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Volume 65 • Issue 5 • Senior Edition • June 2021 • McLean High School • thehighlandernews.com • @MHSHighlander

SENIOR EDITION


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Volume 65 • Senior Edition • June 2021 • McLean High School thehighlandernews.com • @MHSHighlander 1633 Davidson Road McLean, Virginia 22101

Letter from the

Senior Editors Dear McLean, Sitting in R133 for the last time, we think back to our freshman year and finally understand what upperclassmen were saying about time flying. Four years passed by too quickly, especially for us, Class of 2021. It’s been a wild ride for seniors. Like all of you, we are grateful for the way our time at McLean is coming to an end. Throughout the entirety of the pandemic and the return to normalcy, The Highlander staff has valued hearing and sharing your stories. Through it all, our passion for contributing to the magazine and the McLean community has remained unchanged. Over the past four years we’ve had the opportunity to explore topics such as racial injustice, climate change, political activism and mental health. Sharing these issues with you, our readers, along with Highlanders' stories, food reviews and sports coverage, has been the driving force behind our success over the last four years. Thank you to our readers. You make up who we are. Thank you to the McLean community. We supported each other during the hardest times. Whether you are a parent, student or staff member, we appreciate your willingness to share your unique stories, opinions and accomplishments. And thank you to the Class of 2021 for going on this journey with us. Our seniors cherished the opportunity to come together one last time to assemble this senior edition of The Highlander. We hope you enjoy flipping through our memories of the last four years and looking forward to the future as much as we did. After all, graduation is not the end; it’s just the beginning. With lots of love,

TABLE

OFCONTENTS 2-3 Seniors’ last day 4

Senior timeline: 2017-2021

5

Senior advice

6-10

The Highlander senior staff bios

11

10 years from now

12

Senior highs & lows

13

Class of 2021 glow-ups

15

Sports commitments

Heran Essayas, Marina Qu & Jack Shields

16-19 College map ‘17, ‘20 Pacemaker Winner; ‘15, ‘19 Pacemaker Finalist; ‘15, ‘17, ‘18, ‘19 All-American; ‘12, ‘13, ‘14, ‘16 First Class; Hall of Fame

‘16, ‘17, ‘20 Gold Crown Winner; ‘18, ‘19, ‘21 Silver Crown Winner ‘05, ‘07, ‘12, ‘13, ‘14, ‘15, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18, ‘19, '20 CSPA Gold Medalist

‘14, ‘15, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18, ‘19 VHSL Trophy Class; ‘11, ‘12 First Place Winner; VHSL Savedge Award

‘14, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18, ‘19 , ‘20 George H. Gallup Award; ‘15 International First Place

‘00, ‘18, ‘19, ‘20, ‘21 First Amendment Press Freedom Award


THE BEGINNING OF THE END Seniors celebrate finishing high school HERAN ESSAYAS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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hether it was walking out of a classroom or exiting a BBCU session, seniors finished off their final year of high school on May 21. The 2020-21 school year was an unconventional year for everyone. Starting the school year completely virtual, some students eventually transitioned back to inperson learning in March. For students who returned to school, the last few months of school provided them with closure, allowing them to finish high school the way they started—in the building. “It’s like coming full circle. I’m glad we got to go back in person for the last few months. It made the last day more special, since I first thought we wouldn’t even be able to have a last day in person,” senior Megan Leung said. “I thought I wouldn’t miss school but the last day is actually kind of sad.” But soon after in-person learning began, most students, especially seniors, decided to remain online for the rest of the school year, making the last day of school anticlimactic for most since they weren’t surrounded by their classmates. “I expected it would be kind of bittersweet, kind of like the end of an era… but it definitely does not feel like that; it just felt like any other day,” senior Anna Abelev said. Because of the isolation from being at home for the entire school year, seniors who opted to remain online felt less of a connection to the school, making it harder to acknowledge that they are finished with their time at McLean. Some returned to school on the last day in order to receive this closure. “For my last day of school, my friend and I went to McLean in person to say goodbye to our teachers and walk the halls one last time,” senior Sofie Treibitz said. “I remained online all year because not many seniors decided to go back in person. This was definitely a little upsetting to me because 2 | SENIOR EDITION | JUNE 2021

I missed the face-to-face connection with friends, classmates and teachers, especially knowing that this was my last year of high school. It felt like I missed out on senior year and lost a bit of my high school experience.” Following the seniors’ last day of school, seniors returned to school for the cap and gown parade from 3:30 to 5 p.m., in which they drove by the school to pick up their graduation apparel. They received their caps, gowns and any cords or stoles that honored their work and commitments throughout high school. Students decorated their cars and teachers lined the sidewalks, cheering on the seniors as they celebrated their last day and upcoming graduation.

I WAS SUPER EXCITED KNOWING THAT I WAS FINALLY DONE WITH HIGH SCHOOL AND WAS MOVING ON TO THE NEXT CHAPTER OF MY LIFE, BUT SIMULTANEOUSLY, I WAS SAD KNOWING THAT I WAS SAYING GOODBYE TO EVERYTHING I KNEW.” - SOFIE TREIBITZ SENIOR “The cap and gown parade was the first time that I think the fact that I was graduating truly felt real,” Treibitz said. “Seeing all the teachers there to cheer us on and actually holding my cap and gown in my hands made

me realize that this was all happening.” This realization prompted mixed feelings for seniors as they head off to college, work or other plans they may have in the fall. “I was super excited knowing that I was finally done with high school and was moving on to the next chapter of my life, but simultaneously, I was sad knowing I was saying goodbye to everything I knew,” Treibitz said. Though this year brought numerous adaptations for the Class of 2021, seniors were fortunate to still have some of their favorite and most-wanted traditions. Seniors had an in-person graduation at Jiffy Lube Live on June 1, received tickets to go on the annual Hershey Park trip and attended prom on May 15. Additionally, some students took initiative to maintain canceled traditions, including planning fake homecoming dances in the fall after the football season was postponed. While there were changes to these events, including the nontraditional locations of both prom and graduation and the individual trips to Hershey Park rather than a class trip, seniors were grateful that these events occurred, allowing them to end the school year on a high note. “Since we’re only getting one prom, I felt like I couldn’t miss it. I was surprised that prom actually happened because I had [initially] convinced myself that it wasn’t going to happen,” senior Abria Hamberg said. “I was excited that I was proven wrong.” Despite all of the challenges of this school year, seniors are excited to see what the future holds for them. “I plan to spend as much time as possible with my friends because we are all about to say goodbye as we go our separate ways,” Treibitz said. “But until then, I want to celebrate how far we’ve all come, the amazing future that lies ahead and make as many memories as I can.”

Additional reporting by Marina Qu | Page design by Nicky Varela


SENIOR YEAR IN A GLIMPSE — Clockwise starting from the top left: Senior girls pose in their senior shirts on the first day of school. (Photo courtesy of Sofie Treibitz) Seniors step into the school building on March 4, after a year of virtual school. (Photo by Marina Qu) Seniors arrive in a decorated car to pick up their caps and gowns. (Photo by Marina Qu) Seniors enjoy the prom dance held in the library courtyard. (Photo courtesy of Eliana Durkee)

JUNE 2021 | SENIOR EDITION | 3


CLASS OF 2021 TIMELINE PHOTO BY ANNA BRYKCZYNSKI

2017-18 HOME COMEBACK WIN VS. LANGLEY BASKETBALL

SCHOOL SHOOTING PROTESTS PHOTO BY ANNA BRYKCZYNSKI

2018-19

BAND WINS THIRD CONSECUTIVE STATE TITLE FROYO MACHINE COMES TO MCLEAN

PHOTO BY LIMA MUTAHIDY

PHOTO COURTESY OF TESSA STENZEL

HIGHLANDERS WIN HOMECOMING GAME

2019-20

6 A.M. PEP RALLY/ ABC NEWS VISIT

PHOTO BY AVA ROTONDO

MCLEAN JOINS POLICE BRUTALITY PROTESTS

PHOTO BY KYLE HAWLEY

2020-21 DISTANCE LEARNING

PANDEMIC PROM PHOTO COURTESY OF ELIANA DURKEE PHOTO BY KATIE ROMHILT

FOOTBALL BEATS LANGLEY AWAY GRADUATION AT JIFFY LUBE LIVE 4 | SENIOR EDITION | JUNE 2021

Reporting by Jack Shields | Page design by Marina Qu


SENIORS’ ADVICE TO FRESHMEN “Be open to everything that comes your way for the next four years. Make new friends of all grades. Go to every game you can, join clubs, try out for sports and just enjoy the moment. The time flies by faster than you think, so make the most of it.” - Sofie Treibitz “I would recommend to stay involved and have fun doing a sport. Most importantly, find a community or people you have things in common with. Don’t do drugs.” - Matthew Yoon “Surround yourself with the right people. Everyone is different—you shouldn’t be something you don’t want to be. Always talk to your teachers if you need help. Make sure to stay on top of things, and don’t wait until the last minute to do everything.” - Brandon Chacon Figueroa “Enjoy the high school experience as much as you can! Don’t take it for granted. You never know when it could be taken away from you, so go to the dances and games.” - Giuliana Ames

“Take every opportunity you have to learn something new. It will open many doors for you in the future. Your counselor is your best friend. Talk with them and tell them your plans for the future. Don’t waste your elective classes. Take an elective that will be beneficial to you, not just because it is easy. Overall, don’t let your homework hurt your mental health. If you feel like the homework is driving you crazy, go on a walk or do something to relax your mind. After you’re done is when you can come back to finish your homework.” - Yovad Martinez

Reporting by Elizabeth Humphreys | Page design by Heran Essayas

JUNE 2021 | SENIOR EDITION | 5


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MARINA QU

have no idea when the first time I met Marina was. I had seen her around the first two years of high school, but we never really talked. All that changed my first day of journalism junior year. I was nervous because I didn’t know anyone, but Marina spared no time to make me feel as if I had been there all of high school. She is quietly funny, super genuine and the only teenager I’ve met who actually formally introduces people to one another. We quickly clicked, and since then it’s been two years of writing, laughing and procrastinating together. I won’t forget all the crazy, nerdy times we had—like almost getting trampled by a football player while taking pictures for an online article (pro tip: never stand behind the team when they score a touchdown) or freaking out over everything from COVID to the SAT. While I may have gotten into the habit of spending the first half of late nights stuffing my face with food and drinking too much coffee, Marina was always doing something productive. You could find her helping someone with an article, taking pictures of things happening at school or interviewing school board members—all with a calm, unfazed look on her face. She’s always pushing for the story that really matters, even if it’s harder to cover. While “OVERACHIEVER OF THE YEAR“ most people flocked to articles about broader issues (guilty as charged), Marina was covering seven-hour school board meetings and bravely facing town halls filled with alarmingly angry parents (true story). When the pandemic hit, I watched her step up as editor-in-chief and work 24/7 to produce the best issue possible. Even when it felt like everything was going downhill, Marina was always there to look on the bright side and make something useful out of the situation. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if she’s got a clone stashed around somewhere splitting up all of her work. Whether it’s writing award-winning in-depths, getting killed first in senior assassin or being named the greatest journalist in Virginia (I’m paraphrasing), Marina is always at the top. Did I mention she’s going to Harvard? Marina, I’m so grateful I got to spend the last two years of journalism with you. You’re the best editor and friend I could ask for. I know you’ll be dazzling everyone over at Harvard, and I’m so beyond excited to see what the future holds for you!

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

~Shruthi Manimaran

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HERAN ESSAYAS

ou’ll never meet anyone like Heran Essayas. She is passionate, hardworking, social and, most importantly, brutally honest. Despite last-minute declining to be my date three days before freshman year homecoming, we are still close friends and work well together. She has been my co-editor, my vice president and, unfortunately, my competition. I’m genuinely impressed with how hard Heran has worked these past few years. No wonder she’s attending Yale University this fall. While she is still declining to be my U.S. Secretary of the Treasury during my presidential tenure, at least she was honest about it, no matter how blunt she may be. Word of advice to anyone reading this, do NOT ask Heran for honest feedback if you are sensitive. You will most likely cry. But since I am immune to her candor, I will always be thankful for her guidance and honesty. I first met Heran right before the summer of 2017. After getting to know her, I immediately dragged her to go see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at midnight. I remember walking out of AMC Theaters as she called her mom to come pick her up. I wound up having my mom drive us home…I mean, it’s the least I could do after forcing her to watch a Marvel movie “COFFEE ADDICT“ she had no interest in seeing. Although we lost touch in the beginning of high school, Heran’s suffering continued when she mistakenly accepted the other opinions editor position for The Highlander. She spent the next year listening to my horrific French accent and losing her sanity over my terrible Spotify playlists. Additionally, she has been by my side with the formation of the Committee on Raising Student Voices. It’s obviously the sole reason she got into Yale, not her straight As. Words cannot express how much Heran has helped me throughout my high school years, and that’s good because she would probably edit it anyways [this is Heran, and, yes, I did edit this]. There is no one else I’d rather spend two days suffering through the halls of Langley with.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

~Kyle Hawley

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JACK SHIELDS

espite the obvious physical differences between Jack and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, they’re actually pretty similar, at least in my eyes. I started off by somewhat enjoying their presence, quickly gained a distaste for their annoying antics, and eventually reluctantly accepted that I had to attend the same school as them. Jokes aside, Jack is quite possibly the smartest person I’ve ever met. The only obstacle that stands between him and his goals is himself and his incredible ability to procrastinate at levels I never thought possible. Seriously, this kid is the hardest working procrastinator I’ve ever met, and that’s a compliment. Coming into Journalism 1 my freshman year, my arrogant self was confident that I was going to be the best sports writer in the class, if not the entire journalism staff. Then, Jack proceeded to stroll in and decided to spend the next four years matching, if not besting, me at the one thing I was sure I would kick ass at. His knowledge of the football world remains virtually unmatched, much to the dismay of former staff member Ben Brooks. I’ve gotten into plenty of debates with him over the years, and most of the time it seems like his argument comes out on top. While Jack and I tend to disagree a lot “SLEEP MASTER GENERAL” (especially from a musical standpoint, Kid Laroi is straight garbage), I can say I’m so glad to have met him. From the countless number of Chipotle trips to all the headlocks I’ve forced you into, you’ve certainly put up with a lot of my B.S. Your resilience through everything I’ve put you through has shown that you can prevail through anything and are guaranteed to succeed. Thankfully, Jack and I will both be continuing our journalism careers in college and beyond. While Athens and Los Angeles might be 2,300 miles apart, I hope we remain in close touch. After all, I don’t want to lose contact with a two-time Noodler of the Month.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

~Nicky Varela

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KYLE HAWLEY

hen I first heard that Kyle and I would both be opinions editors for our junior year, I’ll admit that I wasn’t too thrilled. But after the first day of school, I realized there was no one else I’d rather be co-editors with than him. Kyle is the most ambitious person who somehow always manages to get someone else to do his work for him (surprise, it’s me). But more than co-editors, Kyle is one of my closest friends. Every 3rd period and late night was always spent with Kyle. Though we spent most of our time doing everything except for journalism (Starbucks runs come to mind), Kyle and I always stayed until 9 p.m. together. I don’t know how much of this was willingly, since I was always his ride home because he didn’t have his license last year. Despite being over a year older than me, Kyle somehow managed to postpone getting his license, which may have been a blessing in disguise. If Kyle had been able to drive himself home, I I wouldn’t have been able to force him to hang out with me. I think the best way to describe our friendship would be that we always expect each other to do everything together. When Kyle created the Committee on Raising Student Voices (CORSV) to avoid getting suspended, he expected me to be his vice president. “FUTURE PRESIDENT” When I wanted someone to join me for whatever my newest journalism assignment was, Kyle was always the first person I looked for. When Kyle wanted to go visit his Langley friends, he planned an elaborate journalism swap, and, of course, he expected me to go alongside him. There is nothing Kyle wants more than to be the future president of the U.S. Going as far as referring to himself as Mr. President and creating CORSV in order to have a presidential title, it’s safe to say that Kyle is obsessed. But this obsession is what makes him so unique and interesting, especially when he begins talking about some governmental policy that no one in the room knows about or understands. I’ve also never met someone who truly enjoys listening to Kygo, yet at every late night, Kyle eagerly connected to the speaker, sharing his questionable music taste with everyone. I know that Kyle will do great things at Virginia Tech this fall. And in 2044, watch your ballots because you should expect Kyle Hawley’s name there, and you should expect him to win. Best of luck, Mr. President. #KyleHawleyforPres ~Heran Essayas

MANAGING EDITOR

JUNE 2021 | SENIOR EDITION | 7


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ADDIE BROWN

ince the beginning of time, or at least the beginning of my memory, it has always been Addie and Katie. At the age of 5 we decided that we were inseparable, and that has stayed true through the age of 18. Addie is organized, punctual and doesn’t procrastinate, and I am the opposite, more go-with-the-flow and spontaneous. As Addie waited anxiously for her college decisions, I hadn’t even set up my portal and didn’t realize I had been accepted at my dream school, Wake Forest, until eight days after admissions decisions were released. Addie got her license as soon as she was eligible while I waited months to get mine, even though she’s only one month older than me, down to the minute. Addie has contributed to the school in many ways, but one of the most impressive contributions was through her writing in the newsmagazine. Always eager to write and help the less skilled writers, like me, Addie not only filled the role as a managing editor this year but excelled despite MANAGING EDITOR all the setbacks and struggles of online learning. As for the future, I think Virginia Tech is very “MISS STOMACH ISSUES” lucky to have her. The moment she stepped on campus she texted me and said, “This is it, this is where I want to be for the next four years.” I was very proud of her for all her accomplishments but, at the same time, sad to see that our homes are soon to go from five minutes apart to two hours. ~Katie Romhilt

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NICKY VARELA

hared passion for food and sports has been the driving factor of my friendship with Nicky throughout high school. These interests collided at full force in room R133 as Nicky and I churned our way through food reviews and sports articles (even if 90% of class was spent doing Sporcle quizzes). Our unique (and sometimes unproductive) work methods could often be distracting to those around us, but it was during 3rd periods like this that Nicky and I began to form a friendship sophomore year. Nowadays, Nicky and I mostly spend our time together exploring Northern Virginia in search of the best restaurants around and partaking in long sports debates in which I routinely come out victorious. Still, I am always impressed by his passion for and immense knowledge of sports. Even if he still holds to the falsehood that Ovechkin is better than Crosby, no one can tell you every year’s World Series champion or whip up NBA statistics faster than Dominic. It’s MANAGING EDITOR because of this passion that I know he’ll find success in the industry in the years to come. “FOOD FANATIC” I also owe Nicky a thank you- for both making it incredibly easy to kill him in senior assassin, and for priming my interest in the University of Georgia last year; to which I am now committed. Nicky certainly helped me find my path beyond high school, and I’m glad to see that he has found his at USC. ~Jack Shields

“S MANAGING EDITOR “THE INTIMIDATING ONE”

8 | SENIOR EDITION | JUNE 2021

SHRUTHI MANIMARAN

alty Shruthi.” She got this nickname because of her passion for critical opinion articles. However, since meeting her in R133 on the first day of junior year, I’ve only seen the sweet Shruthi (well, except when complaining about Swetha). Shruthi is hardworking, kind and attentive. After hearing about my crazy 18th birthday plans being canceled, she organized a celebration with Saisha, Swetha and a few other friends in just two hours, saving me from a breakdown. Together, we explored outside of our normal news and opinions arenas. I attended my first football game with Shruthi. We wrote football and basketball online articles and took sports photos (although anyone can probably tell that neither of us were actually into sports). Throughout the two years we’ve known each other, we shared so many laughs, vents and words of encouragement. Shruthi, thank you for making me temporarily forget about how late I had to stay up (and realize how much I wanted to try Indian food). Thank you for being an awesome leader and someone I knew I could count on to check one more article. And most importantly, thank you for being a thoughtful and caring friend. I can’t wait to see the amazing things you do at Virginia Tech. ~Marina Qu


MICHELLE CHENG

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hough both of us don’t remember when we met, I do remember our time in AP Lang last year, where we spent most of the time talking about everything except for AP Lang. Michelle instantly became my friend—the one who seems to be everything you’d want in a friend wrapped into one person. The first time I hung out with Michelle was when we went to a MUN conference at UVA. From our many late night adventures to the countless restaurants we were able to try in the span of three days, I immediately knew that Michelle is someone I would never want to lose. A&E EDITOR “BIGGEST FOODIE” Michelle is the biggest foodie I know, and she never fails to give good restaurant recommendations. There’s no one else who I would rather eat spoonfuls of hummus with at late nights (the Lohmans’ hummus will forever be missed). I’m so lucky to have Michelle as my friend, and I know that she will do amazing things at UVA next year!

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ver the last two years, Saisha’s name has been altered a couple times. First, it was Sasha, and there’s a rose gold name necklace with Sasha printed on it to prove it. Unfortunately I didn’t realize after buying that necklace I’d start calling her Sash. Ask me next year and I’ll have a new version of her name (I’m thinking Sas). Don’t get me started on her last name. After meeting her in my first period AP Psychology class, I was able to predict exactly how her morning was going. If she showed up without her color-coded psych notes and silver eyeliner that makes her eyes pop, well, it was best to tone down the pep. There’s OPINIONS EDITOR no one I’d rather endlessly “SASHA/SASH/SAS” FaceTime till 3 a.m. and discuss enneagram numbers with. Although she thinks being a type 6 is the end of the world, her compassion and care for my daily updates on the most irrelevant topics is exactly what makes us compatible (just enneagram lingo). I can’t wait to see what she does at Georgetown next year!

~Heran Essayas

SWETHA MANIMARAN

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hen I sat down in AP Psychology on the first day of junior year, I never would have thought that the girl sitting in front of me would end up being one of my best friends. From our six-hour weekly FaceTimes to our countless boba runs, I have never had a dull moment with Swetha. Being friends with Swetha comes with quirks. She’s chronically late, and I always have to force her to drink water (one glass isn’t enough!) What I love about Swetha is her ability to pick and choose her allergies. One day she says she’s deathly allergic to hazelnuts, and the next day she’s eating a spoonful of Nutella. A&E EDITOR Swetha is an amazing “FOREVER DEHYDRATED” journalist who writes unique and interesting articles (androgynous fashion is pretty cool!), and I know she will do amazing things at Virginia Tech. I’m so proud of everything she has accomplished. I’m truly grateful that I have had Swetha in my life for the past two years. Thanks for everything, Swetha! ~Saisha Dani

SAISHA DANI

~Swetha Manimaran

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KATIE ROMHILT

atie and I have done practically everything together since we met in kindergarten. From being Fred and George Weasley for Halloween in 4th grade to going to the Outer Banks three times together last summer, Katie and I have always been a dynamic duo. Our opposite strengths are what has always made us a great team, with Katie’s eye for photography and design and my interest in writing. I couldn’t have imagined anyone else to be as enthusiastic about reviewing Christmas music or to have claimed to be the reporters for senior map way back in sophomore year. Though being two PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR hours away from Katie “FUTURE KENT ARNOLD” during college is a lot farther than two streets away, I know our 13-year friendship will continue. I can’t wait to see her succeed at Wake Forest, and I’ll be looking for her pictures of the Wake Forest sports teams as she becomes the next Kent Arnold. ~Addie Brown

JUNE 2021 | SENIOR EDITION | 9


LIA VINCENZO

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vividly remember Lia and my three-hour advertising journey, when we distributed The Highlander subscription and advertising flyers to hundreds of households. The trip would have been a pain if it weren’t for Lia’s humor and kindness. Lia is the kind of person who would surprise me with a bag of candy outside my house after my first college acceptance, introduce the neighborhood to a new family looking for houses and take note of a friend who is having a difficult time. In junior year, Lia started working on the magazine, and I enjoyed reading her feature pieces, especially the profile about a McLean student NEWS EDITOR teaching English in India. “CUTEST GUINEA PIG OWNER” The article ended up winning a CSPA award, but I was not surprised, knowing her amazing writing skills. I love talking to Lia during late nights, listening to her experiences living in Korea and Belgium and, of course, admiring the cute photos of Mr. Coffee, her beloved guinea pig. I’m really happy to have gotten to be friends with Lia, and I wish her all the best. ~Marina Qu

SANGMIN (SAM) SONG

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hough he was a junior in Journalism 1, a late stage to start taking journalism, Sam was one of the friendliest and most hardworking staff members I knew. Even now, Sam stands out with his unwavering support for me and any other Highlander members. While he may have been pretty shy the first time we talked, I quickly learned how much of a cinnamon roll Sam is. Moving from Korea and adjusting to McLean would be hard for anyone, but Sam dealt with the change and made many friends in the process. And how could he have not? From the most random but sweet DMs to always greeting me in the halls, Sam has shown his kindness ONLINE SPORTS EDITOR every day. ~Polina Zubarev

“KING OF THE CUB EDITION X2”

Sam is quite the opposite of a procrastinator. His articles were always among the first ones to get signed off completely. I was often surprised that his article was already done while I haven’t even started mine yet. What a great journalist he will be! I wish him the best of luck as he continues pursuing journalism at Boston University. ~Marina Qu

10 | SENIOR EDITION | JUNE 2021

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JUNGYOON (STELLA) KEUM

hen I first met Stella, I was surprised to see her wearing a varsity jacket from a Korean school that I knew. The jacket indicated that she was Korean like me, which let me talk to her first and freely ask questions about school. Her tips were a huge help to me when I was adapting to McLean, and I’m still grateful for that. As a fact checker this year, Stella played a huge role in making The Highlander a more reliable news source by verifying the contents of the newsmagazine. She went through numerous articles each issue, making suggestions and comments FACT CHECKER on them to help everyone do “LEAST LIKELY TO PROCRASTINATE” their best. She also devoted hard work to publishing an article about Ms. Benedict’s 10 years of teaching journalism, contacting and interviewing graduates all the way back to 2012. Although she’s going back to Korea this summer, I know that she will do incredible things while continuing her journalistic career. Whatever the next steps in your life are, I wish you the best of luck, Stella! ~Sangmin Song

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ELIZABETH HUMPHREYS

hen I first met Elizabeth in our Journalism 2 class sophomore year, I was intrigued by her relaxed vibe, and I thought, “It would be so cool to work on something with her.” This chance came in senior year. When I was stressing over a twohour interview in Spanish and tried more than five autotranslators, Elizabeth jumped in and saved me. She translated paragraphs and paragraphs of Spanish recordings into English in just a few hours, helping us get our in-depth article done on time. I am so fortunate to have worked with her. In addition REPORTER to helping fellow journalists, “QUEEN OF MUSIC REVIEWS” Elizabeth is a pro at writing music reviews. Whether she’s writing about a new album or exposing Highlanders’ ears to the most underrated musicians of the year, Elizabeth always brings a unique voice to her writing. I’m so thankful to have gotten to know Elizabeth, and I know she will do so well at George Mason, where she will continue becoming an amazing professional journalist. ~Marina Qu


YEARS AFTER GRADUATION ELI WILSON

VICTORIA MOLLMANN

JT RAYMOND

“I SEE MYSELF STILL IN THE AIR FORCE DOING WHAT I LOVE, HOPEFULLY WITH A WIFE AND A DOG. I WANT TO LIVE SOMEWHERE IN THE SOUTH.”

“I HOPE TO HAVE GRADUATED FROM LAW SCHOOL AND BE WORKING WITH INTERNATIONAL LAW IN EUROPE OR LATIN AMERICA.”

“I WANT TO HAVE MANY OPTIONS IN LIFE AND BE SUCCESSFUL ENOUGH TO OWN AND WORK ON MANY CLASSIC AND EXOTIC CARS.”

RILEY HARRIS

JAKUB KOHLMAYER

MARYA ANSARI

“I SEE MYSELF TRAVELING THE WORLD AND TAKING PICTURES OF ALL THE PLACES I GO. I HOPE THAT I AM HAPPY AND HEALTHY AND LIVING IN PEACE.”

“I HOPE I’LL STILL BE STRIVING TO IMPROVE MYSELF, CHALLENGE MY CREATIVE LIMITS AND CONTINUE TO MAKE NEW AND BETTER THINGS.”

“I WOULD WANT TO BALANCE MY WORK LIFE AS A COMPUTER PROGRAMMER WORKING IN AN I.T. COMPANY AND MY HOME LIFE BEING A MOM.”

RYAN BROWNSON

DIANA JUAREZ CASTANEDA

CARTER DUNCAN

“I WANT TO MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO LIVE ON AND HAVE MY OWN WORKSHOP FULL OF WOODWORKING AND METAL WORKING EQUIPMENT.”

“IN 10 YEARS, I SEE MYSELF WORKING IN A CHILDREN’S NURSING FACILITY WITH STABLE, INDEPENDENT WORK AND ENOUGH FOR MY CHILDREN.”

“I WANT TO HAVE MY PH.D. IN PSYCHOLOGY OR NEUROSCIENCE, HELPING TO FIX THE EDUCATION SYSTEM FOR THOSE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES.”

KRISTEN TRAN

PHILIP OLENDER

EMILY CHEN

“I WANT TO BE HAPPY, STILL HAVE MY CLOSE FRIENDS WITH ME, TRAVEL TO A MAJORITY OF THE ASIAN COUNTRIES, AND I WANT TO HAVE THREE DOGS.”

“I’D LIKE TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THE MEDICAL FIELD, AIDING PEOPLE THAT NEED MY HELP. I’D ALSO LIKE TO HAVE A FAMILY OF MY OWN SOMEDAY.”

“I WANT TO BE RICH, RICH ENOUGH TO OWN A CAR AND AN APARTMENT WITHOUT HAVING ANY DEBT, PROBABLY LIVING SOMEWHERE IN SHANGHAI.”

Reporting & page design by Sangmin Song

JUNE 2021 | SENIOR EDITION | 11


“THE FREEDOM THAT CAME WITH ONLINE CLASSES. EVEN THOUGH ONLINE SCHOOL WAS DIFFICULT, IT REALLY ALLOWED ME TO ADVENTURE AND GO TO NEW PLACES.”

“ONE OF MY HIGHS OF MY SENIOR YEAR WAS BEATING LANGLEY IN SOCCER AT HOME.” - HENRIQUE PEDRAS

- AVERY VERSAW

“I HAVE A LOT MORE FREE TIME TO DO WHATEVER I WANT, LIKE PURSUING HOBBIES AND FOCUSING ON MYSELF.” - JASMYNE ZU

“FINISHING MY FOUR-YEAR RUN OF CROSS COUNTRY WITH SOME OF MY FRIENDS THAT HAVE BEEN WITH ME SINCE THE BEGINNING.” - SPENSER ZAMAGNI

SENIOR YEAR HIGHS AND LOWS “THE END OF FIRST QUARTER. SUBMITTING EARLY APPLICATIONS AND FINISHING THE QUARTER STRONG WAS A LOT TO JUGGLE.”

“ONE OF MY LOWS IS THAT WE WEREN’T ABLE TO HAVE HOMECOMING.”

- ZAYAN BAIG

12 | SENIOR EDITION | JUNE 2021

- MELAT ASMEROM

“FRIDAYS AREN’T AS EXCITING BECAUSE I’M ALREADY HOME, WHERE BEFORE I WAS AT SCHOOL WANTING TO GET THE WEEKEND STARTED.” - MASON MUÑOZ

“A LOW WOULD BE THAT A LOT OF OUR TRADITIONAL CLASS EVENTS WERE CANCELED OR DILUTED IN SOME WAY.” - SKYLAR TENNANT

Reporting & page design by Heran Essayas


THE ONE WHERE THEY GLOW UP Seniors share their high school transformations JULIA BODET

SAMIR CHOWDHURY

BRANDON WINEGARDEN

CAROLYN GARDNER

AMY VERDERAME

LAN-ANH DANG-VU

CHRISTINA NTEP

OWEN CARSON

Photos courtesy of students | Reporting by Michelle Cheng | Page design by Heran Essayas

JUNE 2021 | SENIOR EDITION | 13


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HIGHLANDER ATHLETES KEEP THE BALL ROLLING Class of 2021 continues strong athletic performances at the collegiate level

CREW MAXWELL FREY

TAYLOR BENEDICT

Drexel University

The Ohio State University

BASEBALL JAKE LYNES

NICK NORTON

Catholic University

College of Southern Maryland

TENNIS SHAWN BERDIA

DANA EDSON

Williams College

Occidental College

SOCCER KYRA BOLDEN

KAITLYN HELFRICH

REED JOHNSON

Howard University

Claremont McKenna College

University of Chester

FOOTBALL BRYCE MOLNAR

BIJAN SOLTANI

Hamilton College

Shenandoah University

SOFTBALL

SWIMMING

RYLEE SCHAAR

SKYE SUNDERHAUF

Baldwin Wallace University

Bucknell University

Reporting by Nicky Varela | Page design by Anya Chen

JUNE 2021 | SENIOR EDITION | 15


CLASS OF 2021 COLLEGE MAP SCHOOLS IN

& OTHER PLANS

INTERNATIONAL / OTHER PLANS

CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT UNIVERSITY

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO TALA MALKAWI TOLEEN MALKAWI HENRIQUE PEDRAS

BILLY LUDWICK CHARLIE POOLE

UNIVERSITY OF ST. ANDREWS STELLA SHEN SABINA SMITH PARIS INSTITUTE OF POLITICAL STUDIES AND COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY JULIA BODET WILLIAM & MARY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF ST. ANDREWS EMMA CAMPBELL UNIVERSITY OF TWENTE LUCAS DE JONG

GAP YEAR NICK DOKU ERIN WARNER U.S. AIR FORCE ELI WILSON ISRAELI ARMY NATHAN FISHMAN MOVING TO NORWAY VICTOR STEENBERG MOVING TO SOUTH KOREA SOPHIA MIN POST GRAD YEAR AT IMG DRAKE ELGIN EMPLOYED MICHALIS MALONEY

UNIVERSITY OF CHESTER REED JOHNSON UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW KAITLYN WHITSITT

16 | SENIOR EDITION | JUNE 2021

SOFIA VALINOTE ZACHARY WU-RORRER

COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY PETER AWABDEH CAMILLE BLAKEMORE SARAH COLATRIANO ROLF HSU CHRISTOPHER KUTSCHER CHAZRAY LITT

RACHEL MCCARLEY SAMIRA NAEEMI MARK RINDONE RYAN SHUE QUINN STONE

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY JULES BERNAND MERT BOZDEMIR MICHAEL COMBS

ELIZABETH HUMPHREYS EREN PARLA RAHUL YADAV

HOLLINS UNIVERSITY KATIE KLEINBERG

SALSA HASAN

SPECIAL THANKS TO LAURA VENOS Page design by Addie Brown, Katie Romhilt & Taylor Olson


JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY ANNABELLE ADAMS CAITLIN BISHOP CAROLINE CRANDALL EVAN CONNERS LIAM DOWNEY RILEY HARRIS CALVIN HIGGINS ETHAN HOMES

JOY KUAI ZAVEN MALIK SYDNEY MARVIN VALERIA MEDINA JACOB MORSE JOHN TOUSE ARYAH WALLER EMMITT WOLFE

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY DANIELLE ARTHURS

ELLIE ARTHURS

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND BENJAMIN CUDMORE

SANJNA KAUL

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA CAMILLE BARON MIRANDA BOMERSHEIM MICHELLE CHENG HAYEON CHUNG CARTER DUNCAN IAN FORRER JENNY HA MICHELLE HARNISCH ISA KHALIQ MEGAN LEUNG ALEX LIN

ADIANNA LOCKWOODSHABAT VICTORIA MOLLMANN EMILY MORTMAN CHELSEA PARK MIRANDA RENNERT ARAMIS ROLLY MARY SCALIA KRISTINA SERRAO JASMYNE ZU

MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY SHEYLA ZURITA

VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY

NORTHERN VIRGINIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE GABRIELLE KAPATOS BERK KUCUK

VLADYSLAV SHESTAKOV

RADFORD UNIVERSITY KRISTINA BURRY

ROBIN CARLETON

SHENANDOAH UNIVERSITY FRANCESCA BELLORA ALEX GAMBOA

BIJAN SOLTANI

UNIVERSITY OF MARY WASHINGTON KATHLEEN DEMARCELLUS PHILIP OLENDER

MAX STEINBAUM

ARUZHAN ABLYAZOVA MADELINE BATAILLE SUSANNAH BIANCO LIANA CRAGUN JULIA IRONS

KATE MACPHERSON BELLA MELO NICOLE NGUYEN DELANEY SLAVIK BENJAMIN TRAN

VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE BOBBY KENNEDY

VIRGINIA TECH KAI BERLIN ADDIE BROWN MATT DANIELS SRINJOY DEY MARY KATE GANLEY KYLE HAWLEY VEDA HEDGE OSKAR HENICK HARRISON HUYNH LAURA HOFFMAN JONATHAN HSIN

ALEXANDER LACADEN SHRUTHI MANIMARAN SPENCER MARINUS MANUEL MUNOZ CHRISTINA NTEP KIT REED VICTORIA SANCHEZ ERIC SON OWEN THOMAS SEAN WEINSTOCK MEGAN WILLIAMSON

JUNE 2021 | SENIOR EDITION | 17


UNITED STATES SCHOOLS IN THE

ALABAMA AUBURN UNIVERSITY REESE MODLINGER

ARIZONA THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA NATE LEGG

CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES EMILY LUIGS NATHAN SIGEL SKYLAR TENNANT BRANDON WINEGARDEN UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA ANNA PROCTOR CLAREMONT MCKENNA COLLEGE KAITLYN HELFRICH PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY CAROLINE WAGNER UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA NICKY VARELA SCRIPPS COLLEGE EMILY DIETRICK UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE LANNI DANG-VU LUCAS PARK SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY CONNOR BRADEN AVERY VERSAW

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORIA, BERKELEY MASON MUÑOZ STANFORD UNIVERSITY CHARLES JOYNER SAMIR CHOWDHURY OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE DANA EDSON UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS KEVIN FAN WOODBURY UNIVERSITY KATE KIM

COLORADO UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO BOULDER CHRIS CORNELL SENA KUNZEL CASEY PRESTIGE COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES TYLER KELLER

CONNECTICUT YALE UNIVERSITY HERAN ESSAYAS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY JONGHWA KIM

DELAWARE UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE JULIA BEAHN AVA CRAWFORD AIDAN ORTIZ EMILY SIMON

18 | SENIOR EDITION | JUNE 2021

DC THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY BRADEN BARNETT AHMED YASSIR THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA AUDREY KHORIATY JAKE LYNES GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY ZAYAN BAIG SAISHA DANI CAITLIN MCBRIDE DUA MOBIN BRITTANY PENG AMERICAN UNIVERSITY NIK AL-MOUALEM TESS MELLINGER HOWARD UNIVERSITY KYRA BOLDEN KENDALL JONES

FLORIDA UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI MATT DUVAL TOMMY HANUSIK SOPHIA ROSS FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY GAVIN HOFFMAN

GEORGIA UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA CHLOE LAHR JACK SHIELDS SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN JAMIR COLEMAN

EMORY UNIVERSITY EMILY CHEN

ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO ADAM KUNZ

INDIANA INDIANA UNIVERSITY JACK LANNIN JOSH LEVY IVAN MARIC LUCY PETERSON KATIE RAMPY ANNA RODRIGUEZ MAX VOLKOV PURDUE UNIVERSITY STEPHANIE POORE ETHAN SCURLOCK KAPIL MANICKA JOHNNY STEIN

KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY LAUREN HILL

MARYLAND UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND ALEXIA GRANADOS SAANKYA GUNDLAPALLI MIA HSU

FOLLOW @MCLEAN. COMMITMENTS.2021


MASSACHUSETTS WELLESLEY COLLEGE SOPHIA SHOBEIRI TUFTS UNIVERSITY KHARI KINGSLOW MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY MASON WEINSTOCK HARVARD UNIVERSITY MARINA QU NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY ARISIA DCOSTA ANIKA MALHOTRA ENDICOTT COLLEGE BELLA MORGAN BOSTON UNIVERSITY GEORGE CARSON MATTHEW HILLIARD SANGMIN SONG BABSON COLLEGE AVA DETTLEFF

MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN KYLA DUGGAL SAMANTHA GONZALEZ LEILA ILKHANOFF RYAN SIM MARIA ZURBUCHEN MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY RYAN JESSAR ELENA SOCKNAT

MISSISSIPPI

UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI WILL HEUSLER

MISSOURI WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS KATIE JEONG SARAH WOOD

NEW HAMPSHIRE DARTMOUTH COLLEGE KATIE COX

NEW YORK

NEW YORK UNIVERSITY KAAN BALI MAYA NAIR STEPHANY SUN COLGATE UNIVERSITY SOHEE KIM

ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY IAN SBOROFSKY ITHACA COLLEGE FIONA KILCOYNE HAMILTON COLLEGE BRYCE MOLNAR FORDHAM UNIVERSITY SOFIE TREIBITZ CORNELL UNIVERSITY YOUSEF ABOUAMER ELEANOR RICHARD SERENA WANG UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY BRIDGET GE THE NEW SCHOOL ALINA BOULOM SASHA GESSLER SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY KELSEY BACHMAN CHRISTIAN MARGITA

NORTH CAROLINA WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY LYDIA RIVERA KATIE ROMHILT NORTH CAROLINA STATE MAYA KALISH JT RAYMOND THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL ROHINI KUMARAN ELON UNIVERSITY GRAHAM COLE LIVIA LAMPAL DUKE UNIVERSITY ELIANA DURKEE LILY NEUSAENGER MALCOLM RODGERS SPENSER ZAMAGNI

OHIO

BALDWIN WALLACE UNIVERSITY RYLEE SCHAAR

SOUTH CAROLINA UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA AMY VERDERAME

OBERLIN CONSERVATORY TRACY WAAGNER

PENNSYLVANIA VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY MELAT ASMEROM CHRISTIAN CARROLL

CLEMSON UNIVERSITY ALEC BUTLER PHILIPPE KABASELE ANTON LINGEMAN AMANDA PARDO ANNABEL SIBERT THE CITADEL KAZ JANIK

BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY LIANNE GARRAHAN SKYE SUNDERHAUF UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH KEVIN JIANG KATRINA RAKUSAN

TEXAS

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SOPHIA POWELL HANNAH TSAI

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN EMMA STEEL

TEMPLE UNIVERSITY ALISA AHMAD

TEXAS A&M MATTHEW MOLINA

HAVERFORD COLLEGE NORAH MAYER PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY GARRETT BAIN MO HAMMAD KAYLA MERRITT DWIGHT WU MERCYHURST UNIVERSITY RENÉE WOODY CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY ELLA DAVID JENNY YANG

UTAH UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY GEORGE BRIDGES BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY ELIZA BELL KYLIE KEYSOR CAROLINE LUCIA

WASHINGTON

LAFAYETTE COLLEGE LUKE PEDULLA

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON LAUREN GRADY MEGAN HASSI

DREXEL UNIVERSITY MAXWELL FREY

RHODE ISLAND UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND MOLLY ANDERSON

WHITMAN COLLEGE KILEY KOMNIK

WEST VIRGINIA

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY RYAN BROWNSON

BROWN UNIVERSITY OWEN CARSON ABRIA HAMBERG AMELIA ZUG

WISCONSIN

TENNESSEE

THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY TAYLOR BENEDICT

SEWANEE: THE UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH CAROLYN GARDNER

XAVIER UNIVERSITY LUCIUS OVERBY

UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE MAGGIE WOMACK

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSINMADISON LYSSA BASS JACOB FERNICOLA NICK LUPI ANDREW NELSON SOPHIE SMITH TATE WAUGH

JUNE 2021 | SENIOR EDITION | 19

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The Highlander - Senior Edition - June 2021  

The Highlander - Senior Edition - June 2021  

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