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Common Sense

IDENTITY OF WOOTTON: We speak of his name every day. Who is the real Wootton?


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FIELD HOCKEY: Currently dominating the competition, the girls look to keep the streak alive.



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MOSQUE MELTDOWN: What’s more important? The Constitution or the sentiments of the 9/11 victims?


PARKING WOES: Students wait on pins and needles for the parking lot to be painted with new parking assignments.

Volume 40, Issue 1 - Thomas S. Wootton High School - 2100 Wootton Parkway - Rockville, MD 20850 - September 28, 2010

Dr. Ira K. Thomas replaces Critton as 2012 administrator

graphic by Michael Krakower

Students ‘Plan for the Future’ Boys’

Christine Chang staff writer Tall, wide-shouldered, and sporting a pale pink tie, Dr. Ira K. Thomas, Wootton’s new junior class administrator, joined the Administration this school year. “[My counselor] told me to not even think about college. She said I wasn’t college material and that I should get a job instead,” Thomas said. “I didn’t care what she said. I knew I was going to find a way there.” According to Principal Dr. Michael Doran, Thomas has fully filled the void left by the previous class of 2012 administrator, Dr. Frank Critton, who retired this past summer. “I wanted someone to come in who had already been an assistant principal and already knew a lot of stuff,” Doran said. “I liked [Dr. Thomas] because he came in with a lot of skills already.” In fact, Thomas was the principal of Kent County High School in Worton, Maryland for a year before he relocated to Montgomery County. “He’s a quick learner, he’s got a good background, and he seems to be someone who really likes kids,” Doran said. “I want someone who can relate to the students, but still be firm with them. He seems to

have thrown himself into Wootton, and made a real effort to be a part of the community.” Juniors are enthused at the prospect of learning what Thomas has to offer. A goal that both the juniors and Thomas share is their desire to improve regular communication between the administrator and the grade level students. “I would like to see him get to know more students in his grade because I feel like right now, administrators don’t really get involved with any of us unless we are causing trouble,” junior Matt Schliep said. In addition, juniors hope to learn more about the man at the helm. “I’d like to get to know our administrator a bit better,” junior Michael Fu said. Although Thomas was an ordinary high school student who played basketball and football, most enjoyed history class, and led the Black History club, he possessed a determination that came to define Thomas. Disturbed to see the rampant racial hostility at his Eastern Shore High School, Thomas argued his case before the principal, who waved away his see THOMAS, page 3

soccer attains 4-1 record

Kathy Shaw staff writer

Katie McKenna sports editor

On Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24 and 25, “Planning for the Future” had a pilot run as an expanded program to all grade levels. Principal Dr. Michael Doran initiated the event to give Wootton students time to map out their futures. Teachers were instructed to not assign homework over the weekend in order to give seniors time to start or finish their college applications and essays. The freedom from school work was also designed to provide the other grade levels with the time to prepare for the SAT/ ACT, practice the PSAT and discover interests in extracurricular activities. English teacher Jennifer Martin, whose son is currently in his last year at Wootton, finds it easy to sympathize with just how difficult the college application process can be and supported this “No Homework Weekend.” “I think this is a very reasonable request from Dr. Doran; doing college applications requires time and energy and concentration, and with school work on top of that, it’s overwhelming,” Martin said. Martin, who headed the essay assistance session from 2-6 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday, helped seniors with developing and editing their college essays. “I just want to make this whole process quick and painless as possible,” Martin said. She is enthusiastic about assisting them at such a crucial point in high school and wants to help lessen their anxiety. Besides essay assistance, the program also provided application assistance and an introduction to Naviance, an online assistant database that helps match students with potential picks for colleges based on aspects such as their interests, achievements, SAT scores, GPAs, and

The boys’ soccer team has quickly become the dominant sport of the fall season. The team is 4-1, falling only to Walter Johnson on on Tues. Sept. 7, the fourth ranked team in the DC area. This season the team is led by senior captain midfielder Daniel Riggio and junior midfielder Danny Weinstein. With the loss of 11 seniors, the Pats hope to return just as powerful as last season. The Patriots sit at the top of the 4A East division and have only let up three goals this season all came from game against Walter Johnson. “We have three goals for this

season: to win the division, earn a seed for the state playoffs and go deep in the state tournament,” head coach Doug Schuessler said. “I would not set these challenging goals for this team if I did not think they were attainable.” On Wed. Sept. 22, the Patriots took on Springbrook and emerged victorious by a score of 3-0. The first half was close until Wootton started to pull away and Weinstein was able to move past defenders and find the goal, putting the Pats up 1-0 at the half. “If we want to win we, simply have to work harder,” senior striker Chris Khokar said. The second half was mostly onesided; Wootton was able to break away with goals by junior midfielder see SOCCER, page 11

photo by Ariana Amini

Sophomore Spiros Tsakos fights for posession of the ball.

Montgomery County maintains its academic prestige

Anna Tragotsi & George Ewald news editors Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has seven schools on Newsweek’s list of the Top 100 public high schools in the nation for 2010, making Montgomery County the only county with multiple schools on the top 100 list as well as breaking its own record of having six schools on the list. The seven high schools are Richard Montgomery (33), Poolesville (59), Bethesda-Chevy Chase (63), Winston Churchill (75), Thomas Wootton (84), Walt Whitman (85) and Walter Johnson (95). In order for Newsweek to come up with their Top 100 list, they rank schools based on the access of Advanced see FUTURE, page 4 Placement and International Baccalaureate

classes. MCPS considers scores in AP and IB exams a part of “7 Keys to College Readiness.” The “7 Keys” program is a series of K-12 steps that are aimed towards leading the way and preparing high school students for college. “By providing broader access to rigorous classes, we are giving our students a distinct advantage in college,” Superintendent Jerry D. Weast said, according to the MCPS website. The website also states that the results presented in the Newsweek list support the changes implemented for the past 11 years in a positive light. “We have made a commitment to giving all students access to college-level work, so they are better prepared for the rigors of post-secondary classes,” MCPS Board of Education President Patricia

O’Neill said. According to a report by Education Week, MCPS also has the highest graduation rate among the nation’s large school districts (83.1%)and has been named one of five finalists for the $1 million Broad Prize for Urban Education due to the accomplishment of narrowing the achievement gap and the rise of academic achievement. “Simply taking an AP class more than doubles a student’s chances of earning a bachelor’s degree, which leads to higher lifetime earnings and greater success in the workplace,” Weast said. Even though Montgomery County has improved its ranking as a whole, Wootton has gone down the chart, largely see WOOTTON, page 4



Common Sense - September 28, 2010



New information about Titanic sinking A new account by Louise Patten, granddaughter of the Titanic’s Second Officer Charles Lightoller, reveals that it was confusion about steering orders that was responsible for the sinking. The ship had time to miss the iceberg, but the helmsman panicked and turned the wrong way.

Nine American troops killed in helicopter crash

In Kabul, Afghanistan, a NATO helicopter was reportedly shot down by taliban forces killing nine american soldiers. NATO claims there were no reports of hostile fire before the incident.

First woman in almost 100 years executed in Virginia Teresa Lewis, 41, was executed by lethal injection on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010. Lewis was convicted of hiring two hitmen to murder both her husband and stepson in October 2002. Lewis planned to provide sexual favors and money to the hitmen, and planned to collect a $250,000 insurance policy after the murders.

School Calendar October 1

Yearbook Senior Ads Due


Early Release Day


Wootton Rocks Concert

5 11

Blood Drive

Columbus Day


Senior Breakfast and PSAT


Pep Rally


Homecoming Dance


Wootton @ 40

28, 30

Music Hit Parade

Security to paint student parking lot MCPS budget cuts prevent the lot from being professionally done Daniel Wadler editor-in-chief The security guards will be renumbering Wootton’s student parking lot during the month of September because Montgomery County budget cuts prevented the lot from being renumbered professionally over the summer. Until the lot’s completion, seniors will treat the lot like open parking. The school system had planned to paint all the parking lots over the summer as part of an annual cycle, but the cycle has been delayed and many schools will not be repainted until summer 2011. “Given how it looks, we have to photo by Colleen Moritz do something ourselves,” Principal Dr. Michael Doran said. “It’s a pain, but Dr. Doran implemented a temporary open parking policy because of the difficulty students are the security guards are nice enough to experiencing in reading the faded spot numbers.This will continue until the lot gets repainted. do this favor for us.” no longer sure. spot,” Rzepka said. “Everything is a lot Normally the school can usually Because so many spot numbers easier.” rely on the county for small tasks, are difficult to read, for the time being Many driving seniors would like Wootton security has never had to do seniors with parking spots in the lot are the open parking policy to become this in the past. parking wherever they please. permanent, but the open parking The surface of the lot does not The school’s primary concern policy will be terminated as soon as the hold paint very well, according to regarding the temporary open parking lot is completed, however, because of Doran, and the paint is especially faded policy is the safety of the students who safety concerns. after last winter’s snow storm. “The park in the lot. “We want the students “It’s a shame that they knew the lot parking lot took a beating last year,” he to be able to drive to school, but safely,” would need to be repainted after the said. Doran said. snowstorm but they waited so long to “I think only about a quarter of Safety does not seem to be too do it,” senior David Harvey said, “but the numbers need repainting,” security much of an issue, according to senior open parking does make the morning head Mr. Gregg Melvin said. Christina Rzepka, since students are routine a lot less stressful. “I didn’t want it to look not aggressively fighting for parking Seniors were not allowed to park unprofessional,” Doran said. “But they spots. for the first week of school, as is the seem confident they can do it.” “I’ve parked in the same spot every policy every year. “It gives us a week The security guards has ordered day,” senior Kris Neild said. to make sure everything’s in place,” the paints, stencils, and others supplies. “[Open parking] seems to be okay Doran said. The school uses this week Doran is not sure when the project will so far,” Dr. Doran said. There have to finish handing out parking permits be finished because there are too many been no injuries or dangerous collisions and making sure that no students have uncontrollable factors. in the lot yet this year, and many seniors any problems with their parking spot “We’ll get out there weather do not mind the temporary policy. designations. permitting,” Melvin said. Melvin had “I like being able to park in a spot Also, the student parking lot is predicted the lot’s completion would that’s more convenient for me,” senior not necessary for the first week of occur during the week of September Melissa Whitman said. school because College Institute and 20, provided that the weather did not “It’s nice not to have to worry student internships have not yet begun, become an issue, but at this point he is about other people parking in my according to Doran.

First of two sponsored blood drives to take place in lower gym

On Tuesday, Oct. 5 the Organization for Humanitarian Aid (OHA) will be sponsoring another biannual blood drive. Students will be able to sign up during all lunches in the cafeteria or in teacher Jeffrey Benya’s room 130 by Friday, Oct. 1. A pint of blood can save up to three lives. Last year there was a total of 93 students and 25 staff members that donated blood. The drive was such a success that Wootton was ranked third in the county behind Montgomery Blair and Paint Branch High Schools. Benya is considering turning the blood drive into a competition between MCPS schools in order to encourage more blood donations.



Jerry Weast to Senior Breakfast to retire after 35 years take place during Dr. Jerry D. Weast, one the PSAT of the nation’s longestserving large school district superintendents, informed the Montgomery County Board of Education that he intends to retire on June 30, 2011 after 35 years. In 2003, he was named Maryland Superintendent of the Year and was one of four finalists for National Superintendent of the Year. Weast is one of only a few superintendents nationwide to win Superintendent of the Year in two states. Weast said he is confident that the culture of high expectations that has been the foundation of MCPS’ reform efforts will continue after he retires.

Senior Planning will sponsor a Senior Breakfast on Oct. 13 in the cafeteria, after the senior class picture that will be taken on the bleachers at the football field. The breakfast will concide with the PSAT taken by all juniors, sophomores and freshmen. The breakfast is an annual event organized by the senior class that is meant to bring all seniors together. There will be a variety of foods that have been donated from a variety of food stores and parents. All seniors are encouraged to attend and wear their senior class t-shirt in order to show their class spirit.


Wootton turns 40

Wootton will be celebrating its 40th anniversary through a month of special events. Activities include the Wootton Rocks, Concert, the Class of 1975 reunion at the Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Centre, a Wootton Through the Decades presentation, and a Back-to-Class open house with alumni guest speakers. There will also be a time capsule that will be recorded during all homeroom classes on Sept. 24. The grand finale will be a festival on Oct. 23 featuring decade exhibitions, musical performances, clubs and sports events and an opportunity to take a picture with a Patriot.

“It’s Game Time: Make your move” The theme for this years Homecoming is board games. Tickets are on sale through Tuesday, Oct. 5. Only 1,500 tickets will be sold, so students are encouraged to buy them early. Students can buty their Homecoming Dance tickets online. Further information can be found on the Wootton website. The theme for Monday is ‘Make Your Mark Monday,’ Tuesday is ‘Team Tuesday,’ Wednesday is ‘What Not To Wear Wednesday’ and Thursday is ‘Patriot Day.’ There is no school on Friday, but the Homecoming game is still on Friday Oct. 15 at 6:30 pm vs. Churchill.



Common Sense - September 28, 2010

LC policy eliminated New rules established to ensure consistent student attendance incorporated detention as part of the first and second offense consequences. At the start of the new “It’s fair because students school year, Montgomery County shouldn’t be skipping class,” initiated a new rule that dropped freshman Mackenzie Allen said. the previous LC policy. “If they’re missing or late to In past years, five tardies in class, there should be a legitimate a given class would result in one excuse and a note. That way, you unexcused absence, and five won’t get in trouble.” unexcused “Students absences would may think it’ll Before kids had result in a loss be better for few ‘get out of jail of credit for the them than the free cards’ because class. old policy but they had three This year, it’ll turn out days to miss before Montgomery to be worse County took something bad hapwhen they have away the pened. detention with LC policy every unexcused -principal Dr. Michael Doran altogether. absence or tardy,” “Before, sophomore Elliot kids had a few ‘get out of jail Burklow said. free’ cards because they had three Many students find the new days to miss before something attendance policy worse. bad happened. This [new system] “I think [dropping the policy] will help us identify the kids who is bad because the new rules are trying to skip class due to are even stricter,” junior Jessica academic reasons faster,” Principal Yarvin said. Dr. Michael Doran said. “Sometimes you can’t help it It will be left to the discretion if you’re late to class,” senior Ilan of departments in the school Simanin said. “Like if my alarm to set rules for how an unlawful doesn’t go off or there’s traffic absence would be handled. on Wootton Parkway. Now, if I “Each department will be come a few minutes late, I’ll get handling this differently and by detention and get in trouble for their professional judgment,” something that wasn’t really in my Doran said. control.” For example, the English The loss of credit policy was Department requires a detention an issue in the county, but not and e-mail to the parents, on the specifically at Wootton. However, first offense, and will only give a Wootton has had to adapt to the 50% to the missed assignment. county’s changes in the way it sees The second offense will result in a fit. detention, an e-mail to the parents “We would follow up on and to the administration, and a students we thought were falling loss of credit for the assignment. behind due to the old LC policy. “It’s a lot stricter now,” Our policy is really very simple. Be sophomore Joe Stapleton said. at school and be on time, because “It’s a lot easier to get a detention.” then the change won’t matter,” In fact, all departments have Doran said. Sara Foster staff writer

photo by Anna Tragotsi

French teacher Elyse Lynch has 44 students in her first period class. Foreign language is one of the many academic departments that was affected significantly by the increase of class sizes.

Class sizes reach as high as 45 students Allie McRae editor-in-chief

Because of budget cuts and loss of teachers, class sizes have increased dramatically. At the end of last year, budget cuts resulted in the loss of seven teachers. The cut in staff members has resulted in an increase in the average class size. The largest academic classes are AP NSL and Foreign Language classes, with a cap of 40 students– a cap that cannot always be observed, especially at the beginning of the year. Many Physical Education classes also have as many as 45 students. “The reason we have bigger classes is pretty simple. We have the same number of students, but seven teachers got cut,” Assistant Principal Carol Sander said. The increase in class size has resulted in difficulty scheduling classes, especially for seniors. Many students were unable to take a desired class because of the crowded classrooms. “I was not able to change into the classes I wanted because of the bigger classes,” senior Chris Castillo said. However, many of the difficulties with scheduling are not

caused by the increased class size this year, but by the sheer number of students at Wootton. “Most of the complaints are the same things we get at the beginning of every year,” Principal Dr. Michael Doran said. The Math Department especially seems to be affected by the larger class size. In a note sent home to parents and students, the Math Department acknowledged the crowding that the larger classes had caused. The letter also alerted the students that two classes, a period of Quantitative Literacy and a period of Statistics and Math Modeling, would be closed in order to create two additional classes of students who were. “I never like changing classes, but it’s kind of a combination of budget cuts and kids changing what they want to take,” Math Department Resource Teacher Christopher Tucker said. These changes are not the only ones that are being made to prevent crowded classrooms. Several other departments were also affected. “The changes are not even finished yet. We’re going to continue to make positive change,”

Doran said. Some students, however, do not think that the change in class size affects them in a negative way. “Everyone keeps saying that it’s overcrowded, but I was able to get into all of the classes that I wanted to get into,” senior Vivian Cheng said. Some people even see benefits in a larger class because of the variation of opinions it offers to discussions. “The more people in my class, the more people I get to choose my friends from,” freshman Hailey White said. Doran does not predict any future class size increases because of the simple issue of classroom space. At the moment, students, teachers and administrators are not allowing the large classes to cause a disturbance. “We’ve already asked for more staffing so we can create more sections,” Sander said. Doran realizes that a minor setback like large class size will not faze the Wootton community. “Our teachers are professional,” Doran said. “They are able to handle it.”

Junior class gets new administrator

from THOMAS, page 1 protest. “Eastern Shore was socially backwards and the best thing for me was to get away from that environment,” he said. His experience there, however, created a lifelong appreciation for African American history. After a season-ending injury during senior year of high school cut Thomas’ football dreams short, he vowed to pursue a different career. “I knew that if I was ever going to amount to anything, I was going to have to rely on my own brains and my own determination,” Thomas said. Thomas is the first member in his family to attend college, Thomas earned an undergraduate degree in sociology from Morgan State University in 1980, a master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of Maryland, and a doctorate in teacher education from Harvard University in 1991. Throughout his college years at Morgan State, Thomas worked the 11 p.m - 7 a.m shift at the local 7-11 convenience store to pay his tuition, while often studying six to eight hours a day to catch up with his peers. During his 30-year career, Thomas has primarily held non-teaching positions, focusing on ensuring that schools are equitable for students and educating teachers on cultivating positive relationships with students. Thomas hopes to apply the lessons he learned while researching and educating teachers on student-teacher relationships towards his administrating approach.

“If I think that somebody else can help a young person more, then I’m not going to allow my ego to get in the way and say, Oh wait a minute, I’m the administrator,” Thomas said. “What’s important is that the kid gets to somebody that they feel comfortable with.” His diverse career encompasses a stint running a foster care health clinic, a period researching teacher education, and tenures as principal or administrator at a diverse range of high schools. “Wootton is a school unlike any other I’ve ever worked at,” Thomas said. “This is a whole new experience for me, which is refreshing because a lot of my career has been working with youngsters who could be deemed reluctant learners.” In addition to his experience with students in both academic and clinical environments, Thomas is the father of two daughters who attend Stone Mill Elementary School. Besides playing sports, he also enjoys competing in billiard tournaments. The philosophy Thomas espouses to his students bears the distinctive mark of a lifelong underdog who surpassed many others through tenacity and diligence. “There’s a difference between a person who just wants to get it versus a person who is willing to work hard,” Thomas said. “I don’t care if you’re living in a box. I’m still going to have high expectations of you. My job is to inspire photos by Christine Chang and encourage them to a right of way, to tell them, ‘You got Top: Thomas prepares to greet students by the front doors. to get busy.” Bottom: Thomas interacts with a student. Previously, he worked in a number of academic and clinical institutions.



Common Sense - September 28, 2010

Wootton ranked 84th in U.S. from WOOTTON, page 1 because it is being compared to small selective schools, magnet programs and other gifted and talented schools. “We are being matched by schools that aren’t like us,” Principal Dr. Michael Doran said. “We should be matched up with schools just like us,” Doran said. “A real neighborhood high school and not schools that attract only the best of the best.” The rankings are decided by the number of seniors a school has graduating and the number of AP classes are being taken. Wootton has more students doing internships then most schools in the county. Though the school has

consistently ranked among the top 100 high schools in the U.S. its ranking has dropped compared to the past year. “Our grades and AP scores are improving, but no one looks at that,” Doran said. “We have better AP scores than most schools.” Doran’s plan for senior year is to provide as many options as possible for students, where they go out and receive firsthand experience in the field they wish to study and not just sit in a classroom and take AP classes. “I don’t want to run an AP factory,” Doran said. In addition to the AP classes, Wootton provides the option of participating in the College Institute program for seniors, in which the Montgomery College faculty teach-

es college-level courses for students. “College Institute is cool because with the time off you have more freedom, but at the same time, a greater responsibility to independently keep up with your work,” senior Katie Anastasi said. “Classes are more particular and interesting and my teacher really knows what she’s talking about, I love anthropology.” Besides anthropology, College Institute provides a variety of other courses that suit the specific interests of students and aim to prepare them for their field of interest in college and the workplace. For more information, visit html.

photo by George Ewald

MCPS has seven schools on Newsweek’s Top 100 public high schools, making it the number one county.

Changes to AP exam grading to impact students’ scores, strategies

Sara Foster staff writer The College Board made changes to the scoring system of the AP exams, effective May 2011. The changes have the potential to drastically alter the way students approach the multiple choice portion of the exams. On previous exams, no points were given for unanswered questions, and one fourth of a point was deducted for each wrong answer. Starting this year, points will no longer be deducted if the answer is wrong. “The change in scoring is good,” senior Jeffrey Popkin said. “It makes it easier to make an educated guess.” “I feel like the new scoring format is a lot better,” senior Julia Farkas said. “Sometimes, all you can do is narrow the choices down to two, and it makes it easier knowing you won’t get marked off for getting it wrong.”

“It’s cool because you’re just being graded on your raw score,” Junior Chris Powers said. However, students have mixed feelings about the new grading system. “Kids might not study as much if they know they won’t get marked off for getting the question wrong,” senior Meredith Berman said. The College Board also released a new schedule for test dates. In previous years, AP NSL was the first exam given, but this year AP Chemistry and AP Environmental Science are listed for the morning test and AP Psychology is scheduled for the first afternoon. “The changed date is a huge difference this year,” Career Center Coordinator Mrs. Lynda Hitchcock said. “Psychology and chemistry on the same day is a big change, and there will probably be some conflict.”

According to Hitchcock, since there is a possible conflict between psychology and chemistry students, not having NSL on the first day was a good move. “It’s our youngest students’ first AP test, and the process is unknown to them,” Hitchcock said. “The change is definitely a better format.” The AP Calculus test format for both AB and BC calculus has also been changed. Part A will require two problems to be completed in 30 minutes with a graphing calculator and part B will not allow calculators, allowing students 60 minutes to four problems. Aside from scheduling and multiple choice changes, the price has also risen from $86 from $87. “It affects everyone in the same way,” AP English Literature teacher Alex Barron said.

‘No Homework Weekend’ gives students time for college applications, future planning from FUTURE, page 1 even preferred price ranges. On Saturday, Sept. 25, parents and students were given the opportunity to obtain tips and advice from experts, learn the differences between early decisions and actions, and learn how to prepare for college interviews. “It doesn’t matter if you haven’t started; now’s the time. We have something for everyone depending where you currently are in the whole process,” Martin said. The program also benefited underclassmen. On Saturday Sept. 25, Princeton Review offered juniors a free practice combination SAT/ACT exam, titled PRA. “This free test [is] an excellent opportunity to be exposed to both exams without cost,” Career Center Coordinator Mrs. Lynda Hitchcock said. For the program’s practice tests, students were required to register online in advance in order to take advantage of this opportunity. As for sophomores, it is too early for them to be bothered with college anxiety. “If they realize that in a few years they’ll be in the same boat, they’ll be able to appreciate this homework-free weekend,” Hitchcock said. Sophomores could have used this weekend to prepare for the SAT, PSAT, and ACT. “Planning for the Future” flyers distributed to all students provide many links that lead to helpful test preparation as well as step by step career planning.

Freshmen were expected to participate in this event as well. “This is a great time of year for the freshmen to just sit down and make a mental note of what they would like to do with their futures,” Hitchcock said. Freshmen can scope out Wootton’s list of widely-varying clubs and sports and select a few extracurricular activities that appeal to their interests. This weekend could have proven to be a very valuable time for those who used the program to its full capacity. The degrees of enthusiasm towards this event varied. Some expressed a level of skepticism, believing that students would simply take advantage of this “No Homework Weekend” and waste their time away on individual leisure pursuits. “I doubt that anyone [actually used] all their free time to study for a practice test,” sophomore Gus Mondelo said. “I’m happy with it though.” On the other hand, others were slightly more enthusiastic and proactive. “It’s really up to them; all we’re doing is giving them the opportunity,” Doran said. “I can’t force anyone on any given day to do anything.” He is hopeful that the students grasped the opportunity wisely. The level of participation will serve as an important factor in deciding the two-day program’s level of success. Nevertheless, the attitudes of the faculty and the students towards the program will also hint towards how effective it has been.

Billboard Common Sense - September 28, 2010




Common Sense - September 28, 2010

Tardy policy is too strict

Common Sense Editors


Although many students were excited to hear that it is now impossible to lose credit for a class, the new system may be even worse than the old one. The old LC policy left people scrambling to class to avoid getting marked absent for the period. Under the old system, five unexcused absences resulted in a loss of credit for the course. Some teachers, under the LC policy, would additionally give students a detention for their tardiness. Many students complained about the old system because they did not receive the proper three-absence-warning before they lost credit for a course. However, the new tardiness policy may be even more problematic. Each teacher seems to have their own rules for punishments for being late to class. There is now even less consistency among teachers. Although it is true that a student can no longer lose credit for a course, they can still fail the class. This new policy will motivate students to have their notes submitted to the attendence office in a timely manner, but so did the old LC policy. As teenagers, it is expected that students will forget things once in a while. If it happens to be a late pass, they should not be penalized in such a severe manner. The new policy works for the kids who are skipping class but does not account for the students who simply forgot a pass or fell victim to the hall traffic. Instead of punishment, students would better learn their lessons through a reward system, for punctuality and timeliness. Even giving out detention to students who have missed class more than once would be a more effective method for disciplining students. This policy is not just negatively affecting students, but the faculty as well. Teachers spend all day with students, and the last thing they want to do is watch over kids on a Friday afternoon. In addition to grading papers and coaching teams after school, teachers are now held responsible for disciplining tardy kids without stipends. In the end, the county has taken a step back from its once happy medium. It should be good that schools are cracking down on the age-old habits of class-skipping, but the decision is making it far too difficult for both students and faculty. Common Sense welcomes letters to the editor, but reserves the right to edit them as necessary for style, punctuation, grammar, and spelling. Letters may be submitted to the Common Sense mailbox. All letters must be signed, but requests to remain anonymous will be considered. Please contact us at

Editors-in-Chief Allie McRae & Daniel Wadler

Managing Editors

Michael Krakower & Daniel Moon

Arts Editor Evan Rindler

Commons editor

sagari Rao assisted by Arun Raman

Features Editors

Jeffrey Hilnbrand & Alisa Sonsev

News Editors

George Ewald & Anna Tragotsi

Opinion Editors

Samuel Morse & Phyu-Sin Than

Sports Editors

William Browning & Katherine McKenna

Photo Editor Ashley Gladner

Business Manager Daniel Moon

Distribution Manager

William Browning & Samuel Morse

Online Editor Earl Lee

Online Assistant Editors

Christine Chang & Phyu-Sin Than


Jaclynn Rozansky Thomas S. Wootton High School 2100 Wootton Parkway Rockville, MD 20850 301-279-8550

Monthly Madness

cartoon by Jeanie Kim

Budget cuts limit available resources Washiq Ahmed staff writer At the start of the school year, students have probably noticed how outdated the textbooks have gotten, how hard it is to change classes, and how some of the services that were available last year are no longer available. Over the last couple of years, the operating budget has increased to fulfill the needs of students and teachers, but according to the Montgomery County Public Schools, for the first time in recent years the operating budget has been cut. The operating budget is set aside for day to day operations such as employee compensation, staff development, administrative costs, textbooks and other instructional material. Now with cuts close to $100,000, students, faculty members, and the administration will face the burden of adapting to new school procedures. With more and more budget cuts, teachers will be asked to do more with less, causing problems because of a higher student-to-teacher ratio. Because of the cuts, close to 600 positions have been removed in the county, 300-400 of these positions being teachers. At Wootton, seven teachers have been cut, impacting the entire student community. Throughout the county, the student-to-teacher ratio has risen to a high of 25:1. At Wootton, the student-to-teacher ratio is significantly higher at 36:1. Usually with such a high student-to-teacher ratio, student academics are negatively impacted. However, assistant principal Dr. Anthony Nottingham has a positive outlook becuase of Wootton’s “phenomenal teachers.” Unfortunately, others in the county such as the President of the Board of Education Patricia O’Neill and a member of the Board Phil Kauffman do not share the same sentiment as both believe that the cuts will in fact have a negative impact on student academics. Since the operating budget covers staff development, with more cuts, less experienced teachers will enter the workforce without being properly trained. Students in need of extra support will have a harder time with their own academics as teachers and teacher aid positions are being eliminated.

Budget cuts for students also means a lower availability of courses at, as the county can no longer provide for more classes. As the competition for college spots grows global, students will face more and more setbacks as they will not have the ability to strengthen their college resumes with AP classes. Moreover, students will not be able to step out of their comfort zone and try courses that may interest them because a variety of courses will no longer be availible. Nottingham has advised students to be patient and understand that your teachers may be over-worked. But even with lending an understanding to teachers, students are faced with the dark reality of getting through the same challenging curriculums with fewer resources. O’Neill and Kauffman both believe that things will not get better over the next few years and will probably only get worse, leaving students with more and more challenges. There are few things students can do to improve the situation but if students really do care about their future then they should voice their opinions to the county. The Student Member of Board of Education can help students as a part of representing the county’s student body on the Board of Education. In the end, even teachers and staff members feel the downfall of the economy.

photo by Ashley Gladner

The economic crisis caused major cuts in the educational budget.

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Common Sense - September 28, 2010



Yes, it is insured under the First Amendment Sam Morse op-ed editor “This is America, our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable.” -Barack Obama We live under a set of laws drafted by our local, state, and national governments. At the core of our national government is the Constitution, and within is the First Amendment which states that no law can be made impeding the free exercise of religion. If we do not allow the Mosque to be built in Lower Manhattan, we are essentially going against the very values of this nation. Since 9-11, the attitude Americans have towards Islam is one of ignorance and hatred. In order to move past this horrible mischaracterization, Islam needs to be given a new face in the United States. The proposed mosque could give the Muslim people a positive appearance in the US. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that if we would, “play into our enemies hands,” if we did not allow the Mosque to be built, and to “cave into popular sentiment would be a victory for the terrorists.” Many have argued that the mosques proximity to Ground Zero is disrespectful. If where the Twin Towers stood is considered Ground Zero, then the anticipated Mosque would be at about Ground 4 as noted by some New Yorkers. Imam Fesial Abdul Rauf, the leader of the project located approximately twelve blocks from Ground Zero is a noted Muslim who is famous for trying to create ties between the Muslim world and Western culture. He has been working to achieve the goal of incorporating the nonradical Muslims into the modern world.

No, it is insensitive to the families of victims

Phyu-Sin Than In an interview, Imam Fesial op-ed editor claimed that he, “dreams to establish a kind of 21st century [Islam] equivaWhile the Constitution allows the lent of a Jewish Community Center. “ mosque Cordoba House, to be built, its Since the terrorist attacks in 2001, there relatively close location to Ground Zero is an overwhelmingly negative connotais an insult to America and the lives lost at tion with Muslim people. The critics of the the collapse of the World Trade Towers. mosque have dubbed the project a “victory Through many interviews, Imam Feimosque,” for the followers of Islam. 9-11 sal Abdul Rauf inhas stemmed a large sists that the Muslim percentage of AmerAmerican commuicans who misundernity is paying respect stood the meanings by building this of true patriotism. mosque. “I am exBeing a patriot tremely concerned means defending about sensitivity,” the ideals of the Rauf said in an inConstitution, not terview with CNN. only fighting for the However, the country. Patriotism name Cordoba is the advancement comes from a city of American bein Spain, which the liefs of freedom and Arabic Muslims took democracy for all. over in the eighth Like any other century as a part religion, Muslims of their conquest have the right to for the manifest build a house of wordestiny of Islam. photo courtesy of Weeklyreader ship wherever they In Cordoba, please. To not let Design of Park51, two blocks away from Ground Zero site. the Arabic conthe mosque be built querors built a Mosque on foundations would be to incriminate Muslim people with, of a Christian Cathedral to show viccontrary to popular belief, no ties whatsoevtory. Building a mosque near Ground er to al-Qaeda or any radical Islamic groups. Zero is already causing chaos throughWhile the site remains questionable, out the nation, but to name it after Corthe legality of the situation is there and doba is beyond insult and disrespect. as forward thinking Americans, we have Due to the complaints against the to allow and respect the construction of mosque, the city renamed it to Park51. the Mosque in peace in order to preserve The funding for the mosque is also under our country as one of freedom and liberty. radar. When Rauf was asked by Fox News

to reveal some supporters of the mosque, he stated that they had wealthy prominent people in their community who works on Wall Street, which includes News Corp. The shareholders of News Corp include Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia through his Kingdom Holding Company. Bin Talal owns about seven percent of News Corp. He has individually funded over $300,000, and, through the Council on American-Islam Relations, another $500,000. America is not ready for a mosque by their scarred grounds where only nine years ago, 2,985 innocent people lost their lives to an act of terror in the name of Islam. Rauf accepted Al-Waleed’s funds but did not directly reveal him by name. Whether there is an underlying plan in the mosque or not, the controversial issue is causing stirs on the streets of New York. Even though the building of Cordoba House is constitutional, there shouldn’t be any reasons to why they should want to build it near Ground Zero as it may insult families who lost their love ones. Especially since the mosque is controversial, New York should take the safe road in order to avoid future uproar of violence and chaos. America must put security before the Constitution and the public’s interest before private religious groups. The Constitution cannot be protected if the peoples’ voices are not represented. Therefore, in order to protect not only the lives of the citizens from radical religious groups, but also to protect democracy, the mosque must be prevented from the shattered grounds of Twin Trade Towers.

Pledge of Allegiance violates separation of church and state In 1994, the Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet was brought to the Supreme Court. The case involved a religious village in New York that wanted government funding for a school district which promoted their religious beliefs. The Court held that funding this district was an unconstitutional support of a religion, and Justice Souter concluded that as the First Amendment states, “government should not prefer one religion to another, or religion to irreligion.” How then, could it possibly be constitutional for public schools like Wootton to recite the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? The inclusion of this phrase promotes not only theism over atheism, but monotheistic sects over polytheistic ones. The problem with the pledge is that it explicitly promotes monotheism. “Under God,” is clearly a reference to a monotheistic supreme being (most likely the Judeo-Christian Yahweh), so the pledgeb violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause in The Constitution. The pledge suggests that belief in a single supreme being is the only belief of American citizens. As an open atheist, what are my chances of being elected as President, or even as a member of Congress? There is currently one openly atheist member of Congress out of 535 total members. There has never been an openly atheist president. While the pledge is not the sole force behind this trend, it certainly reflects Christianity’s status as the “mainstream” attitude in America. The pledge implies a religious criterion for good citizenship and thus limits my, and many others opportunities. Many argue that “under God” is not actually promot-

ing a belief, but is paying tribute to our nation’s Christian or theistic roots. The first fallacy in this reasoning is that our nation has theistic roots. America was founded as a secular nation, one in which a citizen can follow any belief system that he or she chooses, and will still have the same opportunities and rights as all other Americans. There’s a reason the entire Constitution was written only using the word “God,” once. There’s a reason the original version of the pledge didn’t include the phrase “under God.” Why not pay homage to the secular, assimilationist intent of the pledge itself and leave out “under God”? America is a highly religious nation and this has, despite our explicitly secular Constitution and government, allowed the pledge to slip through the vice of the Constitution. Secondly, those who support the pledge for its historical value are placing this value above constitutional rights. Even if we accept “under God” as important to our nation’s groundwork, that does not automatically give it a, “get out of jail free” card from the constitutional protections of the establishment clause. If it is unconstitutional, it should not be used, no matter how important to our history. Take slavery for instance. The farming industry that helped start the economy of America depended highly on slavery. It was thus accepted and even promoted by the founders of our nation. Would it be acceptable if the Pledge of Allegiance said “One nation, under slavery, indivisible…”? Slavery was indeed a factor in starting our nation, but it is unconstitutional and has no place in the pledge. The Constitution clearly prohibits the intertwining of

photo by Ashley Gladner

Saying “under God” in the pledge is hypocritical of American values.

church and state, a mandate that clearly violates this. If you disagree, try replacing the phrase “under God” with “under no God.” Imagine the fit that religions and religious citizens would throw if this were the case. This too would be unconstitutional. That is why the pledge should omit any phrase concerning God at all. As Joseph McDaniel Stewart puts it, “you can’t have an indivisible nation if you draw a line between the godly and godless.” MCPS students are not required to say the pledge, nor are they required to stand for it. Whether you believe in God or not, if you believe in the Constitution, you should refrain from standing for this pledge.

- Ben Lewis class of 2011


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Common Sense - September 28, 2010

Cross Country Girls’: 1-1 Boys’: 1-1

Soccer Girls’: 2-2-1 Boys’: 4-1

Girls’: Sept. 29 vs. Paint Branch at 5:00 Boys’: Sept. 29 vs September 28 @ Paint Branch at 7:00 Damascus at 3:30


Field Hockey

Girls’ tennis




October 1 vs. B-CC

September 28 @ northwest

September 25 @ damascus


5-4 SEPT. 27 vs. Northwest 6:30


1-4-1 Sept. 28 vs. Churchill, Whitman, QO

Football stumbles early, winless after first three games Robert Logan staff writer

The football team entered the 2010 season with very high hopes. With previous defensive coordinator Eddie Tolliver taking over as head coach after the departure of Greg Malling, the team looked to improve on last season’s 2-8 record. However, the Pats have fallen short in their early attempts to get one in the win column. During practice the team looks sharp, but their crisp passing and aggressive defense needs to be translated into a game time situation. The void could be caused from a number of factors, including nerves and lack of communication. Meanwhile, Tolliver remains focused on the big picture. “The biggest thing is for the team to take pride in everything that we do,” Tolliver said. “There are no individuals in this program. We all, coaches included, must strive to make this a respectful and successful program.” “There really is no reason that we cannot have success out on the field,” senior guard Noah King said. The Patriots now look to recover from their early troubles. In their third game, they took on the Springbrook Blue Devils with an aggressive attitude. The Patriots were trying for

photo by Phyu-Sin Than

Wootton’s offensive line prepares to clash with Sherwood defenders in thier home opener on Sept. 3.

another upset coming off of last year’s 35-34 win. However, the Pats fell to the Blue Devils, 32-7. The Patriots defense had its hands full all game with Springbrook’s senior running back Devon Pestano, who rushed for 213 yards and three touchdowns. Wootton senior running back Harrison Bridge rushed for 75 yards, and junior Daivon Adams rushed for his first touchdown of the year.

“In our first three games, we have had some great drives, but we need to stop committing errors that hurt us and take us out of good field position,” Tolliver said. In their second game, the Pats traveled to Gaithersburg to take on the Trojans. Unfortunately, the Patriots could not earn the victory, losing 26 - 13. After a quick touchdown by Bridge in the first quarter, things were looking up for Wootton. Both teams looked strong going

Golfers battle back from sluggish start Conor Higgins staff writer The golf team has had a disappointing start to the season, something they are not accustomed to. “As far as this year, we have a lot of new players. We have gotten off to a slow start, but I look forward to seeing improvements throughout the season,” head coach Erin Williams said. “All the players are getting along well. Once tryouts are over, everyone settles in and gets to know each other.” However, it seems as though the team is still struggling to find their groove. In their the first match they beat Quince Orchard, lost to Bethesda-Chevy Chase and tied Walter Johnson. In the second, they lost to Damascus, Whitman and BCC leaving their record at 1-4-1. “We have a lot of good players capable of posting good numbers. We just need to work on our consistency,” Williams said. The Pats look to improve their record by working on chipping and putting. “We need more players shooting around 38” Williams said Fortunately, star senior Connor Tendall is having another impressive season. He has played on varsity all four years and looks to lead the team this season as captain. “We are struggling, with the exception of Connor who is tearing everything up” senior co-captain Kevin Redden said. The Patriots have a lot of work to do

before the season starts. “We have the potential to be good, but Connor can’t carry all of us,” Redden said. “I don’t know why we aren’t playing well as a team” Tendall said. The team starters are Tendall, Redden, sophomores Marisa Cresham and Ethan Richardson, and two others that are undetermined. “I need to step up most of all,” Redden said. With practice three times a week at Lakewood Country Club, the Pats have a tough challenge each day, practicing for an hour then going out and playing nine holes. The team will hopefully improve with the tough challenge of Lakewood’s layout. The Patriots have only a couple of matches left until coed districts with an upcoming match against Whitman, Churchill, and QO this Tuesday at Whiskey Creek. The Pats look to beat these tough opponents and prove they are a top contender. If the Patriots can finish of the tail end of their season strong, then hopefully they can go into the coed districts with a hint of optimism. However, the Patriots will need to pick up their play in order to have any sort of success in districts. Districts begin Monday, Oct. 4 - which means not a lot of time to improve on their play. “I expect to see better scores as the season progresses,” Williams said.

into halftime, with a score of 13 7 in the Trojans favor. However, Gaithersburg, led by senior quarterback Zachary Fetters, found the end zone multiple times in the half, giving Fetters over 200 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. “After the first half we lost focus and made a lot of mental mistakes,” senior center Mitch Rampp said. “It is the little things that kill you, and unfortunately for us, they did.”

Despite the mishaps on defense, the Pats were able to establish their running game with Bridge’s two rushing touchdowns. “We ran the ball very well during the game,” senior quarterback Nick Wise said. “Our tempo was also up as we were moving the ball all game.” In the Patriots’ home opener, they faced the defending state finalist, the Sherwood Warriors. Wootton was not able to contain the Warriors offense, dropping their first game 38-3 with senior kicker Scott Ayers supplying the Patriot’s only points with a 25 yard field goal. Sherwood gave the Patriots trouble all game; with senior quarter back A.J. Pignone throwing for 207 yards and two touchdowns. However, the Patriots only got one field goal out of their three red zone opportunities. “It was good to get the first game butterflies out of the way,” Rampp said. “Even though we lost, you just have to look forward to the next week.” The Pats played their next game against the Paint Branch Panthers. The Panthers, 1-2, are coming off of a loss at Sherwood. “We have to want it,” Rampp said. “This week we really have to focus and have the desire to win.” The Patriots’ game against Paint Branch at Blair on Friday, Sept. 24 ended too late for this edition.

Girls’ tennis begins strong season Tyler Klein staff writer The girls’ tennis team opened up their season with a dominating win over Blake, winning all seven matches that they played and improving their record to 5-2. However, in their second game against B-CC, the Patriots were down three games and needed to win the final four matches to improve their record to 2-0. Although they made a quick comeback, they fell just short, losing 4-3. “We crushed Blake 7-0 in our opener,. It is a shame to have a match like that before such a big game like this,” head coach Fevronia Cresham said. “We would have liked a tougher match to open up the season.” Last year there was a three-way tie for the division title, but Wootton’s name was nowhere to be found. The Patriots will look to improve on last year’s strong finish. “It is all up to what the girls want to bring,” Chresham said. “We are very capable of winning the division this year.” Star player, junior Megan Hahn won in a very unconventional way. After winning the first set, 7-3 in a first set tiebreaker, Hahn was down one game early in the second set against B-CC’s top player. Serving for the game after battling back to earn a deuce in the second game of the second set, Hahn’s opponent began to hobble and grimace every time she took a step.

In the middle of the point, the B-CC player collapsed as her ankle gave out in what seemed to have resulted from cramping. The game was delayed ten minutes as spectators helped the injured player off the court. “It is really awful for that to happen to anyone,” Hahn said. “Especially in such a tight game where every point is so crucial to win.” B-CC’s number one player could not return to the match, giving Hahn the victory. Overall the Patriots’ look to be one of the top contenders for the county title, but their achilles heel seems to be their serving. A serve is the start to every point and in order to win any match the team needs to find a way to consistently serve the ball over the net. “We could not serve; it is plain and simple,” senior doubles player Lauren Sanker said. “It would have definitely made a difference in our game and in the match [against B-CC] as a whole.” The team will be without most consistent server Hahn, which means everyone else will have to step up and fill the hole left by Hahn’s absence. While Hahn is out against Damascus, another equally devastating loss for the Lady Pats will be the absence of Cresham. The Lady Pats will finish off their road stint today at Sherwood and will look forward to the county playoffs from there on. The Patriots’ match against Damascus on Saturday, Sept. 25 ended too late for this edition.



Common Sense - September 28, 2010

Girls’ soccer has shaky start

Girls’ volleyball looks to improve before playoffs Conor Higgins staff writer

Will Browning sports editor

After dropping two consecutive division games, the girls’ soccer team was in danger of falling far down in the county standings. However, the Lady Pats’ 8-1 victory over Springbrook on Sept. 22 seems to indicate they have turned their season around. “If we can continue to play like we did against Sprinbrook, then we’ll be in good shape to contend for playoffs,” senior Liz Inserra said. The Patriots simply outpaced the Springbrook Blue Devils, scoring four goals in each half. Seniors Kayla Murray and Abbey Engleman, both of whom had two goals apiece, sparked the Patriots attack. Inserra and juniors Krista Cantrell, Rose Broner and Sylvia Deppen had one goal each. “Not only did our passing game improve, but I also felt we meshed better as a team,” Cantrell said. “After our losses, we decided that Springbrook would be the first game of our ‘new’ season. We truly worked together, so I’d say were off to a good start!” Before the Patriots’ win over Springbrook, they had lost their two previous games to Sherwood and Whitman. They were both competitive games, but the team lost 2-0 at home against Sherwood and 1-0 at Whitman. “We fell short against Sherwood and Whitman,” junior Nicole Kopsidas said. “But those games could have gone either way. We’ll just have to learn from it and move forward.” On Sept. 13, against highly touted Severna Park, the Patriots flashed the sort of talent that could take them deep into the county playoffs. The Patriots held their own against Severna Park, ranked No. 6 in the area by the Washington Post, playing to a 0-0 draw in overtime. The defense was solid and anchored by sophomore goalkeeper Lindsay DeStefano who maintained a shutout against one of the top teams in the area. The Lady Pats opened their season strong at home Sept. 7 against Walter Johnson, with a 3-2 overtime victory. DeStefano was strong in goal again, and the defense played equally well.

photo by Colleen Moritz

Senior Sylvia Deppen aggressively charges the feild to set up for a play.

Inserra and senior Becca Kelly scored in regulation time and capitalized on tremendous throw-ins from junior Erin Borda. Sophomore Toni Urovsky scored the game-winner in the overtime period, with an assist from Kopsidas. Despite stumbling out of the gates by losing two key division games, the Patriots will look to use their recent success as positive momentum. “We’re going to try to show a marked improvement throughout the regular season and then hopefully look to challenge for the county championship,” head coach Keith Yanity said. The biggest focal point for the Lady Pats will be improving play throughout the season. Because the regular season record does not dictate whether or not they make the playoffs (or even determine seedings), the Patriots will look to experiment with different lineups and formations – in search for one that will work for them in the playoffs. The Lady Pats will face the Paint Branch Panthers at home

After last year’s impressive finish, the girls’ volleyball team has entered this season unsure about how they will fare. The Lady Pats lost seven seniors from last year’s team, but returning senior captains Abby Hsiung, Katharine Chen and Katie McKenna will lead the team. “It will definitely be a rebuilding year for us,” head coach Mary Malinauskas said. There are five seniors on the Lady Pats this year, and if they want to go deep into the playoffs, all of the seniors will have to step up and carry the team. The Pats have a 5-4 record for the season. “We have really picked up our game and have come together as a team,” Hsiung said. “We have so much potential to continue to grow and connect on the court.” The team won its first match against Clarksburg in three straight sets on Tuesday, Sept. 10. The girls participated in the Magruder Invitational this past weekend, winning three and losing two games and making it to the semifinals. The Pats also won in straight sets against Paint Branch, Rockville and Urbana, but lost close matches to both Sherwood and Magruder. Although their record is not as good as it has been in previous years, the Lady Pats will still strive to exceed expectations once again. “Our goal is to go to states and win, which will take a lot of work, but I believe if we all play and work to our fullest potential then we can do it,” Hsiung said. “With a determined mindset, I’m confident that we will succeed.” The Patriots look to continue their success at Walter Johnson at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 1.

Cross Country teams expect to repeat last season’s success Michael Krakower managing editor

In 2009, the girls cross country team had their strongest showing in nearly 10 years. They ended the season with impressive third place finishes at Counties and Regionals, and a fourth place finish at States.  The boys did not fare as well last year, but they look to make up for it with a strong showing this season.  “The first goal this season is that both the girls’ and boys’ teams qualify for states, which the girls have been doing for the past few years,” assistant coach Jake Buxton said. The boys are led by senior captains Brian McGrattan, Handson Wu and Kenny Wohl, but star underclassmen have proven successful so far this season. Sophomores Josh Trzeciak and David Levine put up the best times among the boys at the Magruder invitational on Friday, Sept. 10.  Trzeciak finished in 14th place and Levine finished in 29th with Wohl right

behind in 30th. The boys are pleased with their performance at the Magruder Invitational but would like to see less of a gap between the top and bottom runners. “We have great depth,” Wu said. “With experienced seniors leading the team and young talent putting up great times, we are a force to be reckoned with.” The boys team knows that the work they put in during practice translates into consistent performances at meets. “We are confident that the boys will make States this year given they maintain the level of work and effort that they have currently shown,” Buxton said. The girls did slightly better with notable finishes among juniors Madeline Rico and Karen Cohen finishing sixth and 22nd respectively. Other girls ran a solid race but look to finish closer to Cohen and Rico at the next meet. On Tuesday, Sept. 21 the Patriots were matched up against the Northwest Jaguars. The boys’ team lost to the Jaguars

24-31, but had big proformances by Trzeciak and Levine, who finished second and third respectively. The Lady Pats defeated the Lady Jags 37-19. Rico and Cohen led the girls, finishing fourth and fifth. “We hope to run as a pack so there will be less time in between our finish times,” senior captain Cara Lahr said. The boys and girls collectively could not keep up with private school powerhouses but were towards the top of the pack among Montgomery Countr public schools. In order to maintain last year’s success, the coaching staff has kept the same positive mentality. “You have to work with the team in terms of psychological preparation, but I wouldn’t say we changed anything in terms of physical preparation,” Buxton said. With the winning formula in place, the team is hopeful to duplicate last year’s success. The Patriots Bull Run Invitational at Hereford High School on Saturday, Sept. 25 ended too late for this edition.

photo courtesy of Steve Ertel

Junior Jamie Ertel runs in the Magruder Invitational event on Aug. 26.

Boys’ soccer team starts solid, outscoring opponents 10-2 from SOCCER, page 1 Cameron Manning and Riggio, giving the Patriots the 3-0 victory. “So far we are doing pretty well, but we are still trying to build chemistry and grow as a team,” Riggio said. “If we can learn to play as a team then we can make it deep into the playoffs.” The 3-1 Patriots were set to face the 2-2 Sherwood Warriors on Monday, Sept. 20. The game was evenly matched and highly competitive. Although the Patriots did have many opportunities with consecutive corner kicks as time wound down in the half, they were unable to finish on any of their first half opportunities. Well into the second half the score was tied at 0-0.

Finally, with 15 minutes left in the game, senior midfielder Adam Kravitz was able to find the back of the net, assisted by sophomore midfielder Vikram Potnuri. “We did not play the best we could have against Sherwood,” Weinstein said. “But a win is a win.” On Tuesday, Sept. 7 the Patriots were matched up against the Walter Johnson Wildcats, who are ranked fourth in the metro region and second in the 4A West division. The game started off rather close, and the Pats were able to contain the quick Wildcat offense. After giving up a quick goal the Patriots stayed within reach. The game ended with a heart-breaking score of 3-2. Junior striker Max Goldschein and Riggio were the only two to find the goal for the Patriots offense. “We knew this was going to be a tough game, but it

was disappointing for all of us when we ended up losing,” Schuessler said. “[Walter Johnson] or B-CC will definitely be the hardest teams we will play this season because they have tons of talent and really work well together as a team,” Weinstein said. “But I think if we play to the best of our ability we can contend with any of the top teams.” In the season opener, the Patriots emerged victorious over LaPlata 2-0 on Saturday, Sept. 4. Weinstein and Khokar had one goal apiece. “By the end of the season I hope to achieve our full potential as a team by working hard,” Weinstein said. The Patriots’ next game is at home against the 1-2-1 Paint Branch Panthers on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.



Common Sense - September 28, 2010

P A T R I O TP R O F I L E S Nick Wise: Football

Abbey Engleman: Soccer

Jason Oringher staff writer

Savage: The term fits senior quarterback Nick Wise perfectly. His aggressive and hard-nosed playing style prompted his teammates to give him the nickname. After watching him on the football field, it is not hard to see why. “People can expect to see a quarterback that plays hard until the final whistle,” Wise said. “I’ve learned never to give up when things go wrong, so I always give it my all on every play.” Wise has taken over at quarterback this season and has already shown that he brings something new to the table. “Nick is more of a dualthreat quarterback than we have had in the past, so we have more options for how to use him,” junior left tackle Ben Killion said. “He has a great arm, and is also very mobile.” Head coach Eddie Tolliver has also been impressed with Wise in practices and games and is confident that he will be successful in leading the offense. “He has great pocket presence and really knows when to slide away from trouble,” Tolliver said. “He’s a running quarterback, so that helps a lot too.” Wise did not start playing organized football until his freshman year, and has learned to play multiple positions over his career. Although he has played in games as a safety, cornerback and wide receiver, quarterback is

Christine Chang staff writer

photo courtesy of Julie Bradley

Wise looks for an open receiver in the Sept. 10 game vs. Gaithersburg.

his strongest position–he threw for a JV record 29 touchdowns during his sophomore year. “When we have a tough game, I try to look past it and tell everyone that we need to fix the things we messed up on and come out stronger the next week,” Wise said. “I’m not too vocal in the locker room, but I have the kind of leadership that really comes out on the field.” While Wise is all about football when he is on the field, off the field he is known by his teammates as a jokester. He believes keeping the mood light off the field allows the team to mesh when they are playing together. “Nick is my best friend, so I always have confidence that we can work together on the field,” senior wide receiver Greg Potemken said. “Nick and I have a

connection, and we know we can make big plays together.” Although Wise does not consider himself to be superstitious, he performs the same pregame ritual every time he takes the field. He warms up before games with his shoes untied, waiting right up until the first play to knot them. Wise expects big things from himself and the team this season. “My main goal is to be one of the top three quarterbacks in Montgomery County,” Wise said. “I want to lead the team deep into the playoffs.” Even if Wise doesn’t quite reach his goals, he still considers himself lucky. “Playing for Wootton has been a tremendous experience for me,” Wise said.

After patiently waiting behind several classes of talented players, senior soccer captain and forward Abbey Engleman is ready to assume a leading role this season. In her fourth and final year on the varsity squad, even after the loss of key seniors, including former All-Met midfielder Allison Yeager, Engleman approached the season with high expectations for herself and the team, a goal that varsity coach Keith Yanity shared as well. “You want her to show leadership ability and you want her to put some points up,” Yannity said. “Every year she’s progressed and gotten more confident about her leadership skills and her ability to score.” After a winning start to the season, including an overtime tie with Severna Park, the Lady Patriots have been mired in a two-game losing streak. “Since we’re in a mental slump right now, I want to be able to lead the team,” Engleman said. “I hope to help pick everyone back up and use all our skills so we can be really good this season.” Engleman upheld her promise, scoring a team high two goals in an 8-1 win over Springbrook. While Engleman is expected to anchor the team’s offense this year, her coach and teammates also attest to her value to the team as a teammate and leader.

photo by Ashley Gladner

Engleman eyes the ball to prepare to unleash a blast across the pitch.

“She’s really supportive and really funny, and younger girls look to her for guidance,” Yanity said. “It’s not just about being a good player; you have to be respected as well.” Although not the most vocal of the three senior captains, Engleman focuses on building rapport and consensus among her teammates. According to senior captain Becca Kelly, Engleman is respected for her dedication and appreciated for her irreverent sense of humor. “We can always count on Abbey to organize team bonding activities and provide energy for momentum in games,” Kelly said. “She’s a source of humor on our team.” An athlete her whole life, Engleman also excels at lacrosse, but chose soccer

her junior year, a testament to her dedication towards school. With the added stress of her fifteen college applications on top of her classes, Engleman maintains balance by making use of every minute out of her day. “I want to do as well as I can in school, so I go home after practice and do homework until as late as I can,” Engleman said. Although she does want to play club soccer in college, her aspirations mainly lie in being the consummate teammate and propelling the team towards a successful postseason. “I love the sport of soccer, and I don’t want to give it up,” Engleman said. The Patriots have a pivotal game against 3-3 Paint Branch at 5 p.m. tomorrow night at Wootton.

Undefeated field hockey team looks sharp through opening games Tyler Klein staff writer In his last season as varsity field hockey coach, Mike Parrish has a shot at a spectacular finale to his career. The team has opened their season at 4-0, inciting early talk of postseason possibilities. Most recently, on Sept. 22, the Patriots blew out Watkins Mill 5-0. The team took complete control of the game, going up 3-0 at halftime, and did not let up a shot in the second half. In the Patriots’ third game they routed Blair 5-1 as three players scored in the first half and four scored total. Junior forward Grace Saylor led the way scoring two goals. “Our offense has finally started to come together,” Parrish said. “After back-toback games, scoring a total of two goals in regulation, it is nice to see us put up three in the first half.” The scoring came quickly as senior

forward Amanda Carlson scored off a fast-break minutes into the game. Saylor and senior forward Maggie Adams also contributed, each scoring once before the half. However the most exciting play came in the second half, as junior forward Casey Dowling scored off a goalie clear. “I did not expect the ball to come my way,” Dowling said. “My first instinct was to get the ball, and my second was to score.” With no one around her, Dowling stole the goalie’s pass and, in the same motion, faked the goalie to scored. In Wootton’s first game, however, defense was all that could be found. Tied 0-0 at the half against Magruder, the Patriots hoped for a better second half to open up their season. However, this was not the case as both teams’ defense shut down anything that appeared to be a scoring chance. “Our defense was strong the whole game, but unfortunately Magruder’s defense was just as good,” Adams said.

The game was decided in overtime, which seemed like a miracle in a seemingly never-ending 0-0 tie, as sophomore forward Rowan Kubeluis’ shot hit the back of Magruder’s net. “It was really exciting to score the gamewinning goal in my first game as a varsity team member,” Kubeluis said. During the Whitman game, Wootton’s offense struggled again, only putting up a handful of shots against Whitman’s defense. Early in the second half, junior forward Mia Lee tied the game at 1 with a passing shot threw the Whitman defender’s legs. A masterful pass off a corner taken by the Patriots gave Wootton the lead. With less than five minutes to play, a Whitman player put up a scorching shot. As the ball passed senior goalie Sarah Foster, defender and senior co-captain Maddie Averill blocked it by throwing herself in front of the goal. The Patriots’ defense intensified as

unlikely star defender junior Annaka Stables came into the game. The Patriots stopped an all-out offensive attack by Whitman, who brought up everyone they had on the field to try to score off consecutive corner passes. However, unable hold off this attack set forth by Whitman, the Patriots surrendered a goal with only seconds left in the game. “It gets really tiring to play your heart out only to end up in another overtime game,” senior co-captain Daniella Hanacek said. The Patriots ended things early when a one-two pass from Hanacek to Kubeluis to Wright led to a scoring shot by Wright. In the past two years, the Patriots have lost every game to Whitman. Since this is Parrish’s last season as the coach, however, the players wanted to make it memorable. “We want to make it a good last season, so we are trying really hard to beat our rivals and make it to States,” Wright said.



‘Wootton Rocks’ out in second annual showcase Megan Vincentz staff writer

Last year’s “Wootton Rocks” concert showed how much talent radiates from each of the Wootton bands. Wootton harbored the band O.A.R in their earlier years, which gives the newer musical talent at Wootton some big shoes to fill. But Breaking Borders, The Neon Rush and Infinite Faze have shown many their promising musical abilities and have given Wootton a reason to get excited. For $5 a ticket, students can enjoy the rock n’ roll stylings of each of these bands at this year’s “Wootton Rocks,” being held in the Wootton auditorium on Oct. 2. Last year’s concert has undoubtedly raised the bar for these returning bands. “I think people can expect more mature music from us this time,” junior Breaking Borders guitarist Nathan Kastner said. “It’s definitely a departure from the music of the last record, but at the same time it’s still us. We have all really grown as musicians as well, and that has hugely contributed to where we are.” The band is planning on having its next record out by the end of November and is planning to showcase many of its new songs at the show. They are eager to give the public a preview of the new sound they have adapted.

Returning artist The Neon Rush, made up of college freshman lead vocalist Collin Peterson, lead guitarist Andy Andrade, bass guitarist Mark Andrade, and senior drummer Daniel Mears started to make noise in each other’s basements before eventually putting themselves on the map. The Walter Johnson students came together in 2007 and quickly developed a distinct rock n’ roll sound that eventually caught the attention of RYO Records, which later became their label. The sophomore members of Infinite Faze, however, changed up their sound over the course of the three years they’ve been together. “Our music has definitely shifted from rock n’ roll to more modern,” sophomore guitarist, bassist and vocalist Landon Fleischman said. “We write songs as a group, jam to it, polish it up a bit, and then go crazy with it live.” Three years ago, Fleischman teamed up with drummer, pianist and vocalist Jamie Rotbert and guitarist, bassist, drummer and vocalist Aaron Tian to create the band. “When we first started, we had about two fans and never really played any sort of concert, so we’ve definitely come pretty far,” Fleischman said. “Last year’s performance for us was nothing compared to what this year’s is going to be. We’ve come pretty far musically, and definitely when it comes to stage presence.”

Breaking Borders performed at last year’s first “Wootton Rocks” and is excited to perform again this year.

The band has played in a variety of places, including Rio and the Hard Times Café, covering songs as well as singing songs off their newly released self-titled album, which they plan to sell at the show. “Last year’s [performace] was great,”

Kastner said. “We want to entertain, and we want our friends to see what we have been working on recently and the best way to do that is to just go out and play.” Wootton Rocks will be Oct 2 in the Wootton auditorium.

Two new productions on the horizon Evan Rindler arts editor

photo by Ashley Gladner

Marching band players organize before their halftime routine. During the game they sit in the stands and pump up the audience with music.

Marching band prepares new routine Summer camp provides bonding experience for musicians Darren Koragani staff writer During the halftime of the Wootton vs. Sherwood football game on Sept. 3, crowd members were treated by the spectacle of the Wootton marching band performing “Barcelona,” by Gary Gilro, a fast-paced Latin song. What the audience did not see were the hours of hard work that go into each and every performance. Every summer before the new school year begins, the marching band gets back together to practice and bond as a group. All marching band members must attend a band camp, a two week-long period of reuniting and practicing marching manuevers for the shows of the upcoming year. Band camp is organized and run by band teacher Caroline Herman. “I’d say the purpose of band camp is for the students to learn and practice the new material for the upcoming performances,” Herman

said. The marching band performs during halftime of the Wootton home football games, executing a different routine every school year. Band camp takes place during the final two weeks of summer vacation, and lasts from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Three and a half hours of practice may seem tiring and stressful, but the band members are usually content with the company of their friends. “Some kids enjoy the experience, since they all like to reunite with their friends after the summer,” Herman said. “The first half [of band camp], we have individual practice with our instruments, and the second half we practice marching as a whole with the rest of the band,” sophomore French horn player Ariana Yeatts-Lonske said. The band members need to practice individually as well as practicing as a whole because they must play accurately and move flawlessly as one group.

This year, the first home football game was after only a week of regular school, making band camp crucial for preparing a routine and training the musicians in such a short period of time. There were other challenges to contend with as well, with the influx of new members. “We lost a lot of our great senior members, but we gained a large amount of new freshmen this year,” Herman said. “I’m really happy with all of them.” The band members also believe that the band has improved this year. “I think we’re better off this year because more people showed up to camp,” Lonske said. After the two rigorous weeks of band camp, the marching band students are rewarded for their hard work with a pizza dinner. The marching band will perform the national anthem and a halftime routine at every home football game.

The theater program has hit the ground running this year. With two exciting new shows, the fall season has a lot of potential. Wootton’s first production will be a musical review of the greatest hits from popular shows that have graced Wootton’s stage. It is an eclectic mix, featuring songs from “Sweeney Todd,” “Children of Eden,” “Grease” and more. Titled “Wootton The Musical: A Decade of Hits,” the show features music from as far back as 2003’s dramatic hit “Les Misérables,” and as recent as last spring’s “Bye Bye Birdie.” The diverse hit parade features songs from 11 different musicals. The theater program hopes to expose past hits to those who have not seen them, and remind those who have. The challenge is to bring to life the glamour and nostalgia of previous productions while imbuing each song with a new life. “It’s really great that we have this opportunity to pull from our own history,” choral director Jacqueline Serratore said. According to Serratore, despite the influence from previous years, there is a unique spin on each song. The varying structure of each song gives birth to numerous possibilities for organization. “You have 50 different ways of featuring people in this musical that you wouldn’t have in a typical book show,” Serratore said. The show is a great opportunity for aspiring stars to prove their worth. Students in the chamber chorus are automatically featured in the show. “More people are going be performing this year than ever before,” director Adam Graham said. “This [style of show] is more relaxed,” Serratore said. Older theater veterans are comfortable with performing shows from their past. Others are excited for a chance to participate in shows that were before their time.

Backing up the chorus are the talented pit musicians, led by veteran conductor Caroline Herman. According to Herman, there will be a smaller pit needed for the show. “We’re hoping to do a combo-like pit that can be really tight and swinging,” Herman said. Following “Wootton The Musical: A Decade of Hits,” is the humorous winter play “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge.” The comedy is written by accomplished satirical playwright Christopher Durang and is a parody of Charles Dickens’ classic novella “A Christmas Carol.” “It’s something that hasn’t been done,” Graham said. Unlike last year’s production of the classic play “You Can’t Take It With You,” “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge” has never been performed by a Montgomery County school. In addition, this winter play has been chosen to be reviewed by the Cappies, the Critics and Awards Program. The Cappies are responsible for reviewing and nominating high school shows. Last year, Wootton’s musical “Bye Bye Birdie” was nominated in several categories, such as Best Song and Lead Actor in a Musical. By submitting a play for review, serious actors have the chance to be recognized for their work. A change made to attract a larger audience has been to extend the run of the play from one weekend to two. According to Graham, word of mouth is important in building hype. When students and their families go to see the shows, they tell their friends all about it. “Everyone is going to hear how great the show is,” Serratore said. With two new shows, the fall season promises to be a blast. “We’re going to have a great fall,” Graham said. “Wootton The Musical: A Decade of Hits” is scheduled to run Oct. 22 and 23, and “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge” is set for Dec. 3,4, 9, 10 and 11.



Common Sense - September 28, 2010

Thomas Sprigg Wootton: the legend, the unknown hero

Daniel Moon managing editor

For the students of Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School, or any students for that matter, the name of their school serves as a symbol of school pride. It is that proud gut feeling you get when your sports team triumphs over that of another school—Churchill, for example—or when your school earns respect from others for academic or artistic excellence. That’s what makes our students proud to be a Wootton Patriot. But how did the school come to be called Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School? People easily recognize Winston Churchill or John F. Kennedy, but “Wootton” is identified with the high school more than it is with the person. So, who really is Dr. Thomas Sprigg Wootton? Few truly know. “I feel weird, because I go to the school, and I should know who he is,” senior Adam Erat said. Though Dr. Thomas Sprigg Wootton may not be as well known as the aforementioned English Prime Minister or U.S. President, he certainly played a vital part in writing the history of the United States. Wootton was born around 1740 in the Poolesville area of Maryland. He was a physician and most notably the founder of Montgomery County (according to the Montgmery County Circuit Court). While serving as a member of the Maryland Constitutional Convention, Wootton successfully introduced a bill to divide the preexisting Frederick County into three separate counties. The county was created on September 6, 1776, just over two months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Montgomery County Historical Society states that delegates wanted to send a sharp message to the British by naming the two new counties after American generals of the Revolutionary War, George Washington and Richard Montgomery. Prior to this prominent achievement,

photo courtesy of Dr. Michael Doran

The Wootton Coat of Arms: The metal silver symbolizes sincerity, chastity and peace. The color black represents constancy and generosity. On top is a person with a wreath whose bat wings symbolize cleverness and intelligence.

Wootton was an ardent Revolutionary durBeyond his contributions to the fight for ing the war against the British Crown. When independence, Wootton continued to play George III of the British Empire tightened an active role in the development of the new his control over Boston after the Boston country, helping to draft Maryland’s ConstiTea Party, Wootton was one of the ten men tution and the state’s Bill of Rights. to present a resolution to During the very same I like the idea of the Annapolis to cut off all constitutional convention school being named after where Montgomery Councommercial ties with Brit[Wootton]. It gives the ain. ty was created, Wootton Throughout the Revand the delegates drafted a school an identity.” olutionary War, he colbrand new constitution for - Principal Dr. Michael Doran laborated with Colonel the infant state of MaryZadok Magruder in organizing neighbor- land. hoods for the war effort. Magruder High After the creation of Montgomery School in Rockville is named after the Revo- County, he served in judicial positions within lutionary Magruder. the county’s circuit court.

The Krak Down Michael Krakower managing editor Here, now. The time has come to raise our arms in disgust, for we have been wronged my fellow peers. We have blindly followed the trends set by those who felt entitled to change the course of life as we know it. Look what we have become: a society lacking the most valuable entity it has ever known. Allow me to take you back to a better time. The year is 1997; the treasure was the fanny pack. A busy street is trafficked by thousands, the majority of whom don the glorious pack. There is no shortage of convenience here. Man’s most practical fashion statement gets the appre-

photo courtesy of Molly Shay

Junior Molly Shay dances it up in classic fanny pack chic at a local club.

ciation it truly deserves. Will Smith cassettes are located within arm’s reach. Life is good. Now allow me to bring you back home to a time where fanny packs are nearly extinct. Life is empty and worthless. I call for help my friends. Away with the backpack... Bring the pack back!

According to great-great-niece Ms. Dorothy Wootton Dawson, Wootton was a slave owner, as were many, if not most, whites of the time period. In his will, Wootton requested that certain slaves be freed and that those who remained be treated well. Traces of Wootton’s ancestors can be found decades before the Revolutionary War. Citing the Baltimore Sun daily newspaper, Dawson also said that the Woottons came to the New World in 1607 from Kent County, England. Before the Revolutionary Dr. Wootton, there was an earlier physician named Dr. Thomas Wootton from the 1600’s who looked after Captain John Smith during the first Jamestown expedition. In the late 1960’s, when the Montgomery County School Board was to assign the names of two new high schools, they agreed upon two local Revolutionaries: Colonel Zadok Magruder and Dr. Thomas Sprigg Wootton. And that is how the high school that is our second home came to be known as Thomas S. Wootton High School. “I like the idea of the school being named after [Wootton],” Principal Dr. Michael Doran said. “It gives the school an identity.” Our school contains almost as much history as its namesake. 40 years have passed since the front doors of Wootton first opened. The school started out as a premature high school with students from the seventh grade freshman class to the 10th grade senior class with around 1,200 students. Now, the ninth graders preside as the freshmen and the 12th graders as the seniors, totaling around 2,500 students. Over the four decades, nearly everything has changed—a bigger building, more students, more classes, new teachers, more programs, more sports teams, more honors–the list goes on. The one feature that the school has kept close to its heart is its name and identity: Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School.

Fooling the frosh: Ninth grade myths debunked Alisa Sonsev features editor

Most people remember what it was like on their first day of high school. For some, a distant memory of being the youngest and most ignored; for some, an experience in the present. But do we remember all of the frightening myths and fables that we were told by our older siblings, friends and favorite movies? “I was actually afraid of getting stuffed into a locker because that’s what happens in all the movies,” freshman Pedro Maddens said. Some upperclassmen like to play practical jokes on the freshmen. “When I was a freshman, I fell for the old ‘There’s a pool on the fourth floor’ trick,” senior Ilan Similan said. “I think freshmen are getting smarter because none of them believed me when I told them that” The most common rumors that freshmen hear about Wootton are that there is a pool or ice skating rink in the basement or fourth floor and that the pizza served in the cafeteria is ordered from one of the major pizza food chains. “The only reason we believed these crazy rumors is because we wanted them to be true,” sophomore Roni Zelivinski said. Along with the building rumors come the stories of the dreaded “Freshman Friday” or “Freshman

Hell Week.” “I heard so many rumors about freshmen getting hurt by upperclassmen, but I soon realized that that just isn’t true,” freshman Sheoli Gunaratne said. Freshman Friday, as made famous by many movies, is usually on the first Friday of the school year. It’s a day where upperclassmen take advantage of their seniority and play jokes on freshmen. In some extreme cases, freshmen get chased down and beaten up. However, Wootton doesn’t follow these traditions. “I really expected to get pushed around by the seniors, but they are really nice,” freshman Nick Wilkie said. Another high school myth that is

glorified is food fights, typically started by “hooligans” and “rebels” who just want to be heard by “the man.” “I never thought that food fights would happen, they seemed too unrealistic,” junior Sahana Sinnarajah said. Although many stories travel from school to school, there are some myths that pertain to Wootton alone. “I thought that I’d be getting ten hours of homework per night, but that’s not true at all,” senior Anna Pikalova said. After all the movies, rumors and books, it’s no wonder freshmen are a little scared or maybe even a bit excited to start this journey called high school.

photo by Ashley Gladner

Senior Pete Spiropoulos aggressively intimidates freshman Michael Ambrosino in the cafeteria.



Common Sense - September 28, 2010

Secret Service arrives at Wootton Security guard Brian Ammann fills in for Terry Forshey

Teresa Lewandowski staff writer

There is more to Brian Ammann than meets the eye. He has heavy metal on his iPod and the Secret Service on his resume, and we’re just getting started. Ammann, known to most people simply as “the new security guard,” is acting as a long-term substitute for Terry Forshey, who is currently on sick leave, according to head of security Gregg Melvin. Ammann is a Montgomery County native who attended Rockville High School. After graduating in 2004, he attended Towson University and studied criminal justice, so it’s no suprise he landed a job in this field. His new position at Wootton is his first official security job, which he views as a stepping stone to a career with the federal government. “I needed a job. It was survival instinct really,” Ammann said. “I’m closer in age to the students here, so I feel like I can make more of a difference. I know that sounds cliché.” He thinks that the small age difference between him and students helps him understand them more. “I want to treat students human beings. When I was in high school I would want to be treated with respect by the staff.” Ammann is surprised at the welcoming attitude he got from the students at Wootton. “When I was in high school, most people just

ignored the security guards,” Ammann said. “I thought there would be shock because of my size and age, but for the most part everyone seems pretty friendly.” Of course, the reason for this might be that he hasn’t confiscated any students’ phones yet. “I don’t think he’s gotten a hard time from any of the students,” Melvin said. Many students are surprised by the apparent age of Ammann, considering that the other security staff members are considerably older and more experienced. “He seems really young for a security guard, but at

least he’s closer to our age group,” freshman Yeri Zinn said. Ammann has picked up tips from the more seasoned security guards, and feels an equal part of the team. “I’m taking on more of a learning role,” Ammann said. “The other security guards have been really great.” In his spare time, Ammann likes going to concerts and play guitar. His favorite music is of the 90’s grunge movement. “I like listening to bands like Alice in Chains and other music like that,” Amman said. He is also an avid beach bum and skim boarder,

photo by Ashley Gladner

Brian Ammann has become an instant hit with students in his new position as substitute security guard for Terry Forshey (inset) who is on sick leave.

enjoying the warm sand and cool ocean waters. A sports fan as well, Ammann especially favors hockey, and can usually be seen cheering for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Perhaps the most interesting fact about Ammann is that he interned with the Secret Service during his senior year of college. “I was sitting in class and the professor told me about the internship,” Ammann said. “Another professor helped me put together a resume, and I got the internship.” Though not allowed to disclose much information, he did gain plenty experience from his service. “I know how to search someone, and I learned about gang-related activity and drugs,” Ammann said. He can also recognize counterfeit money, and he has witnessed firsthand the Secret Service’s security plans on Inauguration Day. The familiar faces of the security staff have taken Ammann under their wings, and are now a solid team. Nevertheless, the Wootton community wishes the best to Forshey and hopes for a speedy recovery. “[Ammann] is doing very well,” security guard Barbara Kyros said. “He’s kind of popular I think, but we still miss Terry.” Though he isn’t here to stay, Ammann is a wellreceived addition to the Wootton security staff.

Summer silver screen superstar summaries

Jeanie Kim staff writer

A whole lineup of starstudded films invaded American theatres this summer. “Inception,” “Salt,” “Despicable Me” and “Eclipse” were among the most anticipated and most watched films of the bunch by students. “Inception,” directed by Christopher Nolan, features mastermind thief Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) who is sent by a Mr. Saito (Ken Watanabe) to invade the mind of Robert Fischer Jr. (Cillian Murphy). Their mission is to use a technique called “inception” to break up Fischer’s father’s multibillion-dollar empire, which is threatening Mr. Saito’s business. In the end, audiences are left with the big question: “Is this all just a dream?” Common ConSensus: It is unconstitutional to not see this movie! “Salt,” directed by Phillip Noyce, stars Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt, who is unknowingly named in a plot to assassinate the Russian president. The film’s theme of love vs.

allegiance is reflected as Salt battles obstacles to save her husband Mike Krause (August Diehl) while eluding capture by the American government. As much as the movie appeals to action lovers and Jolie followers, it finds fans amongst romantics, as well. Common ConSensus: Waste of money... waste of time... just eh. “Despicable Me,” directed by Chris Renaud, follows the story of Gru (voiced by Steve Carrell) who strives to

be the world’s most notorious villain. When he is beaten by a younger villain, Vector (voiced by Jason Segal), Gru begins a conquest to defeat his rival. But after failing time and time again, Gru finds three orphan girls: Margo (voiced by Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (voiced by Dana Gaier), and Agnes (voiced by Elsie Fisher) who he plans to use for his victory over Vector. Gru soon discovers the true meaning of fatherhood, and the “aww”ing

photo courtesy of mctcampus

Inception captivated the minds of its hundreds of thousands of viewers with its dazzling visuals, dynamic character development and boggling storyline.

is sure to be contagious. Common ConSensus: So cute! “Eclipse,” directed by David Slade, is the most recent installment of the Twilight Saga. The film centers around Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and her love conflict over vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen (Robert Pattenson) and werewolf friend Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Tensions run high when rogue vampire Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) swears revenge on Cullen for taking part in slaying her mate. The blood-lusting vampires attract the attention of humans who blame the killings on a mad serial killer. Ear plugs are a recommended accessory for any newcomers to the screaming fanatic teen girls who obsess over the “Twilight” series franchise. Common ConSensus: Tweens only. These 2010 summer film masterpieces have provided a truly entertaining and relaxing way to start off the school year, as new blockbusters continue to roll out of the studios. What’s next? Off to the Oscars!

Top 11 Jeff, Conor & Tyler’s

It’s One Bigger!

Unconventional Sports Jeff Hilnbrand, Conor Higgins & Tyler Klein features editor & staff writers Welcome to Top 11, the most fun read of the whole newspaper! Every issue we will cover a new topic, filled with everything you could ever imagine. As said in the great film, “Spinal Tap,” “These go to eleven.” So stay tuned, and enjoy!

After years and years of play, conventional sports like basketball, tennis or baseball just seem to get boring. Instead of gathering at the park for another pickup football game, try out some of these options! 11. Cricket. Everyone knows this game as the “Indian Baseball,” but how about actually playing it? Cricket focuses on strategic play instead of the physical strength that is emphasized in baseball. 10. Torball. This sport was originally created for blind people, but now has an expanded community. In Torball, attackers roll a ball into a goal, and defenders rely on sound to locate the ball and knock it away. Check your hearing aid at the door, cheater. 9. Curling. The mysterious sport that appears on TV during the Olympics is actually quite interesting if you figure out how to play. After honing your skills at any of the few local curling rinks of Montgomery County, you too can go pro on a sport nobody cares about. 8. Korfball. While emphasizing gender equality, Korfball is like Basketball without backboards, dribbling or out of bounds, so skill and teamwork are more important. No meatheads allowed! 7. Quidditch. That’s right—straight out of Harry Potter. The rules are way too complicated to discuss here, but by swapping magical flying brooms and speedy Snitches with earthly objects, Quidditch is definitely playable in real life, and still awesome! 6. Kabaddi. This Hindi sport involves teams wrestling opponents while holding their breath. However, don’t get too into it, or suffer the consequences… 5. Sepak Takraw. Volleyball, but instead of using hands and arms, players kick, chest and knee balls over the net. Also look into Jianzi, which is pretty much badminton, but using feet, not rackets, to whack the shuttlecock. 4. Kho Kho. Tag with rules. Enough said. 3. Roller Derby. Players rack up points skating around an oval track and ramming opponents in what can be described as “Roller Skating Gone Wild!” If you’re not up for playing it, at least explore the underground world of this fast-rising spectator sport. Notable Rollergirls from DC’s Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby League include Guantanamo Babe of the Cherry Blossom Bombshells, Obitchuary of the DC DemonCats and Condoleezza Slice of Scare Force One. 2. Cycle Polo. While traditionally played on horses, polo on bikes is so much more practical, and less pompous. Cycle Polo can be played on any given street, and yes, wheelies are legal. 1. Ulama. This is a modern version of a Mesoamerican ballgame, which was featured in the classic Disney film “Road to El Dorado.” Still widely popular in Mexico and other countries, Ulama involves knocking a ball through a hoop with one’s hip. Games can last anywhere between five minutes and several hours, and players get to wear stylish loin cloth-esque gear. Try this one out, and remember to use “the hip, the hip!”




Common Sense - September 28, 2010

Sounds of our Summer everything music from under the sun

photo courtesy of mctcampus; photo (below) by Jeff Hilnbrand

The legendary Dave Matthews Band jams out at Nationals Park (above), and Barenaked Ladies entertains at Merriweather Post Pavilion with of great music and humor (below).

Jeff Hilnbrand & Emily Rogal features editor & staff writer At this point, you would be one of few to still refer to the present as “Summer.” The temperature has dropped, the leaves have begun changing colors, and school is back in session. Nevertheless, the music of Summer 2010 still plays in our headphones, resonates from our speakers, and won’t get the heck out of our heads. While this was no Summer of ‘69, some intense musical happenings went down. Here’s what you may have missed while you were vacationing, summer-camping, or chillaxing at home.

The Singles.

June, July and August gave us another dose of the electronic-drum-filled, synthy, Auto-Tuned melodies that America has grown to love. Despite the fact that these songs draw minimal appreciation from music connoisseurs, it is hard to refute their ultimate catchiness. The Top-40 was dominated by up-and-coming pop sensation Mike Posner’s “Cooler Than Me,” the reemerging Enrique Iglesias’ “I Like It,” Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite,” and Katy Perry’s one-two punch of “California Gurls” and “Teenage Dream.” Perhaps the most successful summer smash was the controversial spousalabuse-driven Eminem/Rihanna duet, “Love The Way You Lie,” which sat in its throne at number-one on Billboard’s Hot 100 for seven consecutive weeks. “I really enjoy how fun and catchy these pop songs are,” senior Lindsay Carver said.

The Albums.

With so many records dropping this summer, it’s hard to only name “the best.” Eminem’s seventh studio album, Recovery, was uber-hyped up until its June 21 release. As Melinda Newman of wrote, “Could Eminem’s Recovery signal a recovery for the music industry as well?” The LP

photo courtesy of

Marshall Mathers makes history again with Recovery.

did perform well, quickly becoming an internationally renowned, chart-topping, single-filled masterpiece. Other notable bigname records include Drake’s Thank Me Later, 3OH3!’s Streets of Gold, Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs and Disturbed’s Asylum which dropped just days prior to the fateful day Wootton opened its doors. A stack of new CD’s from some of rock’s older acts showed up on the shelves this summer, including Iron Maiden’s The Final Frontier, Cyndi Lauper’s Memphis Blues and Herbie Hancock’s The Imagine Project. For a taste of something new, check out Childish Gambino’s Culdesac, The Gaslight Anthem’s American Slang, Best Coast’s Crazy For You, or Wootton’s own Infinite Faze’s self-titled debut album.

the special, limited edition 2010 Summer Tour EP. The 6 track CD featuring rare songs from Paramore, Tegan and Sara, New Found Glory and Kadawatha was released on July 20 with only 3,000 copies available for sale. In the upcoming year, Paramore will tour overseas in the United Kingdom and Australia, as well as here in the states. As usual, whacky-but-loved pop icon The Concerts. Lady Gaga (New York, NY) kept herself Dave Matthews Band kicked off the busy these last few months with a full North summer tours with his June 23 Nationals American summer tour. At the 2010 Park gig, drawing in Wootton students VMA’s she announced the title of her like a magnet. “Dave really knows how new album, Born This Way, to be reto put on a show,” freshman Thomas leased in 2011. She is also in the works McGafee said. Merriweather Post of creating her own fragrance, which Pavilion hosted Rock the Bells, an is expected to be released in 2012. annual hip-hop festival that featured “Gaga is amazing and inspiring,” juSnoop Dogg, A Tribe Called Quest nior Samantha Wermers said. Gaga-ooh-lala and Lauryn Hill. Warped Tour also Vampire Weekend’s (New York, stopped by Maryland, and featured NY) summer kicked big with a guest the musical stylings of Sum 41, spot on the Colbert Report. In late Motion City Soundtrack, and The AllJune, their song “Jonathan Low” was American Rejects. “So many bands; so released on the “Twilight Saga: Eclipse” little time,” sophomore Rocko Belushi soundtrack. The band spent the majority said. “It’s an overload of musical energy.” of the summer touring the UK, playing Jack Johnson, Barenaked Ladies, and at Glastonbury Festival and the Oxegen Train also rocked 9:30 Club, Merriweather, Festival. The band is currently on tour and Wolf Trap. until early December, playing with Arcade Fire, Laura Marling, Ratatat and Beach The Artists. House. While you were soaking up the sun pool Chiddy Bang (Philadelpia, PA) has side, your favorite bands were commanding been dominating the indie hip-hop scene the stage and recording new albums. MGMT (Brooklyn, NY) played their since popping up this past October. Comlargest show to date at the Red Rocks bining the fresh-to-death lyrics of Chidera Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado in June, “Chiddy” Anamege with the hot beats and selling out a crowd of over 9,500 people. In production skills of Noah Beresin AKA Xaaddition to playing on one of the main stages phoon Jones, the duo has hit it big with the at this year’s Lollapalooza, MGMT made hipsters this summer, leaving long-time fans several late night TV show appearances, saying “I told you so!” A couple singles were wrapping up the summer with the release of released this summer which are to appear on their new music video for “Congratulations” upcoming LP Chiddy Bang: The Preview. The Maine (Tempe, AZ) went on their on August 25. MGMT will be touring the United Kingdom until early October when first headlining tour this summer, entitled they return to the US for a few select dates. “I “An Evening With The Maine,” that traveled learned about these guys two years ago, and all across the country from June to August. it’s good to see them finally being noticed this In the midst of the tour, they released their latest album, Black and White. This fall, they summer,” junior Leah Jacobs said. Paramore (Franklin, TN) headlined the will be touring with NeverShoutNever! Honda Civic Tour with New Found Glory as Keep Rockin’, Everybody! opening acts. In mid-July, the band released


Daniel Wadler editor-in-chief

On Sept. 14, 2010, a date that shall for ever live in infamy, the Motor Vehicle Administration actually thought it would be safe to give me a driver’s license. That’s right Wootton, better start wearing your seatbelt. Danny Wadler’s on the road. At 8:30 that morning, while my fellow students were sleeping in and my favorite politicians were losing primary elections, I was trapped in the ominous pit of darkness where Satan makes his babies. The DMV tested my driving ability for fifteen minutes, but tested my patience for the whole morning. The hardest part of getting your driver’s license is finding the right line to stand in. The line in the very front of the building, labeled “Driver’s License Services,” sounds promising, right? Unfortunately, you have to stand in that line for half an hour to get to the front. But once you’re there, you ask an esteemed government employee, “Am I in the right line?” Then she casually replies, “No.” So then, you find a new line to wait in for another half hour, and then meet a brand new esteemed government employee. If luck is on your side (as is never the case with me: I turned 13 on Friday the 13th), this is the employee you’re supposed to meet. If this is the case, you display your learner’s permit, passport, social security card, proof of car insurance, current car registration form (a future registration form will not cut it), your real birth certificate (a photocopy will not cut it), driving practice log (a blank sheet of paper will cut it; nobody’s ever going to check it). Now, the MVA introduces you to the man. He has a name, but he shall henceforth be known as the man, because no matter how politely you introduce yourself, he does not tell you what this name is. The man has a mustache and he speaks in a monotone that reminds you of the infamous teacher from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” If you know how to operate your defrosters and how to parallel park in less than 180 seconds (without exhibiting any sort of nervous perspiration), then you are asked to drive the man around the block a couple times. The man is heavy, so don’t be suprised if the extra weight in the passenger seat causes your car to veer to the right. Once you’re done, congratulations! You have your license! Now all you have to do is take a good picture. “Can I take a second to make sure my hair’s okay first?” you ask. “No,” they say, as if you were the one wasting their time. Just promise me this: if you ever get the oppurtunity to discuss the experience with the entire school, try not to sound too bitter about it.

Vol. 40 Issue 1