Davidson College Names Home Dugout After George Weicker, Baseball Standout and Legendary FRA Teacher and Coach

Davidson College recently named its home dugout in honor of the late George Weicker, who was a beloved teacher and coach at FRA for more than 30 years. 

Weicker played first base and outfield for the Wildcats from 1972-1975, during which he was a three-time all-conference selection. He was named Southern Conference Player of the Year an All-American first team pick by the American Baseball Coaches Association in 1975, and he was also named to the Southern Conference 75th anniversary team. Davidson's Rookie of the Year team award has been presented in his honor since 1988. 

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First Ever Dance Marathon Raises More Than $10K for Vanderbilt Children's Hospital

This weekend, the National Honor Society held the first ever FRA Dance Marathon, which raised $10,035.19 for Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. Students have been raising money the entire year, and the Dance Marathon was a five-hour event where students danced, participated in games, enjoyed food trucks, and celebrated the success of their fundraising efforts. Senior Addy Sizemore, who spearheaded the event, said "We chose to sponsor the Miracle Network Dance Marathon, a movement across the country to raise funds and awareness for pediatric healthcare. We danced, played games, watched amazing performances, and heard 'Miracle Families' speak, to celebrate the hard work done for the kids. And, we doubled our goal!"

Robotics Team Wins State Championship

On Saturday afternoon around 5:15 p.m., a roar only a group of Panther fans can produce could be heard throughout the gym at the VEX Robotics State Championship. That's because, for the first time ever, our robotics team, or the RoboPanthers as they like to be called, were crowned State Champions.

Team W, consisting of Campbell Jeffrey, Thomas Hohnholt, Addy Carroll, and Summer Vo, was the last team standing in the 42-team tournament, one that included teams from across the state vying for one of the coveted 11 upper school team spots to advance to the World Championship. 

This is the third year an FRA team has advanced to the World Championship, its first time as a State Champion. 

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Lower School Teams Advance to State Destination Imagination Tournament

Two FRA lower school teams advanced to the Destination Imagination State Tournament by winning first place in their divisions in last weekend's Region Tournament. 

Our second grade team - consisting of Ryan Graves, Pax West, Gavin Holley, and Kate Kane - placed first in the Instant Challenge and the Target Technical Challenge, in which team members completed their task by using engineering, research, strategic planning, and related skills. The second grade team is managed by parents Jason Graves and Brooke West. 

The third and fourth grade team - Vince Kane, Locke Teague, Yvie Hamilton, and Cole Thornton - placed first in its Instant Challenge and the Monster Effects Engineering Challenge, where the students designed, built, and tested load-bearing structures created from specific materials. The third and fourth grade team is managed by parents Colleen and Andy Kate.

Both teams will compete in the State Tournament at Spring Hill High School on April 6. 

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DNA Lab Hosts First Classes

Our middle and upper school students now have another state-of-the-art innovative space to work in as we opened the new DNA Lab in our Math and Science Building. Middle and upper school students will utilize the DNA Lab, which will be used as a space where they can hone their skills in biotechnology, including extracting DNA, genetically modified organisms, and ploymerase chain reactions, as well as participate in crime scene investigative methods like DNA fingerprinting. 

Stephanie Feyes, science department chair and biology teacher, is excited to see what impact and influence this space will have on her students. "Biotechnology is currently one of the fastest growing areas of science and industry. It is a skilled based field of science that integrates biology, chemistry, physics, and math in a hands-on, meaningful way. Students are able to do real and original research in a school setting to develop skills that could be used in the future to help make advances in medicine/healthcare, agriculture, industry, and environmental awareness." she said.

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RoboPanthers Win Big; Qualify for State Championships

The middle and upper school robotics teams had a big weekend at the Vex Robotics Tournament in White House, Tennessee. The middle school team, consisting of Ryan Holman, RJ Harding, and Langston Harold, won the Middle School Skills Championship and the Excellence Award. 

Upper school team W, which includes Campbell Jeffrey, Thomas Hohnholt, Addy Carroll, and Summer Vo, was the Upper School Tournament Champion, Upper School Skills Champion, and the Excellence Award winner. Upper School team U, consisting of Garrison Harold, Olivia Maki, Christopher May, and Georgia Austin, was also named Upper School Tournament Champion. 

These three teams join upper school team X, which is made up of Caleb Huddleston, William Roberts, and Alexandra Halas, as qualifiers for the VEX State Championship on March 2. 

Freshman Lily Paris Emcees Stars & Wishes, a Gala for Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee

For the second year in a row, FRA freshman Lily Paris has served as an emcee for Stars for Wishes, a fundraising gala for Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee. This year’s gala raised $350,000 to support Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee’s mission of providing wishes to children with critical illnesses, and serving as an emcee gives Lily, a self-proclaimed “talker,” the opportunity to share her story for a charity she loves.

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