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LEESBURG, VA- A Chick-fil-A franchise has finally come to Leesburg. However, for a certain few, it means much more than their favorite food being closer to home. To be one of the lucky 100 to earn Chick-fil-A for a year, over 140 people arrived at the restaurant by 5:30 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday, November 31st. And yes, the store didn’t open until Thursday. Forty people would be turned away as a raffle was conducted to decide who could stay and fight for the opportunity to get 52 free meals. People came from all over the country. Avid fan John Clark traveled from Pennsylvania for his 82nd Chick-fil-A grand opening. He described his experience, saying, “I have only been turned away twenty times. These events are special.” Suspense was at a premium as even the people who showed up the earliest were not guaranteed a spot. After the lucky 100 were chosen, there was a mad rush to claim a spot in the

parking lot and set up a tent. After the tents were set up, the first line check occurred. The managers lined everyone up to make sure all the contestants were still there, and everyone missing was immediately disqualified from the competition.

To be one of the lucky 100 to earn Chick-fil-A for a year, over 140 people arrived at the restaurant by 5:30 a.m. During each line check, more and more people dropped out, either because they were caught leaving or they just couldn’t handle being there anymore. After each line check, morale was boosted with a free Chick-fil-A meal. The meals were

chicken biscuits for breakfast, chicken strips for lunch, chicken nuggets for a midday snack, and for dinner, contestants were able to go inside and order anything off the menu. The company used dinner as an opportunity to train the new employees. They did well, making minimal mistakes and delivering the food to the customers’ tables. The food was better than ever, as it was all fresh out of the brand new fryer. Night came and went; people woke up at 5:00 a.m. to retrieve their coupons. The last line check was conducted and the contestants walked in a single file line, wearing free Chickfil-A shirts and hats, into the building to get their gifts. They were greeted by clapping employees and the famous Chick-fil-A cow. As the sun rose, the parking lot became filled not with tents and campers, but happy customers enjoying a wholesome company.

Right now, a young adult is celebrating their sixteenth birthday. The teen of the hour’s hopes are high, the promise of a freshly-minted driver’s license and its freedom swirling in their mind. In mere seconds, music begins to swell in the room, enhancing the excitement. However, the only noise emanating from anywhere in earshot is a trusting father jingling keys. In a brief exchange of hugs and heartfelt warnings, the new driver is out the door. The father does not know what will happen on the road tonight, but he knows he just let a weapon escape into the open. According to the Department of Transportation, over four thousand teens’ lives were claimed by automobile accidents in 2008. Even though this statistic is down from nine thousand deaths in 1975, the number is still staggering. When analyzing the crash data of the country, the DoT concluded that sixteen is the riskiest age for drivers, not just because of their inexperience with driving, but also their lack of better judgment.

please see DRIVE (page 6)

Weighted GPAs, Helpful or Harmful?

By: Meilan Solly LEESBURG, VA- If you happen to have an F on your report card, just tell your parents that a 67% means “good.” (At least it does in Poland.) Or, if you have an F in an AP class, remind dear old mom and dad that AP classes are weighted, so your GPA will receive a 1.0 GPA bump. As long as they don’t read the Student Handbook, they won’t know students actually have to pass the course to get the bump. In Loudoun County, some classes are weighted, meaning students taking these classes receive GPA bumps. The following courses are weighted as follows: honors classes (0.5), AP classes (1.0), Academy of Science (0.5), and dual enrollment (0.5). Weighted GPAs affect students in terms of

class rank, but otherwise they don’t actually count for very much. Some people may believe colleges look at weighted GPAs, but in reality most don’t. So then, what is the whole point of GPAs, and what do they really do? At the end of junior year and each semester of senior year, senior class rank is calculated. Many factors affect GPAs, and subsequently rank, but the choice of taking honors classes is the most important. One GPA bump that has become the subject of slight controversy is the AOS GPA bump. Many people have differing opinions on this bump. Interestingly, AOS itself was not in favor of the bump because they do not want students to go to AOS just for the GPA boost. An anonymous user com-

mented on the Loudoun Schools blog saying, “AOS grade weighting has had a significant effect on class ranking. If your son or daughter is competing for a ranking in the top 10 and they do not attend AOS, they need to have the maximum number of honors classes, AP classes, and get an A+ in almost every class just to make [it.]” Mrs. Connell, a guidance counselor at Tuscarora stated quite the opposite: “The only advantage [AOS students have] is in freshman and sophomore year… [otherwise there is] not much of an advantage.” She shared the fact that 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places of the senior class rank are not held by AOS students; one must take into account, however, the fact that only one Tuscarora senior attends AOS. Adam Kight, a junior who attends AOS, believes the bump helps students not feel stressed. They know if they mess up in one quarter, their GPA will not be greatly affected. He says the AOS bump is fair because classes there are “more college based. They involve self teaching and study [and] delve deeper into subjects.” Freshman Jacqueline Callejas agrees that AOS students work hard so they deserve the bump. She does point out, however, that the AOS bump “sucks for [non-AOS students.] We don’t have a chance to get that bump.” One worry most students share is fear of college. To be considered for the best colleges, students must have stellar grades and an abundance of extracurricular activities. Some see their GPAs as indicators of their capacity to get into college. Mrs. Connell explains, however, that while Tuscarora sends weighted GPAs to colleges, colleges convert them back to unweighted GPAs. She says college admission officers glance at weighted GPAs but use unweighted ones so applicants are at an equal level. As for the real purpose of weighted GPAs, Mrs. Connell says, “We debate that all the time.”

What is the National Honor Society?

By: Dagney Palmer LEESBURG, VA– What is the National Honor Society? In the words of one of its sponsors, Mrs. Courtney, “[NHS is] an organization of students who use their talents to serve the community and inspire others to do the same.” The national organization was established to honor students who demonstrate excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. “Students work with others like them who are interested in taking charge of service projects for their school and community,” Mrs. Courtney explained. The purpose of NHS is not only to recognize and honor successful students, but to challenge and encourage them to remain involved in school activities and community service. As stated in the NHS constitution, the goal of the organization is “to create enthusiasm for scholarship, stimulate a desire to render service, and promote leadership in the students of secondary schools.” There are

Staff List Megan Ford.......................................Editor-in-Chief James Cassar.......................................Layout Editor Jack Minchew...............................Technology Editor Michael Nerantzis................................Sports Editor Lili Samios.............................. Entertainment Editor Meilan Solly............................................Copy Editor Forest Langhorne....................Advertising Manager Brandon Ford.........................................Staff Writer Dominic Gavan.......................................Staff Writer Shalom Montero....................................Staff Writer Dagney Palmer.......................................Staff Writer Danny Sedlazak.....................................Staff Writer Erica Walker...........................................Staff Writer Liz Staley ..................................Newspaper Advisor

many benefits of being involved in NHS, like the opportunities for service and leadership that are available through the organization. Teachers and students alike agree that membership in NHS is an extremely valuable addition to any application or recommendation. “It is a plus for a college or job resume,” said Mrs. Courtney. The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) started the National Honor Society in 1921 under the leadership of Dr. Edward Rynearson, a high school principal in Pittsburgh, PA. It was then that the society was equipped with its own constitution, emblem, and motto.In 1929, the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) was formed for middle school students, and it possesses its own constitution and handbook. The NJHS was formed with the same goal in mind but with the added purpose of citizenship. To be a member of the National Honor Society, students must fill out an application, get recommendations from two teachers, and write an essay. The nomination process opened October 1st of this year, and the deadline for nomination is January 12th, 2012. Selection is made by a vote of the The Husky Headline serves as an open forum of public expression for the students and teachers of Tuscarora High School. We are committed to delivering relevant, accurate news - which means we want to hear from you! We welcome your opinion. Opinions may be expressed in letters to the editor and can be sent to the staff at Please include your name and class standing in all letters to the editor.

five-member faculty council. Those who are selected get to participate in a special induction ceremony (ours was held Tuesday, December 6th during Advisory). Once a member, each student assumes specific obligations that include personal and group community service. At least one million students participate in NHS. Chapters can be found in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, many United States territories, and Canada. There is standard selection criteria set by the NASSP for becoming a member of NHS. First of all, a student must possess a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale). Secondly, the student must show voluntary contributions to the school/community without direct financial or material compensation. Some chapters require a specific quantity of hours for a student to be considered. Next, the student must show developed leadership skills by being a good problem-solver who is involved in or promotes school activities, contributes ideas, and who is “both organized and an organizer” (from the NHS website). Lastly, students applying for membership in NHS must demonstrate good and reliable character by upholding ethical and moral principles, showing cooperation and responsibility, and being please see NHS (page 6)

The Husky Headline is written, edited, and designed by students from Tuscarora High School. All opinions expressed in this publication are those of the individual writer. The views published in this newspaper are not necessarily those of the Tuscarora High School administration, faculty, staff, or student body.

OPINION: Taking It Too Far By: Michael Nerantzis

Photo Credit: Christopher S. Penn

The holiday displays on the Loudoun County courthouse lawn became a controversy last year because some viewed their content as disrespectful; now nine new holiday displays for the 2011 holiday season are up and causing more outrage in the community. In an attempt to save the reputation of the Town of Leesburg, I am calling for an end to all displays on the courthouse lawn. Beltway Atheists Incorporated is using the courthouse property as a platform to mock the beliefs of others and justify their actions by invoking their free speech rights. According to Nancy McCormick, of Loudoun County Public Affairs and Communications, the lone display since 1979 has been a nativity scene which was provided by Debbie and Dennis Welch

through the Rotary Club of Leesburg. Last year around the holidays Beltway Atheists Incorporated began exercising their freedom of speech by erecting an obnoxious green sign with an anticreator message on it. It was a big deal in the town; however, it did not spark as much public uproar as this year’s displays. This holiday season two displays from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (no, this is not a joke), a skeleton Santa Claus nailed to a cross, and two Beltway Atheists signs will be accompanying the nativity scene on the courthouse lawn. According to an article from The Loudoun Times -Mirror, the creator of the Santa Skeleton, Jeff Heflin, wrote on his application for the display “[It shows] society’s materialistic obsessions and addictions and how it is killing the peace, love, joy, and kindness that is supposed to be prevalent during the holiday season.” It would be one thing if the groups were celebrating their religion. They are, however, maliciously attacking other religions and beliefs and then trying to justify their actions by saying it’s their Constitutional right. Ironically, the people who wrote the Constitution built this country on Christian values. I have absolutely no respect for the individuals who are responsible for the displays. What is anyone actually getting out of the displays? Are the Atheists getting comfort? Does it make them feel warm inside? Does it make Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, or people of any other religion feel good? What is the actual purpose of putting up signs that put down

someone else’s religion? “We’ve put up many banners celebrating reason and science and promoting the Separation of Church and State,” says Eric Santiago, Director of Beltway Atheist. In this it seems as if Beltway Atheist is clearly trying to make a joke of the religious holidays and ruin holiday spirit at the same time. These displays leave a shadow on the town as well. They are already a big story in the local and national news, and it’s a matter of time before Jay Leno jumps on them. If the town is trying to encourage people to come visit so businesses will grow, it sure doesn’t help when you have Santa Claus nailed to a cross and billboards with John Lennon looking “high” wherever you walk. Will parents be comfortable taking their kids downtown with the displays up? “Hey, Mommy, look! The Board of Supervisors killed Santa!” It’s funny to think that just four months ago the Town of Leesburg was recognized as being the fourth best place in the country to live, according to a CNN report. Personally, I believe it isn’t a bragging point to say you live here at the moment. With respect for the First Amendment and the perception of the town in jeopardy, I say we take down the displays altogether. If a select few have decided to ruin it for the rest of us, then so be it.

New School Board By: Jack Minchew

Every four years a new School Board is elected along with county supervisors and constitutional officers such as Sheriff, Commonwealth’s Attorney, and Treasurer. The School Board controls everything about Loudoun County Public Schools, from planning new schools to ensuring that the school system meets federal and state requirements for education. The school system receives close to 70% of the county’s $919 million revenue, and the school board controls all of this money. School Board members, plus one at-large member, are elected from the 8 election districts of Loudoun County. Most students at Tuscarora live in the Leesburg, Catoctin, or Ashburn District. In this November’s election, the School Board saw a significant backlash against incumbent members in favor of younger candidates promising change and increased transparency. Among those incumbents to lose their re-election bids were the current School Board chairman, John Stevens, who lost in the Algonkian District (formerly the Potomac District) to Debbie Rose, a well known parent activist; Vice-Chairman Priscilla Godfrey, who lost in the Blue Ridge District to Jill Turgeon, a second grade teacher; and finally in the Leesburg District, Tom Marshall, who was unseated by Bill Fox, a former teacher, by a margin of less than 100 votes. Three other current Board members declined to run for reelection. The Leesburg District comprises the entire town of Leesburg and contains neighborhoods such as Exeter and Downtown. The current Leesburg District School Board Member is Tom Marshall. However, in the recent election, Mr. Marshall lost his re-election bid to Bill Fox, a former teacher whose campaign focused primarily on increasing accountability and financial responsibility. Mr. Fox supports changing how the school system administers the state mandated Standards of Learning exams (SOLs). “The school board can direct school administrators to deemphasize the SOL tests,” he said in a recent interview. “Teachers can spend more time focusing on those key concepts and helping students to develop the higher order thinking skills that are essential for success.” Fox also supports allowing public-private charter schools into Loudoun County, not just underperforming districts. He also supports so-called “performance pay” for teachers, where teachers would be compensated based on effectiveness, as opposed to the current scheme, where teacher pay is based on college degrees and how long they have worked in LCPS. “Not all teachers with lots of education and/or experience are more effective, and not all newer teachers with bachelor’s degrees are less effective,” he said. Fox had harsh words for the new LCPS technology plan, which has drawn criticism for planning to purchase digital please see SCHOOL (page 6)

Are The Shows From Our Childhood Coming Back? By: Lili Samios LEESBURG, VA- Do you remember kids getting slimed? What about getting pies in the face? Do you remember being able to vote for the cartoons you wanted to watch? Well, Nickelodeon remembers. Nickelodeon recently brought back some of their 90s cartoons and TV shows, including All That, Kenan and Kel, Doug, Rugrats, Hey Arnold, and Are You Afraid of the Dark? You would be hard pressed to find a high school student who doesn’t remember at least one of those shows from their childhood. It is wonderful to watch shows that you barely remember from when you were little and ones you can’t help but love. The interns at Nickelodeon were the ones who came up with this idea. They started by researching on the Internet if there would be any interest in watching re-aired 90s TV shows. Millions responded on Facebook saying they would be interested. So, Nickelodeon executives decided to bring back 90s shows and cartoons for a few hours each day, starting at midnight. There is even the opportunity to vote for which episodes you want to watch on Friday nights. On the website you can also look at the lineup of shows for each night and watch full episodes and clips. You can visit the website,, for more details. The re-airing of Nickelodeon shows has been an immediate success, popping up all over Twitter. People really seem to be interested in watching all these old shows, but what about high school students. Are they interested? One junior, Jenny Cartwright, said that TV shows from the 90s were “way better than the TV shows that are on now.” Many other students from all different grades share her opinion.

Even if students are interested in these classic shows, do they even know they are still on TV? When asked if she knew about Nickelodeon re-airing old shows Cartwright said, “No. Maybe I should start watching more TV.” When asked what some of her favorite shows were she listed Angry Beavers, Rugrats, Scooby Doo, and As Told by Ginger. She added, “I would still watch them if they came back on.” Many students would be interested in watching the shows from their childhood, but many don’t even know that they are still on TV. Nickelodeon plans to air Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, All That, The Amanda Show, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Catdog, Clarissa Explains it All, Double Dare, Doug, Hey Arnold!, Kenan & Kel, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Nickelodeon GUTS, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocket Power, Rocko’s Modern Life, Rugrats, Salute Your Shorts, and The Secret World Of Alex Mack. With all these shows airing, everyone should be able to find at least one they remember. Some of these shows and more are available to watch on YouTube. Perhaps if these shows are successful enough on Nickelodeon, then other channels will start bringing back classics from the 90s.

THiS is SOUND MIXTAPES: Created by Devilishly Handsome JAMES CASSAR. Jingling All the Way More than Arnold Schwarzenegger. On Deck This Week: Even Ebenezer Scrooge Can’t Resist This Gnarly Holiday Playlist When I lived in the Great Lakes State, this ‘lite pop’ standard station 105.1 started playing Christmas (or holiday music, if I’m aiming to be politically correct) the day after Halloween. That’s right, a full month and a half before anyone’s thinking about baking an obscene amount of sugary goods and watching Elf Uncut (what was cut before? Zooey Deschanel’s indie-vixen awkwardness?) on USA while wrapping presents that may or may not be regifted, you can hear Gayla Peevey rant about her wanting a hippopotamus for Christmas. I’m not saying that disappoints me, but hearing Adam Levine flaunting his moves like Jagger one day and getting a listen of ‘Christmas Shoes’ in 48 hours makes for a pretty botched playlist. But I digress, it’s quintessential mood music. Let’s set the mood the right way. Extremely Alluring James Cassar Returns For His Second MIXTAPES Column With A Playlist That Both Your Grandma Can Knit Hipster Sweaters To And Your Best Friends Can Play Yet Another Round of Modern Warfare 3 To While Cursing the Day You Spent $60 On That Atrocity. The Maine: “Santa Stole My Girlfriend” I didn’t attend YouthFest like everyone and their Loudoun County mothers this past summer (I didn’t mosh with the best at the Vans Warped Tour either, which goes to show how fitting it is that my name rhymes with ‘lame’), but apparently this outfit was the big bad headliner. As much as I’d like to say that acoustic ditty has nothing in common with Taylor Swift’s entire discography, it’s a shame that it does. However, I absolve the sin. Why? It’s a pretty funny song. Even though they take it pretty seriously, cursing out Saint Nick and talking about the big red fat man being a womanizer is golden. A Day to Remember: “Right Where You Want Me to Be” There are two types of Christmas songs: standard holiday fare that’s obviously themed around this magical season, and there’s something I call ‘secular Santa’ music that doesn’t sound like Christmas music at all. These broskis from Ocala, Florida issued a B-side collection around the same time I dropped ship in Virginia with this song on it. It took me about six million listens to realize this was a Christmas song. It is (awkwardly so), but since everything ADTR pummels out on stereo is about as tasty as Five Guys and Avril Lavigne’s newly-single status, ‘tis the freakin’ season regardless.

Bob Dylan: “It Must Be Santa” After reading the Steve Jobs biography and learning about how much he resembled Ebenezer Scrooge in a lot of ways other than his epic beard, I also took away that his favorite artist was Dylan. I could see why. The man has been at it for almost half-a-century, he writes a full-blown Christmas album for charity, and includes this ditty that puts Irish-pub-punkers the Dropkick Murphys to shame for three minutes. Even though this is one of the more playful songs in Dylan’s catalog, it’s definitely one that’s memorable. Trust me, it caught me off guard; I’m used to Dylan’s signature stories. New Found Glory: “Ex-Miss” A review of this album on called it “horrible music for families and parents.” Okay, not to be the bearer of bad news, naïve customer, but right on the blasted packaging it calls for ‘A Punk Rock Christmas.’ Of course you’re bound to have standard Christmas tunes (including a rather awesome cover of ‘War Is Over’ by Acceptance), but snot-nosed brats bent on shaking the fruitcake out of you in the frosty mosh pit are sure to be a little wisecracking and cynical. Take a play from the finest example of pop-punk’s pioneers. “Everything that could have went wrong went wrong this year.” Cool story, you negative Nancy. Shut up and eat some gingerbread. Explosions in the Sky: “Your Hand In Mine” I’m concluding this playlist with a song that’s blatantly not seasonal on the basis that it can be a holiday track if you really think about it. Imagine standing outside in the snow. It’s coming down from the sky in blankets. This song is reaching its powerful crescendo in your ears. Taking the scene in is what the holiday is, right? Appreciating everything around you – the family, the friends, the food – not just the presents you unwrap on that fateful Sunday or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or whatever Pastafarians celebrate. Just remember, it’s a time to think. From us at ThiS is SOUND, happy holidays.

WANT MORE SOUND? Check out the rest of the article, with songs from TAKING BACK SUNDAY, AUGUST BURNS RED, and RELIENT K at THEHUSKYHEADLINE.COM!



Dionte Fitts celebrates a sack against Park View in Tuscarora’s second Homecoming game.

Firelit Banter With Evan Cowling

All Good Things Must Come to an End

LEESBURG, VA- “I think I don’t try as much as I could or should,” said senior Evan Cowling to me in a very relaxed and confident tone. Truthfully, if you were to say that, you’d have to be very happy with yourself, but with a humbleness and intelligence few have. Just a short conversation with Evan reveals a learned young man who is honest enough to see his own flaws, but not in a way that paints himself as a victim. In essence, he’s a true realist. One would think that a respectable, extremely intelligent, and humble young man would go far in life. At least his natural abilities would make up for his apathy. Evan started varsity football for the past two years but was frequently out due a serious concussion and other assorted injuries. “My GPA is below 2 unweighted, but I scored above 1900 on my SATs with no prep at all,” said Evan. This was extremely shocking, to me at least, when I first heard it.

LEESBURG, VA- The Tuscarora Huskies wrapped up their second season with a record of 9-3 (6-2 in the district) and a berth in the playoffs, the first in the history of the program. Throughout the season the Huskies used a ground based offense, which was led by senior Cameron Molina, who ran for 1292 yards and 18 touchdowns on 219 carries. The Huskies had a stifling defense which only allowed 18 points per game and held opponents to ten points or under five times this season. The Huskies also faced some tough competition this year, as they faced teams such as the defending state champions Briar Woods, Loudoun County, and Heritage. Their three losses this year were all nothing to be ashamed of, since the combined record of the opponents that defeated them was 33-6. The Huskies opened the season with a game against Millbrook, whom they soundly defeated 27-10 behind an astounding 286 yards rushing by Adrien Stinger, Warren Miles, Cameron Molina

By: Danny Sedlazek

By: Brandon Ford

please see COWLING (page 6)

Michael Nerantzis

By The Numbers



Edwin Mends, Josh Middleton, and Chad Carrerra. A few weeks later, in perhaps one of the most anticipated showdowns in the short history of Tuscarora football, as the Loudoun County Raiders visited Tuscarora in a showdown of Leesburg rivals. The Huskies were looking for revenge after a 49-0 clobbering at the hands of the Raiders last season. “We entered the game with a different mindset,” said senior Edwin Mends. “After we lost to them last year we basically had no choice but to win.” The Huskies jumped out to an early 13-0 at the end of the first quarter and by the time the final whistle sounded, the Tuscarora Huskies had defeated the Loudoun County Raiders 16-9, a far cry from the 49-0 Raiders victory last year. Cameron Molina ran for 111 yards and one touchdown, while wide receiver Alden Carpenter had a standout game, catching four passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. The next game was against the defending state champions, the Briar Woods Falcons, and the Huskies suffered their first defeat of the season 38-0. The Huskies responded in their next game with a 32-19 win over the Potomac Falls Panthers, where quarterback Chad Carrerra had a stand-out game, going 20 for 29 with two touchdowns and 310 yards. Edwin Mends was the leading receiver in the game, catching four passes for eighty nine yards and a touchdown. The next week was Tuscarora’s second annual homecoming against the Park View Patriots. Most fans were expecting an easy victory, but this was anything but that. The Huskies’ offense came out flat and by halftime the game was scoreless. The Patriots took a 3-0 lead going into the fourth quarter, and it seemed that an upset was on the horizon for the Huskies. However, that was not to be, as the Huskies outscored the Patriots 13-6 in the final quarter for a 13-9 victory and Adrien Stinger scored the game winning touchdown on a four yard run. After an easy couple of weeks, the Huskies had their first ever home playoff game against Warren County. The game was a low scoring affair until the fourth quarter, where the Huskies outscored Warren County 21-7 and ended up winning the game 28-21 behind Cameron Molina’s 123 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. The Huskies advanced to the second round, where they faced undefeated Kettle Run, a team that ended their season with a score of 32-0. “We are proud of our players,” said Head Coach Michael Burnett. “Wins and losses mean less than the effort and commitment that our players show throughout the year. This was a great group of people whom we are very proud of. The fact that we went 9-3 is just a testament to their passion, discipline, and commitment. I anticipate similar results for the years to come, given the character of the younger members of our team.” Making the playoffs is very impressive for a team that is only in its second season in existence. please see FOOTBALL (page 6)



Head to head record Record of the Eagles, Last time the Eagles Quarterback rating of the self proclaimed of the Redskins and Eagles quarterback didn’t make the “Dream Team” at the Eagles. playoffs. They went Michael Vick. Below beginning of the The Redskins lead the his career average by 6-10 that season season series by ten games two points

NHS (from page 2)

thoroughly honest and reliable. They must show respect, courtesy, and concern for others, and be a good citizen. As for Tuscarora’s NHS chapter, Mrs. Courtney said, “Any [junior or senior] who meets the academic requirement and can demonstrate above-average commitment to community service and has taken on leadership roles is offered membership in NHS.” As said before, this year’s new NHS members were inducted on December 6th. After this they had to commit to a personal community service project for the 2011-2012 school year. The current NHS members selected a group community service project at their November meeting. They are going to hold fundraisers to help fund computers for the residents of Good Hope House, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. that provides housing and support to previously homeless families. All NHS members are personally going to collect a backpack filled with school supplies for the Good Hope House.

COWLING (from page 5)

Yet those numbers paint the picture of who Evan is. “[Last year] I missed a large chunk of school due to a concussion. When I came back to AP Bio, my teacher handed me a stack of missing work. I told her right there I didn’t intend to do any of it, and she threw it away on the spot. I’m not the type to do one block of missing work, nevertheless more than a month’s worth,” Evan said. However, he never looks down on himself about his work ethic. His philosophy of life is the most interesting part about Evan. Mixed with his very honest realism, he’s the type of guy who can say anything about himself, but he never comes off as conceited or whiny and depressed. The future is something Evan doesn’t worry that much about. “I see myself going to NOVA, and maybe when I’m there I’ll find my passion and I’ll start trying and transfer up to a much better school. Maybe I’ll just graduate from NOVA and try to find work that way. I want to work in a biology lab, but you can’t say for certain if that is actually going to happen. People change so much in 10 years it’ll be hard to say whether or not I’ll approve of [my high school self]. If I’m not, say, a hobo, [and] I’m making ends meet, I think I’ll be happy with who I was.” His humbleness extends even to his perceptions of how others view him. Playing on varsity football team for these past two years has kindled a very close relationship between him and his coaches. But he believes that they view him the same way he views himself. “I think [the coaches] would say ‘He’s not very motivated, but when he puts effort into something, he can really do some impressive things.’” At times, though, his humbleness is absurd. “I think that I’m a very forgettable person. I doubt my teachers will have anything to say about me 10 years from now.” I beg to differ.

Texting-and-driving is quickly becoming the closet killer, but law enforcement is bent on stopping this motorist monster in its tracks. First-time offenders are required to pay a fine of $20; repeat offenses can cost an auto-texter $50 or more. Even though misdemeanors still run rampant in 140 characters or less, it’s a step in the right direction in order to curb distracted drivers. Another disconcerting statistic comes from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Most accidents occur from 9 p.m. to midnight. Although most drivers under 18 are off the asphalt by the wee hours, teens flirt with illicit substances and

First-time offenders are required to pay a fine of $20; repeat offenses can cost an auto-texter $50 or more. drive regardless of the consequences. Driver education classes try to instill better behavior before their pupils get behind the wheel, but with great power comes great supposed invincibility. Senior Gene Kelley concludes, “If you’re smart enough to drink in moderation, then you’re smart enough to know that one drink can be too much.” Fellow upperclassman Caty Beegen adds, “Remember: you’re driving a heavy piece of machinery. One false move and someone could die.” Morbid as that seems it’s the turbulent truth. Driving and drinking mix a dangerous cocktail and your fellow students are keen enough to know it. The sound of the garage opening jostles the nervous father from a restless, worried sleep. Moments pass before his child walks steadily through the door, unscathed and sober. A weight seems to be lifted off both of their shoulders. The keys return to a more veteran driver. They both sleep soundly, knowing that when much is given, much is tested, but it takes a safe driver to make the most of that opportunity.

FOOTBALL (from page 5)

“The biggest challenge is getting players to realize the benefits of hard work,” he said. “Most programs don't put in the time and effort that we do, and getting kids to come every day all year long to prepare for the fall is a difficult process. The other challenge is getting the community support, and that is what was so great about this season. Our student section was better than any other school that we faced, and that is amazing at a new school. We are very grateful for the support our students gave us throughout the season.” The main difference between last year’s team and this year’s team was, according to Coach Burnett, “experience. Last year none of our kids had been on the field in any meaningful varsity action, and at times that showed. This year was a different story. Our players knew what to expect out there and were very prepared. They worked extremely hard in the off season and that hard work was rewarded.”

Loudoun County is taking well-calculated steps to educate young drivers. This sector of Northern Virginia has been experiencing a steep hike in population since the late 1980s. Seeing how this puts more drivers at risk, the school system’s driver education program is packaged with an informative and humbling Partners in Safe Driving presentation that not only reinforces the laws outlined in class, but gives students a sharp dose of the reality of reckless driving. “Teenagers are way too confident in their abilities,” remarked junior Logan Feierbach. “They think they’re invincible [and] make some really stupid decisions.” This generation is easily the most preoccupied yet, with their iCulture blending in seamlessly to their daily routines.


DRIVE (from page 1)

SCHOOL (from page 3)

devices such as tablets for all students, saying, “I do not believe we have thought this through adequately.” Students who live in Lansdowne are part of the Ashburn District. In past years, students from Lansdowne were represented by Bob Ohneiser from the Broad Run District, but due to redistricting, they are now represented by Eric Hornberger, who won in a crowded 5-way race in the newly created Ashburn District. Mr. Hornberger is new to the board, but is not new to working with the school system. As a parent and community activist, Mr. Hornberger circulated a petition that led to the decision to create a new high school in Lansdowne, co-authored a school attendance plan, and was appointed to a working group to analyze schools in Dulles. Hornberger agrees with Mr. Fox in terms of working with the state legislature to deemphasize SOLs. He also supports charter schools in Loudoun, especially to meet a growing demand for more school infrastructure. Hornberger was also critical of the new technology plan. “I believe it to be financially unsustainable and educationally inappropriate,” he said in a recent interview. Hornberger’s top priority will be open three new schools in

Mr. Reed dismisses claims that the school board can do anything to change how SOLs are administers but would like to see SOL testing moved to the end of the year. Ashburn to relieve overcrowding in current schools. Tom Reed was one of the few surviving incumbents, easily winning a 3-way race against current Broad Run District school board member Bob Ohneiser and challenger Jay Bose for the at-large seat on the School Board. Mr. Reed dismisses claims that the school board can do anything to change how SOLs are administers but would like to see SOL testing moved to the end of the year. Reed did vote for the new technology plan and asserts that all costs from the technology plan can be covered under the current budget. Mr. Reed also succeeded in adding a $250 tax credit for families that purchase technology for education on their own. One specific goal of his is to implement full-day kindergarten in Loudoun County. The large remainder of students who do not live in either Lansdowne or inside Leesburg town limits will continue to be represented by Jennifer Bergel, who also won re-election despite a firm challenger. Mrs. Bergel did not respond to requests for an interview.

One of the largest skyscrapers in all of Germany. It is a headquarters for DeutschBank. Skyscrapers are rare in Europe, because citizens think they are of bad taste.

Sunset on one of the most popular tourist streets in Frankfurt. It has been described as ‘a slice of Amsterdam’.

Caramel and chocolate apples are very commonplace in Christmas markets. They go for as low as .50 Euros. How could you pass up that?

The 11th grade chemistry class isn’t too different from ours. Most students are actually fluent in English and only stumble when searching for words.

LEESBURG, VA- I wake up late. I have to sprint out the door and down the stairs to even be close to catching the bus. My brother and I arrive just in time. It is three Euros for the ride to school, and when I sit down all is hear is a foreign language. It’s safe to say that I’m not in Kansas anymore. From November 18th to December 3rd, I spent my time in a small German town called Hoffhiem. This experience, for most kids, would seem like a vacation, for me it was an eye-opening and educational trip. Main-Taunaus Kries is a county in Germany right near Frankfurt. It is very similar to Loudoun County, and for this reason we are sister counties. This connection was set up by the George Marshall Society. This connection has several benefits for county officials, including being able to see how each other’s county government works. It also is very beneficial for 16-year-olds in both counties, due to a foreign exchange program named SPEP. I was lucky enough to be part of the tenth SPEP trip, and it was a truly amazing exchange. I spent my stay with a host family. All of its members were fluent in more than two languages. The first thing I noticed about Germany was how educated all of its citizens were. My host brother spoke German, English, and Japanese fluently. He’s sixteen and is taking Calculus BC. Oh yeah, did I mention he skipped a grade? I thought students like this were an anomaly until I spent two days at his school and learned how much more intelligent than me the average German was. The school, however, was not where I spent most of my time. Every student was required to work at an internship they believed matched their potential career options. I was an intern in the Media Relations department of the county. Obviously I am a member of the Tuscarora newspaper, so this job showed me a lot about being extremely timely and having an immense work load. My trip wasn’t all about work, though; there was a healthy amount of play and exploration. As a group we got to visit several castles and Christmas markets all around the Frankfurt-Rhein-Mein area. Each castle felt so unique and unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my entire life. However, the Germans didn’t seem as much in awe at how interesting these castles were. This is because of the enormous amount of history and culture found in all of Europe. It makes me so envious of all the ancient history found everywhere in Germany. The U.S. is such a young country that we just don’t have access to that kind of ancient history. The Native Americans also did not leave many permanent settlements, so no ancient temples for us. Christmas markets are an extremely important German tradition. There are markets in almost every town in Germany. They sell traditional food and lots of Christmas-related items. These markets also have carousels and street performers. They were one of the most frequented places I went in Germany because of how festive and cultural they are. German culture is similar enough to ours to make you feel at home, yet different enough to be a treat. I urge anyone interested in the rest of the world to visit the other side of the Atlantic. Experience Germany through a foreign exchange program or just a vacation, and it will open your mind to how another side to the world works.

Unlike us, Germany operates on a 24-hour clock instead of A.M. and P.M. I found this much easier because I never had to look for small letters.

An example of the artistic architecture found in Germany. It is evident how much they respect great architecture when you enter shopping malls and gander at the crazy designs.

The 50-ft Christmas tree is the centerpoint for the main Christmas Market in Frankfurt. Christmas trees are actually a German tradition.

This is the front view of the school where I spent two days of my trip. Their schools do not resemble our schools, and no two schools are the same in the county.

December 2011 Edition  
December 2011 Edition  

The December 19, 2011 edition of the THS student newspaper