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The website of Fauquier High School's student newspaper, the Falconer. 100% student run.

Lady Falcons Wrap-up the Season

With a 5-15 record as of Friday, February 8, 2019, the Girls Varsity Basketball team is fighting their way through thick and thin for their love of the game. The girls have improved their work during practice and games and it shows. Because there are more players than last years’ 2017-18 season, it’s much easier for the Coach, Brian Foddrell.

“I have seen lots of improvements on the team, we come from not having confidence to having confidence and we are playing good defense. Our defense has gotten a lot better, good rotation, major improvements (…) I try to motivate them and tell them, hey, keep your heads up, we’re still in it, we’re still fighting and keep pressing forward,” Foddrell said.

Senior, Shniya Washington said, “Coach has taught me life lessons in and outside of basketball, to never give up, and he absolutely improved my game so much, I think he is a great Coach and I love him,” Because Washington is a senior this year, this is her last season with the team. Her defense and offense looks outstanding on the court.

“Majority of the time, positive results come from a positive mindset, so if they learn to have a positive mindset, they keep that and all things, not just in basketball, but in all things.” said Foddrell.
Junior, Tiana Minor said, “The most challenging part of basketball is trying not to get frustrated and to focus while [I’m] playing because there are lots of fans in the crowd.”

Most people can understand her frustration for her being “fouled out” during the home game against Briar Woods High School. Minor only had three fouls and the referee confused her number with an opposing player’s. Minor made some very good drives to the hoop and great passes to her teammates at the away game against Kettle Run.
As far as this season is going, the Girls Varsity Basketball team is pushing it towards the end.

by Carly McMurphy


Black History Month Appreciation

Black History Month is important because it reminds us to appreciate our ancestors that fought for our rights. We are blessed to have a month dedicated to impacting events in history. It started off as “Negro History Week” and transcended to the whole month of February. This month is a step up from the measly week we used to have. It feels so good to see black citizens now treated equally. For at a time, they were considered property and nothing more.

This year’s Black History Month is very important because it is the 400-year anniversary of when slaves were first brought to America. The events that took place so many years ago shouldn’t be censored, but rather learned from. America should be grateful to the men and women who fought for freedom and desegregation for a long time. It is thanks to them that people of color now have to same rights as any other U.S. citizen. Realizing how far the U.S. has come in achieving equality for all puts into perspective of the sacrifices abolitionists made. This new generation has now been handed the torch of equality.

The glory days aren’t here yet, though. People are still fighting for peace and equality, and they will never throw in the towel because they are fighting for what this country needs: unity. Americans are taught to love and accept all no matter their differences. To never see color, only see the heart: All people bleed, cry, and feel the same regardless. Peoples’ lives have changed for the better because of past abolitionists who valiantly sacrificed their lives so all can be equal. If it weren’t for their determination to have racial equality, America would never have known how to love each other despite color differences.

by Kendon Sheppard–Contributor

Gillette: Is the Best a Commercial Can Get?

Gillette’s well-known slogan,“The Best A Man Can Get,” has been around since it was launched in an ad in the Super Bowl of 1989. Since then, it’s been used to show men that the Gillette razor is the best razor men could possibly buy, and it would help them look their best. Recently the razor company flipped their slogan and posed it as a question in a new commercial asking: “Is this the best a man can get?” You’ve probably heard about the commercial titled “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be,” which depicts scenes of boys bullying other boys, and men harassing women in various situations. In the commercial everyone laughs or shrugs the instances off, saying the age-old phrase “boys will be boys.” The commercial then asks the question: “Is this the best men can be?” However, the mood of the commercial changes as a father breaks up two boys fighting at a cookout, and a man stops another man from catcalling a woman on the street. There was a great deal of controversy and backlash from many different people. Many men posted on Twitter they would no longer be using Gillette and even started the hashtag “#boycottgillette.”

Many thought Gillette should not have published such a political ad, and that the campaign was a very poor marketing ploy. Gillette is a huge name brand with millions of men and boys using their products, so a commercial asking men to step up and be the best they can be is perfect for such a well-known men’s razor company. The controversy comes from how the commercial made the men watching feel attacked with the condescending tone it appeared to display as it “tore men down.” Yet, the commercial is not about tearing men down, it’s about tearing down society’s mentality that actions such as bullying and harassment are just “boys being boys.” Gillette didn’t try to state that every man is toxic like the ones in the commercial; Gillette was stating that society brushes these characteristics off. We need to start holding boys accountable so they don’t continue these destructive behaviors and the belief that such behaviors are okay in future generations. We need to teach boys that they don’t need to tear each other down and that it’s not right to treat women the way they’ve been treated for years. Men are perceived as needing to be tough and strong all the time, and Gillette is trying to change that.

The company stated that their intention was to “challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man.” Many believe the commercial was saying that the actions displayed are traits all men have, but that’s not it at all. Those who did not receive the commercial well are the exact people Gillette wanted to see it. Those who felt attacked and are now trying to boycott Gillette seem to believe being held accountable for bullying and sexual harassment or assault is a bad thing. If you believe you are not one of the men in the commercial and that you are better than the toxic actions in the commercial, then prove it. Stand up for one another and hold each other accountable. Tell your friends, brothers, and anyone who needs to hear it. Challenge society’s backwards mantra: “boys will be boys.” Show everyone what it really means to be a man.

By Faith Jones – Contributor

Liz Monseur: Teacher of the Year

History teacher Liz Monseur was recently chosen by the Fauquier High School staff and administration as this year’s Teacher of the Year. Monseur has been a teacher at FHS for 36 years. During those years, she has taught a multitude of subjects, amongst the longest she taught were Special Education (SPED) and history, which she has now been teaching for 16 years.

Monseur first realized she wanted to teach after having already acquired a different position. “I went to college for social work […] once I got into social work I wasn’t enthralled with it, so I thought about going into teaching, and that’s what I did,” Monseur said. She did not, however, come up with the idea of teaching as a profession by herself, but rather had the guidance of a childhood friend. “Growing up [she] had always volunteered with mentally handicapped kids,” said Monseur. “At one point she said, ‘why don’t you go into special ed. to teach and I thought ‘well that’s interesting!’”

To this day, Monseur is extremely enthused about her job. “I work with great colleagues, and also the [amount] of students I’ve met and gotten to know over the years and still talk to and that’s wonderful. You just don’t get that in other jobs.” Since having taught for almost four decades, Monseur has learned a lot not just about teaching, but about learning. More specifically, what students learn in high school which makes the experience invaluable. “I don’t really think it’s as much the information they learn in the classes per se, I think it’s what they learn about themselves. How they develop their work ethic, how they gain a sense of achievement,” said Monseur. “I think that the experience in school [is one in which] you really learn about yourself. You learn that you can push yourself and do better, you kind of learn what you’re made of. But mainly I think for students it’s learning what success means personally, to each of them.”

Monseur has learned a lot about the world of teaching, but she doesn’t believe she’s done yet. “I’m still trying to improve my teaching strategies,” she said. To any teachers looking to do the same, Monseur has one thing to say, “Evolve. Continue to evolve and create, and never get complacent with what you’re doing.”

Monseur, thank you for 36 years of service, and congratulations on being crowned Teacher of the Year! Fauquier High School knows you deserve it.

by Celeste Pollack–Copy Editor

2019 Annual Super Bowl is a Disappointment

The 2019 Super bowl was the 53rd annual Super Bowl in history, and let’s just say it was a disappointment to a lot of people including me. The two teams that played were the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Personally, I’m tired of seeing the Patriots in the Super Bowl because it’s getting quite repetitive and boring. On the other hand, I was okay with the Rams being present because it was team that we haven’t seen in the Super Bowl since 2002.

The game itself was incredibly boring and low intensity. There was only one touchdown in the entire game, which was made by the Patriots. The final score of the games was 13-3:The lowest scoring game in SuperBowl history. There were barely any exciting moments, which is what the Super Bowl is supposed to have. I fell asleep twice while watching the game and every time I woke up the score hadn’t changed.

The first half was worse then the second, but I have mixed feelings about the halftime show. I think the halftime show was okay, but it could have been better.. The best part of the halftime show was the six seconds of “Sweet Victory” from Spongebob Squarepants.

The rest of it was okay at best; nothing really stood out to me. the problem with this matchup is that these teams are supposed to be the best teams in the NFL at this point, and they both delivered a very boring game to ALL of the people who were watching. Looking at it from a spectator standpoint, this was not a good game at all and might be one of the most boring Super Bowls.

The game was boring, the halftime was okay at best and the commercials weren’t even that good. The Super Bowl commercials are always something to look forward to during the game. They usually are something that keeps you entertained during the breaks between each period. This year’s commercials were quite a let down. I only found a couple of the commercials funny and worth watching like the doritos commercial but all the rest i just put on mute and went and did something else. Both the game and the commercials are something that should’ve been a whole lot better because it’s become a very big event for a lot of people

We can hope that next year’s Super Bowl will be more eventful because it would definitely not go well with some people if it’s the same as this year. With all of the hype, excitement, and tension leading up to the Super Bowl it made this boring game even more of a let down. It feels like a lot of other people share this opinion too, even Patriots fans who won it think the same. Let’s just hope that next time we can get some more variation with the Super Bowl, and a game that doesn’t make you want to watch the inside of your eyelids instead of the actual game.

by Aidan Stanton–Contributor

Boys’ Basketball Struggles Continue

The Fauquier Basketball season has now concluded, and they’ve struggled throughout the season. The problems have been occurring for most of the year. In the month of December, the Falcons went 0-6, and kept a losing streak until early January. Around the middle of January, however, the team seemed to pick things up a bit, capped off by a double overtime win against the Liberty Eagles, 60-58. But the Falcons went on to lose their next game to Briar Woods, with a score of 65-43.

The team did manage to finish strong and will hopefully gain some momentum going into the next season. Two big games at the end of the season were the games against Kettle Run and James Wood. Fauquier beat Kettle Run with a score of 57-55 in an overtime period. Then, in the season finale, the Falcons took on James Wood High School and sent the 2018 regular season off with a solid 59-42 victory. Later this week, the Falcons will tip off their postseason play with a regional game against Sherando High School.

The team believes they have improved a lot. “At the beginning, the team was a little bit shaky,” said junior Kyle Dargis, “But now we work together as a team; we’ve all become good friends, it show it on the court.” Sophomore Therman Smith agreed; saying, “As a team, I think that we just got better at passing and defense is the biggest part because we are a smaller team.”

by Tayte Mills–Staff Reporter

Virginia Teachers Go Red for Ed in Richmond

Virginia teachers make an average $51,049, less than the national average of $59,660 according to the National Education Association. Yet, Virginia is among the wealthiest states in the U.S. Inspired by massive teacher protests around the country, hundreds of Virginia teachers decided to take professional leave on January 28 and march in Richmond.
Demands include; restoring funding for public education, increasing teacher pay and providing competitive wages, recruiting and retaining high quality and diverse teachers, help localities address school infrastructure needs and ensuring that all schools have adequate support staff, according to Virginia Educators United.

Superintendent David Jeck and school board Chairwoman Suzanne Sloane along with several Fauquier High School teachers attended. Fauquier county teachers who were at the march were given professional leave mostly thanks to superintendent Dr. Jeck. Jeck gave his full support and was given the opportunity to speak on the steps of the capital.
Among the teachers who attended was English teacher Julie Duggan. “I saw a regression when the recession began in 2008; things were going really well until that point, and I’ve just seen a gradual decline ever since,” said Duggan. “We need to get back to where we were before that point in putting education at the top of our priorities for funding in state.”

Librarian Mary Jo Sears commented on the issues in teacher pay that she personally has to face. “I have two master’s degrees, I have 25 years experience [and] if I were to go to any other county I would be making a lot more money than I am here.” She blames this on the compressed pay scale that Fauquier County Schools have to use. “The school board is doing a good job with increasing our first-year teacher pay and second-year teacher pay to be more competitive among our area and other counties, but the problem is the more experienced you are the pay scales compress [and] the percentage of increase[d] [pay] goes down.” She added, “In order to keep the best teachers in this area and in state we got to pay for that”
Duggan had the opportunity to speak to Delegate Webert who is local to Fauquier County and has a son in the Fauquier County school system. She explained to him, “the quality of the educational experience in part depends on the funding of it (…) and that families depend on quality professional staffing at schools and depend on quality buildings and those are worth the money.”

The annex has also been a topic of interest when it comes to funding. Several teachers have expressed concern over the building. “We need funding to fix up the annex; that is not an appropriate space for students,” said Duggan.

Sears also commented on the issue, “I feel like the conditions we deal with especially over in the annex are deplorable (…) Students should not have to go from one classroom to the next and have a 20 degree difference in temperature, and teachers should not have to work in classrooms that are causing allergy problems.” She added that she knows the school tries its best to maintain the issue but doesn’t like how we try to put up a good front, and as you walk towards the back of the school you start to see age and heating problems.

Jeck plans to include $8 million in a budget plan, aimed at teacher salaries, that he will present to the school board.

by Nayeli Arellano–Sports Editor