Meet the Woods Family!

Rarely does Canterbury have the opportunity to welcome a new family from overseas. This school year, however, one family has joined the Canterbury community directly from England.

Kay and Anthony Woods relocated with their daughters, Olwen (4th, Stagner) and Beatrice (2nd, McIlwain) as well as their cat, Polly, to Greensboro from their home in England. Anthony, a chemist by training, was born and raised in England and works in the wood coatings industry, which has a strong presence in the Triad due to its connection with the furniture industry. Kay spent some of her childhood, as well as her college years, in the United States. She is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Astrophysics. She has been self-employed for the last 10 years, writing books and articles for the childcare industry in the UK.

The Woods Family

The Woods Family

Upon discovering that their family would be relocating to the Triad for Anthony’s job, the Woods traveled to Greensboro to find a home and a school for Olwen and Beatrice. The Woods toured four schools.

“We all fell in love with Canterbury,” Kay says.

The Woods are thrilled with the small class sizes and the individualized attention the school is able to provide. The girls are settling in well. They enjoy school and are finding that their experience at Canterbury is rather similar to school in England.

Olwen participates in the Crazy Running club and enjoys swimming at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. She is enthusiastic about the Genius Hour Projects in which she has participated. She also was one of the winners of the Book Fair reading contest!

Beatrice has enjoyed the CBG (Caught Being Good) points, which Ms. McIlwain issues in class. Beatrice loves gymnastics and spends her extra time practicing at Tumblebees. The highlight of Beatrice’s year so far, however, has been in music class. She was allowed to teach her class an English song, along with the associated motions, titled I Am a Lighthouse. Once the class mastered the song, they performed for the entire school in chapel service.

As a family, the Woods love to go cycling and have explored the Greenway trails. They also have enjoyed the Greensboro Science Center, Country Park and the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park — as well as the lovely weather. They do miss some of the food from England, but Kay said that they are making up for that by learning to love some of the wonderful American foods to which they are not accustomed. In fact, they recently celebrated their very first Thanksgiving — complete with turkey and all the trimmings — in Ohio with Kay’s best friend from high school.

We welcome this wonderful family to Greensboro and to the Canterbury community!

by Martha Newton

martha portraitMartha Newton is a full-time mother of two and volunteer. She is new to the Canterbury community with a daughter in Pre-K. When she is not chauffeuring children or volunteering somewhere, Martha enjoys baking, sewing, and spending time with her family.


Meet Kari Baumann: Canterbury’s Media Specialist

Media Specialist Kari Baumann

Media Specialist Kari Baumann

As a new Canterbury parent, I was wondering where the Library is located. After speaking with Canterbury Media Specialist Kari Baumann, I now know that the answer is: all over campus! Kari believes that the Library is more than just a place to check out books. Fully immersed in 21st century learning, Canterbury students have the opportunity to learn in ways that integrate technology and print media. As Kari puts it, “I like to think of the Library not only as a physical space but also as a hub from which information moves. I have seen how naturally technology folds into a passion for reading and information as we synthesize, organize, and present the materials we are learning and reading together, and I enjoy using both of them together.”


Kari Baumann with husband Mike and son Atticus

Kari Baumann with husband Mike and son Atticus

A North Carolina native, Kari spent most of her childhood about 45 minutes south of Greensboro, in Siler City. Her dad passed away in 2006, and her mom remarried this past summer. Her brother and his family live in Austin, Texas. Kari and Mike — her husband of 15 years —make their home in Greensboro with their 4 ½ year old son Atticus.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Economics, Kari identified her passion for books and information and went on to earn a master’s degree in Library Science at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Following some time working in a public library, Kari returned to school to obtain her education license and has worked as a media specialist for the past eight years. She is thrilled to join the Canterbury faculty this year, and is looking forward to getting to know the Canterbury community.

When asked about her typical Canterbury day, Kari responds, “One of the very best things about being a librarian is that every day is different! You never know what questions will come up and what you will be doing.” She plans to bring the Library to Canterbury students through iPads as well as her bookmobile, which will make its way into the divisions. She also will assist Canterbury teachers with Haiku and integrating technology into their instruction.

I couldn’t resist asking Kari to name her favorite children’s book. Her response? Quite cruel to ask a librarian to choose just one. Instead, she listed a few of her favorites: Board book – I am a Bunny by Richard Scarry
Kindergarten – The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
2nd grade – Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
5th grade – The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
8th grade – Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Even as the Library can be found everywhere at Canterbury, it will also continue to exist as a space for students to come browse and check out books. How about one of the recommendations above?

More Kari Baumann favorites:
Favorite foods: Mexican food and salty snacks.
Favorite hobby: Reading, of course
Favorite travel destination: My husband and I have taken two trips to Prince Edward Island in Canada (home of Anne of Green Gables) and we hope to take our son there in a few years.
Favorite music: A few favorites are Josh Ritter, Patty Griffin, The Head and the Heart, Over the Rhine, and Brandi Carlile.
Favorite book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Favorite author: Madeleine L’Engle

by Emily Wilson Brenner

Version 2Emily Wilson Brenner is parent to Benjamin (PreK-Copeland/Kaplan) and Fritz, wife to Kevin, a dance artist, and an instructor in Canterbury’s PreK Afternoon Adventures. Her favorite thing about Canterbury is the beautifully inspiring outdoor space. She likes yoga, dark chocolate, and a good cup of green tea. 

Kendell Berry’s Message to Parents: You Have Chosen Wisely

Canterbury’s Interim Head of School, Kendell Berry, has a message for parents: “To quote a certain Indiana Jones movie, ‘You have chosen wisely.’”

With three children who grew up mostly in independent schools and a professional career that’s focused on independent schools, Kendell has a keen ability to judge a school’s livelihood. “Canterbury,” he says, “is a special school.”

“This is a school where your child will be age appropriately challenged and where he or she will learn to take reasonable risks while still having a safety net.”

Interim Head of School Kendell Berry

Interim Head of School Kendell Berry

In August, as the newly named Interim Head of School, Kendell had the opportunity to see that concept play out firsthand when he was invited to join the 8th graders at Wilderness Adventure in New Castle, VA. The experience primes students for their final year at the school as they work together in a variety of team-building activities from caving trips to building a raft from scratch using just a few materials and a lot of determination. The school has offered Wilderness Adventure since Canterbury opened 22 years ago.

Kendell was drawn to Canterbury for a number of reasons including its PreK-8 structure and the fact that it is an Episcopal school. “I had worked at two Episcopal schools previously and have found that they have the best opportunities to teach kids character development and to unify community. Plus, it is a progressive denomination and a very inclusive denomination. It is respectful of all religions.”

Seventy-five percent of Canterbury students are not Episcopalian, in fact.

“We respect difference here. Our Episcopal heritage and our motto speaks to that—‘To learn, to love, to serve: to live. I love the ‘live.’”

Kendell describes his first impression of Canterbury as very welcoming. “The first thing I saw was the chapel and, wow, that’s a landmark.” Walking through the classroom buildings, he was impressed by the school’s learning environment. “The noise level was appropriate, the level of interaction was right and the small class size was excellent.” Now, Kendell makes a point to walk the campus twice a day. “I want the community to know that what we’re doing here matters, and that I am here to support them.”

As a biologist and naturalist, Kendell admired Canterbury’s walking path and the ropes course. After earning his undergraduate degree in biology, he took a position with a boys boarding school that sat on 900 acres. It was a great place to teach biology, and he fell in love with the field of education. Soon, he went on to get married and earn his master’s degree in biology from The University of Virginia.

Kendell is the proud father of three adult children. David works for Springleaf Financial and is working on an MBA. Martha is working in New York City as a graphic artist. Sarah is in her third year of optometry school at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

“I’m transitioning in life, and I absolutely love it at Canterbury School, where holistic education and relationships matter. This is a healthy environment and a very good school.”

That takes us back to the message Kendell has for parents about having chosen wisely. “This school is filled with outstanding teachers who are very student-centered. They care deeply about the kids. I see it everyday when I walk though campus, but I also was able to witness it with the 8th graders at Wilderness Adventure, where they really were pushing out of their comfort zone while supporting each other.”

Kendell Berry joined the incoming 8th grade class at Wilderness Adventure in New Castle, VA in August.

Kendell Berry joined the incoming 8th grade class at Wilderness Adventure in New Castle, VA, in August.

Kendell’s other message is about investment. “You often hear that your biggest investment is your home. But for parents who choose an independent school, their biggest investment is the education of their children. It’s a long-term investment, and like other great investments, one needs to hang in there, ride the few difficulties and enjoy the rewards at the end.  Trusting Canterbury is absolutely a wise choice for parents wanting the best for their PreK-8 children.”

With just one year to make an impact at Canterbury, Kendell has a clear view on where he wants to place his focus. “The job is never done at this school. We really have been moving forward lately, and I want to continue to move the school forward in a collaborative way and ensure that we are giving the faculty voice in matters that involve them.”

One recent change is that there are now two faculty members on the program team. The faculty itself selected those representatives, Mary Anne Sacco and Nicole Schutt. It’s the same with the technology team. Two faculty members are on that team as well— Justin McCollum and Allan Chandler.

“Ultimately, my goal is to pave the way for the next head of school.”

What’s Kendell reading? He enjoys a combination of fiction and nonfiction. Currently, he is reading The Wright Brothers by David McCullough, loaned to him by first grade teacher Elaine Hoover.

What does Kendell do in his spare time? “I like twisting a wrench, and I’m pretty handy. I like working on my cars. I’ve been attending St. Francis Episcopal Church in town. I also enjoy outdoor activities like hunting and fishing. In fact, I went hunting with Wes Vogel (5th grade teacher) last weekend.

by Andrea Crossley Spencer

Spencer_2014_073Andrea Crossley Spencer is a Canterbury parent to McKenna (5th-Vogel) and Kellen (PreK-Copeland/Kaplan), a freelance writer, and cofounder of Tigermoth Creative.  She also serves as a Writopia creative writing instructor in Canterbury’s After School Fine Arts program. Her favorite Canterbury tradition is Chapel Buddies. She loves hiking, running and biking especially when followed by a chocolate peanut butter shake.

How has Canterbury helped your child become confident in the spotlight?

I don’t know about you, but one of the greatest aspects of the Canterbury experience that appealed to me as a prospective parent was the fact that my child would be given opportunities to grow as a public speaker. I can still remember coming to campus for an information session and listening to Burns Jones and Penny Summers describe the 8th grade sermons.

Anna Griffin (4th-Wesney) shines as Marty Moose in the 2014 Lower School Christmas Production, "A Holiday Moosical."

Anna Griffin (4th-Wesney) shines as Marty Moose in the 2014 Lower School Christmas Production, “A Holiday Moosical.”

I remember being so impressed that the majority of 8th graders actually CHOOSE a sermon over a more — I don’t know — introverted assignment like a research project. The former awkward middle schooler in me got butterflies just thinking about it.  But that’s the point, isn’t it? The 80’s were an awesome decade, but teach me how to public speak, they did not. In fact, it was not until college that I had a public speaking course. Now, at a school like Canterbury, kids are taught how to settle those butterflies and enjoy the opportunity to express their knowledge and creativity. So, naturally, at the information session all those years ago, the introvert in me reveled in the fact that my daughter would be  encouraged to speak with confidence in front of an audience. Sure enough, in Kindergarten, McKenna was asked to recite a poem in front of the entire chapel. In first grade, she performed in the Nativity play. In second grade, she read the Canterbury prayer before her Chapel Buddy, Cayley Pinson ’13, delivered her 8th grade sermon. In third grade, with Mr. McCollum’s guidance, McKenna played a role in the production of “Snew White,” even though she started the year unsure that she would try out for a role. Now, she is in 4th grade and more confident than ever.

Sawyer Cheek (K-Moore) sings his heart out.

Sawyer Cheek (K-Moore) sings his heart out.

So, how about you? I would love to hear about your child’s experiences and how Canterbury has helped to make the spotlight something to celebrate and enjoy rather than avoid. Send me an email if I may include your story along with others from around the school.

Teachers, you’re included, too. Is there a student who has made outstanding progress in public speaking or through the arts? I look forward to sharing your anecdotes in an upcoming post. Be on the lookout. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday break  to all of our readers!

by Andrea Crossley Spencer

Spencer_2014_073Andrea Crossley Spencer is a Canterbury parent to McKenna (4th-Hoover), a freelance writer, and a creative writing instructor in Canterbury’s After School Fine Arts program. Her favorite Canterbury tradition is Chapel Buddies. She loves hiking, chocolate peanut butter shakes and listening to all kinds of music, from Harry Connick, Jr. to David Gray.

Renovated Science and Technology Center Wows

Wow. “Wow” was the word used most often by parents touring the renovated Ketner Center for the first time Friday morning. After a ribbon (actually a DNA strand) cutting and a blessing from Father Finnin, parents were invited to tour the newly renovated, state-of-the-art science, technology, engineering, and math facility.

Left to right, Canterbury students and future scientists Jackson Love, Jack Britts, Sophie Kelly, and Avery Love cut a DNA ribbon to officially open the building.

Left to right, Canterbury students and future scientists Jackson Love, Jack Britts, Sophie Kelly, and Avery Love cut a DNA ribbon to officially open the building.

After years of chaperoning school dances and attending basketball and volleyball games and auctions in the old Ketner space (some of us old-time parents even attended chapel, Stone Soup and graduation in Ketner!), parents toured a transformed building. The front doors open to a conference and collaboration space, or digital “Commons,” which features a state-of-the-art desktop Mac lab. From there, students can walk directly into Mr. Brenner’s lower school science classroom. Even though Mr. Brenner’s classroom does not have any outside walls, the space is full of natural light from the many new windows as well as an open vista to the commons behind Ketner.

“It’s great; we can see all the way through the building in both directions,” Mr. Brenner pointed out to a group of parents walking through his class.

The middle school science classrooms are also bright, with high ceilings — perhaps the only hint that the building was once a gymnasium. Hanging in a commons area is the dinosaur fossil that was displayed in Fry Hall last year. Eventually, it will preside over sofas and tables where students can study, meet and socialize during the day.

Built as a gym and all-purpose building in 1997, the re-imagined Ketner building also boasts a makers’ room where students have tools and space to complete projects. In addition, lower school, middle school, and co-curricular (such as art and music) classrooms are equipped with either a SMARTBoard or interactive projection technology so that students can actively collaborate with digital media.

Even though students had been utilizing the building for classes since before the official opening on Friday, faculty, staff and students were excited to show off the newest campus addition to parents, trustees and community members who were on hand to see the beautiful transformation.

The excited crowd gathers around young Canterbury scientists and Father Finnin.

The excited crowd gathers around young Canterbury scientists and Father Finnin.

by Kelly McKee

mckee Kelly McKee is a freelance writer and community volunteer. She has three daughters and a very high golf handicap (these two facts are not unrelated).

Meet Roanne Ornelles: Canterbury’s Lower School Learning Specialist

Learning Specialist Roanne Ornellis

Learning Specialist Roanne Ornellis

If you have a child with a learning difficulty, Roanne Ornelles wants you to know that your child is in good company! Some very famous people struggled with Attention Deficit Disorder or dyslexia and learned to overcome their disability and highlight their talents. The list includes Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Jim Carrey, Michael Phelps, and Agatha Christie.

Roanne explains that children with learning difficulties are often bright with above average intelligence. Once they can discover and acknowledge their pocket of giftedness, frustration diminishes and success follows. Canterbury is happy to welcome Roanne as its new Lower School Learning Specialist.

Roanne is from Hawaii,  and her husband, David, was also born in there. They both left to attend graduate school in Boston. While this is Roanne’s first year working in Greensboro, she and her family have been living in Winston-Salem since 1993. David is a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. Their grown daughter now lives in Spain, and they have a son who is a senior in high school. While Roanne loves the four seasons of North Carolina, she misses the climate in Hawaii enough that her family goes back twice a year.

An early career as a teacher led Roanne to become a learning specialist when she noticed kids struggling in the classroom. She saw what a difference new learning approaches and extra help made in their lives. Roanne loves to help demystify learning disabilities for her students. Helping them understand how their brains work and emphasizing each child’s strength opens up new worlds for them. She sees her students’ self-esteem flourish after being taught new approaches to academics.

“With all the pressure to be good at everything these days, its hard for kids to focus on things they are good at and things they love!”

unnamed-2 A typical day at Canterbury for Roanne is spent working with small groups of two to six K-4 students for 30 minute periods, usually meeting two or three times per week. She focuses on multi-sensory approaches to presenting material: auditory, visual and tactile. Her favorite aha moment with a student is when a child having difficulty reading finally “cracks the code” and falls in love with books as a result. Head to Roanne’s Haiku page for more links, helpful tips and videos.

Roanne thinks Canterbury is a special place because of its close-knit staff and the warm, community feeling around the school. She is happy working with students, but she also enjoys communicating with teachers and parents and answering questions about students across the learning spectrum.

Say hello to Roanne next time you see her on campus!

Canterbury would like to express its sincere sympathy to Roanne and her family following the recent loss of her mother.

By Katie Hu hu

Katie Hu is the parent of Brady (4th-Hoover), Maggie (2nd-McIlwain) and Mason (2025). Her favorite part of Canterbury is the chapel and the teachers. She loves a quiet walk in the woods, yoga, and a tall glass of kale afterwards.