School meets new principal

Clarence “Tripp” Burton, who will join the FHS community as principal on July 1, spoke to the faculty and staff for the first time on April 22. His short presentation emphasized the importance of tradition, accessibility, and relationship-building as the school enters its next transitional period.
“This is a high-achieving school with great students, great faculty, great community, and great tradition,” Burton said. “You feel it when you walk in. It means a lot to a lot of people; there’s a lot of graduates working in the town. I’m just honored and humbled to be selected for this position.”
According to Associate Superintendant for Instruction Sandra Mitchell, Burton was chosen for his leadership qualities and fresh perspective. However, Mitchell knew the appointment would be controversial since two FHS assistant principals, Kraig Kelican and Jim Raines, were also in the final round of interviews and were strongly supported by the school community.
“Mr. Burton is exceptional in leading projects and has a desire to build new relationships at FHS,” Mitchell said. “My heart breaks for those who are here, yet I do understand the decision.”
The announcement of Burton’s appointment resulted in a tense firestorm from students, teachers, and community members as people posted comments on Twitter in support of Kelican and Raines. Many faculty members felt that the surveys and interviews in which they expressed support for having an FHS assistant principal replace the retiring Roger Sites were ignored by the School Board office.
“I have an issue with presenting [the decision] as if we had a choice,” English teacher Lee Lorber said. “It’s part of our society to work hard and move up, and these two men have worked very hard to go forward in their careers. Because they are who they are, they will stay here and continue to do good work for the school, but it’s an insult.”
Spanish teacher Janice Hall expressed her frustration in a letter to the School Board that Kelican’s and Raines’ long careers at FHS appeared to be liabilities when they were considered for the position.
“I see the way [Mr. Raines and Mr. Kelican] work with students; they do it with such grace,” Hall said. “I wonder what [the School Board] think the message is to other people who work in the educational community. If the people you work for don’t recognize what it’s about, then you just kind of feel like a fool.”
While tensions have eased somewhat, some, like English teacher Robin Frost, remind colleagues to give Burton a chance.
“I’m keeping an open mind,” Frost said. “When he spoke at the faculty meeting, the thing that struck me most about him was that he acknowledged that there’s nothing to fix here. As long as he keeps that in mind when he’s making changes, I’m open.”
Frost believes that, in the past few years, accountability has become increasingly important to the school division, an emphasis that played a part in the decision to appoint Burton.
“Kettle Run seems to have gotten accountability under control through experimentation,” Frost said. “Hopefully, Mr. Burton has been on the trial and error side of things. He even said, will he make mistakes, but he’s willing to learn from them.”
Burton graduated from James Madison University with a degree in political science, and worked as a dean for Prince William and Loudon Counties before joining Kettle Run when it opened in 2008. He hopes to continue the student-teacher-administration dialogue built at Kettle Run as he joins the FHS community.
“I believe that our teachers and students feel comfortable coming to us and giving ideas,” Burton said. “I want people [at FHS] to feel comfortable coming to me with ideas. I’m talking about students, staff, parents, community members. If you have an idea or way to make our school better, I want to hear it because it doesn’t all come from the principal, and it shouldn’t.”
Building a network of trust also bolsters school safety, according to Burton.
“Part of keeping a school safe, too, is those relationships we have with kids,” Burton said. “[Students] are really the first line of defense because you guys tell us what’s going on. And I love preventing things more than I do reacting to things.”
Since the announcement, Principal Roger Sites, has worked closely with Burton to introduce him to the FHS environment.
“I’ve been meeting or talking with him almost daily to ensure we have a seamless transition,” Sites said. “We’re working together to make sure we do everything we can for the faculty, students, and FHS community.”
According to Kettle Run senior Maggie Swift, Burton does not shy away from enforcing school rules.
“He’ll definitely call you out in the hall if you’re breaking the dress code, but he’s fair about it,” Swift said. “He’ll [also] joke around and have conversations with you. He’s really nice.”
Burton stresses an educational environment that allows students to learn how they learn in order to prepare them for future learning, whether in the working world or higher education. And he expects to do a lot of learning as FHS principal.
“I’ve got a lot of listening and a lot of learning to do,” Burton said. “Like anything else, it takes time. Judge me not by what I say here today; judge me by what I do. I’m just here to help and serve. That being said, everyone here has treated me outstandingly – first class and professional. I can’t say enough about the way the present administration and everyone I’ve come into contact with has treated me.”

~Sophie Byvik, editor-in-chief

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Athletes sign on the dotted line

Six student athletes have honed their skills, proven their abilities in a wide range of sports, and earned spots on college teams this fall. Three of the six will play for Roanoke College.
Senior Caity Ashley has been playing soccer since she was four years old; she is currently a striker for the school team.
“I’m pretty fast, so I use that to my advantage,” Ashley said. “I’m also a really vocal player, which is helpful to our team.”
Ashley’s travel soccer team, FCSC Fireballs, has played in showcase tournaments since she was a sophomore, when Division III coaches began to show interest. Roanoke sent recruiters to two of Ashley’s travel games, and she became interested.
“It’s a beautiful campus, a close-knit community, a great location, and it’s a great academic college,” Ashley said.
Ashley, who received several scholarships, was also contacted by the Roanoke track coach who was impressed by her cross country times. After talking to her soccer coach, she plans to do both sports and hopes sports will provide a base of support.
“Hopefully I get involved fast so that way I have various groups of friends,” Ashley said. “I hope the girls get along well.”
Roanoke College also recruited senior Caleb Lantz for his talents in basketball, which he has been playing since the third grade. Lantz is grateful for the chance to play another four years, and is excited to meet new people.
“Even if I hadn’t been recruited I’d still be happy going there,” Lantz said. “[Basketball] is like a family. You make friends you always keep.”
Senior Justina Augustine received a full athletic scholarship to Longwood University for softball; she has been playing for 10 years.
“I like that it’s a team sport and an individual sport,” Augustine said. “You have your own job within a bigger job.”
Augustine went to a summer camp and was sought by a coach who followed her progress and offered her the scholarship during sophomore year. Not only is Longwood a good athletic fit for Augustine, it also supports her academic plans.
“Of course education is most important,” Augustine said. “They offer my major, which is teaching.”
Senior Grant Holmes has been recruited to pole vault at Virginia Military Institute in the fall. Holmes participates in many track events and has been pole vaulting since the sixth grade.
“I like everything about it,” Holmes said. “[Pole vaulting] it’s my thing now. VMI is like a family. Everyone supports each other.”
Senior Chris Heras will be attending Mary Washington University for soccer, a sport he’s played for 12 years.
“It’s a unique sport,” Heras said. “It has a sense of creativity; everyone has their own playing style.”
Heras enjoys the small campus at Mary Washington; he contacted the coach and tried out to be recruited.
Senior Zach Chrisinger received an academic scholarship to attend Roanoke College where he will play lacrosse. After participating in multiple tournaments, Chrisinger contacted the Roanoke coach this past summer.
“The coach is really easy to talk to,” Chrisinger said. “He has good methods, and it’s a really successful team. I was committed to another school, but when I went to Roanoke, I fell in love with it.”
Chrisinger, who has been playing lacrosse since he was in the fourth grade, plays the attack position.
“I like the fast pace of the sport,” Chrisinger said. “I have a decent shot that helps a lot, and I have speed.”
A lot is expected from college athletes, both on the field and in the classroom. If students do not meet the high academic standards, their scholarships can be taken away. According to Chrisinger, this is no different at Roanoke.
“The coach is really strict about your GPA,” Chrisinger said. “It’ll be interesting. I’ve dreamed about [playing a sport in college] forever, and now I have the chance.”

~SaraRose Martin, staff reporter

Fauquier alumnus joins pro cycling circuit

Alumnus Joe Dombrowski has had big dreams ever since he became interested in cycling. His initial love of mountain biking has led to a career as a professional cyclist when he was picked up by Team Sky, a British cycling team. He officially became a pro in 2012 and has placed highly in a number of major races since.
“Initially I just rode mountain bikes recreationally, but I had a friend who was into mountain bike racing,” Dombrowski said. “He took me to a local summer mountain bike racing series and from there I was hooked.”
Dombrowski started cycling when he was just 14 years old. Racing is now his passion. His younger sister, sophomore Sarah Dombrowski, sees the hours of hard work and training that he puts in.
“I am really proud of him. It’s a great opportunity, and he deserves it,” Sarah Dombrowski said. “Every time he comes home he trains a lot and works really hard.”
Dombrowski is constantly on the road and racing in other countries. His family had to get used to him being away from home for long periods of time, and it took some time to adjust.
“We have been able to see Joe several times so far this year,” Dombrowski’s mother, Valerie, said. “We also plan to visit Joe this summer in France. It was an adjustment to have him move to a different country and culture.”
Valerie Dombrowski says that Skype has been a great tool to keep in touch. Dombrowski’s team will race in the Colorado Stage Race Pro Challenge, the Dombrowski family hopes to attend.
Dombrowski is considered one of the best young talents on the American bike racing scene. Team Sky is based in Manchester, England, and competes in the UCI World Tour. Along with 26 other team members, Dombrowski competes in a number of races throughout the year. His most recent accomplishment was a first place finish in the GiroBio, which is held in Italy. Dombrowski was the first American to win the race since it was founded in 1970. Despite how well he has performed recently, he continues to work on getting better.
“There’s always something you can improve on. This is my first year racing as a professional at the top level,” Dombrowski said. “This year for me is not so much about personal race results, but rather learning how to work for the team and adapting to racing at the highest level.”
Valerie Dombrowski enjoys seeing her son do what he loves, but she can’t help but worry while he is in a race.
“The best thing about Joe racing is seeing him pursue a career doing what he loves. It has enabled Joe to travel and experience many different cultures,” Valerie Dombrowski said. “The worst thing is worrying about him getting hurt.”
So far, Dombrowski has not suffered any serious injuries, and he has high hopes for his career. Right now, his focus is on taking it all in and enjoying doing what he loves.
“I’d like to have a long and happy career free of serious injury,” Dombrowski said. “Of course I dream of winning big races, but ultimately I just want to continue to do this as long as I’m physically able and still enjoying myself.”

~Gavin Cranford, staff reporter

Lax squad prepares for playoffs

If there was one word to describe this year’s boys lacrosse team, it would be “developing.” As the regular season wraps up, the squad currently has a 6-4 record, most recently capturing a 13-7 win on April 25 against Eastern View. The district tournament will begin on May 11. Fauquier’s seed has yet to be determined. However, the team is optimistic about playoff play.
“We’re clicking as a team, and we know how each player on our team plays,” senior Nick Succop said. “We know more plays on offense, and our defense is doing really well.”
Succop and senior Collin Steves brainstormed a revolutionary method to ensure the team’s success in the postseason.
“We’re growing playoff mustaches,” Steves said. “Other sports bleach their hair or shave mohawks, but lacrosse is a man’s sport, and men have facial hair.”
Succop is sure that the team’s effort to grow facial hair will translate into a run for the district title.
“The hardest part of winning will be the mental part,” Succop said. “Growing mustaches will help with the mental part. The look will present the players as leaders.”
The squad faces Culpeper on May 2. The Falcons will conclude their regular season play at home on May 6, facing crosstown rival Kettle Run. The games are critical to postseason success, according to Succop.
“It won’t be easy, but we have to win it out now,” Succop said. “We’ve beaten Culpeper before.We have the idea in our minds that we can’t beat Kettle Run, but we should be able to beat Kettle Run this time.”
The Falcons have experienced their fair share of challenges this season, according to head coach Eric Morrison. Both newcomers and veterans have come together to conquer difficulties.
“Most of our players are young, but I think most are ready for the challenge and the rest will learn quickly,” Morrison said. “We even have two freshmen, Tyler Bane and Jack Liebel, who have had key roles from the start. They worked hard all summer and it shows.”
The team knows how little experience some of the players will have to start, but the senior leaders have a voice on the field and help the younger players.
“A lot of young guys are going to have to play big parts this year,” senior Colin Diehl said. “But they are ready for it.”
The team captains believe it is important to pass on their work ethic, desire to win, and by the end of the season, their leadership.
“There’s a lot of responsibility put on the seniors this year, since there are only four of us,” Diehl said. “We are definitely prepared and can handle the pressure. I remember looking up to the seniors when I was a freshman on varsity, and now it’s my turn to set the example, on and off the field.”
Diehl, who has lettered for four years in lacrosse, embraces being as a leader. Rising varsity players practiced over the summer with older players, to gain experience at a higher level.
“A larger number of players played all summer long, so they are fit and ready,” Morrison said. “Last year’s team lost some close games, and I think we now know how to win those types of games.”
The team was initially disappointed with their performance in the first few games. Despite the slow start, they are building upon working cohesively.
“The season definitely started out pretty rough,” sophomore Robert Morrison said. “But after the first couple games we started to mesh, and now we’re looking really good.”
Robert also adds that the team will continue to develop through the playoffs.
“We’re trying to focus on getting up early in games and holding the lead,” Robert said. “Playing defensively is a lot easier than trying to fight uphill.”
Junior Kenny Palmer says despite their slow start, the team’s hopes are still set high.
“We had a couple bad losses in the beginning but we still had a good start. We won a couple games and started to come together as a team,” Palmer said. “There’s a lot of competition between us, Kettle Run, and Culpeper this year, and we’re still looking to be the top team in the district.”

~Gavin Cranford, staff reporter

Morgan Ryan excels on field

For many, transitioning from playing one sport to three completely different ones would be a challenge, but not for junior Morgan Ryan who has thrived in athletics almost her whole life.
“I’ve been playing sports since I was five,” Ryan said. “I played soccer until eighth grade when my parents wanted me to try some different sports.”
Ryan’s parents suggested trying out for field hockey, despite her love of soccer.
“I was upset about having to quit soccer,” Ryan said. “It wasn’t really my decision, it was my dad’s. I did get to learn a lot more about athletics, and I had had a few bad experiences with my coach. I’m glad that I had the good experience of playing different sports, but I do miss soccer.”
When Ryan’s parents told her to try out for the field hockey team, they said that it didn’t matter if she made varsity, as long as she tried her best and made the team. It came as a huge surprise when she made varsity.
“I had heard that they were putting the rosters up online,” Ryan said. “The next day people were congratulating me and I was so confused! That night I went home and saw that I was on the team.”
Senior Hailey Miller, who co-captained the field hockey team with Ryan this past season, says that Ryan is a great player.
“Morgan is a quick learner,” Miller said. “If you tell her to do something, she’ll do it. She is a smart player; she thinks before she makes a play. I have loved playing with Morgan.”
In the winter, Ryan runs track and has been on the varsity sprint team since her freshman year. This year her 4×4 relay team came fourth at the state meet and broke the school record of 4:16, finishing the race in 4:11.
“During warm-ups before the race, we were all really pumped up, but really nervous,” Ryan said. “After we ran, we were all just waiting to find out if we had broken the record. We had given it everything we had, and when we found out we had broken it, it was surreal. It was like we were on top of the world.”
In the spring, instead of trying out for the soccer team, Ryan decided to play lacrosse. She has been on the varsity team since her freshman year and is now a co-captain of the team.
“I was on the varsity team freshman year, but I played in a lot of JV games,” Ryan said. “I was completely new at the sport, and it was so different from field hockey. I had never played a sport in the air before and it was really weird.”
According to Ryan, the biggest challenge that comes from transitioning between such different sports is following the rules.
“I’m still pretty new at my sports,” Ryan said. “A lot of times when there is a call on the field, I have to ask what it means. There is also a huge mental and physical difference to the sports.”
Along with participating in school sports, Ryan does Tae Kwon Do and will soon be testing for her yellow belt.
“My mom really wanted to do it, but she didn’t want to do it alone,” Ryan said. “My brother started classes, and I ended up sitting in on one and thought that it would be fun.”
Ryan plans on getting her black belt before college, and on taking Tae Kwon Do as an elective if it is offered.
“At first, it was so intense and freaky,” Ryan said. “Then I started getting the hang of it. It was so different from anything I’ve ever done; it is completely individual, and the mentality is different from other sports.”
Although Ryan does have some regrets about leaving soccer behind, she is glad that she has been able to try so many new things.
“Soccer was my life,” Ryan said. “But if I hadn’t quit, I wouldn’t have learned so much more about athletics, and I wouldn’t have met the wonderful people on my teams.”

~Caroline Liebel, staff reporter

Croson leads baseball squad

Leadership is an important component of every team. Senior Garrett Croson was elected team captain at the beginning of the season by his coaches, and he has proved them right.
“It’s good to influence the younger guys on the team,” Croson said. “I have to help guide them and do my best to make them better players.”
Head coach Bob Martin has seen what Croson could do on the field since his sophomore year, his first year of varsity baseball. But he was chosen as captain for what he could do off the field and how he could influence his teammates.
“He was elected as captain for his leadership qualitites and the respect he gets from his teammates,” Martin said. “His communication with other players is great and he has done a great job mentoring some of the younger players.”
Croson began playing when he was just five years old. His father was a huge influence on him and gave him the will to win and to never stop trying.
“My dad taught me the basics growing up,” Croson said. “He dedicated a lot of his time to making me a better player.”
Crosan plays shortstop, second base, and pitches for this year’s squad. He has had to fill in multiple spots due to the injuries of teammates, but being able to fight through adversity is something other team members appreciate about him.
“Garrett is a really strong leader. He has played for so many years and knows the ropes,” sophomore Ryan Simpson said. “His experience and dedication makes him a better player. The amount of work he puts in really shows.”
Freshman teammate Ty Pavlock agrees that Croson is a crucial part of the team, who is always encouraging everyone.
“He’s a great vocal leader and a good role model in the locker room,” Pavlock said. “He spends a lot of time helping us out, especially at Saturday practices.”
Croson works to improve himself, and the rest of the team, too. His work ethic pushes everyone to do their best.
“The mental part is easy for me. Knowing baseball comes naturally for me since I have played for so many years,” Croson said. “The hard part is going out and working everyday. But I still enjoy it.”
Getting on base, making solid contact every time he is at bat, and making sure his swing stays consistent are the aspects of his game that Croson seeks to improve. As for the team, they are just focusing on getting better as a unit, and Croson wants to be a role model.
“I just need to be consistent,” Croson said. “I’m the captain, so it’s my job to set the example, and [staying consistent] is how you win games.”
Croson’s busy academic schedule mirrors his busy practice schedule. Despite three-hour practices and playing games during the week, he still considers school work a priority.
“Time management is really important,” Croson said. “You have to make sure you make use of all the free time you get. Keeping your grades up is important.”
In Croson’s favorite class, Advanced Sports Marketing, he enjoys sharing his love for sports with his friends. He is a National Honor Society member and the DECA treasurer. DECA Adviser Kathleen Evans has worked with Croson throughout his senior year.
“Garrett has a strong work ethic. He knows when to have fun and when to work,” Evans said. “He takes a rigorous work schedule and sets his priorities. He makes time for baseball and all of his other activities. As a person, he has a great sense of humor and he is just very reliable.”
Croson placed at DECA State Competition this year and qualified to compete at nationals. He plans on attending James Madison University in the fall where he wants to major in sports management and minor in coaching. As for his baseball career, he plans on trying out for the Dukes baseball team as a walk-on.
“My mom really pushed me to take hard classes and that’s what ultimately got me into JMU,” Croson said. “Ideally, I would love to be a director of player development for a major league team. That’s kind of my dream job, but we’ll have to see how it all works out.”

~Gavin Cranford, staff reporter

The ‘Evil Dead’ deserves burial

A horror movie that doesn’t follow the “quick fix before Halloween” cliché could be either really good or really bad. Unfortunately, Evil Dead, a re-imagining of the 1981 cult horror classic of the same name, is painfully underwhelming.
Similar to the original, Evil Dead isn’t about vampires, werewolves, or aliens, but about a book, the Book of the Dead, which is centuries old and possesses the power to summon nasty spirits. When a group of friends, looking to get away in the old family cabin in the woods, discovers the book in a hidden cellar, the movie picks up in motion, but it just isn’t enough.
Let me begin with the cast of characters. Barely leading the pack is David (Shiloh Fernandez), the older brother of recovering drug addict, Mia (Jane Levy). David has assembled a group of childhood friends, including Olivia (Jessica Lucas), Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), and David’s new girlfriend, Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), to stage a recovery for Mia in the remote setting.
Now the tone is set, and you’re ready for a good scare. However, if you’ve seen any trailers, you’ve already gotten the movie’s full scare quota. The ticket price brings nothing new, save for gallons of excessive gore that is substituted for the original film’s clever placement of dark humor. Evil Dead isn’t Saw, but it’ll still make you cringe. More than that, the gore is just out of place and simply unpleasant. Looking back on one of the movie’s more grotesque sequences, I thought, “If I wanted to see that, I would’ve seen…wait, there’s nothing else that offers that. Nobody wants to see that.”
I already knew that the acting in a modern horror movie wasn’t going to be memorable; at least, I hoped so after I had sat through the movie. Sadly, I had the misfortune of remembering these performances in a way that annoyed me, beginning with the character of Eric. He’s introduced as a teacher, but doesn’t take a hint when he discovers a book wrapped in barbed-wire in an ominously disturbing cellar. Instead, he carefully unwraps it and recites a chant from a page clearly marked “Leave this book alone.” Then there’s Elizabeth Blackmore’s Natalie. You won’t remember much of her, because she’s there only so that the lead character can have a partner. He calls her “Baby,” but they have the chemistry level of a rock and a paperclip. As for Evil Dead’s lead character, Shiloh Fernandez is no Bruce Campbell. It’s clear that he’s the leader of the group, but he’s the kind of character who holds power solely because the script says so.
In the end, the execution of Evil Dead can be best compared to a rollercoaster that loses its brakes at the top of the slope: it’s got a lot of momentum going for it, but nothing to support it. As a result, the ride down is unanticipated and out of control. The original Evil Dead was one of the few horror films to seamlessly balance genuine scares, dark comedy, engrossing atmosphere, and head-tilting camera work, while taking horror to new places. Here, the new heights are felt, but it’s all just for show. Is it worth the cost? My answer is that if you’d like to see the same premise executed far better and set against a far eerier backdrop, see the original Evil Dead.

~Ryan Perry, staff reporter