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March 11, 2014, Vol. LVIII No. 5

Robert E. Lee High School, 6540 Franconia Road, Springfield, VA 22150

Get to know Melissa Schwartz. The Lance’s newest Bachelorette of the month. PAGE PAGE 2 12

Is there such thing as too many snow days? PAGE 5 PAGE 3

MADISON CURTIS Need help with your spring cleaning? Read about Biruk Ergetie and We’ve got some ideas. Gerald Pamela Hodge’s finishes in Phan state track and divePAGE 5

PAGE10-11 12 PAGE


Lancers Pumped Up For Pep Rally began the battle, the two teams to play again for the victory were the Juniors and the Sophomores. In the final race, sophomores Oterson and Duran-Mateo took the victory over Fisseha and Syed.

To conclude pep rally, SGA began the spirit cheer which separates classes to see which class has the best school spirit. The pep rallies are exciting events that a majority of Each class was given a chant while teachers walked around Lee High School students look forward to every year. and judged the loudest class. These chants included “LancOn February 20, the students of Lee ers number one”, “Go Big Blue”, and High school gathered with their classes “LHS is the best”. in the main gym to show off their class As a result, the seniors placed first spirit, watch some impressive lip sync in class spirit followed by the juniors routines and cheer on the winners of Mr. in second place, the sophomores in and Mrs. Irresistible as they competed in third place and the freshman in fourth a challenging obstacle course. place. SGA then announced the winThe pep rally opened up with the first ners of the decoration contest which class competition, lip sync. The freshman was judged on which class can decoclass of 2017 started off with an impresrate their side of the gym the best sive routine as they showed their class with posters and banners. The seniors spirit and displayed their rivalry with class placed first followed by the juniors, of 2016. Following the freshman lip sync sophomores and freshman classes. was the sophomores of 2016 lip sync. To conclude pep rally, SGA anDespite the technical difficulties they exnounced the winner of the class crush perienced, the sophomores still managed competition which involved classes to show off their creative skills to the trying to raise the most money to supschool. port their class. The class that raised After the freshman and sophomore the most money was given the entire Courtesy of Class Of 2015 lip syncs, the winners of Mr. and Mrs. Irprofit of the competition. The junior resistable were recognized as they walked Hands up Lee High Schools junior class of 2015 shows off their new class shirts and their class spirit at the class of 2015 managed to raise the winter pep rally during the spirit chants and all of the class’s lip syncs. across the gym floor, representing their most money, taking the giant check to class. Freshman, Anna Crow and Cywann support their class. Eaton, sophomores, Cammy Oterson and “Winning the game was really exciting because it was the Overall, SGA thought that the pep rally was a huge Gerald Duran-Mateo, Juniors, Calkie Fisseha and Salman only thing our class came in first place in, plus we beat all of success. Syed and seniors, Mickey Mulatu and Victoria Thompson the upperclassmen,” Oterson said. “I think the pep rally went really well, whenever there were awarded the honor by their classmates. Following the obstacle course, the junior and senior lip were problems it was fixed pretty quickly,” Fisseha said. After each member was recognized, the couples partici- syncs performed. The rivalry was displayed when each class The Winter pep rally managed to be a fun, exciting event pated in a complicated obstacle course created by the mem- held newspapers and “fell asleep” during the other class’s for all the members of Lee High School as it displayed class bers of the Student Government Association (SGA). This performance. Overall, both classes had impressive perfor- and school spirit, and recognized all of the talented students obstacle course included activities such as passing a ball mances and creative skits allowing both juniors and seniors and athletes throughout the school. Look for the spring pep back in forth and a three-legged race. As the four classes to show off their class spirit. rally coming in June.

Taylor Higgison News Editor

Clothes Drive To Help Philippines Survive Elizabeth zoccoli-rodriguez Features Editor

In early November a tragic tsunami hit the Philippines leaving many of the people in the country with no home, food or clothing. The people had nothing but hope, as people from all over the world joined to help those who lost their homes and loved ones. Although the media attention for the storm relief has subsided, Lee’s Spanish Honor Society has been holding a drive for Philippine relief for almost two months, collecting a number of nonperishable items, including canned goods and even articles of clothing. It was a collective effort to come up with the drive as some students made posters, while others decorated boxes brought in by students. After all the boxes were ready they placed some of them in classrooms, the main lobby, the library and the main office. Senior Timmy Tran, the president of the society, thought it would be really good to include the whole school as a part of the drive. “I’m glad that we did this drive because it shows that when we work together that the outcome is positive. I enjoyed the feeling of not being able to just help out our community, but also on a global basis, half way across the world in the Philippines,” said Tran. The purpose of the drive was not only to have the society collect the items, but they also wanted it to be a group effort from the whole school. Spanish teacher Josine Jones, the sponsor of the society, feels that the students are fortunate that they could donate the actual nonperishable items directly to the Red Cross. “Although we are sending in the donations later, this allows us to send them all at once directly to the relief in the Philippines. It was nice to know that we still had an alternative way of getting the donations,” said Jones. Since the timing of the drive came way after the storm

hit the Philippines, the donation restriction loosened “ I'm really pleased that they are doing this drive that because during the months when the Red Cross was helpwill definitely benefit the people in the Philippines. I have ing out they only a lot of family there so it made the donations is nice to know that Lee is limited to money. getting involved because With the combined I’m pretty sure I'm not the restrictions of not only one at Lee who has only the Red Cross family there,” said Bihis. and the school After two months of board not allowing hard work, the Spanish any money to be Honor Society was able to raised, the society collect a whole box full of donations for the relief in was looking for the Philippines. The only other options to thing that the society was donate. The original not able to collect were plan was to give the clothing donations, but donations to some they received a substantial students who have elizabeth zoccoli-Rodriguez amount of nonperishable family in the Philipwhat’s in the box? Madison Thammavong and Timmy Tran carry the box food. pines and then they of nonperishable items collected by the Spanish Honors Society. In the future they hope were going to take to hold more drives helping out for any of the charities the donations over when they went. that are in need, not just with the help of the society, but a Senior Kyle Bihis isn't part of the society, but is still collective school effort too. happy they are making this a school efforts because she is one of the Lee students with family in the Philippines.


March 11, 2014 Lance IB English Students Successfully Complete IOP and IOC’s 2 NEWS

smoothly. “I hear it’s scientifically proven that when you smile you tend to talk slower and process February is a crucial month for the junior and senior class of International Baccalaure- everything clearly. I intend to do just that,” Ahmed said. ate (IB) English students. This is the month where all of first semester’s hard work gets put For any juniors preparing for their IOP, it’s a good idea to practice in any possible mointo practice. In the IB world it is required for the students to complete both the Individual ment. You don’t want to be that student who doesn’t reach their time limit. Oral Presentation (IOP) and the Individual Seniors in IB English SL and HL must Oral Commentary (IOC) as a part of the complete an IOC as an assessment for IB. IB exam. For SL classes, students select, at random, a The difference between these two is that specific poem by Emily Dickinson or a pasthe IOP is presented to the class junior year sage from the memoir Running in the Famand is graded by the junior teachers, who ily by Michael Ondaatje. After 20 minutes then send scores to IB. In comparison, the of preparation, the student must then presIOC is recorded one-on-one and also gradent a 10 minute commentary on the poem ed to be sent to IB. For both classes these or passage, answering questions from their two assessments can be pretty stressful as teacher for the last two minutes. students prepare for them. As for the HL students, seniors ranThe IOP is a 10 to 15 minute predomly pick a poem out of the 12 pieces sentation to the class based on one of by Robert Frost as well as a passage from the novels read during the year. The jueither Macbeth by William Shakespeare or nior IB class has three options to choose Ondaatje’s Running in the Family. While from: The Glass Castle, Purple Hibiscus, the requirements for the commentaries are and The House of the Spirits. Students the same for SL and HL, the HL students must pick a topic or theme to present to must also complete a 10 minute discussion the class with a powerpoint presentation. with their teacher based on their other sePaulina Vasquez They are allowed to use quotes, text refer- WOrk in progress IB English students prepare for their IOC by studying notes and gathering lections. Both classes are graded by teachers ences, video clips, etc to fully explain to theinformation from books before they meet with their teacher. strictly on the IB scale. class their presentation.Students are allowed to HL senior Fatima Fateh believes that the use up to three of the suggested novels to supIOC was frightening and harder than the port their findings of a common theme. IOP. For any junior in the IB class, this presentation can be nerve wrecking. Junior Faaiza “The IOC was scary going into it but ended up being not that bad, it was essentially just Ahmed, who has yet to present, is afraid of messing up as soon as she starts her presenta- a conversation. In my opinion the IOP was easier because you were able to focus on a topic tion. rather than being put on the spot for the IOC” said Fateh. “One thing that scares me is that I may mispronounce words and stutter”, Ahmed said. While February and March are stressful for IB English students, there is light at the end This presentation takes place in front of the entire class. As the presentation is timed, of the tunnel. All IOCs have been completed and the junior class are midway through their the teacher writes down clear notes and details and later on may ask any questions to fulfill IOP presentations. Regardless of the differences between the assessments, these IB exams the remaining time. are taken seriously and there is no such thing as procrastinating or winging it when it comes Ahmed has been practicing constantly and thinks that when relaxed the IOP will run to IB. Paulina vasquez Staff Writer

The End Of An Era: Hodges Is Retiring Annie Hafeez Staff Writer

Robert E Lee High School has safety and security staff distributed all around the building to ensure a safe and healthy environment for the students. In the safety and security department here at Lee we have Mr. Christopher Mahoney, Mr. Robert Smith, Mr. Keith Walker, and Mr. Grant Hodges, who are greatly appreciated widely around the building. Hodges has been part of the safety/security field here at Lee for 14 years, 15 on October 31, 2014, the last day before his retirement. Mr. Hodges has been involved in sports broadcasting and has been employed in schools other than Lee, which brought him a passion for the field he works in. “I’ve been involved with kids a lot over 30 years. I’ve worked in Mount Vernon and have done 18 years of coaching for Wrestling and also been a announcer for wrestling and boys and girls soccer for 22 years,” Hodges said. Over the 14 years Mr. Hodges has been working at Lee, the best memories include the friends he’s made and the works he’s done with Lee’s administration. “One of the best memories at Lee, and something I won’t forget, is working with friends and the staff in the school. I will miss the association I have with old friends and staff. I’ve formed bonds with people from teachers to

administration and I will miss that,” Hodges said. Mr. Hodges has seen little to no change in the school in the 14 years he has been employed here. “The students here at Lee haven’t changed, so things are still the same. Things don’t just change, people do,” Hodges said. Shadman Hossain is a senior here at Lee, who has seen Hodges all around the school accomplishing his duty and has even encountered him when he was caught doing something he should not have been doing. “I feel like he has a good job when it comes to keeping people in line. People are intimidated by him. For me, he saw me driving outside of school without a parking pass and took me in his office and talked to me. He told me if it happened again he would call the towing company. Him telling me that made me rethink what I did and I started to understand how serious the situation was,” Hossain said. As expected, Mr. Hodges is ready for retirement, already having future plans about what he wants to do in his life after October 31st of this year. “When it comes to after retirement, I’m ready to enjoy everything from the great outdoors to taking care of my wife” Hodges said. Mr. Hodges has made a big contribution in the safety and security department in that past 15 years. Students and staff will surely miss him and his outstanding work in making

sure everyone is safe and secure from any harm. Mr. Hodges had one last message to the students at Lee. “You’re here for a free education, take advantage of it.”

Annie Hafeez

hodges last hurRah Lee High School Security guard Mr. Grant Hodges serves his last year in the Fairfax County Public Schools after 32 years of work, 15 of them at Lee.

Lee Students Get Unique Opportunity To Visit Pentagon

Kevin Ngo Staff Writer

Have you ever wanted to go visit a workplace where you could see yourself working in the future? Well, some students from Lee were given that opportunity when they went on a field trip to the Pentagon in Arlington on February 6. This field trip was known as the 2014 Information Technology Job Shadow Day and was sponsored by the Department of Defense (DoD). Robert E. Lee was one of the three Virginia high schools to attend this field trip and around 40 students were present. Students were there for the majority of the school day as they toured around the Pentagon listening to guest speakers, such as leaders of the armed forces, and other officials as well. One of the students that attended the Information Technology Job Shadow Day was junior George Bahrs. Bahrs’ reason for going on the field trip was to see if information technology (IT) could be a possibility for a career path and maybe even his career at the DoD. “I wanted to go on this field trip because I thought it

would be interesting to see what the career field in IT is like. It is something I am interested in and the people there were asking us if we wanted to work in the DoD or not. I’m not sure about working in the DoD or not, but it will be something I look at,” Bahrs said. Another student that attended this field trip was junior Faheem Ahmed. Ahmed, who is really interested in the IT field and is looking at pursuing a career in the IT field, really enjoyed the guest speakers who were there and talked to the students. Two of the guest speakers there were Brigadier General Robert Wheeler and Dr. Rocky Young who is the DoD’s Chief Information Officer. “I was really interested in what General Wheeler and Dr. Young were talking about, because they talked about the future and how soon everything will revolve around technology. They also talked about how everything is running on computers and on how technology is taking over as well. My desired career field is IT so that was really good news for me,” Ahmed said.

It is true that technology is starting to take over and in the near future nearly everything will be running on computers, so a career in the IT field or something technologyrelated could be a very beneficial career choice. That was what Junior Spencer Pao learned from the field trip as he now strongly believes that technology will be a major factor in the everyday lives of Americans. “What I took away from that field trip and the guest speakers was that technology will soon be a big part of our lives. It already is a big part of our everyday lives with the phones and computers, but it will be even bigger than that in the near future,” Pao said. These types of field trips are really beneficial for the students that attend, as all the students that went learned something or took away something from the trip. The trip was not only fun for the students, but it was also informational for the students as well. If there is an opportunity like the Information Technology Job Shadow Day, where you can learn more about a particular career choice, then take that opportunity, because it could be highly beneficial.



March 11, 2014


Lee DECA Successfully Competes In State Competition Sara barekzai Commentary Editor

Sekyere enjoyed competing individually and meeting new people. “It was a fun experience, I didn’t have to rely on anybody, so it was great. I saw a lot of people and it was very cool,” said Sekyere.

Decision Making Marketing. Seniors Pamela Ayala and Sara Barekzai placed for their On February 28th, 14 Lee DECA students went on role play score in Buying and Merchandising Team Decision a field trip to Virginia Beach to participate in the annual Making. Ayala and Barekzai were finalists in their category DECA state competition. The competition was held at the but didn’t advance to the International Career and DevelopVirginia Beach Conference Center. ment Conference. DECA (Distributive Education Sophomore Karina Funes thorClubs of America) is a marketing club oughly enjoyed her first time competthat aims to prepare high school stuing for DECA, despite facing nerves, dents for leadership and entrepreneurand is excited for what is to come in ship roles in marketing. Students comnext year’s competitions. pete in regional and state competitions. “At first it was a little nerve-wrackBefore they left for Virginia ing, but then, once I started to calm Beach, Lee’s DECA students had down, it was pretty easy and it was a to take a 100-question timed test really good learning experience. I can’t on their knowledge of marketing. wait to go back for my junior and seThe exams are individually done, renior year,” said Funes. gardless if they are going to states Funes wasn’t the only member of with a partner. The scores are then facDECA who enjoyed competing, Senior tored into their final composition score and President of DECA Pamela Ayala after they complete their events. and her partner didn’t expect to do as DECA students left early Friday well as they did, and Ayala is very hapmorning to beat traffic on the way py with the turnout for the weekend to Virginia Beach. That afternoon DECA festivities. they went to the conference center “We weren’t expecting to place at all, where they met with other Virginia so to hear our names called followed by DECA students for a dinner and our school name was surreal considerto watch a brief presentation about LYnn rankin ing our DECA chapter has never done DECA and the events of that weekend. Diamonds Up Lee High School students who participated in DECA states hold up their club logo after the anything like this before. I just want to Seniors Michael Sekyere and Patrick State competition held in Virginia Beach. From left to right Ami Nguyen, Michael Sekyere, Marc Mendoza, say that I am proud of our chapter and McGhan are two of the three people Dani Doan, Pamela Ayala, Karina Funes, Faaiza Ahmed, Sarah Barekzai, Amanada Rodriguez, Patrick Mcghan, Joudy Nadri, Baracot Fanuil, Tiffany Erksine, John Hall. what we have accomplished at states,” that placed in the district competitions said Ayala. early in November at Lee. They both competed individuTwo teams placed at states; Senior Joudy Nadri and her The DECA members weekend came complete with ally in the categories of Business Services and Principals of partner, junior Mark Mendoza, placed for their role play oceanfront rooms, great weather, and fantastic classmates, Finance. Individual competitions consist of two roleplays score in the category of Sports and Entertainment Team and a few wins didn’t hurt either. whereas team decision categories have only one roleplay.

IB Field Trip: IB Spanish

Students Visit D.C. For Spanish Play La Senorita De Tanca Elizabeth zoccoli-rodriguez Features Editor

On Friday, February 28, the entire IB Spanish 2 and IB Spanish for fluent speakers students got all dressed up for their field trip to watch the spanish play La Senorita de Tacna. The play was held at the Gala, which is a Hispanic theater located in Washington, DC. The field trip happened because the IB spanish teachers, Ms. Jennifer Bury and Mrs. Rosalba Semidey thought it would be nice to enjoy an actual live play. Also, both teachers wanted their classes to have the experience outside of the classroom still applying what they’ve learned. After a full week of prepping for the IB oral assessments coming the following week, the field trip was a little break for the students after working so hard. Senior Edwin Portillo, a student in IB Spanish for fluent speakers, was excited for the whole field trip and for the experience he gained. “ I have never been to the Gala before so it was nice to actually be able to go there with all the IB Spanish students. It was definitely worth watching and even though I won’t be here next year, I hope that they can continue the trip for other students to enjoy,” said Portillo. The Gala always has all sorts of plays happening throughout the year and is available for anyone to watch. The theater even has subtitles in English projected above the state for those who might quite not understand what’s happening in the play. While the students were there, there were also many students from other high schools in Fairfax County visiting to partake in the same enjoyment of watching a play. The play, which translates to The Young Lady From Tacna, is directed by Jose Carrasquillo, but written by Mario Vargas Llosa. It was about a Spanish writer who was having trouble coming up with the perfect love story, so he instead recounts his memories in his life. It follows his family life from an early age to the present, and in the end he realizes that he isn’t a poet, but a storyteller. Junior Sarah Nuefcourt, an IB Spanish 2 student, found watching a live play was much more refreshing than just watching a Spanish-language movie. “I really liked the play because it was really different as opposed to just watching a movie in Spanish, but it was actually real and up close. I would have to say it was definitely a good experience because you see how other people communicate with Spanish instead of just in the classroom,” said Neufcourt. At the end of the play there was a special interactive audience interview with the cast of the play, however only some schools were able to stick around. Unfortunately the Lee students had to leave right after the play to stay on schedule for the bus’s arrival. Junior Maite Zurita, an IB Spanish 2 student, got to be a part of the field trip and came back very pleased, if a little disappointed. “ I was a little bummed that we couldn’t stay for the whole duration of the play in regards to the interview with the cast because it would have been really cool to get to interact with them, but I still very much enjoyed the play,” said Zurita. After sitting through some traffic, the students returned to school for the last 30 minutes of class. Overall the students and teachers seemed to be satisfied with the whole field trip and how it turned out. Hopefully, since it was such a success this year, this will happen again sometime in the future for the next group of IB Spanish 2 students.




March 11, 2014

Printed Leggings: Tacky and Tasteless Paulina vasquez Staff Writer

Clothes are a way to express one’s personalities or to make a statement. There is nothing wrong with wearing bold, colorful, or sophisticated clothing. Every student is allowed to feel comfortable in what they choose to wear. Although this statement is true, there is one item of clothing that definitely does not make a fashion statement, yet many girls are guilty of wearing them: printed leggings. Leggings have really become a popular thing to wear. Many girls agree that leggings are probably the most comfortable thing in their wardrobe. Jeans or other types of pants are annoying and don’t cut it when we want to bum it out. It’s simple; we throw on a hoodie and our favorite pair of leggings and walk out the door, but this doesn’t mean that every pair of leggings is okay to wear. Today, different printed leggings are sold everywhere. These prints include: animal, tribal, striped, floral, camo, and geometric. So many different styles, yet none of them are remotely appealing. The problem is within the item itself. The print is unattractive, the material looks cheap, and, let’s be honest, girls tend to wear super tight leggings for all the wrong reasons. These leggings do more bad than good for those who wear them. Senior Faezah Usman agrees that leggings do not have the effect that many girls are looking for. “They just look tacky and cheap. Girls are allowed to wear whatever they like, yet a lot of girls wear them so inappropriately,” said Usman.

Today you can find printed leggings in any department store yet at our school these leggings are worn as if they are pants. In some cases, a lot of girls complain about how others don’t wear longer shirts to cover up, but honestly the majority of the girls at our school are guilty of this. Sophomore Kaylee Ahn thinks printed leggings can be worn but with caution. “Some leggings can be cute but most girls wear see-through kinds which isn’t a good look at all. If you choose to wear them as pants, wear them right,” said Ahn. The worst type of printed leggings would probably be the animal printed or the super loud colored ones. Zebra and leopard print are just not attractive whatsoever and the bright neon colors make them even worse. Nothing appealing comes out of these printed leggings. They do make a bold statement and some girls are into being different. And there isn’t anything wrong with expressing ourselves. But if you want to do it then simply just wear them correctly and appropriately. Lots of girls have even forgotten the school’s dress code. According to the code, tight articles of clothing should not be worn. If girls want to wear leggings, then cover up. Regardless, if leggings are printed or not, it is debatable whether they can be worn as pants. Girls are not going to give up their comfortable, easy wearing leggings. If you choose to be bold and wear the printed ones, go for it, but know that they’re not a good look. We should all be able to wear anything freely but consider the consequences of your wardrobe before stepping out the door in something that may misrepresent who you are.

Extreme Local Weather Suggests Impact Of Climate Change Eric smith Staff Writer

It has been no secret for some time now that the climate on the planet has been changing. Some call it global warming, but with the recent low temperatures this winter, it can no longer be just warming that is occurring globally. For decades, scientist have been warning people that the Earth’s temperatures are rising very rapidly, but it is just now becoming obvious to everyone. In the DC metro area we have had record setting summers that are heating us up, and on top of that, the majority of North America has been hit with several polar vortices this winter. Climate change is cause for concern. Junior Joe Fischer has been affected by these extreme temperatures and believes it is difficult to adjust to it. “This winter has been one of the coldest I’ve ever experienced and its been difficult after having such a warm winter,” Fischer said. While climate change is affecting people worldwide, we have felt it here in Springfield, VA as the area has racked up over 18 inches of snow throughout winter, with the majority of it accumulated in the new year. Beyond the snow, low temperatures have been enough to cancel schools through the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. Most of this can be attributed to the polar vortices which have hit most of the northern United States and parts of Canada. The weather shifts that are occurring all over the globe are attributed to several factors, but one of the biggest causes is the burning of fossil fuel. The emissions rise into the atmosphere and raise carbon dioxide levels. Levels too high will deplete the ozone layer and can cause temperatures to fluctuate. Government and non-government organizations have begun to act in the past decade, but is it too late? The Environmental Protection Agency is among several federal groups that help reduce emissions into the atmosphere. Limits have also been set on the amount and quality of air pollution that a corporation can put into the atmosphere. Senior Timmy Tran believes that the federal and local governments should be combining their work to help prevent any further climate changes. “Government should be doing something about global warming, but it also starts with


SNOW FOR DAYS The copious amounts of snow received this winter suggests extreme climate change on both a local and national level.

communities that can make a difference,” Tran said. Many people believe alternative energy sources should have been explored earlier, such as solar or wind power, so we would not have to deal with the aftermath of using fossil fuels for our number one source of energy. Junior Greg Chupin also believes there are different ways to use energy efficiently. “I think energy from the sun is much easier to use and will prevent pollution and global warming,” Chupin said. The patterns for climate change can be very irregular, which can make it hard to predict what sort of weather we will see in the near future. It is hard for scientists to tell if there will be one of the warmest winters on record, or coldest summers, and here in Springfield it may be both. One thing is for certain, however, and that is that the ongoing climate change is very real and drastic measures need to be taken in order to stabilize it.

No, You’re Not “Forever Alone”- You’re Just Young!

Around Valentine’s Day, even more of this ‘forever alone’ stuff pops up on timelines because people are now complaining about not having a Valentine. Valentine’s Day isn’t just Scrolling down your timeline on Twitter, you see a lot of tweets about reserved to spend it with a special someone. You can spend it with friends or family. Sophomore Abdullah Rasib thinks that you shouldn’t be complaining on Valentine’s Day certain topics. Some people are talking about a sports game that is on TV, or and that it isn’t a couples-only holiday. someone is talking about how stressed out they are from school, but then sometimes, you see “Valentine’s Day is just a day in the year, so don’t complain that one person that is complaining about being single. if you can’t get a Valentine and also, you can spend Valentine’s Does it really matter that you’re single in high school? Day with a friend. It is not only for people that are in relationIt’s high school. You’re still a teenager so don’t worry so ships,” Rasib said. much about having a relationship. My point is that people should have more self confidence Some people on social media are saying things such and stop worrying so much about their love life. One, if you as “I’m going to be forever alone,” with a crying emoji. keep degrading yourself saying you’re going to end up forever Do you really know that you are going to end up alone? alone, then maybe you will. Have some confidence in yourself, You’ve only lived for 16-18 years and have a lot more because one day, maybe not now or in the next couple of years, years of life to live. The average life expectancy is 70 but one day, you will find someone for you. years of age. That gives you 52-54 more years to find Junior Salman Syed says that self confidence is important someone that is right for you and that is a lot of time, because with it, you know you can do what you strive for. so don’t say that you will be forever alone. “I feel like it’s their choice if they want to degrade themSophomore Michael Tesfaye thinks that people who selves, but people should really have more self confidence,” complain about not being in relationship are moving Syed said. things too quickly and that people should just be patient As high schoolers, we are still very young and have so about it. TWITTER.COM much ahead of us in life. High school graduation, college, a “I think it is dumb to complain about being single TWEET TWEET Many students take to twitter to voice their sorrow of bejob, family, there are so many more important things in our because you will eventually end up with someone for ing alone, despite being too young to be concerned. lives right now. Why worry about something that you can get you. There is no need to rush it,” Tesfaye said. in the next 50 years of your life? Focus on your near future. There really is no need to rush finding ‘the one’. Focus on what is really important at the moment. High school isn’t all about the lovey dovey Movies and TV shows portray high school as a time of love and finding your high school stuff, because remember, you go to school for education. Focus more about your education sweetheart, but that doesn’t happen in reality as often as it does in those movies and TV rather than complaining about not having a relationship. shows. Kevin Ngo Staff Writer



March 11, 2014


Overhyped And Ridiculous: The Rise And Fall Of Flappy Bird

probably lies in the fact that there were multiple lawsuits against Flappy Bird, claiming that the design mimicked that of Super Mario Brothers. Whatever the case, whether it be the fact that it was too addicting or too similar to Mario, Flappy Bird. The concept is simple. Tap your screen to keep a small bird Flappy Bird became an overnight hit. Millions of people downloaded it within the first day it in the air while navigating through a series of pipes. Shouldn’t be too hard, was out, and before it was taken off the app store it was downloaded over 50 million times. right? Wrong. The newest app to captivate the public is simple by concept, but incredibly hard at which Not only has it been downloaded countless times, but many games have popped up trying to mimic Flappy Bird. to actually become consistently good. OftenGames with names like Flappy Dragon times, the apps with the simplest concepts beand Jumpy Bee have been popping up in come the most addicting. This rings true for app stores ever since Flappy Bird took off. Flappy Bird as well. However the fact that it is Another game that mimics the popular so hard to become good at the game is madapp is called Ironpants. Many people who dening for many people. It’s one thing to make have played both games claim that Ironthe game a challenge, but is Flappy Bird too pants is even harder than Flappy Bird. hard to handle? In just a few days Flappy Bird was the If you ask many of your friends they will hottest app around the world. Then just probably say that it is, yet they still keep playweeks later it is not available for download. ing. Why is that? Because just like many good Still, even without the ability to download video games, or apps, Flappy Bird is addicting. it, people are still trying to get their hands “Everytime I die I always feel like I have on it. On ebay, an iphone with the app to start again. And then when you beat your downloaded sold for over $90,000. high score you feel like you can do even better. “I think it’s ridiculous that someone No matter if you win or lose you want to play paid that much for a phone with a game. again,” said senior Keon Shahidi. There are so many better things you can The fact that it is so difficult for many buy with $90,000,” said freshman Chris makes it that much more rewarding when you Bush. beat your high score; and once you've done JACK MILEWSKI Even though it is no longer available; even that, naturally you're going to try and beat it FLAP AWAY Flappy Bird’s short lived fame captivated the attention of millions of users. The popular app though it had lawsuits brought against it; again. is now unavailable on both the iTunes and Google Play store. even though it drives players crazy, there Recently, Flappy Bird was taken off the is no denying that Flappy Bird, and its market. The creator, Duong Huong, claims that the reason he stopped the download of the simple game play, was incredibly addictive. game was due to the fact that the game was becoming too addicting. However the real reason Jack Milewski Editor-in-Chief

“Mental Health” Days Should Be A Valid Reason For Excused Absence Sara barekzai Commentary Editor

Regardless of grade level, school can easily become overwhelming for any student. A lot of homework can lead to all-nighters and we quickly regret the lack of sleep we got the next day as it seriously impacts our performance and ability to pay attention. School is a main contributor to the amount of stress we experience in our young lives and sometimes we just need a day to recuperate. Though it’s currently not an excused reason to miss a school day, “mental health” days should be a valid reason for an excused absence. Sometimes the weekends aren’t enough to get everything together for the week. Students have social lives, work, and personal issues outside of school they need to take care of -- just like teachers. With not enough hours in the day, it’s easy to feel stressed about tasks that one couldn’t get done. In these situations, why is it so unreasonable to take a day off ? Sure, missing a day of school could only add to the list of things you need to get done; make up work and all of that. But students are generally self-aware of their schedules and understand when there would be an appropriate day to take off. Senior Fatima Fateh feels that taking a day off isn’t just for catching up on the work but the break from school can be used to relax a bit before starting the process of doing homework. “I think it can be necessary. If responsibilities are piling up and you get overwhelmed you need that day as a break so you can approach it with a fresh mind,” said Fateh. Recent studies have shown that students today experience more stress than those in the past. The American Psychological Association conducted a survey in 2009 and found that 45% of teenagers suffer from stress because of school and 44% of teens and tweens reported that doing well in school was a source of stress. Along with Fateh, Junior Calkie Fisseha feels that taking a day or two off from school can

really benefit a student in distress. “I think it’s cool unless it’s way too long because we’re just missing education but yeah school makes everyone stressed and we all need a mental health break and it’s necessary,” said Fisseha. Taking a day off is essential for student’s emotional, mental, and physical health when they’re feeling overwhelmed stressed. Occasionally, an extra day or two of recuperation is all a student needs to get back on track.

Mo’ Snow Days, Mo’ Problems: Why They’re Not Helping You Procrastinate

For many students, these snow days have been a good chance to kick back and relax, catch up on sleep or any missing work, or hang out with friends. Although these snow days are The winter of 2014 has been one to remember. With the numerous two enjoyable, they are also negatively impacting our school year. FCPS provides a total of three days dedicated to inclement weather. Since the county hour delays and snow days given to the has already exceeded these three days, a shortened students and staff of Fairfax County Public Schools summer is a real possibility. These days that FCPS (FCPS), many wonder what the effect of all these students are having to miss have been impacting snow days will be. Talk around the hallways of an expeople in a variety of ways. For example, winter tended school year and an additional twenty minutes and spring sport athletes have had to miss a large added on to the end of the day has many people quesamount of practices which affected the playtioning what is actually going on. ers’ performance in games and scrimmages. Also, As of right now, Lee High School principal Abe teachers are now having to cram information beJeffers, stated that because the governor of Virginia fore the SOL’s and IB exams making it difficult declared the recent snowstorm a state of emergency, for students to comprehend information obtained the two days of missed school will not be added on from each class. to the end of the school year. As for the other days “I loved having the snow days to relax but it missed because of snow, Fairfax County has decided was hard having to miss so much basketball practo take away Presidents’ Day and teacher work days tices and games and I hate the fact that we have for students to attend school. to make up days on teacher workdays,” junior MiIn previous years, talk about adding twenty minutes chelle Heinitz said. to the end of the school day until a full day of school JOHN MILEWSKI Overall, these snow days have negatively affected is made up has been discussed. STAHHPP The amount of snow we’ve received this year has been great -- to an extent. Fairfax County students by shortening our sum“As of right now adding twenty minutes to the end Now the extra snow days are only hurting students and teachers. mer vacation, rushing many curriculum’s before of the day is out of the option for us,” Jeffers said. SOL’S and IB exams, and limiting practices and If, in fact, any more snow days were to occur, Fairfax County would begin adding on to the end of the school year. As of right now, the end of meetings for sports and clubs. Hopefully this last storm will mark the end of the winter the school year is scheduled to be June 20. If FCPS has to close again for another snow day, weather but with the unexpected cold and snow that Fairfax County has seen so far it is too early to rule out more. then school could end as late as June 24. Taylor Higgison News Editor




March 11, 2014

Students Should Only Purchase What They’ll Eat Elizabeth zoccoli-rodriguez Features Editor

Every year the same old lunch gets served to the students whether they like it or not, however most of the lunches get tossed in the trash barely touched. If someone were to add up all the food thrown away for one school year, the number would be astronomical. As a population, wasting food is normal for Americans, but this is not the case for many people all over the world. When we waste food it looks like we are being selfish because we are not being grateful for the food that we have; granted we are not going to like all foods served in the cafeteria, but that just makes us humans to have our own dislikes. Although if you already know that you don't like the food, why do people still take buy the food to throw it away? Food is such a basic necessity to humans that we cannot exist without it, however not everyone is as fortunate as to have access to food daily. If people were ever to take that into account maybe people would stop buying lunch just to throw it away. For those who get food on their table every mea,l food is just normal for them. This is not to say they aren't thankful for it but it is so common to have that not consuming all of it isn’t an issue and discarding food is the norm. We never think really where the food goes after it has been thrown away or what it could have been for someone else, it just becomes trash. Junior Jenny Mai has always thought people should treat food like a privilege that shouldn't be wasted. “Since we live in a wasteful society, if something isn't working to our standards then we throw it away. It just always has been the norm to throw it away without a second thought, moving on to another item that will give us the desired satisfaction,” said Mai. This doesn't just apply to school lunch but also is applicable in outside situations. If we are in the mind set of conserving our food then we are more likely to take those actions upon ourselves. Now it doesn't have to be perfect because all humans are allowed to make mistakes. We literally can't try to save every last bit of food left on our plates, but we have to put ourselves in others’ shoes before throwing away our uneaten meals. When possible, try to refrain from throwing away all of your food. Senior Amala Sengkhyavong has a broader outlook on the effects of topics such as food waste, which her IB environmental class has discussed. “It’s funny because I have a larger outlook on how a lot of food is being wasted in


GET WHAT YOU’LL EAT It’s not uncommon to look into one the trash cans in the lunch room and find several uneaten lunch trays. It’s important to only purchase what you’ll actually eat.

America which could have been going to someone else. A lot of the topics we studied in class are applicable to the real world and makes me more aware of the problems created as a result of this,” said Sengkhyavong. The reason why many people do not think about it is because deep down they know it is wrong but do it anyway because to feel that remorse is worse. People act without thinking about the repercussions because it is much easier to do so, but after a while it starts to become that elephant in the room that nobody can avoid forever.

Lee Should Take Recycling More Seriously

limited. Principal Abe Jeffers explained how recycling here at Lee should be. “Custodians are instructed to recycle the blue bins although that hasn't been occurring as Environmental protection is becoming an increasingly hot topic amongst much recently,” Jeffers said governments and communities everyThis is not the reality at the school, but there is no reawhere, and with good reason. Recycling is the key to son why it shouldn’t be. not only keeping the planet clean and safe from polluIn an upstairs hallway, there is a display of plastic tion but saving tons of time and energy in using plasbottles and aluminum cans and the display shows facts tic, glass and other recyclables. However, recycling here about recycling, but this is not consistent with how the at Lee has become a problem because of the lack of school treats recycling. importance placed on its collection. As a school, Lee Junior Tyler Griffin was unaware of Lee’s recycling High could make a big difference if it started recycling. situation and believes it should change. Senior Jimmy Stull believes Lee could make a posi“I didn’t realize the school never recycled and I think tive impact on the world if it started to place a larger it should [change] because it is pointless to have that emphasis on recycling. display and not practice what you preach,” Griffin said. “For the amount of paper the school uses each day, It is good that the plastic bottles in the cafeteria are we could save a lot of it if we started to recycle,” Stull getting recycled, but this is minimal in comparison to said. the amount of trash that could be recycled throughout In every classroom here at Lee there are blue bins the whole school. Lee High could have a very large efdesignated for recyclables that differ from the black fect on the community’s cleanliness and it all comes trash cans. The school acquired the blue bins six years SARA BAREKZAI back to recycling all that it can. ago with the intention of recycling and they have not REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE It’s been known that custodians tend to forget to The fix for recycling here is very easy, and that is just lived up to that expectation. recycle the material placed in the many bins around the school. to increase awareness of it. Years ago when the display In recent years the Ecology Club has taken it upon was created, recycling occurred often at the school bethemselves to recycle the blue bins. Every other Lancer cause everyone knew to do it. If Lee wants to preach recycling then we need to recycle just time they would collect recyclables from classrooms but more recently they have been collecting the bins at a slower rate. The school does make efforts to recycle, however they are as much as we did when the system first started. Eric smith Staff Writer

The Lance Thinks...Senioritis Is Not Just Affecting Seniors Jack Milewski Editor-in-Chief

You hear every senior say it, “I have Senioritis.” Though not an actual disease, Senioritis effects many high school seniors. The cause: being accepted to college. The symptoms: lack of effort towards school work in and outside of school and the skipping of classes. Though it is not necessarily the best thing for seniors to slack off, even if their grades may not matter as much, it is still widely tolerated by teachers and accepted by students as the natural way. Being a senior and slacking off is one thing, however being a freshman, sophomore, or junior and slacking off is something altogether different. The problem isn't Senioritis anymore, it is Schoolitis. Though Schoolitis isn't actually a real term, the idea behind it is very much real. Many students, independent of seniors, show a lack of care for school. This is a problem that The Lance thinks needs to be remedied. Though it may not seem like it your freshman year, your grades do matter. By getting good grades freshman year, you are setting yourself up for success down the road, and giving yourself a little more leeway if you happen to slip up. The same goes for sophomores. There is no reason why in your second year of high school you should already be sick of it. We understand that some of your classes may be boring, but that happens to everyone. Once again, the motivation to set yourself up for a successful future should outweigh the motivation to skip biology and grab Chipotle with your buddies. If it does not, you have some serious re-evaluating to do. Freshman and sophomore year are supposed to be easy. You need to take advantage of these years and bolster your GPA. School might not be your favorite thing, but at least put in the effort early on because it will come back to bite you if you do not. While your freshman and sophomore year are important, junior year is a whole different

beast in itself. Junior year counts. Big time. Colleges focus on your junior year grades, primarily, when they are reviewing your application. Your junior year is where you make or break your chances to getting into a good school. Granted, if you've slacked off before this year, you will have an even steeper hill to climb. See the point were trying to make? If you work hard your junior year, you will feel much more accomplished and you will be happier with the selection of colleges you have. Whether you are a freshman or senior, you should not be slacking off in school. Obviously the temptation is greater for seniors because you are almost in college, but regardless, if you form bad habits now, they will follow you to college where things really do matter. If you do happen to give into Senioritis, just do not succumb all the way; keep your grades partially above water. As for everyone else, do not give in to Schoolitis. The harder you work early on, the easier high school becomes and the more fun it is. Sacrifice a little now to enjoy a lot later. While Senioritis may be real, Schoolitis is most certainly not, try and keep it that way.



March 11, 2014


New And Improved: Springfield Town Center To Open This Fall

because it made perfect sense. The area has little to none fashion stores and the location is in the middle of the DC metro area, where a lot of people commute and pass through everyday. Nevertheless the change will affect the community in a positive way. By changing the Change is inevitable and it will come whether its effects are going to be positive or negative. In a situation affecting many Lee students, Spring- stores and all the other attractions, it is going to bring in a lot of money to the area and a lot more people will come lookfield Mall is making the change from a ing for jobs or leisure. This will small mall to a town center. The mall have a chain reaction on everyhas been under renovation for quite a thing in the area resulting in the while now and, to be completely honneighborhoods and apartments est, it will be well worth the wait bearound the mall going up in cause not only does it bring new stores value because more people at to the area but it will definitely change younger ages will want to live up the demographics of the commuthere. nity in a positive way. This will also be a lot more Already on their website the manconvenient for the students at agement group spearheading the renoLee to go to the mall. Another vation has released a video of what the student, senior Rhana Eltoum, town center is going to look like when feels really good about having it opens; in total there are 150 stores the renovations done but underand restaurants coming to the area. stands the possible consequencStores coming in are an eclectic mix es as well. of various retailers; plus a multi screen “It honestly needed to be rentheater is going to be placed inside the ovated, but that means that once mall. It is basically a bunch of the well it happens the traffic is going to known malls around the area wrapped get worse. The increased trafinto one. This will no longer be the fic will especially affecting the small mall you used to remember, but students trying to leave school. a huge town center with a larger food However, it is much easier to court and various stores geared tohave one that is local and much wards many tastes in fashion. easier to get to instead of drivSenior Lynn Vo, like everyone else, ing a long way,” said Eltoum. enjoys a trip every now and then to the The renovated mall will be mall and anticipates the new town cenELIZABETH ZOCCOLI-RODRIGUEZ opening a lot of doors to peoter will be nothing short of amazing. “I love that there is going to be a the WORK IN PROGRESS Springfield Mall -- soon to be Springfield Town Center is getting a complete makeover. The town center ple in the community. There is scheduled to open in fall of 2014 with a Topshop, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and other tenants. are high hopes for the finished town center right in our area, it makes product of the town center and it so much easier to go. The change will also bring new opportunities for the area itself to make it have a larger appeal and for the benefits from having it in our area. Hold your excitement for Springfield Towne Center students to find jobs ,” said Vo. for a few short months because it won't be opening until the upcoming summer of 2014. The reasoning behind choosing the area to place all the stores over Springfield mall was Elizabeth zoccoli-rodriguez Features Editor



New Buzzing System Provides Extraordinary Amount Of Safety For Lee Staff And Students Sara barekzai Commentary Editor



TAYLOR HIGGISON Commentary Editor

SARA BAREKZAI Features Editor

Elizabeth zoccoli-rodriguez Tangents Editor



Adviser Greg Bartley Robert E. Lee High School 6540 Franconia Road Springfield, VA 22150 (703) 924-8347 The Lance is a monthly forum for its readers as produced by the students of Robert E. Lee High School. Bylined columns represent the writer’s opinion, while editorials designed to persuade, warn, criticize, or lead are voted on by the Editorial Board and represent the majority opinion. The results are represented in the editorial. Letters to the editor can be delivered to room 189, to Mr. Bartley or submitted through the Lance e-mail. Letters must be signed by the author. Anonymous letters will not be accepted, but names will be withheld if requested. Open letters are not accepted as paid advertising. We reserve the right to edit letters.

Lee has recently incorporated a buzzing system outside of the school. At 7:20, all doors are locked and staff and students are encouraged to not open doors for anyone. The only way any one can be let in is through the two front doors on the far right side of the main entrance. The buzzer increases security when trying to enter the school and it aims to protect faculty and student’s safety. In light of many horrific school shootings in recent years, the purpose of the buzzing system and the safety that comes with it is fantastic. Before the buzzer, virtually anyone was allowed to walk into the building if they accessed the front doors in the lobby. Sometimes, administration or Officer Richards would stand in the lobby to make sure those entering the building were rightfully there, but not always. Julie Carter and Adriane Barnes, the administrative assistants that work the front desk, are the ones that buzz students and visitors. Teachers have tags on their badges that scan to automatically let them in. For students, we have to press the buzzer and wait for someone in the front office to let us in. Principal Abe Jeffers commented on the addition of the buzzer and the reason why schools in Fairfax County have slowly implemented

them. “We’re the fourth high school [in the county] that has implemented the buzzers. There are currently four doors with the buzzer. Currently, all elementary schools have had them since two years ago and then they started to put them in middle schools and now they’re working on high schools. The buzzers were provided by a state grant,” said Principal Jeffers. The only problem with the buzzing system is that when there is no one manning the front desks, students are often left outside for several minutes until someone buzzes them in or a student opens the door. Junior Tiffany Erskine thinks that the buzzing system achieves its purpose of providing safety. “I think that it’s a positive thing because it provides safety for our school and it protects the students from anyone that would want to harm anyone in the building,” said Erskine. Ultimately, the importance of placing a buzzer system is to provide safety for the students. It’s important to remember to not open doors for people lurking outside of the doors were the buzzers are not in place and direct them to the main entrance to be let in by the front desk.

“I like’s safe because it prevents any kind of intruders from walking in. However it also makes it harder for kids to come in after school,” Yonathan Mekonen, 12

“I don’t think it’s useful if you want to get into the building from another side of the school, no one will let you get in,” Elmehdi Elguennouni, 11

“With the recent events of school shootings it’s understandable, it’s to be safe,” - Basmah Khan, 12




March 11, 2014

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Rachel Clausen Elizabeth zoccoli-rodriguez Features Editor

If you've ever walked down the freshman hallway and noticed a door covered with posters of funny little science jokes it may have piqued your interest. Behind those doors you’ll find Mrs. Clausen who has been teaching at Lee for three years. During that time she has taught many science classes like Biology 9 both regulars and honors as well as IB Environmental. Although she is a fairly new teacher, she puts in as much effort as anyone else. She’s always trying her hardest to come up with new ideas and innovative ways for her students to enjoy science, whether it be hands-on or outdoor activities. Despite her busy schedule she planned numerous field trips and guest speakers for her students. Among her many qualities that make her one of the many great teachers at Lee, she really cares for every single one of her students and wants them to succeed in every aspect, even if science is not their favorite subject. For these reasons and many more, Lee is lucky to have Mrs. Clausen as a part of the school!

What drives your dedication to teaching? I love it when students have revelations, when they finally get the information they’re learning in class which is really rewarding for a teacher. I love it also when students overcome their own fears of not being able to do science or just like the subject in general. What is the downfall about being a teacher? Its takes a lot of time and effort to make things enjoyable for students as well as give feedback to them in order to help them grow. How have you grown since you first started as a teacher? I’ve been able to multitask a little bit more by saving time instead of reinventing the wheel in terms of worksheets because there are a lot of materials out there that teachers share for their environmental classes so I am able to modify worksheets to my liking.

In what ways do you like to challenge yourself when teaching? I want to make things more group and project-based in my lessons because it is much more enjoyable for Why did you become a teacher? Any influences? I decided to become a teacher because I really enjoyed students instead of taking notes, however it takes a lot teaching customers what type of running shoes were of time to plan out those activities for teachers to do. best for them while I was working at a shoe store during high school. On a more serious note, while I was at- What was your most memorable moment in your tending Franklin Marshall University I got to work with teaching career? a professor as a teacher assistant to help a freshman bio I was able to present at a bio conference which was really cool, but even though it hasn't happened quite yet I class with research and lab demonstrations. think the Chesapeake Bay trip I’m taking with a handful of students is going to be pretty memorable. How long have you been teaching? If we’re being technical I only have been teaching for 3 ½ years by myself. Although I was teaching for a year Where do you see yourself in 10 years? with another teacher when I first became a teacher, so I’ll still be teaching and I hope to have be doing a lot more hands-on, outdoor activities in in total it has been four years. my environmental class.

Elizabeth Zoccoli-Rodriguez

Progress CHECK Mrs. Clausen goes around the classroom during her fifth period biology class to check the homework that was previously assigned.

What is the most important skill that you can give your students? I want my students to be able to sift through information and use problem solving skills. Any advice to students thinking about becoming teachers? It takes time and putting in a lot of effort, but it is very rewarding.

Live Tweeting From The State Of The Union Paulina vasquez Staff Writer

The State of the Union (SOTU) is one of the most important events that takes place each January. It is an address made by the President of the United States to the Congress, giving the administration’s view of the nation and upcoming plans for legislation. Millions of citizens tune in to watch or listen to the SOTU as it determines the country’s upcoming plans for the year. For those who are into politics, it is an interesting event to watch; for those who are not into politics, it is a great way to learn about what the President has in mind to benefit our nation. The really cool thing about this year’s SOTU is that one of our very own Lancers had the opportunity to actually attend. Melissa Alberto is a sophomore who was invited to be a part of President Obama’s speech. Alberto was lucky enough to be able to attend something that most people will never seen in person and even liveTweeted the event. She was also kind enough to share her experience. “I was asked to live tweet about the SOTU and anyone who had questions, I would answer them. It was intimidating at first but I tweeted what I believed needed to be voiced,” Alberto says. In 2012, Alberto decided to to get involved with political campaigning. She volunteered in the Obama reelection campaign and ever since has loved to help out. Once she completed the campaign she went on to join Terry Mcauliffe’s gubernatorial campaign, supporting the Democratic party. These campaigns try their best to get as many volunteers to help spread their views. “We try to get the word out by calling citizens up, going door by door to make sure they know where poll locations are, and inform those about the upcoming elections,” Alberto said. She later joined the Organizing for Action nonprofit organization, working toward the agenda that President Obama promised the US

after his reelection in 2012. In January, Organizing for Action called Melissa Alberto to ask if she was interested on the Spring Fellowship program. This gave Alberto the opportunity to ask questions to senior advisors to President Obama. A few other students in her organization were also able to join her. When she first went to the Capitol, Alberto saw firsthand the high level security which the government provides its top officials. All of this went into a feeling of apprehension that Alberto felt when preparing the questions that she would put to the administration. “I was pretty nervous to ask any questions, I didn’t want them to sound boring,” Alberto said. The State of the Union is a big deal, most of us can’t imagine actually having the opportunity to actually witness the speech live, let alone ask appropriate questions about topics about which we are passionate. According to Alberto, most of the questions asked were about policies that are important to high school students, specifically education reform and climate change. Not many people are able to say that they live tweeted at the Capitol. Alberto was lucky to have this opportunity due to her hard work and interest in politics. In the future she plans on taking part of the support of Democratic campaigns. This is in part because of her belief that the Democrats have the best ideas regarding education and health care. “Education and health care are the topics I am most interested in and believe need the most support. That’s why I plan on continuing to volunteer to spread the word on better Education and Healthcare ideas”, said Alberto. Even though she has already accomplished so much at a young age, Alberto plans to keep pursuing her political dreams and ideals. While some students may not see politics as an important part of their lives, Alberto continues to work hard toward her goal. Even though she can’t yet vote, Alberto is an inspiration to all young people who are interested in bettering their world.

Courtesy of Melissa Alberto

Kicking Back Melissa Alberto was able to actually go inside the House chamber to tweet during the State of the Union, but she snagged a quick photo at the White House before President Obama delivered the address to the joint session of Congress.



March 11, 2014


De-clutter your iPhone: Save memory, time, and space!


Step 1: Update Your Apps & keep to date with your iOS operating system


Dust furniture Wash windows Wipe down mirrors Vaccuum carpet Empty trash

Organize your stuff in categories such as: -Games -Clothing -Shoes -Books -Electronics -Accessories


Box it up, set up a neat table, Create a chart to organize sales, and OPEN YOUR YARD SALE!


Donate your items to a great cause! Such as: -Goodwill ( -Salvation Army ( -Operation Give ( -Books for Africa (

Step 2: Delete uneeded media & apps you rarley use...don’t be stingy! Step 3: Rearrange and Group...create themes for each page to organize and save time while looking for apps

Step 4: Close Apps You Aren’t Using & keep brightness low...This saves unbelivable

SPRING cleanin

amounts of battery!




Remove clutter,

get rid of junk!

The best way to decide if you need something you’ve had for a long time is to think, “Would I buy this if I were at the store?” If not, then you know what to do! Toss the trash and keep what you need. Once you think this way, cleaning becomes easy! You’ll notice a difference in the space you now have avaliable, whether its in your room, closet, or attic! Compiled by: Megan Trayers


These celebs reveal how they’re cleaning out the old to make way for the new with their New Years Resolutions... outh shut for at "To keep my m s and to not talk least six month ers." badly about oth Kanye West

"My 2014 m ission is to w ear a crop top wit h jeans. I've never done that, so it has to hap pen one day"


njoy". "Simplify and E Melissa Joan Hart

"Worry less, trust more."

Sara Bareilles

"I [wish to] stay cons istent with my workouts and eat healthy." Fergie dent loans and "Pay off my stu e!" travel to Europ Erin Brady (Miss USA 2013)

Khloe Kardashian



Set a timer to keep you focused and set a goal to finish cleaning! You can also play your favorite tunes to keep you on track.

Use shoe holders to organize misc. items such as school supplies, makeup, and random objects!

Pick up pet hair, with a wet rubber dishwashing glove and wipe your hand over surfaces.

Use spongy paintbrushes to reach and dust small spaces.

Dryer sheets clean fingerprint and dirt buildup from glass. The acidic juice from lemons wipes water stains from showers clean!


March 11, 2014



Bachelorette of the Month:

Jack Milewski

1. What do you think is your best quality My best quality would be my ability to make people laugh. I love making the people around me happy. 2. What is something you look for in a guy? I look for guys with confidence. They have to be comfortable with themselves first before they can be with someone else. (They have to love themselves before they can love me) 3. What is your biggest turnoff in a guy? My biggest turnoff is a guy who is unhygienic and sloppy

A Closer Look Inside: Automotive Technology Kevin Ngo Staff Writer

There are more to cars than most people know and you can learn more about cars and mechanics if you enroll in a class here at Lee. That class is Auto Tech and is an elective course, so for any students that have another elective open and are interested in cars, it is highly recommended that you join this class. Auto Tech is a very useful class for students, because it teaches them the basics of fixing their cars up in the case that their cars break down or a tire gets popped. Not only is it useful to know the knowledge from Auto Tech, but it could also save you money, since you will not have to take your car to a shop if it breaks down. You might be able to fix your own car in your own garage. If you are signing up for Auto-Tech for the first time, you will be placed in the level one course of Auto Tech. There is a continuation class for Auto Tech 1, with that class being Auto Tech 2, then going up all the way to Auto Tech 3. All three of these classes are taught David Turley. Turley is in his third year teaching Auto Tech here at Lee and he has really enjoyed teaching here. “Hanging out with the students and teaching them is really what I enjoy most about teaching Auto Tech,” Turley said. By teaching Auto Tech, Turley not only wanted to teach his students about cars, but also show them that there are other opportunities and chances out there for students, not just college.

“I wanted to give students the chance to look in a different direction. College isn’t the only option for students out of high school. I want them to see what else is out there for them, such as Auto Tech,” Turley said. If you think Auto Tech is just working on cars all class, it is not, as Turley pointed out how there are classroom aspects to the course as well. “What we do in class varies every day as some days we are in the classroom doing modules or worksheets. Some days we are out in the shop working on the cars and fixing them. I try to split it up every class,” Turley said. From the modules, worksheets, and working in the shop, students will be able to learn about oil changes, tune ups, tire work, patching, engines, transmissions and a lot more about cars and how they work. A current student of Turley’s, junior Kim Kik, finds Auto Tech to be a very useful course and he would recommend it to anyone who is interested in taking it next year. “Auto Tech is a really good class, because it is very helpful in many ways. I have saved money for my car, because I know how to work on my own car. I don’t need to take it to a shop for them to fix it. For anyone that is interested, I would recommend this class, because it gives them a chance to learn a lot about cars,” Kik said. Auto Tech will teach you what you need to know about your car and will even save you money sometimes. So for those who want to save money and learn more about your vehicle, consider signing up for Auto Tech with Mr. Turley.

4. Lets play a game: Fill in the Blank_______ was best pickup line I’ve heard. I’m a sucker for all cheesy pickup lines, they all work on me I couldn’t fill in the blank with just one 5. Never wear _Sweatpants_________ on our first date 6. In your experience has your spanish speaking attracted guys? Yes, in my experience my spanish speaking ability has definitely attracted guys. Mostly because I can't pronounce the majority of the words so they get a laugh out of it. 7. Describe yourself in 10 words or less I am Melissa Schwartz 8. First thing you notice about a guy The first thing I notice is if a guy is attractive or not, I think that’s what most people notice 9. Before they talk to me, guys should know…... That I am hardworking and that I am athletic and I also live a very busy life. Compiled by Jack Milewski

Kevin Ngo

Undivided attention As all the students gather around the vehicle, Mr.Turley prepares a demonstration at the beginning of class for his students to learn before letting them try it out for themselves.

When I Was 17:

Courtesy of Joe Sebestyen

DREAM COME TRUE Mr. Sebestyen attended a Steelers Training camp and while he was there he was able to meet wide receiver Hines Ward.

1. Where did you attend high school? I attended Hickory High School in my hometown of Hermitage, Pennsylvania. 2. What activities or clubs did you take part in? I played football, baseball and was in Choir and Chamber Choir. 3. What was your favorite part of being a teenager?. No financial responsibilities besides my car. Bills suck! 4. If you could choose a different career path, what would it be? I have always wanted to be, and in some ways still want to be, a movie writer and director. I think if I would have chased that dream I would have gone to college in New York or California. 5. Did you have a specific subject you hated? Calculus was hard for me because I never saw the practical application of it. 6. Tell us one embarrassing moment in high school. Some kids started a fight club off school grounds and got two students to fight every Friday after school. I was one of those students once. My parents were not to thrilled about it even though I won.

(History Department) 7. What kind of things did you and your friends do for fun? We didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, Vine or Snapchat, cell phones were just starting to come around and I am from a very boring town, so we often hung out at each other’s houses on the weekends for fun or went and caused trouble at the local Wal-Mart. 8. Anything about high school you would want to change? We tried to change the lunches by boycotting them. They were overpriced and terrible with little portions, we tried to start a movement to get them to change it but it never worked. 9. Would you like to relive your high school years? Why? What would you do differently? I am glad high school is over because college was entirely different. Everything seemed so important: image, popularity, who you hung out with and what people thought of you. It’s not until afterwards, when I was in college, that I realized how unimportant that stuff was and is. If I had to do it all over again, I probably would not worry about that stuff so much and value the time with my friends. Compiled by Paulina Vasquez




March 11, 2014

Booth Dwellers, In Their Natural Habitat

traction to the dual benched tables. “They give it more intimacy almost. They make it easier to In Lee’s cafeteria there are two types of people: people that sit connect to people,” Romero said. at the bench style tables, and those who sit in the booths that Junior Addison Randall represents the other side run along the majority of the perimeter of the cafeteria. Now, of the coin. as a senior, I for one, have always been a table-goer. It allows “I feel like at a table I get to talk to all of my friends rather for me to talk to more people, more accessibility and frankly is than just two or three,” Randall said. “Plus, the people that just what I am used to. As for the booth dwellers, the booths sit in the booths seem to be people I don’t associate with do seem more comfortable and do seem a bit more exclusive, so the tables are where I sit.” if that’s the look you’re going for. But, what seems to be the Now, there are some people that have expeoverriding reason I do not partake in booth lunching is the rienced both sides of this debate and were once booth fact that the booth dwellers seem to be permanently associgoers but have converted to table lunching or vise versa. ated with that booth, making it hard for booth prospects to One of these students is freshman Walker Venable who, in get involved. his short time here at Lee, has already been to both loca According to Principal Abe Jeffers, the booths were tions but has made his choice. originally implemented in the school’s renovations when they “I like the booths better because they allow me and my were in high demand. friends from sports to be together in school,” Venable “It’s one of those things where a lot of schools that don’t said. have them want them so 10 or so years ago when it got reThe decision as to where to eat lunch is a big one, but done, someone made the executive decision to put them in,” follow your heart and it should be an easy choice. If you’d Jeffers said. like to be with a few friends then eat your lunch in the Seemingly this spur of the moment high end decision to put privacy of a booth, and if you want to eat lunch with a lot booths in has become a defining factor in the social life of a of your friends then the table is the place for you. Follow Elizabeth Zoccoli-Rodriguez high schooler at Lee. your gut and you’re sure to eat lunch where you’re destined Mauricio Romero has been a booth goer all four to whether it be a booth or a table but don’t let it be any- PERFECT FIT Some students at Lee prefer to go with the booth option instead of sitting at the lunch tables. years here at Lee and sees the booths’ privacy as the main atwhere else but the Lee High School cafeteria. JAKE EDWARDS Sports Editor

Restaurant Review: Ollie’s Trolly Eric smith Staff Writer

Washington D.C. is not only the capital of the US, but it also has a number of great and historic restaurants. Among this list is a small restaurant called Ollie’s Trolley. Sitting just under the Harrington Hotel, Ollie’s Trolley is a small diner that makes mostly burgers and sandwiches, along with their french fries, through breakfast, lunch and dinner hours. The restaurant opens at 8 AM on weekdays to sell breakfast and catch the business rush. Ollie’s Trolley also closes around 10 PM most nights so it is open the majority of the day for any locals or tourists visiting. In the heart of D.C., with less than ten locations throughout the US, this family-owned business is known for their secret ingredients in their burgers and fries. The Washington landmark has stayed in the family for over 30 years, originating from an actual trolley cart where they cooked and sold their burgers. Ever since then the popularity of the burger joint has increased. Senior Rasan Murtza is a satisfied customer. “Everytime I go to DC I try to stop by Ollie’s Trolley to get one of their burgers,” Murtza said. Being that the restaurant was founded in 1936’s, a retro theme is applied to the inside of the store where you can find antiques such as gumball machines and other old fashioned items. A red a yellow color scheme makes the restaurant stand out next to the buildings in D.C. It’s also located a block away from the Metro Center

station in downtown Washington, making it easy for tourists to eat there. Junior Henry Nguyen found Ollie’s Trolley by accident and has loved it ever since. “I first tried it when I was looking for something to eat in DC and ever since then I’ve always tried to go back whenever I visit DC,” said Nguyen. The menu is very simple, but provides a lot of different items to choose from, however the Ollie Burger is its highlight. This is just an original burger, but other items like a turkey burger, crab cake burger and a bacon cheese burger are also available. BLTs and tuna sandwiches are also on the menu, as well as sandwiches not so traditional like a fish sandwich or a chili burger. Ollie’s Trolley, like many other places has an ingredient that they add to their food and theirs is a ketchup and mayonnaise mixture amongst others. Their Olliefries also have a special seasoning that combines 26 different herbs and spices. This separates them from other competitors for because of the unique taste their fries have. Senior Taylor Hollowood is a fan of their french fries, specifically. “I love how all of the different flavors in the fries combine and it makes them taste so much better,” said Hollowood. Overall Ollie’s Trolley is a old style deli that will serve almost anything you are hungry for. Their simple, yet wide variety, menu has something for everyone and is a great place to have breakfast, lunch or dinner in D.C.

Eric Smith

THE CLASSICS Among the many options at Ollie’s Trolley is their good old fashion cheeseburger on a toasted sesame bun and seasoned Ollie fries.

Address: 425 12th St, NW, Washington, DC 20004 (located at the corner of 12th St. & E St. and one block away from the Metro Center station) Phone Number: 202-347-6119

Warm Regards From Alumni Class Of 2013 Catherine Beal

(Communication Studies)

What is your major? I am a Communication Studies major.

Courtesy of Catherine Beal

What’s been your favorite part of college? Least favorite? My favorite thing about college is definitely a tie between the location and all the new people I’ve met. New York City, besides being intoxicatedly beautiful, is full of so many unbelievable opportunities and fun things to do. The fact that I get to experience it with an amazing group of friends just makes it all the better! My least favorite is definitely the amount of reading homework that is assigned. I’m sure everyone’s heard, college is basically all reading.

How was your transition from high school to college? My transition from high school to college was fairly Why did you choose that major? easy. Of course there were some things to get used I chose communications because I wasn’t sure to, but it really wasn’t a major adjustment. exactly what I wanted to do yet besides being interested in fashion/public relations. Com- Any advice for current seniors? munication is an important factor with all jobs Don’t be nervous! College is so much fun, and peoand it’s a major that can easily be focused by ple are super friendly. Get involved, take every opa minor. portunity you can; you never know when it might come in handy.

What kind of student would you say would best fit Pace? Pace is so diverse it could really be the right fit for anyone. We have awesome theater and dance programs, strong connections for business majors, as well as unique new majors such as Arts and Entertainment Management. No matter your major Pace (and the city) will have great opportunities for you. When you were a senior, what were defining factors about Pace that made you choose to attend? The internship program is definitely what made me choose Pace. Virginia has some amazing schools, but I knew that at Pace I could get the proper networking and experience that would give me the upper-hand in the industry. The best part is you can start interning the second semester of your freshman year. Now I’ll be going into my sophomore year with an internship already under my belt!


March 11, 2014 14 ENTERTAINMENT Lance Lee Lancers Participate TWD Is Back And Deader Than Ever In The Talent Hunt Jack Milewski Editor-In-Chief

Annie Hafeez Staff Writer

Robert E Lee is a high school that is filled with talented and creative teenagers who are waiting for their moment to shine. Two of Robert E. Lee’s very own students, junior Henok Berhane, and senior Terrell Bridgett had the opportunity to step out and show the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. what talents that had in store for their annual Talent Hunt. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. was founded by three Howard University undergraduates and is known to be the first international fraternal organization that has been founded on the campus of a historically black college. Titus McGlone, a member of the fraternity and one of the people in charge of the Talent Hunt, explained how the event was created to provide “Exposure, encouragement, and financial assistance to talented youth in our community participating in the performing arts.” The auditions were held in Lee’s auditorium from 9am to 12pm on Saturday, February 8, 2014. The competition this year will include four vocalists, one dramatic interpretation contestant, 2 instrumentation contestant, and three dancers. Berhane was excited when Bridgett informed him about the contest and started practicing every day after school. “I was with Terrell after school watching him dance and Mrs. Fillmore came up to Terrell and I with Mr. McGlone and he started to explain to us about there was going to be auditions for the contest on Saturday. After I found that out, I started staying after school every day and started to think of what songs I wanted to do so I could make it past the auditions.” Berhane said. Junior Shonte Dixon, Bridgett, and Berhane attended the auditions that Saturday. “Once we got in, we were told to fill out a little packet with our information and then we had to each sit down individually on a chair and were videotaped a 15 second introduction in which we had to talk about ourselves and why we did the competition and a little about the piece that we were performing.” Dixon had said. Fortunately, all three students from Lee made it past the auditions. However, Dixon could not make it to the final event due to personal issues. The event is going to be on Saturday March 7th. “This year, the Talent Hunt program will be led by Mr. and Mrs. D’Vell Garrison who will serve as Master/Mistress of Ceremony. Each student’s recorded a 15-20 second self-bio video on the day of auditions. That video will serve as that student’s selfintroduction which will be queued to play prior to the student going onstage to perform. The program will have one 10-15 minute intermission. After everyone has performed, there will be light refreshments served in the cheer room.” McGlone explained. The first place winner will receive $500, second place winner will receive $250, and third place will receive $125. Bridgett was excited when he heard about what prizes were going to be offered and started looking for songs to do after he found out he made it past the auditions. “As soon as I heard about the prize money, I knew I had to get past the auditions. When I found out I made it, I started looking for songs right away so I can impress the judges. I’m still not sure of what song I want to do but I know if I want to come in first place, I’m going to have to top all the other talents.” The event on Saturday, March 7th, is completely free and open for any student or parent to come by and support the contestants. Make sure to take this chance to cheer on two Lee students and support their acts.

annie hafeez

where’s the talent at Three Lee Lancers auditioned for the 2014 Talent Hunt. The performance takes place March 8 at Lee.

two. Maggie, Sasha, and Bob are another threesome and Glen and Tara have met up with some new characters. It’s back. One of television’s most popular shows, “This season has been crazy so far, there have been The Walking Dead, has officially returned. The fourth tons of twists and turns and unexpected events like season, now 10 episodes old returned after the mid sea- when Rick looked like he was dead,” said senior Sammy son finale concluded Ezzeddine. with the death of For fans of the comic the beloved Herschel book, these new characas well as the hated ters were probably some Governor. The final of your favorites. Sgt. scene of that episode Abraham Ford, Dr. Eushows Carl leading gene Porter and Rosita Rick away from the Espinosa are three newly ruins of the prison introduced characters in that was once their the fourth season. Eshome. Many quespinosa, Porter and Ford tions remained unansave Glen and Tara from swered after the mida mass of zombies early season finale. Would in the fourth season. the group ever comThey then try to take pletely reunite? What them on what Ford dehas happened to scribes as a “mission that Carol? And is Judith will save the world.” Acalive or not? cording to Ford, Porter As the old sayknows what started the ing goes, two out zombie apocalypse and in of three ain’t bad. turn will be able to counAlready this season teract this if he gets to we know that Judith Washington D.C. is still alive and that The latest episode in Carol is as well, and the fourth season was she may be returnthe first episode to only ing to the group. follow two characters. The first episode of The main premise was the second half of that Beth was trying to the season follows get her first drink. In Rick and Carl as they the episode, Darrell and struggle to stay alive walkers gone wild The Walking Dead continues to be one of Beth both open up to due to the fact that T.V.’s top shows. The second half of season four follows the group from each other and it is one Rick is seriously in- the prison, as they are now split up into many smaller groups. of the more sentimental jured. The episode episodes of the show so ends with Michonne finding them and rejoining them. far. There are also hints at what could possibly be a little The second episode is hectic as Michonne, Rick and Carl love interest between the two, but it is too early to tell. are faced with several perilous situations. Also in the epi“I love the pairing between those two, it’s a really sode Carol saves Tyrese and baby Judith from a group unique couple,” said sophomore Ellie Milewski. of zombies. Where the season stands now we know this: So far the season seems to be leading up to what everyone from the main group at the prison is still alive, could be a finale that features all the separated groups they are just separated. Michonne, Rick, and Carl are in finally meeting up. However with the unpredictability of one group. Carol, Tyrese, baby Judith, Lizzie and Mika the show, there is no telling if this will happen or if all are in another. Beth and Darrell are the only group of the characters who are alive now will be at the end.

Ellen Entertains At Oscars

Many fans of the actor Leonardo DiCaprio thought he should have won for his role in the Wolf on Wall Street. Junior Jessica Hindle thinks DiCaprio getting robbed of To continue the year’s awards ceremony line-up, the the award. Oscars was held on March 2 and included some of the “Leonardo DiCaprio always does so well in his movbiggest stars in Hollywood. The Sunday night ceremony ies and I think the Wolf on Wall Street was one of his was hosted by the much loved Ellen DeGeneres. Her per- best performances,” Hindle said. sonality and jokes were well received by the audience and The long awaited award to end the night was Best her memorable appearance as host even included a world Picture which was won by 12 Years a Slave. This was direcord. rector Steve McQueen’s second award of the new year, DeGeneres wanted to break the world record for the the first being the Golden Globe for Best Picture. most retweeted selfie on the social networking site TwitSophomore Willie Philter. She gathered up stars lips watches Oscar’s every like Bradley Cooper and year for the more anticipatJennifer Lawrence to take ed awards of the night. the selfie then post it on “I always try to watch the her account. This wouldn’t Oscars but mostly I like to be her only big stunt of the see the big names that win,” night. DeGeneres ordered Phillips said. and handed out pizza durThe night also included ing the middle of the cerhit performances by Pharemony which got a ton of rell Williams. He performed laughs from the audience as “Happy” from the film Dewell as senior Nhi Ho. spicable Me 2. “I loved Ellen, she’s alSenior Rahul Pillai ways so funny and there’s Worlds greatest selfie DeGeneres brought together joyed the Williams’ perfornever a dull moment with some of Hollywood’s brightest stars for a celebrity selfie. mance. her,” Ho said. “He’s one of my favorite The night kicked off with the Best Supporting Actor artists and I always love seeing him when he’s live,” Piland Actress award won by The Dallas Buyers Club’s Jared lai said. Leto and Lupita Nyong’o from 12 Years a Slave, respecWilliams made another fashion statement with his tively. cowboy hat, which made its second appearance after Alfonso Cuaron won Best Director for Gravity and making its debut at the Grammys. Cate Blanchett captured Best Actress for Blue Jasmine. Overall the night was filled with laughter, thanks to One of the debatable winners of the night was The Dallas DeGeneres, and star-studded casts and directors getting Buyers Club star Matthew McConaughey for Best Actor. rewarded for their work throughout 2013.

Eric smith Staff Writer

Spring Music Festival Preview: What You Need To Know To Plan Your Concert Schedule Sara Barekzai Commentary Editor

With warmer weather approaching, many of us begin to gear up for a bright and fun music festival season. We’ve compiled a list of local and sort-of-local festivals in the northeast/mid-atlantic region. One of these festivals will certainly have something you’re looking for and will also expand your musical horizons. 1. Macrock, Harrisonburg, VA -- April 4-5 Lots of local and unheard talent come together to play in one of southern Virginia’s only indie-rock music festivals. While the entire lineup has yet to be finalized, the following acts are secured to play: Boogarins, The Diamond Center, Disciples of Christ, Grass is Green, Kal Marks, Ex-Cult, Ovlov, and more. According to the festival’s Facebook page, tickets are very cheap and range from $10-30. Visit for more information as they get ready to launch their new website. 2. Firefly, Dover, DE -- June 19-22 One of the more anticipated festivals on the east coast, where indie, rock, folk, and rap/hip hop talents get together for a four day festival in Delaware. The line-up includes a lot of mainstream artists like Arctic Monkeys, Jack Johnson, Foo Fighters, Grouplove, The Lumineers, Weezer, Imagine Dragons, and Outkast. Tickets are still available for $259 for the full four days. Visit to view the full lineup and purchase tickets. 3. Governor’s Ball, New York City, NY -- June 6-8 Indie, rock, rap/hip-hop, and electronica/dub-step artists make up the lineup for Governor’s Ball. The Strokes, Julian Casablancas, The 1975, Interpol, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, Skrillex, J Cole, Damon Albarn, Tyler The Creator, Bastille, and Kurt Vile and The Vilators are among some of the big names performing. Tickets start at $250 for a 3-day pass at 4. Electric Daisy Carnival, New York City, NY -- May 24-25 A festival for anyone into electronic/dub-step music, as long as you are 18 and older. The lineup has yet to be announced, but tickets are on sale for $220 for 18 and older and $320 for 21 and older. Last year, the lineup included Calvin Harris, Fedde Le Grand, Empire Of The Sun, Fatboy Slim, Avicii, and Tiesto. Tickets available at electricdaisycarnival. com/NewYork/ 5. Sweetlife Music and Food Festival, Columbia, MD -- May 10 The one day festival’s lineup includes the following artists: Lana Del Rey, Foster The People, Bombay Bicycle Club, Fitz and The Tantrums, Bastille, 2 Chainz, Chromeo, St. Lucia, Gems, Spirit Animal, Astr, Nicky Blitz, Capital Cities, and That Work. Tickets are on sale starting at $75 for lawn tickets at 6. Boston Calling, Boston, MA -- May 23-25 Another indie-rock festival featuring Jack Johnson, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Death Cab for Cutie, Bastille, The Neighbourhood, Kurt Vile and The Vilators, and more. Tickets are on sale now starting at $50 for a 1-day Friday pass. Check out the full line-up and purchase tickets at 7. Northside Festival, Brooklyn, NY -- June 12-19 A music and film festival with lots of up and coming talent, and well as more established acts like Black Flag. The festival’s lineup also includes Happy Lives, Monuments, Solange, White Fence, Ladyhawk and many more. For the film portion of the festival and more of the music lineup visit Tickets go on sale soon. Whether you’re looking for a well-known band from the radio or something new to add to your music repertoire, attending a festival this spring and/or summer is sure to be a memorable experience.



March 11, 2014


Having A Blizzard Blast Annie Hafeez Staff Writer

Bridgett was excited to perform in his last Blizzard Blast and was satisfied with the reactions he had received all four On February 19, 2014, the SGA presented the annual years he had performed in Blizzard Blast. “I remember when I first did Blizzard Blast I was so Blizzard Blast talent show to Lee High School students. Blizzard Blast is a talent show that was established after a former nervous because I was new to dancing but before I knew it I Lee student named Grier Hanson passed away from a heart was performing in my last Blizzard Blast and I was so hyped attack while driving with his family. Hanson was able to up for it. All four years I’ve performed, I’ve gotten crowd reactions pull to the out of side of t h i s the road world and save and I’m his famreally ily. Blizhappy I zard Blast got an is held in amazing memory one for of Hanmy last son and Blizzard the monBlast,” ey that Bridgett is made said. off from After the talent Bridgett, show is Ta nu d given each jaja took year as a the stage scholarand sung ship to “See You one seAgain” nior who by Carrie embodies Underwhat Hanwood. son stood Ja ck s o n for. followed Blizwith his zard Blast dancing gives stuperfordents an stone cold talent Blizzard Blast, the annual SGA sponsored event, was a resounding success this o p p o r - year once again. This year, 10 performers participated in the event including a surprise from Mr. Newbold. m a n c e with a tunity to come out and audition to show off the talents that they quick mix of songs that he had chosen. Brown brought back the singing talent with have. In this year’s Blizzard Blast, there were ten performers; two sophomores, Brianna “Breezy” Clark and her soulful voice and then Unique Prodigy Step Team perSamuel Cornbrooks; five juniors, Jannat Khalid, Saw Thein, formed and impressed the whole crowd with their crazy Rika Tanudjaja, Nache Brown, and Ivan Jackson; one se- stepping skills and terrific sense of humor. Afterwards, Cornbrooks came out to sing “If I Sing” nior, Terrell Bridgett along with the Unique Prodigy Step from a show called Closer Than Ever. Cornbrooks believed Team; and science teacher, Mike Newbold. The show started off with Khalid who did an amazing he didn’t do well but was shocked at the crowd reaction he job singing “Ours” by Taylor Swift. Khalid believes the received and was glad his brother had pushed him to try out other performers did an amazing job at the show and she for Blizzard Blast. “I have a brother in SGA who told me that the comfelt like her performance was better than she thought it mittee didn’t have a lot of acts and needed more performwould turn out to be. “The other people that performed did awesome! It ers who were interested in coming out to Blizzard Blast. was cool seeing some of last year’s performers show their I thought I would do it and I’m glad I did. I personally improvement. I actually was really nervous but I’m happy thought I didn’t do a good job but the audience thought I how my performance came out. I actually think I did bet- did well, I guess, because I got a lot of applause afterwards ter than I thought I would, even though I was so nervous,” and people cheered me on,” Cornbrooks said. The biggest surprise of all hit the students in the audiKhalid said. After Khalid, Clark, whose stage name is Breezy, ence, as Newbold entertained the crowd with his insane talshowed off her amazing dance moves in a variety mix up ent of playing the bongos. Blizzard Blast was the first talent show of the 2013-2014 of songs. Saw Thein then took the stage with not one talent but school year. The show was jam packed with amazing taltwo, singing and playing the song “Therapy” by All Time ents and the audience went insane with the different perforLow on her guitar. After her, the crowd got hyped up by mances that took place. From singing to dancing to playing another dancing performance, this time by Bridgett whose the bongos, Lee is a school that is filled with students and stage name is STATIC. Bridgett did robotic moves with teachers with amazing talents. Blizzard Blast is an annual animations, this being his fourth and final Blizzard Blast in show and will be back with even more great performances next year. high school.


March 11, 2014



A High Speed, Non-Stop Thriller Jack Milewski Editor-in-Chief

40,000 feet above the earth on a crowded plane, people are being murdered. This is the dilemma that faces air Marshall Bill Marks (played by Liam Neeson). Marks is a Marshal with a fear of flying who thinks of his job not as a way of keeping people safe but rather as a desk job in the sky. Straying a little from his Taken movies, where Neeson portrays a brutal retired federal agent who will stop at nothing to save his family, this movie features a similarly grizzled Neeson with a lot less brutality. The action-thriller requires a little suspension of disbelief on the part of the viewer as the murders that are being committed in such tight quarters seem like an unlikely event in real life. Still, the movie delivers when it comes to suspense. One of the primary reasons is that Marks and the killer are in constant contact throughout. The killer first sends Marks a text telling him that he “will kill someone on board every 20 minutes,” unless a certain sum of money is given to him. These texts continue throughout the movie as the bodies pile up, making it that much more intriguing. The fact that Marks is so close to the killer, since they are on the same plane, but has such a difficult time finding him also adds to the suspense that this movie brings. “Non-stop was suspenseful and interesting because I always thought I was one step ahead. I was trying to figure out what was going on the whole time but the ending

up up and away Liam Nesson stars in Non-Stop. A thriller that centers around what seems to be an airplane highjacking, but with one massive twist.

was still pretty shocking,” said senior Salome Fissah. Despite the close quarters, the movies still makes sure to include a fair amount of gunfights and pressure filled situations. There is even a fight between Marks and another man in one of the planes small bathroom stalls. Maybe they are a little more spacious on that airplane. The real twist to the movie comes when Marks is labeled as the bad guy and accused of trying to hold everyone on the plane hostage. Not only does he have to use his efforts to find the killer, but he also has to make sure that the people who believe he is the bad guy do not interfere with his investigation. “It was so suspenseful. I was always trying to figure out who sent the text messages. Bill Marks was crazy and I almost believed that it was him trying to capture the plane, but the twist at the end was definitely unexpected,” said senior Marycruz Garcia. If you are headed to the movies in the next couple of weeks, Non-Stop is definitely worth your time. The always good Neeson plays his role perfectly and this thrilling action movie will have you guessing and on the edge of your seat.

Jimmy Fallon Makes The Move To Tonight Eric smith Staff Writer

In recent years, comedy talk shows have dominated late night TV. Saturday Night Live is amongst the most popular late night shows and many of the actors off that show have branched out into their own talk shows. Jimmy Fallon first left the show to host Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. This is where he would remain until talk show host Jay Leno announced his retirement and left a position open at The Tonight Show. It was announced in April of 2013 that Fallon would replace Leno and his first appearance on the show followed the closing of the Winter Olympics. Many people are fans of the show and hope it continues its success, including senior Madison Thammavong. “I’ve always liked The Tonight Show with Jay Leno so I hope that Jimmy Fallon can at least be as good, if not better,” Thammavong said. The change in host offers a different style of show. A young Fallon will not be focused as much on politics throughout the series as was Leno in comparison, and many fans will like this better, including freshmen Craig Hamilton. “I think the ratings of the show is all about the host, and Jimmy Fallon will be more enjoyable to watch,” Hamilton said. A now retired Leno offered an intelligent, yet witty show style that touched on many im-

portant topics, and fans of the show can only hope for the same with Fallon. Freshman Eric Mahaffey is one of those fans and hope the ex-SNL host can continue the show’s success. “I mostly watch SNL so I’m glad that someone from that show is hosting The Tonight Show,” Mahaffey said. The first few weeks for Fallon went well as viewers loved his personality and jokes. Some of the big name stars that guest appeared on the new show include the First Lady Michelle Obama, Bradley Cooper and Will Smith. The show follows the same platform that was followed with ex-host Leno, but with Fallon’s own spin off on them that were so popular on Saturday Night Live. Skits like “The History of Rap 5” and “The Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing” have been especially popular. “Jimmy Fallon was hilarious on SNL with these types of skits and it brought a lot of people to watch that show, I think its doing the same for the tonight show, said senior Senior Sirak Tewolde. Fallon has already racked up numerous stars and hilarious skits that has the audience loving him. Though he’s several weeks new to the show, he is making a name for himself and proving that he is the right fit for The Tonight Show.

Musician of Month: Keith DuBose

Complied By Elizabeth Zoccoli-Rodriguez

What is the instrument you play? Can you play any others? I mainly play the Cello, but I also play the trombone, and guitar (both acoustic and electric).

What makes music fun for you? I like that I am able to get better at something quickly in terms of learning a new piece of music.. Do you see yourself continuing in the future? Yes with the cello, because its something fun to do and I enjoy it. I dream of going on to play the cello on a professional level, not the performance side of it, but actually recording songs. I definitely want to continue with music when I grow up, but besides playing the cello I hope to become a music producer that produces an eclectic range of music. What are some things that inspire you? Listening to different types of music and taking apart all the layers of music and then I become obsessed with learning how to play it. What was your memorable moment with music? In eighth grade I got to play the electric cello and I was basically given a spotlight to play because there was only one. I ended up being the loudest playing because of my instrument. Is there anyone you look up to in the music industry? I’m really inspired by Antonin Dvorak who is a Slovakian composer of classical music. My favorite producer is Michael Baskett because he is really good at what he does and produces for a lot of my favorite bands. elizabeth zoccoli-rodriguez

Whether its playing the cello for orchestra or learning new songs on the guitar, junior Keith DuBose keeps his plate full with a lot of music-related activities. Above all else, he enjoys playing the cello for Lee’s orchestra. Moving to Virginia all the way from Arizona in the past couple of years has not stopped him from continuing his passion for music, it follows him wherever he goes. Why did you start playing? I listened to a band called Apocalyptica and I liked the instruments they were playing and I thought it would be fun to play them too. I have been playing for four years.

Do you take any musical classes? I only take two music-related classes which are IB Music and Chamber Orchestra. How did you learn? and what was your learning process? I had teachers for learning the cello at school as well as some lessons, but taught myself how to play the guitar and trombone. What instrument(s) do you own? I own four guitars in total, two of them are electric and the other two are acoustic. I almost own a cello, but not quite yet.



March 11, 2014


Spring Up For Spring Sports


March 11 , 2014



Taking A Look Into The Upcoming Seasons jack milewski & Jake edwards Editor-in-Chief & Sports Editor

With the Spring sports season just beginning, the teams will look to improve on their records and finishes from last year. With the whole season in front of us, The Lance decided to take a look into each team and preview their season. Here is the 2014 Spring Sports Preview: Baseball: The baseball team is coming off one of its more successful seasons in recent memory. Despite the fact that the team went 6-15, they were just runs shy of being close to a .500 team. The Lancers picked up key victories over South County and West Potomac during the regular season and won their first playoff game in seven years when they beat West Springfield 5-4 in the first round of districts. With the new conference format the team will be facing opponents like Wakefield and J.E.B Stuart instead of the usually powerhouse opponents like South County and Lake Braddock. The team will be lead by seniors Eric Smith, Jake Edwards, Jack Milewski, Harrison Venable and Garrett Shondelmyer. Tyler Spears, who is returning after a six year baseball hiatus, looks to be a key addition to the squad. Last year’s motto of “Shock The District” won’t work for the team this year, as they expect to be right in the hunt and contending for the Conference 13 championship. “My goal is for us to win Conference 13, and I think we have a great chance to do that,” said first year varsity head coach Matt MacDonald. With the newly aligned conferences, the baseball team looks to build upon last year’s promising season. Boys Soccer: The boys season was similar to baseball in a lot of ways. They played some very tough competition and, though their record did not reflect it, were in almost all of their games until the very end. The boys big win came against a formidable Fairfax High School team when they beat them 1-0. This year the boys look to improve on their record from last year with many of the same key components returning to lead the way. Seniors Edwin Portillo, Timmy Tran, Mason Orosch, and Benyam Mengstab, all starters last year, are primed and ready to help the Lancers. “Last year 10 of our 11 starters in the district tournament were not seniors so we have a lot of experience on this squad plus the seniors this year are familiar with the coach and know how he wants us to play,” said Orosch. Standout junior goalie Aaron Myers will look to continue his stellar play in net for the Lancers. Last year, Myers was a main reason for keeping many of the games as close as they were. Another factor that could help the team is the fact that they play many of the same opponents they did last year. Knowing the opposing teams tendencies and strengths could play right into the teams hands and aid them to a very successful season. Softball: Last season, the girls softball turned in a very successful campaign. The team was 8-11, the best record of any spring sports team. The team often flexed their offensive muscles, turning in 24-4 and 21-2 wins against T.C. Williams, and also a 23-4 victory over Woodson. The team will return many of its key components from last year, as only Meghan Cox and Pia Caceres were seniors. “This team knows how to win. We are always thinking one step ahead and we have a relentless mentality on the field that helps us,” said senior Ranna Eltoum.

courtesy of amanda hagy

laxing lancers Amanda Hagy (above) is one of the returners to varsity this year. In her junior year, Hagy hopes to help the girls lacrosse team improve on their effort from last season.

John Milewski

Just Throw With It One of the keys for Lancer Baseball this season will be the success of their pitchers. Senior Garrett Shondelmyer will be one pitcher the Lancers will call upon.

courtesy of timmy tran

The great indoors The Lancers indoor soccer team, which includes many members of the varsity squad, went undefeated this winter. They hope to be just as successful this spring.

courtesy of courtney cox

spring in her step Courtney Cox, one of Lee’s standout softball players, will be looking to propel the team to even greater heights than last season this spring.

courtesy of adam murray

re-lax Senior Adam Murray will be the team’s main weapon this season. Murray has played since his freshman year and hopes to once again provide a steady scoring output for Lee.

The team was lead by the dynamic hitting of Cox and Michelle Heinitz. The team was also aided by the stellar pitching of Cox’s sister, Courtney, who was the team’s number one pitcher for the whole season. Courtney Cox logged roughly three fourths of the teams innings during the season. This year the team is poised to improve on their 2013 effort. With a strong group of core players, the team could make a big splash in this years new Conference 13 tournament. Girls Soccer: After a disappointing showing in 2013, the Lady Lancers will look to bounce back in 2014. Lead by seniors Stephanie Cramer, Katie Henslee and 2013 first team all-conference goalie Katy Maher the team has the potential to do just that. The team also underwent a change in leadership after their dismal season, and are now headed by Kelsey Otterson. Now that the team has a different leader, the girls want to have different results as well. “Our season looks promising I think,” Cramer said. “We had a great turnout at tryouts and our new coaches and players seem motivated to improve our program as a whole.” Not only is the coach a young, fresh face, but the girls seem to have a few promising underclassmen, including freshman Alexa Orosch and sophomore Cammy Otterson. The season of “new” is not limited to people, the girls will play in the Capitol Conference come playoff time and this should provide for a more competitive playoff experience than in the larger Patriot District. Ultimately, they look to repeat their 2012 season, one that brought the ladies to the regional semis, and this year’s team may have the potential to do so. Boys Lax: For the second straight year, the boys lacrosse team has a new coach, but remains with the same solid group of players, highlighted by senior Adam Murray. The team’s performance last year was subpar to say the least, but that has not discouraged anyone. “It’s been good to see the same core group of guys come back out this season,” Murray said, “I think we could really do some things this season, make a little run possibly.” Despite worries that the team would face a player drought and would be forced to go without a junior varsity team, the team was surprised to see numerous freshmen come out to tryouts making the program complete. With Murray returning for his senior season, having earned all district honors the past two seasons, there is great potential for this team to make a bit of noise in the new format; that is, if they can stay relatively unscathed through their treacherous Patriot District regular season schedule. The team’s successes will also fall on senior Michael Sekyere and junior Tyler Griffin, who look to bolster the Lancers’ supporting cast. If they stay healthy, the change in competition could prove beneficial for the team. Girls Lacrosse: This season, the girls lacrosse team has had some major changes. After a disappointing total of returning senior players last year, this year the girls team will have a major change with its team. With only two seniors on the varsity team, along with a good amount of juniors and sophomores, the girls have a lot to prepare for this upcoming season. For the junior varsity team a new coaching staff is in place and the varsity girls will have to adjust to its new, younger players that outnumber the upperclassmen. Although the girls face these changes, determination and hard work will help these girls play out a successful season. “I believe that our young team will do great and have a very successful season,” said sophomore Amy Nguyen.

what’s your kick Junior M.E. Vela is one of many returning varsity players for girls soccer. The girls are returning all but two of their starters and are poised for a regional run this year.




March 11, 2014

Look Good, Equipped Good, Play Good Kevin Ngo Staff Writer

If you are taking part in any physical activity here at Lee, whether it is gym class, attending the weight room, or a practice for a sport, you should be wearing proper apparel for that physical activity. You can’t be wearing jeans to gym and expect to be able to move freely. You don’t want to wear Sperrys while you are in the weight room. You should be wearing the appropriate shoes, shirt, shorts, etc. Wearing the appropriate apparel during physical activity is important because some shoes are not made for certain activities and could possibly injure you. For example, if you were to go running on the track in sliders or sandals, that would hurt your feet pretty badly and maybe even cause some long term problems for you as well. Junior Miles Johnson saw a possible teammate show up to a green day practice in Vans shoes, skinny jeans, and an expensive watch. Johnson laughed a little when he saw this. “To be honest, I didn’t know what this kid was thinking or doing. Maybe he’s never played on a team before, but I think it is common sense to show up to practice wearing shorts and cleats. Wearing shorts at least should be a no brainer,” Johnson said. Proper apparel for any physical activity should be common sense. Wear what is comfortable to run or workout in, because I am sure that running in jeans and casual sneakers is very uncomfortable. Junior Jhony Islam thinks that proper apparel is important to perform well and remembers something his coach once said about sports apparel. “I think wearing comfortable clothing while you are playing a sport is very important, because the more comfortable you feel, the better you will do. Your body will be able to move more freely. My coach once told me, ‘You look good, you feel good, you play good’, and I think that is true,” Islam said.

Kevin Ngo

shoe game too strong In 9th and 10th grade physical education classes (pictured above) not only is it important to have the proper uniform on to get a good grade, but for safety purposes, the correct footwear is a necessity as well.

Not only is proper sports apparel needed, but equipment as well. You can go show up prepared to run and play, but what if the sport or activity you are taking part in requires more than that? Maybe you need a glove for baseball or you need pads for football. If you can’t buy the equipment, ask a coach or a friend to lend you something. Senior Michael Sekyere always tells his fellow teammates who are new to the sport to meet with the coach and tell him what they need from him in order for them to play. “Every time someone shows up to practice without the equipment, I don’t blame them. Equipment can be costly, so I just tell them to ask coach to borrow something until they can get their own equipment. That’s what I told

the freshman at our meeting the other day. Just show up to tryouts early to get what you need and you’re set,” Sekyere said. Certain equipment is required for a lot of sports and they are required for a reason. You need that equipment so that it can ensure your safety while you are playing. Don’t be that kid and show up not having what is required to play. If you don’t know what is required, then just ask a friend or teammate. They’ll tell you what you need for you to be able to participate and not get hurt. Without the proper apparel or the proper equipment, there will be possibilities injury, so don’t take that risk.

Lee Students Reflect On Their Highs And Lows Of The Olympics Harrison Venable (12)

Cameron Minton (10)

“My favorite moment would have to be when TJ Oshie put the team on his back and beat the Russians in a shootout. It was really intense and that’s America.”

“I liked the men’s slopestyle event especially. Not only did an American win but I always like to see people slam (crash) and their crazy tricks.”

Anna Crow (9)

Ben Aland (11)

“I’d have to say the men’s hockey game against Canada was the biggest disappointment. It’s like the Super Bowl of the Olympics, Canada and America in Hockey.”

“I really didn’t like the biathlon. I just find it to be really pointless and long I actually didn’t even know it was a thing until this Olympics.”




Great Place:

March 11, 2014

Lancers Diver Gerald Hodges Places 4th At State Dive Meet

Taylor Higgison News Editor

many ways. “Without my coaches and teammates I wouldn’t have been able to learn any of these dives,” Hodges said. As Lee High School’s swim and dive season came to an end, one athlete continued his With all the hard work, dedication, and motivation from his teammates and coaches, season by performing in the regional and state diving competition. Hodges was able to participate in the district dive competition where he placed fourth Sophomore Gerald Hodges began diving three years ago for his summer swim team. guaranteeing him a spot in When Hodges was a freshman, he dethe regional dive competicided he was going to join the Lancer tion the following week. swim and dive team not only to dive, There, Hodges placed third but to swim as well. In all the swim advancing him to the State meets, Hodges would go back in forth competition where he placed from the diving well to the lap pool, fourth. placing extremely well in all his events. Hodges was the only indiAlthough to some, diving may vidual who advanced to the look easy, it is actually an extremely state competition from the complicated skill to master. The conLancer Swim and Dive team, stant fear of painfully landing in the but he sees many improvewater, or hitting the diving board is ments he can make for the always considered while working on following years to come. every dive. “This is my first year actu“I think the hardest part about divally doing well in dive, I still ing is getting over the fear of smackhave two more years to iming and learning new dives,” Hodges prove so hopefully I can place said. higher in the future,” Hodges Despite the difficulties, Hodges said. “I’m going to try harder never gave up and was always willing and focus more on diving and to keep trying to improve his skills. try to learn new dives.” “Gerald was a great asset to the Ratliff agrees that Hodges team. Throughout the season I saw has great potential and the so much improvement in his diving sky’s the limit for Lee’s young week after week. Although some days diver. he would begrudgingly try new dives, “Considering Gerald is he was always willing to give it a try. only a sophomore, I expect to That is what it takes dedication-wise see state championship births to become better,” varsity dive coach for him his next 2 years, and Brian Ratliff said. gerald the great Sophomore Gerald Hodges was a standout at both the regional and state meets. After finishing fifth hopefully even a state chamThrough all his years of practice, in district, the last qualification spot, Hodges took third and fourth at regionals and states, respectively. pionship title,” coach Ratliff Hodges has finally managed to master said. a variety of dives such as the back somHodges proudly represented Lee High School as he showed off his talented skills ersault 1 ½ twist, back 1 ½ somersault half twist, inward 1 ½, and reverse flip. at all three dive competitions. Hodges plans to continue to succeed in the sport in the As one might imagine, these complex dives took many years of work to learn how to years to come. do. With the help of coaches and teammates, Hodges has been able to succeed in diving in

Bigger, Better, Biruk: Lancer Track Star Shines En Route To Record Breaking Two Mile Performance Annie Hafeez Staff Writer

On February 7, 2014, Robert E Lee High School senior Biruk Ergetie brought home first place in the indoor track district relay finals at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Ergetie didn’t just show up and run, however, he went through his normal warm up routine with his teammate, Michael Dunning, before competing. “We just stretched and did striders before we got into the race. I also did pushups. It really prepared us for the race,” Ergetie said. Keeping a good pace and having a lot of energy during races is a really important thing to have and that’s what Ergetie’s goal was during his warm-ups. Ergetie also pointed out how his coach, Donald Dillon, helped him prepare for the race and helped a lot when it came to making sure he was in shape. “My coach prepared me pretty well for the districts. He basically made me do consistent training for my mileage; I was hitting about 45 miles a week. Also, that wasn’t my peak, so it was really good. A couple of days before states I did six miles to recover and also did five miles the day before the big event and it was pretty good.” Ergetie said. Before the race, Ergetie made a smart decision to stay in shape by stacking up on his carbs. His goal to stay healthy before the race helped his performance immensely.. “All I focused on was carbs so I ate pizza and pasta and things like that so I can be fine at the race and when I got there I was totally fine and ended up coming first place,” Ergetie said. As far as his motivation for running, Ergetie has something in common with the rest of us. Many people have a role model or someone that persuades one to do amazing things and achieve a specific goal they have. For Ergetie, his mom was his inspiration for running. “Running-wise my mom was my greatest motivator and inspiration. She taught me everything that I need to do to succeed and win. My coach motivated me too. His work ethic really kept me in line. He always told me to take it easy and I felt great at the race,” Ergetie said. Ergetie ended up finishing with the new district record breaking time of nine minutes and 49 seconds. He ran his heart out, and with his mother and his coaches advice in mind, Ergetie ran to the finish line, coming home as a first place winner. Unfortunately Ergetie was unable to participate in the regional meet due to illness but came back strong and confident for States. He finished in fourth place with a time of 9:28 and was also able to qualify for the national meet. Ergetie was proud of the outcome considering he went up against the best the state of Virginia had to offer. “I’m a guy with faith and I put all the glory to God. Overall, I was ecstatic with my performance.”

ed lull

battle tested Track veteran, Biruk Ergetie set a district meet record for the two mile this year, and also placed fourth in the state meet after missing regionals with an illness.

The Lance - March Issue  
The Lance - March Issue  

The March 2014 issue of The Lance, Lee High School's student newspaper. Springfield, VA