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volume 52, Issue 8 april 8, 2014

Walt whitman High school

7100 whittier boulevard

Bethesda, maryland 20817

Wet, wintry weather delays spring sports practices, games

Baseball tops Richard Montgomery 5-2, scoreless against Sherwood and Gaithersburg in late start to season Senior Ben Castagnetti connects for a deep line drive in the Vikes’ (2-2) game against county powerhouse Sherwood. The team, with wins over Quince Orchard and Richard Montgomery, sits in third place in the division.

See standings on page 13

County extends school year, adds day on Easter Monday By Samantha Zambri and Ben Titlebaum The recent snow days have given students many things: an extra day to finish up that English essay, hours to binge-watch “House of Cards” and an excuse to lounge around all day in sweatpants. But they have also forced the county to extend the school by two days, removing the April 21 Easter Monday holiday and adding a day at the end of the school year, Friday June 13. To accommodate bad weather, MCPS adds four days to the state’s required 180 day school year. This year, students missed 10 days of school because of snow. Four of those days were waived by the state. The 10 snow days this year put added stress on teachers and students to cram in material. And although the school year is being extended, one extra day isn’t enough to compensate for the lost time, teachers said. “I’ve had to eliminate activities and plow through material that normally I would spend much more time on,” AP Psychology teacher Sheryl Freedman said. “I’ll be able to get in all the content, but at the expense of students fully understanding it.” Other teachers have also been feeling the stress of giving students all the information they need to be ready for the AP exams this May. “Two weeks of teaching and

content were lost and the disruption to the normal routine has been difficult,” AP World History teacher Wendy Eagan said. “I’ve had to completely alter the way I normally teach in order to fit in thousands of years of history.” AP Calculus teacher James Kuhn had to cut down the amount of time he scheduled for exam review. “The day added in June is wasted on us because the AP exams would have already passed,” he said. “All you can do is push things back and cut off some days.” Others, like AP Comparative Politics teacher Andrew Sonnabend, are confident that teachers will find a way to figure things out. “Everybody is affected by it, but teachers understand how to cut the corners when they have to,” he said. “There hasn’t been anyone who has said they are completely messed up and don’t know what to do.” Heavy snowfall across the country prompted the College Board to offer a second round of AP exams that would be given to schools who were impacted by the snow. However, moving exams back for Whitman is virtually impossible, resource counselor Fran Landau said. If schools were to accept the late exam deadline, they would have to administer all AP exams in a span of three days. “This option works best for small schools where kids don’t take

Inside Look

New novel

explores local murder case Page 8 and 9

as many AP courses,” she said. “There are some kids taking four or five AP exams each, so there is no way we can administer all the exams kids want to take in the time allotted.” The last-minute changes to the school calendar have also caused significant stress for teachers. Some teachers are being forced to miss school on Easter Monday because of planned air travel, leading to possible trouble finding substitutes. So far 14 substitutes are signed up for Easter Monday, but that number is expected to change, secretary Jennifer Hoppel said. “I’ll be in Arizona for that day flying back,” AP Economics teacher Stephen Hays said. “I thought it was going to be difficult to get a sub. I think for most teachers it will be. Once I saw the email, I made sure to get in there and sign up for one.” The county felt it had few options after its original plan to make up only one day was rejected, MCPS spokesman Dana Tofig said. They determined that adding a day at the end of the year and eliminating Easter Monday was the best choice, he said. “We recognize it will be an inconvenience for some students and staff, but we had very few options,” he said. “It is our hope that we will have good attendance on that day.”

Talent show: Parent opens Varied soloists key local food joint to success Page 6

Page 10

By Roger Champagne This spring’s wet weather has affected sports teams’ practices and games, forcing cancellations and delays for nearly every outdoor sport. Baseball has been able to get in only four games so far this season, with a 14-4 win over the Quince Orchard Cougars March 22 and a 4-0 loss to the Gaithersburg Trojans on April Fool’s Day that was originally scheduled for March 26. The team’s other three games have been postponed, and the team is playing four games a week for two weeks to make them up. With the field frequently being too soggy and muddy to practice on, the team has resorted to practicing indoors. But this move indoors limits the Vikes in its practice regimen. “Some sports can translate inside, but baseball’s really not one of them,” varsity coach Joe Cassidy said. “Outfielders can’t simulate fly balls, pitchers can’t really throw to hitters. It was tough to get any rhythm.” Catcher Evan Koretsky citied fielding as one the main skills that can’t be effectively practiced indoors. “We’re constrained inside,” Koretsky said. “We can’t do real ground ball or real fly ball practice. Everything just has to be simulated.”

We’ve only had three outdoor practices, so we haven’t really had any game simulation. We prepared pretty well for our first game, but if we had more outdoor practices and game simulations, it would have made it easier for us to win.” ”-Lacrosse attackman Alex Hosker The baseball field has long been plagued with drainage problems that have only been aggravated by the frequent rain and snow this past month. The field was first ready for play April 2, one month after the start of spring practice. The boys lacrosse team has also been hit hard, with two games recheduled due to weather.The team is currently 3-1, and was about to face off against the Wooton Patriots as the paper went to press. “We’ve only had three outdoor practices, so we haven’t really had any game simulation,” attackman Alex Hosker said. “We prepared pretty well for our first game, but if we had more outdoor practices and game simulations, it would have made it easier for us to win.” The team also has been forced to practice in the gym, a move that severely limits their ability to run plays. “It’s forced us to practice in the main gym, which is really cramped,” attackman Richard Miller said. “And that subsequently makes it hard to reach the intensity of a normal practice outside, when you can’t hit someone without them falling into the bleachers.” The softball team has taken a beating, with several scrimmages canceled and two games rescheduled. The team has yet to play either of the rescheduled games and more than ten practices have been moved inside. This has led the team to spend most of their time practicing hitting so far this season. As the paper went to press, their record was 1-3. “Once the team has had more time to mesh we will be stronger and more unified,” outfielder Stephanie Bode said.

Students share perspectives on Crimea Page 12

Washington’s premier team: the Kastles Page 14


April 8, 2014

Gallup poll results highlight NEWS student engagement

Briefs AP U.S. History exam to focus on analysis over detail Next year, the College Board will implement a change to the AP U.S. History class that will affect both the way the class is taught and the AP exam. The main change is that the exam’s 80-question multiple-choice section will no longer quiz students on minute details of history. The section will still be multiple choice, but will instead focus on passage analysis, with students applying the passage to events throughout history. The new curriculum will also focus less on certain areas of history, particularly the nineteenth century, while adding more emphasis on America’s early and recent history. “It’s more about making connections and understanding historical themes than remembering specific details throughout history,” history teacher Andrew Sonnabend said. AP Art History and AP European History are also due to undergo revisions that will be implemented in the 2015-2016 school year.

Whitman nabs top spot in LLS High School Challenge Whitman won the annual Leukemia Lymphoma Society High School Challenge for the second year in a row, raising more than $68,500. During February, the SGA conducted several fundraisers such as Guy Auction, Whitman Idol and Battle of the Bands. The majority of the funds came from bRave, a seven hour dance-a-thon. Students and parents in the community also contributed. Last year, the SGA raised nearly $92,000, an all-time high for Whitman. Although the SGA was hoping to top last year’s total, $68,000 is the second most money the school has raised for LLS. “This year we wanted to take the overcompetitive aspect out of our LLS equation, making it more about the cause and about those who are suffering from either Leukemia or Lymphoma,” SGA president Jorge Richardson said. One reason that the total may have been lower is the large number of snow days and inclement weather that interfered with events, Richardson said. “I don’t know if there is much more we could have done,” he said.

Massey (‘10) to become fourth debate coach in four years

Alum Emily Massey (’10) will take the reins of the debate team next fall, becoming the club’s fourth head coach in four years. Currently a senior majoring in philosophy at Yale, Massey will replace current head coach Gavin Mease. Mease will graduate from George Mason this spring, and will return as an assistant coach for speech next year. This year, Massey is an assistant coach for Lincoln-Douglas debate, a one-on-one style that emphasizes philosophy. She will be the head coach for one year before entering law school, while the team seeks a long-term coach, she said. The head coaching job has many administrative responsibilities ranging from organizing tournaments to hiring assistant coaches. Most established debate programs around the country tend to have the teacher of a debate class run the team, president Fionn Adamian said. But since Whitman doesn’t offer a class, the team has cycled through many head coaches because the coaches are typically college-age and choose to pursue other careers after graduating, Adamian said. Junior Sophie Palim believes that Massey’s experience with the team will make her a successful head coach. “Emily cares about helping us succeed, and she’s already proven herself as a terrific coach,” she said.

by Casey Noenickx With spring finally kicking in, school morale is likely to rise dramatically. But this year’s Gallup poll results show that more than half of Whitman students already feel hopeful and engaged. The annual twenty-question online survey also reports that more than two thirds of Whitman students say they are thriving in school. MCPS schools participated in the survey in November to measure the “well-being” of staff and students in grades five through 12. The poll debuted last year, replacing the annual “Climate Survey.” There is little variation between this year’s and last year’s results. Gallup asks students a series of questions to measure hope, engagement and well-being—three key factors in determining grades, scores and students’ futures. Poll results allow schools to address their strengths and weaknesses. Principal Alan Goodwin plans to use monthly staff meetings to brainstorm improvements for staff and students based on the results, he said. Based on a scale from one to

five, with five being the highest, the question with the lowest score, 3.42, reads, “In the last seven days I have received recognition or praise for doing good school work.” “We pay close attention to any scores lower than four,” Goodwin said. “With a score like 3.42, students clearly feel they aren’t being encouraged, which we can now work on.” Although scores have changed minimally, Goodwin said he will isolate and address scores below the district average. “We’re celebrating the positives, but of course I want to take care of any results less than positive,” Goodwin said. “Despite the percentages being acceptable, I plan to brainstorm with staff about how better to recognize students and how to better recognize staff.” Staff also responded with a low score in receiving recognition. Most important, many teachers felt that their concerns were not being met, Goodwin said. “The staff wants more of their opinions heard, right now maybe they’re feeling like its falling on deaf ears,” he said. “Either way, I definitely

Well-Being: How students are Hope: The reflection toward ideas

doing today 1% Suffering

30% Stuggling

Engagement: Student’s involvement

and energy that students have for the future

13% Discouraged

31% Stuck

want them to feel comfortable that they can express their opinions here.” Even though most scores did not change significantly, one response came as a surprise: “I know I will find a good job after I graduate.” While Whitman’s current score is 4.01, the district has a score of 4.28 and the U.S. overall has a score of 4.2. This was the only question that the school scored lower on than the district and the U.S. Well-being scored the highest of the three sections, with 69 percent of the school population considered themselves as “thriving,” based on their responses. Goodwin hopes to see an improvement in student and staff recognition in next year’s results. “I think that teacher recognition is very important because it’s good to know that your teachers recognize your weaknesses and strengths, in order to help process and fully understand material,” sophomore Sophie Lopez said. “I think when teachers recognize student’s work, it motivates the students to work harder; I would feel more confident when asking questions, and I think I would work harder.”

and enthusiasm for school

13% Actively Disengaged

56% Hopeful

31% Not Engaged

69% Thriving

56% Engaged

The Gallup Poll is a computerized survey taken by almost 1900 Whitman students during their English classes over a span of two weeks in November

English teacher Matt Bruneel leaves the Bethesda bubble, plans to join Peace Corps By Adam Simon Life typically has a track. You go to school, you go to college, you get a job and you settle down and build a family. But sometimes you get an opportunity to take a break and experience something off the beaten path. Beginning in July, English teacher Matt Bruneel will take two years to travel to Cambodia with his wife, Leshia Hansen, as a Peace Corps volunteer. “We know we want a house, we know we want kids, so we figured: ‘Let’s have an adventure first,’” Bruneel said. Bruneel first dreamed of joining the Peace Corps when he was 20 after Hansen—then his girlfriend— introduced the idea. He applied when he finished his undergraduate degree at 22, but withdrew his application. “I didn’t think I had the experience at the time to do a whole lot of tangible good,” Bruneel said. But after five years of teaching, Bruneel feels like he’s ready for the challenge. He loves learning new languages and is already fluent in Spanish and conversational in Hebrew, Haitian Creole, and American Sign Language, he said. Hansen is completing her master’s in Public Health, which she will use for community health projects with the Peace Corps. Once in Cambodia, the group

of 70 volunteers will split into two parties for two months for what is called the “Pre-Service Training” portion of the trip. The couple will be apart for this time, with Bruneel in one group with a focus on education while Hansen is in the other, focused on health. After this, Bruneel and Hansen will be assigned to the same village and given specific assignments. Bruneel will most likely teach kids in a school or instruct future teachers in English and practical uses of the language. “English is the language of global exchange, internet and commerce,” he said. “If you want to give people the capacity to communicate and persuade others to better their livelihoods—whether it’s convincing someone for a job or a new road—English is almost essential.” Bruneel’s extensive background in service made him especially enthusiastic about the Peace Corps. He is an Eagle Scout, has spent a week in Haiti teaching English with his wife and has helped adults in D.C. to study for their GED test, the high school diploma equivalent. The trip has already begun to influence the lives of the couple and those close to them. His curiosity has had a ripple effect—driving family and friends to do their own research on the issues and problems of Cambodia. Although he’s

excited, Bruneel is realistic about the difficulties he may face. One of the biggest hurdles is going to be lowering his expectations of what he can accomplish and adapting to the world around him in Cambodia. “Right from the get-go I need to humble myself and be very sensitive to the culture of the school,” Bruneel said. “But at the same time, I’m going to see things that seem wrong, and I imagine I will feel some frustration and wonder if I’m wasting my time there.” When Bruneel returns to the D.C. area, his job won’t be certain. Teachers are allowed to apply for a leave request with the county, but these typically only apply to absences of one year. Although he has sent in a request, he thinks he will likely need to be a substitute teacher when he gets back. “At the end of the day, if I wanted to make sure I had a job, I wouldn’t be doing this trip,” he said. Bruneel is most excited about becoming a part of the lives of people on the opposite side of the globe. “I’m having this sensation,” Bruneel said, “where I know that somewhere in the middle of Cambodia there is someone who exists right now, and one day I’m going to be able have this deep connection with them.”


april 8, 2014


Graduate faces jail time in ricin case

Danny Milzman (‘12) held in prison pending trial for possession of deadly toxin

by Scott Singer and Sarah Friedman In front of the roughly 90 friends, family members and classmates of Danny Milzman (‘12) who packed the court room March 31, a federal district judge ruled that the Georgetown sophomore must remain in jail pending trial after being charged for possession of ricin, a biological toxin. Many of those who knew Milzman expressed surprise that he would have made ricin, the same chemical found in letters addressed to President Obama and Senator Roger Wicker last year. “I just can’t fathom Danny doing anything to hurt anyone to that level,” said Peter Jorgensen (‘12), Milzman’s high school classmate. Milzman served as vice president of Whitman’s SGA and was a speaker at his graduation. He was also a National Merit semifinalist and a member of the Quiz Bowl and ice hockey teams. “From what I remember, he was

always really excited about something, great to have in class because he would always want to talk about interesting things,” said Jorgensen, a sophomore at Hamilton College. “He was always the student the teacher either absolutely adored or loathed, just because he was such a social animal.” Authorities discovered 120 mg of ricin, a lethal amount, in Milzman’s dorm room March 17 after Milzman told a friend that he had produced the toxin. According to court documents, Milzman created the ricin a month before he told his friend. Milzman produced the ricin using salt, acetone and castor beans he purchased at local businesses. He used instructions he found on the internet to make the toxin, according to court documents. Initially, a magistrate judge ordered Milzman’s from jail to an inpatient psychiatric treatment program at

Sibley Hospital, the Washington Post reported. However, U.S. District Court Judge Richard W. Roberts overturned the ruling last week after an appeal from prosecutors. Though he conceded Milzman may have been suicidal, the judge said the Georgetown sophomore might have had other motives for making the ricin.

“He was always the student the teacher either absolutely adored or loathed, just because he was such a social animal.” -Peter Jorgensen (‘12) Milzman said he learned about ricin from the television show “Breaking Bad” and the Quiz Bowl team he started at Georgetown, according to court documents.

Georgetown students, while shocked by the incident, felt safe throughout the ordeal. “Among students I’ve spoken to, we were confident in the university’s assurances that our safety was not compromised during the investigation,” said Lena Rothfarb (‘12), a sophomore at Georgetown. Mizman now faces trial and could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. Georgetown law professor Abbe Smith believes the defense might seek “some sort of plea,” she told the Black & White. Milzman’s lack of a prior record, in addition to his history of depression, might improve his chances of receiving a more favorable plea, Smith said. “As defense counsel, you want to avoid any sort of prison sentence in this case,” she said. Ben Zimmermann contributed to this report.

Whitman slated for renovation, 19 new classrooms in 2019 Construction to include new wrestling room, dark room; portables to be used in the interim administrators to hold a community meeting later this spring where they will present early construction plans and get feedback, principal Alan Goodwin said. The addition will be funded by the County Council and state government through bond funding, Szyfer said. The 19 new classrooms are scheduled to include 12 standard classrooms, a drama classroom, two science labs, an art room, a photography darkroom and two technology labs, Szyfer said. The addition will also include a new auxiliary gym, to be used for wrestling, along with offices and storage space. Goodwin gave his input to the Division of Long-Range Planning, which determined which types of classrooms will be built. Currently, classrooms don’t reflect the school’s changing needs. For example, the school needs more tech space than it did 10 years ago, Goodwin said. “We are booked in every single tech lab every single period, every single day, with the exception of just one,” assistant principal Brandi Heckert said. Administrators have had to repurpose classrooms to accommodate for growing enrollment. The Learning for Independence program has expanded over the last couple of years, and took over a third

Facilities in the new addition include: - 12 standard classrooms - 1 drama classroom - 2 science labs - 1 art room - 1 darkroom - 2 technology labs - auxilary gym (wrestling gym) - offices and storage space

classroom this year for more space. A third-floor classroom has been converted from a science classroom to a math classroom because of shortage of math space. Photography classes are full every period, and the program has not been able to grow because there is only one dark room. Teachers routinely need to leave their classrooms during their free period so another class can use the space. While staffing is adequate for the number of students, some classes must be removed because there are no classrooms for them to meet in. As a result, class sizes are exceeding the countyrecommended 32 per class, Heckert said. “The kids fit, the teachers fit, but we physically don’t have anywhere to put them,” Heckert said. “We have to move those kids to another period, which may not be ideal for their schedule. We’re fitting, but it puts restrictions on things.” Goodwin is concerned about the construction process, but believes the new classrooms will be worth the trouble. “My biggest concern is the transition during which we have to use relocatable classrooms, and I don’t know where they’re going to put them,” Goodwin said. “But having fresh, new classrooms will be beneficial.”

Projected Capacity Increase:

Pre-construction Timeline:

Feasibility study: spring (ongoing) Study being conducted to identify the cost and location of new classrooms.

Community meeting: late spring Meeting conducted by the Division of Long-Range Planning and Division of Construction to request feedback from students and staff regarding the addition.


Plan created for portable classrooms: summer 2014

MCPS researches possible need for portable classrooms

Current Enrollment:


Current Capacity:


Any necessary portable classrooms arrive at school: 2016-2017 school year Graphics by Maria Mu

By sarah friedman Elementary-age brothers and sisters of today’s students will find a very different Whitman when they arrive, beginning in the 2019-20 school year. Nineteen new classrooms will be added to the school to accommodate increased enrollment, which is projected to rise to 2,121 students by 2019. In the mean time, to cope with lack of space, relocatable classrooms may be necessary as early as the summer of 2016. This summer, county employees from the Division of Long Range Planning will determine how many portables, if any, are necessary and where they could be located. Architects will conduct a feasibility study this spring to explore different renovation options, including the location of the new classrooms and the cost of the project. The existing main school building and classrooms will not be altered, said MCPS planner Debbie Szyfer. Whittier Woods may undergo changes, depending on where the new classrooms will be built. County-wide increasing enrollment could be a result of families moving children from private to public schools following the economic recession a few years ago, said Deborah Szyfer, MCPS Senior Facilities Planner. MCPS officials will collaborate with Whitman

Projected Enrollment:


Projected Capacity:

Source: Deborah Szyfer, MCPS Div. of Long-Range Planning and


Construction: 2019-2020 school year Construction begins for 19 new classrooms



April 8, 2014

Construction delays push back Mohican opening Pool association may send members to neighboring facilities

The pool was beginning to crack and leak, so a replacement was required, Savage said in an email. The new construction will comply with the new requirements. The diving well will be deeper than the previous one, which failed to meet safety codes at only 11 feet deep, and the pool will expand from six lanes to eight. In addition, a new baby pool will have a sloped, beachlike entry, and the new bathhouse will be enlarged by 25 percent to meet code requirements. It will also have an elevator to meet regulations set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The unusual weather this winter has delayed construction. As a result, the pool will most likely open a month later than the association’s original goal, which was Memorial Day weekend. The association now hopes to open by July 4, but that date could be delayed by rainstorms this spring. “We are at the mercy of the weather, so there are no guarantees,” Savage said.

The Association is reaching out to neighboring pools to find a place for members to swim while construction is being completed. Savage sends monthly construction updates to pool members to bring them up to date on the construction status.

“I think we’ll still be “Mohican strong” and have a lot of team spirit, but I think it’s going to throw us off a little. As a whole, we’ll still be fine because we’re still us.” -senior Sarah Kohn

Swim and dive team representatives Rick Calder and Elizabeth Redisch are also looking for alternate locations for their teams to practice so they can compete in the summer season. “We can’t get going on the momentum of the season until we know we have a pool,” swim coach Gian Polignano said. The team needs to rent four lanes in order for all groups to practice. The two team representatives and coaches are looking at Landon, Holton Arms and Stone Ridge pools rather than closer local private pools

because they want to avoid creating additional tension between competing teams. Polignano is afraid the team will be smaller, especially for ages 10 and under, because the logistical issues will make new members hesitant to join, he said. Some longtime swimmers practice year-round on club teams like NCAP and ASA, in addition to the Mohican team, but others train solely in the summer season. “Those of us who don’t swim club will suffer from the lack of practice,” said junior Kevin Johnson, who has been swimming with Mohican since he was six. Johnson and other older swimmers approaching their final seasons are disappointed this year will be so chaotic. “It makes me really upset because it’s the last year I can legally swim,” senior Sarah Kohn said. “Obviously, I want it to last as long as it can, but it’s probably going to be shortened.” Despite these complications, team members will still try to make it as fun and exciting as any other season. “I think we’ll still be “Mohican strong” and have a lot of team spirit, but I think it’s going to throw us off a little,” Kohn said. “As a whole, we’ll still be fine because we’re still us.”

photos courtesy CAROLINE LAPLANTE

by Kelley Czajka After months of dreary, snowy weather, most people are more than ready to lounge by the pool in warmer temperatures and sunshine. Unfortunately, members of Mohican Swim Club will have to wait a while longer, due to construction delays. Construction workers demolished the nearly 60-year-old pool last fall and are now rebuilding it to meet newer standards and safety codes, said Chris Savage, president of the Mohican Swimming Pool Association.

Freshman Caroline Laplante, a member of the Mohican swim and dive team, dives into the old swimming pool. the renovated pool will feature a deeper diving well that meets safety requirements.



April 8, 2014

Letter from the Editor



Senior ‘Destinations’ honors student accomplishments

The new blue boxes for flyers have been a success, but limits on the quantity of posters should be enforced.

Blue boxes reduce hallway clutter by Ben Titlebaum Until recently, the halls were plastered with posters and notices in a sloppy manner. But a few weeks ago, after principal Alan Goodwin brought up the issue, the SGA agreed to paint blue boxes on the walls near water fountains and corners to push all this clutter into concentrated locations. This plan has been remarkably successful. The administration and SGA believed that the boxes would promote more creative advertising, SGA president Jorge Richardson said, and more boxes were soon put up to increase the available space. The administration and SGA should be commended for their attempt at cleaning up the halls. These colored quadrilaterals seem like a simple enough fix, and have already improved the school’s appearance. The blue boxes help promote order and prevent the school from becoming what Goodwin calls “trashy.” While Goodwin’s simple proposal isn’t a huge change to the school’s workings, it did actively improve Whitman’s hallways.

But the new system hasn’t reached its full potential. In recent weeks, candidates for SGA positions have littered the school with signs, creating just as much disarray in the halls as in the pre-blue box era. Granted, these ads have purpose beyond simply advertising events. Still, they create the same clutter as any other poster, making for a massive waste of paper. And even in the blue boxes, there are problems. Covering entire boxes with Talent Show flyers or other miscellaneous paper defeats the point of the box system completely. There’s no reason to allow candidates to put up such a huge quantity of ads, seeing as it’s likely that students know who’s running after seeing more than a few of each poster. They don’t need to be confined to the specified areas, but there shouldn’t be so many on the walls. But the blue boxes have shown great success for such a simple change. While this is clearly not the largest of issues, the administration’s efforts are important. It’s small things like this that really improve Whitman.

As students finalize their post-high school plans in the next few weeks, the Black & White staff will be compiling our annual ‘destinations’ list, a regular fixture in the last issue of each school year. The list is one of the most popular features of the year, and extra copies of the newspaper are printed to meet parent and student interest. In the past several months, however, several students and parents have expressed concerns with the Destinations page, arguing that such a public display of students’ decisions adds undue stress to an already arduous process. Infrequently, other students and parents have also expressed concerns in the past few years, CIC coordinator Janice Marmor confirmed. While we take these concerns seriously, the Black & White will continue to print the Destinations list for several reasons. The feature attracts significant interest—so much so that we increase production by around 300 copies. Parents and friends have known these seniors for years, and this list offers a simple way to see where they will go next. Every student on that list has an accomplishment to celebrate. Students on the list are attending a college that they were accepted to, or joining the military, or taking a gap year, or entering the work world. Regardless of their choice, these seniors are taking a large step toward becoming adults—and that’s something to honor and recognize. Too often in Whitman’s competitive environment do we forget how remarkable the achievements of this student body are in comparison to the rest of the United States. Over 97 percent of students attend either a fouryear or two-year college following graduation, according to a MCPS 2012-2013 report. Nationwide, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, that number falls to 68 percent. Students should view the list as a positive reflection of the student body rather than an additional stressor. But to address these concerns, the newspaper—as we have always done—will continue to respect students’ privacy. All students are contacted by a Black & White reporter regarding their post-graduation plans, and these students may request that their names and plans not be included in the list. The Black & White’s college destinations list is intended a celebration of the achievements of our extraordinary high school and the achievements of each student, rather than as an additional stressor for students. Look for the Destinations page in the upcoming May issue of the newspaper. Jacob Cutler Editor-in-Chief The Black & White welcomes comments on this article online at

Volume 52, Issue 8 2013-2014 The Black & White is published 9 times a year by the students of Walt Whitman High School, 7100 Whittier Blvd., Bethesda, MD, 20817. The Black & White is an open forum for student views. Students and staff can pick up the paper free of charge. Mail subscriptions cost $35. The newspaper aims to both inform and entertain. Signed opinion pieces reflect the positions of the individual staff. Opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Walt Whitman High School or Montgomery County Public Schools. The Black & White encourages readers to submit opinions on relevant topics in the form of letters to the editor. Letters must be signed to be printed, though names will be withheld upon

PRINT EDITION Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Editor-at-Large Copy Editors News Editors Feature & Arts Editors Opinion Editors Sports Editors Editorial Staff Head of Production Production Manager Production Assistants

Jacob Cutler Emily Harburg Ben Zimmermann Shannon Dawe James Ireland Tamar Meron Max Steinhorn Raquel Weinberg Alexa Brodsky Annie Ludewig Fionn Adamian Rebecca Meron Michael Greenwood Nathaniel Sherman Fionn Adamian Rebecca Meron Ethan Taswell Chris Hodgman Haley Maness Joanne Choi Maria Mu Mikaela Fishman Ireland Lesley

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April 8, 2014

Gray Area: Talent Show adds variety,

By Sebastian van Bastelaer If a tornado ravaged the halls of Whitman, gathering random school supplies and clothing, and dumped it all in a random box, that box would still be less cluttered and more clean than the cafeteria lost and found. Venturing into the great abyss known as the Lost & Found means withstanding an attack on all the senses: the smell of mildew, the feel of sticky sweatpants, the sight of grimy, worn out sneakers, the sound of abandoned lipstick rolling about. I’m forgetting taste, you say? Well, you try licking that Talent Show 2008 t-shirt and tell me it pleases the taste buds. So why do we even have a Lost & Found? When was the last time somebody went in there, and quickly found what they were looking for? It seems that this decrepit mélange of neglect has outlived its usefulness. Despite being unnecessary in our everyday lives, the Lost & Found box raises interesting questions: How do you lose one singular shoe, and not bother to come retrieve it? Who’s lighting up tiki torches in school, and then leaving them there? Who brings a makeup kit, with dozens of different colors, to apply during the school day? Which cast member of Into the Woods, the Whitman musical in 2009, decided to cast off his t-shirt, and abandon it? Instead of letting all those clothes slowly decompose in that depressing box, we could put them to good use. The Fashion Society could surely make good use of them, maybe give us a fashion show. Or, we could go the good samaritan route, and give them to charity, providing the wardrobe that would be the envy of nobody. Although most of the things you’ll find in the lost and found are useless, not all of it is garbage. A fancy basketball shoe and a crumpled pair of suit pants also take up residence there, and it seems as if nobody wants them. Maybe the stigma about the lost and found isn’t just about the value of the items. Seeing as nobody wantsg to claim their lost items, I’ve taken the liberty of collecting everything myself. In unrelated news, a used-up tiki torch is now available on eBay, starting at $12.99. Go get yours now!

photo by ABBY CUTLER

by Haley Maness

photo by ABBY CUTLER

The Lost & Found brings welcome change has lost its way

This year’s talent show was directed by senior Carson Lystad. The show ran for three nights, March 27, 28 and 29. Acts included senior Aryana Boularian singing (top) and the Poms squad performing original choreography (below).

By Ethan Taswell In each year’s talent show, it seems as if five or so students participated in band after band, playing and singing nearly nonstop for the duration of the show. It was impressive seeing every permutation of these students vocally, on guitar, bass and drums, but I had hoped that my ten bucks would’ve allowed me to see 20 bands, not 20 variations of one. That’s why, when this year’s talent show featured a different lead singer in each performance, it was such a refreshing change of pace. Over the past few years, audience members have complained about a lack of variety in performers, director Carson Lystad says. The fact that the same faces kept coming up was always the one real “issue” with the show. In 2011’s show, for example, one

student was featured as lead vocalist four different times. Another student highlighted three acts, including the opening two, along with acting. Though Lystad and the rest of the production staff didn’t impose a policy strictly limiting lead singers to only one act this year, they were conscientious about building a varied lineup. Mostly through luck and one quick switch of a group’s instrumentation, the show ended up with 22 acts with 22 different lead singers. Even freshmen, who rarely had the chance to be lead vocalists in the past, were offered more opportunity to sing on Whitman’s biggest stage. This year, if a lead singer wanted to continue singing, he or she was relegated to backup singing, a la “20 Feet from Stardom,” opening up the floor to many who would normally not have an opportunity to take center

stage. Did this lessen the quality of the show? Not in the slightest. Simply cutting one singer out of a second (or third, or fourth…) performance in no way left the show without sufficient talent. At a school like Whitman, there’s plenty of talent to go around. In fact, the production staff believes there were such good singers that a system with no repeating leads would actually improve the overall quality of the show, said assistant director Lucas Weals. Limiting lead singers to only one act should become a firm rule, so the policy is not lost in the upcoming years. Many students praised this talent show as the best they had ever seen, and it would be unfortunate to see such progress reversed. One and done was a smart move for the talent show; 2k15 should continue the trend.

Despite changes, SAT test should be eliminated By Rebecca Meron With their recently announced changes to the SAT—set to be implemented in 2016—the College Board aims to bring the test more in line with what students are taught in high school. Vocabulary will include words encountered in classroom study, students will encounter familiar historical documents and the refocused math section will emphasize knowledge of three main topics relevant to college work: linear equations; complex equations or functions; and ratios, percentages and proportional reasoning. These changes reward hard work and long-term study over mastery of esoteric vocabulary and tutors’ tricks. But they also

make the test an unnecessary and redundant measure of students’ likelihood of success in college. As originally conceived, the SAT supposedly measured a student’s innate intelligence, which high school grades did not necessarily reflect, Ned Johnson, president of PrepMatters, a private tutoring company in Bethesda, said. The test was an assessment similar to an IQ test that one cannot study for, he said. The $4.5 billion test-prep industry, however, dedicated to teaching the tricks and strategies for “beating the exam,” has turned the test into a new subject that can be learned, though only by those who can afford costly prep services.

Revamping the test so that it reflects more directly what students learn in school may be a laudable attempt to reduce the impact of socioeconomic advantage on test scores, but it also renders the test redundant. Three-anda-half years’ worth of high school grades, combined with teacher recommendations that draw more subtle distinctions between students, are a far more meaningful measure of skills students display in high school than one three-hour test. Some may argue that curricula and grading scales differ across schools, preventing fair comparisons nationwide. However, SAT subject tests, AP tests and IB exams already allow national comparisons

of students’ skills. These tests, taken after in-depth study in subjects chosen by students, are precisely the type of tests that the new SAT is trying to be: a test that rewards hard work and long-term study over testtaking strategy and tutor tricks. The revamped SAT adds little to the assessment arsenal. The growing number of schools with test-flexible policies, whereby students may submit SAT subject tests, AP scores or IB scores in place of SATs or ACTs, illustrates the declining value of the general SAT exam. These schools range from small liberal arts colleges to large state universities such as Bowdoin in Maine and Louisiana State University. The recent changes to the

SAT will not derail test-prep companies or stop students from doing all they can to prepare for the exam, even though the most recent SAT overhaul includes a partnership with Khan Academy to ensure that more students have access to free test prep services. Hours spent studying for a test that is now a supposedly better reflection of high school skills would be better spent doing high school course work. Just as curricula periodically change to provide a more enlightened educational experience, testing criteria need to change to eliminate the SAT: an unnecessary drain on time and money and a redundant measure of students’ readiness for higher education.

SGA “ the leaderSHIP never sinks



April 8, 2014

Jorge Richardson Marcela Falck-Bados VICE-PRESIDENT PRESIDENT


Kendall Eisenberg TREASURER

Executive board election results: President: Matt Banda Vice President: Alex Hosker Treasurer: Maxime Zamba Secretaries: Nick Anderson and Katie Meyer

Jenna Kantor SECRETARY

Rachel Ordan SECRETARY

Class Officers:

‘14 ‘15 ‘16 ‘17

Elizabeth Meyer Jonny Rasch, Katie Sullivan, Mia Carmel Jenna Hosker, Selvi Ulusan, Carolyn Hoover Keara Sullivan, Kueho Michael Choi, Sophia Zambri



APril 8, 2013

Author Lisa Howorth(’69) blends fam tragedy and fiction in debut novel BY Julia Pearl-Schwartz and Emma Anderson the story is mostly fictional, the novel and its characters contain n 1966, Bethesda was a sleepy and undeveloped town. echoes of Howorth’s family and their experiences. The busiest street was Wisconsin Avenue, where office The Johnston family of seven was a blended one. Steve’s dad, buildings were just beginning to sprout, and Wheaton Frank Johnston, married Lisa and Rick’s mother, Claire Del Vecchio, Plaza was the area’s only shopping mall. when Steve was about three years old. Frank and Claire later had Decades before Facebook and Netflix would occupy them, kids two more children, Sam and Mike. took to the streets, seeking adventures. On lazy afternoons, it was “We don’t really remember a time when Steve wasn’t in our normal for neighborhood kids to spend hours at a time away from family, and we adored him,” Howorth said. “He was sort of an home, returning only for dinner. They were free to jump from tree innocent little brother, and then of course when my two youngest to tree, house to house, running around the neighborhood, crawling brothers, Sam and Mike, came along, as far as they were concerned, through sewer drains and playing hide and go seek. he wasn’t their half-brother, he was just our brother.” On Sunday, May 8—Mother’s Day—all of this changed. After “Flying Shoes” begins by introducing the charismatic Sunday school, nine-year-old Stephen Johnston went looking for protagonist, Mary Byrd Thornton, who lives in Mississippi with her golf balls on the edge of the Kenwood golf course, hoping to maybe two kids and husband. While Thornton isn’t a direct representation find some frogs or snakes along the way. The third-grader at Radnor of Howorth, they share some similarities. Elementary never returned to his home in Bradley Hills. “Her personality reflects me; her style, and details like collections That night, police officers, firemen and droves of neighborhood and things like that—that’s very much me. It reflects my world children participated in the search for Steve. His step-brother, Rick pretty accurately,” Howorth said. “However, nothing but the crime Neumann, was only 13 years old, but vividly recalls poking sticks in is really factual.” a creek by Glenbrook Road—and praying he didn’t find anything. Howorth decided to ground her story in fiction in order to A fireman found the body on appeal to the largest possible Monday morning, 150 feet from where readership, she said. To make Little Falls Parkway crosses the Capital “The innocence was lost that day... No the novel more accessible, Crescent Trail. Steve Johnston had longer could kids leave their house and Howorth uses a light, casual been molested and stabbed. On May go a mile away to go play by themselves. tone.“Even though it’s sad and 10, the story made the front page of The Washington Post, with the headline Everyone was looking over their shoulder. awful, I wanted it to have a “Police Hunt Knife Slayer of 9-year-old It was a very scary time.” hopefulness, a suggestion for Bethesda Boy.” --Sam Johnston people who are involved in The family and investigators these things that life can go searched for a killer until the case went on,” Howorth said. “In my cold in 1967. It changed the neighborhood forever. family, we always relied on our sense of humor, my three brothers “The innocence was lost that day,” Steve’s step-brother, Sam and I. Humor was a life-line for us.” Johnston, said in a phone interview. “No longer could kids leave At the beginning of the book, Mary Byrd receives a phone call their house and go a mile away to go play by themselves. Everyone from a detective who informs her that her brother’s case is being was looking over their shoulder. It was a very scary time.” reopened and asks her to meet with her family in Richmond to Up until that point, in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the neighborhood discuss the new information. felt more like country than a city—a safe neighborhood, said Betty When she arrives in Virginia, Byrd and her family find Ross, who moved into the Sumner neighborhood in 1950s. themselves at the police station, with an investigator explaining that their brother was killed by a well-known pedophile who had “Flying Shoes” sexually harassed numerous other boys. Forty-eight years later Steve’s stepsister, Lisa Johnston Howorth Humorous digressions and light-hearted observations fill the (Whitman ’69), now living in Oxford, Mississippi, remembers her pages between the detective’s call and the meeting in Richmond. brother in her debut novel, “Flying Shoes.” The story blends fact This part of the book is full of Mary Byrd’s everyday experiences and fiction to create a compelling tale that draws on her brother’s with her moody teenage daughter, caring friend Mann—who grew case. The novel, which is being published by Bloomsbury (the same up on a chicken farm—and her housemaid, Evagreen. publisher as the Harry Potter series), will be released in June. While The chatty tone, carried throughout the novel, makes the 304


pages entertaining and easy to read excels in her use of details, which ad layer to the story. Although the in fact and fiction provokes curiosity i buildup to the climax is a little slow Howorth weaves the brutal timeline of the case with her own For example, a suspect in the bo Tuttle represents the initial suspect who was later cleared—a teenage o down the street. The teen attended a boarding Bethesda the weekend of the murd letter to the then 15-year-old Howo like he was at school over Moth which aroused suspicion. As far as the family knew, th the only suspect, until Steve’s ha Johnston, re-opened the case as a Johnston was only four years old murdered.

Reviewing the case

Twenty-eight years after the crim across the original front page story Post reporting his brother’s mu in the case. “I wondered what ever happen went into the homicide division of who I was, and that I would like to Johnston spent years imme himself in the details of the cas eventually learned of a local man was detained in 1967 for molest young boy. The man was identi a composite sketch made in 1966 information from multiple victims described their attackers. The vi were all young boys who were sex assaulted, just like Steve. He als footprint found at the scene of the the same dimensions as the one tha However, due to a lack of ad suspect was never arrested or char on his research, Johnston came to from his brother’s case, including p footprint casting, was mishandled

Johnston Family Tree George Neumann

First wife Claire Married in 1960 Frank Johnston Johnston

Lisa Rick Howorth Neumann Sam Johnston

Steve Johnston Mike Johnston

Clockwise from left: Frank Johnston, Claire Johnston (holding Mike Johnston), Rick Neumann, Lisa Johnston, Sam Johnston, Steve Johnston



april 8, 2014


d. Howorth dd a colorful ntricate blend of in the reader, the w. l facts and the n creative fiction. ook named Ned t of the 1966 case, outcast who lived

school, but was in der. He backdated a orth to make it seem her’s Day weekend,

his neighbor was alf-brother, Sam an adult in 1994. when Steve was

me, Johnston came y in the Washington urder, sparking his

“Back in those days the police department didn’t have the chain of custody that they have i n t e r e s t today,” Johnston said. “They didn’t have evidence rooms for people to sign evidence in and out of custody. Consequently, the detectives ned with that,” Johnston said. “I kept evidence in their personal desk, lockers, trunks and homes.” f Montgomery County, told them Fred Burton, now the vice president of intelligence at Statfor, a o look into the file.” geopolitical intelligence firm, worked in the Montgomery County ersing Police Department during the 1980’s. se. He “There is no closure when it happens Then, property lockers were used to n who store evidence, but “it was also not ting a to you... That’s a psychobabble word unusual for detectives or investigators that has no business in the English to hold evidence in a case file stuck in a ical to 6 with language, in my opinion. drawer,” he said. s who --Rick Neumann While the family in Howorth’s ictims novel gains some satisfaction from xually identifying the true killer, the lack so had the same shoe size as a of physical evidence in the real case makes a conviction nearly e crime, and carried a knife with impossible. at killed Steve. “There is no closure when it happens to you,” brother Rick dmissible physical evidence, the Neumann said. “That’s a psychobabble word that has no business rged with Steve’s murder. Based in the English language, in my opinion. There was no closure for the conclusion that the evidence my step-father, except the day he dropped dead three years later.” pubic and head hairs and a plaster Frank Johnston died suddenly of a heart attack in 1969 while or lost by police, he said.

From left: Rick Neumann, Sam Johnston, Lisa Howorth, Claire Johnston, Mike Johnston

FLYING SHOES By Lisa Howorth 304 pp. Bloomsbury. $17.99 Howorth will be at Barnes and Noble June 20 at 7pm and at Politics & Prose June 21 at 6pm.

golfing with Neumann, three years after his young son’s death. “He was a shell of himself after Steve was murdered; he was just catatonic; going to work, coming home, going to work, coming home,” Neumann said. Both the Montgomery County police and the family recognize how differently the case would have been handled had it happened today. Johnston says modern DNA evidence would have helped identify the true killer. “If it happened today, he would be behind bars,” Johnston said. “Steve scratched the hell out of him using his fingers. The coroner would have scraped the underside of his nails. DNA would have nailed this guy, absolutely nailed him.” County police protocol for handling physical evidence has improved since the 1960’s. “The way evidence is packed now is a lot different from the way it was 40, 45 years ago,” said Montgomery County Police Sergeant Christopher Homrock.

A dream becomes reality

“Flying Shoes” is a book idea Howorth has had in her mind for decades, but the novel has taken time to mature. In 2007, Howorth received a fellowship to the McDowell Colony, in New Hampshire. There, she had seclusion and time to make great strides on her project. “The book is something I’ve been wanting to write ever since my brother was murdered,” Howorth said. “Of course I was only 15 at the time, and it was quite a while before I was able to even think about it, when I was willing to have this all in my head.” The crime impacted Howorth so profoundly that she couldn’t wait to leave Bethesda and get away from everything that had happened to her family, she said. “I think the bottom line is how this crime damaged our family and what a terrible thing it was and how poorly it was dealt with by the authorities at the time,” Howorth said. “We all want to see justice for our brother and protection for kids out there today ‘cause that guy is still out there.”

Top to bottom: Sam Johnston, Rick Neumann, Steve Johnston

photos courtesy Johnston Family


april 8, 2014



A & Black & White feature Ask A The editors are here to help!

By Annie Ludewig and Alexa Brodsky Dear A&A, I just submitted my schedule request for junior year. I had a lot of trouble deciding which classes to take and the rigor of my course load. During all of my college visits, the tour guides always say they’re looking for students who succeed in challenging classes and who are extremely involved in extracurricular activities. How many AP classes should I take? What’s the right balance between maintaining a high GPA and taking an impressive course load? Sincerely, Schooled Dear Schooled, We don’t recommend piling on the AP courses just to impress colleges. It’s best to have a high GPA in the best classes you can handle. Also, remember to balance your time between completing schoolwork and participating in activites you care about outside of school. Though receiving a higher education is vital, you should choose the right school and environment for you—not your classmates or parents. To sum all this up, create a schedule with classes that you’re interested in and levels of difficulty that you’ll feel comfortable with. XOXO, A&A

Fashion Society seniors pursue passion for fashion after graduation

By Sophia Glazer Some people are born with a passion from a young age, and know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives. Seniors Sarah Hoffman and Julia Bromberg have that passion — for fashion. Both girls are members of the fashion society, and plan to pursue a career in the field. Hoffman has been a member of the Fashion Society for all four years of high school, and is co-president this year along with fellow senior Maddie Brach. Bromberg is a first year member, and has been taking sewing classes so she can assemble her line, codesigned with senior Izzi Mason, for the annual end of the year fashion show. The fashion show, to be held May 2, displays students’ talent, featuring a broad array of styles. The society meets as needed throughout the school year, with more frequent meetings closer to the show date to discuss the theme and design of the show, Hoffman said. English teacher Danielle Fus is the fashion society advisor, and oversees the production process for the show. “For most people in the society, fashion is a hobby that they can continue after they graduate, but it’s great that some people really want to pursue fashion as a career,” Fus said. Fus has seen Hoffman’s and Bromberg’s sketches transform

from drawings to actual, wearable clothing. “She’s [Hoffman] got a really strong vision for what she wants in her line. Even down to make-up aesthetic for her models—she gets very, very detailed,” Fus said. This is Bromberg’s first year designing a line, but she has been a model for the fashion show since her freshman year. “I’ve seen some sketches and it looks like she’s [Bromberg] got some great ideas and it looks like she’s very inspired,” Fus said. Itching to transform her hobby into a career, Hoffman applied to Parsons School of Art and Design in NYC and Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and was accepted to both. For both applications, she had to submit a portfolio of her designs. Parson is strictly a fashion design school, while Pratt has departments in architecture and industrial design as well as fashion and other art departments. Hoffman picked Pratt because of its diversity. “For me, fashion and art go hand in hand, and those are my two passions in life,” Hoffman said. Hoffman knew from an early age what her chosen career path was, and she decided to follow her heart. “Since I started thinking seriously about what I wanted to do with my life, which was like 6th or 7th grade, I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer,” Hoffman said. “I’ve never considered doing

anything else.” Hoffman describes her personal style as polished and classic with a bit of an edge. “Fashion is art that’s wearable and it says a lot about the type of person you are.” Hoffman said. “Anyone can become anything they want just by wearing something. You can dress in a business suit and now you’re a business women, you can dress in bohemian and then you’re a gypsy.” Bromberg also hopes to pursue a career in the fashion world. Next year, Bromberg will attend Tulane University for business with the goal of getting a minor in marketing, leading to a career in fashion merchandizing. Bromberg will work as an intern at Teen Vogue this summer to gain more skills in her field. “I think the best part of fashion is seeing people’s reactions,” Bromberg said. “I think it’s funny when I wear a turtle neck and everyone’s really confused and they’re like, ‘why are you wearing a turtleneck, you don’t have a hickey?’ Honestly, you’re going to be wearing a turtle neck next year, I swear.’” Both Bromberg and Hoffman love the freedom of creativity involved in fashion. “It makes you different,” Hoffman said. “If you’ve got some amazing unique piece you’ve made yourself, no one else in the world has that because you made it.”

Dear Summertime Sadness, There are a lot of job options that you can apply for that won’t interfere with your time to relax and socialize. There are also jobs that are social by nature. You could be a day camp counselor, which allows you to interact with other counselors and kids of all ages—don’t underestimate the power of friendship with a 7-year-old. You can also look into part-time jobs at bakeries, cafes and shops. You’ll be able to befriend your co-workers and you’ll still have time off to hang out with your peers. There are plenty of options that can allow you to balance your time between socializing, relaxing and working. XOXO, A&A Dear A&A, I’m a freshman and new to Whitman this year. I’ve been debating switching schools, but am not sure. What are some things about Whitman that I’d have to look forward to if I stay? Sincerely, To stay or not to stay Dear to stay of not to stay, DEFINITELY stay at Whitman. Freshman year can be a stressful adjustment, especially if you’re coming from a different school. Coming from two seniors, everything gets better as the years go on. Everyone grows together; people get more mature and cliques become less of an issue. Come second semester senior year, you will be sad about leaving this amazing community. There are also so many more opportunities to discover at Whitman. You can get involved in a club, SGA or yearbook, to name a few, and you can get leadership roles as you get older. There are so many fun events at Whitman, like LLS month and Talent Show, that only get better with time. Hang in there, Whitman is the best! XOXO, A&A

photo by ABBY CUTLER

Dear A&A, My parents are pressuring me to get a job this summer. I really want to hang out with my friends instead. I’ve been working really hard in school this year and I just want my summer to be a break—no stress involved. Should I prioritize earning money and having a disciplined job this summer or should I focus on relaxing and chilling with my friends? Thanks, Summertime Sadness

Potomac Grocer opened in Potomac Village on Feb. 12. The store serves fresh seafood, prepared foods and homemade desserts.

Parent sets up shop in Potomac Village

Thomas Spencer opens gourmet market Potomac Grocer by Annie Ludewig Potomac Village seems to have it all—a Starbucks, a Safeway, a Vie De France bakery and a Sprinkles ice cream shop. However, the neighborhood lacked what close-by towns of Rockville and Bethesda have long possessed: a gourmet prepared foods market. Thanks to Whitman parent Thomas Spencer, the Village welcomed Potomac Grocer to its wide variety of shops Feb. 12. Senior Meredith Spencer’s father decided to open the market because he noticed that his community didn’t have a grocer that offered delicious, nutritious prepared foods for the average busy citizen. The grocer offers fresh meats, seafood, poultry, prepared goods, fresh dairy products and homemade desserts. “In this area there’s a need for a grocery that carries the type of products that people are looking for around here,” Thomas said. “It’s a very wealthy community and people demand the best products. We feel like we can cater to that.” Unlike many grocery stores in the area, Potomac Grocer is home to an experienced and creative chef. Justin Key creates an assortment of unique and gourmet menu items each day. A sample from a recent menu includes squash salad, crab cake, flounder stuffed with lobster and lobster tail with truffle butter. Senior Kate Goldberg stops by the shop about once a week and enjoys Key’s creations. “My favorite dish that they sell is the corn orzo,” Goldberg said. “I like going there because they have good prices and the food’s always fresh. It also has a nice neighborhood vibe.” In addition to fancy entrees, Potomac Grocer offers customers a wide variety of sweet desserts. Pastry Chef

Catherine McArdle bakes everything from chocolatechip cookies to pumpkin bread to homemade chocolate and caramel sauces. McArdle’s baked goods attract customers of all ages. “Our store supplies to all sorts of customers,” Thomas said. “We see high school students come in after school to get desserts and we also see parents coming in to pick up dinner for the night.” Meredith is proud of her father’s store’s success and notes that the market has been a long time coming. “The building that my dad leased needed a lot of repairs and permits,” she said. “The whole process has taken about three years since my dad first had the idea.” The market’s opening day was followed by a snowstorm that forced Thomas to close the store for two days. However, the snow didn’t keep customers from stopping by the next day. “When you open in February you have to expect the weather to influence business,” he said. “Despite the snow we had a very good turnout with lots of local support. People have continued to come back and business is good.” Thomas is looking for more employees to fill the store’s busiest hours: the afternoon and early evening. Meredith works at the store about three times a week, helping out at cashier and managing the Facebook page. Having her father as her boss has its ups and downs, Meredith said. “I get to pick out my own hours and take home all the food I want,” Meredith said. “But on the downside, when I get in trouble, I’m not just getting in trouble with my boss, but my dad too.”

April 8, 2014



by Caroline Schweitzer Freshman Brian Fisher’s new app is flying onto iPhones around the world. Fisher created an app called “Rocket Flyer” about three weeks ago that can be downloaded from the Apple App Store for free. The app currently has about 215 downloads, a number that continues to grow. The objective of “Rocket Flyer” is to fly up the screen as a rocket and shoot aliens before they reach earth, while simultaneously flying through rings to maintain energy. If a player misses the rings or if the aliens reach earth, the player loses the game. “I have the highest score, by a lot,” Fisher said. Fisher said he was bored one day and started fooling around with the Mac computer software, X-Code, where he then wrote the game code for “Rocket Flyer.” It took Fisher about one month to create his first app. X-Code allows the user to create two files that together produce the game. One file is used to “declare” the basic components that the game will have, like the images on the screen. The other file will determine what those components will do and how they will move. Fisher saved his game code and sent it to Apple. Apple takes one to two weeks to review the game to make sure it’s clean and user friendly. Apple can then put it up on the App Store if they think it will be popular.

Fisher’s inspiration came from popular games he’s played on his iPhone, like Doodle Jump and Fruit Ninja. Freshman Ezra Pine, a friend of Fisher’s, is proud to be in the top five on the leaderboard and said it’s fun to play against his friends and compete for the highest score. “I think it took a fair amount of work [for Brian] to make the app,” said Pine. “I think if anyone could do it, he could. He’s pretty smart and he’s a tech guy.” The game is meant for all age groups and can be downloaded for free. Fisher hopes it will become popular enough to make money in the future, but for now he makes money from advertisements. Fisher has made $50 in the first few weeks and hopes to increase his profits as the app gains popularity. The advertisers pay Apple, which then distributes a portion of the money to the apps. “You get very tiny amounts for each ad, it’s like one-eighth of a cent for each ad that loads,” Fisher said. “But it piles up.” Every morning Apple sends out a report on how his app is doing in terms of number of downloads, amount of money made and the locations of people around the world downloading the app. “It’s fun to see people playing my app,” said Fisher. “That’s enjoyable to see.”

“Rocket Jump” was inspired by games like Doodle Jump and Fruit Ninja. Fisher created the app using the Mac computer software X-code. The app is currently available as a free download.


Freshman Brian Fisher creates original iPhone game app

With‘Tree Hugger’ gum, parent hopes to chew up competition by Adam Simon For most people, it’s easy to pop a gumball in your mouth for freshening your breath or just having a chewy treat. For Whitman parent Peter Fleck, bubble gum was the thing that helped him stick to his dreams. Fleck began his own allnatural gum company close to five years ago and never looked back. “I took a classic item and tried to make it innovative, new and fun,” Fleck said. While practically every gum company uses artificial ingredients, preservatives, dyes and “a lot of other things you just don’t know,” Fleck’s gum—Tree Hugger—is made entirely of natural ingredients, such as cane sugar, sunflower lecithin and natural flavors. Fleck began working in the candy world as a wholesaler for major companies. He was hired by companies including M&M, Mars, Tootsie Rolls and other big companies to go to trade shows and meet with vendors about getting the product into stores. “Getting started in the candy

business really allowed me to see all the junk that went into the products, especially the gum,” Fleck said. After developing his idea, Fleck went to a friend, Seth Goldman, a co-founder of Honest Tea, for advice on how to get the idea off the ground. Goldman helped get Fleck’s foot in the door with some major manufacturers, quite a coup for such a small company. “The manufacturer is pretty large with clients such as Wrigley’s Gum and other big guys,” Fleck said. “It made it hard to convince them to prioritize my product over orders for Wrigley’s worth hundreds of millions.” Once Fleck found a manufacturer, he was able to materialize his vision and go back and forth between production and trials. He would order 500 pounds of each flavor, test the product with friends and others, then tweak it and get a new batch made up. “The hardest part of the process was convincing people of my dream,” he said. “These huge companies don’t need me; I need them. Everyone is a

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dreamer—they have an idea for a soda, a cookie, a graham cracker. For me it came down to actually doing it.” Fleck got the company rolling by using social media and free samples to spread the word about his gum. Tree Hugger got its first account with MOM’S Organic Market, and from there has gained more momentum. In the past year, Whole Foods and United Natural Foods Inc. have picked up the product and the company is currently in talks with Safeway. Even though the company has seen large success, Fleck always tries to

innovate his product. As the non-GMO movement is picking up steam, Fleck decided to alter the formula for Tree Hugger and shifted from using corn syrup to GMO-free rice syrup. “I learned three things from the whole thing,” Fleck said. “First, you can follow a vision. Second, you can compete with the big players and make a place for yourself. And third, you can make a difference, even with something as small as gum.” Peter Fleck is the father of Black & White feature writer Nicole Fleck.

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Pizza: The hungry man’s go-to

by Nick Meyer It’s 1 a.m. on a Friday night and I’m hungry. And I’m not talking “maybe go downstairs to the kitchen and make a PB&J” hungry—I need a full meal. Most places are closed and I don’t feel like driving anyways, so I reach for the phone and do what millions around the world do each and every day: I order a pizza. Pizza is the world’s food. I’ve written before about other notable foods taking the world by storm—the burger and sushi to name a couple— but I’ve never truly investigated the much beloved staple that is pizza. No other food is as universally enjoyed as the humble pizza pie. After all, 350 slices are consumed every second, resulting in five billion pizzas consumed annually across the globe. So it’s no surprise that in a well-to-do suburban restaurant hub such as Bethesda, pizza is featured prominently. True, there’s always Dominos, which I have nothing against because quite frankly, sometimes there’s nothing better. But if you’re in the mood to sample more specialized pizzas, then fear not—Bethesda and the surrounding areas have you covered. Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza and Haven Pizzeria Napoletana Thank god for New Haven style pizza. For me, the secret to a good pizza lies in its crust. And luckily for fellow crust enthusiasts, the Bethesda area boasts two pizzerias that serve up “apizza” (pronounced abeets), in the regional style of Connecticut. Authentic apizzas are larger and more irregularly shaped than their New York relatives, and have deeply charred crusts, a result of traditional coal burning ovens. Purists don’t even order mozzarella cheese, which is considered an additional topping; Pecorino Romano is the standard. Head to Haven for Bethesda’s best crust, or try Pete’s if you’re in the mood for a wider range of toppings—be sure to try one of their 19 signature house pies. Corner Slice The most widely recognized regional pizza style in the world hails from New York. True New Yorkers will always defend its glory in the age long debate of Chicago vs. New York style. Personally, I prefer New York style’s thin, foldable slices over the doughy and overly heavy Chicago style that requires a knife and fork to eat. Corner Slice on St. Elmo Ave. has always satisfied my craving for the Big Apple staple. Its pies are massive, but fear not, the Bethesda institution also serves pizza by the slice. Mia’s Pizzas Tucked away on Cordell Ave. is the much beloved neighborhood establishment, Mia’s Pizzas. Though the restaurant’s relatively small space makes it a hard destination for larger groups, I’ve always found Mia’s to be the most warm and welcoming of the local pizzerias. Their large wood-fired oven yields a thicker crust that is slightly burned, but not overly smoky. Their impressive menu features over 30 topping choices plus calzones and pastas. Honorable Mentions While I have never had the privilege of dining at this local institution, I am told Two Amy’s is D.C.’s top spot for authentic Neapolitan style pizzas. Their oven is certified by the Italian government, as are two of their signature pies, earning them “Denominazione di Origine Controllata” status—a food status licensed to official products. I only dined at Comet Pizza and Ping Pong once, but the vibes are tight. And yes, they actually have ping pong tables in back.

april 8, 2014

Student perspectives:

Ukraine, Crimea and Putin’s plan

photo by ABBY CUTLER


By Nicole Fleck and caroline schweitzer The crisis in Ukraine began February 23 following President Viktor F. Yanukovych’s refusal to participate in a treaty with the European Union. Civil unrest unfolded in the capital, Kiev, from pro-western Ukrainians who wanted to move towards a closer relationship with Europe. Violence escalated, and the president of Ukraine was forced to flee as the opposition took control. Russia sent troops into the

Crimean peninsula in Southeastern Ukraine, claiming Anton Stalchenko and Margo Sweat share their thoughts on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Both lived in Ukraine as children. an intent to protect Russian speakers on the conflict. in Crimea, which has a significant Sweat lived in Ukraine until ethnic Russian population. While she was two and her grandparents Russian troops remained in Crimea, currently live in Sumi, Ukraine, the peninsula voted to leave Ukraine in near the Russian border. Stalchenko March 16 referendum. lived in the Ukraine until two years

The Black & White spoke to sophomore Margo Sweat and senior Anton Stalchenko, who both have roots in Ukraine, about their views

ago, when he moved to the United States. Russian teacher Michelle Quackenbush added teacher’s perspective on the matter.

B&W: What are your views and connections to the Russian-Ukraine conflict? AS: I was born in Ukraine, but moved to the U.S. two years ago. I experienced life in west Ukraine and traveled around Crimea. People in Crimea were very Russian. They always supported Russia. Referendum in Crimea was very democratic and without problems because people wanted to be a part of Russia. Ukraine doesn’t have a good leader. Everybody is fighting for leadership, but west Ukraine supports its candidates, east Ukraine supports its candidates. MS: My mother’s side of my family has always lived in Ukraine. We moved here when I was two or three years old. We always go back in the summer to Sumi in the east part of Ukraine, which is the border with Russia. They have a lot of natural resources that Putin really wants. You really have to think about the people and respect the people there. There are other ethnic groups besides Russians and Ukrainians, as well as people who were there thousands of years before any of the Russian people came along. Basically [Putin] wants the eastern part because that’s where the natural resources are. He actually has a plan. You can infer from his

quotes that even though he has annexed Crimea, Ukraine controls the electric sources and the water. He’s extended his troops along the borders to get into the southern part first. Some people say that Crimea is a distraction because what he really wants is Ukraine, but we don’t really know how far that’s going to go. MQ: I had some students who are really upset about what is happening. I think everyone is sort of not sure. It’s created this insecurity. It all happened so quickly and it’s just so reminiscent of past power ploys by Soviet premiers, and yet it’s not Soviet exactly. It’s a lot of power concentrated in the hands of a few people making decisions. From this angle it’s frightening. As you start reading you realize who else is on this bandwagon of Russian speakers in a given place seeking some sort of alliance or allegiance to Moscow.

of people on edge thinking that the world order has changed and they may be right and that’s the reality. We are kind of going back to the way it was before except Russia is still working with us on other topics. We haven’t really shut the door. Communication’s open but we’ve been there. That’s the problem. AS: I have family in west Ukraine who haven’t been affected yet. In Ukraine there’s always been corruption on all levels. I don’t think the situation will be positive until a really good leader will come to Ukraine. Right now there’s no significant candidate that can really change something. All they do is talk, talk, talk. What they say, they’re not doing it.

B&W: What do you think the future will hold? MQ: There are a lot of people in the younger generation that see this as not going to last, that Putin will end up being impeached or will have to step down, not because of this crisis but because of his approach. I think you have a lot

B&W: What are your opinions on the opposition? MS: There are two sides to the story. People who are pro-Russian are saying when the Soviet Union broke up Crimea was a gift to Ukraine from the Soviet Union. Even critics of Putin are saying that ‘they deserve to get Crimea.’ This was their territory. I don’t understand why people are getting so upset about the whole thing. It was theirs in the first place.’ You have to think of the people there. You have to respect them because nobody wants to be pushed around.

Anderson creates masterful fantasy in ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ By Max Steinhorn On a superficial level “The Grand Budapest Hotel” may seem like your run-of-the-mill adventure comedy. But below the surface, the film speaks truths about humanity and relationships, and is able to put a humorous lens on some of the darkest parts of history. In his eighth film, Wes Anderson masterfully creates fantasy, adventure, and allegory in the touching story of the Grand Budapest Hotel’s concierge and lobby boy’s improbable relationship, friendship, and journey through the fictional Republic of Zubrowka. The movie is essentially a flashback within a flashback. It starts in 1985 when an aging writer (Tom Wilkinson) recalls the time in 1968 when his younger self (Jude Law) stayed at the nearly empty Grand Budapest Hotel and became acquainted with its solitary owner, Zero Moustafa. At dinner, Zero recalls the story of his early days at the hotel, working as a lobby boy (Tony Revolori) in the 1930s for the charismatic concierge, Monsieur Gustave H (Ray Fiennes). The two have a humorous yet affectionate relationship, as Zero follows and observes his boss. Gustave is portrayed as disciplined,

yet highly irresponsible – he maintains complete control of the hotel while having intimate relations with multiple elderly women (some of whom are still married). As with many Anderson movies, humor is created through the absurdities of the plot and filmography. Gustave and Zero are thrust in the middle of a crazy inheritance battle for a Renaissance painting, given to Gustave by one of his elderly lovers. Gustave is framed for murder, thrown in jail, escapes, and eludes the police and Jopling (Willem Defoe), a coldblooded hitman, all with Zero’s help. Anderson deliberately creates fake models of the hotel and prison and comically speeds up chase scenes to add flair to even the dullest moments in the film. Over the course of the journey, Zero develops a deep admiration for Gustave, and calls him “a glimmer of civilization in the barbaric slaughterhouse we know as humanity.” As their journey progresses, the debauchery of Gustave’s concierge life falls away, and he emerges as far more noble and kindhearted than his earlier capers would suggest, capable of bringing happiness to even the darkest situations. In a world

teetering on the edge of WWII, Gustave cheerily speaks to death squads and, while in jail, happily serves gruel to his hardened cellmates. Fiennes perfectly captures the dichotomy and delivers a stunning performance. It is in this irony of Gustave’s character — his inherent goodness in a world of bad — that Anderson brings out humor, but also illuminates a tragic and brutal side of history and humanity. The charm of the Grand Budapest Hotel and Gustave is past its time — only desolation and war lie ahead. At the end of the movie, the elderly Zero remarks that Gustave “certainly maintained the illusion with remarkable grace.” On the surface, that “illusion” may refer to Gustave’s rise from a humble beginning to the trappings of a life amid the fineries of wealth. But it’s just as likely that the “illusion” Gustave maintained was one of human kindness and loyalty in a world increasingly torn apart by violence, brutality and war. We root for the illusion, but we know the reality. That is the allegory that Anderson wraps into his entertaining adventure — one definitely worth seeing.

april 8, 2014




Crew: Coxswain Jade Hughes By Sebastian Van Bastelaer For most people, crew is more about the brawn than the brains. But for junior Jade Hughes, it takes a little bit of both. As the coxswain of the lady Vikings’ varsity boats, Hughes has already found success early on in the season. She led Whitman’s first eight to a win in the Polar Bear Regatta March 22, and to first place over Yorktown and Wilson in a scrimmage March 29. “Knowing that I am the leader on the water is very empowering,” Hughes said. As coxswain, she has to take responsibility not only for herself, but for the entire boat; she directs drills, gives orders to her teammates, and steers the boat. “Jade’s job is extremely important,” teammate

Kate Conlan said. “She always has her head in the game and is good at making quick decisions for the boat.” The team, which benefits from a strong pool of sophomore talent, looks to be even faster than in recent years. The rowers hope to build on their previous strong performances in some upcoming races, including the St. Andrews Regatta and the Maryland State Championship in April. “This year our team has great chemistry,” Hughes said, “We are a family that works well together.”


Girls Lacrosse

Boys Lacrosse

Montgomery 4A/3A South Division



Montgomery 4A/3A South Division




















Walter Johnson




Walter Johnson























0-0 0-0






Upcoming Games:

Upcoming Games:

4/10 vs B-CC - 7:00 4/22 vs Sherwood - 7:00

4/11 @ B-CC - 7:00 4/22 @ Sherwood - 7:00

Second baseman Ben Castagnetti takes a pitch against Sherwood in a 0-1 loss.


Boys Tennis

Montgomery 4A South Division
























Richard Montgomery Walter Johnson


Upcoming Games: 4/10 vs B-CC - 7:00 4/11 @ Blake - 3:30





Midfielder Alex Hilsenrath advances the ball in a scrimmage versus Parkside.

Boys Baseball At a Glance

1.75 .402

Team Earned Run Average

On Base Percentage


Montgomery 4A South Division TEAM








Richard Montgomery



















Walter Johnson

Upcoming Games: 4/11 @ Blair - 3:30 4/22 vs Wootton - 3:30

Number two singles player Sean Ngo in the team’s first match against Woottoon.

As the paper goes to print, the tennis squad has yet to play its first match due to weather. Led by seniors Aries Wong, Sean Ngo and Lucas Schoch, the Vikes look to beat county powerhouse Wootton and win a county championship. Learn more about the tennis team’s experienced senior class on Page 14

april 8, 2013



The Washington Kastles: D.C.’s most successful franchise tennis match,” senior Nicole Welch said. “It’s much more interactive with the fans than other forms of professional tennis, and all the seats are incredibly close.” Things that are normally present at other professional sporting events, like t-shirt tosses and loud music are what lets Kastles matches stand apart from a typical tennis atmosphere. While cheering during the point is normally frowned upon in professional tennis, it is encouraged during a World Team Tennis match. “Everyone is so enthusiastic,” Welch said. “Everybody gets so into it and sometimes people even start yelling at the coaches and players.” The crowd plays a big role in deciding the outcome of a World Team Tennis match. The Kastles fans are especially rowdy. “To play in front of 3,000 screaming fans chanting your name after each point gives me a boast of adrenaline to help me play better,” player Bobby Reynolds

said. “My opponent not only has to play against me every point, but hear those 3,000 fans cheering against him after every point. So mentally it gives me a boost, and it wears on my opponent over time.” While the Kastles take some things from other professional sports, they don’t share one very important trait with the other D.C. area sports franchises: the Kastles are the most dominant team in the sport. They have won four of the last five league championships with the last three in a row and have the longest winning streak in professional sports. So when deciding which sporting events to attend this summer, it’s worth thinking about the Kastles. Starting July 7, the Kastles will return to their riverside stadium near the Waterfront metro station in their quest for a four-peat. “Playing for the Kastles is the best three weeks of my year,” Reynolds said.

Bobby Reynolds currently plays on the ATP tour.

The team has won the past three WTT championships.



of the team atmosphere, the buzz, and the energy and excitement of playing for the fans, the city and your teammates,” coach Murphy Jensen said. Some of the most famous professionals in the sport take a break from their summer tour to compete in the league. Some of the biggest names in the past include Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg and Chris Evert. Currently, the league has an interesting balance between historical and present day greats. The Kastles 2014 roster features superstar Venus Williams, legend Martina Hingis, and doubles champion Leander Paes among others. Other current players around the league include the top ranked Americans in singles—John Isner—and doubles—the Bryan brothers—and the recently retired great Andy Roddick will even make an appearance. There are a number of changes in each match that make it more appealing to the conventional sports fan. “It’s a lot more fun than a typical


by Tyler Jacobson With the Nationals’ presidents race, the Capitals’ “unleash the fury” video and the Hail to the Redskins cheer, the D.C. area’s sporting events thrive on high energy and interaction with the fans to keep the seats full. While a normal tennis match intentionally lacks these things, the Washington Kastles combine the excitement of a traditional sporting event while still capturing the essence of the sport of tennis. The Kastles are D.C.’s franchise in the seven-team World Team Tennis league. The league brings professional tennis into a team format. Each team matchup consists of a mens and ladies singles match, a mens and ladies doubles match, and one mixed doubles match. Each individual match is played first to five games. The team that wins the most games in the five individual matches wins the entire matchup. “It’s an amazing experience, because

Anastasia Rodionova plays singles on the WTA tour.

Junior Clare Severe maintains multisport Wong and Ngo return to boys tennis, set sights success, on track to be state legend By Caleb Kushner The track team has received a huge boost from junior Clare Severe who recently went the extra mile, winning two state titles in this indoor season, bringing her total to five over her high school career. Severe won state titles in the 800-meter and the 4x800-meter relay this indoor season, the 1600-meter in the 2013 indoor season and the 800-meter and 1600-meter in the 2013 outdoor season. In addition to her track accolades, Severe was a key member of the girls soccer team’s journey to a state championship last season. Severe said she loves to win, and this drive has played an important role in her athletic accomplishments.

photo courtsey Clare Severe

“It’s an extremely rewarding feeling winning states, especially after working so hard all season,” Severe said. “Winning in general is awesome, and winning states is just that more exciting.” Junior Lela Walter, Severe’s teammate and fellow state champion in the 4x800 relay, said Severe is one of the hardest workers on the team and that her work ethic has led to her success. “Clare has an incredible work ethic and this desire to win allows her to be a top competitive runner,” Walter said. “She puts in so much effort to her races and training and it shows.” Track coach Stephen Hays said that Severe has proved a valuable asset to the team, helping them in several ways. “She almost single handedly won us the region championship,” Hays said. “She’s a competitor, she wants to win and that’s why I love coaching her.” Severe said she considers the 1600-meter her best event, despite her success in the relay and 800-meter. She said her greatest achievement is a 4:57 time in the 1600-meter, one second slower than the state record. She hopes to rack up several more state titles in this upcoming spring season both individually and alongside her relay teammates. “Personally I really just want to keep dropping time and getting faster,” Severe said. “Long term I’d like our relay to break the school record and to get close to the school record in the 1600 as well.” Severe is confident in her ability to reach these goals as long as she and her teammates continue improving at their current pace. Without them, Severe said she would not be nearly as successful as she has been thus far. “I get a lot of support from all of the people around me,” Severe said. “I’m also a competitive person, so I really Junior Clare Severe is already a track state champion in 5 events, as push myself because I don’t like to lose.” well as a member of this year’s girls soccer state championship team.

on states

by Caleb Kushner The boys tennis team is making a racket on their way back to being one of the top teams in the county this season with the return of seniors Aries Wong and Sean Ngo. Wong and Ngo both left the Whitman tennis team during their junior year to play in national tournaments. The United States Tennis Association tournaments are designed for more competitive players who are looking to get recruited and play tennis in college. “The USTA tournaments helped me develop as a player by giving me the chance to play against some of the best players across the country,” Ngo said. These tournaments paid off for the two budding stars. Wong will attend the United States Naval Academy and Ngo will attend Salisbury, and both will play tennis next year. As the team begins their season, coach Jasen Gohn is excited to have his two star players back on the team. “Last year without them, we didn’t really contend for the county championship, while Wootton and Churchill were just that one level above us,” Gohn said. “Now with Aries and Sean on the team, we are not only going to contend with the big teams, but we are going to beat them.” Lucas Schoch, fellow senior four-year player, thinks that Wong and Ngo will add much needed skill to a now wellrounded team. “It’s really nice to have Aries and Sean back on the team to provide depth,” Schoch said. “It’s also nice that they agreed to get water for the team every day since they didn’t play last year.” Wong will lead the team in the first singles spot, with Ngo in the second. They have both won their first matches against Rockville. Both players have set high goals for themselves: to win the county and state championships in their respective events. “As a team, our goals are to beat Wootton and Churchill for the first time since my years at Whitman, and to win counties as a team for the first time in about nine years,” Wong said. Although Wong and Ngo are both at the prime of their tennis games, Ngo expressed his drive to get better and work on his serve, and Wong said he would like to improve his agility and strength. The team will face Wootton April 4 and Churchill April 7, lead by Wong and Ngo in their two biggest matches of the season.

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april 8, 2014

Two-time Olympic medalist Dana Chladek talks about ‘92 and ‘96 Olympic experience

B&W: What was the process to get to the Olympics? DC: The year before the ’92 Olympics in Barcelona, I won a silver and bronze medal at the World Championships. By then, all the kayakers knew each other because it was at that competitive, high-rank level where you go against the same people each time. A couple of months before the Olympics began, there were team trials, or qualifying rounds, to get onto the Olympic team. In ’92 the trials were in Maryland and in ’96 they were at the actual Olympic course so that was nice. There was about 20 girls there and only three spots. I got the first spot so I made the team.

B&W: What was it like at the actual Olympics? DC: I didn’t get to go to the opening ceremonies for both Olympics since I was supposed to race the next day, but the closing ceremonies were really nice—there was lots of music and dancing. All the kayakers slept at the Athlete Village in ’92 and ’96, which was about two and a half hours away from the venue. You got to know all the kayakers very well since we spent so much time together. We slept in a college and all our travel was paid for by the U.S. Olympic Committee. Although it was a ton of nerves which made it not fun on the racing day, after that one day we could just relax and enjoy the Olympics. B&W: What was it like on racing day? DC: I was so nervous I couldn’t feel my arms. Back then, it was a lot simpler because there was one big race where you had two runs and your best run would be the one that would be your final score. In ’92, I thought I had a good chance at winning

a medal since I already had medals from the World Championships. It has gotten harder since then to win medals in the Olympics, but there was still a lot of nerves. I was fortunate to have a great run in ’92 and a beautiful run in ’96, because sometimes you paddle well the day before racing but not on the actual day. B&W: Were there any times you thought you would quit or give up? DC: You always get sick of kayaking after practicing everyday. Often there were moments were I just did not want to kayak at all, especially since it was 40 degrees and we had to paddle in the cold each morning and afternoon. I never wanted to quit though—I kept hoping and pushing until I did my very best. In ’95, I had shoulder surgery so I was nervous that I might not be able to paddle in the ’96 Olympics. I pushed through though and after a while the pain eased and I was able to train again.

photo courtesy DANA CHLADEK

Black & White: How did you begin your kayaking career? Dana Chladek: I began kayaking at a young age when I did double kayaking with my dad, and eventually I got my own kayak at the age of 13. My parents never put overbearing pressure on me; it was more that I really felt this need that I had to do well. I kayaked through high school but when I got to Dartmouth it was more fun because there was a larger group of people who kayaked. At Dartmouth, the river is very close by which made it easier to train every day.

photo courtesy DANA CHLADEK

By Emilia Malachowski Whitman parent Dana Chladek began kayaking at a young age with her dad and got her own kayak at the age of 13. Chladek, who was born in the Czech Republic, trained for several hours every day throughout high school, and paddled with a large group at Dartmouth College. After five years at Dartmouth, having taken several semesters off to train, Chladek won a bronze medal in the world championships in 1987 and two silvers just a year later. Chladek would go on to win six total world championship medals—two more silvers in ’91 and ’93 and a bronze in ’91—along with a bronze in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and a silver at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. In 2005, Chladek began coaching at Potomac Whitewater Racing Center, where she currently works.

B&W: What’s it like watching the Olympics now? DC: It brings back lots of great memories and it definitely reminds me of my own experiences at the Olympics. Participating in the Olympics was one of the highlights in my life and it was great to try to do something really well each day.

“April Fools”


1. Puncture 5. Personify 11. Sickly 14. “Milk’s favorite cookie” 15. Bethesda boutique 16. Prefix meaning new 17. Recurring exclamation of shock from Gandalf 19. Attorney’s exam 20. Negatively charged atom 21. NASA gp. 22. Certain 23. Zero, in Spanish 26. Retries, for Roger and Rafael 28. 1979 Led Zeppelin hit 33. Common virus, for short 34. Michael Corleone’s group in The Godfather 35. Childish retort 37. There are three per inning 39. Holes in many a fence 41. Spanish serf 42. Frequently 44. Stadium 46. America’s premier sketch comedy 47. Buddy Holly song on his Greatest Hits album 50. Sexual desire 51. Twitter hash tag, meaning a sponsored ad 52. Actor Rudd of “Anchorman” fame 54. Casual yes 57. Model airplane material

61. He’s the plumber 62. Expression meaning to act dumb or silly 65. Mythical creature in a Tolkien novel 66. Cautionary warning after revealing a secret: “____ __ one” 67. Soprano ranged woodwind 68. Exclamation from Homer Simpson 69. Approve or agree 70. Blood and guts

by Ethan Taswell



1. Where the Simpson family convenes 2. Sci-fi movie with a 2010 remake 3. First four vowels (not in order) 4. Chipotle rival 5. Will Ferrell title role 6. Extinct flightless bird 7. Objections 8. Our Lady of Mercy abbr. 9. Absentminded scribble 10. “Gross!” 11. An open store, e.g. 12. Shakespearean king 13. Legend 18.Nightmare __ _______ Street (it’s in Bethesda) 22. Common collector’s item

24. Coastal inlets 25. Site of an expiration date on a cereal box, maybe? 27. Stephen Strasburg’s is 2.96 28. Like wool or down 29. Sign on an office door around noon? 30. Princess’ crown 31. Cynics, in slang 32. Not a soul 33. First word for Dave Grohl and his band 36. The Next Level abbr. 38. Capital of South Korea 40. Crack 43. Neighborhood Legal Services abbr.

45. Mud-based building material 48. Fashions 49. Disoriented 52. Trudge slowly along 53. Prefix meaning “of the air” 55. Emergency Airfield Lighting System abbr. 56. Bethesda middle school and my alma mater 58. Wolf, in Tijuana 59. Scottish sweet 60. Side of a boat sheltered from the wind 62. School planning org. 63. The Nashville Network abbr. 64. Summer weather

Vol. 52 » Issue 8  
Vol. 52 » Issue 8