Page 1

The Pitch

Walter Johnson High School

, : e d i t s u In ck o e h C

September 30, 2013

Volume 59, Issue 1

6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD 20814

New state policy can put cyberbullies behind bars

EDITORIAL pgs. 5-8


Photo by Sarah Schecker

Because of Grace’s Law, people can be arrested and spend up to a year in prison for cyberbullying as long as it was with the intent to inflict serious emotional distress on a minor or place them in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.

Grace’s Law makes cyberbullying a finable and jailable offense

By Izzy Salant

FEATURE pgs. 13-16

Can cyber-bullying land someone in jail? According to a new law passed and enacted in Maryland, the answer is yes. The piece of legislation is entitled “Grace’s Law” after Howard County high schooler Grace McComas who committed suicide last year after being harassed on the Internet. It requires the offender(s) to pay up to $500 in fines, and possibly serve up to one year in prison.

According to, “The bill states that a person cannot use a social media site to intentionally [inflict] ‘serious emotional distress on a minor or place a minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.’” In other words, teens and other social media users cannot use these social networking sites to cause others emotional trauma or harm or scare someone into thinking they could be injured or even killed. The bill, sponsored by Senator

Allan Kittleman of Olney, passed Maryland’s House of Representatives unanimously, and passed the Senate on April 4, 2013. Principal Jennifer Baker, as well as grade administrators, held assemblies Friday, Aug. 31 to discuss the new polices in the school, as well as review old ones, one of which was Grace’s Law. Baker explained why they discussed the topic.

“Grace,” continued on page 4

Guide to G-Square: How to eat healthy at lunch By Annika LaVina

SPORTS pgs. 17-20

As the school year progresses, healthy eating and fitness seem to drop down to the bottom of students’ priorities, buried under long hours of homework, fall football games and the occasional (daily) dose of drama. Students start to shell out the bucks on greasy, fattening but convenient foods, losing sight of their slowly worsening health and rapidly increasing waistlines. MostWildcats aren’t aware of the heaping amounts of sodium and fat hidden in basic meals, such as a regular Chipotle burrito, or the $5 deal at Flippin’ Pizza. Luckily, healthier options are always available at popular Georgetown Square eateries that don’t deprive you of your favorite foods. By being smart, healthier and cheaper lunch options are definitely possible during the school year.

“Guide,” continued on page 9

Graphic by Audrey Marek, information from, and





SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

WJPITCH.COM M O R F Like The Pitch on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! @TheWJPitch Local News Update: Navy Yard Update

By Tenni Idler and ElizabethWinter

This story is a summary of events that took place at the Navy Yard on Sept. 16. Sources are cited at the end of the article. Tragedy struck close to home Monday morning as the D.C area experienced another mass shooting at the Washington NavyYard, resulting in the loss of 12 lives, nine men and three women. The victims consisted of civilians and contractors, many of whom were eating breakfast in the cafeteria when they were shot at from a landing above. The perpetrator is now believed to be 34-year-old Navy reservist Aaron Alexis, who was

By Julie Gozalo-Michaud

killed in a shooting altercation with the authorities later that day. Further probing into the life of Alexis has revealed that Alexis was treated at two Department of Veterans Affair’s hospitals this year after claiming to hear voices but was never admitted to the hospital, thus allowing him to legally purchase a gun, an 870 Remington pump-action, in the state of Virginia. He also had a history of infractions with the law and superiors and was cited eight different times for minor misconduct such as insubordination. In addition, Alexis was discharged from the Navy after applying for an early discharge. After this Alexis was arrested twice, once for firing a

bullet into his upstairs neighbor’s floor. All of these incidents and signs of potential mental instability were overlooked by his employer, The Experts, a company based in Japan as well as the Defense Department who granted him his security clearance...

Student Profile: Ivanna Barrientos

A notable cast member currently in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is senior Ivanna Barrientos. Her character, Hermia, wants to be with her lover, Lysander, while her father wants her to marry Demetrius. They eventually run away together. This is Barrientos’ first time as one of the leads in a WJ production, having performed last year in ”Into the Woods” as Jack’s mother, and part of the ensemble in “Les Miserables.” “I have been an understudy for both shows that I’ve done with WJ along with a minor role in last year’s musical, so having the opportunity to play this incredible character in a play is really a wonderful opportunity for me to grow and expand my skills,” said Barrientos. But it’s definitely not Barrientos’ first time in a theater production. The thespian has shown her dedi-

cation to theater by having been involved in numerous shows in community theatre, where she was usually amongst cast mates with 10+ year differences, and has even been the lead in “All Shook up” at Rockville Musical Theater. She was also in “Hairspray” as Tracy Turnblad and Mama Noah in “Children of Eden” at Musical Theater Center, and in “Hair” and “Ragtime” in Act Two @ Levine School of Music. However, being in a community theater production and a high school...

PhotoCourtesy of Ivanna Barrientos

Thespian Barrientos onstage in WJ S*T*A*G*E’s 2012 spring production of “Les Misérables.”

For the rest of these articles, plus more, visit! LETTER FROM THE EDITORS Dear Pitch Readers, Welcome back, everyone! With the new school year comes new information, and The Pitch is here, as always, to keep you up to date. One of our major goals this year is to integrate online more often into our monthly print edition. You may have noticed that is the new homepage for all student log-ins, allowing for easy access to WJ news when you use school computers. Additionally, we will also be updating our social networking sites more often, so be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @thewjpitch. For our print monthly editions, we will continue to bring you the latest information occurring within the school and the community. This month, the issue includes a wide variety of topics ranging from new school policies and changes in staff leadership, to seasonal clothing trends and global conflicts. We hope to cover all types of stories that appeal to our diverse readership. In order to do so, we are completely open to your feedback! We want to ensure that we stay connected with our readers, and we welcome your questions, comments and concerns. Feel free to tweet us @thewjpitch, comment on our Facebook page or email us at We hope you enjoy reading, and have a great 2013-2014 school year!

Sincerely, Print Editors-in-Chief Claudia Nguyen, Emily Consentino and Online Editor-in Chief Megan Chun



SEPTEMBER 30, 2013


SGA Preview: What to look forward to this year By Sarah Schecker The start of a new school year means new things for WJ students such as new classes, new teachers, and a new SGA. The new and diverse SGA officers include senior president Bobby Ellett,VP Mary Rose Melnicki, secretary Harris Cope and treasurer Ryan Cangarlu. SGA officers have many responsibilities they must carry out, including organizing student government meetings, updating the MadCows Facebook group and Twitter account, planning fundraisers, organizing spirit weeks and spirits for fans at sporting events. Ellett expressed much excitement for everything this year, especially for Homecoming. “[The Homecoming] game, dance, movie [and] hallways [are] all going to be great,” said Ellett. The officers are also excited for Pennies for Patients and Pep Rallies.While trying to keeping up with school traditions, the officers want to change things up

a bit. New events are being planned but currently lack administration approval. “[To make new events happen] it is going to require a lot of communication with administration,” said Cangarlu. The SGA also works very closely with their advisor, Rainer Kulenkampff. Kulenkampff has been a teacher at WJ for three years and this year he is taking over the position of leadership advisor. So far, the officers said they have been working well with him and they hope to continue to work well with him throughout the year. Melnicki said that he is always there when they need him. In addition to their advisor and the administration, the SGA receives a lot of its help from the leadership class. The leadership class is split into different committees to help plan different school events. “The leadership class is involved in everything that goes on in the school,” said Cope. Working together, the leadership class and the SGA officers want to see many improvements from past years. Ellett hopes that WJ will improve its fundraising efforts. He also hopes that technology will be used more effectively. The officers are making a big push with updating the Twitter and Facebook group. The one thing the SGA hopes for most this year is to get everyone in the school as involved as possible. “We want to make sure we can get as many people involved as possible,” said Cangarlu. “We want to make sure everything is as open as possible.” Photo by Sarah Schecker

This year’s SGA Officers Bobby Ellett (Left), Mary Rose Melnicki (Center), Ryan Cangarlu (right) and Harris Cope (across) are looking forward to the activities planned for this school year.


Q & A with new leadership head: Mr. K Interview conducted by Sarah Schecker Q: How do you plan on continuing what Mr. Atencio has accomplished the past couple of years? A: I definitely have some shoes to fill. I am going to keep [this year] as true to form as possible. Q: What do you want to accomplish this year?

Photo courtesy of Rainer Kulenkampff

A: For the most part, I would like to have a big technological push. There are a lot of resources available to us that weren’t available in the past. My goal is to put it in the hands of the students. They are a big part of the community. They are the ones who understand it the best. I want to give them the opportunity to develop their leadership skills. To read the rest of the interview, visit!

Funding Education: Foundation aids schoolwide success By Claudia Nguyen Every day, students utilize the many resources and facilities readily available to them at school. Tons of money goes into funding equipment and programs for students and teachers, yet many of them do not know where that money comes from. Behind the scenes, the Education Foundation works to raise dollar after dollar solely for the benefit of the school. In order to raise money, the Foundation accepts contributions from both alumni, parents of students and the community. Both the brick walkway by the tennis courts and the sponsored seats in the auditorium provide students, parents and alumni with opportunities to support the school and leave their mark. The Education Foundation was originally formed in 2006 to help fund enhancements for the modernization of the school. It began with purchasing a digital sound system for the auditorium as well as equipment for the language lab. However, as modernization was completed, the Foundation made further goals. “We shifted into what we [could] do to make the school go from great to excellent,” said Education Foundation president Marney Jacobs. “We bought a lot of professional quality equipment; we bought a lot of things the school can’t buy themselves.” Although the Foundation works closely with both the Booster Club and PTSA, its function is slightly different. While the Booster Club funds mainly extracurricular activities, the Education Foundation works to provide opportunities to students and staff during school. Evidence of the Foundation’s efforts can be seen everywhere.The Kiln for art classes, the sound and lighting equipment in the auditorium, the recording studio and many instruments for the music department are just a few items the Education Foundation has donated to the school. Additionally, the Foundation has man-

Distribution of Collected Funds Total Support as of September 2013 = $188,070.55

Recording Studio 7.4%

Science Department 2.3%

Student Achievement 7.4%

Language Lab 23.1%

Professional Development 7.5%

Music & Art Departments 15.1%

Auditorium Enhancements & Site Improvements 18.6% Graphic by Claudia Nguyen, information courtesy of Marney Jacobs

aged to raise over $35,000 for the upgrade of the media center in order to keep its materials as current and helpful to students as possible. Not only does the Education Foundation provide equipment for student use, but it also allows teachers to apply for Professional Development grants. These grants help pay for staff across all academic departments to attend workshops, classes and conferences so they may gain the knowledge to better teach their students in the classroom. “We have been able to make opportunities for people that they wouldn’t be able to have otherwise,” said Jacobs. The Education Foundation continually sets new goals to raise money to improve the school. Most recently, the Foundation has been working to raise money to buy a wireless sound system for the auditorium in time for the fall production of “A Midsummer Night’s

Dream” and is raising funds for a mobile laptop cart. However, the Foundation has another major goal for this year. “We definitely want [students] to know that we exist and that we support the school in a number of ways, but also that there are opportunities now and in the future for them to be involved with us,” said Jacobs. “We’d like more interaction with current students and need our alumni to both support us with donations, ideas and to volunteer at our events.” In an attempt to spread the word, Jacobs said the Education Foundation will be launching a new campaign soon. The Foundation will be collaborating with the senior class officers in an attempt to have the seniors purchase as many bricks in the walkway as possible. She added that if 100 or more students purchase bricks, the foundation will provide one specifically in honor of the Class of 2014.





SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

Going Green: Horticulture class begins harvest

By Anna Hovey

In keeping with a long-term tradition, the horticulture class has begun their annual harvest of vegetables for the 2013-2014 school year. In preparation for the fall season, the class is harvesting cool-weather vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, broccoli, green onions and peas. Horticulture is the branch of agriculture concerned with the cultivation of garden plants such as flowers, landscaping plants, fruits and of course, vegetables. “Horticulture is a science department course, and part of the course curriculum is the planting and growing of vegetables,” said honors biology and horticulture teacher Steve Shifflett. According to Shifflett, the WJ harvest festival has been taking place for at least 20 years. The students care for the seedlings and plants, watering and harvesting them. In spring and fall, the class grows carrots, peas, radishes, lettuce, broccoli, cabbages and various herbs. For the summer season, the class plants sweet peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, string beans, lettuce, herbs and okra. “[The] horticulture students plant seeds either directly in the ground or start indoors,” said Shifflett. “[The] harvest is used by [the] food science class, taken home by students or taken home by teachers.” Many of the vegetables students are harvesting this fall were planted by last year’s horticulture students in the spring, and are now ready to be eaten. Although some vegetables are harvested seasonally,

some are harvested year-round. However, Shifflett added that more gardening space on school grounds would be beneficial to the program. There are three sections of the class- two periods taught by Shifflett, and a self-contained class taught by Clay Proctor for students with special needs. Together with the help of other individuals, these separate classes make this fruitful harvest possible. Phyllis O’Neill, a paraeducator in Shifflett’s horticulture class this year, maintained the crops over the summer with the help Photo by Sarah Schecker of paraeducator Antonia Dentes, Horticulture teacher Clay Proctor teaches his students about how nature and change science teacher Khanh Chau and in seasons effect gardening and plants. student Yurielis Rodriguez. O’Neill finds horticulture and gardening at WJ to be students,” said Proctor. “Corky Lagsdon was an envivery unique and special. O’Neill said students should ronmental [science] teacher here just before I came to consider enrolling in horticulture classes because of WJ. He worked with horticulture and environmental the life lessons and knowledge that can be gained from projects around the school with his students.” Much of Lagsdon’s students’ work was destroyed them, for example the importance of knowing how much effort goes into the growing and harvesting of during the recent WJ renovations, but Proctor has crops, and just how lengthy the process can be. From since worked with students in a garden club. “Since I have been at WJ we have had a garden club growing, to harvesting, to cleaning out the garden and starting again, the process is a never-ending for a couple of years, but the last two years, there has not been an interest shown by students,” said Proctor. cycle. For the future, Proctor wishes to see more students “It’s unbelievable what the [students] have learned,” said O’Neill. “[Students learn that] express interest in gardening and form another club. it takes three months to have carrots [and] it In the past, there have been teachers who used plants takes three months for eggplants. It takes a lot from the program for lessons they were teaching. WJ is not alone in offering horticulture and garof work, a lot of effort, a lot of time. [The vegdening. Schools throughout the county have vegetable, etables] need to be taken care of.” Proctor has very much enjoyed his experienc- rain and butterfly gardens, in addition to horticulture es working with the other horticulture teachers and environmental programs. O’Neill stressed the and students. He has been a special education importance of horticulture programs and the lessons teacher for 23 years and prior to that, his ca- students learn by growing food on their own. “[Students] need to learn the lesson of where food reer focus was horticulture. Since becoming a teacher, he has been sure to include gardening comes from,” said O’Neill. “It’s very valuable… to see in the projects he has worked on, including his what the earth can provide and how you can use it. Photo by Sarah Schecker There’s a certain pride when you cook something that classes at WJ. The horticulture class plants many different kinds of vegetables. When you have grown from a seed; there’s no better feeling “I have integrated parts of the garden program they are in season, they are harvested from the gardens, taken home by in the world.” into our science curriculum for special needs students or used in the cooking class.

Grace’s Law makes cyberbullying finable and jailable “Grace,” continued from page 1 “It’s new and we wanted students to be aware,” she said. “We’re being proactive.” She added that part of the reason they wanted awareness was because while WJ doesn’t have a significant cyberbullying problem, it does affect the lives of some students. One of these students is senior Emily Richardson*, who has been a victim of cyberbulling since middle school. She shared her insights on how she thinks the law will affect student life online. “It will set precautions for people,” she said. “It will help students who have been bullied because there are now restrictions. When I was cyberbullied, no actions were taken. Now [the new law] provides a shield so the students have something against it now.” Sophomore Sasha Kahn agreed. “I think it will be easier [for students] to get [away] from the dangers of cyberbullying,” he said. “It will also be harder to cyberbully.” He added that the new law will help stop cyber-attacks over time. In schools across the state, students are being educated on the dangers of social media. At WJ, Baker said that there could be more programs in regard to antibullying. Last year, the PTSA had Barbara Coloroso, a noted speaker and author in the anti-bullying world, come to WJ to discuss the dangers and effects of bullying. Also, counselor and field hockey coach Erika Murray went to one of Coloroso’s workshops and Baker

said her doing work with parents and students is not out of the question. Aside from the education, Baker still thinks the law is necessary. Regarding why people bully, Baker expressed her view. She said that she thinks people bully because they don’t feel good about themselves or that they were bullied and now are taking it out on their victims. Richardson agreed and added that people may also do it because they are jealous. Baker later spoke about her thoughts on laws put in place to stop bullying or mistreatment of others, such as Grace’s Law, and the fact that they are needed in society. “I don’t like that we have to make laws to make us treat each other well,” she said. “We should be kind. I’m sad that we need [them] at all. If people treated each other well we wouldn’t need Grace’s Law.”

For more information on the new school policies, see page 15. Graphic by Sarah Schecker, information gathered from LA Times and



SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

Editors-in-Chief Emily Cosentino Claudia Nguyen Megan Chun*

Photo by Sarah Schecker


Not so blurred

ByWahid Ishrar

During the summer, I went on a drive with my family to California. Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” was one of the few songs that popped up on the radio constantly. I began to associate it with my summer experience. It was deemed by me, and by others, as the “song of the summer.” The song stayed at number one for a consecutive 12 weeks. Essentially, “Blurred Lines” centers on how a man wants to get into bed with a woman who has not given her consent, but has suggested to him that she “wants it.” Thicke describes what most people think to be the “blurred lines” between consent and sexual assault. The song has faced immense controversy since its release, with heavy debate between critics and supporters alike. Critics argue that the song promotes rape-like behavior, while defenders echo that it is “just a song”. Recently, an article was published in, an online social science project to bring social science to broader public visibility, in hopes of changing this thought process. The article cites information from Project Unbreakable, which is an online photo-essay exhibit that showcases rape victims holding up signs of phrases that were heard by them before, during or after the rape. The article draws parallels between these images and Thicke’s lyrics. The similarities are haunting. The chorus of “I know you want it’’ is echoed in these posters. Another line in the song indicates that the woman’s last boyfriend was too square for her, and didn’t pull her hair like the singers do. Thicke and company assume that the girl’s dancing, and the way she grabs him, must mean that she wants to “get nasty.’’ This is a very common excuse by rapists, known as victim-blaming, which sees them putting the accusation on the victim as being seductive and asking for it. One of the victim’s placards quote a rapist saying “It wasn’t rape. You were being such a tease.’’ The fact that a song that so closely resembles that of a typical rape-scenario can become such a big hit is a true testament to how desensitized we have become to social injustice issues. The excuse of it being “just a song” is a double-edged sword; the matter is even more disgusting because it is just a song. Even music, which is such a fundamental, simplistic element of human-life, reflects the inhumanity that many human beings are subject to. It is very easy to deem something unoffensive, but unless we stand in the shoes of rape victims, we will never understand what they go through when such lyrics are constantly reverberated in their daily lives. Out of respect for them and their courage, we should have the decency to not remind them of their horrors every time they turn on their radios.

News Editors Izzy Salant Tenni Idler* Elizabeth Winter* Asst. News Editor Anna Hovey Editorial Editors Wahid Ishrar Anders Norberg* Asst. Editorial Editor Adriana Del Grosso




Feature Editors Selma Stearns Julie Gonzalo- The Pitch is published eight times a year by the students of Walter Johnson High School, Michaud* 6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, Md. 20814. Advertising and subscription rates are available by calling 301-803-7184. Editorial opinions represent those of The Pitch staff Asst. Feature and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff, faculty or student body. We Editor welcome letters, articles, photographs and artwork, to be submitted to room 193 or Michael Godfrey e-mailed to The Pitch is an award-winning paper that works towards providing the student body with accurate and credible, information. Arts & Entertainment Editor Audrey Marek American Scholastic Columbia Scholastic Nico Bonetta-Misteli* Press Association Bronze Medalist Asst. Arts & Ent. First Place 2010-2011 Editor Columbia Scholastic Columbia Scholastic Press 2010-2011 Annika La Vina Association Press Association Photo Editor Sarah Schecker

Gold Medalist 2009

Marylander Award Newspaper Division C 2011

Sports Editors Ben Resnick Zeke Green* Josh Greenberg* Asst. Sports Editor Jake Weinischke

Social Media Consultant Sabrina Greene Staff Writers Nick Williamson Amanda Gross Zack Shapiro Artists Joshua Lang Adriana Del Grosso Chizobam Nwagwu Alex Alavi Layout Editor Copy Editors Adriana Del Grosso Anna Hovey Advisor Marissa Nardella Sylvie Ellen Business Manager *Online Editors Claudia Nguyen

The economics of education

Investments in test preparation yield questionable results

By Adriana Del Grosso An advertisement for an SAT prep course promises an improved score for $1500. Where does this money go and how much of it really contributes to a student’s performance? Standardized tests and Advanced Placement exams are a source of anxiety for students and parents who recognize the importance of a high score. Alongside paying the registration fee, students willing to pay for some aided studying frequently tap into the countless review books and courses that exist to ensure the best possible scores. The prices associated with test taking begin to stack up. Initially, the cost of registering for AP tests cost $89 and the SAT is $51. Review books themselves cost around $15. If a student elects to take a review course, prices can vary from several hundred to over $1000 for some private tutors. Some review courses promise a 100 point increase while others guarantee a fast track to a five. These are important because a respectable score may save students money in college or guarantee entry into their choice school. Money invested in AP courses is often justified because the result of a good exam score will often translate to college credits and will save students the greater cost of taking the class in college. Colleges may also offer perks to students with commendable standardized test scores. Elevated scores are generally revered by students as a gateway to college. In a competitive academic environment such as Montgomery County, AP scores are especially valued among students. However, added prices can only truly be justified if the result is an improved score or met target. Otherwise, there is ultimately no academic achievement. In the case of AP exams, the student may have an accelerated credit on their high school transcript, but if they do not do well on the exam they will be without the proof often necessary for colleges to consider their achievement valid.

Graphic by Adriana Del Grosso


These exams also put pressure on a single performance. While students may retake the test, if they are unable to reach their targeted score they may be unable to be admitted into what they believe is a top-choice college. This may be frustrating if a student fails to do as well as he or she would like, especially if this happens multiple times. This supposed economic business surrounding exam tutoring is not fair because, if true, it would create a bias for wealthier students or students willing to spend more money. Students who need financial aid would be in danger because they may not have access to the best study aides. If this were to happen, the reasoning behind exams such as APs could be under debate. If AP courses exist to ease the later cost of classes in college, why should the amount of money invested in them translate to better scores? How would students who are financially worse off be expected to do well? Thankfully for test takers, this does not seem to be true. While it may seem as if more money invested in preparing for the test translates to an increase in scores, this is not the case. The point increase is notably smaller than test takers may assume. The concept behind testcoaching boasts inflated points, but, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, there is little data to back up this promise. Ultimately, the amount of money any student invests into any exam does not translate to the score they will receive. While it may help in certain cases, additional factors determine how well the student will do.

Photo by Sarah Schecker





SEPTEMBER 29, 2013

Not our war: The U.S. cannot become involved in the Syrian conflict

Photo by Sarah Schecker Graphic by Adriana Del Grosso

SAT irony?

The commencement of the school year would be infinitely more desirable if there was some time dedicated to easing into the workload. At least for half of the school, that is not the case with the SAT looming atop heads like a cloud with no silver lining. Whether it is juniors preparing for their first attempt, or seniors scrambling for the right combination of numbers before clicking submit to their multiple college applications, the SAT is a stressor that affects nearly everyone. According to PBS, the SAT was first created by Robert Yerkes in order to test army recruits during World War I to place them in the most suitable position. It was then made more rigorous and used for colleges, Harvard president James Bryant Conant’s request. Now this is where the test gets ironic. The SAT was created to test students on their future abilities and intelligence, despite their education and economic backgrounds. Conant strived to create a scholarship that would be given to applicants that scored high on the SAT, because they would not necessarily have been brought up by a wealthy family. This new and “fair” test was designed to be an aptitude test, and is still referred to as such. An aptitude test is supposed to test a person’s ability to learn and acquire knowledge. An achievement test on the other hand is supposed to test what one has already learned. The SAT is becoming an achievement test that depends on the quality of your studying, whether it is spending more than enough money on tutors, buying the top of the line SAT review books, or other study skills that money seems to have achieved the capability to buy. If a student does not purchase a review book, does not participate in classes, or pay for a tutor, there is no doubt that the score they receive will not be nearly as high as it would have been otherwise. It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that these circumstances create a large bias towards people who can afford these tools. This supposedly fair test has failed to accomplish its purpose. Instead of helping to eliminate the factor of wealth ensuring college acceptance, it has been manipulated to cement this factor. Students that are poor test takers, or cannot afford the tools necessary to complete the SAT with flying colors, are put at a disadvantage. If universities want to create a system that disregards the student’s economic background, then SAT scores are not the route to achieve that, and a new solution is necessary.

Illustration by Adriana Del Grosso

As the war in Syria rages on, Obama is faced with the critical decision on whether or not to use military intervention by sending our troops.

By Julie Gonzalo-Michaud

As the war in Syria escalates, President Barack Obama is attempting to convince Congress to allow the United States to intervene. It started in 2011, when Syrians began peacefully protesting their government, inspired by protests in Egypt and Libya. The government’s reaction was violent, and that was where the issue got out of control. The horrible actions that the Syrian President has taken on the civilians are horrifying and unacceptable, but the U.S. cannot afford to become involved in their war. President Obama has said that he wants to impose a military strike and punish the Syrian President, Bashar alAssad for using chemical weapons on civilians. But, Syria isn’t posing any real danger or threat to the US, so it makes little sense for the president to want to engage in an attack in Syria. An attack as Obama is suggesting should only be used as a last resort, only if lives are at stake or danger is unavoidable in America. Although President Obama believes that we have to take action on this issue, it may end up doing more harm than good. It is likely that if the Syrian government doesn’t comply with the U.N. and the U.S. goes ahead with a limited attack, there will be retaliation. Obama’s idea for a limited attack could simply result in backfire. As a result, even more innocent people could be killed than if we hadn’t stepped in at all. Both Syrians and Americans would be harmed if Syria retaliates. Most Americans believe we should not intervene in Syria, and only about a third of them believe we should. The president should listen to most citizens

who believe that it is a bad idea to become involved. They also believe that the US should focus on their own domestic problems instead of trying to fix other nations. Even if Obama says that he will have a limited strike, there is no guarantee that it will just end there. It could continue to escalate until we find ourselves in a similar situation to the one in Iraq just a couple years back, and result in ground troops. Foreign secretary John Kerry said, “In the event Syria imploded, for instance, or in the event there was a threat of a chemical weapons cache falling into the hands of al-Nusra or someone else and it was clearly in the interest of our allies […] to prevent those weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of the worst elements, I don’t want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to a president of the United States to secure our country.” Although Kerry was quick to take back his statement on ground troops, he was exploring a realistic consequence; American troops may have to be sent to Syria, and that is one of American people’s greatest fears of intervening. And even if Assad does step down, there is no guarantee that everything will get better. There is the chance that if he does, Syria will go into chaos, or someone even worse than Assad will take his place. If there is any intervention, it should be the United Nations that takes part in helping Syria. There are other countries involved and they must all work together to figure out the best way to help Syria, and not go into the situation blindly and without the American people’s support.

Does the U.S. have a responsilibility to do something about Syria? Yes. No.

27 % 63 %

Should the U.S. and its allies send arms to anti-government groups? Yes. No.

20 % 70 %

The polls above were conducted from March 2012 to June 2013 by Pew Research Center.

Do you support Western countries sending military aid to Syria? Yes No Jordan Egypt Palestine Turkey Lebanon Tunisia

53 % 33 % 31 % 22 % 18 % 32 %

44 % 59 % 63 % 68 % 20 % 60 %

Results for the poll above were collected by Pew Research Center via telephone and faceto-face interviews during the spring of 2013.





SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

Free from the fear of failure for good

Photo by Sarah Schecker

Graphic by Adriana Del Grosso

“I want you to be a doctor... a medical doctor,” slurs my heavily intoxicated uncle as he throws one arm around my shoulder. It feels like déjà vu. Every year around Christmas, I go to visit my family in Pennsylvania, and I always get the same questions from my tipsy relatives. As kids, we hear it all the time, ever since we were old enough to read and write. Elementary school: “So, what do you want to be when you grow up?” Middle school: “So, what do you want to study when you go to college?”

Then, high school hits: “What colleges are you looking at? What do you plan to major in? Have you started the application process? Are you studying for the SAT yet? What plans do you have for your future?” I’m bombarded with question after question, but I don’t know any of the answers. There are so many different messages. On one hand, I’m told to do what I love and I’ll never work a day in my life. But then I’m also highly “encouraged” to be a successful doctor, lawyer or engineer because that’s where the money is, and I want to be able to support my future family, right? It’s as though I’m expected to go to college and know my entire life plan when it seems like I just came out of puberty yesterday. These days, teens are forced to grow up fast and follow this monotonous, uniform routine. We spend over a decade of our lives essentially preparing for college, and then all of college preparing for a career path. But there has

to be more to life than working hard to get more work. About a month ago, I read an article one of my old friends from middle school wrote for a website called In his article, “People Told Me I Was Making a Huge Mistake,” he shared his experience of how he had dropped out of high school and worked his way to the top to become an account

“ Being a cookie-cutter student

should not be your only option. ” executive at a full service political consulting firm based in D.C. I don’t think this path is one all students should take, but I admired his guts and determination to dive headfirst into exactly what he wanted. As the first semester of senior year rears its ugly head, his article made me think of all the crazy college applications my peers and I are currently attempting to frantically complete. Many of those applications ask what major or field the applicant is interested

Print needs to keep publishing By Zeke Green As humans deviate from their natural habitats and towards a fabricated reality known as the internet, human interaction and real communication dwindles. There are three main ways people acquire their daily news; newspapers, television and the internet. To give an idea of the decrease in newspaper usuage, in 1941, when the U.S. population was 133,402,471, Americans purchased 41.1 million newspapers every single day, meaning almost one per every three people. Today, with our population at 314 million, about 10 percent of people buy newspapers; 30.4 million daily. This is a drastic decrease; over twenty percent - over three generations. The human connection through the life of a newspaper is not to be underestimated. With each physical newspaper come thousands of jobs. The journalists rely on the editors, the editors on the publishing companies, the publishers and the paper distributors and so on. One author publishing an article online eliminates this cycle. Some might say this reduces costs, carbon emissions, paper and other resources. However, if one of the links of this chain is eliminat-

in pursuing. Some may know exactly what they want to do, but for others, like myself, maybe it’s not so clear. But that’s okay. You don’t have to know every step of the way yet. Have goals, but don’t let someone else’s preconceived notions tell you who you should be. It’s important to keep your mind open to other possibilities. Being a cookiecutter student should not be your only

ed, the whole chain is at risk of rusting away. Workers in the paper industry will find themselves out of work; drivers will find nothing to drive and printers will find nothing to print. With the economy already writhing, why destroy jobs blue-collar workers have had their entire careers? The issue of replacing workers with machinery is somewhat making a deal with the devil. While profits soar; the same fate is found for unemployment. There is no arguing the raised levels of efficiency, but the money to spend on this newfound efficiency is constricted as well. The world used to rely on Encyclopedias to find its information, but Wikipedia, a free option, knocked this, and our ability to problem solve, out the window. We no longer need to actively find information, just grant an artificial number cruncher our trust. As the toll-replacing E-Z Pass has taught us, the tradeoffs are always there, but what are the true benefits when human contact ceases to exist?

Cartoon by Alex Alavi

Print news employees may lose their jobs because of the prevalence of online news.

option. I used to be one of those students who honestly believed that one slip up would ruin my chances of a successful future. I was afraid to fail, afraid of taking risks. But I’ve learned that without risk, there can be no experiential learning. Although I might not know exactly what I want, I’m finally ready to take the plunge, find something I love and go all in.

Opportunity for online media P O I N T / C O U N T E R P O I N T

By Sabrina Greene

In the age of technology, online media publications are bountiful. Every major print magazine or newspaper has a website at the very least, usually accompanied by Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr accounts. The combination of these online media sources offer more and easier ways to access anything the heart desires- news, arts, entertainment, opinion- everything. Publishing to the Internet is cheaper, faster, simpler and smarter. In addition, the Internet has a wider audience than print publications because of its easy accessibility. Online news not only acts as a primary source, but also enhances print media. The Internet has a place for things like videos, photo montages and sound bites, things that print media cannot support. If we consider the concept of breaking news, online media comes directly to mind. When something catastrophic, amazing or important happens, we cannot wait to find out about it in the newspapers the next day. The world moves quickly now and online media keeps the public up to-date more efficiently than print newspapers.

Online media is better for the environment than print media. Using the Internet saves paper and printing resources. It also creates jobs, such social media correspondents or videographers. People who do not read the whole newspaper can be selective in what articles they read by going online and focusing on what interests them, rather than having a bundle of paper sent to their house to only read the Style section. The truth of the matter is that online media will be more prominent than print media; it’s inevitable at this point. We live in a digital age where technology and technological advancement are everything. So why would we stick to paper when we have so many electronic options? Online media’s relationship to print media is similar to that of movable type to the print- ing press: information is more easily distributed. In order to have an educated population in the modern world, online media must be encouraged so that people have greater access to news and information. Society must keep up with modern technology, and that’s why online media is taking over.

Cartoon by Adriana Del Grosso

Online news is easily accessible, and can be updated more readily than print news.

9 Guide to G Square: How to stay healthy at lunch Pitch

Flippin’ Pizza

Veggie Pizza One or two slices of this veggie pizza can keep a growing student full for hours. With 180 calories, 8g of fat and 617mg of sodium, the yummy treat satisfies with green peppers, black olives, mushrooms, onions, and garlic. This meal would be perfect for the veggie-lover.

“Guide” continued from page 1 Though some kids gorge on the grease that seems to literally slide off an average piece of Flippin’ Pizza, most don’t know what they’re putting into their mouths. One slice of cheese pizza contains 358 calories, 13g of fat and 1160mg of sodium. The $5 deal, which includes two slices of pizza and a regular sized drink, can sometimes add up to around 800- 1000 calories. Staying smart at Flippin’ Pizza isn’t impossible, in fact, it is one of the few stores that offer healthy options, even without losing the pizza taste.



SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

All photos by Annika La Vina

The restaurant displays its available pizzas.

Tomato Basil Tomato Basil from Flippin’ has around 310 calories, only 7g of fat, and 280g of sodium. The pizza has a healthy amount of fat and sodium, but also has fewer calories.

Two slices of tomato basil pizza contain half the sodium of a slice of cheese pizza.

All information provided by

Subway G Square’s favorite sandwich shop is famous for its specialtythe $5 footlong. Though seemingly healthy, a regular footlong can pack up to 800 calories a meal. A 6-inch Meatball Marinara has 480 calories, 18g of fat, and 920mg of sodium, which isn’t much better than neighboring G Square stores. Luckily, dining at Subway doesn’t have to be detrimental. In fact, it is one of the easiest stores to get a bang for your buck and still leave your stomach happy.

Turkey Breast This sandwich can be made into a footlong and still satisfy. With 560 calories, 7g of fat, and 1560g of sodium, the meal is packed with veggies and turkey. Though high in sodium, the sandwich makes up for it with the low fat content. Split half for lunch and half for a snack and you’ve got two meals covered for $5. Added unhealthy condiments add up the calorie and fat content.

Subway boasts a menu full of healthy options.

Roast Beef Similar to the Turkey Breast, this sandwich features lean roast beef and yummy veggies. With only 640 calories, 10g of fat, and 1220 grams of sodium, it’s the same deal with the turkey breast. With its high sodium yet low fat, the footlong is sure to please. All information provided by Subway’s Nutrition Data Tables

Stay smart and in shape

10 Minute Workout 200 jumping jacks 50 squats 35 push-ups “Guide” continued from page 1 50 reverse lunges Fitness is hard to incorporate into a busy student’s day. These short workouts, 50 tricep dips With five minute more to spare, this that are Washington Sports Club trainer approved, are designed to keep you movHigh Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) ing, yet let you study as well. burn will leave students sore but happy. Five Minute Workout Maximize the benefits by repeating the 100 Jumping Jacks circuit three times, increasing the speed 30 crunches and effort with each time. 25 squats 25 push-ups 25 burpees (jump up, crouch down and kick your legs back into a pushup position, do a pushup, jump back up into a crouch position, stand up, jump up, and repeat.) All photos by Annika La Vina

Senior Jasmine Hawley demonstrates the first part of a burpee.

Hawley goes down into a crouch pose before kicking her legs back.

This calorie blasting, fat burning fast workout targets all muscle groups in a short amount of time. Repeat this circuit three times through, taking it easy the first, and working up to a sprint by the third circuit.

Hawley demonstrates a tricep dip with locked arms.


A Chipotle burrito with steak, white rice, black beans, cheese, and guacamole sums up to around $6.59. Behind the cost, there are around 42g of fat, 1810mg of sodium, and 1020 calories- almost half of an average student’s daily intake. The massive amount of sodium topples your ordinary share as well, since people are recommended around 2,000mg of sodium per day, and much more can lead risk of high blood pressure and heart failure. The recommended fat intake for teenagers is approxiamtely 67-93g per day, and the burrito fills around half of that portion. Instead of a sodium-soaked, fat-drenched, calorie-filled burrito, try one of these healthier options. Burrito Bowl Try a regular sized burrito bowl with steak, brown rice, fajita veggies, sour cream, and romaine lettuce. This meal is packed with protein from the steak, but also gives you a bit of spice with the vegetables. To satisfy your cravings, dollop some sour cream over it.This comes in at only 495 calories, 21g of fat, and 670g of sodium. Your stomach will feel happy, as well as the rest of your body.

A burrito bowl stuffed with fajita veggies and guacamole.

Taco If a salty treat is on your mind, swap the bowl for a taco. Start with a crispy corn tortilla, add some chicken, fajita vegetables, lettuce, and finish it off with some cheese. The taco contains 495 calories, 21.5g of fat and 750g of sodium. All information provided by Chipotle’s Nutrition Calculator

A straight back is crucial while doing a plank.

15 Minute Workout Front plank (60 seconds) Side plank (30 seconds per side) Squats (60 seconds) Pushups (60 seconds) Lunges (30 seconds per side) This 15 minute burner hits all muscles and gets rid of calories with its HIIT method. Repeat it three times through, increasing pressure, speed and effort with each circuit.





SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

Power on: Playstation and Xbox bring intuitive game-play, online advances this November By Joshua Lang

Gamerz Club, senior James Gautereaux. “There’s TV, there’s games, there’s music, there’s pictures and the new systems are just basically going to have more power than your average gaming PC.” The biggest difference between the two consoles is the price. The Xbox One is selling for $500, while the PS4 is selling for $400. According to a Forbes

camera has facial recognition and voice commands to navigate through the menus and can also be used for sharing videos. It not be available until December 31, and it has not been said whether or not it will be used to play games like the Kinect can with full body motion. Both systems come with only one controller but extra controllers will sell for

did.” The games for both the Xbox and the This November, the Xbox One and Playstation have been completely revoPlayStation 4 (PS4) will hit store shelves. lutionized for these next generation sysThe questions many people will be asktems. “Forza 5”, which is available only ing are which one should they choose for the Xbox One, has the ability to and what games should they buy? learn someone’s driving skills and techThe Xbox One comes with Kinect, a niques and then utilize this information high tech motion and voice recognition to race friends using the cloud, even camera that is capable of when said person is not doing simple tasks like online. This is not a recordgiving the user the ability ing of the person driving; to turn on the Xbox by the game learns how that simply saying “turn on,” person drives and uses that to more advanced tasks online when the person such as driving a car in is not playing. “Killzone: “Forza 5”. Shadow Falls” is one of the The PS4 comes out few games available excluwith many big name sively for the PS4. It will games like “Killzone: be available on launch day. Shadow Falls” and the This game offers enhanced system also has a feature graphics and stellar gamewhere many of its games play, showing off the PS4’s can be played while a superb technology. Fighting person is away from their is seamless with the brand console with a PlayStanew DualShock®4 contion Vita. troller and even has a touch With these new syspad on the controller durtems, the games will be ing gameplay. able to continue playThere are still some big ing even when you are name games coming out not there to play them. this November that are not How is this possible? exclusive to either system. The answer is a brilliant “Assassin’s Creed” and “Call device called the Cloud of Duty” both have new which both systems will games coming out. “Assasbe using to store data. sin’s Creed 4” immerses The Cloud holds data in players in a pirate’s life in a collection of servers the Caribbean visiting exinstead of on the system, otic locales such as Jamaica, almost like a flash drive. Cuba and the Bahamas. This Photo by Joshua Lang A photo that is taken game offers the biggest free (From left to right) Junior Tal Azulay, 2013 Graduate James Marille, 2013 graduate Stephan Atkins and Junior Nemo Charlton on your smartphone show off their skills in a meeting of the Gamerz Club. roaming world in the Assassin’s Creed franchise and will have September article, about $60. Taking into account the addi- people playing for hours at a time. it was estimated tion of the Kinect with the Xbox One, “Call of Duty: Ghosts” is set in a war that the new Ki- the prices of the two systems is relative- torn United States where the nation we nect costs about ly close. However, according to techra- live in is no longer a world power. Sol$100 compared to, the PS4 has fewer restrictions diers are not just fighting off the enemy; the original which on used games and requires no internet they are fighting to simply survive. This was sold for $150. connection. iconic franchise also brings back amazThe Kinect ap“The 360 and the Xbox One are go- ing multiplayer game play with a brand ing to have a big dif- new engine to make online gameplay ference between the even better. These are just a few of the two and it’s not nec- many games coming out that will enessarily going to be trance players and keep them coming [a] good difference,” back for more.

Xbox One with Kinect

Price: $500 Exclusive Games: Forza 5

can automatically be uploaded straight to your computer, without the use of any cables. This concept is being taken straight to gaming. If you have a saved game on your Xbox One at home, and then you go to your friend’s house, you can directly access your saved data at your friend’s house by simply signing in. Both systems have a feature where you can start downloading a game and begin playing the game immediately while the rest of it downloads. “ [The new consoles] don’t just branch out to gaming, they’re all forms of entertainment,” said president of the


pears to be the reason for the price gap. However, are people going to spend $100 on something they may not necessarily need? According to an article on, the Kinect and Xbox One are so in tune with each other that all you have to do is speak to the Kinect and it will do everything for you including tasks like buying a movie, switching games, or using an app. The PS4 does not come with a camera but a separately sold camera is available for $60. This

said Gautereaux. “The PS4 is just improving upon all [PlayStation’s] mistakes. The PS3 was a really good system. It just didn’t have some of the key connecting features as the Xbox

PlayStation 4 Price: $400.00 Extra Camera: $59.99 Exclusive Games: Killzone: Shadow Falls



SEPTEMBER 30, 2013



Is turning the tables on learning for the best?

Flipped classrooms require student responsibility By Selma Stearns In the 21st century, most of our lives are spent around technology, whether it is being used for communication, research, work, or entertainment. Why not school lessons? A “reversed” classroom is one in which students watch instructional videos at home and then complete “homework” problems in class where they can use the teacher or other students for reference. Math teacher Lee Ann Russell used a reverse classroom during the second semester of her Algebra 2 classes in 2012, and she thinks the system was beneficial for most of her students. “I compared my grades on the same unit test from the year prior to that year I did the flipped classroom and overall they were generally better for the flipped class,” said Russell. Perhaps the system works well because students are able go at their own pace, rewinding or pausing the video if they need to. The videos remain up on the

web the whole year so students can use them to review for tests or exams. Russell said the system requires a lot of personal motivation because students are responsible for watching the preprepared videos on their own. AP Physics teacher Mike Richards agrees about the level of responsibility students need to meet, and he thinks it is unfortunate that students don’t always do what they are supposed to do. “I found that on average only about 60 percent of the students were watching the videos on any given night,” said Richards of his flipped classroom experience during the 2012-2013 school year. His data showed that compared to the year prior, the pass rate on the AP exam decreased five percent, so he decided not to continue the arrangement this year. “The reason why we went to [a flipped classroom structure] is because kids would go home at night to do the homework and if they got stuck there

was nobody to help them. Most parents don’t know physics,” said Richards. “By flipping the classroom all the parents had to do was make sure [their child] watched a video. That wasn’t being done.” When students didn’t watch the assigned video it took time away from the other students because they needed to catch up in class with help from the teacher and other students. On an online forum for teachers using a reverse classroom, the most common issue was getting students to do their work. Both Richards and math teacher Maggie McSorely who occasionally uses the system in her classes tried putting in tasks or hints for the students to check if they were actually watching, for example telling the students out loud to send an email to the teacher. When students were doing what they were supposed to do, the system worked well. “Overall I liked being able to do my work during class because doing the problems themselves is what is so hard

about physics,” said APEX junior Grace Tietz. “You have your friends with you and you can ask them questions and you can even ask Mr. Richards. I thought it worked well.” Tietz took Richards’ AP Physics B last year as a sophomore, and both she and Richards think the arrangement was optimal for AP Physics B. “In physics, you’re learning theories and then applying them later in more complicated problems in class, so there is a lot more confusion,” said Tietz. Overall, a reverse classroom only works if students and their parents fulfill the simple responsibilities that come along with the system, but when it works it is extremely beneficial for relieving the stress students feel from working through problems alone. “I’m seeing that stress again this year, and it [makes me angry]” said Richards. “I had to make a hard decision and I’m not happy about it.” Image courtesy of

School trips take learning worldwide By Michael Godfrey

Every year many students travel all over the globe to learn about their class subjects in a more engaging way than sitting in a classroom. For the 20132014 year, French teacher Ryan Martinez is taking a group of students to France, Italian teacher Maria Cavallini is taking a group to Italy and social studies teacher Fred Delello is leading a trip to Northern and Western Europe. Spanish teacher Xuhua Liang also took a group to Spain last school year. To make the trips happen teachers have to plan activities, find the money to support them and decide on an itinerary. During spring break, 20 of Martinez’s French students and three adults, including himself, will travel to France for a 10-day trip. He plans to take his students to sites in Paris, through the Loire Valley to visit the French castles along the Loire River, and finally up to Normandy to visit the sites where the D-day attacks on Normandy Beach occurred. He hopes his students will learn about French culture simply by being exposed to important French locations. “Foreign language in its nature is about discovering other cultures,” said Martinez. He isn’t worried about his students balancing learning and fun while on the trip. “You just can’t do one without the other [when traveling],” said Martinez. “I’m expecting that this will be a great experience for my students. They will apply what they’ve been learning in the

classroom in a fun and exciting environment. There will also be a lot of chocolate crepes.” Senior Madeline Feierstein is one of Martinez’s students going on the trip to France this spring break. She said she can’t wait to expand her knowledge of French culture and is especially interested in the WWII history sites the group will visit in Normandy. Feierstein agrees that she isn’t worried about the balance between learning and fun on the trip because for her, learning is fun. Last year Liang took a group of students on an 11-day trip to Spain over spring break to experience Spanish culture, especially the architecture and art of the country. Along the trip they visited many museums, a bullfight ring and even took salsa dancing lessons. “Students want to enjoy and to learn. If they don’t get both, it will not be a rewarding experience.” This spring, Delello will take a group of juniors and seniors to Dublin, London and Amsterdam. It’s going to be his first time in London and he is very excited to see sites like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. He also hopes that students will gain insight in the cultures of the countries they visit. “I want students to learn to love to travel so they make it part of their lives forever,” said Delello. Cavallini’s group to Italy will visit Venice and sites such as the Doje’s Palace and St. Mark’s Cathedral and they will even have the option of taking a

gondola ride in Venice. Rome, Florence, Siena, Pompei and Capri are also on the itinerary. Cavallini believes that travel is essential for any student’s education and gives the students authentic opportunities to speak the language they are studying. “We become like a big family,” said Cavallini, “and the students must learn what it means to travel and live with a group for eleven days. They must respect the rules.” To sponsor their trips, Martinez, Cavallini, Liang and Delello use Education First (EF) Tours. This organization is committed to helping students learn through travel. Teachers can go on EF Tour’s website and pick out one of the pre-made tours or customize one for their group. The students pay a price for the tour, which is set by EF Tours, which includes most travel expenses except lunches and any non-necessities.

Photo courtesy of Sabrina Clarke

A photo of houses in the Spanish town of Granada was taken on last year’s trip to Spain.

Photo courtesy of Maxx Espinosa

Students on last year’s trip to Spain stand in front of Spanish stonework.





SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

Teacher turns tragedy into golden opportunity By Megan Chun

Preschoolers eat a snack assisted by WJ students in Child Development class.

Photo by Taylor Smith

Child Development creates future teachers By Amanda Gross

Many students have passed by the school playground to see preschoolers laughing and playing on the jungle gym. But many people do not know why young children would be at a place like a high school. It is because WJ offers a preschool to children as young as three years old. Connie Pokress teaches the Child Development class. She explained that when students see children playing out on the playground, it’s because “it’s important for children to exercise and learn socialization. The only handicap is making sure I don’t disturb all of the academic classes.” Pokress said that students who are hands-on-learners and are curious and like working with children will be most interested in enrolling in the class. The Child Development class is an elective that offers a unique opportunity to work with children every day. The students work with preschoolers during periods 6, 7 and 8. “The class is a five ring circus,” said Pokress, explaining that the class is fast paced and always moving. Each day the students work in a rotation of different groups. One group of students teaches the preschoolers, one group plans lessons, one group prepares materials, and another has independent studies and time for observation. This teaches students how to interact with and instruct children and cooperate with each other. Depending on who signs up for the preschool, students may be able to work with students with language developmental problems, meaning that learning to communicate may be difficult for them. This gives students a unique perspective on how to work with children with special accommodations. Thirty to 32 students are enrolled each period. The class counts as an elective credit, but taking all four classes counts as a program completer. When a student takes the class for two years, they are eligible for a 90 plus nine clock hour certificate. This job certification is recognized by the Maryland State De-

partment of Education. It allows the student to get a senior staff position with a salary and responsibilities in the daycare industry. It also prepares students for continuing their studies in the education field. If students complete two years of the class or are seniors who completed one year, they are also eligible to participate in an internship at local elementary schools.

Photo by Taylor Smith

Preschoolers participate in class activities.

Senior Sami Sadugor, who participated in child development during her sophomore and junior year, currently works at Luxmanor Elementary School in a second grade classroom. “My favorite part of the class was working with the kids,” said Sadugor. “I liked their spunky personalities and how fun and sweet they were.” Each day she teaches the students at Luxmanor, does one-on-one testing, and assists the teacher with tasks such as copying, cleaning up and more. She said her experience is preparing her for her future career. “I want to be a teacher,” said Sadugor. “This helped me learn what it takes.” Pokress says so many students enroll because “People walk by and think it’s a fun class.” She said students continue to feel this way once they sign up. She explains that siblings often come in, telling her that her former students had grown up to become teachers. “I’m curious,” said Pokress with a smile, “to know how many teachers out there I’ve mentored.”

While the majority of clubs are student founded and provide an escape from academic stress, some clubs have a more specific goal at hand. After the death of her friend Amy Sargent, English teacher Rachel Gold sought to commemorate and honor Sargent in a positive way that would keep her legacy alive. This fall, Gold and her club officers, will be starting the club ‘Live Life to the Fullest,’ which aims to raise money for a new scholarship fund that will benefit a first-generation college student who wishes to attend George Washington University (GWU), Sargent’s alma mater. In addition, the student, who may be from Sargent’s hometown of Cape Cod or from the Washington, D.C. area, must possess some of Sargent’s qualities that defined the purpose of the club. “We want someone with her attributes and her characteristics,” said Gold. “The student doesn’t have to want to major in [Political Science], [which is] what she majored in, but ideally has to have compassion for others and be full of life and be really excited about GWU.” Sargent, who was four mounths pregnant, died suddenly from an undetected brain tumor. “I felt like we shared a lot of the same qualities, and we were at the same point in our lives,” said Gold. “It’s hard for me not to put myself in her [and her husband’s] shoes, and imagine. The hardest thing for me was to think about Justin [Sargent’s husband], because he lost his wife and his baby in an instant, without any warning.” Sargent, 30, had been working at the SEIU Labor Union. She was also the first in her family to attend college. Before Gold could turn her vision into reality, she had to recruit student members. Gold reached out to some AP English Language and Composition students she taught last year. “Ms. Gold contacted me towards the end of summer and asked me if I would take on a leadership position in a club that she was starting, and she told me her story, and it was just so moving, I had to say yes,” said senior Charlie Rubinovitz, who is the treasurer of the club. “It’s a really noble cause and it’s a really

great thing that Ms. Gold is doing, so I’m more than happy to help her.” Although the charter website needed to officiate the club isn’t currently up and running, officers, members and Gold have already begun to discuss specific events they plan to hold in order to raise money for the scholarship fund. However, they cannot officially begin fundraising until the club is approved. According to club president and senior Rebecca Lerner, Live Life to the Fullest’s initial goal is to raise $20,000. Some of the potential activities include restaurant nights in October and November, and a Sadie Hawkins holiday dance in December. While most high school dances are traditionally guy-askgirl, the Sadie Hawkins dance is girlask-guy. “I think bake sales are nice, and selling bracelets and shirts are nice, but I think that this is a school that’s really involved in extracurricular activities and really enjoys social events,” said Gold. “If we advertise it in the right way and we get enough buy-in from the administration and from the staff, we could have a really successful dance and raise a lot of money.” However, Gold emphasizes that she sees this fund as not limited to the school, but as a community-wide effort. Some of her friends are planning other activities in the Washington, D.C. area to raise more money. Because Sargent’s life ended in an unexpected and tragic way, Gold explains it was especially difficult to accept her passing. “It’s hard to not live in fear, and it’s hard to not question every decision you make, because you get worried that you’re not going to have as much time on earth,” said Gold. “But I think that this allows me to focus my energy on something that’s positive.” Rubinovitz reiterates this idea. “[Gold] wants it to be a celebration of a person who had a really fulfilling life no matter how tragically and quickly it ended,” he said. “She wants it to be celebratory, she wants us to honor her and keep her memory alive.”

Photos courtesy of Rachel Gold

Amy Sargent, the first in her family to attend college, will be honored by the Live Life to the Fullest club.



SEPTEMBER 30, 2013


What’s New at WJ? Photo courtesy of

Photo by Selma Stearns

Teachers Jodi Edmunds

What class(es) How long have you been do you teach? teaching?

How did you end up at WJ?

What do you think of the school so far?

“I wanted to be closer to home be a part of the “[I] Love it! All the Resource “I have been a coun- schooland my kids will even- students and staff Counselor selor for 10 years.” tually go to.” are very nice.”

Gregory Kellner

“I applied and Mr. Fry Physical made my dreams come Education, true. I have been coaching “[I have been teachhealth, JV here for four years and ing for] eight years.” football now have a teaching job in head coach the building.”

Mitchell Joy

AP Comparative Government

Aileen Leung

“The school is very big and sometimes you might end up in a completely different area then you intended to be in.”

“I’ve been wanting to “[I have been teach- teach here for a while – I “[I] Love it – the students are great got lucky and ing for] 21years.” interviewed [for the posi- and so are the teachers.” tion].”

“I was at WJ several years “I’m happy to be Honors ago and at Tilden MS Chemistry “[I have been teach- for the past two years. I back with all the and Honors ing for] five years.” missed being at WJ and great staff and faBiology teaching high school sci- miliar students.” ence.”

Rules and Regulations By NickWilliamson

The administration reinforced old rules and regulations and informed students about new ones in a assemblies the first week of school. One of these new policies was the Common Core, a newly introduced statewide program that attempts to make all students equally ready for college. The program aims to enable students to demonstrate independence, value the use of evidence, and use technology and media both strategically and capably, by the time they graduate high school. Principal Jennifer Baker said that along with a revised curriculum and goals for students, Common Core has tests called PARCC assessments that will be online and will eventually replace the High School Assessments (HSAs), starting with Algebra 1 and English 10 next year. Another change to WJ policy is that this year, juniors will have to pay to take the PSAT, which is used to qualify them for merit scholarships. This change is due to increased enrollment; there are currently 537 students in the junior class. The PTSA decided that the money previously spent on the exam was taking a lot away from their budget. WJ was

Photo courtesy of

(From left to right) Boys’ Varsity soccer coach Hector Morales and Boys’ JV scoccer coach Daniel Schuler are new at WJ.

Photo by Selma Stearns

(From left to right) Jodi Edmunds is a new counselor and Aileen Leung is a new teacher this year.

By Zack Shapiro


actually one of the few schools that paid fore the bell. for juniors to take the exam. Nothing has changed with the cell According to administrator Regina phone use policies since last year, but Rodriguez, although WJ has some of the Baker is working on obtaining Wi-Fi acbest school attendance in the county, cess for the school. administration thought it was impor“I’d actually like to see more mobile tant to remind students of the policies devices being used for instruction in the currently in place. Rodriguez said that classroom,” said Baker. a common scenario is students are out She said she believes Wi-Fi will come sick one day, and then bring in a note to staff first, due to worries about the a month later once they realized there bandwidth supporting all the students. were unexcused absences on their re- Once it is established that the bandport cards. width can sup“We need I’d actually like to see more port all interthe note to mobile devices being used for ested students, make sure the instruction in the classroom. access would be parents apgiven to them. proved of the absence and that the child WJ has almost 700 computers, was out of school legally, and not just but Baker is looking into acquiring mogiving themselves a day off,” said Rodri- bile laptop labs to provide more comguez. puters to a student body of over 2,000. In terms of attendance, while absencRodriguez agrees that cell phone uses are not a big problem, getting to class age for educational purposes is useful, on time is. and said the current rules on cell phones “We just like to emphasize, especially are in place because administration with new students, that [being on time] doesn’t want students being distracted matters, and that it can impact [academ- by texting, music or other activities ic performance],” said Baker. while instruction is going on. Both Baker and Rodriguez agree that “Students believe they can multitask, since the assemblies, they’ve seen stu- but they really can’t,” said Rodriguez. dents trying harder to get to class be- “[The students] might believe they’re

Coaches By Michael Godfrey and Zack Shapiro

Hector Morales:

The Boys’ Varsity Soccer team recently acquired Hector Morales as a new head coach for this year. He previously coached at Sherwood. Morales does not plan to change the way the team plays but has moved the team benches to the other side of the field so that the home and away teams’ benches are on the same side. “I’ve never been a fan of having teams on opposite sides,” said Morales. Morales said the WJ community has been very welcoming and the facility is one of the best in the country.

Daniel Schuler:

Last year’s Varsity Boys’ Soccer Assistant Coach Daniel Schuler is now the head coach of the JV team. Schuler wants this season to be a lot about focus. He said he doesn’t want his players to be distracted by coaching changes and other stress factors.

For more about Coach Morales, see page 20.

listening to the teacher, but are actually tuning them out, and not even realizing it.” Another familiar set of rules is the dress code, which was also discussed during the assembly. Baker stressed that she has very few problems regarding the dress code, and any problems that she does have are easily dealt with. One of the last issues discussed was bullying, which is a problem that the staff takes very seriously. Rodriguez says that at WJ, the main issues are with online bullying. “What people don’t realize is, once it’s out there, it’s out there,” said Rodriguez. That means that while students may believe something is just between them and a friend, once they say it, send it or post it, the information is out of their control, and they really can’t be sure of who is going to see it. To combat bullying, both online and otherwise, Maryland officials enacted Grace’s Law. Rodriguez said she doesn’t think students understand what constitutes bullying, so they believe they are just joking around, when it re-

For more information on Grace’s Law, see page 3.





SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

College Applications 101

Applying to college may seem like a terrifying process, but with these easy instructions, students can turn a difficult task into a series of simple steps. By Tenni Idler

4) The Little Stuff

1) The Common App

Despite the relative ease that comes from using the common application, there are still a few extra tasks that may take more time. For example, colleges typically require students to take either the SAT or ACT as well as any other standardized test whose scores that must be submitted with the application. In order to submit these scores, you must contact the College Board and/or the ACT to send your scores to schools. In addition to testing scores, a student’s transcript of their entire high school career needs to be sent to each college. Transcripts can be requested with the Transcript Request form found in the career center. A transcript must be sent to each college you’re applying to, and the first transcript you send is free, but the transcripts for the remaining colleges cost five dollars each. From this point on Evans will send in the transcripts, whose progress can be checked online. In addition, many colleges require one or more teacher recommendations. Most teachers require a general resume with information such as GPA, awards/honors and extracurricular activities. Lastly, in order to fulfill teacher recommendations and counselor recommendations, the Authorization for Release of Student Records Form must be completed and can be found on Naviance (

Many schools use the Common Application (, although some colleges such as the University of Maryland have their own application instead of using the common application that can be found on their website. The common app is set up so that general information is sent to each of the colleges you select within the website, so you don’t have to fill the tedious parts out more than once. This section asks for information such as name, birth, high school, GPA, extracurricular activities, and any other information that colleges feel is pertinent to their knowledge of the student and their admissions process. This is probably the easiest part so get it done first.

2) The Essay There are five essay prompts offered on the common app website this year; each student must answer one. The essay serves as a way for college admissions officers to get to know the applicant better. Though this may seem daunting, it’s really about representing yourself in the best light. Many students stress about writing the perfect college essay, but WJ’s college and career coordinator, Gayle Evans suggests that students stick to writing something about themselves, something that is personal and important to them. According to Evans, the most important tip is to pace yourself.

3) The Supplement Each student will most likely apply to a variety of colleges. Most colleges that use the common app will have their own section called a supplement. Each supplement consists of extra information that a college believes adds to their overall perspective of the student. Each one is different, but typically includes a short personal writing piece. A Senior fills out the Common App.

All photos by Sarah Schecker

The College and Career Center offers information on many colleges.



September 30, 2013







Boys’ Soccer

SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

Girls’ Soccer

By Zack Shapiro

By Zack Shapiro

Girls’ soccer is off to a great start this season with wins in their first two games. Despite the fast start to the season, head coach Liz Friedman knows that there is some room for improvement if the girls want to make a strong playoff run. “The positive is that we know how to score goals,” said Friedman. “The negative is that we are giving up too many as well.” Friedman recognizes that her team is going to need to work a lot on their defensive play if they want to be successful this season. Last year’s team had five talented seniors graduate. This year’s team is working on filling the gaps the losses created. “They are not replaceable,” said Friedman. “No one ever is, but there are players who are able to step into those positions and make the same impact.” While the team is much younger this year with six freshman joining the team, Friedman is confident that they will find a way to win games. “We have players who love the game,” said Friedman. “They will work hard together in order to ensure success.” “I think it’s good that we’re all different ages,” said sophomore Sarah Caggiano. “That way we can all learn from each other.” Although most coaches share similar goals such as having a winning season, winning the division, and making it through the playoffs to states, Friedman believes that the goals for the season are up to her players. Caggiano believes that the team is doing very well this season, but knows that they still have things to work on if they want to be successful. “We need to communicate more off the ball,” said Caggiano. “Come game time the work is up to them,” said Friedman. “It’s up to them to do what we do in practice on the field.” Overall, Friedman is very optimistic about this year’s team. “If we work hard and stay focused, this team can accomplish a lot this season,” said Friedman.

After a heartbreaking overtime loss in last year’s regional finals, boys’ soccer is off to a strong start this season, shutting out their opponents in their first two games. New head coach Hector Morales joins the team, sharing the player’s goal of winning the 4A state championship. “Preparation for [the playoffs] began Aug. 14 and we are going to be competitive,” said Morales. He believes that fitness is critical to the team’s success this season. “The boys are running, probably more than they prefer, but we are out-working other teams,” said Morales. Along with fitness, Morales also hopes to improve the team’s communication this season. This year the benches are on the other side of the field. This is a strategic move that Morales is hoping will make it easier for the players to hear the coaches’ instructions. Morales also hopes that his players will take more chances on the field. “I feel there were several opportunities to shoot [in the first two games] where we chose to dribble too much or force a pass,” said Morales. “We need to build more comfort in taking the shot when it’s open.” Another change this season is the size of the teams’ bench. Not only does the team have 22 field players, but they are all getting a chance to play. “I’ve been able to play almost everyone in both games,” said Morales. “I believe I played 21 players in the first game, and 19 players in the second game.” Good fitness and fresh legs seems to be this year’s team’s strength. The team should be able to outwork its opponents this season. In their second game, the players were able to rally for a last minute goal. “Our boys fought strong through the match and were able to get the late goal with only 8 minutes remaining,” said Morales. With a slew of new faces and a revised strategy, look for boys’ soccer to be a real contender for the state championship this year.

WJ Sports P

All recor Sept. 23

Photo by Sarah Schecker

Giles Beven looks intently for an open teammate. Photo by Sarah Schecker

Cammie Murtha dribbles in pursuit of the goal.

Photo courtesy of Jerry Pannullo

Photo by Sarah Schecker

Kiernan Keller runs at the Woodward Relays. Her relay team placed first.

Victor Riveiro dodges an oppossing player as he works his way up the field.


Cross Country By Chizobam Nwagwu

On Monday, Sept. 9, Boy’s and Girls’ Cross Country took second in both varsity relays at the Woodward Relays at Georgetown prep. Much of the team’s success is attributed to a rigorous summer training schedule. “We have a really good group of kids who want to work real hard,” said Coach Tom Martin. “They just need to keep working towards our goal.” For the team, the Woodward Relays race served as a foundation for the rest of the season, a glimpse at what to work toward in future meets. After defeat by B-CC in the boys’ and girls’ team relays, the team hopes to recoup and continue to persevere. “We’re looking to be serious competitors for the state title this year,” said senior captain Irina Bukharin. “Starting off with second place at a major meet is a really great way to boost our own confidence and demonstrate to the rest of the state that they should definitely take us into consideration.” By November, the team hopes to achieve their initial goals. “The majority of our goals are near the end of the season,” said senior captain Michael Spak. “We have tried to focus on the three championship meets [counties, regionals and states].” Despite successes at the meet, the team believes there is still the need for improvement. “We didn’t perform how I expected,” said senior captain Dan Kosogof. “We’re just going to have to do more work and change that.”

By Josh Greenberg As another season of traditional Friday Night Lights gets underway, the football team will be fielding a new quarterback, along with many other new players. The heart and soul of the offense is Captain and Offensive Lineman Chase Keller who is one of the few returning varsity players to the team. Although the game was played and WJ fell short it was revealed that WJ ended up winning the game by forfeit due to Wootton using an ineligible player. The football team enters a difficult stretch in their schedule with big games against Magruder, Whitman, and B-CC. For Keller the most important game for the team is the home game against Fort Hill Game on Oct 11,2013. The entire team is eagerly anticipating the homecoming game against Gaithersburg as they will be playing in front an extra-large fan base. Senior Victor Riveiro is the new quarterback under center this year and despite a slow start has been showing clear signs of improving early in the season as he gains valuable experience. In addition, the offense features many other first year players that are continuing to improve as the season progresses. The team has brought in a new coaching staff with the addition of a new Defensive Line Coach, Sean Green, a new wide receiver coach, Anthony Carlyle, and a new defensive back coach Tishawn McKnight. These new coaches will attempt to revamp the team and help them improve on the disappointing 3-7 finish last season. The entire team is confident heading into the bulk season as all the players have adopted the motto of making strides for the future.

By Amanda Gross



SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

Field Hockey

Girls’ Varsity Field Hockey has had a successful start to the season. The girls won their first home game against Bullis High School on Sept. 10; they played hard to ensure a win and defeated Bullis 4-0. The team had a successful preseason compiling a 4-1 record. Last season, the girls made a historic run to the state semi-finals, and are hoping to win the state championship this year. Coach Erika Murray hopes to lead another successful team this season. It is the eighth year the dedicated school counselor will be coaching, and she plans to focus on the team element this year. “The skills are all there,” she said, explaining that the next step is to bond as a team. This goal seems extremely realistic, as the girls already seem to already have very good chemistry. This year’s field hockey team is very experienced having ten players return from last year. A new team member, sophomore Elizabeth Batwinis, is excited to join the team this fall. “I felt intimidated at first because all the girls are older and highly skilled, but I don’t feel that way anymore because we have such a have a close knit team,” she said. Batwinis feels the team gets the most out of practices when they’re intense. Captain Rachel Rosenberg loves her teammates, explaining that there is a lot of team bonding. “We’re very close, and we play for each other,” she said. “We challenge each other, so there is a lot of high skill and intensity.” She explained that the team is approaching this season with a strategy. “[We will] worry about how we play, and play our own game,” said Rosenberg. “We don’t worry about the opponent, we just worry about how we play and do our best.” The team has an exciting season ahead of them. Big games include Good Counsel on Oct. 2 and Churchill on Oct. 14.


By NickWilliamson



The Girls’ Varsity Volleyball team is positioned to have a difficult year, due to the graduation of three college players. Coach Bill Morris said they only have one returning starter, but he remains enthusiastic about the upcoming season. Claire Weitzner, a senior captain, said the loss of the nine seniors will require this year’s team to spend time figuring out everyone’s new roles on the team and how each member can contribute. Last year, Morris said the team was utilizing plays where hitters would be moved around, so the other team would be surprised during the play. This year, he plans to stick more to the basics as his newer varsity players gain more experience throughout the season. “I think the camaraderie is one of [the team’s] great strengths,” said Morris. “The girls really enjoy each other.” Other than the camaraderie among the players, Morris said the team is realistic and flexible and they’re also quick learners. He said their only weakness is inexperience, and that will change as the season goes on. During practice, Morris focuses on strategies and the actual play of the game instead of fitness, because the average length of a volleyball point is 13 seconds long, with a minute in between each point, and he wants his team to get as many touches on the ball as possible. Morris also said he wants the team to have a big defensive year; the team can’t let the ball hit the ground. He said if they do that, they’ll win a lot of games, but if they’re slow and don’t move their feet, they’re not going to have a great year. “The most important thing we need to do as a team to win is to be aggressive and not let balls simply fall without an effort on our part,” said Weitzner.

Fall Preview

rds as of 3, 2013 Photo by Sarah Schecker

Photo by Sarah Schecker

Kasey Yamashita returns a forehand.

Itziar Puig Barreiro prepares to return the ball. Photo courtesy of Richard Payne

Senior Jordan Cooper hits an approach shot early in a match.

Photo by Sarah Schecker

Ulane Albrecht prepares to pass the ball to a teammate.



By Amanda Gross

The Golf team’s season is off to a fantastic start. On Aug. 26 the boys’ team beat Wootton High School with a collective score of 181 strokes. On Sept. 3., the girls’ team played very well, with senior Rosemary Kepple scoring 40 and junior Madison Mehlferber scoring 56 on a nine hole course. There are seven returning players this season, including seniors Jordan Cooper and Michael Gilman. “My favorite thing about the team is friendship with all of the teammates,” said returning player and sophomore Jordan Bobb. “I will work hard in school practices and train outside of school [to make this a great season.]” Coach Richard Pane is coaching for his seventh season. He has high hopes for the season, since the boys have yet to be defeated with a team average of 185.5 strokes, less than 48 strokes per player, in contrast to Wootton High Schools which has over 63 strokes per player. “[I plan to let] the young men play and enjoy themselves,” said Pane. The team lost their best player from last year, Evan Shapiro, who led the team with an average of 37 strokes. Pane admits that while Shapiro was hard to replace. “[he believes that there are] one or two young members who can take his place and pick up the slack,” said Pane. The coach and team are very excited for this season, with an ultimate goal of making it all the way to states. “We have an outstanding team,” said Pane. “I look forward to coaching this season.”

By Sabrina Greene

Girls’ Tennis started the season off strong with a 2-3 record. After losing six starters last season and acquiring a new coach, the team’s goal is to finish in the top half of its division. New coach Mitchell Duque has set his own goals for the team this year. “My personal goals for the team are for each player to improve throughout the season, [and] for our team to be an example of excellent sportsmanship and for each player to leave the season with a firm understanding of the areas they need to improve on in the off season to come back next year better than ever,” said Duque. The team has a lot of youth with eight freshmen, seven sophomores, three juniors and three seniors on the roster. With such a young team, Duque is looking to the future. “I believe I’m establishing high expectations and firm foundations for continued success in the years to come,” he said. Standout players to watch are top singles player senior captain Kasey Yamashita, as well as top doubles partners senior captain Elinor Cohen and sophomore Eden Sela. “This year is a rebuilding year for us,” Yamashita said. “We have a lot of new players but we have a lot of potential. I think this year we will continue to be competitive with all the top schools.” The team’s upcoming home matches include Wootton at WJ on Oct. 7 at 3:30 p.m. and Quince Orchard at WJ on Oct. 10 at 3:30 p.m.

Sports 20

What’s Inside

18 19 +

The Pitch gives insight on all the Fall sports teams

SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

New coach, same winning mentality

By JakeWeinischke

While some players may posAll good things must come to an end. sess some natural Former soccer coach, Michael Williams athletic ability, has worked the helm of the boys’ varsity how they exersoccer program for the past eight years cise that ability is until his recent resignation. He has been what will decide at the forefront of the team’s success and has overseen the development of count- whether or not less prominent players, such as Gedion they are successZelalem, who was recently named to ful. “[This type of Arsenal’s first team, and seniorJeremy work ethic] preEbobisse, who has recently committed pares you for life to Duke University. in general,” said It is no wonder why it came as a shock Williams. “[I beto the soccer community when Willieve] that hard liams announced his resignation from Photo by Sarah Schecker the head coaching position early last work pays off.” Considering Coach Morales gives a speech as his team watches on. May. high school playing career at Sherwood, In addition to his significant contri- William’s stature in the athletics com- where he was selected to the Maryland butions to the boys’ soccer program, munity, it is no surprise that he had All-State team, Morales brought his Williams is also the program coordina- an integral role in the selection of his talents to Lehigh University. He subtor of the Minority Scholars Leadership successor, Hector Morales, who was, sequently returned to his alma-mater, Program (MSLP). When MSLP spread until recently, the head coach of Sher- Sherwood, this time as coach where he wood High School. Williams asked Morales if he was interested worked the helm through the 2012 seain assuming the position son. Morales led the Warriors to conshortly after announc- secutive state titles during the 2004 and ing that Williams stepped 2005 seasons. Morales embarks on his debut season down. Upon being asked, Morales didn’t hesitate to with WJ with high expectations. “To win the state title, it’s all about take advantage of the protiming,” he said. “We have 12 games posal. to develop, sync as a team, and build “[I] jumped at the opchemistry amongst ourselves. If we are portunity to coach for able to peak in late October, we will be such a well-respected difficult to beat in the playoffs.” program,” said Morales. So far, things are running smoothly. Morales’s reaction ac“The transition to WJ has been excurately portrays the Photo courtesy of Jonathan Meyers Mike Williams pumped up his team during halftime of the prestige of the WJ soccer cellent at this point,” said Morales. “I’m regional finals as coach last year. program. Along with WJ, enjoying working with a good group of Morales received multiple young men. It’s remarkable how into 10 other schools last year, Williams volved the student body has been. And found himself facing a difficult decision: offers but when it was time to make a the parents and administrators have whether or not to continue coaching. decision, he didn’t think twice. “I was contacted about two other been extremely supportive.” He eventually decided that it was time While the coaching staff may have unto surrender his coaching duties in or- positions in the county,” said Morales. dergone a significant change, one thing “I applied for one of the positions just der to fulfill his obligation with minorremains a constant: a winning tradition. ity scholars. However, Williams claims before Coach Williams contacted me. WJ has established itself as one of the Although nothing was definite about he will never be able to fully step away the position at WJ, I withdrew my ap- elite soccer programs in Montgomery from the game, nor the WJ team. County and the entire state of MaryMuch of Williams’ success during his plication for the other school and hoped land. The team has started the season tenure as coach can be attributed to the everything would work to my benefit at just the way anyone would expect, exclose-knit teams he strived to build. WJ. As you can imagine, I was excited emplifying the characteristics of a winHe treasures the camaraderie with the when it all worked out.” While Morales may be new to WJ, he ning team and an accurate representateam. Williams’ relationship with his is a seasoned veteran in the world of tion of WJ’s storied soccer program. players can be reflected in the fact that soccer. Shortly after wrapping up his he still communicates with players from his first season as coach, eight years ago. Many of these players even volunteer their time at tryouts, eager to help preserve the community and success Williams helped create. Williams had a fatherly influence on some of his players, inspiring them on and off of the field. “I still consider them to be my boys and I’m still proud of them. Soccer will always be an essential part of my life,” said Williams. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Meyers

Coach Morales, along with the rest of his coaching staff, advises his team during a match earlier this year.

Leading Off Failure can result in success if one perseveres

By Ben Resnick

The minimum expectation of modern day society is success. Nobody wants to hear the “F-word.” It’s unacceptable. Whether it is during school, work or in a sports game, nobody wants to fail, but greatness stems from failure. Everywhere you look in sports failure is present. It is inevitable that someone will come out feeling like a failure. Someone will make a bad decision, not execute a play correctly or simply choke under pressure. However, the players and coaches who are able to overcome the adversity that failure presents, and have the ability to learn from their shortcomings and mistakes, will be the players and coaches who continue on the path to becoming the best. Learning from failure occurs at every level of sports. Basketball legend Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, a devastating blow to his morale and confidence in his basketball ability. However, instead of simply accepting the fact that he had failed and moving on, Jordan was compelled to prove everyone wrong, working harder than anyone else on his way to becoming a star first at UNC Chapel Hill and then in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls. This is just one example of failure leading to success, but many other professional athletes share similar stories in which they were driven by failure until they eventually reached greatness. Even in our own athletic community, athletes at WJ see each other fail on a regular basis. A linebacker misses a tackle, a runner trips over a hurdle, a baseball player strikes out. Things happen, and although it may be frustrating, we move on and learn from the experience. High school athletes fail over and over again during the course of their practices and games, but it is also the chief reason they are so successful in competition. Failure is a touchy subject in our society, but people have to stop being scared of failure and start shooting for greatness. Whether it is in sports, music, academics or any other aspect of life, people cannot be afraid to aim for success. As the popular motivational speaker and author Les Brown said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land among the stars.”

Sept. 30 Issue of The Pitch