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VOLUME I,Edition I (Senior Farewell,Class of 2010)

A Year in Review •

September 8, 2009 – Briar Woods seniors began their last first day in the school,



A Farewell to Born Again Freshmen

with initial costs ranging from $200 to participate in a Varsity sport, to another $200 for a year-long parking permit. •

October 10, 2009 – Homecoming filled up the gymnasium, with an overwhelmingly large freshman class and huge participation from upperclassmen.

October, 2009 – Throughout the month, Briar Woods’ NHS organization under Mr. Mosser, Mrs. Mosser and Mrs. Berger collected over $2000 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure in their fundraising efforts. Starting off it’s 6th year in existence as a recognized chapter, this feat was well received by all.

November 14, 2009 – Briar Woods cheerleaders clinched the AA State championship in Richmond, VA.

December 21, 2009 – Winter break begins two days early as a snow storm blankets the D.C. Metro area.

Fe b r u a r y 5 , 2 0 1 0 – B i l l e d a s “snowmageddon” and “snowpocalypse” by major news outlets, D.C. was pounded with feet of snow, with estimations around 30-36 inches for Ashburn. Even more troublesome, a second storm the next week dropped another foot of snow. Through it all, school was closed down for over a week and a half, the federal government had to shut down for four days and piles of plowed snow remained in parking lots well into early spring.

Early May, 2010 – AP exams begin, and due to budget restraints, students must pay $87 per exam they plan to take, as well as to receive their 1 point GPA boost.

May 8, 2010 – The junior class throws a memorable prom at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, with an impressive club theme and performance by well-renowned Mercury in Summer.

June 21, 2010 – At 2 in the afternoon, Briar Woods seniors conclude their 4 years of high school with graduation ceremony at the Patriot Center at George Mason University.

e v e r y t h i n g w i l l b e n e w a n d they were raised on, they will always unexpected,” said Senior Carrie be united as freshmen. Photo by Brandon Weight Thysse. “Except that in college, you have to live on your own and make Senior Katie Bell said, “Being a Over the past four years, the your own rules and study a lot freshman in high school means fear. As for college, freshman year means graduating class of 2010 has tripped harder.”  freedom. As you enter the unknown, a n d s t u m bl e d t h ro u g h yo u n g adulthood—more commonly known In September of 2006, the senior class you enter a world where your talents as the height of a lifetime. With began its first year at Briar Woods. A and knowledge define who you are. graduation, students receive freedom, majority of students came from the College means the real world.”  independence, opportunities, and feeder middle school, Eagle Ridge, or responsibility. Armed with diplomas private schools like St. Theresa’s while September came and went for the and support, many students will others moved from different towns, freshmen, and many began to get involved at their new school. They further their educations; some may began to join clubs that fit their drive a half hour commute interests both recreationally and while others may venture to the academically; as a result, the other side of the country. As freshmen met students who had 2010 seniors leave behind the View a comprehensive list of all Seniors similar interests, strengths and comfort of high school, they and their college choices,with spotlights goals. Friendships sparked that will encounter countless on those traveling far from home lasted throughout high school experiences in new Pages 14 - 15 and college resumes began to environments, perhaps build. As this very same class experience culture shock or maybe a bit of homesickness. states or even countries. They came graduates from its beloved high However, students will definitely from different places but they were school, and its members advance to undergo one change that may take brought together by their status as college, they will experience the same thing; tons of new some adjusting to—the transition freshmen. While the diversity of a activities are offered at from the known to the unknown, one college campus is certainly more magnified, it is subsequently more many schools that is strangely familiar.  interesting; students from all fifty (Cont. on page 9) states and several different countries “I think being a freshman in college will be the same as being a high are enrolled in most schools. But school freshman in the way that despite which high school students graduated from or which continent

Story by Kiley Garrett

College Map


Senior Superlatives

By the Numbers


View photos from all past plays, and ones from seniors 4 years ago to now. Page 12

After nearly 4 years without superlatives, they have finally been re-released! View classmates for superlatives the class of 2010 voted on.

With a spectacular club theme, prom at the Hyatt was a blast. Recollect with plenty of photos, and view some of the most memorable outfits.

Review the year with photos from this year’s top moments and events.

Page 4-5

Pages 3

Page 8


Open Letter from the Staff

“Honest News In Your Hands” Est.2010

Editors Clarke Willaims Editor in Chief

Brandon Weight Print Newspaper Editor Art Director

Julianne Lewis TOP ROW (From left to right): Aaron McAndrew, Kiley Garrett, Osama Farooqui, Josh Plumhoff, Brandon Weight, Kiersten Kampschroeder, Erin Pelletier, Bailey Kirkpatrick, Casey Fabris, Abbe Ramanan. BOTTOM ROW (From left to right): Lauren Young, Veronica Cuadrado, Abby Comm, Julianne Lewis, Devin Williams, Clarke Williams.

It has been a rough year. Senioritis kicked in around sophomore year, and our post AP-exams foci turn to the impending rooming process and meal plan choices. While it is important to base thought processes on the debate between the need for a bacon, egg, biscuit, cheese and pancake buffet every morning or otherwise, it is hard not to celebrate what a wonderful year w e ’v e m a d e i t . I n 1 8 0 d a y s , cheerleaders have taken their first state championship, an overwhelming number of students produced an impressive college list, and despite whatever economic adversity entered Loudoun County, this school has fostered a set of students well prepared for the world. With late night project runs fueled by the need for a e s t h e t i c a l l y - p l e a s i n g m i d ye a r

transcripts, it has been a rough year, yes. support. We had to name a few But it has also been one of Briar i n d i v i d u a l s b e l o w f o r t h e i r Woods’ finest. remarkable support as counselors, accountants, editors and supervisors, Here at the Falcon Forum, we are especially when their job title gave dedicated to giving the Senior Class the no such indication of these activities. praise it deserves. We thrive by And even if your name is not listed recognizing great efforts through our below, just remember, this is your passions. Whether an editor, a staff paper. You could be the cheerleader writer, or an individual never versed in who won a state championship, the the Journalism pre-requisite, we are all drama student who worked for four personally driven student journalists y e a r s u n d e r B l a c k F o r e s t ded icated to pro moting h o nes t P r o d u c t i o n s , f a s h i o n i s t a o r journalism. fashionisto haute couture at Prom, regardless, you are yourself. And to The Falcon Forum would like to fellow members of Briar Woods dedicate this paper to the school, faculty High School, we thank you. And and student body, without which we now, let us enjoy our bacon, egg, would have no reason to celebrate. We biscuit, cheese, and pancake buffet. honestly could not have published this paper without the constant flow of

An Immense amount of thanks go to: Mr. Starzenski, for allowing us to continue our passion in a professional manner; Mr. Legg, for all of his witty guidance; Mr. Noland, for believing in his students and pushing them in the right direction; Mrs. Berger, for knowing everything; Mrs. Hoffmann and Ms. James, for taking on this project under the Senior Class name,

and allowing us full reign with coverage; Mrs. Smith, for allowing us time after time after time to check on our account balance; Ms. Holder and Ms. Bryant for allowing us to visit everyone in the office at least twice daily; Mr. and Mrs. Mosser, for their words of support when times got tough; The Kirkpatrick Family, The

Pellitier Family, The Fabris Family, and The Weight Family for hosting numerous teenage kids at a time, and giving us the tools we needed whether chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips or a 24'' iMac - to create this paper.

Asst.Print Newspaper Editor Managing Editor

Erin Pellitier Asst.Print Newspaper Editor World Editor

Casey Fabris Editorial Editor Copy Editor

Josh Plumhoff Sports Editor

Bailey Kirkpatrick FeatureEditor

Abbe Ramanan Arts & Culture Editor

Staff Writers Jacob Ottenheimer Kiley Garrett Veronica Cuadrado Osama Farooqui Devin Williams Abby Comm Lauren Young Aaron McAndrew Kiersten Kampshroeder

Faculty Sponsors Mrs. Hoffmann Ms. James Mr.. Noland

Briar Woods High School 22525 Belmont Ridge Road Ashburn,VA 20148 703-957-4400

Our Advisors Mrs.Hoffmann Mr.Noland

The views expressed in this newspaper are the sole property of the authors,and do not necessarily reflect those of our faculty advisors, nor Briar Woods High School as a whole. All work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0. For more information,go to

By the Numbers

BY THE #’s


Seniors attended Briar Woods High School in the 2009-2010 school year. If everybody in school only missed 5 days, the class of 2010 would have been in school for a combined 52,020 days, or 364,140 hours


Number of words in this publication, including the ones you’re reading right now!

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Requiring quite a bit of student input,we took your thoughts on these past four years,academically and otherwise.

The first day of school is what over 30% of students said was the one day in high school they’d love to revisit. Another 17% would like to replay their senior prom, while 13% said that there were just too many wonderful days to choose just one.

First Day of School


Top 20 Spots to Hang Out 1. Chipotle 2. Friend’s Houses 3. Movie Theatre 4. Brambleton 5. McDonalds 6. Tyson’s 7. Caribou 8. Reservoir 9. Downtown Leesburg 10. Lifetime Fitness 11. Ice Rink 12. Reston 13. D.C.

all ; y orr these ed w of ot n’t Do chers ere v as a tea sses w wice er) cla east t teach l at orite fav

14. Panera 15. American Flatbread 16. Georgetown 17. Great Falls 18. Kings Dominion

ent 19. Harper’s Ferry m n n r o i e t 1. v osi y r Go p 20. IHOP o t P AB is om A s . C H u 2 nd .S. cul l a U a e P C tur P a A r 3. A nd Lite a s P lu u c 4. A l -Ca e r 5. P Headed by the wonderful efforts of Nicole Ivey, and a superb n

a AP


Top 5 Most Favored Teachers 1. Mr. Legg 2. Mr. Noland 3. Mrs. Berger 4. Mr. Benson 5. Mr. Celio

then-junior class, the 2009 prom garnered the most votes for best moment in high school.



You voted,we tallied! Here are your class of 2010 winners for the first set of superlatives in 3 years

Best Smile

Best Dressed

Dominick Caldwell and Christine Edeline

Brandon Weight and Clarke Williams

Most LikelyTo Make You Laugh


Christian Flores and Jenn Manes

Matthew Lunsford and Julia Gillespie

Cutest Couple

Best Personality

Chris Butler and Sammy Salguero

Tyler Kirby and Morgan Hall


Most Spirited

Most Likely to Succeed

Jimmy O’Neill and Vallie Herndon

Matt Lunsford and Nikki Ivey

Most Athletic


Omar Omokhodian and Kim Bell

Brett Stockman and Katie Bell

Best to Bring Home to Mom & Dad Ryan Faulkner and Madeline Moore

Best Friends for Life “Jandy” (Jimmy O’Neill and Andy Luhmann) and Rachel Stecher and Priscilla Smith


‘5.08’ Rocks the Hyatt Regency for a Memorable Prom Story by Bailey Kirkpatrick Photos by Devin Williams

Every year, as the end of school nears, anticipation mounts and students wait with baited breath for the beginning of Prom season. Taking its place as a traditional rite of passage in modern teen culture, Prom is the biggest event of the school year. Prom planning starts weeks in advance; as soon as the date is set. High school juniors and seniors frantically scramble for dresses, dates and secure those party busses, dinner reservations, and last minute tux fittings. The night of May 8 saw the final completion of at least for schools’ proms, Briar Woods High School included. Although not as glamorous as those portrayed on movies and television, there are no campaigns for Prom Queen, there are no practiced dances that everyone knows, there are no killers on the loose and no one spends $100,000 over their allotted budget, Prom is still a woefully popular event. However, this year’s Prom did have a simple “club theme” that was deemed trés chic and deliciously fun. Although no one is promoting the regular attendance of high school students to clubs, the glow sticks and dimly lit atmosphere provided four hours of lasting entertainment while allowing students to enter a true escape from the regular routine of school. Kathryn Davidson, Junior Class President and one of the people in charge of the planning committee, said the club theme was simple, but “something most people would enjoy.”

Before school even started, numerous people, including Junior Class Sponsor Mrs. Berger, last year’s Junior Class President Nikki Ivey, Robert Villoch, Brandon Weight, Lindsey Neimo, Julie Wiard and Grace MacJones gathered multiple times to plan for the dance. Just as well, there is a deceiving amount of work that goes into planning a dance for 500 students. Chances are not everyone will be absolutely happy, and many complained that it was not on a boat again, but the majority consensus was that Prom was a smashing success. “It [Prom] was well put together, it flowed really smoothly, and was an overall success,” said Junior, and Mercury in Summer bassist, Brian Jones.

The Prom lineup was also wellcoordinated. Brian Jones and his band, Mercury in Summer, played from 8:00PM to 8:30PM, while students begin arriving, until the fulltime DJ stepped up to start the radio hits session of the evening. Caterers had food lined up along the walls, but not a formal dinner like last year’s Prom, which proved to be more successful since students typically eat dinner before the dance. Glow stick necklaces and bracelets became the decorative centerpieces of each draped table, and the dance floor in the middle of the ballroom provided an awesome dance step where everyone enjoyed themselves. Slow songs were played intermittently History teacher and Prom chaperone, between the blaring rap and hip-hop Ms. Burgess, said, “I think the theme music, which allowed students to was cool because all teenagers want to show off their dance moves. be treated more like adults, and this was an innovative way of achieving There were a few occasions where students were reprimanded; one that.” incident involved a student or groups Kathryn Davidson was elected Junior of students swinging open water Class President at the end of last year bottoms over the crowd on the dance with the understanding that the Junior floor, making the floor slippery and class had to provide and plan the Prom dresses wet. However, students at the end of the school year. With recognized the inherent danger of money from fundraising, ticket sales disobeying the school administrators and profits from last year, the Prom and chaperones and quickly stopped committee pulled off a magical their antics. In addition, one of the evening. However, just as Rome was most prominent issue at any school not conquered in one day, the Prom dance is the dancing. took months of careful planning and (Cont. on page 9) coordinating.


With Briar Woods’ finest in high style fashion at prom, there was no question that this senior class was ready to party in the most regal of ways. From suave tuxedoes from M e n’s We a r h o u s e, t o Bloomingdales’ most beautiful gowns, Briar Woods students dressed to impress.

MEMORABLE ATTIRE Photos and Information by Devin Williams


Prom 2010 was without a doubt a night to remember and will surely never be forgotten by this year’s seniors. Falcon attire was definitely fashion forward at the Hyatt R e g e n c y. Fr o m S t e p h a n i e Peterson’s self-designed, elegant gown, to Chasity Hamilton’s dress hailing from England, there was no shortage of charm and sophistication on May 8. Many of Briar Woods’ senior boys also dressed their finest for the occasion. Some chose to be handsome in tasteful white tuxedoes like Eren Terkes, while others charmingly brought back the classics like Brandon Weight in his self-acquired bowtie and shirt. These are only a few of the delightfully divine looking senior class on their show-stopping prom night. Each student traded in their sweatpants for a splendid tuxedo or gown, knowing 5.08 would be a marvelously momentous occasion. Naturally, they had to dress the part.

Top Row: (From Left to Right) Kayla Staton—Glory, Katrina Khalil— Macy’s, Elizabeth Kissoon—Mary’s Boutique, Kiersten Kampschroeder— Glory, Elise Guessford—Lord & Taylor, Chasity Hamilton—England, Stephanie Peterson—Her own design Bottom Row: (From Left to Right) Carrie Thysse—Tennessee, Annemarie Lucernoni—Sway & Cake, Vallie Herndon—Bloomingdale’s, Kathryn Fowler—

Guys (From Left to Right) Eren Terkes—Men’s Wearhouse; Matt Vespestead—Men’s Wearhouse; Peter Nguyen—Express; Brandon Weight— Men’s Wearhouse, Joseph A. Bank, H&M; Austin Frattali—Men’s Wearhouse; Danny Kim—Korea

View more downloadable photos for free at:


Year in Photos Photos by Ryan Faulkner and Brandon Weight


College Checklist Story by Jacob Ottenheimer

Though it all can be an annoying and time consuming process, plan accordingly for college and you will not end up with unneeded stress. The best way to prepare is to make a checklist. Make a detailed list of all the things one will need for college and check them off as completed. Electronic staples include cell phones and a laptop. Throughout the year there will probably be several papers and emergencies where one may need either item. Laptops and even cell phones now-a-days can help one connect with friends and provide hours of entertainment. If you want to remember all the fun times, a nice thing to bring is a camera. One may never know when it could come in handy. Make sure to bring plenty of clothes. Make sure there is variety of clothing types in your closet, so you have all your favorites but not everything. Dorm rooms have limited closet space though so do not over pack. One of the most important things is spirit wear, so make sure to stop by the school store and pick some up before and during college. One controversial item is a fan; dorm rooms can be hot and stuffy and a small electronic fan is a quick fix for that. One could also try window fans as well. A mini refrigerator or microwave may also come in handy for storing and cooking small snacks, although many dorms have commons with kitchens.

Another thing you do not want to forget is an alarm clock; it is never good to oversleep and miss a class and an alarm clock can help prevent this. Bath towels and hangers are also some things to think about bringing along. They may not be exciting, but they will be nice to have so you do not have use your friend or neighbors’. Many girls will probably want to bring their hair dryer, hair straightener and make up-girls necessities. Many students will also want to bring or buy a television for their room and many guys will bring a video game console. Another thing that may be beneficial is getting in touch with your roommate. Many people room with other students from their high school, however if you are one of those people who is doing random, getting in touch with your room mate may be something to consider. One thing you should do is memorize your social security number. One will need this for everything from registering for classes to checking your grades. Another thing that many freshman stress over is the “Freshman 15,” in other words stressing about gaining weight from eating unhealthy. A good way to avoid this is to work on an exercise plan and to try and eat as healthy as possible. Many colleges have gyms and a good idea is to start a workout regiment before college starts


We Did It (Cont.from page 1) including student radio and television stations, countless honor societies and Greek life. Similar to their freshman experience in high school, they will make friends and play hard; but as Briar Woods students always do, they will work harder. 

seniors could probably sketch a full blueprint of the school, or find their way to class blindfolded. But when the summer comes to an end and the graduates finally head to college, they may feel just as awkward and oblivious as they did four years ago.

“I’m extremely excited to get involved next year at Virginia Tech,” said Senior Courtney Ngo. “Tech offers ever ything, and all of the opportunities—both sororities and the academic activities—are really spirited. The more involved you are the more friends you’ll make, I’ve learned that much.”

“Saying good-bye to Briar Woods will be interesting. I will miss all the great friends and teachers I met, but I know I will make new friends at Virginia Tech, so it goes both ways. That little unsettling fear is still present, but it doesn’t bother me all that much because I know that I will do alright in the end,” said Senior Chris Butler

As the 2009-2010 school year commences, the graduating class holds its seniority with pride. Most

Enjoy and good luck, class of 2010.

‘5.08’...(Cont.from 6) “My least favorite thing was watching people get intensely freaky on the dance floor. I saw a lot of things I hope to never seen again,” said Jones. Burgess, a chaperone of the dance, concurred wholeheartedly. “The dancing was so inappropriate,” she said. Needless to day, the freak dancing never fazes students, because it only continues. Despite some minor instances Prom 2010 proved on of the best yet. With help from Senior Nikki Ivey, and the support of Mrs. Berger and many other members of the

p l a n n i n g c o m m i t t e e, K at h r y n Davidson truly proved herself as Junior Class President. Prom was unbelievable and all those in attendance agree that it was a truly amazing night. Burgess sums it up best in saying, “I think Ms. Berger and Kathryn did a wonderful job and [Prom] was very successful!”


Arts & Culture

VAMPIRE WEEKEND //“CONTRA” Review by Abbe Ramanan Darlings of the indie blogosphere Vampire Weekend first appeared on the music scene with their self-titled debut in 2008, an album that drew derision as well as praise for coming across as Ivy League prepsters trying to play Afro-rock cool, which, indeed, it was. In their newest work, "Contra", Vampire Weekend thumbs their noses at the critics, becoming, if anything, even more preppy while drawing from

a wider selection of African influences. The album opens with the nonsensical "Horchata," a clean, elegantly arranged track with ornate electronic melodies providing a charming groove for lead singer Ezra Koenig’s ad hoc lyrics, which manage to rhyme "horchata" with "baklava." Much of the album follows a similar

pattern, as Koenig weaves smirky narratives for the prep-school set through rich, detailed melodies that manage to come off as light while borrowing heavily from Afro-rock, ska and calypso influences. The band's willingness to sample from such a wide variety of styles - and be able to pull them off - sets "Contra" a step above the average indie-rock album and Vampire Weekend above the average pretentious indie-rockers.

If "Contra" is a double-proofed "Vampire Weekend," that does not mean the band has merely made a concentrate of their previous album. "The Diplomat's Son" features samples from M.I.A, the Toots and the Maytals smoothly blended with the group's trademark precocious storytelling, and singles "Giving up the Gun" and "Cousins" show two years have given these prepsters polish.

I n d e e d , eve n t h o u g h Ko e n i g manages to drop references to sculptor Richard Serra on the choral-backed "White Sky," the fellows who asked listeners "who gives a f—k about an Oxford comma?" are still as snarky as ever. The self-depreciating "California English" mocks the materialism of hipsters who define themselves by such arbitrary artifacts as their organic toothpaste, while "Taxi Cab" is an affront to false modesty- "When the taxi door was wide/I pretended I was horrified/ by the uniform and gloves outside the courtyard gate."

While detractors will probably m an age to fi n d s o meth in g to disparage, Vampire Weekend has shown with their sophomore album that they really don’t care. "Contra" heightens all the things that made the band so lovable in the first place, while displaying a refreshingly diverse array of influences. One feels that the charming boys from New England have an enthusiasm for their music that no amount of criticism can diminish. The group revels in the world that they have created, and listeners will as well.

CHESS CLUB Tegan And Sara //“Sainthood”

John Mayer //“Battle Studies”

Passion Pit //“Manners”

On October 27, 2009, Canadian sweethearts Tegan and Sara have released yet another stellar album on Sire Records entitled "Sainthood". With their sixth major release, they have continued their trend of catchy pop-beats, entrancing melodies, and flowing lyrics. Furthermore, in their sound, Tegan and Sara project a sense of maturity that seems lacking in most other pop artists. While their lyrics continue to have a catchy sing-song focus, the sound behind it develops into much more than a simple album. he only negative aspect of the album is the romantic undertones of all of the songs. While it does seem to be the focus of most pop albums, this is only a minor flaw at worst. Tegan and Sara lyrics take on a subtle form, not showing the gooey-lovey influence of artists like Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson. For those that have not heard the new songs, it is definitely a worthwhile album that deserves the highest praise. - Brandon Weight

John Mayer is famous for his uncanny ability to match somber and thought– provoking lyrics with vibrant beats and captivating tunes. Mayer’s newest album, Battle Studies was released by Columbia Records on November 17, and has since garnered high profits, and heaping praise. Much like Mayer’s previous works, Battle Studies incorporates both tenderness and a ‘70s California-rock vibe, creating tracks that few listeners can resist. The majority of the songs deal with deteriorating relationships and romantic struggles; yet they are delivered with incredible grace. Mayer has created an album that is relatable and raw, yet tremendously powerful. Once again, the artist co-produced the album alongside Columbia Records, ensuring that each song held an emotive concept as well as a charming melody. - Kiley Garrett

 Passion Pit, which started in the dorm room of then Emerson student Michael Angelakos, has re-released their second album, Manners, with three additional songs. The now popular indie electropop group improved upon an already innovative and unique set of tunes when they released this “Deluxe Edition” on April 13th. The album contains a range of sounds and beats that portray a time-line of emotion and showcase Passion Pit’s avant-garde style. Eleven songs in,one reaches the final three songs of the album, the pieces for which this “Deluxe Edition” was released. Including an acoustic, pianoaccompanied construction of “Sleepyhead” and “Moth’s Wings”, these last three songs wind down the aforementioned roller coaster. As an ode to The Cranberries, Passion Pit concludes the album with a cover of “Dreams”, a fitting finale to an inscrutably unusual piece of musical art. - Kiersten Kampshroeder

Visit Mrs. Cramer for an amazing club!


@ falconforumonline.

Arts & Culture


t h g li t o p S t is t r A be Ramanan Reporting by Ab

Although perhaps not as widely recognized as their peers, Briar Woods boasts a number of prolific senior artists, both within the Art Department and outside of it. These student artists work with a variety of mediums and produce works that range from subversive to emotive. Regardless, they are all very talented and will leave behind a legacy of artistic achievement. One of these seniors is Julia Burns. Although she was unable to enroll in an art class this year due to scheduling conflicts, Burns still continues to cultivate her passion for sculpting outside of the classroom.      This stems from a lifelong love of art that began in childhood. “I’ve been

doing art forever, I was really little when I started,” said Burns. This ingrained aesthetic sense allows Burns to draw from the world around her for inspiration. Said Burns, “This is going to sound totally cliché, but pretty much anything inspires me. A lot of the times it's music though.” Though Burns has no plans to pursue art after high school as more than a hobby, her time as an artist at Briar Woods has imbued her with a love of creating. “I enjoy my art most when it turns out to be like I want it to be. Nothing is as satisfying as having your're idea come to life before you,” said Burns.

A display of pieces from Briar Woods’ artists.


Arts & Culture

The Board Game Come to Life! Review by Osama Farooqui

T h e B r i a r Wo o d s ’ D r a m a Department put on yet another engaging display in front of a packed auditorium with their latest production, “Clue”. With broad suggestions of reality, cast members delivered an eerily authentic performance of the internationally popular board game. The highly anticipated drama stayed true to the original storyline while adding a refreshing twist of its own. The lights dimmed, marking the beginning of a journey to discover the identity of the killer. The interactive musical started with 3 audience members choosing from 3 different life-sized decks of cards. As followed, each picked a killer, a weapon, and a location at random. Subjective card selections also influenced some interchangeable dialogue between various characters as the play unfolded. With 216 possible conclusions, the play was set to take a new course of action. At commencement, mystery swept over the confounded audience.

Prime suspects of the whodunit story made their way across the stage as a gentle hush fell over the crowd. All but one could claim innocence, yet the sincerity of each character’s message was called into question. Led by Seniors Dylan Greer and Katie Bell, as the infamous Mr. and Mrs. Boddy who were unexpectedly murdered, the recognizable individuals began to make their cases for acquittal. “I loved how the play was extremely interactive,” said Junior Donald Ta. “The play was much more interesting than it seemed to be before.” The cast added a few refreshing twists to the traditional storyline, with a hint of humor here and there as well. Intriguing exchange of ideas with a lack of veracity of in each person’s statement also created a sense of doubt in the flow of information. The final senior spectacle definitely went out with a big bang. “ C l u e d e fi n i t e l y e x c e e d e d my expectations,” said Sophomore Shreya Vatsala. “I was at the edge of my seat the entire time.”

Photo provided by the Drama Department

Black Forest Productions ’09 -’10 Performances A sampling from three different reviews

Robin Hood

“ ” “ ” “ ”

From its opening scene in the storybook Sherwood Forest,Black Forest Production's "Robin Hood" is a lively,light-hearted play that is a welcome addition to Black Forest's oeuvre.


Briar Woods' Black Forest Productions engaged both Cappies critics and theatergoers alike with a musical adaptation of "Cinderella" that proved both comforting and innovative.With both a bubblegum colored set and a sassy godmother, this version of the age old fairytale manages to honor tradition while remaining distinctive and refreshing.

Pom Pom Zombies

Black Forest Productions has produced a show that includes the element of scary radioactive zombies and meshes it with a funny beach blanket comedy. Robin Hood and Cinderella by Abbe Ramanan Pom Pom Zombies by Aaron McAndrew

‘Glee’ Hits Global High Note   Story by Devin Williams Tuesday night television is rocking out to the increasingly popular FOX show ‘Glee’  created by Ryan Murphy. This electrifying one hour musical comedy drama pulls one headfirst into the intriguingly entertaining William McKinely show choir in Lima, Ohio. With comments like the ‘biting comedy for the underdog in all of us’ being made by New York Times’ movie critics, the series’ is inspiring about 13.7 million viewers to do their own thing while following teen problems in a way that always concludes with a heartfelt life lesson. Still managing to incorporate hit songs from the past and present, ‘Glee’ is remarkably relatable and pure fun; it is no wonder why more and more students are quickly becoming “Gleeks.”   The series follows the typical nerd, jock and cheerleader as they all stumble into their high school glee club, growing closer through song. The club’s director, Will Schuester, having had hopes to restore it to its former glory, but has yet to see his unique group of teens disappoint. They are currently working hard to sing their way into 1st place at the competition.   

“Glee is the highlight of my week; a must-see show that nearly anyone can find likeable. Whether they enjoy it for the music, the witty oneliners, or a way of remembering what their high school experience was like,” said Sophomore Rachel O’Keefe.    From captivating characters like quirky, self-assured Rachel Berry, played by Lea Michele, to the bullying, yet charismatic football player Puck, played by Mark Salling, the show never leaves viewers untouched, either emotionally or humorously. It is ‘Glee’s radiant cast that holds the mega musical sensation together and keeps “Gleeks” on their toes worldwide.    “The storyline is so well written; the songs, the characters, the plot—it draws me in every time,” said Sophomore Madi Horner.   Glee is truly that amusing and charmingly hilarious show, holding something new and different every week for every family member to enjoy, guaranteed to leave a smile on each person’s face by the end of the 60 minute melodious masterpiece.  

(Cont. on page 17)

14 Jennifer Black University of British Colombia

“ Getting international experience, and getting to meet all types of people from all different places, and just being away from home, really away from home is what I’m looking forward too.”


Corinne Cheney,David Mangum, Katie Bell, Ryan Faulkner BYU - Provo

Jinwon (Danny) Kim University of California Berkeley

"It's a really good college and I want to experience the west coast- a new life and new people.”

Kelsey Atkinson Pomona

“ I want to meet new people, and just gain a new perspective because I’ve lived on the east coast my whole life. I’m looking forward to getting to explore L.A., because I’ve explored D.C. so long because I’ve lived here.” Fashion Institute of Design and Jennifer Manes Amanda Nguyen Jesse Bhamrah Amber Colley Pamela Davilla Merchandising Ca' La Faciane Jimmy O’Neill Brandon Doran Mackenzie Hill Ferrum College Justin Partlow Carolina Alverez Art Institute of Dulles, VA Rioll Tanelus Karli Masengale Dale Walby Travis Pietch Tavis Henry Katie Ward Danielle Booth Art Institute of Washington Madeline Moore Desiree Ozah Chelsea Hitchcock Frostburg State University Andy Luhmann Matthew Vespastead Elizabeth Kissoun Sarah Abdelkader Full Sail University Meredith Blair Erik Vinson Brigham Young University - Provo Morgan Sneight Nathan Burcak Fabiola Cardenas Corinne Cheney Ryan Esch Hayley Lyles David Mangum George Mason University Divyavani Rayapudi Sameer Saini Jillian Bigler Katie Bell Gina Koo Sarah Dobson Kassandra Zavala Ryan Faulkner Jonathan Dobles Stephanie Cottone Lauren Cole Brigham Young University - Idaho Marisol Yi Steven Page Luis Yanes Daniel Evans Mark Davis Taylor Ballard Mackenzie Kennedy Christopher Newport University Michael Gruntz Vallie Herndon Maria Ojeda Romero Caitlin Blalock Sayeef Hasan Zeke Mihelcic Mario Ballesteros Caitlin Ronan Taren Henry Le Cordon Blue Meghan Wilhelm Hannah Ronan Tierney Ragsdale Zac Hoffman Melissa Kelley John Howard Yurin Niu Liberty Universtity Michael Dodge Lauren Young Andrea Toczko Michael Ojeda Lea Schild Greensboro College Logan Harris Longwood University Mitu Dillon Natalie DeSanctis Allen Jackson Ryan Hill Nick Perriello Groves City College Matthew Rousch Stephanie Peterson Sandra Santiago Priscilla Smith Indiana University of Pennsylvania Mary Washington University Shauna Spinney Costal Carolina University Christine Edeline Emily Farnsworth Soraya Lawrence Olivia Dallas Danielle Deal Marymount University Sunil Benjamin DeVry University Elena Martinez Taide Castro Alex Minton Indiana University Purdue University of Ritu Ghuman Taylor Long Dixie College Indianapolis Ashli Minor Merchant Marine Academy Terrry Hyunh Tyler Wilkinson Jacob University, Breman, Germany Alex Maney Tyler Combs East Carolina University Shon WIlliams New York Univerisity Zach Selph Brett Colan Kiersten Kampschroeder Zeeshan Rohim Josh Plumhoff James Madison University Abby Potter Ashli Minor Diane Yim Lindsey Roivas Amanda Girolami Norfork State University Northwestern University Nicole McNey Brittany Donegan Ashley Smith Christian Flores Eastern Kentucky University Carly Firestone North Carolina Community College Ohio Weslevan University Samantha Stevenson Carrie Thysse Whitney Chandler Juliet Harrison Embry-Riddle Elizabeth Zwicker Northern Virginia Community College Old Dominion University Ryan Geckler Jennifer Manes Casey Stejbach American University



Nicole Ivey Yale University

“The best part about going to Yale is being able to represent my school, and meet so many different people, people that I’ve never been exposed to before. Also, it’s getting to represent Briar Woods, and Ashburn, and my family.”

Rachel Stecher, Elissa Kim, Alex Maney Military Academies

Matt Lunsford Texas A&M “I choose it because I have a lot of family there and they have a great engineering school. It also has a lot of opportunities in on campus organizations such as Christian clubs. In the end I've always wanted to go there since I was a little kid.”

JasmineVirk Windsor, Carribean

"Their medical program is excellent and I can get a degree in four years versus eight in the states.”

Alana Abdul-Hafiz Alexa Ziegler Devin Bostelman Dominick Caldwell James Patrick Jonathan Wudijono Nadia Davis Pacific Lutheran University Chasity Hamilton Pennsylvania State University Adriana Tepley Emily Moore Holly Dominguez Daniel Rueda Veronica Vigilar Pomona Kelsey Atkinson Potomac State College Chad Sieczkowski Purdue University Brett Stockman Omar Omokhodion Radford University Breanna Arsenault Casey Roche Chris Walker Dupinder Singh Erica Schmidt Gage McDonald Hayley Olson Rajini Appasamy Samantha Lee Rutgers University Gabrielle Ryans Santa Barbara Community College Cody Smith Ethan Richards Shenandoah University Andrew Maxwell Shepherd University

Joseph Kaye Slippery Rock University Chelsea Galbraith Syracuse University Brandon Weight Texas A&M University Matthew Lunsford U.S. Naval Academy Elissa Kim United States Air Force Academy Rachel Stecher University of Alabama Lyndsi Owens Michael Lax Morgan Canada University of British Colombia Jennifer Black University of California Berkeley Jinwon Kim University of Houston Marta Martinez University of Kentucky Josh Miller University of Maryland, College Park Ryland Atkins University of Miami Erin Pelletier Sydney Harris University of Mississippi Jenna Faris University of Northern Florida Emily Ryan University of Notre Dame August Santillo University of Pennsylvania Clarke Williams University of South Carolina Julianne Lewis University of Vermont Julia Burns

University of Virginia Elise Guessford Kate Fowler Monika Khot Yebin Kim Zach Lewis Utah Valley University Kimberley Bell Virginia Commonwealth University Eddie Dolphin Jordan Carroll Joseph Balkas Katrina Kalil Shannon Wood Sravanthi Devabhaktuni Virginia Military Institute Jacques Cerow Virginia Polytechnic and State University Alex Frantz Annemarie Lucernoni Ashkan Hamidi Cameron Kuklick Cassie Lintleman Chelsea Susbilla Chris Butler Christopher Butler Claire Bayles Courtney Ngo Daniel O’Keefe Danielle Craig Elizabeth Gentine Emma Garcia Fernando Oliveros Julia Gillespie Kerry Borman Kyle Haufler Lauren Herrity Matt Brewer Morgan McGovern Peter Nguyen

Samanta Salguero Sara Tarnvik Sean Sangara Taylor Fisher Wisam Fillo Zach Deaton Virginia State University Kayla Staton West Virginia University Alexa Pace Austin Frattali Billy McDonald Gavin Scherer Jacob Ottenheimer Jake Allison Jennifer Camire Jessica Richardella Joseph Iglesias Matthew Zebell Megan Joyce Rafael Tercero Western Michigan University Jessica Bell William & Mary Chris Farley Lindsey Neimo Meghana Indurti Nick Mason Windsor College Jasmine Virk Yale Nicole Ivey


The Evolution of the Class of 2010’s Closet Story by Casey Fabris

The four years that constitute a high school career seem to go by so quickly once seniors are looking back on them. However, in fashion years, four years is more equal to a decade, with hundreds of trends coming and going. Four years of high school can not only be seen through a senior’s resume, but also through a senior’s closet and their evolving style. For most seniors, from their freshman year in 2006 to their graduation year of 2010, their styles or clothing preferences have grown and evolved with them. Senior Stephanie Peterson said, “I think that four years is such a long period of time, that it's simply a given that a person's style, along with so many other things, will change during that time frame, especially during high school, where so many changes are already occurring. My style, in particular, has changed so much since freshman year. Over the past four years, I've just taken pieces of all different trends and really tried my best to make it my own.”  There are few trends that survive throughout or, rarer yet, surpass the length of a high school career. But, there are the few trends that do, like the infamous Uggs. As early as 2006, and even before, the Ugg craze was unavoidable among the high school set. Whether they be short boots, tall boots, knit boots or moccasins, the Ugg brand has certainly become one of the most common among the floors of Briar Woods High School. Despite the fact that Uggs have been popular since 2006, they still remain popular in 2010, and will certainly be brought on to college by much of the graduating class.   “I think that a high school student's personal fashion definitely evolves a lot over the course of their four years in high school because it’s during these years that most people are really finding out who they are, escaping the general

contriteness of middle school, and maturing. My style has definitely evolved in that I am less focused now on what is supposed to be "in" and more into what I personally like to wear,” said Senior Annemarie Lucernoni. Much like history, fashion repeats itself, as can be seen through the 2009 revival of the 80s legging trend. Though perhaps not in the same bright hues or metallic tones, leggings first made their comeback in 2009, and are still prominent today in 2010. Whether worn under skirts or dresses or even worn as pants, one cannot walk down the hallways without seeing a legging-clad classmate. Though popular in high schools, the trend continues to be popular on college campuses. Long popular among musical artists, models and hipsters far earlier, the skinny jeans made their appearance on the high school scene around 2007. The slim fit jeans came to be loved by all, replacing the previously popular flare jeans. Though occasionally traded for leggings today, skinny jeans still remain prominent.  “I wore them [skinny jeans] my first day freshman year, and I was so nervous about them because I had only ever worn flares. It wasn't only a trend, I think they changed body image issues for girls; if you can wear them, they are so much more flattering than flares,” said Senior Julianne Lewis.   Women and high heels have always had a love-hate relationship, so women are constantly seeking out a comfortable substitute for them without sacrificing style. In the early 2000s, and with growing popularity throughout the decade, their prayers were answered with the ballet flat.

Loved by all as they can be worn with anything and are far superior in comfort to heels, b a l l e t fl at s, t h o u g h fi r s t becoming fashionable prior to the entrance of the Class of 2010, have only grown in popularity as time wore on. Taking from the closets of 1950s and 1960s women, 2008 saw the revival of the scarf. Though worn in the 50s and 60s as headscarves, they have more recently been seen first on purses, and then, around necks. The perfect accessory to most outfits, the scarf has become a near symbol of the more relaxed bohemian-chic styles seen today. Though they have evolved from the old silk patter ned scarves of the 50s and 60s into cotton scarves, often floral or striped, the origin of this trend could certainly be called a fashion revival.   The Class of 2010 has seen the life and death of many a fashion trend. As 2010 comes to a close and seniors prepare to graduate, they prepare not only to leave behind high school, but also high school fashion trends. From 2006 to 2010 the students of Briar Woods High School have grown and evolved in tandem with fashion. As seniors head off to college, they must prepare to embrace new trends, even if that includes the revival of the 90s acid-wash jeans.    


The infamous Uggs boots, still warming feet today.

Dress, shirt or long cardigan? Belt it.

Leggings make a comeback from the 80s.

Patter ned tights liven up winter.

Skinny jeans: Every woman's best friend.

Ballet flats: the comfortable alternative to heels.

Scarves are the perfect accessory to any outfit.


A Letter to the Juniors By Julianne Lewis Classes of students progress through the school like clockwork, leaving behind legacies, standards, advice, and worst of all, their friends. As best friends, boyfriends and girlfriends graduate, it is time to reflect on how to cope with the distance and sense of grief that comes from “losing” someone, and how this year’s juniors should spend their senior year. Although some students choose to live at home and commute to classes, around 80% of Briar Woods seniors choose to go to go to a four year college, which means that, come August, they will be off to experience something completely new. And, come August, this year’s juniors will become seniors; they will have to own up to their positions at the top of the school, and experience first-hand everything that this year’s seniors complained about. There are two things underclassmen must realize when their senior friends depart: first, you will see them again. Second, if you spend too much time dwelling on the loss of your friend, you will not experience your senior year to its fullest. College breaks are long, and during the first semester, not far apart. Many schools give a fall break sometime in October, a week off for Thanksgiving break and around a month off for winter break. In between there are plenty of weekends with teacher work days for students to visit their college friends. Erin Pelletier’s best friend, Laura Starzenski, left for Duke last fall. Pelletier said, “We talked on the phone every night, which helped to make me not miss her as much. She came home a

lot for breaks and I went to visit her once during my spring break. Now that she is home, I feel like nothing has changed.” However, taking trips to James Madison University, Virginia Tech or University of Virginia every weekend will not allow one to enjoy their senior year to the fullest. Seniors, especially, should make sure that they are spending time with their high school friends and doing things that matter, because they will become extremely important in the months before leaving for college. Sophomore Abby Comm, whose boyfriend is leaving for college in the fall, said “I want to enjoy my junior year with my friends, just because Mike is leaving does not mean that we’ll grow apart.” Instead of dwelling on how much it hurts to be apart, students should spend their time getting involved in school activities and spending time

with friends in their grade that they might not have spent as much time with previously. Use your senior year to your advantage: you are eligible to be president of clubs, you can eat in the courtyard, and you (most likely) do not have to take your final exams. Furthermore, instead of moping, you can research colleges; getting yourself excited about college will make you realize that soon you, too, will be experiencing something new and exciting. When you miss your friend’s face, there is always Skype and Oovoo, which are easy to download and only require a webcam. But before you know it, breaks will have come and gone and your friends will be back in May. Utilize your senior year to the fullest; while you will miss your older friends, it is your job to be there for the underclassmen and enjoy your last year of high school.


(Cont.from page 12)

“To be honest, I didn’t really care for the show at first. It was not until the end of the 1st half of the season I realized I loved it! ‘Glee’ has so many good messages, songs and guest stars, and of course good drama. So yes, I guess you could call me a “Gleek,” said Sophomore Sarah Dwinnell.   The show has already brought back the hit songs, ‘Jessie’s Girl’  by Rick Springfield and glorifying Madonna tunes such as ‘Like A Virgin’ and ‘Vogue.’ Not only does ‘Glee’ uplift old songs and current songs, it also creatively brings key aspects of life to attention, like the importance of staying true to oneself even when it may seem easier to be something one is not. Instances like this are shown through the lives of the characters as well as tougher struggles where viewers see the glee club truly come together as family.     “If you haven’t heard of the show, you live under a rock. If you haven’t watched it, you are choosing to not experience it,” said O’Keefe.   As ‘Glee’  continues to strike numerous teen issues, from body image to teen pregnancy, and still brighten the day of viewers all over with its lively songs and inspiring musical entertainment, “Gleeks” can do nothing but enjoy and eagerly wait to see what producer Murphy has in store for next week’s episode.    “I promise after watching one episode, you’re hooked,” said Dwinnell

THANK YOU SENIORS FOR A WONDERFUL YEAR! // Mr. Noland, Mrs. Berger, Mr. Legg




Briar Woods Cheerleaders Capture State Championship Story by Brandon Weight RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – After a year of high-flying performances, the Briar Woods Varsity Cheerleading program culminated an impressive season by taking the AA State Championships. Besting the Brentsville Tigers in a competition including 16 teams, their 261-point, nearly-flawless performance stunned the audience in VCU’s Siegel Center. With 6 seniors on the team, the win was a well deserved mark after four years of hard work. After six months of conditioning, as well as 3 and half months of practice for the routine, Brenna Arsenault is among the hardworking seniors.

Furthermore, her experience at the floor, and the cheerleaders were filled VHSL State Championships was a with their normal peppy spirit. Principal Ed Starzenski welcomed the one she’ll always remember. crowd, and lauded the achievements of “It was so surreal,” she recalled. “I the cheer squad. could not believe we actually won!” The varsity cheerleaders returned to much acclaim, receiving congratulations from nearly every passerby in the hallways. A recording of the winning performance was shown during Monday’s morning a n n o u n c e m e n t s, a n d a F L E X performance was announced as well. Students were herded to their normal pep-rally locations, but the new focus was prevalent. Mats adorned the

Player Profiles

full by freshmen Holly Johnson. Yet the entire student body was engaged in the call, repeating “Say what, say what? B what? B Woods!” After the applause settled down, the varsity cheer squad was eager to present with the district, regional, and state trophies to our school. Forevermore will their triumphs be remembered at Briar Woods. And for senior Danielle Deal, she feels positive for the upcoming underclassmen.

Even with a few technical difficulties, a n d a m i s s i n g p e r fo r m e r, t h e cheerleaders prepared for the routine. The schools namesake blasted out amid sound bites from 3OH!3, while a perfectly timed basket toss complemented the opening formation. The tumbling sequence caught the eye “I want them to always stay humble,” of many, filled with round off back- she began, “and to never forget how handspring tucks and an impressive hard we worked to get to the top.”

All Reporting by Lauren Young // Photos by Brandon Weight

Priscilla Smith

Kate Fowler

Andy Luhmann

Tavis Henry

Christopher Newport


Frostburg State

Ferrum College

Senior Priscilla Smith is the first lacrosse player to commit to play women’s lacrosse in college from Briar Woods. Christopher Newport University will be her home fields next fall, where she will be playing in division 3 in the USA South Conference. Smith was recruited by many schools but she only seriously considered four schools. She decided to commit to CNU after meeting the coach and players and instantly falling in love with the campus. The recruitment process was “crazy” requiring a lot of time and commitment. While Smith went through this process, she played year round to get exposure to college coaches by playing for Upper Corner lacrosse girl’s select 2010 team.

Fowler first started playing softball at the age of 5, influenced by her father who got her into the sport and kept her in it. She will be playing Division 1 softball at the University of Virginia where she hopes to improve on her skills at a higher level. "I was recruited as a junior at camps, but i was told i was too short to pitch but they loved my bat," said fowler. After talking to the UVA coach she was offered a roster spot and would be treated like a scholarship athlete. Playing for Briar Woods has taught her leadership skills and the opportunity to make friends and memories that she will keep with her  for the rest of her life  . "Team sports are the best to play, you have several other teammates that can pick you up and give you support.”

Luhmann has been an avid lacrosse player since 7th grade after being convinced by friends and instantly fell in love with the game. He will be playing at Frostburg State University, where he will be a part of the school's first year lacrosse program.

Henry has been a part of the football program for 4 years and as a senior, was a captain of the team.

"Playing for the Briar Woods team for four years was unbelievable, everything that I have learned is going to help me at the next level, and it has taught me to always work on things that need improvment to get better," said Luhmann. His words of wisdom are to be passionate about what your doing, and it will pay off.

" H e i s ve r y d e d i c a t e d a n d respectful, it's how he was raised," said Coach Pierce. Henry is a very good long snapper and because of that he will get playing time early in his college career, playing Division 3 football at Ferrum College. "My father always told me, work towards your goals, but work harder towards your dreams no matter how far they go," said Henry.



Loudoun Students Reach Out at Special Olympics Story by Bailey Kirkpatrick The Olympics have been around for thousands of years, and are often used as a unifier, a peace-keeper or just for a round of friendly competition. What becomes obvious though, not just in the Olympics, but in many sports, is that people with special needs or disabilities are set apart from the group, and often have no way of competing in such activities. Whether it is because they require special medical attention or because they simply are not allowed, the need for a league of their own became apparent Photo by Ashley Haak and urgent. Now, with the help of hundreds of volunteers and sponsors, siblings that are Special Olympics the Special Olympics, created in 1969, participants, created a special team continues to offer opportunities in for disabled students where the every season and in a plethora of Varsity athletes spend an hour or two sports, for anyone with special needs to every Saturday morning coaching the accomplish something amazing with students and perfecting their strokes. hundreds of people watching. As for Briar Woods volunteers, they were in a unanimous agreement that On Saturday March 28, the Loudoun the experience was one they will never County chapter of the Special forget. Olympics hosted a qualifying swim meet and was hosted at nearby Claude “It was an awesome opportunity,” M o o r e P a r k . T h e r e w e r e n o said Junior Kiley Garrett. “All of the prerequisites to compete, and the kids in the Special Olympics were competition was open to anyone. All incredible. It was one of the most the smiling yet nervous faces were touching experiences I’ve ever had as enough to ease any tension in the a volunteer.” atmosphere and create a buzz of excitement. Standing along the edge of Volunteers come from all walks of life; the pool were coaches and sponsors, many participants are actually sitting in the bleachers were teammates volunteers as well. Some, like Charles and family cheering their swimmers on Vi n e s, h ave s p e c i a l , p e r s o n a l and behind the lanes were more motivation to contribute to the swimmers queuing up, waiting for their Special Olympics. He was inspired to turn to shine. get involved because he has two sons “Community service is great and is very rewarding in many ways; you get a sense of accomplishment for making sports available for Special Olympics athletes,” said Vines. “But, community service is not for everyone, and as a Special Olympics Coach, I’d rather see one person that wants to be there to help than a dozen that don’t really want to help the athletes.” More than 50 volunteers from area high schools and volunteer groups were scattered along the outskirts of the pool and helped organize the swimmers. Briar Woods High School volunteers were accompanied by Paul VI High School, Broad Run High School and Oakton High School students as well. Oakton High School is very unique in that the Varsity Swim Team, of which some members have

A Column by Sports Editor Josh Plumhoff

• Lebron James…the KING without a ring • Philly fly’s while the Bruins blow 3-0 series lead • The New Jersey Nets win only 12 games and lose the first pick in the upcoming NBA draft… the team will move to the WNBA next year them start interacting with more people. He not only is a Councilman bu t H e a d C o a c h o f B o w l i n g, webmaster of their site, a softball volunteer, a volleyball volunteer, a basketball volunteer and a bus driver. The athletes that compete in the “games” show very sportsman-like conduct; giving one another high fives, congratulating each other with hugs and pats on the back, cheering on their teammates and simply being happy that they tried their best, whether coming in first or not. They are role models in every sense of the word. Athletes Robert K. and Adam B. agreed excitedly, “Special Olympics offers the best sports in the country.”

• Adrian Peterson fumbles the microphone at a press conference last week • Surprise…Surprise… Brett Farve considers retirement for the 10th season • Rickey Williams goes substance free for an entire season for the first time since little league • Kim Kardashian dumps Reggie Bush and upgrades to a Fútbol player • Tiger on the prowl…enough said

• NFL implements ne w “hug” policy for after the game since the sport has become too violent for s p e c t a t o r s …  and (Cont. on page 20) quarterbacks

So many volunteers and athletes walk away with a certain satisfaction; one that can only be found by engaging 100 percent in everything one does.

with autism that he wanted to begin exposing to the community and help

Girls on Golf Team Make History Story by Jacob Ottenheimer For the first time in Briar Woods’ history, there are girls on the golf team. The golf team’s Coach, Bob Vitti, has always encouraged girls to try out for golf, but until this year the team has consisted of only boys.  The two girls that tried out for the golf team are S o p h o m o re N i c o l e F l o re s a n d Freshman Mary-Beth Mitchell.   Flores and Mitchell both tried out for the golf team for different reasons.  Flores tried out because she enjoys the sport.  "I get to play the sport I love,"

Just Joshin’ With You

s h e s a i d w i t h o u t a m o m e n t ’s hesitation. Mitchell tried out because her older brother had been on the team, and she wanted to follow in his footsteps.  Another reason that she tried out was because there are not many female golfers and she wanted to see more girls try out for the sport.  Flores and Mitchell mentioned that being on the team was "fun,"  "exciting," and "a good learning experience."

• BREAKING NEWS… it is reported that Tiger Wood’s wife beat him up because he wouldn’t let her be his caddy for the Masters • Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson trades in his cleats for dancing shoes • If only David Ortiz was swinging like Tiger Wood’s wife

(Cont. on page 21)



Softball Season Sets Records Story by Abby Comm Photo by Lauren Young The girl’s varsity softball team is doing extremely well this season. With a current record of 18 wins and 2 loss, the girls are well on their way to a district title. New to the team this season are 5 freshmen who have contributed greatly to the team’s performance. The future of the Briar Woods High School softball program looks bright, as does the future of the 4 graduating seniors. The team will be forced to make adjustments according to the old talent leaving, and the new talent brought in. School records have been set with the softball team this year. The team has taken down other power house teams

in the district, including Broad Run High School and Park View High School. Not only is Broad Run a rival of ours, but they were also ranked throughout the country and our Falcons beat them 7-5. “The team has come light-years from our first season,” said Fowler, “Our reputation is the complete opposite than what it used to be and we earned it.” With new, effective habits set for the girls this season, the team should be able to carry them out even with the loss of 4 talented seniors. Kate Fowler is 1 of the seniors graduating this year. They have all been a part of the team many seasons

during their time at Briar Woods. “After graduating I will be going to the University of Virginia and playing on the varsity softball team,” said Fowler. Before attending UVA, Fowler will be playing with a travel softball team to prepare for college. “I love being a senior on the team,” said Fowler, “I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls, coaches and managers to end my high school softball career.”

The team has so much potential, the girls just need to bring it onto the field. The girls believe “If we play our best, no team can beat us.” The girls look at every game as the most important one of the season and to them, that is the only thing that matters. “One day at a time, one pitch at a time,” said Fowler.

One Sport Town: The Pitfall of D.C. Athletics Story and photo by Brandon Weight While the Caps have already captured the President’s Trophy, the MLSfavored D.C. United take the pitch at RFK while the Nationals, and their fans, enjoy the approaching spring weather, Washington is focused on one, five-syllable, aging athlete Donavan McNabb. Nearly five months prior to the start of the season, D.C. is turning all attention, as always, to the Redskins. Where did this pitfall begin? When did culture disseminate into the masses, neglecting American pastimes, national strongholds and intriguing games? Marked as the second most valuable team by Forbes Magazine at an estimated $1.55 billion, while also taking the highest revenue of any other NFL team, the Redskins d e fi n i t e l y h o l d a n e c o n o m i c importance. But with a dismal record in the past - not to mention a season that will not begin until students return to school - it’s time D.C. shares the love for being one of the most prolific sports towns of the nation. Home to 4 franchises, the D.C. Metro Area hosts a wide variety of sports. Yet, with the shivering months ending,

and the rainy ones beginning, this town benefits from both the closing of one sport and the arrival of two new. In the plaguing economy, marketing experts are facing a problem when exorbitant ticket prices rule the stadiums. Still, with multiple benefits across the board, going out to a game can be the best experience heading into summer. With the Washington Nationals and D.C. United located farther out in southeast, fans have the option of enjoying a day out. A quick metro ride away from the local Vienna orange line station, as well as stops along the most popular tourist spots, RFK is one of the best locations. Also, if fútbol isn’t kicking in, the Washington National’s Park is off the green line towards Anacostia, with a simple switch at L’Efant Plaza the only necessary travel change. These fortunate opportunities should be snatched up by any individual. The opportunity to enjoy a day away – as well as diversify the sports in D.C. – serves the interests of both parties.

Loudoun Students...(Cont.from page 19) Helping those who truly appreciate the work one has accomplished is one of the most underappreciated feelings there is. Robert and Adam both acknowledged that the volunteers who help with the Special Olympics do a good job, and Adam added, “Special Olympics offers so many good sports for people with disabilities.” It becomes clear to those involved with the Special Olympics that the lines so often set between “normalcy” and those with disabilities disappear, allowing everyone to found lasting friendships and create heart-touching moments. The opportunities at the Special Olympics are endless, from softball on Thursdays to fundraising opportunities to far off places. The

Special Olympics of Loudoun County is dedicated to both supplying and covering the activities, making it a truly enjoyable experience for everyone. The Special Olympics mantra is this; “the Special Olympics is dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition.” It is true and evidenced in the biggest way because athletes and volunteers have nothing bad to say about it. It is truly an organization that strives for the betterment and acceptance of an amazing group of people that are no different from anyone else upon close inspection.


Just Joshin’ With You

Warriors Conquer All on Ice Story by Josh Plumhoff

“I’m probably the only person you’ll ever meet who opted to have their leg amputated so they could play hockey,” said SGT. 1st Class Joe Bowser. (USA Hockey Magazine) As Joe Bowser skates down the ice, feeling the breeze in his face, the feeling of an eight ounce puck on his stick, and a burly man chasing him down from behind, his past fades. Months before, while serving in Balad, Iraq, his military unit was hit with mortar fire. Shrapnel fired through his right leg, opening up a quarter-size hole and piercing his femoral artery. Bowser was flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. to undergo surgery to save his leg. He was told by doctors he had to make a decision that would affect the rest of his life. Bowser could save his leg, and endure pain the rest of his life, or he could get his leg amputated. Today, Bowser uses a prosthetic leg. He made the decision to have his leg amputated based on the limitations he may have in the future. With a prosthetic leg he is able to play sports,

hockey being his favorite. SGT. Bowser is able to live his life pain free and still engage in the activities he loved before his injury. “When you first lose your leg, it’s very difficult to trust an object that isn’t yours,” said Bowser. (USA Hockey Magazine) In 2000, the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program was developed to g i ve o p p o r t u n i t i e s t o m i l i t a r y amputees and disabled individuals who strive to persevere and continue playing a sport they love. The program is a non-profit sports organization that provides a safe environment to play hockey. Playing hockey has been used as a recovery, both mentally and physically for amputees. The sport has taught them how distribute their weight, regain their balance, and learn to compensate for their disability. Mentally, it has given the war veterans hope and encouragement to help overcome obstacles and conquer their ambitions.

The USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program is the first program catered solely to war veterans, although another is in the works in Minnesota. The USA Warriors are based out of Laurel, Maryland. They practice twice a week at the Gardens Ice House. The Gardens Ice House has been very helpful,” said John Coleman, noting the rink provided free ice time for the veterans’ hockey clinic. Claiborn Carr III, one of the rink’s owners, is a military veteran himself. (A Greater Freedom) The USA Warriors Program hopes to branch out to cities all across the country. While they do not pay for coaches, staff or board members, expanding the programs will require financial support and volunteers in the future. “We’d love to have more people support the program and get involved with this great cause,” said Warriors Coach Steve Monahan. (USA Hockey Magazine)



Story by Aaron McAndrew Talk show host Oprah Winfrey recently devoted an entire show to the dangers of distracted driving. The highlights of the episode included testimonials from victims and the relatives of victims who died in distracted-driving related crashes. There was also a test to see whether three contestants could navigate a simple obstacle course while texting and they could not do so effectively, thus proving the danger of texting while driving. For the remainder of her shows that month, Oprah showed the faces of those who have been

• Philadelphia Phillies attendance records have up 50 % since a kid was tasered last month • After his dreadful perfor mance in the Olympics, Canada has deported Martin Brodeur to New Jersey


Distracted Driving and You Some years ago, the dangers of being under the influence of alcohol while driving caused an incalculable amount of casualties on the road. Many public service announcements were produced to discourage drunk driving. Laws were put in place to prevent this dangerous habit from claiming any more lives and finally it seemed as if the roads were safe once again. However, with the current p o p u l a r i t y o f t ex t m e s s a g i n g, distracted driving due to texting has become the newest danger to plague the roadways.

• The clock strikes on BIG BEN again

killed in distracted-driving related crashes. At the end of her show, Oprah announced that a pledge could be made to rally the proverbial troops against the evils of distracted driving. Those who attended her show that day received a shirt that read “Don’t tempt f8, that txt can w8.” The pledge against distracted driving can also be made on Oprah’s website. Distracted driving is a real issue, and claims real lives every day. This issue should be a major priority. Distracted

drivers need to ask themselves, “what is more important, this call/text, or my life?” Once this priority issue is cleared, it is almost guaranteed that the roads will be exponentially safer. Distracted driving has become one of the most prominent causes of death and injury while on the road. Virginia, and fortunately twenty other states including D.C., has laws that ban texting while driving. However, state laws might not be enough to get this message across. As long as there are states that refuse to show concern for this issue, there will always be a chance for good people to die a tragic death. However, this problem will most likely solve itself once the federal government passes a legitimate ban on texting while driving for all states.


Senior Quotes “To those that may walk these halls, take every experience to heart; every slight snippet of conversation. Forget everything for one minute and absorb all the senses. Remember this moment. This is what you did your freshmen year. Learn to love that which you comprehend and say what you believe.” -Submitted by Daniel O’Keefe “If it wasn’t for the Crab Counting Club I would not have survived high school. Mr. Anderson is the best!” -Submitted by Ryan Esch “Life is short, but sweet for certain.” -Dave Matthews Band, Submitted by Nicole McNey “Go big, or go home.” -Submitted by Andy Luhmann “You say live in the moment. I say look down the road.” -Emily Farnsworth, Submitted by Corinne Cheney “These days flew by, but I’ll never forget them.” -Submitted by Madeline Moore “Enjoy the little things; for one day you may look back and discover that they were the big things.” -Submitted by Mandy Girolami “Believe in your dreams and they may come true; believe in yourself and they will come true.” -Submitted by Vallie Herndon “The choices you make today will determine the number and quality of the choices you make tomorrow.” -Submitted by Whitney Chandler “When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.” -Submitted by Hannah Ronan “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.” -Submitted by Anonymous

Bible Club "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” --John 14:6-7 Want to live forever? God is your one way ticket there.

Seniors share their favorite reflections,advice,and quotes that stuck with them these past four years.

“A third-rate mind is happy when it thinks with the majority. A second-rate mind is happy when it thinks with the minority. A first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.” -A.A Milne, Submitted by Chris Farley “Life’s a climb, but the view’s great.” -The Hannah Montana Movie, Submitted by Elizabeth Gentine “If you do something, give it 110% and never quit.” -Submitted by Logan Harris “We only part to meet again.” -Submitted by Kim Bell “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” -James Dean, Submitted by Claire Bayles “No one gives it to you; you have to take it.” -James Joyce, Submitted by Erin Pelletier “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt, Submitted by Clarke Williams “Leaving TJ and coming to Briar Woods was the best decision I made in high school. I appreciate everything I’ve learned, everyone I’ve met, and every teacher that wanted to make a difference. And there are a lot of teachers who really care here.” -Submitted by Kiersten Kampschroeder “We’re not lost we’re on an adventure!” -Submitted by Kelsey Atkinson “Bom chicka wah wah.” -Submitted by Wisam Fillo “Peace. Love. Infinity.” -Submitted by Lauren Cole “True love is a friendship set on fire.” -Submitted by Dani Booth Burgess


World the Class of 2010,has signed up to join the United States Marine Corps next year. "I wanted to make a difference and serve my country," said Morrison. He has been working closely with a l o c a l r e c r u i t e r, a n d h a s b e e n participating in Marine Crops workouts and training activities while still attending Briar Woods. "The recruiters are great," he said. "They’re nice and understanding. The training is tough, but I love it." Dillon plans to take Marine-conducted classes in the home. But for a few members of the next 4 years so he can become an B W H S C l a s s o f 2 0 1 0 , t h e i r engineer in the future. experiences will be full of danger, bravery and impossibly hard work as Rachel Stecher will be attending the they set off for their careers in the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Rather military. than join the military immediately after Dillon Morrison, widely respected as high school and get a degree later like one of the most intelligent people in Dillon, Rachel opted to attend college

and military training at the same time. "I just love the Air Force Academy," said Stecher. Rachel hopes to become an Air Force pilot after she completes her military service.

Education majors can expect to begin with a salary of around $36,200, and make around $54,100 by the midpoint in their careers. Elementary Education majors make less, and are second to last on the pay-scale list. Although these jobs are not as highpaying, many Education majors do not go into the workforce expecting to make a lot of money. Instead, they do it for the welfare of the children and their love of teaching. Senior Mandy Girolami, who is currently a part of the Teacher Cadet program said, “It’s what I have always wanted to do, and although I won’t be making a lot, I’ll be doing what I love. I’ll go into teaching with a Master’s so hopefully that will help.” Students who wish to major in Business will likely have the best luck in Finance, Marketing, or International Business. According to US News and World Report, the top four colleges for Business Finance are University of Pennsylvania, New York U n i ve r s i t y a n d U n i ve r s i t y o f California at Berkeley. Top schools for marketing majors include University of Pennsylvania, University of M i ch i g a n at A n n A r b o r, a n d University of Texas at Austin. It also ranks University of South Carolina as number one in International Business, followed by New York University and University of Pennsylvania. O d d l y e n o u g h , U n i ve r s i t y o f Pennsylvania, which has the best opportunities for undergraduate business majors, has one of the highest acceptance rates in the Ivy League (Cornell University has the highest, with 21%), with a 17% acceptance rate. Out of Liberal Arts colleges, Colgate University, Bucknell University and Swarthmore College,

graduate students earn the most after college. In 2010, jobs with projected necessity (ranked by U.S. News and World Report) are led by positions such as XR a y Te c h n i c i a n , Ve t e r i n a r i a n , Meteorologist, Computer Software E n g i n e e r, F i r e fi g h t e r, S p e c i a l Education Teacher, Financial Adviser, Meeting Planner, Funeral Director and Multimedia Artist. While these do not guarantee top salaries, they are guaranteed job openings. Although many students choose not to major in English because of its lack of job potential, people such as a Copywriters or Paralegals make around $54,000 per year, and Technical writers make around $65,700. Furthermore, English is not the lowest rank on’s study of high-paying majors; it is about midpoint in the list. The last spot is occupied by Sociology, a major that has a projected starting income of $33,400 and a midpoint salary of $41,600. Political Science majors will make the most being an Intelligence Analyst (around $82,000), and $71,500 as an Employment Placement Specialist or Operations Manager. Economics majors will make the most as a Management Consultant, around $122,000. Students can only hope that the job market will be better the year they graduate from college. It is important to remember that although certain majors and jobs have better earning potential, when people work up to their highest potential, a salary will not reflect the moral gain.

Classmates Take the Military Plunge Story by Erin Pelletier

As the end of the year approaches, Briar Woods High School seniors, along with those around the world, are happily discussing their quickly approaching adventures in college life. Some of us are going to schools in faraway places like California, Florida and the Caribbean, and many of us will have exciting experiences closer to

Your Future:From Electives,to a Major, to a Career Story and photo by Julianne Lewis

When selecting high school classes and electives, some students consider an elective’s weight on their resume, or how it could help them develop an already budding interest, while others may choose an elective because it seems “fun” or “easy”. For the select few who constantly worry about their future, especially in the present economy, electives and classes are chosen because they will prepare the student for college. Students who choose to take Journalism may realize early on that the death of traditional journalism is looming in the future, yet pursue the career anyway. Others may choose to take AP Chemistry or Physics, which will help to prepare them for toppaying jobs in Engineering. For students who are mathematically savvy and personable, there are business classes and clubs available. Then, there

are classes for students who wish to one day help other students the way their own teachers have helped them, such as Teacher Cadet and Early Childhood development. All of these classes are helpful in guiding a student towards a major, and eventually, a career. According to, a website created for employers and those on the job hunt, engineering majors earn the most after college. The top three jobs with the highest starting and mid-career salaries are Aerospace Engineering, Chemical Engineering a n d C o m p u t e r E n g i n e e r i n g. Aerospace Engineers often start around $60,000 and can make around $109,000 by mid-career. The starting salary for an engineer is comparable to the mid-career salary for those who majored in Health Care Administration, Psychology, Interior Design or Art History.

From the point of view of any high school senior, the upcoming school year will certainly be filled with change and opportunity. Dillon Morrison and Rachel Stecher will undoubtedly have some of the experiences in the adult world that all of us will, and will also have to deal with certain dangers, problem, and difficulties others will not. As we say goodbye to our classmates and go off on our own adventures, we must take time to consider the difficult choices of our classmates.



Visiting a World Wonder Story By Veronica Cuadrado Somehow the air changes when one travels to the humble town of Cusco, Peru. Located 11,000 feet above sea level, Cusco is famous for inflicting minor to severe altitude sickness on tourists not yet accustomed to the elevation. When I walked off my flight from Lima to Cusco I replayed the advice over and over again in my head given to me the day before I traveled, “Do everything in slow motion on the first day you’re there.” My family seemed to be the only ones who heeded this advice because when we looked around the baggage claim we saw our fellow passengers moving at a normal pace. I quickly realized that we were being a little ridiculous and overly cautious. Nonetheless, when we finally arrived at our hostel, located just feet away from Cusco’s Plaza de Armas, or main town square, I felt like a hefty weight had completely strapped my body to the bed. Along with a headache, I experienced agitating nausea. I started to pity the uninformed tourists on my flight who hadn’t taken any precautions at all. Few will dare to make the trip to the beautiful Cuscean mountainside towns or puebletos in their lifetime. However for those who do, the temporary elevation sickness or soroche in Spanish, is completely worth the discomfort for something the region is internationally famous for. Cusco’s economy flows so successfully due to the mysterious position of one of the seven world wonders nestled cozily in the middle of surrounding roaring mountains. Often known as “The Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu is the spectacular site of Incan ruins that was constructed at the height of the Incan empire. The

Overlooking a World Wonder, Machu Picchu. // Photo by Daniela Cuadrado

city was deserted and completely forgotten until discovered by Hiram Bingham, an America historian from Yale University, in 1911. In 1983, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced it as a World Heritage Site. ince then, Machu Picchu, along with becoming a national pride, has become the most visited tourist attraction in Peru and a huge revenue source. On my third day in Cusco, fully acclimated to the elevation, my family set out for our first encounter with the nation’s epic ruins. We took a speedy taxi to a train station that would take us on a three-hour train ride through the mountain valleys and Cuscean nature to the much anticipated w o r l d w o n d e r. M y m o m ’s Christmas gift to all of us was riding comfortable in first class on our train to the town of Aguas Calientes. When we arrived, we boarded a bus that went on the Hiram Bingham Highway, which is a fancy way of saying “the thinnest and steepest road that’s ever existed.” The bus sputtered its way up the mountain with my family on board, along with twenty-five other anxious tourists. When I looked out my window my eyes never met road, just the thousand-foot drop the bus would take if the driver made any wrong moves. Closing my eyes, holding my mom’s hand and saying short

prayers in my head helped me get through the frightening ride up to the gateway to Machu Picchu. When the bus unloaded its passengers into the busy entrance to Machu Picchu, I caught my first glimpses of the ruins. The anticipation began to crawl its way up my throat. A wave of emotion hit my body when I realized that I was minutes away from exceeding any monument, beach or city I had ever traveled to or seen. My family and I passed the gates and all to be seen were lush, green mountains. Our tour guide took us to the highest point of Machu Picchu accessible to tourists and an incredibly intense, yet gentle, wind brushed my hair onto my face. Overlooking the breathtaking views of forgotten ruins, I felt a

rush of inspiration and passion. It was a sensation you could really only experience if you had been standing there with me. With wind scattering my hair against my face and tickling my cheeks, I realized that Machu Picchu exerts a powerful energy that somehow finds its way into your soul. A feeling of complete relaxation and reflection engulfed me. I believe it may be the history that you discover there when you make a visit or perhaps the sense that you just saw one of the greatest existences on our planet. Machu Picchu was by far one of the most fascinating travel experiences of my life and I look forward to making a trip back there, gladly going through all the struggle again, to lay eyes on it once more before I die.


TheVoice - Editorials

More Money, Better GPA Piece by Casey Fabris Photo by Brandon Weight Nearly every high school student in the nation shares one goal: the attainment of the highest grade point average (GPA) possible. Students strive to achieve this not only by maintaining high grades, but also by taking classes such as Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors classes. These classes provide students with a GPA boost, an extra 1.0 per AP class if the AP Exam is taken at the end of the year. The only way that students can obtain the 1.0 grade boost is through completion of the AP Exam, which as of this year, Loudoun County Public School’s students must pay for. Now that students must pay for these exams, many question the fairness of the system. In Loudoun County, prior to the 2009-2010 school year, the county paid for the AP Exams. However, due to the current economic conditions, the system of payment for AP exams was one of the first changes to be made in this year’s budget cuts. The

alteration to the payment for AP testing was not the only thing changed; it was also decided that in order to receive the GPA boost, students must take the AP Exam at the end of the year. The change in the weighting of AP classes, however, was introduced last year, with the GPA boost for AP classes increasing from 0.7 to 1.0. The economic crisis and its effects on payment plans for AP Exams in L o u d o u n C o u n t y h ave r a i s e d questions about the justice of the system. Students must take a test which they must pay $86 for to receive the extra 1.0 added to their GPA for AP Courses. Many are outraged by the current system, as it essentially forces students to pay for an increased GPA. The GPA grade boost is not awarded for the hard work and dedication that students must put into their classes, but rather, it is awarded for payment on an exam. If students did not have to pay

for these exams themselves there would be no problem in awarding the additional 1.0 upon completion of the exam. However, now that money is involved in grades and the even playing field is thrown out the window, it is unfair. The move to student paid exam fees was a direct effect of the economic situation at hand. With that being said, it is safe to assume that if the county must make budget cuts, families are making them too. Many cannot afford to pay the $86 for each test. With many students enrolled in multiple AP courses, testing becomes an expensive proposition, and may force some students to lose out on the GPA boost or AP courses altogether. These students will miss out on the b e n e fi t s t h ey d e s e r ve fo r t h e enormous amount of effort they must put in for these classes and possibly have lower class ranks or overall GPAs, which could be detrimental to their college prospects.

Spring Fever Disrupts College Life Story by Clarke Williams The air was thick with smoke as thousands of screaming students fled the gaseous fumes of James Madison’s Harrisonburg campus. Pepper spray, foam batons and tear gas were used to quell the April 9-10 uprising by Harrisonburg’s civil disturbance officers. What was supposed to be a celebration for thousands of JMU undergrads turned into a riotous afternoon that ended with over 20 arrests. College campuses are known for their lackadaisical follow-ups on campus mischief. Hundreds of college campuses host annual spring festivals that boast thousands of students, who usually party into the wee hours and, in their drunken stupor, are rarely able to account for their actions. In 2005 Radford University’s annual Quad Fest, where local 7-11 stores sell

roughly $5,000 worth of alcohol per day to students, a cop car was stolen and students were arrested for trespassing onto the porches and lawns of various locals. The antics of Quad Fest have lightened since the incident but the overarching presence of drunken fraternity and sorority students is still pervasive on the southern Virginia campus. West Virginia University’s annual Spring Fest, another infamously popular three-day concert and party, has suffered the strike of the economic recession as the college cut funding for the project.  In 2008, members of the student body and various Spring Fest supporters pledged to raise the funds on their own in a last stint effort to revive their annual spring festivities. However, the students at WVU are currently Spring

Fest-less and there does not seem to be a return of the all-campus party any time soon. As exhibited by various colleges in multiple states around the country, the celebratory nature of spring festivals can lead to some very negative consequences for students. Little faculty and administrative support for these events may, in the long run, hurt undergrads socially and academically. The safest measure that can be taken during college spring fests is the most obvious: knowing one’s limit and sticking to it is the best way to ensure safety. Students must be smart and use common sense when participating in college activities. It does not take much for students to go over the edge, and once there, consequences can be life-altering and even result in death.

Everyone has felt the effect of today’s lagging economy; no one begrudges the county their necessary budget cuts. However, if the county can no longer afford to pay for the AP Exams of all students, that should not mean that students are missing out on challenging, rigorous courses or increased grade point averages. The county must still strive for equality among students. Students who take AP courses should still receive the 1.0, it simply should not be determined by payment for testing. Need-based scholarship funds must be created for or qualifications for GPA boosts must be changed, but something must be done to ensure that all Loudoun County students are given equal opportunities in their education.

TheVoice - Editorials

The Price of Education   Piece by Casey Fabris

Digital Footprints:The Danger of Online Networking Piece by Abby Comm

Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are three modern ways of communication in today’s society. For some, it can become an obsession. Since Facebook was founded in February 2004, it now has over 250 million users and is the largest social network worldwide. With the discovery of these social connections, it is easy for people to observe what is on one’s page. As the creator of the profile page, one can decide who views their profile and what should or should not be public. However, many people, especially teens, do not think twice about what they are letting others view. Some people use Facebook, MySpace and Twitter for communication purposes, but it can quickly become very negative. Teenagers are not always careful about what they post. Photos or comments that might seem funny can make an undesirable lasting impression. "I see some girls taking pictures kissing each other, while holding a beer can and smoking. It is all just sad," Senior, Abby Potter said. Posting pictures like this, even as a joke, can cause the people involved to

obtain negative reputations, which could impact their future. Even though these sites can help one keep in touch with friends and family, there is a down side. People are not aware that schools, universities and even future employers, can track down certain computer profiles to see what one has posted. If profiles have pictures that display underage drinking or comments containing fowl language, a college recruiter or employer can use this against an applicant. Sophomore, Connor Cashman says, "It causes a lot of trouble when photos or comments are inappropriate." Although these social networks have many positives, one negative thing can ruin someone’s entire future. The competition to be accepted into college and get a good job is only climbing. Teens could be faced with unfortunate consequences if they have inappropriate posts. Candidates need to do everything they can to showcase their talents and responsible choices, while avoiding problems social networking sites may cause.

Today, pursuing a college education after graduating from high school has become extremely common; it is often even expected. According to the 2006-2007 U.S. Census Bureau releases, 17.6 million students were enrolled in colleges for the fall, and the numbers are only rising. Now that a college education has become a prerequisite for many jobs that students aspire to obtain, even more Americans are forced to pay the price, quite literally, to achieve their dreams.          There are few necessities in life that come at a greater cost than higher education. With tuition, room and board, textbooks and all the other expenses that college students find themselves struggling to pay, education becomes an expensive proposition. While financial aid and scholarships are available to students, there is simply not enough money to assist everyone in paying for their education. Though many students cannot afford the institutions to which they have been accepted, numerous students are overlooked for financial aid because they do not need it desperately enough.  Those applying for academic scholarships face the same dilemma as well, as competition for grants and other scholarships can become fierce, with thousands of applicants applying for the same opportunities.             With all of the exorbitant e x p e n s e s o f c o l l e g e, s p e c i fi c requirements of financial aid and the severe competition for scholarships, many aspiring college students find themselves limited when decision time draws near. Some students are limited to in-state public schools. With far less expensive tuition fees, instate schools are often good options, especially in Virginia where there are

27 15 public colleges and universities. However, students need schools with specific programs and majors that instate schools do not offer, and they are forced to pick either giving up their dream or facing thousands of dollars in debt upon graduation.      In addition to the in-state option, many students have limitations on attendance of private or public institutions. As private institutions do not receive the amount of funding from the state that public institutions receive, these schools make up for the difference with a large increase in the cost of tuition. For many private schools, yearly tuition can be anywhere upwards of $40,000 annually. Because of the huge discrepancy in price, many students eliminate private colleges as options, which can be detrimental in choosing their career paths. When considering the benefits of attending a private institution, they often include smaller class sizes, prestige, alumni relations or specific majors and prog rams. However, applicants must determine whether the benefits outweigh the literal costs.       That thousands of students in the United States must sacrifice dreams and opportunities in the collegiate and professional world or face years of debt is incredibly worrisome. Finances should not come in the way of the years of work in high school and the talent that students may have. Financial aid, grants and scholarships must become more readily available to the college-bound. Education must not be sacrificed because of the economic recession that the world faces or the simple price tag of college.

Interested in cooking, dancing, and learning spanish culture? Join spanish club in the following year!


Falcon Forum // Senior Farewell  
Falcon Forum // Senior Farewell  

First printed newspaper for Briar Woods in two years.