Category Archives: news

Warrenton Christmas Parade is Bigger and Better Than Ever

The FHS track team brings holiday spirit to Main Street.

The spectacular Warrenton Christmas Parade made its way down Main Street this past Friday night, boasting unicyclists, fire trucks, boy scouts, and even a cow. The parade attracted thousands of people from near and far to view the wonderful spectacle with their own eyes. The Town of Warrenton Director of Planning, Brandie Schaeffer, stated that “The whole community rallies around a good parade and this is our best.” Schaeffer also commented that this parade was  “the largest parade we have had to date” with ninety-four floats. The crowded streets and loud cheers proved to many that this was one of the best parades our town has ever had.

Included in the parade were many of Fauquier High School’s students, club members, athletes, and members of other participating businesses and organizations. One participant, Hans Burch, said he “enjoyed being in the parade because [he] got to hang out with his friends on the track team.” The FHS band was also very prominent in the parade, marching down the streets with great pride, and blending in with the rest of the parade with their red, white and black uniforms.

The end of the spectacular parade was marked with the annual Christmas tree lighting at the courthouse by Mayor Carter Nevill, and concluded with fireworks, signaling an end to the parade, but the beginning of Old Town’s holiday season. Gumdrop Square also began this past weekend, filling streets with excited children and adults, ready for a day of shopping and a photo with Santa. The Warrenton Christmas Parade continues to grow each and every year, and to many, is the greatest annual event in Warrenton.

by John Tedeschi–Staff Reporter

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2018 Trip to Spain is an Unqualified Success

Spain is a beautiful destination for FHS students every November.

On November 14th, seven FHS students including teacher Ms. Rodriguez took two flights to arrive to Spain. There were seven students including me who took the program. Once we arrived to Spain, we went to the city of Palencia. It was a completely different life in my visualites. Everyone was from different countries around the world and walked to go to one place to another. Each student had a host from Spain who took them all around the city. The city was very interesting because everything was so close, and there were so many people who wore different clothing, spoke different languages, and their attitude towards people seemed so calm and happy. We attended a school in Spain called “La Salle”, which was a private school that contained only 800 students. Everything around Spain and the cities was fantastic to me, and everything I saw wherever I went was something I  never saw before. After Palencia, we went to Madrid, which was a wonderful place to see. Everything appeared exactly how it was explained and there were many people from Italy and they were very interesting to talk to about their life in the city.

Everyone in the group had a unique experience and enjoyed everything about Spain and met many different people. Junior Tim Anikis attended the program and saw many things that he would like to learn more about. “The trip to Spain was very exciting and interesting, I learned [about] a completely different culture there and [did] many new activities [that]  I’ve never done before.”

Ethan Hawes, who is also a Junior is another student who also attended the program. He enjoyed everything there and it was his first time there. “

Spain was a new life there. The school program was different and we had learned how they kept everything under control. There was always something to do and we enjoyed every minute of it.

by Luis Rodriguez–Staff Reporter

Dealing With Anxiety in Today’s World

Anxiety plagues people from all social statuses all over the world.

Anxiety is expressed in many different ways depending on the person who is suffering. It is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease–typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. In the United States, there are about 40 million people who suffer from anxiety, which is 18.1% of the population. People may experience anxiety physically or mentally, and can be treated by medicine and/or counseling.(“Facts & Statistics”) If someone feels like they are experiencing anxiety symptoms, see a doctor. Never self diagnose because it may not be accurate.“It’s like a mental breakdown in your head that you can’t get out of,” sophomore Julie Lukoins said.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is the most common teen anxiety disorder. Moreover, teens with GAD typically experience excessive worrying and low self-esteem.

A few physical symptoms of anxiety may include panic attacks, shaking, nausea, headache, shortness of breath, and more. Some mental symptoms include feeling like the world is slowing down or speeding up, worrying that you are losing touch with reality, and worrying about what might happen in the future. Almost half of people who struggle from anxiety also struggle with depression.(“Panic attacks and panic disorder” 2018)

“Anxiety to me feels like you have someone in your ear telling you that everything you do is wrong or you should fix this,” freshman Tyler Young said. “It’s like your mind and your heart are in two different places, and it feels like you’re always lost.”

What causes anxiety is still being researched, but brain scans of people suffering with various anxiety disorders have often shown evidence of chemical imbalances. The United States is considered one of the most anxious nations on earth. Anxiety disorders are more common among females than males. Variations of anxiety include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), agoraphobia, specific phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). (“Facts & Statistics”)

Anxiety is the most common form of mental illness in the United States. It is estimated that approximately 10 percent of teenagers and 40 percent of adults suffer from an anxiety disorder of some kind. Although this illness may be treated with medicine and counseling, 2/3 of adults with anxiety do not receive treatment. Teenagers with anxiety receive treatment less frequently, and only 1 in 5 teens who suffer do. (“11 Facts About Anxiety”)

“When I am having an anxiety attack I start to panic and my heart beat increases,” sophomore Lilly Shilling said. “I feel that everything is spinning and my head starts to hurt,”

It is recommended that if you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety, to consult to your doctor to recieve help.

by Dakota Santee–Staff Reporter

Are Freshman Groups Worth It?

Freshman students study in a lobby area during homeroom.

A new policy at Fauquier High School has freshman attending monthly group sessions during homeroom. During these meetings in which the same students gather, group advisors (FHS faculty) have students participate in getting-to-know-you activities.

Principle Clarence Burton, whose idea it was to create these groups, believes that “the major goal, the overwhelming goal, is to help students get to know [other] students really well. That way they have a person here that they can feel more comfortable with, and that they can go to.” He also feels that “it’s more of the connection piece, the relationship piece” that is important when it comes to meeting with the groups. According to a poll, most of the teachers and administrators working with the freshman groups think they benefit students. The majority of the students, on the other hand, do not find these useful.

A school guidance counselor and freshman group advisor, Mrs. Scott, suggested that “we only have these groups for a certain amount of time, instead of the entire freshman year.” She also commented, “while they can be useful, [the freshman] have better things to do with their time. As we get closer to SOL time, some kids go to see other teachers to work on them. Some of our kids are going to have to go do that because that’s more of a priority anyway. It just gets busier as the year goes on so I think that through the first semester would be most effective and after then, I’m not so sure.” Mrs. Scott is somewhat in the middle when it comes to this situation, and has mixed opinions on whether or not the groups should be completely cast aside. While they help students connect with each other and get to know new people, they can also take up time that could be used for studying.

Although some students find these meetings helpful, the majority think that the groups are pointless. Like freshman, Sawyer Morris states: “I don’t enjoy [the freshman groups], because they don’t help at all. We just sit there and talk a lot, that’s it.” Multiple other freshmen have the same view as Sawyer when it comes to these meetings. Several groups do fun get-to-know-you activities, while others sit and do nothing productive. “They are just a waste of time when we could be getting work done.” While researching this article, the general answer students gave was that they don’t enjoy them and don’t make much progress with anything during that time.

While most students aim to get rid of these groups completely, teachers find them useful and would like to continue them in the future, even if only for a short period of time. It has not yet been discussed or decided if the groups will continue to meet, and with the contrasting opinions of the freshman students, teachers, and group advisors, no one will be able to predict what will come of these groups in the future.

by Ella Tedeschi and Helena Lovell–Staff Reporters

Student Directors Flourish in FHS Theater Department

In early November the Fauquier High School Theater Department gave eight seniors three days on which to prove their directing skills. On November 1, 2, and 4, audiences entered the FHS auditorium to see four polished one-act plays. Unusually, this fall’s productions were chosen, casted, and directed by two seniors each, with only minimal guidance from theater teacher Emmett Bales (who normally would direct one full play in the fall). One play’s student-directors were also its authors.

Directing is a complex task that combines set design, blocking, and coaching of actors and crew.  “I could probably improve on choreography,” said Johanna Huber, co-director of a condensed version of “Snoopy! The Musical,” by Larry Grossman and Hal Hackady. “I’m not really a dancer, so choreographing the songs for Snoopy was kind of a challenge and it’s definitely something I’d like to get better at.” Bryce Moore, who with Fenris Foerster, co-wrote and co-directed “Landslide,” describes the challenges of planning ahead: “A lot of things we didn’t plan for came up late in production.” For example, props sometimes went missing or lighting design wouldn’t turn out how the directors had envisioned it.

Having only two months to rehearse increased the pressure on all involved — but especially on those students for whom this was the high point of their high school theater careers. “I’m looking forward to seeing all our hard work on stage and to seeing the audience’s reactions,” Zach Bern commented before opening night.  Bern and Ashleigh Champlin first abridged and then co-directed Neil Simon’s romantic comedy, “Barefoot in the Park.” Huber explains that opening night is “like the reward at the end of the journey.”

By 6 p.m. Sunday, November 4, all of the one act plays had run their full course. All eight of the student directors left the auditorium having learned a lot. One surprise was how much work it took to direct a full show. “I realized that people came to me for everything about [the show] and I had never experienced that. It was weird and gave me newfound respect for other directors.” Camden Gillespie, co-director of Almost, Maine, a romantic comedy by John Cariani, said, “I think all directors go through a phase where they believe the show could be a failure, and thankfully my cast and crew pulled everything together to the best of their ability.”

Why bother with all this hard work? “Directing is an aspect of theater that is so important. It often gives you the opportunity to learn and teach things you might miss out on as an actor or crew member,” explains Moore. Huber reflects, “I think it’s a really good learning opportunity for other people who are seriously interested and dedicated in the arts.” When asked how he felt about giving the reins to his students on this large production, Mr. Bales responded, “I knew every one of them would succeed.”

by Niamh Kierans–Contributor

“Faux” Ice-Skating Rink Opens to the Community Near Marshall

New ice rink gives members of the community an opportunity to ice skate in the comfort of their own neighborhood.

A new “ice” rink has opened in Northern Fauquier Community park near Marshall. “Our director Mr. Miller [had the] idea, he thought it would be a good idea to get new and different people out to the park”, Park Director Laurie Crofford said.

Last year they featured a non synthetic ice rink. Crofford explains, “The big difference is last year we had a water [ice rink] and we had to wait for it to freeze, [but] last year and a few years prior we just didn’t get the cold weather. We needed [the temperature to be] below 32 degrees for at least 3-5 days constantly in order for it to freeze we were only open one time [last year].”

Now they have adapted and thanks to the PATH foundation they were able to set up a synthetic ice rink. Crofford says, “The difference here is that it’s not weather dependent [and] we can have it here in the summer and people can still skate.”

The rink is great for children and beginner skaters due to a slight texture difference making it not as slick as ice. There is a $5 fee that includes a pair of skates and 30 minutes on the “ice”. It’s open on Saturdays, Sundays and school holidays from December to March 1.

by Nayeli Arellano–Staff Reporter

Purple Lanyards Are Here to Help

To all students out there struggling with mental health, there may be a new way to help. Many Fauquier High School teachers have recently undergone extensive training in mental health awareness. Meaning that these teachers are now well trained to help students who struggle with mental health. To signify their training in the matter, these teachers wear purple lanyards around their necks which help students identify the trained from the untrained.

The course required to be taken in order to receive certification is called the Mental Health First Aid class. Anyone with hopes of becoming certified can take the class, which predominantly helps trainees understand different mental illnesses and how to go about helping people through them. The training helps people better understand illnesses such as depression, anxiety, psychotic disorders, personality disorders, and many more. This class was put together in hopes of bringing mental health awareness to public schools, and to give students support where they otherwise could never find it.

When asked what they thought of the new program, Fauquier students responses were extremely enthusiastic: “I think it’s a great idea and initiative, because it helps students who need it. Also, I think it helps bring awareness to the cause, because not many people know that so many struggle with a mental illness.” Said junior Hannah Robbins. Robbins said this with a smile, and expressed her gratitude to the teachers who signed up to be vetted. When asked, senior Bridget Ward responded with the same positive aura: “I think it’s such a big issue, that it’s really nice that the teachers are there to support it. I think everyone needs a support system. It takes a village… I think we all need to be there for each other.”

Mr. Walker is a teacher here at Fauquier who took the class and is now certified. When asked why he took the class, his answer came easily: “I have always had an interest in psychology, so when I heard they were offering this class, I jumped at the opportunity. I love my students and want to help them in any way I can.” He was also asked how/what he was trained in during class time, “Our role is not to treat you, but to refer you to someone that can help… we’re here to recognize the issue and to evaluate and see is this a serious issue… mainly my role in this is to recognize that there’s a problem, engage with that student, try to figure out what problems in their life may be causing them stress, and then either refer them to their guidance counselor or Emergency Medical Services (EMS) but that’s only if it’s extremely serious.”

If you or a friend is struggling with any mental issues, know you can always visit any teacher with a purple lanyard and/or purple sticker outside their door. Remember, they are “here to help.”

by celeste pollack