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Global Ecology House

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” -Margaret Mead ABOVE AND BEYOND Teachers Go “The Extra Mile” for their students See Page 5 for more



Table of Contents Letters From the Editors……………..2,3 About P.H.S……………...4 About G.E.H.……………...5,6 Meet the Teachers……………..7 Above and Beyond……………..8,9 Meet the Coordinator……………..10 Senior Interviews……………..11,12, 13 Student Reflections……………..14 Freshman Field Studies……………..15 Sophomore Field Studies……………..16 Junior Field Studies……………..16 Senior Field Studies……………..17


Letters from the Editors Dear Reader, My name is Alex Fraley and I am a senior in the class of 2014 at Poolesville High School in Poolesville, Maryland. I part of the Global Ecology House and Project Lead the Way Engineering Program. I have really enjoyed my high school years in the Global House and I feel very fortunate that I was given the chance to be in such a rewarding and enriching program. I remember back in eighth grade, when I signed up for Global, I really had no clue what I was in for. I can clearly remember filling out my Global application on the day it was due, in Spanish class, and having to borrow money from my friends mothers to cover the application fee. I made it through the door of the high school before the application deadline with only minutes to spare, and I am so glad that I made it in time. The first field trip at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia was a great experience and it was there that I realized how lucky I was to be in the Global Ecology Program. Freshman year was definitely my favorite year of high school, mainly because of the amazing teachers I had in my Global block. Between Mr. Rogers’ intense lectures, Mr. Morrell’s bizarre yet amusing simulations, and, well, what’s not to love about Mr. Gardiner, there was never a dull day in my global block. I have been through struggles and made more than a few mistakes throughout the last four years, but the memories I take with me will last a lifetime. My purpose in writing this magazine is to explain to incoming freshman exactly what the Global House is all about, and hopefully to convince more students to apply for Global before they start their freshman year. I think that if my magazine can raise awareness of all that the program has to offer, there will be more people applying to Global, and it will make their high school years much


Letters from the Editors Dear Reader, My name is Francesca Montalto. I am currently a senior in the Global House, about to graduate and continue my education at American University with a major in journalism. This magazine is not only my senior project, but it is my opportunity to pass on information and details regarding the magnet program that I love. It is my opportunity to tell juniors to start thinking about their senior projects, freshmen to get excited for upcoming field trips, middle school students to decide to apply to the Global Ecology Studies Program. I am passing my wisdom to those younger and perhaps even those older who are curious about the program. I applied in eighth grade, I accepted my offer in eighth grade, I began school at Poolesville High School in ninth grade, like everyone else. However, unlike everyone else, I left Poolesville, I left Global, I left my friends at the end of tenth grade to begin my eleventh grade year almost three-thousand miles away at a high school just north of San Diego, California. Leaving Poolesville High School and the incredible educational opportunities it offers allowed me to realize just how lucky students at this amazing high school are. We have dedicated teachers, rigorous courses, fun activities, all preparing us for a successful future for college and beyond. Returning to Poolesville and having the chance to graduate with my friends and accept a Global Ecology House certificate fills me with joy. I am thrilled to be completing this senior project, a project that involves the subject I plan to major in, with Alex. Please enjoy the magazine, whether you are in Global, Humanities, SMCS, ISP, whether you are in high school, middle school, elementary school, whether you are a parent or a curious bystander, enjoy. Thank you, Francesca Montalto





Poolesville High School, home of the Falcons, has a whole-school magnet program, offering the Global Ecology House (GEH), Humanities House (HH) , Independent Studies Program (ISP) and the Science, Math and Computer Science House (SMCSH). The school is located in Poolesville, Maryland, a town east of Leesburg, VA and completely surrounded by the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve. The school has been ranked #1 in the Washington Post Challenge Index for the last 4 years.





The lobal cology ouse is headed by the beautiful and marvelous Erin Binns. The main purpose of the program is to address environmental issues through education, research, and field studies. The program strives to teach young adolescents about humans’ impact on the environment to lead us to a more environmentally conscious, sustainable future. Field trips occur every couple of weeks on average, and in each class the curriculum is often linked back to the environment. 4



rom application to diploma, from U.S. History to AP Environmental Science, from Harper’s Ferry to the National Zoo, from rising freshman to graduating seniors, students of the Global Ecology Program at Poolesville High School learn

first-and-second hand of the importance of the environment and the effects of the world, both on the environment and from the environment.

APPLYING Like the two other magnet programs offered at Pool-

esville High School, namely the Science Math and Computer Science Program and the Humanities Program, acceptance into the adventurous and rigorous Global Ecology program requires a wellrounded and exceptional student. The

application process begins in the fall during the final year of middle school. Students attending any Montgomery County, Maryland public school may apply to the Global Ecology program. Applicants are evaluated by grades, present and past

course work, teacher recommendations, written statements and essays, as well as interests, activities, and achievements. Additionally, each applicant interested in any magnet program must complete an examination consisting of verbal


plete an examination consisting of verbal and mathematics multiple choice sections followed by a one-page essay responding to a given prompt. In early February, students receive notifications of acceptance or refusal. Applicants may also be wait-listed for any of the desired programs, then receive notifications of acceptance later in the year.

LEARNING The Global Ecology Program has an excellent course requirement, consisting of United States history, biology, chemistry, introduction to technology as well as Advanced Placement classes. These classes are taught by friendly, inspiring, superb teachers who make the program rigorous yet enjoyable. This particular magnet program is best known for the field trips which are planned with student coursework in mind as well as the program’s desire to teach students about the world and the environment. Freshman year, Global Ecology students participate in many outdoor trips that include hiking through woods and camping under the stars.

To begin the four year program, students embark to Harpers Ferry to explore, camp, and volunteer while bonding with newfound classmates and friends. Sophomore year, students, as they learn about government in an Advanced Placement course, travel to Washington D.C. to visit museums in the nation’s capital. Students even have the opportunity to visit the Capital and watch the U.S. Senate in session. Junior year, the teenagers excel in the Advanced Placement world history course while participating in field trips to creeks, parks, and trials, such as Seneca Creek, Black Hills Parks, and Greenway Trail. Students even have the opportunity to visit Calleva and explore with a ropes course. Senior year, Global students complete their studies with an Advanced Placement Environmental Science course along with an incredible amount of field studies, including trips with Sugarloaf Mountain, the Billy Goat Trail, power plants, and the National Zoo. There is even an optional trip to Canaan Valley, WV.

GRADUATING Senior year, the final year, students who plan to graduate as Global Ecology seniors must complete senior projects which, in the end, are twentyfive percent of their fourth quarter grades. Senior project planning starts immediately when the school year begins or perhaps even junior year. Knowing that this project comes during senior year, Global Ecology students keep in mind ideas related to environmental issues that they hope to be able to address when their senior years arrive. Each project must obtain a sponsor who assists and watches over students in the specific project; seniors typically have the option of working with a partner. When the end of the year arrives, seniors turn in and display their projects at the senior project poster session. Presentations are open for the school and community. Younger Global Ecology students can get ideas for their own projects by attending the session. With projects complete, students are free to finish classes and testing then graduate with a Global Ecology Certificate.


Freshman Year

Honors Biology


Sophomore Year

U.S. History

Meet the Teachers


Honors Chemistry

Junior Year


Honors Physics

AP World History

Senior Year

Para-educator/ Mentor

AP Environmental Science AP Environmental Science


Above and Beyond BY ALEX FRALEY

Mr. Gardiner is more than a teacher. He is one of the nicest and most optimistic people I have ever met in my life. He has guided me when I have gone off track, and he has always been there for me when I needed him the most. He is the teacher that has had the biggest impact on me in high school. He’s the sort of person that will go out of his way no matter what to help a person, regardless of what it is or who it is. He always has a smile on his face and he never has a bad day, or if he does, he doesn't show it. If there is one person I hope to be like when I grow older it’s him. He truly goes above and beyond.

Cunningham Falls Field Study


The New Head of House Quite simply, Mrs. Binns is an incredibly outstanding teacher. She is very understanding and works to build relationships with each and every one of her students. She is very hardworking and diligent, and shows her deep passion for education when she teaches her students. She is always fair and always respectful, and she has proved herself this year as she has seamlessly assumed her role as the Head of the Global House. She constantly offers up new ideas and makes improvements to the program frequently. Canaan Valley overnight Field Study (2013)


Meet the Coordinator BY ALEX FRALEY

Mrs. Billie Bradshaw

is the magnet coordinator at Poolesville High School. She is a magnificent, headstrong person with a huge heart. Although she may not be on the front line in terms of teaching the students directly, she does more than her fair share behind closed doors. She is the person in charge of coordinating events for all four houses in P.H.S.! To be quite frank, she has a LOT on her plate.

However, Mrs. Brad- She looks for the best shaw still finds time to in people and it’s easy talk to students and to tell that she genuineteachers regularly and ly cares about her job. she creates positive, She does her best to meaningful relationempower students who ships with many stumight be struggling, or dents who are strugjust upset, and she has a gling in school or at very positive, uplifting home, and she empow- spirit. Mrs. Bradshaw ers them to work hard truly goes above and to reach their goals. She beyond her expectadecides, by her own tions to help and motichoice, to take time out vate students. She once of her busy day to talk said to me “Education to students and see how is the pathway out of they are doing and to poverty”. This quote is talk through problems so uplifting, it is somewith them, much like a thing I will surely never guidance counselor. forget. She is always willing to help and she will never give up on a student. 10


Bruce Martin and Eleanore Ritter have a license to drive myself to it, and it Bat Research Montalto*: Tell me about your project. What did you do? Ritter: We monitored a bat colony in a barn in Clarksburg, MD for population size and auditory data. Montalto: Why did you choose to work with bats? Ritter: After reading a nature book last year, I became really concerned with bats due to White Nose Syndrome and the public’s view of bats and pests. I want to be the Lorax for the bats! Martin: I’ve always considered the White Nose Syndrome epidemic a major dilemma, since people misunderstand and therefore do not really care about bat conservation. This is alarming because bats fulfill a very important niche in North American ecosystems. So, when Eleanore approached me asking if I wanted to do a senior project on bats with her, I was all too happy to help out. Montalto: What is White Nose Syndrome?

was an hour trip to the barn and back at least! Ritter: It was [also] extremely difficult to find a program to analyze the auditory data, and I also had to learn a lot about auditory data. Montalto: How do you analyze auditory data? Martin: The auditory data is plotted on a graph that puts time on the x-axis and frequency on the y-axis. This way certain sounds produce visual patterns. Ritter: [We] put the auditory data into the program and looked for patterns. Montalto: What was your favorite part of working on this particular senior project? Ritter: Just getting to be that close to my favorite animal was an amazing, breathtaking experience. Martin: [For me], knowing [that] I completed research that Montgomery Parks will likely take advantage of at some point in the future is very rewarding.

Montalto: Well, it sounds like a fun senior project. I hope you found it rewardRitter: White Nose Syndrome is a fungal ing. Now, onto the Global Ecology Magdisease that disturbs hibernating bats, net Program as a whole. Tell me, why causing them to awaken and starve. did you choose to commit to the global Montalto: That’s awful. Hopefully your program? project made a difference to at least a Martin: I’ve always been intensely fascifew bats. So, what was the most difficult nated with biology from a young age, so part of choosing a project involving bats? the global program was really intriguing Martin: It was quite difficult regularly monitoring the bat colony since I did not *Interviews conducted by Francesca Montalto


to me. When I got in, I attended an info session and was just blown away by all the field trips! It has been quite an experience, and other students should join it because, unlike any other magnet program, it doesn’t simply offer rigorous courses, but truly unique experiences you won’t get in any other program. Ritter: I chose Global because I liked science a lot and was more aware of the problems in the environment. Students should pick global because it creates a wellrounded, mindful student. It also allows students to have experiences that they could not have elsewhere. Montalto: What’s a great experience you had? Ritter: My favorite trip was the backpacking trip because it was so relaxing and free. Martin: Honestly, I’d have to say the backpacking trip, too. There’s nothing quite like those overnight experiences, and I know I’ll always remember the backpacking trip because I did it three times in a row! I connected with people I never got to know before, saw the most breathtaking sights, and thought about nothing stressful other than ‘my feet hurt’ for two day, which is surprisingly pleasant!

Montalto: What is the most important thing you feel you have learned during your past four years in Global?

Montalto: Why did you chose to make oyster reef balls?

Stoliker: I chose [the project] because it seemed fun and someMartin: The most important thing thing that would really make an I’ve learned of it the difference impact in the Chesapeake [Bay]. between memorization of facts in Montalto: What was the most a classroom and true experience difficult part of the project? and learning things outside of a classroom. Both used to appear Stoliker: The most difficult part like learning to me, but not I know for me was planning things around all of our lessons and that [the latter] one is far more building sessions and preparing valuable than the other. the cars and cleaning materials. Ritter: I feel like I have gained We all had to sacrifice a lot. confidence and a voice in global. I have a passion that I didn’t [have] Montalto: You mentioned that you had lessons. What were the before, and [I] am excited to go lessons? out and help the world. Global has made these past four years Stoliker: We taught [fourth gradthe most amazing experience of ers] about the importance of ecosystems and that it’s really up to my life. future generations to stabilize Montalto: Thanks you so much for your time! I hope you both go oyster populations, especially in the Chesapeake. We talked about on to have successful futures. how oysters are an indicator species and tell whether an ecosysSindhu Chidambaram, Jessi- tem is healthy or unhealthy and ca Kuldell, Carly Stoliker that they are filter feeds that remove toxins from the ecosystem Oyster Reef Balls like nitrogen and phosphorous. Montalto: For your senior project, Montalto: What was your favorite what did you decide to do? part about the project? Stoliker: [Sindu, Jessie, and I] creStoliker: My favorite part was ated oyster reef balls to provide spending time with two really dehabitat for oysters whose populavoted people who worked well tions are declining due to pollutogether, talked out problems, tion, over-harvesting, and disease. stayed ahead of schedule, and


sparked an interest in service Montalto: Well, I am very happy work with a bunch of fourth grad- that you had such a great experience in Global. I hope your future ers. brings even more great experiencMontalto: Why did you chose to es. be in the Global Ecology Studies Program? Stoliker: I chose to be in Global because I love being outside, I love service work, and I love adventures. I would tell everyone to be a part of Global because you meet some of the most amazing people you will meet in your whole life, [you] learn so much about the environment and friendship and sciences and the world in general, and [you] go on more field trips than you know how to deal with. Montalto: Can you recall any experience that stood out most to you? Stoliker: My favorite trip was Canaan Valley because it was like the last big trip we went on, and we did A LOT. I learned so much and bonded with people in Global what I hadn’t gotten the change to bond with before. Montalto: What did you learn about yourself throughout the past four years? Stoliker: I learned about my environmental ethic and what is most important to me. I [also] made amazing friendships.

Christina Christou and Rachel Harris

were super cute. Montalto: Well, I watched your project, and I have to say that is was spectacular and very we done. Now, about the magnet program itself; why did you choose to be in the Global Ecology program?

Christou: I chose Global because it seemed like the most fun, and I like hands on learning. Other stuMontalto: So, what is your senior dents should choose Global because it’s a really unique program project about? and field trips are always great. Christou: [Rachel’s and my] project is on sustainable farming, and Montalto: That sounds like a valid we interviewed local farmers and reason for choosing the program. So, tell me, did you have any fatoured their farms. vorite trips? Montalto: Why did you choose to Christou: My favorite trip was the work with farmers? Capital field trip sophomore year Christou: We chose [this project] because seeing Mr. Short [my because we wanted to focus on government teacher] freak out something local, and we thought over John McCain was priceless. it was especially good for PoolMontalto: Have you learned anyesville. thing about yourself during your Montalto: Was it difficult to do a experience in Global? project that involved the outChristou: The most important doors? thing I’ve learned is that everyone Christou: The weather made it can make a difference and help difficult to film. We had to deal the environment. It’s something with rain and snow. easy that anyone can do. Montalto: What was your favorite Montalto: Thank you so much for part of the project? your time, Christina. I hope your Christou: My favorite part was film is a success. filming all the animals for the film because it was so natural and they

“From the Field to the Plates”



Mr. Short as our first AP class. Being in a magnet program, I had always managed to do well in school without studying very much. Everything changed in that first AP class, where we learned the hard way that there was no way someone could get an A in the class without studying and taking notes from the text book. I didn’t do so well on the first test, but I ended up getting an A overall for both semesters because of the study techniques that Mr. Short taught us. The next year, Mrs. Snavely brought us to the Buddhist Monastery on river road. That was one of my favorite field trips because we were introduced to a completely different culture and world view. It was also really fun walking around the stupa! Now, in my senior year, I learned the importance of helping the community in my senior project. I taught the local 5th graders about some environmental issues as part of project wild. It was impressive how much knowledge they retained upon seeing them again and how willing they were to participate. I’m really glad I had the opportunity to teach them. Over all, I think that the global program isn’t just about the environment. We don’t even take environmental science until we’re seniors. Instead, the global program shows us issues in our community, and urges us to act on them. We are brought together to act as a team to help and learn. I couldn’t have asked for a better four years.”

Reflection: A student

reflection by Cameron Stopak he global program here totally changed my life. Coming into the program, I was the only kid from my middle school. However, Mr. Gardner, Mr. Rogers, and Mr. Morrell worked hard to create a friendly and casual atmosphere where I felt welcome. In freshman year, we didn’t have any classes that were too rigorous. After all, we only -just- came out of middle school. Instead, we learned to value teamwork and leadership skills. Mr. Morrell’s creative demonstrations are also fondly remembered. I’ll never forget the time that he took a package of chips ahoy cookies, wrapped it in tin foil, and hung it on the ceiling to teach us about communism. In sophomore year, most of us were introduced to AP NSL with



Field Studies BY ALEX FRALEY

Freshman Field Studies Harpers Ferry, WV Annapolis Rocks Catoctin/ Cunningham Falls IWLA Interpretive Hike Roosevelt Island Botanical Gardens and Native American Museum Great Falls, VA National Zoo Biodiversity National History Museum/ American History Museum Black Hills GIS Tour of Ag. Reserve/Recycling Center Blockhouse Point Spring Wildflowers Smith Center Stewardship Stream Study


Sophomore Field Studies 10 Mile Creek National Archives, DC Storm Drains Presentation- City of Rockville WSSC + Greenway Trail Hike Recycling Center + Trash Pick Up Capital Hill American History Museum and Ice Skating Baltimore Aquarium House in the Woods

Junior Field Studies Seneca Creek Buddhist Temple WSSC + Greenway Trail Hike Calleva Ropes Course Franciscan Monastery Black Hills Freer Sackler Art Galleries Maple Syrup at Calleva National Geographic Lake Needwood Green Tour of AMU


Senior Field Studies Wetlands Biodiversity Study Sugarloaf Mountain Research Plot Canaan Valley (optional) Carrying Capacity Little Bennett Meadowside Nature Center Billy Goat Trail Interpretive Hike National Zoo Primate Study Soils Study at PHS Green Building Tour at US Green Building Council NRG and Covanta Tours Poolesville Farm Tour Poolesville Waste Water Treatment Plant



A Special Thanks To... Ms. Erin Binns Mrs. Billie Bradshaw Mr. Ted Gardiner

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead 19

PHS Global Magazine Edition One  

First Edition Global Magazine By Alex Fraley and Francesca Montalto

PHS Global Magazine Edition One  

First Edition Global Magazine By Alex Fraley and Francesca Montalto