FBLA members advance to nationals

featured image courtesy of karen chipman


Students of the two Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) teams, Entrepreneurship and Management Decision Making, placed first in regionals, and second at states. Senior Victoria Kroencke and junior Cate Boulter will be advancing to nationals in Atlanta, Georgia on June 29- July 3.
This is the first year marketing teacher Karen Chipman, has sponsored the FBLA teams, and she is impressed with their determination and success in competition.
“These kids are knocking it out of the park, they really are,” Chipman said. “I’m very happy with how well everyone has done so far.”
Sixteen students competed in the regional competition online, which consisted of a series of computerized tests. Eight students scored high enough to move on to states which were held in Reston, Virginia and featured two rounds of competition: tests and role-play.
“If you get a high enough test score then you move on to the role-play part of the competition. You get 20 minutes to read over a situation and prepare your response, and then you go into a room with judges for seven minutes,” Chipman said. “You tell the judges your problem and then the solution you came up with, and then they grade you on everything from your presentation to the way you’re dressed and how you speak.”
Of the eight students that went to states, four advanced to the role-play round. Seniors Tyler Deavers and Diana Mejia competed on the Entrepreneurship team and placed third in the role-play round. Kroencke and Boulter of the Management Decision Making team placed second in the role-play round and qualify to compete in the national competition.
“This was the first time we’ve competed in the role-play section with FBLA, and so I didn’t really know what to expect,” Kroencke said. “For the role-play we had to pretend like we were managers of a construction company, which was kind of scary, but we ended up actually doing really well.”
Chipman got the call that her Management Decision Making team would be moving on to nationals in the middle of prom.
“Ms. Chipman ran up to us during prom and told us that we had placed second and would be moving on to nationals,” Boulter said. “We were all so excited and also kind of shocked because we had been pretty nervous about what the judges had thought of our role-play.”
Students interested in business attend nationals from all over the country. It will be a new experience since this is the first time that Fauquier’s FBLA students will be competing in nationals.
“I’m excited to be there and meet other people that love business and want to pursue that,” Kroencke said. “It’s going to be cool to be around so many people that have the same interests as me.”
To help prepare for the competition Kroencke and Boulter practice often, and agree that it is the key to success during competitions.
“Going to Atlanta for nationals is going to be so much fun, especially because I love Georgia,” Boulter said. “Right now we are mostly just making sure that we are taking practice tests and going over possible role-play situations so that we really know our stuff come June 29.”

~emily armstrong, staff reporter

Trails lead to revelation, independence is key

From freshman to senior year, high school has been the best and the worst years of my life so far.
In the beginning, people told me that by senior year, I would have a solid group of friends and a happy head on my shoulders. As freshman year cruised along, I already felt comfortable with the friends that I’d made so quickly. I had an idea of what I wanted to do with my life. Most of all, I was happy. I walked to and from school and was amused by the gang of smokers that would lurk at the base of the “black path.” Little things didn’t bother me. I felt that I already had it all figured out.
The onset of sophomore year was something I was completely unprepared for. In middle school, even if I didn’t have classes with my friends, I still saw them often. This was different. The pals that I had had as of freshmen year were now nowhere to be found in the spacious new building. In addition, I was left in the dust of the iPhone craze, meaning that my friends no longer existed in my life at all, not even virtually. Nowadays, I can keep in touch with the people that I don’t see in person through the convenience of iMessage and Twitter, but sophomore year, my friends dropped like flies. I did manage to introduce myself to other people, but due to conflicting interests and schedules, I barely kept in contact with anyone.
By junior year, I started associating with people differently. I no longer expected anyone to become close with me, so I treated most people as acquaintances. With a grand total of three boyfriends coming in and out of my life during my last two years of high school, I kept myself occupied in relationships without the omnipresence of friendships. Junior year was also academically difficult, but unlike in previous years, I didn’t really mind. The extra work kept me occupied, and that willingness to tackle the tasks I was given continued on into my senior year—that is, until a lonely late autumn.
November, 2015, was probably the worst month of my life so far. I hit rock bottom in several aspects of my life; the comedic television show Parks and Recreation kept my spirits from lagging too heavily. It sounds sad, I know, but in the end, it was the month of high school that shaped my character the most. November, 2015, taught me how to continue to thrive in high school entirely on my own despite an incredible lack of socialization in my classes. I came home every day to a happy greeting from a loving dog; I told my parents all about my days in detail. All in all, I found some of the sweetest comfort in simply being at home and by myself or with my family. In December, I went to Canada with lots of kids from schools all around Northern Virginia, and it was the last big group experience I allowed myself to have for a while. Developing my independence was critical to the happiness that I possess now, and it will continue to carry me into college where it will likely become even more important.
So, here I am today amidst a chilly and rainy May. I’m taking life as it comes and enjoying my final days as a real kid. The weather, I feel, is symbolic—it demonstrates that high school was hard for me. The feeling of being in and out of a mental fog was always prevalent. But did I mention that I love the rain? It’s so refreshing. It washes away the impurities of the world and encourages us to embrace a new tomorrow. Despite all of the little bad things (and the bigger bad things, yes) that I stumbled upon in the past four years, there was so much good to be found just by picking myself back up. I may not have established a single solid group of friends, but I’m thankful for the ones that came and went, as well as the few that stuck around. In the end, what I did establish were my own roots within myself. Thank you, Fauquier. I didn’t plan on missing you as much as I know I will.

~claire shifflett, staff reporter

Yearbook captures school spirit

When yearbook advisor Phillip Nobblitt received his certification as an English teacher, he never planned on becoming an adviser for a school publication. That changed when he was offered the position in Madison Country.
“I had absolutely zero experience with photojournalism anything. I had never even held an SLR camera,” Nobblit said. “I decided to give it a shot, and now I think I probably would never accept a position that didn’t include yearbook.”
After he became the advisor of The Eyrie last fall, Nobblitt emphasized the yearbook’s advertising program. He more than tripled the number of ads in the yearbook and spread out the sales responsibilities evenly among the staff. He also required the staff to use state-of-the-art publishing software, InDesign, whichgives the students life and career skills.
Senior Abby Averna has been on yearbook staff since her freshman year, but had to drop this year because of conflicts with AP classes. She helped write features and edit pages on her own time.
“I think [Nobblitt] did a great job in that whole transition. It’s already hard to come into something that is already a rolling process,” Averna said. “Walsworth’s [online program] had a lot of malfunctions with some things we could and couldn’t do, so I think this new application was nice; it looked a lot cleaner.”
As the photography editor-in-chief, junior Savanna Rota appreciates the changes Nobblitt has made.
“He’s really organized and extremely OCD,” Rota said. “He’s really ‘go with the flow’ and lets you do your own thing. He can be relaxed, but people don’t walk all over him.”
The theme of the 2015 yearbook is Faces of Fauquier, inspired by the designs on blogs such as Humans of New York. The theme highlights the diversity of the student population and showcases as many students as possible.
Junior Rachel Crawford thought the cover was the best feature.
“I like the idea of the cover having a bunch of different students from Fauquier,” Crawford said. “It was really well done. It had more stories on specific students than it did in the past.”
The student response to the yearbook has been very positive. According to junior Hannah Savignac, the colors throughout the yearbook enhance its quality.
“I really liked the color variation,” Savignac said. “It draws your attention; this year’s actually looks like a high school yearbook. You actually know someone on the cover.”
The yearbook staff chooses the theme and performs the majority of the work to publish the book. Averna originally came up with the theme last spring. She thought it would be a creative change.
“I thought it was really clean and simple,” Averna said. “I wanted [the students] to be inspired and almost nostalgic that they had come this far and that they had a book they could reopen to any part of the previous year and relive it.”
Nobblitt emphasizes the importance of each student completing his or her responsibilities; he takes great pride in the finished product.
“One of my students used the analogy of having a baby,” Nobblitt said. “There’s planning involved, then there are the initial stages of the growth and development. Then, when the books get here on the truck, it’s like birthing day. As absurd as it sounds, it’s true.”
Nobblitt said that encouraging students to be independent teaches them leadership skills and helps them develop their own writing style and voice.
“I quickly learned in my experience that it’s not my publication, and I never want it to be my publication,” Nobblitt said. “I take pride in putting it in the students’ hands. I want them to create a product that they can be proud of.”
Senior Katie Crofford, editor-in-chief, dedicated about 450 hours of time, working during advisory and lunch to finish the book on time. Staff members said that Crofford is integral to the success of this year’s book, and they threw a “Katie Appreciation Day” surprise party for her.
“My favorite thing about yearbook is just the people in it,” Crofford said. “Sometimes they can be annoying, but we all love each other. They know how to make you laugh; even when you are having a bad day, it’s still fun.”

~ nina quiles, staff reporter

Fernandez beats three school records

Junior Carson Fernandez is a member of the prestigious 4×800 relay team that currently holds the past two state championships titles. In addition, on April 15, Fernandez broke the school record of 9:41 for the 3200 meter at Woodgrove High School with a time of 9:39. During the indoor track season, he finished fourth in 4A classification at states.

His goals for spring track include another trip to states to capture yet another championship title.

“This year definitely [we want to] win a state championship-that’s top of the list-and continue the domination of our relays with the 4×4 and 4×8,” Fernandez said.

On April 29, Fernandez, and the other relay team members, seniors Raul Chavez and Madison Curry and junior Sam Oravec, attended the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the oldest and largest track and field competition in the United States.

“It’s a special event which you are invited into, or taken in by request, if you have a good enough time,” Fernandez said.

The relay team came in fifth place at the Penn Relays event.

“It was a fun experience,” Fernandez said. “The only way to be good at Penn Relays is to have the experience, and having it from before, so the only thing to take from it is the experience, it’s the only way to prepare for it.”

Fernandez has been running track for three years now; he does cross country, winter, and spring track. His parents persuaded him to try track because his father ran it in college and regretted not doing it in earlier in high school.

“What got me into it, I guess, is the people, the time you spend with your friends,” Fernandez said. “That’s what makes it the most interesting, having a group to yourself. My teammates, they’re my closest friends. I do everything with them; we attend team dinners, watch movies, and play games.”

Fernandez also has earned the respect of his coaches.

“Carson is a talented runner who, most importantly, works extremely hard and is also very competitive,” distance track coach Mark Scott said.  “He consistently puts in quality effort, day in and day out, and takes advantage of his opportunities to compete.”

With doing track year round, Fernandez is constantly busy, between practices and participating in meets, and his parents give him unlimited support.

“My family always attends each meet I go to,” Fernandez said. “My mother takes photos and sends them to the Fauquier newspaper. My father always comes out and supports me, as well, and makes sure I have all the equipment I need.”

Fernandez is in Photojournalism 3 and has spent this semester doing a spread on current events for the school yearbook and helping out classmates.

“I like the idea of taking pictures and journalism, as well,” Fernandez said. “Some of my earlier influences [that got me into it] would be watching Superman, the animated series, as a kid and being interested in the idea of Clark Kent and journalists.”

Fernandez is not sure about continuing track in college, but leaving a legacy and being remembered provides him with motivation to continue to excel in high school.

“What keeps me going is the hope that I would one day have a state ring of my own,” Fernandez said. “Being remembered, of course and, leaving a legacy behind.”

~ luz gonzalez, advertising managercarson

Jeremy Alexander projects incredibly talented voice

Junior Jeremy Alexander, the second place runner up for Fauquier Idol and a member of all state chorus, was recently admitted to summer Governor’s School for Performing Arts.

On April 30, Alexander sang in All State Chorus at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach. After auditioning to become a member, participants must rehearse the music on their own time.  He received the highest score of all the tenors from District 14 who auditioned for the All-Virginia Choir. According to chorus director Joan Bacot, the members worked with an outstanding director who brought out the best musicianship in all of the students. The director spent an hour giving the students advice on what to do if they wanted to get a degree in music and study it professionally.

“All-States was an unforgettable experience,” Alexander said. “Its amazing singing with other kids my age [who hold] the same experiences and caliber as me.”

Alexander’s third grade teacher got him involved into acting after she noticed him doing an excellent job in a Reader’s Theatre run through. Alexander first started singing in his elementary school choir. He primarily joined to learn how to sing when he was acting in a musical.

“In both fourth and fifth grade, I didn’t have [a major singing part],” Alexander said. “I played Edgar in the Aristocrats and even though it was a major part, I only sang one line.”

Alexander continued his choir career into middle school. He only acted in a few plays, and realized that there was much more to his singing ability. In the 6th grade, Alexander played Chin Ho in the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie.

“[Chin Ho] is one of the main characters that has a big number in the second act,” Alexander said. “I nervously [sang it] in front of the class and when I was finished the entire class stood up and gave me a standing ovation.”

The standing ovation gave Alexander the confidence he needed to perfect his singing ability. Since middle school, Alexander has been active in the choral departments of Fauquier. Choir director, Joan Bacot believes that Alexander has a worth ethic that matches his talent and in turn, acts like a model for the rest of the students.

“Jeremy is an intense person. He uses that intensity in the best possible way to bring all of his energy and intelligence to the art of singing.” Bacot said.

Since Alexander started chorus in freshman year, Bacot believes that he has improved in many ways since his freshman year.

“His pitch is much more accurate. He is learning to use the full range of dynamics and expressive subtleties available to him,” Bacot said. “He understands how to work with an ensemble, listening and adjust as needed.”

Another aspect to Alexander’s budding singing career is his collaborations with other artists. Senior Cameron Scott, worked alongside Alexander at the Earth Day Festival to says that he is an amazing singer with an opera like voice. Scott also believes that Alexander is quick to understand music.

“[When collaborating] it was easy to get on the same page with him music wise, because I was playing music for him and he was singing,” Scott said. “He’s quick to understand what key I’m in. He’s just really good with music.”

Another person who collaborated with Alexander is Fauquier alum Daneel Patal who graduated in 2014.  The final chorus concert was quickly arriving and Ms. Bacot had opened up an opportunity for Patal and Alexander to sing together. Since Patal had met Alexander, he had admired Alexander’s passion, determination and natural talent for singing. The two agreed to sing an acoustic version of Pompeii by Bastille in the concert.

“I immediately turned to Jeremy, he had basically been my prodigy all year, as I knew that once I left he would be there to carry on what I was leaving,” Patal said. “It was honestly one of my favorite performances of my life, it wasn’t rehearsed or with the whole chorus, it was just two guys sitting down doing what they love.”

When Alexander practices on his own he prefers to sing choral music however, he likes to sing alternative rock like Panic and the Disco! and Queen whenever he performs at the Coffeehouse or other school singing related events. A go to song for Alexander is, The Man who Can’t Be Moved by The Script. Alexander likes the song because it flows well, is easy to remember and goes really well in his range.

Although Alexander prefers to sing choral music when practicing, he likes to sing alternative rock.

Panic at the Disco!  is now one of my favorite music acts, but I love Queen,” Alexander said. “Generally, the favorite [song] I like to do for quite a few of auditions and the coffeehouse is, The Man Who Can’t be Moved.”

At Fauquier Idol on March 11, Alexander sang All of Me by John Legend. He participated only to have fun performing and not an intention to win. He believed that it was a great experience for him and his singing career.

“I was just doing it for fun because I had nothing else to do,” Alexander said. “It was definitely a fun experience and I think I’ll do it again next year.”

In the future, Alexander plans to at least minor in musical performance but hopes to major in something that centers on geography and computer technology, however, he is still searching for back up plans if majoring in music is not an option. Alexander continues to pursue music as best as he can to his ability.

“I love how I’ve been able to use my voice in different places,” Alexander said. “Here’s the thing with music, you’re never done practicing.”

~gretchen deitrich, staff reporter



Violett excels in tennis, academics


Junior Kelley Violett’s motivation to excel in athletics stems from her need to be physically active; she enjoys activities that are hands-on, including playing tennis and weightlifting.
“I tried all the other sports, and I never connected with anything else; I was just natural at tennis,” Violett said. “It’s the only sport where you [compete] one-on-one with someone.”
She has been playing tennis since she was 10 years old and plans to do it for the rest of her life. Violett coaches at the Montclair Country Club and helps kids improve their tennis.
“My coach contacted me and asked if I would coach the little kids camp; I’d be coaching tennis and teaching them how to play,” Violett said. “I like helping people learn, and since tennis is my passion, I like to share it. Also, watching them play is kind of funny and entertaining.”
Violett has been on the school tennis team since freshman year and works with new players on perfecting their skills. The team’s record is 9-0 ,while Violett’s record is 3-6.
“She has a lot of leadership; she has done a lot of stuff during the off season with professionals in different groups,” tennis coach Robert Devears said. “This helps with the instruction mentality in our practices.”
The biggest obstacle that Violett’s had to overcome while playing tennis is a mental block and stress. She also suffered a back injury while weight-lifting, but that didn’t stop her from playing.
“My freshman and sophomore year I would give myself a really hard time when I lost. I would get flustered and worked up; it would affect my game,” Violett said. “For the past year I have been working on improving that.”
Violett began weightlifting sophomore year to help improve her tennis skills and plans to continue strength training throughout her life. Currently, she squats 185 lbs, benches 110 lbs, and deadlifts 95 lbs.
“I wanted to do a physical class; I tried Life and Fitness, and I loved it so much that I kept going,” Violett said. “I appreciate the strength aspect of [weightlifting]; it helps [me] with tennis. It takes your entire body to [weight-lift, and] I get more strength and stability.”
Violett has also been interested in rocketry since she was nine years old and joined the National Association of Rocketry.
“She has a level one junior certification, which means she’s allowed to launch high powered rockets, the ones that you have to be on a field and let the FAA know that planes can’t fly around that area,” Violett’s mother Mary Violett said.
Violett enjoys hands on activities, including graphic imaging; she attended a programing camp that introduced her to graphic imaging and began teaching herself. She hopes to attend Virginia Tech University and play tennis in college. She also hopes to have a side job in coaching tennis and a career in graphic imaging.
“When you’re using computers to make art, it’s different than actual pen and paper. You can Photoshop it and make surreal type images,” Violett said. “The field of technical drawing is really available. They need [people to work on] video games, movies. My inspiration is Avatar; when I first watched that and found out that it was all CGI (computer-generated imagery), I thought that the technological development was [impressive].”

~ erica gudino, viewpoint director