News

News

2019

  • English Teacher Ansel Sanders '00 introduces his classmate, Ben Harrow '00, by showcasing some choice photos from the 2000 yearbook.

    Ben Harrow '00 Urges Woodberry Students to Stretch Their Comfort Zones

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  • Ted Blain speaking to the third form.

    Third Form Meets with Author, English Teacher Ted Blain

    By Linda Hogan
    Third-form English students enjoyed an opportunity after dinner on October 16, 2019, to meet with the author of a short story they’d read in class. Woodberry Forest School English teacher Ted Blain engaged the entire form in a talk about his mystery story “Other People’s Litter,” a whodunit published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in 2008.
     
    Students were interested in Ted’s writing process, and much of the session was devoted to discussion of the revision process. Ted said he wrote “Other People’s Litter” over eighteen months, frequently setting the project aside. But he would revisit it later because, “the characters would come knocking on my backdoor. I realized the story had a heartbeat and I needed to keep working on it.”
    He went through twelve versions, the first of which bore little resemblance to the published story students read.

    “I began with an image of the Smoky Mountains, where I’d gone for the wedding of two friends,” he said.

    But as he wrote, the role and actions of his main character — the college student Buster, who also appears in other of Ted’s fictional works — changed dramatically. In addition to changing the plot as the iterations proliferated, Ted also trimmed the length of the story, following the advice commonly shared with students to, in the words of E.B. White, “omit needless words.” He said, “I put every word in the story on trial for its life.”
     
    Students also wanted to know what writers and experiences inspired Ted’s writing. He mentioned a favorite novelist, Ed McBain, whose police procedurals he devoured in college. And he shared that every experience in his life might later influence his writing.

    “Whenever I see a play or a movie,” he said, “I never know when I might draw on that.”
     
    The third formers asked about how Ted manages the problems they often face as students writing for school assignments. In response to a question about what he does when he runs out of ideas, Ted shared that he often leaves the computer and heads outdoors for a walk. Other residents of the Forest, seeing him on his daily rambles, may not realize Ted is on really on a quest for the eureka moment that will get him unstuck on a piece of writing.
     
    Ted Blain, who has published two mystery novels and numerous short stories under the name W. Edward Blain, has taught English at Woodberry for thirty-seven years, thirty-two of them as department chair. He currently teaches fifth- and sixth-form English. Ted has announced his retirement in 2020, making this opportunity to meet with him especially valuable for the class of 2023.
     
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  • New Third-Form Experience Gives Boys a Chance to Bond

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  • Fitzpatrick Lecture Series Brings Journalist David Ignatius to Woodberry

    By Linda Hogan
     
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  • A Q&A with Will Straughan '92 of FCD

    Will Straughan ’92 is a prevention specialist with Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD), a unit of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the largest provider of substance use education to independent schools. Will visits Woodberry Forest twice a year for meetings with students and faculty. The boys relate really well to Will and see him as a valuable resource as they seek to make healthy choices. Will’s week-long stays on campus are part of Woodberry’s larger health and wholeness programs. Will sat down for a Q&A with Jacob Geiger, Woodberry’s director of strategic communications, on Tuesday after meeting with the faculty.


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  • Woodberry writer-in-residence Jennifer Hubbard looks on as author Louis Bayard speaks to the school on April 11, 2019.

    Author Louis Bayard Visits Woodberry

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  • Carson Becker '19 Pursues Book Project

    The sixth-former from Lynchburg is interviewing World War Two veterans around the world to understand how the war shaped their lives.
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  • Ansel Sanders '00

    Dr. Ansel Sanders ’00 to Join Woodberry Faculty

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  • Exciting Updates to Woodberry Connect

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  • Joe Bright Retires After Forty-Two Years

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  • New Assignments for Alumni and Development Team Members

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  • Mr. MacKenzie in 1964, his first year on the faculty.

    Richard MacKenzie, Leader of Woodberry-in-Britain, Has Died

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  • Jay Bilas speaking at Woodberry on Wednesday, September 11.

    Summer Reading Author Jay Bilas Shares Thoughts on Toughness

    Story and photos by Linda Hogan
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  • Head football coach Scott Braswell

    Three Questions with Scott Braswell

    In his first two seasons leading the Tigers, Head Football Coach Scott Braswell has led the team to a pair of Prep League Titles. Last year the team also won the sportsmanship award and Coach Braswell was named the league's coach of the year by his peers. The coach took some time out of preparations for his third season at Woodberry to answer three questions.
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  • Brooks Hathaway '91

    Volunteer of the Month: Brooks Hathaway '91

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  • Kaye and Mike Daniel '65

    Volunteer of the Month: Mike Daniel '65

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  • The lobby, looking toward the front door.

    Woodberry Campus Bustling with Summer Construction

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  • Mr. Paul Lessard, president of the High Point Community Foundation, and Mr. David Hayworth '47

    Woodberry Celebrates Dedication of Hayworth Lobby

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  • Woodberry Mourns the Death of Betty Wright

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  • Students with Yeonmi Park, who delivered the 45th Fitzpatrick Lecture.

    Yeonmi Park Delivers Fitzpatrick Lecture

    The visit by human rights activist and North Korean defector Yeonmi Park to Woodberry's campus left students, faculty, and other guests spellbound. Many students remained behind for an hour after Park's speech to meet her and ask questions.
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  • Grills Fellowship Recipients Plan Summer Government and Public History Experiences

    Grills Fellowship Recipients Plan Summer Government and Public History Experiences
     
    Three Woodberry Forest students have won a Grills Fellowship for the summer of 2019. John Meeks '21 will intern at the Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, Virginia, for eight weeks. Sam Stelter '21 will tackle a variety of work for five weeks at Montpelier, the historic home of James Madison located near Woodberry. Billy-Boy Anderson '21 will work at the Shaker Museum in Enfield, Vermont. While John and Sam will do general work at their respective historic sites, Billy Boy's focus will be on the construction of a historically accurate trellis in the museum gardens.
     
    Thanks to the generosity of Joe and Marge Grills, the Grills Fellowship covers costs and a provides a stipend for Woodberry students to undertake summer internships in any area of government as well as public history venues such as museums and national historic sites. The students who engage in these internships have had uniformly positive experiences," said history department chair Fred Jordan, who led the selection committee. "These are experiences that can’t possibly be duplicated in a classroom." The appointment of this year’s group brings the total number of Grills Fellows since the program's founding to twenty-three.
     
     
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  • English Students Enjoy Shakespeare Performance

    The third- and fourth-form English students of Marc Hogan, Kristyn Wilson, and Jennifer Hubbard gathered in Woodberry Forest School’s Bomb Shelter Experimental Theater to watch a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream earlier this month.. Performed by a professional troupe of seven actors and a crew member from Quill Theatre, the show offered a comic—often raucous—rendition of the play most of the boys had read in class. 
    The audience responded enthusiastically, especially when cast members engaged the students directly. Pen Oldham ’22 said the performance “… showed me the humorous side of Shakespeare, which I had been missing.” 
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  • Woodberry Celebrates Fifty Years of Integration

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  • Woodberry Honors the Life of Former Headmaster A. Baker Duncan '45

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News Archives

< 2019
Woodberry Forest admits students of any race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, and national or ethnic origin to all of the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs. The school is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students.