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

Copperthite Lives Her Dream at Space Camp

Last year, science teacher Jennifer Copperthite resigned from Fauquier high school due to her husband’s work, and moved down south to Huntsville, Alabama. Copperthite, her students and fellow teachers were saddend by the news. However, it also brought opportunities for new adventures in her coming future.

After switching states, there was a lot of adjusting to do. “We had to get new driver’s license, change our car registration, get new doctors, set up utilities, and change our address for everything,” said Copperthite, “After living in the same house for 16 years, doing all of this for four people was very time consuming.” Unfortunately, Copperthite was diagnosed with a low stage of cancer which she went to treatments for throughout the fall. Nevertheless, Copperthite managed to make the most of her situation and spent a lot of time in her new pool at her house.

After settling in, Copperthite got a job at Space Camp which she started this past January. “I am an education presenter. My job is to teach about space travel, astronomy, heat shield design, and a variety of other topics,” said Copperthite. She said that sometimes she will just give a short lecture and other times she will be running labs, games, and other activities. “I’m actually doing a lot of the same things I did in the classroom at FHS,”

Space Camp focuses on activities that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and aerospace technology. Campers learn about National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) history as well as the current and future status of space flight and technology. Activities include astronaut training, running simulations of shuttle missions, and team building projects. The camp also hosts astronauts who come to speak every week as well as many other surprise guests. “Last week, I saw James Corden, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, and Chris Pratt,” Copperthite said, “With this year being the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, we are expecting a lot of really cool guests.”

Space Camp is for ages 9-11. Other affiliated programs accommodates different age groups such as the Space Academy for ages 12-14, Advanced Space Academy for ages 15-18 as well as family, adult and teacher camps. Some camps are only a few days long, while others last up to a week. For more details and to sign up, visit

Copperthite enjoys working at Space Camp; however, she says she still misses FHS. “Every time I go out, I think I see someone from ‘home.’”
Her son Alex Copperthite, who attended FHS, has mutual feelings. “He misses his FHS friends, but he has found a great group of friends here too.” Copperthite said she is happy, there is social media so she and her family can still keep in touch with friends and family from Fauquier.

by Rachel Singleton–News Editor


Student Censorship Violates the Right to Know

Throughout history, students have been censored on certain topics administrators find “controversial” or inappropriate. In some cases students have been intimidated to self-censor their articles that would have caused controversy among the readers. Readers have their own opinions, while journalists have their own, in the majority of occasions bias is excluded unless an article is based on opinions. The problem is that these articles have an impact and purpose that will never reach their peers or community. Due to the censorship created in order to avoid the scandals a blockade has been placed, known as censorship.

In 1988, the principal of Hazelwood East High School censored from the students a special issue by not allowing them to publish topics on teen pregnancy and the impact of divorce on students. The student staff sued. The U.S. District court said the students’ First Amendments were not violated. After this incident had occurred, the administrative control on student speech widely expanded.

Student shouldn’t be required to censor articles or topics if time and effort was invested into an article. It was made with a purpose and has an impact to make. If the impact is prevented or blocked from reaching an audience with a right to know, consequences are certain to follow.

According to the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting the free exercise of the press is considered against the law. Due to the fact that these are school-sponsored publications, school officials have certain standards they must meet before they can legally censor a students publication under the First Amendments. These standards were set after many school cases went through this situation.

The annual Super Bowl gives an opportunity for many appealing commercials to be produced. Recently during the 2019 Super Bowl, The Washington Post bought a 60-second commercial. This commercial displayed events from World War II to the present, the narrator described the journalists as eyewitnesses and fact-gatherers. The ad ended with the Washington Post’s logo and the quote “democracy dies in darkness.” Past footage of major events and journalists that were killed also were recognized in the commercial.

Journalists risk their lives from day to day to bring the people the information they deserve and this commercial served as a way to deliver the message to a broader audience. Our community, and citizens of the country have the right to know what is going on. Whether it’s locally or nationally the news should get out to the people. As we all know, news won’t always be good news or news we want to hear. Yet we all want to know what our society is facing and the issues that need solving.

By Amanda Arellano – Staff Reporter

Fisher Earns His 100th Win

Fauquier junior Sam Fisher recently received his 100th win in wrestling. When asked about his new accomplishment Fisher said, “I didn’t even know I got it, I figured I was getting close.” This pleasant surprise increased the admiration felt for the Fauquier wrestler. Fisher has been wrestling since he was five and played additional sports as a kid: “I didn’t really like team sports that much, there’s a lot of pointing fingers and if I’m going to lose…I want to hold myself accountable” said Fisher. He decided to focus solely on wrestling his eighth-grade year. Fisher also practices and competes in Olympic styles of wrestling which are slightly different from the style uses during the school wrestling season and are conducted under different rules.

Fisher is a two-time state champion, outside of school Fisher has competed in 5 national tournaments and received high placings in each. Prior to the beginning of this year’s season, Fisher competed in a college open tournament where he received second place. Fisher said, “Wrestling stays true to the whole ‘work harder do better.’” Head wrestling coach Doug Fisher describes wrestling as “a sport that teaches you humility like no other. No matter how good you become, there is always someone better, or another level to conquer.”

Fisher received an early offer from Virginia Tech where he will continue wrestling and his studies. Tech is one of the top Division I wrestling programs in the nation, making a great fit for Fisher. Head wrestling coach Doug Fisher said, “I am truly happy for both his accomplishments to date and his decision to verbal to Virginia Tech.” Fisher has achieved many goals up to this point and will continue to do so in the time he has left wrestling for Fauquier.

by Amanda Arellano–Staff Reporter

FHS Appreciating History

at Fauquier High School. This spring semester, the main lobby will take students through time with a bright yellow timeline that spans from 1000 B.C.E to today. Students go down to the lobby and learn as well as contribute to the timeline. The events placed on the timeline are color coded based on the study they fall under.

English and literature are gray, math is red, history is blue, art and music are purple, sports are orange, technology is tan, science is green and foreign languages are pink. Science teacher, George Murphy is the originator and planner of this project and said that he had been thinking about doing it for several years. “Initially, for AP Biology, we do a timeline like this for DNA,” said Murphy, “But I’ve always had an interest in something more cross-curricular.” After coming up with the plan, he put his idea into motion, placing the timeline with the help of the AP Biology students for all the school to see. Many teachers have already began taking their students down to the timeline such as Dr. Croft with her anatomy and physiology class, agriculture, physical education, and many others. Murphy is very happy with this new addition to the school and says “it can involve the whole school: It’s really cool and just to see how everything we study in school is related in some way.” The timeline will stay up until the end of May, and Murphy hopes to continue putting it up every semester.

by Rachel Singleton–News Editor

Love Is in the Air

Staff Couple Mark Scott and Johanna Scott- A Romance to Last a Life Time

Math teacher Mark Scott and guidance counselor Johanna Scott met through a set up from two people they knew. Mr. Scott was working at one school and Mrs. Scott was working as a guidance counselor at the rival school. Mr. Scott’s principal was married to a teacher at Ms. Scott’s school. They were both trying to get the two to meet. Little did they know that this small suggestion would lead to a long time relationship.

Mr. Scott made the first move by emailing Mrs. Scott. “It was very cute,” said Mrs. Scott. From there, they arranged to meet at an little Italian place in Woodstock, Virginia.

When the two first saw each other, Mr. Scott said that he was amazed by Mrs. Scott’s beauty and said he had a great time.
”We had a great conversation, a fun time and did a lot of laughing,” said Mr. Scott.

“I thought he was funny,” said Mrs. Scott, “I really didn’t plan on staying that long, but we ended up having so much fun that I ended up being late like two hours.”

With such a good first date, the pair dated for a little over half a year before they got married on July 10, 2004. They now have two girls and have been married for almost 15 years.

Both agree life with one another has never been better. “It’s been great, heavenly,” said Mr. Scott.

Because the Scotts are working on Valentine’s day, they do not have any plans for the day. However, they plan on going out to dinner the next week.

Couple John Carneckis and Ashley Halbrook- True Love at First Sight

Sophomores John Carneckis and Ashley Halbrook’s relationship began with love at first sight. The pair first met in 2017 at the homecoming football game and after hanging out that day, they knew they were the one for each other.

Carneckis made the first move said Halbrook. “He asked for my number at the homecoming game then two weeks later we went on our first date at a different football game.”

The couple have made many memories together but Halbrook says her favorite was on her birthday. “My brother took me to see Thor and surprised me by picking John up on the way,” said Halbrook. “After the movie, we went to Target and bought board games to play.”

Carneckis and Halbrook have been dating for one year and three month and their relationship has only grown. Both believe they are in a good place with one another. “It’s been very good,” said Carneckis. Halbrook added on saying, “We’ve had rough patches but it’s been good.”

The couple plan on going to a sushi place and then rent a movie this Valentine’s Day

by Rachel Singleton–News Editor

Lamper Brings Excitement to Softball Team

This is a year filled with changes for the Fauquier Falcons. As spring sports begin to warm-up, the Fauquier High School girls’ softball team has had a chance to meet their new head coach. Erika Lamper will be replacing Mark Ott as head coach this season, both returning alumna and teacher at Fauquier High. After a fantastic softball season last year with Lamper as the assistant coach, Coach Ott resigned leaving an empty position here at FHS.

After graduating in 2005 from FHS playing softball, coached by Ott, she moved on to play softball for four years at Seton Hill University. There she earned a degree in 2009 in marketing and human resources. In 2013, Lamper came back to teach and coach here in Virginia. After teaching at Kettle Run she took a job at FHS where she teaches personal finance and sports business. It is currently her second year at FHS.

Lamper stated, “I am very excited. This is a great group of girls. They work hard outside of the season too.” The teams have already begun workouts and conditioning and many are excited to see what Coach Lamper can bring to the team. “They are definitely working hard, very motivated, and a very positive group.” When asked what softball meant to her, Lamper said, “Softball is more that just a sport. It helps you develop as a human being. It allows you to become part of the community.” For Lamper, softball has taught her many life lessons, “It creates a well rounded person and opens up values you can’t learn in the classroom.” Her goal for this season is to get the team to states. “They have been there before and I think they can do it again.” Lamper said, “Having fun is the first priority. I want them to want to be there. I don’t want to force anyone. And take advantage of being on the team, you won’t have that same experience again.” Lamper loves the encouragement and “good support system[of the team], they help build each other up. You won’t always have 12 others who have your back all the time. Ott taught Erika Lamper since she was about 11 or 12 years old in both travel and at a high school level. He added, “I was ecstatic to have someone who played and knew the field come back to teach the girls. I have all the confidence in the world she will keep it a successful season, if not make it better.”

by Catherine Smith–Staff Reporter

Long-time Teacher Mcguinn is Retiring

This year, one long-time teacher and driver’s education teacher Terri McGuinn will be retiring after 40 years of teaching and 45 years of being at this school.

McGuinn first came to FHS in 1970 when she was in the eighth grade. When Marshall Middle School burned down, her class and the other middle schoolers had to move to FHS. However, most of their time was not spent in the school but rather outside the school in trailers. McGuinn then attended the school as a freshman and graduated four years later in 1975. From there, McGuinn attended college at Appalachian State University for four years and earned her bachelor’s in science and physical education k-12.
McGuinn had not planned to come back to the school but instead, after graduating college, signed a contract to work at an elementary school. Plans changed when her old high school coach called to inform her about a job opening at FHS. McGuinn had been wanting to coach for a while so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. “I went up to the school board office and spoke with the superintendent,” said McGuinn, “and asked him ‘was this available, could I move from school to school?’ and he said yes.” McGuinn has been with the school ever since.

McGuinn has always been the driver’s education teacher, but she also did many other things with the school. “My first 11 years here, I coached. I was the head coach of softball, and I actually started the volleyball program,” said McGuinn. The first year she started teaching at Fauquier, they did not have a volleyball program while most of the other schools in the district did. “I went to the principal and approached him about starting a program and he said ‘see if you have enough girls interested,’” McGuinn said “so I ran an intramural program before school, and I had about 60 girls show up.” The principle stayed true to his word, and the next year, he let McGuinn begin the program.

Although McGuinn was happy to start the new program, she said that it was very hard to manage. “I coached jv and varsity and drove the bus for the first couple years. I had no assistance, […] which made for a long day.” McGuinn decided to stop coaching when she got married and had kids; and later upon her husband dying in a car accident, she decided there was no chance she was getting back to coaching.

McGuinn says that one thing she loves the most about the school is the relationships she has with her students and faculty members. “I have students that I taught my first couple of years that I still am in touch with,” said McGuinn. She said she will miss the school when she leaves, especially the people. “I’m going to miss my department a great deal,” she said. “I mean it’s been my life for 40 years, 5 as a student and 40 as teaching.”

McGuinn says that she is not sure what she plans on doing after retirement. She plans on doing a few things with one of her close college friends: “We’re going to do a road trip,” said McGuinn, “I have a son that lives in California, and she has one that lives in Colorado, so we’re going to kind of do the trek across and see our kids.” One thing McGuinn is sure she will do after leaving the school is get a part-time job. “I can’t not work, I mean I’ve worked all my life,” said McGuinn, “ I don’t see myself sitting at home doing gardening.” Some have even asked her if she plans on working as a substitute teacher to which McGuinn says she is unsure. “I don’t think [I will], and if I do, it won’t be here.”

Being a teacher at Fauquier for so long, McGuinn has taught a few people that are now staff at the school. A few she could list include business department chair Diana Story, ITRT Michelle Green, and SSO Sal Torelli. Torelli had many kind words to say about McGuinn. “I enjoyed her, I still do now,” said Torelli, “one of my favorite teachers growing up in high school.”
Torelli said that she was and is a very kind and pleasant person to be around. Although Torelli is happy for her and her retirement, he says that he is still very sad to see her go. He said that it will be very different walking down the 700s hallway in the morning, “When I look to the left and I smile and say good morning, the biggest difference is she won’t be there to say good morning to me in the doorway when I walk by.”

Even current students at the school are saddened by her leaving. Sophomore Allison Migliaccio said she enjoyed her class and thought it was very informative and interesting, “the content was engaging and really brought out the realities of how mature and attentive you have to be when driving on the road.” Migliaccio says that she is sad to see McGuinn go after just meeting her but is happy that she can enjoy retirement after her long service at the school.

Mrs. Mcguinn, thank you for 45 years of service. The hard work you have put into educating has truly made an impact on this town. You will truly be missed!

by Rachel Singleton–News Editor