Category Archives: news

Reduce Carbon Footprint by Joining the Eco Club

What would you expect to find when dissecting a shark? A half eaten fish perhaps? A less pleasant surprise awaited Faith Jones and Savannah Snider, two Sophomores (at the time, now both Juniors) in Mr. Murphy’s biology class, dissecting their first ever shark. Whilst examining the contents of their fishy friend’s stomach, they discovered that their particular shark’s last meal was a plastic straw.

Human beings have evolved from a once primitive state and have developed the ability to shape their environment, creating new materials at a molecular level. With this new-found power comes great responsibility. Plastic straws may be very practical when sipping on a Mcdonald’s shake, however their usefulness quickly dissipates, even as their lifespan continues for many decades in the ocean.

Jones, Snider, and their friends Brighton Craig and Hannah Cook (also Juniors) decided to make a difference in their environment. They have chosen to take an active part in maintaining the health and viability of their physical environment and “we invite you to do the same!” (Snider)

“I joined the Ecology club, because it’s fun, and I felt that we can make a real difference in the community.” says Hannah Cook.

The Ecology club meets every Tuesday during A+ in room 700. Some of the projects they are organizing this upcoming school year include cleaning highways and organizing classroom marker recycling. If you cannot make it to the meetings, you can try helping the environment from home. There are quite a few, very simple things you can do that make a huge difference in their environment. You could reduce your carbon footprint by carpooling with friends to school. You could help reduce plastic waste and help our shark friends improve their diet by investing in a couple reusable straws. Lastly, even recycling absolutely everything you can goes a long way!

Your physical environment has a direct impact on your well-being. Join a club that makes a difference!

by celeste pollack–news editor

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Establishment of New School Safety Officers Assures Student Safety

In the year 1994, the School Resource Officer (SRO) deputies in school program was established. Then, in 2017, a program for new School Security Officers (SSO) was recently established in a state law. Each of the three high schools in Fauquier County has already been assigned their own SSO. These SSO’s consist of MDS Settle at Fauquier High School, Corporal Tindle at Kettle Run High School, and Deputy Meyer at Liberty High School. There has been a new SRO assigned to each high school including Sal Torelli at Fauquier High School, Franz Mahler at Kettle Run High School, and Jeffrey Crane at Liberty High School. Officers must have served as an officer within the past ten years, and must undergo additional training. The officers must have also left their previous place of work in good standing. These new officers have been sworn in by the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office. The duties of the officers include social media monitoring, drill assistance, and of course daily building checks.

“When a parent sends their child to school, they want to know two things for certain: Is my child safe, and is my child learning,” Superintendent David Jeck said. “By adding these positions, we’ve come a long way in better addressing the first question. Clearly, our schools will be much safer places with the addition of these officers.”

This is exactly what the county is aiming to achieve by making sure the schools are secured, and the students are protected.    

by abbie mills–staff reporter

FHS “Help Box” Put Into Action to Fight Vape and Juul Issue

There’s no doubt that juuling and vaping has been an issue at FHS. Others juuling/vaping in the bathrooms and some even say they’ve seen students juul in class. This issue has been ongoing for roughly a year now, and students are rising up to put a stop to underage nicotine consumption.

This summer, four FHS students and FHS guidance counselor Mrs. Harris attended ‘YADAPP’, the ‘Youth Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Project’ hosted by Longwood University. The mission of this conference was to develop youth peer leadership that fosters high school prevention of substance use at the state and local levels. Camden Gillespie, a senior at FHS, is one of the four students who attended this conference.

“It was an amazing experience to go to the YADAPP Conference with people who had the same mindset as me,” Gillespie said. “I was able to learn a lot about how drugs affect not only your body, but [also] your mind. We really wanted to provide help for those who need it, which sparked the idea of the help box.”

The help box is new at Fauquier High School. If a student has a concern about another student whether it be juuling, vaping, or anything that could be harmful to oneself, they’re able to write it down anonymously, and place it in the help box. A counselor will then meet with the student  and begin moving forward. Mrs. Harris made it very clear that the help box is not used to “tell on students,” but is for struggling students who need help.

“The help box is not used to get someone in trouble, it’s more of ‘I am concerned about this person and I think they may need some adult help,’”  Harris said.

Students had a lot to say when they were asked their opinion on juuling/vaping and the help box. Senior Gage Russell, a senior at FHS,  said “There is a time and a place for everything, so if you’re going to juul, wait until after school.” When asked about the help box he responded with “I think it’s a good idea, but I also think it could be used for negative purposes. For example, if someone has a grudge against another student, it would be simple to write down someone’s name and slip it in the box.”

Junior Dakota Trimble, shares a similar opinion. “The help box is very stupid. If you are mad at someone and want to start a problem with them, you could just put their name in the box.”

Senior, Jake Trimble said, “The help box reminds me of the middle school ‘bully buzzing’ (which was also an anonymous box where you could report bullying), but I do think the help box could be useful in getting students the help they need.”

Dr. Croft, a science teacher at FHS, feels that the help box is useful. “I think the help box is a good thing, as long as it’s anonymous and people are not abusing it and falsely reporting students to get them in trouble. But I think the counselor will be able to figure that out in case that happens.”

When asked her opinion on students juuling/vaping, she replied with “I think it’s very stupid. It’s dangerous because they put extra chemicals in those things. Chemicals like fentanyl, which are in some juuls and vapes, could really hurt you.”

Will the help box bring awareness to a sensitive, but vital issue at FHS? It is certainly a move in the right direction.

by chelsea valdez–staff reporter

Break the Silence; Spread Awareness

On an average day in Virginia safe houses, particularly domestic violence safe houses, shelter 505 adults and 356 children according to the Attorney General’s Annual Report. Although, in Fauquier County, the only county in the state of Virginia with no safe house, there is no haven for victims to go. This has motivated Fauquier High School students to help make a change, along with Taylor Middle School and the Warrenton Youth Town Council. Juniors Hannah Cook and Hannah Robbins, members of the Warrenton Youth Town Council, and Heads of the Domestic Violence Committee organized Fauquier high schools purple out. Both were baffled over the fact that their county had no safe house and decided to do something about it by launching a purple out and raising awareness about the issue. Cook explains further in depth, “Basically this is through Youth Town Council, and Taylor Middle School came to us with the issue of domestic violence, and it was started because Fauquier County is the only county in Virginia that doesn’t have a safehouse. [A safehouse] is a spot that people who are domestically abused or have experienced any issues can go to seek asylum.”

Three featured events took place the week of the purple out; an informative meeting on October 10, the purple out on the 12 and a domestic violence awareness fair at Liberty High School on the 13.

The informative meeting took place in the cafeteria and featured two social services workers who explained the event on the 13 and promoted F.A.C.E.S (Fauquier Abuse Coalition to Empower Survivors). They provide many services for survivors to help them get back on their feet.

The schoolwide purple out took place on the 12th of October and was foreshadowed when several students painted the spirit rock purple on October 5th. One issue that arose from the purple out was that the traditional pink out was also in October and some students and teachers were upset. Senior Bridget Ward said, “A few people were bummed we didn’t have camo or a pink out, which I get is disappointing. Students spent money on the zoo shirt but didn’t even get to wear them to the [last] football game.” Ward also added, “A Lot of people don’t realize they’re in the midst of an abusive relationship, but I was disappointed some students did not really support it.” Tim Henson, senior and zoo captain had his own take on it, “The pink out is another important awareness campaign, I think people often get held back by tradition rather than embrace change I believe bringing awareness to this issue that plagues our and many communities is extremely important.”

The final hurrah that took place in Fauquier High School was the purple out football game. Youth Town Council and Falcons for Change ran a bake sale and sold purple ribbons in which all the proceeds went to help victims of domestic abuse. Towards half-time a man rushed past the bake sale table and gave the students 10 raffle tickets and quickly left. Later on, they discovered within those tickets was the winner of the raffle. $125 went towards their donation and at the end of the night they made over $600. They left with a table empty of baked goods and a heaping wad of cash that would soon go to support survivors of domestic abuse.

On October 13 at Liberty High school Taylor Middle-School hosted a domestic violence awareness fair. Purple ribbons and balloons framed the doors and the Taylor Middle School students donned purple capes. The aim was to raise awareness and money to help victims of domestic violence, with a particular focus on raising money to build a safe house The family-friendly fair featured vendors, bake sales,  informative booths and a live band. The Warrenton Youth Town Council promoted themselves and gave out popsicles at the event. Junior Calista Hamm remarked, “I think the campaign is a great thing for a couple of reasons one of which being that the topic of domestic violence doesn’t really come up in an everyday life of a student and it is something that should be talked about more because it’s a real world issue whether we like it or not”

[24-hour helpline for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual abuse (540)-422-8460.]

by nayeli arellano–staff reporter

Who’s Texting You?

Imagine you’re having a fun time with your friends, but suddenly you get a text from someone you don’t know. The text says that someone has complimented you, or you’re beautiful, not telling you who is saying these things. The message just simply has a compliment and a random link. You click on the link and it brings you to a strange site.

Recently, in Fauquier County, multiple teenagers have been receiving very strange texts. These texts are sent by random numbers, and the message has a link attached that sends them to a very strange site. The link sends you to either the app store, a pornographic or adult site, or even just a blank page that cannot be reached. We have yet to find out what the mysterious texts are, and who exactly they are coming from. One group of Fauquier High School students, that asked there names remain anonymous, told the sheriff about these text. The school sheriff said “do not answer the text, and that they will send them to investigation.” I also asked Fauquier High School’s Vice Principal Mrs. Tapscott and she said “This is the first time I am hearing about this, but it sounds like it could be dangerous, and I would advise that you stay away from these texts.” Both the sheriff and Mrs. Tapscott advise that students should stay away from these texts. Meaning that receivers of these strange messages shouldn’t click on the link and do not  respond because we don’t know exactly who they are coming from, if it is just a scam, or maybe even something criminal. The safest thing is to just ignore it until we find out what it is.

by tyler young–staff reporter

Community Comes Together to Support Owen Deavers

Earlier this month on a Saturday, it was busier than usual at the Warrenton Chick-fil-a. At any given time there were dozens of people milling around; the line to get a chicken sandwich was out the door, and multiple high school bands were playing next door under the BB&T bank tellers.

What brings all of these people together? Owen “The Brain Tumor Trooper” Deavers. Deavers was only four years old when he was diagnosed with a rare type of brain tumor known as craniopharyngioma. This tumor is found in roughly 120 children per year, and many of them are sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where Deavers stayed for months after his diagnosis.

This story hits home with the Warrenton community because both of the Trooper’s parents are teachers: Robert Deavers is a chemistry teacher at Fauquier High School and Elisabeth Deavers is the band director at Kettle Run High School. Both of them are cherished at their respective schools; so much so that Fauquier’s band director, Andrew Paul, began talks of a fundraiser.

“This is all Mr. Paul,” Mr. Deavers said. “He said they were going to try to do something last spring at Carousel and it got rained out…. So they finally just moved it to now–in the fall, and that’s when he got ahold of Mr. Lombardo. He’s the director at Liberty. They both decided that they would come, take part, and do the music.”

On the day of the event, many people, such as FHS Steel Pan member and Senior Gage Russell, did not expect the turnout to be that large. Luckily, they were pleasantly surprised. Even though the actual concert was held under the bank tellers of BB&T, there was still a considerable amount of people.

“I expected it to be at Chick-fil-a, but we found out later that it would be at BB&T, which is beside Chick-fil-a,” Russell said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, nobody’s going to show up.’ Ten or fifteen minutes after that, people and more people started piling in: friends that I invited and teachers and staff of the school.”

Mr. Deavers was also astonished at the amount of people that showed up to support his son. He claimed that at any given time, there were at least one-hundred people milling around, not including the kids performing.

“We had people from every part,” Mr. Deavers said. “My wife’s at Kettle Run so we had Kettle Run people; we had Fauquier people; we had people from where I used to teach at Front Royal in Warren County; some of Owen’s classmates and teachers that taught Warrenton Baptist Tiny Tots were there. Just people from everywhere.”

The hundreds of people that arrived payed off–the fundraiser raised just shy of $6,000 for Owen’s medical costs. Around $3,000 of it came from the orders placed at Chick-fil-a, while the rest came from a donation drum placed by the door.

“That’s far beyond what we were expecting,” Mr. Deavers said. “I mean, anything that we get is great, but we never imagined that we would have that much.”

Owen’s story created a sense of community that many thought was sorely needed in Warrenton. It also brought three schools that are typically fierce rivals together for one common cause.

“I think often that we live in a county that’s divided by rivalry when it comes to schools: Fauquier, Liberty, and Kettle Run,” Russell said. “But we put all those things aside and put what really matters, and that’s our morals. When we put Owen first–Mr. Deavers’ son–and realized that this is a pretty big issue, we were able to come together.”

by joel alexander–student life editor

Fauquier falls short in hard-fought Homecoming game

 

Last Friday at Falcon Field, the Fauquier varsity football team battled against the John Handley Judges for the annual Homecoming football game. The game was played on very muddy and wet grass, which made both teams change up their styles because of the condition.

Last week was Homecoming week for Fauquier High School, which included a spirit week, a school-wide pep rally, and a parade. This all led up to the football game and the dance itself. The homecoming game brought the biggest crowd that came out and supported the Falcons all season, and it showed.

“It was really loud,” sophomore Paul Heisler said. “You couldn’t hear the count, which happened when I jumped off sides.”

Falcon Field was very loud during the game, as The Zoo was filled up. “That was a good crowd,” Zoo Captain and senior Carson McCusker said. “Obviously we were disappointed with how it ended, but it was a good game and the crowd was into it pretty much the whole game.”

Fauquier, with some early season struggles, went into the game 0-4, while Handley went into the game 4-1 with their only loss being to Kettle Run High School. Once the game started off, the Falcon defense started well and never really let up. The Falcon offense, however, struggled to get much going. At halftime, the score was 6-0 Fauquier.

During halftime, the 2018 Fauquier High School Homecoming court was brought onto the field and honored. Following this, the Homecoming King and Queen, McCusker and senior Madeleine Hayes, were announced, which allowed both football teams to get a few minutes more rest than usual.

After halftime, both teams picked up right where they left off, both defenses making up for both offenses. Entering the fourth quarter, the score was tied up at 6-6. Once again, both defenses did their jobs in the fourth quarter, until the last Handley drive. The Judges were in the red zone with under four minutes to go. It was fourth and goal for Handley, and they took a shot to the end-zone, when the Fauquier defense stepped up, and smacked to ball to the ground. The Fauquier offense took over with around three minutes left in the game, but never got anything going, so the game carried on into extra minutes.

During overtime, Handley got the ball first, and made the most of it with a touchdown pass to the post.

“That guy when they scored… they had a great scheme going in overtime,” quarterback and sophomore J.T. Diehl said.

The Falcons were forced to score, or else they would lose. Fauquier faced a fourth and goal from the nine, and the Handley defense rose up and made a stop. The Fauquier quarterback was forced to rush a throw, which fell incomplete to end the game. Falcon Field, which was so energetic a few moments earlier, fell completely silent.

The final score was 13-6, John Handley.

“We had some good plays,” Diehl said. “In overtime though, once they scored we all dropped our heads. We need to focus on more practices, and pick up our heads after they score a touchdown.”

Diehl acknowledges that the team could still improve many aspects of their performance, but is still optimistic that they are a hard-working team.

“I think we performed pretty well, but we definitely could have played a lot better.” Diehl said. “I think a bunch of us played super hard, and I think we played overall pretty well, but there’s still a lot of mistakes to be fixed.”

The Falcons play an away game against Kettle Run High School tomorrow night, and Diehl is still optimistic that the team still has some tricks up its sleeve.

“I think that our record does not show how good we are. We can be a better team overall.”

by Tayte Mills – Staff Reporter