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September, 2012 Volume LXXIX, Issue 1 Fairfax High School 3501 Rebel Run Fairfax, VA 22030

In this Issue... Fairfax Gets Involved Boundary Study Begins DIY Homecoming Looks The Gun Debate

Contents News

3 4 5 6

Letter from the editors News Briefs

Space Icon Passes Away School Board Announces Boundary Study


7 9

For Your Flynnformation American Idol v. X Factor How I Met Your Mother


10 11


Middle Spread


Fairfax Gets Involved

Rebel Roar Staff 2012-2013



16 17 18 19

New Counselors Join the Fairfax Staff

Siblings Share the School

Safety at Fairfax How to Survive Freshman Year


Gun Debate

Editor-in-Chief Nikki Strickland Jessica Miers Managing Editor Rachel Tran Copy Chief George Flynn News Editor Suha Khandker Entertainment Editor Emily Verbiest Commentary Editor Erinn Fecteau Features Editor Rachel Tran

Photo courtesy of Shelley Mead Cover photo courtesy of Perry Melat

Sports Editor Jackson Campbell Art Director George Flynn Business Manager Suha Khandker Aiofe Maher-Ryam Staff Writers Hannah Flynn Erich Greenfield David Schrack Adelaide Powell Web Master Erinn Fecteau Adviser Carl Irvin

20 21 22

Transfer Students Boost Varsity Football Team Armstrong Banned for Life Bethesda Native Earns Gold

Previewing the MLB Playoffs

Editorial Policy Rebel Roar is a published forum of student expression. Letters to the Editor and guest articles are encouraged. Only signed letters are considered for publication. The editors reserve the right to edit all material in the interest of clarity and space. Opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the staff or school administration. The staff writes unsigned editori-

als on a majority basis. The Rebel Roar accepts all advertisements deemed appropriate for a public forum meant for young adults and are subject to the discretion of the editors. Students are encouraged to take an active voice in the student publication. Questions, comments, and letters can be emailed to FHSRebelRoar@gmail. com.

Letter From the Editors


elcome back to school new and returning Fairfax Rebels! We hope you all had an excellent summer and are adjusting well to your new classes, schedules, and for some of you, an entirely new environment. For those of you who missed last year’s Rebel Roar in June, we are your new 2012-2013 Rebel Roar editors-in-chiefs, Jessica Miers and Nikki Strickland. Words cannot express how excited we are about all the changes and improvements we’ve made to your school’s newspaper this year. As representatives of your paper we promise to always convey news and information as accurately and efficiently as possible in order to keep you updated and current on the FHS community. For those of you who are new to FHS, or to anyone looking for a new club to join this year, be sure to check out the center spread on the clubs, activities, and honor society’s you can join on pages 12 to 15. It doesn’t hurt to have a couple clubs and interest groups to expand your social network. The Rebel Roar would also like to welcome new counselors Emily Emery and Donna Leone to the FHS community. Be sure to check out staff writer, Erich Greenfield’s article on page 16 to learn more about them. As for all you sports junkies, check out page 20 to read more about three transfer students who are helping to boost the Fairfax varsity football team, written by our new sports editor, Jackson Campbell. For those of you who are avid followers of the Rebel Roar’s “Hot or Not” column, copy-chief George Flynn will be replacing our former commentary editor and FHS graduate, Brandon Blankenship. It’s out with “Just So You Know” and in with “For Your Flynnformation” on page seven. Finally, the Fairfax County school board recently announced the start of a boundary study which is likely to impact those students that attend FHS but live outside of Fairfax City. Make sure to check out page six for the latest information on the study and be sure to keep following the Rebel Roar for more updates as we continue to follow the boundary study throughout the rest of the year. Whether it’s your first year or your fourth year here at Fairfax, there is always something new to look forward to during your high school career. For freshmen, it may be discovering new friends, freedoms, responsibilities, and even career interests; while for seniors, we look forward to college acceptance letters, senior privileges, dominating at pep rallies and of course, graduating on June 13. No matter what year you are, we cannot emphasize the fact that this is your newspaper and your outlet for communication at FHS. Please feel free to send us your ideas or any written work to be published to So now we leave you with the hard work and dedication that is this month’s issue and hope that you will enjoy reading the Rebel Roar throughout the rest of the year.

Sincerely, Nikki Strickland Jessica Miers


News Briefs


On Sept 8, Fairfax County experienced powerful storms. While the pounding rain caused power outages in some parts of the county, FHS had their own problems. The strong winds from the storm had caused the bleachers in the baseball field to collapse.


As the voting day gets closer and closer, the candidates have increased the number of stops they make. On September 13th, crowds of people gathered to rally for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The rally was used to address key issues such as the economy and U.S. relations with other countries. During the rally, a moment of silence was held for slain U.S. ambassador


U.S ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, was killed with three other Americans after a mob of angry protesters attacked his building with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Since 1979, Stevens was the first U.S ambassador to be killed in the line of duty. According to National Public Radio, the protesters were enraged by the offensive film that ridiculed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.


On Sept 19 the Chicago’s Teachers Union’s House of Delegates voted to call off the two week long Chicago teacher’s strike. The Chicago school board decided to give the protesting teachers a raise in their salaries and extended the school year for those attending the Chicago Public Schools that were impacted by the strike.



Space Icon Passes Away By David Schrack

On Aug. 25, former astronaut Neil Armstrong left our world for the final time - this time in spirit, rather than in body. The 82-year-old pioneered a milestone in human history and space exploration by becoming the first man to walk on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969. He, along with Buzz Aldrin, remained in the Sea of Tranquility for more than 21 and a half hours while Michael Collins orbited above the Moon’s rocky terrain in the command module. “I was filled with sadness yet with a sense of wonder because he got to accomplish a very special feat that was one of a kind,” said Fairfax High junior Ram Flores about the passing, who heard about Armstrong’s death when he woke up one morning and saw his mother watching the news. “Having a moment in your lifetime being hundreds of thousands of miles away from our home, Earth, must feel spectacular, I'm glad he had such a marvelous life.” English teacher Barbara Beckett remembered when Armstrong touched down on Earth’s natural satellite.

“I remember a sense of excitement, when watching it on TV, and maybe a sense of fear that something would go wrong.” she said. “I remember when [Armstrong] landed on the moon and gave his famous words.” The first civilian to become an astronaut, Armstrong retired from NASA in 1971. He made few public appearances after retiring and passed away following complications from cardiovascular surgery in early August. “His impact on space exploration has opened doors to endless possibilities, for space travelling, as the trip to the moon tells us you could accomplish just about anything. I'm sure one day with space exploration we shall discover and travel to new planets containing a form of life.” Flores said. Geosystems teacher Jason Smolinski stated that Armstrong was able to get more people excited about space and astronomy. “His achievement displayed our potential to do extraordinary things and gave inspiration to strive for things that seemed impossible.”



Fairfax Introduces Intervention Time By Aoife Maher-Ryan


his year, Intervention Time (I.T.) will replace Pride Time and R&R for the fourth period block on gray days. Intervention Time is designed to focus on the students who need more help in a certain class with the increasing student enrollment. Each I.T. will alternate between seven periods, two 39 minutes each, and students are required to stay in one place throughout I.T. Emma Kornegay, a sophomore, is not thrilled about the new system. “I don’t like it. I had more time to study for tests (in R&R), Mr, Peterson’s 7th period AP physics B and it gave me class during I.T. photo by Suha Khandker the relaxation I needed,” she said. However, there will be a reward system. If the student maintains an A or B in the class they are allowed to go to the cafeteria or library with permission from their teacher

starting September 25. If the student has a grade of C or below they will remain in the class and seek help with the material they are struggling to comprehend. Students will not be learning any new information in I.T., but this time can be used for review. On the gray days a pep rally or other special event is scheduled, I.T. will be shortened down to only one of the classes selected. On a gray day with a two-hour late opening, I.T. will be eliminated from the schedule. “I think I’ll just wait and see how it goes,” said Madison Mitchell, a sophomore. Last year teachers voted on this school year's fourth period block. Mr. Rubenstein, an English teacher, thought that the previous system worked, but needed a few tweaks. Suggesting that R&R could be imbedded in the schedule every day, so students could see their teachers more often. “Teachers can prepare interventions for specific students because they know which students will be in their classroom at the time. Many teachers teach more than one course, which made it difficult to prepare interventions for the variety of students that might come to each R&R session,” said Principal Goldfarb.

School Board Announces Boundary Study By George Flynn


arlier this month, the Fairfax County School Board decided to begin the process to look into changing the boundary lines for Fairfax High School and Lanier Middle School. This decision came after the School Board’s Facilities Planning Advisory Council (FPAC) advised the board that the overcrowding at the schools is an issue that needs to be addressed. When FHS underwent a 50 million dollar renovation in 2007, the school capacity was set at 2,400 students. Today, FHS is 300 students over capacity with 2,653 students currently enrolled. The school has had to add ten trailers to deal with the increased load. Although the school board has already started the process, no changes will be implemented until the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. In an email to community members, City Schools Superintendent Peter Noonan explained the timeline, saying “the process begins with a boundary scope in the fall of 2012, a boundary study in winter/spring of 2013, and recommendations followed by a vote by the Fairfax County school board in late spring 2013.” Noonan also explained that although the new boundaries will be decided upon by the end of this school year, the changes will not actually take effect for another year since students would not be able to register for classes at new schools in time for the 2013-2014 school year. According to the Director of Facilities Planning Services


for FCPS, Denise James, it is too early in the process to know what areas will be moved or which schools students will be moved too. However, many other FCPS high schools near FHS, including Chantilly, Robinson, and Centreville are also Everyday almost 2,700 Fairfax students over capacity. scramble to get out to the buses on time. Photo by George Flynn Fairfax and Lanier are owned and maintained by Fairfax City. This means that any students who live in the city will not be moved out of FHS. However, Fairfax County Public Schools operates the schools under an agreement between the city and the county. Only 35 percent of the students at Fairfax live in Fairfax City, while 65 percent live outside of city limits.


For Your Flynn-formation By George Flynn


Hot Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

Dance Moms

Y’ALL BETTUH REDNECKOGNIZE that TV’s newest sweetheart is Alannah “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson. Let’s face it, nothing says “classy” quite like a six year-old pageant queen and her family of toothmissing, roadkill-eating misfits who spend their days competing in “redneck games.” Each week, H.B.B. and her sisters “Chubbs,” “Pumpkin” and “Chickadee” do whatever it is that rural Georgians do, along Photo Courtesy of TLC with “Mama” June and babydaddy “Sugar Bear.” The “crazy family” has taken the country by storm, even beating both the Republican and Democratic conventions in ratings. As much as anyone who’s ever seen the show would like to say that they would never tune in again, there’s something about that level of southern charm that is simply irresistible.


Despite the fact I feel alarmingly close to seizing every time I walk into the building, neon sportswear is pretty great. Last spring, the ladies of the school pretty much (completely) abused neon; so I’m glad that the neon trend is finally finding gender equality. The eye catching pops of color - on backpacks, socks, finger nails and everything in between - are the perfect way to bring a little joy to any day.

Gangnam Stlye What’s not to like about a chubby Korean man dancing through a bizarrely colorful fantasy land? K-pop rapper PSY and his (pretty freaky) costars have proven to the world once and for all that there is no such thing as a wrong time or place to ride nonexistent horses. Elevators? Check! Outdoor yoga classes? Completely! Airplane hangers with a neon clad man (I think)? Without a doubt! When Matt Sophomores, Lexi RumLauer, Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres, mel and Sarah Morillo and Bobby Moynihan have all done your re-enact the classic dance, thats when you know. elevator scene from “Gangnam Style”. Photo by Hannah Flynn

As much as it kills me to say it, Abby Lee Miller and her gang of moms are so completely totally over. What started as playful teasing and bickering between moms watching their girls dance has dissolved into a bunch of crazy ladies incoherently screaming at a bunch of horrified nine year-olds. Somewhere between wondering “Where have all the children gone?” and where all the moms will be going to argue over drinks Courtesy of Lifetime TV tonight, the oversized black frocks and alarmingly harsh judgements of the quazi-satanic dance instructor have mushed together into something awful.

Tank Tops Dear guys who are still “rocking” tank tops, please stop. Seriously. It’s not cute. It’s almost okay when you’re on playing on the beach in the summer heat, but you look a little crazy when it’s 45 degrees in the morning and you’re walking in wearing sweatpants and your sleeveless pacsun top. You look a little bit like a middle-aged deadbeat in a wife-beater.T shirts, sweatshirts, Photo Courtesy of DC polos, all great options; but tank tops... really?

Calling Me Maybe This summer was without a doubt spent wishing people would call us, maybe; and watching videos of other people wish the same thing. As fun as it was to watch Abercrombie models lipsync on the streets of New York and Olympic swimmers dance around on chartered planes, all good things must come to an end. At this point, the videos are a little bit depressing, reminding us of the freedom of summer, which is now 10 months aw . So find someone to call you, definitely, and call it a day.






The Voice versus

By Emily Verbiest

This fall's TV schedule is packed with reality show Unlike “ The X-Factor,” “The Voice” focuses solely rivalry. One of the most anticipated is between “The Xon vocal talent. To emphasize this, during auditions, Factor” and “The Voice.” the coaches have their backs to the competitors. This NBC extended “The Voice's” premiere event, making it ensures that the finalists are chosen for their talent, three nights long, from Sept. 10-12. On the third night not appearances. “‘The Voice’ sounds less superficial,” “The Voice” challenges Fox's “The X-Factor” premiere. said junior Erik Khvan. Simon Cowell, the creator of “The XOn “The X-Factor,” contestants are placed Factor,” called NBC’s last minute move “a I prefer the ‘X- in one of four categories: Men younger spoiling tactic,” according to TMZ. than thirty, women younger than thirty, Factor’ because anyone over thirty, and group performers. A poll, conducted by, measured which premiere people plan on watch- Demi and Britney The winning prize is a contract with Epic ing. The results show that “The X-Factor” Records and cash payments that add up to is slightly more anticipated. However “The are on the show, five million dollars. “I prefer ‘The X-Factor’ Voice,” which first aired in April, 2011, reI’ve watched ‘The Voice’ and it’s boring,” said ceived top ratings over summer. Despite the said senior Sara senior Christine Su. narrow gap in viewing expectations, the two Erdenbat. Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul will no longer be judges on “The X-Factor.” Instead shows have many differences. Simon Cowell has brought in Demi Lovato and Britney When watching “The Voice” one can expect to see Cee Spears. Last season’s host, Steve Jones, has also been Lo Green, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Christina fired and according to rumors Khloe Kardashian will Aguilera. These celebrities will work as coaches and take his place. The judges and viewers decide the windevelop a group of amateur singers that will compete for ners for both shows. $100,000 and a record contract.

Popular Television Show’s Possible Last Season


“How I Met Your Mother” may be ending after airing for seven years

he television show “How I Met Your Mother” premiered Sept 19, 2005, almost exactly seven years ago. For high school students today, that was back in elementary school—despite this, the show has gained wild popularity among high school students, especially in recent years. With the now widespread use of Netflix, students like senior Catherine Spain spent the summer getting caught up with all seven current seasons in time for the season eight premiere this Sept 24. The premiere was anxiously awaited by students of all grade levels, but with the good comes the bad: photo from

By Erinn Fecteau

After seven phenomenal seasons, there are rumors that the eighth will be last. Neil Patrick Harris, one of the leading stars in the show as Barney Stinson, announced to Access Hollywood that, ““Our contracts end at [Season eight], so it’s one of those, you know, if they want to do nine, they’re welcome to, but we have a lot of other things [happening].” For many fans, this is heart breaking news. Viewers who watched from the beginning, they’ll be losing a show that’s been with them for almost a decade. For new fans, they’ll be losing a show they only just discovered. Harris furthered reported that “The only way I think a Season 9 or any longer would happen would be [if it were] financially right- that’s the reality of it. We love the show, we love doing it- eight years is a long time and we’re as happy a family as we’ve ever been.” Said Spain on the issue: “I understand. The show is amazing, but it’s hard to keep something around for so long with fresh ideas and plot. I think the producers could do it, but I understand that it’s tough. I’ll definitely miss the show!”



TheIs America Debate on Gun Control: shooting itself in the foot, or dodging a bullet?


well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” states the second amendment to the United States Constitution. Gun control is a key issue that is sure to be on the minds of many voters as elections draw near. Although the Constitution protects citizens’ rights to own weapons, wouldn’t the world be safer if there were more restrictions on buying and possessing guns? The Times-Picayune reports that, according to the National Rifle Association, Louisiana is the state with the highest rate of death by gunfire in the nation, yet does not require a permit for guns to be bought. Yes, owning guns can be a way to protect yourself from harm, but more likely the gun could fall into the hands of a young child and be the cause of a horrific accident. Also, if someone is having suicidal thoughts, the availability of a gun might make them more impulsive to take their life. “Over the five years [until] 1997, the Justice Department says, there was an average of 36,000 firearms-related deaths a year (fifty-one percent were suicides, and forty-four percent homicides),” according to The New York Times. It is hard not to wonder if the devastating mass murders like the one that took place at “The Dark Knight Rises” premiere in Aurora, Colorado and school shootings at places like Virginia Polytechnic Institute as well as Columbine High School could have been prevented if there were tighter gun control laws. The issue of gun control is very important to me, as I have cousins who attend Chardon High School in Ohio, where three students were killed on February 27th, earlier this year. Even though it is hard to say that putting restrictions on gun purchases will decrease crime or firearm related deaths, making guns less available does no damage and could have prevented tragic events like the Chardon High School shooting. According to the “Journalism Center on Children and Families”, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that of the 358 school related deaths that took place between July 1992 and July 1999, “most shooters appear to obtain weapons from home – theirs, or those of relatives or friends.” These mass murders would not have been able to take place if guns were not available to the shooters, and the more that these terrible events take place, the more other people can see that they could be capable of doing such a thing if they had the desire to. The debate on gun control will not come to an end easily, as the United States is a country of great freedom, whose government must also counteract crime.

By Adelaide Powell



ith the 2012 presidential elections coming up in Nov, gun control has remained a hot topic for debate amongst the Democratic and Republican parties. When it comes to the gun control issue, most view the argument as black or white. One is either for or against the public right to bear arms. However, those who are quick to call for a change to the second amendphotos by Erinn Fecteau ment fail to realize the large gray area that comes with placing control on the use of guns. There is no doubt that the incident that occurred in Aurora was disgusting and absolutely tragic. James Holmes, 24, opened fire on a crowded movie theater killing 12 people and injuring six. Most people found that the easiest explanation for how this horrible incident could take place was the fact that Holmes had easy access to guns and ammunition before his attack. While this is a reasonable explanation, it cannot be said that it is the only cause of the incident itself. According to the Huffington Post, Holmes showed early signs of psychological distress and mental insanity that could have ultimately drove him to his violent actions, as reported by his psychologist Lynna Fenton. It is possible that Holmes would not have been able to commit the horrendous crime if there were stricter gun control laws, but it is easy to believe that someone mentally unstable would turn to drastic measures to obtain the weaponry illegally. It is important to understand that gun-control does not mean eliminating the United States citizens’ right to bear arms; rather it means that most average citizens would find it much more difficult to obtain weapons. Just because something is more difficult to obtain, however, does not mean that those who do wish to obtain it will easily back down. Looking at the prohibition of alcohol during the 1920’s, the arrival of gangs and the sale of unregulated alcohol on the black market became a much larger concern. It would not be hard to believe that the same could happen if laws that place control on guns were to be enacted, posing a much bigger threat to the public. Besides the fact that gun control would not do much to solve the issue at hand, it is also important to note that the right to bear arms was made into a second amendment for a reason. John Locke, a philosophical inspirer of the U.S Constitution, believed that all people are born with the rights to life, liberty and property. Locke argued that man cannot feel truly safe in a “free” society with the constant fear that someone can intrude upon and destroy his possessions. The second amendment was put in place so that individuals can have the right to protect their own property. When it comes to citizens that feel the need to protect themselves, their land and their country, Founding Father James Madison said, “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

By Jessica Miers

Tran’sformations H

By Rachel Tran

omecoming requires a great deal of preparation, from buying a new dress to making dinner reservations. In order to save money, here is a simple “Do It-Yourself” (DIY) tutorial on an elegant Homecoming hair style and french manicure nails that will convince people it was done by a professional.


6. Gently tug at the sides of the braid to make it wider.

1. Divide a one-inch piece of hair in half, and cross one over the other, creating a twist.

7.Roll the braid upwards and place bobby pins to secure it in place.

2. Take another oneinch strand of hair and add it to the twist like in a French braid. 3. Continue the ‘twist braid’ until it reaches the nape of the neck. 4. Use bobby pins to secure the twist braid in place. 5. Gather all hair and create a separate, traditional braid.

TIP: The messier the bun is, the more intricate and detailed it will look!

Nails 1. Apply a clear coat of nail polish on nails. 2. Place tape one centimeter from the top of the nail.

4. Using a nail polish with a thin brush, draw a line under the painted tip from the previous step. 3. Paint the part of the nail that is above the tape with a silver nail polish.

(TIP: Turn the nail and keep the brush still when drawing the line.)

5. Paint a finishing coat of clear nail polish for longerlasting color.

Photos by Rachel Tran


Fairfax Gets Involved Students Show their Spirit in Clubs


By Rachel Tran and Erinn Fecteau

airfax High School has a ton of clubs that are bound to fit any student’s interests. Joining a club will not only allow students to get involved in their communities, but it will also help them become active leaders in the school. In addition, it never hurts to have more extracurricular activities come college application time, as it will make involved students stand apart from other applicants. Explore clubs to find a new passion, meet new people, and give back to the community.

Honor Societies “It looks really good on a college resume and you get to hang out out with friends and make new ones. It also makes you feel good and warm inside when you can help people who do not know how to speak french that well. I really like that I get to meet people who I normally would not.” -Sophomore Viktoria Nagudi, French Honor Society member

N Photo courtesy of


ational Honor Society (NHS) is widely known across the country and honors students who demonstrate scholarship, leadership, service, and character. At Fairfax High School, NHS is open to students in 10th-12th grade who have the necessary requirements: a grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.5, a minimum of eight hours of community service during the first semester, and five hours during the second semester. New members will be responsible of signing a NHS pledge and writing a short essay. NHS is the largest club at FHS and allows students not only to meet new friends, but to become an active member in the school and community. Vice President of Candidates, Senior Megan Green, said, “Joining NHS is a great way to get involved and give back to your community. Also, you will definitely want to be a part of the annual holiday party!”

New Student Ambassadors


he Student Ambassador's Club welcomes and guides all new students for a smooth transition into Fairfax High School. To become an ambassador, contact Mr. Uncles, the club sponsor. Junior Kelly Luong said, “It’s a great way to help out new students and make them feel welcomed!”

Crew Club


Courtesy of

rew is a club sport at FHS, and has both a girls and boys team. Conditioning will start in November and carries through to February, for four nights a week. The club does not require any previous experience, however, students who are interested in joining must have earned no more than 2 D’s and 1 C in the past school year, provide evidence of swimming ability, turn in all of the required forms, pay the rowing fees, and attend all of the practices. The practices are by no means easy, as they consist of intense workouts in both arms and legs. Despite the hard work, however, crew members find that in the end, their time and efforts are worthwhile. Ultimately, they learn the value of team work, cooperation, and friendship. Girls’ Crew Team Captain, Senior Hayley Bush, said, “You never really know how important you are to the team until you are in a boat together, where every second you are depending on each other. It makes our team a family.”


Green Club


Photo by Jessica Miers

ith the dire effects of pollution and global warming, more attention has been given to conserving natural resources and taking care of the environment. One simple way to help the environment is by getting involved with the Green Club. The organization meets every two Thursdays after school and requires students to attend all meetings as well as complete four service hours each semester. The service hours can be earned by attending sponsored events about the environment or helping out with the club projects. Green Club Council Member, Senior Sruthi Davuluri, said, “Since a school requires a lot of paper, we must be efficient in the way we use our paper and resources. Anybody can make a difference, from using a reusable water bottle to printing paper double-sided. We want to emphasize the importance of addressing this problem now because all of our actions are irreversible and will affect our future.”

Photo courtesy of Andrew Kazmierski Photography

Model UN “It gives you perspective on the problems occurring in the world and how diplomats would handle difficult situations. The club is very interesting and fun because you can join with your friends; it offers a great experience for those interested in world politics or those who just want to have a fun time.” -Junior Kapil Gadre, Model UN member


“I enjoy DECA because you get to become active in the school community. It is nice to hang out with friends while learning to build self-confidence when talking in front of large groups. Another positive is that the club looks good on college applications and puts you above others who do not join any clubs.” Junior Mackenzie Ardinger, DECA member


FBLA “The club teaches you how to get a job, you learn interviewing etiquette and how you should interview when you are with future employers. At the same time you also learn how businesses function and I got a shirt from it too.” Junior Hithem Shaw, FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) member

FX Players

Photo by Chad Helig

Improv Club


he Fairfax High School Improv Club meets every Thursday for people to practice, watch, and enjoy improvised comedy skits. Anyone is encouraged to come, whether they are beginners or experts, or have taken a theater class or not. “This year, we are really trying to expand the number of members we have. You don’t have to be in a theater class to enjoy and participate—it’s a lot of fun for everyone,” said senior and Improv Club president, Derek Yost. For those who find themselves passionate about improv, FHS has a competitive team that performs in front of judges to be ranked among other schools. “It’s a great way to meet people. Apparently, you don’t even have to go to Fairfax to join the club anymore,” said historian Jo Conen, regarding the multiple members who drive to Fairfax from Robinson every afterschool Thursday to participate. Students looking to join can check either the Black Box or the sponsor, Mr. Rubenstein’s room (C125).


X Players is FHS’s theater club. Students who participate in plays (acting, singing, stage production, etc.) or take theater or theater tech classes at Fairfax are welcome to joinThe FX players have yearly lock-in events that take place in the school auditorium, filled with movies, video games, food and games. They also have semi-frequent meetings to discuss upcoming events, promoting the main stage plays, and electing FX Player officers. “For new students, or really any students, the theater department should be the first place they go. [The FX Players] are so welcoming, and it’s a great way to find friends and a true home in high school. Plus, it’s fun. It’s a very social club,” said FX Player member Isabelle Bacum, ‘13.

Science Olympiad

“I love Science Olympiad because it’s a great opportunity to meet people who become your second family and learn things you never imagined learning!” -Sophomore Divya Rengarajan, Science Olympiad member

“It is a very competitive club where you can learn more about science related topics and their uses. The club also looks great on college applications and I enjoy talking with my friends and showing what I know,”-Junior Harsh Verma, Science Olympiad member

Photo by Jessica Miers


New Counselors Join the Fairfax Increased enrollment brings two new couselors to FHS By Erich Greenfield


he 2012-2013 school year has brought two new counselors to Fairfax High School to relieve the pressure of the large amount of students. After Daniel Zwicker left over the summer, two new counselors joined the FHS community for the new school year. Fairfax High School is now 300 students over capacity with 2,653 students enrolled in the school. The larger number of students provides a new need for another counselor to help in assisting students throughout high school. The two counselors that now work at this school are Donna Leone and Emily Emery Emily Emery, new FHS coun- and both with previous selor enjoys her new office. experience at schools Photo By Hannah Flynn as counselors. Emery first went to George Mason for five years to earn her degree. Though she started in admissions at GMU she realized that she did not enjoy it as much as working with students directly. “I chose to apply at Fairfax High School because it is an excellent school, whenever I would visit it felt like a community. It felt like a new home. I just wanted to be a part of it,” said Emery. Leone was originally working as a part-time counselor at another school but also wanted a fulltime counseling job and found the opening at Fairfax High School to be the answer. She also realized that there is a strong community in the school and she enjoyed the great personnel and students she would be working with. ”The first few weeks of school are difficult and very busy, but the staff was very welcoming,” said Leone. The counselors at FHS are responsible for managing students and all major aspects of their students’ school life. Counselors offer guidance throughout students’ high school careers. They help when students want to drop a class and with


writing letters to colleges, as well as with basic needs that need to be met by a student such as schedule changes, and college outreach. Counselors have a major role in making sure that students have what they need to be successful. Today’s school counselors are vital members of the education team. They help all students in the areas of academic achievement, personal and social development and career development, ensuring today’s students become the productive, well-adjusted adults of tomorrow. School counselors spend most of their time in direct contact with students. School counselors’ duties are focused on the overall delivery of the total program through guidance curriculum, individual student planning and responsive services. High school is the final transition into adulthood and the world of work as students begin separating from parents and exploring and defining their independence at Fairfax that may be used with sports, musical talent or writing skills. Students New Counselor, Donna are deciding Leone, standing in her new who they home, the student services are, what they do well, hallway. and what they Photo By Hannah Flynn will do when they graduate. Counselors and the career center help in the transition providing the tools they need to get to college and find the college that will best suit them. FHS counselors enhance the learning process and promote academic achievement. School counseling programs are essential for students to achieve optimal personal growth, acquire positive social skills and values, set appropriate career goals and realize full academic potential to become productive, contributing members of the world community.


Siblings Share the School


By Nikki Strickland

other ally in the hallways, tarting high school and adapting to life as a Fairfax Rebel can be intimidating for freshman, but some but they can give very helpful advice and pass young Rebels have a leg up. For those freshmen who have older siblings at the school, the first day doesn’t seem down wisdom about the school. Katherine said quite as scary. she likes having her sister “It’s a lot easier,” said freshman Victoria Brzezynski about having her older sister Jenny to help her learn her there because “She knows the school,” and can help way around the school. “She could tell me where all my classes were and where to go.” her find her way “I love it! She’s through her Senior Jenny Brzezynski drives my best friend and freshman year. Victoria to school every Even with all the tips they get, morning and said “It’s I can watch her this year’s class someone to talk with and talk to her. of younger sibin the morning on the -Kallie Pugh lings is making way to school,” that is a name for itself. nice. Jenny jokingly For freshman Kathsaid about her sister, “I erine Pugh and her older sister, senior try to give her advice on Kallie Pugh, having each other there is just having one more friend in the school. school, but she does her Photos by Nikki Strickland own thing.” “I love it,” said Kallie, “She’s my best Whether they take the advice or not, having an upper friend and I can watch her and talk to classman on your side as a sibling, Fairfax students agree, her.” Katherine agreed, claiming “She’s like is a big advantage in starting high school. They can be a friend in the cafeteria and a guide in the hallways, but after my BFF!” they graduate all younger siblings are on their own. Jenny Having an upper classman sibling said about Victoria, “She’s going to miss me.” have have other benefits for new freshmen as well. Not only can they be an-

Expires 10-20-12

Expires 10-20-12

Expires 10-20-12


SAFETY at FAIRFAX By Jessica Miers

With over 2,600 students enrolled at Fairfax High preventative method,” said Cravalho. School this year, congested hallways and mass crowding Though the FHS security team constantly works to preare not only a source of frustration but also a cause of convent any dangerous incidents from occurring at Fairfax, cern for student safety. As the school population continues students also play a key role in ensuring safety at school to grow, the FHS security team continues to work and by working with the team and reporting any suspicious train to maintain and ensure a safe environment for all activity they witness on school campus. students attending Fairfax. “Every student that comes to the security team remains From tragedies such as the infamous Columbine High anonymous, and what they disclose is held in confidence. School shootings in 1999 to the 2012 Chardon High School The Fairfax High School security team gets most of its shooting in Ohio, safety in public schools has become a information from the students. The students at Fairfax growing concern, causing school security teams around care about their school, they feel connected, and they the country to reconsider their security procedures in take pride in their high school experience here and if they order to prevent these incidents from recurring. At FHS, hear or see something they don’t like, or something that safety and security specialist, Will may impact their school, they are almost Gideonse, has worked closely with the always letting the security team know. school security team for 23 years. We have to take all reports as truth, until “I want the students here at Fairproven otherwise through investigation,” fax High school to know that we are said Gideonse. safe and secure here at Fairfax. The Part of keeping students safe comes students should know that, because from the preventative measures taken by of these nationally recognized crimes, the Fairfax security team each day. Last measures have been put in place at this year during the 2011-2012 school year, school, to combat and quickly eliminate registered sex offender, Zemar Melgerai, any potential threats to our school or was caught intruding on the FHS campus students,” said Gideonse. on Oct. 13. Since the incident, the FHS Gideonse and the FHS security team security team has implemented certain are aware of these violent and dangersafety procedures in order to prevent any ous incidents that could occur at any more unwanted strangers from entering public school, which is why they are the campus. fully prepared if a dangerous situation “Certain doors were allowed to remain were to arise at Fairfax. open for gym classes to move in and out “FHS security is constantly dealing of the school during the school day. That with potential threats to the school, is no longer the case. Gym teachers must School Resource Officer, Lisa Cravand student body. We investigate all unlock the exterior door to re-enter the alho keeps a watchful eye over FHS sorts of threats, from cyberspace to offwith safety and security specialist, school. A faculty in-service was presented color comments made in the hallways. to teachers and staff about the importance Will Gideonse. Some threats are very real, and others of remaining vigilant in challenging those Photo by Jessica Miers are students wanting the wrong type of persons in the school that don’t have visible attention. Fairfax High School has a threat assessment identification. A similar video message was delivered to team based on the model developed by the University of the students by Mr. Goldfarb, as to what the staff, visitor, Virginia, that reviews all threats,” said Gideonse. and contractor’s badges look like, and that if the students With the possibility of a violent situation occurring at saw a stranger without a badge to inform the first adult any Fairfax County public school, it is important that staff member they see,” said Gideonse these preventative measures remain updated and wellOverall, it is important for students to work closely with practiced all year to guarantee student safety during the their administrators, teachers, security team and each school year. other in order to ensure a comfortable and safe learning From a police officer’s perspective, School Resource Ofenvironment at FHS. Gideonse, Cravalho and the security ficer Lisa Cravalho, knows the severity of these types of team feel it is important for all students to always feel threats and the importance of being prepared for any type safe to come to school every day, and when that feeling of of dangerous situation in order to keep students safe. safety is ever challenged, it is crucial that students report “As a police officer, I have been trained in many differany incidents immediately as they witness them. ent scenarios (such as an active shooter) and feel confident Senior Myranda Reconnu said, “Overall, I feel pretty that I am prepared should such an event occur. I train safe here at school. I think that the security team does a regularly with my department and the Fairfax County Pogood job, because they’re always around the halls. If there lice Department and feel that the training given is a great ever was an issue, they’d handle it quickly.”



How to Survive Freshman Year By Hannah Flynn


Get involved

Join a club, try out for a team,audition for the play, become a part of the school!


Stay after

After school is the perfect time to stay with teachers if you ever have any doubts about the material you’re learning or you have tests to make up, most teachers stay after twice a week and are willing to schedule with busy students.


Don’t get overwhelmed

Don’t let the stress get the best of you! Get a good system of studying,getting your school work done, and staying on task going to manage your workload. Be confident in yourself!


Be social

The transition from eighth grade to freshman year is a big one. Although academics are important, don’t forget to make new friends, hang out and go to school events like home


Get organized

Know where all of your supplies and papers are, it will decrease stress, and impress your teachers.


Think ahead

Start to think about what you might want to do with the rest of your life, and choose classes and clubs accordingly!

Mr. Peter Uncles, counselor to students last name, BopDah, sits in at his desk in 7. Branch out On the first day of ninth grade everyone is new, talk to someone you normally wouldn’t, the counselors hallway. join a club that you might not necessarily have before. Don’t be concerned about what Photo by Hannah Flynn other people think!


Get to know your teachers

Most teachers are more inclined to help out and stay after with students who make an effort to get to know them! (maybe even kiss-up a little)


Meet your counselor

At Fairfax, your counselor is the key to success in classes and planning the rest of your academic career!

10. Know your place

As freshman, you aren’t the big fish you were in middle school. Don’t mess with the upperclassmen, and prepare yourself to be booed at every pep rally.


Transfer Students Boost Varsity Football Team

By Jackson Campbell

This season, the Fairfax Varsity football team has been getting contributions from some unfamiliar faces. The entire team is to be credited with On top of their suctheir 2-1 start, but cess on the field, being there are three new new to a community players this season and to a school can be whose impact on the tough and Simonds offensive end has says “they are setting already been felt. a great example for For the past three all student athletes.” years Fairfax has The team got off to a made the playoffs, bit of a slow start, but but after strong regushowed promise in the lar seasons, they have win over McLean. not advanced deep into the postseason. Most of the players on This year, they have the 2012-13 Varsity a chance to change have now been playthis trend if they keep ing together for three up the level of play or four years, and displayed in the 23-0 the team chemistry victory over Liberty stands out on the District opponent Photo Courtesy of Shelley Mead field. Adding three players who have significant roles McLean Highlanders. on the team may have presented challenges, but “They have a great knowledge of the Simonds says the new and returning players have adjusted game. They are helping the younger players learn the game very well, saying that “this helps them to gel with the curand have picked up on our terminology and schemes very rent players very well,” while learning a new system very quickly,” Head Coach Kevin Simonds said of the three transquickly. fer students, Senior John Koch, and Juniors Nick Scott and Besides the transfer players, the rest of the team has met Ben Blackburn. the challenges of the season so far pretty well. After getting The Rebels started off the season with a win over the Anshut down offensively besides a lone touchdown from Junior nandale Atoms, and that game began Scott’s strong showing Max Kavaljian against the Generals in week two, the Rebels so far this season. In the opener against the Atoms, Scott, responded by winning their first game against a Liberty Diswho is the starting running back, scored three times to help trict opponent. On top of Scott’s touchdown, Senior running the Rebels to a 29-19 win. After the loss to the Washington back Greg Sims added two scores of his own. and Lee Generals the second week, Scott again found the After the McLean game, the rest of the schedule, exendzone on a long run in the shutout win against McLean. cept for an away game at Westfield High School, will come Scott transferred to Fairfax this year from Brookline against the Liberty District. If they want to return to the High School, in Brookline, Massachusetts, not far outside of playoffs, they will have to carry the momentum from the Boston. According to the college recruiting section, schools from the ACC like Boston College, Virginia, and McLean win throughout the season. South Lakes, who typically has a strong team, Marshall for Homecoming, and Maryland are all interested in him. Although most of the attention has been on him, Koch and Blackburn have also been Langley for Senior Night are the remaining three home games for the Rebels. a positive addition on and off the field. Last season, the Rebels lost to Centreville in the Division “All three players have made a great impact on our footSix playoffs, but they hope to go further this year. Winning ball team but I am more impressed with all three players their first road game was a step in the right direction, and ability to adjust to our school and Rebel Family,” Simonds they will need not only contributions from the new players said of Scott, Blackburn and Koch. but an all-around team effort like they showed against AnOne thing that Scott brings to the team that should help nandale and McLean. in their quest to win the Liberty District this season is his “We, of course, want to win a Liberty District title and playmaking ability. He not only is the starting running back, make the Division Six playoffs. We are hoping that if we but he has been in at multiple positions in all three games. stay healthy and play smart football that this is a realistic He also has not fumbled yet this year, a big distinction from goal. After a good win last Friday at McLean, we have made years past when the Rebels have often been plagued by a strong step to achieving that goal,” Simonds said of his turnovers. expectations for this season.



Armstrong Banned For Life


By Jackson Campbell

would be punished for drug abuse. “I wanted to take a moollowing many years of fighting the U.S Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Lance Armstrong has decided to ment and say thank you for all the support we’ve received around the world,” Armstrong posted on the website Aug. 30. accept the doping sanctions against him, causing him to be stripped of his unprecedented seven straight Tour Despite Armstrong’s ban, the organization is continuing to sponsor cycling events. de France wins between 1999 and 2005. The USADA is also investigating instances of drug abuse Armstrong was ,and in many cases still is, a hero to many people around the country, especially for some of the cyclists who have been awarded the Tour victories vacated by who are fighting cancer or know someone who is dealing with the illness. He was Armstrong. The problem is that much of the investigations are pending upon the testadiagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996, ments of other cyclists. and after fully recovering he went on to become the most accomplished cyclist of After winning the Tour de France in all time. 2010, Alberto Contador was suspended for drug abuse. Since his suspension, he has On top of losing his seven Tour wins, been a key source in identifying other subwhich were all awarded to the runnersstance abusers. up, Armstrong has been banned from The real question surrounding the results cycling for life. He planned to run the of the arbitration is how Armstrong will ultiChicago Marathon in October, but he is mately be remembered. Will people rememno longer eligible. ber the seven time Tour winner who inspired Although he still maintains innocence, the lives of many around the world, or will Armstrong said to the Associated Press he be remembered as a cheater, the way the “There comes a point in every man’s life USADA is trying to depict him? Either way, when he has to say enough is enough. For as far as the record books are concerned, the me, that time is now.” world has lost the all-time greatest profesAccording to Armstrong’s website, sional cyclist., they received a Photo Courtesy of large increase in donations following the USADA’s annoucement that Armstrong

Bethesda Native Earns Gold At London Olympics By David Schrack

During this summer at the 30th Olympiad in London, many athletes from various regions around the world competed for the top prize and perhaps a spot in the record books. Though many failed, one from the D.C. Metro area succeeded. 15 year old Katie Ledecky from Bethesda, Maryland, earned gold and a place in U.S. swimming history after winning the 800-meter freestyle race with a time 8 minutes and 15.63 seconds. “I didn’t really expect gold, but I’ll take it.” Ledecky said to Sports Illustrated after placing first in an 800-meter freestyle race. The rising high school sophomore also broke the record for the 800-meter freestyle race with a finish time of 8 minutes and 15.63 seconds. The previous record, 8 minutes and 16.22 seconds, was set by fellow American Janet Evans on August 20, 1989 - eight years before Ledecky was born. “To break that record is really cool and really special,” the Olympian said. Evans tweeted her congratulations to Ledecky after the race, saying “Amazing swim, so proud of her for bringing distance gold back to the US!” Ledecky was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Bethesda, Maryland. She trains for the CUBU swim club (formerly the Curl Burke Swim Club) with Fairfax High’s Natalie Dillinger.

“[Ledecky] is really nice but she’s kind of quiet.” Dillinger said. Dillinger went on to say that her coach has said Ledecky only missed three practices in the past three years, and is “really dedicated to swimming.” “I’m really proud of her and how she got to where she is even though she’s so young. She makes our whole team and the staff really proud of what she’s done and stuff because she’s able to represent Curl Burke at such a young age at the Olympics and win, and set records and everything. So I’m really proud of her and happy for her.” Assuming she stays healthy, the London Olympics should only just be the beginning of Lededcky’s career. At age 15, she could be competeing for the Photo Courtesy of next three or four Olympics. If she continues to perform at such a high level, she may go on to be recognized as one of the better female swimmers of her generation.


Previewing The The 2012 Major League Baseball season, as often the case with professional sports, did not go as expected by the experts. Some, from Sports Illustrated and, predicted the 63-78 (at press time) Boston Red Sox would win the World Series. There have been more than a few major surprises this season, so here is a look at some of the teams contending for playoff spots.-

New York Yankees: The 27-time World Series Champions got off to a strong start this season, winning nine games against the American League in April, but have cooled down of late after the loss of third baseman Alex Rodriguez and first baseman Mark Teixeira to injury. Their offense has been inconsistent, so generating runs from elsewhere in their lineup will be key down the stretch. At the start of September, they held a slim lead in their division.

Baltimore Orioles It has been 15 years since the last time the Orioles made the playoffs, but this season they are in position to break that streak. Behind the power of outfielders Adam Jones and Nick Markakis, Baltimore finds themselves holding onto the wildcard spot in the playoffs right now. Out of all the AL contenders, the Orioles are the only team with a negative runs scored differential.



Mark Teixeira

Matt Wieters

Texas Rangers: The Rangers came into the season as losers of the past two World Series, and they came out of the gates crushing every team in their path. Although they have slowed down, they remain the World Series favorites. They lead the major leagues in batting average at .275, and at times seem downright unstoppable.

X-Factor: Yu Darvish


Photo Courtesy of

Chicago White Sox: The Sox were not supposed to contend in manager Robin Ventura’s first year, yet they have found themselves leading the AL Central for most of the season. Expectations for the playoffs are not high for the young club, but they may surprise with a deep bullpen. Chris Sale has supplanted Jake Peavy as the ace of their pitching staff.

X-Factor: AJ Pierzynski


MLB Playoffs

By Jackson Campbell

Cincinnati Reds

Los Angeles Dodgers: The L.A. Dodgers surprised most people when they came out dominating the NL West this season. After a commitment to spending what it takes to contend by the new ownership, headed by Magic Johnson, it is expected the Dodgers will be in championship contention for the next 10 plus years. This season, if they want to regain their early success, the Dodgers will need more production from their offense outside of just Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp.

The Reds have been at or near the top of the Central all season, taking control back from the World Series champion Cardinals after giving it up last season. The recent return of former MVP Joey Votto will boost their postseason chances. The Central is weaker than it has been in the past, but from top to bottom the Cincinnati organization has no glaring weaknesses.


Aroldis Chapman Washington Nationals Washington D.C. finally has a first place baseball team, after building a core of young talent over the past seven years. They have the league’s best bullpen, including their fifth starter boasting an unbelievable 3.15 ERA. The young team should go far in the playoffs with such outstanding pitching, as well as a vastly improved offense.


Andre Ethier


Bryce Harper

San Francisco Giants: The Giants return most players from their championship team two seasons ago, and after a solid August have taken a substantial lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The key is the bullpen returning to top form, starting with slumping ace Tim Lincecum.


Buster Posey

Photo Courtesy of

As the regular season comes to a close, the World Series is as up for grabs as it ever has been. This year, after a long wait, local fans have the chance to see the Nationals finally have some postseason success. With the parity as high as the league has seen in years, this season could be theirs to lose.


Important Dates 2012-2013 Homecoming Game: Oct. 5 Homecoming Dance: Oct. 6 Columbus Day: Oct. 8 SAT: Oct. 6, Nov. 3, Dec. 8 First Quarter Ends: Nov. 2 Teacher Work Days: Nov. 5-6 Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 22-23 Winter Break: Dec. 24-Jan. 1 Martin Luther King Day: Jan. 21

Second Quarter Ends: Jan. 25 Teacher Work Days: Jan. 28-29 Presidents’ Day: Feb. 18 Spring Break: Mar. 25-29 Third Quarter Ends: Apr. 12 Teacher Work Day: Apr. 15 Memorial Day: May 27 Graduation: Jun. 13 Last Day of School: Jun. 18

September 2012  

September 28, 2012

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