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the VOLUME #54 ISSUE 1

4700 Medford Dr. Annandale, VA 22003

Informiing the Atoms since 19954



Sports Xtra uncovers the history behind the Annandale-Woodson rivalry


People reports on the unfortunate trend of early season sports injuries here at AHS



InDepth offers advice to AHS newcomers about the facilities to utilize, and those to avoid.



International explores the unconventional school schedules of students from around the world.

Weekend offers suggestions about how to enjoy the last of the summery weather.

New year, fresh faces Class of ‘13 hits the halls Freshmen face their first full day as new AHS students



Editorials debates the ethical issues surrounding the sale of candy cigarettes and their effects on minors.

Several new improvements have been made to the school to accommodate the needs of the AHS student body.


“You are no longer from Poe, you are no longer from Glasgow, you are no longer from Frost,” said AHS principal John Ponton at the freshmen orientation on Friday, Sept. 4. “You are now all from Annandale.” Today, on the first day of school, over 700 freshmen filled the halls of AHS. The class of 2013 is among the largest in AHS history. Members of the school’s youngest class hope the size of the class will bring talent, academic success, and additional spirit to the school. “We’re the biggest freshmen group,” said Carli Loeb following the freshmen orientation. “I think there’s going to be a lot of spirit because we’re just a whole lot of people,” she said. But the integration of this gargantuan class will be somewhat cumbersome for students, faculty, and local administration. Freshmen students expressed concerns integrating to AHS due to several required adjustments from middle school. An increased workload and more homework was a primary source of apprehension. “I think it’s going to be faster-paced and we’ll need to learn things faster,” said Loeb. “I’ll just need to set everything else aside and focus on school,” said freshman Sebastian Perez, One of AHS’s newest students boards a bus bound for home after her freshman orientation on Sept. 4

“Freshmen” continued on page 3

AHS faculty gains 27 members BY KELLY MCGAREY Co-Editor in Chief Lockers have been added to several second floor hallways.


Three speedbumps have been created on Four Year Run to slow drivers.

New band director Mark Carter (right) talks with drum majors Lillian Singer (left) and Danny DeVera (center), before Friday’s pep train. Carter will be responsible for leading the Marching Atoms and teaching red, gold, and symphonic band classes.

This week, over 700 newcomers will walk the crowded halls of AHS for the first time. They will sit in their classrooms, travel to the cafeteria for lunch, and stress over the workload. Despite what many believe, these new members of the Annandale High School community are not all freshmen or transfer students. This year, 27 of these unfamiliar individuals will not be high schoolers, but members of the faculty. AHS’s new teachers have been in the building for over week now preparing for the upcoming year. After attending countless meetings and in-services, many are excited to finally meet their students for the first time. New theater director George Bennett, recently arrived from Lee High School, seems to be fitting right in here at Annandale. “Everybody here is great,” he said. Bennett also credits retiring theater teacher Vicki Farish for “getting him acclimated.” Farish and Bennett have been working together closely to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible. “Everybody will be doing exactly “New Teachers” continued on page 3

Attendance policy adjusted

Visit to view photos of a local farmers’ market, taken by Weekend editors Jennifer Oakes and Annika Jessen.



AHS administrators have changed traditional rules

Shirley Altounian, who works in the attendance office is adjusting to the new policies set forth by the school’s administration.

The Commonwealth of Virginia along with the Fairfax County Public School System has always been known for its strict attendance policy. Prior to this school year the policy was that if a student got three unexcused absences in a class, he or she would fail for the quar-

ter. Now, after many meetings with parents, debates and thoroughly analyzed research, the School Board has decided to abandon the previous policy. Now, with the new attendance policy, students can no longer be punished academically for unexcused absences. “Attendance is a behavioral issue, not academic,” says the new Dean of Students Hassan Mims. “So why are you punished academically for a behavior issue? We could do other cool things instead to change the behavior and help the students be successful.” “Attendance” continued on page 3

2 Go to the web! Go to www. to read more editorials!

EDITORIALS A We have bigger problems the

Americans need to care more about serious issues. BY HOPE STADULIS Editorial Editor

What do you like least about the media? “The media doesn’t give enough info to let people know what’s really going on.” —Alhaji Bah


“I think the media is always negative and it’s annoying.” —Tracy Ly


“The media exploits every little thing that celebrities do wrong.” —Ryan Smith


Take a second to quiz yourself on some current issues. What is the U.S.’s current debt? How much money do we spend in Iraq every day? How many people were laid off last year? If you didn’t know that our country owes $12 trillion to other nations, spends $720 million each day in Iraq, or that over 1 million of its citizens were laid off last year, then you are not alone. As Americans scan the pages of the New York Times or the Washington Post, it is only natural for them to be drawn to the juicier headlines that dominate the pages. Sports team losses, voyages into space, and Facebook are only a few of the irrelevant topics that can be seen in most papers. When we switch on the radio or the television, the same is true. News anchors banter about Michael Vick’s illegal conduct, and talk show hosts scorn Chris Brown for his quarrels with Rihanna. Of course, everyone wants to hear about these subjects, which draw the mind away from scarier thoughts and entertain. But there comes a point in time when one realizes that knowing more about Rihanna and Chris Brown’s relationship than the U.S.’s current economic situation is just plain unhealthy. We can all admit that these times are stressful, and that it seems like the U.S. has a million and one problems, its two biggest being a struggling economy and the issues in Iraq. Many U.S. citizens lack basic knowledge about these subjects. There are three kinds of uninformed people out there. These are the people that are too scared to confront the reality and extent of the U.S.’s problems, the people who have made efforts to watch the news, but have only been exposed to the lighter subjects, and the people that are too lazy or busy to comprehend the issues that our country is wrestling with. The rapid spread of unawareness is exemplified by the 72 percent of Americans that were unable to estimate correctly that 4,000 Americans had died in the Iraq war in


Hackfeld sophomore

Do you think the selling of candy cigarettes is immoral? “No, it’s not immoral- I think kids just like them because they taste good!”

—Susan AlSuqi senior

“Yes, because it puts bad ideas in kids’ heads.”

icon or a child molester? What should be done to commemorate Michael Jackson, and to what extent should he be commemorated? The media’s current obsession with Michael Jackson’s death is a prime example of their attempts to entice Americans to listen and watch their programs. Topics like these dodge involvement with real problems of Americans. Jackson did have a great influence on the development of music, but should his death take priority over the issues that will dictate our well-being and our futures? Rather than utilizing our time pining over the placement of Jackson’s children, we should be challenging ourselves to become informed about real problems that threaten our country. Sure, the death of loved celebrities is a tragic occurrence, but isn’t the potential death of our nation much more tragic. 64% Michael Jackson has been the center of media focus since his death on June of us have begun to grasp this 25, 2009, and his post-death affairs have consumed the lives of Americans. in our claim that the media allocated too much of its time and May of 2008. sources to the death of Michael Jackson. The Reading the names of soldiers killed and our other 36% of our American population needs to friends and neighbors that have lost their jobs shrug off its fears and laziness, and listen to the this week is not exactly something we prefer to news to get a taste of what really matters: the do as we sip on our morning coffee. Saying that fate of our country. these problems are hard to deal with is only an The American public cannot allow itself to understatement. Avoiding these problems by forget about the topics vital to our country’s surstrictly watching programs about futile subjects vival, because as a democracy, the public dictates on the other hand, is inexcusable. The media is the nation’s fate. We shouldn’t be harming our a big business that needs money and attention. country by turning our backs on difficult issues, It focuses on topics that people want to watch but rather we should be helping it by acquiring or listen to instead of those that are vital to the knowledge about these topics and advocating for survival of our nation because it thrives on profit, what it is we believe is best. Next time you’re not on spreading knowledge. surfing television channels, try watching CNN Take a glance at what Americans have been obinstead of TMZ. We need to work together to sessing over for the summer: Michael Jackson. change the headlines from “Michael Jackson’s Who is going to have custody of Jackson’s mother given custody of his children” to “Amerithree children: their mother, or Jackson’s mother? cans finally care about real issues.” Should Jackson’s legacy live on as a musical

An innocent puff leads to eventual death BY CHRISTOPHER YURKO Staff Writer

“I absolutely hate that the media is always one-sided.”

Sept 8. 2009

Cigarette companies have long been accused of using subliminal messaging in order to target a younger consumer crowd, and yet for far too long candy cigarettes have been allowed to be sold to children. Children in elementary schools can, and often do, purchase candy cigarettes from ice cream trucks. Candy Cigarettes are gum that is rolled in a form of edible paper. The cigarettes produce a puff of sugar if the child inhales and exhales, a simulation of smoking. At such a young age, children are more easily susceptible to being influenced and their minds act as sponges, absorbing and taking in everything they see. According to, an online candy

store, there is evidence that cigarette companies and candy companies actually created candy cigarettes for the benefit of cigarette companies. “Smoking” a candy cigarette provides the child with something they like, the candy and sugar, while it subliminally makes them believe that cigarettes are fun and harmless. This is obviously a way for cigarette companies to target children at one of the most vulnerable stages of their lives. The cigarettes even come with their own brand names, some examples are; Kings, Target, Lucky Stripe, Round Ups and Victory. This makes the child feel even closer to believing that they are smoking a cigarette. Candy cigarettes should not be allowed to be sold to children as it is an obvious way for kids to immediately accept cigarettes as a positive thing in their lives. How are we supposed to be a healthy na-

tion while the number of citizens, and more importantly underage tobacco users, is on the rise everyday? Accepting a bad habit at an early age, no matter what it is, can never be good. The selling of candy cigarettes should be halted because it influences children to make the fateful decision of becoming a smoker later in life. What moral person would encourage a child to do anything resembling smoking? We need to forget the puff and remember the important stuff: the youth of America should not be exposed to bad habits under our watch.

Rules of Thumb Old people can drive!

Marriage counseling

A drunk driver rear ended an 83-year-old man but left the scene. The old man followed the drunk driver to his house where he waited for the police to arrive.

A woman went into a bar and saw her husband licking another woman’s face. She was charged with misdemeanor battery for dragging him to the parking lot and striking him.

Rule: Don’t underestimate the elderly.

Rule: Beat your spouses at home.

—Ray Acker

Biting trouble A 30-year-old man was sentenced to 15 years in prison after biting off a thumb of an officer attempting to arrest him. Rule: Leave the biting to Edward Cullen.





“No way! They taste great. I used to eat those all the time in elementary school.” —Teppi

Shultis junior

“I think it’s wrong because it’s the same idea as actually smoking a cigarette.” —Angel Ly


Editors In Chief: Kelly McGarey Charles Simpson

Weekend Editors: Annika Jessen Jennifer Oakes

Academics Editors: Jennifer Allshouse Gessica Azzam

Managing Editor: Nathalie Spita

International Editors: Annie Curran Jeff Shim

Copy Editor: Mary Anne Kavjian

Editorials Editors: August McCarthy Hope Stadulis News Editors: Erin Johnson Ndidi Obasi In-Depth Editors: Emily Fruchterman Aishwarya Venkat

Entertainment Editors: Helena Belay Brenna O’Neil Lifestyles Editors: Kelly O’Brien Maggie Craig

Health Editors: Erin George Kelsey Price

Sports Editors: Alley Adcock David Hookey

Photography Editors: Mariah Pollet

Sports Xtra Editors: Kelsey Knoche Katie Vu

Ad Manager: Emma Barker Manal Elhak

People Editors: Victoria Deible Cassady Keller

Circulation Manager: Rachel Coulter Art Editors: Jane Aman

Annandale High School Vol. 55 No.1 (703) 642-4229 4700 Medford Dr. April 28, 2009 email: Annandale, Virginia 22003 fax: (703) 642-4299

Online Staff: Connor Goolrick, Zulay Huma Adeel Shams, Video Staff: Greg Neilsen, Logan Miller, Stephen Craig, Andy Craig, Bob Stevens, Michael Lazar Staff Writers/Photographers: Carly Bouchard, Nicole Contrino, Hila Ghorzang, Daniela Guevera, Kristen Hennessey, Hila Haidari, Mirian Jaradat, Walleed Karimullah, Stephenie Kyeremeh, Elizabeth Marcois, Brandon Mitchener, Julia Moeller, Melissa Purvis, Jerald Sheppard, Alexandra Torre, Ben Wolfenstein, Sam Young, Christopher Yurko, Lance Miller Adviser: Alan Weintraut

The A-Blast is an award winning newspaper that strives to inform, educate and entertain the student body and community. Published every three weeks, The A-Blast will not print any material that is obscene or libelous; or that which substantially disrupts the school day, or invades an individual’s right to privacy. The A-Blast is an independent, open forum for discussion that is printed at the Springfield Plant of The Washington Post. Signed letters to the editor of 250 words or less may be submitted to room 262 or mailed to the school. The A-Blast reserves the right to refuse advertisements. All submissions become property of The A-Blast, Copyright, 2009.

th Sept. 8, 2009



Freshmen preview the school


“freshmen” continued from page 1 anticipating an increased class workload from his earlier experience at Poe Middle School. Another expressed concern was navigating the circuitous and haphazard hallways of the AHS building. “It was hard to find classes, I got lost once,” said freshman Connie Tran. The jumbled structure of the AHS building is far more difficult to navigate than the linear style of her previous school, Holmes middle school. Following the orientation however, many freshmen conveyed a more confident readiness to locate their classes come the first day of school. A final distressing issue for freshmen is the social dimension. Making new friends and building a social network among 800 new peers presents a daunting task to incoming freshmen. “There are a lot of new people,” said Loeb. Fortunately, extra-curricular and afterschool activities which began prior to school have provided an effective method of building relationships among fellow AHS students. “I’m in varsity cheer [leading],” said Loeb. “I got to know a lot of people that way, but only a few of them are freshmen,” she said. Additionally, while the transition process has been difficult for the class of 2013, it has been perhaps equally difficult for the local school board. AHS, due to its extreme overcrowding, recently underwent rezoning in order to transfer students from the school to neighboring schools such as Falls Church and JEB Stuart. Simplistic on paper, this rearrangement of stu- The freshman class of 2013, shown here standing in the auditorium during Freshman orientation, will be the largest class to dents will be far from smooth in practice. Several grace the halls in the history of AHS. freshmen will attend AHS for only one year before being transferred to alternative high schools as a have so far been unsuccessfully hindered from doing be moved to JEB Stuart High School rather than so by the county school board. At least three other Falls Church High School, which does not provide IB result of the rezoning process. Freshman Deanna Lear-Snyder is one such AHS students from Lear-Snyder’s neighborhood level classes. However, her ideal choice of continuing student. “I really don’t want to move,” she said. will experience the same transfer process before at AHS remains unattainable. For the rest of the class of 2013, the next few The trying transition process from middle school graduating. weeks will require adjustment and adaptation to a In an attempt to ease the required transfer, to high school will be experienced twice by these Lear-Snyder was given a choice of which alternative new school, environment and lifestyle. Ideally, all displaced students. “There are all these meetings going on to try to high school to attend rather than AHS during her 700 plus will find a new home at AHS and bring a stop it,” she said. Lear-Snyder and her parents have sophomore year. Because of her desire to study at refreshing vitality to the school community. worked to stay a complete four years at AHS, but the International Baccalaureate level, she opted to

FCPS attendance policy gets a makeover “attendance” continued from page 1 The old policies of failing and suspending students for truancy are being replaced with alternative methods with an emphasis on increased intervention. “We’re going to try to identify the behavior early, and apply immediate intervention and communication with parents,” says Mims. Teachers are being encouraged to build excellent relationships with the student and address the behavioral issues that often cause students to skip school. “Some students have real problems,” says Mims. “Half of them don’t care, but half have serious problems. It’s our job to teach content and do more.” Instead of impersonally failing a student on a piece of paper, teachers will confront the student and ask them what is wrong. If the absences persist, the issue moves up to the Dean of Students and guidance counselor working with the student to solve the issue. They continue the intervention and counseling, but also can administer detentions, pull the student from after-school activities, and revoke school parking privileges. “Our attendance intervention system involves communication, coordination, and more collaboration, “ says Mims. Most of the old policies for excusing a student from school are the same, with the exception that family trips and vacations will no longer be excused. Some students are upset about this, but teachers agree with the new policy. “There are 183 school days and 365 days each year,” says Math teacher Judy Fisher. “Subtract 183 from 365, and you have all those days to do whatever, but don’t take my 183.” Students and teachers alike are in favor of the new policy. “I actually think it was too harsh,” sophomore Jessica Campanilla said. “It gives the students no chance to change.” Also, many teachers feel that students who have

missed three class periods unexcused are already receiving an F. “All [the new policy] does is it takes away an administrative chore,” says Fisher. Students also felt that after receiving three unexcused absences, there was no point to coming to school. The old policy caused more absences and it was obvious to the school board that this policy was ineffective, and needed to be changed.

Unacceptable excuses –Babysitting –Car trouble –Family vacations –Power outage –Traffic –Missing the bus –Oversleeping

The administration also hopes that the new attendance policy will put a bigger emphasis on student leadership. “Students should encourage other students to be good and help others to make smart decisions. Students can influence each other in so many ways. Our students can be implicit mentors and mentees to each other for the common good of theAHS community,” says Mims. The new system is all about helping the students and better school engagement. Whether it’s the teachers trying to talk to them and help them with their problems, or students helping their peers to rise to their potential. “This is asking everyone to step up, and actively help our students,” says Mims.

“new teachers” continued from page 1 what they thought,” he said. Bennett is not the only newcomer who is taking over for a long-standing AHS teacher. Mark Carter, a fellow member of the performing arts department, has been hired to lead the band, filling the vacancy left by the unexpected departure of Jack Elgin last spring. Although more than two dozen teachers have joined the faculty for the 2009-2010 school year, only one administrator was added to the staff. Since last year’s Dean of Students, Pamela Gravitte, was given an assistant principal position, Hassan Mims has arrived to take her place. Mims has had vast experience in this job, after serving as the Dean of Students at West Potomac for the past five years. He says that his adjustment to the new school has been “excellent” and that “the sense of community [at AHS] is priceless.” Mims looks forward to “being part of, and connecting with, the hard-working school community.” Veteran AHS faculty members also seem to be welcoming the new additions with open arms. AHS Principal John Ponton had only positive words when asked about the new faculty members. “I think we have an outstanding group of teachers who are already feeling the Annandale Atoms pride. We are doing everything we are able to welcome them into this school,” he said.

Go to the Web

To read more about the latest news around AHS.

NEWS BRIEFS Attention Freshmen! Don’t forget to put this important dates in your planner. Sept. 17 is Freshmen Parents’ Night, when your parents can come in and meet the counselors and hear about the guidance services available.

Back to School Night for everyone is on Sept. 23. This night is for parents to meet with their child’s teachers to discuss the class as well as their child’s progress. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity! Don’t forget to turn the following forms that are found in the packet that you received along with your schedule: • Attendance Policy •Emergency Care Information • Health Information Form • Honor Code Pledge • FCPS Participation Policy • SR&R Form You will NOT receive your locker assignment until all of these forms are turned in!

The class of 2011 will be selling school supplies such as notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, and pencils the first week of school in the mornings and after school in front of the cafeteria and in jocky lobby.

Ask The Principal: Summer, books, and role models


Policy changes

AHS welcomes new staff


Senior Danny DeVera shares a laugh with new band director, Mark Carter.

John Ponton

Q: What was the most enjoyable part of your summer? A: “Going to the beach with my family AND taking my son to college.” Q: What books did you read over the summer? A: “I read a book titled, The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner. The book centers around seven survival skills for teens to compete in a global society.“ Q: Who is your role model and why? A: “My parents. My father (age 86) and my mother (age 80) always taught me to treat people with dignity & respect. They will celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary on September 10th.”





Sept. 8, 2009

The first cut is the deepest

Go to the web! Go to to read more stories on student athletes around Annandale!

Several AHS student athletes are disappointed by the first team cuts of the year

What is the most difficult aspect of your fall sport ? “The heat is the most intense part of cross country.” —Dale



“Waking up early throughout the summer.” —Melvin Robinson junior

With the heat of summer at its peak, anxious athletes lace up their tennis shoes and head down to the gym; fall sports tryouts have arrived. The dreaded suicide sprints begin, trying drills are set into motion and potential players fight for positions. Every year at this time aching muscles are accompanied by the mental anxiety that this week brings. “Tryouts involved a lot more running than I am used to,” said junior Allison Warth. “There was also a lot of competition and even as a returning varsity player, I was a bit nervous about my spot on the team.” And the week of August 10 was not only stressful for those participating in tryouts, but also for the many members of the coaching staff. “There were so many talented girls who tried out for volleyball,” said head volleyball coach Jennifer Hall. “With the numbers so high, I wasn’t able to keep everyone in the program.” On a squad where only six players are on the court at a time, volleyball teams typically hold just 12 to 14 members. The program carries freshmen, junior varsity, and varsity teams, but even with three teams, the volleyball program can only hold 36-42 total athletes. A large turnout for the girls volleyball program this year surprised players, coaches and even administrators. “Over 70 girls came out for volleyball this year and this was the most we have had in memory,” said Angelo Hilios director of student activities. With the number of hopefuls high and the number of positions low, decisions were arduous. But based on attitude, dedication, endurance and skill, fall sports team rosters were decided upon and announced. Given the amount of prospective players and the talent many displayed, in some unfortunate cases, athletes who had previously played for their respective program were not kept for this year’s team. For example Kunny Kuo, an outside hitter of



Over 70 hopefuls tried out for the AHS volleyball team. Many were upset when only 37 were selected for the program.

last year’s freshman tea was among those cut. “There were so many other girls that had more strength. Also, there were not enough spots for the whole team from last year,” said Kuo. “But in the end it felt like a punch in your face, because you knew you weren’t good enough.” While the volleyball program had many tough decisions on their hands, they were not alone. The golf coaches also had cuts to make as well. “The cuts this year were increasingly difficult with the players getting better and the district as tight as it is,” said coach David O’Hara. Despite the reasoning behind the cuts, they still impacted the athletes.

“Spending so much time with my crazy teammates.” —Sonya

Inderbitzin senior

“Learning formations for dance team.” —Maddie

Smith junior

A fall season full of injuries

“Going into tryouts, everyone knew we would be facing many good golfers,” said Willie Labarca, a sophomore chosen for the golf team this season. “But many were still disappointed in the results of the tryouts, after all of their efforts.” Indeed, this year’s fall tryouts were demanding to all and devastating to many. Athletes turned away from teams may have been discouraged, but in turn, strong, keen, and committed teams have emerged. As the saying goes, “what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.” Those left behind this year can use the experiences and lessons to better prepare for next year’s tryouts.

Methods to mend injuries

Student athletes suffer pre-season injuries


Dr. Phil, 59 Billy Preston, 63 Shaun White, 23 Beyonce Knowles, 28 Pink, 30 Adam Sandler, 43 Amy Irving, 56 Amy Winehouse, 26 Heidi Montag, 23 David Copperfield, 53 Erika Page, 34 Lance Armstrong, 38 Marc Jacobs, 46 Nicole Richie, 28 Will Smith, 41 Lil Wayne, 27 Hilary Duff, 22 T-Pain, 24

The ImPACT Test is a computerized cognitive test to assess brain function in evaluating concussions. Athletes take this test to ensure that they are not playing with any type of head injury.

Streching back muscles using the band and ball assists in relaxing the back and preventing further injury.


01 02 03 04 08 09 10 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 25 27 28 30

Along with stretching, heating muscles before exercise helps warm up and loosen joints.


September Celebrity Birthdays

AHS athletes are certainly no strangers to injuries. Many suffer from a variety of injuries during the fall season due to the intensity of sports. While some athletes are injured during the actual season, others have lived with ongoing injuries for years. Injured athletes are at a constant battle with themselves. They strive to give it their all during games, but an athlete can only go so far without worsening their injury and damaging their athletic career in the long run. Due to AHS’s athletic trainers, athletes know how to deal with their injuries and what the negative consequences are if they choose to not treat them correctly. “I’ve been dealing with my knee injury for years now. Although I play my hardest during football season, I always have the fear of hurting my knee badly again in the back of my mind. Thanks to the trainers though, the pain continues to decrease and I’m less stressed about it,” said senior Nick Chuong. Many athletes are less fortunate than Chuong and cannot play due to their injuries. Junior D’Angelo Boyce recently had surgery on his pinky finger, disabling him from playing football for six weeks. “I was so excited to start the season off with a bang but now I’m out for six weeks. But I know with this surgery I won’t have to worry about my finger again. I guess I just have to rough it out and deal with it,” said Boyce. The athletic training staff is helpful and beneficial to all athletes. Without their professional knowledge, many athletes would not know how to prevent their injuries from worsening; possibly ruining their athletic careers in the future. “We get as many injuries pre-season fall as we do any other season,” said athletic trainer Kathy Ayers. Junior volleyball player Diana Herring, senior football player Marquis Perez, and freshman cross country runner Dale Reichenbaugh are highly familiar with the athletic training room. “The muscles in my lower back are really tight and I’m still able to play but if I don’t go to the training room everyday my back really hurts. Many of my teammates go to the training room as well, so without the training room I don’t know where we would be. I don’t think it will ever be bad enough that I cannot play but going to the trainer definitely eases the pain,” said Herring. Perez has struggled with a contusion in his wrist and forearm this football season, and icing both in the training room as well as performing several muscle exercises relieves his pain. “I sprained my ankle in the first week of summer right after winning a race against my friends,” said Reichenbaugh. Reichenbaugh runs cross country and must continue to ice her ankle as well in order to prevent her sprain from worsening during the intense season of running long distances on paths with rough terrain. AHS athletics are held at a high standard compared to other high schools within the region, and without the dedicated athletes at AHS and the excellent training staff that would not be possible. AHS athletes know that in order to be victorious, they must overcome obstacles such Marquis Perez visits the trainer daily to ice his wrist and as injuries and fight through forearm and ease the pain caused by his contusion. to the bitter end.



Icing after exercise cools muscles, reduces inflamation and rids the muscles of lactic acid build up. It also relieves pain.



Sept. 8, 2009


New district alignment renews rivalry

Atoms- 20 Cavaliers- 0 1967


Separated by five miles on a four lane road, Annandale and Woodson were once such fierce rivals that virtually everybody involved had their favorite story about their favorite game. They share a common border so large that many of the kids who ended up playing against each other in high school were actually good friends in grade school. Due to district re-alignemnt, the Woodson Cavaliers and Annandale Atoms are competing against each other once again. This new school year will bring a new face to the district in which the Cavaliers and Atoms will again be regular competitors after too many years apart. When W.T.W. first opened in 1962, it was essentially in the middle of nowhere. Built on 79 acres of land off of a dirt road, Woodson did not have the small community feel that Annandale did. They did, however, have many highly competitive athletes who quickly made their mark on the original Northern District. The district, which included the thirteen high schools in Fairfax County, featured the “triangle rivalry” of neighboring schools Annandale, Woodson, and Fairfax. While Woodson regularly ruled the gym, the Atoms ruled on the gridiron, breaking Cavalier hearts en route to collecting state championships in1965, 1967, 1972, 1978, 1993 and 1994. Even as the county expanded to include nineteen schools, Annandale and Woodson remained in the Northern District after two other districts, the Potomac and Alexandria, were added. Both schools were eventually switched to the Potomac District, where they remained until 1979. In that year, while Woodson switched back to the Northern district, Annandale stayed. In the early 1990’s, the four current districts, the Patriot, Liberty, Concorde, and National were created

A Blast from the past

Woodson/Annandale Football

Atoms- 32 Cavaliers- 20 Annandale 1973 wins state championship.

Atoms- 7 1971 Cavaliers- 5

After a close game, Woodson is 1974 able to take a 28-14 lead on the way to a victory.

The Atoms prepare for their 1975 game against Woodson. The Atoms 28-14 victory was secured when current Vice Principal Jamie Cariyannis scored in the fourth quarter.

Underclassmen athletes show potential to become future stars Olivia Franjie Freshman


Graduating Year: 2013

SPORTS PLAYED: Football, Wrestling, Lacrosse


YEARS PLAYED: This is my first year playing football. I’ve wrestled for two years. I have played lacrosse for seven years with Annandale Youth. FAVORITE SPORT: My favorite is football because its really fun and exciting.

GOALS: My main goal is to make varsity because I know I am capable of playing at a higher level.

GOALS: I really want to make all the teams and start.

WORST INJURY: I have never gotten an injury while playing a sport, and hopefully I will never get one.

SONGS THAT PUMP YOU UP: I like to listen to Halo by Beyonce. LEAST FAVORITE DRILL: My least favorite part of any practice is stretching. FAVORITE PART OF SPORT: I love scoring in both football and lacrosse.

Annie Rutherford Sophomore

SONGS THAT PUMP YOU UP: I like to listen to any Britney Spears songs because she has good music that makes you want to dance. LEAST FAVORITE DRILL: I do not like doing the “pyramid” because it’s just constant sprint twice in a row. FAVORITE PART OF SPORT: I love how all sports are competitive because it makes it more fun.


SPORTS PLAYED: Field hockey, track, and soccer

SPORTS PLAYED: Cross country, basketball, and lacrosse

YEARS PLAYED: This is my second year of field hockey, I’ve done one year of track, and I’ve played soccer since I was five.

YEARS PLAYED: One year for cross country, two years of Lacrosse, and I have been playing basketball since I was little.

FAVORITE SPORT: Field hockey because it’s a team sport and it’s a lot of fun to play. It’s also different then any other sport.

FAVORITE SPORT: I like playing all of my sports, because it keeps me in shape and busy during the school year.

WORST INJURY: I broke my arm and fractured my ankle playing soccer in eighth grade. SONGS THAT PUMP YOU UP: Hannah Montana because she has really exciting music. LEAST FAVORITE DRILL: Wikkets because it’s constant running.

Atoms roll by W.T.W 14-0

After Annandale defeated 1982 Woodson 15-14, the Atoms lose Washington 1980 17-19 in Post dubbed the season the game opener “One of before Annandale’s coming back most to win the dramatic rest of their victories.” district games. Atoms- 0 1977 Cavaliers- 14

How does Woodson being in the Patriot District impact you? “It’s another team to beat.”

—Willie Labarca sophomore

“In my opinion, it doesn’t impact me.”

—Adam Huenema sophomore

“It’s kind of scary because I hear they are pretty decent in their sports.”

---Olivia Ko junior

Monte McCarthy Sophomore


GOALS: My goal is to improve as much as I can and learn more skills then I did before.

After Woodson 1979 pulls a prank lining 1978 the field, the Atoms retaliated with a 17-0 blow out win.

YEARS PLAYED: I recently just started playing field hockey, but this is my second season playing. FAVORITE SPORT: Volleyball because it’s the only sport I play.

WORST INJURY: I broke my wrist playing basketball in sixth grade.

Atoms- 20 Cavaliers- 7

With a 14-14 deadlock at 1975 halftime, the Atoms win after a touchdown by Jamie 1977 Cariyannis.

Annandale and Woodson competed in all sports. The neighboring schools always looked forward to competing against each other.

Atoms of the future Joe Bermingham Freshman

With an early 14-13. score, Atoms make 1967 second half comeback to win 19-14.

After a back and forth game, 1968 Annandale scores with 18 seconds Atoms- 8 remaining to 1969Cavaliers- 19 win 13-12.

The Woodson-Annandale basketball rivalry was mostly dominated by the Cavaliers. The games against Annandale, former W.T.W. coach Red Jenkins said, were “always a big deal.”


BY KELSEY KNOCHE Sports X-tra Editor

with Annandale in the Patriot and Woodson in the Liberty. The schools still met regularly in some sports, including football and basketball, until the late 1990’s. The Atoms own the all-time record against the Cavaliers in football, winning 24 games to Woodson’s 10. Annandale has also not lost to the Cavaliers since 1989, though the last meeting was in 1998. “It’s great that we’re playing them again. When I went to Annandale, it was the biggest rivalry in the area. They have a good athletic program and it will be fun to compete against them,” said Atoms head football coach Dick Adams. One person who saw the rivalry from both sides of the fence is long time WTW boys basketball coach Red Jenkins. Jenkins, who coached the JV boys at Annandale from 1959-1961, moved to Woodson in 1962, said Woodson and Annandale were “always in the same district. The games were always a big deal because so many of the players and coaches knew each other.” When the school opened and Jenkins switched, many students also switched due to re-drawn boundary lines. This meant that many of those who had played basketball for him at Annandale, were now with him in the quickly growing Woodson program. Although the schools haven’t played for years, the games will once again be like a reunion for some. “About half the kids from my elementary school went to Woodson so I’m really excited to play them this year. It’ll be cool to go to the football game and see everyone too,” said junior Natalie Johnson. Others see Woodson as another team to compete with, and a good one at that. “They’re pretty good at lacrosse so it should be an interesting game this year,” said junior Nathan Miller. Both the Atoms and Cavaliers have had success in sports in the last ten years. The schools are both particularly strong in football, field hockey, and boys’ and girls’ lacrosse. The Cavaliers also claim a very strong swim team, while the Atoms likely now have the edge on the basketball court. With new athletes and new coaches, it remains to be seen how chapter two of the rivalry will play out.


Annandale, Woodson set to face each other after years apart


GOALS: I hope to improve a lot from last years season. WORST INJURY: I pulled a muscle in my back during freshman year basketball. SONGS THAT PUMP YOU UP: I like to listen to I’m A Go Getta by Lil’ Wayne. LEAST FAVORITE DRILL: I don’t like running uphill because it takes the most energy. FAVORITE PART OF SPORT: It feels great after I finish running.

“I’m excited because it gives us someone else to play and it’s cool to play a school that’s so close.”

--Maddie Smith junior

“I’m really nervous for lacrosse because they are a really competitive team, but will give us a challenge.”

—Caroline England senior




Sept. 8, 2009


ground up of the last school year to expand my knowledge about the new curriculum, and I also attended the GilderLehrman Institute in Washington D.C. over the summer. The topic being discussed was the Cold War, which is very relevant to the Topics curriculum for next year. I learned a lot from the program that I hope to bring into the classroom this year.” BY AISHWARYA VENKAT IB Anthropology teacher Holly In-Depth Editor Miller also said, “I am going to For those of you who still have modify our studies a little more this trouble waking up to get to school, year to include more emphasis on this should serve as an eye-opener. international development, because Long before students have even set that is the direction Anthropology is foot into the building, AHS teachers heading in currently. I think this emhave been hard at work preparing for phasis will be a much more effective a new year and new classes. approach towards teaching.” This The official starting day of the trend of updating the curriculum and teacher work week was August 31st, making the topics more relevant to 2009, but some teachers started today is common among teachers of working well before this date to get a all departments at AHS. head start on the upcoming year. Other teachers are thinking of Several teachers are making changing their pedagogy, or teaching drastic changes to their lesson plans methods, this year for their classes for the around. “My inten2009-2010 year. This tion for my Higher change is especially 2 class is to I started preparing for Level significant for the Interget the entire curnational Baccalaureate next year as soon as last year riculum finished teachers, since the IB by March,” said IB curriculum is revised ended. Chemistry teacher every 10 years. Due to Isaac Boakye. “This the latest curriculum will give us ample change, IB teachers —Mary Ann Richardson time to review for have had to master history teacher the finals. I am also these new topics and acthinking about havcommodate them in the ing semester exams pre-existing curriculum. As a result, just so my students aren’t scrambling many IB teachers have spent their to review everything right before the summers preparing for next year. IB exam,” he said. “I started preparing for next year Teachers are also changing the as soon as last year ended,” said IB level of emphasis placed on certain Topics teacher Mary Richardson. “I aspects of their curricula. “I am hopattended a 3-day program at the end ing to use a lot more


Teachers prepare for a brand new year The 180 new lockers aren’t the only improvements at AHS for 2009-2010

With over 50 extra-curricular clubs and organizations, AHS provides a variety of activites for anyone’s interests. Here are a few major extra-curricular activities at AHS: Black Cultural Awareness Association: The BCAA provides a forum for African-American students to celebrate their common heritage while providing the opportunity to enhance academic equity and success on all levels. For more information, contact Kathlyn Berry in Room 289. Chess Club: This club is open to anyone with an interest in playing chess! Meetings are every Monday in Room 233.

IB Topics and Government teacher Mary Richardson stacks books in preparation for her classes. The Social Studies department has undergone many changes this year, especially due to the large number of freshmen and the IB curriculum changes.

ply to many of the electives. Web Development and Information Systems teacher Helen Silberminz said, “With the new version of Office 2007, our curriculum has changed a little. We are going to do a lot more certification testing. This year we will be getting our students through the Internet and Computing Core Certification, and they will definitely be learning a lot more this year,” she said. Most AHS teachers are excited about implementing these new changes in their classrooms. “I think that is the most exciting part of teaching,” said Richardson. “No two years are the same, and no two classes are the same. And you are not teaching the same things over and over again each year. That is the most interesting part of teaching, at least for me.”

this year,” said Richardson. “I am also hoping to renew emphasis on the financial literacy and economics section of the curriculum, and provide my classes with a lot more resources outside the textbook,” she said. Many teachers are also teaching extra sessions of their classes this year. For example, there will bew nine sections of Pre-IB World History compared to six in 2008-2009 school year. This is one of the direct effects of having over 700 incoming freshmen, the largest freshman class in AHS history. On the other hand, many IB classes like English and IB foreign languages have been forced to combine Higher and Standard level classes because the teachers can accomodate them along with the standard classes. These changes are not limited only to the core classes, but also ap-

Claim the best spots in the school to hang out with your friends before and after school!

East Africa Club: The East Africa Club promotes and celebrates understanding of East African culture. For more information, contact Tim Kelly. Filament: The Filament is the literary and arts magazine of AHS, and displays the creative talents of AHS students in an annual publication. For more information, contact Kathleen Dion. Model UN: The AHS Model UN Club simulates activities of the United Nations, and helps build an understanding of international relations network. Students take on the identity of a country and represent its interests in local conferences. For more information, contact Jonathan York.

Tips for freshman


AHS Chillin’

AHS Clubs: a sneak peek

stiprocra D o n ’t o g e t y o u r ry t nate. T e as soon as n o d to rework It’s good hers . le ib s s ac po t your te alize tha ut to get you, o are not rying to help t and are r best. ou y o d u o y

Main Lobby Drama Lobby


Training Room

Locker rules 1. Use a lo cker shel f to yo ur bi n de rs in one row an d your text books in anothe r. or g an iz e

How to use your planner:

4. Keep yo ur locker cl ean. Don’t thro w notes an d papers into your locker . 5. Don’t le ave open food or drinks in your lock er.


• • • •



2. Stack your books upright so yo u can fin d which one you n eed in a hu rry. 3. Use a bi nder for each class, an d color-co de them so you can find them quickly!

Record homework assignments Hall Pass How to make a 50’s bibliography Math and mass cosnversions World maps

Give y t i m e t o ourself free Whether d e -s t r e s s . y music, p ou listen to la hang ou y a sport or t with fr iends, time to r importa elax is very nt.

eep ure to k Make s ttitude. So ea a positiv u’ve got hours o y ead of what if work ah of home your focus on p you, kee at the end of t h g li e th el. the tunn

Get in s c h o o l v o lv e d i n activit Playing i sports, w e s . in g o n o t h e n e w rkper, or s particip p a ating in clubs h friends a elp to make nd look g to colleg reat es.

6 What was the best and worst part of your freshman year?




Sept. 8, 2009

A new year, from the

“The best part was meeting new people and finding out who your true friends are. The hardest part for me was getting adjusted to tests and prioritizing my work.”

—Stephenie Kyeremeh Sophomore “The best memory was being there on friday nights seeing varsity football fight their opponents each week. The worst part was the lack of faith people showed in the football team.”

—Richard Op Junior


“The best part was interacting with seniors in my orchestra class, but the worst was joining It’s Academic as a freshman - everyone else was a senior and it was really intimidating. ”

—Christina Bui Senior “I went to an all-boys Catholic school, and I remember you did NOT want to be caught going up the stairs when the upperclassmen were coming down after class. ”

Three new speed bumps were added on Four Year Run a week before school began to ensure that drivers maintain the correct speed limit.

Tops and flops

Start the new year off right by knowing which areas of the school are the best and the worst!

—Tim Kelly Teacher

AHS Clubs: a sneak peek

Just World/Interact Club: Just World is a service organization, which is the Junior Affiliate of the Rotary Club. Members are actively involved in community service activities and awareness campaigns around the community. For more information, contact Meredith Hedrick. Young Democrats: This club promotes understanding of democracy through the point of view of the Democratic Party. Students participate in afterschool discussions and work on campaigns. For more information contact Mary Ann Richardson. Young Republicans: This club exposes students to the Republican Party and encourages dialogue about the political process. For more information, contact Andrew Suddarth. Key Club: This club is another service organization which supports AHS and the surrounding community. It is supported by the Annandale Kiwanis Club. For more information, contact Meghan Adair. STAND: The Student AntiGenocide Coalition works to raise awareness of modern genocide and the history of Genocide. Members will visit the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Capitol, attend area conferences, etc. For more information, contact Jennifer Farrara.

Top: Language hallway bathrooms Flop: Cafeteria bathrooms

Top: Main Hallway Flop: Photo and Family Life hallway

A look inside student’s opinions

Students use popular site to preview their new schedules BY EMILY FRUCHTERMAN In-Depth Editor About two weeks before the start of school, students flock to the main lobby, eager to receive their schedules for the new year. They enthusiastically compare their schedules, hoping to find classes in common and dishing out what they have heard about each other’s teachers. “Getting my schedule is a little bit sad because it means summer is ending,” said junior Izzy Yaroch. “But it’s fun seeing which friends are going to be in my classes.” While talking to one another used to be the only resource student’s had for learning more about their new teachers, in recent years websites such as have sprung up to give students more of an idea of what to expect in the coming year. allows students and parents to post their opinions on teachers and administrators from their school. Although the rating criteria is different for students and parents, both include scales, ranging from one to five, on easiness, helpfulness and clarity. In addition, parents can rate their children’s teachers on expectations, difficulty and respect. Below these scales there is a section where comments can be left, within a 200 character limit. “I’ve looked at this site, but I’ve never posted anything on it,” said Yaroch. “I’ve just checked to see what others have thought of my teachers.” While there is no way to check the truth of what someone posts on this site, such as whether they were even in a particular teacher’s class, moderators for the sight review each rating before it is pub-

lished. Purely for example’s sake, something saying “my teacher is a big, ugly b***h” would be deleted for several reasons. First of all, a teacher’s physical appearance has nothing to do with their ability to teach, and the creators of the website believe that it’s unfair to judge them on that criterion. Profanity is also banned in posts, as well as name-calling and references to things such as religion and race. Teachers do receive some protection from the students who post things on the website, as any comment referring to violence towards a teacher, another student, or the poster themselves is immediately turned over to the police along with the IP address accompanying the post. While efforts are made to control the quality of the site, some believe that the opinions posted there may not reflect who the teacher’s really are. “It’s like any website, most people who use it go on it to complain that a teacher ‘didn’t accept my work late’ or ‘she’s a this’,” said English teacher Melissa Phillips. “It also brings out a lot of goodness in people, who look at what someone else has written and say, ‘no, she wasn’t like that.’” Other teachers discount the site entirely, refusing even to look at what’s been written about them. “I’ve never bothered to check, I know my rating is relatively good and I don’t need to be reaffirmed,” said history teacher Joe Valentino. “Sites like this let students blow some steam off, kind of like a ‘safety valve.’” Many teachers take the same view as Valentino, believing that acts as a way for students to get back at any teacher that they feel wronged them. However, many can also see the lure for students to check out this site and others like it. “I guess everyone sort of wants to get a feel for something before they start,” said Phillips. “I would hope that even if they looked at the site they would try to keep an open mind.”

Joe Valentino

“He’s really a great teacher and relates everything to modern times instead of just ancient times this and that. But his hmwk and tests are hard!

—Anonymous from

I had absolutely no problems with her class. She was very kind and had a unique way of teaching.

— Anonymous from

Melissa Phillips


Gay/Straight Alliance: The GSA is a student-run alliance to foster compassion, acceptance and tolerance in the AHS community. For more information about meetings, contact Bethany Slingerland in Trailer 6.


Green Atoms: This is the environmental club of AHS. They conduct regular recycling rounds around the school, as well as cleanups and other environmentally-related activities. For more information, contact Joelle Rudney.


• The capital of this country is Beirut • It borders the Mediterranean Sea • This country was a French Mandate until 1943 • The National Dish of this country, is Kibbeh or Kibbe, a dish combined of lamb meat and burghul wheat • It’s flag is composed of two red stripes on the outside and a white stripe in the middle with a green cedar tree in the middle

Can you guess where it is? Answer:Lebanon

What season would you prefer school to begin? “I would like to start in fall because it’s fresh and it’s not too hot and not too cold.”

—Rashied Hardy freshman

“I’d like to start school in winter because I love the cold so I’d want to be in school.”

—Diego Cornejo sophomore

“Fall, because we’d be out in time for summer.”

—Jocelyn Cinto junior

—Salinna So senior

“I have no problem starting school when we do, but it would be better if we started two weeks earlier. Summertime is a time for kids and families to enjoy themselves.”

—Jonathan York History teacher

“I would like a school to start early enough so we finish at the Memorial Day.”

—Bill Maglisceau English teacher

—Karen Olarinde Math teacher

Students react to news of the election as officials look into accounts of fraud BY ANNIE CURRAN International Editor Afghanistan has been a current topic in the media due to the controversy surrounding the recent elections. On August 20, citizens of Afghanistan casted their vote for the candidate they wanted to represent their country in the top political position. Since then, there has been no clear winner because of the close race and allegations of fraud. President Hamid Karzai is a current front-runner. Karzai’s platform for this election stated that he wanted to expand on the government’s social and economic achievements that he had made during his first term. Karzai has always fought for human rights, especially those pertaining to women, since women’s rights are not always at par in many countries in South Asia. There are over 30 candidates, but there are three who seem to be frontrunners. Among them is Ramazan Bashadost, an independent candidate, who is an outspoken member of parliament. He may not have as many votes as Karzai, but he has found a supporter at Annandale. “He’san independent who supports human rights,” says sophomore Ziya Jahangir, an Afghani student. Bashadost has won over many in Afghanistan after making statements that supported the poor. Another important candidate is Abdullah Abdullah, Karzai’s most threatening opponent in the race. Since Aug. 20, one of the problems of declaring a winner has come from the fact it is such a close race for the two. Abdullah Abdullah represents the United National Front opposition alliance, and is one of the only candidates who is not an independent. Abdullah served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the interim government under Karzai until 2006. If he wins, he plans to fight corruption and wants to work with international troops to fight insurgent groups. Members of the Taliban still inhabit Afghanistan and continuously wreak havoc in the country. The Taliban vowed to disrupt the election, since the Westernized government goes against what they are fighting for. There was no major violent act, but little attacks around the country throughout the day. Many who wanted to vote did not want to risk being injured, so they avoided the polls. The Taliban successfully intimidated many out of voting. More controversy has struck the elections in the past couple days after Abdullah made a comment stating he has evidence that there was major vote rigging in Karzai’s favor. The BBC has reported that groups of election observers have stated they witnessed tactics of intimidation and voting fraud on August 20, the day of This is the most recent poll taken of the votes that have been counted thus far. the poll. Abdullah’s complaint has been sent to the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC). Mr. Abdullah’s team had been informed that areas with low voter turnout had idential election by a landslide. been greatly inflated with extra ballots marked for Mr. Karzai. Though it appears Karzai has won the election, with these new startling accounts of fraud Similar complaints were made during the last election in connection with Karzai. Some people it is too early to tell. Whoever does win the election will inherit a country with vast problems, believe that Karzai’s connection with the United States has something to do with how he is doing including extreme poverty and widespread starvation. so well in the election. Mr. Karzai has denied all accounts of fraud. The new President will also have to face Afghanistan’s drug problem. Many farmers make their A recent BBC poll reported that Karzai has over 46% of the votes, soaring above Abdullah’s money from producing poppy seeds, a key ingredient in opium, which makes heroin. According 31.4%. Both men’s results are far higher then Bashardost’s and the seven other candidates. Afghanito the BBC, Afghanistan produces 93% of the world’s opium. stan’s history has shown that the country has an unstable past. In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Ziya Jahangir still has high hopes for the election. “(I hope to) have a more peaceful and Afghanistan in hopes of setting up a Communist regime. Ten years later, the unsuccessful Soviet agricultural enriched country.” Only time will tell who is the new President of Afghanistan. troops withdrew, leaving Afghanistan under the radar of the world’s attention. During the next decades, the Taliban, an extremist Islamic group, began taking control of Afghanistan. In 2001, the United States and other Western allies became involved and threw the Taliban out. They named Hamid Karzai head of the provisional government and in 2003 he won the first Pres-

Different countries, different academic terms

Trouble with the Taliban

Around the world schools start their first semester of the year in different seasons

The current situation in Pakistan turns messy as the government and the Taliban fight for control

BY JEFF SHIM International Editor

“I like starting in fall because we’re pretty much in school for cold weather, what’s the point of not being in school.”

“I think it’s best that it begins in fall so families can have time to travel and have family time.”

Controversy complicates Afghani elections


See if you can guess what country we are talking about.

Sept. 8 , 2009

ways: both school systems run for about 10 months and divide one school year into four quarters. However, Filipino students begin their year in June, when most students in U.S. begin their break. “The summer break lasts from first week of April to mid or late May”, added Nguyen, “but I don’t think the summer break is that great. Most tourism sites in other countries won’t open until the actual summer.” Despite the longer school years in the Philippines, some seem to prefer the schedule used by the nation. One such person is ESOL teacher Lesley Chekin who said, “I think it would be better to start and end the school year earlier like Philippines. We start and end school too late.” Since every country sets different academic terms, school years vary widely. While Chinese schools have a longer winter break than the U.S. or the Philippines, they get a shorter summer vacation. Some cultural reasons are involved in setting academic terms too, because each celebrates different traditional holidays.

Today, the 2009-2010 FCPS school year has begun and some students may still be complaining, “I wish that school started later.” Each country’s system of dividing the year into academic terms is unique. Some countries start school earlier, while some start even later than schools in the United States. In China, a school year is divided into two semesters. Here at AHS, the year is divided into four quarters. Despite this small difference, China is taking steps to make its academic school year more like ours here in the US. “[The] Chinese school year used to begin in early February,” said junior Jenna Truong, whose parents are from China, “because that is a huge holiday then.” The second semester traditionally ran without a break until mid-July when the summer break began. School then resumed in late August, giving Chinese students about a month of break. The U.S., in contrast, has always had a longer summer break. However, the schools year has changed in China and Chinese students “now start in late August or early September, just like here in the US,” said Truong. Although this measure may please the students, it may have educational repercussions. “I think they could get back to school mode easier than students in U.S. because they do not get such a long break that we get” said senior Christina Bui. Because of the new school year schedule the breaks are becoming lengthier, which may cause the same difficulties adjusting back to school that many American students experience. In the Philippines, where the academic term is similar to that of U.S., schools have 20 more days of instructional days than typical U.S. schools. “Philippine school years are longer because we get a little bit less than 200 days of school” said junior Kristine Nguyen. Schools in the Philippines and Sophomores Diana Nguyen and Kunny Kou are ready for schools in the US are similar in many school to start this fall.

BY TRICIA O’NEIL AND ALEXA LAFFERTY Staff Writers Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the terrorist organization known as the Taliban, was killed by a CIA- developed drone on Aug. 5. The CIA’s success has left the Taliban defenseless and vulnerable to attack. A drone is an unmanned aircraft that is called upon to conduct a variety of missions. Upon Mehsud’s death, U.S. officials urged the Pakistani government to launch their offensive strategy against the Taliban Despite the pressure of the U.S. however, Pakistan has decided not to move forward with this tactic. The Pakistani government has instead decided to invoke a new plan, which thus far consists of blocking off main roads leading out of South Waziristan. Also, fighter jets have been instructed to eliminate enemy mainlines. The government also hopes to make public certain sectors of the organization, which will weaken the Taliban’s element of secrecy. This new plan would also count on the CIA drones to kill future leaders of the Taliban. The United States bureaucrats had hoped to take advantage of the Taliban’s new leader, Hakimullah Mehsud’s lack of experience and organization to justify pushing their aggressive agenda. A Pakistani general has explained that the necessary arrangements to implement this strategy could take up to two months. Instead, Pakistan hopes to advance their position through peace deals with Hakimullah Mehsud. Officials of the U.S. counter that often times in the past the Taliban has used peace deals to advance their influence. Experts of the Pakistani military have started to believe that the Pakistani government lacks desire to eradicate the organization. Others say that the military does not have the experience necessary to commence a ground operation in the mountainous areas in South Waziristan.


Where In The World?





The darker region represents where the Tailban has control.

Sept. 8, 2009




Is SAT prep necessary?

Upcoming SAT Test Days

As the new school year starts students are beginning to prepare for the SAT

•October 10, 2009 (Register by September 9, 2009) •November 7, 2009 (Register by October 1, 2009) •December 5, 2009 (Register by October 30, 2009)

MACKDA DINBERU Staff Writer The Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT, can be one of the most stressful tests in any students’ high school career. Resultantly, many students go to great lengths to prepare for it. The SAT is a test juniors are required to take for college admissions in the United States. Before the actual SAT, every school in the United States distributes the practice SAT to students. The purpose of the practice SAT is to give sudents a preview of what the actual SAT is like. At AHS the practice SAT is taken by everyone except for the seniors. While the majority of the school takes the practice SAT just for the experience, juniors take it for consideration by scholarship providers. The only way the practice SAT, or PSAT, differs from the actual SAT is that the PSAT does not include a written portion. “Since I am starting high school I have just started learning about the SAT, I am so nervous about taking it even though I have two years to prepare. I am definetely going to take SAT prep classes so I score high on my SAT,” said freshman Stephanie Allshouse. Preparation for the SAT is sometimes needed. Students like to start early and get ready for the SAT their freshman or sophomore year. Vast amounts of students enroll in SAT prep classes during the summer before junior year or during the fall of their junior year. Some feel that taking the classes too early can be a bad idea because students tend to forget things and not pay attention during the summer. There are different types of SAT prep classes including private tutoring, small group tutoring, classroom courses and online courses. There many different classes to choose from, although some classes are longer and more informative than others. Depending on what class is chosen, they are all beneficial in unique ways. Some classes are structured in a group setting, while others are private tutoring sessions. “I am definatley taking SAT prep, but i am not doing it in a class. I think I would be able to focus more if i have a private tutor.” said sophomore Kim Roland. Many SAT prep classes offer students the oppurtunity to take numerous practice tests to asses their improvement through the course of the class. Students are required to take a practice SAT test to begin with in order to determine how much practice is needed individually. Each class for the rest of the course is focused on a different subject in the SAT. For example, one week the teachers may be working on expanding the students’ knowledge of vocabulary words, and another week the teachers might be working on improving students’ math skills. After completing the class, each student is required to take another practice SAT test, to find out if the class helped to improve scores. Although the SAT is a source of constant worry for the majority of high school students, some believe that SAT prep


•January 23, 2010 (Register by December 15, 2009) •March 13, 2010 (Register by February 4, 2010) •May 1, 2010 (Register by March 25, 2010) •June 5, 2010 (Register by April 29, 2010)

Test day tips! •Get a good nights sleep two night prior •Eat a healthy breakfast classes are not worth paying for and consider them a waste of time. “I am not taking a SAT prep class because i think that you can easily study by yourself and go to the library if you need help on anything” stated junior Aya Ibrahim. The focus of college admissions has been altered since the 20th century. Colleges’focal point used to be SAT scores, but now they look beyond just that. They have begun looking at students background, college interviews, extra curricular activities, GPA, essay writing and much more. Even with the negative views of SAT prep classes there are those who feel that SAT preperation is a must. A couple students who took the class agreed that the class helped. “The class actually helped more than I thought it would. I feel like I am more confident with my test taking skills,” said junior Julian Jordan. “So far the SAT prep class has helped me out and I feel like I got smarter and much more prepared for the test. If anyone is looking for a place to take the prep class go to the Kaplan Center,” said junior Alay Tedia. After asking a few people about SAT prep classes it is now known that most students found the classes very successful and feel very comfortable with taking the SAT test now. So if any students are thinking about taking a class or are unsure if it will help out with preparation for the SAT, they should take it into serious consideration. Five out of six students said it helped them out more than anything else. While some are skeptical, it is definitely worth your time and money to enroll yourself in an SAT prep.

•Bring a photo ID and your SAT admission ticket

SAT prep classes

•Bring number two pencils with good erasers

Study Works






Al Silverman

$50.00 for each session

•Bring a calculator for sixteen classes

Online SAT prep classes Testmaster


College Board

$69.95 for four months




$949.00 for six classes

•Bring snacks so you can eat during the breaks of the test •You need to arrive at your assigned test center at 7:45 am, unless told otherwise

AHS welcomes new staff members Business •Paula Chesser English •Brian Aldenderfer •Fusun Dogu •Julia Hanneman •Sean Hardy •Rachel Johnson •Stephanie Long •Sarita Viloria-Weren ESOL •Kimberly Wolk World Languages •Ola Layaly Marketing •Lindsay Zivney Math • Brianne Blum •Joy Gordon •Karen Olarinde Performing Arts •George Bennett •Karen Olarinde Physical Education •Stephen Howes Science •Russell Youmans Social Studies •Kellie Burke •Katherine Gould Special Education •Bahiya Corley •Christel Fitzgerald •Kristin Lillis •Jennifer Masood •Marcella McCray •Ellen Ordonez •Eric Rodriguez •Taina Smits-Seay •Robert Thompson •Tracy Wolfe Counselor •Jason Gould Dean of Students •Hassan Mims





Sept. 8, 2009

Football starts season 1-0

Coach Profiles

Coach: Dick Adams Sports Coached: Varsity Football, JV Wrestling, Track and Field Years Coached: 20 What do you enjoy about coaching? Working with the kids and maintaining the tradition of Annandale High School because it is unlike any other in Northern Virginia.


What do you hope to accomplish this year? We’d like to find a way to get to the playoffs and win the district championship for the fourth time in five years.

Coach: David O’Hara Sports Coached: Varsity Golf, Indoor Track, Track and Field Years Coaching: 2 What do you enjoy about coaching? The athletes. If the athletes are good kids then it makes my job all worth it. What do you hope to accomplish this year? We want to have a winning record and finish in the top two at districts to qualify for regionals.

Varsity Football Schedule Sept. 11 @ Falls Church Sept. 17 @ South County Sept. 25 vs. Oakton Oct.. 2 @ Robert E. Lee Oct. 9 vs. T.C Williams Oct.. 16 @ West Springfield Oct. 23 vs. Lake Braddock Oct.. 30 vs. Woodson Nov. 6 @ West Potomac

DAVID HOOKEY Sports Editor On Thursday, Aug. 3, the Annandale Atoms football team kicked off their 2009 regular season with a 21-14 victory over the Centreville Wildcats. “The game was fantastic,” said head coach Dick Adams. “It was very important for this football team to get a win and develop confidence heading into the season.” The Atoms fell behind early when Centreville scored on a 23 yard pass, but rebounded when sophomore quarterback Tony Hysjulien threw a 30 yard touchdown pass to junior fullback Jake Barnes. However, the Wildcats were able to capitalize on a fumble in the end zone to take a 14-7 lead at the half. “At halftime we knew we weren’t playing as well as we should’ve so we made sure to come out and play well in the second,” said junior Nick Lalande. The Atoms did just that. The team drove down the field and leveled the score at 14 on a one-yard run by senior running back Stacey Anderson. This touchdown was set up by a beautiful pass from Hysjulien to junior Melvin Robinson. Entering the fourth quarter, the Atoms seemed to be in control of the game and were able to tack on the winning score late in the game. Senior quarterback Rick Adams capped off a long drive with a one-yard touchdown run. “It was great to win that game on the big 80-yard drive at the end,” said coach Adams. One of the obvious highlights of the game was Annandale’s implementation of a two quarterback system. Hysjulien andAdams seemed to split snaps evenly, with Hysjulien having more passing plays and Adams more rushing. “Rick [Adams] is a senior with good leadership and can really run the offense well for us,” said coach Adams. “Tony [Hysjulien] has a good arm and has the ability to stretch the field to Melvin Robinson and Rob Potts. Together they give us a good one, two punch.” Hysjulien finished the game 9-16 for 203 yards and the touchdown to Barnes. Adams was 3-6 for 38 yards and also had 11 yards rushing. “Having two quarterbacks is really helpful because it can keep defenses off balance,” said Lalande. The Atoms defense was also a bright spot in the game. After giving up 14 points in the first half, they buckled down and kept Centreville scoreless in the final two quarters. Senior Jack Velasquez got a key sack for the Atoms in the fourth quarter, which stifled a potentially game-tying drive by the

Freshman Football

Head coach Dick Adams instructs sophomore Adam Wattenbarger (12) during pregame warm-ups on Thursday, September 3. The Atoms won the game 21-14.

“Our defense was alright in the first half except for the one touchdown they had on us but in the second we played much better,” said senior Robert Potts. As the season progresses, the team has set lofty goals for this year’s team. “We want to find a way to get to the playoffs and when the district championship again,” said coach Adams. “We’ve won three of the last four district championships so we want to keep it up.” Players are also intent on having a winning year. “Our first goal is to get into the playoffs and our second is to win the district,” said Potts. The Atoms’ next game is Sept. 11 at Falls Church High School.Their next home contest isn’t until September 25 against Oakton. In these games the team looks to continue their winning ways and make progress in achieving their goals. “This is potentially a really good team and this win will give us the confidence we need to succeed,” said coach Adams.

JV Football

Atoms lose to Wildcats 21-0



On Monday, Aug. 31, the boys freshman football team took on the Centreville Wildcats at Annandale and fell in a close game, 20-19. “We played well but there’s room for improvement because we still have time before the regular season,” said lineman Zack Lalande. The Atoms were led on offense by a rushing touchdown from quarterback Joe Bermingham, as well as a passing touchdown from Bermingham to wide receiver Nolan Gilbert. The final score for Annandale came on a run by running back Ali Mahmood. “Our first teamers got a taste of how hard they have to go to beat opponents and the second teamers learned how much better they have to get to make an impact for us,” said head coach Bill Maglisceau.

The Annandale Atoms JV football team began their season on Monday, Aug. 31, against Centreville High School and fell short, 21-0. Although the team lost, there were some positives that came from the game. “The passing game looked good and the running game was ok,” said junior lineman Gabe Litvin. “But overall the offense could not score.” The team was led by sophomore running back Tyreke Worrell, sophomore linebacker Wally Geiger and sophomore receiver Alec Villafona. “Overall, we looked ok but we still need more work to improve this season,” said Litvin.

‘09 AHS fall preview Field Hockey

Head Coach: David O’Hara

Varsity Field Hockey Schedule

Head Coach: Cindy Hook

Last Year’s Record: 3-5

Last Year’s Record: 10-12

Key Players: Mark Spicer, Jeremy Gilcash, Greg Nielsen

Sept. 8 vs. West Springfield Sept. 12, Albemarle Invitational

Key Players: “Every player is key to our success,” said Coach Hook.

Key Game: The District Tournament on Sept. 22 and 23 at Twin Lakes Golf Course

Sept. 14 vs. Madison Sept. 16 @Robert E. Lee

Player Outlook: “The team is looking strong this year and our whole team has a good chance of making it all the way to Regionals,” said senior Jeremy Gilcash

Sept. 21@ Westfield Sept. 24 vs. Lak e Braddock Mark Spicer

Oct.. 1 vs. T.C Williams @ Minnie Howard


Team falls to Centreville


Sept. 26, AHS Hockey Challenge



The Atoms defeat the Centreville Wildcats 21-14 in the football season opener

Key Game: “Every game is important,” said Coach Hook. Player Outlook: “I think the season will go well because we have a young team and we are learning fast. If we work hard in practice and try our best in Maggie Bermingham

Coach Outlook: “We are almost done with the regular season matches but do have one left against a very good WT Woodson squad. It would be great to win that match and then go into the district championships coming off a solid win. If this team gets hot we have a good chance at taking the district title so expectations are high.”

Coach Outlook: “Our preseason and first 3 games have gone very well and the team continues to improve with every practice and game. We have a great combination of players who want to go for it all, the State Championship” said Coach Hook.

Oct.. 6 @ West Potomac Oct.. 8 @ South County Oct.. 13 vs. Woodson

Cross Country Head Coach: Phillip Harris

Oct.. 15 @ AHS , District Tournament

Volleyball Head Coach: Jennifer Hall

Last Year’s Record: Team regional qualifiers

Oct.. 20 @ AHS, District Tournament

Last Year’s Record: 11-9

Key Players: Michael Ejigu, Charles Simpson, Yohan Calcuttawalla, Olivia Ko, Victoria Ko, Natalie Johnson

Oct.. 22 @ AHS, District Tournament Semis Oct.. 27, District Tournament Finals Oct.. 29 @ Oakton, Regionals Nov. 2 @ Oakton, Regional Semis Nov. 4 @ Oakton, Regional Finals

Olivia Ko

Key Players: Aby Diop, Teppi Shultis, Grace Franjie

Key Game: Monroe Parker, District Championship

Key Games: Lake Braddock, West Springfield, TC Williams

Player Outlook: “As I am entering my third season , many of my teammates are improving a lot and I’m seeing some good young talent so we will be good this year and I hope we finish our season strong,” said junior Olivia Ko.

Player Outlook: “We have started out well, going undefeated so far. If we stay focused and keep improving, we will be able to achieve all the goals we have set because our coach is helping us become a stronger team,” said junior Grace Franjie.

Coach Outlook: “On the boys side, I expect our top runners, Michael [Ejigu], Charles [Simpson], and Yohan [Calcuttawalla], to finish in the top 15 in the district and qualify for regionals. On the girl’s side, Natalie Johnson, Olivia and Victoria Ko, and Carrie Vergel de Dios put a lot of time in over the summer and I’m looking for it to payoff with the highest scores in Annandale history,” said Coach Harris.

Grace Franjie




Sept. 8, 2009

Fall TV Preview

The Mackdaddy

Which new fall TV show is right for you? Which T.V. show would you rather watch?

Saturday Night

11 Wrap up

Music Review

By Mackda Dinberu

One Tree Hill

Live What genre of T.V. do you like? When watching a T.V. show what do you pay the most attention to? Fantasy New singing sensation Justin Bieber (left) is standing with his mentor and producer Usher (right).



Soap Opera What High School would you rather attend?

Do you often find your self watching animated shows? Yes


The Cleveland Show is a clever spin off of the already popular adult animated sitcom Family Guy. The soft-spoken black neighbor and friend of Peter griffon is moving from Quahog back to his hometown of Virginia with his 14year-old son. He is moving in with his high school girl friend, Donna, who he was and still is madly in love with. Donna’s husband left her with her rebellious teenager daughter and five year old son. Now the show will follow the life of the new family of five and there neighbors in their new town. The five-year-old son fills the same spot as the infamous Stewy, from family guy, a smart mouth toddler that the show focuses on. The crazy father known as Cleveland takes the position of Peter and the wife the teenager daughter going through puberty and heavyset son. The Cleveland show is a perfect show for those who already love Family Guy.

Premieres Sept. 10

East High

The highly anticipated season premier of the new comedy, Glee, comes on this September after the wildly popular pilot on may 19th. Fox producers tried a new technique by advertising early and hooking fox fans before the season even starts. The show follows an optimistic Spanish teacher, Will Schuester, who attempts to save the schools Glee club and restore it to the glory days he once knew. The show tries to show the true talent of the underdog in the typical American high school. The true talents of the club: Rachel Berry, a girl that is convinced that she will become famous through Myspace and show choir.Also the schools biggest jock and star quarter back Finn Hudson who must protect his reputation but surprises the audience by sticking with the club. The comedy is sure to be a hit with all ages and fans.

Premieres Sept. 09


Forks H.S.

The vampire obsession will soon be brought to the silver screen as the CW welcomes Vampire Diaries into its Thursday night line-up. The show starts out with Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Jeremy Gilbert (Steven R. McQueen), whose parents were lost in a tragic car accident. While Elena learns to deal with her pain, Jeremy turns to drugs and alcohol. As their school year starts, the new and mysterious student Stefan (Paul Wesley) is enticed with Elena. What she does not realize is that Stefan and his evil brother, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) are both vampires battling for the souls of Elena and the rest of her home town, Mystic Falls, Virginia. Based on a book series by L.J. Smith, this show is sure to please all of you vampire fanatics.

After the successful return of 90210 almost one year ago, it was no surprise when another Aaron Spelling show was going to be brought into the 21st century. While the new Melrose Place includes some characters from the 1992 hit, the majority of the plot is based around the next generation. With a cast including Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, who plays naïve, new girl Violet Foster and Sydney Andrews, a member of the original cast and landlady of Melrose Place, the famous apartment complex will bring the same drama to its new tenants as it did in the 90’s. Much like the original series, each of the characters has its own story, leaving audience compelled to choose their favorite. Not only will the multifaceted relationships of the young, attractive Californians keep your attention, but the first episode brings an opening event that will have drama-seekers on the edges of their seats for the rest of the season.

Premieres Sept. 27

Premieres Sept. 08

An experience for the unexperienced

As the summer came to a close, two AHS students documented their journey as established bands come together to celebrate the anticipated reunion of Blink-182 BY JANE AND JORDAN AMAN Arts Editor and Staff Writer The day was hot, the musicians were ready and the crowds eagerly awaited the entrance of their favorite bands. And thus began the most epic music festival we have ever attended. We kicked off our music-filled day by walking past Merriweather’s massive lawn to the “Dance Stage” where an electronica band, whose name we unfortunately cannot put in writing, was opening the festival. Their bass was pumping so loudly, we felt the vibrations pounding through our bodies and felt it was more appropriate for a rave than a festival. Then again, it wasn’t called the Dance Stage for nothing. At around two o’clock we wandered over to the “West Stage” to watch DC-native rapper, Wale. However, we couldn’t watch his enthusiasm-ridden performance for long because Taking Back Sunday, an alternative rock band, was about to take the main stage. Typically, TBS is an easy band to listen to. Their music was fast and exciting, though the instruments tended to drown out the vocals. Luckily, after TBS left the stage, my friends and I planted ourselves in the pit under the pavilion and waited for JET, a popular Australian rock band with an oldies feel. They sounded incredible, and put on one of the best shows of the night. Throughout their show, everyone in our group went crowd surfing and had a great time. JET played their final song at 7:15 and turned the stage over to The Bravery, a band from New York. At this point, we made our way out of the pit to get some lemonade and pass the time until Weezer took the stage. While we were outside of the pavilion, The Bravery took the stage for an hour of high energy rock riffs. As the last chords of The Bravery’s set were drowned out by the crowd’s cheers, we made our way back to the pit in hopes that we can get as close to the stage as possible. Weezer was about to take the stage, and none of us wanted to miss it. As everyone packed into the pit, the crowd crush became almost unbearable. However, we pressed onward and made it within feet of the stage. The highly anticipated reunion of Blink-182 got the crowd going with their famous songs, “First Weezer took the stage after an Date” and “All the Small Things.” appearance by Richard Branson, the

A new music sensation has arrived with a funky pop sound. Justin Bieber; a 15 year old boy from Ontario, Canada is the hot news of today’s music world. With his super cute child-like looks and high-pitched voice, he’s the dream guy for today’s teens; melting hearts, and putting smile on girls’ faces. His single “One Time” is a huge hit. It reached number 12 on the Canadian Hot 100 and number 32 on the U.S. Hot 100. It received even more exposure when “One Time” was featured in a video on Taylor Swift’s Myspace page. His first album, My World will be out Sept. 15 and is sure to fly off the shelves. Justin first got noticed on Youtube for his amazing musical covers of Usher, Justin Timberlake, and other musicians. Now he has signed onto a major label with his producer Usher. Although he started onYoutube, with a small amount of fans, it has now expanded farther than ever expected. He is now on the road venturing out and singing his heart out in every city around the U.S. and England. He has been on many radio shows lately sharing his love for music with the world. It is truly incredible what this young man has achieved in such little time. Bieber is as real as it gets. His catchy tunes will have you singing along in no time. Check him out at http://www. and see for yourself.

Justin Beiber’s debut album will be out on September 15 featuring his hit single, “One Time.”

Top 10 iTunes Downloads 1. Party In the U.S.A. Miley Cyrus

2. I Gotta Feeling Black Eyed Peas

3. Down (feat. Lil Wayne) Jay Sean

4. Whatcha Say Jason DeRulo

5. Run This Town (feat. Rihanna & Kanye West) Jay-Z

One of the night’s biggest band, Weezer, played a set consisting of the songs “Troublemaker,” “Island in the Sun” and “Pork and Beans” getting the rock fans on their feet and dancing.

owner of virgin mobile. They began their set with the song “War Pigs,” while not their song, still pumped up the crowd to a state of mayhem. They continued through their set, and put on an amazing show. Rivers, the band’s front man, was running around the stage, even bouncing around on a small trampoline. The show was hilarious and awesome. No one moved when Weezer finished their show. We were all there for one real reason: to see Blink-182 finally back together after their split in 2005. The energy in the air when the curtains opened was a truly indescribable feeling. Blink took the stage in a mess of smoke, lights, fast guitars, speedy rhythms and screaming fans. The stage was set with giant video screens and light sets. The show was totally astounding. The crowd was going crazy. We were screaming, and singing along with every song we knew. “Anthem Part 2” was the last song of their set. They played two more songs as encores, finishing with Dammit. When the song ended, two cannons on either side of the stage shot clouds of confetti all over the pit, and we were all going completely crazy. The song ended and fans, us included, scrambled to grab a guitar pick or drum stick, which was actually caught by junior Andrew Pack. The pit cleared out and we walked out of the pavilion in pure euphoria. We were all talking about the show for the next few hours. Everyone was in agreement that this Virginfest was the single best show of our lives.

6. Use Somebody Kings of Leon

7. Good Girl Go Bad (feat. Leighton Meester) Cobra Starship

8. She Wolf Shakira

9. Hotel Room Service Pitbull

10. Fallin’ for You Colbie Calliat

12 Get the scoop It may not be the healthiest snack, but ice cream works wonders on the soul after a long day at school. Baskin Robbins 5701 Columbia Pike Falls Church , VA 22042 Dairy Queen 5230 C Port Royal Rd Springfield, VA 22151

Maggie Moo’s 6575-N Frontier Dr. Springfield, VA 22150

Rita’s 6242 C Little River Turnpike Alexandria, VA 22312



Don’t be scared to let out your stress on the weekends. Go to an amusement park and don’t be afraid to scream!

Sept. 8, 2009

Last minute summer The carefree days filled with sleeping in, tanning by the pool and eating crisp watermelon are officially over with the start of September. However, students are still drawn to the warm weather outside the school walls. There are still plenty of fun things to do in the sunny weather after school and on the weekend. Here are some ideas to keep your summer juices flowing!

Grab your rackets and some tennis balls for an enjoyable round of tennis! “It is the perfect sport to play while it is still warm outside,” said sophomore Willie Labarca.

An outdoor movie is the perfect way to enjoy those last warm summer nights. Just set up a projector, screen, and a bunch of sleeping bags to create a cozy movie atmosphere.

Escape the cafeteria food and take your date or your family out for an afternoon picnic. Enjoy a home-cooked meal on a blanket in front of the beautiful scenery and forget about school and homework.

“After band practice I love getting a cold treat. Ice cream tastes so good after being out in the sun for such a long time,” said senior Alex Johnson.

Whip into Fall


Relieve the stress of the first week of school by going to the park and letting all your inhibitions run wild. Let your inner kid out to play, and remember it feels like when the best thing in life was to swing on the swings and slide down the slides. “I definitely love playing on playgrounds because it makes me feel like a little kid again. The swings are my favorite because I like to feel like I am flying,” said senior Stephen Novak.

Williamsburg, VA Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in September and October

Baltimore, MD Open Saturday and Sunday in September and October

Richmond, VA Open September 12, 26, and 27 and every Saturday and Sunday in October

Grab your books and head outside for a relaxing atmosphere that doesn’t have technological distractions. It will also deepen that beautiful bronze summer color. “I think doing homework in the sun is so much better than doing homework at a desk. The fresh air helps you concentrate and the sun is relaxing,” said senior Ellie Holcombe.

TEST YOUR TASTE BUDS By Annika Jessen and Jennifer Oakes

Come to the auditorium lobby this week after school for a special ice-cold treat! The class of 2010 is selling snow cones for only a dollar.


lamb. We could definitely tell that the meat was fresh and marinated extremely well. Not only was the meat cooked perfectly but also it went well with the fresh baked pita bread. A great sauce that goes with the Gyro Platter is tzatziki sauce so make sure you get extra of this favorable topping. We really enjoyed our meal at Ariana Grill and Kabob but here are some great dishes we also suggest right off the menu…

Ariana Grill and Kabob

Restaurant Guide

Class of 2010 Bulletin

There is nothing feels more like summer than a bite out of juicy, fresh fruit. Find a farmers market near you to stock up on all the tastes of summer. There’s a market at Audrey Moore RECenter on Wednesday from 2-6 p.m, offering the perfect after-school getaway. Walk up and down the rows of fruit and vegetables, close your eyes, and let the refreshing smells bring back the delicious memories of summer.

Upon our arrival to the Ariana Grill Kabob in the Bradlick Shopping Center we were pleasantly greeted with warm friendly smiles. The whiffs of fresh spices from their dishes and for their marinade made our stomachs yearn for food. We were also extremely impressed with the authentic décor the restaurant displayed. We ordered our food quickly off the lunch menu. Unfortunately we had to wait approximately eight minutes due to cooking time for our food to arrive. After eating the best gyros we have ever had we definitely recommend the Gyro Platter. The Gyro Platter consists of a fresh Greek salad, pita bread, roasted lamb and French fries. The crisp Greek salad is a great compliment to the piping hot


A-2. Mantu – “Steamed dumplings filled with chopped beef, herbs and onions topped with yogurt and sautéed mixed vegetables” E-2. Kabuli Palow – “Tender chunks of lamb under a heaping pile of sweet carrot stripes and raisins over rice with your choice of one side” K-4. Bone In Chicken thigh – “Chicken thigh marinated in fresh herbs and char broiled” P-3. Falafel Sandwich – “Chickpeas fritters, lettuce, tom, cucumber and hummus spread” K-8. Kabob Combo – “The best of both worlds, skewered chicken and beef kabob delicately marinated and char broiled on a skewer” The Ariana Grill Kabob not only has the perfect ambiance but they get food right! They serve

traditional Afghan style cuisine, fresh bread and kabobs. All of their dishes are healthy and have minimal calories and low levels of fat. Besides the fact that the food is healthy, it is extremely delicious. Head on up to the Ariana Grill Kabob for an amazing cultural food experience!

Issue 1  

Freshmen face their first full day as new AHS students AHS administrators have changed traditional rules suggestions about how to enjoy the...

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