Chief Information Officer Jason Ramsden is one of three recipients of a prestigious award from the Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools, the professional association for independent school technology directors.
Six Lower School students were recognized at the state level for their submissions to the North Carolina Reading Association’s annual Young Authors writing competition. The theme for 2019 was “What makes your heart lift up?” Contestants were encouraged to write about their own experiences, in a genre of their choosing.
Enjoy all of our students’ submissions below. Learn more about the Lower School writing curriculum in our January Ravens Reports story.
“Light of Darkness”
By Ellene Warner ’26
I’m in the middle of the darkness,
All alone, no one else.
Needing someone, wishing for something,
Drowning in bitterness to myself.
You can spend years,
Doing nothing but sob and cry,
Pushing the fear behind you,
Just wanting to give up, surrendering a somber sigh,
And then I fell to the ground,
Crying tears of sweet and salt,
Because it hurts so much,
That my heart has been broken for so long.
And I’m wiping away tears,
Letting loose my pain,
I want someone to feel like me,
I can’t be alone, I can’t handle the strain,
But then I realize,
I still have something left,
For there to be things at their worst in the world,
There also has to be things at their best.
In the bitter salt of life,
I found something sweet,
I looked and found the light,
Hidden inside me,
I was never alone,
I will always be surrounded,
By waves of ocean-founded peace,
My little island is grounded.
So I got up on my feet and kept walking,
Head held to the sky,
And I used to be in the middle of the darkness,
But now the world is so bright,
Underneath the pain,
Way below the strife,
In the middle of the darkness,
I uncovered a light.
“The Spirit of the Horse”
By Gia Giambruno ’26
There is something inside each of us that calms and reassures us that the world is a beautiful place. Whether it’s a song, sport, friend, or even a quiet place to think. For me, that something is my passion for horses. Since I was a little girl, only two years of age, this magnificent creature has captured my heart and the moment I climbed into the saddle I was forever changed. I fell in love not only with the exhilaration of riding, but the pure spirit of the animal I would forever love.
Horses are not just animals we see in a field or admire in a parade as they are passing by, they are truly living works of art. The way they move is like a dance, every movement resembles the grace and beauty of life. Horses, like people, each have their own distinct personality. Their conformation signifies a silent strength and confidence that can only come from nature itself.
The spirit of the horse has always lifted my heart in times of solace and has brought me great pleasure. I have felt a strong connection with their gentle nature and purity of soul since I was very young. The bond that I have formulated with my horses, over the years, has proven to be both immeasurable in love and admiration for these amazing creatures. The spirit of the horse truly lifts my heart.
“Back to Nature”
By Trey Messier ’27
What lifts me up, you might ask? A lot of things do, but one thing in particular was a week this summer I spent with my Uncle Joe, Aunt Meredith and my baby cousin Grace in New Jersey. This year I transferred from a year-round school to a traditional school, so I got a really long summer vacation. So, this summer my grandparents from Florida picked me up in North Carolina on the way to New Jersey to visit. I did many things with my Uncle Joe.
The first enjoyable thing I did was shoot an air-rifle. I shot one before, but this time I hit the bull’s eye. This time I also got to load it by myself. My Uncle has two air-rifles and I shot both. It was very enjoyable.
The next thing I did was go canoeing. I love canoeing. My uncle and I went as far as we could go on the river. It wasn’t long though because we were going against the current. Another way I spent my time at his house without my parents was learning to shoot a bow and arrow. This was amazing to me since my parents aren’t really outdoorsy. I am really a country boy at heart just like my Uncle Joe. I learned to shoot a compound bow while spending almost the whole week outdoors. Lastly, I got to chop down my first tree with an ax. Basically, it was a lot of hacking and chopping with my ax and arms. My Uncle and I set up a rope system to make the tree fall in a safe direction.
Playing outdoors like a survivalist or naturalist really lifted me up. I really like the outdoors, which made me feel like Daniel Boone. Everyone should spend more time in nature.
By Reyna Islam Williams ’28
She has short curly hair, bright green eyes, a big joyful smile and she is my wonderful Auntie Joy. She lives in cold, far away South Dakota, but she visits us a lot during the year. Her visits are what makes my heart lift up with joy! Auntie Joy is my dad’s big sister. She is a lot older than me but she totally acts like a kid when she is with me and my brother Gabriel. We laugh together until we cannot take it anymore and we play together, creating adventures along the way. She is a joy to be around.
A day with Auntie Joy is both fun and hilarious.We may play with Legos, creating a family with a Crazy Aunt who does silly things all the time, like wearing mismatched clothes and buying the wrong thing at the grocery store. For example, Crazy Aunt was supposed to buy bananas but instead she bought herself a hat! We also like to play school with stuffed animals as the students and Auntie Joy as the teacher. There is always one student who misbehaves, causing a lot of mischief and laughter. For example, during nap time, Sally decided to eat ice cream and spill it on the faces of her friends. Silly Sally! There is also all the fun we have making pastries with Play-doh, but that is a story for another time!
Auntie Joy’s visits are so wonderful and that makes her departures very depressing. It is hard to let my playmate go. I wish she lived near me but her life is in South Dakota. However, when I think about the next time she will come to Raleigh, that really makes me smile again! Who knows what adventures we will have when she visits in December?
By Emmeline Warner ’28
Reuben was in a shelter about to die! My mother got an alert from “Dachshund Rescue” to see if my family wanted to foster Reuben. She accepted then she rushed to the shelter! A few minutes later she returned with a crate and in that crate was an abused dog. He was scared and barked at us, especially at men, like my dad. But we began treating him like our three other dogs. We took care of him and loved him. One day Reuben had to go to a family that was paired up with him. Instead, because we loved him so much... WE ADOPTED HIM! Reuben’s change was big: at first, he was scared and would bark at people who came near him. But now he will come sit in our laps and instead of barking at us, he licks! He is a great dog. He’s friendly, loyal, and loving. This story inspires me and lifts my heart because Reuben teaches us to love people even when they aren’t that nice at first! They can change like Reuben did. These rescue dogs are really special. You should adopt one, too!!
“My Dog and I”
By Julia Wickline ’28
His breath may stink but I love him because he is my dog! Sometimes I snuggle up by my window seat andjoy. Buster is always upbeat with midnight dark circles around his joyful eyes. His cute curled sit with Buster and look out the window, it feels very comfy. I look into Buster’s eyes every day and smile. They are like two glasses of hot chocolate, he is so sweet. Buster has a white face like the color of snow with spots of brown, like mud. His face is always sparkling with kindness and tail wags with pride and strength and his sweet heart shaped nose smells the light air. His pink and black paw pads are like pink pigs in a large black briefcase. Buster’s ears are so fuzzy they are almost like puffy clouds. His ears are brown like a brand new guitar, and you will find yourself curling his ears. He will love it and you will as well. Buster loves going swimming, but he barks. The reason is because he just wants to get in but he is afraid. Buster also barks when my brother and I jump on our trampoline. I believe that it is because he doesn't understand what is going on. Buster eats his food like an adorable crazy piglet. I consider Buster almost like a fur brother! He is a part of the family. All these things make my dog, Buster, who he is.
“When I Look Up, I See Happiness”
By Lilly Ramsey ’28
On a cold chilly day I seem some astray. The sun, not easy to see, through the dark and scary clouds.
But, when I look up, I believe it is there shining down on me.
Its rays so bright in the sky. Believing is magic and magic is believing.
My friends come out of the shadows and play with me. So fun, but it begins to rain.
They run away. I, alone on an empty field, just me, no one to see. Just me.
I run to my home all sad to know that I was alone in the rain.
I will feel better.
As I run home, I fell right into my mother’s warm hands.
My mother’s hands feel like I am being hugged by the simple sun.
I run to the window and look up to the sky and see if I could see the sun.
The windows so wet and I am too. I start to dance. Soon I will dance so much and not know what has happened. Too busy twirling and jumping that I did not know.
I stop in the middle of a twirl and see something extraordinary. My eyes blinked and I shiver.
My jaws went to the bottom of my chin.
I see the smallest part of a double rainbow. Still the clouds pounding down buckets full of rain.
I zoom down the stairs and run straight out the door. I am still very wet from before.
I feel much better as the sun comes out of the shadows and shines as bright as it ever could. The sun, so easy to see, all clouds gone.
But, when I look up, I see no rain, just the sun and the rainbow in the empty sky.
When I look up I see happiness.