Albemarle High School 2775 Hydraulic Road. C-ville, VA 22901 March 12, 2010 Volume 7 Issue 5
What’s Inside? pg. 2......Schools pg. 3......Schools pg. 4......Etc. pg. 5.....Opinion pg. 6.....Sports pg. 7.....Sports pg. 8.....Etc.
fewer teachers needed early graduation possible
the Answer? Photo courtesy of Matt Anderson.
SEAN CUDAHY editor-in-chief
Who is the Superfan?
Photo by K. Aust.
AHS recovers from a second winter break...pg. 3
The school b o a r d welcomed the AHS community back from February’s two-week snow break with plans to implement the biggest schedule change in over a decade in fall 2010. Facing a budget crisis that will reduce the school system’s allowed expenditures by $15 million next year, the board announced its intention to move all three Albemarle County high schools to a “four-by-four plan” that will increase a student’s course load to as many as eight classes per year, and a teacher’s to six as a way to save money. “[The plan] saves $837,780 every year in reduced salary and benefit costs. The reason it does this is because fewer teachers are needed to teach the total number of classes,” Albemarle County Schools communications coordinator Maury Brown said. The four-by-four schedule was a rather spurof-the-moment decision. While the school board eyed a Feb. 19 deadline to submit their budget request for 2010-2011 to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced on Feb. 9 cuts of $730 million to state education funding, giving county officials a mere ten days to completely redraw their spending plan for next year. “It was a very compressed time period,” director of secondary education and former principal Matt Haas said. In the same week as McDonnell’s funding cuts, the state also informed the county of an additional $5.22 million lost due to changes in the composite index, which allocates money to different school districts across the state. This deficit is most painful to the county’s pockets because of over $18 million in revenue-sharing that they pay to the city of Charlottesville each year. The cuts in funding from both the budget and the composite index came as a surprise to school board officials because they were in direct conflict with plans former governor Tim Kaine made, and those McDonnell announced upon
being inaugurated in late January. Kaine’s plan and McDonnell’s original plan kept the money allocated to schools intact. “When McDonnell came in he said, ‘Yeah, I’m going to [stay with Kaine’s request] and hold it,’ and then on Feb. 9 he changed his mind and said, ‘You know, I’m going to go ahead and implement [the changes] this year,’” assistant superintendent Billy Haun said. The slash in funding, accounting for over $15 million, brought about the need for significant changes in order to stay within the newly-established financial limits in a very short period of time. As the school board searched for ideas on how to comply with their new budget, Haun and Haas looked into the potential of a different type of “A/B” schedule similar to the school’s current system, and a four-by-four. They landed at a compromise between the two, what they are now referring to as a “modified four-by-four.” The dry description of a four-by-four schedule is that students attend a set of four classes every day for a semester, and then switch to a different set of four classes that they will attend each day starting in January for the second semester. However, the electives and higher-level classes that Albemarle County high schools offer presented difficulties in maintaining the textbook definition of the routine. Advanced Placement courses, which precede exams that are given nationwide in May, will not operate under the new system because of concerns for both student performance on the exams for those taking the class first semester, and for the stress that students say trying to cram such a rigorous course into 18 weeks would present. “It would be pushing to try to accomplish too much in one semester; it [wouldn’t] be beneficial for students,” senior Ryan McGhee said. Electives such as music, leadership, and journalism would also be hindered greatly by a pure four-by-four schedule. The county’s plan to combat this problem is leaving AP and select other courses (such as dual enrollment and fine arts) on a similar plan
to what is operated currently at the school. Students will be scheduled for one of these AP or other ‘special situation’ classes during the same block as another, and alternate those courses by day. A concern that remains at this point is the worry many teachers, students, and parents have over classes such as math and foreign language, where skills carry over from previous courses, and students could potentially forget material. “World languages is a sequential learning situation,” Spanish teacher and former World Languages department chair Denise Collado said. “We see kids today who, [in just ten weeks] over the summer, do nothing to practice, and in the fall aren’t very successful on the diagnostic exam we give them.” Collado expressed deep concern for students who could potentially be deprived of a year of world language education. Botetourt High School, just outside of Roanoke, went to a four-by-four schedule in fall 2008. Math teacher Shelly Roberts said she’s seen the concerns students and teachers have as a reality. “Foreign language classes seem to struggle the most with [the four-by-four],” she said. Similar to Botetourt’s, Albemarle County is offering a potential solution to the problem. Students will have the both the option of taking one math class in the same year as its prerequisite, a tactic which Roberts said has created problems of its own. “We’ve had a problem with kids finishing [math and foreign language classes] too early,” she said, explaining that her school was faced with a difficult decision of where to place students who had gotten so far ahead. While the school board has already mandated that the local high schools comply with the modified four-by-four plan next year, AHS has yet to figure out many of the details surrounding the daily routine. Principal Jay Thomas said he was only informed of the likelihood for the new schedule on Wed., Feb. 10 during the snow break, and didn’t inform the whole staff until Mon., Feb. 15. See 4x4 on pg. 3
County to move to online grade system
Photo courtesy of Christine Pajweski.
Why cell phones should be allowed on the Breezeway...pg. 5
revolution correspondent Albemarle County is set to introduce a new online grade-keeping system which will allow students and their parents to check individual grades and attendance online whenever they wish. GradeSpeed will be accessible to students and parents anywhere as part of a countywide central website. “[Parents] will be able to see attendance, they’ll be able to see discipline, they’ll be able to see grades,” principal Jay Thomas said. Parents will also be able to set up trigger notifications to be emailed if their child’s grades drop below a certain percentage. The county’s hope is that by making this information more readily available, GradeSpeed will help parents view students’ progress and improvement over a period of time instead of seeing just one grade every interim period, something that often leads to a more unfavorable reaction. “We want to encourage an even greater level of communication,” superintendent Pam Moran said. “This new SIS (student information system) will provide a centralized web portal for academic needs, much like Facebook is a centralized social portal.” The county also hopes that by allowing students to view individual grades, they will see students begin to pinpoint their weaknesses on their own, leading to an increase in motivation and eventually grades. Although the project is still at an early developmental stage, the county plans to have the scheduling features online soon and to begin training teachers over the summer
in preparation for a county-wide to communicate with students and students, teachers, and parents. He noted that students transferring complete system launch this fall. parents. The Department of Account- Blackboard is the online course from one school to another within ability, Research, and Technology management software which al- the county would also be of benefit. (DART) Steering Committee is cur- lows teachers to supplement their In addition, GradeSpeed allows rently fleshing out the basic structure of the program, praising it as the “SIS of the Future.” DART is also primarily responsible for bringing netbooks to the physics and MESA students this year. Essentially, DART plans to create one uniform site that all students, parents, and teachers will use for most of their schoolrelated needs. Assistant director for info management and IT Becky Fisher believes this shift represents a radical change in the way students, teachers, and parents connect with each other through the advent of new technology. “For instance, a central school calendar will display upcoming events happening Science teacher Ruth Sisman enters grades at her computanywhere in the county. Teach- er. Starting soon, these grades will be available online. ers will be able to recommend students for classes online, and stu- classes, primarily through keeping dents will be able to choose them track of assignments and due dates. student performance to be comonline too, instead of through the Moving to GradeSpeed addresses pared to class-wide, grade-wide, current inefficient paper system,” concerns raised by instructors and and district-wide performances, giving teachers and administration those receiving instruction. she said. DART hopes to have this online Students and parents point out valuable feedback into instructional course request and recommendation a perceived lack of communication effectiveness. feature, along with master schedul- and updates about student perfor- “There are a lot of positives when ing capabilities, running by spring mance, but teachers want a system you start looking at programs like for use in scheduling the 2010-2011 that helps simplify the grade-keep- this,” Thomas noted, although he ing process. The new system will be admitted he sees two possible chalschool year. Currently, although all teachers custom-built to address these prob- lenges. His primary concern is that not all families have internet access, eventually submit grades online, lems. they use various means to keep “[GradeSpeed] will be a uniform which could limit the effectiveness track of grades throughout the year - grading system used by K-12 teach- of the new program. some use their computer’s installed ers throughout the county,” Thomas Additionally, he worries that with grading system, while others stick explained. Thomas said he is excited increased access to performance reto the classic green-and-white, pen- about the possibilities offered by the ports, a few parents may focus on and-paper gradebooks. A few also new system and is eager to see how students’ grades rather than the use Blackboard web-based software it improves communication between progress and learning behind them. Photo by Courtney Bryant.
Photo courtesy of silverscroll.com.
Swimming finishes up another successful season....pg. 7
more choices for students
2 schools THE REVOLUTION
March 12, 2010
SuperFan provides athletic teams with Revolution fervent support and unconditional noise Reaction larger, more supportive crowds. “Fans are helpful because you want to impress them, so you [tend to] try harder,” senior soccer player Lauren Mullinax said. “You want them to come to more games.” Sophomore Matt Goodrich, a
member of the basketball team, agreed. “Super fans can be a key part in the success of the team,” he said. “When we have super fans that are into the game, the team tends to play at a higher level.”
Whether helping cheer on a state championship or cheering against a cross-county rival, super fans have been a prominent force at AHS sporting events since Doyle created the established tradition during the 2004-2005 school year.
Students dressed from head to toe in red, blue and Patriot gear is certainly not an uncommon sight at sporting events. There is one fan, however, that stands out above all others: the super fan. But how and when did this tradition exactly begin? Kevin Doyle invented the AHS version of the super fan prior to his 2005 graduation. Since then, the title has belonged to Thomas Meert (class of 2006), Rob Grobmyer (2007), Gus Cramer (2008), and Matt Truwit (2009). Currently, the honor belongs to senior Matt Anderson. “[Being a super fan] is not just about going to the games, it’s also standing at those games and cheering loud the whole game, not just when it’s close near the end,” Anderson said. The renowned outfit consists of an Uncle Sam-like hat that is red, white, and blue with white stars and the names of past super fans written along the brim; the “spirit stick,” a long red and blue pole with a red head attached to the top, commonly wearing a white AHS headband; a shiny red cape; and other red, Patriot apparel. Anderson heavily stressed that the super fan’s goal is to get others involved in the cheering as well. “While having a super fan to lead is important, what is more important is to have other people cheer as well,” he said. Student-athletes feel that most Anderson (center) helps the crowd, including junior Morgan McGhee and seniors teams perform better in front of Lauren Thomas, Morgan McGhee and Katie Roddy, cheer on AHS at a home game.
Photo by K. Aust
BETSY HAUGH managing editor
Student body gets a confidence boost MIRANDA BRICKER
staff reporter In an overwhelming sea of almost 1,800 people, it’s understandable that one might feel extremely intimidated. Hoping to encourage students to come out of their shells and become more outgoing, sophomores Rowen Perry and Ian Prum, along with faculty adviser math teacher Maria Cash, created the ultimate outlet for all, especially introverted students: the Confidence Building Club. “We felt that there was a need to boost the confidence of the student body,” Prum said. To conquer this problem, the dynamic duo decided to create the club after they had “fully digested the happenings of freshman year,”
Prum said. “We wanted to create an environment that helps members become more confident,” Perry added. Although getting the student body excited can be seemingly impossible, the Confidence Building Club’s first meeting was so overpopulated that it had to be moved into the small gym for its second gathering. “We were prepared for a maximum of about 17 people,” Perry said. “[And then] around 70 people showed up for the first meeting; 411% more than we were prepared for,” Prum added. Perry, Prum and fellow sophomores Matt Goodrich and Asher Noble felt overwhelmed by the staggering numbers and had to completely wing their first meeting, but
they didn’t let the pressure get to them. They had planned to play Zugenfäll, a make-shift musical chairs game played in Frau Trice’s German class, but there were too many people to safely play the game. “[Instead] we just talked about our experience with self confidence and other inspiring stories,” Prum said. Since a larger turnout was now expected for the second meeting, Perry and Prum made sure to have activities suitable for a larger group of people. They played a game called “Mine Field,” in which students would be blindfolded and had to make their way across a field of chairs, sometimes even carrying other people on piggyback. Sophomore Heather Clarke finds
the club to be a completely comfortable and fun environment. “I wish [the meetings were] every day. It’s fun and I really think it helps people with their confidence. Even if you don’t need confidence, it’s a great way to meet new people and everyone’s nice. And now I can have the confidence to ask someone to Sadie Hawkin’s, ” Clarke said. Cash agrees that the club creates an excellent environment for its members. “I sit and I watch and laugh, mainly. They’re funny guys. I’m confident in their abilities to handle the club [by themselves] and not screw up, “ she explained. The boys are planning on doing whatever they can to increase the number of members even more and create a feeling of wide-spread confidence through out the schoool.
Food Find: Blue Moon Diner Photo courtesy of http://www.45fix.com
staff reporter It was a cold and cloudy day when I wandered into the Blue Moon Diner on West Main Street. I was greeted by a waitress with hair reminiscent of Joan Jett circa The Runaways and countless colorful tattoos and piercings. The main room had a fire going and reminded me of a family-friendly inn, complete with colorful artwork and classic literature lining the windowsills like Curious George and Oh The Places You Will Go. The adjoining room was where I chose to eat. It was obviously meant to look like an early 1950’s diner. The album “Quadrophenia” by The Who was playing on an old record player behind the bar. I sat at the bar and noticed that I was one of the few patrons without tattoos or piercings in some place other than my ears. It was surprisingly quiet for lunchtime and I enjoyed be-
The Blue Moon Diner is at 512 West Main Street. ing able to hear the scratchy vinyl sounds of the old record. I glanced at the menu expecting diner prices; meals between five and
ten dollars, but almost had a heart attack when I found that I couldn’t get a lunch for anything less than fifteen dollars. I was unaware that
diners had at some point become high class dining establishments. When I examined the menu more closely, however, I found that the fare wasn’t for your typical burgers-n-fries. The burgers had sautéed mushrooms on them, and there was lamb on the menu. I settled on the Jambalaya and a strawberry milkshake. The milkshake came to me the way one should; in a tall, frosty glass and it took less than five minutes for me to drink away five dollars worth of frothy ice cream and milk. My food arrived fifteen minutes after I ordered it. The portion size was perfect and the shrimp tasted fresh. The cornbread was slightly burnt but reminded me of home cooking. The only complaint I had against my friendly waitress was her failure to bring me a glass of water when asked once. I was happy to find warm food on a cold day, disappointed at the prices, and elated to discover that some diners still use old vinyls.
How do you feel about the new 4x4 schedule?
I like it because I get to take another class, which is nice.
I think it’s a blessing in disguise. Students can take more classes.
I don’t like it; it cuts a lot of teachers.
I don’t really care since it’s my senior year.
All photos by Sama Mir and Courtney Bryant.
schools 3 THE REVOLUTION
March 12, 2010
Volunteer internships and jobs provide experience (and pay) for high school students staff reporter
There comes a time in every teen’s life when he or she realizes that things will no longer be handed to them and they have to work for it. Some people hold habits that can’t be supported by an allowance or birthday money, such as shopping or keeping up with the latest video games. At a certain point, these habits bring about the need for finding a job and seeing the “Now Hiring” sign as an opportunity. For teens ages 14 or 15, working in fast food restaurants is an easy start. Once a few birthdays pass and students grow older, though other opportunities open up. Senior Kristina Boyd has been working at Dirty Dogs, a dog grooming business, for six months. She has a wide range of tasks, and often helps out her co-workers by covering their shifts or helping when they need more workers. “I help with the dogs, as far as baths and grooming,” Boyd explained, “Then I answer phones and work the register, too.” Boyd works mostly on weekends, but also works weekdays after school if extra help is needed. “The busiest and most crowded times are during summer and winter,” she elaborated. “After the big snow, a lot of people brought their dogs in.” Grocery stores are popular places
to work for older students. Harris Teeter hired junior Chris Lemieux as a bagger about three months ago. Besides bagging customers groceries, his other responsibilities range from cleaning the bathrooms to sweeping floors and retrieving carts from the parking lot. While waiting for a call back for a job, you can offer babysitting services to neighbors or family members who may have a need for a small income.
Internships are popular for college students at every level but interning is also offered to high school students in the summer as well as during the school year. The internship adviser is Mary Inge, who also teaches fashion design and international foods. This is her second year
The first person to e-mail their correct answers to firstname.lastname@example.org receives a prize.
All photos by Betsy Haugh.
advising interns after former teacher Bill Henry retired. And while Inge is the internship adviser, she doesn’t see her students much at all. “The students are outside of the classroom most of the time,” she explained. Inge said veterinary offices and the hospital are two popular locations for students to intern. The students do have occasional assignments that are graded. They have time sheets to keep track of
High unemployment leaves students searching for jobs opportunities and postions in summer.
Where in the school is...
Photo courtesy of http://torontoist.com/attachments/.Sarah %20 Prickett/AA_hiring.jpg
Unplanned “snow break” causes havoc
their time spent interning. Sometimes they’re assigned papers to explain what they do or give picture proof for what was done. But whether through internships or paid jobs, many students in high school are getting a head start in moving into the working world.
_________________________ 4x4, cont. from page 1.
Part of the planning process to this point has involved trips to other schools operating on similar schedules. Assistant principal Rick Vrhovac is heading a committee that has traveled to meet with officials at Louisa, Jamestown, and Mountain View High Schools, all of whom operate on some form of a four-byfour. “It’s more like a college atmosphere,” he said, citing the opportunity for students at Mountain View High School to take a wide range of courses. Vrhovac explained that Mountain View follows the schedule most similar to what Albemarle County is aiming for. “They offer about 75 percent of their schedule on four-by-four, and then they take the AP and fine arts classes courses and offer them year round,” he explained. Thomas said he will appoint focus groups in the coming months to flesh out exactly how AHS will specifically approach the new schedule. “We’re in the process of trying to get organized,” he explained. However, Thomas still feels that AHS is ahead of the curve in that regard. “I think we’re doing a better job of this than anyone else in the county right now,” he said. A request Thomas said his committees will examine extensively that for a new remediation time to replace eighth period, which will be lost under the four-by-four plan. Still, Haun feels that the four-byfour plan and even the loss of eighth period is not the only difference that students will see next year, either. “When you cut $15 million from the school budget, you’re going to see a whole lot of changes,” he said. Haun also maintained that the already-announced cuts might not be the end of the ordeal, either. He said there is a possibility that the school could system could see further losses in funding, which could lead to additional raises in class sizes. “Make no mistake about it. The school system that you are going to school in this year will not be the same school system that you’ll be going to school in next year,” he said.
Winter isn’t such a wonderland anymore. With freezing temperatures and snow mountains galore, Albemarle County is experiencing the unfortunate side-effects of snow for the first time in many years. Four hours of school is 12 days really puts a damper on teachers’ lesson plans. “I am two weeks behind in Calculus AB,” math teacher Cathy Coffman said. “Typically I finish the material before spring break and that allows the students and I to review for three weeks after spring break. We will be lucky if we have one week of review this year,” she added. Instead of trying to cover all the missed information as well as any new information in a condensed time period upon returning to school, physics teacher Tony Wayne adjusted his lesson plans to make sure the curriculum would now fit in the time allotted. “I did some different activities and cut some others out. I’ve adjusted my objectives by slimming down the unit. We’ll get caught up quickly,” Wayne said. However, teachers did whatever they could to make sure students were making the best of their time away from school. Coffman gave her students a “snow packet” before the two storms, and also organized three extra-help sessions at a local Starbucks. “I have stressed all year that if for some reason we miss school, [the students] have the responsibility of doing work,” Coffman said. The “snow packets” Coffman issued to her students totaled to about three hours of work. “[The students] were expected to read, do and learn,” Coffman said. Wayne, however, used the benefits of technology to contact his students over the break. Using email along with Twitter and Facebook, Wayne “put out the word to check
the blog on [his] website.” “The blog linked to notes and worksheets on the web as well as a few five minute video lessons on YouTube,” he added. There were the select few students who didn’t have power and/or internet access, who were not required to turn that work in on time. But after the break, Wayne noted that most students did get caught up with the work. Although work was done over the “winter break,” students are still working harder than before to keep up with the curriculum. “The time off has made it a lot harder for me to focus. I was adjusted to coming home and working and now I have to get used to that all over again,” sophomore Caitlyn Tetterton said. In addition to readjusting to school work, teachers have had to find ways to cover all the information they need to. “The pace is definitely going to be a little faster than I’d like it to be, and there’s more pressure to cover more material in less time,” Coffman said. To help cover more information in the shortened period of time, Coffman is holding extra sessions before and after school the entire month of March “to help alleviate the students’ stress and any misunderstandings they have with the material.” As well as being available for extra help, teachers have had to resort to reorganizing their lesson plans to fit all the information in. “I’ve had to do a curriculum triage to look for places where I can make up some time and rearrange the order so topics that are easier to understand or less valued in the AP exam scores will come last just in case it has to be covered outside of class,” Wayne said. Even though the missed days add more stress to the teachers’ and students’ workload, all work will eventually get caught up and class will go on as it once did before.
Sample Schedule for Non-AP College Bound Student (Advanced Studies Diploma needs 26 credits)
English 9 World History I Spanish I P.E.
English 10 World History II Spanish III Personal Finance
Algebra II Biology Health International Foods
English 11 US/ VA History Computer Science I ?
College Alg/Trig Chemistry Computer Science II ?
English 12 Government Personal Finance ?
Statistics Physics ? ?
Geometry Earth Sci Spanish II Choir
Sample Schedule for Non-College Bound Student (Standard Diploma needs 22 credits)
English 9 World History I Spanish I P.E.
Geometry Earth Sci Spanish II Choir
English 10 World History II Choir II Personal Finance
Algebra II Biology Health International Foods
English 11 US/ VA History Building Trades I
Building Trades II College Alg/Trig Ecology
English 12 Government ? ?
? ? ? ?
etc. 4 The snow is over and warm weather is THE REVOLUTION
March 12, 2010
on its way... It’s time for spring sports! KERRY GIRARD design editor Girls Soccer: Meg Carpenter Girls soccer is looking to have a strong season this spring. With only two key players lost, Lucie Hidlay on attack and Lilly Breidis-Ruiz on defense, the upcoming players should be able to fill their spots with little problem. However, the defenders are looking slim this year, as most upcoming players are looking for midfield or forward positions. Boys Soccer: Eric Bohn The boys soccer team will have a dramatically different team this spring following the loss of eight out of eleven of their players who placed on the All-Commonwealth District team last season, including leading scorers Ben Coffey, Michael Madigan, and Brian Natale. Left to lead the team in their quest for backto-back seasons in regional playoffs is another high-scorer, senior Julian Lowe, and the only junior from last year to place on the First District
Team, Eric Bohn. The team finished 22-1 in 2009 in a season that finished with a heartbreaking loss in Regionals. Girls Tennis: Megan Napolitano Girls tennis has always been strong in the Commonwealth District, barely facing true competition until breeching into the regional matches. It
looks like this will be another good year for girls tennis, though they lost two strong seniors, Ali Angel and Valentina Moshnakova. Junior Megan Napolitano will once again be leading the top six as she continues in both individual play as well as team competition. Boys Tennis: Jon Pyo Boys tennis will head into the season with the majority of their top six players returning. After only losing a few seniors, the boys will most likely have consecutive strong seasons. Senior Jon Pyo will be leading the pack for
another successful season.
ing players this year, all of whom are seniors, the girls are naturally hesitant about upcoming competitions against state powerhouses Collegiate and St. Catherine’s. Though they were victorious last year against those two teams, they also had senior Alexis Carey, now goal-
make an impact in the postseason. After a devastating loss in the State Quarterfinal competition last season, the team has been working as a team in the off-season as well in order to come back this year and take the state title.
Boys Track: Anthony Kostelac Boys’ track is reminiscent of the indoor season as usual, but with hopefully a little less snow. The track teams are the only teams not dramatically affected by the nearly two weeks of a bonus winter break we were given this February. Anthony Baseball: Rashad Talley Kostelac continues to be a front The baseball team was forrunner on the boys’ track team tunate to only lose a select as spring approaches as few of their starting playthey make a play for an- t e n d ers, including Tyler Molining at other state title. aro and Adam Utz. With Virginia 12 seniors returning for and Girls’ Track: Sum- Tech, the 2010 season, four of many other strong semer Shepherd whom were starters last Like boys track, girls niors such as Kathleen year including Rashad Taltrack is shaping up Frechette, Mason Wood, ley and Dakota Rothgeb, to have a similar and Mackenzie Sloan. along with a few underclassspring season as The girls have to step men including junior Jake winter season. With up to the plate this year Hendrix, this year should a team of solid run- and train hard before be a good year for boys baseners, the girls are their first game against ball. looking good for Collegiate on March 23. their upcoming seaSoftball: Farin Lam son, and it Boys Lacrosse: Dal The 2010 season could be a will come ton Stokes rough one for the girls softball down to Though the boys team. Last year, the team had a keeping their top lacrosse team lost rough season even with three strong athletes uninjured and well- key attacker Bernie senior captains. This season the er conditioned. Freshm a n Mowbray and defendladies have to really stick to their Alison Huschke will l o o k Jon Pfeifer, the boys guns and give all they have to to continue the succ e s s are still confident about be able to have a play at the she enjoyed during the c r o s s the upcoming season. District title. Junior Farin With strong returning country and indoor track seasons. Lam is returning to pitch players such as seniors Dalton Stokes, this season and will continue to be a Geoff Quick, Billy Crist, and Hunter valuable asset to the softball team. Girls Lacrosse: Sam Ehlers With a grand total of eight return- McCann, the team is still armed to
Behind the wheel: The truth about Texting while driving secondary SEAN CUDAHY editor-in-chief
“I’ll push one button and then drive a little bit. Sometimes I’ll drive with my knees.” Such is a senior student’s description of their best tricks while texting and driving. And while many people may cringe at the very idea of such a practice, texting while driving is actually a common tactic. “If it’s only a neighborhood, not a big intersection or something, I’ll have one hand on the wheel and one hand on my cell phone, and I’ll just look down and then look up,” another senior student explained. In a Revolution Jan. 2010 survey, 59 percent of students admitted to having texted while driving at some point since receiving their driver’s license; this despite the fact that 76 percent of the same students felt texting at the wheel to be a dangerous practice. These statistics make understandable those of a recent survey conducted by the National Safety Council, which estimated that 28 percent of all automobile accidents in 2008 were a result of cell phone usage and texting at the wheel. In fact, texting while driving has been identified as enough of a road hazard that the state of Virginia joined the now 18 other states in banning the practice in July 2009. The law, which was originally signed onto by former governor Tim Kaine last April, accompanied not only numerous other states’ similar regulations, but also those already banning any type of cell phone usage for any drivers under the age of 18. School resource officer and longtime law enforcement official Lonnie Tuthill feels banning texting at the wheel for drivers of all ages was a good decision on the part of the state. “Texting distracts everybody, I don’t care who you are, because you’re taking your eyes off the road,” he said. Tuthill feels that texting while driving is particularly dangerous for teenage drivers because of they are already prone to distractions, and have a lack of experience driving. In addition to law-makers and enforcement officials, the school system has taken notice of the growing epidemic of texting while driving as well. The driver’s education program has
integrated the practice into their chapter on “driving distractions,” which previously focused solely on practices ranging from alcohol to drugs. “We’ve started highlighting [texting while driving] a lot, especially because it’s a new law,” driver’s education instructor Kathy Webb explained. The driver’s education program is not the only outlet in the school system where texting at the wheel has been tackled. School bus drivers, like teenage drivers, are prohibited from using their cell phones in any capacity. Webb said she urges her students to contact the school if they ever see their driver using their phone during runs to or from school. The lingering question many adults and even some teenagers still face is why students choose to text while driving, despite the fact that the practice has gotten such widespread denouncement; even President Obama recognized it as a major problem in banning texting at the wheel in an executive order for all federal employees last September. “People worry when you don’t text them back. And if it’s your parents, you have to [respond],” one of the aforementioned seniors explained. Some students have acknowledged texting at the wheel as a malpractice, or at least something they want to keep under the radar. “I don’t text and drive when I have other people in the car, because it looks bad and I don’t want to put them at risk too,” a student who also admitted to regularly texting while driving explained. Students are much more willing to accept talking on the phone while driving, though. 73 percent of individuals surveyed expressed a belief that talking on the phone is safer than
texting. “You can see the road, you aren’t being distracted by looking down,” a student said. Tuthill agreed with students’ assessment that talking on the phone is a more safe technique than texting, because it allows drivers to at least keep their eyes focused on the road ahead of them-even if it is illegal. Of course, none of the legal restrictions on texting or talking for minors are of any punishable significance unless a driver commits an infraction that gets t h e m pulled o v e r by the police in the first place.
driving offenses ALEX PETERSON
staff reporter Speeding isn’t the only thing that teens need to be worried about when driving. Having a license opens doors to many other possible ways to break the law, such as secondary offenses, which are common among teenagers. Primary offenses are offenses that police officers can pull a person over for, such as speeding, running a red light, or reckless driving. These infractions can result in loss of license, fines, and even jail time. Secondary driving offenses, though, are only punishable if a person is first pulled over for a primary offense. And while secondary offenses pose restrictions on all drivers, they are more restrictive to teenagers than any other age group. The three secondary offenses that are typically of
Tuthill was adamant, though, that a driver who a cop happens to see texting will almost certainly see consequences. “Usually [the driver] will end up doing something that they will get pulled over for anyway,” he said. “If you’re driving down the road and you’re texting and [I’m] driving behind you, you’re going to be swerving and not driving real well; there’s my stop, I’m going to pull you over.”
greatest concern to teens are driving with more people in the car than the legal limit, cell phone usage while driving, and breaking curfew. For the first year a teenager has a license, he or she is only permitted to have one non-family member in their car under the age of 18. However, many students take advantage of this being only a secondary offense and often drive with extra friends. Pressure as well as a shared belief
among teenagers that driving with more people is often more fun contributes to this offense. “I hate driving by myself, it gets really boring really fast,” one senior said. “Plus it’s just easier to all go in one car if everyone is going to the same place.” One junior was pulled over for speeding and then charged with having too many people in the car with her. “After I got caught, I wasn’t allowed to drive anywhere for two weeks and now I’m on probation for a year,” she said. Law enforcement officials feel that more friends often equal more distractions. “When you’ve got three of your buddies in your car, you’re probably being distracted at that point,” school resource officer Lonnie Tuthill said. Weekends find teenagers doing things late into the night. However, there is a legal curfew for teenagers in Virginia under 18, from midnight until four in the morning. “The reasoning was that there’s no reason for a [teenager] to be out after those hours,” Tuthill said of the state’s decision to impose a curfew. “If you get a group of teenagers out [at those times], usually something’s going to happen.” Despite possible punishments from the law and from parents, many teenagers continue to violate secondary offense laws. “The only secondary offense that I haven’t committed is breaking curfew,” a junior said. Although the punishments for secondary offenses are less than those for primary offenses, they begin to add up when a teenager is charged with both a primary and a secondary offense. “Once a student gets pulled over and receives a ticket for a primary offense and then a ticket for a secondary offense then they may have to face court,” Tuthill said. And going to court for secondary offenses is not something that busy high school students want to be worrying about.
opinion 5 4X4: The good, the bad, and the ugly THE REVOLUTION
March 12, 2010 SACHIN DOSHI revolution correspondent As we all know, the School Board is being forced to make some heavy cuts next year, thanks to the revenue reductions stemming from the recent economic slowdown. Of these, the most prominent and controversial has become the shift to a 4x4 schedule county-wide next year. Many schools throughout the country already have switched to this schedule, and scouting reports from administrators and teachers who are visiting 4x4 schools are positive - students, parents, and teachers like the schedule, which allows students to take more classes and to repeat a class without getting too far behind. But what are some of the problems they see with the 4x4 schedule? Let’s take a look at some of the big ones: *** • Less understanding, more memorization. Technically, 4x4 classes offer the same amount of class time as year-long classes, but they meet every day. This effectively means the curriculum has to move twice as fast. Teachers are faced with two choices: keep assigning the same
amount of homework even though students have half the time to complete it, or drastically reduce their curriculum and take any sense of difficulty out of their courses. An example? An Honors English teacher who normally teaches “The Odyssey” in two months and assigns 30 pages between classes (15 pages every night) now has to teach it in one month and assign 30 pages every night, coming out to 150 pages a week. Her other option? Teach half as many books. While less work can sound like a good thing, in this case it’s a very bad thing, because it means teachers can’t count on students learning nearly as much outside of school as they used to, and students can’t cover as much material as they do under the current schedule. Aside from actually doing the reading or other classwork, there will be no time between classes to absorb what you’ve learned. A UVa/Harvard study found that 4x4 yielded no benefits in academic performance over A/B.
to schedule 1800 students under an A/B schedule. Now add the difficulty of pairing up year-long classes, dealing with schedules that are partially year-long and partially halfyear, and add in students who have already had one, two or three years of coursework under the A/B schedule and you have the current dilemma facing Guidance for the coming year. Every student deserves the opportunity to take the courses they need as both the college admission process and the job market become more and more competitive. *** • Getting rid of eighth period. Although some students do completely waste eighth period, many make very good use of it. Since the introduction of our current schedule four years ago, we have seen huge jumps in extracurricular club participation, especially in honor societies. For all its flaws, eighth period is a generally useful time that allows students to meet with teachers for help, tutor other students, get homework done, and meet with clubs. Although some form of a remediation period might find its way into the 4x4, the plans seem to revolve around a 30-minute-ish period at the beginning of every day that would be too short
*** •Scheduling nightmares. No guidance department could tackle a 4x4 schedule and be able to meet all students’ course requests. We already know how hard it is for Guidance
to be useful. Still, some form of this period is better than nothing, and it’s good to know the School Board is at least somewhat responsive to student concerns. *** •Firing teachers and overworking the remaining ones. The county’s budget cuts call for firing dozens of teachers across the county. Why? Because each teacher takes on an additional class, not as many teachers will be needed. (Um, actually, I’m a little fuzzy on the math here – every teacher teaches one more class per year but every student takes one more class per year – how does that work out to needing fewer teachers?) Anyway, our school is noted for its excellent staff and we really don’t want to lose any of them. While yes, it’s true, the county’s best current plan seems to be the 4x4, one alternative proposed is to simply make eighth period another class and fit in a remediation period somewhere. This achieves the same budget cuts as 4x4 and reduces time for work during school (both huge compromises) but gives the county another year to work out the problems noted above. What do you say, School Board, why not?
Cell phones on the Breezeway Why can’t students use phones between classes? a complicated process that typically ends with students waiting until the last minute to decide where to go. And with only 50 minutes for seniors with long lunch release passes to make their way out of the evercrowed parking lot, go get food, and return to class on time, they cannot afford to waste the precious moments after the B-Block bell rings deciding where to eat, a decision that could have easily been made by texting their friends after first period and asking where they want to go. Not being able to text to make plans for long lunch does not only affect seniors with release, either. Underclassmen and juniors who are left at school face the dilemma of trying to decide whether to brave the cold and eat on the Breezeway Photo by Betsy Haugh.
A freshman is not likely to walk into the Senior Circle to find their neighbor to ask if they can give them a ride home; that just doesn’t hap There are certain times when cell pen because, for most freshmen, the phones simply should not be used: Senior Circle can be intimidating. A driving, at the dinner table, and in much more realistic method, howclass. On the Breezeway between classes is a different story, though; students should be allowed to use cell phones on the Breezeway. Students spend most of the eight minutes between classes on the Breezeway, enjoying the break and the chance to catch up with friends they don’t usually get to see throughout the day. However, this break presents not only an opportunity to catch up on someone’s weekend, but also a small window of time for students to figure ever, is for the freshman to text or out the day’s essential details, such call the aforementioned senior and as who is giving them a ride home, ask the same question in a much what time their team’s dismissal is, less pain-staking way. It’s a harmor where they are going during long less little text that should be allowed lunch, all of which can be discovered to be sent during the eight-minute much more efficiently by using a cell break between classes. phone. Planning for long lunch is often
BETSY HAUGH managing editor
or go inside, and then trying to find where their friends coming from an array of different directions have ended up. Texting during regular lunches poses a different problem. While lunches are a good break during the day, it is reasonable for cell phones not to be allowed, especially given the fact that the four-lunch schedule means roughly 75 percent of the student population is in class, so students would most likely be texting someone who shouldn’t be texting. Texting should be allowed on the Breezeway between classes and during long lunch, not only because it would aid in answering some of the numerous questions that run through a student’s mind everyday, but also because those eight minutes are meant as a break from the hard work of classes. This break allows students to go nearly anywhere on school grounds, so why can’t students use their cell phones during it? As long as students get to class on time and put their phones away once the bell rings, there is no reason cell phones should not be used on the Breezeway.
Breezeway closure causes big problems ELLIE LEECH staff reporter
Photo by K. Aust.
As 1,800 students piled into the hallways after third period the Monday after winter break, just one thought was on everyone’s mind: “I’m going to be late.” The administration shut down the Breezeway halfway through the day as they received reports of flying iceballs and students and teachers slipping on ice. The next two breaks proved to be even greater headaches than typical for Mondays, as the Breezeway’s closure brought about chaos, proving just how essential it is to the
school. After February’s storm dumped 14.5 inches in the area just several weeks later, this chaos became a daily routine for the school as the Breezeway was shut down for two weeks. Regardless of wind, rain, or cold, most of the school uses the Breezeway not only as a social area, but also as a critical means to get to classes on opposite ends of the school. Normally, students head to class at any point in the eight minute period between classes. The Breezeway acts as a necessary shortcut to get to class on time. The school cannot function without the Breezeway. The doors are too narrow for such a large volume
When the monsterous snow storms caused the Breezeway to close, students noticed the effects immediately.
of students at once, and the normally spacious halls seemed to shrink exponentially as the number of students shuffling through increased those days. This was especially true at the entrance to the foreign language wing, as several incoming freshman were pushed back into the walls or were left outside in the cold passageway between the Foreign Language hall and the American Studies wing as the bigger students hurried to get inside in time for class. Junior Grace Wood was one of many students who were late to several classes that day. “The hallways were packed,” she said. “It made it a lot more difficult to get to class on time.” Along with the perpetual discomfort and tardies that came with the Breezeway shut-down, another lament of the students was the absence of social time. Students were lucky to see any of their friends amid the chaos in the hallways. Sophomore Peyton James was unhappy with the whole affair. “It was annoying and kind of awkward,” she said of the crowded corridors. “I never got to see my friends. However, no matter how badly the school needs the Breezeway as a means of transportation for the stu-
dent body, the administration cannot always allow it to remain open for fear of injury coming to a student or teacher. *** In this sort of situation, I propose some simple rules of hallway etiquette. First, I suggest that it be mandatory for all students to go directly to class. There’s enough cramping in the corridors without a large group of students hugging in the middle of the American Studies hall and preventing everyone from passing. And honestly, it really isn’t necessary to squeal about the oh-soadorable guy in your Earth Science class so loudly that the fifth of the school’s population trying to cram through the doorway can hear. Save socializing for a time when it actually matters, like during math. Next, don’t linger on the stairwells. There’s enough danger on those hallowed steps without your bulky backpack making it worse. And lastly, don’t push. Hallways shouldn’t be anything like a wrestling ring, so don’t pretend they are. The next time the skies dump two feet of snow and the Breezeway is shut down, just pull a penguin and shuffle your way to Spanish. Don’t push. Actually, a better solution may be just to hope the Breezeway never gets shut down again.
The Revolution Editor-in-Chief Sean Cudahy
Managing Editor Betsy Haugh
Design Editor Kerry Girard
Business Editor Shannon Bisselink
Staff Reporters Miranda Bricker Courtney Bryant Ellie Leech Alex Peterson
Staff Advisor Kim Aust
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sports 6 Boys indoor track places 4th at States THE REVOLUTION
March 12, 2010
Photo courtesy of Milestat.com
ELLIE LEECH staff reporter
Photo courtesy of Milestat.com
ponent in jump (6-03,00) and second in the 1600 meter races, and Hill won the the successes triple jump. He also placed second High Jump, Long Jump, and Triple in previous in the 55-meter dash preliminaries, Jump while taking third place in the years. This qualifying him for the final heat and 55 meter dash. year, Kostelac third in the 300-meter dash. The two relay teams also had a still anchored When Districts rolled around, the strong performance as the 4x400 the new team, snow proved to be more of a prob- took first place and the 4x800 ran but a heavy lem than initially expected. There second. After a historic season last year focus was also were many attempts at rescheduling None of the boys got a lower place in which the boys indoor track team placed upon the the meet, which was to have taken than eighth in any event, and the ficaptured the state championship 4x400 squad. place at North Stafford’s 400-meter nal results were good enough to seand the 4x800 relay set a national “Our 4x4 outdoor track, but it was eventually cure the Regional Championship for record, the team came back strong was good last canceled all together. This meant the team for the second consecutive this year to battle for a fourth place year, but we that the top six seeded runners in year. showing at States. didn’t really fo- individual events and the top three Two weeks later on Feb. 26, the Led by third-year head coach Buz cus too much seeded relays all advanced to the team completed their season with a Male, the team practiced outside because of the Regional meet in Landover, Mary- fourth place finish at States. daily in treacherous weather trainfact our 4x8 was land. Kostelac was again champion of ing for another strong end-of-seamuch stron- By these rules, 11 boys were eli- the 1000 and 1600 meter races, with son finish. ger,” Okaah gible to compete in Regionals in 12 Hill, junior Vincent Ly, junior Mark “Coach Buz is definitely a great said. “This year events. Several other prominent Baucom, and two relay teams also coach,” said senior Jervon Speller. we’re looking to runners were left in the dust, as they competing. “Sometimes we might not be the surprise people did not qualify in the virtual District The 4x800 team consisted of greatest at our event, but he always with our gives us great confidence that we speed.” can compete and do well.” One After the squad lost key runners high point Zack Vrhovac, Garrett Bradley and in the seaLuke Noble to UVA and Virginia son came Tech this year, several upperclasswith an Jordan Hill competes in the long jump Feb. 18. men had to step up to the plate with outstandleadership responsibilities. ple on the team, the boys still maning per“We have strong leadership from aged to stay close and found practice formance at the prestigious guys like Jordan Hill and Anthony to be a place to connect with each Suffolk Stars Invitational at Kostelac,” said junior Tory Key. other. Their “less than indoor” prac- Hampton Roads. The 4x800 Kostelac and seniors Nick Janssens, ticing situation brought them closer team shocked many as the anJoel Okaah and Denis Peskov served together. choring Kostelac outran the as captains for the season. “Practices can be tough due to the frontrunner, Grassfield. At “Captain to me is an opportunity cold weather, but you got to tough the time Kostelac received the to be a leader and represent [the it out and work to get better,” Key baton, the Grassfield anchor school] with honor and integrity,” said. “Practice is fun though, ‘cause had a 13 second advantage. Okaah said. “It is a privilege to rep- we all make fun out of it.” Kostelac finished with a 1:53.3 resent a team with an already out- Practices could be either workout split and the team finished in standing reputation.” days, which included timed repeat- first place at 8:15.90. Being a captain means more than ed sprints, or lighter days, which “The team also had a good just leading warm ups and drills; generally consisted of weight lifting, showing at Liberty [InvitationThe team poses after winning Regionals for the second year in a row. team leaders should also encourage field events and free runs. al],” said Key. the younger runners to improve. The national record setting Baucom, sophomore Rowen Perry, Hill captured a first place finish in meet. Despite the large number of peo- 4x800-meter squad was a key com- both long jump (22-04.00) and high Seeded 11th going into the meet, senior Evan Karweik, and Kostelac, the boys had a championship title to while the 4x400 squad was made up defend, and with a relatively young of Speller, Key, Baucom, and Hill. group of runners, the pressure was Kostelac, Hill, Speller, Okaah, on. and Key all qualified to run March The team handled it well. In 12-14 at the Reggie Lewis Center in the six individual events in which Boston for the Nike Indoor National Kostelac and Hill competed, they Championship. Aaron Elder also won four. Kostelac was the repeat qualified for the Freshman Mile. T h e regional champ in the 1000 and ALEX PETERSON season didn’t start as The 2009-2010 boys basketball the team team enjoyed their best season in hoped, as four years, as senior leaders and they fell talented newcomers led the team to in their the Northwest Region quarterfinals. d i s t r i c t the long run, [the snow] hurt us be The last time the squad advanced o p e n e r cause we were out of shape and our as far as they did this year was in the to Brooke shots were off,” Hendrix said. 2006-2007 season, when they start- P o i n t , Jenkins believed that no matter ed 22-1 before falling in the region’s 5 3 - 4 6 . what, the girls worked hard and met semifinals to George Washington However, revolution correspondant her “intangible goals, like working High School. things together and being a team.” “It was a goal [to make it to Re- s t a r t e d The girls basketball team ended a “I would have liked them to win gionals], but I think they definitely to turn much-interrupted season with a lost more, but the season was fun and over-achieved this season,” head a r o u n d in district quarterfinals last month. enjoyable,” she added. coach Greg Maynard said. f r o m Senior Dalton Stokes drives past the defense In head coach Anita Jenkins’s With the postseason came a The goal was not without chal- there. 21st and final season heading girls sense of bonding a determination during a Jan. 19 game vs. North Stafford. lenges, considering that the team F i r s t basketball, the team finished 4-9, that may not have showed up in the lost key players Adam Utz and Tay- year sophomore post player Andrew But in addition to solid performanc- and 4-7 in the Commonwealth Dis- box score. “We showed up in the lor Branch to graduation, and cur- Mann led the team in scoring, aver- es in the box score, Hendrix said the trict. postseason. We played hard and inrent senior Cameron Anderson to aging 17.9 points per game. Senior team worked together incredibly “[The end of the season] did not tense,” Hairston said. the Blue Ridge School. Rashad Talley (17.5 points per game) well. turn out as well Among the prob “Regionals was more of a long and junior Hendrix (13.0 points per “The team had the best chemistry as we hoped for, lems of snow and shot than a reality,” junior Jake game) also provided the team with I have ever seen in my years of play- but we played a significant loss Hendrix said. consistency. ing,” he said. hard so we were of games, Hendrix happy with our said the team faced improvements,” another difficult senior guard obstacle: their lack Abby Hendrix of height. The team said. made up some of Hendrix and sethe weaker post March 15, 6:30 - Boys Soccer vs. Western nior CJ Jackson game with strong March 25, 5:00 Baseball vs. Waynesboro March 16, 5:00 - Baseball vs. Monticello served as capperimeter shootMarch 26, 5:00 Boys Tennis vs. Western March 16, 5:00 - Boys Tennis vs. Brooke Point tains, two out of ing, however. March 26, 6:00 Baseball vs. Brooke Point March 16, 5:00 - Girls Lacrosse vs. Charlottesville four seniors from Hairston was the March 26, 6:00 Softball vs. Brooke Point March 17, 5:00 - Boys Lacrosse vs. Stafford a junior-heavy only sophomore March 26, 6:00 Boys Soccer vs. Brooke Point March 18, 5:00 - Girls Tennis vs. N. Stafford squad. on the team. “BeMarch 30, 5:00 Girls Tennis vs. Stafford March 19, 5:00 - Baseball vs. Western The two were ing the youngest March 30, 7:00 - Girls Soccer vs. North Stafford March 19, 6:30 - Girls Soccer vs. Monticello essential to the player is pretty reMarch 31, 5:30 Baseball vs. Charlottesville March 20, 1:00 - Softball vs. Halifax success of the warding. It’s nerveApril 1, 6:00 Baseball vs. Mountain View March 23, 5:00 - Boys Tennis vs. Mountain View team, sopho- Senior Abby Hendrix dewracking, but it’s a April 1, 6:00 Softball vs. Mountain View March 23, 6:30 - Girls Lacrosse vs. Collegiate more forward Jes- fends against Riverbend. good experience,” April 1, 6:00 Boys Soccer vs. Mountain View March 24, 5:30 - Boys Lacrosse vs. N. Stafford sica Hairston said. she said. Hairston April 2, 6:30 - Boys Lacrosse vs. Monticello March 25, 5:00 - Girls Tennis vs. Massaponax “They’re pretty direct and in your will help lead the team next year as face. We play hard and intense be- key seniors Hendrix, Jackson, and cause of them.” Kya Francisco graduate. “Next year The constant snow throughout I hope we can some out even stronthe winter disrupted practice and ger,” she said. canceled games, leaving the team Hendrix agreed. “I hope everywith little time to prepare for the body comes back with good attipostseason. tudes. Even though we didn’t have a “We could have practiced for two good season, they will pick it up and weeks and we had to go straight into win more games next season,” she district games with no practice. In said.
Photo by K. Aust
Boys basketball returns to Regionals for the first time since ‘07
Girls basketball finishes up Jenkins’s final season strong
Photo by K. Aust
ELLIE LEECH staff reporter SAMA MIR
March 12, 2010
Wanna wrastle? ELLIE LEECH staff reporter
Photo by K. Aust.
Wrestling ended their season on a high note as seven on the team qualified for Regionals and junior Zach Morris qualified for States. The team was full of experienced leaders, with Morris, junior Ramel Jenkins, and seniors Drew Knight and Matt Young serving as captains under Coach Donnell Hopkins. In dual or quad meets the team attended, they beat four out of their six opponents, although several meets were cancelled due to snow. In Districts on Jan. 6, the team bested Colonial Forge 71-6, allowing seven wrestlers to move on to Regionals, which was a “huge achievement,” Morris said. Points were earned based on individual wins and losses. Morris himself moved on past Regionals to compete in States, be-
fore losing prior to quarterfinals. The team was full of passion for their sport. “I love the intensity and hard workouts we go through. I also like winning when it’s just me and someone else and there is no one in [the ring] to help me,” Morris said. Jenkins liked how often the team won, as well as meeting new people and competing in different places. Hopkins, affectionately known as “Hop” to his wrestling, JV football, and track teams, allowed the team to have a lot of fun during a season filled with blood, sweat, and tears. Sounds from the practice generally consisted of yells of “A-YO!” and “Atown!” The guys on the team are really chill to hang out with and are fun to be around,” Jenkins said. Morris agreed, adding that he liked how the team “worked much harder than any other [team] by far.”
Captain Ramel Jenkins takes down his Monroe High School opponent at the AHS Invitational meet.
7 Boys take districts, 3rd sports THE REVOLUTION
straight regional title COURTNEY BRYANT
The 2009-2010 boys swim team ignored the loss of 13 members of the class of 2009, swam through the endless snow, and overcame their second seed at the Northwest Region Championship meet to win their third straight regional title. The team was expected to come in second place at Regionals by over 20 points. However, they swam their best races of the season and beat Osbourn Park by 12. “Our guys threw down some incredible times at Regionals; a ton of them had lifetime bests and all of them were aggressive and raced from start to finish,” second-year head coach Jake Shrum said. It was the team’s third straight regional championship. Early in the season, though, the team was faced with major challenges. Among the 13 swimmers lost were seven state qualifiers, three of whom are now swimming in college. “Obviously we had a lot to replace at the beginning of the season, we just had so much talent last year, so there were definitely big shoes to fill,” Shrum said. Junior Stephen Topping saw the magnitude of the challenge as well. “After losing 13 great seniors last season we had to replace them to
keep the powerhouse going,” he said. Topping said that early on, the team was mostly focused on winning Districts again. “Our goal was to win Districts at the beginning of the season,” he explained. As the season went on, the team started to see increased success. The boys won the City/County Invitational (against local teams) at UVA Aquatic Center over second place Western Albemarle. It was there that Shrum said he and the team had a shot at winning Regionals once again. “City/County is always a good measurement of where we are midseason, and we were really sharp this year, and that showed me that our sort of long-shot goal of winning Regionals again would be a legitimate possibility,” he said. This was a big accomplishment, since the team had not swum a meet in almost a month. “There was a big lapse between City/County and the meet before it,” Topping said. And then the snow came. The team was faced with a surprise when Commonwealth District officials decided to move the district meet up two days, giving the swimmers just one day notice. “We had to kind of scramble to prepare for Districts after they moved it up; a few guys hadn’t swum in over a week,” Shrum explained. The team rebounded strongly
enough to win Districts, though it was closer than expected; the guys finished only 7 points ahead of Brooke Point. However, Topping said things clicked after that. “The team stepped up between Districts and Regionals and we were then able to win Regionals,” he said. Late in the season, snow greatly affected scheduled practices. Yearround swimmers still managed to practice with their club teams. “The snow caused us to miss a lot of practice, but we were able to rebound in time for regionals,” Shrum explained. Topping said his club team, the Virginia Gators, actually invited some non year-round swimmers to practice with them. The team ended up sending eight swimmers to the State Championship meet in Virginia Beach, although they only managed five points. “We didn’t quite have the firepower that some of those Northern Virginia and Tidewater teams had at States to compete with them,” Shrum said. Next year the swim team will be in the same situation when it comes to loss of swimmers. Four of their eight qualifiers are seniors this year. But the returning state qualifiers and the other swimmers of the 20092010 season will be strong for the next season, Shrum believes.
Girls indoor track survives shortened season MIRANDA BRICKER staff reporter Even without an indoor track and countless freezing and/or cancelled practices, the girls indoor track team worked hard this season and went on to compete in Regionals and States. The team was unable to host meets becuase of the lack of an indoor track, so they traveled to every meet. To combat travel expenses, they held a pancake breakfast at T.G.I. Friday’s on Saturday, Jan. 9, raising $1400 to put towards transportation. “It’s reassuring to know the we still have support regardless of the fact that students can’t just come over [to the school] on a weekend to watch us run,” sophomore Anna
Alfano said. An indoor track isn’t the only thing the team lacks. The team lost their two very strong captains, Liz Barclay and Rachel Hopkins, last year. But this year’s captain, junior Summer Shepherd, has certainly found her fair share of ways to motivate the team and keep working hard. “I think the younger [kids] on the team [are] motivated by the older athletes who put all their effort into each practice and gain serious results for their hard work,” Shepherd said. “For the older athletes, they want to get something out of the season; [they] usually [set] a goal to get to Regionals or States. It’s really quite an achievement [to get there] and it’s an excellent motivater,” Shepherd added.
The team members look forward to running in meets and making it to competitions, but they also enjoy the races they get to watch. “If you work hard, you get to run in some really fun meets and you get to watch exciting races, such as watching Anthony Kostelac make up 13 seconds in the 4X8, or watching Jeremy Greenwald from Grassfield qualify for States in the 3200 and set a meet record,” junior Elizabeth Sinclair said. By early February, the team was busy preparing themselves for Distrcts at North Stafford’s outdoor 400 meter track. But several days before the meet was to take place, Coach Buz Male was informed that Districts cancelled because of the unprecedented snowfall and the Commonwealth District would send athletes to Regionals based on the
competitors’ rankings in the top six individual events and the top three realy teams. This move left several runners behind, such as freshman Allison Huschke, who was ranked seventh in the 1600 and the 3200. Snow continued to hurt the track team perhaps more than any other sport. Unlike basketball or wrestling, the team could not practice at all since Albemarle doesn’t have access to an indoor track. The team spent hours shoveling off the track so the relay team could practice. However, despite the neglected runners, seven girls competed in the Northwest Regional Competition -Shepherd and freshmen Casey Russell and Ciera Ulan vaulting along with Huschke, sophomore Alexandra Stokes and juniors Emily Davison and Elizabeth Sincalir making
up the 4X800 relay. At Regionals, the 4X800 team finished in fourth place, missing out on States just .12 seconds behind the third place team. For pole vaulting, Ulan had no height, Russell placed fifth with a 6’6” vault and Shepherd was the Regional champ with a height of 9’6”. Russell and Shepherd both competed in States on Feb. 26. Russell did not place and Shepherd came in ninth with another 9’6” vault. Even though all scores are generally individual, the team still has a great atmosphere of togetherness. “There doesn’t seem to be this great unspoken barrier between classes like some sports tend to have. Instead, it’s just like a great ginormous family that watches out for its sisters...or brothers in some case,” Shepherd said.
Girls second in district, Harper to States business editor After a disappointing sixth place finish in the Commonwealth District last year, the girls swim team returned to form in 2009-2010. The team improved on their near last place finish in the district championship meet last February by shocking teams around the league with a second place showing this year. The strong district meet finish came on the heels of the team’s best dual meet season in four years, finishing 4-1, losing only to the eventual champions, North Stafford. Sophomore Holly Harper led the team in scoring for the second straight season, and was helped by key new freshman contributors Sophia Brown and Mackenzie Jones, as well as veteran seniors. The team attributed much of their success to the influence of second-year head coach Jake Shrum and first-year assistant coach John Nelson. “They really know how to get us pumped up for races,” Harper said. “They also call us out when they know we can do better.” Senior captain Christine Pajewski felt Shrum and Nelson’s commitment played a major role in the team’s success. “They are so dedicated to the team, from the late night practices
to the meets over two hours away,” she said. “Swim season would not have been the same without them.” Pajewski served as team captain along with fellow seniors Morgan McGhee and Corinne Sharp, all of whom worked together to organize spirit, lead stretches, and help motivate the team. “We [decide] what to wear to school, what to bring for ‘spirit buddies,’ and make sure everyone is on task and excited,” Pajewski explained. The team felt being wellbonded was a crucial element in important meets; a role in which the three captains excelled, according to Harper. “They are dedicated and strive to make the team a tight group,” Harper said. “Especially Christine’s trophy of inspiration that she uses to motive the girls.” Motivation was certainly a necessity for the team, because their practices were held abnormally late, from 8:45-10:30 PM, at ACAC. Practice varied for different types of swimmers, though. “The [year-round] swimmers only have to come Wednesday nights because they are swimming for their clubs other days,” Sharp explained. Harper also added that the Wednesday practices were when a lot of team bonding took place. The swimmers were required to attend more than 80 percent of practices and present a good excuse
for when they were missing. Practices opened with dry-land which was either cardio exercises or ab exercies. This got the team sufficiently warmed up before getting in the pool to continue training. “The difficulty of practices varies depending on our meet schedule,” senior Katie Roddy said. Roddy, a state qualifier last season, spent much of the season resting an ongoing shoulder injury. Part of the aforementioned schedule included the annual showdown between local teams, the City/ County Invitational on Jan. 6. There the squad got the opportunity to race rivals like Monticello, Western Albemarle and Charlottesville. “You see all the people you know from surrounding schools and the atmosphere is as competitive or even more competitive than Districts and Regionals,” Pajewski said. The team was aided by the electric atmosphere in the state-of-theart UVA Aquatic Center. Although several swimmers posted personal best times, they fell short in their goal of winning the meet. Charlottesville and Western Albemarle, who went on to finish third in the Girls AA State Championship, both finished ahead of the team. But the team was able to string together swims when they needed it most: in the postseason. Following their surprising second place finish in the district championship, which
was moved up two days at the last minute due to the forecast of snow, the team continued their success in the Northwest Region Championship at Radford University. There, the team put on a good showing with the girl’s 200-yard freestyle relay. The team consisting of Pajewski, Sharp, Harper and junior Melanie Freshwater was seeded eighth and pulled out an fourth place finish, just missing state qualification by less than a half a second. “[We] just got out touched, but we were still really happy with our performance,” Harper said.
Despite this somewhat disappointing finish, Harper went on to swim two events at states, the 100meter freestyle and 100-meter backstroke, where she placed fifth and sixth respectively. Overall, the girls enjoyed immense improvement this season, and already have their sights set on capturing first place at Districts next year. “From the two hour (sometimes freezing) bus rides, to the Bodo’s and of course the actual swimming, this season has been unforgettable,” Pajewski said. Photo by K. Aust.
Freshman Mackenzie Jones swims the 100 yd. butterfly at the City-County meet in Jan.
8 backpage THE REVOLUTION
‘Tis the season!
March 12, 2010
Sherry explains why you should make this St. Patrick’s Day one to remember
KERRY GIRARD design editor SHANNON BISSELINK
business editor Once a year a time of Irish pride and boozing rolls around. For the high school population, boozing is replaced with pinching anybody who does not wear green. St. Patty’s Day is one of the leastcelebrated and recognized holidays, but Sherry is very fond of the color green as well as those of Irish descent. This under-celebrated holiday deserves a tradition remix and so, we begin.
take the stash and skip town withand run downstairs and compare Shooting Stars: 1 point out hiding any. Sometimes they will amounts with your siblings. Who- Red Balloons, Pink Hearts, and Blue actually hide new pieces of gold not ever possesses the most gold gets Moons: Deduct 50 points each stolen from a private collection. to keep it. Everyone else must turn over their gold to the winner. Hide Step Three: Get Presents After munching down on far too Step Five: Set off Green Fireworks the gold in a safe place. much sugary deliciousness, you To finish off the evening, the should skip over to your four-leaf Leprechaun will set off a fireworks Step Two: Eat Heavily display in your backyard. You and Breakfast is the most important clover pot. Overnight, this should have increased in size exponentially, your Leprechaun may request that meal of the day, so be sure to making it remarkably similar you participate in a few luck-related start out with a whopping in size to a Christmas activities before they set off their bowl of Lucky Charms or othtree. Under, you display. If your Leprechaun already er off-brand cereals with simwill find a load skipped town with your gold, chancilar titles. You must eat your of presents es are he will not be around to set off cereal from your cauldron a display. Sometimes, you may see that previously held your a faint green sparkler in the corner gold. For each type of or your yard, and that is all. Other marshmallow you have times, you may get a truly grand disin your play, similar to those from Fourth of cereal a w r a p p e d July celebrations. certain in green paper amount with gold bows. It This is going to be the best St. Patof points is a game ty’s Day ever. is allotted. of luck, a n d only one box holds anything of value.
Step One: Wake up to a Pot O’Gold In the morning, you may feel a rather large bump under your pillow. Do not be alarmed, this is just your pot o’gold. This was left in the wee hours of the morning by a leprechaun who will be making spontapoints neous visits through this joyous day Horseshoe: 25 points of celebration. Take your pot o’gold Rainbows: 10 point
CALENDAR March 12:
Pi Day Long Lunch
4:15-7:15 ParentTeacher Conferences
March 25: Battle of the Bands
Make-up day, last day of nine weeks
April 17: Prom
May 3-14: AP Testing
Pot o’gold: 100 points Four-leaf clover: 50
Step Four: Search for hidden coins all around your house Leprechauns are generally very sneaky creatures, and depending on which Leprechaun each family was given, you will find a different personality and type of trickery. There is no way to decide whether you will have a nice Leprechaun or a spiteful one. Sometimes, the Leprechaun will hide the coins from the stash that was won by one of the siblings. Other times, he will
Question: When will we know what the schedule for students will look like for next year?
Answer: “We should be finding out from the county in the next few weeks.” -Assistant principal Carl Kiehn
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Published on Jun 11, 2014