a varsity football cheerleader and she runs track. Tate is also a part of the Rappahannock Scholars.
Jarret Matthew Sumiel is the son of James Sumiel Sr. of Richmond County and Margaret Sumiel of Montross. Sumiel is interested in cooking and playing sports. He is on the varsity baseball and football teams. When he graduates, he plans to go to a school for culinary arts.
Junior Princess Lanisha Gross escorted by Prince Trey Watson is the daughter of Chinere and Melvin Smith and Kenice and Damien Plank. She is an honors student and a varsity cheerleader. Gross is a member of the FCCLA, James Farmer Scholars, and other clubs and organizations.
Clinton Allen Watson III, better known as Trey, is the son of Clinton Watson Jr., the first black town council member from Lynchburg, Virginia and Bonnie Denise Watson, who grew up right here in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Art is his first love, fashion is his life, and he loves to draw & paint. Watson is a member of the James Farmer Scholars Program.
The 2013 senior court includes Senior Princess Mary Sisson, escorted by Prince Baine Self. Sisson is the daughter of Dede and David Sisson. She has attended the Chesapeake Bay Governors School for three years. Sisson also does outstanding hours of community and environmental service and is a member of the Ruriteens. Sisson wants to attend VCU to become a radiographer.
Self is the son of Sharon and Baine Self. He has played football and weight-lifted at W&L for four years, has attended the Chesapeake Bay Governors School for the past three years, and is a member of the Ruriteens. Self wants to go to college to be a mechanical engineer.
Senior Princess, Alexa Weeks was escorted by Prince Milan Bullock. Weeks is the daughter of Alex and Niccole Weeks. She plays varsity volleyball and is one of the four captains. She is president of the Ruriteens and co-president of the Varsity Club. Weeks plans to attend a four-year university to major in elementary education and minor in psychology.
Bullock is the son of Tammy Smith and Da’ Jour Bullock. He is one of the captains of the W&L Eagles football team. He attends Chesapeake Bay Governors School at Rappahannock Community College and is also a member of Mary Washington University’s Rappahannock Scholars. He is a member of Washington and Lee’s Varsity Club and is the current president of the Future Business Leaders of America. He plans to attend a College for Architecture Design.
Senior Princess Aja Jackson was escorted by Prince Davon Hamilton. Jackson is the daughter of Pam and Jody Dean and Tony Jackson. She is the president of the James Farmer Scholars and a member of FBLA, FCA, Ruriteens, Varsity Club, and SODA. She is currently a varsity cheerleader and has cheered for both middle school and junior varsity. Upon graduation, Jackson will receive an advanced diploma and certificate in culinary arts. She plans to attend college at Johnson and Wales University for culinary arts.
Hamilton is the son of Annette and James Hamilton, Sr. He has been a varsity football and basketball player for the past two years. He is also a member of FCA, FBLA, and the Varsity Club. Hamilton plans to attend college to major in sociology.
Senior Princess Ardaisa Bunns was escorted by Prince Kaleel Pratt. Bunns is the daughter of Denise Lochelle Reynolds and Homer Austin Gray III. In 10th and 11th grade she was involved in SODA. She plans to travel because she loves to see new scenery. Bunns plans to go to college to become an RN.