Back to School in Saxapahaw

Back to School in Saxapahaw

“For even the wisest can learn incalculably much from children.” – Rudolf Steiner

Taller students, heavier backpacks, rainbow hair, fresh expressions, catch-up conversations: It’s back to school time in our patch of the globe, and the signs of shifting minds, bodies, and grades are everywhere in the village, along with the hints of changing weather. Many of our staff members have boldly taken on class schedules and responsibilities along with their work shifts and we salute them for their commitment.

Balloons at the Hawbridge School

At the General Store, we also notice it most with our experience of the Hawbridge community, welcoming new teachers, students and others back after a summer break. We have close ties with the Hawbridge School, beginning with the shared backbone of the brick building where our adventures happen every day.

If you’ve visited the store in the morning as parents are dropping kids off, or picking them up after 3:30, you’ll know the high energy buzz of what we like to lovingly call the “Candy Crush,” when the classrooms spill their contents onto the sidewalks and through our doors with eager hunts and grabs for favorite snacks before going home. This is the busy, microscopic meat of life, the sense of early morning clarity and possibility that builds to the clustered buzz of afternoon.

Mrs. Osborne and Ema, the newest General Store intern from Hawbridge
Mrs. Osborne and Ema, the newest General Store intern from Hawbridge

Like the store, the Hawbridge School has had several incarnations. From its seeds of thought in inspired minds to concrete plans, curricula, and classrooms, the school, like all creative projects, has its development trajectory. In 2007 the State Board approved the school’s name change from the New Century Charter High School (NCCHS) to the Hawbridge School and soon after, with local support, the school initiated its focus on environmental studies. This initiative cites conservationist Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethics principle: At its core, the idea of a land ethic is simply caring: about people, about land, and about strengthening the relationships between them.

Cameron Ratliff, co-owner of the Store with her husband chef Jeff Barney, teaches English at Hawbridge, and several of our staff members are proud alumni. We’ve also enjoyed interns that have joined our staff and look forward to welcoming Ema Smith this semester! It’s fun for us, and for them, to have the vantage point of seeing others move up in grades just as they did—and to be amazed (as we all are) with the passage of time and seasons. (We’ve already got Halloween candy!)
We’re pleased to share so much with all of our local school communities. As all parents know, school calendars are full, and we encourage you to visit Hawbridge and other local school sites to learn about what’s keeping these most vital treasures and resources we know as our children (and parents!) so busy.

Amber, a former Hawbridge student, at this year's open house, ready to inform parents and students about the General Store's school lunch program
Amber, a former Hawbridge student, at this year’s open house, ready to inform parents and students about the General Store’s school lunch program

Many of you may not know that we offer a school lunch program for Hawbridge students. Please visit our website to learn more. Our mission is to support our community as we provide a comfortable, safe space to meet, greet, and eat nutritious food, much of it grown right here in Saxapahaw and neighboring counties.

Along with the other local businesses, we encourage you to visit the Saxapahaw Cultural Museum across the street to get a view of what-Saxapahaw-was-has-been-and-is. The craftsmen at “Antiques Made Daily” In Sperryville, Virginia respect the fact that we each make history every day. What will ours be? There is always more to learn.

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