Broadwater Graduation Class of 2018

Broadwater Continues Tradition of 100 Percent College Acceptance

This year’s commencement recognized 26 graduates who were accepted into 102 colleges and universities. In-state acceptances include the University of Virginia, Washington & Lee University, Virginia Tech, James Madison University, the University of Mary Washington, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Virginia Military Institute, and several others.

Out-of-state acceptances include the University of Miami, Clemson University, the University of Oregon, University of Tennessee, Oklahoma State University, Marymount Manhattan College, and many more.

“About 20 percent of students in the graduating class were admitted to the University of Virginia. Thirty-five percent were admitted to James Madison University, and almost 25 percent were admitted to Virginia Tech. One student applied, and was admitted to Washington and Lee University,” said Head of School Joe Spagnolo. “As always, I’m very proud of all of our students, and would put our college acceptance percentages up against schools much larger than ours.”

As of the day of graduation, Broadwater’s 26 seniors had been awarded over $2.8 million in scholarships from colleges and universities to which they applied, averaging $108,000 per student. Broadwater also recognized many graduates who additionally won scholarships from the community, and who were recognized for outstanding achievement by faculty and staff, and the administration.

Anna Sexauer is the 2018 valedictorian, Rose Murphy and Robby Parker are co-salutatorians. All three spoke individually, congratulating their classmates, providing amusing anecdotes, and giving advice as they move on to college. “Don’t give up or stop trying over petty setbacks or even failures,” said Murphy. “If you decide to do something, then do it no matter how many tries it takes. With enough dedication and hard work, you can do anything you put your mind to.”

Spagnolo acknowledged the hard work of students and faculty, and that of Director of Guidance, Barbara Parker, at which point she received a standing ovation from the graduating class, the faculty, and the audience. “Her efforts on behalf of your children are simply phenomenal, and she makes all of this work,” he said.

“We couldn’t be more proud to honor our Broadwater Academy graduates of 2018,” said Board Chair Rob Gustafson, “Many of these students have worked so hard, have overcome challenges and have excelled at making a difference on the Eastern Shore -- something certainly to be recognized by their peers, their families and this community. We are excited to follow their paths of success.”

Broadwater Track and Field Shines at a Rainy 2018 State Meet

Despite a rainy day that included a lightning delay, the Broadwater Academy girls’ and boys’ track and field teams concluded another successful season competing at the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association meet in Richmond on May 19.  

Spearheaded by solid performances in field events and hurdles, the Broadwater boys placed 5th in state out of 26 teams and the girls placed 6th in the state out of 28 teams.  

A duo of Grade 9 students led the way for the boys. Gunnar Gustafson won the pole vault, setting a Division 2 State Meet record in the process. He also placed second in the 300 meter hurdles, setting a new school record, and seventh in triple jump. Clay Wardius placed 2nd in discus, improving his previous best by almost 20 feet, second in high jump, and 5th in shot put.  

Aside from Gustafson’s silver in the hurdles, the other Viking boys points on the track were scored by a fast 4x100 meter relay team comprised of Michael Brickhouse, Finn Kelly, Sawyer Coulbourne, and Gustafson, which earned 7th.  Coulbourne also competed in the 400 meter dash.  Andrew Hart placed 4th in discus, seventh in shot put, and ran a spirited leg of the 4x400 relay.  In addition to scoring on the sprint relay, Finn Kelly placed 8th in long jump.  Adam Buell ran in two relays.

Broadwater girls were led by Grade 11 students Kate Gomer and Carly Wardius, who piled up points in the field events and hurdles.  Gomer placed third in the 100 meter hurdles, tied for third in pole vault, earned 4th in the 300 meter hurdles, and hopped to 6th in the triple jump.  Carly Wardius tied for 3rd in the pole vault, leaped to 4th in high jump, 8th in triple jump.  

Courtney Floyd, competing in her last state meet threw a new school record to place 8th in discus and narrowly missed scoring in the high jump.  Mahika Patel posted a season best in the 3200 meter run and Samantha Coulbourne carried the baton in three relays.  

Four Grade 8 students made their debuts at the state meet.  Savannah Anderson, Ronnie Guinan, Carrie Watson and Ture Gustafson all gained valuable experience carrying the baton in various relays.  Up-and-coming Grade 9 thrower Jimmy Shockley placed 14th in discus.  Brandon Stubbs placed 9th in shot put. Brooke Wallace placed 9th and Emma Booker placed 15th in girls shot put.

“Our athletes consistently outperform at the state meet and this year was no exception. This competition always brings out the best in our kids,” said Head Track and Field and Cross Country Coach Eric Hack.  “We are a young team and from jumps to hurdles to sprints to throws the student-athletes improved each week, peaking at the most important meet.”  

Coach Hack will be departing the Eastern Shore at the end of the school year.  He ranks as the most successful coach ever in Broadwater Academy’s fifty-two-year history, leading three track teams to State Championships (Boys in 2014 and 2016 and Girls in 2016) and winning eight conference championships in girls’ and boys’ Cross Country.  He coached ten individual State Champions in Track and Field and one in Cross Country and has inspired countless student-athletes to achieve at the highest possible level.  Several of the athletes Hack coached have gone on to compete at the elite levels of collegiate track and field.  

Assistant Coach Paloma Hack (no relation), a graduate of Broadwater Academy, will serve as Head Coach of Cross Country and Track and field for the 2018-19 seasons.

Steven Ginsberg Washington Post National Editor

2018 Commencement Speaker: Steven Ginsberg '90, Washington Post National Editor

Steven Ginsberg, National Editor of the Washington Post and 1990 BA alum, delivered the address at Broadwater’s 52nd commencement last Friday evening.  Ginsberg focused on the ways in which Broadwater fostered his venture to adulthood, and offered advice to graduates as they move to the college level, and beyond.

Ginsberg, who attended Broadwater for 12 years, reminded the crowd of about 400 that Broadwater is a unique place. “It is so special because we are so tight,” he explained. “I’m so grateful for the lifelong friends that I met at Broadwater, attended the University of Virginia with, and are still friends to this day.  Even now, our children play together.” Ginsberg went on to say, “Broadwater is a special place because of the teachers.”  He shared stories of a certain teacher who made a lasting impression on him, Mrs. Sara Goffigon, retired history and government teacher. “She was a tough one, but a great one,” he chuckled and added, “She organized a trip to Moscow that I attended, it was the most amazing trip and after we got home, I wrote my first story in the Eastern Shore News about it.”  “Broadwater is a special place because everyone gets to be on the team,” he continued. “Broadwater is a special place because it’s a family.” Ginsberg’s encouragement to the graduates was to always listen to tough teachers, to appreciate small class sizes, and to not limit yourself or your opportunities. He ended by saying, “you can be whoever you want to be because you come from a special place.”

“Steven’s speech inspired, encouraged, and amused,” shares Rob Gustafson, Chair of Broadwater’s Board of Trustees. “We are truly honored that he returned to the Shore to speak at our commencement ceremony.”Ginsberg was hired at the Washington Post 23 years ago as a nightside copy aide.  He was promoted to reporter for the business and metro sections, and later to senior politics editor before achieving his current position.  Ginsberg has been the editor on five Pulitzer Prize winning stories, including two this year. He currently resides in Washington with his wife and their two sons.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Steven over the past few months,” says Head of School Joe Spagnolo. “He is an outstanding role model for our students, and a reminder that students from our little part of the world can achieve great success.”

Broadwater Academy senior Anna Sexauer was elected youth governor

For the first time in history, both the Virginia governor and the Model General Assembly youth governor are from the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Broadwater Academy senior Anna Sexauer was elected youth governor last March for the 2018 Model General Assembly.

At the YMCA’s annual Advocacy Day in January, Sexauer met with Gov. Ralph Northam to discuss the responsibilities of the position, issues of importance, and future goals. She also met briefly with Sen. Lynnwood Lewis and Del. Rob Bloxom to share her legislative agenda.

Sexauer and the other five elected MGA officers also were introduced in the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate.

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, on the Senate floor, noted that for the first time in history, both Gov. Northam and Youth Governor Sexauer are from the Eastern Shore.

“Through my position as youth governor, I’ve been given countless opportunities to not only meet with elected officials, but also to express my opinions and help shape the legislation for our conference,” said Sexuaer. “My love for politics has grown from my experiences at Model General Assembly, shaping my plans for college and hopes for the future.”

Sexauer has been accepted to the University of Virginia in the early action process and is still waiting to hear from other colleges to which she applied.

Youth Governor staff member Palmer Smith also met with legislators and staffers, including Gov. Northam's chief of staff, Clark Mercer. Smith has been accepted early decision to the Honors College at Virginia Tech.

Several MGA elected officers have hailed from Broadwater Academy in recent years, including Zach Lingle, attorney general for the 2017 session; Frank Long, house speaker for the 2015 session; and Steven Yeung, youth governor for the 2012 session.

Thank you Delmarva Now and Kate Lacks:

Congrats Broadwater Academy Alum, Class of 88, Marianne Moffat Radcliff

Congrats Broadwater Academy Alum, class of 88, Marianne Moffat Radcliff on the recent appointment to lead the transition team of Governor-elect Ralph Northam!

Broadwater Academy Adds Table Tennis Sports and Education Program

March 2018

Broadwater Academy is thrilled to introduce and add the Table Tennis Sports and Education Program as a part of the schools 2018/2019 mission to encourage creative mindsets and continually provide excellence in educational experience.

The program, in partnership with the PingPong.GIVES Charity Foundation, is designed not only to offer schools an extension to extracurricular activities and mainstream sports provided to students, but to also promote the social, physical and mental benefits that playing ping pong offers. “I never realized that just a few minutes of playing ping pong has such favorable impact”, shares Joe Spagnolo, Broadwater Academy’s Headmaster. “We’re delighted to bring this program to our students, parents and faculty.

The Foundation’s Board chairman, Dr. Scott Sautter, will present the science and share the benefits of playing table tennis, followed by demonstrations from local table tennis professionals, including the donation of a table tennis table by PingPong.GIVES and KETTLER. Lastly the launch of the BA Ping Pong Club will be made available to any and all Broadwater students who would like to participate.

As validated by Scott Sautter, Ph.D., ABN, “The neuroscience of playing Ping Pong has been described as a game of aerobic chess. It’s great for eye-hand coordination, reflexes, balance, planning, strategy and a stress reliever exercising the mind and body in a safe activity for everyone. The cool factor, is that research has demonstrated the positive benefits to brain fitness, such as the report of a Japanese study that found just ten minutes of playing Ping Pong increased neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum.”

“Broadwater Academy, unique to any school on the Eastern Shore of Virginia that I am aware, will enable its students the opportunity to engage in a meaningful activity, create a Ping Pong Club that will help teach leadership skills and qualify for potential scholarship opportunities, while participating with peers and other schools who have adopted the Table Tennis Sports and Education Program”, shares Ken Lees, founder and volunteer president of the PingPong.GIVES Charity Foundation, and Broadwater class of ‘81.

About Broadwater Academy

Founded in 1966, Broadwater Academy is an independent, nonsectarian, college preparatory school serving day

students in Pre‐ Kindergarten through Grade 12 from the Eastern Shore of Virginia and southern Maryland as well as

Upper School students from around the world. Broadwater is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent

Schools (VAIS) and has a 100% college acceptance rate.