The science department has recieved a new addition in the form of high tech machinery. Two Thermal Cyclers (aka PCR machines) and a DNA sequencer from the National Institute of Health will now be implemented into science classes, primarily biology and marine biology. “Our mission in the Biology Department this year is to have every student do gel electrophoresis and then use the PCR machine because we want them to [use] cutting edge [technology],” said biology teacher Dr. Catherine Croft.
PCR machines, rapidly replicate DNA using the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). This amplified DNA can be used for genotyping, cloning and sequencing. This technology is used in forensics and companies such as Ancestry and 23andMe.
DNA sequencers are exactly what they sound like, they sequence our DNA. Many students remember writing out the G’s, C’s, A’s and T’s when learning about DNA. This is exactly what this machine does except it’s automated and much more efficient. Unfortunately, the DNA sequencer is missing a part so cannot be used until the part is replaced.
The school acquired this technology thanks to Croft. “I used to work [at the National Institute of Health] and heard they have a surplus. One of our connections gave us a form for the surplus warehouse, so I submitted that and we got approved as a school,” said Croft. “I got to this huge warehouse, and I showed my form, and I got to walk around and pick out whatever I wanted.”
This technology is considered “old” to big science institutes such as the NIH. “It’s really high end cutting edge stuff [but] to them it’s old,” said Croft. Much of this “old” technology in these surplus warehouses is only three or four years old.
With the arrival of this new technology, students are excited to use it. Senior, Zita Ribeiro plans on using the PCR machine to do research for her independent study. She is focusing on Alzheimer’s disease and the P. Gingivalis bacteria.
“I will be culturing [the bacteria] on blood agar plates. I will actually get to actually see the DNA sequence for the bacteria and go through the process and really learn what it’s like to be in the science field,” Rebeiro said.
Croft plans on doing a forensics lab in her classes and marine biology teacher George Murphey is plans on using the equipment on saltwater fish.
Rose returns home after almost two years in Saudi Arabia
“Riding a camel…that was something I’d say is exciting,” said Junior Evan Rose. He left for Jubail, Saudi Arabia during his freshman year, starting a new life in the Middle East. After adjusting to another culture, Rose is back to finish high school in America.
In November of 2017, Rose moved to Saudi Arabia with his family because of his father’s work. Jubail is located on the East Coast near Bahrain in the Middle East. “I was a little surprised and a little scared. I mean it’s cool to go to a new place, but sad that I was leaving my friends, I hoped to come back [to the U.S].,” said Rose.
Rose went to an American private school located on a compound while he was in Jubail. To Rose, depending on location, much of life in Saudi Arabia was no different than life in Virginia.
“In some respects, it seemed like you’re walking into an American grocery store, other than everything’s in Arabic,” said Rose. “Other times, you will definitely see physical differences, as in men and women wearing cultural dress or street markets.”
The new lifestyle change came with its benefits. Rose said, “My dad’s company gave us the chance every six months to go on home leave. You could fly back to wherever you lived before, and they would pay for that ticket. But most people didn’t fly home, they would fly to anywhere in the area between Saudi Arabia and their home. So during the summer, we went to Amsterdam. One time we went to Egypt and then around the Mediterranean.”
For Rose, the hardest part about moving away was leaving behind friends and family for a long period of time. But the experience made a good lasting impression on his life. He made new friends, saw new people and learned from all his experiences.
Adjusting to the culture and language was the hardest part and came as a surprise to Rose at times. He said, “I was able to learn some Arabic so it made it a little easier; but in a sense, it’s much more communication without words for us U.S. people moving there. Communication without words was a really big part of it because in a grocery store you would either point or say something that you knew in Arabic that they might know.”
The people were friendly where Rose was staying. He said, “The media has portrayed the Middle East to be terrorists everywhere, but where I was, and almost every single part of Saudi, you have friendly Arabic people who would be willing to help you and communicate with you.”
Although Rose was nervous to live a new lifestyle, he accepted this new way of life and enjoyed his time there while learning about a new culture.
Q: How would you describe your style? A: I guess I would describe it as pretty alternative like jeans, a band t-shirt, and the chains.
Q: What stores do you like to shop at? A: I like online shopping so like Amazon is really great for the band t-shirts and Hollister for the jeans.
Q: Is there a trend going around that you personally like, and would like to wear as one of your everyday outfits? A: I feel like my style is pretty much its own and I kind of just put it together myself and like to wear that.
Q: What’s one trend going around that you don’t like? A: Mom jeans
Q: If you could pick a go-to outfit, what would it be? A: It would be what I’m wearing right now so probably black jeans, band t-shirt, and some chains.
Q: Where do you get your style inspirations from? A: From social media like Instagram
[Growing up], I thought it was normal to have two mothers because I had my biological mother and her nurse that took care of her. [My mom] has cerebral palsy. So, from her waist down, her legs don’t work at all, and that made it hard [for her] to take care of me and my sister.
She also got a lot of blood clots and had quite a few health problems. It was difficult trying to learn how to fend for yourself, we moved around a lot, but we made do with what we had. My sister was really the one who took care of her a lot [with tasks] like going to the bathroom because mom had a lot of difficulty with that.
Mostly, if I do help anybody it would be my great grandmother. She’s 101 or 102 years old now, and she broke her hip recently so she needs help walking around.
My grandparents [influenced me the most]. Because my mom couldn’t take care of me much my grandparents would always step in and help out a little bit. We would always go to their place. We were unhealthy little children, and they would always make us eat. I remember when [we would have to leave], my sister and I would always cling to our grandpa’s feet, and he would pretend he was a big monster.
B.L.U.E. stands for Everyone Deserves to Belong, be Loved, be Understood and be Encouraged. Seniors Eireann Maybach, Kendon Sheppard, Katie Warren and English teacher Lyn Good run this emotional support group.
Good originally wanted to start an Alateen club, which supports those who have family or friends with an alcohol or drug addiction. However, the National Board wouldn’t approve this due to no close-by Alateen group location.
Good’s goal was to help FHS teens. When she heard about B.L.U.E., she thought, “One door’s closing and another one’s opening,” and she decided to sponsor it. It’s been an overall positive experience for her.
“It’s basically a club where students can come and feel comfortable. They can share issues, they can get help. We’re trying to build relationships,” said Good.
“[It] originally started for students who struggle with substance abuse, or other mental health issues,” said Maybach.
Some of the activities include various crafts, projects and volunteer work. The main purpose is for students to discuss and understand the issues in their life instead of going to drugs or alcohol.
Good wants students to know they have people they can rely on that aren’t going to judge them. “We want our students to understand that there are places they can go to just chill and feel comfortable without the pressure of performing. It isn’t an athletic or academic club, just with the purpose of supporting the students.”
“Its a safe space for students where there is no stigma of going to teachers or guidance counselors,” said Warren.
There are currently 15 students in the club. It is the first year and the first BLUE group in Fauquier County. It is a nationwide organization just starting to gain ground, partnered with the Mental Health Association.
“We’re losing students. We’re losing them not coming to school. We’re losing them to issues they have at home. We’re losing them to drugs and alcohol. We’re losing students and their capability for their education because of all these external forces,” said Good.
“What we want is for them to understand is that a lot of us go through those things and while we do, we want to all be there and support each other.”
One in five teens experiences clinical depression. Mrs. Harris in guidance is also assisting with this group. They received a $250 grant to help get recognition for the club. If they demonstrate how they’ve helped the students, they may be eligible to receive a $500 grant next year.
The BLUE club meets on Wednesdays from 2:45 to 3:30 in room 304.
A club that provides artistic opportunities for students
This year, National Art Honor Society (NAHS) comes to Fauquier High School, introduced by art teachers Dawn Brown and Rebecca Graham
Students who wish to join must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all of their classes, and in their first semester of high school art classes must have a 4.0 GPA.
NAHS is a program that honors serious artists in grades 6-12. They recognize young creative abilities and talents and work to provide future opportunities to young artists. Numerous scholarships are offered to members of the organization.
NAHS was founded in 1978 by the National Art Education Association (NAEA). The goal of the program is to “inspire and recognize students who have shown an outstanding ability and interest in art. The program supports members in their efforts to attain the highest standards in art scholarship, character, and service, and to bring art education to the attention of the school and community.”
One of the first students to advocate for bringing NAHS to FHS is sophomore Makayla Dankwa. Dankwa spoke to Brown during her freshman year about the possibility of introducing NAHS to FHS after hearing about the program, and all the opportunities it provided to members.
Brown sees NAHS as a way to attract the attention of more serious and dedicated artists. It would also offer more appeal to those pursuing art as a career. Brown was looking for students passionate about art and take the time to provide artwork for the school and community.
Additionally, NAHS makes an effort to allow students to experiment with a wide range of mediums such as clay and acrylic paint.
Rebecca Graham has been a part of the NAHS for roughly a decade, previously running the program at Battlefield High School. Graham now joins FHS as a new art teacher and NAHS sponsor.
Graham spoke of how her most fond experiences in NAHS have been service work for the community by hosting ice cream socials, where the frozen confections were served in clay bowls made by students. The program has also raised awareness for the arts and money for an elementary school library as well as gifted art to both teachers and the community.
Both Brown and Graham look forward to hosting the program for years to come and providing students an outlet for their artistic talents and passions. Currently, members are working on a mural to decorate the hall and make others day brighter.
Brown recommended that students looking for a club that encourages student’s artistic abilities, without the academic standards of NAHS, consider attending the anime club due to the club’s encouragement of art.
Unfortunately, NAHS will be taking the place of the art club hosted during previous years. However, Brown did express a desire to possibly run both NAHS and a less demanding art club within the next few years, though it would depend on the success of NAHS.
Sean Patten is ready to start a fresh new year at Fauquier High School as an English teacher. He is new to the teaching field and some may recognize him if they frequent Deja Brew Cafe in Old Town where he used to work. However, teaching was always in the back of his mind. Patten used to live in Philadelphia, and that showed him different aspects of life.“I had friends that didn’t make the best decisions,” Patten said.
Patten used music and songwriting to help his life go in a better direction. “When I put it all into perspective, I ended up making the right decisions,” said Patten. Patten also takes part in many art forms. He is a poet and will be a published author in the fall and he is also an artist who repurposes magazines to create abstract collages. Now, Patten has taken over Shakespeare Troupe for Mrs. Duggan. His goal for this year is to create good critical thinkers.
Smile at the camera! New photojournalism teacher Reza Marvashti (or Mr. M as he is commonly called by his students) is ready for a “picture perfect” school year as he joins the Fauquier High School family.
Marvashti went to West Virginia University where he earned a BA in history. Later, he followed his dream to become a photojournalist working for companies such as The Washington Post, The Denver Post, and Freelance Photography.
The most memorable moment during his photojournalism career was during the 9/11 attacks where his photos are preserved in the Library of Congress. Marvashti has also photographed notable figures such as Barack Obama.
Following his photojournalism career, Marvashti decided to enter teaching. Marvashti loved his job, but chose to leave because he “thought the focus of journalism and media was being lost.”
Fauquier High School alumni, Elizabeth “Annie” Glascock returns to teach world history, carrying on the family legacy left by her dad, Robert Glascock.
Glascock says that she had an overall positive experience when she was a student at FHS. Even though, in the beginning, she wasn’t the best student; Glascock worked her way up to become a better person.
She says her favorite part of being a teacher is “connecting with students, beyond academics and building relationships, so they know you care about them as humans.” Glascock wants her students to know that she is always willing to have conversations about things that aren’t about her class.
Jared Zangari has a lot in store for his students this year. Some may remember Zangari from Taylor Middle School where he taught Intro to Tech and Shop. He now teaches Building Trade and Electrical classes in the Annex.
As a result of decades working in the construction industry, Zangari brings real-world experience to his classroom. For him, construction fit best.
He now works in the classroom because he saw a place where he could better the world. Zangari understands the value of high school vocational classes as he knows not all students plan to go straight into college when they graduate. “I’ve gained a real passion to help the future of society,” said Zangari. He wants students to know that what he’s teaching is important to life.
Karl Buckwalter joins Fauquier High School as the new football coach and driver’s education teacher. He previously taught at Loudoun County, “it was a great seamless transition,” Buckwalter says.
He has been teaching and coaching for 32 years and has lived in Fauquier for 11 years and knows all about the school. This is why he decided to teach here because of his close proximity to the school. In 1995 Buckwalter became The Washington Posts All-Met Coach of the Year.
He shared that he enjoyed his vacation over the summer with his family. Buckwalter also enjoys listening to all types of music. He wants others to know that he is “passionate about what students are doing.”
Sean Robertson has become a new addition to the science department as an earth science teacher. Robertson has always loved exploring as a child. Robertson says it’s important to know how the world around us works so we can make good choices. Robertson says he was always interested in being a naturalist. Unfortunately, that job is not as prevalent as it used to be. Robertson was a biology teacher’s assistant at LFCC before he came here and that is where he got the idea to become a teacher.
Not only is Robertson a teacher but he is also a professional photographer. He shared that both his parents were photographers and they influenced him to become one. Robertson is very excited about this new year.
New Assistant Principal Colleen Robson may be a ‘fresh face’ for some students and staff; but, Robson is not a new face to Fauquier High School.“I’ve worked here before in track and field in 2008 five years before I became an assistant principal,” said Robson. Robson was inspired to work in education by her geometry teacher Mrs. Led. “She loved her job, and because she loved her job it made learning fun,” Robson said.
When Robson was in college she didn’t think her parents would be on board with her becoming a teacher. “I was scared to tell my parents that I was changing my major at Virginia Tech from business to [education] because I thought they would look down on me. But they didn’t, and they were very happy,” said Robson.
New special education math teacher, Ahmed Salem brings 10 years of teaching experience to Fauquier. Salem has taught at four other schools, Glasgow Middle School, Jeb Stewart High School, Friendship High School, and Freedom High School.
Salem also used to be a limo driver and a truck driver. When asked what he would do if he won one million dollars he responded with, “[I would] build a special needs university.”
Salem brings his love of learning and connecting with students to his math class. Salem brings lots of life experiences to his students.
MORE FRESH FACES TO COME IN OUR NEXT ISSUE!
Information and pictures compiled by Journalism 1 and Nayeli Arellano
Fauquier High School's student newspaper. By the students, for the students.