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School News and Notes

Chantilly Cleans House at NSPA

Chantilly High School took two first place awards at the National Scholastic Press Association conference held recently in Anaheim, Calif. Chantilly High’s “Andromeda” snagged first place for literary magazine. The magazine is overseen by Advisor Bretton Zinger, with An Ly serving at its editor. The school’s yearbook also placed first in the 325+ page-yearbook category. The “Odyssey” is overseen by Advisor Mary Kay Downes, with Joe Fratter, Kelly Tarrant and Maya Ahronovich serving as the yearbook’s editors. Four additional Fairfax County public schools were honored with national awards for their publications, including Westfield High School, Oakton High School, Annandale High School and McLean High School.

Fashion Meets Dance at West Potomac

Students at West Potomac Academy are presenting a fashion show and dance performance, “Behind the Curtain,” that combines the efforts of all Academy Communication and Arts courses on Thursday, May 8, and Friday, May 9, at 7 p.m. in the Springbank Auditorium at West Potomac High School. Fashion Design 2 students will showcase their clothing design collections consisting of eight or more original, handmade garments based on personal inspiration.

Students work both as the designers and producers behind the scenes. First-year Fashion students are helping with each collection and will contribute one garment to the line. Auditions were held for models from West Potomac and neighboring Fairfax County high schools. Dance students will perform ballet, jazz, and modern dances inspired from interviews with the Fashion Design students about their collections, presenting a theatrical glimpse of each fashion line.

Belvedere Named Title I School

Belvedere Elementary School has prestigiously been named a 2008 Distinguished Title I School by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). The school is one of 118 schools statewide chosen for the honor, which is based on student achievement on state assessments during the 2006-07 school year. The VDOE cited Belvedere for maintaining full state accreditation under the Virginia Standards of Learning program for two consecutive years and for meeting federal benchmarks in reading and mathematics, having average test scores in both subjects at the 60th percentile or higher. Title I recognition represents goals behind the same title of the No Child Left Behind Act that funds schools in support of programs that raise achievements of at-risk students by meeting annual objectives on statewide assessments.

Artists and Authors’ at Rose Hill

Some elementary students are finally getting the chance to let their inner-artist shine for all to see. Rose Hill Artists’ and Authors’ Night will be held Thursday, May 8, at 6:30 p.m. at Rose Hill Elementary School. Student artists and authors will share books, stories and art work with their families. Students’ work will be on display throughout the school. A band and strings concert will follow at 7:30 p.m.

Big Wins at VA Science Olympiad

Chantilly High School students Abigail Acio and Kanishk Jain finished first in the Forensics category at the 2008 Virginia State Science Olympiad held recently. Second place finishers were Thuy Ho and Shahleen Ahmed in the Food Science category and Sharese Jefferson and Eric Yang in the Disease Detective category. Stephanie Ball and Sharese Jefferson placed third in the Ecology category. Fourth place finishers were Thuy Ho, Kanishk Jain, and Weily Shay in the Experimental Design category; Eric Yang and Aaron Isaacman in the Robot Ramble category; and Abigail Acio and Karen Shou in the Herpetology category. Quynh Nguyen and Shahleen Ahmed finished in fifth place in the Cell Biology category. As a team, Chantilly finished in sixth place overall after competing in 23 events.

First Time, First Win for FHS

The Fairfax High School team of Sasha Cottle, Blain Cytryn, Dennis Mahoney, and Phil Murphy won the Virginia Junior Classical League State Championship Certamen tournament in the Latin I category. Certamen is an academic quiz game similar to “It’s Academic” and “Jeopardy.” Public and private school students from across Virginia competed in the state tournament, though this is the first year Fairfax High has sent a team to the state competition.

Teacher Puts Sixth Book on the Market

Lee High School history teacher Mike Cecere has just published his sixth book in five years on the American Revolution. Cecere’s newest book examines Virginia’s role in the American Revolution. Five of his books focus on the role Virginians had in the war. Inspired by his interest in Revolutionary and Civil War reenacting, Cecere’s first three books focus on specific Virginia officers viewed as forgotten patriots and their units. The fourth book is based on American riflemen in the American Revolution, and the fifth book focuses on the role that Northern Virginia played in the Revolution. Cecere has taught for the Fairfax County Public School system for 17 years, 15 of which have been at Lee High.

FCPS Teachers Did the Math and Won

Three Fairfax Couny Public School teachers are among 53 teachers nationwide named winners of the Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished Junior High School Mathematics Teaching by the Mathematical Association of America. Meagan O’Neill of Frost Middle School, Clarence Fairbrother of Lake Braddock Secondary School, and Melissa Paul of Longfellow Middle School were all recognized for their efforts.

Oakton Band Gets Their Mickey Ears

Based on a performance by the Oakton High Symphonic Band at Festival Disney, the band has been invited to the Disney Honors program, considered to be the pinnacle of music festivals, next year. Oakton High bands received two best in class designations, two gold medal placements, one bronze medal placement, and recognition of outstanding solo performances by Sarah Atkinson on clarinet, Ben Elliott on oboe and Jenna George on alto saxophone.

GMHS Student Wins for Best Catch Art

George Mason High School student JiaLi Ma won the State-Fish Art Contest for Virginia in the grades 10-12 category. Her work and others’ from around the country will be on display at the coordination 10th anniversary expo on July 19 at the Mall of America.

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